As the 2018-2019 school year gets underway, Georgia Charter Schools Association is excited to welcome more than a dozen new charter school leaders to public charter schools throughout Georgia. New leadership gives schools an opportunity to set fresh goals, visions and to build on successful programs that were previously implemented. GCSA is excited to work with and support these new leaders as they serve students and families. If you know a new charter school leader who was not featured in this article, please let us know.
Atlanta Classical Academy
Chris Knowles, Principal and Executive Officer
An enthusiastic advocate for a classical approach to education, Mr. Knowles leads Atlanta Classical’s faculty, staff and students to advance the school’s mission and vision. With his approachable nature and hands-on experience, he also guides the school in its community-relations efforts, as well as its growing arts, athletics and other programs.
Mr. Knowles joined Atlanta Classical Academy from the Westminster School at Oak Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama, an independent, K-12 classical school, where he most recently served as Head of the Upper School. There he supervised several academic departments, organized senior capstone trips to Italy and Greece, and successfully directed the school’s accreditation renewal with AdvancED. He previously served four years as the Dean of Students for the Middle School. He also taught Latin, Greek, Spanish, humanities, rhetoric, and logic for the school. Mr. Knowles earned a Bachelor of Arts in Classics from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, and a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
Georgia Cyber Academy
Angela Lassetter, Head of School
Angela Lassetter is a graduate of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and has extensive experience in corporate operations, human resources, and facility management. Her children have been educated in a variety of educational environments including traditional public school, traditional charter school, private school, home school, and virtual school, which allows her to bring a well-rounded educational perspective to the board. Ms. Lassetter has years of experience on several other charters and private school boards, one being a National Blue Ribbon of Excellence School. Additionally, Angela has served on several school advisory committees, school AdvancED accreditation teams, and an AdvancED STEM certification team.
International Academy of Smryna
Katrina Brinker, Head of School
Katrina Brinker’s passion for education and supporting the success of all students has been shaped over the past 17 years as an elementary school teacher, science teacher, academic coach, school improvement specialist, and assistant principal. In each role, she has worked to ensure the success of students and the school, by providing a strong instructional foundation as well as the necessary supports. Ms. Brinker’s number one priority at IAS is to ensure that students receive a well-rounded, rigorous education.
A well-rounded, rigorous education means an emphasis on a strong curriculum taught by dedicated teachers who support students, foster character development, cultivate their passions and explore the world outside of the classroom. Ms. Brinker believes that a solid curriculum, taught by caring teachers, coupled with rich learning experiences undergird the development of well-rounded students. As the Head of School, she is committed to ensuring that students are engaged and active participants in shaping their learning experiences.
Ivy Preparatory Academy
Dr. Charcia Nichols, Head of School
Dr. Charcia Nichols is a veteran educator with more than 21 years of experience as a teacher and administrative leader. Under her leadership, Nichols will work to reinvigorate teaching and learning at the school. Dr. Nichols has worked as an administrator at several metro Atlanta districts including Atlanta Public Schools, Social Circle City Schools, and in Paulding County Schools. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education from the University of Georgia; a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Jacksonville State University; a Specialist’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Argosy University; and a Doctorate in Education Curriculum and Instruction from Argosy University.
After a career in traditional public education, Dr. Nichols said that she was attracted to the administrative position at IPA because of the single-gender model focused on equipping girls for academic success in high school, college, and in life. She also was inspired by the flexibility that charter schools have to get creative to meet student needs.
The Kindezi School at Old Fourth Ward
Rajvee Bhalaki, Interim Principal
Ms. Bhalakia joined Kindezi in 2017 to lead Kindezi’s curriculum and assessment programs. In 2018, she transitioned to be Kindezi Old Fourth Ward’s Interim Principal. Prior to joining Kindezi, she worked as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, and educational consultant in various states across the country. She has over ten years of building instructional leadership and capacity with building-level and district leaders. Ms. Bhalakia began her career in education as a Teach For America special education teacher. She received her bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and holds her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University.
KIPP Atlanta Collegiate
Chanika Perry, Principal
Chanika R. Perry joined the KIPP family in 2015 and is currently the principal of KIPP Atlanta Collegiate (KAC) where over 90% of seniors graduate on-time and ready to matriculate into college. Prior to arriving in Atlanta, she worked in the New York City Department of Education for 10 years as a middle and high school English teacher, twelfth-grade level leader, and co-principal, student life. Ms. Perry has a BA in English Literature from her beloved Agnes Scott College, an MA in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and another MA in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University. She is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Georgia State University.
KIPP SOUL Primary
Tasha Davis, Principal
Tasha Davis is the founding principal of KIPP Soul Primary School in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to founding KIPP Soul Primary School, Davis was the principal of KIPP Vision Academy. Her career in education spans 16 years, including 7 in educational leadership. Ms. Davis has a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Colorado State University and a M.A.T. from Grand Canyon University.
Before joining the KIPP team and family in July 2013, Ms. Davis spent two years on the leadership team at Explore Charter School in Brooklyn, New York, developing a rigorous culture of student achievement for Kindergarten through eighth-grade scholars in Brooklyn. Prior to that, she was in the classroom instructing third-grade students in reading, writing, math and social studies at Explore Charter School. Ms. Davis is passionate about education and is honored to open a school that provides educational excellence for all families.
KIPP Vision Academy
Rashaun Reid, Principal
Rashaun Reid is the principal of KIPP Vision Academy. Prior to joining the KIPP family, Mr. Reid served as the chief academic officer for a network of schools in the northeast as well as a former turnaround assistant principal and principal in two of Philadelphia’s most challenging schools.
As a principal in Philadelphia, Mr. Reid worked with his team, families, and students to earn a ‘model’ school designation based on strong academic performance and culture. Mr. Reid began his career as an elementary school teacher in Philadelphia. He is a native New Yorker and a graduate of Temple University, holding a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education as well as a master’s degree in Educational Leadership.
KIPP Vision Primary
Terra Walker, Principal
Terra Walker is the principal of KIPP Vision Primary School. Previously, she served as the director
of operations for KIPP STRIVE Primary School, KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools’ first elementary school established in 2012. Ms. Walker began her career in education after graduating from the University of Florida, teaching both middle and high school in Orlando, Florida. She also served as an assistant principal with Georgia’s largest school district, Gwinnett County Public Schools, before joining KIPP. Ms. Walker holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and an Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum & Instruction. Ms. Walker enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, enjoying live music, and exploring Atlanta’s culinary scene. Ms. Walker is passionately committed to ensuring that all scholars are successful on their journey to and through college by developing strong hearts and minds.
KIPP WAYS Academy
Nate Snyder, Principal
Nate Snyder serves as the principal of KIPP WAYS Academy. Mr. Snyder began his teaching career in 2006, teaching middle school math, English language arts, and social studies in Philadelphia as a corps member with Teach for America. While in Philadelphia, Mr. Snyder earned a Master of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. He later taught high school civics, law, history, and economics in Charlotte, NC. In 2011, Mr. Snyder joined KIPP WAYS as a sixth-grade social studies teacher, eventually becoming the grade level chair. As a social studies teacher, he earned teacher of the year honors at KIPP WAYS and was named middle school teacher of the year for all of Atlanta Public Schools. Mr. Snyder has also served as the dean of school culture and as the upper school assistant principal at KIPP WAYS Academy. Mr. Snyder is excited to serve KIPP WAYS Academy and surrounding community.
KIPP WAYS Primary
Audrianna Archibald and Micheal Bray are the co-principals of KIPP WAYS Primary.
Audrianna Archibald, Principal
Audrianna Archibald is originally from Farmington Hills, MI, but she spent most of her life in
Alabama. Ms. Archibald holds a B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a M.Ed in Language and Literacy (Reading Specialist) from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ms. Archibald is very passionate about teaching scholars how to read and write. She taught Kindergarten for two years in Alabama, and she was a Reading Specialist for one year in Cambridge, MA. During the past four years, Ms. Archibald has proudly served as the Student Support Coordinator, Literacy Coordinator, and Assistant Principal at KIPP WAYS Primary.
Micheal Bray, Principal
Micheal Bray is originally from Newport News, Virginia, and gained working experience with early childcare programs, as well as elementary and middle school tutorials. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Business Management and an emphasis in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology. Mr. Bray began his teaching career as a Teach for America corps member and founding team member at KIPP STRIVE Primary School. During his tenure at KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools, Mr. Bray has enthusiastically served as an elementary and middle school teacher, grade-level lead, instructional coach, and assistant principal.
International Community School
Julie Allen, Principal
Julie Allen is honored to have the opportunity to lead a school with such a rich history and deep values. Ms. Allen has taught a range of students from Pre-Kindergarten through the fifth grade and served in a variety of roles in public schools, charter schools, and an educational nonprofit organization. Her most recent administrative experience was in Atlanta Public Schools where she served as an Assistant Principal in an IB elementary school.
Ms. Allen is excited and eager to bring her skills as an educational leader to ICS and work with you as a partner in education to ensure every child’s success. Along with the teachers and staff, she plans to work hard to continue to build up the Beloved Community while ensuring the school’s students are set up for success in a 21st century world.