By Shawn Deiter
Virginia Housman, an experienced educator for over 23 years and a mother of two young girls, walks into the office with a smile on her face every day.
“I try to be optimistic,” says Virginia. “I’d rather look for a solution than let a problem bother me.”
For the past 12 years working for LVCC, Virginia Housman has moved through the ranks first as assistant director, to center director, and after a recent promotion, to program coordinator in 2017. As program coordinator, Virginia supervises center activities and collaborates with center directors to bring enriching educational programs to the classrooms. Additionally, she oversees center compliance with state regulations and guidelines, as well as LVCC policies and procedures.
Her management style is flexible; she adapts to her environment or the individual working with her. If her staff needs guidance, she acts as mentor. When a teacher calls out sick, Virginia jumps into the classroom as a substitute. If the early learning site needs a handyman, she’s not afraid to use a hammer and get her hands dirty—even when wearing heels and a skirt.
“I just wipe off the dust and move on to the next task,” says Virginia.
In her position as program coordinator, Virginia visits all the different locations LVCC has to offer. Every LVCC center varies, from physical structure to the dynamics of the employees and children.
“I’m fascinated how we all follow the same regulations, but each center is able to maintain its own unique personality,” Virginia says.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a dual associate’s degree in early childhood education and humanities. She recently returned to college, working towards a master’s degree in early childhood education.
“I returned to school as a graduate student to set a positive example for my two young children and demonstrate the importance of education,” Virginia states.
When asked about challenges she faced in the past, she pauses to think about it.
“When I was center director, I needed to differentiate my role as staff and being a mom with a child in one of our classrooms,” she said. “I loved having them nearby, but if my daughter was having a difficult day, it was heartbreaking to hear her cry for me on the other side of the wall knowing that I needed to let the teacher handle it. Sometimes it was a tough line to navigate.”
And challenges Virginia may see in her new position? She strives to make herself openly accessible and responsive to families and staff. As a center director, Virginia worked in the same building with her staff. Now as program coordinator, she needs to be accessible to upwards of eight sites. With regional staff, she continually works to strengthen communication.
“I hope to lead others by example and encourage young minds and the young-at-heart to reach their full potential,” Virginia says.