Community Action Head Start Parent turned Site Supervisor Celebrates 30 years with Agency

From a Head Start classroom volunteer to a Site Supervisor, Sue Beadnell, mother of 4 and grandmother of 12, reflects on her accomplished career in Community Action as she celebrates her 30th anniversary with the Community Action Agency of Columbiana County (CAACC).

Beadnell’s Community Action journey began in 1992 when she enrolled her youngest daughter in the local Head Start program. Beadnell, then a stay-at-home mother, asked to assist the teachers with classroom tasks while her daughter attended, which quickly turned into a regular volunteering position.

“I liked working in the classroom,” Beadnell said

By November of that year, Beadnell felt like she was a part of the Head Start team. Seeing her passion and commitment to her work, Head Start staff member Nina Jean encouraged Beadnell to apply for a part-time bus aide position at the agency, which she deservingly earned and held for a year and a half before being offered an assistant teacher position.

To qualify for the teaching position, Beadnell worked to complete an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) through a Head Start tuition reimbursement program. Driven to position herself for future promotions, she decided to continue her education online at the University of Cincinnati.

“Having Head Start’s support as a parent and staff member, I jumped at the opportunity [to further my education] and continued on to receive my bachelor’s degree,” Beadnell said.

Beadnell explained the support she received from Head Start also allowed her to set and accomplish new goals for herself.

“Without Head Start, I do not think I would have gone to college,” Beadnell said.

After years of working in the classrooms, Beadnell transitioned to a licensing assistant position where she worked to ensure state licensing compliance with related policies and legal requirements. In 2015, Beadnell returned to the classroom as a Site Supervisor—a position that lets her support teachers in ways she would have appreciated during her teaching days.

“When I was a teacher, I had to be both the teacher and the support,” Beadnell. “Now, I am here to support the teachers.”

In the 30 years Beadnell has been with CAACC, she identifies a stronger support system for teachers and an increase in the number of family advocates as two of the greatest agency advancements in the Head Start program. Today, each of the 10 CAACC Head Start sites has its own family advocate and its own site supervisor, which Beadnell said has strengthened not only the relationship between the child and their Head Start work but the parents’ relationship to the work, as well.

Witnessing positive growth at CAACC and throughout the county is just one of the perks Beadnell identified of beginning a career in Community Action. With a decorated and self-fulfilling career to speak to, Beadnell recommends anyone interested in beginning their career or looking for a change consider Community Action.

“[CAACC] is a great place to start and grow a career,” Beadnell said.

The Community Action Agency of Columbiana County is a private, non-profit organization created to strengthen the Columbiana community, foster well-being, and promote self-sufficiency. Individuals and families can read more about the agency’s programs and services and apply on their website. Interested in a CAACC career? Check out the career page to see how your talents can lead to service for others.