SC Program for Infant and Toddler Care (SCPITC)
Kerrie Schnake, M.A.
Director of South Carolina’s Infant/Toddler Specialist Network
Kerrie L. Schnake, M.A., is the director of South Carolina’s Infant/Toddler Specialist Network at the University of South Carolina’s Child Development Research Center (CDRC). She established the South Carolina Program for Infant/Toddler Care Network (SCPITC Network) in 2006 with the support of the SC Department of Social Services. Prior to her work in South Carolina, Ms. Schnake was part of WestEd’s Program for Infant/Toddler Care in California, serving on the Partners for Quality team (California’s Infant/Toddler Specialist Network) and the Research and Evaluation team. Since embarking on her work in South Carolina Ms. Schnake has been a leader in the state’s infant/toddler quality child care initiatives including multiple interstate collaborations that have resulted in the adoption of South Carolina’s Infant/Toddler Guidelines and the creation of the South Carolina Infant/Toddler Field Guide. She also teaches the Infant/Toddler Practicum course at USC. Ms. Schnake has her B.A. in Sociology from Cal State, East Bay and her M.A. in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Public Policy from San Francisco State University.
Janelle Beamer, M.S.
Director of Public Information and Events
Janelle Beamer is the director of public information and events for SCPITC. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina and her master’s degree in management from Southern Wesleyan University. After working in print journalism for several years in the Columbia and Greenwood areas, in 1997 she made the transition into public relations for higher education. Ms. Beamer was born in Charleston, grew up in Columbia and lived for many years in the Upstate. She was a member of Leadership South Carolina’s Class of 2011, was named Pickens County Career Woman of the Year for 2011, and received the Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce’s David J. Spittal Community Service Award for 2011. She was also named Southern Wesleyan University’s Alumnus of the Year for the School of Business in 2012.
Infant Toddler Specialist, Richland and Lexington Counties
Kathryn Blue-Barrett is an Infant/Toddler Specialist with SCPITC, serving Richland and Lexington counties. She has been working in the field of early childhood education since 2001. Prior to joining SCPITC, she was a technical assistance specialist with the S.C. Child Care Resource & Referral Network. Previous positions include early childhood education specialist and technical assistance specialist for First Steps, therapeutic foster care manager, literacy coordinator and preschool teacher. She is a certified trainer and technical assistance provider with the Center for Childcare Career Development, a certified adoption investigator, an accredited provider for the Positive Parents Program, and a certified trainer for Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect and Childcare Business Basics, along with PITC Modules and the SC Infant and Toddler Field Guide. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies from East Carolina University and her master’s in Individual and Family Development from South Carolina State University.
Infant Toddler Specialist, Lowcountry/Beaufort Area
Cynthia Davis, M.A., is a Master Trainer for the State of South Carolina and Early Childhood Consultant of ECE, serving part-time as an Infant/Toddler Specialist for the SCPITC Network in the Lowcountry/Beaufort area. Ms. Davis is experienced in supporting training and technical assistance in early child care programs serving local, state, and federal clients. Ms. Davis has designed and delivered training for direct care staff, parents, family child care providers and public school teachers in the state of South Carolina. She has worked in infant/toddler and preschool settings for many years and taught public Kindergarten for 24 years. Ms. Davis has also participated in program evaluations, data collection and reporting activities. She continues to provide innovative and energetic workshops for a wide range of participants in the Early Childhood field that includes using the PITC Modules.
Infant Toddler Specialist, Lowcountry (Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley Counties)
Cindy Esposito is the SCPITC Network’s Infant/Toddler Specialist primarily serving child care programs in the Lowcountry (Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties). Originally from the northeast, Ms. Esposito brings more than 30 years of experience that allows her to blend her early childhood expertise with her social work background (children’s services, adoptions and a maternity shelter). Ms. Esposito’s experiences include employment as a family worker in early childhood education programs, teacher/director at an infant/toddler program and a family child care specialist. In addition, she enjoyed four years as an infant/toddler specialist in New York before becoming part of SCPITC’s network. Ms. Esposito’s early childhood interests include early literacy, environments and parenting.
Chrissy Gregg is the project assistant for the South Carolina Program for Infant/Toddler Care Network. She studied Business and Early Childhood Education at Midlands Technical College and the University of South Carolina. Her experience includes administrative work as a paralegal for seven years and several years’ experience as a childcare provider at a Columbia preschool. She enjoys spending her spare time with her three young boys, and volunteering for the Irmo Little League to support the local baseball team.
Tiffany Livingston is a graduate assistant for the South Carolina Program for Infant/Toddler Care Network. She has an associate in arts degree from Midlands Technical College, an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Early Childhood Education at USC. Before joining the SCPITC Network team, she spent three years working with young children at a private school in the Columbia area. In her free time, she likes to read and spend time with her family.
Infant Toddler Specialist, Midlands Area
Michele Martin, a fully PITC certified Infant Toddler Specialist, has been with the SCPITC Network since 2011, working with child care programs in the Midlands area. She has 30 years of experience working with children and families in a variety of settings including 12 years’ experience working as Director of an early childhood school readiness initiative and as Director of a Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R) as well as 15 years’ experience working with Head Start centers. Michele is a Master Certified Trainer and Level 2 Certified Technical Assistance Provider (TAP) with the S.C. Center for Child Care Career Development and is also a S.C. licensed, ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She earned a B.A. degree from Columbia College and a M.S. degree from the University of Alabama.
Infant Toddler Specialist, York County and Surrounding Area
Carol Perkins has been an Infant/Toddler Specialist serving York County and surrounding areas since 2008. Ms. Perkins has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 40 years, the last twelve with a specialized focus on children birth to three years of age. She earned an M Ed. in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina & was first certified in the Program for Infant Toddler Care in 2007. She is a Master Certified Trainer & Certified Technical Assistance Provider with the SC Center for Child Care Career Development. Ms. Perkins is also an instructor for the Infant/Toddler Practicum at USC/Columbia.
Bessie L. Sanders-Gordon
Infant Toddler Specialist, Midlands Area
Bessie L. Sanders-Gordon is an Infant Toddler Specialist for the SCPITC Network at the University of South Carolina, serving the Midlands. Prior to employment with the SCPITC Network, she was an Infant Toddler Specialist and T/TA Provider for South Carolina Head Start State-Based Training & Technical Assistance Office, Region IV Head Start. Mrs. Sanders-Gordon has been employed in the capacities of Family and Community Partnerships Coordinator and Mental Health Coordinator for the Sumter School District 17 Early Head Start Program for eleven years. She has also worked in various positions for the Sumter County Department of Social Services. She is a Certified Adoption Specialist, Certified Trainer and TAP for the S.C. Child Care Career Development Training System and previously a Head Start Reviewer. Mrs. Sanders-Gordon holds Bachelors of Science in Sociology and a Masters of Social Work from the University of South Carolina and has taken advanced courses in Early Childhood as well as received diverse training over the years.
Infant Toddler Specialist, Upstate/Greenville Area
Nicole Shea is the Infant Toddler Specialist for the Upstate/Greenville area. She holds a Master’s Degree in Family Counseling from Webster University. Ms. Shea began her career as a two year old teacher at a therapeutic child development center for abused and neglected children. Prior to joining the SCPITC Network Ms. Shea had seven years of experience as an Early Childhood Technical Assistance Specialist with Greenville County First Steps. She is a SC certified Early Childhood Trainer, a SC certified Technical Assistance Provider, and has been a national accreditation observer for the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). When not working with early childhood professionals and young children, Ms. Shea enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking and shopping.
Infant Toddler Specialist, Horry and Surrounding Counties
Jennifer Stevens is an Infant/Toddler Specialist with the SCPITC Network, serving Horry and surrounding counties. Prior to joining the SCPITC Network, she taught multi-age preschool for nine years. Ms. Stevens has served on the South Carolina Early Childhood Association Executive Board since 2010 and currently sits on the Horry Georgetown Technical College Early Education advisory board. Ms. Stevens shares her experience and knowledge of young children through presentations at local, state and national conferences. She has her degree in Christian Education and is a SC certified Early Childhood Trainer and Technical Assistance Provider.
Patricia H. Voelker
Infant Toddler Specialist, Upstate/Spartanburg Area
Patricia H. Voelker works in the Upstate/Spartanburg area as an Infant/Toddler Specialist for the SCPITC Network. She is a former Department Chair in Early Childhood Education with 32 years of Early Childhood experience teaching adults and working with early childhood staff and children at Spartanburg Technical College. Ms. Volker’s certifications include SC Educator Certificate in Early Childhood/Psychology, TAP, Master Certified Trainer (CCCCD) and PITC Modules I-V. Ms. Voelker received the Mary Black Foundation “2005 Community Champion Award in Early Childhood Development” given in the Upstate area.
Infant Toddler Specialist, Lancaster and Surrounding Counties
Tomeiko Wright is the Infant/Toddler Specialist for the SCPITC Network, serving Lancaster and surrounding counties. She brings 17 years of experience in the area of Early Childhood to her position. Ms. Wright obtained undergraduate degrees and certifications from the University of South Carolina and York Technical College, her Masters of Management and Leadership from Webster University, and her Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. She has worked as the Parent Education Coordinator for Lancaster Early Head Start, Executive Director for Life Skills Opportunity Corporation, CDA Advisor/Seminar Instructor and has several years experience serving as a Certified Trainer and Technical Assistant Provider (TAP), lead classroom teacher, and mentor. She also has obtained certifications in WestEd PITC, Parents-as-Teachers 0-K, ECERS, Program Assessment Scale (PAS), Child Care Basics, and Triple P (Positive Parents Program).