Long Island Head Start
Central Administration
98 Austin Street, Patchogue, NY 11772
Phone (631) 758-5200
Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm
Senior Management
Debrah Garcia, Chief Executive
Debrah Garcia has been the Chief Executive Officer of Long Island Head Start since December 2004. As the CEO, she has directed and led Long Island Head Start into the bright spotlight where it sits today. Her vision to become the highest quality childcare and family support services organization on Long Island has allowed Long Island Head Start to make an impact in various communities throughout Suffolk County. Her leadership and determination has set forth the true definition of what it means to make a difference in the lives of at risk children and families across Long Island.

Ms. Garcia began her career with Long Island Head Start in 1983 as a Classroom Teacher. She also takes great pride in her experience as a Head Start parent, which gave her valuable insight into the needs and challenges of Head Start families. In 1993, she was promoted and began her management career holding positions, which included Early Childhood Development Specialist, Education Supervisor and Director of Quality Assurance and Program Services.

For over thirty years Debrah Garcia has dedicated her professional career to Long Island Head Start communities, advocating on behalf of those in need and providing direction and support through a variety of programs including health care, early childhood education, disabilities services, and professional development training to list a few. As an active advocate for high-quality childcare, Ms. Garcia has successfully collaborated with other non-profit organizations on Long Island in an effort to maximize services and enhance outcomes for preschool children and their families in local communities.    

In addition to serving as the Chief Executive Officer for Long Island Head Start, Ms. Garcia has also been a long-standing member of organizations such as the Suffolk Community Council, Early Childhood Direction Center, Long Island Association, National Association for the Education of Young Children, Suffolk County Department of Health Task Force Bureau for Children with Special Needs, Childcare Council of Suffolk, Girls Scouts of Suffolk County, National Head Start Association, NYS Head Start Association, Region II Head Start Association and numerous other organizations rooted in the commitment to enhance the quality of life for children and families. Ms. Garcia’s determination to expand Head Start services on Long Island is evident in her networking initiatives and advocacy with the National, Regional and New York State Head Start Associations.

Debrah Garcia certainly knows the importance of community service and has dedicated her life to making quality changes for Long Island families. As a visionary, Ms. Garcia is grounded in her belief and signature slogan that “the Best Beginning is a Head Start!” 

Senior Management
Annette Harris, Director of Program Operations
Elsa Cruciani, Director of Finance
Diane M. Eppolito, Director of Quality Assurance 
Dawn Melchiona, Director of Infant/Toddler Services
Arlene Lacey, Director of Human Resources
Ana M. Figueroa, Policy Council & Volunteer Supervisor