Meet our wonderful HEART staff! Since we have little turnover, the majority of these folks also work in our summer camp program. We are proud of these individuals and appreciate their hard work and dedication.
Bessie Weller Elementary School
Lavern Hart, Supervisor
Hello, my name is Lavern Hart, and I've been employed at Bessie Weller Heart for 20 years and also work at Camp Staunton. I truly enjoy my job because it's wonderful to know you're helping and making a change in someone's life. I also love the laughter of children.
My name is Dakota, but the kids call me Ms. Coty. I am a graduate of Buffalo Gap High School, and am now a full-time student at Blue Ridge Community College. Once I transfer, I plan to study to become a social worker. In my free time I enjoy reading, writing and singing. I also love watching TV series and movies. I work at McSwain HEART in the mornings and Bessie Weller HEART in the afternoons. During the summer, I work at the Garden Center at Camp Staunton. I love working with and getting to know all of the kids in this program. It's a very rewarding and fun job, and I love to be a part of it!
McSwain Elementary School
Beverly Luyanda aka Ms. Bev, Supervisor
My name is Beverly Luyanda (Ms. Bev) I have been employed by Staunton Parks and Recreation for 15 years. I supervise the before and after school HEART program at McSwain Elementary, as well as the Gym at Camp Staunton. I also am employed by Staunton City Schools as an Instructional Assistant at McSwain. After 22 years in childcare, I still enjoy the experience of caring for children.
Debra Eavers aka Ms. DD
I have been with Parks and Rec for 10 years. I started in the afterschool program and later joined summer camp. I enjoy working with children because they make me smile. I like to see kids be kids. It’s important for children to run and play. I love their creativity and all the places it takes them.
I was born and raised in the small community known as Kiddsville within the Fishersville Area of Augusta County and am a graduate of Wilson Memorial High School. In 2003, I began working for the Staunton Park & Recreation’s HEART Program at Thomas Dixon Elementary School. During the years that I have been employed by Staunton Park & Recreation, I have worked at various HEART sites. My hobbies include: shopping, playing Longaberger Bingo and collecting Thomas Kinkade Tele-Flora houses.
Emily is a graduate of Virginia Tech where she studied Wildlife Conservation and she is currently studying at Mary Baldwin for her teaching license. In addition to her studies Emily is working in the Augusta County schools at Wilson. Emily was also a Camp Staunton counselor for the 5-6 year olds this summer at the Gypsy Hill Park Garden Center.
Ware Elementary School
Julie Hargrove, Supervisor
My name is Julie Hargrove, and I have lived in Staunton all my life. I love working with Children. I’ve been the A.R. Ware HEART Supervisor for 13 years and with Staunton Parks and Recreation for 15 years. I enjoy spending time with my family, camping, movies and love nature.
I was born on June 24 and have lived in Staunton, Virginia all my life. I have also loved children all my life! I enjoy children and learning new things about them, and I work in my church teaching little children’s church. I like music, knitting, reading, cooking and I like to babysit. I love Mickey Mouse and would marry him if I could!
I have been in childcare for over 20 years. I have been working for the City of Staunton for over 10 years, mostly at Gypsy Hill Pool. I worked at HEART for the last 5 years. I enjoy spending my free time with my daughter, lifting weights, and playing wheelchair basketball.
I grew up in Bakersville, N.C. attended college in Rome, GA (Berry College ). I taught math for six years at R.E. Lee High School and 24 years at Shelburne Middle School. After I retired, I began working in the cafeteria at McQuay in Verona and still do. I have worked at all four sites (when Dixon was still in operation as an elementary school). I enjoy reading, working outside, and spending time with my family. I enjoy working with the children in the HEART program.
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