Meet our Team
Ken Buchanan, Quality Programs Supervisor
Ken holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Education. Over the past 18 years, he has had the pleasure of working in many facets of education, including directing an afterschool and summer program, tutoring seven and eighth-grade students, VPK teacher for Headstart, and most recently, a Provider Support Specialist and Professional Development Trainer. Ken is a certified C.L.A.S.S. PreK, infant and toddler observer, a Lastinger certified coach, an MMCI instructor and an expert in the early child care accreditation process. Ken has been married to his wonderful wife Christina for 6 years and they have a five-year-old daughter Evelyn that means the world to them. Ken loves to venture up north and out west to enjoy snow skiing when he can!
Amanda Houston, Professional Development Coordinator
Amanda has a degree in early childhood development and over 15 years of experience in various roles within the early childhood field. She believes that children deserve a solid foundation for learning and that it is the responsibility of those in the early childhood field to create an environment that supports intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth for all children.
Carol Terrazas, Quality Programs Coordinator
Carol has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development from the University of South Florida and taught PreK / VPK for twenty-five years in Pinellas County. She enjoys technical writing and is proud of the revised Child Developmental Checklist & Tips Booklets (Flip Books) that she created with a small group of early childhood professionals. Carol is married and has three grown children and a cat. When she’s not at work, she loves to travel and explore new destinations.
Shrieka Hollis, Quality Specialist-Assessor
Shrieka is a Florida native. She has a Master’s degree in Public Health with a focus on Early Childhood Education. Shrieka has 22 years of experience working with children and providers including teacher assistant, teacher, center director for school age, and her current role as Quality Specialist for birth to 5. Shrieka is a certified PreK, Infant and Toddler CLASS Observer, as well as an Early Learning Florida
Lastinger Coach. She is a mother of one adult daughter. Shrieka values positive relationships that are crucial to development and learning; she is passionate about quality care and truly believes in supporting teachers and providers in an effort to increase quality for children.
Sima Saffary, Quality Specialist-Assessor
Sima has a BA in Education from Eckerd College and has over 30 years of experience working in Early Childhood Education. Sima is a certified PreK, Toddler, and Infant CLASS observer as well as an Early Learning Florida Lastinger Coach. She believes supporting teachers and directors enables them to reflect on their impact in their classrooms and achieve their full potential. Sima is a mother to a beautiful daughter and has two young grandsons whom she adores. Her passion for young children receiving quality early learning to prepare them for school success is undeniable.
Suzanne Silkie, Quality Specialist-Assessor
Suzanne has a BA in Social & Behavioral Sciences and 25 years of experience working in Early Childhood. Suzanne is a certified PreK, Toddler & Infant CLASS Observer and an Early Learning Florida Coach. She believes that teachers of young children need ongoing support & education to do this awesome work.
Linda Townsend, Quality Specialist-Assessor
Linda is originally from Long Island, NY but has lived here in Pinellas County since 1990. Linda has a BA in Early Childhood Development from St Petersburg College. She is a certified PreK CLASS observer and is working toward her certification for Infant and Toddler. She has 28 years of experience working in the classroom with children as a teacher and has worked with families as a Director of a preschool here in Pinellas County. Linda believes in a hands-on learning approach providing children a variety of experiences to develop social, emotional and physical growth. To achieve that she also believes that providers, teachers need the guidance and support to provide the best environment for children to be successful. She has been married for 23 years and has two adult sons that she is very proud of. She enjoys baseball, traveling and hiking in her free time. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” ~ Nelson Mandela
Linda Johnson, Quality Specialist-Literacy
Linda is a Polk County Florida native. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education/Early Childhood Education from the University of South Florida. She also holds an American Montessori Society Pre-primary certificate and a Florida Director’s credential. For over 35 years, she was Head Directress at a local Montessori school where infants through eighth graders attended. Linda has been involved in education from a very young age, volunteering at childcare centers, and then following her dreams to become a teacher/administrator to young children. Linda believes that teaching young children through hands-on, sensory materials and developing early literacy skills are the pathways to early learning success. She greatly enjoys sharing her knowledge with other childcare providers, families and always with children.