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.

Gina Habit


Ms. Gina Habit joined the Jeremiah School staff as a classroom teacher for the 2021-22 school year and then transitioned to Principal for the 2022-2023 school year.

Gina and her family recently moved from Hughson, California to their new home in Jonesborough. Gina’s experience in education began as a substitute teacher’s aide, which included assignments in a variety of settings. Gina completed her Education Specialist Credential at Teacher’s College of San Joaquin and began working for Turlock Unified School District. She worked as an elementary Resource Specialist and as a high school Mild/Moderate Special Education Teacher.

Gina is thrilled about Jeremiah School’s approach to a student-centered environment and she is excited to join the team!

Patti Dunlap

Transition Director

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.

Jacki Vilandre

Office Manager

Mrs. Jacki Vilandre joined Jeremiah School as the Office Manager in the front office during the 2021-2022 school year. She is originally from Massachusetts, but has lived all over the country before settling in Tennessee in 2019. She graduated with both her Master of English and Bachelor of Literature and Language from Southern New Hampshire University. She was a stay-at-home mom and a school bus driver prior to joining the Jeremiah School family. Jacki is married with three wonderful children. In her free time, Jacki enjoys geocaching, traveling (especially road trips), and spending as much time at the beach as she can. She’s been to 49 states and 3 countries so far.

Shaunah Scott


Ms. Shaunah Scott is a native of East Tennessee.  Shaunah graduated her Master of Social Work degree from East Tennessee State University in 2010. Shaunah has her Licensed MSW and is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, holding this certification from the International Association of Trauma Professionals. She completed her undergraduate internship at a psychiatric hospital and completed her master’s internship at the ETSU Counseling Center.  Since graduate school, Shaunah has worked in an array of clinical atmospheres which include working with adolescents and adults in recovery from substance use, inpatient psychiatric care, transitional living services, hospital case management, and outpatient therapy.  Most recently, Shaunah worked at East Tennessee State University where she taught social work courses and provided individual, couples, and group therapy services in the ETSU Counseling Center.  There, she worked with a diverse population of students, including those on the autism spectrum.  Shaunah’s two clinical loves are working with people on the autism spectrum and working with trauma.

Shaunah’s biggest hope is to join the students right where they are, helping them see their value and worth, and providing support so they can reach their fullest potential. Shaunah believes the relationship with the student is essential, so that healing and restoration can occur. She may employ a variety of techniques in session including (but not limited to) sandtray therapy, tapping, CBT, relaxation training, self-regulation, and skills building.  Shaunah is very thankful and excited that the Lord brought her to Jeremiah School.

Shaunah considers herself a major foodie and loves to try new meals.  In her free time, Shaunah enjoys making soap, diffusing oils, spending time with her family, reading memoirs and thrillers, and traveling.

Susan VanSlyke

Classroom Teacher

Susan Van Slyke is returning to Jeremiah School for the 2022-23 school year as a classroom teacher.

Susan 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. She earned her Master of Education with dual certification in EC-6 generalist and EC-12 special education. She has worked in a private preschool while living in Oahu, Hawaii, a preschool in public schools, kindergarten and self-contained units in elementary, 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade elementary inclusion support, and high school special education. She has also played the piano for decades, performed for new school dedications, choir performances, solo ensemble competitions, state competitions  and has taught piano lessons to many students (with some earning top awards in piano competitions) and has taught two children with autism, one with down syndrome and one with partial hearing loss. After spending many years traveling in the Air Force, she and her family now live in Jonesborough, secluded on top of a mountain with beautiful views and plenty of wildlife. Susan has two children, Hannah, 24 and Henley, 17 She also has 2 dogs and 1 cat. She is an avid animal lover!

Susan is excited to start her fourth year at Jeremiah School where she can provide the best individualized support and where she can make a difference in each student’s life. She strives to make learning fun and engaging, while making each student feel loved, supported, accepted, and understood.

Dana Miller


Ms. Dana Miller joined Jeremiah School for the 2021-2022 school year as an enrichment teacher and became a classroom teacher for the 2022-2023 school year.

Dana is a mid-western native but has lived in East Tennessee for almost 30 years. She has worked with children in diverse roles, both in schools and in churches, for decades. She has a special education degree from Wayne State in Nebraska and a Biblical Studies degree from Hope International University in California.

Dana and husband, Jeff, have 2 grown daughters and 5 grandchildren. In her free time, she likes gardening, hiking the local trails and spending as much time as possible with her family.

Dana is very excited to join the Jeremiah School team! She appreciates the positive, student-centered environment and is looking forward to working with students to help them realize their unique gifts and abilities.

Sarah Melton


Ms. Sarah Melton is joining the Jeremiah School for the 2022-2023 School year.

Sarah Melton is a native of the Tri-Cities area and is joining the Jeremiah School Staff as a
classroom teacher for the 2022-23 school year. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in
Elementary Education (K-5) through East Tennessee State University and is certified in Special
Education (K-12) through the University of Virginia at Wise. She has worked with various age
groups and abilities, including ETSU Child Study Center Headstart, 2nd Grade in Kingsport City
Schools, and K-6 Resource Special Education in Scott County Schools. Sarah’s passion is
teaching science and integrating hands-on activities into all subjects.
Sarah is recently married and lives with her husband, Bridger, and her beagle-dachshund, Boots.
In her spare time, she loves to make crafts, play tennis, and visit the zoo. She also loves to help
with local outreaches and ministries through her church.
Sarah is eager to help students love learning and find their own passions and interests at
Jeremiah School!

Andrew Baxter


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.

Amanda Grindstaff

Classroom Teacher

Amanda Milller Grindstaff, joined the Jermiah School Family in November, 2021. A native of  Johnson City, she is a 1998 graduate of Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Amanda is dual  certified in both Elementary Education (K–8th Grade) and Special Education (Pre-K-12th Grade).  She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and Supervision, which she earned  in December of 2008. Her experience in the classroom ranges from pre-school through post  high school. The majority of her classroom teaching experience has been in the upper  elementary grades, with concentration in Language Arts. 

Amanda is mother to three amazing children, Aubrey, Nathan, and Landon. She is also proud  Mimi to her two grandchildren, Allison and Baby Antonio Capri. 

In her spare time, Amanda loves to spend time with her family and friends, antique shopping,  and building her small business, The Bookbug’s Treasures, which she began in 2018. She also  enjoys traveling and going on a variety of impromptu adventures any time she gets the chance. 

An avid, life-long reader, Amanda still loves to read now as much as ever. She enjoys sharing  her love of reading with others, especially her students. She also loves taking care of and  spending time with her beloved pets.


Jordan Hite

Enrichment Teacher

Mr. Jordan Hite is joining the Jeremiah School staff for the 2021-22 school year as an enrichment teacher. Jordan is an East Tennessee native who studied psychology and education at Carson Newman University. Jordan has worked with the Autism Society, Easter Seals, the Access Academy, and Bold Gold. After years of traveling the country and living on the west coast, he recently moved back to East Tennessee where he now resides with his wife and daughter. They have a baby boy on the way. Jordan is an avid outdoorsman who can be found camping in the blue rides, gardening with his wife, or playing board games on his patio. He has a passion for bringing nature to the classroom and taking the classroom into nature.

Melissa Glaze

Enrichment Teacher

Melissa Kay Glaze is a lifelong lover of the arts. She graduated from ETSU in May of 2006 with a Bachelors in Fine Art, concentration in
painting. After graduating she did her first yoga teacher training that fall. In 2007 she moved to Asheville, NC where she continued to
pursue creating visual art and also took up theater, and dance. During that time she worked with the Asheville Mural Project and worked as an art teacher at Open Hearts Art Center; a center for adults with developmental disabilities.  In 2015  she moved to Atlanta, GA to
pursue working in film and television. She spent the next five years working in the Atlanta film industry. To see the full list of films
worked on you can find her on IMDB as Melissa Kay Glaze. In May of 2020 with the onset of the pandemic, Melissa decided that it was time to return to life in a small town, and came back to Johnson City, TN.

Since returning to Johnson City she has completed a second Yoga Teacher training with Downtown Yoga Center, where she now teaches
Restorative Yoga, and hosts Ecstatic Dances. In her free time Melissa continues to paint and loves spending time outdoors, camping, hiking, and paddling at the lake. She is excited to be joining the staff at Jeremiah school and looks forward to working with staff and students here.

Kelly Ribeiro

Teacher Assistant

Mrs. Kelly Ribeiro is joining the Jeremiah School staff as a classroom teacher’s aide for the 2022-23 school year.
Kelly and her family recently moved from Northern California to their new home here in Johnson City, TN. She is married to her husband Rui for 15 years and has two incredible boys (Ryan, 11 and Jacob, 13) one of which on is the Autism Spectrum. Kelly and her family are HUGE sports fans and love animals as well!  Some of their pets include Larry the Duck, chickens, dogs, cats.  If you see Kelly at school it is likely she has a mug of coffee in her hands.
Kelly’s love for children and experience with children began as a child volunteering in the special needs classroom at her middle and high school, as well as volunteering for organizations like the Special Olympics.   While attending College in California at San Joaquin JC she worked on her early childhood education.
Kelly is excited to get to know the students in her class and create a special bond with each of them!  Kelly has a positive and fun personality that she is hoping the students will enjoy!  🙂

Correna Fowler

Teacher Assistant 

Correna may not be from TN originally, but she has spent her fair share of time here in Johnson city. Correna was born in Southern California, moving to Johnson City at age 6. She attended East Tennessee State University, where she was on the dance team and studied special education.  Correna has danced herself and taught children of all ages for over 20+ years. She spent time teaching at a local preschool before joining the team this fall here at Jeremiah School. Some of her favorite things include sunflower seeds, Coke Zero, and garlic butter pasta! She looks forward to an exciting and productive year here at Jeremiah school!

Destiny Newman


Ms. Destiny is joining the Jeremiah School for the 2022-2023 School year as an intern from ETSU.

Mystic Whitson


Ms. Mystic is joining the Jeremiah School for the 2022-2023 School year as an intern from ETSU.


McKinna Powell


Ms. McKinna is joining the Jeremiah School for the 2022-2023 school year.

“I am from Cumberland gap, TN and have lived in Johnson city for over 3 years. I attend ETSU and and am working to receive my Bachelor in social work degree. I have experience working with children of all ages from infants to middle school. I love being outdoors especially by any body of water, swimming is my favorite! My favorite color can change daily and I love snacks. I am extremely excited to begin my journey at the Jeremiah School and am eager to build relationships and memories with the faculty, staff, and students.”