KIPP Atlanta Collegiate Staff
Tawheedah Abdullah, English Teacher
Tawheedah is an English Teacher. She served as the 10th Grade ELA instructor, band director and Response to Intervention chairwoman at Henry Ford High School in Detroit, Michigan before joining KAC. She has a BS in Jazz Studies from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and an MA in Educational Studies with concentration in Urban Pedagogy from the University of Michigan.
Everton Blair, Math Teacher
Everton serves a a Math Teacher. He previously participated in KIPP Metro Atlanta’s Teacher Fellows Program. He worked with the 9th and 10th Grade Algebra and Geometry teacher. Previously, he student taught summer school quantitative reasoning and AP Calculus BC. He received an A.B. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University.
Jenita Brown, Front Office Assistant
Jenita serves as the Front Office Assistant. She recently relocated from Lynn, MA, where she was a founding parent at KIPP Academy Lynn and an active volunteer. Prior to volunteering at KIPP, Jenita was the PTO president at her children’s elementary school for several years. She attended North Shore Employment and Training in Lynn, MA, and graduated with a diploma in Business Office Procedures.
Kyra M. Caldwell, Director of Operations
Kyra serves as the Director of Operations. She previously served as a founding English Teacher and English Department Chair at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. Kyra taught at Sprayberry High School in Cobb County for four years prior to joining KAC. She earned her B.A. in English from Spelman College and earned a Masters of Education with a focus in Post-Secondary Education from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She went on to earn a Masters of Arts in teaching with a focus in English Education, Grades 6-12 from Georgia State University. Currently, Kyra is a Ph.D. candidate with a focus in Curriculum and Instruction at Mercer University.
L. Darrell Caldwell, Physical Education Teacher/Football Coach
Darrell is the Head Football Coach and P.E. Teacher. He brings more than 23 years of coaching experience and 12 years of classroom teaching experience to KAC. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Morris Brown College, and his Master’s degree from Central Michigan University.
Luis Casillas, History Teacher
Luis serves as the History Teacher. He began his teaching career as a Teach for America Corp Member in Metro Atlanta and has taught Literature, Civics and World Area Studies at Ivy Preparatory Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from New York University and a Juris Doctorate from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Michael Champion, Social Studies Teacher
Michael serves as the Social Studies Teacher. Michael began his teaching career in the Chicago Public School District as a Teach For America Corp member. It was there that he instructed self-contained fourth, fifth, and sixth grade classes, coached sixth and eighth grade basketball and softball teams, and also served as assistant chess coach of Jensen Scholastic Academy. He graduated from Morehouse College where he majored in Sociology.
Timothy City, English Teacher
Tim is an English teacher at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. He previously worked as a Special Ed. Paraprofessional in Detroit Public Schools. Tim has also held a position as an IT Recruiter for software engineers. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Michigan State University.
Malik Cooper, Social Worker
Malik is one of the Social Workers. Prior to joining KAC, he worked for Catholic Social Services as a Clinical Therapist and the Director of their Mental Health Outpatient Clinic serving high school aged youth with mental health and behavioral challenges. Malik has his BA is Sociology and Africana Studies from Franklin & Marshall College and his MSW in Clinical Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.
Daniel Cox, Teacher Fellow
Daniel is a Teacher Fellow. He has worked in science research at The National Institutes of Health and in urban and at risk youth programs. Daniel has a Bachelor's degree in Biological Engineering with a minor in mathematics from the University of Missouri as well as a Master's degree in microbiology and molecular genetics from Emory University.
Almonte Duncan, Counselor Paraprofessional
Almonte is the new Counselor Paraprofessional. He previously served as a Paraprofessional at Forest Hills Academy. He attended Tennessee State University where we received a BA in Human Performance of Sports Science.
Dennis Durbin, Building Engineer
Dennis is the Building Engineer. He also served as the Maintenance Tech Director for Brookdale Senior Living for a number of years. Prior to Brookdale he worked with Southern Electric Company as an electrician for the North Murray High School Project. He also has several years of experience in class A high rise office buildings in Atlanta.
Joe Edelin, Assistant Principal
Joseph serves as the 10th Grade Dean. He also taught 7th grade Social Studies at KIPP WAYS Academy. He previously worked as 6th grade social studies teacher at Jackson Middle School in Houston, TX. Joseph received his BA in history from Morehouse College and his Master’s in Education from University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.
Nicole Franklin, Social Studies Department Chair
Nicole serves as the Social Studies Department Chair. She has been teaching secondary social studies for the past six years. She earned a BA in history from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign and a MAT from Emory University.
Andrew Fuller, Special Education Teacher
Andrew is a 9th grade inclusion science Teacher. Prior to working with KIPP, Andrew worked at Tri Cities High School where he was a Special Education Physical Science Teacher. He also served as the Varsity football, wrestling, and soccer coach. Andrew was also the Tri Cities Teacher of The Year. He has a BS in Communications and English and a M.S. in Special Education. He attended both the University of Oregon and Portland State University.
Shyann Gilkey, Spanish Teacher
Shyann is currently the Spanish Three Teacher at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. She is a Teach For America alumna who taught Spanish I and II at Mundy's Mill High School in Clayton County before joining KAC. Prior to teaching in Clayton County, she also taught English as a Foreign Language in Peru and Ecuador. She has a BA in Spanish and a Minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Michigan State University.
Desiree Glover, Spanish Department Chair
Desiree serves as Spanish Department Chair. Prior to joining KIPP Atlanta Collegiate, she taught with Atlanta Public Schools and DeKalb County Schools. She earned her BA in Spanish from Stony Brook University and a Master's of Education in curriculum and instruction from Central Michigan University. Currently, she is pursuing an EdD in educational leadership at Clark Atlanta University.
Alex Hahn, History Teacher
Alex is the 11th Grade United States History and AP United States History Teacher. He served as the 11th grade team leader at STEMS @ Therrell High School prior to joining KAC. He has a BA in Political Science and Legal Studies from the University of Wisconsin Madison and is certified in secondary social studies from the University of North Georgia.
Samantha Hardin, Dance Teacher
Samantha serves as the Dance Teacher. She previously participated in KIPP Metro Atlanta's Teacher Fellows Program and worked with the 10th grade geometry teacher. She received a BA in psychology and economics from Emory University.
Brina Hargro, Visual Arts Teacher
Brina serves as the Visual Arts Teacher. She has served as an art educator in Atlanta area school systems for several years. Brina specializes in drawing and painting. She graduated from both Emory University and Georgia State University with degrees in African American Studies and Art Education.
Fallon Holmes, 10th Grade English Teacher
Fallon serves as the 10th Grade English Teacher. She taught at Manchester High School in Meriwether County Schools for three years prior to joining KIPP. She has a BA in English Language and Literature from Columbus State University and a MS in HR Management from Troy State University.
David Howland, Principal
Dave is the School Founder and Principal. Dave spent a year as a Fisher Fellow with the KIPP School Leadership Program prior to opening KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. He served as the Grade Level Chair at KIPP WAYS Academy for sixth grade and began his teaching career as a high school teacher at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta. Dave received his B.A. in English with a Minor in Theater at the University of Rochester and completed his M.Ed in Supervision and Education Leadership from National Louis University.
Ida Hyvarinen, Special Education Teacher
Ida is a Special Education Teacher. She worked as a Special Education Teacher at Booker T. Washington High School of Health Science & Nutrition before joining KAC. She has a BA in Psychology from Florida State University and is currently working towards her Master's at Georgia State University.
Nina Hyvarinen, AP Biology and Chemistry Teacher
Nina currently serves as both the AP Biology teacher and a Chemistry Teacher. Previously, she worked as a science teacher in DeKalb County Schools. She was a teaching assistant in biology and published research in neuroscience at Florida State University prior to joining Teach for America in 2011. She also teaches biology for the medical school admissions test and SAT classes for Princeton review. Nina received a BS in Biology and a BS in Psychology, both from Florida State University.
Kalena Jackson, School Counselor
Kalena is one of the School Counselors at KIPP Collegiate. She served as an ELA teacher in Atlanta Public Schools before joining KAC. She has a BA in English from Miles College and two Master’s degrees from Mercer University in Reading and School Counseling. She is currently working on her EdS at Mercer in School Counseling.
Rotarsha Jackson, Student Counselor
Rotarsha currently serves as the Student Counselor. Her school counseling career spans more than twelve years in Florida and Georgia combined. She has ten years of experience as a high school counselor. Rotarsha earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Tuskegee University, a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from Webster University, and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Central Michigan University.
Timolin Jefferson, Office Manager
Timolin is the Office Manager. Her customer service experience spans over a 26 year period and she loves working with people and is a team player. Timolin worked for FedEx TechConnect for 8 years. She worked for AT&T for 18 years. She has a BA in Mass Media Arts from Clark Atlanta University.
Gwendolyn Johnson, Cafeteria Manager
Gwen is the Cafeteria Manager. Previously, she served as a School Nutrition Assistant at KIPP WAYS Academy until she was promoted to Cafeteria Manager. She has also served as an Administrative Medical Assistant and a Cashier/Service Receptionist/Warranty Administrator for Curry Honda
Acqunita Jones, Director of Student Culture
Acqunita serves as the Director of Student Culture. Prior to joining KIPP Atlanta Collegiate, she taught in Rutherford County, Tennessee. She has lived in Argentina as part of a KIIS study abroad program. Acqunita earned her BA in English and her BS in Spanish from Middle Tennessee State University.
Trisha Klein, 11th Grade American Literature and AP Language Teacher
Trisha Klein is the 11th Grade American Literature and AP Language Teacher. She served as the chair of the English department at Arabia Mountain High School in DeKalb County for three years before joining KAC. She has a BA in English from the University of Georgia and an MAT in Secondary English Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jerry Kosoff, Math Teacher
Jerry is a math teacher at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. Prior to joining the KAC family, he worked as a 10th and 12th-grade math teacher at Carver School of Health Sciences and Research in Atlanta Public Schools. He was a Corps Member in Teach for America after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Mathematics and Economics.
Leah Labitue, Social Worker
Leah is the Social Worker. She worked as a Licensed Social Worker for the Department of Children and Families in Boston, MA, prior to joining KAC. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from Clark Atlanta University, a Master of Social Work Degree from Boston College, and a Post Graduate Clinical Certificate in the treatment of trauma from Simmons College in Boston, MA.
Ariel Lane, Biology Teacher
Ariel is a Biology Teacher. She previously taught Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Biology at North Atlanta High School in Atlanta Public Schools before joining KAC. Ariel was a graduate laboratory assistant at The University of Georgia in biology and published research in infectious diseases and cellular biology prior to joining Teach for America. She has a BS in Biology from Spelman College and a MS in Cellular Biology from the University of Georgia. Ariel was a graduate laboratory assistant at The University of Georgia in biology and published research in infectious diseases and cellular biology prior to joining Teach for America.
Rashid Lemoine, P.E. Teacher/ Assistant Football Coach
Rashid is a High School Physical Education instructor. Rashid previously worked as a paraprofessional educator in Cobb County serving grades K-8. Rashid is also currently the strength and conditioning director and assistant football coach at KAC. He holds a Bachelor degree in the Science of Psychology with a concentration is personality development. He graduated from Morris Brown College in Atlanta Georgia.
William Lovern, Spanish Teacher
William currently serves as the Spanish I Teacher. William previously worked for DeKalb County Schools in Georgia and at Cherokee Creek Boy School in Westminster, South Carolina. William received a Bachelor’s in Spanish from the University of Georgia and his Spanish teaching education from Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Karissa McClinic, Science Teacher
Karissa is a Biology teacher at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. She previously worked as a Chemistry and Biology teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in DeKalb County before joining KAC. She has a BS in Genetics from the University of Georgia.
Nicholas C. McCormick, Spanish Teacher
Nicholas is a Spanish Teacher at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. This is his first teaching position as a Teach for America Corps Member. Nicholas has a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Romance Studies from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
Gordon McGruder, Special Education Paraprofessional
Gordon serves as the Special Education Paraprofessional. Gordon has worked with youth and adults with disabilities for ten years. He received his degree from Morris Brown College.
Margo Mincey-Barlow, Athletic Director
Margo is the Physical Education Teacher. Previously, she taught in Fulton County and Statesboro, Georgia. She attended Georgia Southern University on a full track and field scholarship. She also has a master’s in Educational Leadership and Administration at American Intercontinental University and is pursuing a doctorate in Health Education at A.T. Still University.
Candace Moore, English Teacher
Candace is an English Teacher. She previously taught at South Atlanta School for Law and Social Justice in Atlanta Public Schools and ACORN School for Social Justice in Brooklyn, NY. She has BA in English from San Diego State University and an MST in Secondary English Education from Pace University.
Antoinette Nelson, English Teacher
Antoinette is an English Literature Teacher. Antoinette taught World Literature and 9th Grade Literature and Composition at Clarkston High School in DeKalb County before joining KAC. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Florida A&M University and a Master’s of Education in Teaching ESOL from Grand Canyon University.
Gregory Nudi, Math Teacher
Gregory is the Analytic Geometry Teacher. He previously served as an adjunct professor at Westchester Community College in Westchester County, NY. He received a BS in Mathematics with a concentration in Actuarial Science from the University at Buffalo.
Vernetta Nuriddin, Parent Liaison
Vernetta is the Parent Liaison. She facilitates parent leader workshops for local and statewide organizations educating parents on the importance of parent involvement in student success. She received the Sally FitzGerald Advocacy Award from Georgia PTA for her outstanding parent advocacy. She was also selected to be Georgia's Parent Representative at the 2009 National PIRC Project Directors' Conference in Washington, D.C. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Georgia and a Master of Information Technology from AIU-Dunwoody.
Larry Parker, Building Support Technician
Larry is the Building Support Technician. He is a member of the 2012 KIPP WAYS Academy alumni class. He earned his high school diploma and painting certificate at The Frenchburg Job Corps Center in Frankfort, KY.
Phillip Philon, Science Department Chair/AP Coordinator
Phillip is the Biology Teacher. Phillip is a Teach for America Alumni/Amgen Fellow and completed his post as a 7th Grade Life Science Teacher at Cedar Grove and Columbia Middle School in DeKalb County. Before graduating and joining the education field, Phillip was a student research assistant at UAB Center for Glial Biology in Medicine. He received a BS in Biology from The University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB), where he also earned University-wide and Biology Honors with minors in Chemistry and Spanish.
Aimee Pierre, Math Department Chair
Aimee is the Math Department Chair. Prior to joining KAC, Aimee taught at KIPP WAYS Academy. She has had the honor of journeying to Ghana, West Africa with the founding 8th grade class, was recognized as the 2007-2008 KIPP WAYS Academy Teacher of the Year, and was one of ten distinguished KIPP Excellence in Teaching awardees in 2008. She attended Broward Community College. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics Education from Florida International University. Ms. Pierre earned her Master of Science degree in Mathematics Education at Nova Southeastern University.
Keith Ramsey, Maintenance Support Technician
Keith currently serves as Maintenance Support Technician. Previously, he worked as a Maintenance Support Technician with KIPP Metro Atlanta Collaborative for the past three years. Keith is an eight year US Navy Veteran, where he served as an (AO) Aviation Ordnanceman (G-3 Weapons Division) aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt from 1998 - 2003. Keith attended the Navy Campus NAS Norfolk and TideWater Community College in Virginia Beach, VA.
Konteint Redmon, Special Education Coordinator
Konteint serves as the Special Education Coordinator. She served as a Special Education Advisor at Provost Academy, an online state charter school, and as a Special Education Lead Teacher and Teach for America Corps member with Atlanta Public Schools before joining KAC. Prior to her teaching career, she worked in College Student Affairs as a Residence Life administrator at Baylor University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Konteint earned her BS in Education; Speech Pathology and an MS in Counseling from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Doug Richmond, Science Department Chair
Doug serves as the Science Department Chair. Previously, he was a physical science and chemistry teacher at West Ashley High School in Charleston, South Carolina. He also worked with at-risk students at the College of Charleston as an UPWARD Bound instructor in English and math. He has a BA in Science and English from Albion College in Michigan and an Advanced Placement Endorsement in Chemistry from UCLA.
Keith S. Russell II, Music Educator
Keith is the Assistant Band Director at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate and Director of Band at KIPP WAYS Academy. He served as the Fulton County Elementary School Band Director and High School Percussion Instructor before joining KAC. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Education from Oakwood University and co-op from Alabama A&M University.
Rasheeda Salaam Tolbert, Assistant Principal
Rasheeda serves as the 11th Grade Dean. She is a former Student Counselor, Language Arts and Reading teacher, Social Services Case Manager Specialist, and Parent Facilitator. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media (Broadcast Journalism) from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia and her Master’s Degree in Counseling and Psychology from Troy University in Troy, Alabama.
Kaushik Sarkar, Math Teacher
Kaushik is the 10th Grade Analytic Geometry teacher at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. He first gained experience teaching at Booker T. Washington High School and Therrell High School in the Atlanta Public School district before joining KAC. He has a BA in Education with minors in Mathematics and Geography from Michigan State University.
Evan Shields, Math Teacher
Evan is the 9th grade Coordinate Algebra Teacher. He began his career in education as a Teach For America corps member serving as ninth grade math content leader and teacher at Banneker High School with Fulton County Schools prior to joining the KAC faculty. He holds a B.A. in Political & Social Thought and minor in Management from the University of Virginia.
Ivy Steele, Mathematics Learning Specialist
Ivy is the Mathematics Learning Specialist. Ivy previously served as a lead teacher for three years at South Atlanta High School, and she has eight years of experience in grades six through twelve. She holds a BA in Middle Grades Education and a MA in Special Education from Clark Atlanta University and Grand Canyon University, respectively.
Richard G. Street Jr., Director of Culture
Richard is one of the two Directors of Culture at KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. He worked for a charter school in the Philadelphia area before joining KAC. He has BA in Criminal Justice from Temple University and two Master’s degrees; an MSS-Clinical Social Worker and a Master of Law & Social Policy from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.
Angelica Taverna, School Operations Manager
Angelica serves as the School Operations Manager and brings over 10 years of customer service experience to the operations team. Prior to joining KAC, Angelica worked in the finance and banking industry, managing a premier portfolio of clients for Wells Fargo Bank. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from San Diego State University and holds a B.S. in Marketing with a Specialization in Integrated Marketing Communications.
Jamal Terry, Social Studies Teacher
Jamal is the Discipline Paraprofessional. Jamal comes to us after serving as the Strength and Conditioning Coach at Georgia State University. He is a product of Benjamin E. Mays High School and has his BS in Recreation from Morris Brown College.
Kim Vo, Social Studies Teacher
Kim serves as a Social Studies Teacher. Prior to joining KIPP, she taught American Government, World Geography, World History, and US History. He has a BA from Ball State University and an MA from Columbia University.
Authur Washington, Regional Director of Fine Arts
Arthur is Regional Director of Fine Arts serving KIPP Atlanta Collegiate, KIPP WAYS Academy, KIPP South Fulton Academy, and KIPP STRIVE Primary. Before coming to KIPP, Mr. Washington was an Assistant Band Director at Banneker High School in College Park, Ga., which is his former high school. While at Howard University, Mr. Washington was Student Conductor for two years, Drum Major, and Student Arranger. He was awarded Howard University's Most Outstanding Musician and Bandsman for three years in a row. Authur Washington obtained his bachelors from Howard University, majoring in Music Business.
Ted West, English Teacher
Ted is an English Teacher. Ted previously worked as an English Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher at Lake Oswego Junior High School in Oregon. Prior to this experience, Ted received his Master's in English and in Education at the University of Oregon, where he also taught college composition.
Karen Womack, College Readiness Teacher
Karen serves as the College Readiness Teacher. She is a 2009 Teach for America corps member and previously taught at Turner Middle School and Ivy Preparatory Academy. Karen earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Princeton University and a Masters of Education in Behavioral and Learning Disabilities from Georgia State University.