Athlos Academy of Jefferson Parish

Staff » Our Team

Our Team

Leadership Team

Lekeysha London

Dennis Taylor: Executive Director

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lekeysha London

Lekeysha London: Assistant Executive Director

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nikisha Bradstreet-Thomas

Nikisha Thomas: Office Manager

Nikisha Thomas graduated from Nicholls State University with a bachelor's degree in business management in 2006. Since graduating, she has worked in the business field for 11 years.

“I chose Athlos Academy because of the vision to produce students who are well prepared to face life's challenges,” she said. “I was also immediately drawn to the commitment to educate the whole child.”

Optimism
“Optimism is the foundation of a positive attitude, and a positive attitude is the first step to achieving anything in life!” she said.

Getting to Know Nikisha Thomas: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I was the chapter president of my sorority Delta Sigma Theta in college.
  • I absolutely love candles from Bath and Body Works.
  • Relaxing on the couch with a good book is my favorite pass time.
 

Monique Handy-Colin

Monique Handy: Student Services Director 

Monique Handy is a native to New Orleans and has dedicated more than a decade of service throughout the Orleans Parish School District. Handy attended schools in the Orleans Parish School System where she graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School. She received her undergraduate degree in animal science from Louisiana State University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from Xavier University of New Orleans, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in education. Her career began as a classroom teacher where she taught for nine years before moving to leadership.

Handy is passionate about serving students with whom she can identify culturally. Her dedication to student academic advancement through holistic education and a commitment to being an active member of the New Orleans community continues to drive her work on a daily basis.
 

Integrity
“In my role, I am an advocate to do what is best for kids at all times, leading me to depend on my integrity to operate and perform my job to the best of my ability,” she said.

Getting to Know Monique Handy: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know? 
  • I wanted to major in architecture and interior design in undergraduate, so on my spare time I could help design interior spaces for friends and family.
  • I love to help people plan parties and organize events.
  • I love to craft!
 
 

Erin Labostrie

Erin Labostrie: School Operations Director

Erin LaBostrie received her bachelor’s degree in education from Southern University at New Orleans. Prior to joining the team at Athlos Academy, LaBostrie worked in the business and financial industry for 20 years and in school operations for the past 6 years.

“I am interested in working in education, because this has been my most rewarding career,” she said. “It allows me to be there for scholars and watch them grow. It allows me to give and make sure that they have what they need to succeed. It allows me to make sure that all daily operations are executed so that scholars and staff have what they need to teach and learn and to be successful while at Athlos Academy of Jefferson Parish.”
 

Integrity
“The Athlos Performance Character that resonates with me the most is integrity,” she said. “I believe that doing what is right allows you to do the best no matter what obstacles you may be faced with. It allows me to strive, to stay focused, and to reach for my goals.”

Charles Medley

Charles Medley: Dean of Students

Charles Medley graduated from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University located in Normal, Alabama, where he earned a degree in special education with a concentration in mild learning behavior disorders. After serving as a classroom teacher for a period, he came to New Orleans in 2007 to be part of the initial charter reform movement and began working to transform schools in various capacities.

Medley also spent time on the east coast at the Paulo Freire School for Social Justice in Newark, New Jersey, and then worked in New Orleans with the alternative high school population implementing restorative practices and assisting students with diploma completion.

Medley feels that his best quality as a teacher is patience. “I’m very patient with the students and their parents, and I never give up on my students and would try out new ways to help them succeed in school,” he said.
 

Social Intelligence
“[Social intelligence] registers the most with me, because it aligns closely with my personality and work style,” he said. “I have the ability to carry on conversations with a wide variety of people, attune myself to what others are saying, and let others see my true self.”

Getting to Know Charles Medley: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I love to BBQ.
  • I put together giant puzzles.
  • I’m addicted to Discovery ID.
 
 

Office Staff

Marijohn Robinson

Marijohn Robinson: External Relations Liaison

Marijohn Robinson earned her degree in health care administration from Avila University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in human resource management. With more than nine years in school operations, Robinson has experience in communications, human resources, school messaging systems, and public relations.

“Even though I am not a classroom teacher, I believe my best quality would be my enthusiasm for learning, especially new things, and that would be a huge encouragement for the students,” she said.

Creativity
“The creativity performance trait most resonates with me, because I enjoy the challenge to think outside the box and to come up with unique ways to solve a situation or to complete a task.”
 
 

Getting to Know Marijohn Robinson: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • One of my bucket lists is to visit Paris, France.
  • I am extremely shy.
  • My dream job would be to be a HR consultant like Don Cheadle on House of Lies.
 

Martinus Mitchum

Martinus Mitchum: Registrar

 Photo coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Brooke Barrere

Brooke Barrere: Nurse

Brooke Barrere earned her bachelor’s of science in English from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond in 2002 and graduated from Charity School of Nursing in New Orleans in 2011. Prior to joining Athlos, Barrere worked in dialysis, the operating room, urology, and as a school nurse at another charter school.

“I think that my best quality as a school nurse is that I feel that I understand different aspects from the school community,” she said. “I took education classes when I was an English major, so I understand where the teachers are coming from, but also I am a parent of three. I love being in the school setting and taking care of the students.”

Social Intelligence
“I feel that everyone benefits from being able to interact with others with respect and confidence,” Barrere said. “Children today are so preoccupied with video games, tv, and social media. By teaching them how to interact with others in person, we are preparing them to become productive citizens.”

Getting to Know Brooke Barrere: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I originally wanted to be a high school English teacher. I changed my major in my last semester.
  • I absolutely love Hello Kitty!
  • I am married to a TV star! (Not really.) My husband is a New Orleans Police Department homicide sergeant and was on the tv series “The First 48” when they filmed here a few years ago.
 
 

Annette Hoersting

Annette Hoersting: Media Specialist/Technology Coordinator

 Photo coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Emily Prevot

Emily Prevot: Counselor/Social Worker

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Alaine Garner

Alaine Garner: Counselor/Social Worker

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Rana Rabee

Rana Rabee: Receptionist

 Photo coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Coaches

Nicole Hayden

Nicole Hayden: Lead Athletic Performance Coach

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Devona Nicholas

Devona Nicholas: K-2 Instructional Coach

 Devona Nicholas earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southern University of New Orleans and received her master’s degree in educational leadership from Xavier University of Louisiana. She has also completed an alternative principal certification program with the School Leadership Center at the University of New Orleans.

Prior to joining the team at Athlos Academy, Nicholas spent time teaching pre-kindergarten through eighth grade at a few different schools. She has worked in a wide variety of positions, such as: academy head, instructional coach, grade-level chair, district school support specialist, mentor teacher, school leader intern, and mathematics curriculum coordinator.

Nicholas feels her best quality as a teacher leader is being a good listener with a calm spirit.

“I currently serve as the K-2 instructional coach, where I will be supporting teachers and helping them reach their full capacity as effective teacher leaders and become exemplary in all aspects of the Athlos way,” she said.

Optimism

“The performance trait that resonates with me is optimism, because I believe that through adversity comes strength, and with strength comes hope,” she said.

Getting to Know Devona Nicholas: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I am a member of Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society.
  • I am very hospitable.
  • I love to travel.
 

Amanda Griffin

Amanda Griffin: Math Instructional Coach

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Adrienell Boyd

Adrienell Boyd: Literacy Instructional Coach

Adrienell Boyd received her bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies education from Southern University at New Orleans, in 1994. As a high school teacher in the city of New Orleans, she developed her leadership skills in curriculum, instruction, and school leadership. Boyd then pursued a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of New Orleans in 2004. With two decades worth of experience in the classroom, Boyd became a school leader, serving as both an assistant principal and principal in the public schools of New Orleans.

When asked about her best quality as an educator Boyd said, “One of my best qualities as an educator is that I have a passion and desire to teach all children. I am a great listener and believe in building relationships that are sustainable.”

“Over the past 24 years of my career in education, I have kept in touch with former students who want me to know how much I inspired and motivated them. As an added bonus, I have had the opportunity to impact their children’s lives as well. When they see me or hear my name, they are happy to know that I will positively impact their children’s lives as well.”

Integrity
“The character trait that resonates most with me is integrity,” she said. “I live my life with the belief system that every day and every moment must be one in which I do my best for myself and those that I encounter.”

Getting to Know Adrienell Boyd: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I live and breathe football, especially the New Orleans Saints.
  • I am an avid reader of Dean Koontz and Stephen King novels.
  • I love to watch any television show that features Chef Gordon Ramsey. I love his energy and ability to get the job done!

Kindergarten

Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner: Lead Kindergarten Teacher

Kimberly Turner earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, and is currently working on her doctorate. With more than 16 years of public school experience, she has taught pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, second grade, and eighth grade science.

When asked about her best quality as a teacher she said, “I am a very calm person and that tends to transfer to my students. This enables us to get a great deal of work done throughout the day.”
 

Optimism

“The character trait that resonates with me is optimism. I am excited about being at Athlos Academy and am positive that great things are going to come this school year for the students as well as the teachers.”

Getting to Know Kimberly Turner: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I have four children, two of which are Athlos students.
  • In the future, I want to open a childcare center.
  • I also love animals and want to have an animal rescue.
 

Shonta Romain

Shonta Romain: Kindergarten Teacher

Shonta Romain earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida. Prior to working at Athlos, Romain taught kindergarten through second grade at two other charter schools in the New Orleans area. She has also taught reading fundamentals in workshops with students and parents. She has now been teaching for 11 years.

“My best quality as an educator is that I really get to know each of my student's academic strengths and weaknesses. By knowing each student's abilities, I am able to apply best practices when facilitating lessons. I love when students have that ah-ha moment.”
 
 

Optimism
“The trait of optimism resonates most with me, because I seem to find myself looking at situations positively,” she said. “I try to find a way out of ‘no way’ and I firmly believe that every problem can have a positive solution or outcome.”
 
Getting to Know Shonta Romain: Fun Facts
What are three things about you people don't know?
  • I love office supplies.
  • I have an eight-month old yorkiepoo named Spade.
  • I drink coffee everyday.

Nikohl Mckinzy

Nikohl McKinzy: Kindergarten Teacher

Nikohl McKinzy earned her public health degree from Dillard University where she started to approach studying health by teaching it to young scholars, which led her to become an educator. She will be starting her third year by teaching kindergarten at Athlos Academy.

“I believe kindergarten is so important, because it lays the foundation for a successful learner,” she said. “In kindergarten, scholars learn to work as a team; think creatively; learn rich, engaging material; and so much more! Without the foundation, no structure can truly stand strong. That is why I am so ecstatic that I teach kindergarten. I have such an important job that I take very seriously!”

When asked what she feels is her best quality as a teacher, she said, “I believe my best quality as a teacher is my passion for children and teaching. This quality allows me to get students interested and excited about learning. I give my heart and soul to my scholars.”

Grit
“The Athlos trait that resonates with me most is grit,” McKinzy said. “I truly believe that this is a characteristic that allows scholars to work really hard and teaches them perseverance, to never, ever give up! I look forward to teaching my scholars this performance character and truly leading by example.”

Getting to Know Nikohl McKinzy: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I have a wonderful husband and a three-year-old son!
  • I love going on cruises to explore new places and cultures.
  • The best place to be in the entire world is in my classroom teaching my young scholars.
 
 

Demeredith Griffin

Demeredith Griffin: Kindergarten Teacher

DeMeredith Griffin received her associate’s degree in early childhood education from Delgado Community College and her bachelor's degree in psychology from University of Phoenix. Prior to working at Athlos Academy, Griffin provided reading and math intervention for grades K-8 for eight years as a Title l teacher and has been teaching kindergarten for three years.

“Kindergarten is so important for children, because it provides the foundation for learning and enhancing social skills,” she said. “If children succeed in kindergarten, the foundation is set for them to succeed as they progress in further education.”

Griffin says her best quality as a teacher is compassion. “I make my students feel that they are in a safe space and what they have to say matters,” she said. “I also am dedicated to seeing students succeed.”

 
 
 

Integrity
“The Performance Character trait that resonates with me most is integrity, because as teachers we must have integrity and strive to do the right thing all the time. Our students are watching us, and we must lead by example. If we are doing the right thing then our students will as well.”

Getting to Know DeMeredith Griffin: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I am a little shy.
  • I lived in Seattle for two and half years after Hurricane Katrina and returned to New Orleans in 2008.
  • I love colored ink pens (not the traditional blue and black).
 
 

Susan Mayo

Susan Mayo: Kindergarten Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Carolyn Mejia

Carolyn Mejia: Kindergarten Teacher

 Carolyn Mejia earned her bachelor’s degree in education at St. Petersburg College in Florida. Prior to working at Athlos Academy, she taught kindergarten, first, and third grades for four years in multiple school districts in both Louisiana and Florida.

“Kindergarten is the foundation of a child’s education,” she said. “Kindergarten is a grade where children start to make friends and dive into their curiosity of learning.”

When asked about her best quality as a teacher, Mejia said, “I am a very calm, yet energized, teacher. I love to get my students excited with learning.”

Optimism
“I resonate most with optimism,” she said. “It is a great outlook to have on life in keeping spirits up. I believe that there is always room for improvement and things can always get better.”

Getting to Know Carolyn Mejia: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • My favorite place to visit is Walt Disney World.
  • I enjoy playing tennis.
  • My favorite thing to do in a thunderstorm is read.
 
 

First Grade

Marilyn Lawson

Marilyn Lawson: Lead First Grade Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Gail Johnson

Gail Johnson: First Grade Teacher

 
 Gail Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Southern University of New Orleans and has been teaching for three years. Prior to working at Athlos Academy, Johnson taught first, second, and fifth grade, as well as special education, in multiple other schools around New Orleans.
 

When asked about her best quality as an educator she said, “My best quality is developing a good rapport with my students.”
 

Grit
“The Athlos trait that resonates most with me is grit,” she said. “In challenging situations, I step up to meet them with an optimistic view.”
 

Getting to Know Gail Johnson: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I’m witty.
  • I have a good sense of humor.
  • I love different cultures.
 

Elisha Thompson

Elisha Thompson: First Grade Teacher

 Elisha Thompson received a bachelor’s degree from Dillard University and an associate’s degree from Delgado Community College. Additionally, she received her master’s degree with a concentration in learning and technology from Western Governors University.

Being a native to the New Orleans area, Thompson has experience working as a teacher leader, a teacher advancement program mentor teacher, pre-kindergarten school coordinator, Educare master teacher, technical assistance coach, and professional development trainer.

Thompson feels that her best quality as an educator is her passion. “Passion is the umbrella for the following Athlos Performance Character traits: grit, optimism, energy/zest, courage, initiative, integrity, and creativity,” she said. “If scholars trust their best interests are at the heart of my profession, they will be willing to achieve their highest potential.

Social Intelligence
“Social intelligence is the Athlos Performance Character trait that resonates most with my core,” she said. “Respectful relationships are key for our scholars to become socially competent and productive citizens of our community. My professional background allowed me to train fellow educators, administrators, and parents about the importance of positive social/emotional development.”

Getting to Know Elisha Thompson: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I’m a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated.
  • I have 2 sons: Kyron, 12 years old, and a dachshund dog son, Sparky.
  • I love creating things with my Cricut!
 

Emily Patzwall

Emily Patzwall: First Grade Teacher

 Emily Patzwall graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and certifications in pre-kindergarten and special education. Upon moving to New Orleans, Patzwall worked as a lead pre-kindergarten teacher at a charter school in the Orleans Parish.

“I think that my best quality as a teacher is my ability to be very creative with my lessons,” she said. “I have a deep understanding of the multiple learning styles and how to implement them in the classroom. I think this is a great tool for reaching every kind of student in the way that they can best understand and practice.”

Focus/Self Control
“The Performance Character trait that most resonates with me is focus/self-control,” she said. “I consider myself a very focused person in many aspects of my personal and professional life. This character trait also leads me to be a very organized and routine oriented teacher.”

Getting to Know Emily Patzwall: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I love to travel, I have been to Germany and France.
  • I have been married for four years.
  • I love to read in my free time; my favorite is the Harry Potter series.
 

Second Grade

Batini Brown

Batini Brown: Lead Second Grade Teacher

 Batini Brown earned her bachelor’s of elementary education at the University of Missouri in 2001, and began teaching in Kansas City, Missouri. While working at an Edison Learning Charter School, Brown became a part of the founding staff at the Intercultural Charter School in New Orleans. She has experience teaching grades 1-5, has worked well with a variety of teachers and leadership teams, and has served in many different administrative roles.

When asked about her best quality as a teacher, Brown said, “I'm honest. I make mistakes and will acknowledge them. I tell the students all the time that we are human and make mistakes. What matters is whether we acknowledge them, learn from them, and move forward.”

Humility
“Speaking about myself is very hard. I would rather show you what I can do and find ways that we can be great together,” she said.

Getting to Know Batini Brown: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I entered and completed my first Powerlifting competition this year (and plan to do more).
  • I love turtles.
  • I plan to open my own bakery.
 

Shamekia Chachere

Shamekia Chacere: Second Grade Teacher

 Shamekia Chachere received a degree in psychology from McNeese State University and a degree in education at the Southern University of New Orleans. Prior to joining the team at Athlos Academy, Chachere taught first and second grade at Terrytown Elementary school, where she garnered experience mentoring, tutoring, and developing a grade appropriate curriculum.
Chachere feels her best quality as an educator is patience and caring. “I pride myself on treating people the way I would want them to treat me,” she said. “This allows me to be able to recognize and understand students’ differences and make them feel like they are in a caring and loving environment.”

Integrity
“The Athlos Performance Character trait that resonates most with me is integrity, because I want people to trust me with their most prized possession, their child. It is also something I want to establish with my students as well.”

Getting to Know Shamekia Chachere: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I am a little shy.
  • I love to play basketball.
  • I love to learn about history that isn't taught in history books.

Kevyn Lewis

Kevyn Lewis: Second Grade Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lakisha Lindsey

Lakisha Lindsey: Second Grade Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Julia Barnes

Julia Barnes: Second Grade Teacher

 Julia Barnes graduated from Grambling State University with a bachelor’s degree in special education and a minor in elementary education. With more than 20 years of teaching experience, Barnes has taught grades 2-4 covering a variety of subjects, including: language arts, social studies, reading, math, and science.

Barnes feels her best quality as an educator is patience. “I have the capacity to accept anything without getting angry, losing my temper, or complaining,” she said. “I am a Kool/calm person with a capital K, and students are not afraid to talk to me.”

Creativity
“I am imaginative, playful, and have a great sense of humor and wealth of ideas. I like to ‘think outside the box’ and solve problems with innovation,” she said.
 

Getting to Know Julia Barnes: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • My hobby is scrapbooking.
  • I am artistic.
  • I love traveling.
 
 

Third Grade

Consuella Eugene

Consuella Eugene: Lead Third Grade Teacher

 Consuella Eugene earned her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from National University in San Diego, California and graduated with a master’s degree in educational technology from the University of Northern Iowa. She also attended University of Holy Cross in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she received her elementary teacher certification. With more than 12 years of teaching experience in the educational field, she has worked as a substitute and a full-time teacher in both private and public schools.

She feels her best quality as an educator is integrity. “As a teacher, I believe in being on time, being prepared for student learning, and being respectful of others,” she said. “Integrity in education impacts students, because it is the most authentic part of myself that I can share with my students and their parents. Integrity is an important principle in leadership, it is the core quality of character. As a teacher, I have the opportunity to model and showcase this Performance Character trait to students.”

Humility
“I chose this word, because in my personal and professional lives I always follow the golden rule. The golden rule simply states, ‘do to others as you would have them do to you’.”

Getting to Know Consuella Eugene: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I am the mother of three children.
  • I enjoy camping and traveling.
  • I believe in learning from others, and I became an educator to change and inspire the lives of others.
 

Rose Singleton

Rose Singleton: Third Grade Teacher

Rose Singleton received a master’s degree in education from the University of Holy Cross. For a year, she worked as an English language arts teacher for sixth and seventh grade and also instructed eleventh grade business math. In addition, Singleton worked as a para-professional in advanced academies, English as a second language programs, and pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. As an educator, she attends science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workshops to enhance her own professional development.

Singleton feels her best quality as an educator is her understanding behind the phrase “we must meet students where they are.”

Courage
“Courage resonates with me because this means to take risks and stand up for what is right,” she said. “Sometimes people are not popular for doing the right thing, but it is important to make individual decisions to do the right thing.”

Getting to Know Rose Singleton: Fun Facts
Q. What are some things about you most people don’t know?
  • My favorite hobbies are listening to music, watching TMC movies, and traveling.
  • In the future, I want to write a book about my experiences as a teacher and family history.

Lazander Vancourt

Lazander Vancourt: Third Grade Teacher

Lazander Vancourt received her bachor’s in child development and family services from the Southern University of New Orleans and her master’s degree from Ashford University. She is currently enrolled in a PhD program at Walden University in curriculum and instruction. With more than 16 years of teaching experience, Vancourt has taught pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, working in a variety of subjects with students from many backgrounds.

Vancourt feels that her best quality as an educator is building relationships. “Having a positive relationship with my students allows them to open up and trust me. It's a rewarding feeling when they know how much I care,” she said.
 
 

Leadership
“I choose leadership, because I'm willing to go over and beyond to help my teammates,” she said.

Getting to Know Lazander Vancourt: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • My grandmother was my best friend.
  • I love football season.
  • I played four sports growing up.
 

Mary Harris

Mary Harris: Third Grade Teacher

 Mary Harris received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans and earned her master’s degree in education from Louisiana State University. With more than 14 years of teaching experience, Harris acquired and implemented a Brown Foundation service learning grant in her first year of teaching, received a recognition of excellence by the Educational Testing Service, and has established and maintained relationships with students, parents, and colleges throughout her career.

When asked about her best quality as a teacher, Harris said “I believe my best quality as a teacher is my ability to build relationships with my students. I believe in a community classroom where everyone works together to learn and achieve.”

Integrity
“The Athlos Performance Character trait that resonates most with me is integrity. I strive to always do the right thing in my classroom and in life.”

Getting to Know Mary Harris: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I am married to my best friend.
  • My son is starting his freshman year of college at UNO.
  • I love to binge watch Netflix.
 

Paul Beling

Paul Beling: Third Grade Teacher

 Paul Beling graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and history from Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire in May 2018. He has worked as a student teacher and teaching assistant for students in second through fourth grade in a variety of subjects, including: reading, writing, and science.

When asked about his best quality as an educator he said, “I believe the best quality I have as a teacher is my ability to understand what each student most needs in the classroom for them to be successful, and the positive energy that I bring to school each day.”

Energy/Zest
“I think all of the Athlos Performance Character traits are important to have in life and in school,” he said. “However, I think having enthusiasm and excitement going into school is crucial for achieving success in the classroom each day. A positive mindset will help anyone overcome challenges academically.”

Getting to Know Paul Beling: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • My favorite subject in school growing up was always social studies.
  • My favorite food is buffalo chicken wings.
  • I love going to City Park to play sports and to be outside in my free time.
 

Fourth Grade

Kristin Sylve

Kristin Sylve: Co-Lead Fourth Grade Teacher

 Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Kristin Sylve received her bachelor’s degree in theatre from Tulane University and completed the alternate certification program at the University of New Orleans. Prior to joining the team at Athlos Academy, Sylve has gained more than 10 years of teaching experience in elementary, middle, and high school environments teaching mostly English language arts and social studies.

Sylve feels that her best quality as an educator is passion. “I am in the business of ensuring that all students, no matter what their background, can learn,” she said. “It is up to me to deliver lessons effectively to reach my students. I understand that every student is different, and I will work tirelessly to create those avenues for students to become independent and utilize their newfound knowledge.”

Grit
“Life is filled with obstacles and challenges that we cannot avoid,” she said. “Teaching students the importance of being persistent and having the ability to rise up and persevere in spite of failure is vital to excelling in today’s world. If I model and surround my students with this ideal, they will always believe in themselves and their abilities.”

Getting to Know Kristin Sylve: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I never intended on becoming a teacher. (I was inspired by a family member who saw it in me.)
  • I can read music.
  • I was named after a popular 80’s primetime soap opera character.
 

Whitney Coello

Whitney Chello: Fourth Grade Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Curtis Harris

Curtis Harris: Fourth Grade Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Theresa Camp

Theresa Camp: Fourth Grade Teacher

 Theresa Camp earned an associate’s degree in early childhood from Delgado Community College and a bachelor’s degree in education from Our Lady of Holy Cross College. In her 15 years of teaching, Camp has spent eight with the Archdiocese of New Orleans, three in the public sector, and two in Corcoran, California.

Camp feels that her best quality as an educator starts with her openness and approachability. “I strive to make learning fun while maintaining a safe, calm, and structured classroom,” she said.

Integrity

“There are several Athlos Performance Character traits that I feel very strongly match my personality and teaching style,” she said. “However, if I had to choose only one, it would have to be integrity. I feel that my job is to help mold contributing members of society, and by instilling the trait of integrity, the future will be brighter. I highly believe that our students should be honest, do the right thing, and make good choices.”

Getting to Know Theresa Camp: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • Most people don’t know that I was a dancer for 10 years and even did some competing.
  • I am also a soccer mom in every sense of the word. My sons, 12 and 14, have played travel soccer for almost 9 years and both aspire to become professional players.
  • I am also the only child to parents who met on a blind date, are still together, and are currently in their 70s.
 

Fifth Grade

Tammie Scott

Tammie Scott: Fifth Grade Teacher

 Tammie Scott earned her bachelor’s degree in social work, post baccalaureate in education, and a master’s degree in public administration. With more than 20 years of education experience, Scott has worked with students from all walks of life, from small to large classroom sizes.

Scott feels her best quality as an educator is her tenacity to make sure every child can learn. “I will find a way to educate my students, whether it's through music, role playing, cooperative groups, or drawing. I have that force that will find that spark in their eye, that will let me know that they get it,” she said.

Integrity
“The character trait that resonates most with me would be integrity. I believe integrity is the foundation of everything,” she said. “The administrators, parents, and community rely on us to provide a strong educational structure that will enable them to be successful in the future.”

Getting to Know Tammie Scott: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I like to collect stamps of famous celebrities.
  • I enjoy watching all sports.
  • I enjoy learning different languages.
 

Rana Abdelfattah

Rana Abdelfattah: Fifth Grade Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Roesmary Benjamin-Walker

Roesmary Benjamin-Walker: Fifth Grade Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

LeeAnn Boudreaux

LeeAnn Boudreaux: Fifth Grade Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Heather Goforth

Heather Goforth: Fifth Grade Teacher

 Heather Goforth earned her bachelor’s degree in history from American University and her master’s degree in elementary education from the College of Charleston. Goforth is also a certified elementary education teacher and is working to earn certifications in early education and mild moderate special education.

When asked about her best quality as an educator she said, “I believe that my best quality as an educator is my ability to get know each and every one of my students and form long lasting relationships with them. To this day, I am in contact with past students either through e-mail or our regular pen pal correspondence. I cherish these relationships, and I know they do too.”
 
 

Integrity
“The trait that resonates me the most is integrity,” she said. “I always strive to do my best and the right thing for not only myself but also for others.”

Getting to Know Brittany Fairman: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I was a zookeeper for several years.
  • I lived abroad for five years in England and Germany.
  • I was a springboard diver from middle school to college.
 

Sixth Grade

Heather Goforth

Robert Gist: Sixth Math Grade Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Cheryse Gaston

Cheryse Gaston: Sixth Grade Literacy Teacher

 As a native to the New Orleans area, Cheryse Gaston earned her bachelor’s degree at the Southern University of New Orleans where she majored in English education. With more than 13 years as an English teacher, she has taught students at a variety of charter schools in the area.

When asked about her best quality as an educator, Gaston said, “My best quality as an educator is that I have ‘grandma's hands,’ meaning I am a caretaker of the village. I believe it is my duty to nurture and care for youth and give them a sense of belonging and community.”

Social Intelligence
“The Athlos Academy performance trait that I identify with is social intelligence. It is important to foster healthy relationships to make the world a better place,” she said.

Getting to Know Cheryse Gaston: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I am a storyteller.
  • I love to sing karaoke.
  • I grammatically correct rap lyrics.
 

Joy Askin

Joy Askin: Sixth Grade Social Studies Teacher

 Bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Henry Davis

Henry Davis: Sixth Grade Science Teacher

 Henry M. Davis III graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in biology from Tuskegee University. Prior to working at Athlos Academy, Davis taught science for 11 years, working with students in grades 5-12 at a few different charter schools. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in secondary education.

When asked about his best quality as an educator he said, “My best quality as an educator/teacher is my rapport with my students and my ability to adapt to any situation.”
 

Grit
“The trait I identify with the most is grit,” he said. “I believe it builds great character in times of distress when the pressure is on and you deliver.”
 
 

Getting to Know Henry Davis: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I have jumped off a cliff while on vacation.
  • I have been in several movies.
  • I am a first-degree black belt.
 

Patricia Sanabria

Patricia Sanabria: Sixth Grade Spanish/Art Instruction Teacher

 Patricia Sanabria graduated from Puerto Rico's Central School of Visual Arts with honors and a specialization in painting. She has a bachelor's degree in humanities with a major in fine arts and a minor in history of arts from the University of Puerto Rico. She has also studied European art at the University of Salamanca, Spain and participated in a program on landscape architecture at Harvard Graduate School.

Sanabria has experience working with at-risk communities in Puerto Rico, as well as planning and implementing visual arts and urbanism lessons for small groups, communities, museums, and schools with varying skill levels. She recently created an architecture curriculum for middle schoolers and conceived a street art program for imprisoned students at Travis Hill School in the Orleans Detention Center.

When asked about her best quality as an educator she said, “My best quality as a teacher is giving each student individual instruction and meaningful feedback as part of my art and design class.”

Leadership
“I strive to be an excellent role model and demonstrate what excellence should look like, always trying to not only meet but exceed expectations in everything I do.”

Grit
“Being born and raised in Puerto Rico presented me with great social and economic challenges. Yet, I persevered and learned to meet obstacles with fervor and optimism.”

Creativity
“Creativity is part of my daily life. I believe it is an incredibly important tool to solve problems effectively. Today's economies require us to approach problems from different angles to be successful, and I reflect that in my instructional practice.”

Getting to Know Patricia Sanabria: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • My father is a professional surfer and taught me how to surf when I was eight years old.
  • I was an active urban biker, and I prefer riding my bike to driving a car.
  • My happy place is painting on a high crane on a large canvas, listening to my favorite music.
 

Special Education

David Nguyen

David Nguyen: Lead SPED Teacher

 David Nguyen received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the American Military University, and his master’s degree in educational administration from Concordia University.
After his second tour in the Iraqi war, he was accepted into the Troops to Teachers program, where he completed generalist and special education teaching certifications.

Nguyen feels his best quality as an educator is his ability to build relationships. “I treat all my students like they were my own and hold high expectations for them, in return they perform.”

Courage
“The performance character trait I exhibit the most would be courage. I have ten years of comprehensive military experience in the U.S. Air Force, where I progressed to the rank of E-5 as a military policeman. I am a decorated war veteran with deployments in both Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.”
 
 

Getting to Know David Nguyen: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I lived in Japan.
  • I lived in England.
  • I’m a SCUBA diver.
 
 

Lekeysha London

Cory Cuillier: SPED Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ann Poche

Ann Poche: SPED Teacher

 Ann Poche received her bachelor’s degree at Nicholls State University and her master’s degree in education at Southeastern Louisiana University. Prior to joining the team at Athlos Academy, Poche taught special education at a variety of institutions, working with a wide range of students.

When asked about her best quality as a teacher she said, “I have a passion for teaching and try to have a good rapport with students. This impacts them by developing their trust and making them excited to learn.”

Leadership, Courage, and Optimism
The Athlos Performance Character traits that resonate most with me are leadership (making responsible decisions for students and motivating them), courage (being an advocate for students and standing up for what is right), and optimism (putting forth effort makes a better tomorrow).”
 
 
 

Getting to Know Ann Poche: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I go by my middle name Michaelle, which is spelled differently.
  • I like to bake for people.
  • I had a milestone birthday recently.
 

Krystina Hart

Krystina Hart: SPED Teacher

Krystina Hart earned her bachelor's degree from Alabama State University and her master's degree from The University of Southern Mississippi. Additionally, she is certified in kindergarten through sixth grade and special education. With four years of teaching experience, Hart has worked with students from many backgrounds, implemented a variety of instructional techniques, and kept accurate and up-to-date progress records of her students.

Hart feels her best quality as an educator is being personable and showing students that she is human and makes mistakes. “This helps impacts students by creating relationships inside and outside the classroom,” she said.

Grit
The Athlos Performance Character trait that resonates most with Hart is grit. “I feel that if you don't accomplish a task the first or second time, you must continue to persevere to succeed,” she said.

Getting to Know Krystina Hart: Fun Facts
Q. What are some things about you most people don’t know?
  • I participated in the Superbowl XXXVI halftime show.
  • I originally wanted to major in art and history in college.
  • I took first place in a district literary rally in Spanish.
 

Richelle Woodfork

Richelle Woodfork: SPED Teacher

 Richelle Woodfork has been working as special education teacher since 1998. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Dillard University and is currently working on a master’s degree. Woodfork has teaching experience managing diverse classroom environments and working with students and parents from a wide range of needs.

“I chose this profession, because after all that had happened to me at a young age, I found that my passion was to work with children. The ones who I really found myself giving more to and growing more on me were the kids with special needs,” Woodfork said. “It gives me joy and peace to know that these kids with special needs can do the same things that regular kids can do with just a little help from someone like myself who has love and compassion for what they do. I look for my kids to reach their highest levels of education.”

“My favorite part about working in special education is being able to build a relationship with the kids and help them succeed,” she said.

Getting to Know Richelle Woodfork: Fun Facts
Q. What are some things about you most people don’t know?
  • I am a mother who lost her only son at the age of five years old. I was then told that I would never be able to have any more kids, so I decide to adopt a nine-year-old African American boy who had some special needs.
  • I am a very creative person who makes different things like wreaths, party treats, etc.
 

English Language Learner

Diana Alonso

Diana Alonso: Lead ELL Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Alex Jansa

Alex Jansa: ELL Teacher

 Alex Jansa received his degree in education and psychology from the University of New Orleans and gained a background in linguistics and children's literature. Prior to joining the team at Athlos Academy, Jansa taught Spanish and English at multiple types of educational institutions for a variety of grade levels. His teaching experience also includes science, religion, and art.

When asked about his best quality as an educator he said, “One of my hopes as an educator is to inspire learning in addition to just relating the required facts and to instill a love for learning in my students, as I share my own passion for learning with them.”

Social Intelligence and Grit
“The Athlos Performance Character traits that resonate the most with me are social intelligence and grit, because academic success alone cannot prepare us to navigate the world successfully,” he said.

Getting to Know Alex Jansa: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I am originally from Vienna, Austria, and grew up trilingual.
  • I can wiggle my left ear.
  • I live with my wife, two dogs, and one imaginary goldfish.
 

Lisa Labue

Lisa Labue: ELL Teacher

Lisa Labue has been teaching since 1996. She graduated from Kennesaw State University in Georgia with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in elementary education, and an English as a second language endorsement. Labue is dual certified and has taught general education, special education, and English as a second language in grades 1-5 and 9-12.
 

Labue feels that her best quality as an educator is compassion. “In this ever-changing world that we live in today, students need compassion, love, and understanding,” she said. “This allows them to trust me and know that I am willing to listen to them no matter what the circumstance. Once I establish this relationship with them, they will listen, learn, and do their best to be the outstanding students I know they can be.”
 

Social Intelligence and Grit
“I believe we should all display these two traits daily as we model confidence in ourselves and respect for others and show our students that we will continue to persevere in spite of any obstacles that may come our way,” she said.
 
 

Getting to Know Lisa Labue: Fun Facts
Q. What are some things about you most people don’t know?
  • I have two daughters, ages 33 and 18, and one beautiful 10-year-old granddaughter.
  • I am Cajun French, Italian, and German.
  • I enjoy working out and try to stay active as much as possible.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nancy Hufft

Nancy Hufft: ELL Teacher

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

K-5 Music & Spanish

Tiondra Norris

Tiondria Norris: Music Teacher

 Tiondria Norris received her bachelor’s degree in music—vocal performance from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in 2012. Norris began teaching general music/chorus at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University Developmental Research School and then chorus, drama, and theatre for high school students in 2015.

After getting married in 2016, her family relocated to New Orleans where she taught general music at Dolores T. Aaron Elementary until 2017.

Norris feels her best quality as an educator is her big heart for children. “I understand their need for attention, order, consistency, and structure, and I will always put my best foot forward when it concerns meeting their needs,” she said. “It also helps that I am passionate about music, and music is the universal language by which we gain a better understanding for one another.”

Humility
“Humility is something that I have always striven for. As an artistic being, it is important not to allow your abilities, or capabilities, to overshadow anything that you do,” she said. “I am also a natural helper, and I believe it is my charge to lend a helping hand to those who need it. Not to get any glory, recognition, or praise, but simply because it is the right thing to do—we all need each other to grow and thrive.”

Getting to Know Tiondria Norris: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I love musical theatre! I am currently working on becoming a member of the Actor’s Equity Union so I can audition for Broadway.
  • I have been singing since the age of 4.
  • I never learned to skate.
 

Lidia Amaya

Lidia Amaya: Spanish Teacher

Lidia Amaya holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, a master’s degree in romance language, and two Spanish certifications. She has taught in multiple types of school settings, including public, private, and charter schools. She has experience working with students from different backgrounds in all grade levels. Prior to joining the team at Athlos Academy, she was working as a professor at the college level.
 

Amaya feels her best quality as a teacher is her energy and passion for her students' engagement and participation. “I can manage my classroom in an effective and instructional manner,” she said. “I make sure that my teaching strategies impact my students' achievement. It is important to maintain an environment that allows students the best opportunity to learn.”
 

Grit and Energy
“I love my job. I am an enthusiastic person whose passion is to be a teacher,” she said. “Throughout my lesson plans, I show my enthusiasm and energy in the classroom. Being an energetic teacher means being a teacher with high expectations of the class!”

Getting to Know Lidia Amaya: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • I have been married 37 years.
  • I have traveled to Cancun 10 times.
  • I love to dance to Mexican music!
 

Athletic Performance Coach

Ryan Ojeda

Ryan Ojeda: Athletic Performance Coach

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Phillip Rowe

Phillip Rowe: Athletic Performance Coach

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sara Habetz

Sara Habetz: Athletic Performance Coach

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Katherine Matthew-Parker

Katherine Matthew-Parker: Athletic Performance Coach

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

General Education Paraprofessionals

Ciji Parker

Ciji Parker: GEP

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Candace Taylor

Candace Taylor: GEP

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Darriel Burke

Darriel Burke: GEP

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monica Pilkington

Monica Pilkington: GEP

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Joann Burke

Joann Burke: GEP

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

LaTacha Banks

LaTacha Banks: GEP

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tokeby Mixon

Tokeby Mixon: GEP

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Simone Claire

Simone Claire: GEP

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Damalia Simon-Gillard

Damalia Simon-Gillard: GEP

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Alana Noel

Enjoli Gilbert: GEP

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hope Whittington

Hope Whittington: GEP

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Special Education Paraprofessionals

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Gail Cadres

Gail Cadres: SPED Para

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Faith Wilson

Faith Wilson: SPED Para

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hayley Yoskowitz

Hayley Yoskowitz: SPED Para

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

English Language Learner Paraprofessionals

Ingrid Villegas

Ingrid Villegas: ELL Para

 Ingrid Villegas has worked with English and a second language learners (ESL) and special education for two years. “I too was in ESL as a child and I remember having the best ESL paraprofessional guide me and help me,” she said. “It takes a lot of courage to ask for help when you may not comprehend something in class, especially if you do not speak English. It is my duty to instill courage into my students so that they are confident.”

“I too was in ESL as a child and I remember having the best ESL paraprofessional guide me and help me,” she said. “It takes a lot of courage to ask for help when you may not comprehend something in class, especially if you do not speak English. It is my duty to instill courage into my students so that they are confident.”
 
 
 

Jasmine Haynes

Jasmine Haynes: ELL Para

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dionne Knapper

Dionne Knapper: ELL Para

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Alana Noel

Alana Noel: ELL Para

 Photo and bio coming soon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kim Woodrum

Kim Woodrum: ELL Para

Kim Woodrum earned her degree at the University of Phoenix and has been teaching kindergarten and first grade for 10 years. Her teaching experience includes helping improve student performance, adapting teaching methods to meet individual student needs, and incorporating new technologies as useful learning tools.

“I believe the students teach us just as much as we teach them. We learn together!” she said.

Woodrum feels her best quality as an educator is her passion for what she does. “I believe that being passionate about teaching will lead my students to a love for learning,” she said.

Grit
“My favorite performance character is grit,” she said. “I have had many challenges in my life. I keep on going even when things get difficult. Never give up!”

Getting to Know Kim Woodrum: Fun Facts
Q. What are three things about you most people don’t know?
  • Within the last nine months, I have lost 75 to 80 pounds.
  • I have two children.
  • I have four sisters and one brother.

Maintenance

 
Melaney Cosse:
Maintenance Staff
Tanya Jones
Maintenance Staff