Staff

Acting Director – Buz Grover

Buz Grover

Among his duties as a contract administrator Buz Grover oversees Mason’s minors on campus policy as well as enforcement efforts where campus programs, events, and camps serving minors are concerned. Buz is a “Visitor” with the American Camp Association (ACA), and in that role audits area camps for compliance with ACA policies and standards. Buz is also active in the Higher Education Protection Network, serving on their membership committee, and has presented on minors issues at ACA regional and national conferences, as well as as at the National Association of College Auxiliary Services national conference.

Assistant Director – Michelle Griffith

Michelle Griffith

Michelle has worked in a variety of education positions for many years. She most recently worked for families through a state-funded online public charter school. Prior to that, she worked private school in Leesburg specializing in arts education, and before that was a Kindergarten teacher for Loudoun County Public Schools. Michelle holds a BA in Communication Sciences and Disorders, as well as a MA in Early Childhood Education from James Madison University. She also holds a Virginia State Teaching License with certifications ranging from behavior management to exceptional education. In her spare time Michelle enjoys hiking and camping with her husband and dog.

Proctors

Taylor Sims

Hi, my name is Taylor! I will be one of the proctors at the Learning Pod. I am a freshman at George Mason University, and I am studying International Law. Even though I am not studying education/childcare, I have always had a love for children and look forward to continuing to work with them. In high school, I participated in the Child Development program where I obtained a 90 Hour CTE Child Care and Training certification. I am trained in First Aid and CPR as well. On top of all that I have worked in childcare with elementary and below aged children for the past 4 years. 

Gabby Thompson

Hello, I am Gabby Thompson! I recently graduated from Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. This summer my husband and I moved from a small town in Kansas. While in Kansas, I worked as a paraprofessional I assisted students and teachers in grades Kindergarten – 8th grade. This past fall semester, I was a student teacher for a Virtual Elementary School where I taught 5th grade students. This provided me an unexpected but rewarding opportunity to navigate online instruction. It has been my lifelong passion to work with and support children in diverse academic and social settings. 

Hi my name is Lanessa Benson and I am a sophomore at George Mason University. My major is Criminology Law & Society and I am minoring in Psychology. My long term goal is to become a lawyer and work in the juvenile system. I have been working with children since 2015 and I have found so much pride and joy from fostering youth. Most recently I worked with the E-learning program at the YMCA where we helped children get onto their zoom calls and help them with their school work.

Amy Ayers

My Name is Amy Ayres. I am from a small town in Delaware. I just recently move to this great state of Virginia. In Delaware I worked as a CNA for many years. I also Worked as a substitute teacher for the Capital School District with Students from K-6th grades. My passion is helping others to be the best person they can possibly be! Some of the things I enjoy are singing, basketball, football, cooking, skating, and practicing my bass guitar.

Camille Parkinson

Hello! My name is Camille Parkinson, and I am a sophomore here at George Mason. I am currently majoring in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a minor is Social Work. On top of being a full-time student I am also in the VA National Guard which has been a very busy but, rewarding experience. I have 6+ years of experience with children aged 6 months -14 years and have had the opportunity to work as a tutor for local community centers, participate and teach for child development programs, instruct swim lessons for kids 6 months -12 years, and have babysat along the years. I have a great passion for children love seeing them succeed and excel!

Darion Berrios

My name is Darion Berrios and I am currently a Junior at George Mason University. My current major is Information Technology with an interest in network and telecommunications. My experience working with children is mostly from volunteering during my years in high school. From athletics and bible school to helping teach kids robotics and coding, I have found that working with them is very fun and enjoyable and hope that my position as a proctor in Mason’s Learning Pod program will be, too!