Staff Blog

LaQuita Cole | Site Manager

What drew you to Porter-Leath? 

When I started as an AmeriCorps member, I could tell that everyone was there to assist.  I’ve always felt like Porter-Leath has been a family to me, and just a place of growth.  I started here, and this is where my career was, and I wanted to transition within this agency, which is why I applied and I’ve been successful to achieve those goals.  But I definitely will say this is where I want to retire from.  I love being here. 

What is your obligation to Porter-Leath children and families? 

My obligation to children and families is ensuring not only that they are school ready, but that we are meeting the needs of the families for resources - just meeting their everyday needs.  

What do you look for in a new staff member? 

As a leader, I look for the characteristics of a staff person going into any role or any position such as teacher, assistant teacher, family service worker, building engineer, cook - that they have a commitment to the core job that they’re going to perform - that’s working with children and families, that’s either direct contact or indirect contact with families.  We’re looking for someone with longevity - someone that career-wise will work within our agency and within our program.

How do you lead your staff to achieve goals? 

I lead my staff to achieve their goals, one by meeting with them one on one to help them complete their goal statement as to what they want to do, what they would like to accomplish.  This is where you are, and this is where you’re trying to go.  I provide them with resources.  We meet and we talk about it - I’m interested in it. You know, “How did the test go?”  “How was your class last night?”  When they know that I’m invested in not only the everyday here but in their overall goals or their future. 

How have you grown as a leader at Porter-Leath? 

I was an AmeriCorps member for one year, and I transitioned to the Program Supervisor for AmeriCorps, and I transitioned to the position of Assistant Site Manager at Delano under Ms. Brenda Milligan, and so I applied for Site Manager role  at Martin Luther King Head Start, and now I’m transitioning to the Academy - the Early Childhood Academy, so I would say definitely different roles, but still the same core values.  

Define success for your team.

If I had to define the word ‘success’ for my team, I would say, a group of people that want to be and want to do what they’re doing everyday.  Client results.  I would say we have families that come in all the time whose children have gone through our Early Head Start and Head Start programs that are achievers, and it started with Head Start.  It started with Early Head Start.  It started with our core programs.  Our staff makes a major impact in the lives of our families.