Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, Stepping Stones has partnered with the Marcus Center for Autism in Atlanta to offer an ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) program for children with Autism. We are the first private school to enter this partnership with Marcus. This ABA program is the only research based program to have proven results in improving the outcomes of students who are diagnosed with Autism.
We enter this school year with excitement as we examine ways to improve our programming and respond to the needs of our students and parents. We hold a three-star accreditation by Quality Rated under Bright From the Start, a SACS accreditation, and an AdvancEd accreditation. Every class from 6 weeks to 14 years old is taught by a college degree teacher, which makes us unique and confirms our commitment to providing the best education to our students.
If you have any questions at all please feel free to contact us.
Donna Parks has her Bachelor of Science in Special Education MR, Masters of Special Education (Specific Learning Disabilities, Inter-related and Emotional Behavior Disorders) from Georgia College. She earned her Specialist in Special Education from Georgia State University and Leadership Add-on from West Georgia College. Donna retired from the Griffin-Spalding County School System after 40 years. Donna has 2 children, Chris and his wife Kara and a daughter, Beth. She also has 1 grandson, Wesley and another one on the way. She is a member of First Baptist Church of Griffin, CERT member and has served in serval leadership roles in our community. Donna is committed to continue the vision of our founders some 27 years ago, “to educate children, challenging each child to reach his/her fullest potential academically, physically and emotionally”.
Originally from Alabama, Ken attended Auburn University earned his Bachelor of Science degree and later he earned Masters and ED.S. in Administration and Supervision from University of West Georgia. He retired from Griffin-Spalding County School System after 37 years of service. Ken lives in Griffin with his wife Vicki and they have 3 children and 1 grandchild. He enjoys spending time with his family, friends. Ken is a member of the broadcast team for the Spalding Jaguars on WKEU and he is a member of First Baptist Church Griffin. He is excited to be the new Program Director at Stepping Stones and looks forward to working with the staff and the students.
Administrative Assistant/Public Relations
Mary Neal resides in Williamson, GA with her family. Mary is a graduate of Pike County High School. She has been in the child care profession for many years and was the owner operator of Mary’s Child Care for 3 years. She furthered her education at Southern Crescent earning a diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education. Mary was initially hired by Stepping Stones as a paraprofessional. While serving in that position she furthered her education by attending Kaplan University and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology/Child Development. She is also a member of The National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Mary is the lead teacher of the 6 to 8 academy students.
Ginger Parker began her association with Stepping Stones in 2002. Ginger graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor of Science in Speech/Public Relations. She worked in marketing and advertising until the birth of her daughter, a daughter with Down Syndrome. Realizing that early intervention is the key to a successful future for children with developmental delays, Ginger enrolled her daughter in Special Needs Pre-K, which she attended for six years. In addition to her daughter, Ginger has two sons.Ginger’s experiences with being a mom and the journey of having a special needs child sparked her interest in education. Prior to working at Stepping Stones, she worked in both the public and private school setting. Ginger taught two and three-yearold at Griffin FUMC preschool. She has also worked for the Griffin Spalding County School System in several capacities. She taught in a special needs preschool classroom, a BD classroom for third, fourth, and fifth graders, in a regular education pre-k class, and served as a system wide teacher for hearing impaired students. Ginger has been in education field for over 20 years. Ginger enjoys working with the preschool age children the most and believes that early intervention is the key to a successful future.She now has two wonderful “daughter-in-loves” and a precious granddaughter born in July 2017. She looks forward to being a “Nana” and spending many hours reading to her grandchildren.
Connie Simpson is now in her ninth year at Stepping Stones. She has a daughter that will be entering college. Connie previously worked as a substitute teacher and an after-school program worker at Jackson Road Elementary. Connie has worked in the two-year-old and four-year-old classrooms at Stepping Stones before working in the infant room. She has been in the infant room for the past five years and is now the lead teacher. She is currently attending Southern Crescent to obtain a degree in Early Childhood Development. Connie enjoys working with babies and helping them to get a head start in life.
Jenna Stanfield has been teaching at Stepping Stones for the past 14 years. She graduated from Valdosta State University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She then went on to continue her education and graduated from Walden University with a Master's degree in Early Childhood Reading and Literacy in 2005. Since then she has also received an add on certification in Interrelated Special Education for grades Pre-K-12. Jenna has always had a love for teaching and children. She has a special place in her heart for Stepping Stones and the amazing children that we have here. Jenna has been the Special Education teacher for the Lottery Funded Pre-K Inclusion classroom for 3 years.
Lee Shepard has her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Human Services from Clayton State University. She is starting her ninth year at Stepping Stones. Prior to Stepping Stones, she spent three years teaching at St. George's Episcopal School. Lee is the lead teacher in our Marcus Model Classroom. She works closely with Marcus Autism Center to provide ABA to our children with ASD. Lee has presented information about the classroom to a variety of different clubs and civic organizations in our area. Lee's 2 children graduated from our preschool program at Stepping Stones. Lee is a lifelong resident of Griffin, and enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
Savannah Shockley is the lead teacher in our 1-year old classroom. This is her fourth year at Stepping Stones. She has worked in preschool rooms of all ages. She is working towards a degree in Early Childhood Education, as her passion lies with younger children. Savannah has an amazing five-year-old daughter in kindergarten. Savannah believes learning and love go together and she is proud to be a part of the meaningful education experience at Stepping Stones.
Leisa Guider has been at Stepping Stones for 12 years. While serving our students, she furthered her education by attending Southern Crescent, earning a diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education. She had discovered that her passion and purpose in to teach children. Lesia now is the lead teacher in our 3-year-old class. She is currently enrolled at Kaplan University earning her Bachelor of Science Early Childhood Education Administration. She strongly believes teaching is a profession that allows her to be creative and work with a variety of children. Each day is a new day in her classroom to work with children along with their families.
Brittany Hayes started her career with children at the age of 15 at Mega-Maze in Griffin, GA. She continued to pursue her love for children by obtaining her teaching degree at Gordon State College in 2015 by earning a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with a dual seal in Special Education. She spent her first year at Moreland Road Elementary teaching second grade. She welcomed her first child, a little girl in April 2016. She is now the lead teacher in our Lottery Funded Pre-K Inclusion classroom. She enjoys being a mommy, wife and now a Pre-K teacher.
Bonnie Rathert is originally from a small town in Illinois, however, her journey in life lead her and her family to Georgia. She didn’t know what career choice she wanted to explore. She decided to apply for a teaching position in the special needs classroom. Bonnie realized the passion and love she had for these children was the place she needed to be for both her and the children. Her passion is to help them reach their unique potential, feel loved and feel safe. She has 2 TCC’s and a diploma in Early Childhood Education and is always looking for ways to further her education and knowledge. She has been teaching special needs children for 13 years and 4 of those years have been at Stepping Stones. Bonnie is one of our lead teachers in the academy.
Jaimie Allen currently serves as the teacher in the Academy 2 room that services kids 9-11-year olds. Jaimie earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Gordon State College in 2014. She is certified in Early Childhood Education, Special Education General Curriculum as well as Special Education Adapted Curriculum. Jaimie has been with Stepping Stones ever since her career began, started in the Pre-K room and then moving to the academy. Jaimie has always had a desire and a love for working with kids with disabilities. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending days with her family and attending sports events. Jaimie states that “Stepping Stones is the place she always dreamed of working at and could not be more excited to be part of our Stepping Stones Family.
Katina Madden began working at Stepping Stones as a paraprofessional for 11 years. This is her first year as a lead teacher in our 11-14 year old class. She has earned a diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education from Southern Crescent Technical College. While assisting our students, Katina went to continue her education and graduated from Argosy University College of Arts and Sciences with a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescence Psychology in 2016. Children hold a special place in her heart and she respects each child’s uniqueness.