Our Administrative Team
Instructional Support Team
Fine Arts Team and Physical Therapist Consultant
Speech and Language Team
Work With Us
Employment at The Joseph Sams School is an opportunity to join highly qualified faculty who seek to challenge young people to their fullest potential while establishing strong relationships.
You may download a job application from the button below.
For more information, please contact us.
Amy is currently the Executive Director at The Joseph Sams School. Prior to assuming the role of Executive Director, she served as principal of The Joseph Sams School. Originally from Indianapolis, Amy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University and her Master of Education from the University of Georgia, where she worked as a graduate research assistant.
Amy has 9 years of experience in preschool to high school special education classrooms in both private and public schools. She holds multiple certifications in special education and is a MOVE (Mobility Opportunities via Education) International Trainer. Amy is a member of CEC (Council for Exceptional Children).
Her priority is to work together with parents, staff, and students to provide a safe, supportive, educational environment in which each student is challenged and inspired to reach their full potential.
Danielle currently serves as Principal at The Joseph Sams School where she oversees the educational and therapeutic programs at JSS. Danielle grew up in Fayetteville, GA and began her career at JSS in 2006 as a volunteer and substitute in the Elementary Autism Program. She obtained her B.A. Degree from Georgia State University in 2008. In December of 2011, Danielle completed her Master’s degree in Special Education from The University of West Georgia.
Danielle has classroom experience ranging from preschool to elementary ages in special education classrooms where she had the opportunity to instruct daily in functional academics as well as both life and community-based skills. She is certified as an International Trainer with MOVE (Mobility Opportunity via Education), and in PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). She is also a member of CEC (Council for Exceptional Children).
Danielle believes that high expectations paired with a supportive and individualized learning environment create a strong foundation and the opportunity for every student to reach his or her full potential in life. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.
Amber currently serves as Assistant Principal at The Joseph Sams School where she helps oversee the educational and therapeutic programs at JSS. Amber began her career at JSS in 2007 as a paraprofessional. She obtained her B.A. Degree from The University of Georgia and is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Special Education: Moderate to Severe.
Amber has 15 years of classroom experience ranging from preschool to upper school ages where she had the opportunity to instruct functional academics along with life and community-based skills. She is certified as an International Trainer with MOVE (Mobility Opportunities via Education/Experiences), and in PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System).
In her spare time, she loves going on outdoor adventures with her husband and three boys. She also enjoys reading, going to the lake, and riding bikes with her family. The Joseph Sams School is more than just a job, it is Amber’s second family.
Vicki Allen began as a paraprofessional in primary at JSS in 2008, chose to homeschool her three children, then returned for the 2016-17 school year. Vicki earned her Bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Early Childhood Education. She is currently working to gain her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education.
In her spare time, Vicki likes to read, hike, and spend time with her family and friends exploring, trying new restaurants, watching movies, and just having fun. She also enjoys working in her childhood church teaching the youth groups, directing youth choirs, and singing in the praise team and adult choir.
Vicki has been at The Joseph Sams School for more than 8 years and is excited to continue serving as the Preschool IST. JSS is near and dear to her heart. She seeks to positively impact the JSS families and community as much as she can!”
Lucy Barton has been a part of the JSS family since 2016. She worked as a paraprofessional before becoming an Instructional Support Teacher in the Primary Program. Lucy graduated from Gordon State College receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, with certifications in general education and special education. She has enjoyed every moment of working at JSS and plans to further pursue a Master’s degree in Special Education.
In the classroom, Lucy loves incorporating hands-on learning opportunities into lessons, such as cooking, science experiments, and arts and crafts activities. She adores seeing her students shine and express their creativity as they learn!
In her free time, Lucy enjoys traveling, creating art, and exploring antique stores. She also enjoys baking and spending time with her family and pets.
Leah began working with children with special needs in 1999 as a Nanny for a child with Autism. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Florida in 2000, she began teaching at the Jericho School for Children with Autism. During her time at The Jericho School she received training in Applied Behavior Analysis and Verbal Behavior under Dr. Vincent Carbone and worked in the school’s level I and II classrooms as well as their Communication Clinic.
After moving to Atlanta in 2002, Leah began facilitating in-home ABA programs and was the program director of a social skills group “Play for Tomorrow,” from 2003-2007. In August 2007, Leah began working as an Instructional Support Teacher at The Joseph Sams School.
When she isn’t working at JSS, Leah enjoys hiking, reading, knitting and spending time with her husband and daughter.
Joy is here at The Joseph Sams School to serve our students and parents with love and care by passionately applying and growing in her professional experience, academic knowledge, and education ability. She is headed into her 16th year serving both as a paraprofessional and as an Instructional Support teacher with our Upper School, Pre-k, and Primary programs. Ms. Joy serves our students and families as a MOVE Instructor, enabling our students to have every opportunity to be as independent as possible.
Joy holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia State University in Therapeutic Recreation and served as a Certified Therapeutic Specialist at Grady Memorial Hospital and Emory University Hospital both in Atlanta. Joy also served for many years overseas as a career missionary building people to people relationships in Pakistan and Africa.
Joy has enjoyed serving on the Leadership Team at JSS and was awarded Team Player of the year for the 2015-2016 school year. She enjoys serving, motivating, and advocating for our students and creates opportunities for them to shine.
Outside of school, Joy enjoys spending time with her six children and their families with her seven grandchildren, four of who were born in 2022! Joy enjoys Bible study, coffee, reading, football, hiking, and riding her bike.
Debbie Clark graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. She worked for the Ray Graham Association as a Group Home Manager for children with special needs before becoming a stay-at-home mom for 25 years, where she kept busy home educating her six children.
Debbie joined the lower school team in 2019 as a paraprofessional in the preschool class. She moved into the IST role in the Preschool and Pre-K classes before transitioning into the Upper School Program last year.
In the classroom, Debbie loves to give her students opportunities for hands-on learning through cooking activities, science experiments, and community-based instruction. She looks forward to watching her students continue to grow in their academic, social-emotional, and life skills.
In her free time, Debbie loves to read, go for long walks, and play with her granddaughter.
Stacey Kinney began her relationship with The Joseph Sams School as the parent of a daughter with special needs who began attending the school at the age of 3. She is now the proud parent of a Joseph Sams School graduate of the class of 2021! As a parent, Stacey served on the PTO for several years, participated in parent trainings, and new parent meet and greets.
Stacey has served in the position of a paraprofessional at the school for 12 years in the preschool, primary, and elementary classes. She returned to school to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies in 2020 from Ashford University and is now serving as an Instructional Support Teacher in the Upper School Program.
Stacey believes the mission, spirit, and staff of The Joseph Sams School changed the life of her family as they began their journey with their special needs child. She wants to be part of changing lives for other special needs families, helping them the way The Joseph Sams School helped her. In her spare time, Stacey likes to spend time with her family watching movies, going to concerts, and going on vacations to the mountains!
Sylvia has always enjoyed working with children. After serving in the United States Military as a paramedic, she opened an in-home family childcare center where she cared for all of the children in her community for 10 years. She graduated from Shorter University with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Children Services and attained an associate in early childhood education from Southern Crescent Technical College. Her background in education goes back 18 years.
She joined the Joseph Sams School team in 2021 as a paraprofessional in the Upper Collaborative program and is looking forward to continued growth and learning for all as an IST. Sylvia enjoys gardening, cooking, the great outdoors, and being a Texan.
Carol McLain comes to us from the Fayette County Special Education Department, where she worked for 4 years. Carol earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Clayton State University and a master’s degree in special education from Georgia State University. Carol believes working with special needs children is her calling in life.
When Carol is not working, she loves to go hiking, riding their motorcycle with her husband, canoeing, and hanging out with her 7 grandchildren.
This is Carly’s second year serving as an IST in the elementary program. Prior to joining the JSS family, she worked as the lead teacher in a preschool classroom with two-year-olds for five years. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Birth Through Five from Georgia State University in 2013. Through her experiences in that program she found her love for working with children with special needs and decided to continue her education. She received her master’s degree from Georgia State University in Multiple and Severe Disabilities: Early Childhood Special Education in 2016.
In her free time, Carly enjoys cooking, crafting, and catching up on her favorite television shows. She also enjoys traveling and visiting new places whenever she gets a chance to do so.
This will be Allie’s second year serving as an IST at JSS. She has a bachelor’s degree in social and behavioral health from The University of West Georgia. She has always had a passion for working with children with special needs!
In her free time, she enjoys being with her three dogs, young nieces, and her family! She enjoys coffee shops, shopping, and exploring new places with her friends!
Misty Lackey is a therapeutic art instructor and artist with a lifelong passion for inspiring others to cultivate, connect and communicate through the medium of artistic impression. She received her master’s in art education from the University of Florida in 2015, with the goal of garnering skills necessary to design curriculum and implement projects that bridge student’s creative art abilities with daily living skills. Misty’s journey with the Joseph Sam’s School (JSS) started in 2010 as a volunteer, and quickly turned into a full-time Paraprofessional position. In 2013, she assumed the proposed role of therapeutic art instructor. The program consists of art lessons tailored to every student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), with art interventions that support the goal of independence.
Over the past several years, students from the fine arts program have had artwork displayed at The High Museum of Art, The Four Seasons in Midtown, Radial restaurant in Decatur, and the Peachtree City and Fayette County libraries. They have also participated in the Play Me Again Piano community collaboration, as well as countless fundraisers. In addition, JSS students have a permanent art installation in the NICU wing at Fayette Piedmont hospital consisting of twenty-three pieces centrally themed to convey the importance of encouragement, peace, hope, and light. Misty’s strengths-based perspective brings awareness to her student’s abilities, rather than their disabilities. Through multiple community collaborations, including the city of Atlanta, she continues to educate the public and advocate for her students by providing a platform that allows her student’s creativity to shine!
In her spare time, Misty is an independent contractor, approaching fifteen years, through Fayette County Parks and Recreation who teaches art to teens and young adults with special needs.
When she is not working, she fuels her own creativity as a public and commissioned artist. Misty loves making memories with her husband Ben and nephew, Tylar (13). They live for travel, being close to the water, culture, nature, friends, family, and meals that bring it all together. In addition, they love going to the movies and having family game nights. Misty and Ben are compassionate individuals driven by a core desire to positively impact humanity through service.
Anna Claire Lett
Anna Claire Lett is a Music Therapist with a passion for helping others and seeing people around her grow to be their best selves. Recently from Gadsden, Alabama, Anna Claire joined the JSS family and is loving her new position and new home. Anna Claire, or “Ms. AC” obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Therapy from Charleston Southern University in Charleston, South Carolina in 2021. While working towards her degree, she quickly realized that her passions resonated within helping others with special needs in a school setting and incorporating music not only as an art to enjoy, but as a vital tool in supporting students’ growth journeys. Anna Claire practices with a holistic approach to music therapy to ensure that every student is seen, heard, and treated as an individual. Ms. AC hopes to pursue her NMT (Neurologic Music Therapy) certification as well as a Master’s degree in Music Therapy in the near future.
While she is not working, Anna Claire loves to spend time with her friends and family, serving at church, visiting new places, baking, and coloring. Anna Claire loves to make people laugh and enhance everyone’s world with random song lyrics throughout the day.
Heather is the Physical Therapist Consultant for the Joseph Sams school. She began working with Joseph Sams school as a private PT with Kool Kidz in 2004. She received her Master of Physical Therapy degree from Emory University in 1994 and has an undergraduate degree in Physical Anthropology from the University of Buffalo in NY. Heather is a Certified International Trainer with MOVE and a Certified Clinical Instructor.
Heather began working for the Joseph Sams School with the MOVE program in 2019. She works side by side with teachers in the classroom with MOVE students and students with mobility needs. Heather also provides Fitness and Wellness classes for all classes, with a focus on the development of gross motor skills through games and modified sports. Heather enjoys working with adaptive equipment to maximize independence and in the aquatic environment.
In her free time Heather enjoys swimming, hiking, gardening, reading, and spending time with her 3 grown children when they are home. Heather’s passion to help all children achieve their highest functional level of independence. Heather is committed to helping every child learn how to have fun and play games at their highest level of ability for participation with family, peers, and in the community.
Brooke Barnes is a certified speech and language pathologist who has been employed with The Joseph Sams School since 2017. She has also worked in the Fayette and Coweta County school systems, the Pinellas County school system in Florida, and in private practice since 2007.
She graduated from the University of South Florida with her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2001, and earned her M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 20o6.
Brooke loves working with children and helping them to communicate their wants and needs to the best of their ability. In her spare time she enjoys being with family and reading a good book!
Payton earned a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree from Georgia College and State University in 2016. She then went on to earn a Master of Education degree in Speech-Language Pathology from The University of West Georgia in 2019. After working at The Joseph Sams School as a substitute teacher for two years during graduate school, Payton now serves students full time as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
In her spare time, Payton enjoys playing flute in the Peachtree Wind Ensemble, serving with the student ministry at her church, and spending time outside with her husband.
Ellen Jeffers has been practicing Speech-Language Pathology since May 2001. She graduated from The University of Georgia in 1998 with a BSEd in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She obtained her MS in Speech-Language Pathology from Western Carolina University in the Spring of 2001.
Before joining the team at JSS in the Fall of 2007, Ellen worked with birth-3 year olds in the Babies Can’t Wait program, with school-aged children with special needs, in the Fayette County School system. Ellen also worked with the elderly and rehabilitative population at LaFayette Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Ellen has a heart for facilitating the speech and language development of children with special needs. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four children.
Alison became an SLP Assistant at The Joseph Sams School in August 2018. She attended college at the University of West Georgia, where she earned her bachelor’s in Speech-Language Pathology. After college, she worked for a short while as a substitute teacher in Carrollton, Ga before she moved back to Fayetteville, where she began working at Brain Balance. She worked there for three years before coming to the Joseph Sam’s School, where she brought her love of working with children with her. In April 2021 Alison earned her SLPA Certification through ASHA.
When she isn’t spending time at JSS, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and playing with her dog, Zoe. She also enjoys traveling and seeing new places. She feels very fortunate to be a part of such an amazing school!
Rhandi began working at The Joseph Sams School in 2015, and she joined the Speech Team in 2022. Prior to joining the Speech Team, Rhandi worked as a Paraprofessional and an Instructional Support Teacher for the Primary and Lower Collaborative programs. Rhandi received her Bachelor’s in Communication Across the Lifespan from Georgia State University in 2015.
She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from Emerson College and will graduate in August 2024. In her spare time, Rhandi enjoys going to the lake and spending time with her husband, friends, and family.