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(517) 263-2115
Exterior of Head Start in Adrian, Michigan.

Drager Early Education Center Administrative Hours: 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Classroom Hours: Vary Based on Classroom Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack provided 
Half Day Early Release: 4 Hours after Individual Classroom Start Time


Jesusa Arnett

Family Advocate

Michelle Averitt

Family Advocate

Linda Ballard

Administrative Asst.

Yolanda Bieber

Classroom Teacher

Kelly Bredeson

Health & Nutrition Manager

Carrie Brown

Teacher Asst.

Mary Bruggenwirth

Interim Director

David Bull

Program Director

Brittany Burgess

Classroom Teacher

Alyssa Chupurdy

Classroom Teacher

Dianna Cooper

Classroom Teacher

Sharonda Fitts

Classroom Teacher

Ashley Flores

Classroom Teacher

Kristen Friess

Classroom Teacher

Samantha Goldsmith

Teacher Asst.

Ashley Griffith

Classroom Teacher

Halina Haddix

Classroom Teacher

Kathleen Hart

Family Engagement Manager

Tammy Hunt

Family Advocate

Wendy Hunter

Parent Educator

Ivy Hutchison

Parent Educator

Renee Jackson

Classroom Teacher

Hollie Johnson

Early Learning Manager

Nikki Killby

Teacher Asst.

Rebecca Koser

Teacher Asst.

Tabitha Linden

Teacher Asst.

Jane Lucas

Administrative Asst.

Sue Marks

Family Advocate

Ramona Martinez

Teacher Asst.

Julie McCarbery

Classroom Teacher

Tongi Merillat

Classroom Teacher

Karen Miller

Classroom Teacher

Donia Perez

Teacher Asst.

Kathleen Renner

Teacher Asst.

Nancy Roback


Tiffany Robinson

Early Learning Asst. Manager

Lisa Roesch

Classroom Teacher

Christine Scott

Fiscal Operations Manager

Betty Slessor

Classroom Teacher

Peggy Sloan

Classroom Teacher

Sarah Suydam

Teacher Asst.

Heather Tokarz

Classroom Teacher

Dannielys Torrez-Fernandez

Parent Educator

Marla Twining

Fiscal Asst.

Kaylee Williams

Parent Educator

Sara Williams

Classroom Teacher

Pamela Winter

Program Specialist

As the provider of Head Start and Early Head Start programs for all of Lenawee County, we partner with families of children aged birth to five as well as expecting moms to promote school readiness and family success.

We have preschool classrooms located in Adrian, Addison and Hudson. We have Early Head Start Classrooms that serve infants and toddlers in Adrian. We provide Home Based Educational Services to families throughout Lenawee County.

To Apply: Stop in at Drager Early Education Center at 340 E. Church St. or call (517) 263-2468.
Or Apply online by clicking here.

Teacher giving student a high five.

Mission Statement & Values

We work in partnership with children and families to create a foundation for success in school and life.


We build relationships with children and families, staff, and the community through support, empathy, and positive communication.


We embrace the individuality and worth within our Head Start family and community.


We strive for excellence by promoting success for children, families, and staff.


We strive for supportive, positive relationships within our families, our program, and with the community.


We strive to empower all members of our Head Start community to reach their full potential, and to promote their own and their family’s development.


Our program exists to serve children and families by providing early childhood education, family support services and community resources.

Head Start Early Childhood Programs provide FREE services to more than 300 children and families throughout Lenawee County. Our classrooms create a supportive learning environment where children follow a daily routine, participate in literacy and math activities and practice positive social interactions.

Our Home Based program allows for a staff person to visit the home once a week throughout the year focusing on the positive parent-child interaction and helping children grow and develop in their home environment.

  • Free preschool program supported by federal funding
  • Children must be three years old by December 1 the year they enroll for Head Start
  • Early Head Start services pregnant mothers and children up to three years old through Center Based and Home Based programming
  • Children with disabilities are welcome and services are provided on site
  • Transportation is available in some areas
  • Classroom curriculum utilizes Creative Curriculum
  • Daily hot lunches are served in addition to a breakfast and snack
  • Health and dental screenings are performed
  • Home Based curriculum uses the Parents as Teachers approach
  • "Conscious Discipline," "Second Step" and "I am Moving, I am Learning" provide additional social emotional and physical support curriculums
  • Staff assist families with accessing services and resources in the community
  • Parent involvement is encouraged
  • Children need not be potty trained to enroll
  • Several locations and class times are available

CACFP Statement of Requirements

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) e-mail:

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

School Readiness

Our priority at Head Start and Early Head Start is to ensure that young children are ready for school and successful. Starting this process early is critical to school success.

What makes our approach stand out is that we strive to ensure that children are learning in key developmental areas that are critical for success in school and life while also working collaboratively with families to help them reach the goals they have for themselves.

Our program approach is comprehensive and meets not only educational needs, but also health, mental health, nutrition, safety, and family support needs.

School Readiness Goals We Focus On:

  • Language and Literacy Development
  • Cognition and General Knowledge
  • Physical Health and Development
  • Social Emotional Development
  • Approaches to Learning


Head Start, Early Head Start & Administrative Office
Drager Early Education Center
340 E. Church St. Adrian, MI 49221
Phone: (517) 263–2468
Fax: (517) 263–2056

Alexander Elementary
520 Cherry St. Adrian, MI 49221
Phone: (517) 264–6604

Lincoln Elementary
158 S. Scott St. Adrian, MI 49221
Phone (517)265-8544

Michener Elementary
104 Dawes St. Adrian, MI 49221
Phone: (517) 266–4505

Porter Classroom on the LISD Campus
2946 Sutton Rd. Adrian, MI 49221
Phone: (517) 265–2342
Fax: (517) 265–2358

Prairie Elementary
2568 Airport Rd. Adrian, MI 49221
Phone: (517) 266–4523

Addison Wayne Grey Elementary
219 N. Comstock, Addison, MI 49220
Phone: (517) 547-6932

Hudson Portable, Lincoln Elementary Grounds
746 Maple Grove Ave. Hudson, MI 49247
Phone: (517) 448-8557

We offer Head Start preschool and Early Head Start for infants and toddlers. The difference between the two relates to the enrolled child's age. Early Head Start is for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers up to the age of 3. Head Start is from the ages of 3 to 5 years old.

Please be aware that according to new state guidelines, all children must be 3 years old on or before December 1st to be eligible for Head Start.

Young elementary school student participates in art class.

Head Start and Early Head Start (Center Based Services)

At Head Start Early Childhood programs, we believe in utilizing tools and strategies that have been proven to be effective in promoting children’s learning and development. Curriculum used in the classroom and on home visits have been backed up by decades of research.

Creative Curriculum

The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool is a comprehensive, research-based curriculum that promotes exploration and discovery as a way of learning, enabling children to develop confidence, creativity, and lifelong critical thinking skills. Creative Curriculum is a comprehensive educational approach that strives to help children develop in all areas. This Curriculum is used in our Infant/Toddler (Early Head Start) and Preschool (Head Start) classrooms.

Children are immersed in learning through purposeful play-based experiences on topics they’re familiar with from their everyday lives. Children find opportunities for rigorous skill development like counting, measurement, and language comprehension while also developing positive relationships, gross-motor skills, and problem-solving abilities.

The teacher's role, along with parents and caregivers, is an ongoing cycle of guiding student learning and assessing student progress. Teachers learn the most effective method for utilizing various interest areas and the schedule, as well as using a variety of strategies to motivate student learning and increase student skills, understanding and knowledge.

Creative Curriculum is designed to help teachers:

- Meet the basic needs of the children. Inside the classroom the teacher creates an atmosphere where children are safe, feel emotionally secure and have a sense of belonging.

- Create a classroom that encourages experimentation, exploration and pursuit of individual interests.

- Focus on the development of social and language skills.

- Structure the environment and activities based on the children’s cognitive development; varying complexity and level of choices, etc.; help children learn what they can manage. Teachers give children many opportunities to work with concrete objects and encourage them to interact with others and learn about other perspectives.

- Establish a community where learning takes place through positive relationships. Children are taught the skills they need for making friends, solving problems and sharing.

- Integrate outdoor games as well as board and card games, thus allowing children to make up their own rules.

- Foster resilience among students by showing teachers how to structure the classroom and have positive, respectful interactions with children.


Early Head Start (Home-Based Services)

Overview of Home Based Services

(serves pregnant women, children birth to three and their families)

From birth to three is the time in a child’s life where brain development occurs most rapidly. Parents have an important role in promoting their child’s development during this time period, and even earlier while the child is still in the womb.

Early Head Start Parent Educator work with families to promote optimal development in infants and toddlers. During home visits, the Parent Educator will talk with you about how things are going with your child and your family. They will present an activity or experience for you and your child to share together. These activities promote child development and early learning in one or more key areas. Home visits occur once per week for an hour and a half.


Socializations are group experiences where you, your child, and other parents and their children come together. These groups are a time where you can build on the goals created during home visits. Socializations occur twenty-two times a year at the Drager Early Education Center in Adrian, MI and in other locations in Lenawee County.

Activities to Promote Infant Toddler Development

In addition to activities that occur during home visits, each month your Parent Educator will provide a calendar with activities that you can do to promote your child’s development outside of visits. This furthers the positive impact on your child as well as the parent-child bond.

Parents as Teachers

The Parents as Teachers Curriculum is used by the Early Head Start Home Based program, which serves families with children age birth to three as well as pregnant mothers.

Parents as Teachers is a worldwide leader in the delivery of evidence-based home visiting and parent engagement tools that demonstrate successful results in the areas of school readiness, literacy, health and development of young children. Each Parent Educator is trained and mentored in the Parents as Teachers approach to ensure that the highest quality services are provided.

Partners for a Healthy Baby

Partners for a Healthy Baby is the curriculum used by Parent Educator to support expectant moms. Each Parent Educator is trained in implementing this curriculum.

Partners for a Healthy Baby is a nationally recognized, research-based, practice-informed curriculum used by many home visiting models to help address issues of child health and development within the context of the unique needs of expectant and parenting families.

Family Engagement

At APS Head Start Early Childhood programs, we know that family engagement in their child’s education is a key component in that child’s success now and in the future. We also value parent input on Head Start program happenings. We have a number of ways that families can really make a difference in our program!

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are critical to the success of Head Start Early Childhood programs. Volunteers provide a wide range of services and support to the Head Start children and their families.

One way to help is to volunteer in the classroom. We welcome parents and other important adults in a Head Start Child’s life to volunteer in the classroom. Parents/loved ones can assist with classroom activities, prep of classroom materials, assisting with mealtime, playground supervision and other similar tasks.

Another way parents can help is to spend time each month doing activities that promote their child’s development. Head Start sends home a monthly calendar with an activity focus that furthers what children are doing in the classroom. By spending time on these activities in the home, you are extending what is happening in the classroom and promoting your child’s learning and development.

Policy Council

The Head Start Program relies heavily on families and community members to strengthen its programs. The Policy Council is made up of parents and community representatives. As a member, you would have broad authority and review over program goals, policies, the hiring of program staff, budgeting and other areas.

Parent Committees

Our Parent Committees are organized by parents with the assistance from Family Advocates and Parent Educators. The committees support parents as the child’s first and most important teacher.

Parent Committees meet at a time and date convenient for the parents involved. Policy Council Representatives are encouraged to attend, creating an opportunity to share program information and participate at the site level. Parent Committees also offer a chance for parents to network and meet with other parents that may share similar concerns and interests.

Family Nights

Family Nights happen at each classroom location and consist of activities designed for children in the program and are modified to meet other family members attending. Ideas are generated from the parents and carried out by staff and families together. A focus may come from a Parent Committee requesting activities designed around child development/ health/ nutrition/ mental health/ social services/ father involvement or other areas of interest. Family Nights are an excellent chance for families to see how our program promotes self-help skills, encourages language and provides physical activities.

Family Nights are for the entire family. Family Nights incorporate fun and learning at the same time and are designed to promote interactive experiences that encourage child, family and staff engagement!