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||Program Manager; NOEEN||NOEEN|
Caitlin was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and joined the Agenda team in 2021. Upon moving to New Orleans, Caitlin joined the AmeriCorps program Serve Louisiana, serving at NetWork Volunteers, a volunteer management nonprofit. She 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. She is a graduate of Pace University (NYC) with dual degrees in both Political Science and Philosophy and Religious Studies.
|Dianna Constant||Early Care and Education Specialist; Region 4 Coordinator; Intervention Specialist||Early 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||Vice President; Finance and Administration||Administration/Operations|
A native of Slidell, Nicole “Nikki” Cousizan joined Agenda in October 2019. Nikki has more than fifteen years of experience in nonprofit finance and more than ten 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. In 2015 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 Leadership Iberia.
|Danielle M Davis||Early Care And Education Specialist||Early Childhood Programs|
Danielle 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||Co-Director; Judy Watts Center And Director Of Data & Research||Policy/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.
|Kenny Francis||Policy Fellow||Policy/Advocacy|
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Kenny Francis is an educator and child advocate who previously taught Pre-k and Kindergarten at several New Orleans schools and served as Director of School Support & Improvement at New Orleans Public Schools. Most recently he was Agenda for Children’s Director of Policy and Advocacy leading our work to pass municipal, state, and federal policies that enhance child well-being. Kenny has his bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Virginia and resides in Bangkok, Thailand with his wife, Shannon.
|Aimee Grainer||Managing Director; NOEEN||NOEEN|
Aimee Grainer was born in New Orleans and raised in Austin, Texas, along with her three siblings. Upon returning to the city of her birth in 2011, Aimee began her career as a leader in public education, working first for the Recovery School District and later for the Orleans Parish School Board. She joined the Agenda team in 2019 to be the first Deputy Director of NOEEN.
|Analiezel Hall||Early Care and Education Specialist and Region 3 Coordinator||Early 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
|Jessica Harris||Program Manager; NOEEN City Seats||NOEEN|
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Jessica joined the Agenda team in 2017. She has over sixteen years of experience teaching Early Childhood Education in Texas, Alabama, and New Orleans and twelve years of experience working in Early Head Start as a lead teacher and education supervisor. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Delgado Community College and a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Southern University at New Orleans.
Certifications include: Certified Reliable CLASS Observer (Infant, Toddler and Pre-K), Inter-Rater Reliable for TS GOLD, Louisiana Pathways Trainer Level II
|Kenya Harris||Coordinator Of Professional Development||Early 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 Coordinator 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||Director; Continuing Education & Professional Development||Early Childhood Programs|
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
|Denea Laffoon||Early Care And Education Specialist||Early 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||Operations Assistant||Administration/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 the Family & Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children, Pyramid Parent Training Center, and Central City Renaissance Alliance.
|Ashley A Plaisance||Coordinator; Early Childhood Programs And Partnerships||Early 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||Chief Executive Officer||Administration/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.
Prior to her being named Chief Executive Officer at Agenda in 2021, Jen served as Agenda’s first President and the Founding Executive Director of NOEEN, a public/private partnership with early childhood providers, New Orleans Public Schools, and the LA Department of Education. In 2018, she co-founded the New Orleans Early Education Research Alliance with Tulane University faculty and created the Early Childhood Opportunity (ECHO) Fund, a multi-million dollar microgrant program for childcare centers across Southeast Louisiana. She successfully managed programs at Louisiana’s largest private foundation for nearly a decade and is known for the innovative programs she has created for schools, youth organizations, corporations, and colleges.
A trusted strategic advisor to public, corporate, philanthropic, and non-profit leaders worldwide, Jen currently serves as a member of Louisiana’s Early Childhood Advisory Council and was named a 2019 Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Fellow. She serves on the boards of The Cowen Institute at Tulane University and the Bureau of Governmental Research. Jen 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. A native of the Gulf Coast, she has called New Orleans home since 2002.
|Jacquelyn Rodriguez||Manager; Professional Development||Early 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||Early Care And Education Specialist||Early 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||Assistant Director; Continuing Education & Professional Development||Early Childhood Programs|
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 and adjunct faculty for the Care and Development of Young Children programs at local community colleges. Derrick serves on the board of directors for the Louisiana Early Childhood Association, on the advisory council for the Louisiana Association for the Education of Young Children, on the Louisiana Early Learning and Development Standards Review Committee, and as affiliate faculty for the Early Childhood Education Institute at LSU. He is also a proud volunteer coach for The Miracle League of Greater New Orleans. Derrick holds a B.A. in English and international development from Tulane, an M.Ed. in elementary education from Notre Dame, and a certificate in early childhood education from UCLA. He is currently completing his certificate in early education leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, holds the National Administrator’s Credential, and is a certified Louisiana Pathways trainer.
|Tiffany Wallace||Early Care And Education Specialist||Early 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||Early Care And Education Specialist||Early Childhood Programs|
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. Mellissa is an active member of Young Catholic Professionals and serves as Director of Operations on the Leadership team. Melissa holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Education & Workforce Development from Louisiana State University. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child & Family Studies from Louisiana State University.
Certifications include: Certified Reliable CLASS Observer (Infant and Toddler). Interrater Reliable in GOLD by Teaching Strategies, Louisiana Pathways Trainer Level III
|Anna E. Williamson||Managing Director; Center For Early Childhood Programs & Professional Development||Early 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.
|Kiara Winters||Staff Accountant||Administration/Operations|
Born and raised in New Orleans, Kiara joined Agenda in 2021. Kiara has seven years of accounting and administrative experience in education and health care. Prior to joining the Agenda team, she worked as a Financial Specialist at a Federally Qualified Health Center and previously worked as a Staff Accountant at an organization that provided financial support to charter schools across Louisiana and an Accounting Clerk at Jefferson Parish Public Schools. Kiara is very passionate about the wellbeing of Louisiana’s children and families and is excited to join the organization. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and is an active member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the Institute of Internal Auditors.
Certifications include: Certified Fraud Examiner
|Ashley Smallwood||Early Care And Education Specialist||Early Childhood Programs|
A native of New Orleans, Ashley Smallwood has over 16 years of experience in the Early Childhood Education field as a lead teacher and child care center director. Ashley has been a dedicated advocate for children, families and the community for over 15 years. She has an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Delgado Community College and currently working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Southern University at New Orleans. Ashley joined Agenda’s team in 2021.
Certifications include: Certified Reliable CLASS Observer (Infant and Toddler), Inter-Rater Reliable in GOLD by Teaching Strategies, Louisiana Pathways Trainer, National Administrator Credential, Ancillary Certificate, Louisiana Early Leaders Academy Certificate, Preschool CDA
|Angelique Thomas||Director Of Early Childhood Programs||Early Childhood Programs|
Originally from New Orleans, Dr. Angelique Thomas joined Agenda’s team in 2021. She has more than 13 years’ experience working on behalf of children and families. Dr. Thomas previously worked for NOLA Public Schools, where she helped coordinate early childhood enrollment and student access for Orleans Parish. She is also an active member of St. James Major Guild. Dr. Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a master’s in Educational Leadership and a Doctorate in Education from Clark Atlanta University.
|Kiara Oyola||Community Liaison & Special Projects Assistant||Administration/Operations|
Originally from Boston, Kiara joined Agenda for Children in 2021. She has more than 2 years of experience working on behalf of children and families. Kiara previously worked for the Bard Early College New Orleans as the Student Activities Coordinator, where she facilitated many events (such as Matriculation, the Fall Showcase, Bard Gatherings and Commencement), clubs, organizations as well as provided resources for the community. She also had the pleasure of serving on the school’s Student Services Team and Professional Development Committee.
Kiara is also an active community member here in New Orleans and has served the local community through SBP via AmeriCorps by doing disaster recovery work. Kiara holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Loyola University New Orleans.
|Cherrie Barthelemy||Grants Manager & Senior Accountant||Administration/Operations|
Born and raised in New Orleans, Cherrie joined Agenda’s team in 2014 after living in Washington, DC and Memphis, TN for seventeen years. Cherrie has over thirty years of accounting, budgeting, and financial management experience in government, corporate and non-profit environments. Cherrie has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Xavier University.
|Brandi Joshua||Early Care and Education Specialist||Early 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
|Natalie Reich||Program Coordinator, NOEEN||NOEEN|
Natalie is from Arlington, VA, right outside of Washington, DC; she joined the Agenda team in 2020. She has previously worked with the Urban Institute and the Louisiana Budget Project, and is a strong advocate for equitable social policy. Natalie recently graduated from Tulane University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Social Policy.
|Tara Zapp||Director Of Contracts and Strategic Partnerships||Administration/Operations|
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.