Meet the CDC Staff
Katlyn Peedin is the JCC Child Development Center Director. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development from Meredith College. Katlyn completed her B-K licensure through Lateral Entry program while teaching the preschool here at JCC for 3 years.
Katlyn has a true passion for advocating and teaching social-emotional development. She believes that the development of social-emotional competence during the early childhood years is such an important foundation for children’s later success. When children feel good about themselves; are able to develop positive relationships with others; and know how to identify, express, and manage their emotions, they are more likely to be ready to learn and succeed. Katlyn reached fidelity on the TPOT assessment in 2016. Her classroom was a NC demonstration site for the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL). Katlyn is dedicated on promoting the social emotional development and school readiness of young children. She enjoys investing in children’s educations and creating close relationships with families.
Heather Forster is the Child Development Center Assistant Director. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Child Development from Meredith College as well as a Master of Science in Early Childhood Studies with a specialization in Teaching Adults in the field from Walden University. Heather has worked in various teaching roles in the early childhood field and enjoys sharing her passion for early childhood education with fellow teachers as well as mentoring the students in our JCC Early Childhood Education program.
Her main focus in the classroom is to promote all developmental skills through play and each child's interests. She believes having a more "naturalistic" environment helps to promote active learning in young children as well as expand their knowledge and curiosity about the world around them. During her spare time she enjoys being with her husband and daughter, especially when they are able to work/play outdoors.
Alicia Grace is the Lead Teacher in the “Fireflies” (young toddlers) classroom. She is graduated from the University of Mount Olive with a Bachelor's of Arts in Early Childhood Education. She is also a graduate of the AAS in Early Childhood Education program at Johnston Community College. Alicia has been with the CDC as a practicum student, substitute teacher, assistant teacher, and now a lead teacher with our littlest ones.
Lindsey Pollock is the Teacher Assistant in the “Dragonflies”/NC Pre-K classroom at Johnston Community College’s Child Development Center. She is a recent graduate of Johnston Community College with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education. She plans to attend a four year university to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in the Spring.
Lindsey has been an early childhood educator for two years working with every age group in the preschool setting. She believes that it is truly the most rewarding work that she has done. She is currently a member of the National Association of the Education of Young Children. Her philosophy is that every child has the opportunity to succeed. With families, communities, and educators working together and adapting to fit the children’s needs, every child can learn in the best environment.
Katherine Mitchell graduated from Johnston Community College with an Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood education in May of 2018. She is the Teacher Assistant in the Grasshoppers classroom where she enjoys working with the two and three year old children. Katherine hopes to continue her education and receive a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Mount Olive. Her educational philosophy incorporates guiding the children in a natural learning environment in ways of becoming responsible, respectful, and knowledgeable individuals that will be able to transition smoothly into their community.
During her free time, Kat enjoys nature walks, canoeing, fishing, and spending time with family/friends.
Vianey Chavez Graham
Vianey Chavez Graham is Lead Teacher in the "Busy Bee" classroom in the Child Development Center for children ages 3-4 years old. She is a graduate from Johnston Community College with an Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education and will graduate from the University of Mount Olive with her Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education in August 2017. Vianey has been with the CDC as a practicum student, substitute teacher, assistant teacher, and as lead teacher.
Her education philosophy involves "Nature" as playing a very important part in a child's ongoing development and has created a Reggio Emilia inspired classroom. She believes that children engage in more creative forms of play, play more cooperatively, and improve cognitive development by improving their awareness, reasoning and observational skills through nature exploration. She is committed on promoting the social and emotional development and school readiness of young children and has reached fidelity in the TPOT assessment. Vianey has aspirations of obtaining her Master’s degree in Child Development/Adult Education in the next few years.
Lashai Lightbourne is the Teacher Assistant in the “Busy Bee” Classroom. She graduated from Wake Technical Community College with an Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education. She plans to enroll at the University of North Carolina Greensboro to earn her Bachelors degree in Early Care and Education. She has been in the field for 2 ½ years and finds it extremely rewarding to be a part of a child’s growth and development. Her teaching philosophy is that everyone in the classroom contributes as a student, teacher, and thinker.
During her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and son. She enjoys watching her son become independent and curious about his “little” world.
Tonia D. Padrick is the Director of Education Programs and interim CDC site director and laboratory school coordinator for the JCC Child Development Center. She holds a Master of Arts in Education degree in Early Childhood Education. Her academic journey has led her to achieve undergraduate degrees from both the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College.
With over 30 years of experience working directly with young children and aspiring educators, Tonia has had the opportunity to combine her passion of the field with making a real difference in the lives of the children and community she serves. Her accomplishments include becoming a peer reviewer for the NAEYC Higher Education Accreditation Commission, and collaborating with local agencies through grants and enterprises to better support the children and families of the CDC and the adult students we serve.