Kerri Kannengieser, Program Coordinator
Ms. Kannengieser is the founding Program Coordinator for SC Partnerships for Inclusion (SCPI). Kerri began working at the Yvonne and Schuyler Moore Child Development Research Center at the University of South Carolina in March 2016 when SCPI was in its inception and known as the SC Preschool Inclusion Initiative.
Kerri holds an M.S. in Special Education and has 15 years of experience in the field, ten years working directly with children as a special education teacher. In addition, she was the Special Services Coordinator for a high performing charter elementary school in Brooklyn, New York for three years. In that role, she handled all aspects of providing services for children with IEPs, from child find to supporting teachers through coaching and professional development. Ms. Kannengieser also served as a Training Specialist for the Department of Defense in a NAEYC accredited child care program in Louisiana, providing training and coaching to child care providers to ensure the quality & consistency of programming at the center.
Although a proud New Yorker, Ms. Kannengieser is a happy transplant who has been enjoying all the South has to offer! She is a passionate advocate for increasing inclusive opportunities and is thankful every day for the work she gets to be a part of. Kerri has seen the effects of educational segregation first hand during her time as a middle school special education teacher and knows just how critical high-quality early childhood education is, especially for children with disabilities.
Kerri is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Division for Early Childhood (DEC); additionally, she serves as the secretary for her local CEC chapter. She is a Certified Child Care Trainer in South Carolina. Kerri is also a member of South Carolina's Pyramid Model Master Cadre of trainers and was appointed a member of the South Carolina Advisory Council for Educating Students with Disabilities (ACESD) in 2018.
In her free time, Kerri enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, being outdoors, taking lots of nature photographs, and exercising her creative side.
Heather Googe, Principal Investigator
Heather has over 15 years of experience working in the field of early childhood special education. While earning her BS in special education at Winthrop University, she was convinced that she wanted a career working with middle school or high school aged students with learning disabilities. After one year teaching middle school, she realized middle school teacher was not her life’s calling.
She saw an advertisement for an open position as an Early Interventionist in the Post and Courier and found her passion for working with young children with disabilities and their families. Heather spent six years in Charleston and Berkeley counties providing early intervention services to children and families in natural environments including child care settings.
She went to the University of Texas at Austin and earned a M.Ed. in special education with a concentration in early childhood special education. She missed South Carolina so much she moved back to Columbia and completed her PhD in special education at the University of South Carolina in 2011.
Heather believes child care providers play an important role in supporting children with disabilities/developmental delays and their families. She is passionate about supporting providers to increase their skills and knowledge related to including children with disabilities in their programs. She is also interested in participating in the broader system of supports for young children and their families in South Carolina.
Heather is married with one child. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, watching really good movies, and baking Christmas cookies.
Frank Gause, Graduate Assistant
Frank Gause is the Graduate Assistant with SC Partnerships for Inclusion (SCPI). He is currently working on his doctorate in Educational Foundations with the goal of becoming a faculty professor.
He attended K-12 in Horry County School District and he holds a Masters of Arts in Education with teaching certifications in Secondary Social Studies and Secondary Montessori.
Frank has taught history and geography for grades ranging from 6-12 in both traditional and Montessori environments. He has worked as a Consultant supporting schools and served on Special Education Committees. His research interests include inclusive pedagogy and practices to engage students with learning disabilities, culturally relevant pedagogy to support inclusive practices, Montessori environments as a method to increase inclusion, and Hip Hop culture as a method to increase inclusion and student engagement in the classroom.