Blakemore Children's Center
3604 Whitland Ave | Nashville, TN 37205
Hours of Operation: 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday
BCC is staffed by experienced, qualified professionals who continually develop their skills through training. There has been no turnover in key staff since 1997.
Bonnie Spear, Director: Bonnie assumed responsibility for directing BCC in August 1997. She is currently pursuing a M.Ed. in early childhood education and has earned the Tennessee Early Childhood Program Administrator Credential. She came to BCC with over 12 years of experience directing early childhood programs. She has received intensive training on the ITERS and ECERS-R at the University of North Carolina and TSU. Bonnie is active in the early childhood professional community having served on the boards of the local and state Associations for the Education of Young Children. She currently serves on the boards of TAEYC and UMAP, United Methodist Association of Preschools. She has been a presenter at local, state and national professional conferences. She was a national validator for NAEYC and a trained mentor for students working towards a Child Development Associate Credential. Bonnie served on the taskforce that wrote the Metro Schools Pre-kindergarten Standards in literacy and math, was a trainer on the standards, and served on the Mayor’s Early Childhood Advisory Task Force. She is a past chair of the Nashville Chapter of Stand for Children, a national grassroots child advocacy organization. She is on the cutting edge of the positive changes taking place in childcare. Her responsibilities as BCC director include overall supervision of the curriculum, interaction with children, supervision of staff, fiscal operations, fundraising, community and family relations, and cooperation with the Board.
Geraldine Reynolds has worked with children for over 40 years. She attended Tennessee State University, Trevecca Nazarene University, and Wisdom of God Bible College; Geraldine holds degrees in Education and Youth Ministries. Her hobbies include gardening, reading, traveling, and creative art activities. Geraldine is married to husband Karlos and they have children Dana, Michael, William, and Angel. Her favorite thing about working with children is getting to grow and play together, particularly during her 19 years at Blakemore.
Barbara Dean has served in several roles at Blakemore include assistant director, lead teacher, and music teacher. She has worked with children grades pre-K-5 for over 45 years! Barbara has attended Trevecca Nazarene University and Wisdom of God Bible College and holds degrees in Early Childhood Education as well as a BA in Youth Ministry. She enjoys writing poetry, many kinds of music, reading, traveling, and gardening. Barbara has four adult children, Kenneth, De'Qua, Karesha, and Ebony. Her favorite part of working with children is watching them grow throughout the school year and have "aha!" moments when they gain confidence knowing they can do something. She has also enjoyed watching Blakemore grow for over 18 years.
Eloise Hull began working with children while still in high school herself and has worked with children full-time for 33 years. She has a diploma in Christian Education, a B.S. in Early Childhood Education, and pursues continuing education opportunities such as conferences and workshops. Eloise grew up in Amish Country in Pennsylvania and spent 13 years in Michigan before coming to Tennessee. She has many hobbies including crafts, mysteries, opera/symphony/plays, travel, animals, puzzles, brain studies, and sign language. Eloise enjoys working with children because they say notice things in different ways and have funny comments. Also, she knows children are very capable and finds it fascinating to watch them grow and develop.
Shereena Porter: Shereena graduated from Hillsboro High School, in 2003, and attended Alabama A and M University for a year in Pre-nursing. She began working part-time at BCC as an assistant teacher and decided to change professions. Now a preschool teacher, she attends Nashville State Community College where she is earning her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Her responsibilities include planning curriculum and teaching, observing and assessing children, and closing the center each day. She is a member of the local, state and national Associations for the Education of Young Children.
Amy Smith: Amy has been an early childhood education professional for twenty-three years. She has been a teacher, center director and board member of a child care center. She also helped start a new center.Amy's responsibilities include planning curriculum and teaching,observing and assessing children, opening the center each morning and greeting children and families. Amy has the Child Development Associate Credential and in May 2011 earned her A.A.S. in Early Childhood Education. She is a member of the local, state and national Associations for the Education of Young Children.
Keturah Hereford has worked with children for 25 years and loves everything about her time with kids! Keturah has taken college classes on early childhood education and is married to husband Jason; they have children Rodjanae and Joshua. Keturah enjoys reading and watching TV in her spare time and prepares delicious meals for the children at Blakemore.
Margaret Cantrell: Margaret has been a caregiver in the Maxine Cassety Infant/Toddler Program since it opened in 2008. She has many years experience in early childhood education caring for and teaching young children.Her responsibilities include participation in curriculum planning and implementation and observation of children's development. Margaret is a student at Nashville State Community College working toward her Child Development Associate Credential. Margaret is a member of the local, state and national Associations for the Education of Young Children.
Meighan Giotta is the infant-toddler program coordinator. She has worked with children for over 10 years and has a BA in English and a M.Ed. in Non-Profit Leadership from Belmont. Meighan has a husband, Joe, and young daughter, Lucia. Meighan's hobbies include coloring, reading, and chasing Lucia! Her favorite things about working with children are their innocence and enthusiasm and watching them develop, especially their language.
Natasha Simmons-Crutcher has worked with children for 12 years. She has her Child Development Associate's degree and is married to husband Latroy Sr. Together they have children Latroy Jr. and Latroya. Natasha enjoys reading, dancing, swimming, and music. Her favorite part of working with children is seeing their growth and knowing she was able to play a role in supporting their development process.
Amanda Durai has taught preschool for over 3 years in addition to several summers as a camp counselor and caring for children within her family. Amanda has a degree from UT-Knoxville in Fine Arts as well as a massage therapy certification from Cumberland Institute; she is currently enrolled in Early Childhood classes at Nashville State. Amanda likes to draw, paint, hike, write, read, and bicycle in her spare time and has a teenage daughter, Jessica. Amanda loves how inquisitive and affectionate children are and that everything is fresh and new to them. Children always sweetly surprise her!