WHO WE ARE

OUR MISSION

The Frankie Lemmon School and Developmental Center provides life-changing education and support that leads to successful participation in family and community life and achievement of the child’s full potential.

OUR VISION

To become a recognized model for life-changing education and support, while serving an increasing number of children and their families. We will achieve our vision through expansion of the Frankie Lemmon School and Developmental Center, continued advancement of our programs, and increased collaboration with the community and like-minded partners.

OUR STORY

The school’s namesake, Frankie Lemmon, youngest son of Frank and Georgia Lemmon, was born with Down syndrome in the 1960’s. When Frankie became of age to begin kindergarten, there was no school in the area that would accept children with special education needs. To fill this void, Frankie’s father, minister of the Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church, and the congregation united with the community to create the Hudson Memorial Kindergarten for Mentally Retarded Children. The school, which began with three children in 1965, was re-named the Frankie Lemmon Memorial Preschool a few years later following Frankie’s death.

Having outgrown the space at the Hudson Memorial Church, the Hayes Barton Baptist Church congregation offered to house the school free of charge within its facility. The Frankie Lemmon School has benefited from the generosity of both congregations but continues to operate independently of any church or religious affiliations. In the 1980’s the North Carolina Department of Education began contracting with schools such as Frankie Lemmon to provide education to both preschool and kindergarten aged children with special needs. Subsequently the school’s name was amended to Frankie Lemmon School and Developmental Center.

In 2015, Frankie Lemmon School got its own facility where in three years, 125 students will be able to benefit from Frankie Lemmon’s life-changing education and services. The classroom ratios are smaller than in traditional preschool programs, allowing for every student to receive an education specific to their needs.

In 2016, Frankie Lemmon School expanded its services to offer inclusive classrooms educating children with and without disabilities. In our inclusive classrooms, children with and without disabilities participate together in a setting that provides rich language models and opportunities for developing social skills within a diverse community.

MEET THE SCHOOL TEAM

We would not be here with our our amazing team.  They are the heart of the school and we are so thankful to have each and every one of them.

REBECCA SMITH

Director
rebecca@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I was born in Kinston, North Carolina and moved to Raleigh in 1999 to attend Meredith College. I currently live in Smithfield with my husband Brian and and two sons Chandler and Brice. We enjoy going to the lake and the beach as well as watching UNC Basketball. I have a BA in Psychology, Minor in Child Development, a Birth-Kindergarten Teaching License from Meredith College, and Masters of Education degree in Birth-Kindergarten from East Carolina University. I began my career at Frankie Lemmon School in 2000 and became director 2015.

My Impact

I love knowing that the work I do each day is making a difference in the lives of the families we serve. My goal is to provide the organization leadership and to support all the staff and our families to ensure that we are maximizing the potential of every student we serve.

CAROLINE SCHMIDT

Assistant Director
caroline@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I have lived in Raleigh, NC all my life and attended Meredith College. I enjoy spending time with my husband and two daughters as well as running. I am the Program Coordinator and hold a degree in Child Development as well as a Birth-Kindergarten License. I have been at Frankie Lemmon School for eight years where I spent the first six years as a teacher in the three-year-old classroom.

My Impact

I provide supervision and consultation to all teaching staff to ensure successful teaching plans and implementation of classroom materials and techniques. I manage the children’s medical forms, prescriptions and any other health concerns. My key responsibility centers around our student’s Individualized Educational Plans and protecting the needs of our students. Frankie Lemmon School is well respected in our community and I am honored to be a part of the services that we provide our families.

NICHOLE MILLER

Inclusion Support Specialist
nichole@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I grew up in Southern California enjoying family, friends, and lots of
time at the beach. I relocated to North Carolina to
finish my undergraduate degree and obtain a teaching license from Meredith College. My favorite way to spend time is being mama – playing with my three young boys. I have a bachelor’s degree in child development, a Birth-Kindergarten teaching license, and a master’s in special education with a focus on low incidence disabilities. I am also certified in autism and deaf-blindness. I have been with Frankie Lemmon School for three years.

My Impact

Through collaboration with families, teachers, therapists, staff and community resources I support young children with special needs to develop skills and abilities to learn, grow, and play and supports families to advocate for and develop skills to support their child for a positive school experience.

DEBBY BROOKS

Office Administrator
debby@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am a Carolina girl, born and raised. I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling. I have been the Office Administrator at Frankie Lemmon for 12 years and prior to that I worked as an afternoon assistant.

My Impact

I have a special and unique position as a staff member, notably because I am the parent of a former student. I love taking care of the staff and the office. My biggest joy is supporting our families because I have walked in their shoes.

SHARON HANVEY

Speech and Language Pathologist
sharon@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I have a Master’s degree from the University of Alabama and have been a speech language pathologist for 32 years. This is my 10th year at Frankie Lemmon and I cannot imagine being anywhere else. My husband Jeff and I have two wonderful children, Richard and Courtney and a daughter-in-law, Blaire. When away from work, Sharon likes to take quilting classes, try different crafts, read, and travel.

My Impact

I love working with all of our children and it is my goal to help them learn to communicate their thoughts and needs in the very best way possible for them. This may be through the use of sign language, gestures, pictures symbols, speech generating devices, or speech.

DAWN VANNATTA

Occupational Therapist
dawn@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am a licensed and registered occupational therapist. I received my B.S. degree in occupational therapy from Towson University, MD, and completed my Advanced Master of Science in Occupational Therapy with a pediatric concentration through A.T. Still University, AZ. I have 20 years of pediatric experience in a variety of settings including early intervention, inclusive pre-school settings, private, public, and charter schools, and private practice in Maryland, North Carolina, and Germany. I enjoy gardening and traveling with my husband and two adult children.

My Impact

I joined the staff at Frankie Lemmon School in August 2015 and my role is to facilitate students’ ability to successfully participate in everyday activities or occupations in the school environment. This includes supporting the development of functional and learning/academic skills including fine and visual motor skills, management of sensory needs, and adaptive or self-care skills in addition to collaborating with teachers, therapists and parents to determine need for supports, adapted materials, and environmental modifications.

TRACY BRIGHT

Kitchen Manager
tracy@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I have a

My Impact

I love working with

JAIMIE KELLY

Lead Teacher
jaimie@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

My name is Jaimie Kelly aka “J” to our little FLS friends. I am from LaGrange, NC and graduated from Meredith College in 2004. I received my Masters from ECU in early childhood special education and most recently completed my National Board certification.

My Impact

My passion is working with young children and making learning fun!

KELSEY STEVENS

Lead Teacher
kelsey@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am originally from Pennsylvania, but have called North Carolina home for 22 years and currently live in Smithfield, NC. I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Meredith College. My favorite hobbies are running, reading, cooking and going to the beach. I received my Bachelors of Science in Child Development from Meredith College in 2011, received my Masters in Arts of Teacher in Special Education from Meredith College in 2012 and am about to finish up my preschool add-on licensure. I started at Frankie Lemmon as a student intern in 2011 and never left! The 2016-2017 school year will be my fourth full year teaching.

My Impact

The best part of being a teacher at FLS is being greeted with smiles, receiving hugs, and experiencing those “ah ha” moments with every child. I strive every day to make my classroom a safe, fun and learning-rich environment for every child. It is such a joy to see children grow and celebrate their accomplishments from the time they enter Frankie Lemmon to the time they leave!

JEANINE WHITE

Teacher Assistant
jeanine@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am born and raised in Raleigh, but my family has roots in Louisiana. I attended UNCG and received a degree in Elementary Education. I am crafty to the core and enjoy all types of creating things, such as making sock monkeys, knitting, and card making.

My Impact

This is my 8th year at Frankie Lemmon. I work on fine motor skills, help the children socialize, and work on self help skills in order to help them achieve their full potential.

ASHLEY KATE KESLER

Lead Teacher
ashleykate@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am from Salisbury, North Carolina, my favorite place in the entire world. Whenever possible, I travel back home and visit my family and friends. I moved to Raleigh in 2011 to attend and run cross country at Meredith College. I enjoy spending time outdoors, running, and being involved in church. I received my Bachelors of Science in Child Development at Meredith College. I am currently pursuing my Birth-Kindergarten License at East Carolina University.

My Impact

I love coming to work everyday knowing that I will be greeted with big smiles and even bigger hugs by all the children at Frankie Lemmon. My impact on the children is knowing that I am their biggest supporter. I love that I can share moments of excitement when a child is able to master something new. I only hope my impact on the children comes close to how much the children are impacting me.

FERALI PUERTA

Lead Teacher
ferali@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I was born in Miami Florida, but I grew up in Caracas, Venezuela. I moved to Raleigh in 2004. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Pedagogical Science, a Birth-Kindergarten and Spanish K-12 teaching license, and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. I have been teaching for the past 12 years in the NC PreK program. I love to travel, learn about different cultures, also spend time with my family and dog.

My Impact

This is my first year at Frankie Lemmon School. I am thrilled to be joining the Frankie Lemmon Family! I’m excited about the opportunity to be part of all children’s early learning and working with their families. My commitment is to create a safe and welcoming environment for all children that will allow them to explore, learn and engage in learning activities that will produce a positive and lasting effect on young children.

SUZANNE HARRELSON

Lead Teacher
suzanne@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I have a

My Impact

I love working with

AMY WRATHER

Lead Teacher
amy@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I have a

My Impact

I love working with

RICKY MCLAMB

Teacher Assistant
ricky@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

My name is Ricky Mclamb but my friends call me Red. I graduated from UNCG. My favorite hobby is spending time walking with my fiancé, Lee and our dog, Leia. I have a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education and have been teaching for 16 years.

My Impact

My impact is not to only teach the children to learn but also learn from the children.

LINDSAY NEILSON

Assistant Teacher
lindsay@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina where I will always call home. After attending Western Carolina to get my Bachelor’s degree, I moved back to the triangle where I met my husband shortly after. We got married in May of 2016 and have lived in Raleigh ever since, along with our puppy who we rescued on our honeymoon in Punta Cana! In my free time I love spending time with family and friends, exercising, making trips to the beach & mountains and volunteering at Gigi’s Playhouse.

My Impact

This will be my second year at Frankie Lemmon and I am so excited to see what the school year has in store. The best part is getting to witness all of the progress that the children make throughout the year. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to help them reach their goals, while celebrating their successes along the way!

RACHAEL KELLUMS

Teacher Assistant
rachael@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am so excited to be joining the Frankie Lemmon Family! I am a graduate of Augustana College with a BA in Sociology with a concentration in Social Welfare. I moved from my hometown of Moline, Illinois to Raleigh two years ago and have enjoyed making friends and integrating myself into the Triangle. Outside of work, I love volunteering with my church and girls nights with my church small group. My boyfriend and I enjoy living a healthy plant-based whole foods lifestyle, experimenting with healthy recipes, working out, and spending time outdoors.

My Impact

I am excited for a new school year to begin and look forward to helping the students work towards their goals and celebrating each milestone. I think there is no greater joy than to see a child learn and grow, and to be excited to come to school.

SHARON HENTZ

Assistant Teacher
sharon@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I grew up in Cary, and then studied dance and education at UNC-Greensboro. Over many years, I’ve worked in Special Education, Specialized Recreation, and Dance Therapy. It is an honor to join the Frankie Lemmon School family.

My Impact

What a remarkable opportunity it is to be able to watch former students grow into adults, and then to meet new families each year. I enjoy what I do, and I look forward to sharing a love for learning with our students.

TAYLOR SULLIVAN

Teacher Assistant
taylor@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am from Wilmington, NC but have lived in Raleigh for over five years now and I love it! I am currently in school at Wake Tech pursuing an associate degree in Early Childhood Education. It is my hope to one day finish my schooling with my B-K license and receive my bachelor’s degree. I received my Early Childhood Credentials during my first semester of college and this is my second year teaching. When I am not at work or in class, I enjoy crafting and traveling.

My Impact

This is my first year at Frankie Lemmon and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this amazing school. It is a passion of mine to see children of all abilities learn and grow, while also interacting with one another. Therefore I am excited to be working within one of the four year old inclusion rooms where I can see this hands on.

KRISTA SMITH

Teacher Assistant
krista@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am from Elkhart, Indiana, where my family lives. I attended Brigham Young University-Idaho, where I got my Bachelors in Child Development with a minor is Sociology. Before moving to North Carolina, I lived in Virginia as a live-in Nanny. This is also where I met my husband. I enjoy going on walks, attending local sporting events and cooking.

My Impact

I am excited to learn and grow with the children in my inclusive classroom. I love seeing the joy on their faces when they succeed and make progress. The smiles and happiness the children bring to the classroom are a blessing to work with.

KRISTEN MEACHAM

Teacher Assistant

kmeacham@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I have lived in North Carolina my entire life! I earned my undergraduate degree in Spanish Languages and Literature from NC State University and am currently pursuing my teaching certification along with an MS in Special Education. I have worked in the field of special needs for over seven years. In my free time I enjoy cooking, traveling and spending time with my boyfriend and our families.

My Impact

The best part about my job is collaborating with the teacher to keep our students successful. It is such a special experience to watch children achieve milestones and their own personal goals. I cherish getting to be a part of the continued success in the development of these young mind.

Learn more about our Foundation Team and our Board Members.

FRANKIE LEMMON SCHOOL &
DEVELOPMENT CENTER

3311 Carl Sandburg Court
Raleigh, NC - 27610
919-821-7436
Open: 7:30am - 5:30pm

FRANKIE LEMMON FOUNDATION

3101 Poplarwood Court
Suite 100
Raleigh, NC - 27604
919-845-8880

 

 

KEEP IN TOUCH!

Want to learn more about ways to volunteer, get involved, or have your child attend Frankie Lemmon School? Are you interested in attending the Triange Wine Experience, the Golf Classic, or learning about all that our foundation does?  Please send us a message.