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Program for Exceptional Children


 PEC Purpose: To help Students with Disabilities master standards.

PEC Goal: For Students with Disabilities to perform equal to or above other Students with Disabilities in the state in all core academic subjects on the CRCT and GAA.

Staff Directory: Click on each name for more information about our commited and caring staff

Dr. Bubba Longgrear

Assistant Superintendent of Student Services

Special Education Director

Candler County Board of Education

210 S. College St.

Metter, GA 30439

912 685-5713 ext 0562


Mr. Danny Smith

School Psychologist

Testing Coordinator

Intervention Specialist

Candler County Board of Education

210 S. College St.

Metter, GA 30439

912 685-5713 ext 0566


Mrs. Carol Smith

Special Education Parent Liaison

Candler County Board of Education

210 S. College St.

Metter, GA 30439

912 685-5713 ext 0579


Mrs. Melinda Franklin

Special Education Administrative Assistant

Candler County Board of Education

210 S. College St.

Metter, GA 30439

912 685-5713 ext 0574



Metter High School PEC Staff

Tabetha Hebden, PEC Teacher

Angela Ray, Occupational Therapist

Pat Spaid, PEC Teacher

Corey Collins, PEC Teacher

Corey James, PEC Teacher

Elizabeth Hoeger, PEC Teacher

 Metter Intermediate-Middle School PEC Staff

Jennifer Ewing Best, PEC Teacher

Lesa Deloach, PEC Teacher

Rosa Deloach, PEC Teacher

Crystal Wright, PEC Teacher

Renee Heigaard, PEC Teacher

Bailey Jeffers, PEC Teacher

James Brantley, PEC Teacher

Rochelle Sheppard, PEC Teacher

 Metter Elementary School PEC Staff

Christie Berry, PEC Teacher

Carrie Edge, Inclusion Teacher

Kirsten Hodges, Inclusion Teacher

Stacy McCranie, PEC Teacher

Melody Young, Speech Therapist

Tina Rigdon, Physical Therapist

Ashlee Lott, Inclusion Teacher


Teacher & Staff Biographies 


Ashlee Lott - Metter Elementary School My husband and I have a 2 ½ year old son, Bryson. We live in Statesboro, GA. I graduated high school from Ware County. I obtained a bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from Georgia Southern University in 2008. I began teaching at Metter Elementary School fall of 2008 and graduated with my master’s in curriculum and instruction from Nova Southeastern University. I taught at MES as a regular education teacher for 5 years before getting my special education certification. I am excited to serve students in this program!

Carol Smith - Parent Mentor for the Program for Exceptional Children I have the greatest job on the planet. It’s my privilege to work with the parents of our special needs children to ensure that these parents are fully aware of all programs and educational opportunities available to their children. Being a veteran classroom teacher with 26 years experience and having taught special needs children for the majority of that time plus being the mother of a child with special needs provided   the background for this most important position.  I graduated from Mercer University with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I began my teaching career in Macon, Georgia before moving to Metter in 1983. My Masters Degree and Special Education additional certification came from Georgia Southern University. I taught regular education for many years but fell in love with Special Needs Children and feel that working with these students is truly a “calling”.My philosophy is that all children can learn when instruction is geared to their unique needs. I believe in celebrating progress not just perfection. The highlight of my professional career was when I was named WTOC TOP Teacher in 2006. I love this award because the parents of the students I taught nominated me and made the award possible. Most recently in my current position, I received the nomination of the prestigious Phil Pickens Award for Parent Mentors in Georgia.I am married to Butch Smith. He is a local attorney with Jones and Smith, PC.   We love to travel. Butch hunts big game and that takes us to some interesting places around the world. We have two children, Brooke and Bradley, who are both Metter High School and Georgia Southern University Alumni. Brooke is married to David Slappey and they live in Pooler. We are members of Metter United Methodist Church. My favorite thing to do is spend time with my family, hang out with my labs (Annie and Oakley), and make flowers grow. I love to read, watch little children laugh and enjoy a sunset on Canoe Pond.

Carrie Edge - Metter Elementary School My husband, Forrest, and I have a 1 year old son named Burton. We currently live in Soperton, GA. I attended grade school in Lincolnton, GA and graduated from high school there in 2003. After graduating from high school, I attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. After several years in Clinton, I decided to transfer to Georgia Southern University. There, I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 2007, a Masters of Education degree in Special Education in 2009, and an Education Specialist Degree in Special Education/Teaching and Learning in 2011. In addition to carrying out my fifth year as a special education inclusion teacher/ABA therapist at Metter Elementary School, I am becoming a board certified assistant behavior analyst (BCaBA). I am always on the go and love every minute of it!! When I have spare time, I enjoy being outside!!

Christie Berry - Metter Elementary School I am married to Donnie Berry who is the pastor of Portal First Baptist Church. Over the years, we have lived in various in places in Georgia and the U.S. where I have assisted my husband in starting new churches. We have twins who are in the sixth grade at MMS. They are MaryRuth and Curtis. For fun, I enjoy cooking, dancing, and spending time with my family. I graduated from Augusta College in 1983. I have taught Pre-K, second grade, middle grades (regular and special education), preschool intervention, and I am currently an inclusion teacher for kindergarten. Working in the elementary school setting is my favorite. I honestly believe learning can be fun! It is my goal as a teacher to find the strategies that work for each child to learn. Every day is a new challenge that should be approached with excitement.

Crystal Wright - Lead Learner at Metter Intermediate School She has worked at Metter Intermediate School for five years. In those years, she has worked with children in general education and resource classrooms. She works with the school’s 21st Century Afterschool Program, serves as the AR Reading Club Advisor and as the Six Flags Read to Succeed Coordinator. She graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree; Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2009 with a Master’s degree; and Georgia Southern University in 2011 with a Specialist’s degree. Through her years of teaching service, she has earned certifications in the fields of Special Education P-K, Early Childhood Education P-5, and an ESOL Endorsement. Crystal is married to her high school sweetheart and they share three children. They all enjoy spending family time together traveling and have recently become addicted to cruising after trips to the Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, and the Cayman Islands.

Jennifer Best - Metter Intermediate School This is my 5th year teaching in Metter- I taught one year at Metter High School and this is my 4th year teaching at Metter Intermediate School. I graduated from Georgia College and State University with my Master's degree in 2008. I am married to Clay Best and have an 18 month old daughter, Jenna Claire, and we are expecting our second child in September :) I attend First United Methodist Church in Twin City. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and shopping.

Kirsten Hodges - Metter Elementary School I am a graduate of Georgia Southern University and I currently teach at Metter Elementary School.  This is my seventh year teaching here and I am thoroughly enjoying it.    I love teaching young students because I get the opportunity to watch many of my kids experience school for the first time.  It is a wonderful feeling knowing that you have helped to provide a child with an ability that will last him or her a lifetime!  I believe that all kids can learn in some way, at some time!  Some may take a little longer than others but as long as we do our best and expect that from the students…we will achieve success! I am married to Travis Hodges and we have one daughter, Kylin, and a little boy, Barrett!  My family is my pride and joy and I love simply doing anything with them.  I am a member at Fletcher Memorial Baptist Church in Statesboro.  I try to follow Christ in all that I do and share the love of Jesus with those I meet.   I enjoy scrapbooking, sewing and doing photography on the side.  I try to enjoy all of the simple things in life for I have found that is what truly makes one happy!

Lisa Ann Deloach - Metter Middle School I reside in Collins, GA. I am a member of Pine Grove Baptist Church. Degree:  Bachelor's Degree in Special Education from Georgia Southern University, Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Nova Southeastern University. Subject/School Where Teaching: Metter Middle School 8th Grade Inclusion Math and ELA, 8th grade STEM during connections. Prior Teaching Experience:   I was placed at Metter Middle School in 2008 for student teaching by GSU. An opening was available; I was hired and have been here since.  I am in my sixth year at Metter Middle School. I have taught 7th and 8th grade Inclusion Math and ELA as well as SPED resource math during this time. Family (Spouse, children, etc): Married to Michael Deloach for 23 years. Have three children: Jake, age 19: Chanci, age 18: Annsley, age10.


Melody Young - Metter Elementary School Personal Information: I am married to Jim Young, and we have 4 sons – Hunter (8th grade), Lnae (6th grade, Christian (PreK), and Colt (3 years old). We are from Richmond Hill, but have lived in Metter for 6 years. Teaching Information: I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in speech pathology from Armstrong Atlantic State University. I worked as a speech pathologist in Chatham County for 8 years, and in Bulloch County for 6 years.


Renee Hiergaard - Metter Middle School I was born in Biloxi, Mississippi, and moved around to many different states before my family settled back in my mother’s home town, Metter, Ga., when I was in the fourth grade. I have two daughters: Dannielle (age 23) and Ashby (age 17), and one son: Ridge (age 20), who is married to Lindsey and expecting in January. Dannielle is married to Matt Fordham and they have two wonderful boys…Matthew (age 3) and Blaine (1)…they are so special!!!. .Teaching: I attended school in Metter and graduated in 1988. After graduation I continued my education at East Georgia College (EGC). I graduated from EGC in 1991 with an Associates of Arts degree in education. I then attended Georgia Southern University (GSU). In 1994, I graduated from GSU with a Bachelors of Science degree in special education. During my time in school, I worked as a full time substitute in the severe/profound classroom at MES. After graduating from GSU, I was hired by the Candler County BOE. I began teaching special education where I enjoy the challenge of teaching students at all ability levels. I added my regular education certification and taught 4th grade science for many years. I have also worked as intervention specialist at MMS, and as a 2nd grade teacher at MES before returning to the severe/profound classroom this year. I love working with this special group of children. This is my 18th year in the teaching profession.

Stacy McCranie - Metter Elementary School Personal information: I have lived in Metter all of my life. I graduated from MHS in 1988. I have two children who attend Metter High and Metter Middle. I enjoy shopping, gardening, reading, and spending time with my family. I like to go to the beach and the mountains, but my favorite place to be is at home. Teaching information: I attended East Georgia College and Georgia Southern University. I began teaching in Metter in 1992. I have taught 4th grade, 5th grade, and 8th grade. I began teaching special education in 1998 in the preschool intervention program. Now, I teach special education for grades K-3. In December of 2009, I was the WTOC Top Teacher.  In 2012, I was the special education teacher of the year for Candler County. My goal in my teaching career is to help children with special needs grow and flourish. I want all children to feel love and acceptance whether they have a disability or not. I am very thankful to be going to work everyday in a job that I love with kids that I love.

Angela Ray - I am the Occupational Therapist for all Metter schools. I live in Swainsboro and call that my home, but I grew up in Tampa, Florida. I am a graduate of Samford University with a BS in Psychology, and then I attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I received my degree in Occupational Therapy. I have been working with children in school systems for 9 years. I am certified in the Handwriting Without Tears program which is the program that I use daily to help children with handwriting skills. My husband, Marty and I have been married for 13 years and we have 2 beautiful girls. Megan is 8, and Alexis is 6. I love being a mother and helping my children grow and develop. That is why I also love my job, I get to work with other's children and help them develop in the areas of fine motor and self help skills. I believe that God has given us each special skills, and it is my joy to help others reach their ultimate potential.

Bailey Jeffers - Metter Middle School I have been married for 8 years.  I started teaching in 2005 in Tattnall County.  I grew up in Ellabell, GA., and graduated from Bryan County High School.  This is my second year as a SPED teacher at Metter Middle School.  My wife and I attend church in Statesboro, GA.  We have three children between the ages of 3 months and 3 years old.  I earned both my B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from GSU, and I am currently working on my Doctorate degree in Curriculum Studies at Georgia Southern University. 

Corey Collins - Metter High School Subjects Taught : World History, Economics, U.S. History  Education:  B.S. Georgia College and State University, Ed.M. Walden University, Ed. S. Lincoln Memorial University           Experience: 1 year at Haymon-Morris Middle School (Barrow County Public Schools),  4 Years at Dacula High School (Gwinnett County Public Schools), 3 Years at Metter High School (Candler County Public Schools) Bio:  I am originally from Metter, Ga. I obtained my B.S. in Health and Physical Ed. from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Ga. I obtained my M.Ed. from Walden University and my Ed.S. from Lincoln Memorial University.  I am currently the head baseball coach and assistant softball coach at MHS. I hold certifications in Health and P.E., and Special Ed. I am currently an inclusion special education teacher at MHS.

Corey James - Metter High School In his second year at Candler County school system. Graduated from Immokalee High school in the state of Florida, Florida State University with degree in Criminology, completed Masters course work in special education at the University of Phoenix. Married to Keela James for eight years.

Elizabeth Hoeger - Metter Middle School My name is Elizabeth Hoeger but most people call me Liz. I was born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pa. My family and I moved to Metter from Pennsylvania in July of 2010. I am married to Joel Hoeger who is a Service Advisor at the Chrysler dealership in Statesboro, a Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church in Metter, and writes the sports articles for the Metter Advertiser. We have 2 children. Aiden is in 5th grade at MIS and Madison is in 2nd grade at MES. I enjoy photography, painting, and being outdoors. Teaching: I have been a teacher for over 12 years. I have taught Early Intervention, Autism (severe Spectrum), Middle School Self Contained MIID, Middle school Resource MIID, and High School Co-Teaching Math/Social Studies. I have been teaching at MHS for the last 2 1/2 years. I am currently the Lead Learner in the Special Education Department and the Co-Teacher in the Math Department.   My favorite part about teaching is helping students achieve success both big and small!

James Brantley - Metter Middle School  My name is James Brantley. I am originally from Jacksonville, FL. I have lived in Georgia for 23 years. I obtained my bachelors in Psychology and Masters of Education at Georgia Southern University. I have one daughter, who attends Brooklet Elementary and is in the third grade. Motorcycles and reading are the hobbies that I enjoy best. Teaching:  I have been a teacher for 11 years. In my career, I have taught in the Severe Emotional/Behavioral Disorder setting for 4 years and inclusion Reading/Math/Science for 7 years.  Seven years ago I came to teach in Metter and have enjoyed every opportunity given.


Pat Spaid - Metter High School My father was in the Army so I was born in Texas and moved around until I was 6 then we settled down in Greenwood S.C. I am married to David Spaid who is an Agricultural Agent for the University of Georgia. We have moved 4 times in the state of Georgia during our married life. We moved here to David’s hometown in 2007. We have 2 girls. Jessica is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Agricultural. Brittany is attending the University of Georgia seeking a degree and will eventually go on to be a Physical Therapist. I enjoy reading and being outdoors. I also enjoy working with the 4H BB shooting team. I have been a teacher for over 30 years. I have taught PE and Health, orthopedic impaired, self-contained MIID, resource MIID, pre-school handicap, co-teaching in Science, Math and social studies. I have taught at Metter High School since 2007. I enjoy working with students and helping them realize that they can be successful.

Rochelle Sheppard - Metter Intermediate School I attended Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia and received a BS in Education with an emphasis on Exceptional Children. I have a Masters in Specific Learning Disabilities and a Leadership Endorsement. I have been a dedicated special education educator for over 20 years. In Screven County I taught reading, LA, math, science, and social studies in a resource, collaborative, and a self-contained setting. I was also the Special Ed. Director for 3 years in Screven County. I am presently teaching 4th and 5th grade Reading/LA inclusion at Metter Intermediate School. My professional affiliations include a member of The Council of Exceptional Children, A GSU Demonstration Teacher, and a Clinical Supervisor. I am a member of the Middleground Baptist Church in Sylvania, Georgia. I enjoy going to the movies with friends and family, gardening, and kayaking.

Rosa Deloach - Metter Middle School Hello my name is Rosa Deloach and I have been a SPED teacher for the past 25 years. Most of these years I have been teaching students with moderate and mild disabilities. I am a 1983 Metter High School graduate, and a 1987 graduate of Georgia Southern University. I presently hold a Master's degree in Education from Troy State University, and a Specialist degree from Nova Southeastern University. This November I will be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary. My husband and I have four sons ages 24, 18, 12 and 8. The youngest two boys are involved in football, baseball and basketball which keeps me pretty busy. When I do have some spare time, I like playing solitare, reading, going to the movies and simply just having fun with my family and friends. I believe that all children can learn; some children just need a little jumpstart along the way.

Tina Rigdon Hi my name is Tina Rigdon. I am the Physical Therapist for the Candler County School System. I grew up in Metter and graduated from Metter High School in 1988. I attended Georgia Southern University and graduated in 1993 from The Medical College of Georgia with a B.S. in Physical Therapy. I am married to Steven Rigdon (MHS Class of 1985) and we have two daughters: Ramsey, who is a 10th grader at Metter High School and Leah, who is a 6th grader at Metter Middle School. I enjoy taking vacations and spending time with my family most of all. I have worked in a variety of therapy settings and have been at the Candler Co. schools for 10 years. I love working with these extra special students and helping them become more independent in their classroom and their school environment.