Staff


Liz Baysden

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Executive Director-Liz Baysden has been directing child care centers for over 11 years, and has previously taught in preschool classrooms. She has experience in all aspects of running a business and is knowledgeable about state regulations for child care. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business, with a concentration in marketing, from Winthrop University. DCEC recruited her in 2012 to continue the successful growth and service commitment of our preschool. She adores children and has many goals for DCEC and the children and families we serve.  

Lindsey Hammond

Teacher Aid for children age 6 weeks to 2 1/2-Lindsey has a son with Down Syndrome that started attending DCEC in 2008. She was a parent volunteer while her son attended. Through her knowledge and love of children with special needs, she began working at DCEC. Her son has opened up a whole new world to her, leading her to her passion helping and serving other children and families with special needs.

Tracy Berryhill

Lead Teacher for children age 6 weeks to 2 1/2-Tracy has an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences. She originally worked in an administrative position at DCEC. Through her love for the children, Tracy discovered she can make a positive difference in the lives of these special children.  She became a teacher’s assistant and then a lead teacher. 

Amy Burdette

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Lead Teacher – Preschool 2 Class-Amy Burdette has been teaching at DCEC for over 16 years. She has her Early Childhood Credential from Tri County Technical College, Autism training, and she continues her education with conferences and training each year. She loves working with children at DCEC because children are the greatest teachers for each of us. Her students have taught her that there is nothing we can’t accomplish, as long as we give our best.

 

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Erik Melvin

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Teacher Aid for all ages -Erik graduated from the College of Charleston in 2009 with a double major in Communications and Theatre. He has been volunteering with special populations since he was 12 years of age. He has volunteered, as well as worked, at children’s camps and Kindergarten classrooms. He works for DCEC during the summer and during regular school breaks.  He is an Applied Behavior Therapist for District 5. He hopes to be a part of DCEC for years to come.

Veltaki Fortson

Samantha Finley

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First Steps 4K – Lead Teacher

Sam holds a Bachelor’s degree from Anderson University in Science, Fine Arts, and Christian Ministry.  She has volunteered in district schools and is a youth leader in the community.  Sam recently transitioned from working in an administrative capacity with DCEC to leading our First Steps 4K program.

Wendy Alexander

  Lead Teacher-Toddler Class. Wendy is a mother of 2; Kelsey, age 23 and Zoe, age 4.  Wendy is a native Andersonian.  Wendy is attending Grand Canyon University pursuing her degree in Elementary and Special Education.  She has been a substitute teacher in Anderson School District 5 and a Behavior Coach for Special Needs children.  Wendy is very active in her church.  She enjoys watching the children learn a skill or discover something new.  

Jennifer Ciufo

Teacher – Toddler Class. Jennifer received her Bachelors Degree is ABA Psychology from Kaplan University.  She is married to Ryan and they have 2 children; Carina, 5 & Conor, 4.  Jennifer enjoys drawing, painting, reading, running and spending time with family.  She has run a Spartan Beast Race and a Spartan Super Race (both obstacle courses)  Jennifer’s favorite thing about working at DCEC is seeing the smiles on the kids faces and watching them overcome boundaries.  Her patience and openness to learning are some of her best qualities.  

Starla Cantrell

 

Nurse-Starla is our Licensed Practical Nurse. She works closely with DCEC staff and parents to ensure that each of our children is receiving excellent care.

Veltaki Fortson

Lead Teacher-Transition Toddlers

Veltaki is the mother to 5 boys.  Her youngest son, Preston is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and is a student at DCEC.  Veltaki has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Augusta Technical College.  Her favorite thing about working at DCEC is knowing that she makes a difference in the lives of her students and their families.

Laura Capell

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Marketing Director –  Laura worked in corporate marketing for 15 years before her heart led her to the nonprofit sector.  For the nine years prior to joining DCEC, she worked with a human service agency in the areas of volunteer management, operations management, marketing and resource development. She came to DCEC in January 2016 to serve as Marketing Director and assist the center in promoting its mission. Laura is an Anderson native.  She attended TL Hanna High School and Anderson College.  She is a graduate of the Nonprofit Leadership Institute at Francis Marion University, the Carolina Academy of Nonprofit Leaders in Columbia, SC and Leadership Anderson Class 25. Laura serves on several other local nonprofit boards and advisory committees.  She enjoys working on projects that make our community better for all citizens. She and her husband, Chris, have been married 27 years and have two daughters – Hannah & Holly. Laura lives in Pendleton, SC.

 

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