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.

  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 four-year-old lends her heaps of inspiration!

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


“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.” She loves sharing the big world of science with little folks, and has developed both the STEAM and Elementary Science Olympiad Programs at Hess. She has also taught a variety of college classes in philosophy and world religions. 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’s degree in science and a master’s degree in religious studies. Her academic pursuits are balanced by 28 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 Jesse; my 4th grade teacher. She was my introduction to fabulous literature such as Alice in Wonderland, A Wrinkle in Time, and Superfudge. She brought characters to life and imbedded a love for language in her students.”

Julie Siler M.Ed.,CCC-SLP is a licensed speech language pathologist that has been serving a pediatric population in Atlanta for more than thirteen 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. She has contracted with multiple private schools in the Atlanta area, navigating the IEP process within the public school and advocating for the special needs population within the private school setting. Julie has been trained extensively in Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder’s D.I.R./Floortime model, various oral motor programs including PROMPT, and multiple receptive/expressive language techniques essential for students with learning differences. She lives with her husband Steve and three children in Decatur, GA. Amity Stevens, MS, OTR/L

Amity Stevens, MS

“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.