- February 2024
MSU Extension Head Start
Time in position: 3 months
Seeing the joy and enthusiasm children have when they learn a new skill drew Marvena Haynes to the field of early childhood education more than 20 years ago. In November 2023, she brought her passion and experience to the Mississippi State University Extension Head Start in Harrison County.
“I chose this career because I believe in the value of early childhood education, and I am passionate about providing the best early childhood education possible,” said Haynes. “I love being able to interact with the children and teachers.”
In her role as education leader, Haynes supports the families Head Start serves by coaching and mentoring the center’s teachers. This includes providing continuing education, assisting with lesson planning, and ensuring they have the resources needed for success. Sometimes, the most influential learning opportunities come from pretend play or messy art projects, she explained.
“One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Einstein who said, ‘Play is the highest form of research.’ I’m able to see that every day as I visit the classrooms. It motivates me to make sure we are delivering high-quality instruction to our next generation,” said Haynes.
Originally from Washington, North Carolina, Haynes and her family moved to Mississippi in 2016 to help care for her mother-in-law. She and her husband have three children, ages 11, 13 and 21. They enjoy watching professional football and basketball.