Blair Hyatt, Executive Director
Blair Hyatt has been the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Head Start Association since the fall of 2004. Blair is a life long residential of the state of Pennsylvania. His professional and community work has focused on improving the lives of young people and their families. He graduated with a Master’s in Social Work degree from Temple Universities’ School of Social Administration where he completed his master’s thesis on the “Oppression and Liberation of Youth”. Previous to being the ED of PHSA Blair had been working as the Manager of Family and Community Partnerships for Philadelphia Parent Child Center, Inc. He has also: taught parenting skills and started a parenting center, helped start a therapeutic nursery for preschool age children, built a model “wrap-around” services program and worked doing “Family Services Systems Reform” through the Center for Schools and Communities. In his community work, Blair has taught peer counseling and mentored peer counseling leaders for over twenty years. He has lead workshops for young people, young adults, families and men as a part of this work. He is the Director of the University of the Poor’s School of Parent and Youth Leadership working to end poverty through the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC). Blair has worked with the PPEHRC to build broad support for Head Start and the efforts to save Head Start. He has developed a partnership with the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign developing a workshop that; educates people about their economic human rights, shows how Head Start supports people’s economic human rights and how any effort that threatens Head Start is a threat to people’s economic human rights.
Karen Grimm-Thomas, Associate Executive Director
Karen Grimm-Thomas has been the Associate Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Head Start Association since February of 2006. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Karen attended Penn State as an undergraduate, where she worked as an infant/toddler teacher while earning her Bachelor’s degree. She went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. While at the University of Illinois, Karen completed her master’s thesis “All in a Day’s Work: Job Experiences, Self-Esteem, and Fathering in Working-Class Families.” In addition to teaching in classrooms for various aged children, Karen managed The Children’s Eating Lab of Penn State under the direction of Dr. Leann L. Birch. There she helped design experimental protocols and conducted research on the development of children’s eating behaviors. After leaving Penn State, Karen was a Classroom Mentor in the Head Start Child Care Collaboration Project at Community Services for Children, Head Start of the Lehigh Valley. She then moved to the Harrisburg Area where she worked for Capital Area Head Start first as an Education Coordinator, and then as Training Coordinator. In addition to her experience educating young children, Karen has spent numerous years in Adult Education beginning as a Graduate Student Instructor at the University of Illinois. She has since taught child development courses at Penn State and at Harrisburg Area Community College, Wildwood Campus. Karen lives in Harrisburg with her husband and two children.
Molly Martz, Office Manager
Molly Martz joined the PHSA staff as Office Manager in January of 2014. Born and raised in the Harrisburg area, Molly attended the University of Massachusetts where she played collegiate soccer while obtaining her degree in elementary education. Prior to coming to PHSA, Molly taught kindergarten and was a center director. She currently lives in the Harrisburg area with her husband and two children.