Kirkwood: 404-377-3560
Decatur: 404-963-6071
After School (both locations): 678-221-4792

Decatur Staff

Teachers

Roly-Polies

Elsie Cooley

Roly-Polies Teacher
Decatur


Elsie has been working with children since 2015 and is known for being a good listener, a jokester, easy going and full of excitement.  In her free time she enjoys doing hair and make-up.

Jacqueline Wade

Roly-Polies Teacher
Decatur


Ms. Jacqueline grew up in Illinois, and is a graduate of Columbia College in Chicago. Jacqueline enjoys writing short stories and plays, which she fondly calls 'the art of my passion.' Her greatest desire is helping those in need.

Earthworms

Mary Endirias

Earthworms Teacher
Decatur


Mary Endirias is a retired CNA who worked at Grady Memorial Hospital for 28 years, then started her new career working with children in 2016. Ms. Mary is a mother of six and has one grandchild. She enjoys singing, reading and spending time with her family.

Peggy Smith

Earthworms Teacher
Decatur


Euchrist P. Smith (Peggy), was born and raised in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, then migrated to the US. Babysitting for family and neighbors was her favorite pastime in her youth. After a detour working with computers and in retail, she's returned to her first love, working with young children.

Ladybugs

Bryanna Duncan

Ladybugs Teacher
Decatur


Bryanna Duncan was born in Brooklyn, New York. She has worked caring for others throughout her career.  She enjoys being outdoors, arts and crafts, reading and creative play. She believes children should have memorable experiences.

Shamika Smith

Ladybugs Teacher
Decatur


Shamika Smith was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She loves art, hair, music and clothes. She is known for her fun, outgoing personality. She loves children and enjoys being a part of their growth experiences.

Raccoons

Alisha Williams

Raccoons Teacher
Decatur


Alisha Williams was born in Tifton, but moved to Atlanta when she was just two years old.

Vanessa Providence

Raccoons Teacher
Decatur


Vanessa Providence attended Bethune Cookman University where she majored in psychology. Vanessa worked as an assistant track and field coach for Midway Track Club, coaching children 5-14.    

Turtles

Cornesha Williams

Turtles Teacher
Decatur


Cornesha Williams is from our own neighborhood, Kirkwood.  She started working with kids at a young age, from babysitting to working at the church nursery.  She is building a career in early childhood education.

Tamara Drakeford

Turtles Teacher
Decatur


Tamara Drakeford, also knows as Ms. Tammy, is from Waldorf, Maryland.  Ms. Tammy has been teaching since 2000. Outside SoulShine, Ms. Tammy enjoys spending time with her daughter.

Honey Bees

Chasity Robinson

Honey Bees Teacher
Decatur


Chasity has received training for her Child Development Associate credential and has worked with children since 2014.

Tranae Powell

Honey Bees Teacher & Floor Supervisor
Decatur


Tranae is from Chicago, Illinois. She began working with children as a teenager and is building a career in Early Childhood Development. 

Katydids

Michelle Haynes

Katydids Teacher
Decatur


Laura Michelle Haynes was born and raised in Kirkwood. She has two daughters and four grandchildren. She's been in childcare since 2002, working with her aunt who had her own "nursery."

Tiawana Green

Katydids Teacher
Decatur


Mrs. Tiawana believes that her journey in providing excellent childcare began when she became a mother in 2000. She loves exploring new cultures and trying new things, and is married with two children.

Chipmunks

Stacey Okwo

Chipmunks Teacher
Decatur


Stacey Okwo was born and raised in Atlanta.  She has three beautiful children and a granddaughter. Stacey's began working in childcare in 2002.  Stacey loves working with children and she is looking forward to helping the children learn and watching them grow!

Wrens

Dominique Providence

Wrens Teacher
Decatur


Dominique was born in Brooklyn, New York but raised in Atlanta. Before joining SoulShine, she worked as an assistant coach and a volunteer USATF Official.  Her hobbies include reading, filming, and editing videos.

Pamela Arnold

Wrens Teacher
Decatur


Pamela Arnold was born in Detroit, Michigan. She is a seasoned professional, holding a Paraprofessional certification through Atlanta Public Schools, and a Parent Educator credential through the Parent-as-Teacher Curriculum.

After School

EZ Reed

After School Teacher
Decatur


EZ is from Atlanta but lived in DC and NYC for a few years. He has been working with kids since the age of 10 and enjoys making them smile, and seeing them become the people they want to be.

Paola Villafane

After School Teacher
Decatur


Paola Villafañe is a local nutritionist, chef, and farmer. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics at Georgia State University. Paola enjoys being outside in nature, baking sweets for family and friends, and spending time with her pets.

Decatur Management

Briunna Smith

Floor Manager
Decatur


Ms. Briunna Smith is from Decatur and is currently working towards her Bachelors in Psychology and Vocal Music at Agnes Scott College. She is very passionate about music and people expressing their individuality. In her free time she loves to watch Law & Order: SVU and to spend time with family and friends.

Cindy Young

Director
Decatur


Cindy has been working in Childcare for over 12 years and she can't imagine doing anything else. The responsibility of helping shape young minds is very important and it gives her such a sense of accomplishment knowing she has a part in doing that. Cindy has been married since 2008 and has three boys: Bryce,  Austin and Conner.

Sharon Bell

Assistant Director
Decatur


Ms. Sharon was born in Guyana, South America. She's a wife and a mother of three and a former track-and-field athlete. After working as a preK assistant, she worked as the childcare manager at a local gym. Ms. Sharon is also a coach for Midway Track Club with children ages 5-14. She's a USATF official and volunteers for Sapphire Track Club during the indoor season. She also taught aerobics classes to the silver sneakers members. Ms. Sharon enjoys staying busy and working with children!

Tranae Powell

Honey Bees Teacher & Floor Supervisor
Decatur


Tranae is from Chicago, Illinois. She began working with children as a teenager and is building a career in Early Childhood Development. 

School Administration

Courtney Shelton

Chef
Kirkwood & Decatur


Ms. Courtney is a New Jersey native. As a child, she begged her parents and grandparents to let her in the garden to help pick vegetables. Instead she found herself prepping ingredients for meals, and she never lost that love. Ms. Courtney's been a chef since 2007. She's a US Army veteran, and attended Atlantic Culinary and Kentucky University.

Gennerre Crockett

Receptionist
Kirkwood & Decatur


Ms. Gennerre is originally from Boston, but is happy to call Atlanta home. She has event planning and administrative experience, loves music and people. Gennerre is tenacious, resourceful and determined to maximize her own potential while helping others become their best selves.

James Bumbray

Kitchen Assistant
Kirkwood & Decatur


James Bumbray, also known as Jimmy, is originally from Baltimore, Maryland but moved to Georgia in 2015. Jimmy served four years in the US Marine Corps. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing sports, participating in community and charitable events and visiting restaurants to try different cuisines.

Rondell Govan

Chef Assistant
Kirkwood & Decatur


Ms. Rondell is originally from New Jersey. She grew up in a big family and always assisted her mother and aunts with cooking. She worked with mentally and physically disabled adults, preparing meals  and assisting with everyday living. She moved to Atlanta in 2013.  Ms. Rondell loves cooking, reading, writing poetry, traveling and meeting new people. 

SoulShine Management

Brandon Harris

Office Manager
Kirkwood & Decatur


Although he was born in Kentucky, Brandon considers himself a Georgia native. He attended elementary, middle and high schools in Oakwood, Ga. After a detour to Colorado, Brandon, his wife Alma and child Max returned to Georgia.

Kate Karassik

Chief Administrative Officer
Kirkwood & Decatur


Kate Karassik and Shannon Smith have been close friends since middle school and grew up working in childcare together. Kate received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and went on to receive her Masters in Education. She was a public school teacher for five years before joining the SoulShine team in 2011.

Oriana Padron

Director Communications
Kirkwood & Decatur


Ms. Oriana graduated from the University of Montevallo with a BFA.  She has a strong passion for children and has been caring for them since her early teens and began working professionally in childcare while still in college.

Shannon Smith

Founder & Visionary
Kirkwood & Decatur


Mrs. Shannon founded SoulShine in December 2006. SoulShine is rooted in her belief that every child should be given the space and encouragement to create themselves through all forms of expression. Shannon has worked with children since 2002 and is still in awe every day of how amazing they are. She believes in positive reinforcement instead of traditional behavioral discipline. She is always encouraging the children to use their words and open their hearts.

Somee Ko

After School Director
Kirkwood & Decatur


Ms. Somee is a native of Ohio and moved to Georgia in 2012. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in political science. She is passionate about politics and history and loves to learn. She loves kids and has been working with them from a very young age. In her spare time, she is usually relaxing at home with her pup Cory, watching a movie and eating pizza.

Stephanie DeSantis

Permaculture Coordinator
Kirkwood & Decatur


Stephanie DeSantis is an Atlanta native and a graduate of Georgia State University. She began working with children while in high school, teaching gymnastics at the local YMCA and working as a summer camp counselor.  Stephanie enjoys sharing her skills with art and textiles.  On her days off, you'll find her in a hammock with her dog.