Headwaters hires Next Step and Starfish directors

Headwaters, Rappahannock County’s education foundation, announced the hire of two new program directors for the start of the 2014-2015 school year.

Next Step director Kathryn Habib.
Next Step director Kathryn Habib.

Kathryn Habib will lead the Next Step program, which focuses on college counseling and post-graduation planning. Habib grew up in Warren County and graduated from the Corcoran College of Art and Design. She worked as the ceramics studio manager at Corcoran and, for three successive summers, taught an introductory college-level ceramics course for rising high school juniors and seniors, focusing on studio technique, art criticism and portfolio development.

“As a Rappahannock resident,” Habib wrote in her application, “a life-long dream for me recently accomplished, I am invested in being part of this community and hope to continue my work in education here. I want to help students find their paths and help provide the guidance and support they need to move on to their next steps . . . What an honor to be part of that process, to introduce new possibilities and ideas and to help refine those already discovered!”

The Headwaters Foundation, which funds the positions, conducted two rounds of interviews. In the first, Headwaters executive director Jane Bowling-Wilson, Rappahannock County High School counseling director Jason Gochenour and RCHS vice principal Amy Gubler met with candidates. In the second, Headwaters board chair Kathleen Grove and RCHS principal Michael Tupper met with finalists. Habib is working two-and-a-half days a week at the high school and is already planning college field trips and working with the guidance office on the college fair.

Starfish Mentoring director Anne Simon.
Starfish Mentoring director Anne Simon.

Anne Simon, chosen to lead the Starfish Mentoring program, has worked as an educator in both public and private schools, including classroom and leadership positions in California and Virginia. In her personal life, she has been a parent, adoptive parent and foster parent, serving as a Virginia certified therapeutic foster parent for several years.

“My experience in all of these roles has given me a uniquely broad understanding of the diverse needs of children,” she wrote in her application, “as well as a deep appreciation for the importance of a community of teachers and families working together to seek out and support the special gifts of each child.”

As Starfish Mentoring’s director, she will begin identifying community members as potential mentors and matching them with students who can benefit from a relationship with an interested adult. She looks forward to meeting with groups in Rappahannock County to discuss the goals of the Starfish Mentoring Program.

“Without the support of donors, neither of these positions would exist,” said Grove. “Headwaters thanks all those whose gifts have allowed the foundation to have the funds to pay for these two programs which have the potential to change our students’ lives.”

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