KIPP WAYS Academy Staff
Patrice Barnes, Cafeteria Manager
Pat is the Cafeteria Manager at KIPP WAYS Academy. She served as Cafeteria Manager at KIPP Vision Academy from 2010-2011 before transferring to KIPP WAYS. Prior to that, she was the Cafeteria Manager at Tara Christian Academy and worked for Sage Dining Services for seven years.
Nicole Brown, Learning Specialist
Nicole is the 7th and 8th Grade Learning Specialist. Following a successful career in corporate America as a contract manager, she began her career in education for Dekalb and Cobb County Schools where she served as a long-term substitute teacher and paraprofessional for students with disability. Nicole is a graduate of Mercer University. She earned a BAS in Organizational Leadership and Project Management Certificate from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Ashley Byrd, 5th Grade Writing Teacher
Ashley serves as the 5th Grade Writing Teacher. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia and received Bachelor's degree in English Education.
Charles Chavous, 7th Grade Math Teacher
Charles is the seventh grade Mathematics teacher at KIPP WAYS. He has four years of teaching experience in middle grades math. Charles earned his BA in Education from Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, North Carolina and a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Nova Southeastern University, Ft Lauderdale, Florida.
Jamal Cooper Jr, Teacher Fellow
Jamal is a 5th Grade Science teacher at KIPP WAYS Academy and a participant in the Teacher Fellows program. Jamal is a graduate from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a B.S. in Secondary Education, Biology. Jamal is pursuing a Master’s in Educational Leadership.
Erinn Cottman, 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher and Grade Level Chair
Erinn is the 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher and Grade Level Chair. She began her career in education as a Teach For America corps member. Before pursuing a career in education, she previously worked in journalism as a writer for Black Enterprise magazine in New York, and continues to occasionally contribute articles to this leading business publication. She is an honors graduate of Hampton University where she received a BA in Print Journalism. Mrs. Cottman is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Middle Grades Language Arts and Social Studies at Georgia State University.
Happi Dawsey, Dean of Culture
Happi is the Dean of Culture of KIPP WAYS Academy. Prior to this role she served as a Learning Specialist and Director of Special Education. During her studies at Alabama A&M University, she served as an Administrative Specialist for the United States Army Reserve for eight years. Upon graduation, she began her teaching career in South Fulton County as a self-contained 3rd-5th grade teacher. Happi earned a BA in Special Education and an MEd in Collaborative Consultation (Special Education) from Alabama A&M University.
Tanesha Fisher, 8th Grade English Language Arts Teacher
Tanesha is the 8th Grade English Language Arts and Reading teacher. This is her third year teaching ELA/Reading and she has previously served as a model classroom and School Counsel Board member. Tanesha received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Paine College and her Master of Arts in Middle Grades English Language Arts and Social Studies from Mercer University.
Britnie Franklin, 8th Grade Math Teacher
Britnie currently serves as the 8th Math Teacher. Britnie began her teaching career in the Hale County School District as a Teach For America Corps member. It was there that she taught seventh grade Math, coached Track and Field and 7th and 8th grade Cheerleading. She also was one of the founding Math teachers at West-Side Scholars Academy. Britnie received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from The University of Texas at Austin.
Jackie Goodman-Cook, Director of Student and Family Culture – Parent Liaison
Jackie is the Director of Student and Family Culture. She initially joined the KIPP WAYS Academy family as an educational assistant. After her son became a part of the KIPP WAYS team and family, Ms. Goodman-Cook became active with the KIPP Team Alliance (KTA). She was secretary during the initial year and served two years as president.
C.R. Harris, School Operations Manager
Clyreon is the School Operations Manager. She attended Cal State University Dominguez Hills where she worked on earning her teacher certification and taught for five years. Clyreon earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Grambling State University.
Anniecia Ho-Sang, Dance Teacher
Anniecia is the Dance Teacher. She has been pursuing her love of dance for numerous years. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree at American Intercontinental University in Fashion Design and Marketing.
Dwight Ho-Sang, Principal
Dwight serves as the Principal. He began his teaching career as a Teach For America corps member at Dunbar Elementary School in Atlanta Public Schools. He began his work with KIPP as a social studies and language arts teacher at KIPP WAYS Academy. During his tenure with KIPP, Dwight completed the Teacher Leader and Leadership Team training programs and served as both the Lower School Dean and the Dean of Instruction at KIPP WAYS Academy. Before serving as Principal of KIPP WAYS Academy, Dwight served as School Leader of KIPP DIAMOND Academy in Memphis, Tennessee. Dwight is a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, MA.
Andrea Howard, 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Andrea is the 8th Grade Social Studies teacher. She began her teaching career in Washington, DC at Rock Creek International School and has taught for 10 years. A native of Atlanta, Andrea graduated from Georgia State University with Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.
LeAnn Laury, Media Specialist
LeAnn is the Media Specialist and has previously taught at both the primary and secondary level. Her teaching career spans over several cities and states including Maryland, Mississippi, and Washington, D.C. LeAnn received the Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship for the 2005-2006 school year. She has a BA in Journalism from Howard University and a MS in Educational Leadership from Walden University’s College of Education.
Stephanie Lerner, 6th Grade English Language Arts Teacher
Stephanie is the 6th Grade English Language Arts Teacher. She spent time as a high school student volunteering at KIPP Ujima Village in Baltimore, KIPP Academy in New York, and KIPP West Philadelphia in Philadelphia. She holds a BA degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.
Robin Little, Director of Counseling & Social Work/Family Advocate
Robin is the Director of Counseling and School of Social Work Services. She has served in the social services arena for the past 14 years working in various capacities which include but are not limited to guidance, counseling, advocacy and support to children, families, educational settings and private practitioners. Robin earned her BA in Psychology from DePauw University, located in Greencastle, Indiana and later went on to further her education at Atlanta's historical Clark Atlanta University, where she received her MA in Counseling Psychology.
Taccara Marzette, 5th Grade Reading Teacher
Taccara is the 5th Grade Reading Teacher. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Florida State University and continued her education at Christian Brothers University, earning a Masters degree in Education Leadership.
Emanuel Mathis, 5th and 6th Grade Learning Specialist and Math Chair
Emanuel is the 5th and 6th Grade Learning Specialist. 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.
Elise Michael, Business Operations Manager
Elise is the Business Operations Manager. Previously, she worked in San Antonio as a Program Coordinator with Reasoning Mind. She has an MEd, in Applied Child Studies and a BS in Sociology and Child Studies from Vanderbilt University.
Kimberlie Milton, Dean of Instruction
Kimberlie serves as the Dean of Instruction. She has been with the KIPP family for a total eight years, working at KIPP DIAMOND Academy (Memphis, Tennessee), KIPP DC: WILL Academy (Washington D.C) and KIPP WAYS Academy (Atlanta, Georgia). In her time with KIPP, she has provided departmental leadership, organized school-wide field-trips, managed Saturday School curriculum and activities, founded a science club and served as a Girls’ on the Run Coach. She began her teaching career as a Teach for America – Metro Atlanta corps member at L.J. Price Middle School where she taught earth science and Georgia studies. She received her BS in Chemistry from Jackson State University, and ME in Middle School Studies from Mercer University - Atlanta.
David Miner, Building Engineer
David is the Building Engineer for KIPP WAYS Academy. Prior to joining KIPP, David worked a variety of jobs in Atlanta including assembly line, cook, construction, trim carpenter, and most specifically, a glazier. He specialized in stained and leaded glass restoration and had the privilege of contributing to the restoration of stained glass panels in almost every church in the downtown Atlanta area. He's also an artist and musician.
Sparkle Mitchell, Theater Teacher
Sparkle is the Theater Teacher. Prior to joining KIPP WAYS Academy, she belonged to the production team with the Essential Theater located at Florida A&M University. She worked on set for “Dream Girls”, “Crowns”, and the FAMU Connection. She was cast with a lead role in “A Christmas Story”, “Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope”, “Caroline or Change”, and “Tallahassee Nights Live” which she co-produced. Sparkle attended Howard University where she majored in Music Education and Voice.
Vivian Owens, SST Chairperson
Vivian is the SST Chairperson. She began working in education as a substitute Educational Assistant at Milwaukee College Preparatory School of Wisconsin and later began teaching 2nd grade. Vivian earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Concordia Wisconsin.
Armand Player, Physical Education Teacher/Athletic Director
Armand is the Athletic Director. He began his teaching career at Cass High School in Cartersville, Georgia. He taught in the special education department and coached track and field. Afterwards, he moved to Grand Prairie, Texas where he worked in the special education department at South Grand Prairie High School. Armand earned a BS degree in marketing from Tuskegee University.
Ramona Russell, 5th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Ramona is the 5th Grade Non-Fiction Teacher. She began her career in the Fulton County School System and has taught for thirteen years. She has advanced degrees from Kennesaw State University, Troy State University, and Lincoln Memorial University.
Miraca Scott, 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Miraca is the 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher. Prior to joining the KIPP WAYS family, she completed her student teaching at KIPP South Fulton Academy in East Point, Georgia and Arabia Mountain High School in Lithonia. Miraca graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and recently earned her Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Georgia State University.
Kelvin Smith, 8th Grade Science Teacher
Kelvin is the 8th Grade Science Teacher and Grade Level Chair. During his 18 year professional career, Kelvin has worked for several leading industry companies including IBM, Walt Disney World, Intel, AT&T and most recently UPS where he spent 6 years as an Industrial Engineering Supervisor. Kelvin has been tutoring children in Math and Science for 20 years. Kelvin Smith is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering.
Tanaya Smith, 6th Grade Math Teacher and Saturday School Coordinator
Tanaya is the 6th Grade Math Teacher and Grade Level Chair. Tanaya is a member of the second graduating class of KIPP Academy in the Bronx, NY. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She began her career in education at KIPP WAYS Academy and has served as an educational and student support assistant and math support teacher. As a proud KIPP alumna, she has always been an advocate for KIPP and is excited to be taking on the role of 6th grade mathematics teacher at KIPP WAYS Academy.
Nathaniel Snyder, 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Nate is the 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher. He began his teaching career with Teach for America in Philadelphia where he taught middle school social studies at John B. Stetson Middle School. He most previously lived in Charlotte, North Carolina where he spent three years teaching high school law, civics and economics courses. He has a BA in Communication from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and a MA in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Devon Stukes, Literacy Coach/RTI Leader
Devon is the Reading Coach. Prior to coming to KIPP WAYS Academy, she served as an instructional coach, school-wide writing coordinator, and assistant basketball coach. She was also a former Teacher of the Year. She attended Alcorn State University where she majored in English Literature. She completed a Master's in Instructional Education at Central Michigan University.
Peter Szeremeta, 6th Grade Science Teacher
Peter is the 6th Grade Earth Science Teacher and a Metro Atlanta Corps Member with Teach for America. He has experience working with the Washington D.C. based Emerging Scholars Program, an organization that gives students from underprivileged backgrounds the opportunity to earn a scholarship at a local independent school. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Foreign Affairs.
Lance Templeton, 5th Grade Math Teacher
Lance is the 5th Grade Math Teacher. Prior to joining KIPP WAYS Academy, Lance worked for the Atlanta Public Schools System as an elementary school reading facilitator. Later he started tutoring math to middle and high school students in the Atlanta Metro area and decided to pursue a career in education. He attended Morehouse College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History.
Catherine Tierney, 7th Grade Science Teacher
Catherine is the 7th Grade Life Science Teacher. Prior to KIPP, she was a member of the Match Corps VIII at the Match Charter Public Middle School in Boston. She graduated with honors from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and English Literature.
Carsundra Trice, Office Manager
Carsundra is the Office Manager. She is also a KIPP Parent and a former volunteer. Before coming to work at KIPP, Carsundra went back to school for Medical Billing and Coding while enjoying a schedule that allowed her to spend time volunteering at her daughter’s school. Previously, she enjoyed a 20+ year career in property management with the city of Atlanta Housing Authority.
Claudine Varela, Gifted Coordinator
Claudine is the Gifted Education Coordinator. Previously, she was the 6th Grade Earth Science Teacher and Grade Level Chair. She began her career in education with Teach For America in Atlanta. She graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hampton University.
Authur Washington, Band Director and Fine Arts Chair
Authur is the Band Director and Fine Arts Chairperson. Before coming to KIPP, he was an Assistant Band Director at Banneker High School in College Park, Georgia, which is his former high school. While at Howard University, Authur 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. He obtained his bachelors from Howard University, majoring in Music Business.
Muhammad Yungai, Visual Arts Teacher
Muhammed is the Visual Arts Teacher. He has built a name for himself in as one of Atlanta's best emerging artists, with a focus on portraits and jazz. He was most recently commissioned by Northlake Medical Center to conceptualize and paint a wall mural in conjunction with their expansive renovation. He discovered KIPP WAYS Academy as a parent who sought better education for his two daughters.