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Our Staff

Our staff is a group of talented education professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience.  Staff members include certified teachers, educational consultants, music therapists, art therapists, and support staff.  
RHEP Program Leadership
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Dr. Sparks has been the Education Director of the Richmond Hospital Education Program since 2007. Prior to that, he worked for the Virginia Department of Education as the State Coordinator for Alternate and Alternative Assessments for children in the Commonwealth of Virginia with disabilities.  He has worked as a classroom teacher, Assistive Technology Specialist, and Behavioral Interventionist.


A graduate of Regent University, Dr. Sparks holds his Doctorate of Education, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Organizational Leadership (CAGS), and Masters in Special Education from Regent University.  He earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Liberty University.  Dr. Sparks professional interests include Special Education Law, Assistive Technology, Passive Virtual Reality, and Organizational Leadership.  


Renee’ Blackshear joined the Hospital Education Program in 2014.  Since that time, she has served as an Educational Consultant for the VCU Sickle Cell Clinic, the Hemophilia and Bleeding Disorders Clinic, the Child Development Clinic, and Virginia Treatment Center for Children.  She now serves in her current position as the Assistant Director.  


Prior to joining the Richmond Hospital Education Program, Renee’ worked as a classroom teacher in inclusive, resource, and self-contained settings.  She held the position of Lead Teacher for six years and was voted Teacher of the Year during her third year of teaching. Renee later transitioned to a position with the Virginia Department of Correctional Education where she served as an Educational Evaluator for 14 years. 


Renee’ has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications, a Master  of Arts Degree in Special Education, and a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling. Her professional interests include Learning Disabilities, academic difficulty associated with mental health challenges, and the impact of poverty on school readiness and academic performance.

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