Leadership Team

Nancy Griffith

Executive Director

Nancy began serving as the permanent Executive Director for The CFEC on August 1, 2015. She was a member of The Children’s Center and then CFEC Board of Directors for many years, serving lastly as on the executive committee as chair of the strategic planning committee, and was the founding president of Friends. Her undergraduate degree is in secondary education from UNC-Chapel Hill, and her graduate degree is in public administration from Appalachian State University. She has worked in various areas of education and non-profits and served on numerous community boards, including the WSFCS Board of Education. Nancy and her husband, David, have three grown children and four young granddaughters. Her passion for her family extends to all children and their families, especially those with special challenges.

nancy@thecfec.org * 336-727-2440


Meredith Flowe

Assistant Executive Director

Meredith Flowe began her career as a Teach For America Corps Member.  First teaching middle school in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward and then displaced students in St. John Parish, LA following Hurricane Katrina.  She then joined the Charter School Lending team at Self-Help, a nonprofit national lender headquartered in Durham, NC before pursuing a law degree.  After graduation, Meredith served as the Public Interest Fellow at the National Association for Legal Professionals and then Chief of Staff at the Impact Center in Washington, D.C.  During her time at Impact Center, the team grew their women’s leadership program, facilitated retreats for presidential appointees, and convened the inaugural Gender Intelligence Summit.  In 2012, Meredith returned to Self-Help where she focused on facility financing and real estate development for public charter schools in 17 states and D.C. as well as national and state education policy.  Prior to joining CFEC, she was the Director of Development at Henderson Collegiate, a charter school dedicated to serving low-income families in Henderson, NC.  Meredith has served on the Steering Committee of the Charter School Lenders Coalition, PAVE SE Raleigh Advisory Board, and the Georgia Charter School Association Advocacy and Policy Committee.  Meredith is a Board Member of the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools and member of Leadership for Educational Equity.  She holds a B.A. in International Studies from UNC-CH and a J.D. from UNC School of Law.

meredith@thecfec.org * 336-727-2440

Chris Gentry

Director, Family Support Network of Greater Forsyth

Chris has served as the Director of the Family Support Network of Greater Forsyth since January 2004. This program offers a multitude of support services to families who have children with special needs, including onsite hospital/NICU support, parent-to-parent matching, sibling programs, educational opportunities for caregivers, and information and referral services. Chris has over 30 years of experience serving families of young children with a focus on quality childhood experiences and environments. She has worked in public and private school settings, as well as with NC’s Smart Start Initiative. Her educational background includes Social Work, Pastoral Care and Non-Profit Management.

chrisfsn@thecfec.org * 336-703-4289


Shana Heilbron

Director of Development & Marketing

Shana is the Director of Development & Marketing at The Centers for Exceptional Children. In this role she serves as the CFEC’s external representative to philanthropic entities, corporate organizations and charitable foundations. She is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to raise the critical funding required to advance the CFEC mission. Shana has been working in nonprofit development for 14 years, and has successfully executed fundraising luncheons and galas, and managed million-dollar development plans. Shana began her career in Washington, D.C. as a communications and press staffer for D.C. City Councilmember Harold Brazil and the Committee on Economic Development, and then served at the head of the Development Departments for The Excel Institute and the YWCA National Capital Area. On a voluntary basis, Shana is on the board of directors for the YWCA Winston-Salem and The Association of Fundraising Professionals (Triad Chapter). She is also a member of the Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem, Novant Health Women’s Council, United Way’s Young Leaders United Steering Committee, and The Forsyth Promise’s Community Equity Committee. Shana received her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Politics & Government and Women’s Studies form Ohio Wesleyan University. Originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, Shana relocated from Washington, DC to Winston-Salem, NC in August 2016.

shana@thecfec.org * 336-727-2440

Shawn Martin

Interim Director, Infant & Toddler Program

Shawn Martin has an extensive background in the field of early childhood education. She holds an A.A.S. (Early Childhood Education with Administrative Credential) from Forsyth Technical Community College and a B.A. (Teaching, Schools and Society with Advocacy Concentration) from Salem College. She comes to the CFEC with more than thirty years of experience working with children with and without special needs. Shawn has served as a board member for both Smart Start of Forsyth County and Work Family Resource Center. She continually seeks out opportunities to advocate for all children and families.

shawn@thecfec.org * 336-727-2440

Robin McKeown

Finance Manager

Robin McKeown currently serves as the finance manager.

robin@thecfec.org * 336-727-2440


Karen S. Young

Director of Licensure & Childcare

Karen Young has worked in the early childhood field for 35 years in various positions in Wake, Cleveland and Forsyth counties.  She has an A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education and in 2010 she graduated from Salem College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.  Karen has been at The Special Children’s School since 2002 and has been the Developmental Day Director since 2007. She is married and has two grown children and two grandchildren.

karen@thecfec.org * 336-727-2440

Family Support Network Support Team

Amy Hooker

Family Support Coordinator

Amy Hooker serves as a Family Support Coordinator. As the parent of two former “preemies” (a daughter born at 34 weeks gestation and a 10 day NICU stay and a son born at 24 1/2 weeks gestation and a 5 month NICU stay, also diagnosed with a rare congenital condition) it Amy’s passion to support other families who may be traveling the same road.

amyfsn@thecfec.org * 336-703-4289


Rosa Sanchez

Bi-lingual Family Support Coordinator

Rosa Sanchez has a wealth of experience as the parent of a son who has quadriplegia cerebral palsy as well as some other medical complications.  Hector attended The Special Children’s School and The Children’s Center and is currently finishing his freshman year at UNC-G! Rosa’s son Joel is a recent graduate of NC State and her son Alex is a freshman in high school.  Rosa has been married for 25 years to her husband Lazaro and has lived in Kernersville for 26 years.  Rosa is bilingual and is originally from CD Juarez, Mexico.

rosafsn@thecfec.org * 336-703-4289




Joy Hales

Family Support Coordinator

joyfsn@thecfec.org * 336-703-4289







Erin Evans

Family Support Coordinator

erinfsn@thecfec.org * 336-703-4289


Therapy Team

Diane Lippiello   

Physical Therapist

Diane Lippiello has been a physical therapist for 40 years and has served children for 35 years. Diane graduated from Russell Sage College / Albany Medical College in Troy, New York. She is certified in neuro-developmental pediatric therapy (NDT).


Kim Mullane

Occupational Therapist

Kim Mullane has been an Occupational Therapist since graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1990.  Kim’s experience has all been in pediatrics.  She thoroughly enjoys working with the Infant and Toddler program at The Children’s Center.



Maria Lucente

Speech Therapist

Maria Lucente came to The Children’s Center in 2011 and has 31 years of experience working with pediatric speech and language disorders. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in speech language pathology, and Master of Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has spent the majority of her professional career working with children that have special needs. She lives in High Point and has two grown children of her own.



JoAnn Yates

Registered Horticultural Therapist

JoAnn Yates directs the Horticultural Therapy Program at The Children’s Center. Since creating this position in 2009 JoAnn has designed both an outdoor learning space and developed a classroom curriculum designed to stimulate sensory, motor and cognitive skills for students of all abilities from age 18 months to age eleven. JoAnn has a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition from Appalachian State University. She completed the Horticultural Therapy training requirement from the Horticultural Therapy Institute in Denver and is registered with the American Horticultural Therapy Association. JoAnn also has an Associate of Arts degree in Horticulture from Forsyth Technical Community College and is a Certified Healing Touch practitioner. She considers serving the children at The Children’s Center is privilege.

Jennifer Manning

Horticultural Therapist


Jennifer Manning received her B.S. degree in Environmental Horticulture from A&T State University in North Carolina. In addition, she has a B.S. in Business Administration. She is a certified Horticultural Therapist and a member of the American Horticultural Therapy Association.


Early Intervention Classroom Team

Candace Scott

Teacher, Infant & Toddler

Candace received a BA degree in Child and Family Intervention from Lenoir-Rhyne University. She obtained Level 3 Administration and earned an Autism Paraprofessional Certificate from Forsyth Technical Community College. Candace says that working with children has always been her passion, and she later developed a high interest in working with children with special needs. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Amira Smith

Teacher Assistant, Infant & Toddler

Jessica McCrorey

Teacher Assistant, Infant & Toddler

Jessica received a BA degree in Birth-Kindergarten Education from Winston Salem State University. I enjoy working with children especially when I get to see there progress. I have been working with children for seven and a half years. I love spending my extra time doing Zumba and being with family and friends.

Ericka Bailey

Teacher, Infant & Toddler

Ericka received a BA degree in Birth through Kindergarten Education with a minor in Business from Winston Salem State University. She has a passion for working with toddlers she has worked with them for 9 year and 1 year with infants. She love spending time with her two kids.

Sharonda Oates

Teacher Assistant, Infant & Toddler

​​Sharonda received a Bachelor of Science degree in Birth to Kindergarten Early Intervention with a minor in Special Education from Winston Salem State University. While studying in school she began working with adults with special needs before working in daycare. Sharonda has always had a passion for children, and after working with adults with special needs she knew she would enjoy working with children as well. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family and friends.

Olivia Owens

Teacher, Infant & Toddler

Olivia graduated from Winston Salem State University in the fall of 2016 with a bachelors in birth-kindergarten education. She has been teaching at The Children’s Center for 1 year. Olivia enjoys teaching her students and learning from them. She is currently pursing her masters degree.


William Poe

Teacher Assistant, Infant & Toddler

Mr. William Poe is a naive of Winston-Salem, NC. He received a bachelor’s of arts in Sociology with a concentration in Social Welfare from Winston-Salem State University 2009. He has a passion for working with children and has worked in child care for almost 2 years. He has been a Pre-k teacher, Group Leader working with school agers, and a teacher assistant with the Forsyth County School System. He enjoys music and singing. He is an assistant choir director and a Chairman of the anniversary committee at his church. Mr. William is currently a teacher assistant for infant/toddlers at the Children’s Center.

Santana Revels

Teacher, Infant & Toddler

Santana received a bachelor degree in Education (Birth Through Kindergarten) from Winston Salem State University. She obtained her Autism Paraprofessional Certificate from Forsyth Technical Community College. Her passion for working with children started in a childcare facility. Santana has been teaching in early education for 5 years. In her free time Santana enjoys coaching basketball and spending time with family.



Diane Adams

Teacher Assistant, Infant & Toddler

Diane Adams has  worked with children ages infant – five years old for the last 34 years. She loves working with younger children and watching them grow and learn. Diane attended Forsyth Tech where she obtained her certificate in Early Childhood Education. While she is not at work, Diane loves spending time with her two adult children and grand daughter.

Margaret Borders

Teacher Assistant – Floater, Infant & Toddler

Margaret graduated from Forsyth Tech with a Degree in Early Childhood Education. She obtained her Autism Paraprofessional Certificate from Forsyth Tech. Margaret did her student teaching here at the Children’s Center where she found that her passion is working with Special needs children. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her children and Zumba.

margaret@thecfec.org * 336-727-2440

Administrative & Support Team

Sarah Shutt


Sarah Shutt is not only a former student of The Children’s Center, but she worked as a volunteer with us prior to beginning her tenure as our receptionist. Most days, Sarah can be found at the center desk in the front office or interacting with our children, who love the time they spend with her while waiting for their buses to arrive.  Sarah’s experience of being a student at The Children’s Center enables her to have a unique relationship with both our children and our parents.

sarah@thecfec.org * 336-727-2440


Will Hanes

Custodial Assistant



The Centers for Exceptional Children:
The Centers for Exceptional Children. The Special Children's School. The Children's Center. Winston-Salem, NC. Copyright © 2014.
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