Sparrow’s Nest Play Director
Vangie has 13 years of experience in children’s ministry, extensive experience running Christian camps, writing children’s curriculum, planning and running children’s activities and events, and teaching children the Bible.
She has classical training in early childhood education, child-growth and development, extensive experience as a classroom paraprofessional, substitute teacher and teacher, parent-liaison in the IEP process, and is a recognized expert on special-needs modification for Christian publishing.
She has extensive experience in social-media marketing which she gained as the Executive Director of PURE Ministries, a network of churches and ministries devoted to special-needs inclusion.
She has assisted in the development and marketing of a very successful Christian preschool and home-school co-op run from a church which started in 2005 and is still operating today.
She has a Bachelor’s degree from Point University in Christian Ministry and a Master of Arts in Theology from Lincoln Christian University.
Adaris Mas Rivera, Board Member
Operations and Curriculum Advisor: Science and Nature
Adaris Mas Rivera has a BS and PhD in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, and an MA in Anthropology from Arizona State University. Her interdisciplinary academic preparation was initially guided by her interest in primate behavior, ecology, and conservation. She also holds a certificate in Human Sexuality. She currently has over 20 years of experience in higher education, teaching in both the Natural Sciences and Social Sciences divisions. She enjoys the outdoors, especially the beach, hiking and biking, yoga, and loves animals.
Adaris’ knowledge and experience in biology, anthropology, and as an educator are simply invaluable for Sparrow’s Nest! She is adept at asking just the right questions about our programs and has a heart for justice and peacefulness that is matched only by the amount of energy she brings to every interaction. Her knowledge and passion are a gift and will be a great blessing to the kids we serve.
Secretary and Curriculum Advisor: Child Development
Jamie Stovall has taught kids in various settings for the last twenty-five years, starting with a job at a childcare center as a senior in high school, into her college years obtaining a degree in early childhood education, teaching for two years in her home county before staying home to raise and educate her own children, and volunteering in kids ministry for fourteen years before eventually becoming a children’s pastor at her local church.
She asked for a tent for her birthday in middle school so she could camp out in her backyard, spent summer vacations in a cabin on the lake with her family, and met a cute boy in high school who would take her on her first backpacking adventure shortly after they married in college. When kids came along, camping trips were the only vacations they could afford in the early years, and they ended up being the ONE activity all nine of their children enjoyed together. Their most epic vacation, taken just before their oldest kid moved out, was a cross-country camping trip to California to visit five National Parks, with lots of beautiful stops along the way.
As a homeschooling mama, Jamie has been inspired by the Charlotte Mason philosophy and is heading into her fifteenth year of shaping her instruction around nature study days, good books, and hands-on learning. Her idea of the perfect day includes the family hiking to or alongside a water source and then hanging a hammock so she can lounge, listen to the water, and read a good book. Jamie spends every Sunday inside a church, but she feels closest to God when surrounded by His creation and alongside children. It’s simply a bonus when they exist in the same space.
Jamie serves on the board at Sparrow’s Nest Play and as an officer. She’s an integral part of what we do and provides guidance on vision, programming, learning, and child development.
Operations and Curriculum Advisor: Science and Nature
Glorienell Perez Velez has a BS in Biology and currently finalizing her MS in Ecology and Environmental Science from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.
As a biologist, her scientific interest ranges from primates, animal behavior, population ecology and conservation education. Most of her research experiences were in the monitoring of water quality and ecology of animals (primates, bats, birds and sea turtles).
She has over 10 years experience as an educator in the private and public sector for middle and high school students. As an educator she is known for her creativity and active learning, as well as compassion and patience with her students.
As a biologist and educator, the part she enjoys the most is reaching out to communities and offering opportunities and experiences to a diverse group of people. During her peak research years it was very common for her to recruit students and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to go out to the field sites. It was pure magic to see the beauty of these learning environments. The core of values that she wants to promote are respect and admiration towards nature and all its resources.
In her free time she loves to spent time with her family, her dogs and being in contact with the nature. Glo’s experiences, knowledge, and passion make her a perfect addition to the board!
Operations and Curriculum Advisor: Child Development
Melissa Worthy has over 25 years of early childhood experience teaching preschool and kindergarten and holds a Child Development Associate degree. Currently she works with special needs children in the Cobb County school system.
In her work as an educator, she was known for improving each lesson and activity by adding her own creative genius. A life-long learner herself, Melissa has made herself a student of children, their behavior and how to “get the best” from them. She is an encourager, a champion for children, especially kids with learning challenges, and every child’s favorite playmate.
Melissa is a life long resident of Cobb county and knows the opportunities and challenges families raising children face. As a mother to three amazing young men, Melissa is known for her involvement in the community as someone who can make things happen.
We are honored to have her lend her talent, time and energy to our board of directors at SNP.
Treasurer, Operations Advisor, Curriculum Advisor
Adam Stovall has spent the better part of the last 20 years in banking, non-profit, and ministry leadership roles. He is currently the Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Embassy National Bank in Lawrenceville, Georgia where he manages the Accounting, Information Technology, Marketing, Human Resources and Branch Operations of the Bank.
Adam also served as the Director of Finance for a large non-profit organization in Decatur helping to lead the organization through the post-recession and a period of declining revenues. During this time, Adam also taught classes as an adjunct professor in the subjects of accounting and non-profit financial management.
He has served on the Board of several churches over the last ten years and currently chairs the Finance Committee at Tri-Cities Church. He is an alumni of Georgia Southern University where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Masters of Accountancy.
However, Adam says some of his proudest work has been as a teacher and ministry leader in the children’s ministries of Southwest Christian Church and Tri-Cities Church, where he currently serves with his wife, Jamie. Adam grew up outside, building trails and forts and digging holes where he shouldn’t. Today, you will likely find him stoking a fire on a camping trip with his family or on a long hike trying to get lost in the woods.
Adam serves Sparrow’s Nest Play on the board and as an officer. His experience in ministry, non-profit management, and finance are invaluable for us!
Operations and Curriculum Advisor: Humanities
Jason’s education is similar to Vangie’s. However, in recent years he’s found most of his inspiration in the works of writers like Wendell Berry. His passion is the restoration and re-creation of the earth, its creatures, and (most importantly) its people. Because of that, he is committed to justice and peacemaking.
Jason has around 16 years of experience in higher education, as a part-time instructor, academic director, faculty developer, and instructional designer. Currently he works at a state university in Georgia in an assistant director role offering support and resources to help faculty make education more accessible to students with disabilities.
Jason loves being outside hiking, kayaking, gardening, or working. He loves restoring old things in the garage or repurposing junk into something useful.