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. As a motivated and inspiring educator, she has taught at the pre-school through college level. Mariann also has served at the state and national levels for the Office of Exceptional Children in South Carolina as well as served children and young adults throughout South Carolina schools. Carter has over 20 years of teaching experience at schools for the deaf, public schools, college level training programs and with educational leadership.
Mariann graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor's in Special Education in 1999 and as a fortunate Grant Recipient, completed her master's degree in Deaf Education in 2000. In continuing to grow and develop skills to assist a multitude of special needs students, Carter pursued a master's in educational leadership and completed her program in May 2011. Carter proudly and humbly serves as the Lead Consultant for Carter Hears!
In addition to coaching and educating, Mariann develops, delivers, and assesses academic training programs and helps schools and families analyze and determine needs. 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 nationally and has served on several 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.
Linda Frazier has 30+ years teaching experience in the field of Deaf Education. During her career she has worked in different states serving deaf and hard-of-hearing students from pre-kindergarten through the post-graduate level. She has experience working with children with a wide range of communication modes (manual to spoken), as well as experience with a wide variety of equipment – Cochlear Implants, Hearing Aids, FM Systems, and Sound Field technology.
In addition to being a Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Teacher Specialist, Linda has assisted in establishing and promoting the implementation of programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students within counties of South Carolina. Through working closely with the Directors of Special Education and other school personnel, she acted as the Hearing Consultant in assisting in the development of Oral and Total Communication (T.C.) programs as well as locating and interviewing teachers, interpreters, and paraprofessionals.
Linda was selected as the co-host for the fast-paced, montage presentation of the Sign Language television series, “On the Other Hand”. This was a collaborative production between the State Department of Education and SCETV. This American Sign Language series that was shown in most states which was designed to instruct, inform, and entertain. South Carolina also used the series to teach/train and re-certify educators across the state in the use of Sign Language, deaf culture, and deaf education. She facilitated the state re-certification Sign Language Course for educators in the low country for fourteen years. Linda has proudly worked with Carter Hears! since 2015.
Kandice Hunt is a triple certified teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing and the Head of Operations for Carter Hears!. Her passion for the deaf began with her older brother who is profoundly deaf. She graduated from Converse College in 2010. In November 2018, Kandice 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 designed a sign language facilitator position. She has years of experience teaching deaf and hard of hearing students in pre-school through high school.
Kandice has a passion for early language development, supporting parents, and creating change. She especially enjoys watching her students grow in success over the years. She is fluent in sign language and 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.
Kandice currently resides in Lexington, SC with her husband and family.
Ann Lyles, MSP CCC-SLP is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist based in Charleston, SC. Ann has had experience working with DHH children with goals of listening and spoken language in the natural environment, clinical, hospital and telepractice settings. She is currently pursuing her Listening and Spoken Language certification.
Ann is a double graduate of the University of South Carolina, where she pursued a specialization in Auditory-Verbal Therapy while earning her Masters degree. With this, she earned her Masters Plus 30 and completed specialized clinical placements and coursework focused on Auditory Verbal Therapy and Aural Rehabilitation. Ann now provides treatment in a 1:1 setting with patients as well as provides coaching to parents and professionals. Out of the variety of populations she has served as a Speech-Language Pathologist, she feels serving DHH children is one of the most rewarding. She enjoys engaging both families and professionals to create a comprehensive plan to help facilitate the child's language development.
In her free time, Ann enjoys running, cooking, teaching yoga, and spending a day at the beach with her husband Steven and cattle dog, Casey.
Cherry Patterson 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 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 degree 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 for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, where she has since taught and interpreted in Aiken County.
She joined the Carter Hears! team in October, 2017.
Cherry and her husband, Robert, have three beautiful married daughters, three handsome sons-in-laws, and eight gorgeous grandchildren.
Allen Sanderson is a Florence, SC native and Deaf educator with 10 years of experience serving Deaf/HH students with Carter Hears! team, at the SC School for the Deaf and Blind (seven years as a certified English teacher in a high school setting and two years as an advisor). He graduated from Gardner-Webb University in Health and Wellness, yet through his love of the English language and opportunity at Deaf School, received his certification to teach English to the Deaf. In early 2020, Allen began pursuing his Master's degree in Deaf Education (expected completion in May 2022), and to continue his professional growth, decided to join the Carter Hears! team as an itinerant teacher. He is a strong proponent for a quality and equitable education for all Deaf/HH students.
All throughout life, Allen has endured deafness and understands the frustration of language acquisition with today’s D/HH students. As a seed that was planted years in advance, it was from an early age that an itinerant teacher took Allen under her wings and made sure he received the education and support he needed. In college, he met a Deaf roommate and became fluent in sign language. Since then, Allen has advocated for the power of bilingual exposure of ASL & English, immersive storytelling, and connecting with D/HH students for engaged learning and positive citizenship.
Allen currently resides in Spartanburg, SC with his CODA wife, Ezelis, a Deaf daughter, a baby boy coming in December 2021, and a lovely tuxedo cat. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, pickleball, teaching his daughter sign language, and traveling the world with his wife to experience diverse languages and cultures.
Robyn Drebenstedt is a certified Teacher of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. 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 digital and paper crafting. She lives in Newberry, SC with her family.
Sydney Koch is a 2019 and 2020 graduate from Winthrop University. She has her master’s degree in Social Work. Sydney has several years of experience working with children and families, as well as individuals who live with disabilities. Her passion is ensuring children are receiving an exceptional education in a safe environment whether it is in a brick-and-mortar building or at home, virtually. She believes in the person first method which is meeting individuals where they are and working to achieve a common goal.
Sydney has a heart for serving others and loves how Carter Hears! supports this through the CH! mission and vision. She cannot wait to see what the future holds for both Carter Hears! and the students who are served.
In her free time, Sydney enjoys reading mystery/thriller books, doing puzzles, spending time with her family, and playing with her Multipoo, Leo.
Lolita Battle Joined the Carter Hears! team in 2018 as an Oral Language Facilitator and Support Services Specialist. She earned her BS in Human Services from Western Washington University and later completed her MA in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University.
With over twenty years of experience in Human Services. Lolita has worked for several Head Start programs throughout the country. She believes in early childhood intervention and has seen firsthand the impact. As a previous director of an early child development center, she created an after-school tutoring program and a summer safe zone for at-risk children.
As a Court-Appointed Guardian ad Litem, her strong commitment to diversity and equality for children is relentless. She has worked with countless non-profit Christian organizations and currently serves with a local domestic violence support group.
Lolita enjoys traveling, painting, and spending time outdoors with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
Ashley McRea is a native of Hickory, NC, with a BA in Psychology, an MS in Rehabilitation Counseling, and certificate in School Counseling from UNC Chapel Hill. After working in an inpatient psychiatric/substance abuse facility and directing an Employee Assistance Counseling program, she home educated her four children from kindergarten through high school with her husband, Roy.
Her passion for education and advocacy were discovered through over 20 years of homeschooling and working with others in the homeschool community. She is excited to embark on the next chapter of her career in serving children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
In her free time, Ashley enjoys hiking with her husband in the Blue Ridge Mountains, lap swimming, water skiing, and exploring new food experiences.
Larrysa Martin is a certified Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Since graduating from Converse College in 2001, she has worked in the field as a teacher, teacher assistant, educational interpreter, community interpreter, as well as pursued various volunteer opportunities. Her teaching experience includes a range from kindergarten to high school within two different schools for the deaf and a charter school. This involves 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’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 Cayce, SC and enjoys cooking and baking, crochet, as well as other crafts and spending time with friends and family.
Carter Hears! is the Carolinas' choice for Deaf education!