Enrichment and Support Faculty

Paulette Bradley – Art Teacher

“My most influential teacher: Victor Bassman. High school pottery teacher. He taught me that being an artist is something that comes from inside. Each person is an artist and it can manifest in many different ways, from cooking to digging in the dirt to painting. He opened my eyes to a different wonderful world, the world of creating.”

Growing up, Paulette was surrounded by art and artists. Her mother is a writer, sculptor, painter, and having-funprinter. Her father was a wood worker, needlepointer, rug maker, and gardener. She herself discovered fiber arts as an eight year old and since then has pursued sewing, weaving, building, pottery, jewelry making, printing, cooking, and gardening. For the past three years she has found great joy in teaching elementary school art. Paulette feels honored to have the opportunity to share the gift of creating with children.

Lynitia Callahan, BS – Enrichment Coordinator

“My most influential teacher: My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Hairston. She was the first teacher to show me that she was not just a teacher, but a real person with a life outside of school. She talked about her family and hosted yearly sleepovers for students. She taught me the importance building trust and relationships with students, YN5A0131 copythe foundation of successful teaching and learning.”

Born and raised in Atlanta, Ga, Lynitia is the younger of two children. She received her BS in Child & Family Development from The University of Georgia and is currently pursuing her MS in Psychology at GA State. Lynitia believes each child is an individual and should be taught as such. She believes a child’s educational experience should be meaningful to him or her. For Lynitia, the greatest reward in teaching is witnessing a child mastering a skill or concept with which they have been struggling. Outside of work, she enjoys family time with her son, bird, and cat.

 Alicia Cafferty Lerner, MA – TheaterIMG_0269

“My most influential teacher:My high school English teacher, Ms. Brown, was the pioneer in her school district for creating special interest classes within a core subject. She trusted us to lead class discussions while she peppered them with thought-provoking questions that encouraged broadening perspectives. Her passion for literature and writing was contagious.”
Mesmerized by stories brought to life on stage, Alicia was drawn to theatre from a young age. Continuing that love into adulthood, Alicia earned a BA in English from Auburn University, where she spent much of her time within the walls of the theatre department. Her hybrid education and love of literature and theatre inspired her graduate studies in Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama (MA) at University College Dublin, Ireland. Alicia has written and edited global and social issues books for younger students, including one on Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” Additionally, she was Theatre Coordinator for the Marginal Arts Festival in Roanoke, Virginia. Besides frequenting Atlanta’s theaters, her very theatric two-year-old lends her heaps of inspiration!

Sherry Morton, MA – Science and STEAM (Science
Technology Engineering Art Math)

teacher-and-student-exploring“My most influential teacher: Mrs. Bonnell 7th grade. Mrs. Bonnell taught me that learning is creative act fueled by fun. She ignited a love for history that continues to inform and inspire my life.”

Sherry began her teaching career in the first grade where she “tutored a classmate struggling to make sense of adding popsicle sticks.” Over the past five years she has taught a variety of college classes in philosophy and world religins. Sherry’s research interests focus on the ways physical actions shape the brain and mind. She holds dual degrees in philosophy and religious studies, an associate’sdegree in science and a master’s degree in religious studies. Her academic pursuits are balanced by 25 years of yoga and meditation practice coupled with extensive dance training.

Jenny Rankin, MS – School Counselor

“My most influential teacher: Mr. Hubbard, 5th grade. Fifth grade FullSizeRender-18was an emotionally tough year for me, but I felt safe in Mr. Hubbard’s class. He reminded me that I was special and always had an adult at school who was ready to listen.” 

Jenny is a licensed Professional Counselor and holds a Master’s degree in both Professional Counseling and School Counseling from Georgia State University. She has worked with children and families in both private and public settings for over 16 years. Jenny’s passion in helping children with social, emotional, and developmental challenges via the Floortime approach.

Julie Siler, M.Ed.,CCC-SLP

“Most influential teacher: Mrs. Barbara Jess 4th grade. She had a wonderful sense of humor and taught me several learning strategies that I continue to use when working with children today.”

Julie is a licensed speech language pathologist who has served a pediatric population in Atlanta for more than ten years. A graduate of Georgia State University, she completed internships with Children’s
Healthcare of Atlanta, Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital, and the DeKalb County School System. She worked alongside Dr. Kristen Hess in a Gwinnett County Public school for two years before she began working with Babies Can’t Wait and a private therapy practice housed within The Marcus Institute. There, she shepherded children and families through the public and private healthcare systems and participated in co-treatment sessions with talented Neurologists, Developmental Pediatricians, and Occupational and Physical Therapists. In 2005, Julie designed Siler Speech Pathology, LLC; a private, mobile speech therapy practice that serves a pediatric population in the child’s home, school, or day care setting.

Amity Stevens, MS, OTR/L

“My most influential teacher: Ms. Nunn in 3rd grade was just awesome. She was compassionate, sweet, and taught hands-on which is how I learned. She helped us learn the way we learn. She also taught my two aunts and two uncles!”

Amity Stevens, MS, OTR/L is a licensed Pediatric Occupational amityTherapist that has been practicing therapy in homes, private schools, public schools, and in a clinical setting. She holds a BS in Health and Exercise Science from Kennesaw State University, a BS in Health Science from Brenau University, and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from Brenau University. Amity’s love for the field stems from having a younger sister (Haylee, 25) with special needs, who currently lives in Texas.

Amity has worked in several areas of the field, including working with Clay White (www.claywhite.us) to establish and run a summer camp for children with Autism, Asperger’s, and various learning disabilities. In addition, she runs a social club and a weekend overnight program for children aged 10-14 on the spectrum or that may have other disabilities.

Anne Weidert, MA – Curriculum Support

“My most influential teacher: Dr. Gary Allison (University of Delaware) first piqued my interest in working with exceptional children. He taught me that kids with special needs crave meaningful learning experiences just like all children do!”

Anne Weidert is a Reading Specialist and an Orton Gillingham trained tutor who supports students with reading and writing challenges. She holds a BA in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Delaware, and a Masters in Reading from Mercer University. Anne has over a decade of classroom teaching experience. When she isn’t teaching kids, Anne has dance parties with her husband and two daughters.

Clay White, BA, M.Ed.

“My favorite teacher was Doretta Smith. As my 10th grade Social Studies teacher, she was the scariest teacher at our school, but the only one who ever held my feet to the fire and expected excellence from me. She taught me how to try.”

I want students to not only understand nature, but to experience it.IMG_0998 I’ve worked in the outdoors with children since 1980. I’ve done some of my hikes a thousand times, but every group of kids makes each hike unique. I love the physicality of hiding, but even more, I enjoy teaching students about mill ruins, rock formations, or craw fish. Every creek offers a new adventure. Every fallen tree offers a new challege. I love placing a group in a challenging situation, and supporting them socially and emotionally as they work together to figure things out.

Caitlin White

“My most influential teacher: Mr. Lawson, my high school drama teacher and an incredibly patient man. He encouraged us to make bold artistic choices without worrying about making mistakes and taught us that teamwork is essential to creating a successful performance.”

Caitlin started singing and making music when she was younger than the youngest Hess student! In elementary school, she learned to play piano, then picked up the trumpet and French horn in middle and high school band. While in college at Agnes Scott, she studied vocal performance, taught herself to play guitar, and started writing folk songs. She also has a strong musical theatre background and believes music is a powerful tool for storytelling, community building and self expression. An avid traveler, Caitlin loves to explore music from many cultures in music class. When not at Hess, she works in the administrative office at Synchronicity Theatre and teaches with Synchronicity’s education programs.