Meet Our Staff
Our center is staffed by an outstanding group of dedicated teachers and professional caregivers. They are educated and trained in early childhood education, above and beyond what is required by the state of Tennessee. Additionally, a staff member is each room is trained in CPR/First Aid. Our teachers work diligently to provide a learning environment full of age-appropriate activities in an effort to help each child learn and grow to their fullest potential.
Our staff members promote a cooperative relationship between the Center and parents to help establish the highest quality program possible for each child's benefit. They regularly keep parents informed about their child's daily activities and developmental achievements and also ask for parental insights and strategies to keep each child progressing.
APSU Little Govs Child Learning Center's administration provides its teachers with opportunities for in-service training through conferences, workshops, and online training throughout the year. They foster an enthusiasm for teaching young children. They give aid in establishing a foundation in child development, an appreciation of each child's individuality, and an ability to stimulate a child's natural curiosity. They lead by example to be sensitive to each child's needs and are responsively involved with the children in their care.
Claudia Rodriguez, Director
Mrs. Claudia is the Director of the Little Govs Child Learning Center. She has 25 years of experience with young children and families. Her education consists of being a Registered Nurse in Germany, having her Child Development Associate Credential (CDA), Technical Early Childhood Teaching Certificate, AAS Early Childhood, BS Sociology with Emphasis in Child and Family Studies, and a MS in Family and Consumer Sciences with Emphasis in Early Childhood Education. In addition to working at the Little Govs Child Learning Center, she is also an Adjunct Instructor for Nashville State Community College.
She has been married to Steven since 1989 and has two boys, Marco (20) and Rico (27). She enjoys reading, the UFC, yard sales, and spending time with her family, friends, and dogs. Her hopes and goals are to mold young children’s minds so that they can thrive to achieve their fullest potential and to love and care for them unconditionally.
Elizabeth Dennis, Office Assistant and Classroom Substitute Teacher
Mrs. Elizabeth is our Administrative Assistant and has worked at APSU Little Govs Child Learning Center since April 2017. She has a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and a Master's of Art in Teaching. She also has a daughter, Hazel, who attends the center in the four-year-old classroom. Mrs. Elizabeth is originally from California but moved to Clarksville in 2014 with her husband.
Lillian Odongo, Little Acorn Two-Year-Old Classroom Teacher
Better known as “Miss Lily” to the kids, Lillian has two years of experience in childcare. She teaches in our two-year-old Little Acorns Classroom and has her Associate’s Degree in Child Development. Currently she is working on a Technical Certificate towards her Bachelor’s Degree. Lillian is originally from Uganda, is married, and has three children. She enjoys traveling and trying new things.
Stacey Devirgiliis, Little Acorn Two-Year-Old Classroom
Mrs. Stacey is the lead teacher in our two-year-old Willow Tree Classroom. Stacey has 10 years of experience in childcare and has her Associates Degree in Early Childhood. She is married and in her free time she enjoys being outdoors and specifically likes to kayak.
Kaylee Speece, Squirrels Three-Year-Old Classroom
Mrs. Kaylee has been in child care for two years and is working on her Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education through Nashville State. Kaylee is from this area and enjoys spending time on her family farm and working with Mary Kay.
Frances Cook, Squirrels Three-Year-Old Classroom Teacher
Mrs. Frances has 20 years of experience in childcare and has her Child Development Associate Credential and Technical Certificate. Frances is from Clarksville, TN and has been married for 28 years with two children. She is a jack of all trades and does many extra projects around the center!
Ronda Harris, Willow Tree Four to Five-Year-Old Classroom
Mrs. Ronda has fourteen years of experience in childcare and is currently working towards her CDA, Technical Certificate, and Associates Degree. She has three children and three grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren who know her as “Gama Apple”.
Robin Bell, Willow Tree Four to Five-Year-Old Classroom
Mrs. Robin has spent the past twenty-one years teaching in Elementary School with a majority of those years spent teaching Kindergarten. She has two children, three grandchildren and has been married for fourty-two years. She enjoys reading, bicyling, and cooking in her spare time.
Gina Smith, Classroom Substitute Teacher
Mrs. Gina is a substitute teacher in all of the classrooms. She has eighteen years of experience in licensed home/group childcare as well as having her Child Development Associate Technical Certificate. Gina is currently working towards her Associate in Science in Teaching in Early Childhood Education. She is originally from Kankakee, IL and has been married for 19 years. Gina has five children: four boys and one girl. She enjoys reading and creating things in her free time.
Melinda Smith, Classroom Substitute Teacher
Mrs. Melinda is a substitute teacher in all of the classrooms. She has eight years of experience in Early Childhood Education. She was born and raised in Clarksville and raised two children who are now college age. In her free time she enjoys gardening and going for walks.