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Executive director out at Heartland Head Start after less than 2 years on the job

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Heartland Head Start has lost its second executive director in two years. Interim executive director Ericka Howard confirmed that Kalessa Edgerson no longer works for the Bloomington childcare center.

Howard is vice president of the governance board. In a phone call, she told WGLT Heartland Head Start is reorganizing and will have a plan in place in two weeks. She declined to comment on the nature of Edgerson's departure.

Edgerson earned a master's degree in early childhood education from Grand Canyon University. Prior to Heartland Head Start, she operated a childcare facility and worked in public schools. She also worked with domestic violence programs and at-risk youth.

In a letter posted on Heartland Head Start's Facebook page, Edgerson's vision included "rebuilding relationships, collaborations and new partnerships in the community." She succeeded Karen Bruning, who resigned in 2021 after a board dispute resulted in a lawsuit between the board and policy council. That lawsuit was later dropped. WGLT previously reported on multiple lawsuits filed by former employees surrounding workplace culture.

The nearly 60-year-old, federally-funded organization serves hundreds of families in McLean and Livingston counties.

Lauren Warnecke is a reporter at WGLT. You can reach Lauren at lewarne@ilstu.edu.