OUR TEAM

KIDS FIRST Education LLC was founded by career educators, Chuck Poer and Cellie Scoggin, for the purpose of working with PreK-12 schools to improve outcomes for KIDS. Chuck and Cellie have worked together for more than a decade, leading teams of educators to make a positive impact for KIDS. They are joined by an experienced team of educational coaches and specialists with a heart for KIDS and a passion for teaching and learning. 

Senior Leadership

Cellie Scoggin
Co-Founder

Christ Follower, Family Focused, Purposefully Driven, Motivated to Empower Others

“What we know matters, but who we are matters more” - Brene Brown
Meet Cellie
Chuck Poer
Co-Founder

Original, Caring, Creative, Expressive and Flexible

"Names have power! Names tell a story!! Our name, Kids First, has power, because it speaks to our purpose… Our heart… Kids First comes with our stories, our experiences, and our history of improving learning and outcomes for kids!"
Meet Chuck
Jennifer Weeks
VP, Educational Services

Growing, Grateful, Goal-oriented

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
Meet Jennifer
Kristie Ezzell
VP, Sales & Marketing

Passionate about Education and Kids, Multitasker, Boy Momma, Family Oriented, HGTV Junkie

"Morning is God's way of saying one more time - Go make a difference, touch a heart, encourage a mind, inspire a soul and enjoy the day."
Meet Kristie

Operations Specialists

Patrick Scoggin
Executive Director of Operations

Christian, Husband, Father, Runner, Outdoorsman

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." - African proverb.
Meet Patrick
Penny Broom
HR Manager

Extremely organized, Self-motivated, Christian, Creative, Foodie!

"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." - Maya Angelou
Meet Penny
Randi Fortenberry
Accounting Manager

Ambitious Dreamer, Motivational Leader, Lover of God, Family, and Travel

"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Meet Randi
Cory Sanders
Accounting Associate

Detail oriented, Family focused, Baseball/dirt bike dad, camper, boater

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” —Theodore Roosevelt
Meet Cory
Erin Scoggin, M.Ed.
Digital Media Manager

Christ-Centered, Tenacious, Family-Focused, Devoted Wife and Mother

“All limitations are self-imposed.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes
Meet Erin

Research, Development, and Publication

Nicole Cooley
Research, Development, & Publication Manager

Avid Reader, Deep-Sea Fisher, Visual Learner

"In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." -Mortimer J. Adler
Meet Nicole
Dori Hansen
RFP Manager

A tireless and passionate educator, wife, mother, and proud Grammy of 3, Gardener, expert shopper, dedicated Golden Eagle

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” - Swami Sivananda
Meet Dori
Kayla Calcote
Development & Publication Associate

Thoroughly Meticulous, Family Obsessed, Sudoku Puzzler

"Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." -Albert Einstein
Meet Kayla

Educational Services

Shawnese Herrington
Executive Director of Educational Services, MS Division

Ambitious, Passionate Educator, Family-Oriented, Beach Bum, Lover of Shoes and Handbags

“The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.” - Michelle Obama
Meet Shawnese
Reeda Betts
Executive Director of Educational Services, AL Division

Problem Solver, Word Nerd, Distance Runner, Reader, Seinfeld Fanatic

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Meet Reeda
Marvin Lishman
Executive Director of Educational Services, Independent Schools

Focused, Life-Long Learner, Pop to AW and Gaines, MSU Bulldog Fan, Lover of High School Sports

“To whom much is given, even much more is required.” - Luke 12:48
Meet Marvin

Sales and Marketing

Sue Anne Boatman
Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, MS Division

Spreader of Kindness, Motivational Networker, Christ-Centered, Family-Focused, Fashionista!

"Bring love wherever you go. Shine light wherever it's dark. Leave blessings wherever you've been. Be kind wherever you are." - Mary Davis
Meet Sue Anne
Shannon Uptain
Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, AL Division

Resourceful, Analytical, Traveler, Life-long learner, Converted lover of Broadway musicals

"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." - Colin Powell
Meet Shannon
Cassandra Williams
Strategic Partnerships

Organized, Analytical Multi-Tasker who Loves Shoes and Watching Westerns

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." - Maya Angelou
Meet Cassandra
Stephanie Allen
Area Sales

Ambitious, Analytical thinker, World traveler, Dedicated mother, Lover of murder mystery shows

"A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey that she will become strong."
Meet Stephanie
Kat Bir
Area Sales

Spreadsheet obsessed, Christian, Wife and Mom, Avid shopper

"Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education." - Martin Luther King Jr.
Meet Kat
Katy Boyd
Area Sales

Math minded motivator, fitness instructor, mother of boys, sunshine seeking bird lover

"The most significant of changes are those that are made within."
Meet Katy
Corey Kelly
Area Sales

Consistent, Compassionate, Courageous, Kelly-Clan Centered, Dallas Cowboys Fan

"Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
Meet Corey
Andrew Whitley
Area Sales

Recovering Perfectionist, Book Worm, Mustache Owner

"I've gained a lot more compassion and patience for people since I realized that everyone is pretty much insane, myself included." - David Zahl
Meet Andrew
Mary Ruth Wright
Area Sales

Honest Advocate for ALL students, Family Oriented, MSU loving dog and horse fanatic

"I not only impact my students today, but I am an impact on their children's children." - unknown
Meet Mary Ruth

Academic Specialists

Stephanie Brewer
ACT Team Lead

Energetic, Fiercely Positive, People Lover

"Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be." -Abraham Lincoln
Meet Stephanie
Lynn Faulk
ACT Coach

Dedicated, Goal-Oriented, Nature-Lover, Nostalgic Videographer

"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." - Edmund Hillary
Meet Lynn
Tobie Pillstrom
ACT Coach

Optimistic, Baseball mom, Jeopardy fanatic

“In order to empathize with someone’s experience you must be willing to believe them as they see it, and not how you imagine their experience to be.” - Brene’ Brown
Meet Tobie
Karen Carr
ELA Team Lead

Enthusiastic motivator, hopeful encourager, grower of vegetables, quilt-maker, lover of all things Auburn Tigers!

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to a man in his language, that goes to his heart." - Nelson Mandela
Meet Karen
Michele Parker
ELA Team Lead

Resilient and intentional, traveler, family-focused

"You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending." - C.S. Lewis
Meet Michele
Casey Wilberding
Early Learning Leader

Wife, Mother, Beach Lover, Shopper, Christmas Obsessed, Seminole Fan, Loves to Help People Grow

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
Meet Casey
Shondra Whitaker
ELA Team Lead

Creative collaborator, obsessive organizer, faithful Jesus follower, family-oriented, barre enthusiast, true crime junkie

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou
Meet Shondra
Rachel Wooten
ELA Team Lead

Organization wizard, reader of westerns, writer of all the feels, ice cream connoisseur, goat and chicken mama

"Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Meet Rachel
Maddy Barker
ELA Team Lead

Determined problem solver, Love to be outdoors with my family, Yoga teacher

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work." - CS Lewis
Meet Maddy
Ebonee Brown
ELA Coach

Passionate educator, Christ follower, family-oriented, fashion fanatic, movie lover, seafood lover, boy mom 

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill
Meet Ebonee
Gidget Morton
ELA Coach

Data Driven, Forgiven, Family Vacation Coordinator

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X
Meet Gidget
LeDonnis P. Norwood
ELA Coach

Reflective leader, versatile, family-oriented, lover of God, Dallas Cowboys fanatic

"Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
Meet LeDonnis
Tobie Pillstrom
ELA Coach

Optimistic, Baseball mom, Jeopardy fanatic

“In order to empathize with someone’s experience you must be willing to believe them as they see it, and not how you imagine their experience to be.” - Brene’ Brown
Meet Tobie
Shemeka Ware
ELA Coach

Consummate Problem-solver, Kingdom Focused, Performing Arts lover

"You are strong when you know your weaknesses. You are beautiful when you appreciate your flaws. You are wise when you learn from your mistakes." - Author Unknown
Meet Shemeka
Cynthia Marquez Gabbert
ELL Team Lead

Goal oriented, creative problem solver, compassionate educator; Avid traveler, soccer aficionado, devoted wife and mother of two; Food and coffee lover, HGTV junkie, and music enthusiast

"Be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be." - Henry David Thoreau
Meet Cynthia
Michele Lee
ELL Team Lead

Well organized, Hodophile, HSN junkie

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
Meet Michele
LaQuanta Nelson
Instructional Coach Team Lead

Critical thinker, effective communicator, accomplished musician, adrenaline junkie, fierce foodie

"The sun doesn’t ask for permission to shine, neither should you!"
Meet LaQuanta
Carol Smith
Leadership Team Lead

Intentional, purposeful educator, Faith, family, friends, Love traditions, mysteries, and MSU Bulldogs

"Remember Who you belong to..."
Meet Carol
Kat Bir
Leadership Coach

Spreadsheet obsessed, Christian, Wife and Mom, Avid shopper

“Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
Meet Kat
Corey Kelly
Leadership Coach

Consistent, Compassionate, Courageous, Kelly-Clan Centered, Dallas Cowboys Fan

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill
Meet Corey
Mark Head
Leadership Coach

Fiercely Dedicated, Family first; extremely loyal; Pop Culture Expert, Obsessive Prince fan

"Whatever we accomplish belongs to our entire group, a tribute to our combined effort." - Walt Disney
Meet Mark
LaQuanta Nelson
Leadership Coach

Critical thinker, effective communicator, accomplished musician, adrenaline junkie, fierce foodie

"The sun doesn’t ask for permission to shine, neither should you!"
Meet LaQuanta
Penny Allen
Math Team Lead & Head Coach

Energetic educator, Doting mother, Master trout fisherman

"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." - Jane Goodall
Meet Penny
Katy Boyd
Math Team Lead

Math minded motivator, fitness instructor, mother of boys, sunshine seeking bird lover

"The most significant of changes are those that are made within."
Meet Katy
Phyllis Hicks
Math Team Lead

Avid Competitor, Passionate Educator, Nerdy athlete, Completely devoted to faith and family

"One person in pursuit of excellence raises the standards of everyone around them. And, as they strive for greatness, they bring out the greatness in others. Be that one person today." - Jon Gordon
Meet Phyllis
Cindy Klages
Math Team Lead

Christian, lifelong learner, research nerd, wife and mom, lover of chocolate and coffee, beach goer

“Believing in people before they have proven themselves is the key to motivating people to reach their potential.” - John Maxwell
Meet Cindy
Amber Palmer
Math Team Lead

World Traveler, Trivia Fanatic, Organization and Label Lover

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" - C.S. Lewis
Meet Amber
Aaron Hightower
Math Coach

Personable, Motivator, Believer in Servanthood, Very Family Oriented, Avid Pickleball Player

"Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others." - Danny Thomas
Meet Aaron
Natalie Breithaupt
MTSS Team Lead

Enthusiastic Collaborator, Dedicated Aunt, Random Fact Fanatic

“Not having the best situation but seeing the best in your situation is the key to happiness.” - Marie Forleo
Meet Natalie
Jessica Flynt
Social Studies Team Lead

Driven, problem-solver, Jesus follower, wife/mom, addicted to black coffee, & terrified of heights

"Nine-tenths of education is encouragement." - Anatole France
Meet Jessica
Donna Harper
Special Education Team Lead

Organized, Punctual, Avid Reader, World Traveler, Grandmother, Lover of all things Purple!

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” - Margaret Mead
Meet Donna
Mary Ruth Wright
Special Education Team Lead

Honest Advocate for ALL students, Family Oriented, MSU loving dog and horse fanatic

"I not only impact my students today, but I am an impact on their children's children." - unknown
Meet Mary Ruth
Lynn Faulk
Science Team Lead

Dedicated, Goal-Oriented, Nature-Lover, Nostalgic Videographer

"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." - Edmund Hillary
Meet Lynn
Shanna L. Nesser
Science Team Lead

Effective Communicator, Strong Critical Thinker, Indoor Cycling Enthusiast, Devoted Mama, Loves to Binge Watch Twilight Series

"The success of all children is dependent upon the quality of both general and special education and how well schools integrate services." - National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE)
Meet Shanna
Stephanie Allen
Science Coach

Ambitious, Analytical thinker, World traveler, Dedicated mother, Lover of murder mystery shows

"A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey that she will become strong."
Meet Stephanie
Katie McDonald
Science Coach

Empowering others, Motivational leader, Christ follower, Girl mom, Avid Bulldog fan!

"It's a Grand and Glorious Day!"
Meet Katie
Riki Jackson
ACT/SAT/PSAT Team Lead and Head Coach
Goal-oriented, Student-centered, Family-focused, Asian food obsessed, Lake girl
"Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:16
Meet Riki

Content Area Specialists

Select a content area below to learn more about our team members in each specialty.

Contact Us

We are here to listen and support. Please contact us today to hear more about our practice and talk in more detail about how we can serve your schools.