Put out the welcome mat for employees who have joined the Community Action Council of Howard County in recent weeks.
Before becoming CAC’s director of human resources, Deborah Downs-Lynch worked as human resources director for the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites in Hanover for two and one-half years and as a human resources generalist for the not-for-profit Chimes Family of Services in Baltimore for seven years. Before that she owned and worked as a pastry chef at Sweet Indulgence in Owings Mill for a decade. Now a resident of Nottingham, Deborah holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, W. Va., and a master’s degree in human resources from Towson University in Towson.
After decades of working with children (which she calls her “passion”), Glen Burnie resident Gwenlyn Hopkins feels right at home serving as an assistant teacher at the Old Cedar Lane Head Start Center in Columbia. Gwenlyn spent 18 years working at the day care at First Baptist School in Laurel and eight years as an assistant teacher in the Anne Arundel County Head Start Program. Prior to getting her first assistant teaching job, Gwenlyn volunteered for two years in her son’s Head Start classroom.
Until last fall, Stephanie Munn had spent her entire life in Wilmington, N.C. She’s now living in Glen Burnie and working as an assistant teacher at the 1st Presbyterian Head Start Center in Columbia. Stephanie has spent more than 20 years working with children, including nine years at the Southeastern Preschool Educational Campus (first in Wilmington and later in Leland, N.C.) and eight years at the Child Development Center in Wilmington. She has also been active in a wide variety of children’s ministries at church. Stephanie is close to obtaining her associate’s degree online in early childhood education from Stanly Community College in Albemarle, N.C.
Volunteer Coordinator Sarah Schindehette has a varied background, much of it as a volunteer herself. She has given scuba divers safety briefings and underwater tours as a divemaster, and has trained volunteers how to identify fish and keep track of the fish population, both in Key Largo, Fl. Sarah has also worked with refugees and taught English in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This Hampstead resident earned a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She has wanted to work for a nonprofit organization for years, and felt that CAC was a good fit after she helped supply food to victims of last summer’s Ellicott City flood.
Erikka Tisdale, the new assistant teacher at the Ellicott City Head Start Center, has deep roots in the Head Start Program. All five of her children attended Head Start, she spent 13 years as a classroom volunteer in the program, and she served as an assistant teacher in the MLK Early Head Start in Baltimore for two and one-half years. In addition, she was honored as Head Start Parent of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. Erikka was also an assistant baker for a Giant Food in Baltimore for six years and earned an associate’s degree in cooking and baking from Baltimore International College.