Our People - OLD | Agenda for Children

Meet Our People

Please use the dropdown menu to filter for Agenda for Children staff members in administration/operations, childcare, NOEEN and policy/advocacy.

Caitlin Boley
Caitlin BoleyDirector, Early Childhood Systems & SupportEarly Childhood Programs, NOEEN

Caitlin was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and joined the Agenda team in 2020. Upon moving to New Orleans, Caitlin joined the AmeriCorps program Serve Louisiana, serving at NetWork Volunteers, a volunteer management nonprofit. They then joined NetWork as the Director of Service-Learning and Community Engagement, developing and managing volunteer programs, relationships, and service-learning curriculums. Caitlin is particularly passionate about thoughtful relationship building, utilizing restorative and trauma-informed practices, and cultivating equitable institutions. They are a graduate of Pace University (NYC) with dual degrees in Political Science and Philosophy & Religious Studies.

cboley@agendaforchildren.org504-934-8683early-childhood-programs noeen
Dianna Constant
Dianna ConstantEarly Care & Education Specialist; Region 4 Coordinator; Intervention SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

A long-time resident of Thibodaux, Louisiana, Dianna has been part of Agenda’s team since 1990. She has over forty years of experience in early childhood education. She spent twenty years directing and operating her own child care center and has more than two decades of experience as a trainer and technical assistance advisor for early childhood programs. She serves on the board of United Way of St. Charles and has served on the Child Care Health Care Consultant board since 2000. She is actively involved with the early childhood community networks in New Orleans and Houma, supporting interaction improvements in early learning centers  Dianna holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Youth and Family Services from Nichols State University.

Certifications include: Certified Reliable CLASS Observer (Infant, Toddler, Pre-K), CLASS Affiliate Trainer (Pre K), Inter-Rater Reliable in GOLD by Teaching Strategies, Child Care Health Consultant, Louisiana Pathways Trainer Level II, Well-Ahead’s Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Environment Trainer, Physical Activity Learning (PALS), and CDA PD Specialist

Nikki Cousizan
Nikki CousizanChief Financial OfficerAdministration/Operations

A native of Slidell, Nicole “Nikki” Cousizan joined Agenda in October 2019. Nikki has twenty years of experience in nonprofit finance and fifteen years of experience in executive leadership. Prior to Agenda, she was the Chief Financial Officer of a Federally Qualified Health Center in Houston, TX where she was responsible for the financial management of an organization that offered a wide range of healthcare and social services for indigent, under-served and disenfranchised individuals in the greater Houston Area. Nikki was selected as a Top 50 Black Health, Medical & Wellness Professional in Houston, TX. Nikki is also actively involved and committed to community service and empowerment. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Nikki has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Prairie View A&M, a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and, a B.S. in Finance from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Nikki has also attended the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Program and participated in Leadership Iberia and the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI).

Danielle Davis
Danielle M. DavisEarly Care & Education SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

Danielle M. Davis joined the Agenda team in 2021. Originally from Houma, LA, she currently resides in Gray, LA. Danielle has over 18 years of experience in early childhood education. Prior to joining the team at Agenda, she served as a Center Director at St. Lucy Child Development Center for 9 years and as a lead teacher at the Head Start Program in Terrebonne Parish for 7 years. Danielle has an associate of arts degree from Delgado Community College and recent graduate of the Louisiana Early Leaders Academy (LELA). She serves as a Professional Development Specialist with The Council for Professional Development.

Certifications: CLASS Reliable Observer- Toddler & Pre-K, InterRater Reliable for TS Gold, Louisiana Pathways Trainer, American Red Cross CPR/FIRST AID/AED instructor, Technical Competency in First Responder and Administrator Certification from Louisiana Pathways

Teresa Falgoust
Teresa FalgoustDirector, Data & ResearchPolicy/Advocacy

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Teresa joined Agenda’s team in 2005. Teresa has expertise in accessing and using data on child well-being in Louisiana, including data on economic security, education, early education, juvenile justice, health and child welfare. She is a Louisiana ACE educator and serves on the Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board and the PRAMS Advisory Committee. Teresa has a bachelor’s degree in Political Studies from Bard College.

Analiezel Hall
Analiezel HallEarly Care & Education Specialist; Region 3 CoordinatorEarly Childhood Programs

A native of the Philippines, Analiezel lived in Asia until her family relocated to Louisiana during her senior year of high school. Analiezel’s early aspirations to become an educator developed into a strong desire to help disadvantaged children by providing compensatory education or academic development to ensure their success. She has over twenty years of experience in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. She is a former St. Tammany public school and Head Start teacher, an assessor for Louisiana’s Quality Rating System, and a Head Start Pre-K Specialist. Analiezel holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of New Orleans and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Certifications include: Certified Reliable CLASS Observer (Infant, Toddler, Pre-K), Certified MMCI Pre-K Instructor, Inter-Rater Reliable in GOLD by Teaching Strategies, Louisiana Pathways Trainer Level III, CDA PD Specialist

Kenya Harris
Kenya HarrisCoordinator, Continuing Education and Professional DevelopmentEarly Childhood Programs

Originally from the New Orleans area, Kenya began with Agenda for Children in 2006 as the bookkeeper and receptionist – later repositioning as the Program Administrative Assistant in the New Orleans region. Kenya is an integral part of the Training Department team in her current role as Program Manager of Professional Development as well as providing support for coaching and Resources & Referral. She is proud to be part of the Agenda team because it allows her to support the growth and development of Louisiana’s children in the early stages of their lives through the quality of care children and families receive. Kenya maintains a Child Development Associate credential to continue to engage in the efforts for quality care and education within the early childhood sector.

Luz Kief
Luz KiefManager, Program Quality & ImprovementEarly Childhood Programs, NOEEN

A native of Long Island, New York, Elizabeth “Luz” Kief has more than 30 years of experience in the field of Early Care and Education. She has direct teaching experience in full inclusion preschool and self-contained early childhood special education classrooms. While working in a regional CCR&R in southwest Florida, Luz held positions as a Resource and Referral Specialist, Infant/Toddler Specialist, Program Coordinator, and Assistant Education Director where she was responsible for supervision of directly operated early care and education sites and the development, provision, and facilitation of both community and regional training and technical assistance activities. Elizabeth has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Bridgewater State College and has taken graduate level coursework in early childhood special education and general special education.

Certifications include: Certified CLASS Observer (Infant, Toddler, Pre K), Affiliate CLASS Trainer (Toddler, Pre K), Inter-rater Reliable in GOLD, Teaching Strategies APT trainer for GOLD, Louisiana Pathways Trainer Level II

ekief@agendaforchildren.org504-934-8691early-childhood-programs noeen
Denea Laffoon
Denea LaffoonEarly Care & Education SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

Born and raised in Inglewood, California, Denea has over a decade of experience teaching infants, toddlers and preschoolers in California, Nevada, and New Orleans. In her previous position, she was promoted from an infant and toddler teacher to Education Coordinator, which allowed her to serve as a peer coach for the infant and toddler staff at a Type III early learning center. She also participated in the MyTeachingPartner (MTP) program, through which she provided teachers intensive coaching on teacher-child interactions using an evidence-based methodology aligned with the CLASS tool. Denea holds an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Santa Monica College.

Certifications include: Certified Reliable CLASS Observer (Infant, Toddler, Pre-K), MTP Coach, Certified Infant/Toddler MMCI Instructor, Family Engagement Credentialed Administrator, Inter-Rater Reliable by Teaching Strategies GOLD, Louisiana Pathways Trainer Level I

Tasha Landry
Tasha LandrySenior Coordinator, Human ResourcesAdministration/Operations

Originally from New Orleans, Tasha has supported Agenda’s team for over 16 years. She coordinates payroll, invoice payments, supplies, and office logistics. Tasha is an active volunteer with the Family & Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, Pyramid Parent Training Center, and Central City Renaissance Alliance.

Ashley Plaisance
Ashley A. PlaisanceProgram Manager, Contracts & AccountabilityEarly Childhood Programs

Born and raised in Patterson, Louisiana, Ashley joined the Agenda team in 2015 as the Program Assistant/Technical Assistant. Ashley has experience as an early childhood teacher, as well as extensive experience working as an administrative assistant. Ashley holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in child and family studies from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Jen Roberts
Jen RobertsChief Executive OfficerAdministration/Operations

Jen Roberts is a seasoned non-profit executive with more than 20 years of experience building access to high-quality opportunities for children, youth, and families.

She is the CEO of Agenda for Children, an advocacy organization founded in 1984 to improve the well-being of Louisiana’s children. She previously served as the organization’s Founding Executive Director of NOEEN, a public/private partnership created by local early childhood practitioners, New Orleans Public Schools, and the LA Department of Education to increase access to quality early childhood education in Orleans Parish. In 2019, she created the Early Childhood Opportunity (ECHO) Fund, a multi-million dollar grantmaking program for childcare centers across Southeast Louisiana, and co-founded the New Orleans Early Education Research Alliance with Tulane University faculty. These achievements, coupled with her prior experience managing programs at Louisiana’s largest private foundation and creating innovative programs in the nonprofit, K12 education, corporate, and higher education sectors, have made her a trusted strategic advisor to organizational leaders worldwide.

She currently serves as a member of statewide advisory boards for the Louisiana Department of Education and the Louisiana Workforce Commission, several non-profit boards in the Greater New Orleans region, and was named a 2019 Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Fellow. A native of the Gulf Coast, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Bryn Mawr College and a Master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University. She has called New Orleans home since 2002.

Jacquelyn Rodriguez
Jacquelyn RodriguezDirector, Early Childhood ProgramsEarly Childhood Programs

Jackie is a New Orleans native, but has lived in several different states and abroad during her military travels. She has over 20 years of experience in early childhood with Head Start, military child development centers, and private child care providers. Her many roles have included a New Parent Support Specialist for the Naval Support Activity in New Orleans and the Training & Curriculum Specialist for a military child development center. Jackie has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Irvine Valley College, CA, a bachelor’s degree in Sociology/Psychology from Loyola University in New Orleans, as well as a master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies from Walden University.

Certifications include: Certified Reliable CLASS Observer (Infant, Toddler and Pre-K), CLASS Infant and Toddler Trainer, Certified Infant/Toddler MMCI Instructor, Inter-Rater Reliable for TS GOLD, Louisiana Pathways Trainer Level III

Joette Timmerman
Joette TimmermanEarly Care & Education SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

A native of Louisiana, Joette was born and raised in Destrehan, Louisiana. She has over 20 years in early childhood education. After Hurricane Katrina, Joette and her family moved to Texas where she was a Pre-K Lead Teacher in Conroe, Texas for 10 years. In 2015 she moved back to her hometown and became a Certified Reliable Observer and served as a CLASS Observer in St. Tammany, Livingston, Tangipahoa and Orleans Parishes. She has also worked as an Enrichment Teacher at a homeschool center in Mandeville. Joette serves at her church as a Sunday School Teacher and is also a volunteer for St. Joseph’s Hospice. She also enjoys calligraphy, art and writing children’s books, one that she has shared with her previous school in Texas.

Certifications include: Certified Reliable CLASS Observer (Infant, Toddler and Pre-K), Inter-Rater Reliable in GOLD by Teaching Strategies, Louisiana Pathways Trainer I, GO NAPSACC Consultant

Derrick Toups
Derrick ToupsManaging Director, Network StrategyNOEEN

Originally from Houma, Louisiana, Derrick joined Agenda’s team in 2021. Over the past decade, Derrick has taught two, three, and four year olds, third grade, and adult learners in addition to serving as an early childhood center director. Derrick serves on the Steering Committee of the New Orleans Early Education Network (NOEEN), is adjunct faculty for the Care and Development of Young Children programs at Delgado Community College and Baton Rouge Community College, and is an Affiliate of the Early Childhood Education Institute at LSU. Derrick previously served on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Early Childhood Association (LAECA), on the Advisory Council for the Louisiana Association for the Education of Young Children (LAAEYC), and on the Louisiana Early Learning and Development Standards Review Committee. Derrick holds a B.A. in English and international development from Tulane, an M.Ed. in elementary education from Notre Dame, a certificate in early childhood education from UCLA, and a certificate in early education leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Derrick is the recipient of the 2022 Phil Acord Award from the Southern Early Childhood Association and the 2020 Mildred Souther Award from the Louisiana Early Childhood Association.

Tiffany Wallace
Tiffany WallaceEarly Care & Education Leadership SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

Tiffany is a native of New Orleans and has over 13 years of early childhood experience. Prior to joining the team at Agenda, she worked as a preschool teacher and was promoted to be a Early Childhood Coach. Tiffany holds an associates degree in Art in Early Childhood Education from Delgado Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Southern University at New Orleans.

Certifications include: Certified Reliable CLASS Observer (Infant, Toddler, Pre K), Interrater Reliable for TS GOLD, Louisiana Pathways Trainer Level II

Melissa Wetzel
Melissa Wetzel Coordinator, Birth to Three Enrollment & AdministrationEarly Childhood Programs, NOEEN

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Melissa originally joined Agenda’s team in 2014 as an Intern. She has come full circle and rejoined Agenda’s team in 2021. She has more than 10 years’ experience working on behalf of children and families. Melissa previously worked for Boys Town Early Head Start partnership as an Education and Disabilities Coordinator where she provided professional development, coaching, CLASS observations, and support for families with children with disabilities. She also previously worked in the state’s Early Intervention system, Early Steps, as a Family Service Coordinator, where she guided parents through the Early Steps process of receiving therapy to help their child develop in their communication, cognitive, physical, adaptive, and social skills. Melissa has also worked in several Infant, Toddler, and PreK classrooms on military bases and in the New Orleans area. Melissa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child & Family Studies and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Education & Workforce Development from Louisiana State University.

Certifications include: Certified Reliable CLASS Observer (Infant, Toddler and PreK). Interrater Reliable in GOLD by Teaching Strategies, Louisiana Pathways Trainer Level III

mwetzel@agendaforchildren.org504-934-8670early-childhood-programs noeen
Anna E. Williamson
Anna E. WilliamsonChief Program OfficerEarly Childhood Programs

Anna brings to the Agenda team fifteen years of experience working in education and education reform. Most recently, Anna was a school administrator and Assessment Coordinator at a large early childhood program in Houston, Texas.  Anna previously lived in Washington, DC and was the Associate Director, Stewardship and Engagement at The CityBridge Foundation, a private family foundation that marshaled intellectual, financial, and social capital to help build a high performing public education system in the District of Columbia. In this role, she educated and engaged business leaders, philanthropists and community members in the District of Columbia’s education reform efforts. Prior to The Foundation, Anna was Director, Community Development at the national nonprofit First Book, liaising between schools and nonprofits and First Book’s corporate and government partners. Anna completed her M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education and Human Development at The George Washington University in 2013, and currently serves on Mayor Cantrell’s Re-Opening New Orleans COVID-19 Community Services Working Group, and is a Pritzker Fellow representing Agenda for Children’s work in early childhood education research, policy and practice.

Angelique Thomas
Angelique ThomasManaging Director, Early Care & EducationEarly Childhood Programs

Originally from New Orleans, Dr. Angelique Thomas joined Agenda’s team in 2021. For more than 13 years, she has dedicated her career to working with young children and working on behalf of their families. Dr. Thomas previously served as a classroom teacher, a center administrator, and a Child Care Resource & Referral manager for one of the largest counties in Georgia. Prior to returning to New Orleans, Dr. Thomas worked with childcare franchise owners to open centers in high demand areas of Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Thomas began her early childhood enrollment and student access work through NOLA Public Schools as the Director of Early Childhood Opportunities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s in Educational Leadership, and a doctorate in Education from Clark Atlanta University.

Brandi Joshua
Brandi JoshuaEarly Care & Education Senior SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

A native of St. James Parish, Brandi has resided in Thibodaux since 2008. She has over nine years of early childhood experience as a lead teacher and child care center director. Prior to joining the Agenda team in 2012, she served as the Director at the Moses Child Care Center and previously worked as a lead teacher at St. James Head Start. Brandi holds an associate’s degree in Child Development and Preschool Management from Nicholls State University, and volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Lafourche Parish. Brandi also has a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Social Science from Nicholls State.

Certifications include: Certified Reliable CLASS Observer (Infant, Toddler and Pre-K), CLASS Affiliate Trainer (Infant, Pre K) , Certified MMCI Pre-K Instructor, Inter-Rater Reliable in GOLD by Teaching Strategies, Louisiana Pathways Trainer Level II

Tara Zapp
Tara ZappDirector, Contracts & Accountability Early Childhood Programs

Tara is thrilled to call New Orleans home and be part of Louisiana’s efforts to bring quality early education to all its residents. She has ten years of experience working with children and family services and is an active volunteer with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. Tara has facilitated and managed education, child protection, and disaster management programs for families in Louisiana, New York City, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. She holds a Master’s of Science in Policy and Non Profit Management from The New School University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Drew University. Tara has called New Orleans home since 2013 and is excited to raise her son here.

Emily Madeira
Emily MadeiraInterim Program Manager, Observations & AccountabilityNOEEN

Emily moved from Bel Air, MD to New Orleans, LA in 2015 after a long cross-country road trip. Since living in NOLA she has dedicated her time to working in a variety of educational settings, including with Start the Adventure in Reading (STAIR) as a program administrator, TrueSchool Studio as an administrative assistant, and Orleans Parish School Board (OPSB) as an enrollment specialist. Emily has a B.A. in Psychology from Salisbury University and also graduated from Tulane School of Social Work with her MSW. During the program, Emily interned with the New Orleans Child Advocacy Center/Audrey Hepburn CARE Center and also the Ochsner Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

Mark A. Thomas
Mark A. ThomasDirector, Birth to Three Access & OutreachEarly Childhood Programs, NOEEN

Originally from Leesville, Louisiana, Mark A. Thomas joined Agenda’s team in 2022. Mark has over 28 years’ experience in the Social Services world. Mark A. Thomas previously worked for LSU Human Development Center as the Program Manager of the Early Head Start Program where he was responsible for the administration of the Early Head Start program, including program design and management, oversight of record-keeping and monitoring systems, day to day operations and development of community partnerships. Mark is an active member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated where he a Life Member. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Upper Iowa University and a master’s degree in Social Work from Southern University at New Orleans.

mthomas@agendaforchildren.org504-442-2923early-childhood-programs noeen
Tonia Loria
Tonia LoriaManaging Director, Continuing Education & Professional DevelopmentEarly Childhood Programs

A lifelong resident of southeast Louisiana and native of St. Bernard Parish, Tonia Loria joined Agenda for Children in June of 2022. Tonia has more than 27 years experience as an educator. She has worked directly with young children as a classroom teacher in child care and preschool settings, most recently in a blended pre-kindergarten class serving children in St. Tammany parish.  She served as a professor and program manager of Teaching and Care and Development of Young Children at Nunez Community College in Chalmette, Louisiana, and was part of the faculty and administrative team that led the college in its recovery from the devastation of hurricane Katrina.  Tonia also served as an academic leader at the college as both Dean and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.  Tonia has been an active participant in ongoing education and workforce development initiatives in Louisiana throughout her career. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and masters degree in Education from the University of New Orleans. Tonia holds a Louisiana Teaching certificate in Nursery School and Kindergarten and is inter-rater reliable in TS Gold. 

tloria@agendaforchildren.org504-421-5280 early-childhood-programs
Emma Maddox
Emma MaddoxDirector, Continuing Education & Professional DevelopmentEarly Childhood Programs

Emma Maddox began her relationship with Agenda for Children in 2021 as the contracted project manager for the Outdoor Learning Enhancement Opportunity (OLEO). In 2022, she officially joined the Agenda team in the Continuing Education and Professional Development department. Emma, a native New Orleanian, has experience as a mentor teacher and specialist in public, private, and independent schools, and has also worked in curriculum and content design, as well as education consulting. Emma holds an M.Ed in Educational Leadership from LSU Shreveport, a B.A. in Social Sciences from Tulane University, and a Certificate in School Leadership for Social-Emotional Learning and Character Development from Saint Elizabeth University. She is a certified PALS Trainer, Go NAPSACC Consultant, CLASS Observer (Infant, Toddler, & Pre-K-3rd), Louisiana Pathways Trainer III, and is Inter-Rater Reliable for TS GOLD.

Jami'i Bell
Jami’i BellManager, Birth to Three Provider PartnershipsEarly Childhood Programs
Jami’i Bell joins Agenda for Children as an Early Care & Education Specialist. She’s a native New Orleanian who has been in the Head Start arena for nearly 20 years. Before joining Agenda she worked at Kingsley House and Catholic Charities. Jami’i holds an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Delgado, a Bachelors in General Studies and a Masters in Social Work and Criminal Justice each from Southern University, New Orleans.
Nirenza Taylor
Nirenza TaylorEarly Care & Education SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

Nirenza Taylor is from New Orleans. For the 12 years prior to joining Agenda for Children, Nirenza was a Director and Pre-K teacher at Spring Ridge Academy. Nirenza has dedicated her career to early child education and been in the field for 20 years. She holds an Associate’s degree in Care and Development of Young Children from Delgado Community College and is currently enrolled at Southern University, New Orleans, where she is studying Child Development and Family Studies.

Rachelle Bethencourt Gramstad
Rachelle Bethencourt GramstadEarly Care & Education SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

Born and raised in Louisiana, Rachelle has worked in early childhood education for seven years. She has served in several states and a variety of positions. Her most recent experience includes serving as the Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, and Attendance (ERSEA) Coordinator for a Head Start program. She has also served as a Lead Teacher on two naval bases serving children from six weeks to four years. Currently, Rachelle is obtaining her Bachelors in Health Education and Promotion at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Brandy Brown
Brandy BrownEarly Care & Education SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

Brandy has over seven years of experience in early childhood education. Before joining the Agenda for Children family, she was a lead teacher at Beary Cherry Tree of Jefferson for children ages 0-4. She is from Kenner, Louisiana born and raised and still lives there today with her husband and two children. Brandy earned her bachelor’s degree from Southeastern Louisiana University in Psychology with a focus in Child Development.

Zianya Zamorano
Zianya ZamoranoCommunity Liaison & Referral SpecialistAdministration/Operations

Zianya is originally from Mexico, and moved to New Orleans in 2014. She joined the Agenda for Children team in September 2022. Zianya has over eight years of experience in the export/import ocean and air documentation and airport regulations. Zianya previously worked for Livingston International as an International Freight Forwarder Specialist /Ocean Exports, where she was responsible for all necessary shipping documentation for all hazardous materials from the United States to any part of the world, as well as liaison with custom brokers, agent’s, ocean and air terminal operations. Zianya has a bachelor’s degree in International Business. She previously volunteered with the Family Justice Center.

Maurine Jackson
Maurine JacksonProgram Manager, Communications & DevelopmentAdministration/Operations

Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Maurine Jackson is a seasoned non-profit professional with more than twenty years’ experience shepherding the communications and fundraising strategies of organizations dedicated to improving the lives and well-being of children.  She is passionate about the importance of early childhood literacy having served two nationally award-winning children’s museums as well as the Director of Education of a literary house museum.  She holds a bachelor of arts with honors in English from the Mississippi University for Women, a masters of arts in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and has done Ph.D. work in Writing Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Kasey Joseph
Kasey JosephManager of Community & Family SupportsEarly Childhood Programs, NOEEN

Kasey Joseph was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and has worked with children, youth, and families for many years, previously serving as a Family Advocate for Educare. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Science, with a concentration in Family Studies from Southeastern Louisiana University. She is currently enrolled at Southern University at New Orleans, completing the MSW program to become a master-level social worker. Kasey is very passionate about the well-being of Louisiana’s children and families and is thrilled to join the team.

kjoseph@agendaforchildren.orgearly-childhood-programs noeen
Melissa Johnson
Melissa JohnsonAssistant Director, Birth to Three AccessEarly Childhood Programs, NOEEN

Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Melissa moved to New Orleans in 2011. Since entering the field of early childhood she has taught Pre-K and most recently coached and trained early childhood educators pursuing their CDA. Melissa currently serves on the Louisiana Association for the Education of Young Children Executive Board and is a Regional Ambassador for the Council Alumni Network for the Council for Professional Recognition. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from the Xavier University of Louisiana, an M. Ed. in early childhood education from the University of Louisiana- Monroe, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in early childhood education from Louisiana State University. She joined Agenda’s team in 2022.

mjohnson@agendaforchildren.org504-586-8509early-childhood-programs noeen
Lorna Bell
Lorna BellProgram Manager, Observations & AccountabilityNOEEN

A native New Orleanian, Lorna Bell has almost 10 years of experience in the field of youth education. She has taught PK-3 through 8th grade at several schools and camps across New Orleans, as well as worked directly with students and families in the city through NOLA Public Schools. Lorna is a dedicated advocate for youth programs and was selected to represent the city of New Orleans in Kushiro, Japan at the World Children’s Summit. During her free time, she enjoys teaching yoga, attending any of NOLA’s many festivals, and being a sports mom to her son.

Max Weiss
Max WeissChief of Staff & Legal DirectorAdministration/Operationsmweiss@agendaforchildren.org 740-591-2406administration-operations
Macy Gobert
Macy GobertSenior AccountantAdministration/Operations

Macy is a New Orleans native and has eight years of experience in financial accounting. Prior to
joining Agenda for Children, she worked in Private Equity as an analyst and excelled in the field
to become a Director of Finance responsible for monitoring revenue streams for her company’s
portfolio. Macy specialized in analyzing financial statements and accounting data sets for
potential investment acquisitions or acquired assets under management.

She received a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business
from Dillard University and is a graduate of St. Mary’s Dominican high school. Macy believes in
cultivating a stable, responsible, and progressive community for the success of our children and
is passionate about education reform here in the state of Louisiana.

Sarah Crawford
Sarah CrawfordStaff AccountantAdministration/Operations

Sarah Crawford is a Louisiana Native, born and raised in St. John the Baptist Parish. She graduated from Southeastern University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She firmly believes that access to quality early childhood education is the key to success throughout life and is very excited to work with Agenda for Children to complete our mission.

Nick Kindel
Nick KindelDirector, Facilities Expansion, Planning, and SupportNOEEN

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Nick Kindel moved to New Orleans in 2009. As the Director of Facilities, Expansion, Planning, & Support, he is responsible for assisting providers opening new child care facilities (or expanding their existing facilities) through the local and state permitting processes. He will also facilitate new partnerships to maximize efficiency to better support our local providers.

Nick has around 20 years of experience in urban planning having worked for local governments, private sector consulting, and nonprofit organizations across the country. He comes to Agenda for Children after spending almost 9 years working for the City of New Orleans at the City Planning Commission and the Department of Safety and Permits.  His most recent role at the City was as the Zoning Administrator who was responsible for administering and enforcing the zoning ordinance regulations, reviewing building permits for zoning compliance, and approving occupational licenses.

Nick has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Urban and Regional Planning from Miami University (OH) and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning with specializations in real estate and historic preservation from the University of Washington.

Madeline Kaplow
Madeline KaplowEarly Care & Education SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Maddie Kaplow joined the Agenda for Children team in 2023. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Tulane University in Early Childhood Education and Psychology, Maddie worked in various roles across schools and programs throughout the New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, D.C. areas focusing on inclusion, intervention, and teacher coaching. After venturing up north, she returned to New Orleans in 2018 and is so glad to be back. In 2020, Maddie earned her M.Ed in Special Education with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorders from George Mason University. A relationship builder, student, family and teacher advocate, and a life-long learner, Maddie is committed to growing programs and systems within New Orleans that support our youngest community members.

Leiana Quintero
Leiana QuinteroEarly Care & Education SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

Leiana Quintero moved from her hometown of San Jose, CA to New Orleans in 2017. Leiana has over 15
years in early childhood education, most recently serving as Lead Teacher for Newcombe
Children’s Center at Tulane University. Prior to that she was an Education Coordinator with
Bright Horizons where she taught for several years. Leiana currently resides in New Orleans
with her daughter and son. Some of their favorite hobbies are enjoying the outdoors, cooking,
and crafting. Leiana graduated from Tulane University with a B.A. in Social Sciences and she
holds an A.A. Degree from De Anza College in Social and Behavioral Science.

Marione Breedlove
Marione BreedloveEarly Care & Education SpecialistEarly Childhood Programs

Born and raised in New Orleans, Marione Breedlove received her Associates of Applied Science in Care and Development of Young Children from Nunez Community College. Before joining Agenda for Children she worked as a Lead Preschool Teacher for Total Community Action, Inc. in their Peter Dangerfield Training Center. She was also an Interventionist for St. Bernard Parish School Board, where she worked with small groups of children from kindergarten to fifth grade. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s in Educational Studies at Southern University at New Orleans.

Cherie Goins, Ph.D.
Cherie Goins, Ph.D.Manager, Early Childhood Grant OpportunitiesEarly Childhood Programs

Dr. Cherie Goins is a 31-year veteran educator, certified teacher, and school administrator who has served as a national consultant, entrepreneur, educator, and philanthropist. Her experience and expertise with business, and nonprofit and professional development align with her research focus: Transformative Development. She is best known for her work developing teachers, support staff and school leaders, and the many positive relationships she has formed during her tenure in education. She earned a Bachelors in Education, and a Masters and Doctorate in Education Leadership from the University of New Orleans and holds a certificate in Education Finance from Georgetown University. Her expertise in Early Childhood and K-12 education and her ongoing work in transformative business, and nonprofit and professional development make her an invaluable asset to community development efforts. She is a dedicated advocate for children.

Stevie Allen
Stevie AllenOperations ManagerAdministration/Operations

Stevie Allen is a native New Orleanian who is excited to bring over a decade of experience in corporate Operations to her role as Operations Manager at Agenda for Children. She has a passion for planning, strategy, and making experiences come to life for the betterment of all, while carefully considering the needs of the business. Stevie earned her bachelor’s degree from Tulane University in English, and currently lives in Metairie with her husband and young daughter.

Raymon Walker
Raymon WalkerDirector, Human ResourcesAdministration/Operations

Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Raymon (Ray-Moan) Walker is a proud graduate of Howard University in Washington DC and brings over 10 years of global HR experience across various nonprofit and for profit organizations. Raymon possesses an effective track record for leading all areas of HR and has successfully developed and implemented HR strategic plans in alignment with the overall mission of various businesses while leading a wide range of HR teams. A Champion and Practitioner of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, Raymon has also operated as an independent consultant for corporate and community organizations, maximizing his expertise and passion for people development to provide intentional and impactful solutions in the space.

In addition to being a Human Resources leader, he is also a published world leader in the space of Community and Economic Development. In 2023, Raymon was selected by the Office of the South African Consulate as one of 23 business leaders to serve as US delegate for the 20th AGOA Made In Africa Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa. Raymon sits on the international think tank for IEC in South Africa where he addresses the collective disadvantages and systemic challenges plaguing the continent of Africa and people of color globally.

As a proud product of the NYC Public School system, Raymon was drawn to Agenda for Children and the City of New Orleans because of his passion for young people and continued fight for “equity from birth.” He believes that cultivating a high performing and “best place to work” culture for Agenda for Children staff is a significant pillar in achieving the organization’s mission and servicing our children and families. He remains an advocate for all youth and works rigorously to continue being a mentor and philanthropist for children and youth within underserved communities in both New Orleans and NYC. Raymon is a proud Life Member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., ForbesBLK, NAACP, NABMBA, SHRM, and ToastMasters Inc.

Jerica Wallace Manager, Early Childhood Support & AccountabilityNOEEN

Specializing in Early Childhood and K-12 education, Jerica Wallace, brings 9 years of diverse experience in the New Orleans Public School System, evolving from a Data Assistant to the Director of Enrollment for a local charter school network. A passionate New Orleans native, Jerica’s commitment to ensuring quality education for New Orleans’ youth goes beyond her professional journey; it’s fueled by her role as a devoted mother of two.

She’s thrilled to join Agenda for Children and contribute her expertise to an organization that is focused on fostering an environment where every child in the city has access to quality education. She is excited to be part of a team making a positive impact on shaping a brighter future for the beloved children of New Orleans.

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