WHO WE ARE

WAGE$ TEAM

Heather Hicks
Chief Officer of Statewide Initiatives; Director, Child Care Resource & Referral Network

Heather Hicks

Heather Hicks holds a Master of Education degree in Early Childhood from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. As Director, she is responsible for the oversight and direction of the Child Care Resource and Referral Network and its subcontracts. Most recently, she served as the Deputy Director, where she managed the Data Contract, Family Engagement, Technical Assistance, Infant Toddler Services, Health and Safety, Media and Public Relations and the Quality Assurance process which assures consistent delivery of services to all 95 counties and contractual compliance by each subcontractor.

Michelle Kelly
Director

Michelle Kelly

Michelle is the Director of Child Care WAGE$® TENNESSEE. She has been in the early childhood field for 20 years working with children from ages six weeks to preschool. Over the years she has filled a variety of roles, including Site Coordinator for CCR&R, classroom teacher, preschool assistant director, and director. She earned a degree in Child Development from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Erin Wilcox
Administrative Support

Erin Wilcox

Erin provides administrative support to the Child Care WAGE$® TENNESSEE team. Erin is a native of the Chattanooga, TN area and has worked in the nonprofit community in Chattanooga for the last 13 years. Growing up in a household with educators as parents, education has always been important in her life. After graduating high school, Erin went on to attend college in Alabama and Chattanooga for Early Childhood Education. She became a preschool teacher at a local learning center, then later became the Assistant Director at that same center.

Alex Farrell
Marketing and Communications Specialist

Alex Farrell

Alex Farrell is a Marketing and Communications Specialist for Signal Centers. He has been instrumental in developing social media strategy, designing web and print collateral, and participating in outreach events for the agency. He is excited to leverage his skills to ensure the Child Care WAGE$® TENNESSEE program thrives across the state of Tennessee. Alex has a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and the Arts from Belmont University and a Master’s degree in Theology and the Arts from the University of St. Andrews.

Jewell Lavalas
Education Counselor

Jewell Lavalas

Jewell graduated from Southern Adventist University with her Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies Psychology, and is currently going to school to receive her Master’s degree in Social Work. She has been working in child care for several years and has a passion for Early Childhood Education. Until recently, Jewell was working as an Assistant Teacher in the child care program at Signal Centers, and is excited to continue her journey with Signal Centers in a different capacity.

Katy Teg
Education Counselor

Katy Teg

Katy Teg is a graduate of the University of Tennessee- Chattanooga with a bachelors in Early Childhood Education. She has held positions as a teacher assistant and assistant director with child care and family home centers, working with children ages 6 weeks to 4 years old. As a Chattanooga native, she has volunteered with numerous non-profits within the community and is eager to incorporate her skills with the WAGE$ team.