Leadership Team

Stephanie Jarrett-Thorpe

Stephanie Jarrett-Thorpe

Principal

Originally from Maryland, Ms. JT came to Explore! in 2018 to lead the scale up of this community.

Sarah Scott

Sarah Scott

Director of Academic Supports

Sarah is originally from Florence, SC. She is working in education because she “believes schools are the cornerstones of communities and the movement for equity begins here.”

Jessica Talbot

Jessica Talbot

Assistant Principal & Director of Curriculum

Ms. Talbot works at Explore! because she believes that all little people deserve authentic learning experiences which are designed to help them uncover and rediscover their own unique gifts and passions. She wants all Explorers to feel loved and believe in the power of their ideas!

Dr. Tavis Wade-Jones

Dr. Tavis Wade-Jones

Director of Operations

Dr. Wade-Jones comes to Explore! “eager to make a difference.”

Taboya Holman

Taboya Holman

Director of School Culture & Social Supports

Ms. Tabaya has been part of the Explore! community since the inception because she wants to be a part in a ‘changing world’. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”-Nelson Mandela

Anne Roth-Waltke

Anne Roth-Waltke

Instructional Coach

Mrs. Waltke works at Explore! because she believes “all kids deserve the access and opportunity to experience authentic, meaningful learning experiences that help them interact with, and therefore shape, the world around them.”

Colleen Cummings

Colleen Cummings

Instructional Coach

Ms. Cummings works at Explore! because she believes in “giving little people the opportunities to enact large change in their communities, and know that developing this sense of self-efficacy will foster a strong society as a whole.”

Culture Team

Lawrence Haywood

Lawrence Haywood

Coordinator of Student Engagement

Coach Haywood has served students in Nashville for over 20 years. He became an educator “to help make a difference in other people’s lives, outside of my own family.”

Maggie Johnson

Maggie Johnson

SEL Interventionist

A Nashville native, Maggie chose to work with elementary age children because she believes “all children deserve a supportive learning environment that is trauma-informed and emphasizes the whole child.”

Joseph White

Joseph White

Behavior Assistant

Originally from Nashville, Mr. J came to Explore! because he likes seeing “all groups of children grow and learn together.” He wants children to know that no matter what, it’s okay for them to be themselves.

Antionnette Walker

Antionnette Walker

Behavior Specialist

Ms. Walker chose to work in education because of her passion for children and “seeing their growth, creativity and leadership prevail while making meaningful connections.”

Karla Winfrey

Karla Winfrey

Student Support

Ms. Winfrey is eager to “empower, enrich and engage children.” When she was a child, she enjoyed reading as much as playing.

Exceptional Education/Intervention Team

Kate Bridges

Kate Bridges

Kindergarten Exceptional Ed

Hailing from Shelby, NC, Kate Bridges teaches “to ensure students have meaningful and positive experiences while they are young, experience equity, and have advocates during their educational experience.”

Dianne Hobbs

Dianne Hobbs

1st-2nd Grade/EL Interventionist

Dianne Hobbs teaches because she “loves seeing students confidence grow as they learn.” She finds being part of that process humbling.

Jessica Fabrizio

Jessica Fabrizio

1st-2nd Grade Exceptional Ed

Jessica Fabrizio is originally from Erie, PA. She teaches to make a difference in the community by creating strong, independent learners. “I try to challenge my students daily and push them to be their best selves.”

Nikki Roderman

Nikki Roderman

3rd Grade Interventionist

Nikki Roderman chose to be a teacher because she is “drawn to giving opportunities to students so that they can realize their high potential and achievements.” She loves advocating for students and giving them equal opportunities for greatness.

Adrian Ford

Adrian Ford

3rd Grade Exceptional Ed

Adrian Ford is from Indianapolis, IN. She fell in love with education when she went through a program called Schools Within Context of Community where she learned the importance of schools and communities partnering together to shape a child’s future.

Alex Mabey

Alex Mabey

4th Grade Interventionist

From Washington state, Alex Mabey teaches because of the amazing relationships she gets to have with students and community. “I get to watch students grow, impact each other, me and their community with intention!”

Stacy McIntyre

Stacy McIntyre

4th Grade Exceptional Ed

Born in Memphis, Stacy McIntyre chose to work in exceptional education because she “loves working with children who require more for their success.”

Maya Hardrick

Maya Hardrick

Educational Assistant

From Savannah, GA and a graduate of Vanderbilt, Maya Hardrick was “inspired by Explore!’s whole-child approach and commitment to diversity and excellence and is excited to be a part of and contribute to a community dedicated to making a positive impact on the world.”

Yolanda Prowell

Yolanda Prowell

Educational Assistant

Related Arts

Brenna Lloyd

Brenna Lloyd

Art

Brenna Lloyd came to Nashville in 2012 with Teach for America. She was a founding team member at Explore! and is excited this year to dive into a new role as art teacher. She teaches because “I believe every child deserves an equitable education, and I strive to create a space where our Explorers feel loved, known, challenged and cared for.”

Rand Walker

Rand Walker

Music

Rand Walker is a Belmont graduate who has always thought of himself as an educator, even when he was “just teaching piano lessons to children in the neighborhood.” He teaches because “I’ve been given a love of learning, and I want to pass it on. Sometimes I get to see that switch flipped and sometimes I don’t, but I trust that it’s always worth it.”

Arlene Hernandez

Arlene Hernandez

Spanish

Ms. Hernandez works at Explore! because it is a positive and supportive environment. “Explore! encourages and recognizes core values on a daily basis leading individuals to be responsible, independent and critical thinkers through PBL.”

Operations

Kat Cruz

Kat Cruz

Registrar & Recruitment

Ronda Ford

Ronda Ford

Food Services

4th Grade Team

Brie Naderman

Brie Naderman

4th Grade Lead Teacher

Originally from Dubuque, IA, Brie Naderman teaches because she has “a passion for helping students be curious, have a love for learning, and become confident leaders in their lives.”

Liza Star

Liza Star

4th Grade Lead Teacher

A Nashville native, Liza Star loves “to inspire young people to be confident and to love learning.”

Ben Harel

Ben Harel

4th Grade Associate Teacher

Ben Harel hails from Boston and claims teaching brings him energy and “is the only the only way to change the future positively.”

Emily Case

Emily Case

4th Grade Lead Teacher

A Nashville native, Emily Case is passionate about creating life long learners. “My hope as a teacher is to impact my classroom community to create a ripple effect into the greater Nashville area.”

3rd Grade Team

Sami Weinberg

Sami Weinberg

3rd Grade Co-Teacher

Sami Weinberg hails from Sharon, MA and teaches because she loves building relationships. She chooses to work at Explore! because of its emphasis on community. “I believe that a whole community is necessary towards a child’s success.”

Illysse Daniels

Illysse Daniels

3rd Grade Co-Teacher

Originally from Atlanta, Illysse Daniels teaches because she has a strong love for children. “I believe that each child has the capacity when teachers lean in to understand the whole child.”

Caroline Spall

Caroline Spall

3rd Grade Lead Teacher

Caroline Spall is from Falmouth, MA and attended Elon University in North Carolina. She teaches to “empower children with the skills that will allow them to be agents of change in their communities and in the world.”

Alexandra Ecton

Alexandra Ecton

3rd Grade Lead Teacher

AJ Ecton teaches because she believes every child deserves someone who is their cheerleader. “I want to help show students that learning can be fun and it is imperative to meet their goals in life. Every child deserves the right for high quality education and that is my WHY behind why I teach.”

Holly Powell

Holly Powell

3rd Grade Lead Teacher

Marvetta Norris

Marvetta Norris

3rd Grade Associate Teacher

From Knoxville, Marvetta Norris loves to teach children and “to watch our children learn through our amazing project based learning!”

2nd Grade Team

Rebekah Kahle

2nd Grade Lead Teacher

Kristen Murray

2nd Grade Associate Teacher

Stephanie Fine

Stephanie Fine

2nd Grade Lead Teacher

Originally from Houston, Stephanie Fine most recently moved from Boston where she worked on an education research project. She is excited to teach at Explore! because of the “dynamic, supportive relationships cultivated between our classrooms and the East Nashville community. What starts here changes the world!”

Anishia Holman

Anishia Holman

2nd Grade Associate Teacher

Sydney Moore

Sydney Moore

2nd Grade Lead Teacher

Sydney Moore grew up in Jacksonville, FL and teaches because she loves building relationships with students, watching them succeed, and serving her community.

Courtney Spetko

Courtney Spetko

2nd Grade Lead Teacher

Originally from New Jersey, Courtney Spetko joined the Explore! team because of its strong focus on project based learning and social emotional learning. “I love having the opportunity to teach our Explorers new things and watch them grow throughout the year.”

Toya Hale

Toya Hale

2nd Grade Associate Teacher

1st Grade Team

Mikaela Nagg

Mikaela Nagg

1st Grade Co-Teacher

Mikaela Nagg teaches “for the kids and for building lasting relationships with families and the community.” She says someone made a huge impact on her life this way and now she wants to give back.

Caroline Slowinski

Caroline Slowinski

1st Grade Co-Teacher

Hailing from Maryland, Caroline Slowinski is a teacher because she wants to hep bring a community fo students together in compassion, courage and curiosity. “As a community of students, families, and staff, we support each other.”

Teresa Sanders

Teresa Sanders

1st Grade Lead Teacher

Teresa Sanders is originally from Jackson, TN and chose teaching because she loves helping children make sense of the world. “Explore! does this in an amazing way, especially with the project based learning.”

Maria Graham

1st Grade/SEL Associate Teacher

Victoria Axt

Victoria Axt

1st Grade Lead Teacher

Originally from Burnsville, MN, Victoria Axt first became interested in education when learning about structural inequities in different neighborhood schools. “Education is supposed to be the great equalizer, and I teach to help each little human feel welcomed in school and grow.”

Victoria Schnaufer

Victoria Schnaufer

1st Grade Associate Teacher

Victoria Schnaufer joins the Explore! team after serving in our community with Plant the Seed. “I love farming relationships with little humans to build their confidence in learning as they become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Chasney Lyons

Chasney Lyons

1st Grade Co-Teacher

A Nashville native, Chasney Lyons became a teacher to “shape the minds of the future by giving scholars a great, relatable experience through learning and beyond.”

Brittany Brown

Brittany Brown

1st Grade Co-Teacher

A graduate of Berry College, Brittany Brown teaches because she loves children and wants “to impact them to be learners, and grow into people they can be proud of.”

Kindergarten Team

Jennifer Knight

Jennifer Knight

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

A Nashville native, Jennifer Knight is at Explore! because she likes that it services the East Nashville community. “I grew up in East Nashville, so teaching here gives the the unique opportunity to serve and give back to it.”

Johnnetta Bennett

Johnnetta Bennett

Kindergarten Associate Teacher

Born and raised in Nashville, Johnnetta Bennett came to Explore! because she values it’s Core Values and “how they can shape the character of individuals as learning and people in general. The project based learning units are also awesome!”

Brittany Botta

Brittany Botta

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Originally from New York state, Brittany Botta works at Explore! because of the commitment to diversity and inclusions. “I am excited to share my love of teaching and learning to empower the children and families in our community.”

Madalyn Adams

Madalyn Adams

Kindergarten Associate Teacher

Madalyn Adams worked for many years with at risk children and families in one capacity or another. After working in the medical field, she tried substitute teaching and on her second, long-term assignment fell in love. “My parents say that I was born to teach, and my dad cried when I told him that I joined Explore!”

Jessica Bohannon

Jessica Bohannon

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

A Nashville native, Jessica Bohannon is proud to live in our wonderful East Nashville community. She became a teacher to make meaningful connections through sharing her love of learning. “I consider myself extremely fortunate to be part of the Explore! family, where the emphasis on joyful learning and creating an environment of love, respect and acceptance is immediately evident.”

Jasmine McGee

Jasmine McGee

Kindergarten/SEL Associate Teacher

After receiving her masters in social work, Jasmine McGee realized that “the best way to make a great impact on families is to serve the children.”

Kathryn O'Regan

Kathryn O'Regan

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Originally from Massachusetts, Kathryn O’Regan is at Explore! because she firmly believes in the whole child approach, meeting Explorers’ social, emotional and academic needs. “I also believe strongly in and greatly enjoy project based learning.”

Jocelyn Titus

Jocelyn Titus

Kindergarten Associate Teacher

Jocelyn Titus is from Memphis and enjoys teaching because she “loves watching students grow and to see their little minds expand.”