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Our Board of Directors

Karen Upton, PhD,  President

Karen has been involved with Park Place School for close to 10 years as a volunteer and member of the Board. She received her Bachelor of Science in Education Degree from the State University College of New York at Buffalo, her Master’s in School Counseling from Old Dominion University and her Ph.D. on Organizational Leadership from Regent University. Dr. Upton has taught at the elementary level and served as principal of Norfolk Christian Lower School for 20 years. Karen is active in the community and in her church but her most enjoyable times are spent with her family including her four grandchildren.

Shirley Haywood, M.Ed., Vice President

Shirley has been actively involved in ministry, along with her husband Ed, for over 30 years.  Her primary ministries have included children’s ministry, such as Five-Day Clubs and Child Evangelism Fellowship, and prayer ministries for women, to name only a few.  Shirley and her husband have served together with inner city ministries along with foreign and local missions and in other parts of the world. She actively served on the Urban Discovery Ministries Board, where the main focus was ministry to high school students and sharing the gospel with the purpose of connecting students to the local church.  Shirley holds a BS in Health and Physical Education from Virginia State University, and a Master’s Degree in Education and Human Development from George Washington University.  She attended Regent University and received her administrative training and principalship endorsement for grades K-12 with advanced credit towards a doctorate degree.  In addition to her academic training, Shirley completed the adult education program in Biblical Studies from Washington Bible College.  Shirley’s work background includes 30 years in the public school with 14 years in school administration as an assistant principal on the elementary level. She was born and raised in Norfolk and resides there with her husband who is an associate pastor.  They have four adult children and one grandchild.

Tim Latiff, M.A.

Tim Latiff attended the University of Valley Forge (UVF) where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministry with a minor in Business Administration. While attending UVF, he met, fell in love and married his college sweetheart, Asha, in 2013. He and his family reside in Dumfries, VA. 

Upon receiving his undergraduate degree, he enrolled at Missio Seminary where he pursued his graduate degree. In 2017, he graduated with a Master of Arts degree, with a concentration in Urban Studies. 

In his full-time career, he worked for a national public policy institute that focused on urban renewal. There, he oversaw a national clergy network, and traveled across the country. This position took him to the White House and gave him a “seat at the table” amongst political and religious leaders to be a significant voice for the Christian community. 

He has been the keynote speaker at Lincoln University and State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY), sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to thousands of young people, over the course of his ministry. 

As a licensed minister, his message reaches all walks of life, with his sole purpose being to advance the body of Christ by preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. His ministry has taken him across the U.S. and Trinidad and Tobago. Together, with his parents, they are in the process of launching a ministry in Trinidad and Tobago.

Aleea Slappy-Wilson

Aleea is a Business Strategist, thought leader and Economic Development professional. Aleea has worked for business accelerators in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. She is currently the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for the City of Norfolk.  She has served for more than nine years as a volunteer mentor to high school and college students and on the board of BuildaBridge International, a nonprofit that uses the creative arts to transform the lives of youth. In 2014, Aleea received the Valentine Foundation Scholarship and Award for Visionary Leadership and was a Nonprofit Executive Leadership Fellow through Bryn Mawr College.  She was selected in 2020 as one of the YWCA of South Hampton Roads’ Women of Distinction!  Aleea received her undergraduate degree from Hampton University and her Master’s degree from Eastern University.

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Dora Lee Taylor

Dora Lee received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado. She is married and has one son and two beautiful granddaughters. As an active Realtor since 1986, she has been recognized as a top producer of sales nationally and locally for over 25 years. In addition to her primary volunteer role on the Board of Park Place School, Dora Lee also serves the community as a volunteer for Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, the William E. Wood Foundation, the Board of Community Alternatives and the Community Alternative Management Group, and the Dispute Resolution Center. Her hobbies include golfing, boating, and traveling.

Tabmitha Jervey, PhD

Dr. Tabmitha Young Jervey has over 18 years of experience in university teaching and research and has successfully designed and implemented best-practices for teaching, research, mentoring, and training methods for future scientists in the classroom and the laboratory. Since 2016, Dr. Jervey has served as an Adjunct Professor, teaching Biochemistry and Biology at in the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. On July 1, 2018, Dr. Jervey became a full-time faculty member. Prior to serving as Visiting Assistant Professor at Regent, Dr. Jervey was an Assistant Professor of Biology for 12 years at Norfolk State University. Dr. Jervey currently teaches Biochemistry, Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, and General Biology.

Dr. Jervey earned her B.S. degree in Biology in 1991 from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis in Molecular Virology in 2001 from Eastern Virginia Medical School and Old Dominion University. She has over 15 years in Herpesvirus research on the transcriptional controls of Human Cytomegalovirus. Recently, her interest has shifted to understanding the epigenetic impact nutrition on overcoming viral infection.

Dr. Jervey cherishes all time spent with family, both immediate and extended. She loves growing in her walk with Christ, sharing HIS love with others, morning runs, occasional kayaking and reading nonfiction.

Michael Farriss

Pastor Mike Fariss is the original visionary for Park Place School.  In 1997, he started an afterschool program for older teen boys to help ensure their success in school.  The program would grow into a full-day school 2 years later, and move from The Discovery Center on Granby to Park Place Methodist Church.  Because of his love for Christ and dedication to serving young people, he helped create a school aimed at helping children increase their opportunities for success in life. MIke, or “Coach Mike” to many, coaches basket ball at Norfolk Christian, and trains basket ball players and teams professionally around the world.  Mike was recently honored with the Founders Visionary Award at our 2020 Luncheon.

Rob Slaughter

Rob and Sally, his wife of over 40 years, live in Edenton, North Carolina, and have one daughter, Sarah, who lives in Richmond. Rob and Sally are members of Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church in Norfolk. Rob has been on short-term mission trips to Rwanda and Haiti. He is a board member of the Haitian American Friendship Foundation and of the American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East. A trial attorney since 1979, he currently practices with his own Edenton firm called Slaughter Law Firm, PLLC. Also, his many years of service in the Army Reserve included duty in Iraq in 2005-2006.

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