Staff and Leadership | Playworks

Playworks for every kid

Staff and Leadership

Danielle Marshall
Executive Director

Danielle Marshall is the executive director of Playworks Maryland. She brings over 15 years of experience in child development and nonprofit management. Danielle began her journey working as a program director for Jumpstart for Young Children, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the development of language and literacy skills of preschoolers. Her passion for the development of the whole child led to a transition to KaBOOM!, where she served as the director of community engagement programs overseeing programs that support communities' ability to increase children’s access to play and recreation through advocacy, education, and community building. Being a lover of all things playful Danielle also serves on the Board of The Alliance for Childhood and the US Play Coalition.  In her free time she and enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, knitting, and following playful pursuits with her daughter.

Joy Lawson
Program Director
Joy has made a career in developing programming that advances the ideas and capacity of young leaders. Most recently, she was Director at Young People For (YP4), a program of People For the American Way Foundation, where she trained more than 700 aspiring nonprofit, community, and elected leaders. Prior to her time at YP4 Joy served as National Field Associate and later as Midwestern States Field Coordinator at a national nonprofit focused on health care access. As student at University of Kansas, where she earned her degree in women's studies, Joy worked with local organizations as well as city and state school boards to ensure Kansas youth received medically accurate health education.
Joy is a Midwest Academy graduate, a 2006 Grassroots Organizing Weekend trainer, a proud Rockwood Art of Leadership: Women in Racial Justice alum, and a former fellow of CoreAlign’s Speaking Race to Power program.
Tamara Arnold
Program Manager

Tamara is a passionate youth development worker currently serving students as a program manager for Playworks Maryland. Her commitment to education drives her towards expanding educational opportunities for at-risk youth, while fostering community organizing and engagement. She began her work in education with Teach for America in 2010, teaching middle school students in rural Louisiana. Tamara moved to Baltimore in 2012 to serve students through teaching at Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. Her focus as a teacher was to engage students in advocacy. She was also awarded Best Coach and After-School Advisor for her work with LGBTQ students. Prior to joining Playworks, Tamara was the assistant director for Urban Teacher Center-Baltimore. She joined the Playworks Maryland team in 2015 and brings a high-degree of organization and creativity, as well as a lot of laughter, to the team. When not working to end educational disparity, she is probably eating, binge watching hit shows, or deciding if she should exercise.

Kimberly Schulke
Program Associate

Kimberly graduated cum laude from the University at Albany with a bachelor of arts in English and Philosophy. Her thoughtful and inquisitive nature led her to examine the ways in which we form meaningful relationships that result in positive civic change. She finds herself at home in the non-profit sector, fostering that necessary change in Baltimore. Kim believes in a holistic approach to living and brings an infectious, positive outlook to each challenge she encounters.

Dana Carr
Site Coordinator

Dana Carr "Coach Dana" began her service with Playworks Maryland as a program coordinator at Gardenville Elementary where she served for 3 years. Born and raised in Baltimore, Coach Dana has always had a passion for sports, play, and serving young people in her community. Sparked by her experiences she values the importance of social development and recreation opportunities for urban youth which continues to drive her passion to act as an advocate and role model for her students.

In addition to her work at Playworks Maryland, Dana has also worked as a teacher's assistant, an IEP therapy assistant, and a lower school associate/assistant director of extended day programs. Through these jobs she has gained invaluable experience forming solid partnerships with school, parents, and students to best serve students and prepare them for success.

Dana believes Playworks creates meaningful and fun experiences for students and a positive environment for teachers. She is most excited about coming back home to Playworks as a site coordinator to get others in the community excited about the movement for play!

When not on the recess yard Dana can be found exercising with friends, hiking with her puppies, and volunteering with different charities around the city.

Eugene Easter
Lower Mid-Atlantic Account Manager

After 15 years of professional experience in the IT sector, Gene read a copy of "What Color is Your Parachute?" by Richard Bolles. This book caused Gene to have an epiphany, and changed the course of his career forever. With a newly found fervor, and a new direction plotted for his life, Gene began a career in Education Sales. He has served in the roles of account executive, regional sales manager and regional sales director for such notable companies as Scholastic, Pearson, and McGraw-Hill Education. Gene is passionate about children having all the resources they need to get a quality education, including safe and healthy recess! He loves spending quality time at home with his wife, young adult children, and his Australian Miniature Labradoodle. His favorite game as a child: dodgeball, without a doubt!

Juanita Morgan
Program Manager

Juanita Morgan “Coach Morgan” has been a youth development worker since the age of 17. She began her journey with Playworks Maryland in 2012 where she served as a site coordinator at Patterson Park Public Charter School for three years. She is ecstatic to re-join this amazing team of innovative leaders as a program manager. She loves any opportunity to take her passion for the arts and play and use it as a tool to help youth understand their true purpose.

Juanita is a graduate of Morgan State University and holds a B.A. in Speech as well as a B.S. in Telecommunications. She also graduated as the first student at Morgan State to obtain a minor in Theatre Arts and is currently pursuing her Masters in Reading Education at Towson University.

Juanita remains excited and driven to help youth thrive in their households, families, schools, communities and beyond.  She also works as a program manager for Kiddiecorp, Inc. where she has the unique opportunity to travel and work with youth from all over the world.

Prior to joining Playworks, Juanita worked as a servant leader intern for the Children’s Defense Fund, a learning coach for ELEV8 Baltimore, and as a high school presenter for the Antonelli Institute of Graphic Design & Photography.

Juanita also has a passion for the art of pantomime and has two troupes of 25 youth that she teaches in Philadelphia and Baltimore. On the very rare occasion that Juanita is not working with youth, she enjoys traveling, community service, photography, running, reading, and spontaneous adventures.