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Meet the Team


Julie Mickel

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
Instructional Intervention COach

Amanda Robins is the Instructional Intervention Coach for the Early Learning Center.  She spent 7 years working in the classroom, first as a teaching partner then as a lead teacher, before joining the administrative team.  In this position, Amanda coaches 5 of the ELC classroom and preforms various other duties such as training, staff scheduling, and payroll.  Through coaching Amanda provides a variety of supports to the teaching staff.  Amanda earned her BS 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.  


Chelsea Rogers Hixson
Administrative Coordinator

Chelsea Rogers Hixson is the Administrative Coordinator for the Early Learning Center. She has been at Siskin since 2011, serving in many different roles. Prior to graduating from Auburn University, Chelsea completed an internship at Siskin as a student teacher and also shadowed our Home and Community Based Early Interventionists as they traveled serving families in the surrounding area. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Child Development in 2011 then began working full-time in the Early Learning Center classrooms as a Lead Teacher until joining the administrative team. 


Karen Coleman
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.