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Saltzman joins Partners for Success as director

McDuffie County Partners for Success announced this week the addition of their new Executive Director, Karen Saltzman. Ms. Saltzman joined the organization Monday, April 24.

"It's an incredible program. I am still in awe of the many fantastic programs and things that are going on here. The staff is incredible. They are very professional and have been extremely helpful," Ms. Saltzman said.

PFS is a community collaborative whose mission is to create a quality of life for all citizens of the county by supporting and encouraging the development of healthy, stable families.

In 2005, the organization brought in $400,000 in grant funds to support K-12 mentoring, reading tutoring, First Steps for new parents, community domestic violence and substance abuse preventions programs, support groups for teen parents and young parents, youth offender counseling, prenatal programs, life skills training, abstinence education programs, the 21st Century Learning Center, summer school programs, tobacco use prevention classes, the Dearing Good Samaritan Health Clinic and vision care for children.

"We want to maintain all the funding that is currently in place, and I'd like to expand our services," Ms. Saltzman said.

Ms. Saltzman is a graduate from the University of South Carolina. She was Executive Director of the Mental Health Association in Laurens County, S.C., for 6 years before moving to her new position in McDuffie County.

Because of her experience in working with individuals with chronic mental illness, Ms. Saltzman said she hopes to see some programs on stress management and anger management for parents and families added to the many wellness programs on the PFS list. She said "catching those things early" ensures they are easier to deal with.

In her short time in Thomson, Ms. Saltzman said she already feels at home. She identifies with the small-town atmosphere, because she is from a small community in South Carolina.

"(This is) just a wonderful community. They've all welcomed me. ... It's just a wonderful opportunity to be able to work with a community that really cares about their families and children. I feel really blessed to be here," Ms. Saltzman said.

Ms. Saltzman replaces Dr. Mary Ann Kotras, who left PFS in January to become regional facilitator of Communities In Schools of Georgia.

The community is invited to "meet and greet" Ms. Saltzman during a light lunch at PFS from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 18. Partners for Success is located at 1119 Whiteoak Road. For more information, call 706-595-3112.

Web posted on Thursday, May 4, 2006

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