The Leadership and Staff of Read Right from the Start

Get to Know the People Who are Here to Support Teachers throughout Our Program

True change always results from the actions of dedicated people. Like you, the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy, Cox Campus and the leaders and staff of Read Right from the Start are devoted to the future of Georgia’s children. They are here to support teachers, parents and school administrators in launching our program in your school so that by the year 2020, every early childhood educator in Georgia will have the skills to effectively prepare our children to meet or exceed grade level reading requirements by the end of 3rd grade.

Leadership

Comer Yates

Executive Director of the Atlanta Speech School

Comer Yates is the Executive Director of the Atlanta Speech School. Founded 76 years ago as a free school and clinic for children who were deaf or hard of hearing, the School has evolved into a comprehensive language and literacy center that consists of four schools, five clinics and a professional development program. During Comer’s tenure, the School established The Rollins Center for Language & Literacy, a professional development program that focuses on coaching and training that provides teachers and school leaders with the capacity to have every child birth to eight on a path toward grade level reading by third grade. Comer has devoted his career at the School to its goal that every person will reach his or her full potential through language and literacy.

Jennifer Wolford, M.B.A.

Director of Strategy and Operations

As the Director of Strategy and Operations for Rollins, Jennifer provides leadership for the Rollins strategic planning process and implements new programmatic strategic initiatives. In addition, she provides coordination for the Rollins team; serves as liaison to Rollins’ partners; and works with Rollins’ Board to keep them informed and engaged with programmatic strategies and challenges.

Christi Moore, Ph.D.

Assistant Director for Rollins Online and Evaluation

Christi Moore is the Assistant Director for Rollins Online and Evaluation. Her responsibilities include online program and content development, collaboration with key stakeholders and oversight of Rollins program evaluation efforts. She was a Pre-K teacher and guidance counselor for a number of years before returning to school to obtain her Ph.D. in early childhood education. Her research focused on integrating the arts with language and literacy teaching and use of the arts as a mode of Universal Design in teacher education.

Cori V. Cain, M.A.

Assistant Director for Service Delivery

Cori V. Cain is currently the Assistant Director for Service Delivery in the Rollins Center. Her responsibilities include program development and implementation, training, grant management and public/private partnership collaboration. Cori enjoys spending time with her family and friends and visiting new places.

Nitza Vega-Lahr, Ph.D.

Coordinator of the Dual Language Learners Program

Nitza was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in Colombia, South America. She directs the Dual Language Learners Program, bringing content expertise in the area of cultural competence and support to dual language learners. In this role, Nitza is also the project director of the Georgia Coalition for English Learners, a diverse partnership of individuals and organizations committed to bringing about transformative change in language and literacy outcomes for dual language learners in our state. Nitza is a bilingual developmental psychologist with many years of experience in research and administration in early childhood education.

Rollins Online

Kate Fleetwood, M. Ed.

Video Development and eCoaching Facilitator

As the Video Development and eCoaching Facilitator at the Rollins Center, Kate helps develop Rollins’ online learning courses and provides online coaching around the Read Right from the Start Strategies. Before moving into this position, Kate was a Rollins Facilitator and provided professional development and coaching in the areas of language and literacy to Pre-K educators across the state of Georgia. “I am very fortunate to have a job that is so fulfilling. I feel honored to be on a team of passionate and committed educators who are all doing such important work for our kids.”

Kristina Black, B.S.

Technology Specialist for Rollins Online and Evaluation

Kristina is the Project Manager for Rollins Online and Special Projects. She has a background in Instructional Technology and now works on the Read Right from the Start online learning project. She strives to make the Cox Campus the place where all Georgia educators will come to learn and make a difference for Georgia’s children. She enjoys cooking, traveling, Brazilian Jui Jitzu and spending time with her family.

Facilitators

Shenikia Robinson, M. Ed.

Birth - 5 Program Facilitator

Shenikia is a Program Facilitator with the Rollins Center. Empowering teachers is the reason Shenikia loves working for the Rollins Center. She provides professional development to literacy coaches around the Atlanta area. Previously, she was the Director of Early Childhood Education for Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Shenikia enjoys spending time with her family, and would love to visit Jamaica.

Mary Carey, M. Ed.

Content Development Facilitator

Mary is an Atlanta native and has devoted her career to training teachers and teaching Preschool and Pre-K children. She is currently a subject matter expert for eLearning course development. In addition to coaching teachers and other facilitators, Mary enjoys working with the teachers that appear in the Read Right from the Start videos. For fun, Mary likes spending time with her family and running in the park with her dog, Jac.

Cheryl Kirksey, M. Ed.

Birth to 3rd Grade Facilitator

Cheryl is a Facilitator in the Rollins Center. She coaches teachers in research-based strategies that build the foundation for reading. For fun, Cheryl enjoys watching old movies, traveling and spending time with her children.

Deborah Lincoln, M.A.T.L.

Birth to 3rd Grade Facilitator

Deborah was one of the first Pre-K teachers to receive training in Read Right from the Start. She is excited to now be a Facilitator in the Rollins Center, helping train and support others who are learning to implement this powerful program. She enjoys working with the teachers and observing the gains the students make in language and literacy skills throughout the year. For fun Deborah enjoys music, books, movies and early morning walks.

Rondalyn Pinckney, Ed. S.

Birth to 3rd Grade Facilitator

Rondalyn provides coaching and professional development in evidence-based strategies that build the foundation for reading. She enjoys the collaborative process of working with coaches, teachers and other facilitators. For fun, Rondalyn enjoys spending time with her family and watching movies. Before coming to Rollins, she worked with the Georgia Department of Education as an Education and Research Evaluation Specialist with the Georgia 21st CCLC programs and as an Education Specialist for K-3 Reading.

Angela Shelton, M.A.T.

Birth to 3rd Grade Facilitator

As a trainer and coach, Angela gives educators the tools they need to give young children a solid foundation for reading. Before coming to Rollins, she worked as an early education teacher. Currently, she provides language and literacy professional development to curriculum specialists and teachers in the Atlanta area. Angela enjoys traveling, Pilates, cookie decorating and spending time with her family and friends.

Crystal Gibson, M. Ed.

Birth to 3rd Grade Facilitator

In her role at the Rollins Center, Crystal seeks to inspire educators to join the movement to provide quality early learning and meet the collaborative 2020 Goal with Georgia’s Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS) to have all Georgia’s students enter kindergarten prepared to succeed and on a path to “read and learn” by third grade. In Crystal’s spare time, she enjoys time with her family and going to the beach.

Dianne Simpson, M.S.W.

Birth to 3rd Grade Facilitator

Dianne is a Rollins Center Facilitator in the North East Georgia area. She, along with her literacy coaches, work to educate and empower teachers to lift children’s language so they are on the path to read to learn by third grade. She loves seeing sweet little faces and thinking of their potential and future and helping teachers to see the huge impact they can make in the lives of these children.

Robyn Tedder, M. Ed.

Birth to 3rd Grade Facilitator

Robyn is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She came to Atlanta after joining Teach for America. She served as a Kindergarten teacher in Atlanta Public Schools and, later, as a staff member of Teach for America, coaching new Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers. Robyn now works with the Rollins Center as a Facilitator and supports Birth to Pre-K teachers. Robyn enjoys spending time with her family and loves to cook.

Maggie Deaton, M.A.T.

Birth to Third Grade Facilitator

While studying English and Education at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee and spending time in local classrooms, Maggie’s eyes were opened to the great need to honor and listen to the voices of children. After time as an Atlanta Teach for America corps member, a graduate student at Georgia State University, and a teacher with the great joy of teaching refugee, immigrant, and local children in first and second grades, she is thrilled to run alongside educators to promote language and literacy as a Rollins Facilitator. Maggie speaks some Spanish and loves written and spoken stories, spending time with family and friends, mountains, and Thai food.

Chankyna Aribo, M. Ed.

Birth to Third Grade Facilitator

Chankyna Aribo is a native of Danbury, CT.  She attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  After joining Teach for America, she relocated to Atlanta, GA.  She later completed her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education at Georgia State University.  She served as an educator in Atlanta Public Schools before joining the Rollins Center as a K-3 facilitator.  Chankyna enjoys playing tennis, cheering on her Michigan Wolverines, reading, and spending time with her family, friends, and dog Sasha.

Quintin R. Bostic II, M. Ed.

Birth to Third Grade Facilitator

Quintin Bostic is a native from Augusta, GA. He attended Georgia State University and received his Bachelors in Birth through Five Education with a minor in Special Education. He later completed his Masters degree in Urban Teacher Leadership with a focus on Reading and Literacy. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends.

Karensa Harris, M. Ed.

Birth to Third Grade Facilitator

Karensa Harris is a native of London, England. She is a language and literacy Rollins facilitator that truly enjoys empowering literacy coaches and teachers through professional development and coaching to foster an environment of children that are conversational partners on the path to read to learn by third grade. Previously, Karensa was a certified teacher support specialist and has taught Pre-K- 3rd grade for over 14 years. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.

Jessica Michel

Birth to Third Grade Facilitator

Jessica is a Rollins birth to five facilitator. She has a long standing relationship with the Atlanta Speech School and has always believed wholeheartedly in the mission of Rollins, to give every child a voice, and to have all children in Georgia on the path to read to learn by 2020. Her background is in both early childhood education and special education. Jessica loves to spend time reading and in any outdoor activity.

Ashley Montgomery

Birth to Third Grade Facilitator

Ashley is a native of Atlanta, GA. She has a passion for early education and adult education/training. Ashley has many years of experience working in early education as a teacher and Literacy Coach. Ashley now works with Rollins as a Birth to Five facilitator where she helps empower teachers to become conversational partners with children in the classroom. In her spare time, Ashley likes to travel and spend time with family and friends.  

Wren Yu

Birth to Third Grade Facilitator

Wren is a birth to five facilitator for the Rollins Center because she believes in the power of early childhood education. She loves empowering teachers to set their students on the path to read to  learn by third grade. She taught elementary school for four years and worked as a curriculum director at a private preschool for five years. Wren enjoys spending time with her children, reading, crocheting, and running.

Carol Henderson, M. Ed.

Birth to Third Grade Facilitator

Carol is a Birth to Pre-K facilitator who enjoys working with literacy coaches to help teachers empower their students with language.  She especially enjoys encouraging teachers and children to experience the joy of learning.  She has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with an endorsement in reading education, along with over two decades of teaching experience in preschool and elementary school classrooms.   She also enjoys writing, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends.

Candace Hogan, M.S., CCC-SLP

Birth to 3rd Grade Facilitator

Candace is a speech and language pathologist and worked in the Speech and Language Clinic of the Atlanta Speech School prior to joining the Rollins Center team. As a language and literacy facilitator, Candace provides birth to Pre-K teachers with research based strategies to boost young children’s language and literacy skills. In her spare time, Candace enjoys spending time with her family and friends, trying new foods and restaurants and loves sharing new experiences with and seeing life through the eyes of her twin boys.

Rollins Support Team

Kim Alloca, B.S.

Administrative Assistant

Kim Allocca is an Administrative Assistant in the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy, the professional development division of the Atlanta Speech School. She currently performs office support and daily duties such as word processing, managing director’s calendars, assisting with trainings, and keeping the center organized.