By SCOTT PESZNECKER
The safety net for low-income families in Calaveras County families just got stronger.
La Contenta resident Janet Orvis Cook, 51, started April 1 as the new assistant executive director of the Human Resources Council.
The council is a nonprofit agency that provides food, education, child care, emergency services and other needs to low-income families in the county.
Orvis Cook has been with HRC the past 14 years as director of the HRC Head Start/State Preschool program. Children's Services Manager Mary Staudy has been named acting program director of HRC Head Start/State Preschool.
"I think it's an opportunity for me to be even more connected to my community," Orvis Cook said. "Before, my focus was on the Head Start/State Preschool program, and now my focus has widened."
Orvis Cook will oversee the council's strategic plan, contracts and facilities. She will manage staff development and training, and monitor community relations.
She will also work with leaders in four of the council's six main programs HRC Calaveras Women's Crisis Center, HRC Child and Parent Services, HRC Community Emergency Services and HRC Women, Infants and Children.
The council's two other major programs are the ones Orvis Cook recently managed the HRC Child Care Resources and HRC Head Start/State Preschool programs.
Beth Hartline, development director for HRC, said Orvis Cook competed with several "experienced, highly qualified candidates" for the job.
"Janet was chosen because of her leadership and vision abilities," Hartline said. "She's a highly educated and qualified candidate. Her resume was just chock-full."
Orvis Cook holds a master's degree in early childhood administration and a bachelor's degree in general studies, with an emphasis in child development and special education.
She also has state Child Development Associate certification and a California Development Program Director Permit.