our teachers

  • ms. dawn

    Director of Mother's Day Out

    I am originally from South Carolina where I attended North Greenville University as an early childhood major. I am married with four beautiful children. My family and I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee in 2016.  We have loved living in East Tennessee the past few years. The Lord led us to Ridgedale shortly after moving to the community, and we immediately felt at home. About a year and a half ago I learned of an opening at Ridgedale MDO and was privileged to be given the opportunity to teach for the program. I have loved working with children for as long as I can remember. Whether with my own children, working with the kids in Awana, or teaching at our MDO program, I truly believe children are a blessing from God. I am grateful that I am a part of this ministry.  3 John 1:4: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

  • ms. michelle

    Children are a blessing from God and I’m truly honored that you are entrusting your child into my care.I have been teaching infants and toddlers for nine years as part of my career. I’ve been a member of Ridgedale Baptist Church for almost 24 years and have worked with youth and children for the majority of those years. My father was in the military when I was growing up, so I had the unique experience of traveling extensively as a child. I lived in both China and Australia before the age of 10!! I married my husband Doug in March of 1996 and we will celebrate 24 wonderful years together next March. We don’t have any children, but we do have a spoiled rotten kitty cat named Ella who thinks she is queen of the household!


  • ms. tai

    I was born and raised in Knoxville and have a degree in Medical Transcription, but my heart is for teaching children and watching them blossom.  I am married to my wonderful husband, Jimmy, and we have three awesome kids: Mya, Mady, and Jake.  We also love our pets, including a rescued turtle that has been a part of our family for over two years.  I am a member of Ridgedale Baptist Church where I also volunteer in the Awana program.


  • Ms. Jeannie

    I was born and raised in Knoxville. My husband and I have been married for 38 years. We have 2 grown sons and 6 grandchildren. We have been attending Ridgedale for 24 years. We live on a large farm in South Knoxville. We have dogs, cats, sheep, goats, fish, guineas, and a pig named Sally Anne. 


  • Ms. Amy

    I was born and grew up in Illinois with my parents, three older sisters and a younger brother. I went to College at Southern Illinois University where I met my Husband Jason. After graduation we move to South Carolina for several years. Then with the job market we moved to Knoxville, Kansas City and then back to Knoxville. I have two amazing children (Colton 5, Lucy 3). I first started coming to MDO Ridgedale with my children and felt a calling towards teaching. This is my second year teaching and I have loved every minute of it.   

  • Ms. Riley

    I am incredibly passionate about children having a safe and loving learning experience. I have worked as a nanny for four years prior to joining the Ridgedale team. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here at Ridgedale and look forward to teaching these sweet kids!  

  • Ms. Melanie

    Hi! My name is Melanie Slazas. My family and I have lived in Tennessee for 7 years. I have been a MDO teacher for 5 years. My husband and I will celebrate our 21st anniversary this year. We have two daughters and we love to go camping, hiking, and visiting family in Florida.

  • MS. caitlin

    I’m so excited you are choosing Ridgedale MDO to teach and grow your little! My name is Caitlin Allen and my greatest joys in life include my relationship with Christ, my family, anything Disney related (especially Disney World), coffee, and all animals. I’ve been an east Tennessee native since three and received my bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology in 2015. My husband Jared and I just welcomed a sweet little boy named Anderson in July of 2018. He is strong-willed, curious, compassionate, and never stops amazing us every day! I discovered a passion for teaching in college when I was a tutor, and that passion was reignited while recently homeschooling a 7th grade family member. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ridgedale so far, and I can’t wait to be a part of your child’s learning journey!

  • Ms. Lexie

    Hi! I’m Elizabeth Burchfield, but I go by Lexie. I have lived in Tennessee for 5 years, having originally moved from northeast Georgia. I am married and we have a 3 year old daughter named Evie- who also attends RMDO! I felt called to teach at Ridgedale after my daughter had such a great experience her first year. I wanted to be able to give other kids that same experience. My daughter is my world and enjoys keeping me on my toes but when I find the time, I also love reading, playing video games, and going to visit my family    

  • Ms. Ashli

    I am a wife and mother of two. Jayden (3) and Aiah (1), both attend Ridgedale MDO. I am working on my Masters Degree in Social Work. Working with children has always been a passion of mine, and I cannot wait to help your children learn and grow in their faith.

  • ms. emily

    My name is Emily Tabb. I have my BA in Education from Transylvania University and I've worked with children inside and outside of the classroom for over 15 years. 

    I am passionate about hands-on learning and social emotional development. I just love watching children grow, learn, and flourish!