Our Staff

Diana Blackwell photo

Diana Blackwell

Director of Childrens Programs
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I have always enjoyed working with young children, but it wasn't until I attended Auburn University that I developed a passion for Child Development and Developmentally Appropraite Practice. Through my education and experience, I learned how children grow and develop. Furthermore, my experience at the Auburn University Early Learning Center taught me research based practices in facilitating young children's growth and development through positive guidance and redirection techniques.

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Julius Johnson

Facility Manager

I am a resident of Birmingham, Alabama and a graduate of Ensley Magnet High School. I served in the US Army from 1997-2001. I graduated from Lawson State Community College in 2004 with an Associate’s degree in Industrial Electronics. I have been a Maintenance Supervisor since 2005 and with Harris Early Learning Center since 2012.

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Lesa Harris

Assistant Director/Fiscal Manager

I am a native Alabamian, having lived in New Mexico for three years at White Sands Missile Range. I attended Birmingham-Southern College. I am married and a mother of five (2 birth, 3 by marriage). I am a “Mimi” of 3. I am a survivor. I joined the HELC family in 2003 after fifteen years in the Hoover School System as an Administrative Assistant. In 2007, I moved into the position of Fiscal Manager at HELC.

Bobby Horn Photo

Bobby Horn


Bobby Horn Photo

Letuetia Lavendar


Laura Pierce

Administrative Assistant

I was born and raised in Birmingham. I am married and a mother of 2 boys. I am currently enrolled at Wallace State to receive an Associate’s Degree in Office Management. I started as a teacher when I was 17 years old, children have always been my passion. In 2019, I decided to start a journey in the office side of childcare. I became the Administrative Assistant at HELC in August 2019.

Robbie Roberts Photo

Robbie Roberts

Director of Teacher Training and Outreach
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For the past 30 years, I have been in the educational field teaching in private preschool, public school and at the University level. I earned my BS from Auburn University and Master’s and Ph.D from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It is a joy to share the wonderful world of early childhood growth and development with the children, parents, staff and college and university students we encounter on a daily basis at HELC.   

Vickie Wiley Photo

Vickie Wiley

Administrative Assistant/Personnel Manager

I am originally from Hartselle, Alabama and lived many years in Auburn before relocating to Birmingham to accept a teaching position at Harris Early Learning Center in 1995. I am a former Auburn Lady Tiger basketball player and Olympic Bronze medalist but my biggest accomplishment is my son, Austin. In 2004, I moved into my current position as Administrative Assistant/Personnel Manager.



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