Friday, August 5, 2005

GPB: High Quality Resources, High Quality People

Since we began serving the Georgia learning community in 1994, the Education division of Georgia Public Broadcasting has continued to expand the programs and services we provide. We have grown from a small department operating a single ITV channel to a resource-rich organization providing programming and training through multiple satellite channels, open air television, and the Internet. In order to ensure that we are meeting the needs of teachers and students, GPB has assembled a team of professionals with the experience and expertise required to understand those needs and provide solutions. Take a moment to read about each member of our staff below and learn who can assist you with specific questions you may have about GPB programs and services.

The Leadership

Mike Nixon - Director GPB Education
Mike served as the Director of GPB's Information Technology Division for four years before assuming the directorship of GPB Education. His background in information systems and distance learning technology enables him to develop unique solutions for Georgia educators that maximize GPB's technological infrastructure while providing high quality resources for use in the classroom. Under his leadership, GPB Education has continued to expand our video streaming and webcasting capabilities, which provide video resources to schools via the Internet without the need for a television or VCR. Additionally, he has solidified partnerships with the Georgia Department of Education and a number of other education entities that have resulted in the development of programs and resources that impact not only classroom teaching, but also professional development for educators. You may contact Mike at or 404-685-2256.

Patrice Weaver - Operations Manager, Social Studies
Patrice came to GPB after 15 years in the classroom. Before getting her Masters Degree in Instructional Design and becoming an award winning social studies teacher, Patrice worked as a Chief Executive Officer and Fiduciary Accountant for 10 years. Both of these skill sets serve her well as the Operations Manager of GPB Education, where she is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the division, including the budget, broadcast and streaming services, and client services. In addition to supervising the division's other project managers, Patrice herself serves as the social studies project manager, responsible for evaluating social studies content for broadcast and maintaining the extensive Georgia Stories website. She has been Executive Producer on a variety of education multi-media projects and continues to conduct professional development trainings statewide. Patrice actively cultivates partnerships with other state organizations in order to serve the needs of Georgia educators. You may contact Patrice at or 404-685-2563.

The Administrative Staff

Gwendolyn Clayton - Administrative Assistant
Gwendolyn came to GPB from Atlanta Public Schools after managing a multifaceted computer lab with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Oglethorpe University. She is responsible for vital internal tasks that enable the project managers to most effectively serve our external clients. She supports the GPB Education staff logistically with all project needs, including purchasing, conference planning and preparation, and organization of internal meetings. Gwendolyn also manages required departmental documentation that allows staff to travel across the state and purchase supplies to meet the training needs of educators. You may contact Gwen at or 404-685-2548.

Jascenda Pasley - Administrative Assistant
Jascenda has been with GPB Education for four years, during which time she has become an indispensable part of our team. She is the person you speak with when you call the main GPB Education phone number, and she can assist you with placing orders for GPB original programs, finding the technical assistance you need for your satellite or video streaming equipment, and locating the appropriate GPB staff person to answer your content-specific questions. Jascenda also inputs all of the program information you find in our online program guide and assists the project managers in preparation for conferences and trainings. You may contact Jascenda at or 404-685-2413.

The Project Managers

Katherine Aiken - Language Arts, Foreign Language, ESOL
Before joining GPB, Katherine taught middle and high school for seven years in DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties. Outside of the classroom, she continued work in the educational arena by facilitating workshops, developing educational programming, and working with school districts across the country to deliver community-based initiatives. Katherine's combination of teaching experience and business savvy make her a unique asset to GPB Education, where she serves the language arts, foreign language, and ESOL communities. She is responsible for locating and evaluating programming in these subject areas as well as developing partnerships with outside organizations that benefit learners across Georgia. Additionally, Katherine helps to oversee GPB's TeacherLine professional development initiative and provides video streaming training to teachers, media specialists, and administrators. You may contact Katherine at or 404-685-2743.

Jeanne Allen
Jeanne joined the GPB team in 2005 after graduating from the University of Washington with a double degree in Communications and Psychology. Jeanne serves as the Digital Communications Project Manager and is responsible for producing the monthly Pipeline E-Zine, coordinating design and production marketing materials, producing digital images, and creating other communications for GPB. Jeanne also works to educate and create awareness among teachers, media specialists, and administrators across the state about video streaming, programming, and other educational resources GPB has to offer. You may contact Jeanne at or 404-685-2418.

Rod Berry - Programming
Rod came to GPB Education from the world of database maintenance, where he worked to keep track of GPB's membership database for five years. Now that he's part of the Education team, Rod serves the crucial function of scheduling the programming that airs on Channels 410, 420, and 430. Rod is also in charge of seeking out new programming from vendors across the nation. If you have questions or concerns about the broadcast schedule, you can contact Rod. Also, if you would like to see more programming in a particular subject area, please let Rod know and he will do his best to acquire it for broadcast. You may contact Rod at or 404-685-2649.

Linda Johnson
- Elementary Education Project Manager
Before joining GPB, Linda was a teacher for six and a half years. She most recently taught fourth grade in Cobb County for two and a half years. Prior to that, she spent a year in Mexico teaching English as a second language to middle school and high school students. She is a graduate of the College of Charleston and is currently working on her masters in middle childhood education with a concentration in mathematics at Georgia State University. Linda is the Elementary Education Project Manager, concentrating on science and mathematics initiatives. She can assist you with any questions you might have regarding science and math programming and professional development offerings. She can also provide you with information about the "COUNT ON IT!" math series for grades K-3 as well as the "Georgia Outdoors" program. Linda provides professional development training on using video streaming and multimedia in the classroom. In addition, she facilitates partnerships with other entities throughout the state that can serve Georgia educators and learners. You may contact Linda at or 404-685-2555.

Laura Miller - Family Literacy, Ready to Learn
Laura came to GPB from WGBH in Boston, where she served as a member of the team that piloted Ready To Learn (RTL), public broadcasting's answer to the call for all children to begin school ready to learn. Laura has a Master's Degree in Education, with an emphasis in English, and experience working in various educational settings within the K-12 arena. Since joining GPB, Laura has served the Ready To Learn needs of the entire state through workshops for educators, parents, and caregivers. Additionally, she evaluates programming and oversees professional development in the areas of early childhood education, adult literacy, and family literacy. Laura further serves the needs of these communities through the facilitation of partnerships with other organizations to develop initiatives such as the Department of Education's Reading First project. You may contact her at or 404-685-2521.

Barbara O'Brien - Fine Arts
Barbara has been working in the fine arts community for her entire career. In addition to a wealth of personal experience as a dancer and choreographer, Barbara has an M.Ed. in education with an emphasis in dance. She has taught fine arts in classrooms from the pre-K through postsecondary levels, served as an artist-in-residence for various educational programs, and worked with such noteworthy Georgia organizations as the Fulton County Arts Council, the High Museum of Art, and Young Audiences of Atlanta. Since joining GPB as an Education Project Manager in 2003, Barbara has shared her fine arts knowledge with the larger Georgia learning community through the selection of fine arts education programming. She also provides professional development training for educators who want to integrate multimedia into classroom teaching of fine arts subjects. Additionally, Barbara facilitates partnerships between GPB and other organizations that further the cause of arts education in the state. You may contact Barbara at or 404-685-2545.


Lisa Hannabach
- Administrative Assistant for Irasshai
When you call the Irasshai Hotline (1-800-883-7444 or (404) 865-2811 in the Atlanta area), chances are Lisa's will be the first voice you hear. Although she has a B.A. in Japanese Language and Culture from the University of Hawaii and has lived in Japan for ten years, she promises to answer your Irasshai-related questions in English. As the administrative assistant for GPB's Japanese language and culture distance learning program, Lisa provides support to the Irasshai staff, acts as liaison between staff and enrolled schools, and facilitates the day to day operations of the Irasshai office.

Kathy Negrelli - Program Manager
Kathy comes to GPB with a Ph.D. in foreign language education from The University of Georgia and more than 20 years of teaching experience in Japan and in the U.S. ranging from elementary to university level. She has served on the team of Irasshai - GPB's high school distance learning course in Japanese language and culture - since its inception in 1995. She was an integral member in helping develop the Audio Interaction component of the course, as well as playing critical roles in the creation of Irasshai Explorer, the middle school course and i-irasshai, an interactive CD-Rom supplement to Irasshai. She currently acts as liaison between GPB and Irasshai subscribers across the nation, and is editor of the Irasshai Shinbun, a newsletter devoted to providing information and activities to facilitators and students of Irasshai.

Katsumi Suzuki- Program Coordinator of Irasshai
Katsumi came to the U.S. as a college student to major in English at Shorter College (Rome, GA). Her original plan was to stay in the U.S. for a few years until she graduated. During her last year of college, she went to visit a Japanese class at The University of Georgia. She was so excited to see American students learning Japanese, and she dreamed about becoming a teacher herself. She was encouraged to go to graduate school at UGA, where she studied foreign language education and taught Japanese in undergraduate classes for six years. She is one of the original staff who has been working for the Japanese distance course, Irasshai, since it piloted in 1996. She completed her Ph.D. in 2001 and is still enjoying teaching Japanese and coordinating the Irasshai program.

Sakiko Suzuki- Program Coordinator of Irasshai
Sakiko is originally from Kyoto, Japan and moved to the U.S. in 1997. She earned her Master's degrees in languages and cultures from Kansai Gaidai University and in comparative literature from The University of Georgia. She has been serving as a program coordinator of Irasshai since 2000 after having taught elementary school, middle school, and university both in Japan and in the U.S. Since 2000, she has been helping high students across the nation learn Japanese language and culture. Her 13 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings make her unique in her role as Distance Education Specialist in GPB's Education and Technology Division. She hopes that more students in the U.S. will broaden their worldview through learning the Japanese language and culture.

Even though the school year is coming to a close, the staff at Georgia Public Broadcasting is available to work with you on integrating technology into your classroom teaching practices. Contact any one of us to learn more about the resources we provide or to schedule training over the summer so that you can begin the 2005-2006 school year even better prepared to offer your students the meaningful learning experience they deserve.