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 Assistant Director and hold a degree in Child Development as well as a Birth-Kindergarten License. I have been at Frankie Lemmon School since 2007, 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

Program Coordinator
nichole@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I joined the Frankie Lemmon family in 2013 as an inclusion specialist after having taught in preschool classrooms in public and private settings serving children in special education and inclusive settings. I have a bachelors degree in Child Development from Meredith College, a Birth-Kindergarten teaching license, and a masters in Special Education from East Carolina University. My favorite way to spend time is being mama to my three boys, exploring local museums and farms.

My Impact

Through collaboration with families, teachers, therapists, staff and community resources my goal is to support all of our students to develop skills to learn, grow, and play. By supporting our classroom staff to best meet each child’s needs, partnering with parents to advocate for their children, and coordinating the many programs and services our school implements I hope to provide our children with a foundation for a wonderful education and life as they grow.

DEBBY BROOKS

Office Administrator
debby@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling. I have been the Office Administrator at Frankie Lemmon since 2005. Prior to that I worked as a window clerk for the USPS for 16 years.

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 Masters degree from the University of Alabama and have been a speech language pathologist for over 30 years. I joined Frankie Lemmon in 2005 and I cannot imagine being anywhere else. When away from work, I enjoy spending time with my family. I like 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 and completed my Advanced Master of Science in Occupational Therapy with a pediatric concentration through A.T. Still University. I have over 20 years of pediatric experience in a variety of settings including private practice, early intervention, preschool, and private, public, and charter schools. I have lived and worked in PA, MD, FL and Germany and now consider NC to be my forever home. My husband and I love to spend time with our wonderful 2 adult children and daughter-in-law. I enjoy swimming and kayaking at the lake, daily walks with my puppy, and traveling.

My Impact

I was very pleased to join the staff at Frankie Lemmon School in August 2015. My role is to facilitate successful participation in everyday activities or occupations in the school environment. This includes supporting the development of fine motor, visual motor, and self-care skills and management of sensory needs. I collaborate with teachers, therapists and parents to determine need for supports, adapted materials, and environmental modifications. I thoroughly enjoy working with our children and helping them to reach their full potential.

TRACY BRIGHT

Kitchen Manager
tracy@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I began catering lunches for Frankie Lemmon School in 2014 to offer fresh fruits and vegetables in student lunches. After moving to the new location, I joined the school as the Kitchen Manager. I prepare and serve breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack each day following the USDA guidelines as well as incorporating fresh, local, North Carolina produce as part of our Farm to Childcare program.

My Impact

I love supporting the school by cooking healthy, nutritious and appetizing food for our children to eat. I also enjoy the opportunity to support our school by jumping in to help with day to day operations and special events for our school community.

Andy Conlon

Lead Teacher
andy@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I was born in Oklahoma and grew up in a military family, which allowed me to live in a few great places growing up. I lived in Maine and Maryland before moving back to Oklahoma where I graduated from high school. I received my undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education as well as my graduate degree in Special Education from Oklahoma State University. After graduating, I taught special education in Oklahoma for five years. I moved to North Carolina in 2016 and taught first grade for Wake County Public Schools until 2018 when I became a part of the Frankie Lemmon School Family!

My Impact

This is my first year at Frankie Lemmon School, and I am so excited to be a part of the family! I love creating a classroom full of love, security, encouragement, and celebrations of all things large and small.

KELSEY STEVENS

Communications Coordinator
kelsey@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I have called North Carolina home since 1994 and currently live in Smithfield, NC. I enjoy spending time with my husband, son & our black lab Piper. I also enjoy reading, cooking and going to the beach. I have a BS in Child Development & MAT in Special Education from Meredith College along with a preschool add-on license. I have been at Frankie Lemmon School since 2011, where I was a student intern followed by the lead teacher in the 3-year-old classroom.

My Impact

This year I will be stepping away from the classroom and taking on a new position as Communications Coordinator. I will be responsible for providing support to teachers and staff, aiding with website and social/print media development, coordinating and supporting volunteers and interns and coordinating school announcements and activities throughout the school year. I am looking forward to serving the children, parents, staff and volunteers in this new role.

JEANINE WHITE

Lead Teacher
jeanine@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I was born and raised in Raleigh. In 2007 I graduated from UNC-Greensboro with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. I will complete my Lateral Entry Birth through Kindergarten teaching license in the spring of 2019! I have a little boy who keeps me busy when I am not at Frankie Lemmon. I have been at Frankie Lemmon since 2008, when I started as a PE teacher through Raleigh Parks and Recreation. I began as teacher assistant and learned so much! I began as a lead teacher in 2017 and continue to learn from other staff and students each year.

My Impact

I strive to make an environment in my classroom that is accepting and encouraging of each child and their individual needs. I teach kindness and compassion, as well as asserting their needs and wants throughout the day. I want the students in my class to love coming to school and so very much enjoy seeing how their grow throughout their years at FLS.

ASHLEY KATE KESLER

Lead Teacher
ashleykate@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am originally from Salisbury, North Carolina and have lived in Raleigh since 2011. I attended Meredith College where I received my Child Development degree. I have worked at Frankie Lemmon School for 4 years now and call FLS home. I love spending time with family, friends, and my soon to be husband. I enjoy running, riding bikes, the outdoors, and being involved in church.

My Impact

I love coming to work every day 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 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, and also spend time with my family and dog. I joined Frankie Lemmon School in 2016.

My Impact

My passion is to teach young children. The highlights of my days at FLS are when I see a child’s eyes light up when they learn/try something new. 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.

SUZANNAH HARRELSON

Lead Teacher
suzannah@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I was born and raised in Shallotte, North Carolina and moved to Raleigh when I began school at Meredith College in 2009. While at Meredith I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development with a Birth through Kindergarten teaching license. When I am not in the classroom I enjoy working out, shopping, and spending time at the beach. I have been teaching for 6 years, and joined Frankie Lemmon School in 2017.

My Impact

Throughout my years of teaching I have worked in inclusive classrooms and love to see children of all abilities interact with one another and learn from one another. I strive to create a safe learning environment where all children feel comfortable and ready to learn each day. It is a joy of mine to see the progress the children make throughout the school year!

AMY WRATHER

Lead Teacher
amy@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I grew up in Greensboro, NC and received my undergraduate degree and a birth-kindergarten teaching license from UNC-Greensboro. I am currently working on my Masters of Education at UNC-Chapel Hill. I enjoy reading, yoga, art, and thoroughly spoiling my cat in my free time!

My Impact

I believe that children learn best when they feel safe and loved, and my first priority as a teacher is for my students to know how loved they are. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to love all the sweet students at Frankie Lemmon!

RICKY MCLAMB

Teacher Assistant
ricky@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am from Clinton, North Carolina. My name is Ricky, but my friends call me Red. I have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from UNCG and have been teaching for over 18 years. I am currently pursuing my Birth-Kindergarten License at North Carolina Central University. My favorite hobby is spending time walking with my wife and our dog, Leia. I joined Frankie Lemmon School in 2016.

My Impact

Each school year brings new people into my life. These are the people that make it all worthwhile; each one a unique personality with different attitudes and ways of thinking, bursting with possibilities for the future. The relationships I can form with young children and their families are quite wonderful and can help maximize their learning.

LINDSEY NIELSEN

Assistant Teacher
lnielsen@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina which 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. We were married in May of 2016 and are now living in Clayton, along with our dog that 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

I began working at Frankie Lemmon School in 2016 as part-time support staff, and soon moved on to be a teacher assistant. 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 grateful to be a part of the Frankie Lemmon Family! I have been at Frankie Lemmon School since August 2016. I am a graduate of Augustana College with a BA in Sociology with a concentration in Social Welfare. I am looking forward to my next steps of pursuing my Birth-Kindergarten teaching license. I moved from my hometown of Moline, Illinois to Raleigh in 2014 and have enjoyed making friends and integrating myself into the Triangle. Outside of work, I love being involved with my church, experimenting with whole foods plant-based recipes, working out, and spending time outdoors.

My Impact

I 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
shentz@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 have an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Wake Tech, as well as currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree and BK licensure online at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I received my Early Childhood Credentials during my first semester of college and this is my third year teaching at Frankie Lemmon. When I am not at work or in class, I enjoy crafting, spending time with my friends and family, playing with my animals and traveling.

My Impact

I joined Frankie Lemmon School in 2016 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. I am excited to be working in one of the inclusion classrooms where I can see this hands-on.

SYDNEY ESPY

Teacher Assistant
sydney@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am originally from Syracuse, NY but I have lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 1999, and I am proud to call the Carolinas my home. I moved to Raleigh in 2014 where I earned a B.S Degree in Child Development at Meredith College in the spring of 2018.
As a student at Meredith I found great satisfaction in the many activities and the rich traditions that Meredith is known for. In my free time I enjoy; painting, being involved in my church community, and doing outdoor activities like rollerblading!

My Impact

For my student teaching internship in the spring of 2018 I had the wonderful experience of working in a 3-year-old classroom at Frankie Lemmon. What I enjoyed most about that role was having the opportunity to get to know each little person individually, which informed me on how to best guide them toward success. Now I am thrilled to be in the classroom as a teacher, and to see them learn and grow throughout the entire school year!

KRISTEN MEACHAM

Teacher Assistant
kmeacham@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I was born & raised in the foothills of North Carolina, and moved to the RDU area to attend college. I recently completed a Masters in Special Education through the University of North Dakota. I met my husband while studying undergrad at NC State, and we were married in April 2018. In my free time, I enjoy watching movies (especially at the Alamo Drafthouse), cooking, and spending time with friends, family and my two adorable cats.

My Impact

I joined FLS in 2016 and right away could see what an amazing place it is! It is such an incredible experience to watch children develop and grow as they achieve their personal goals and milestones. I am looking forward to celebrating student successes during another great year at Frankie Lemmon!

FRANCES HARRIS

Lead Teacher
frances@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. I received my undergraduate degree in Art History from the College of Charleston and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Auburn University. I am currently pursuing my birth-kindergarten license. I have lived in Charleston, Washington D. C., Charlotte and now Raleigh. I am excited to call Raleigh my new home. When I am not in the classroom I enjoy yoga, painting, reading a good book and spending time with friends and family.

My Impact

I am so excited to be working at Frankie Lemmon this school year. I cannot wait to create a classroom where children feel secure, loved, motivated and encouraged to learn and try new things. I am also excited to work collaboratively with families to support their children. I love to celebrate every success a child has no matter how small!

BROOKE DESLAURIERS

Teacher Assistant
brooke@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I was born in Burlington, Vermont, but grew up in Waxhaw, North Carolina. I earned an Associates in Arts Degree at Wake Technical Community College (WTCC) and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology at NC State University. Currently, I am pursuing an additional Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at WTCC. I have been involved with children for more than nine years and became a member of the Frankie Lemmon School family last fall.

My Impact

I look forward to continuing my journey at Frankie Lemmon School. It is my honor to be a teacher assistant in an inclusive classroom. I am eager to positively impact the children by helping them believe in their ability to reach their highest potential.

SARAH MANNING

Teacher Assistant
sarah@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I am originally from Lititz, Pennsylvania and just moved to the Raleigh area in August. I enjoy being active, traveling and spending time with my family. I received my degree in Early Education and Special Education at West Chester University in PA. For four years, I taught a reverse mainstream classroom in the Lancaster area where I fell in love with special education!

My Impact

I believe that as educators we have the opportunity to create a positive, memorable experience for both students and families at this early stage of schooling. I am looking forward to engaging in new and exciting learning opportunities as well as getting to know the students and families at the Frankie Lemmon School.

KRISTA SMITH

Lead Teacher
krista@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I have worked at Frankie Lemmon since 2016. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development with a minor in Sociology from BYU. I have been married for 2 years and have a beautiful baby girl named Hadleigh who was born in April 2018. I have previously worked in a daycare setting and as a nanny prior to joining the Frankie Lemmon family. I spend a lot of my free time working with my husband on our Etsy business. Together, we build wooden home décor and furniture. I also enjoy cooking, shopping, and spending time by the water.

My Impact

Being a part of the Frankie Lemmon family is such a wonderful experience. I love watching the children grow throughout the school year. Seeing their faces light up when they have achieved a new task is so special. It is such a remarkable organization where you can see the impact you make every day.

KATIE ROSANIA

Teacher Assistant
katie@frankielemmonschool.org

My Story

I was born and raised in Boston and moved to the Triangle in 2014 with my husband and two boys ages 5 and 6 (who are now 9 and 10).  I have dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Human Development & Family Studies and Special Education as well as a Master of Education degree in Special Education.  While in Boston, I worked as a Developmental Educator in Early Intervention before starting my family.  I have been at Frankie Lemmon since Spring of 2015.  While not at work, I enjoy going to the beach, spending time outdoors with my family and dog Annie and traveling during the summer.

My Impact

I feel blessed to be part of each child’s and family’s early educational experience. I am excited to support them as they grow and develop new skills and celebrate every milestone along the way!

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.