KIPP STRIVE Academy Staff

Bruce Adrine, Physical Education Teacher
Bruce serves as the Physical Education teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. He served as the Health and P.E. teacher for Tucker High School and Druid Hills Middle School before joining KIPP. Bruce has a B.S. from the University of Georgia, a M.Ed. from Cambridge College, and an Ed.S. from Lincoln Memorial University.

Chloe Alexander-Mayo, Fifth Grade Math Teacher
Chloe serves as the Fifth Grade Math teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. She worked as a fifth grade teacher at Stonewall Tell Elementary School at Fulton County Schools and as an eighth grade Spanish teacher at Daniell Middle School at Cobb County Schools prior to joining KIPP. She received her B.F.A. and M.Ed. from Georgia State University.

Derrick Arnold, School Support Manager
Derrick serves as the School Support Manager at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Before joining the KIPP family, he served as a Regional Manager with GCA Services Group within the Shelby County Schools District in Memphis, TN. He also served for 12 years as a plant manager with the Shelby County Schools District. Derrick is currently enrolled at Colorado Technical University, where he is working to earn his Business Administration degree with a concentration in Project Management.

Randall Bezeau, Building Engineer
Randy serves as the Building Engineer for the KIPP STRIVE Campus. Previously, he was the Maintenance Supervisor for JWB Realty Services. Randy has forty years of experience in the building maintenance field. He also has extensive knowledge of hospital, office, and retail building repairs and maintenance.

Tamika Blount, FIfth Grade Nonfiction Teacher
Tamika serves as the Fifth Grade Nonfiction teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Previously, she served as a Family Program Counselor at the Carl E. Sanders YMCA in Buckhead. She also works as a Preferred School Care After School Teacher. She has a B.A. in English from Clayton State University and is currently in the M.A.T Master’s program at the University of West Georgia.

Brandy Brown, Seventh Grade Math Teacher
Brandy serves as the Seventh Grade Math teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. She began her career as an Atlanta PLUS Teacher in Atlanta Public Schools where she worked as a middle school math teacher for five years. She also worked for four years as an elementary and middle school math teacher at Fulton County Schools. Brandy has a BA in Sociology from the University of Florida and a MEd in Middle Childhood Education with a concentration in math and science from Georgia State University.

Janaé Brown, Sixth English Language Arts Teacher
Janaé serves as the Sixth Grade English Language Arts teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Prior to joining the KIPP team, she served as a seventh grade English Language Arts teacher and team lead at DeKalb County Schools. Before that, Janaé taught sixth grade English Language Arts at KIPP Liberation College Preparatory in Houston as a Teach For America – Houston corps member. She is a Gates Millennium Scholar and while in Houston she was nominated for the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award. Janaé holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from North Carolina A&T State University and a MEd in Higher Education Leadership from Mercer University.

Eric Canosa, Sixth Grade Science Teacher
Eric serves as the Sixth Grade Science teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Eric has worked in a variety of learning environments across the world, previously serving within education non-profits, including WorldTeach, 826michigan, and Teach For America. He has a BA in English Education from Michigan State University, where he minored in Computer Science.

Alicia Copeland, Business Operations Manager
Alicia serves as the Business Operations Manager at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Previously, she served as part of the Operations Team for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Georgia State University. Prior to that, she worked in secondary education for Clayton County Public Schools for seven years. She has a B.F.A. in Fashion Marketing and Design from American Intercontinental University.

Abby Currens, Fifth Grade Reading Teacher
Abby serves as the Fifth Grade Reading teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Abby began her teaching career with Teach For America - Metro Atlanta. Abby has a B.A. in Psychology from DePauw University, where she also minored in Art History.

Ayana Dunston, Lower School Dean
Ayana serves as the Lower School Dean at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Ayana has been an educator for 12 years and has previously worked as the Dean of Students at various high-performing charter schools in Brooklyn, NY. Ayana has a B.A. in Sociology and Primary Junior Education from York University.

Jennifer Freeman, Seventh Grade Science Teacher
Jennifer serves as the Seventh Grade Science teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. She began her career in education as a Teach For America - Metro Atlanta corps member where she taught seventh grade science. She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently pursuing her M in Teaching Science Education at Emory University.

Tiffany Hampton, Upper School Learning Specialist
Tiffany serves as the Upper School Learning Specialist at KIPP STRIVE Academy. She previously worked as a special education teacher in Cobb County Schools as a Teach For America – Metro Atlanta corps member. Tiffany has a BA in Psychology from Hampton University and a MEd in Special Education from Grand Canyon University.

Daniel Harper, Band Instructor
Daniel serves as the Band Instructor at KIPP STRIVE Academy. He previously worked as a trumpet instructor at the Atlanta Music Project. He has also taught trumpet, brass, and theory courses for the Woodruff Arts Center's Community ArtReach Program. He has held general music and jazz master classes at a variety of schools throughout Metro Atlanta and performs regularly with internationally renowned artists, including Musiq Soulchild and Johnny Gill. He has a BA in Music from Rutgers University.

Christy Harris, School Leader
Christy serves as the School Leader of KIPP STRIVE Academy. She began her teaching career as an English teacher at Ben Carson Honors Prep School through the Teach For America program. During her term with TFA, she served as a School Site Coordinator and Secondary English Learning Team Leader. She attended the KIPP Pathways Leadership Institute and became the Lower School Dean of Culture at Achievement First. She received a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia and a M.A. in English from Georgia State University.

Tamika N. Harris, Learning Specialist
Tamika serves as the Learning Specialist at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Tamika served as a GNETS Special Education teacher in DeKalb County teaching math to grades 6th, 7th, and 8th at Eagle Woods Academy and at Salem Middle School in the GNETS Outpost Program. Tamika was a Teacher of the Year winner. She has a BS in Psychology from the University of Georgia, a MEd in Special Education from Cambridge College, and an EDS in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University.  

Kimberly Karacalidis, Upper School Dean
Kimberly serves as the Upper School Dean at KIPP STRIVE Academy. She began her career as a Teach For America Corp Member in Atlanta, and worked with students from several different grade levels at Oglethorpe Elementary School, where she taught for three years. Kim was a founding teacher at KIPP WAYS Academy, the vice-principal and later principal. Kim received a BA in Religious Studies from Agnes Scott College and a Master's in Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University. She has a master’s in leadership from National Louis University.

Charity Livingston, Lower School Learning Specialist
Charity serves as a Lower School Learning Specialist at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Before joining the KIPP team, she served as the Special Education and ESOL teacher at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, FL. She has a BA in Education and a MA in Education, both from the University of Florida.

Mike Mainzer, Eighth Grade English Language Arts Teacher
Mike serves as the Eighth Grade English Language Arts teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy.

LaNita Martin-SnyderSchool Counselor
LaNita serves as the School Counselor at KIPP STRIVE Academy; previously she held this role at KIPP South Fulton Academy. Prior to joining KIPP, she served as a child and family therapist for Wesley Spectrum Services in Pittsburgh, PA. She also worked as a kinship care social worker and casework supervisor. She has a B.S. in Administrative Justice from the University of Pittsburgh and a certification in Family Development from Indiana University.

LaSheba Mateen, Lower School Learning Specialist
LaSheba serves as a Lower School Learning Specialist at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Before joining the KIPP team, she served for two years as an inclusion teacher at General Ray Davis Middle School in Rockdale County. Prior to entering the field of education, LaSheba worked for six years as a Sales and Service Specialist at Bank of America. She has a BA in Middle Grades Education from Mercer University and is pursuing her MEd in Special Education from Columbus State University.

Joshua Mathews, Gifted and RTI Coordinator
Joshua serves as the Gifted and RTI Coordinator at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Upon completing college he taught middle school in Arkansas. He then moved back to Georgia to accept a teaching opportunity with a middle school in Austell.  He taught 6th grade Earth Science for four years and was nominated for Teacher of the Year in his 3rd year. Joshua earned his degree from Valdosta State University.

Emanuel MathisDirector of Math and Student Support Services
Emanuel serves as the Director of Math and Student Support Services at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Previously, he was with the Newton County Public School System. He has taught in the areas of student support and middle school math.  Prior to a career in education, he served as the Manager of Basketball Development for the Atlanta Hawks. Emanuel was a student-athlete at Florida State University where he lettered for two years.  He later completed his BS at Virginia Commonwealth University where he also was a two-year letterman.

Sharon McDaniel, Business Finance Manager
Sharon serves as the Business Finance Manager at KIPP STRIVE Academy. She has a corporate background in the field of law, and she is also a 2010 Founding Parent at KIPP STRIVE Academy. She earned her degree from the State University of New York at Farmingdale.

Celeste McNeil, Fifth Grade Writing Teacher
Celeste serves as the Fifth Grade Writing teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. As a member of Teach For America’s Eastern North Carolina Corps, Celeste taught Language Arts for three years in North Carolina. In her time there, she served as the Content Learning Community co-leader for the region’s middle school ELA teachers and was nominated for the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a graduate of Clemson University, where she majored in English.

Maiesha McQueen, Drama Teacher
Maiesha serves as the Drama teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. After beginning her teaching career as a Teach for America Corps Member, she has spent the last eight years working in private, pubic, and charter schools in both New York and the metro Atlanta area. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre and Masters in education from Fordham University

Quincy Merrill, Seventh Grade History Instructor
Quincy serves as the Seventh Grade History teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Before joining the KIPP STRIVE Academy team, he served as the Sixth Grade Writing and Reading 180 Interventionist teacher at KIPP AMP Academy in Brooklyn. Before that, he served as an Empire Fellow where he taught Fifth Grade Reading and co-taught Seventh Grade Reading. Quincy has a BA in Psychology from Morehouse College.

Sharonda Merritt-Wilson, Sixth Grade Teacher
Sharonda serves as the Sixth Grade Social Studies teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Her teaching career spans more than ten years. She has held many positions for the Dekalb County School System, including first, second, and third grade teacher as well as instructional coach. Sharonda received the Montclair Elementary School Teacher of the Year Award for the school year 2007-2008. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Tennessee State University.

Marquita Moore, Sixth Grade Math Teacher
Marquita serves as the Sixth Grade Math teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. She formerly taught study skills in the Midwest and mathematics for Dekalb County Schools. She has a BA in English from Colgate University and a MAT in Middle Childhood Education from Georgia State University.

Grady Morris, Facilities & Technology Manager
Grady serves as the Facilities & Technology Manager at KIPP STRIVE Academy. He has always had an interest in understanding the workings of anything mechanical, computer related and the building construction process.  He decided to pursue a career path related to these interests and has held positions in maintaining the condition and operation of corporate motor yachts, to the upkeep of a library's network, to housing construction and renovation.  Grady  graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and  later earned a Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School.

Crystal Nasir, Director of Operations and Enrichment
Crystal serves as the Director of Operations and Enrichment at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Although a business major, she served as an Administrative Lead with both the Marin City Children's Program (MCCP) of Marin City and The Making Waves Education Program of Richmond, California.  She has also worked as a marketing executive within the health care industry. Crystal graduated from Dominican University of San Rafael with a degree in International Management with an emphasis on Global Marketing.

Shaneé Patterson, Eighth Grade Social Studies Teacher
Shaneé serves as the Eighth Grade Social Studies teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Before joining the KIPP STRIVE Academy team, she worked as the Eighth Grade Writing Teacher at KIPP New Jersey’s TEAM Academy in Newark. She also taught middle grades English for two years in Fulton County Schools. Shaneé has a BA in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in English and Social Sciences from Clayton State University.

Parthina Perales, Front Office Manager
Parthina serves as the Front Office Manager at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Previously, she worked for eight years at Clayton County Public Schools as an administrative assistant and registrar. Parthina was the finalist for Clayton County Public Schools Employee of the Year for 2014-15.

Kerry Perkins, Cafeteria Manager
Kerry serves as the Cafeteria Manager for the KIPP STRIVE Campus.

Kimberly Saleem, Seventh Grade English Language Arts Teacher
Kimberly serves as the Seventh Grade English Language Arts teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Prior to joining the KIPP team, she taught middle grades English Language Arts in Memphis, and served as a grade level chair at Veritas College Prep. She has a BA in English from Hampton University and a MS in Educational Research from Georgia State University.

Jennifer Trapp, Literacy Coordinator/SST Coordinator
Jennifer serves as the Literacy and SST Coordinator at KIPP STRIVE Academy. She began teaching fourth and fifth grade English and social studies in Newark, New Jersey through the Teach For America program.  After completing her two-year commitment, Jennifer worked as the Fifth Grade Reading Teacher and reading coach at KIPP WAYS Academy for four years.  Recently, she worked at North Star Academy, part of the Uncommon Schools network.  She earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ilantha Ushry, School Operations Associate
Ilantha serves as the School Operations Associate at KIPP STRIVE Academy. She is also a KIPP parent and has committed more than 500 service hours to several office projects prior to coming on board with the KIPP STRIVE Academy administrative team.  She oversees the parent communication tool, the Monday Folder.

Reginald Wilborn, Eighth Grade Science Teacher
Reginald serves as the Eighth Grade Science teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. Reginald previously taught Middle School Math at MS50 in Brooklyn, NY and served as Math Mentor Teacher for Breakthrough Collaborative New York. He most recently served as Program Director for East Atlanta Kids Club in Atlanta, GA. Reginald holds a BA in English from Morehouse College, an MSEd from St. John's University, and an MDiv from Emory University in Atlanta.

Ensa Womack, Eighth grade Math Teacher
Ensa serves as an Eighth Grade Math teacher at KIPP STRIVE Academy. For the past three years, Ensa worked as an elementary teacher at Atlanta Public Schools. She also has experience as an elementary and high school Summer Academy Mathematics Instructional Coach and as a middle grades math and science teacher. Ensa has a BS and MS in Middle Grades Mathematics Education from Georgia State University, and an EdS in Leadership from Central Michigan University.