Dr. Kelly Gunn
Executive Director

Dr. Gunn has nearly two decades of experience teaching, leading, and coaching, as well as in conducting urban educational research, all in pursuit of improving learning experiences for all children. Her journey began as a middle school teacher and she has held a variety of roles in academia and with KIPP, Atlanta Public Schools and AdvancED. She initially joined Kindezi as a board member in 2015, but stepped down to serve as a leader coach. She earned her BA in English Education from Tennessee State University, her M.Ed and Ed.S from Louisiana State University and her Ed.D from the University of Cincinnati. Both of her sons are students at Kindezi O4W.

Kimberly Green
Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Green has an administrative, accounting and operations background and previously worked at accounting firms and the Irish Consulate. She joined the Kindezi administrative team in 2011. She earned her bachelor’s of arts degree in political science and economics from Prairie View A&M University. Her family is one of the founding families of Kindezi and all three of her children have attended Kindezi West.

Tricia Farquharson
Chief of Academic Programming

Ms. Farquharson joined Kindezi in 2016. Previously, she worked with the District of Columbia Public Schools as a Program Manager in the Office of Special Education. She managed a team of specialists to support the schools and parents with IEP development, eligibility determination, graduation, location determination, attendance, and truancy. In addition to leadership within the district, she served as Operations Director for an outpatient mental health clinic in Maryland where she built operational systems and procedures to improve service delivery. Ms. Farquharson received her undergraduate degree in History/Secondary Education from Columbia Union College, and her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Walden University.

Shannon Echols
Chief of Staff

Mrs. Echols joined Kindezi as a founding elementary school teacher in 2010. Since then, she proudly served as a Middle School teacher, Instructional Coach, and Assistant Principal before moving to the network office in 2020. Mrs. Echols earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s of Science degree in Management and Leadership. She is passionate about Kindezi and the geniuses that we serve.

Heidi Williams-Cooper
Sr. Director of Culture & Socio-Emotional Learning

Ms. Williams-Cooper joined Kindezi in the 2015-2016 school year as a founding kindergarten math and science teacher at Kindezi Old Fourth Ward. Additionally, she served as the Kindergarten Chairperson, Gardening Coordinator, and assisted in writing curriculum. In 2016, Ms. Williams-Cooper became the Assistant Principal overseeing grades K-1. Prior to Kindezi, Ms. William-Cooper taught in the City Schools of Decatur for six years. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Leadership and Administration from Beulah Heights University.

Colleen Bolton
Director of Content for Math

Ms. Bolton joined Kindezi West for the 2013-2014 school year as a 5th grade math teacher and sports coordinator for the school.  The following school year Colleen served as the Loop Lead for middle school and Cultural Sensitivity Coordinator and then she was tapped to become a founding Vice Principal of Kindezi O4W. She served O4W in that role for two years until again stepping forward to become a founding Vice Principal, this time of Kindezi at Gideons.   Before becoming part of the Kindezi team Colleen taught for five years in Gary, Indiana as a first and second grade teacher and served as part of the school leadership team as a teacher representative.  She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana in 2004.

Rebecca Graham
Director of Content for Science & Social Studies

Ms. Graham joined Kindezi at Gideons as a founding fifth grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher during the 2017-2018 school year. During her time at Kindezi, she has served as a Reading Specialist at Kindezi at Gideons and an Assistant Principal at the Old Fourth Ward campus. She earned her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Georgia, her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Valdosta State University, and her Educational Leadership Tier I certification from The University of West Georgia.

Elizabeth Talaska
Director of Development

Ms. Talaska joined Kindezi in 2013 after working previously as a project manager in the financial publishing field. She earned her undergraduate degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Agnes Scott College. Though her dog would benefit greatly from a small, nurturing Kindezi class, he is unfortunately ineligible to attend.

Faith Wilbanks
Director of Content for English-Language Arts

Mrs. Wilbanks joined Kindezi as a founding elementary school teacher in 2010. Since then, she joyfully served as a Project-Based Learning Coach, Instructional Coach, and Assistant Principal before moving to the network office in 2021. Mrs. Wilbanks earned a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a specialist degree in Reading. She enjoys spreading the joy and love of literacy to the Kindezi network. Go Braves!

Bianca Griffin-Richards

Mrs. Griffin-Richards joined Kindezi in 2017 as a founding Gideons teacher. She has taught general education, music, and dance from kindergarten to 12th grade. During her 10 years in education, Mrs. Griffin-Richards has twice been recognized as Teacher of the Year and Staff MVP. She earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance specializing in opera from The University of Tennessee, a certification in early childhood education endorsed in gifted education from University of West Georgia, and a master’s degree in Arts Leadership specializing in non-profit organizations from Savannah College of Art and Design.