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N. Jean Walker, Ph.D.
Vice President - Education & Partnerships (0-21)
United Way of Greater Atlanta

Dr. N. Jean Walker serves as UWGA’s V.P. for Education.  In June 2009, United Way of Greater Atlanta unveiled a new strategic plan aimed at addressing four broad social challenges:  Education, Income, Health, and Homelessness, in addition to six specific goals over the next five years.  The specific goals for UWGA’s education focus area are:  Children enter school ready to learn and graduate prepared for careers, and youth avoid risky behaviors. 

The Education Network is one of the three critical pillars for building the vision of:  “Atlanta is a place where individuals and families thrive.”  UWGA’s very successful work in Early Learning, anchored by the Smart Start program, will continue to play a vital role in building out UWGA’s education pipeline of services.  Success will require the full integration of UWGA’s Early Learning, K-12, and College to career activities.  In her role as V.P. for Education, Dr. Walker is the lead staff in the 0-21 continuum and will guide UWGA’s efforts to integrate the current internal education segments and oversee strategic implementation.

Prior to joining UWGA's – Education Division, Dr. Walker served as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction with the Gwinnett County School System, one of the largest school districts in the state of Georgia serving 160,000 students, 122 schools and 22,800 employees.  She assisted the organization in the successful implementation of strategic plans, facilitated and lead district personnel to realize the vision of the organization, and utilized research-based best practices to maximize student achievement and instruction.  She also served as Area Superintendent / Executive Director for School Improvement for Gwinnett County Public Schools, as well as principal and assistant principal.  Dr. Walker served as a teacher in DeKalb County and Warren, Ohio.  Her career covers a wide range of K-21 experiences.

Dr.  Walker brings with her a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Mercer University, a Specialist’s and Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Georgia State University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Kent State University.  Dr. Walker is married to William H. Walker, a central office administrator with DeKalb County Public Schools.  They have two children, Jeanine Walker and William (Trey) Walker, whom both work for Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Katrina D. Mitchell, M.Ed.
Senior Director - Education (0 - 21)

Native New Yorker Katrina D. Mitchell brings a wide variety of personal and professional experienced to her role as Senior Director of Smart Start, the Early Childhood Division of United Way of Greater Atlanta. There, she is primarily responsible for providing leadership and oversight of federally funded early literacy initiatives. Her past professional experience includes work with Literacy, Inc. and the National Urban League.

With a passion for touching the lives of the children—as a godparent, a mentor and a role model—Katrina also lends her dedication to an advisory role on the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom School Curriculum Committee. She holds a BA in English from Wellesley College, and received a M.Ed. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education with a focus on Language & Literacy and Arts in Education. .

Louis Enrique Negrón, Sr., MSA

Senior Director - Education (High School, Post-secondary, & Career Opportunities for Youths)

Prior to his role at the United Way of Greater Atlanta, Mr. Negrón worked as the Outreach and Admissions Manager with Year Up – Atlanta where he drafted strategic plans and correspondence to promote information technology & business workforce development programs for under-represented students within the Metro Atlanta area.  Additionally, as President & founder of Negrón Education Services, LLC, Mr. Negrón has distinguished himself as one of the leading educational consultants in the Southeast. He further has left his stamp in higher education as the founding Director of Minority Outreach Programs at Georgia Gwinnett College (GCC) where he was responsible for the creation, implementation & growth of diversity strategies, outreach programs, and minority focus grants for the college.  Mr. Negrón was also instrumental at GCC in the development of community outreach to businesses, government, & grant writing institutions to support and create opportunities for students to achieve success.

Civically,  Mr. Negrón is very passionate about the community  and has a heart  for service.  He spends his spare time mentoring youth, serves on several non-profit boards, and he  is a  sought after speaker.  He volunteers his  time  with HOPE Strong -  a program helping to develop  leadership skills  and instill  the love  of higher education for young Latino students.  He also helps expose  under-represented students to the  inner-workings of college admission & scholarships.  As an emerging leader, Mr. Negrón was recently recognized by the Morehouse College National Alumni Association with the 2013 Marvin Mangham, Sr. Mentorship Award,  in 2009 he was named "Top 40 Under 40" in the State of
Georgia by Georgia Trend Magazine,  in 2010 he was awarded the Civic / Government  Hispanic  Achievement Business Leadership Award,  and was also honored  by  Mundo Hispanico as one of the most Influential Hispanics in the State of Georgia.

Mr.Negrón is currently enrolled in  the  Doctor of  Education Leadership  program  at Clark Atlanta University and is currently the President of the Education Leadership Student Association. He holds a Master of Science degree  in Administration from  Central  Michigan University and a  Bachelor of Arts  degree  in Spanish from  Morehouse College.  Mr.Negrón is married  to  Alvanita Negrón;  they are  the proud parents of Kirklen L. Enrique II,  Alejandro Negrón,  &  Ms. Coco Chanel  (family pet)

Charmaine Godley                                                          Director, Training & Technical Assistance

Charmaine Godley currently serves as the Director for Get Ready to Read! Southeast Regional Center. With more than 20 years of experience in education that encompasses infant through adult learners, Charmaine also established the Early Childhood Care and Education program for Griffin Technical College, where she continues to serve as an adjunct instructor.  Ms. Godley received her B.S. Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Education, with a Minor in Child Development from La Sierra University in Riverside, California; and a Masters Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Georgia State University. She is also a graduate of the WestEd PITC - Program for Infant / Toddler Care, a collaboration between WestEd and the California Dept of Education.

Hollie Pavloff
Director, Substitute Teacher Program

Hollie Pavloff, Director of the Early Education Substitute Teacher Program, is a long time resident of metro Atlanta. She holds a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Early Childhood Education from the University of Miami, and a M.Ed. from Georgia State University. Hollie blends a background in sales, marketing, training and management experience at Coca-Cola USA with a distinguished 11-year career in the early childhood education field. Now, she focuses her energy and considerable passion toward her work with Smart Start--educating adults to provide nurturing and quality educational experiences for children birth through age five.

Andrea Irvin
Director, Partners Advancing Childhood Education (PACE)

Andrea Irvin, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, serves as Project Manager of the Partners Advancing Childhood Education (PACE) Initiative -- recently transitioning from her previous role as Project Coordinator.  Andrea received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Spelman College with a minor in Management and Organization. She started working with Smart Start over 2 years ago with the Early Education Substitute Teacher Program and prior to that as Director of the Austin Elementary School after-school program through the Cowart Family / Ashford Dunwoody YMCA.

Laura Miller
Director, Partners Advancing Childhood Education (PACE)

Laura Miller has worked over six years in educational programming, administration and outreach.  Prior to joining Smart Start, she served as Education Manager at Georgia Public Broadcasting, wherein she managed educational programs for parents and caregivers of school-age children.  Laura holds a BA degree in English from
Spelman College and a M.A. in English Education from Clark Atlanta University.

Paige Edeburn
Project Manager, PACE

Paige Edeburn first joined United Way as a loaned executive in 2008 leading the Coweta County annual campaign.  In 2009 she began work with UWGA’s Education Team as a project manager for the Partner’s Advancing Childhood Education (PACE) initiative.  Her prior experience includes a thirteen year career in national and international corporate and real estate finance.  Paige left the finance world to work with, lead and then form not for profit entities engaged in work on a variety of issues from education to community redevelopment.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the College of William and Mary.


Sakinah Harrison
Early Reading First Director, APPLE

Sakinah Harrison was born in Atlanta, Georgia.  She holds degrees from the University of Dayton in Early Childhood Education (B.A.) and Case Western Reserve University in Nonprofit Management (MBA/MNO). Some of her past work experience includes teaching, serving as an Assistant Principal and working as a consultant for The New Teacher Project.

Tanya Wallace
Early Reading First Literacy Coach, APPLE

Tanya has more than fifteen years of experience in the areas of early childhood education, special education, and children’s programming/design. She holds degrees or certificates in Child Studies, Special Education, and Speech-Language Pathology&Audiology from Old Dominion University and Georgia State University.

Helen McCroskey
Director of Coaching, Early Reading First

Helen McCroskey is a native of Tennessee, and has worked in the field of early education for the last 26 years, serving in a variety of capacities including teacher, director, consultant and as an adjunct college professor. She has degrees and certifications in Human Services Management, Early Childhood Education, and a M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts in Boston, MA.

Angelle Cooper 
Professional Development Manager, Early Reading First

Angelle was an educational consultant prior to joining Smart Start. She brings more than twenty years of experience in program management & professional development to the organization, having worked with various non-profit agencies throughout the metro Atlanta area, including Cool Girls,Inc., SciTrek, and Zoo Atlanta. She holds a B.A. in English from Spelman College and a M.S. in Environmental Communications from the University of Michigan. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas.