Beth Kuklinski, Director and Instructor


Beth holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from North Carolina State University. She has advanced graduate coursework on Specialized Education. Beth has completing a Master of Arts in English with a focus on Multi Cultural and Transnational Literature from Eastern Carolina University, with two courses remaining. She specializes in working with divergent thinkers, gifted children and children on the Autism Spectrum. Her ability to increase learning for out of the box thinkers, exceptional children, and her experience as a parent of unique kids, inspired her to become the founder of a school especially for them. Beth’s compilation of research, consultations with specialists in educational and therapeutic fields, life experience and vision is the foundation of this original program. Beth was the host of Breathing Underwater: Stories of Autism a radio show airing on WCOM and nationally syndicated on AutismRadio. She is a certified Fast Forward reading program provider. She provides consultation to other agencies and schools and the JLSA program and philosophy inspire many schools who attempt to incorporate these original concepts. She currently completing her first book about autism and education.


Sheena Rapley, Primary Instructor


Sheena Holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Political Science from St. Augustine’s College. She has worked for the City of Raleigh for years in the role as a Before/After-School Care Director and provider. As a care provider for the City of Raleigh she has experience working One-on-One with students that have Autism as well as other students that think out the box and that are very gifted. Sheena worked as a Practicum Assistant with students in a Special Education Program through Peace College where she earned her teaching certification. She has also worked with the students at Millbrook Exchange Center holding different educational events and activities. Sheena has been the Primary Teacher at JLSA for 10 years. Sheena has a passion for helping others and working with students. She is reliable, patient, energetic, and very caring.


Keerthimayee Kopolu, Math & Science Instructor


Keerthimayee was born and educated in India, with a Bachelors Degree in Math and Physics. She has also earned a Master’s in Physics and spent years teaching math and science to students. After moving to the United States, Keerthimayee loves spending time with her children, cooking vegetarian meals, and continuing her passion for teaching. She has been teaching math and science successfully for years and loves spending time with students and cherishes the opportunity to help them learn.


Jamiya Allen, Horizon's Program Instructor


Jamiya is a graduate from North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina. Jamiya majored in Physical Education with a concentration in teaching as well as completed the Teaching Program in Fall 2011. Graduating from Wallace-Rose Hill high school as a North Carolina Scholar she has always loved academics. She has worked in public instruction as well as Montessori settings. Jamiya has a true love for children and a desire to help them to expand their knowledge.


Dawn Martin, Horizon's Program Instructor & Student Support


Dawn holds a BA in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University. She and her husband Mark have been Rent-A-Center franchisees since 2001. Prior to that she was an agent for the Hartford Insurance Company for 7 years. She serves on the parent committee and assists on all off-campus activities at JLSA. She is trained in the Augustine Literacy Reading Tutoring Program. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, reading and traveling with her family.


Kayelin Buffington, Support Aide


Kayelin holds an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Wake Technical Community College. Currently, she is working on completing course work tor her bachelors degree from Eastern Carolina University. She has experience instructing young adults with various exceptionalities through her years of work as a community support habilitation technician. When not busy teaching and working on school work, Kayelin enjoys reading and listening to music.


Daniel Stevenson, Student Support


Daniel is a graduate of Appalachian State University and holds a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in English. He has worked as a counselor and instructor in outdoor education since graduation, leading youth programs in sailing, snowboarding, high ropes, and rock climbing. He is passionate about recreating in the outdoors, writing, and playing music.


Tasha Brown, One on One Student Aide


Tasha Brown Holds a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from Saint Augustine’s University, and is a current Graduate Student at Liberty University in Lynchburg Va, where she is pursuing a Masters in Educational Counseling. Tasha’s passion for helping others was sparked during her undergraduate years of college, where she was actively involved in the classrooms and within the community, providing advocacy and support to individuals aged 5-21 with developmental, behavioral and intellectual needs. She has provided community support, counseling, case management, behavior management as well as outreach services to the disabled, the poor and the elderly. Before joining JLSA, Tasha served as a Highly Qualified Instructional Assistant for Wake County Public Schools for 5 years, in a ID MOD classroom. There she gained further knowledge concerning her target population, and honed valuable teaching skills. It was there that her passion for Educational Counseling was erupted, as she saw a need in providing additional advocacy and support to individuals and families maneuvering through the educational system with special needs. Tasha is extremely patient, compassionate
and kind and enjoys sharing a good laugh with her students. In her spare time she enjoys, writing, painting and singing within the community.


Teresa Horowitz, Resident Artist & Art Instructor


Teresa Horowitz is a classically trained artist with over 30 years of drawing and painting experience. She earned her BA in Art from Stockton University and her MFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art. Over the last four years, she has led the art program at Minds in Motion in Manassas, VA and then at JLSA. As a parent of a JLSA student, Teresa understands the unique ability of each student, and enjoys working with each individual to unlock their artistic potential. While not teaching, Teresa enjoys painting in her studio, working out, and spending time with her family.


Liz Everett-Smith, Theater Instructor & Reading Tutor


Liz studied drama at the Long Island, NY High School of the Performing Arts, Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York City, Herbert Bergdorf Studio, and The Real Stage. Liz has performed as an actor in numerous venues, was a founding member of the Rogue Theater Company, and has been teaching, coaching, and directing professional and student actors for nearly 20 years. Liz is trained through the Augustine Literacy Project in reading instruction.


Shira W. Rose, Resident Artist & Photography Instructor


Shira is a portrait and lifestyle photographer in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. As the mother of two, one of which is on the autism spectrum, Shira is passionate about sharing stories through the imagery of individuals with disabilities. A portrait photographer for almost a decade, her community service work provides her with the privilege of having a front-row seat in people’s lives whose voices may not oftentimes be heard. She feels it is her responsibility not just to create a beautiful image, but to tell the most authentic story for each moment she is capturing.


Donovan Moran, Music Instructor


Donovan is originally from the Philadelphia area and has always been passionate about an outside the box approach to music education. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist, who has been teaching all ages throughout the Triangle area since moving down to North Carolina in 2015. Donovan has a love for music theory as well as an appreciation for improvisation to express one’s creative self. Seeing students acquire a love for music fills him with joy. Aside from teaching, Donovan also works at a reclaimed woodshop in Raleigh, NC. When Donovan is not playing or teaching music, he also enjoys cooking vegan meals, reading novels and going on long hikes with his dog.


Corrin Carhart, Yoga Instructor


Corrin has been practicing Yoga on and off for years but was really drawn to it about two years ago when she had an injury that was only helped by yoga. At that time she really delved into her own practice and then in February 2015 she decided to start yoga teacher training to try to reach out to others. In August 2015 she became certified as a children’s yoga instructor with Kidding Around Yoga. Corrin is a graduate of Monmouth University with a degree in Psychology. Corrin has seen how transformative yoga can be and is passionate about sharing it with others, especially children. Corrin feels that when we teach children yoga they are not only learning great exercises for their bodies but also coping mechanisms for handling stress, which empowers them to take control of their own emotions and to feel differently about stressful situations. When not teaching yoga Corrin enjoys reading, scrapbooking and spending time with her family


Danan Smith, Project & Team Building Instructor


Danan grew up in the Northeastern corner of the state while developing skills through participation in Boy Scouts, commercial fishing, agriculture, agri-tourism, forestry, colonial history, Athletics, hunting, fishing, foraging, shore combing, and all things outdoors. He received a Biological Sciences Degree from NCSU and has prior experiences working for ASNC, EasterSeals UCP SET as well as in historic preservation, construction & stone masonry. Danan loves to be outside; camping, exploring, tinkering, and sensing each new blessed day. He has a passion for Science, and all it can dream. His favorite domestic hobby is cooking and reading his favorite books: Hippocratic Writings, Hunger of Memory, Death of Vishnu, Ishmael, Brave New World, and anything history or science related.


Alex Pearce, LEGO® Engineering Instructor


Alex Pearce has been a LEGO® Engineering Instructor for several years, and a LEGO® fanatic his entire life. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in 2010 and moving to Connecticut, Alex returned to his native NC and brought his LEGOs® with him. Engineering FUNdamentals with LEGO® show students how to design and build motorized machines, catapults, pyramids, demolition derby cars, truss and suspension bridges, buildings and other constructions, explore concepts in physics, engineering, and architecture, while playing with their favorite creations. This is a hands-on and brains-on class suitable for LEGO® novices to “maniacs.” With over 100,000 pieces of LEGO®, students take on real- life engineering challenges while building and having fun!


Linda Pattinson, See Spot Read


Linda Pattison, See Spot Read (SSR) Calendar Organizing Team Chair and School Coordinator, is a retired Spanish teacher. She has been participating in the SSR Calendar events with her two therapy dogs (both rescue dogs) since 2013. Her certification is through Therapy Dog International (TDI). Linda is also the Steering Committee Chair for the Kids 4 Critters program. The Kids 4 Critters program is a 6-week program teaching responsible pet ownership to fourth graders. Additionally, Linda is certified to teach material in the RedRover organization. RedRover organization promotes engaging children in critical thinking, listening and reflection activities designed to promote empathy, respect and responsibility towards animals.