Our Team

Carla Bass

Teaching Assistant

My Story
I am from Raleigh, North Carolina. I graduated from Sanderson High School in 1975.  My first interest in special needs was when I was 15 and worked in summer camp for children with special needs in Southern pines.

My Impact
I came to Frankie Lemmon as a teacher assistant in 2000. I collaborate, communicate, and coordinate with the lead teacher to provide a good learning environment for our special friends. I love the children and family partnership and community we have at Frankie Lemmon. 

Cally Boyer 

Lead Teacher- 4 year old inclusion class

My Story
I am from Montgomery Alabama and have been living in Birmingham, Alabama for the last 11 years until I moved to Raleigh in May. I attended Samford University for both my Bachelors and Masters degrees and have been teaching for the last 6 years. My favorite hobby is traveling and trying new things.

My Impact
My passion is creating a fun way for children to grow, develop, learn, and explore. The best part about my job is watching children succeed and helping them celebrate these milestones. Every child is capable of success and I feel blessed each day that I am able to facilitate learning. 

Debby Brooks

Office Administrator


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 10 years Office Administrator 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.

Suzann Flory

Lead teacher in the 4 year old classroom 

My Story
I grew up in Wilmington, NC where my parents currently live and I visit often! I moved to Raleigh when I started attending Meredith College in 2009. On any given Saturday during the Fall you will find me cheering on my favorite boys at Carter Finley. I love going home during the summer and spending time on my family's boat enjoying the salty air. I received my Bachelors of Science Degree in Child Development from Meredith College and am currently working on a Masters Degree in Special Education and B-K licensure. I have been at Frankie Lemmon for one year as the 4 year old teacher.

My Impact
I strive everyday to laugh and have fun while teaching children to develop, grow, learn and succeed to their fullest potential in a stimulating and nurturing learning environment where everyone feels welcomed.

Sharon Hanvey

Speech and Language Pathologist

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. 

Angie Himmel

Lead Teacher in the 3-year-old inclusion classroom

My Story
I have lived in NC all my life and grew up in Roanoke Rapids, NC. I graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC with a BA in Psychology and Child Development with a K-6 teaching degree. I live between Oxford and Franklinton on farmland with my husband and 2 teenagers plus my Australian Labradoodle. I like to work in the yard and travel to new places.

My Impact
With my 20 years of experience teaching children and working with families in a range of educational settings, I look forward to sharing different approaches and ways to help children build a solid social and emotional foundation. I have found that the staff at Frankie Lemmon are experts at what they do to help each child reach their potential! I am excited to be part of this team!!!

  Rachael Kellums

Teaching Assistant in the 4-year-old self-contained classroom

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.


Ashley Kate Kesler 

Lead Teacher in the 3 year-old classroom

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.

Kristen Meacham

Teaching Assistant for the 3-year-old Inclusion Classroom

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.

Jaimie Mewborn

Lead Teacher in the 5 year old classroom

My Story
My name is Jaimie Mewborn 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! I have the most amazing assistant and she and I plus our 10 little precious ones make up the FABULOUS fives. 

Nichole Miller

Inclusion Support Specialist

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.

Leanna Pai 

Teaching Assistant for the 3 year old self-contained class 

My Story

I was born in Livingston, New Jersey but grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. I moved to Raleigh to attend Meredith College and I have been here ever since. I was a Studio Art major and Psychology minor and I worked with children with autism at the Meredith Autism Program. Outside of work I love to paint and be with friends and family. Life is better together! I am currently attending Lesley University for a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Art Therapy specialization.

My Impact
I work with our students on the goals their teachers and families set for them. It has been a joy to celebrate our students' success with them. Seeing their growth makes everyday worth it. I'm looking forward to growing with our students as we take on new challenges.

 Ferali Puerta 

Lead Teacher for the 4-year-old Inclusion Class 

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.

Caroline Schmidt 

Program Coordinator

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.

Rebecca Smith 

Executive Director

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 have been in my current position since 2007.

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.

Kelsey Stevens 

Lead Teacher in the 3 year old classroom

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 2015-2016 school year will be my third 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! 

Taylor Sullivan 

Teacher Assistant for the 4 year old inclusion classroom

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.

Dawn VanNatta

Occupational Therapist

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. 


Jeanine White

Teacher Assistant for the 4 year old class

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.


Frankie Lemmon Foundation

Tiffany Boggs Langhi

Triangle Wine Experience Director

My Story
Virginia native and graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. Following a number of years spent working in the legal arena and software industry, I began my journey in the wine world in 1999. It has been a pleasure working with wine pioneers whose efforts helped raise the bar for all American winemakers and brought California to the forefront of the international wine community. Many great things happened for me in 2010 - the marriage to my husband, Joe Langhi, in February and the position at the Frankie Lemmon Foundation in July. 

My Impact
Committed to the production of excellence, I am honored to organize and preserve the Triangle Wine Experience annual wine and food event, which continues to raise over a million dollars each year for the children of the Frankie Lemmon School.  

Barbara Cooke

Foundation Assistant

My Story
I was born in Poland, raised in Brooklyn, New York and have lived in New Jersey, Boston, and New Hampshire before moving to Raleigh five years ago with my husband and family. I am a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Law and Justice in New York City. I enjoy traveling, cooking, spin, and spending time with my family.

My Impact
I support all administrative, fundraising, and events efforts to ensure donors and supporters a have smooth and wonderful experience.

Lenora Hinton Evans 

Executive Director

My Story
Native North Carolinian, born in Dunn and have lived in Raleigh most of my life.  I began my professional career in Nursing and after 10 years, joined the Presidential Advance teams of both Bob & Elizabeth Dole, followed by my own political foray into politics by two runs for the NC Legislature. 

My Impact
All this prepared me for a treasured opportunity to direct the work of the Frankie Lemmon Foundation (FLF), which is the FUNdraising arm of the Frankie Lemmon School (FLS).  My fundraising teeth were cut in the political arena, but my heart remains tied to the critical work done for the children and families of FLS.

Ken Place 

Director of Wine and Operations - Triangle Wine Experience

My Story
I am a former Senior Executive with Accenture, who has turned his passion for wine collecting into a career helping others. I was born in Nicaragua and am bilingual in both English and Spanish.  I studied at Davidson College and have lived in North Carolina for the past 32 years. 

My Impact
I volunteered with TWE for the past two years, helping to organize the wine auction.  Last year, I helped automate the silent auctions by using cellular technology to bid on auction lots. 

Kristen Steffen 

Finance Director

My Story
I am a North Carolina native, born in Rutherfordton, and also a UNC-Chapel Hill alum. I started working for Frankie Lemmon in 2007. I have been a Certified Public Accountant for 16 years working in nonprofit, corporate & public accounting in the areas of Accounting, Tax & Audit. I received her master’s degree in Accountancy from UNC-Wilmington. I enjoy running, reading, and spending time with my kids and pets. 

My Impact
I have been in corporate finance for most of my career and am so grateful I made the change to the nonprofit sector. I love to coming to work everyday using my finance background to support the children at FLS! 

Talina Velazquez 

Director of Annual Campaign & Communications

My story
Born in Queretaro, Mexico, raised in North Carolina. I graduated from Queens University of Charlotte with a double major in Sociology and International Studies. I continued my studies at UNC Charlotte where I got my master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus in nonprofit management. I enjoy spending time with my loved ones (especially my chubby pug, Roxy), running, reading, and traveling.

My Impact
I spread the word about the need in our community for Frankie Lemmon’s life-changing services for children with special needs and promote volunteer and donor engagement.