Center Staff

Dr. Sandy Addis

Interim Director, National Dropout Prevention Center and Network
E-mail:    Phone: 864.656.0957

Dr. Sandy Addis joined the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network staff as Associate Director in May of 2013 and currently serves as Interim Director. He holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from South Carolina State University. He has 44 years of experience in public education in a variety of roles that include teacher, counselor, coach, principal, system-level administrator, and director of a regional educational service agency. He has designed and administered a variety of dropout prevention initiatives that include after-school programs, counseling, and service-learning. Dr. Addis has served as an alternative school principal and authored numerous grant proposals that funded summer programs, professional learning, family engagement, and character education. Dr. Addis has served as an adjunct instructor at several colleges in South Carolina and Georgia, trained local school boards, and consulted with local school systems on policy and leadership development. He has led educator teams in the development and distribution of student achievement measures and on-line systems for delivery of educator training. Dr. Addis has served on numerous professional boards, testified before legislative committees, and recently chaired the Educator Ethics Task Force of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

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Ms. Z. Annette Bassett

Administrative Assistant
E-mail:    Phone: 864-656-1143

Ms. Bassett joined NDPC/N in 2013, with more than 32 years of experience with Clemson University in business management. She provides administrative and project support for NDPC/N’s Leadership Team, and handles Human Resources activities.

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Mrs. Peg Chrestman

Public Information Specialist
E-mail:    Phone: 864.656.2874

Mrs. Chrestman has been with the Center since 1990. She is our desktop publisher and editorial assistant on all Center publications.

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Mrs. Jennie Cole

Research Associate
E-mail:    Phone: 864-656-3875

Mrs. Cole joined the National Dropout Prevention Center in 2013. She holds a B.S. Degree from the University of Tennessee in Business Administration with a concentration in Logistics/Transportation. Her experience includes new business development, logistics, transportation, and organizational management. She is responsible for monitoring state and national accountability systems, legislation, and initiatives impacting dropout issues as well as development and implementation of databases and record systems that support the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network.

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Mr. John Gailer

Assistant Academic Program Director for Programs and Outreach
E-mail:    Phone: 864.656.2675

Mr. Gailer joined the Center as a Program Coordinator in 2011. As the Assistant Director for Programs and Outreach, he is responsible for all NDPC/N events. He earned his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Georgia and has more than 25 years of experience in the field of youth development in the contexts of youth at-risk and third culture kids. John has conducted leadership and teambuilding workshops throughout the country at the local, regional, and national levels. He has served as a consultant in areas of program, intervention, and collaboration design. He has 15 years of experience in higher education leadership, classroom instruction, and nonprofit administration. In his current role with NDPC/N, John designs professional learning experiences that impact educators and youth practitioners nationwide. John and his wife, Susanna, have two married sons and a daughter in college. They manage and live in a home in Toccoa, Georgia that provides housing for 15 third culture kids whose parents reside all over the world.

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Ms. Denise Gianforcaro

Administrative Specialist II
E-mail:    Phone: 864.656.3882

Mrs. Gianforcaro is an Administrative Specialist II and has been with the Center since April of 2008. She manages the Cvent online registration system and provides administrative support for all aspects of conference planning, registration, and implementation. She also manages the NDPN membership database and processes membership and literature requests.

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Mrs. Debbie Hall

Administrative Assistant
E-mail:    Phone: 864.656.0252

Mrs. Hall is an Administrative Assistant, and has been with the Center since 2005. She serves as business manager for the center and provides administrative and support services associated with personnel, grants and contracts, data processing and procurement activities.

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Mr. John Peters

Network Coordinator
E-mail:    Phone: 864.656.0253

Mr. Peters earned a Master's in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He has been with the Center since 1992. Initially hired to provide Network support services, today he also handles the logistics of our professional development seminars, conferences, and workshops.

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Ms. Cairen Withington

Assistant Academic Program Director for Research, Evaluation, and Public Relations
E-mail:    Phone: 864.656.2873

Ms. Withington holds an M.A. in Economics from the University of South Carolina, specializing in the economics of human capital and education; and a B.A. in English from the College of Charleston. She has been with the Center since 2006. She was a key investigator on a major study by the Center involving research on career-focused education, "A Longitudinal Study of the South Carolina Personal Pathways to Success Initiative." She is a grant writer, researcher, and evaluator, and she coordinates public relations for the Center.

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Mr. Mark Cheatham

Director, Public Information
E-mail:    Phone: 864.656.4139

Mark Cheatham is the Director for public information for the NDPC/N.

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Ms. Anna Wilson

Information Resource Consultant National Dropout Prevention Center
E-mail:    Phone: 864.656.1734

Anna Wilson joined the National Dropout Prevention Center earlier this year. She graduated in May 2015 from the University of Georgia with a B.A. Degree in International Affairs, a B.A. Degree in History, and a minor in Anthropology. She is responsible for maintaining the website and other media platforms utilized by the Center, and creating graphics.