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About Us

Our Team


Charlene Gladney, Executive Director, 336-223-4595

Charlene is a native of Greensboro, NC, and a graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering.  She continued her studies at North Carolina A&T State University, where she earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering.  Following her time at NC A&T, Charlene moved to Rochester, NY, where she began her career at Xerox Corporation.  Charlene spent 20 years in various corporate positions ranging from systems design to project and people management.  She also volunteered as a tutor, mentor, Girl Scout leader, and Sunday school teacher.  In 2007, Charlene took a leap of faith and entered the nonprofit arena as executive director of Operation Homework, now Operation Xcel.  As a nonprofit executive, she has completed certification through the Nonprofit Management Institute and The Executive Director Academy.  She has also been certified in the afterschool sector by NCSU and the NC Center of Afterschool Programs, completing the Leadership Fellowship Program.

Marisela Aviles, Executive Assistant, 336-223-4652

Marisela is from Los Angeles, CA.  She attended Greensboro College and obtained her bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics with a concentration in human resources.  She is currently pursuing an accounting degree in conjunction with her role at Operation Xcel.  Marisela is the mother of two children.  In her free time, she enjoys baking.


Karon L. Adams, Executive Assistant, 336-582-1883

Karon hails from Philadelphia, PA, and New Jersey.  She earned a B.A. in organizational management from Eastern University and an M.S. in Counseling Psychology from Springfield College.  Karon has over 20 years’ experience helping children and families in such positions as clinical supervisor, social work supervisor, and psychotherapist.  She currently works on special projects for the organization as well as designs treatment plans and behavioral interventions for children in the JCPC program.  Karon, a grandmother of five, recently adopted a teen son into her family. 

Derly Daza, Site Director, Jackson Middle School - 336-223-4972 option 2

Derly is originally from Colombia and has worked in the United States for more than 11 years.  She has a master’s in Spanish and English as a Second Language and is currently a middle school Spanish teacher.  Derly is actively pursuing her Ph.D. in education.  She volunteers at Glenwood Library, where she teaches Spanish.  Derly is also a soccer coach at the YMCA.  Passionate about making an impact in the lives of children, she enjoys watching their progress.  Derly states, “I feel honored to be part of the personal and academic growth of our students.”

Ms. Regina Jackson, Site Director, High Point - 336-223-4972 option 1
Regina Jackson knew from a very young age that teaching was her passion and purpose.  She always considered herself a student first and then a teacher.  Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, she transitioned to High Point, NC to obtain her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and Masters Degree in STEM Education from High Point University.  She is going into her 7th year at Operation Xcel and her 4th year teaching with Guilford County Schools.  Regina began at Operation Xcel as a volunteer with High Point University’s Tutor Club in 2015.  From there, she transitioned to a tutor and then Site Director.  Over the years, she has built lasting relationships with her students and has continued to maintain these relationships throughout their high school years.  Regina loves math and science and hopes to encourage students to be problem solvers, activists, and innovators.  Booker T Washington once said, “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way”.   It is Regina's goal to exemplify this tenet daily.

Precious Sidbury, Site Director, Swann Middle School

Precious Sidbury is from Charlotte, NC.  She has resided in Greensboro for several years now.  Precious received her BA in English from Livingstone College and is pursuing her Masters in Education from NC State University.  She is passionate about working with students, families and striving to make a positive impact on their lives.  When not at work, Precious enjoys traveling, catching up on television shows, movies, and spending time with friends and family.

 Favorite Quotes:
     “Even the impossible is possible”
     “She believed she could, so she did"

TaWuana Cook, Site Director, Jamestown Middle School - 336 480-4856

TaWuana was born and raised in Fayetteville, NC.  She attended NC A&T on a 4-year basketball scholarship.   After graduating, TaWuana played professional Basketball for 2 years, before deciding to pursue her Master's in teaching from NC A&T.  TaWuana then attended High Point University, where she earned her M.Ed in educational leadership.  TaWuana has been in education with Guilford County Schools for 8 years.  Currently, she is an Assistant Principal at Jamestown Middle School.  TaWuana is excited to work with the students, staff, and parents of Operation Xcel as she strives to prepare students to excel inside and outside of the classroom. She looks forward to seeing the students grow and encourages them to aim for greatness, live to their fullest potential, and see the best in themselves.

Daphney Shoaff, Site Director, SUMC and Oak Springs

Daphney is from North Carolina.  She did her undergraduate work in Baltimore at the University of Notre Dame of Maryland.  She received her Master's in Education from Arizona State University.  Daphney taught for the Forsyth County School system before she joined the team at Operation Xcel.  She began as a teacher and has since been promoted to site director.  According to Daphney, the "best part of the job is watching children have that light bulb moment."

Dawn Lineberry, Site Director, Eastern Guilford Middle School

Ms. Lineberry is from Silver Spring, MD, coming to Greensboro, NC in 1994.  She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education with a middle grades math add-on to her NC teaching license.  She has been with Operation Xcel since 2019, first as a tutor at the Jackson location, where she taught 6th-grade math for 16 years.  Most recently, she became the site director for EGMS.  When not working, Dawn can be found on the sidelines cheering her daughter on in various athletic activities. She enjoys going to the beach, spending time with family, and supporting any young person she encounters.  Dawn thrives on building relationships with those she comes in contact with.  She firmly believes that "a teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart forever".

Board of Directors

Eunika Smalls, Board Chair – Connect on LinkedIn
Michael Pearson, Secretary – Connect on LinkedIn
Patricia J. Price, Treasurer – Connect on LinkedIn
Steven Palcsak, Marketing Chair – Connect on LinkedIn
Fundraising Chair - Apply Here
Jocelyn Becoats, Board Development Chair - Connect on LinkedIn
Julie Starnes, Community Member -Connect on LinkedIn
Meg Sheehan, Community Member - Connect on LinkedIn
Kendra Eads, Community Member - Connect on LinkedIn
Charlene Gladney, Ex-Officio Member

In addition to the leadership teams above, we employ certified teachers as math and reading specialists and tutors.  We also employ paraprofessionals that encompass our excellent volunteer staff.