Office Staff

Dr. Kisha Tolbert Simmons, NBCT

Coordinator,

GEAR UP Birmingham

Ms. Mildred Funderburg

Administrative Assistant,

GEAR UP Birmingham

Mr. Alberto Reid

Budget Analyst,

GEAR UP Birmingham

Site Staff

Ms. Tanzania Goldsmith

Central Region Site Facilitator,

GEAR UP Birmingham

Tanzania Goldsmith has been in education for 19 years and has been with Birmingham City Schools for the last 10 years. Ms. Goldsmith has taught science at A.H. Parker High and Jackson-Olin High School. She has also been a Graduation Coach and worked with the Curriculum and Instruction Department.  

Prior to coming to Birmingham City Schools, Ms. Goldsmith taught at Jess Lanier High School with the Bessemer City School district and Jacksonville High School with the Jacksonville City Schools district. 

Ms. Goldsmith earned her second Master’s and Educational Specialists degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She earned her master’s in Secondary Education from Jacksonville State University in 1996 and Bachelor’s in Biology from Talladega College. 

She is an active member of her church. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Willie and their three daughters: Tianna, Gabrielle, and Jessalyn.


Dr. Marsha Savage

Western Region Site Facilitator,

GEAR UP Birmingham

Dr. Marsha Hall Savage is a product of both Fairfield and Birmingham City School Systems. She began her teaching career in Birmingham City Schools in 1991 and has worked in various capacities during her tenure. These include seventh grade language arts teacher, Literacy Support Teacher K – 12, R.E.A.D.S. Support Teacher, and Reading/Language Arts Support for grades 6-8. Dr. Savage has also served as Alabama Reading Initiative Plan for Adolescent Literacy LEA Secondary Literacy Coach, Reading Intervention Specialist, and English teacher at the high school level. Additionally, she has worked as a consulting Mentor Teacher for the Center of Urban Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Savage is a committed educator who is passionate about the success of students attending Birmingham City Schools and the teachers who work in urban school districts.

Dr. Savage holds a Bachelor of Science degree in language arts education from Miles College, a Master of Arts degree in Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, an Educational Specialist degree and Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership from Samford University.

Dr. Savage is active in her church and many organizations including the Omicron Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is married and has four children.


Ms. Waynetta Turner

Eastern Region Site Facilitator,

GEAR UP Birmingham

Waynetta L. Turner is a skilled facilitator with expertise in science education. She has had the pleasure of serving in the Birmingham City Schools at the middle and high school levels for over 15 years. Never a person for resting on her laurels, Ms. Turner has also served as an adjunct instructor at the post-secondary level. She is driven by the desire to prepare students to reach their greatest potential academically and become caring, responsible citizens.

Ms. Turner earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees at Alabama A & M University. Her lifelong love of learning lead Ms. Turner towards administrative pursuits. She earned her administrative certification and an Education Specialist degree in Education Leadership at UAB.

Ms. Turner is presently completing her doctoral studies at Samford University. She is a native of the Birmingham area. As a staunch believer in service to the community, Ms. Turner is an active member of the Birmingham Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta as well as the Junior League of Birmingham. She resides in the Birmingham area surrounded by the love of her proud parents, six siblings, and a large extended family. Her hobbies include music and world travels.


Evaluator(s)

Dr. Donna Turner

External Evaluator,

Spectrum Red