classical Christian school omnibus teacher

FACULTY AND STAFF

One of the strongest assets that make Paideia Academy so special is our Christian faculty and staff. They share a vision of classical education and a passion for their subjects that form a strong commitment to the students and their success.

When hiring faculty, we look beyond a teaching credential. Our first priority is to find teachers of strong Christian faith who love learning themselves, and who, in turn, inspire students to learn. In tandem with these aptitudes, we seek teachers capable of teaching in the classical Christian model. All of our teachers receive continual training in classical and Christian education methods as well as other ongoing education in their particular field of study. Many of our current teachers have advanced degrees allowing us to offer dual enrollment with Colorado Christian University, and others continue to pursue graduate studies.

MARK HAMILTON

headmaster

MA, Latin, University of Georgia; BA, Latin and BA, Classical Studies, University of Georgia. Serving Paideia Academy since 2015.

“I am greatly blessed to be a follower of Christ. I am further blessed to be married to my beautiful wife Jessica and to be the father of three wonderful boys, Wallace, Silas, and Thatcher. As an educator I have the unique opportunity to daily be surrounded by and to work with a group of people charged with training image bearers, those made in the image of God. I consider it my profound honor to have been called by God into this ministry and greatly appreciate the experiences he has given me through the years as a teacher, coach, administrator and mentor to fellow educators and students alike. I consider the work that Paideia is doing to be of the utmost importance in partnering with parents to raise their children in fear and admonition of the Lord and am excited to be a part of such an excellent school.”

DOUG CARR

head of advancement

MEd, Educational Leadership, Northern Arizona University; BA, Elementary Education, Arizona State University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2019.

“I am blessed and humbled to be part of the wonderful and talented staff at Paideia Academy. God has really blessed this community and I delight in serving my co-workers, and the families of Paideia. I am particularly blessed to share the wonderful things being done here at Paideia with the greater Knoxville area. Assisting parents in their efforts to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is a great joy. Seeing and hearing our teachers proclaim Christ as they teach the subjects they love to the students they love is a wonderful daily reminder of why Paideia Academy exists. I am blessed to be a follower of Christ, husband to Janet, and father to Hudson, Cooper, Morgan, and Brennan. Over the past 18 years, I have served as a teacher and in various administrative roles. I am grateful to serve in Christ-centered classical education.”

CANDACE HALE

head of operations

Harding University, Liberal Arts. AS, Radiologic Technology, Daytona State College; Advanced Certification in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR), ARRT; Human Resources Certificate, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Serving Paideia Academy since 2010.

“It is a joy to provide business and operational support to the Paideia community each day! My husband, Kyle, and I, are especially grateful for the gift of a Christ-centered, classical education that God has provided for our son, Cory (Class of 2015), through the wonderful faculty and staff of Paideia Academy.”

DAVID LEACH

head of student culture

BA, Psychology, with teaching certification in secondary Mathematics, University of Tennessee. Serving Paideia Academy since 2018.

“Lover of Jesus, husband to Melanie and father to Caleb and Aidan (Paideia Academy class of 2016). I have spent the last 24 years mentoring and teaching children and young adults in various capacities including church and camp ministry and classroom teaching. Seeing young people step into their identity as beloved sons and daughters of God is one of my deepest desires. In light of that, I am excited that the integrated approach of classical education flows with my own style of teaching which centers on making connections from any subject to how our creator has shown His love for us through order, beauty and creativity. I love adventures of all kinds, and when not at school you might find me paddling, rock climbing, leading worship or roasting my own coffee.”

AMY HAMILL

dean of lower school

MEd, emphasis on Teacher Leadership, Grand Canyon University; BS, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Serving Paideia Academy since 2015.

“I am very excited to be a part of the Paideia family. My teaching background includes six years as 4th grade teacher at Evangel Classical Christian School in Birmingham, Alabama, where I received a lot of classical training. I also worked at Providence Classical Academy in Shreveport, LA, where I taught 5th grade and had the privilege to be a lead teacher and serve other teachers as well as students. Through God’s sovereignty and graciousness, He moved us here where I am excited to continue my ministry in classical education. I look forward to many wonderful years!”

JESSICA GRAY

student records administrative assistant • homeschool umbrella coordinator

BA, Anthropology with a specialization in Archaeology, Mississippi State University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2019.

“My family dove headfirst into classical Christian education through homeschooling when my son went into fourth grade. It was amazing to watch the world expand for him and to help him grow in an understanding that all knowledge is intertwined and that Christ is the center of it all. When we moved to Knoxville in the fall of 2016, we were so excited to find Paideia and have the option of a five-day classical school. I have enjoyed being a part of the Paideia community; first as a volunteer, then as a substitute, and now working in the office and with our homeschool umbrella community.”

SARAH ODOM

communications administrative assistant

BA, Business Management, Taylor University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2022.

“My first experience with classical education was through the Classical Conversations homeschool co-op group, which we were involved in for several years. When we began looking for more full-time support, we enrolled the kids at Paideia Academy and are so thrilled we did. My husband Luke and I have 3 children: Zoe, Jude, and Ezra. As of 2020, we are new to the Knoxville area, transplants from Wheaton, IL. My work experience prior to motherhood: I was a Facility Manager over a group home for the disabled and an Administrative Assistant at a large church in the Chicago suburbs. On the weekends, I enjoy being a water aerobics instructor at the YMCA and exploring beautiful Tennessee with my family. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to use my gifts in the school office and be a part of this unique community of believers.”

JESSICA TUTEN

front desk administrative assistant

BS, Special Education-Modified, Tennessee Tech University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2022.

“I’m beyond grateful to be a follower of Christ and His provision in my life continues to leave me in awe. My husband, Boyce, and I have three children: Briggs, Eliza, and Wren. We have been a part of the Paideia family since my oldest began pre-k in 2015. It has continued to be a blessing each and every year. It’s a gift knowing that my children are loved and viewed through the lens that Christ has set before us. I’m excited to come alongside the families of Paideia and serve them in the same kind, gracious, and loving way that our family has been served during our time here. My prayer for my family and all the families of Paideia is: ‘For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.’ Ephesians 3:14-19”

SARA DEEL

upper school administrative assistant

MS, Nursing and BA, Psychology, University of Tennessee; Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. Serving Paideia Academy since 2020.

“My husband, Stephen, and I have six children: Ella, Harper, Lola, Annalise, Vivian, and Bennett. Before my children reached school age, I spent six years as a Nurse Practitioner with Hope Resource Center in Knoxville, TN. With a desire for an education centered on Christ, we began our homeschooling journey with my first Kindergartner. Several years later, we began to look at Christian schools to partner with for our older children. As our family explored options for Christian schools in the area, we fell in love with the classical education at Paideia that truly keeps Christ as the center of everything and decided to enroll all six! I am thrilled to be a part of the Paideia community both as a faculty member and as an attending family.”

LINDSEY KANT

school nurse • volunteer coordinator

ASN, Roane State Community College. Serving Paideia Academy since 2018.

“In 2005, I began my career in nursing at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in the inpatient surgery department. Over the years, I have worked in every area of the surgery specialty from pre-op, to operating room, to post-op and recovery. When our children began attending Paideia in 2017, I joked with our headmaster that one day when Paideia hired a nurse I wanted it to be me. Little did I know what the Lord was doing! In 2019, I began volunteering as a school nurse two days a week. Since then, it has become more and more evident that a full-time nurse was needed (thank you global pandemic)! The Lord has provided an opportunity for me to serve full-time in this capacity as well as coordinating our volunteer efforts around campus. My husband Matt and I have 4 children: Annie, Ruby, Mabel, and Sam who all attend Paideia. Our family enjoys complicated (nerdy) board games, good food, camping, cheering for our kids on the sideline of their sporting endeavors, and any other fun things that come our way. We are members of Basswood Baptist church and love being part of the Paideia community. I am so thankful to be working with such an amazing staff and to be doing what I love where my kids are every day!”

Staff Ronnie Wilson

RONNIE WILSON

athletic director
Staff Al Sanders

AL SANDERS

facilities and grounds

DEENA PARKS

pre-k teacher

MA, Holistic Education and BS, Bible and Interdisciplinary Studies, Johnson Bible College; Endorsement in English as a Second Language. Serving Paideia Academy since 2018.

“My husband Jerry and I have two lovely daughters. I taught in public schools for ten years in Knox County, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge, and Raleigh, NC, as well as a year in a private school in China. After I had my first child, I took time off from formal teaching, but continued teaching preschool-aged kids at Bible Study Fellowship for several years. I have also enjoyed being a substitute teacher and room mom at Paideia. I am so excited and privileged to be able to teach the youngest learners here. I pray God would use me to plant and water seeds of His truth in little hearts and watch them continue to grow. ‘Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water…not bothered by the heat or drought…they never stop producing fruit’ (Jeremiah 17:7-8).”

SARAH GARBER

kindergarten teacher

AS, Marketing. Serving Paideia Academy since 2017.

“For almost 10 years, I homeschooled our 4 sweet daughters. Through these years I have loved learning about different educational models, attending workshops, thumbing through and choosing curriculum, modifying lesson plans, volunteering and working in different co-ops, reading countless books to my children, teaching daily lessons, and most of all raising up our children in the love and nurture of our Good Lord. Recently, I was involved in teaching in a local classical Christian co-op. The learning curve on classical Christian education has been eye opening and enriching for my entire family. Unexpectedly, the Lord changed our course and moved us to Paideia. Paideia has lined up wonderfully with our educational values and love for the Lord. The family atmosphere and Christ-centered lives are apparent throughout. Each one of my girls has grown and thrived here.”

BARBARA WILLIAMS

kindergarten teacher

BM, Wesleyan College. Serving Paideia Academy since 2005.

“It is a joy for me to be teaching at Paideia. I consider it a honor and privilege to be able to teach these young children the ways of the Lord. They seem to teach me something new every year as well. I have been teaching for over 35 years. God put a call in my heart to teach when I was in first grade. He has blessed and given me many great experiences. I look forward to the coming years and what I can instill, through Christ, into these children and what they can teach me. I joined the Paideia staff in the school’s second year, and after a year away as an administrator in another classical Christian school, I’m excited to be back in the classroom. It is a blessing to be at Paideia where the staff and board have the same vision to reach the children and help them become faithful men and women of God.”

LAURA BAUR

first grade teacher

MA, Teaching: Elementary Education and BS, Bible, Intercultural Studies, Columbia International University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2019.

“Prior to joining the Paideia family, I had the privilege of teaching second grade in public schools for 3 years, followed by teaching first, second, and fifth grades in Christian schools for 10 and a half years. After my husband and I adopted our son, Stephen, we prayerfully decided for me to stay home for a season. When the Lord began calling me back into the classroom, He also made it clear that I was to transition into a classical approach to education. I was thrilled when He opened the door for me to teach at Paideia! My prayer for my students is that they would learn to love the Lord and desire to serve Him as they grow. ‘Little children, let us not love in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.’ I John 3:18”

HEATHER CROOM

first grade teacher

MS, Special Education, and Teaching Credential, Cal State University Fullerton; BA, Liberal Studies, Chapman University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2022.

“It is such a blessing to teach at Paideia. I have over 17 years of teaching experience in grades K-8. My husband Trevor and I have been married for 14 years and have three children; Leah, Emilie, and Bradley, who also attend Paideia. The Lord recently led us across the country to this amazing school. I am so excited to be able to teach children in a Christ-centered environment. My prayer for my students is for them to grow in the love and knowledge of our savior, Jesus. When I am not teaching, I love to spend time with my family in the beautiful outdoors of East Tennessee.”

TERRI BOWDEN

second grade teacher

MARE, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; BS, Religion, Hiram College. Serving Paideia Academy since 2004.

“I am delighted to be back at Paideia! I began with Paideia in its founding year and served here for 11 years before relocating to Nashville for a few years with my husband’s job. I have had the privilege of serving at several different classical schools and have been blessed with numerous godly and gifted mentors who have provided me with unique educational opportunities. I believe that God has given me two specific verses to guide my teaching: ‘I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.’ (Psalm 139:14) and ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for God and not for men.’ (Colossians 3:23) My goal is to encourage and challenge each child to do their very best, recognizing that all that they do should be to the glory of God.”

AIMEE DAVIS

second grade teacher

MS, Special Education: Deaf Education, University of Tennessee; BS, Special Education: Deaf Education, University of Tennessee; Mental Disabilities Special Education Certificate, University of North Carolina. Serving Paideia Academy since 2022.

“It is a joy and privilege to join the staff of Paideia. I’ve had the honor of teaching in a variety of settings, but to be able to teach at a school that pursues what is good, true, and beautiful brings me such joy. My passion is to encourage life-long learners who love to learn and carry that love of learning on with them throughout their lives. I long for students to see how God is woven in and out of every aspect of His creation. I am a mother to two children, Will and Mallory, and a wife to Larry. Our son Will is in college and our daughter Mallory is in the Upper School here at Paideia. When I am not teaching, you can find me enjoying a cup of tea, reading, quilting, weaving, or going on walks outside.”

LISA RUTHERFORD

third grade teacher

MA, Education (Reading and Writing Emphasis), University of Kentucky; BS, Biblical Studies and Christian Education, Cincinnati Christian University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2022.

“I am thrilled to continue teaching in a classical school and growing as a classical educator. I love to teach from a biblical worldview. It is hard for me to imagine teaching without being able to point students to God’s truth, goodness, and beauty in all that they are learning. I also enjoy the community that a Christian school provides and am excited about making new connections with families and colleagues at Paideia. I understand the high calling of partnering with parents to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Hopefully, students will see Christ through my daily words and interactions with them.”

SARA LANGFORD

fourth grade teacher

BS, Elementary Education, Tennessee Tech University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2021.

“My family has been blessed to be a part of the Paideia community for several years, so is a joy and an honor to step into teaching here. I have 8 years of elementary teaching experience. Most recently, I served as the director of children’s ministry at my church. My heart’s desire is to partner with parents in helping their children to know and serve Christ as they grow in their knowledge of Him. My husband,JJ, and I have been married 21 years and have three children, Carter, Isaac, and Evelyn. We are originally from middle TN, but we have called Knoxville home since 2006 (our blood runs orange!) We love taking full advantage of living in beautiful East Tennessee. Our family enjoys camping, biking, and hiking. When not in the classroom, I enjoy reading a good book, watching football, and cheering for my kids in their various sports activities.”

KRISTIN MONGE

fourth grade teacher

BS, Business and Marketing, University of Phoenix. Serving Paideia since 2018.

“I started my career in the insurance field. As my husband and I began having a family, I felt God giving me a desire to work with children. I taught at a preschool program for three years, volunteered at a homeschool co-op, taught children’s Sunday school classes, and substituted at my boys’ schools regularly. I thought I understood ‘classical education,’ until I found Paideia Academy. I was impressed at the level of the students’ knowledge and by their passion for learning how history, literature, and science are connected to the Bible. I wished that I had the privilege of this type of classical education in my life! Teaching at Paideia has been both a blessing and privilege to me. I love the relationships I get to build with the students and their families. My desire is to help foster a love for learning and a greater appreciation of the God who is woven through each of our lessons. My husband Jeff and I have three boys who all attend Paideia Academy as well: Peyton, Brayden, and Dawson.”

CHARITY LAMB

fifth grade teacher

BS, Secondary Education, Crown College of the Bible. Serving Paideia Academy since 2022.

“Lover and disciple of the lovely Lord Jesus, married to LeGrand Lamb, mother to five beautiful children, Lydia, Miriam, Jack, Evelyn, and Suzanne. I count myself very privileged to work with such an amazing staff, both here at Paideia and previously at Glen Iris Baptist School in Birmingham, AL where I had the opportunity to teach in both elementary and upper school classes. Teaching is my calling as is womanhood, wife, and mother. ‘Has thou not seen how thy desires all have been granted in what He ordaineth,’ to quote the hymn Praise to the Lord the Almighty. What a joy it is to serve you and teach our children. To God alone be the glory!”

JANET CARR

sixth grade teacher • 6th science

MS, Human Nutrition and Dietetic Internship, University of Alabama; BS, Family and Consumer Science Education, minor in Composite Science, Bob Jones University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2019.

“Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him! For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. Psalm 33:8 – As my journey as a classical, Christ-centered educator continues, it is a joy to be back in the classroom engaging with students in the realms of chemistry and astronomy. My 20+ years of teaching experience spans the spectrum of age as well as venues including homeschool, classroom, and the online environment. It is a privilege to be a part of this growing Paideia community. In addition, I am blessed to be a wife and mother. Doug and I have four full-of-life children: Hudson, Cooper, Morgan, and Brennan. Throughout the school year, my prayer is to lead our students to recognize truth, discover goodness, and behold beauty in all of God’s creation.”

BETH ANN BERTRAM

lower grammar teacher’s aide

MS, Agriculture in Food Science, University of Tennessee; BS, Agriculture, University of Tennessee. Serving Paideia Academy since 2015.

“I am privileged to support the teachers who will educate each child in this classroom through the exemplification of Christ’s love. It is my purpose to seek God and to be a resource in His provision, and I am honored to serve His children. I worked as a food scientist overseeing the research and development of new food products for 17 years and worked as a substitute teacher before coming to Paideia. My husband Max and I have three boys – Josh, Alex and Magnus.”

TAMMIE ATTEBERRY

lower grammar teacher’s aide

Serving Paideia Academy since 2021.

AMANDA SHAVER

2nd & 4th science

MEd, Lincoln Memorial University; BA, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, University of Tennessee. Talented and Gifted Teaching Endorsement. Serving Paideia Academy since 2020.

“My husband and I have two children, Gracie and Luke, who have attended Paideia Academy the past several years. We are grateful for the teachers and school community that have richly invested in our children’s education thus far. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve on staff as a teacher and learn alongside wonderful Classical Christian Educators. Before children, I taught for three years in the Talented and Gifted program in the Knox County School System. I also taught as a 4th grade classroom teacher for two years at Farragut Intermediate. One of the most exciting parts of teaching at Paideia is that I can integrate God’s Word into every lesson. I consider it a joy and an honor to partner with the Holy Spirit and parents in the process of educating and discipling children with a Biblical worldview.”

CATHY TANNER

3rd & 5th science

Serving Paideia Academy since 2011.

“During our family’s homeschooling years our goal was to provide a Christ-centered education for our daughter. In 2008, we were ready to seek the aid of a school with the same aim, and in His kindness the Lord directed us to Paideia Academy. Its emphasis on a Christ-centered, covenantal, and classical education appealed to us immediately, and our family enthusiastically joined this precious community. Over the next three years I served frequently as a substitute teacher and experienced the unique blessing of having an inside glimpse of the environment in which our daughter was growing academically and spiritually in knowledge and grace. Since joining the staff I have tremendously enjoyed the privilege of shepherding, teaching, and learning along with our students for the ever-increasing glory of our Savior Jesus Christ!”

DANA FROULA

K-3rd latin

BA, Sociology and Psychology, Eastern Kentucky University. Serving Paideia since 2020.

“I’m married to Paul and our son, Andrew, has attended Paideia since Kindergarten.  We believe wholly in a Christ-centered education.  It’s truly my joy to have served as a volunteer mom at first, then as a substitute teacher, and then to become a Latin teacher here.  My journey at Paideia is truly a testimony of never knowing or expecting where God will take a person, but enjoying the ride. Praise be to God!”

TRACEY CARRIN

4th-6th latin

BMusEd, minor in Sign Language Interpreting, East Carolina University. Currently a student of the Great Books Master’s Program at Memoria College. Serving Paideia Academy since 2021.

“I began learning about classical education in 2004 as I educated my children at home. One thing I have learned through classical education is that God glorifies Himself through words. I seek to guide my students in this love of words and reading and learning, and all the wonderful ways God shows Himself to us through the order and beauty of His world. ‘For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).’ Some of the good works God has enabled me to do include roles as a band director, sign language interpreter, Latin teacher at a classical school, and a homeschool teacher. I’m so thankful to now find my place serving your children here at Paideia Academy.”

CARI WELSH

5th-6th history

MS, Information Science, University of Tennessee, Magna Cum Laude; BA, History, University of Tennessee, Summa Cum Laude. Serving Paideia Academy since 2017.

“I am beyond excited and honored to have the opportunity to teach 5th grade at Paideia. My oldest daughter, Lilly, started in Kindergarten and is in the Class of 2024. My youngest daughter, Piper, is following her in the Class of 2027. History is one of my passions, and I quickly became passionate about classical Christian education. Seeing students grasp a concept they’d struggled with or watching that ‘lightbulb’ moment when a connection was made was rewarding, but I always felt the greatest reward was watching even the youngest students see, feel, and hear God’s Word breathed into every subject and discussion. I am deeply blessed and honored to have the opportunity guide the 5th grade students towards not only those moments of connection, but also towards a deeper understanding of God’s Word and His creation.”

AMY HAMILL

6th bible

MEd, emphasis on Teacher Leadership, Grand Canyon University; BS, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, University of Alabama at Birmingham. Serving Paideia Academy since 2015.

“I am very excited to be a part of the Paideia family. My teaching background includes six years as 4th grade teacher at Evangel Classical Christian School in Birmingham, Alabama, where I received a lot of classical training. I also worked at Providence Classical Academy in Shreveport, LA, where I taught 5th grade and had the privilege to be a lead teacher and serve other teachers as well as students. Through God’s sovereignty and graciousness, He moved us here where I am excited to continue my ministry in classical education. I look forward to many wonderful years!”

PATTI MCCONNELL

accommodations specialist

MS Curriculum and Instruction Major, University of Tennessee; BA, English major, Elementary Education minor, University of Tennessee. Serving Paideia since 2016.

“God put a calling in my heart for teaching when I was a child, and it has been a blessing to teach over the past twenty years in the classroom and as a homeschool mom. My husband and I have three children: Luke, Molly, and Maddie. After graduating from college, I taught Kindergarten and first grade before coming home to teach my own children. I fell in love with classical education during our homeschool years when we became involved in Classical Conversations. I could truly see the benefits of classical education unfolding. One stage naturally built upon another as they were learning how to become independent, critical thinkers. God has graciously transitioned us into Paideia Academy where my children are fed spiritually in the truth of God’s word as a foundation for all they do academically. I am so thankful for our educational community that is unified in their vision to raise up students who love the Lord and want to put Him first in all they do! It is a joy to be a part of the Paideia staff.”

AARON GENTRY

humanities department head • omnibus • logic • junior thesis & senior seminar • dean of heidelberg hall

MA, Christian Education and MDiv, Reformed Theological Seminary; BA, Humanities, Belhaven University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2020.

“I have been teaching in classical Christian education for the past 17 years, and I am very excited to be teaching at Paideia. I have a passion for helping students understand the importance of ideas and worldview. My goal is to have all of my students express with C.S. Lewis, ‘I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.’ I can think of no greater calling than helping to prepare the next generation to live as faithful believers, modeling Christ-like behavior with confidence and winsomeness. The fact that I get to do all of this in the scenery of East Tennessee with my wife and two kids is just a bonus!”

DAVID LEACH

math & science department head • math

BA, Psychology, with teaching certification in secondary Mathematics, University of Tennessee. Serving Paideia Academy since 2018.

“Lover of Jesus, husband to Melanie and father to Caleb and Aidan (Paideia Academy class of 2016). I have spent the last 24 years mentoring and teaching children and young adults in various capacities including church and camp ministry and classroom teaching. Seeing young people step into their identity as beloved sons and daughters of God is one of my deepest desires. In light of that, I am excited that the integrated approach of classical education flows with my own style of teaching which centers on making connections from any subject to how our creator has shown His love for us through order, beauty and creativity. I love adventures of all kinds, and when not at school you might find me paddling, rock climbing, leading worship or roasting my own coffee.”

KRISTAN BRANT

science • dean of nicene hall

MS, Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee; BS, Geological Sciences, San Diego State University. Serving Paideia since 2022.

“For the past nine years, I’ve been obtaining degrees in geology. I have a significant passion for the Earth and the blessings that God has given us here; it rocks! I originally intended to pursue a career in that field but found during graduate school that wasn’t my calling. I felt the need to teach, and specifically to be a mentor, for the next generations to come. While finishing my degree, I was a substitute teacher and was looking for a school where community and passion were displayed among the students and families. God blessed me with the opportunity to teach science at Paideia Academy, which provided exactly what I felt was missing from my career, namely Christ. I feel so blessed to be here and am delighted to help guide the next generations of Kingdom builders. My husband, Damian, stepson Draven, and I are ready to immerse ourselves into the Paideia family fully.”

JANET CARR

omnibus • writing coordinator

MS, Human Nutrition and Dietetic Internship, University of Alabama; BS, Family and Consumer Science Education, minor in Composite Science, Bob Jones University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2019.

“Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him! For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. Psalm 33:8 – As my journey as a classical, Christ-centered educator continues, it is a joy to be back in the classroom engaging with students in the realms of chemistry and astronomy. My 20+ years of teaching experience spans the spectrum of age as well as venues including homeschool, classroom, and the online environment. It is a privilege to be a part of this growing Paideia community. In addition, I am blessed to be a wife and mother. Doug and I have four full-of-life children: Hudson, Cooper, Morgan, and Brennan. Throughout the school year, my prayer is to lead our students to recognize truth, discover goodness, and behold beauty in all of God’s creation.”

MARK HAMILTON

latin

MA, Latin, University of Georgia; BA, Latin and BA, Classical Studies, University of Georgia. Serving Paideia Academy since 2015.

“I am greatly blessed to be a follower of Christ. I am further blessed to be married to my beautiful wife Jessica and to be the father of three wonderful boys, Wallace, Silas, and Thatcher. As an educator I have the unique opportunity to daily be surrounded by and to work with a group of people charged with training image bearers, those made in the image of God. I consider it my profound honor to have been called by God into this ministry and greatly appreciate the experiences he has given me through the years as a teacher, coach, administrator and mentor to fellow educators and students alike. I consider the work that Paideia is doing to be of the utmost importance in partnering with parents to raise their children in fear and admonition of the Lord and am excited to be a part of such an excellent school.”

DARREN NELSON

math • science • dean of athanasian hall

BA, Mathematics, Oklahoma Baptist University; Educational Certification (K-12), California State University, MA, Biblical Studies (in process), Reformed Theological Seminary. Serving Paideia Academy since 2014.

“I have taught high school mathematics in some capacity for over twenty years but have been on break from full-time classroom teaching in order to home educate our own children. Those days are ending this year as our youngest leaves for college (Lord willing!). God’s opening up a mathematics position at Paideia is providential as I phase out of home education and enter a new phase of life. I am very excited about the opportunities to show God’s love, beauty, and creativity through math. My theological interests are biblical inerrancy, hermeneutics, and apologetics – all things concerning Truth.”

RACHEL SANDERS

latin • omnibus

MA, Classics, University of Kansas; BA, University Scholars-Classics, Baylor University. Serving Paideia since 2016.

“I came to Paideia for the first time fresh out of graduate school in 2016 and taught for two years before moving overseas to Romania. After returning to the states and spending a year in Texas (my home state), God made it abundantly clear that my husband and I should return to Knoxville for me to teach again at this incredible school. I am honored to be a part of such a vibrant classical Christian school that values not just the education of the mind, but the nurture of the soul in Christ Jesus through our learning. I am thrilled to be back teaching Latin and Omnibus and to have the opportunity to be a part of this community once again. I am a mother to two boys, Jay and Irving, and I am wife to Trent. When I’m not teaching I’m spending time with my boys, playing violin or piano, painting, or spending time outdoors.”

DANIEL STEWART

greek • latin • grammar • dean of augsburg hall

BS, Biblical Studies, Moody Bible Institute; AS, Biblical Studies, New Tribes Bible Institute; Diplom in Evangelische Theologie, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. Serving Paideia Academy since 2019.

“Having followed Christ for many years now, it is a privilege to be able to serve the Gospel and the next generation at Paideia Academy. My lovely wife Cathrin and I are thankful to have been blessed with our three children: Clara, Caleb, and Samuel. I began my Biblical training many years ago, but my classical training was rounded out most recently as we studied abroad in Germany. I love students; languages: German, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, English; and the Word of God. We are thankful to have been brought into the Paideia community and look forward to serving all those who God brings our way.”

JENNY STOWE

science • finance • college guidance

MS, Psychology, The Florida State University; BS, Neuroscience, Furman University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2012.

“I began working at Paideia in January 2012 as the Homeschool Umbrella Coordinator. I have enjoyed creating a classical community that goes beyond our school’s borders. As the Guidance Counselor for the Upper School, I was so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of our first graduating class, and I look forward to new adventures every year. I love watching students grow and change as they make decisions about their future. Our entire family enjoys being part of this Christ-centered and classical school.”

ELIJAH TAFAO

omnibus • rhetoric • logic • dean of apostles’ hall

DMin (ABD), Gateway Seminary; MDiv, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; MA, Intercultural Studies, Union University; BS, Biology, California Baptist University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2022.

“I was trained in ministry at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m passionate about the people of God growing in their relationship with God and maturing as followers of Jesus. I long for students to be able to discern God’s voice in order for them to know Him deeply and join Him in what He is doing in the world. I am married to Stacey and we have two children: Olivia and Isaiah. When I’m not teaching I love to work out with my buddies at F3 and travel with my family.”

CARI WELSH

omnibus • history • training coordinator

MS, Information Science, University of Tennessee, Magna Cum Laude; BA, History, University of Tennessee, Summa Cum Laude. Serving Paideia Academy since 2017.

“I am beyond excited and honored to have the opportunity to teach 5th grade at Paideia. My oldest daughter, Lilly, started in Kindergarten and is in the Class of 2024. My youngest daughter, Piper, is following her in the Class of 2027. History is one of my passions, and I quickly became passionate about classical Christian education. Seeing students grasp a concept they’d struggled with or watching that ‘lightbulb’ moment when a connection was made was rewarding, but I always felt the greatest reward was watching even the youngest students see, feel, and hear God’s Word breathed into every subject and discussion. I am deeply blessed and honored to have the opportunity guide the 5th grade students towards not only those moments of connection, but also towards a deeper understanding of God’s Word and His creation.”

DREW WILLIAMS

omnibus • rhetoric • dean of westminster hall

BS, Environmental and Soil Sciences, University of Tennessee; MDiv, Southern Baptist
Theological Seminary (in process). Serving Paideia since 2021.

“I am a recipient of sovereign grace and a grateful disciple of Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ,
my wife Maria is the greatest gift in my life. We have one son, Theodore, and another one
named Augustine who is on the way. Lord willing, the halls of Paideia will be swarming with
Williams children before long! For the past few years, I have served as a full-time campus
minister, doing evangelism and discipleship at the University of Tennessee. I am thrilled to join the Paideia team and help mold students who think biblically and live passionately for the glory of God in our world. Whether in the great books, or in science lab, or on the court, my desire is to show students how Christ is Lord over all and the greatest treasure in the universe. My hobbies include reading, pickup basketball, gardening, grilling, and being disappointed by the Atlanta Braves. I serve as a pastoral resident at Cornerstone Church of Knoxville, and we love worshipping with our church family.”

MELANIE LEACH

fine arts director • theatre teacher

BA, Communications, University of Tennessee. Serving Paideia Academy since 2013.

“I am delighted to shepherd the growing Upper School theatre program at Paideia Academy. My heart is to teach our students to be effective storytellers and use their creative gifts to God’s glory.”

JANICE FANCHER

art

Art Academy of Cincinnati and Cleveland Institute of Art, Ohio. Serving Paideia Academy since 2015.

“I’ve been teaching art in a Christian school, homeschooling co-op, private lessons or in an after-school program at public schools for more than 30 years. My first passion is investing in each student’s walk in their relationship with Jesus Christ. My second passion is to teach the ‘how to’s’ of creating beautiful art. I’m very excited and thankful to be a part of the Paideia school family.”

LAURA LINDSAY

music

MSc, Spiritual Guidance and Care/Mental Behavioral Health, Carson-Newman University; BM, Music and Religion, Carson-Newman University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2018.

“What a joy to be part of the Paideia family! I feel blessed to be able to share my love of music with students of all ages through private lessons and in the general classroom. My heart’s desire is to see God glorified in all that we do as children of God and to instill a love of music in the next generation. We read so much from the Scriptures about praising God with instrument and song; this will come to life as we experience and learn about music in our world during the school year. My husband and I reside in Knoxville and are both leaders in various music ministries in the area.”

JESSIE OSTROWSKI

band

BM, Music Education, Grove City College. Serving Paideia Academy since 2019.

“I have had the privilege of starting Paideia’s band program, a program that is focused on discipleship, musical excellence and music ministry.  As a high school and college musician, I was deeply inspired by my high school band director and consequently pursued a degree in Music Education. As a high school and college musician, the Lord providentially opened doors of opportunity for me to work under some of the country’s top band conductors at state and national honors bands. I view all of these experiences as a deposit that was entrusted to me by the Lord to be invested into my students. After teaching band and general music from 2001-2009, I took a break from teaching to become a mother to George, Lily, Charlie and Rosie, and now I am following the Lord’s leading as I return to my passion of teaching band. My goal is to develop kingdom musicians who are fully equipped as both classically-trained musicians and also as artists who are capable of creating their own music as they play by ear. My other passions are for women’s ministry, tennis, and healthy living.”

ANDREW SOREANO

physical education

Serving Paideia Academy since 2021.

“It is my honor and privilege to teach Physical Education at Paideia Academy. It really is exciting to see the students learn and grow in their physical abilities, as they grow in their relationship with Christ. My hope and prayer is that during P.E. each student will encounter the love of our Heavenly Father, so they will be transformed body, soul, and spirit, as well as learning teamwork, exercise, and sport. I have worked with kids in different countries throughout my life, doing mission work in the U.S, Nicaragua, England, and Africa. I lived in Africa for two years serving as a House Dad at a children’s center. I also am currently the Children’s Ministry Coordinator at my church. I have always had a passion to see youth grow in their walk with Christ, and to advance the Kingdom of God. The message I want to give to the students here at Paideia Academy is as Paul writes in 1 Timothy 4:12 ‘Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.'”