Meet The CFEC Staff

The CFEC employs exceptionally qualified staff.

 

All teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree and many are at the master’s level, in addition to holding state-issued Birth through Kindergarten teacher licensure or state-issued Special Education teacher licensure. Our teacher assistants must maintain Department of Public Instruction “highly qualified” status. Our therapists are fully licensed and most also have master’s degrees. Additionally, full-time professional nurses are employed at both schools, and all direct service staff are trained to address feeding, medication, and emergency management.

Nancy Griffith

Nancy Griffith

Executive Director, The CFEC

Nancy Griffith began serving as Executive Director for The CFEC on August 1, 2015. Nancy was a member of the Board of Directors for many years and was the founding president of Friends of The CFEC. Her undergraduate degree is in secondary education and her graduate degree is in public administration. She has worked in various areas of education and non-profits and served on numerous community boards. Nancy and her husband, David, have three children, four young granddaughters and a beloved lab, Kaya. Her passion for her family extends to all children and their families, especially those with special challenges.

336.727.2440  |  nancy@thecfec.org  |  The CFEC

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.

Karen S. Young

Developmental Day Director, The Special Children's School

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 Warren

Curriculum Coordinator, The Special Children

Karen Warren is the Curriculum Coordinator at The Special Children’s School. She received her bachelor’s degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Elementary Education in 1998.  She added on Birth through Kindergarten teacher licensure at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2001. In 2007, Karen received her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Salem College. She has been working at the Special Children’s School since 1999.  Karen is married and has 2 daughters.

Samantha Manring

Principal, The Children

Samantha Manring was named principal of The Children’s Center in July 2016. Before joining The Children’s Center family, Samantha served as the assistant principal of Cash Elementary School. She has extensive experience in the exceptional children’s division, having served as an exceptional children’s teacher, process specialist and case manager. Samantha earned a bachelor of arts in special education from High Point University and a master’s degree in special education from Appalachian State University.

Sandra Gilmer

Principal, The Special Children

Since 2011, Sandra Gilmer has served as the principal of the Special Children’s School. She is proud to be a part of such a unique and outstanding program that serves the special needs of young children in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Sandra has 17 years of experience as a classroom teacher with exceptional children in Lexington City Schools and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Since 2000, she has been a school administrator with the Rowan County Schools and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Her education degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC-Greensboro include the areas of Early Childhood Education, Exceptional Children, and Educational Leadership. Sandra’s teaching and administrative experience have spanned the pre-K, elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Shana Heilbron

Director of Philanthropy, The CFEC

Shana is the Director of Philanthropy 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 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 a member of the Women’s Fund of Winston Salem, and enjoys 1-hour sessions at the gym, working on her cooking skills, and plans to take up blogging in the near future.

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 recently relocated from Washington, DC to Winston-Salem, NC and is a proud resident of downtown Winston-Salem. She has two amazing nieces – Aubrey and Addison – that inspired her to make the move to North Carolina.

Shawn Martin

Operations Manager / Technology Support, The CFEC

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.

Alethea Holmes

Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

Alethea S. Holmes is an EC Teacher Assistant at The Special Children’s School. She enjoys music, singing, playing and watching sports. Alethea says she is passionate about helping others.

Alma Gaither

Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

Amira Smith

Teacher Assistant, Infant & Toddler

    Angela Bates

    Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

      Ashley Evans

      Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

      Barbara Martin Hutchins

      Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

      Barbara Hutchins has been with the Special Children’s School for twelve years. She has worked with children of many different ages. She enjoys her job very much and especially loves working with children. Barbara has six grandchildren, so it is not often that she doesn’t have children around her. When she has a few extra minutes, she enjoys reading.

      Betty Green

      Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

        Brandy Dale

        Teacher, EC Preschool

        Brenda Knowles

        Teacher, EC Preschool

        Brenda Knowles is a graduate of UNCG with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Brenda has been teaching at the Special Children’s School for 15 years.

        Candace Scott

        Teacher Assistant, 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.

          Candy Bush

          Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

            Carrie Hamilton

            Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

            Catherine Rice

            Teacher, EC Functional Primary

            Catherine Rice is the 3-5 Functional Primary teacher at The Special Children’s School. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education. After graduating in 2014, Catherine taught high school in Charlotte for 2 years. However, Winston-Salem has always been home for her and she decided to move back to be closer to family. Outside of school, Catherine enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially her 7-month-old, Benjamin.

            Cathy Moore

            Music Teacher

              Cheryl Whitaker

              Teacher, EC Functional Primary

              Cheryl received her Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in music and history and taught middle school (grades 6-8) for seven years at a private school. While teaching, she completed her Master’s degree in education and added her principal’s license. In 2008, she accepted a position as a principal at a private school and remained there until her move to North Carolina in 2011. Cheryl added the area of special needs to her license because she fell in love with the special schools here in Forsyth County. She accepted a position at Carter High School in 2013, where she taught severe and profound high school students for 3 years before joining the Special Children’s School family.

              Chris Sladky

              Teacher, EC Preschool

              Chris Sladky began working as a teacher at The Children’s Center in 2001.  She has taught in a 4 year old preschool class since she joined our team. Chris says it is a rewarding experience to work with our children and families every day.

              Darlene B. Jackson

              Teacher, EC Preschool

              Darlene Jackson obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education/Learning Disabilities (K-12) from Winston-Salem State University, Master’s Degree in Health Care Management from Colorado Technical University, and B-K certification from WSSU. Darlene has worked in the field of education for 24 years.

              Emilie Marcaurelle

              Teacher, EC Functional Primary

              Ericka Bailey

              Teacher, Infant & Toddler

                Hannah Dula

                Teacher Assistant, Infant & Toddler

                Jack Hawks

                Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                  Jane Ahles

                  Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

                  Jennifer Nelson

                  Teacher, Kindergarten

                  Jennifer Pegram

                  Teacher, EC Preschool

                  Jennifer Pegram started teaching a three year old preschool class at The Children’s Center in 1997.  Jennifer is still teaching a three year old class and says she loves every day spent with our amazing children.

                    Jessica Rose

                    Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

                    Jill Reynolds

                    Teacher, EC Prechool

                    Joseph Chavis

                    Teacher, EC Preschool

                      Joseph Timmons

                      Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

                      Joseph Timmons joined The Special Children’s School staff in 2015. Joe has worked with children with special needs since 1996 and has worked in the school system since 2004. In his time outside of work, Joe enjoys working out and spending time with his family.

                        Joshua Webb

                        Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

                        Joyce Marie Holmes

                        Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                        Joyce Holmes joined The Special Children’s School family as a Teacher Assistant in 1991.

                        Justin Harrison

                        Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

                        Justin Harrison has worked for WSFCS since October 2007. Justin has experience working with the infant/toddler, preschool, and school-age populations. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from UNC-Charlotte in 2003.  Justin worked in juvenile law in Sarasota, Florida for several years before falling in love with special education.  He enjoys playing all types of sports, and his passions are basketball and soccer.

                          Justin Smith

                          Staff, After School Program

                          Kelly Rath

                          Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                          Kenny McKeown

                          Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

                            Keyana Jordan

                            Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

                            Kitty Hunt

                            Adaptive PE Teacher

                            Kristel Hunter

                            Teacher, Kindergarten

                            Kristel is the typical kindergarten teacher at The Special Children’s School. She loves all of the new experiences that happen in kindergarten from the first day of school to learning to read, write, add and subtract. Kristel partners with parents and families to ensure her students first year of school is a success. She feels privileged to be at TSCS with a small class size that allows her students to have individualized instruction. This is her second year teaching kindergarten with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. She holds a B.A. from Salem College (Teaching, Schools, and Society with a concentration in Advocacy) and a NC license for Kindergarten -6th grade. Kristel loves hiking with her dog Lilly and spending time with her niece Madilyn, and nephews Hunter, Hudson, and Brody.

                            LaSahara Harley

                            Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                            Laura Lefler

                            Teacher, EC Functional Primary

                            Lee Neugent

                            Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

                            Linda H. East

                            Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                            Linda East worked as a substitute teacher in Stokes County Schools for 10 years.  She has been employed with The Special Children’s School since 1998.  Linda has her NC Early Childhood Credential and she has completed several college courses in the field of Early Childhood Education.  She is married and has 2 sons and 7 grandchildren.

                              Lisa Capps

                              Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                              Lisa Horwath

                              Teacher Assistant, Kindergarten

                              Lisa Horwath has been an employee of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools since 2002. She worked in both middle and elementary schools before joining The Children’s Center in 2012 as a Teacher Assistant.

                              Lou Whitaker Creef

                              Teacher Assistant, Infant & Toddler

                              Lou Creef graduated from East Carolina University. She obtained her teaching license (K-6) at Salem College and is now in their Masters of Education Program.  Lou taught typical children for over 10 years until she began working at The Children’s Center. Her goal is to be a lead teacher for children with special needs.

                                Maria Razo

                                Teacher Assistant, EC Functional Primary

                                Marie Walser

                                Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool  

                                Marie Walser holds a degree in Elementary Education. She joined The Special Children’s School family in 2013.

                                Martha Jim Farrow

                                Teacher, EC Preschool

                                Martha Farrow has taught at The Children’s Center since August 1991. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education from Keene State College in New Hampshire. Martha also has her Birth-Kindergarten certification.

                                Mary Wise

                                Teacher, EC Preschool

                                Melanie Kurylowski

                                Teacher, EC Functional Primary

                                Misty White

                                Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                                Pia Haizlip

                                Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                                Pia Haizlip has worked at The Special Children’s School since 2001. Pia earned her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Forsyth Technical Community College in December 2015.

                                  Renatta Townes

                                  Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                                  Rita Lee

                                  Adaptive PE Teacher

                                  Rose Lynne Bowman

                                  Teacher, Hearing Impaired

                                    San Reynolds

                                    Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                                      Sandy Rhodes

                                      Adaptive PE Teacher

                                      Santana Revels

                                      Teacher, Infant & Toddler

                                      Shannon F. Johnson

                                      Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                                      Shannon Johnson is a graduate of Salem College with a degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies.  Before joining The Children’s Center family, Shannon was a substitute teacher and Lead Teacher at the preschool where her four children attended.

                                      Shannon M. Brown

                                      Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                                      Shannon M. Brown has been employed at The Special Children’s School since 2000. Shannon says she really enjoys working with such a special group of children and their families!

                                      Sheri Grubbs

                                      Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                                      Shetaria Shuff

                                      Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                                      Stacey Church

                                      Teacher, EC Preschool

                                      Stephanie Perez

                                      Teacher, EC Functional Primary

                                      Sylvia Bines

                                      Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                                      Tamara Levi

                                      Teacher, EC Preschool

                                      Tamara Levi has been an early childhood educator since 2002. She started her career as a Teacher Assistant.  Tamara’s passion for educating children and parents grew, which resulted in her returning to school to get her Birth-Kindergarten teaching license.  Tamara loves working with children and their families and her goal is to help students reach their fullest potential and lead happy, fulfilled lives.

                                        Tara Hedges

                                        Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                                        Tolisha Dent

                                        Teacher Assistant, Infant & Toddler

                                        Tolisha Dent is from Raeford, North Carolina. She is a Winston-Salem State University graduate with a BS in Rehabilitation Studies. Tolisha has been working at The Children’s Center since 2013. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, organizing, and spending time with family.

                                        Tonya Keith

                                        Teacher, EC Functional Primary

                                        Wanda Fuller

                                        Teacher Assistant, EC Preschool

                                        Wanda Fuller joined The Children’s Center family in 2000. Before coming to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Wanda worked with adults with special needs.

                                        Amy Clements Elliott

                                        Speech/Language Pathologist

                                        Amy Elliott is originally from Georgia where she completed her undergraduate and graduate work at Valdosta State University in communication science disorders.  Amy has worked in a variety of medical and educational settings with people birth through geriatrics.  She lives in Winston-Salem with her husband, their two children and a very furry dog.

                                        Becky Howe

                                        Occupational Therapist

                                        Becky Zeller

                                        School Nurse

                                        Della Oberst

                                        Physical Therapist

                                        Della Oberst has worked with children for 29 years after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Kentucky and a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Indianapolis. Della is certified in Pediatric Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT).

                                        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).

                                        Edith McBurney

                                         Speech/Language Pathologist

                                        Edith McBurney came to The Special Children’s School in 2012 and has 33 years of experience working with pediatric speech and language disorders.  She has worked in clinic, hospital and school settings in Kentucky, North Carolina and Wisconsin.  She holds Master of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from Northwestern University in Speech Pathology.  Areas of expertise include augmentative communication, apraxia of speech, autism, and oral motor/feeding disorders.  She is Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Treatment certified and has had RESNA certification.  In recent years, Edith has presented for parents and professionals in feeding, iPad use in preschools, and early communication development.

                                        James Every

                                        Physical Therapist

                                        Jennifer Manning

                                        Horticultural Therapist

                                        Jenny Greene

                                        Occupational Therapist

                                        Joanie Mitchell

                                        Occupational Therapist

                                        JoAnn Yates

                                        Registered Horticultural Therapist, The CFEC

                                        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.

                                        Kathy Fuerst

                                        Physical Therapist    

                                        Kathy Fuerst graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill PT program in 1996 earning a master’s degree. She has worked in pediatrics in home health, outpatient, and school settings. She has received her certification as a therapeutic riding instructor and hippotherapy provider. Kathy has been serving students in the Winston Salem/Forsyth County school system since 2005.

                                        Kelly Solesbee

                                        School Nurse

                                        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.

                                        Kristi S. Stanley

                                        Physical Therapist Assistant

                                        Kristi Stanley has 20 years of experience as a Physical Therapist Assistant. She works with children at both schools from age 2 years through 5th grade. Kristi’s job responsibilities include carrying out the plan of care established by the Physical Therapist, as well as monitoring the equipment that the children use and scheduling the equipment vendors to come and service equipment. Kristi also orders new PT equipment as needed.

                                        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.

                                        Melanie Bearror

                                        Occupational Therapist

                                        Shelley Curry

                                        School Nurse

                                        Sherry Stancliff

                                        Occupational Therapist

                                        Sherry Stancliff, OTR/L obtained her degree from Towson University and has 29 years of experience, including 12 years in the school system. Prior to coming to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Sherry worked as a staff Occupational Therapist at Forsyth Hospital for 17 years.

                                          Taylor Pena

                                          Speech/Language Pathologist

                                          Todd Corley

                                          EC OT/PT Technician

                                          Vivian Smith

                                          Physical Therapist

                                          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.

                                            Erin Evans

                                            Family Support Coordinator

                                            Joy Hales

                                            Family Support Coordinator

                                              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.

                                              Claudia Shivers

                                              Data Manager

                                              Claudia Shivers is the Data Manager for The Special Children’s School.  Claudia loves her job, her co-workers, and the ability to help make a difference in the lives of so many wonderful families every day.

                                              Claudine Robinson

                                              Secretary  

                                              Claudine Robinson has worked at The Special Children’s School for 22 years as the Receptionist / 2nd Secretary. She is a graduate of Rutledge Business College. Claudine says her job at the school has provided her the atmosphere for growth both personally and professionally.

                                              Katherine Campbell

                                              EC Case Manager

                                              Katherine Campbell has called The Children’s Center her home since 2002. She has both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Salem College. She is also Nationally Board Certified in Special Education.

                                              Lou Ann Spell

                                              Data Manager

                                              Lou Ann Spell has been a data manager with the school system for 19 years. She took her mother’s place at Kimberly Park when she retired in 1995 and moved to The Children’s Center in 1999. Prior to working for the school system, Lou Ann was employed by The WS Journal, Kirby Architecture and RJ Reynolds Consumer Relations/Marketing. Her passions are children, animals and the arts. In her spare time, Lou Ann enjoys pet sitting.

                                              Robin McKeown

                                              Financial Secretary          

                                              Robin McKeown has served as a staff member at The Children’s Center for more than 24 years now, performing various duties. Robin currently serves as the school’s Financial Secretary.

                                              Sarah Shutt

                                              Receptionist

                                              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.

                                              Winter Bodziony-Orner

                                              Lead Secretary

                                              Winter Bodziony-Orner has been working for WS/FCS since 2006. She has a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources.

                                                Cindy Davis

                                                Day Porter

                                                Hattie Mae Young

                                                Cafeteria Assistant

                                                  Leslie Feaster

                                                  Cafeteria Manager

                                                  Pat Jenkins

                                                  Custodian

                                                  Will Hanes

                                                  Custodial Assistant

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