Strand Photo 4 - CEP

Dr. Horace W. Strand Sr. – President

Dr. Strand, along with his wife Doreen, founded Children First America Delaware County out of concern for low income and minority families that had children struggling in failing school systems and desperately needed an alternative to public education.  Dr. Strand is the pastor of Faith Temple Holy Church and Administrator of the Faith Temple Christian School,  Chairman of the Chester Environmental Partnership, Board Member of REACH Alliance, and Diamond Member of BAEO (Black Alliance for Educational Options). He is a 1978 graduate of Faith School of Theology, in Charleston, Maine, where he majored in both Education and Ministerial. Dr. Strand is a certified ETTA Principal and holds an honorary Doctorate from Jameson Christian College.

Mrs. Dietra Conner, M.Ed – Executive Director

Having worked in the inner city for more than ten years, Mrs. Conner has observed first hand, the devastating effects that occur in a community, as a result of youth being provided with the lack of a quality education. She can also attest to the educational successes and life enrichment that school choice has provided for children who were being educated in low performing or distressed districts. For this reason she has passionately supported the EITC program and the power it enables a parent by having the right to choose the best school for their child.

Dietra Conner believes that children are our future. Therefore, providing our children with a good, quality education is essential and plays a pivotal role in each child’s life. Thus, by enabling children to learn in a positive environment helps a child to develop correctly, fosters their academic growth, and establishes a strong core foundation.

Such a strong core, educational foundation is vital and will help to ensure that today’s youth develop the moral characteristics to be intrinsically motivated to achieve their goals and have success in life. These youth will positively contribute to society and become America’s future highly effective leaders. As highly effective leader and communicators, they will soar in society because they will possess the necessary skills to be innovative and think outside of the box. More importantly, their drive and ingenuity will inspire future generations to work hard at their educational pursuits.

As an educator, Mrs. Conner is dedicated to working hard to help raise awareness of the essential benefits that the EITC program provides. For this reason, Mrs. Conner is glad to be a part of Children First America Delaware County. Also, she strongly supports and embraces the importance of Children’s First America Delaware County’s motto “Helping the ones who need it the most.”

Mrs. Conner received a Bachelor of Science, in Education from Messiah College, and a Masters of Art, in Educational Leadership, Principal K-12, and Curriculum Supervision, from Saint Joseph’s University. She is also a Devos Urban Leadership Initiative graduate. Throughout her life she has passionately supported education as a principal, teacher, adjunct professor, advocate, one on one, facilitator, director, tutor, mentor, and board member.

Mrs. Conner has been involved with numerous civic, business, academic, community, and faith based organizations, including Special Olympics, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Friends to Seniors, Young life, Chester Environmental Partnership, and Residents Concerned for Quality Living.