DR. JONI Y. ALBERG - Executive Director
Since 1999, Joni has served as Executive Director of BEGINNINGS. Joni has
been a special education teacher, administrator, researcher and business
executive. Joni served as President of the International Council for Exceptional
Children (CEC) in 1990-91 and is currently the Secretary for the American Association of Home Based Early Intervention. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Special Education
from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in Special Education from the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Joni and her husband, Jarles, enjoy spending time at Holden Beach, NC and
working in their yard.
MS. CHRISTENE A. TASHJIAN - Assistant Executive Director for Research & Development
Christene joined BEGINNINGS as the Assistant Executive Director in December 2004. She has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Education from the University of Texas – Austin, graduating with honors in the field of special education. Christene has taught students with learning and emotional disabilities in both public and private school settings. She earned her Master’s Degree, with a focus on education and health policy, from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, UT-Austin. Prior to BEGINNINGS, she was employed for 14 years at RTI International (formerly Research Triangle Institute) as a Senior Educational Research Scientist. Ms. Tashjian has 20 years of experience conducting education and disability research and policy-related program evaluations for school-aged and adult populations. She and her husband, Michael, live in Chapel Hill.
MS. IVETTE E. KERR - Hispanic Outreach / Parent Educator
Ivette joined Beginnings in December 2000. Prior to joining BEGINNINGS, Ivette
served as an Hispanic Outreach Worker, and most recently as a Hispanic
Maternal Outreach Worker for Wake County Human Services. A native of Panama,
Ivette has lived in Japan, Guam, and now resides in the USA. Her experience
includes Early Childhood and providing family support services. Ivette
is fluent in both Spanish (her first language) and English.
MS. JO ANN PARRISH - Parent Educator
Jo Ann joined BEGINNINGS in October 2000, after working with young children
and their families for more than 12 years. First, teaching in preschool settings
and later providing early intervention services for young children and their
families. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with emphasis in
Child Development and a Master’s degree in Special Education specializing
in Learning Disabilities. She is a certified Infant-Toddler Specialist. She
is also certified to teach children with learning disabilities, K-12. Jo
Ann is married to David Parrish. David and their son, Joel operate Parrish
Associates, Inc., designing and building automation machinery.
MS. JUDY A. WERBICKI - Administrative Manager
Judy has worked with BEGINNINGS since November 2000. She has over 5 years
of secretarial and administrative experience, working in corporate, health
and human service provider environments. Prior to working at BEGINNINGS,
she was an Administrative Specialist within Glaxo Wellcome, Inc. She works
part-time in the Raleigh Office, and has three children.
NANCY WOYTOWICH - Lead Parent Educator
Nancy Woytowich joined the BEGINNINGS staff in July, 2002. Nancy attended
college in Buffalo, New York where she completed her Bachelor’s degree
in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University at Buffalo and her Master’s
degree in Deaf Education from Canisius College. She holds teaching certifications
in deaf education (K-12) and regular education (K-6). Nancy has had the opportunity
to work with students and adults who use ASL, TC, AVT, Cued speech, and Audiory-Oral
communication methods in a variety of settings and work environments. Nancy’s
teaching experience in deaf education includes public and private school
programs in New York, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.
MS. BEVERLY A. ELWELL - Director of Programs & Finance / Parent Educator
Beverly joined BEGINNINGS in October 1997. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Habilitative Sciences and a
Master's degree in Deaf Education, both from Florida State University (FSU).
With 14 years experience teaching students who are deaf and hard of hearing,
ages 4 through adults, Beverly has taught in a residential school setting,
public schools, and at a community college. After leaving the field of teaching,
she attended the University of NC at Charlotte (UNCC) to pick up accounting credentials
and was a CPA prior to working with BEGINNINGS. Her experience as an accountant
was primarily in the non-for-profit sector; she is now on inactive status
as a CPA. Beverly is a bilateral cochlear implant user who is very active
in the deaf and hard of hearing communities, at the local, state, and national
levels. She is married to David, whom she met while attending FSU. Together,
they enjoy spending time at their farm, including flying their powered parachute!
MS. JOANNA D. CHANTEMERLE - Parent Educator
Joanna joined BEGINNINGS as a Parent Educator in November 2003. She has a
Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UNC-Wilmington (1991). Joanna
earned her Master’s Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling/Evaluation
from East Carolina University (1994). Prior to BEGINNINGS, she was employed
for three years as a Hard of Hearing Services Specialist and Specialist-In-Charge
at the Asheville Regional Resource Center for the Division of Services for
the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Joanna also has four years of experience as
a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for teens with disabilities in Greenville,
North Carolina. Joanna and her husband, Don, have two children.
MS. DIANE E. DOAK - Lead Parent Educator
Diane has been a Parent Educator with BEGINNINGS since August 1998. She has
15 years combined experience as a recreational therapist, an early intervention
teacher, and an early intervention counselor to families of children who
are at risk for developmental delays. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Therapeutic
Recreation from West Virginia University, and is a certified Therapeutic
Recreational Specialist and a NC Infant-Toddler Specialist. Prior to joining
BEGINNINGS, she was employed as a Developmental Disabilities Senior Counselor
with an Area Mental Health Center, providing early intervention services
for families of children birth to five with developmental delays and diagnosed
disabilities, including children with hearing losses. Diane and her husband,
Doug, have 2 sons, one of whom has a hearing loss.
MS. LENDIA L. FONVILLE - Office Assistant
Lendia has been with BEGINNINGS since July 2002. She has over
5 years of secretarial experience, working in the education sector, and 11
years of quality control experience, working in the manufacturing/textile
sector. She also has an AAS degree in Sign Language Interpreting andl
works part-time for Central Piedmont Community College. Lendia is currently
preparing for licensure within the interpreting field. When Lendia can find some free time
from working and being a mother of two, she really enjoys reading!
MS. ERIN M. LUCAS - Parent Educator
Erin has been a Parent Educator with BEGINNINGS since June 1998. She obtained her BA degree in Deaf Education and Regular Education from Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, NC and currently holds NC teaching certifications in Deaf Education (K-12) and Regular Education (K-6). Prior to working with BEGINNINGS, Erin taught middle school deaf and hard of hearing students in a resource classroom and then served as an itinerant Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She has spent her career working with deaf and hard of hearing children, adults, and their families as a teacher and as a volunteer.
MR. LUIS D. MIRANDA - Hispanic Outreach / Parent Educator
Luis joined BEGINNINGS in September 2000. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Business
with a major in finance from the University of Puerto Rico. While still in
Puerto Rico, he was the Regional Coordinator for an HIV/AIDS consortium agency,
helping patients and families to get the services they needed. Upon moving
to North Carolina, Luis was an International Financial Analyst for a company
which provides US and international financial information to investors and
companies. His primary responsibility was to translate legal and financial
documents and to work with Hispanic clients (companies). Luis returned to
the human service arena because he feels that he can make a greater impact
on working with families than with companies! He is married to Michelle,
and in 2005 they adopted their first child. Together they are very involved with the Latin American mission of one of the largest churches in the Charlotte area.