Faculty and Staff

 

Jo Cullen

Executive Director

Jo is from England and moved to America in 2008 when her husband was relocated with Eastman. She graduated from the University of York, England, with a Bachelors degree in English and Education. She completed a post grad in Elementary Education and went on to teach in elementary schools in England for 16 years. She became a school principal there in 2002. During this time, her younger son was diagnosed with autism. She completed a post grad certificate in Aspergers Syndrome at the University of Sheffield, and also underwent TEACCH training with Professor Gary Mesibov. She is a 2020 graduate of the Vanderbilt Consortium LEND program (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment Disabilities). This was a year long program focusing on interprofessional approaches to working with children with disabilities and their families.

Jo is the Executive Director of Jeremiah School, responsible for all operations for the school, as well as raising awareness of the school within the community. She lives with her husband and younger son in Johnson City; her elder son is a student at Clemson University. In her spare time, Jo loves to ride horses, read, and spend time with her family.

Patti Dunlap

Principal

Patti Dunlap has a Bachelors degree from Northern Michigan University and a Masters degree from Fayetteville State University. She is certified in elementary education, special education, and educational leadership.  She has taught students with a variety of ages and abilities, as well as been principal in elementary and middle schools.  She has also served as a director of exceptional children and other special programs.  Patti is passionate about working with students, making decisions based on what is best for them, and building strong support networks with colleagues and families.

Patti and her husband Dean have recently followed their dream of moving to a cabin in Roan Mountain. They have 5 grown children, all married, and 10 grandchildren with more on the way.  They love spending time with their growing family, as well as exploring the mountains of Tennessee.  Patti is excited to continue her career as part of the dedicated team at Jeremiah School.

Andrew Baxter

Academic Program Instructor

Andrew Baxter is a native of Johnson City who holds an MEd. in Elementary Education K-6 as well as an MEd. in Special Education K-12.  He first began working with young people of all abilities back in 2007 through the ETSU Renaissance Camps and decided he wanted to pursue education. He has taught 5th grade Math and Science at Boones Creek Middle School, worked as an interventionist at Grandview, worked in Sullivan County as a resource teacher and just completed a year in Kingsport City Schools in a self-contained room for students with autism and co-occurring disabilities.

While in graduate school for special education, he worked as a research assistant under the guidance of Dr. Pamela Mims.  He also worked closely for the Attainment Company, Inc.  It was during this time, Andrew became inspired by the amazing teachers and students he had the pleasure of working with.

As a parent and husband himself, he firmly believes that education is a family enterprise and that important decisions should be made in a collaborative spirit. He is thrilled to be on this journey with the incredible staff and students of the Jeremiah School.

Susan Van Slyke

Teacher

Susan Van Slyke is a native of Wisconsin who earned her B.S. degree in psychology and worked part of her career in the mental health field. She returned to graduate school a few years after she married her husband Jeff, who was a Major in the Air Force, while being stationed in San Antonio, TX. There she earned her M.Ed. with dual certification in ec-6 generalist and ec-12 special education. She has taught piano to many students, including two with autism. After spending many years traveling in the Air Force, she and her family now live in Jonesborough. Susan has two children, Henley 14, who attends University School and Hannah 21, finishing school and pursuing a military career. She also has a love for animals, especially dogs; she has three spoiled dogs, and two cats.
Susan is excited to be a part of Jeremiah School and to truly make a difference in each student’s life. She strives to provide the best individualized support for each student and makes each student feel loved, supported, accepted and understood.

Teri Dosher

Teacher

Teri Dosher previously taught in the Johnson City School system at South Side Elementary, North Side Elementary, and Indian Trail Middle School. She has always had a love for teaching children with special needs, particularly those with autism, and her focus will be building relationships with the students at Jeremiah School.

Teri left teaching when she was given the opportunity to pursue a dream of opening a coffeehouse and music venue, and became the owner/operator of The Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room in downtown Johnson City.  She loved the experience of running a business, but missed teaching. She made the tough decision to close The Willow Tree due to Covid-19, and joined Jeremiah School in August, 2020. She had long hoped to return to the classroom, and this role at Jeremiah School was the perfect opportunity.

Teri loves spending time outside, growing flowers and plants, reading, listening to live music, taking road trips, and spending time with her friends and family.  She has a beautiful daughter named Zoe who is 27, three cats, and a dog.

Heather Poston

Teaching Assistant

Heather Poston is a native of Bristol, Tennessee. She attended the University of Tennessee and North Carolina State University where she earned her Bachelors of Science. She now resides in Johnson City with her husband, Brian, and two kids, Knox and Harper.

Heather has previously volunteered with the Special Olympics and the CDC class at Fairmont Elementary School. She has a passion for working with children. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, fitness and running, being outdoors, and photography.

Courtney Bailey

Teacher Assistant / Counselor

Courtney Bailey grew up in a small town in Virginia but has since relocated with her husband to Bristol, Tennessee. Courtney received her Bachelors Degree in English from Southern New Hampshire University and went on to receive a Masters Degree from Liberty University with a major in Human Services Counseling. She has now returned to graduate school to pursue a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Courtney has experience in tutoring and mental health services in school settings.

In her free time, Courtney enjoys going to the park with her husband and Australian Shepherd, Marshall. She also enjoys attending sporting events with her husband who is a high school coach. Courtney enjoys spending time with family and friends and crafting in her free time.

Courtney is very excited to join the team at Jeremiah School and get to experience being apart of an amazing staff and community of students.

Jessie Smythe

Office Administrator

Jessie Smythe hails from Elkins, West Virginia. She lived there for most of her life, but moved to Tennessee when she decided to attend Bryan College in Dayton Tennessee. During her time at college, she was part of many campus organizations, most notably, Student Government, where she assisted with planning and other administrative functions. Jessie was also leader of the Senior Adult Ministry. She received her degree in Corporate Communications, and moved to Johnson City after graduating. Jessie is married to her husband, Luke, who she met at Bryan College.

Jess has such a passion for people, whether old or young, and making sure they feel seen and loved is what keeps her going. She also enjoys baking, being outside, writing, and spending time with family. Jessie believes that God can use her gifts of administrative work and service as a way to minister to others, and is happy to serve and be an integral part of Jeremiah School and its mission.

Ashlyn Jackson

Intern

Ashlyn Jackson grew up in Kingsport, TN, and has attended Milligan College for the past 4 years. She graduated in May with a B.S. degree in psychology and minors in photography and humanities. Throughout college, she was a member of the dance team. She worked with Mini Miracles Pediatric Therapy as an intern and completed a research project with them. She intends to pursue a career in occupational therapy. She has a a personal connection with autism and has a huge passion for individuals with special needs.