Dr. Markisha Butler — Executive Director

Dr. Butler brings to STAR over 17 years of experience in Workforce Development. Her experience most recently includes a role as Regional Leader with WorkSource Coastal and Mentor with Coastal Plains Charter High School. In addition to her professional experience in workforce development and coaching, she is a dedicated servant of her community. Currently, she is active in various civic and community organizations including, The Children’s Reading Foundation of Georgia, College of Coastal Georgia Foundation, United Way Community Investment Commitment, and Golden Isles College and Career Academy.  Dr. Butler joined STAR Foundation in August of 2021.

Nickol Shepherd — Program Manager/Instructor

Nickol is a native of Brunswick who recently returned home after living in Augusta, Georgia, for over 20 years. Nickol is a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a BBA in Business Management, and she studied Instructional Technology at Troy University. Nickol has eighteen years of the educational experience. Her experience includes fifteen years of classroom experience with the Richmond County School System. Nickol taught various grade subjects in elementary and middle school. In addition to her classroom experience, she has served as an after-school program site coordinator and an adult education instructor. Nickol is a mother of a son and a daughter. She enjoys cooking and entertaining and spending time with friends and family.


Debbie Banks — Administrative Assistant

Debbie comes to STAR as a part-time administrative assistant after having served on the Board of Directors for two years.  She graduated from the University of Georgia with a BBA in Marketing.  A native of Americus, Debbie has lived in the Golden Isles for 15 years and is proud to call this community home.  She has two sons, in college and high school, and enjoys any time she can spend outside in our beautiful area.