MEET OUR TEAM
Ms. Tanzania Goldsmith, Ed. S.
Program Director, GEAR UP Birmingham
Tanzania Goldsmith has been in education for 22 years and has been with Birmingham City Schools for the last 13 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.
Ms. Mildred Funderburg
Administrative Assistant, GEAR UP Birmingham
In this position, Ms. Funderburg works closely with the director as a liaison to students, parents, and community partners by providing administrative support and assistance. She also provides technical and logistical support in coordinating meetings, conferences and workshops.
Ms. Funderburg earned an Associate degree in Business and an Executive Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Faulkner University.
She is also a member of several nonprofit and community organizations to help build a better community for children to thrive and succeed in life. She enjoys traveling, decorating, and spending time with her family.
Mr. Alberto Reid, MBA
Budget Analyst, GEAR UP Birmingham
Alberto D. Reid is the Finance/Budget Technician for Gear Up Birmingham. He is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and attended Birmingham City Schools. He is a graduate of Alabama’s oldest Historically Black Institution, and believes that Birmingham City Schools was the cornerstone, that helped lay the foundation at Talladega College.
He has held the position as District Executive with the Greater Alabama Council Boy Scouts of America, for more than five years, as well as a Loaned Executive for Central Alabama’s United Way Pacesetters Campaigns, where he successfully, raised over $200,000.00 each year with the Boy Scouts and over $300,000.00 for the United Way Campaigns. Mr. Reid has been employed now with the Birmingham School District since 2002, where he worked as a Bookkeeper with the Community Education Department, Glen Iris Elementary School and within the district’s Finance Department as an Accountant/Accounts Payable Clerk. He holds an MBA with a concentration in Public Administration, certification from the State of Alabama Association of School Business Official Program, Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), and many other civic and professional organizations. An active member of Alabaster-Pelham Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated, where he has served as Vice-Polemarch and currently is a member of its Board of Directors.
Alberto, has considerable experience and knowledge in training, organizational leadership and school finances, but has always been interested in finding creative ways of finding funding for schools and community based programs that have a social as well as a long term economic impact on our students.
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.
Mrs. Melody Harrington
Central Region Site Facilitator, GEAR UP Birmingham
Melody Harrington has had the privilege of teaching in Birmingham City Schools for over 20 years. She has taught science at both West End and Huffman High Schools. She is a dedicated educator that is fueled by her passion for helping students reach their full potential.
Mrs. Harrington earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama A&M University and her Masters of Education degree from the University of Montevallo. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Miles Law School.
Mrs. Harrington believes that giving back to the community is very important. As an active member of the Junior League of Birmingham, she strives to improve the Birmingham community through her tireless commitment to volunteering. Mrs. Harrington is a lifelong resident of Birmingham where she resides with her husband and two children.
Dr. Donna Turner
External Evaluator, Spectrum Red
Dr. Donna P. Turner is an External Evaluator with Spectrum Research, Evaluation, and Development (SpectrumRED) and she is the lead External Evaluator for the GEAR UP Alabama and GEAR UP Birmingham Projects– two multimillion dollar grants awarded to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the Birmingham City School System. She is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and attended the Birmingham City School System. She taught science in the Birmingham City School System for 14 years before leaving in 2007 to complete her graduate studies. She worked as an Assistant Professor through the SciTeach Grant at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Prior to this position, Dr. Turner worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at The University for the National Study of Education in Undergraduate Science, a six-million-dollar grant that focused on the critical needs in teaching undergraduate science to diverse majors with emphasis on the preparation and long-term development of pre-service, undergraduate, K-6 teachers of science. Dr. Turner also served as a data collection specialist for the Alliance for Physics Excellence (APEX) grant for Alabama A&M University and The University of Alabama. She has a published article in Research Based Undergraduate Science Teaching and has presented several times at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). Prior to her current position, she was the former Project Coordinator for GEAR UP Birmingham.
Dr. Turner earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) in December 2011 and her Ed.S. in Science Education from the University of Alabama (Birmingham) in 2000. She earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Alabama A&M University.
Dr. Turner is a member of More Than Conquerors Faith Church under the leadership of Pastor Steve Green. She is also serves as a Board Member for Girls, Inc. Dr. Turner is an active member of the Omicron Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She enjoys reading, art and jazz, and she loves spending quality time with her beautiful daughter, Genesis.
One of her favorite quotes:
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” John Dewey