Meet the team that drives Connections School of Atlanta.

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Heidi Sanders, Associate Education Director

Heidi has a master’s degree in Psychology, as well as extensive experience in education, art, and yoga. She has taught in DIR schools in the greater Atlanta area since 2003, and has worked in education-related non-profits since 1999. Heidi has been a lead classroom teacher for 10 years and is excited to step into her new role at Connections.


MKukler2 Michele Little Kukler, Lead Teacher

Michele holds a degree in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia.She was a First Honor Graduate and worked with a student organization serving the autism community of Northeast Georgia. She comes to Connections from the teaching team at The Hirsch Academy, where she received training in DIR/Floortime and Rapid Prompting Method, and taught yoga. Before Hirsch, Michele was a community-based educator with Dekalb County and co-taught a full inclusion class at The Coralwood School.

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Carolyn Roberts, Support Teacher

Carolyn graduated from Roanoke College with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a concentration in Human Development, and a minor in Sociology. She is a part of the Sociology National Honors Society and has an extensive musical background in voice and piano. For the past three years, she worked as a teacher’s assistant at a DIR/Floortime school in Atlanta. Carolyn is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology.

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Rebecca Richter, Support Teacher

Rebecca has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Goucher College, and more than 15 years’ experience in the DIR/Floortime community as both an individual facilitator and a teacher.   Her training includes formal DIR classes, participation in Floortime Atlanta and ICDL conferences and experience with RPM.  Rebecca comes to Connections from The Hirsch Academy, where her teaching team included Michele Kukler.

Alison Auerbach, Volunteer Associate Director


Alison Auerbach, MSS, has more than 20 years’ experience advocating for social justice on both personal and professional levels. She has worked as an editor, a domestic violence prevention counselor, a support group facilitator and an author. Her writing can be found in Monday Coffee and Other Stories of Mothering Children with Special Needs. Alison is a graduate of Amherst College and the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.

Jerry Zalnoski, Art Instructor

jerryheadJerry Zalnoski attended art school at University of Florida. He formed the folk-rock group, Rosewater Blue, and toured the country. Then in 1985, he pursued a dream to teach children. For ten years he taught 1st and 2nd grade at The Paideia School. During the summers he would help write, direct and film movies written by the kids at Paideia summer camp. Currently he teaches art and music at Hirsch Academy.

Lisa Burns Lovvorn, Volunteer Group Fitness Instructor

Lisa is the Wellness Director for the Decatur Family YMCA. She holds an AA degree in Physical Education from Broward Community College in Florida. She is nationally certified in strength and conditioning, group exercise instruction, TRX, BodyPump and Parkinson’s Disease movement therapy. Lisa brings to Connections 16 years of experience as a group exercise instructor, personal trainer and wellness coach, as well as 19 years of experience parenting two children.

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The officers, directors, committee members, employees, and persons served by this corporation shall be selected entirely on a nondiscriminatory basis with respect to age, sex, race, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation.  It is the policy of Connections School of Atlanta, Inc. not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, ancestry, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical disability, veteran’s status, political service or affiliation, color, religion, or national origin.