Sam Brannonis the new Middle School and the Upper School computer science teacher. He holds a bachelor’s in music composition from Johns Hopkins University, a master’s in music history from the University of North Carolina, and a doctorate in music history from UNC. He has nearly a decade of experience in education, spending his last two years as Upper School Technology Facilitator at The Steward School in Virginia.
Brian Carterjoins the Upper School science department as a physics teacher. He graduated with honors from the University of Georgia with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and mathematics and earned his Ph.D. in chemistry with distinction from Columbia University. For the past four years, Brian has been a Program Officer at Overdeck Family Foundation in New York City, where he developed and led the Inspired Minds portfolio, which works to increase the quantity and quality of out-of-school STEM learning experiences for all students across the country.Brian is on the advisory board for Bard High School Early College, and enjoys cooking, traveling, and lazy Sundays with his dog Leon. He can’t wait to be back in Georgia, where he was born and raised.
Michele Davisjoined the Upper School as our Director of College Counseling this summer. She has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a master’s in educational leadership and administration from The George Washington University. Ms. Davis has most recently been a college counselor at Hutchison School in Memphis, Tennessee, following time as a college counselor at Woodward Academy and Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. Prior to her work in independent school college counseling, she was Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Assistant Director of Admissions at the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University.
Today we welcome our new P.E. teacher, varsity baseball coach, and varsity football assistant, Dan Garofano. He comes to Walker from Savannah Country Day School where he spent the past 12 years. His teams were 59-22 the last 3 years; this year they advanced to the Elite Eight. He received his Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice at MacMurray College where he was a four-year letterman in baseball and inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2002. He received another bachelor's degree in physical fitness and health from Panhandle State University. Coach Garofano has also served as football offensive coordinator at SCD.
Emily Meadowsis excited to join the Upper School as our new guidance counselor. She has a bachelor’s in psychology from Christian Brothers University, a master’s in education from Louisiana State University, and a doctorate in counseling from the University of Memphis. She has a multitude of experience in high schools, including Memphis Catholic Middle and High School and most recently, Christ the King in Atlanta.
Ryan Stadlerwill be joining the World Languages department as a Spanish teacher. He holds his bachelor’s in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and his teaching certification in Spanish from Georgia State University and is currently working on his master’s in Spanish from New Mexico State University. Ryan has two decades of experience on the stage as a professional actor and musician and has spent the last five years as a Spanish teacher in Atlanta.
Elece Turnipseedis excited to join Walker as a math teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Clayton State University and is currently completing her master’s degree in mathematics education at Georgia State University. Elece has spent the last three years teaching math in her hometown of Jonesboro. In her spare time, she enjoys competitive cheerleading, singing, and baking (she also has a degree from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts).
Danielle Whichardjoined our Upper School math department this fall. Danielle has her bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Mary Washington and her master’s degree in secondary math education from Kennesaw State. A former senior risk analyst for JP Morgan Chase, Danielle has taught high school for nearly a decade and has also coached swimming, soccer, and cross country. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys running with her dog Pascal and personal training.
Karen Witkinjoins the Upper School as the new Learning Support Specialist. A New Orleans native, Karen comes to Walker with vast experience in independent schools in New Orleans and Chicago. She is an Orton-Gillingham and IMSLEC certified tutor and has served as a lecturer for the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity and a presenter at the International Dyslexia Conference. In her spare time, Karen enjoys spending time with her daughter, cooking, reading, and running.
Matt Andersonjoins Walker as a social studies teacher. He has his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Valdosta State University and over 14 years of high school teaching experience. Matt comes to Walker from St. Pius X Catholic High School. He has taught social studies with a primary focus on U.S. History and Economics and has coached football, golf, baseball, track and field, girls lacrosse, and boys lacrosse. Matt lives in Marietta with his wife, Jamie, and two sons, Jack and Will.
The Walker School is excited to welcome Tatum Laine Anderson to the Middle School as part of a collaboration between The Walker School and Kennesaw State University’s Bagwell College of Education. As a pre-service teacher, Tatum will partnering with Mary Ann Stillerman in Eighth Grade English this school year. Born and raised in Marietta, Georgia, Tatum attended Mt. Paran Christian School and will graduate from Kennesaw State University in May with a B.A. in Middle Grades Education. Her hobbies include reading and spending time with family, friends, and her German Shepard, Remington.
Tom Evangelistajoins both our Middle School and Upper School science departments. An Atlanta native, Tom received his bachelor’s in computer science and mathematics from Vanderbilt University. He brings with him nearly two decades of experience at Clemson University, Sewanee: The University of the South, South Carolina State University, and Presbyterian College, and he comes to Walker from Holy Spirit Preparatory School where he taught science and coached football and golf. Tom has 11-year-old twins, Ty and Nick, who will be joining the Walker Middle School family as well. Tom enjoys trying new things with his sons, traveling, and taking on home improvement projects!
Social Studies Teacher, MS Basketball & MS Football Coach
Jorden Williamswill be joining our Middle School social studies department and also coaching Middle School basketball and football. He has a bachelor’s in American Studies from the University of the South, where he was a four-year letterman on the basketball team and finished his career as their fourth leading scorer of all time. He has several years of teaching and coaching experience, most recently at Providence Day School in Charlotte.
Alison Fox is excited to join the Lower School as Interim Librarian. Alison holds a Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida, a Master's Degree in Communal Service from Brandeis University and a MBA in Entrepreneurship from Babson College. Alison spent a good portion of her career working for Intel Corporation in hiring, training and development before pursuing her entrepreneurial side with her start up business Kids Town Play Center. She has also spent time in the classroom teaching organizational development to adults at the college level, developing and leading family education programs, as well as teaching school age children in a religious school setting. In her spare time Alison enjoys her other role as "mom taxi driver" for her two wonderful kids and she loves being the Assistant Scoutmaster to a new troop of female Scouts BSA here at The Walker School.
I will be joining the Walker School as a pre-service (student teacher) working with with both Mimi Merrett and Melinda Wood in our amazing first grade class. I am currently attending Kennesaw State University, and receiving my Bachelor of Early Childhood Education this upcoming May! I’m super excited to start my teaching journey with the Walker School team.
Josh Lammertjoins the Lower School as a teaching assistant, splitting his time between the Lower School art room and the fourth grade. Although he will be new in these roles, he is not new to The Walker School, as Josh is an alumnus of Walker’s class of 2012. He holds his bachelor’s degree in history from Kennesaw State University. For the last four years, Josh has also been coaching baseball and football at Walker. We are so excited that he will continue in those roles, in addition to coaching a winter sport.
Kayla is very excited to be joining Walker for her student teaching clinical experience from Kennesaw State University. She will graduate in May with a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education. Children are her passion and she looks forward to a year full of growth here at Walker where the wonders truly are endless.
Lauren Millerjoins Walker as the Primary and Lower School music teacher. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Valdosta State University and a Master of Music in Music Education from Belmont University. Lauren has over a decade of experience teaching music to elementary school-aged students, instilling a love of music while providing her students with a variety of musical opportunities. She comes to us most recently from Rocky Creek Elementary School in Hampton, Georgia where in addition to her regular classroom responsibilities, she organized an upper elementary chorus and prepared students for Broadway-themed productions.
Sarah Null, our Lower School Learning Specialist, serves as an integral part of the entire Lower School Support Team. An Associate of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators, she has supported Walker students since 2015. Sarah is a Certified Dyslexia Therapist for the International Dyslexia Association, and she is trained in Orton-Gillingham’s multisensory method for teaching math. In the Lower and Primary Schools, she provides faculty and curriculum support and works with students in need of individual support.
Jennifer Scheivert joins Walker as the 4th grade lead math teacher for this year. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Kindergarten Education from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Library Science from Texas Woman’s University. She has been a fourth grade teacher in both Pennsylvania and at the International School Eastern Seaboard in Thailand, as well as a teacher librarian in Japan and Iowa. Jennifer is excited to explore new surroundings here in Georgia with her husband and their 4 children. They love to explore nature and travel together.
Sara Herndon, a teacher for 12 years at the Atlanta Speech School, came to New Avenues as a speech and language pathologist. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Georgia State University. Sara has worked in several educational settings in the Atlanta area. At the Atlanta Speech School, she provided direct speech-language therapy in the areas of receptive-expressive language disorders, speech sound disorders, and fluency disorders. Sara also worked with psychologists to conduct psychoeducational evaluations and counsel parents and students regarding appropriate accommodations and interventions. Sara is excited to work with the teachers, students, and families of the New Avenues program. Her knowledge and expertise will enhance the program as we grow and incorporate a collaborative push in language development approach.
Elaine recently moved from the Chicago area. She brings a strong background in reading intervention and support at all grade levels. Through her experiences in remediation focused settings Elaine has developed a passion for inspiring motivation and success. Elaine has worked in schools in California, Illinois, and Georgia. She studied at University of Wisconsin, California State University, and Northern Illinois University. In addition to enjoying her work with students Elaine is active in her church Bible studies and often leads small groups. We are thrilled that Elaine has come to the South and joined the Walker family.
Virginia McDonoughjoins the New Avenues Dyslexia Program as an associate teacher. She has her bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and her master's degree from Loyola University and previously worked with students with language-based learning differences at the Swift School and The Lovett School. She enjoys working with students and their families to assist and support their academic progress.
Sandra Montanajoins the New Avenues as a third grade teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Miami University and her master’s degree in special education from the University of Georgia. Most recently, she has taught at the Atlanta Speech School where she worked with many speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and reading specialists.
Kelley Paulsenjoins New Avenues as an associate teacher. She is excited about the opportunity to expand her Orton-Gillingham training as a literacy teacher. Kelley earned her degree in elementary education at Kennesaw State University. She is intrigued by the nuances of the English language as well as the many different ways students learn. Kelley is familiar with all divisions of Walker as she is coming to us from the Lower School and is also a Walker parent.
Casey Schreinerjoins New Avenues as a fifth grade teacher. A native of Marietta and a Walker graduate (Class of 2012), she studied special education at College of Charleston. Casey has worked at the Atlanta Speech School over multiple summers in many capacities including lead teacher for reading and writing programs. Most recently, she taught at Sand Hill School in Summerville, South Carolina. She is excited to join the New Avenues team and focus her talents on literacy instruction with our dyslexic population. Casey also enjoys art, theater, and athletics.
Leigh LaFalce is joining the Walker school after 13 years of teaching four year-olds at First Presbyterian Preschool in Marietta. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Studies from Guilford College. She will be assisting Beth Bourgeois with the Early Learners.
Pam Shahjoined the Primary School as their Administrative Assistant this summer. She has her bachelor's in family studies from the University of Maryland and spent many years as a human resource manager to the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers, and former Philips Arena before taking time to raise her family. A familiar face to many, Pam has two children at Walker, Neil and Maya in the Lower School, and has served as both a dedicated parent volunteer and a substitute teacher at Walker for the past several years.
A parent of three Walker alumni,Sally Wrightwill join the Primary School as the Art Assistant. She previously taught in both the Primary School art room and Early Learner classroom as well as serving as a Primary and Lower School substitute since 2013. She has been a dedicated parent volunteer in the Middle and Upper School since 2006. Sally holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Richmond and spent her early career working as a Development Assistant for Westminster Schools. She is looking forward to returning to the Primary School.
Kaitlin Yeildingwill be joining Walker as the Primary School Counselor. Kaitlin is an Associate Licensed Professional Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor. She holds a Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Auburn University and has continued her clinical training with a specialized focus in play therapy and other evidence-based approaches. She has a broad range of experience as a clinician working in schools, community mental health facilities, and private practice. Kaitlin is a conscientious and personable counselor dedicated to creating a warm, supportive environment for children and families and is committed to instilling a love of learning in children while assisting them to develop exceptional interpersonal skills.
We are excited to welcome a familiar face into this role. Most of you know Rebecca as Mr. Hall’s former executive assistant; however, her Walker roots exist far beyond her time in the Head of School’s office. Throughout her years as a Walker student, Rebecca was the first editor of Pegasus, played basketball and softball, and was a varsity cheerleader. After graduating from Walker, she continued to dedicate her time to the school, serving as president of The Walker School Alumni Association from 1994-1998.
In her role as Director of Alumni Relations, Rebecca will be working to build partnerships with Walker’s 2,333 alumni through outreach, communication, event management, and volunteer coordination. “Whether shaping industries with innovative ideas, serving others or raising future generations, every single one of our amazing alumni is carrying Walker with them,” said Rebecca. “It will be a privilege to support them and to provide a welcoming landing spot for them when they come ‘home.’ I can’t wait to celebrate all that they have and will accomplish, and I am honored to take on this new position.”
Rebecca received her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia and has worked in the Head of School’s office at Walker since 2006. She is married to Kevin Avery, Walker Class of 1984, and is the mom of Joseph, Isabelle (‘16), and Lily-Kate (‘17).
Jose Bermudezwill join Walker as our Director of Safety and Security. He comes to Walker from Gulliver Schools in Miami where he has been the Director of Security since 2012. Prior to his time at Gulliver, Jose spent over a decade as the Director of Security for Starwood Hotels across the country. Jose has over 20 years of experience in the school, hospitality, and risk management industries, and we look forward to welcoming him to Walker!
Kathy Chapman is happy to be back at Walker this year. She and her husband, Brad, have three daughters, Caroline ’02, Melissa ’03, and Leigha ’08, all of whom attended The Walker School from Primary School through Graduation. During this time as a Walker parent, Kathy also worked in the Advancement Office from 2001 until 2014. In the summer of 2014 she joined her daughter Melissa’s company as a designer and creator of metal and stone jewelry. In 2017 Kathy was hired by Trinity School in Atlanta as the Business Associate for their Extended Programs Division. Since 2014 Kathy has continued to do projects for the Advancement Offices of both schools and has now returned to Walker as Advancement Services Manager.
Kristie Cowanis beginning her first year as the Sports Information Director for Walker Athletics, although she has been volunteering with the Wolverines since 2009 when she headed production of the fall, winter and spring media guides. She has also been a member of the Walker Backer Executive Committee and is a part of the new Wolverine Club Executive Board. Her main focus in this new role will be to promote Walker’s student-athletes and to tell their many stories of success both on and off the field.
Beth Elliottwill join Walker as Head of School Jack Hall’s Administrative Assistant. After serving in Walker’s Advancement Office from 1994 - 2001, Beth resigned due to the impending arrival of her twin boys, Denver and Elliott. Following time at home and the birth of her third son Paul, Jr, Beth returned to the workforce as the Director of Communications and Assistant to the Senior Pastor at The First Presbyterian Church of Marietta and most recently, as the Executive Assistant to the Rector of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Beth is excited to return to Walker!
Karen Park is the new Director of Marketing and Communications. She will lead the strategy, planning and implementation of marketing and communications initiatives for our School. Park has extensive communications and marketing experience, having worked for The Detroit Free Press, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and most recently as Senior Manager with global hospitality company InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).Karen and her family live in Marietta. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas’ William Allen White School of Journalism. “As a Walker family for the past five years, we have experienced first-hand the wonder of Walker – teachers who instill a lifelong love of learning, a safe environment where students are encouraged to take risks and a place where all students are valued for who they are,” Park said. “I am excited and honored to work with faculty, staff, alumni, parents and students to share all of the amazing innovation, passion, hard work and fun that happens at Walker.”
Walker’s new Director of Human Resources. Derrick will work to strengthen the human resources processes that relate to talent recruitment, acquisition, and retention for Walker. His key responsibilities are to foster positive employee relations, develop and oversee on-boarding process for new faculty and staff, provide training for school leadership, develop soft skills training for all Walker employees and serve as an ambassador of the Walker culture and employee engagement.
Williams has extensive experience in human resources, school administration and teaching, having worked for Gwinnett County Public Schools, Clayton County Public Schools, Jonesboro High School, John Hope College Preparatory High School and most recently Clark Atlanta University. During the interview process, Williams shared that he would like to utilize his skills in human resources and educational administration to assist teachers and ensure that students receive a quality education.
Williams holds a Doctor of Education in educational leadership and supervision from Clark Atlanta University, a Master of Science in administration and supervision from Governors State University and a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
700 Cobb Parkway North Marietta, GA 30062 770.427.2689