Staff

RALEIGH STAFF  |  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

DR. JONI Y. ALBERG - Executive Director
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Joni has served as the Executive Director of BEGINNINGS since 1999.  Additionally, she is an Adjunct Associate Professor at UNC-CH, Division of Speech & Hearing Sciences, School of Medicine.  She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Special Education from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Joni provides training to professionals on how to engage parents as partners in their children's development and education.  Joni is a Past President of the International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and currently serves as a member of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Board of Directors.  She also is a member of an AGBell task force focused on IDEA reauthorization and children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Joni is nationally recognized as an expert in parent education, family support and parent engagement.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                                                     
MR. JAVIER COSENTINO - Hispanic Outreach / Parent Educator  
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Javier joined BEGINNINGS in January 2013.  He holds a Master's Degree in Theology from a University in Argentina and Bioethics studies from a Pontifical Universtiy in Rome.  Javier has more than 10 years of experience in counseling and supporting people in several countries before arriving in the United States to work in the mental health field.  He has been supporting the Latino community, serving parents and their children, in many counties within North Carolina.  Javier and his wife reside in Clayton with their son and daughter.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
MS. JOHANNA LYNCH - Parent Educator
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Johanna joined BEGINNINGS in September 2012.  She has experience working with families who have children with hearing loss and collaborating with the professionals who serve them.  She served as the parent representative for New Hampshire's Early Hearing Detection & Intervention program and the New Hampshire Department of Education's Deaf & Hard of Hearing Education Initiative.  She has worked to promote early identification, to improve educational outcomes for children with hearing loss, and to establish positive partnerships between parents and professionals. She and her husband live in Apex with their two children, one of whom is hard of hearing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
MS. DJENNE-AMAL MORRIS - Parent Educator/Training Coordinator
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Djenne-amal joined BEGINNINGS in October 2007. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology/Sociology from Clark University in MA. She has had extensive experience working with families of special needs children, teaching parenting workshops and has been a Deaf-blind Family Specialist for the past 6 years. She and her husband also served in several capacities in the full-time ministry. Djenne is the mother of a Deaf-blind multi-handicapped son with CHARGE Syndrome. She and her husband Michael live in Knightdale with their three children.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
MS. JO ANN PARRISH - Lead Parent Educator  
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Jo Ann joined BEGINNINGS in October 2000, after working with young children and their families for more than 12 years.  First, teaching in preschool settings and later providing early intervention services for young children and their families. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with emphasis in Child Development and a Master’s degree in Special Education specializing in Learning Disabilities from NC State University.  She and her husband, David have a son, Joel, daughter-in-law, Angela and grandsons, Ryan and Julian.  They are also parents of a tuxedo kitty named Sylvia.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
MS. MEGAN PENDER- Parent Educator
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Megan joined BEGINNINGS in August 2013.  She received her bachelor's degree in Education of Deaf & Hard of Hearing from Barton College in 2000 and a Master's degree in Divergent Learning in 2003 from Columbia College in South Carolina.  Megan has eleven years of teaching experience as an itinerant and resource teacher for deaf/hard of hearing students in public school settings.  In 2011, She received her National Board certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist-Education of Deaf/Hard of Hearing.  As a child grwoing up with a bilateral severe-profound hearing loss, Megan experienced the challenges and lessons of acedemic, social, and emotional conflicts in a variety of educational and social situations.  In July 2012, she discovered her hearing loss was attributed to EVAS (Enlarged Vestibular Aqueducts Syndrome), which led her to become a candidate of a cochlear implant.  Megan resides in Greenville, NC with her husband and two daughters.
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MS. GEORGANNE SANDERS - Director of Development and Public Relations
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Georganne began volunteering with BEGINNINGS in 2010, was a member of the Board of Directors from 2011-2012 and joined the staff in July 2012.  She has a family member with hearing loss and was drawn to the mission of BEGINNINGS.  Georganne's background is in client relations and public affairs and she holds a B.S. degree in Political Science from Clemson University.  She and her husband, Jon, have one "child" - a pug named Lily Belle.                                                   
MS. DEBORAH STROUD - Executive Assistant
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Deborah joined BEGINNINGS in November 2012 after volunteering with the organization for several years.  She lost her hearing as an adult and is a bilateral cochlear implant user and is very passionate about helping others with hearing loss.  Deborah serves on the NC Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, is the State Treasurer for the NC Chapter of Hearing Loss Association (HLAA) and is an active member in the local Wake Chapter of HLAA.  She brings many years of experience as an Executive Assistant both in corporate and non-profit organizations.  Deborah, who lives in Raleigh, has two grown daughters and 5 grandchildren.

MS. JUDY A. WERBICKI - Administrative Manager   
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Judy has been with BEGINNINGS since November 2000, and she has over 20 years of secretarial and administrative experience working in corporate and health and human service provider environments. Judy works part-time in the Raleigh Office, and has three grown children.

CHARLOTTE STAFF

MS. BEVERLY A. ELWELL - Assistant Executive Director/Parent Educator
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Beverly joined BEGINNINGS in October 1997. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Habilitative Sciences and a Master's Degree in Deaf Education, both from Florida State University (FSU). Throughout her 14 years experience of teaching students who are deaf and hard of hearing, ages 4 through adults, Beverly has taught in a residential school setting, public schools, and at a community college. After leaving the field of teaching, she earned accounting credentials at UNC-Charlotte and was a CPA prior to working with BEGINNINGS.  Her experience as an accountant was primarily in the not-for-profit sector. Beverly is a bilateral cochlear implant user; she is married to David, whom she met while attending FSU.  
 
MS. TERRI L. BURCHAM - Parent Educator
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Terri joined BEGINNINGS in March 2008. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Education of Deaf Children with a concentration in Social Work from UNC-Greensboro (1997). She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Education though the Birth-Kindergarten: Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development at UNC-Greensboro. She recently accepted an appointment to the Auditory-Oral/Birth-Kindergarten Project DUET Advisory Board.  Prior to BEGINNINGS, Terri was employed as a Service Coordinator in the NC Infant-Toddler Program and as a Program Consultant with the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program. Terri’s previous employment included providing social work services for the NC Early Intervention Program for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Central Region, and the Community Alternatives Program for the Mentally Retarded or Developmentally Disabled (CAP-MR/DD). Terri has helped establish parent support groups for parents of deaf or hard of hearing children and enjoys volunteering with these groups. Terri and her husband, Joe, live in Browns Summit with their two daughters.

MS. JOANNA D. CHANTEMERLE - Parent Educator
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Joanna joined BEGINNINGS in November 2003. She has a B.A. degree in Psychology from UNC-Wilmington. Joanna earned her M.S. degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling/Evaluation from East Carolina University. Prior to BEGINNINGS, she was employed as a Hard of Hearing Services Specialist and Specialist-In-Charge at the Asheville Regional Resource Center for the Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Joanna also has four years of experience as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for teens with disabilities in Greenville, North Carolina. Joanna and her husband, Don, have a teenage daughter and son.

MS. DIANE E. DOAK - Director of Programs/Parent Educator
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Diane has been a Parent Educator with BEGINNINGS since August 1998. She has 15 years combined experience as a recreational therapist, an early intervention teacher, and an early intervention counselor to families of children who are at risk for developmental delays. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from West Virginia University, and is a certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist and a NC Infant-Toddler Specialist. Prior to joining BEGINNINGS, she was employed as a Developmental Disabilities Senior Counselor with an Area Mental Health Center, providing early intervention services for families of children birth to five with developmental delays and diagnosed disabilities, including children with hearing losses. Diane and her husband, Doug, have 2 sons, one of whom has a hearing loss.

MS. ERIN M. LUCAS - Parent Educator
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Erin has been a Parent Educator with BEGINNINGS since June 1998. She obtained her BA degree in Deaf Education and Regular Education from Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, NC and currently holds NC teaching certifications in Deaf Education (K-12) and Regular Education (K-6). Prior to working with BEGINNINGS, Erin taught middle school deaf and hard of hearing students in a resource classroom and then served as an itinerant Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She has spent her career working with deaf and hard of hearing children, adults, and their families as a teacher and as a volunteer.
  
MS. Michelle Miranda Hispanic Outreach / Parent Educator
Michelle has been an Hispanic Outreach/Parent Educator with BEGINNINGS since August 2010. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University.  Prior to joining BEGINNINGS, Michelle worked extensively with the Hispanic population, providing services to meet their individual needs, often in crisis situations, as well as basic interpreting needs,  She has taught in both Preschool and School Age settings.  Michelle and her husband, Luis, live in Charlotte with their son, Daniel.

 

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