Mariann Carter is a trained and experienced Elementary and Secondary Educational Leader and a renowned teacher in South Carolina for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children. As a National Board-Certified Teacher – Retired, she has vast experience as a hearing specialist, as well as multiple teaching certifications that bring a wealth of knowledge into the planning, teaching and coaching experience when developing an appropriate educational plan for a child.
Mariann has been a part of Carter Hears! since its inception in 2013. As a motivated and inspiring educator, she has taught at the pre-school through college level. Mariann also has served as a representative for children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing at the state level for the Office of Exceptional Children in South Carolina as well as the National level and has served children and young adults throughout North and South Carolina schools. Carter has been teaching since 1999 at schools for the deaf, public schools, private schools, and charter schools, college level training programs and with educational leadership.
Mariann graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor's in Special Education and as a fortunate Grant Recipient, completed her master's degree in Deaf Education. As a lifelong learner who desires skills to assist a multitude of special needs students, Carter pursued a master's in educational leadership. Carter proudly and humbly serves as the Lead Consultant for Carter Hears! She is recognized by her peers in the Southeast through the Southeastern Regional Institute on Deafness and Globally through the Global Forum for Education and Learning as a pioneer in the field of Education and Service to the community of the deaf and hard of hearing.
In addition to coaching and educating, Mariann develops, delivers, and assesses academic training programs and helps schools with programming design and works with families to analyze and determine needs for their child. She has and is well-versed in finding research options, planning strategy, resolving problems and conflicts to achieve aggressive goals. She also presents and lectures regionally, nationally, and globally. As part of her mission, she continues to serve on several local, state, and national organizational boards.
Carter resides in Fort Mill, South Carolina with her husband, Rev. Richard Carter. They have three children and four grandchildren.
Kandice Hunt, M.Ed joined the Carter Hears! team in 2016. She is a triple certified teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Head of Operations at Carter Hears!. In 2010, Kandice graduated from Converse College with a Bachelor of Arts in Deaf Education. In November 2018, she graduated from the American College of Education with a Master’s in Education in Educational Leadership. Prior to working with Carter Hears, she worked for a public school district for six years, designed a hub program for students in need of intensive language instruction, and established a sign language facilitator position. Her teaching experience includes preschool through high school that worked with students in itinerant and resource models.
As a sibling of a Deaf adult, Kandice always had a heart for teaching and for working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals. Her passion for early language development, supporting parents, and creating change is evident in her work. She especially enjoys watching her students grow with success over the years. She is experienced in working with students who communicate through listening and speaking, multiple modalities, and American Sign Language. She also has extensive training in and works with various hearing technologies—hearing aids, cochlear implants, and FM systems.
In addition to leading operations for the Carter Hears! team, Kandice coaches teachers of the deaf and language facilitators by working collaboratively with school districts to develop cohesive programming and develop their continuum of service design. While at Carter Hears!, Kandice has worked alongside team members to develop a structured, researched and evidence based, language facilitator model and has been invited to speak at regional and national conferences.
In her spare time, Kandice enjoys crochet, cross stitch, reading, and spending time with her family. She currently resides in Lexington, SC with her husband and family.
Kimberly Clegg joined Carter Hears! as a Sign Language Facilitator in 2022.
She obtained a M.A. in Sign Language Education and a B.A. in Deaf Studies from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
Prior to becoming part of the Carter Hears! team, Kimberly taught American Sign Language in Georgia for more than 5 years at both the high school and college levels. She is also a Deaf mentor working with hearing families whose children is deaf throughout Georgia.
After Kimberly’s hearing family discovered that she was profoundly deaf as a baby, her parents immediately enrolled in ASL courses at a community college and taught the entire family, including Kimberly’s five brothers and sisters, so they all could communicate through sign language.
Kimberly is a strong Deaf advocate who has a passion for ASL, Deaf education, early language development and acquisition, and academic success and full access to language for all deaf children.
Kimberly currently lives in North Augusta, South Carolina with her two teenage daughters who are both CODAs. She enjoys hiking, cooking, traveling, exercising at the gym, and spending time with family and friends.
Cherry Patterson joined the Carter Hears! team in October 2017 as a Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She is passionate about helping Deaf and Hard of Hearing students acquire language and become successful in their daily environments. As a young girl, Cherry was inspired by watching her church’s sign language interpreter. She developed a love for the Deaf and wanted to communicate with them through sign language. This dream led her to Trinity University in San Antonio, where she graduated with a BA in Education of the Hearing Impaired. She taught at a deaf school in Texas for five years before switching gears to homeschool her three daughters. In 2012, she returned to the field of Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, where she taught and interpreted in Aiken County.
In 2021, Cherry was nominated for Outstanding Educator of the Year at the Southeast Regional Institute on Deafness, which was well supported by colleagues and parents alike.
Cherry and her husband, Robert, have three beautiful married daughters, three handsome sons-in-laws, and eight gorgeous grandchildren.
Allen Sanderson is a Florence, South Carolina native that joined the Carter Hears! team in 2020 as a Sign Language Facilitator (SLF). He currently serves as a Teacher of the Deaf, and as the Carter Hears! Instructional Director of Language and Literacy.
As a Deaf educator, he has been teaching Deaf and Hard-of-hearing (DHH) students since 2012. He graduated from Gardner-Webb University in Health and Wellness, yet through his love of the English language and an opportunity at SC School for the Deaf, he received his certification to teach English to the Deaf.
In early 2020, Allen began pursuing his Master's degree in Deaf Education at Saint Joseph’s University and graduated in 2022. He is a strong proponent for a quality and equitable education for all DHH students.
Allen is passionate about bilingual exposure of ASL & English for communication, technology adoption for student creativity, and connecting with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students for engaged learning and positive citizenship. He was voted Teacher of the Year at the SC School for the Deaf in 2015-2016 and awarded the ‘Outstanding Deaf or Hard of Hearing Individual Award’ at the SERID (Southeast Regional Institute on Deafness) conference in 2021.
Allen currently resides in Spartanburg, SC with his CODA wife, Ezelis, a Deaf daughter, and a son.
Robyn Drebenstedt serves Carter Hears! as a Teacher of the Deaf and as the Director of Teacher Development. She graduated from Converse College in 2014 and began her career in Lexington County. She taught there for six years before joining the Carter Hears! team in 2020.
Robyn is fluent in sign language and has worked with students who use a variety of communication modalities. She has a passion for language acquisition and self-advocacy. She believes that a strong language base is integral to academic success. Whether parents choose spoken communication or manual communication for their children, Robyn believes that an early, intentional, and consistent language model is necessary for students to prosper. One of Robyn’s greatest joys in life is seeing students build functional and academic communication skills.
In her free time, Robyn enjoys crafting and thrifting. She lives in Newberry, SC with her family.
Hannah Mayben joined the Carter Hears! team in 2021 and works as a Support Services Specialist and the Administrator of the Carter Hears! team. In 2011, Hannah was part of the Special Education program at Erskine College and transferred to York Technical College in 2013. She has ample years of teaching experience and being around children and adults of all ages.
Hannah prides herself in being an advocate for all special needs individuals. She has a heart for serving people and her community. Hannah has led many Christian organizations dealing with special needs, as well as, volunteered for several in the local community.
In her free time, Hannah enjoys spending time with her family and baking. Hannah resides in Clover, South Carolina with her husband and child.
Cora Hodge joined Carter Hears June 2023 as a Teacher of the Deaf. She has extensive experience teaching in various areas of education. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Deaf Education December of 1998 from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Cora earned her Masters of Science in Special Education in 2021 from Western Governor University. Cora is currently pursuing her doctorate from Northcentral University in Administration Education Leadership with a focus in Special Education Law and Language Deprivation among Deaf children.
Cora was born with hereditary deafness. She is bilingual and bicultural, participating full in both the Deaf world and the hearing world. Cora has numerous family members who are born deaf and are users of American Sign Language (ASL). Cora also has family members who are born deaf and use listening and spoken language.
Cora is passionate about teaching the Deaf and teaching ASL because she recognizes the need for language acquisition for children and adults to be able to communicate.
Cora has served in education through various roles: administrator, coordinator, Teacher of the Deaf, teacher of special education, and adjunct professor of ASL. Cora has been working in the Deaf community for more than two decades and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Carter Hears!
In her spare time, Cora's hobbies include rescuing horses, sewing, crocheting, cooking, and building small projects from recycled wood. Cora also loves to travel and be adventurous. She loves spending time with her husband and her family in the beautiful mountains of the Carolinas.
Larrysa Martin has been with Carter Hears since 2021 and is a certified Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In addition to teaching, Larrysa serves Carter Hears! as the Interpreter Management Specialist.
Since graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education-Deaf and Hard of Hearing from Converse College in 2001, she has enjoyed her time in the field as a teacher, teacher assistant, interpreter in the educational and general community, and pursued various volunteer opportunities.
Her teaching experience includes a wide range of students from (kindergarten to high school) at two different schools for the deaf and a charter school. These experiences involve self-contained classes, teaching core subjects, functional English and math (life skills), and a resource model focusing on student goals. She also completed graduate level courses at Gallaudet University which provided language and culture immersion that has helped to shape her into the teacher she has become today.
Larrysa has used her knowledge to train teachers and fellow colleagues on technology campus wide, become a guest lecturer in a class at Gallaudet University discussing Deaf Plus, has been a mentor and evaluator for ADEPT and was named the 2010-2011 Employee of the Year at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind.
Larrysa’s passion is working with a wide range of abilities in language development, academics, and life skills. She believes that every single student can succeed, enjoys the challenge of figuring out what works for students to help them learn at their level, and supporting them as they continue to grow. She also believes that any accomplishment, big or small, deserves a celebration and seeks to help students develop a sense of pride in themselves. She looks forward to teaching, encouraging, and supporting students as they navigate their school career and prepare for their future.
Larrysa currently lives in Columbia, SC and enjoys cooking and baking, crochet, as well as other crafts and spending time with friends and family.
Rylina Dey joined Carter Hears! as a language facilitator in 2022. She currently serves as a bimodal facilitator and as the Carter Hears! Director of Communications.
She has a B.A. in Communications from University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA), she has two deaf parents and has grown up bilingual with American Sign Language as her first language.
Growing up interpreting for her parents and peers when needed, she has developed the natural ability to recognize when additional support is needed for communication. This experience is a huge benefit in her role as a developmental approach is used in the role of Sign Language Facilitator and as she continues to obtain certifications for Educational Interpreting and becoming a Registered Interpreter for the Deaf.
Rylina is a Charlotte, North Carolina native and hopes to spread more access and awareness for all in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in her hometown.
Olive Henry joined the Carter Hears! Team in 2020 as a Sign Language Facilitator. Olive was born profoundly deaf without cochleas. She is the first person to be deaf in her family. As soon as her mom learned that she was deaf, at the age of six months, her mother learned sign language. At that time, together, they learned Signing Exact English and Pidgin Signed English. Her mom taught her everything she learned from taking sign language classes. A truly remarkable and inspiring story of connection and language! Due to Olive's mother's diligence, Olive developed her skills and was able to teach sign language at the age of 9. Today, she continues to learn more about American Sign Language (ASL) and communicates primarily through PSE/ASL.
Olive is a graduate of Stratford High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina earning a high school diploma while learning alongside hearing peers in a mainstream setting. She currently lives in Columbia and has a hard-of-hearing husband who, like her, is also first-generation deaf. Together, they have two beautiful boys who are CODAS-one deaf and one hearing. They are thrilled to have a baby girl on the way! Connection and Communication are valued in their home that they share with each other and their children.
Olive takes seriously teaching her own children ASL and enjoys her work for Carter Hears! as an ASL Facilitator to work and support other deaf children's development of ASL. She is an inspiring and engaging model of a true facilitator using her native language to make a difference in language-deprived children who are deaf or hard of hearing because they deserve access to language.
Carter Hears! is the choice for Deaf education in the Southeast!