Stepping Stones
Educational Therapy Center


Passion. Experience. Diligence.


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.



Executive director

Donna Parks




Program Director

Ken Bozeman



Tina Venus

Originally from Mississippi, where she obtained both a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education and a Master of Arts degree in English from Mississippi State University. After moving to Georgia, she completed additional graduate studies in ESOL. Tina has experience working with students from various backgrounds and age groups, most recently at Southern Crescent Technical College. She first became acquainted with Stepping Stones when her son came here for therapy with Rainbow Rehab and attended out first lottery-funded inclusion Pre-K class. Nothing gives her greater pleasure than empowering students to reach their academic goals. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and an assortment of pets.



Mary Neal

Has been in the child care profession for many years and was the owner and 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. She enjoys working with children and has an eagerness to learn more about them. Stepping Stones makes it possible for teachers to continue their learning process through training and educational classes.




Ginger Parker

Began her association with Stepping Stones in 2002. She 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 first 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 a special needs preschool, which she attended for six years. In addition to her daughter, Ginger is also a proud mom of 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, Ginger worked in both private and public school settings in several capacities.  Ginger has been in the education field for over 20 years. She most enjoys working with the preschool age children and believes that early intervention is the key to a successful future.


Connie Simpson

Coming into her eighth year at Stepping Stones. She has a daughter that will be in the twelfth grade at Spalding High. She 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 four 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 Rogers.jpg


Jenna Rogers

Has been teaching at Stepping Stones for the past 11 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 likes to say that she has been "working" for Stepping Stones off and on since she volunteered at the first school on Solomon Street when she was in middle school.


Lee Shepard

Has her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and Human Services from Clayton State University. She is starting her eighth 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. She also was a co-presenter with Marcus Autism Center at the Bionic Educator Conference at UGA in the fall. Both of Lee's 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

Coming into her third year at Stepping Stones. This is Savannah's first year full-time as lead teacher in our two year old class. 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 four-year-old daughter who has attended Stepping Stones since she was two. Savannah believes learning and love go hand-in-hand and she is proud to be a part of the meaningful education experience at Stepping Stones.



Lesia Guider

Coming into her eleventh year at Stepping Stones.  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 Younger Threes’ 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. Lesia is excited about starting a new adventure in her career.



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

Life Skills classroom teacher. She has lived in Georgia with her husband Bryan,  four children, and three grandchildren for eight years. She has been teaching special needs children for 12 years, 4 of those years which have been at Stepping Stones. She is continuing her education in Early Childhood Education. She is very passionate abuot working with special needs children and their families. 



Jaimie Allen

A 2014 graduate of Gordon State College.  She received her Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education with a dual seal in Special Education.  Jaimie is the lead teacher of our 9 to 11 academy class.  After spending six years taking care of a child with Autism, Jaimie found her passion for teaching children and working specifically with special needs children. She is a lifelong resident of Monroe County and enjoys reading and spending time with her family.  Jaimie is ecstatic to join the Stepping Stones staff and begin her career.