classical Christian school omnibus teacher

FACULTY AND STAFF

One of the strongest assets that makes 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 in partnership with Cairn University, and others are continuing to pursue graduate studies.

Faculty Headmaster Mark Hamilton

MARK HAMILTON

headmaster

BA, Latin and BA, Classical Studies, University of Georgia; MA, Latin, 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.”

faculty Amy Hamill

AMY HAMILL

dean of grammar school

BS, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, University of Alabama at Birmingham; MEd,  emphasis on Teacher Leadership, Grand Canyon University. 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!”

faculty David Leach

DAVID LEACH

dean of upper school

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.”

Staff Doug Carr Admissions

DOUG CARR

director of advancement

BA, Elementary Education, Arizona State University; MEd, Educational Leadership, Northern Arizona 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.”

Staff Candace Hale

CANDACE HALE

director 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.”

Faculty Melanie Leach

MELANIE LEACH

office administrator • communications

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

“I am thankful to serve the families of Paideia Academy in the school office. It is a small way for me to give back to the community that nurtured my son Aidan, who is now an alumnus of Paideia. My focus is on communication, event and trip planning, and office support.”

Staff Kristen Leach

KRISTEN LEACH

office assistant • reception

BA, Johnson University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2020.

“I am a recent graduate of Johnson University, wife to Caleb, dog-mom to Juliet, and follower of Jesus. I am excited to be a part of the Paideia family by serving in the office. During my time at Johnson, I studied Intercultural Studies and Bible and Theology, and I’m looking to working in an environment where I can grow in my faith and encourage others to do the same. “

Staff Jessica Gray

JESSICA GRAY

office assistant • student records • 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.”

Staff Lindsay Kant

LINDSEY KANT

school nurse • volunteer clinic coordinator

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

“I am a Knoxville native. 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. Currently, I am working in the outpatient surgery department and recovery room. I am so excited that the Lord has provided this opportunity to serve our children and staff at Paideia. My husband Matt and I have 4 children: Annie, Ruby, Mabel, and Sam who are a part of this community we love so much! I enjoy board games, musicals, camping, fishing, cheering my husband on in all of his racing endeavors, and coke Icees! I am looking forward to see how the Lord will develop my position here at the school.”

Staff Ronnie Wilson

RONNIE WILSON

athletic director

BA, Economics, University of Western Kentucky.  MA, Economics, University of Tennessee.  Serving Paideia since 2017.

“I have a vision for Athletics at Paideia. I believe that the field or the court is a great place, a safe and fertile place, for young men and women to build character.”

Staff Al Sanders

AL SANDERS

facilities and grounds

Serving Paideia Academy since 2018.

Faculty Deena Parks Pre-K

DEENA PARKS

pre-k teacher

BS, Bible and Interdisciplinary Studies, Johnson Bible College; MA, Holistic Education, 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).”

Faculty Sarah Garber

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.”

Faculty Katy McKinney

KATY MCKINNEY

kindergarten teacher

BS, Education, Samford University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2015.

“Before the blessing of my four kiddos came along, I taught 5th grade at Christian Academy of Knoxville and 2nd grade to English Language Learners at Mt. View Elementary School in Nashville, TN. Our family was a part of the homeschool umbrella at Paideia for five years as we homeschooled from the suburbs of west Knoxville, to the cloud forest of the Guatemalan highlands, and back to the beautiful farmland of Lenoir City. Through all the transitions, I have most enjoyed teaching my children how to read. Our son entered Paideia in 4th grade, and we quickly fell in love with the heart of education taking place at the school. I am so thankful that the Lord opened the door for me to teach and journey with Paideia families as their children become confident readers and explore God’s creativity throughout science, math, and history. My prayer is that in my classroom my students will experience a taste of the depth of Christ’s love for them. Eph. 3:14-21”

Staff BethAnn Bertram

BETH ANN BERTRAM

pre-k assistant

BS, Agriculture, University of Tennessee; MS, Agriculture in Food Science, 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.”

Staff Sara Deel

SARA DEEL

k-2nd assistant

BA Psychology, MS Nursing, 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.”

Faculty Laura Bauer

LAURA BAUR

first grade teacher

BS, Bible, Intercultural Studies and MA Teaching, Elementary Education, 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 made the decision 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”

Faculty Barbara Williams

BARBARA WILLIAMS

interim 1st grade teacher • librarian • reading specialist

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 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.”

Faculty Terri Bowden

TERRI BOWDEN

second grade teacher

BS, Religion, Hiram College; MARE, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. 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.”

Faculty Kristin Monge

KRISTIN MONGE

second 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.”

A picture of Paideia's shield and sword logo

TRACEY CARRIN

third grade teacher

Bachelor of Music Education, 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.”

faculty Amy Hamill

AMY HAMILL

interim 4th grade teacher

BS, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, University of Alabama at Birmingham; MEd, emphasis on Teacher Leadership, Grand Canyon University. 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!”

Faculty Cari Welsh

CARI WELSH

fifth grade teacher • 6th history

BA, History, University of Tennessee, Summa Cum Laude; MS, Information Science, University of Tennessee, Magna 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.”

Faculty Dr. Dan Wilson

DAN WILSON

fifth grade teacher • 5th-6th latin • 6th bible

BA in History from the University of Memphis; MDiv and PhD in New Testament and Greek from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Serving Paideia Academy since 2020.

“I am thrilled that the Lord has once again positioned me to disciple students in His Word and the Christian worldview. I am especially passionate about helping them learn Greek and Latin and hopefully to learn to love them as well since language and thought are gifts from Christ, The Word, to be stewarded. Over my twenty years in varied ministries I served at a Christian college for four years. But I prefer teaching grammar and upper school students. I am convinced that “putting the cookies on the bottom shelf” (i.e. God’s rich truth in snackable content) at an earlier age makes a deeper impact in their hearts and minds rather than waiting until the college years. During our twenty five years of marriage God gave Heather, my wife, and me three girls and one boy — ages 13 to 22. Though native Memphians, we are grateful to have lived most of our married life in the scenic hills of East Tennessee.”

faculty Tamara Ellis

TAMMY ELLIS

sixth grade teacher

BA, English Education, Theater Minor, Summa Cum Laude Graduate, University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Serving Paideia Academy since 2019.

“I began my teaching career as a high school English and Journalism teacher at an inner city public school in North Carolina. I felt like God’s gift to me was the opportunity and ability to teach students. I was passionate about trying to make a positive difference. After several years teaching at the secondary level, I began raising  the first of five wonderful children (2 sons and 3 daughters) with my husband, and took some time with them at home, tutoring privately and working in church education. When I reentered the classroom as a full-time teacher, we were living in NYC, and a job opportunity became available at a local Classical Christian school. It was there that I was first introduced to classical Christian education and to teaching on the elementary level. I fell in love! When we returned to the south, it was thrilling to discover Paideia! What a true joy it has been to come to work each day and work with these precious children in a Christ centered environment.”

Faculty Janet Carr

JANET CARR

6th science

BS, Family and Consumer Science Education, minor in Composite Science, Bob Jones University. MS, Human Nutrition and Dietetic Internship, University of Alabama.  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.”

Staff Sara Deel

SARA DEEL

k-2nd assistant

BA Psychology, MS Nursing, 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.”

A picture of Paideia's shield and sword logo

DANA FROULA

2nd-4th latin

Serving Paideia Academy since 2021.

Faculty Patti McConnell

PATTI MCCONNELL

accommodations specialist

BA, English major, Elementary Education minor, University of Tennessee; MS Curriculum and Instruction Major, 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.”

Faculty Amanda

AMANDA SHAVER

2nd & 4th science

BA, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, The University of Tennessee at Knoxville; MEd, Lincoln Memorial University. 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.”

Faculty Cathy Tanner

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!”

faculty Tamara Ellis

TAMMY ELLIS

rhetoric

BA, English Education, Theater Minor, Summa Cum Laude Graduate, University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Serving Paideia Academy since 2019.

“I began my teaching career as a high school English and Journalism teacher at an inner city public school in North Carolina. I felt like God’s gift to me was the opportunity and ability to teach students. I was passionate about trying to make a positive difference. After several years teaching at the secondary level, I began raising  the first of five wonderful children (2 sons and 3 daughters) with my husband, and took some time with them at home, tutoring privately and working in church education. When I reentered the classroom as a full-time teacher, we were living in NYC, and a job opportunity became available at a local Classical Christian school. It was there that I was first introduced to classical Christian education and to teaching on the elementary level. I fell in love! When we returned to the south, it was thrilling to discover Paideia! What a true joy it has been to come to work each day and work with these precious children in a Christ centered environment.”

Faculty Aaron Gentry

AARON GENTRY

omnibus • logic • junior thesis • senior seminar • dean of heidelberg hall

BA, Humanities, Belhaven University; MA, Christian Education, Reformed Theological Seminary; MDiv, Reformed Theological Seminary. 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, modelling Christ-like behavior with confidence and winsomeness. The fact that I get to do all of this is the scenery of East Tennessee with my wife and two kids is just a bonus!”

Faculty Headmaster Mark Hamilton

MARK HAMILTON

latin

BA, Latin and BA, Classical Studies, University of Georgia; MA, Latin, 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.”

faculty David Leach

DAVID LEACH

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.”

Faculty Darren Nelson

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.”

faculty Rachel Sanders

RACHEL SANDERS

latin • omnibus • dean of apostles’ hall

BA, University Scholars-Classics, Baylor University; MA, Classics, University of Kansas. 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.”

faculty Daniel Stewart

DANIEL STEWART

latin • grammar • rhetoric • dean of augsburg hall

AS, Biblical Studies, New Tribes Bible Institute; BS, Biblical Studies, Moody 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.”

faculty Jenny Stowe

JENNY STOWE

science • finance • college guidance

BS, Neuroscience, Furman University; MS, Psychology, The Florida State 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.”

DREW WILLIAMS

omnibus • science • 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.”

Faculty Dr. Dan Wilson

DAN WILSON

greek • latin • bible

BA in History from the University of Memphis; MDiv and PhD in New Testament and Greek from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Serving Paideia Academy since 2020.

“I am thrilled that the Lord has once again positioned me to disciple students in His Word and the Christian worldview. I am especially passionate about helping them learn Greek and Latin and hopefully to learn to love them as well since language and thought are gifts from Christ, The Word, to be stewarded. Over my twenty years in varied ministries I served at a Christian college for four years. But I prefer teaching grammar and upper school students. I am convinced that “putting the cookies on the bottom shelf” (i.e. God’s rich truth in snackable content) at an earlier age makes a deeper impact in their hearts and minds rather than waiting until the college years. During our twenty five years of marriage God gave Heather, my wife, and me three girls and one boy — ages 13 to 22. Though native Memphians, we are grateful to have lived most of our married life in the scenic hills of East Tennessee.”

Faculty Janet Wrye

JANET WRYE

math • science • dean of nicene hall

BS, Mathematics, Indiana University. Serving Paideia Academy since 2016.

“I have spent the majority of my life in awe of God’s beauty, order, and majesty as seen through mathematics.  As a student of the Classical Education movement, I have always desired my children to learn in the same environment.  My husband, Justin, and I are blessed beyond measure to parent Elizabeth, Everett, and Elliot.  As a parent and a teacher, it is my utmost priority to do all things in service to God.  It is my prayer  to engage with students to show our Creator through math, physics, and logic.”

Faculty Janice Fancher Art

JANICE FANCHER

art

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

“This makes my thirtieth year teaching art in a Christian school, homeschooling co-op, private lessons or in an after-school program at public schools. 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.”

Faculty Melanie Leach

MELANIE LEACH

theatre

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.”

Faculty Laura Lindsey Music

LAURA LINDSAY

music

BM, Music and Religion, Carson-Newman University; MSC, Spiritual Guidance and Care/Mental Behavioral Health, 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.”

Faculty Jessie Ostrowski Band

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.”

A picture of Paideia's shield and sword logo

ANDREW SOREANO

physical education

Serving Paideia Academy since 2021.