Our Staff

Shauna Pounders

Shauna Pounders

Executive Director

Shauna began her career at KDS in 2002 as the director of development and communication. She moved into the role of assistant executive director in 2007 then into executive director in 2020. Shauna holds a B.A. in English from Lambuth University and a M.A. in English from the University of Tennessee. Shauna is active in the Columbia Noon Rotary Club, the City of Columbia Civil Service Board, the Governor’s Council for Community Services and Columbia First United Methodist Church. She is involved in the Maury County Chamber & Economic Developmental Organization (Board of Director, Treasurer, & Chair of the Community Development Council) and Generation Maury, and is a graduate of Leadership Maury. Shauna and her husband, Tim, have four children.

Brian Oakley

Brian Oakley

Clinical Director

Brian recently served as the executive director of The Bridge at Columbia, an assisted living facility for nearly ten years. He has also served as Director of Social Work for Life Care Centers of America, Director and Assistant Regional Director of Social Work for National HealthCare and Social Worker at Maury Regional Medical Center. In addition to these leadership roles, Brian also has extensive experience in care coordination, advocacy, interdisciplinary planning and communication, discharge planning, behavior planning and patient family care. Brian holds a M.S. in Social Work from the University of Tennessee, and a B.S. in Social Work from Freed-Hardeman University. He and his wife reside in Maury County with their two children, where they are active in their church, children’s schools and in enjoying the outdoors.

Robyn Graham

Robyn Graham

Operations Director

Robyn holds a Business Administration and Marketing degree from MTSU. She worked in various business and management roles for 18 years prior to joining KDS in 2014 as operations director. She is active in the Columbia Noon Rotary Club and served as Club President for 2015-16. Robyn is a graduate and former board member of Leadership Maury as well as a member of the Youth Education Foundation Board. Robyn is active in the Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance—she served as Board Chair for 2020. Robyn is also a member of the National SHRM organization. She lives in Maury County with her husband, Jeramie, and their two daughters, Emily and Maggie.

Landon White

Landon White

Program Director

Landon has worked at KDS in a variety of roles since 2004, and is currently our program direcor. In this role, he oversees educational and residential programming, including our Center for Autism. He regards his time at KDS as “life changing,” and believes that providing a nurturing environment of service to our students is truly his calling in life. Landon holds a B.S.W. in Social Work and an M.Ed in Special Education from Freed-Hardeman University.  He is a graduate of the 2015 Leadership Maury class and is very active in the children’s ministry at the Highland Church of Christ, where he serves as Youth Deacon. Landon lives in Columbia with his wife, Megan, and three children, Cameron, Noah, and Aubrey.
Jennifer Ballard

Jennifer Ballard

Main Campus Principal

Dr. Jennifer Ballard has served as our main campus principal since 2005. She is a native of West Kentucky, where she graduated from Murray State University with a B.S. in Science. Dr. Ballard also holds a M.S. in Educational Leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University and a Ed.D. in Special Education Leadership from Capella University. She is licensed through the Tennessee Department of Education with a Professional Administrative License. Dr. Ballard has taught in the Education departments of Columbia State Community College and Ashford University. She has experience in special education, social work and criminal justice. In addition, Dr. Ballard has extensive training in Autism, developmental delays and a particular interest in the growth and development of students post-graduation. 

Annette Hatfield

Annette Hatfield

Director of The Center for Autism

Prior to her appointment as director at our Center for Autism, Annette served as a Facilitating Teacher for Maury County Schools for students with Autism and those needing placement in a Comprehensive Development Class. In addition, she has 30 plus years of experience working with students with special needs at all levels of public education. She has been a SPED teacher, elementary school counselor, and system-wide facilitating teacher. Annette attended Middle Tennessee State University and obtained a B.S. degree with a double major in Elementary Education, K-8, Special Education, K-12 and a M.Ed. in Special Education. She also obtained a guidance and counseling endorsement from Trevecca Nazarene University.  Annette and her husband, John, reside in Columbia. They have an adult daughter, Lauren, who is a nurse.

Shannon Lanius Neff

Shannon Lanius Neff

Recreational Therapist

Shannon graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a B .S. in Recreation and Leisure with a concentration in recreational therapy and a minor is psychology. She has been with the school for nearly 20 years and has held the position of recreational therapist since 2001. During this time, she was president of Maury Magic Riders for four years. Shannon is also the Special Olympics Area Director for Maury County. Family is a big part of Shannon’s life: she enjoys spending time with her husband, children and nephew, Corbin.
Casey Stocklin

Casey Stocklin

Residential Director

Casey is a native of Louisiana, where she received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She began working at KDS in July of 2021, as the residential director, after moving to the area to be closer to extended family. Previously, she worked at a therapeutic boarding school for teenage girls in Louisiana and was employed as a teacher for several years in the U.S. and abroad. Casey is currently working on her M.A. in Biblical Counseling from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as well as her certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Throughout her professional career, Casey has enjoyed mentoring young women and volunteering with youth camps and young adult bible study groups within her local church as well as community organizations. She is passionate about seeing the lives around her transformed by the power of presence and compassionate care. Casey lives in Columbia with her husband and stepson.

Donna Cowan

Donna Cowan

Admissions Director

Donna is responsible for the school’s first impression and works closely with educational consultants and potential families. She holds a B.S. from California State University Sacramento in Business Administration, with a dual focus on Marketing and International Business, and also earned a minor in Film Studies. She serves as a member of Leadership Maury, Class of 2022. Donna is a newcomer to Tennessee, having moved in early 2020 from Northern California where she was born and raised with her three sisters. Donna is a big fan of Disney, country music and outdoor sports! She lives in Franklin, TN with her dog, Mickey.
Jesse Davis

Jesse Davis

Communications Director

As communications director, Jesse is responsible for print and digital media inlclduing e-newsletters, a biannual traditional newsletter, socal media and maintaing the KDS website. She holds a B.S. from the University of Tennessee in Journalism and Electronic Media and a M.S. from Middle Tennessee State University in Mass Communication.  Jesse is active in her church where she heads up various service projects throughout the year. Her passions include reading, cooking from scratch and natural health and wellness. Jesse lives in College Grove, TN with her husband, two children and two dogs. 

Scott Powers

Scott Powers

Controller

Scott holds a B.S. in Accounting and an MBA from Tennessee Tech. University. He has served in various leadership roles in the area of accounting and finance throughout his career. In addition to his leadership roles, Scott has owned his own bookkeeping and tax service business for the past 15 years. He and his wife, Kirsten, have two adult sons.