Rendering of redeveloped MACAA site Credit: Credit: Wassenaar + Winkler

Charlottesville, VA August 31, 2016:  MACAA (Monticello Area Community Action Agency), a local anti-poverty agency, in its 51st year of service to the community, is undergoing a major transformation with the hiring of many new staff members.

Leading the Agency in the position of Executive Director is Harriet Durling Kaplan, founder of Charlottesville’s Peabody School. Kaplan joined the Agency in March as the Interim Executive Director, and has just this month been appointed to the position of permanent Executive Director. “I’m delighted to be starting a second career working at MACAA. Its dedication to helping low-income individuals (including 213 Head Start students) move from poverty to self-reliance through education is MACAA’s laudable mission, and it fits my personal goals to a tee. I look forward to leading the Agency into a bright future with the capable team that we have assembled.”

In addition to Kaplan, other senior staff members recently hired or promoted include Elise Cruz, MACAA’s new Director of Planning and Evaluation. Cruz comes to the Agency from UVa’s graduate school of Architecture, where she studied Urban and Environmental Planning with concentrations in public health and social justice. Barbara Smith, a long-time MACAA employee has taken on the job of Interim Head Start Director, a position in which she has served multiple times in her 24-year tenure with the Agency. Other new members of the Head Start management team include Leslie Scott, Family Services and Health Manager; Melissa Carter, Education Manager; and Jill Overbaugh, Assistant Education Manager.

For further information about MACAA or its programs, please contact Harriet Kaplan at or by calling (434) 295-3171 ext. 3044.