Our Staff & Board

Our Staff

Administrative

Tabitha Damron, Chief Executive Officer

Tabitha, a native of Blount County, has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Maryville College, a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee, and has received a certificate of completion from the Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness Certification program through the Haslam College of Business. As the Executive Director of New Hope, she oversees operations and programs implemented at New Hope and works to ensure quality services and access for children in the community.

Tabitha has been with New Hope for over a decade.  She began as Clinical Director, working with sexually abused children and has received extensive training in the area of sexual abuse and trauma. Tabitha has provided individual counseling and has worked with parents on how to understand and cope with their child’s behaviors.

Tabitha is a member of the Child Protective Investigative Team and provides consultation on cases reviewed by the team and also coordinates the  Child Protective Investigative Management Team, working in collaboration with leaders from other Child Protective Agencies.  She also represents New Hope on the Sexual Assault Review Team and Child Fatality Review.

Contact Tabitha at tdamron@blountkids.org

Danielle Reggio, Director of Finance & Administration

Danielle is a 2002 Maryville College graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and a minor in business and sociology. She brings with her over 10 years of experience as an office administrator and a passion for non-profit work.  She has volunteered at Trinity Dental Clinic in various capacities for 5 years including serving on their Board of Directors.  Danielle is excited to share her passion, experience, and knowledge in an effort to assist New Hope and its mission.

Contact Danielle at dreggio@blountkids.org

Ashley Fontenot, Marketing & Events Director

Ashley grew up in Maryville, TN, earning her B.S. in Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Her passion has always been event planning and marketing – bringing people together and advocating for a good brand.

She has worked with Chick-fil-A for 12 years in various marketing and public relations roles. Most recently, she served as New Restaurant Planner for Chick-fil-A, Inc., traveling to help open new restaurants across the country – leading opening week events and working to ensure positive first impressions within new communities. She also volunteers as the Marketing Specialist for non-profit organization, Women in Apologetics.

Ashley is excited to be a part of the New Hope team and to help advance the mission of restoring hope to the children of Blount County.

Contact Ashley at afontenot@blountkids.org

Kayleigh Ryles, Marketing & Events Assistant

Kayleigh grew up in Forsyth, Georgia – a small town in Middle Georgia. She is new to the Maryville area after marrying and moving to Tennessee with her husband who is attending Graduate school at UT.

Kayleigh graduated with a B.A. in Global Health from Mercer University. Because of this degree, she has learned to be aware and sensitive to the needs of those around her. In Georgia, she worked in event planning and as the assistant to the Executive Director at the Fuller Center Middle Georgia. While in this position, she gained experience working in the community and advocating for those who could not afford housing.

Kayleigh comes from a large family and is the oldest of 17 grandchildren, giving her a lot of experience with children! She enjoys spending time with her family in every capacity and serving at her church in whatever ways needed.

Kayleigh is so grateful and excited to start this position at New Hope to help advocate for the children in Blount County. She has always had a heart for children and helping give them a voice. She already cares so much for this community and looks forward to being a part of the mission here at New Hope.

Contact Kayleigh at kwhitlow@blountkids.org

Direct Services

Christina Copland, Forensic Interviewer

Christina received a BS Ed. from Ashland University in Ohio, a MS Ed. at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and her Paralegal Studies Certificate from Roosevelt University in Chicago IL. Christina has worked with abused and neglected children since 1993 when she was a case manager/placement manager for medically fragile children at Maryville Academy’s Emergency Shelter in Chicago IL. Christina left Maryville Academy in 1995 to become a mother and wife and reentered the field of abused and neglected children in 1998 as the first ever hired Forensic Interviewer at Child Network in Kankakee IL. During her time in IL, Christina was a member of the original faculty of Finding Words Illinois that trained other professionals in Forensic Interviewing until leaving IL in 2007 to come to Blount County and continue interviewing children regarding allegations of abuse or neglect at New Hope.

When allegations of severe child abuse are received, the Forensic Interviewer is the first person of the Child Protection Investigation Team to talk with alleged victims regarding the details of the allegations that have been reported. Christina has been cross-trained in RATAC, NCA and the Childhood Trust Forensic Interviewing Protocols and she utilizes these methods to conduct developmentally appropriate, neutral, fact finding interviews with children in a child friendly setting that are legal defensible in a court of law. Appointments for forensic interviews are accepted only from investigators/detectives assigned to a case after an official report of alleged abuse or neglect has been received by the Department of Children’s Services or law enforcement agency.

Contact Tina at ccopland@blountkids.org

Lindsay Preskenis, LCSW, Clinical Director

Lindsay grew up in Knoxville, received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Criminal Justice from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee. She comes to New Hope with extensive experience working with youth in various settings as well as program development.  

Following graduation, Lindsay moved to Alabama where she was employed with Indian Rivers Behavioral Health from 2012 to 2018. She held multiple positions starting as the Juvenile Court Liaison, School-Based Mental Health Therapist, and finally the Children’s Services Coordinator.  In 2018, she moved back to Knoxville where she began work with Safe Harbor CAC. In March 2021, she became the Clinical Director at Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center.   

Lindsay is licensed by the state of Tennessee as a Clinical Social Worker and received training in Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Integrative Attachment Trauma Protocol for Children (IATP-C), Trauma Play, Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART), and Sand Tray Therapy.  

Contact Lindsay at lpreskenis@blountkids.org

Liza Varlan, LCSW, Therapist

Liza is a Master’s Level Therapist working under the supervision of the Clinical Director as she pursues her licensure. She also brings 5 years experience working with children and adults that have been exposed to sexual trauma. Prior to employment with New Hope, she worked at the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee providing therapy. Liza has been trained in EMDR, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

Contact Liza at lvarlan@blountkids.org

Hailey Schorsch, MSW, Therapist

Hailey recently graduated from University of Tennessee with her Master of Science in Social Work and is currently under supervision working toward her LCSW. Hailey has worked with teenagers in residential and IOP settings and was the program director of Hoof and Harness before coming to New Hope. She is trained in DBT, TF-CBT, EMDR, and is working toward certification in play therapy, ARC, and SMART. She is excited to be a part of the New Hope team and help children in Blount County heal and thrive. 

Contact Hailey at hschorsch@blountkids.org

Cydney Cudzilo, LPC-MHSP, Therapist

Cydney grew up in Knoxville, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies, Community Outreach at University of Tennessee and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Trauma Counseling Certificate at Richmont Graduate University in Chattanooga, TN. Cydney is currently a Master’s Level Therapist working under the supervision of the Clinical Director while pursuing licensure.

Prior to starting at New Hope, Cydney has had 3 years of experience working with children and young adults in outpatient settings. She has also been trained in TF-CBT and ARC. Cydney is excited to be a part of the New Hope team working to help the children and families of Blount County. 

Contact Cydney at ccudzilo@blountkids.org

Challye Nunn, Forensic Interviewer & CPIT Coordinator

Challye, a Maryville native, received a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from East Tennessee State University in 2014. After graduation, Challye moved to the Nashville area where she worked with children and youth through a community mental health agency outside of Nashville. Challye moved back to Maryville in 2017 and began her journey at New Hope as a Child and Family Advocate. She dedicated her time to engaging with families, connecting them to needed resources, and working side-by-side with co-workers and other partner agencies to best serve the needs of this very important population in Blount County. Now Challye serves as a Forensic Interviewer and CPIT Coordinator while also being a resource for our Advocacy program.  

Challye is cross-trained in the ChildFirst and NCA protocols and utilizes both to conduct neutral, fact-finding, developmentally-sensitive, legally-defensible forensic interviews with children in a child-friendly setting. Challye currently divides her time between forensic interviewing and CPIT Coordination.

As the Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT) Coordinator, Challye works with the Multi-Disciplinary Team of Blount County to establish and maintain relationships with community partners, ensure every client receives services that are aligned with their individual needs, tracks cases seen at New Hope from initial referral to the prosecution outcome, and actively participates in all aspects of the Investigative Team.

Contact Challye at cnunn@blountkids.org

Macie Rogers, Child & Family Advocate

Macie is an East Tennessee native and grew up in Jefferson County. She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Maryville College in 2020, where she was also an active member in the Maryville College Concert Choir and a Playhouse Scholar. Prior to working with New Hope, Macie has a year of experience working with children and their families in therapy settings helping them build strong coping skills, communication, and strengthening their support system. As a child and family advocate at New Hope, Macie’s role is to help support the children and guide their caregivers while providing resources and references for any needs they may have. 

Macie is excited to be a part of the New Hope team working to comfort and help our children grow! 

Contact Macie at mrogers@blountkids.org

Celina Sikes, Child & Family Advocate

Celina was born and raised in Maryville, Tennessee. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies from the Department of Health, Education and Professional Studies at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Celina has several years of experience working with children in childcare settings. She hopes to use both her education and life experience to connect with the families and children who come through the doors of New Hope.

As a child and family advocate at New Hope, Celina’s role is to help support and guide the children and their caregivers through the interviewing prosses while also providing resources and references for any needs they may have. Celina is excited to help bring hope and healing to the children of Blount County and help spread awareness to the mission of New Hope.  

Contact Celina at csikes@blountkids.org

Becky Rials, Prevention Coordinator

Becky was born and raised in York, PA, and graduated from York College with a BS in Health Records Administration then becoming a Registered Health Information Administrator. Becky and her husband, Tim, moved from San Francisco, CA to Pineville, LA and then to Maryville in 2001.  Becky served on the New Hope board for 8 years with 2 of them as president and 2 of them as past president. After coming off the board, Becky chose to stay with New Hope as a front desk volunteer. Becky and Tim have one daughter, Hannah.

Now, as the Prevention Coordinator for New Hope, she strives to educate, along with her team of facilitators,  Blount County adults on how to prevent, recognize and respond appropriately to child sexual abuse. In 2019, she helped Blount County reach our tipping point by training 5% of our population in how to recognize and prevent child sexual abuse. Becky also networks with local organizations and community members that could benefit from this Stewards of Children training program.

Contact Becky at brials@blountkids.org for more information on how to obtain this free training.

Board of Directors

Jimmy Morgan, President

Allen Rathbone, Vice President & Treasurer

Jeremy Waldroop, Secretary

Ken Cooper, Past President

Jaina Castro

Vallie Collins

Donna Coulter

Julie Elder

Kent Everett

Melanie LaFollette

Angela Luckie

Penny McIntosh

Lindsey Plyler

Dr. Keri Prigmore

Nathan Robinette

Tim Threatt