Board of Directors
Jennifer Hawbecker has 25 plus years of experience working with children and families in the Franklin County area. She currently works as the Early Intervention Program Specialist for the Franklin/Fulton MH/IDD/EI program. Jennifer is involved with several early childhood education organizations, such as Hope from the Start, Occupational Advisory Committee member for the Early Childhood Education program at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center and planning committee member for the United Way of Franklin County’s Learn and Play Day. Jennifer is an active Franklin County community member and was recently certified as a Franklin County Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA). Jennifer lives in Chambersburg with her husband, Bryan. She has two daughters, Lily and Olivia, and a son-in-law, Luke.
Gladys H Leon is a retired school administrator with over thirty years of experience in early childhood education. A graduate of Shippensburg University with a Master’s in Early Childhood Education. Prior work experiences include working with Head Start students as well as Special needs preschoolers in the Philadelphia School District and the Chambersburg School District.
Dr. José G. Ricardo-Osorio is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Foreign Language Specialist at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, He has a Licenciatura en Lenguas Modernas from Universidad del Atlántico (Barranquilla, Colombia). He earned a Master’s in Spanish and a Doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Arkansas. He has over 20 years of K-16 teaching experience abroad and, in the U.S., He currently serves as acting dean in the College of Education and Human Services. As a faculty member, he teaches Spanish, foreign language teaching methods and supervises student teaching. He has served as chair of the Department of Global Languages & Cultures at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania as well as Interim Associate Dean in the College of Education and Human Services. Dr. Ricardo-Osorio has been a workshop facilitator, session presenter and keynote speaker at numerous professional events in the U.S and abroad. He is a member of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the Pennsylvania chapter of TESOL (PennTESOL-East). He is also on the Advisory Board of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) and he is a former member of the Executive Board of the Pennsylvania State Modern Languages Association (PSMLA). His research interests include student learning outcomes assessment, foreign language, ESL/EFL teacher training, and world language teaching methodology. His research has been published by the Teagle Foundation, by ACTFL and by The National Association of Laboratory & University Affiliated Schools (NALS). He enjoys teaching American and Latino cultural topics using dancing and music. He can be reached at [email protected].
Dr. Paul Sick has been a Head Start Board member since 2006. He has Served office terms as Vice-President and Board President. He is currently serving on Executive, Strategic Planning & Evaluation committees. Dr. Sick is a former principal with Chambersburg Area School District. He is currently employed with Wilson College as an adjunct professor in the Education Department as a student teacher supervisor.
Casey grew up in Colorado. She went to Colorado State University for college, graduated cum laude with a degree in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a minor in Diversity in Law in 2011. She then went to law school at Penn State Dickinson School of Law in State College, PA. She graduated cum laude from law school in 2014. While in law school Casey was vice president of the Women's Law Caucus, participated in the Family Law Clinic and had an externship at the Centre County District Attorney's Office. She started at the PDs office in December 2014, immediately following law school. She was hired as an Assistant PD, became First Assistant just over a year later and was appointed Chief Public Defender in August of 2018. She lives in Chambersburg with my two Puggles, Buster (age 9) and Bailey (age 5).
Tabitha Curtis is a parent of four children, three whom have gone through the First Start Partnerships program. She is a licensed social worker and is currently working as a school social worker for the Shippensburg Area School District. She has spent many years working and advocating for vulnerable children and families in the mental health and child welfare sectors before entering school for social work. She received her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degrees from Shippensburg University. In her spare time, she enjoys attending her children’s sporting events, doing advocacy work, and traveling with her husband. Tabitha is passionate about serving in her community to ensure equitable services for all, and is committed to empowering vulnerable individuals with the tools they need to be successful and thrive. These reasons are why she has committed to serving within the First Start Partnerships organization as they play a vital role in educating young children and supporting families.
Tod is the former superintendent of the Waynesboro Area School District. Although a musician in his early life, he has been in education for almost 40 years. Aside from First Start Partnerships, he serves on numerous Waynesboro, Franklin County, State and Mid-Atlantic boards and committees. He and his wife Laura enjoy museums, historic places and attending concerts.
Eric is the business administrator for the Waynesboro Area School District. In addition to First Start Partnerships, he serves as a director for several boards and trusts in the county and region. Prior to working in education, he was employed at Citicorp for over 20 years. Eric and his wife Ellen live in Greencastle.
Lura Hanks, current superintendent of the Greencastle-Antrim School District began her teaching career in 1998 as an elementary teacher in Frederick County, Maryland. She has served as a teacher specialist, assistant principal, principal, and previously Supervisor of English Language Arts and Social Studies for Washington County Public Schools. Dr. Hanks has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and a Doctorate of Organizational Leadership from Hood College. Dr. Hanks has presented at local, state, and national conferences on topics of literacy education and teacher professional development. She has authored and contributed to a variety of articles including the 2019 released book by Doug Fisher titled This Is Balanced Literacy. In October of 2019, Dr. Hanks presented at the International Literacy Association conference on improving literacy instruction through talent management professional development. While she grew up in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, Greencastle has been her home for 18 years where she lives with her husband and two children. Dr. Hanks currently serves on the board of directors for the Greencastle Chamber of Commerce and the Greencastle Education Foundation.
Mike Ross has been President of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation (Chambersburg, PA) since its start-up in 1986. Under Mike's direction, the FCADC has facilitated more than 1,000 projects throughout the County. The projects have resulted in more than $2.2 Billion of new investments. The FCADC has been able to support the projects with more than $345 million of economic development resources. Most importantly, the projects have impacted more than 53,600 employment positions. Mike is active in numerous professional and community organizations, including: •Commissioner, PA Military Communities Enhancement Commission •Commissioner, PA Early Learning Investment Commission •Pennsylvania Association Council of Trustees - Board of Directors, 1st Vice President; Advocacy Committee •Penn State University-Mont Alto - Advisory Board, Policy & Planning Committee, Entrepreneur Adv. Council •First Start Partnerships – Board of Directors •Team Letterkenny - Chair •Southcentral Workforce Investment Board (SCPa Works) - Vice-Chair-Board of Directors •Franklin County Visitors Bureau - Board of Directors, Property Committee-Chair •Franklin County CareerTech - General Advisory Board •United Way of Franklin County - Board of Directors (2015 Campaign Chair) •Past President of the Pennsylvania Economic Development Assoc; and Northeastern Economic Developers Assoc. Mike has a BA degree in Political Science from Slippery Rock University; is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute, Oklahoma University; and a 2014 graduate of Commandant’s National Security Program, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle.
Kathy Estep is the Workforce Development Coordinator at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center where she previously was a Cosmetology Instructor. Kathy has a bachelor's degree in Workforce Education and Development from Pennsylvania State University and is currently completing her master's degree. Kathy is currently serving on the Leadership Franklin County Steering Committee.
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes