Our Staff

With education and experience in early learning and child development
  • Our staff consists of an administration and leadership team, teachers, and child development staff with experience in early learning and child development.

  • Our highly educated, talented and passionate professionals bring their extensive resources and experience together to offer your child the best early learning and child development practices available. The staff continuously furthers its education by attending training seminars to stay current in teaching methods.

    • Katie Falwell, Ph.D., BCBA-D®
      Chief Executive Officer/Founder

      Katie Falwell, Ph.D., BCBA-D®

      Chief Executive Officer/Founder

      I am a Florida licensed psychologist specializing in child development. I’m also a licensed clinical psychologist in my home state of Virginia where I provide consultation to hospitals and school systems. I completed my pre-doctoral training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and postdoctoral residency at the University of Florida. I became a member of the faculty at University of Florida in 2006. Shortly after moving to Gainesville, I became aware that North Florida had few resources to meet child development needs. That led me to open Keystone Behavioral Pediatrics in 2008 and then to develop a premier early learning center, KCDC, in 2013. I am passionate about my work helping children as a clinician, educator, consultant and researcher. I live in Ponte Vedra and enjoy embracing all that coastal living has to offer, along with spending time with my family – my infant and toddler sons and teenage daughter.

    • Lauren Halstead
      Facility Director/HR Manager

      Lauren Halstead

      Facility Director/HR Manager

      I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Florida. Before coming to KCDC, I worked for six years as the human resource coordinator and preschool facility director at a local day care facility. I have completed my Department of Children and Families 45 training hours of Early Childhood Education, and I currently hold an active Florida Child and Education Director’s Credential. For KCDC, I provide human resource services and help in training/professional development for all staff. I also facilitate the on-boarding process for all new hires and coordinate all personnel actions such as recruitment, benefits and management coaching. I like to stay involved with the community by participating in local triathlons and charitable races as well as being a member of the CrossFit community, but my real joy right now is my new husband, his son and our beautiful new baby girl!

    • Rebecca Bowersox
      Director of Admissions

      Rebecca Bowersox

      Director of Admissions

      Before joining Keystone Child Development Center, I served as Accotink Academy By the Sea’s head of school and as a lead teacher. As head of school, I put my passionate love of education into action by adding more class choices for young, growing families, such as 1- and 2- year-old programs, and increasing the academy’s student enrollment to the largest in its 18-year history – a feat I hope to repeat at KCDC. During my time as a teacher, I was also the director of preschool ministries at Christ the Redeemer for three years. At KCDC, I will assist in enrolling students and facilitating the admissions process. I am originally from Michigan, and I attended the Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, where my degree focus was education. I hold an active Florida Child and Education Director’s Credential, and I’m planning to attend the University of North Florida to focus on business management and leadership. I am a resident of Ponte Vedra and have lived in the Beaches area for more than 20 years. I have one daughter, who is attending the University of Central Florida.

    • Ashley Kiser, M.S., BCBA®
      Director of Child Development

      Ashley Kiser, M.S., BCBA®

      Director of Child Development

      I came to Florida from my hometown of Rainbow City, Alabama. I received a cross country and track scholarship from Troy University, which I attended until 2007. Then, I transferred to Jacksonville State University, where I received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in English. In 2011, I also received a master’s degree in psychology with an emphasis in applied behavior analysis from Jacksonville State University. I completed my undergraduate and graduate practicum at The Little Tree Preschool, an early intervention preschool serving children from 2 to 7 years old. My experience is in providing assessment and therapy, case management, staff training and academic support. In my role as director of child development, I love helping all our children in reaching their fullest potential.

    • Greta Hernandez, M.A., RBT®
      Assistant Director of Child Development

      Greta Hernandez, M.A., RBT®

      Assistant Director of Child Development

      While I was teaching in the public charter school system in Washington, D.C., I received a Master of Arts in teaching and early childhood education at American University. I also coached for Girls on the Run, an afterschool program for young girls that targets healthy living, strong self-esteem and building positive communities. After working for three years as an early childhood educator, I earned a yoga teacher certification and spent a year teaching mindfulness and coping skills through yoga for children, adolescents and adults. After moving to Jacksonville, I taught VPK and earned my certification in the field of applied behavior analysis. I joined Keystone in 2014, where I initially filled a dual role as a therapist in KCDC and as a psychometrician in the Mental Health Department. Now I work full time as KCDC’s assistant director of child development, where I oversee early intervention, preschool, kindergarten and aftercare education services. My personal passions are running and swimming, gardening, going on adventures with my dog and spending time with my wonderful husband.

    • Tammy Tran, M.D.
      Medical Director

      Tammy Tran, M.D.

      Medical Director

      I am a board certified pediatrician. I graduated the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in physiology in 1996 and an M.D. in 2000. I completed my residency in pediatrics at the University of Texas, Southwestern Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. I am board certified in pediatrics and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. After residency, I joined the University of Minnesota Medical Center as a physician and also worked at the Community University Health Center. In 2005, I moved to Jacksonville. I love to travel and enjoy going to the beach with my children and exploring nature parks. I am passionate about providing quality healthcare to children with a holistic, interdisciplinary approach.

    • Donny Klay, RN
      School Nurse

      Donny Klay, RN

      School Nurse

      I am a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I earned my RN through Florida State College, and I’m currently working on a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree in nursing through the University of Cincinnati. My experience includes inpatient and outpatient psychiatric nursing of all age levels, medication management and high acute cardiac telemetry/progressive care. I have experience in both hospital-based care and community-based care which gives me a balanced approach in serving Keystone’s clients. I work hard to deliver excellent daily and, if necessary, emergency care.

    • Joy Helberg
      Infants and Walkers Teacher

      Joy Helberg

      Infants and Walkers Teacher

      I have worked in child care for over nine years, most recently at Accotink Academy By The Sea, where I was the lead teacher for 1-year-old children. I have earned Child Development Associate (CDA) Certification. I enjoy my job as a preschool teacher because working with children is fun and rewarding. When I’m not teaching, I love to spend time cooking, gardening and traveling as well as being with my husband, children and Yorkie.

    • Chelsea Mueller
      Infants and Walkers Teacher

      Chelsea Mueller

      Infants and Walkers Teacher

      I am a native of Jacksonville, Florida, and a graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, where I received recognition in my ballet studies. I also have an associate of arts degree from Florida State College at Jacksonville, where I was a member of the Danceworks Dance Company. After my son was born in 2011, I became passionate about working with children. I hope to someday combine my passions for dance and children by creating an environment of movement theory. I am excited about joining the KCDC team and working in the Infants and Walkers classroom.

    • Sheila Tabassian
      Preschool Lead Teacher

      Sheila Tabassian

      Preschool Lead Teacher

      I have lived in the Jacksonville area since 1997, and I currently live in Ponte Vedra Beach with my husband and two children. I have a degree in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University and have been a lead preschool teacher for the past 16 years, most recently working for Accotink Academy By The Sea. I love spending time with my family, cooking and exploring nature. I find teaching fulfilling because I am able to make a positive impact on the lives of my students. I look forward to meeting many wonderful students and their families at KCDC.

    • Stacy Houtz
      Preschool Assistant Teacher

      Stacy Houtz

      Preschool Assistant Teacher

      I graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in labor and industrial relations and spent the next seven years working for Merrill Lynch in New York City. I was eventually transferred to Jacksonville as a human resource specialist. I have spent the last 16 years loving and nurturing each and every one of my students and I’ve loved every minute of it. I enjoy spending time with children and watching them grow, learn and change daily. Most recently, I was an assistant teacher at Accotink Academy By The Sea in the 3-year-old preschool program. I have been married to my loving husband, Larry, for 20 years and have two beautiful daughters, Kylie, who is 18, and Kassi, who is 14. I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my life as I join Keystone’s dedicated staff.

    • Silimona Hamrick
      Pre-K/VPK Teacher

      Silimona Hamrick

      Pre-K/VPK Teacher

      After earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, I was hired as a first through third grade school teacher in my home country of Albania. I moved to the United States in 2006 and continued my career in teaching. Before Keystone, I worked for a private Christian preschool where I was a voluntary pre-kindergarten teacher and summer camp instructor for four years. My passion for teaching led me to Keystone to teach one of our VPK classes.

    • Donna Buchholz
      Pre-K/VPK Teacher

      Donna Buchholz

      Pre-K/VPK Teacher

      I have a degree in early childhood education from George Mason University and have worked for 29 years in the education field. I moved to Florida from my home state of Virginia 15 years ago. I taught students in second and third grade for 15 years in Virginia, have been a reading tutor in St. Johns County schools for nine years, and have been a Pre-K/VPK teacher for the past 10 years at Accotink Academy By The Sea. My son graduated from the University of Florida and my daughter from Florida State University. I’m proud to be a “house divided.” I love spending time with my family, especially on our boat. My favorite quote is, “Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning,” because that’s what I strive for each day in my classroom.

    • Karen Carmichael
      Pre-K/VPK Teacher

      Karen Carmichael

      Pre-K/VPK Teacher

      I am a Chicago native and have lived in the Jacksonville area since 2000. I taught at Accotink Academy By The Sea, a private school serving 18 months to third grade, for seven years and was a lead VPK teacher. I’ve always had a passion for working with children and I have four of my own, one of whom has special needs. Prior to teaching, I worked for a medical foundation supporting quality of care studies. I studied at Auburn University with an emphasis in liberal arts and sciences and at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a focus in communication design. I received, my associate degree in early childhood education in 2010.

    • Katelyn Luksha
      Kindergarten Teacher

      Katelyn Luksha

      Kindergarten Teacher

      I earned my bachelor’s degree in sociology with a primary focus in family, youth and community sciences from the University of Florida. While I was an undergraduate, I volunteered at Head Start as a mentor and for several school tutoring programs. I’ve been working as an early childhood educator for the past five years. My passion for teaching young children is what brought me to Keystone Child Development Center as a preschool teacher and then the VPK teacher. I’m currently in the process of completing my RBT certification and I plan to earn my master’s degree in psychology with a focus in ABA.

    • Fallon Frische
      Kindergarten Teacher

      Fallon Frische

      Kindergarten Teacher

      I earned my bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of North Florida, and I’m a certified teacher in kindergarten through sixth grade with an ESOL endorsement. I have operated in diverse classroom settings, including serving as a substitute teacher in the public schools, working at the Keystone Academy and now teaching kindergarten in KCDC.

    • Nikki Theiler, M.A., RBT®
      Registered Mental Health Intern/Early Start Denver Model Instructor

      Nikki Theiler, M.A., RBT®

      Registered Mental Health Intern/Early Start Denver Model Instructor

      I started working at Keystone in 2010 as a teacher in Keystone Academy, and I’ve held many different positions in my years at Keystone. I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida State University in 2006 and my master’s degree in mental health counseling from Webster University in 2013. I also earned my certification as an Early Start Denver Model therapist from UC Davis. I am currently working in KCDC as a registered mental health intern to complete my requirements to become a licensed mental health counselor. I gave birth to twin boys in February, and I’m excited that they will be attending KCDC in the fall when mommy goes back to work.

  • Lela Parker

    School Coordinator

  • This child development team helps classroom teachers.

  • jennifer-addis-rbt-senior-child-development-specialist

    Jennifer Addis, RBT®

    Child Development Specialist

  • danielle-denney

    Danielle Denney, RBT®

    Child Development Specialist

  • shneequa-lake-rbt-senior-child-development-specialist

    Shneequa Lake, RBT®

    Child Development Specialist

  • erica-whitehouse-rbt-senior-child-development-specialist

    Erica Whitehouse, RBT®

    Senior Child Development Specialist

  • kacey-yourous

    Kacey Yourous, M.S., RBT®

    Senior Child Development Specialist

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    Ja’Kira Leggett

    Senior Child Development Specialist

  • carley-alessi-child-development-assistant

    Carley Alessi

    Child Development Assistant

  • alisha-ingram-child-development-assistant

    Alisha Ingram

    Child Development Assistant

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    Kayla Walker

    Child Development Assistant

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