Staff & Board of Directors
Executive Director - Judith Shuey
Judith earned a degree in economics and completed her Master's in counseling psychology. She has taught at most all levels from pre-school to college, owned a retail business, directed a museum, and spent the past 15 years in non-profit management and fundraising.
Board of Directors
Current president Kayla graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and has a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. She lives in Staunton and worked at the Staunton Public Library from 2012-2021. She now works at the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville as the Collections and Technology Manager. Kayla joined the Board in 2021 and hopes to connect community members with valuable literacy resources.
Jane Steele has been involved with LEARN English since 2012 and is currently serving as vice president. Over seven years, she tutored five students in English as a Second Language and presented on health literacy to participants of the September 2015 tutor training.
Jane has been active with and served on the board of the Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia for many years.
Licensed by the Virginia State Board of Medicine as a Physical Therapist Assistant with specialty certification in lymphedema management, she has over 30 years experience providing direct patient care for physical therapy and rehabilitation departments in a variety of settings. She was a project management specialist with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Rockville, MD for 15 years and retired in 2016.
Cathy grew up in the suburbs of Virginia Beach, Fairfax, and Richmond. She attended JMU and earned a degree in Early Childhood Education and stayed in this area once she graduated. She taught school in Bath Co. for 2 years and Augusta Co. for 33 years. Once retired she spent a year as a traveling art studio teacher with Children’s Art Network (CAN). She also earned her Master Gardening certificate through the Va Tech Extension office and spends a lot of time volunteering for educational opportunities with this organization. She is very excited about being a tutor as well as a member of the LEARN board. Cathy joined the Board in 2020 and serves as the secretary for LEARN English.
Jessica Chenoweth has been the director of the Staunton/Augusta Adult Learning Center since 2016. The educational environment she has created at the Adult Learning Center provides support and offers positive encouragement and reinforcement to keep students focused and motivated. In 2021, she was named the Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education's (VAACE) Outstanding Leader of the year. Jessica received her B.A. in English from Fairmont State University, her M.A.Ed. in Elementary Education with an add-on minor in English as a Second Language from Jones International University, and in 2017 she obtained her Educational Specialist, Educational Leadership degree from Liberty University. Some of her favorite activities include reading, traveling, fishing, camping, and kayaking. Jessica joined the board in 2022 and serves as the Treasurer and chair of the Finance committee for LEARN English.
Raven attended Mary Baldwin University to study Japanese and spent a semester abroad in Kyoto, Japan attending Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts. After graduating from MBU in 2016, Raven earned a Master of Arts in International Studies at Old Dominion University in 2018. In 2021 she completed a graduate certification in Instructional Design and Technology through the University of Virginia. As of 2022, Raven serves as the Global Education Coordinator at Mary Baldwin University, facilitating study abroad and exchange partnerships. In addition to her staff work, Raven currently teaches Japanese and online Intercultural Communication courses at MBU. She joined the board in 2020 and serves as the Outreach committee chair.
Nadina was born in Bosnia & Herzegovina and emigrated to the US as a refugee with her family when she was 11 years old. Since they did not speak English, they had difficulties navigating their new surroundings so she has first hand experience at how important literacy is for our everyday lives. After graduating from Mary Baldwin University, she started working in the nonprofit sector. She currently works for United Way of Harrisonburg & Rockingham Co and People Helping People and lives in Grottoes with her husband and 18 month old son. Prior to having her son in 2020, Nadina was a LEARN English tutor for 2 years and is looking forward to serving the organization in a different capacity as a board member and as the Program committee chair.
Ron was born in Staunton and has always called it home. He graduated from Bridgewater College, double-majoring in Business Administration and Music. He is a member of the Staunton School Board, thoroughly enjoys working towards providing the best educational environment for children, and joined the LEARN English board in 2021. Active with many area organizations, he currently serves on the boards of Oak Grove Theater, Valley Children's Advocacy Center (president), and Building Bridges for the Greater Good ... is an elder at Covenant Presbyterian Church ... sings in his church choir and with Schola Cantorum in Waynesboro ... and volunteers with several other community organizations such as ShenanArts, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the Oak Grove Folk Music Festival.
Kay (Brown) Shirey is a 1991 graduate of Fort Defiance High School, a 1996 graduate of Bridgewater College, and has held jobs in various industries over the last 25+ years. She joined LEARN in 2022 with the intention of using her education and life experiences to expand on her natural instinct to facilitate community connections to our benefit whenever possible. As an active member of the downtown Staunton business community, she often considers it her 'second home'. She is currently part of the Redwood + Co. team making, selling and marketing their hand crafted home fragrance, body and self care products. In her down time she is at home in Fort Defiance with her daughter, Emma Rose, 4 cats, 2 dogs and 2 horses.
John Gillies is a retired non-profit manager who has lived in August County since 1988. He had a 40+ year career in international development/foreign aid programs, including Peace Corps (Afghanistan), US foreign service (Honduras) and non-profit technical and management positions focused on education programs in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. He has a Master's degree in Agricultural Economics and speaks Spanish and Dari.
Stephanie joined the board in 2022 and serves on the Staunton School Board.