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Leadership Council

 

Name

Agency/Organization

Amy Atkinson 1

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Amy Atkinson is the Executive Director of the Virginia General Assembly’s Commission on Youth, which is charged with providing study and recommendations on a variety of issues impacting youth and their families. Prior to working for the Commission, Amy worked for the Department of Medical Assistance Services and the Department of Juvenile Justice. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Mary Washington and earned a Master of Public Administration from VCU. A native of Abingdon, Amy now lives in Mechanicsville with her husband and three children.

Mark Emery

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Mark Emery is Administrator for After-School Programs for Fairfax County Public Schools overseeing the development and implementation of after-school programs in 27 middle schools. He is Chair of the Leadership Council of VPOST, former Board Member of the Fairfax Partnership for Youth and the Fairfax County Boys’ and Girls’ Club. He was Director of Extended Learning and Development for the Council of Chief State School Officers and served as Chair of Fairfax County School Board. Dr. Emery retired from Naval Research Laboratory after 25 years as a Research Physicist and holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Iowa.  

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James Madison University

Kathy Gillikin

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Gillikin has worked in the areas of education and training for more than 32 years. She has a B.S. degree in early childhood education from Messiah College, and an M.Ed. degree in adult education/human resource development from Virginia Commonwealth University. Kathy is currently the Quality Child Care Program Manager in the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Development at the Virginia Department of Social Services. Kathy works on quality and professional development initiatives for Virginia’s child care workforce. She coaches youth basketball and soccer in her spare time.

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Rainbow Station, Inc.

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Voices of Virginia's Children

Marsha Granderson

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Marsha Granderson is an education specialist for the ESEA Title IV, Part B, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program at the Virginia Department of Education.  She serves as the liaison between the Department and the U. S. Department of Education and is on the Leadership Council for the Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time.  Marsha manages 21st CCLC grants statewide that support opportunities for academic enrichment during non-school hours for children, particularly those who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools.  These grants are awarded to school divisions, nonprofit, city, or county government agencies, community and faith based organizations, and institutions of higher education.  Marsha received her Bachelor of Science in Physics from Virginia State University.  Marsha is an avid Dr. Who fan.

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Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth

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Rebekah Holbrook, M.A. has more than a decade of experience in the education field, working to close the achievement gap for low-income children. Prior to her work at United Way, Rebekah served as Director of Programs for Virginia Mentoring Partnership where she launched Virginia’s first continuous improvement process for youth mentoring programs. Currently, she is the Director of Community Impact: Education, at United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg, where she manages a $1.8 million portfolio of grants to programs serving children, youth, and families. In her role at United Way, she co-manages the Richmond Youth Program Quality Intervention, convenes the Literacy Collaborative Action Network and leads the Greater Richmond Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. She has her bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, a master’s degree in Writing & Rhetoric from VCU, and is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher.

Kathy Johnson

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Kathryn Johnson is the Executive Director of Alternatives, Inc., a nationally recognized nonprofit youth development organization located in Hampton, VA. Alternatives is nationally recognized as a leading organization in the areas of collaborative community initiatives, youth development, training and curriculum development, and youth civic engagement. Alternatives serves as the VPOST fiscal sponsor and also provides staff support to recruit, train, and supervise high school students who serve as Youth Ambassadors.  In 2013 Kathy was named Virginia’s Champion for Quality Afterschool by the National Afterschool Alliance and is a graduate of the 2015 White-Riley-Petersen Policy Fellowship at Furman University.

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Jonathan Melendez 2

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Jonathan has been working with youth and teens for over 10 years. He started off working with Fairfax County's Teen Services Division and was a regional Teen Center manager. Currently, Jonathan is a Prevention Coordination Specialist for Fairfax County's Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. His current focus is with Youth and Teens, with a particular focus on coordinating Out of School Time programs, both public and private, throughout the county. Jonathan holds a History degree from Virginia Tech. Fun Fact: Jonathan has been a DJ since high school and can still be found behind the turntables in his spare time.

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Roberta Newman is the President of Newroads Consulting, a division of Cape Charles Development Company. She is a nationally recognized, trainer, speaker, consultant, and creator of many resources for afterschool staff. Holding a Master’s Degree in Music Education, Roberta has been a teacher and school administrator at all levels, directed the SACC program in Fairfax County, developed credentialing systems and training for the Department of Defense and several states, and developed 36 online training modules for afterschool staff in partnership with CypherWorx, a leader in online education for non-profit organizations. Currently, Roberta serves as Coordinator for Smart Beginnings Eastern Shore and as President of the Eastern Shore Community College Foundation. Fun Fact: Roberta is a fanatical Maryland Terrapins Fan – FEAR THE TURTLE!

 

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Virginia Commonwealth University, Center for School-Community Collaboration

Duane Sergent

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Prior to retiring from the Virginia DOE as state coordinator for Title IV-B 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant, Duane’s career spanned 35 years in teaching and public serviceHe consults on the U.S. Department of Education (ED) 21st CCLC re-design of the national data collection system, serving as liaison to ED, State Education Agencies, and other stakeholders. He has given numerous presentations on education/wellness topics in Arizona, California, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Texas, and Virginia. He has consulted for Washington, DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Virginia, and West Virginia Departments of Education.

 

 

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Elizabeth Taylor

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Elizabeth Taylor is a YMCA Professional with over 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She received her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Mary Washington. She is passionate about providing youth opportunities to reach their potential and goals. She loves the great outdoors and enjoying time with her husband and daughters.

Kimberly Taylor

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Kimberly Taylor has been in the Early Child Development Field for over 25 years in the position of Elementary Services Coordinator, Assistant Director, Director, Executive Director and Regional Manager. Kimberly has a passion for children and their families and believes that all families deserve high quality care.  Before going into Early Education, Kimberly was in the United Stated Army as a Military Police after which she obtained her BS in Criminal Justice.  Most recently Kimberly has started her own Early Education Consulting Firm that partners with Childcare Centers to support and coach Directors, and in some cases recruit and train new directors.  A high quality center begins with a high quality Director.  Kimberly is married to Cleveland, has one son Courtney, and two grandsons, Kristian 7 and Greyson 3.