• At first what i had thought was positive has turned around to negative. Things are not any better for staff. The interim exec.director is just as harsh as the former director ever was, when it comes to treatment of staff. staff are treated like second best. The staff are stressed beyond limits, worried if they will have a job come sept.12th or be one step away from the unemployment line....Im just sayin......This agency needs a fair, honest director who knows how to treat staff with respect, dignity and kindness and not berate and humiliate them on a daily basis. This director must also know how to manage a program to its fullest potential. The remaining staff are hardworking individuals, who deeply care for the children and families they serve.

    note to semiinterested - the ones in charge to oversee (which would have been the board) , must have been afraid to carry out their responsibilities. Pretty much one person controlled everything and every aspect and no one wanted to go up against her.

    August 28, 2010 at 11:59 p.m.
  • it's about a spouse of a former worker for this lady, I heard daily the questionable practices of this program and director...we are glad that the truth will finally come out...we hope that ALL involved are forced to explain how Hyak was protected and enabled for 30+ years...she could only have done these awful things to staff if she was allowed to do it by those who are charged to oversee the operations of the program...

    August 24, 2010 at 8:40 p.m.
  • I as a parent am so relieved that Ms. Hyak is gone. Now the focus is back on the children. I also belive this woman should be throughly investigated and punished for what she has done. Hopefully before her vacation to Rome, Italy..........

    August 17, 2010 at 4:38 p.m.
  • Hope Hyak won't be representing all the Head Start programs in Texas at the next National Head Start Association Board Meeting scheduled in September! She used ACFI Head Start funds to attend these board meetings that are called "leadership conferences" every quarter and took the secretary with her.

    Hyak also used ACFI Head Start funds for Texas Head Start Association conference planning expenses and staff were made to
    put their official Head Start work to the side to help with conference planning. The ACFI Head Start secretary is also the treasurer of the Texas Head Start Association and she worked on Texas Head Start business while on the job for ACFI Head Start.

    Link to report from Office of Inspector General:

    August 14, 2010 at 9:55 a.m.
  • Does anyone do investigative reporting in Victoria? This has the potential for Victoria's own "Queen of Mean" expose. To grasp the reaches of harm, damage, and mistrust leveled by this situation is difficult. Sadly, the children are the ones with no voice and parents who have children receiving services seem to suffer the fallout. Employees who stayed for whatever reason, because many of us did not, will also apparently be suffering the consequences. So, after years of waiting for "justice" and believing that good does eventually prevail, satisfaction must have been short-lived.

    August 14, 2010 at 9:08 a.m.
  • Weary, frustrated, unhappy, and demotivated =ACFI, employees. Bully, intrusive, controlling, incompetent, picky, petty, and crazy=Joyce Hyak. As a former Head Start employee I would have to say Hyak never realized what a dedicated, hard working and loyal staff she had. But was always quick in taking credit for everyone’s work but never providing any positive feedback to her staff. Always expecting everyone to be on time, but always missing her own meetings she scheduled. Do we really know how long this poor management went on? Has anyone heard from the Board of Directors?

    August 13, 2010 at 11:51 p.m.
  • As former employees sat today with job application in hand being told their 12 month position was being cut to 10 months and the tears trickled down the face of these people it broke my heart to hear them ask the questions of:

    How am I supposed to pay my bills?

    School will be starting soon and I won't have enough money to buy my kids school clothes and supplies.

    Once the insurance is taken out of my check and $50 is deducted from my pay for the $200 advancement I received from CDI there won't be anything left.

    I don't know if I will have a job in another 45 days or not. How are we supposed to make it?

    How can one person cause so much hurt and pain to the 130 employees that were so loyal to the program? Teachers were told to buy their own supplies for the classroom. Other staff was told to get the job done no matter what it takes. Staff was getting the job done while the Executive Director was "out of the office" and making the big bucks! Is there no shame from this lady? It is a sad, sad thing to see what one person did to bring 130 employees to tears. She can now ride around in her Lexus while 130 people wonder how they are going to pay bills.

    August 13, 2010 at 10:09 p.m.
  • "Head Start is not suspended by any means," she said. "We just keep on going like we have the last 32 years."

    Well, it looks like nothing is the way it used to be.
    Some 12 month employees are being cut down to 10 months.
    And the employees will not be getting a full paycheck until Sept. 8th but Hyak can't relate to her former employees that have rent due because she lives in a $332,010 home!

    August 13, 2010 at 7:51 p.m.
  • seems like every govt. agency eventually messes with the money!
    which 6 counties does this affect???
    so much more to this story that we are not being told, I'm sure.

    August 13, 2010 at 3:52 p.m.
  • Actually, Archie, my comment was more about the rule than any of the comments bothering me.

    August 13, 2010 at 12:07 p.m.
  • the moderators of this forum can't possibly babysit the adults who are commenting here! if you see something that bothers you just report it as a violation and maybe it will be removed!

    August 13, 2010 at 11:59 a.m.
  • Is the Advocate moderator watching this thread?

    Seems to be quite a few comments that fall into the 'unsubstantiated' category, i.e., kind of accusation-like.

    Has that rule been suspended?

    August 13, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.
  • This person "H" speaks to auditors from both side of her mouth.
    Maybe she sees things from the same perspective.
    No pun intended!

    August 13, 2010 at 9:17 a.m.
  • This new agency that head start is now under is so positive and really is dedicated to serving children and families! Such a welcome change! THEY ARE WORKING AS QUICK AS THEY CAN TO INSURE THAT THE START DATES OF THE 23RD AND 1ST GO OFF WITHOUT A HITCH!.

    i WOULD LIKE THE ADDRESS TO THE BOARD! How bout anyone else?????

    August 13, 2010 at 6:41 a.m.
  • Hyak is an old friend of the board president.
    She is "really" good friends with the "CPA".
    And the auditor might have even been a business
    partner of the "CPA".

    She hide from the feds when the came to the office and had the finance director stay home, so they couldn't question him.

    Not only was she hateful to staff members but to parents of the Head Start children.

    Any comments from Head Start parents?????

    August 12, 2010 at 10:17 p.m.
  • That sounds like a labor board issue. Earned vacation time must be compensated.

    August 12, 2010 at 7:55 p.m.
  • Employees were denied vacation leave and when they called in sick some were instructed to be at work or their job would be in jeopardy. Funeral leave was left without approval and some employees were late at their close relative's service because they had to wait for her to approve the leave. Did the lady have no feelings for anyone but herself? So the leave time accumulated and now there is a possibility employees won't be compensated for earned vacation leave.

    August 12, 2010 at 7:46 p.m.
  • Yes. As well as the spending sprees on the Head Start trips to various cities and out of state. Which by the way, if Ms. Hyak appointed you to attend, might be done during your vacation time or off time with no compensation for overtime or working on days off. Never any continuing education credits attached either. Very questionable.

    August 12, 2010 at 7:12 p.m.
  • nonprofitguru-do you remember when she took the"work trip" to Disney with her grandchildren?

    August 12, 2010 at 6:37 p.m.
  • Interestingly enough, while boards are supposed to serve as "watch dogs," if they are hand-picked by the director of the program there is no checks and balance. People working for this organization and Joyce Hyak attempted to notify the board of certain improprieties in 2002 without success. Rather, the board reported the complaint to Ms. Hyak and she intimidated and harassed everyone into silence. As a former employee, I witnessed and experienced first-hand this woman's cruelty, intimidation, and questionable practices. So, where have the board members been? How did this woman become the representative for Head Start in the state of Texas? Where did all the money go? Is she really leaving the country now and on whose dime?

    August 12, 2010 at 5:33 p.m.
  • It is my understanding the financial woes of the organization happened over a few years. If the financial records are audited on an annual basis why didn't the auditor bring this to someone's attention? I am sure everyone that worked for the program is embarressed by what has happened. The staff is very dedicated to the children, families and program and it is ashamed they don't know what their future holds. This is due to the lady, Hyak, that had the title of Executive Director. It looks like the Board President, being in the position she held should have known what was happening and asked for a resignation.

    August 12, 2010 at 5:18 p.m.
  • Hyak was suspended in 1996 and again now in 2010 - hope the feds don't give her another chance.

    "In a telephone interview, Hyak seemed to contradict Burleson, not acknowledging any suspension of funding."
    Sounds like the board president and the director aren't even on the same page. Wonder who the other board members are?

    August 12, 2010 at 9:55 a.m.
  • VICAD: Is the woman in the photo the "Director" of Advocates for Children and Families?
    The only information attached to photo on the article is: Photo by Joyce Hyak.
    Or, is the person in the photo actually Joyce Hyak?
    Sad day for local children, seems like some 'creative booking'
    is afoot at the expense of taxpayers and children alike.
    If so, the perp(s) should be prosecuted to the full letter of the law.

    August 12, 2010 at 9:28 a.m.
  • Hyak may not know how to do her job, but we have paid her to do it for 33 years. Sounds to me like she knows how to do something...make a living off of underprivileged children and families. Isn't that who Head Start benefits?

    August 12, 2010 at 9:18 a.m.
  • I hope not, doesn't sound like she has a clue how to do her job.

    August 12, 2010 at 8:42 a.m.
  • Is Hyak no longer the director?

    August 12, 2010 at 8:13 a.m.