Palm Coast Recognizes Leaders at ‘Day of Celebration’ Event

Business Community Recognizes Leaders at ‘Day of Celebration’ Event

Straddling the line between Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March, Palm Coast Councilwoman Cathy Heighter and Superintendent of Flagler Schools Lashakia Moore were honored for their historic achievements as the first African-American women in their roles in Flagler County and Palm Coast. The event, organized by Touchpoint Innovative Solutions and Dwyer Knight Law Firm, featured an address from Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin and other city officials.

“We were thrilled to join today’s celebration, recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of Councilwoman Heighter and Superintendent Moore,” said City Manager Denise Bevan, in a media release. “Their unwavering dedication, perseverance and commitment to excellence has established a benchmark for leadership and inspired countless individuals. Councilwoman Heighter, in particular, embodies the core values and mission of the City of Palm Coast, and we are immensely proud to celebrate her achievements alongside Superintendent Moore.”

Howard Holley, Touchpoint CEO and EVOLVE News publisher, said the accomplishments of Heighter and Moore are worthy of praise and the time was right to highlight their careers.

“We strongly felt that we wanted to wanted to recognize historic events that are happening right now,” he said in an interview with EVOLVE News. “We knew that neither of these women set out to be the first. Their goal was to achieve their ambitions and to make a meaningful contribution to peoples’ lives. In doing so they accomplished the historic achievement of being the ‘first.’”

Holley said Heighter and Moore serve as positive role models for the community, and they deserved to be publicly celebrated.

“We decided that their accomplishments warranted recognition if for no other reason than to encourage and inspire others,” he said.

Elected to the District 4 seat of the Palm Coast City Council in November 2022, Heighter’s journey epitomizes her commitment to service, the release states. 

From her early days in New York, where she owned multiple businesses and actively contributed to her community, to her advocacy for military families following the loss of her son in Iraq, she has consistently shown selflessness and dedication. 

Her numerous accolades, including being a Certified Florida Military Specialist and Gold Star Mother, attest to her unwavering commitment to others. Since moving to Palm Coast 17 years ago, Heighter has continued her service through various initiatives, including supporting veterans and contributing to the local community. As a newly elected City Council member, Heighter sees her role as continuing her mission to serve others and enhance the city she proudly calls home, according to the release.

The superintendent of Flagler Schools since 2023, Moore began her career with the district as a teacher at Rymfire Elementary School in 2008. Moore later served as a teacher support colleague at the same school, as well as a specialist with the district’s Teaching and Learning Department, until Flagler Schools administration named Moore principal at Rymfire in June 2018. While at Rymfire, Moore was named Flagler Schools Principal of the Year in 2019.

In 2021, Moore returned to the Teaching and Learning Department as its director. A year later, she was promoted to Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services. A 2004 graduate of Bethune-Cookman University, Moore earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from St. Leo University in 2017.

In his remarks at the celebratory breakfast, Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin said Heighter and Moore exemplify the spirit of community that the city aims to promote.

“Young, old, black, white, male, female, tall, short, our physical attributes distinguish us separately from each other, but in Palm Coast, our shared tolerance brings us back together,” Alfin said in the speech. “From the very day I moved to Palm Coast, I stood proud to be part of a community that respected each other’s cultures and diversities. No matter where we came from, no matter our thoughts or our deeds – Palm Coast residents have always come together to embrace each other’s differences and similarities. Black History Month is the perfect example of how Palm Coast celebrates diverse cultures in a harmonious environment. This has made us a stronger community.”

Alfin also acknowledged Palm Coast’s vibrant African-American community and its contributions to the community.

“Palm Coast has been honored over the years to be the home base for the African-American Cultural Society and the African-American Caribbean Heritage Organization,” he said in the speech. “Both have served our Black community by preserving their heritage of cultural tradition, seeking to serve people from all races and unite them through social, cultural and educational programs. Their encouragement to better understand our mutual cultures has made us a stronger community.”

Alfin closed his remarks with the words another great Black American leader.