Family Child Care Partnerships
206 Spidle Hall
Auburn University
Auburn, AL 36849
(334) 844-3208 (office)
(877) 892-FCCP (toll free)
(334) 844-4515 (fax)

Office Hours: 7:30 a.m - 4:30 p.m
Monday - Friday


Executive Team

Dr. Ellen Abell, Director since 1999

Dr. Abell provides leadership and is responsible for the activities 

of the FCCP Staff.  She is an Extension Specialist with the Alabama 

Cooperative Extension System and an Associate Professor of Human 

Development and Family Studies.  Dr. Abell's research and extension 

work focuses on the development and care of young children. She 

wants to make research-based information understandable and available 

to people who care about children, so that they can provide 

information children with the high quality environments and 

interactions that foster healthy growth and development.  Dr. Abell 

enjoys performing arts, handicrafts, art glass and beading and wire 

craft.  She enjoys travel, reading, contradancing, and spending time 

with friends and family.

Ellaine Miller, Program Coordinator since 2000 Ellaine provides content support, crisis management, data analysis, program evaluation, mentor training, and conducts client visits to promote successful accreditation attempts. Her professional interests are teacher-child relationships, children's social and emotional development, children's friendships and children's self-esteem. Ellaine's personal interests are sewing, gardening, travel, antiguing, reading Stephen King book, playing games, and spending time with her husband and two children.
Lisa Ditchkoff, Budget Manager and Executive Assistant since 2002

Lisa earned a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University.  Lisa's 

job responsibilities are managing budget, updating web site, and 

working as a liason with Department of Human Resources and university 

administrative offices.  Her professional interests are impacting lives of 

children and families, event coordinating, budget management, networking 

with people, and learning new challenges.  Lisa enjoys traveling, water 

skiing, exercising, antique shopping, playing cards and board games, and 

spending time with her husband and two children and friends.  
Apredee Harris, Program Manager since 2002





Joy Bowden, OfficeManager




State of Alabama Program Mentors

Zana Allen

Zana serves Morgan, Cullman, and Blount Counties in Alabama.  She is a 

graduate student at Alabama A & M University and will graduate in the 

Fall of 2003 with a Master's Degree in Special Education.  She is a 

mother of two wonderful children and spends every spare moment enjoying 


Cindy Carden, mentor since 2002

Cindy serves Lawrence, Franklin, Marion, and Colbert Counties.  Cindy is 

an active participant in her community and local church.  She enjoys 

collecting children's books and porcelaine dolls.

Melonease Clark, mentor since 1999

Melonease serves Houston, Coffe, Henry, and Dale Counties.  She worked in 

her home as a home day care provider for eight years prior to FCCP.  

Melonease's professional interests are vacationing with her family, 

sewing, and reading.  She actively participates in helping with church 

related functions.  She enjoys working with children and providers.

Cathy Collier, mentor since 2000

Cathy serves Huntsville and Madison Counties.  She is interested in 

Quality ChildCare for all children.  She believes that every child 

should receive appropriate developmental learning opportunities regardless 

of their economic, mental, or physical being.  Cathy enjoys reading in her 

spare time.  Cathy served on the board for Mentally Retarded Adults at the 

Opportunity Center in Huntsville.

Elizabeth Crocker, mentor since 2000

Elizabeth serves Tuscaloosa, Pickens, Bibb, Lamar, and Fayette Counties.  

Elizabeth is a certified Child Life Specialist.  Her thesis work for her 

master's degree focused on parental presence during anesthesia induction 

of their child.  Elizabeth enjoys spending time with friends and family 

and her husband to be.  she works with infants and toddlers in her 

church.  She enjoys the performing arts, movies, traveling, reading, 

and music. 


Gloria Day

Gloria serves Lee and Macon Counties.  Gloria has worked as a Preschool 

Teacher and an Assistant Director of a DayCare Center.  Gloria enjoys 

being a mother of three children, gardening, and reading.  She always

enjoys learing new information about childcare.

Dionne Edison, mentor since 2002

Dionne serves Greene, Hale, Marengo, Sumter and Choctow Counties.  

In addition to working as a mentor, Dionne's professional interests 

are working as an education consultant and working with youth.  Her 

personal interests are Girl Scout Leading, Volunteering with 

AmeriCorps, the elderly and church.  Dionne enjoysarts and crafts.  

Her specialty is crocheting one of a kind afghans.

Vernetta Foster, mentor since 2001

Vernetta serves Calhoun and Etowah Counties.  Her interests are working 

with all aged children in different settings.  It is her desire to share 

her time, knowledge, and resources with anyone who has a desire to 

enrich the lives of children and helping them reach their full potential.  

Vernetta enjoys hands on home decor such as room arrangement, painting,

wallpapering, flower arranging, and holiday seasonal set up.

Geneva King

Serves Madison County. Geneva would like to do everything possible so 

that children can be provided with the highest quality of care so that 

they can grow to reach thier fullpotential. She enjoys cooking, shopping,

and reading. Geneva also enjoys the performing arts, especially orchestra.  

Michelle Keesee

Michelle serves Lee and Russell Counties.  In additional to working as 

an FCCP mentor, Michelle works statewide mock observerer to promote 

accreditation standards.  Michelle earned a Bachelor's Degree in Human 

Development and Family Studies at Auburn University.  She worked in the 

Auburn University Child Study Center.  Michelle is loves Auburn football 

and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Karla Martin 

Serves Marshall and Jackson Counties. Karla worked as the director of a 

child care center for nine years. She enjoys spending time with her 

family, riding horses, and playing softball.

Brenda Nielson, mentor since 2002 

Serves Mobile and Washington Counties. Brenda also works as an early 

education instructor for GRCMA. She isalso writing and illustrating a 

children's book. Brenda loves all kinds of music. She is an avid reader

and enjoys crafts of all kinds, especially knitting.

Lisa Nimmer, mentor since 2000 

Serves Butler and Montgomery Counties. Lisa enjoys gardening, outdoor 

activities, and fitness.  
Ellouise Pennington, since 1999 

Serves Pike, Crenshaw, Coffee, and Barbour Counties.  Ellouise worked 

in day care for more than 15 years. Her professional goal is to work 

hard and help every home provider to become accredited. Ellouise      

would like to see all children reach their potential. She enjoys family, 

sewing,travelling and singing in her church choir.

Hannah Shakespeare, mentor since 1999

Serves Covington, Crenshaw, and Butler Counties.  Hannah's professional 

interests are to aid providers in her coverage area to become one of the 

best quality child care providers in the state by helping them advance 

their quality of care.  Hannah enjoys her two children, her family and 

her church.  She enjoys helping community children strive to do their 

best and acheive all they can and especially to never give up before

reaching their goals.

Karyl Spillman

Serves Dekalb, Jackson, Cherokee, and Marshall County.  Karyl is a 

licensed social worker who also works with a local faith based Hospice 

Program, works as a church secretary, and is a drama team member.  Karyl 

enjoys raising and breeding Bassett Hounds.  She will be writing, 

producing, and directing her first church drama.

Sylvia Spratling, mentor since 2002

ServiesTallapoosa and Elmore Counties.  Sylvia also works as a 

Trainer/Childcare Consultant for her local CMA.  Her professional 

interests are to open a childcare center in her hometown or to open a 

quality family childcare center.  Sylvia enjoys attending all sporting 

events, reading, spending time with her family, and attending church 


Gloria Jean Sutton, mentor since 2000

Serves Mobile and Baldwin County.  Gloria's main professional interests 

are to help providers recognize what they do.  As a former child care 

provider, Gloria has great passion for FCCP and helping to educate her 

providers and serve their children better.  Gloria is the Vice President 

for the Hospitality Department in her church.  She enjoys making others 

feel good and smile-therefore, enjoys making her providers feel like she 

cares for them by making gifts and giving them ideas through motivational 

techniques.  Gloria has many creative skills.

Mamie Thomas, mentor since 2001

Serves Colbert, Franklin, and Lauderdale Counties.  Mamie is a former 

daycare director and also worked for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC.)  

Mamie enjoys sewing, cooking, and church related functions. 

Kellie Tolar, mentor since 2001

Serves Dale, Geneva, Barbour, Houston, Henry, and Coffee Counties.  

Kellie's ultimate professional goal is to provide family child care 

providers with resources to enable them to provide quality care.  Kellie 

loves music, movies, and being with her friends and family.

Medella Watson, mentor since 2000

Serves Talladega, Calhoun, St. Clair, Etowah, Randolph, and Cleburne 

Counties.  Medella's professional interests are her love for children 

and caring to enhance quality care for children across the state. Medella 

enjoys yoga, meditation, reading, and long walks.

Augusta Watters, mentor since 1999 

Serves Marengo and Dallas Counties. Augusta is also a certified 

passenger safety technician. She loves participating in various church 

activities and spending time with her family.

Barbara Wright, mentor since 2002

Serves the Birmingham area including Jefferson and Shelby Counties.

Barbara has worked in Early Childhood for about 20 years.  She also 

worked as a home childcare provider for eight years.  She really enjoys 

working with children and hope to improve the quality of their lives.  

Barbara enjoys painting and a variety of crafts.  She reads just about 

anything she can and enjoys gardening and cooking.




Program Enrollment
Mentoring Approach
Assessment and Impact