Meet the early learning center Team
Julie serves as director of the Early Learning Center. Julie has more than 20 years of experience in the field of early childhood education, early intervention, and special education. A 14-year veteran of the Institute, she provided outreach services to the community through professional and student training on early childhood special education. Recently she has taken the consulting lead with several Tennessee public school systems seeking to bring children with disabilities into an inclusive environment. Additionally, she has presented at numerous conferences both locally and nationally on inclusive practices. She began her career as a preschool special education teacher in Georgia. She has a bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Amanda Robins, who joined Siskin Children’s Institute in 2009, is the Education Coordinator for the Early Learning Center. After spending 7 years working in the classroom, first as a teaching partner than as a lead teacher, she joined the administrative team as the Instructional Intervention Coach. During that time she played a key role in coaching teaching staff, chairing IEP meetings, and supporting families. As Education Coordinator, Amanda coaches teaching staff and trains on our model as well as the project approach. She provides training to community partnerships and does some consulting to a public school system who is working to bring best practices to their preschool special education classes. Amanda oversees the assessment and data collection process, as well as assists the Director of the ELC in daily operations. Amanda earned her B.S. in Business Management from Bryan College and her Master’s Degree in General Education with endorsements in PreK-3 Regular and Special Education from Liberty University.
family and support coordinator
Karen manages both the library for the Early Learning Center and the Lending Library of resources for families, which includes a large selection of materials on parenting children with special needs. She also coordinates visits from students at local colleges who observe our classrooms as part of their coursework and works with the Siskin Family Association. Karen received a BA in sociology and English from Albion College, certification in elementary and special education at Eastern Michigan University, and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Michigan. She has been with SCI for more than ten years.