For 30 years ago, the Region IV Head Start Association (RIVHSA) has been dedicated to improving the quality of early care and learning services for Head Start/Early Head Start children and their families. Over the years, RIVHSA has grown significantly while remaining focused on our mission to make a difference in Region IV by leveraging our collective voice, engaging partners across sectors, and supporting professional development to open doors of opportunity for enrolled children and families.  Today, RIVHSA represents more than 170,000 children, 40,000 staff and 300 member programs.  RIVHSA is a regional affiliate of the National Head Start Association (NHSA) and its regional network includes a growing alliance of corporate partners and individual members, as well as 8 state affiliates: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 


The Region IV Head Start Association's mission is to support the Head Start community through leadership, advocacy, partnership and professional development, promoting the delivery of high quality services for children and families.


​We envision a nation where young children who are economically and socially disadvantaged begin their formal education ready and resilient.


We value advocacy, networking/partnerships, and professional development.

  • Advocacy

RIVHSA is committed to telling your collective story in a compelling manner through direct campaigns, government relations strategists, multi-level networks, and coalitions with shared interests to achieve results at the federal level.  We support our affiliates affecting change at the state level, and also work closely with government agencies to address regional issues and trends.

  • Partnership

Over the years, Head Start and Early Head Start has experienced tremendous growth in all areas of service delivery.   Consequently, programs seek breakthrough information as well as quality products and services to meet their present and emerging needs.  RIVHSA actively seeks innovative partnership opportunities with private, public, and government sector entities.  Partnerships amplify our mutual interests and success while also increasing awareness of what we do best - prepare today’s students for tomorrow.  

  • Professional Development

RIVHSA offers training opportunities that support federal regulations and policies, and strengthen program administration, staff development, parent involvement, and community partnership.  We collaborate with federal and national organizations to provide quality learning experiences addressing key issues, initiatives, and best practices. In addition, RIVHSA recognizes the outstanding achievements through our Awards and Scholarships Program and also offers support to member programs through our Program Assistance Fund for activities related to monitoring and designation renewal systems.



BOARD OFFICERS for 2019-21 term


President - Nannette Phillips, DBA [Alabama]
First Vice President - Jonathan Bines, Ph.D. [Mississippi]
Second Vice President - Belva Weathersby, MSW [Tennessee]
Secretary - Madine Cummings [Georgia]
Assistant Secretary - Chris Lanford [South Carolina]
Treasurer - Arthur Nelson, MS [Alabama]
Parliamentarian - Jerome Thompson [South Carolina]
Historian - Ernestine Smith [Georgia]
Immediate Past President - John Hales [Mississippi]

NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES to the National Head Start Association's Board of Directors 
Director - Eloise McClinton, MS [Mississippi]
Staff - Dorothy Foster, Ed.D. [Mississippi]
Parent - Maritza Vasquez [Florida]
Friend - David White, MBA [North Carolina]​ and Treasurer, NHSA Board of Directors


Executive Director - Myra Ingram, MBA []

Executive Assistant - Frances Starr, M.Ed. []




Region IV Head Start Association Inc.