We are excited to welcome new faculty to the Walker community and wish those leaving us the best in their new endeavors. Use the drop-down menu below to view the new hires and departures by division for the 2022-23 school year.
Jen Martel, who will be working alongside Beth Bourgeois in the Early Learner classroom. Jen has worked in a preschool setting for the past six years and has most recently worked at First Presbyterian Church’s Preschool. She has two sons who are very involved in sports, and you can often find her at the baseball field on the weekends.
Alex Felger, the Primary School’s new Music and Movement teacher. Alex has been working as a Primary and Lower School PE teacher this year, as well as coaching soccer and swimming. She is looking forward to being in the Primary School full-time next year.
Leigh LaFalce, Media Specialist. Leigh previously worked as a lead Pre-Kindergarten teacher at First Presbyterian Church Preschool and has been an Early Learner assistant at Walker for the past three years. She is looking forward to sharing her love of literature and storytelling with our youngest learners.
Katy MacDonald, Art Assistant. Katy is coming from Emory’s Candler School of Theology. Katy graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Apparel Design & Production Management from Auburn University. When Katy is not helping in the art room, she will be working for her own textile business. Katy is looking forward to combining her love of art and creativity with her passion for education.
Juliana Radomski, Primary School Counselor. Juliana is a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified ADHD counseling professional, and certified school counselor in Georgia. After completing her doctorate in counseling, supervision, and education at Auburn University she has been working with families for 10 years. She has published and presented on various family dynamic issues such as family play therapy, sand tray therapy, experiential techniques of family therapy, and more. She combines experiential techniques to help families and children establish healthy cycles of interaction and coping techniques (aka manage those BIG feelings). She uses her specialization in ADHD to help students thrive in the classroom by breaking material and expectations into small manageable steps and scaffolding the process. To help incorporate the mind-body connection, she uses her training in polyvagal techniques to help make new pathways through music and movement. She is very drawn to The Walker School because of the emphasis the school places on seeing each child as an individual. The Walker School recognizes that each child is wonderfully made, but each is different. She is excited to help in any way she can and to learn from all of you.
Farewell and best wishes to:
Media Specialist Karlyn Zimmerman, who has shared her love of literature, creativity and exploration with our students for more than 18 years. She is looking forward to spending more time with her daughters and husband, Dave, out on the golf course.
Katie Yeilding has nurtured and supported our students and families in her role as Primary School Counselor for the past three years. We are grateful for her compassion, enthusiasm, and dedication to the social and emotional development of our youngest learners. Katie recently welcomed her second child and is looking forward to spending time at home with her children next year.
Sally Wright has served as our Primary School Art Assistant for the past three years. Sally is looking forward to spending more time with her family and enjoying her lake house in New Hampshire. We look forward to catching up with her when she comes to sub next year.
Dr. Kathy Meskell, the new Head of Lower School. Dr. Meskell is joining our faculty after most recently serving as the Assistant Head of School at Cumberland Academy. Kathy is a big fan of reading and gardening and looks forward to engaging in creative thinking and problem-solving in her new role here, hoping to make a difference in the lives of all Lower School students, faculty and staff members, and families via her experiences as an educator. To learn more about Kathy, please read the announcement of Kathy’s appointment.
Michelle Chen will teach Lower School Technology this year. Michelle has an MAT from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte in addition to a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Coming to us from the Korea International School in Jeju, South Korea, Michelle brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge and is also a Google Certified Educator. Michelle contends that “Walker’s commitment to supporting both faculty and students in learning and pursuing their passions” played a large part in her decision to join our faculty. She says she is excited to be part of a team that places an emphasis on collaboration and continual growth and to also bring a multicultural perspective and experience to the Lower School.
Millie Reddick will be changing roles next year. Millie will continue to work with the New Avenues team and families as an associate teacher. She is excited to shift her focus to Structured Literacy and math support.
Derrick Clay, Lower School PE instructor. A graduate of Georgia Southern University, Derrick has worked as a Physical Education and Health Teacher, the Lower School Developmental Sports Coordinator, and a coach for various sports at The Heritage School in Newnan, Ga. Derrick’s love for coaching and mentoring will come into play as he works with Lower School students to build their health and wellness knowledge and skills. Derrick was drawn to Walker’s diverse and caring community as well as its mission to develop students into well-rounded individuals. He is hopeful to contribute to the Lower School team by making use of his dependability to be of support to students, faculty and staff members.
Candice McAndrews, Grade 4 Teaching Assistant. Coming to us from the Atlanta Speech School, Candice has a B.S. in Middle Child Education from Georgia State University and has worked as a teaching assistant and in extended day programs at independent schools in the metro Atlanta area. She is an avid reader, loving books of all kinds – from historical volumes to science journals to cookbooks. Candice shared that her excitement about working at Walker comes from the amazing things that she has heard about Walker and its community. She anticipates impacting the Lower School by anticipating the needs of the students in her care and her colleagues as well as getting to work in the Lorraine Brooks Garden.
Daryll Overton, Jr., a Walker alum, will return to Walker this fall as the Grade 5 Teaching Assistant. Daryll holds a B.S. from Alabama State University where he also played collegiate football. He is eager to come back onto the campus that he holds in high regard to further his growth as an educator, coach, and mentor to youth. Daryll said he wanted to work at Walker because he wants to give back to a place that has meant so much to him; he awaits the opportunity to make use of his positive attitude and growth mindset to influence young students in a meaningful way. Outside of Walker, Daryll enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports, and playing video games (which has already endeared him to the incoming class of fifth-graders).
Sarah Polattie, New Avenues and the second-grade team. Sarah, a graduate of Georgia Southern University, is moving from Columbus, Ga. Most recently, Sarah has served as a lead Learning Center teacher at Brookstone School. Lifelong learning is one of Sarah’s hobbies; she regularly seeks out training and courses to fill her toolbox, including explorations of etymology and executive function. We are excited for her to share her passion and knowledge with the Walker community. In addition to working with learners, Sarah also enjoys running, spending time with her dog and working with the Women’s Initiative for Learning and Discovery (WILD). After visiting our campus and team, Sarah said that she got a sense of the strong Walker community and is delighted to become a part of it.
Ansley Reynolds, Lower and Middle School Learning Support Specialist for Grades 4-6, is joining our team after a stint at Atlanta Academy. With a B.A. from Auburn University and an M.Ed. from Kennesaw State University, Ansley has taught students in Grades 4-7 in the areas of language and literacy. Professionally, she enjoys learning about education best practices and is working toward completing the Associate Level Practicum in the Orton-Gillingham Academy. Mother to Gavin and Graham, Ansley is excited to join the Walker faculty, saying that she looks forward to the School’s encouragement of faculty growth and professional development.
Farewell and best wishes to:
Trish Dougherty, Head of Lower School, is returning to Virginia to be closer to family. Trish will serve as the Assistant Head of School at Green Hedges School in Vienna, Va.
Dawn Dunlap, Lower School technology teacher, is retiring. Dawn has a kind and calming manner that will be missed by her students and colleagues alike. Dawn has been instrumental in preparing our students for not only today but also for the world they will encounter in the future. From typing and using the Google applications to coding and robotics, our students are not just consumers of technology but contributors and creators.
Cathy Jackson, Grade 4 advisory teacher and social studies teacher for Grades 4 and 5, is retiring. During Cathy’s many years in the Lower School, she has instilled within her students a keen interest in history. Cathy’s ability to tell the stories of our nation’s past has grabbed the attention of her students in a way that encourages them to always learn more.
Cybil Sather, Lower School art teacher, will be leaving us to join the faculty at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta as a middle school art teacher. During Cybil’s time at the Lower School, she has encouraged each of her students to see themselves as artists.
Ben Smith, fourth-grade teaching assistant, is returning to New York, where he plans to return to school and pursue a Master’s Degree. Ben’s quiet, steady demeanor was well-suited for his days spent with our energetic fourth-graders.
Greg Chalfin, Head of Middle School. Greg most recently was the Head of Middle School at Stanley British Primary School in Denver, where he served for the past four years. Prior to Stanley, Greg served as the Dean of Students at the Kent Denver School. Greg began his educational career teaching English and History in the Middle School at Kent Denver. Our announcement of Greg's appointment is available and contains additional information about his education, professional background, and experience.
Leslie Williams will be joining the English department in the Middle School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Education. She brings 28 years of experience teaching English in the classroom, 15 years of that at The Lovett School in Atlanta. She has a certificate in Middle Grades Gifted Language Arts and an International Baccalaureate (MYP) certification. She has been involved in a myriad of ways such as working on the discipline council, curriculum development, coaching cheerleading, team leader and grade-level representative. When asked about teaching Middle School, she said: “I truly believe that children are innately empathetic and curious. Teaching Middle School English gives me an enormous opportunity to nurture these exceptional qualities and make them a part of who my students become as young adults.”
Laurel Sandler will be joining our sixth-grade team as our new 6th-grade Earth Science teacher. She earned a Bachelor in Biology from Concordia College and a Master in the Arts of Teaching in Secondary Science Education from The University of South Florida. She brings with her 18 years of teaching in independent schools in the Atlanta area. Laurel has always had a passion for all things Science.
We are excited to welcome Ansley Reynolds to our Learning Support team. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in French with a Minor in Religious Studies and a Master in the Art of Teaching ESOL with a concentration in Reading Endorsement from Kennesaw State University. Her Georgia certification includes Early Childhood Education (P-5), Middle Grades Language Arts (4-8), English (6-12), English to Speakers of Other Languages, (P-12), Gifted Endorsement, and Reading Endorsement. She brings 10 years of experience in both public and independent schools, most recently as the Learning Specialist at Atlanta Academy. She will be in both Lower School and Middle School as she serves as the Learning Specialist for grades 4-6.
Farewell and best wishes to:
David Gale, Interim Head of Middle School, who is leaving to teach and coach at The Westminster Schools. We are grateful for David’s service and passion as an administrator, teacher and coach.
Yesenia Alonso, who taught 8th Grade English and English Seminar.
Tom Evangelista will be moving from the Middle School Science department to the Upper School to teach Chemistry and Physics. Tom is completing his third year as a faculty member at Walker and has been teaching Sixth Grade Earth Science and Upper School Physics each of those years. Prior to his time at Walker, Tom taught Upper School Physical Science and Physics at Holy Spirit Preparatory School, and he holds a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Vanderbilt along with an MEd in Secondary Math Education from West Georgia.
Amy Templer will be joining the counseling team at Walker as a Middle and Upper School Counselor. Amy holds a BA in English, along with an MEd in School Counseling from Georgia State University and a Certificate in International Counseling from Lehigh University. She was an English teacher and Advisory Program Coordinator at the International School of Latvia prior to moving into school counseling with positions at the International Community School and Pebblebrook High School. Walker students who met with Mrs. Templer during her interview visit described her as welcoming, kind and an amazing communicator.
Adelaide Dunn will be joining Walker as an Associate Director of College Counseling. Adelaide comes to us from Wofford College, where she is the Senior Assistant Director of Admissions. She has a BA in English from Wofford College and an MEd in Higher Education Administration from Columbia College. Adelaide’s expertise in the college admissions process, enthusiasm for working with students and engaging demeanor were all noted throughout her interview at Walker and in her previous work with Walker students that applied to Wofford.
Farewell and best wishes to:
Damon Dawson, Middle and Upper School Counselor, is leaving for a position at Woodward Academy. We have appreciated Damon’s work supporting our Middle and Upper School students along with his help in coaching football.
Brian Carter, Upper School Chemistry and Physics teacher, will be leaving Walker to return to the corporate world of education policy.
Jessica Henley, who taught Computer Science in the Middle and Upper Schools.