After nearly three decades of dedicated service, Mrs. Emily Kynard has retired as the Director of one of Perry County’s most important institutions. Appointed to the position as the program’s fourth Director 20 years ago, Mrs. Kynard has been an invaluable asset to the community. 

In 1965, the Perry County operation began under the leadership of Rev. R. T. Johnson, who served as its first director. The program has continually received enthusiastic support from the community, which enabled it to thrive and grow. After providing over two decades of service, Rev. Johnson was succeeded by Mr. Belvie Brice, followed by Mrs. Helen Melton, and finally Ms. Kynard who held the post until her retirement in August 2023. 

Ms. Destiny Lapsley-Scott has been appointed as the Fifth Director in the program’s history and is a true Head Start veteran, having served as Assistant Director and Chief Financial Officer for over two decades at Berean Head Start. Ms. Scott is a proud alumnus of Francis Marion High School and Berean Head Start, and she also holds an associate degree in accounting, with honors, from Wallace Community College. She further advanced her education by obtaining a B.S. in accounting from the University of Montevallo, and finally completed her journey with an MBA. 

Berean Head Start is an important part of the economy and education in Perry County. With a budget of over 1.4 million dollars, it provides educational services to nearly 100 children in the county aged three to five years. As part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Head Start not only provides vital support to children and their families, but also works to promote school readiness and prepare these young learners for a successful academic future. Through a comprehensive learning environment, holistic educational services, and positive reinforcement, Berean Head Start helps young children reach their full potential and create a brighter future for Perry County. 

The program offers a wide range of services which help to ensure that all enrolled children and families have the necessary support to reach their individual goals. Some of the main services available through the program include health and development screenings, nutrition services, family support, and mental health services. These services work together to ensure that children are growing and learning, while their families are well-supported and empowered.