- May 2023
MSU Extension Head Start of Gaston Point
Center Operations Coordinator
Years in position: 2
Years at MSU: 4
Early childhood education is personal for Shuwanda Hardy.
“I chose this career because I am a product of head start as well as my children,” said Hardy. “Now that my children are grown, I want to give back to my community and the children who need it the most. It's been nothing but blessings,” Hardy explained.
Hardy began her career in education as a teacher’s assistant before starting her current position as the Center Operations Coordinator for the Head Start program in the Gaston Point community. She ensures the completion of all required child screenings and assessments for newly enrolled students, as well as quarterly progress assessments for all children. However, she’s always willing to lend a helping hand wherever she is needed.
“I wear many hats. Sometimes I go from being a teacher, janitor, cook, and finally a Center Operation Coordinator all in one day,” Hardy said.
Hardy describes her favorite aspect of the job as bridging gaps between families and children, while her favorite memory of the job is being able to look back each year to see the growth that each student has made.
“To be successful in this career, effective communication, customer service skills, and being able to delegate responsibilities are a must,” said Hardy, adding that “lots of patience” is needed to run each day.
A self-described comedian, Hardy enjoys making others laugh and said she challenges herself to be better each day.