Megan Angiulo, BA

“My favorite teacher:  Mrs. Joyce Deen  Kindergarten and 1st grade teacher.  Mrs. Deen made my first experience in a classroom exceptional.  I left her class feeling confident, capable, and loved!”

meganAt a very young age, Megan learned firsthand the benefits and characteristics of great teaching. Her mother was an elementary teacher that poured her heart and soul into making learning meaningful and enjoyable for children.  Witnessing her mom’s enthusiasm for teaching and the positive impact on her students was the beginning of Megan’s commitment to be an educator making a difference in the lives of children and families. Megan earned her B.A. from Piedmont College in early childhood education.  She has taught for 5 years in both public and private elementary settings. Megan’s own passion for yoga led her to become a registered yoga teacher so that she could to share that passion with children. Additionally, Megan is committed to weaving nature into her students’ learning, all the while helping students understand their influence on the world and promoting sustainability for the future.

Daniel Bass, MA

“The most influential teacher in my life was Dr. Annette Parrott who taught me high school biology. She invited us to explore, question, and move through the world seeing it as more wondrous than we had previously realized. She made learning exciting and fun!”
Daniel Bass is an Atlanta native and a lifelong lover of learning! His undergraduate degree is in Spanish from Georgia State University. Daniel loves seeing boundaries between people traversed as linguistic and cultural connections are made. He has spent over a decade tutoring and teaching Spanish, English, and American Sign Language at the pre-k, elementary, and high school levels in the Greater Atlanta Area. After finishing his Master’s of Ministry degree from Richmont Graduate University in 2014, he began working as a youth pastor at a local church parish in Oakhurst. Continuing to pursue his love of helping light bulbs go off for students of all ages, Daniel has come to Hess Academy and is delighted by the collaborative, inclusive, and dynamic environment of the school! He is energized by encouraging young learners to explore their world and the world of others with wonder and compassion. When not at Hess Academy, Daniel reads voraciously (mostly theological nonfiction and fantasy novels), runs and practices yoga, and sings an alarming amount of the time.

Naomi Browning

“My most influential teacher: Mrs. Frazier in 2nd grade. Mrs. Frazier physically engaged with her
teaching by demonstrating concepts to us. She laughed a lot and taught us that learning didn’t have to be such serious business!”

With over 20 years of teaching experience, Naomi joins Hess Academy with a genuine love of teaching andIMG_2124 learning. Her many years teaching have been spent working with children from two to five years of age. She earned her Child Development Associate certification in 1996 and continues to enjoy studying teaching theories and working on curriculum development. Along with her husband and two children, she loves hiking and camping. Naomi’s love of the outdoors inspires her to bring natural elements into the classroom learning environment as well as strongly support the importance of outdoor education for all children. Using a constructivist approach to teaching, she engages each child and encourages further learning based on what they know. She understands and acts on the fact that children need to feel emotionally safe for new learning to take place. She enjoys learning from and teaching young children.

Daniel Buckley, MAT

“My favorite teacher, Dr. Renee Schatteman, made every inquiry into literature and education a fascinating and gripping discussion that I often resume with myself and others on a daily basis. Her impact on me as a learner is unquantifiable and ongoing.”

Daniel graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in English Education and Applied YN5A9345 copyLinguistics in 2011. His previous experience includes teaching English to non-native speaking adults in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, and teaching reading enrichment classes for students of all ages in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2015 he graduated from Georgia State University with an M.A.T. in Language Arts Education, spending the majority of his practicum working with students in Clarkston, Georgia. His chief area of interest has always been in the intersect between identity, language, and narrative and their respective roles in learning across all content areas. In his free time, Daniel is an active bicyclist and a volunteer bike mechanic at a neighborhood program which helps children learn how to repair, maintain, and safely ride their bikes. In his free time he travels extensively, retreats to the wilderness, and writes music. Daniel was drawn to Hess Academy after meeting a faculty and administration that actively models collaboration, and highly esteems the multiple intelligences necessary to foster human flourishing.

 Caleb Collier, MA

“When I was a senior in High School, I had Ms. Gibson for AP English. It was a college level class and it went deeper and expected more from me. It really challenged me to explore literature.”

Caleb earned his Bachelors degree in Philosophy at Liberty University YN5A9677 copyin Lynchburg, Virginia. He later returned to earn his Masters in Religious Studies, before moving to Atlanta with his wife and daughter. Caleb is passionateabout helping displaced and silenced people find their voices. He has worked extensively on Give Us Names, a project that documents and shares stories of displacement in Columbia,  and this same concern for critical change and active participation carries over into his thoughtful approach to educating middle schoolers. See how Hess Academy’s integrated curriculum resonates with Caleb’s teaching philosophy by watching our short video here.

Aaron Hodgin, BA

“The most influential teacher I ever had was Dr. Ian Almond, my World Literature professor in college. He only taught novels from countries where he had lived. He taught me the importance of connecting content to real life experiences. We don’t live in an abstract world, why should learning be constrained to abstract concepts?”

In 2011, Aaron graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in English, Creative Writing Fiction concentration. His family and friends encouraged him to become a teacher. Instead, he spent the next few years writing, recording, and performing music with his band. When he married his wife Becky and began the long process of settling down, the people who love him and know him best told him that his personality and creativity would make him a great teacher. Instead, he worked various odd jobs, from providing private music lessons to managing a burrito shop to a brief stint as a textile merchant. One day, when some neighborhood kids came over to play with his dogs, they discovered his makeshift recording studio and insisted on recording a rap song. That was fun, and the experience gave Aaron a brilliant, completely original idea: he should become a teacher! He entered the MAT program at Mercer, and began his teaching career at the Howard School. At Hess, he’s excited to be teaching in the 4th and 5th grade classroom as well as teaching music to all grades.

Ricci Horwedel, BA

“My most influential teachers: Dr. Brian Barlow and Dr. Kevin Radaker at Anderson University. Both are brilliant educators who shy away from“telling,” trust that students will find their own way to truth, and, at just the right moment, reveal paths that may lead them there.”

Ricci was fortunate to grow up in a home where learning was a YN5A9347 copypassionate, every day affair. From a young age, she was shown the beauty of discovery and encouraged to study those things that gave her joy. This love of learning followed her to Anderson University, where she earned a B.A. in English and Spanish, in addition to TESOL certification (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She believes meaningful education allows for student-led exploration and rich, facilitated discovery. Ricci’s studies under a constructivist educator and her work with children of diverse needs have continuously affirmed these approaches to be fruitful. Ricci aspires to empower and challenge each child who enters her classroom with enthusiasm, patience, and persistence. In addition to teaching, coffee ice cream, writing, traveling, an ornery dog named Crosby, great works of art, and antique stores bring her great happiness.

Tisha Jones, MS

“My Favorite Teacher: Greg Gastineau, 8th grade social studies. He was the first teacher who made social studies come alive for me. I went from learning about old dead people to feeling like I was learning fascinating stories about people who once lived.”

Tisha knew from an early age that she wanted to be a teacher. Her mother, a high school math teacher, was always a great example of dedication and care. Tisha has been teaching for 11 years in both public and private schools, grades kindergarten through 4th. She has always had a love of learning and shares this in the classroom. Tisha earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Florida A&M University. Tisha earned her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology with an endorsement in elementary mathematics in the summer of 2017. Tisha chose her particular endorsement because she is inspired by the creativity and beauty in math, and has become very excited about teaching math to students. In the spring of 2016, she gave a TEDx talk entitled Insπre: Rethinking the Purpose of Math, in which she shared some of her views of elementary math instruction. In addition to teaching, she is a mom of 2 amazing boys, Ty (8) and Jax (5), she enjoy playing volleyball, cooking, and spending time with good friends.

 Lynitia Callahan, BS

“My most influential teacher: My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Hairston. She was the first teacher to show me that she was not just a teacher, but a real person with a life outside of school. She talked about her family and hosted yearly sleepovers for students. She taught me the importance building trust and relationships with students, YN5A0131 copythe foundation of successful teaching and learning.”
Born and raised in Atlanta, Ga, Lynitia is the younger of two children. She received her BS in Child & Family Development from The University of Georgia. Lynitia believes each child is an individual and should be taught as such. She believes a child’s educational experience should be meaningful to him or her. For Lynitia, the greatest reward in teaching is witnessing a child mastering a skill or concept with which they have been struggling. Outside of work, she enjoys family time with her son and cat.

Bobbie Williams, MA

“Most influential teacher: Tom Davidson, education professor at West Georgia College, inspired me as a student teacher to believe that I could change the world. He nudged me to discover my love for teaching mathematics to young students and demonstrated how to develop students’ conceptual understanding of numbers by modeling his college classroom like a child-centered classroom full of manipulatives.”YN5A9270v4 copy

Bobbie Williams has loved teaching and challenging young children to think for the past 38 years.  She earned a B. S. in Elementary Education and a Masters in Elementary Education at West Georgia College. She later added a gifted endorsement. In 1992, Bobbie joined the staff at the Center for Innovation in California where she has trained teachers in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Ohio, and Wisconsin to teach Math Their Way to primary students. She has taught K, 1st, K-1 multi-age, Readiness, 2nd, and 6th grades. Bobbie is passionate about teaching writing, math, and gifted education with young children and mentoring classroom teachers in math and writing. Most recently, she has been honing her craft of teaching writing through a workshop approach. Bobbie has dreamed of teaching in a progressive private school and is thrilled to be a part of the Hess learning community where teachers ignite an appetite in children to read, write, think, solve problems, and most of all, love learning.

Jenna Wilson, BA

“My Favorite teacher was Ginny Hanley; she taught my math class in 10th and 11th grade. She always took the extra time to develop different approaches,  specifically for me, to make sure I understood what she was teaching. She gave me an individualized education when it wasn’t formally required. Because of her example, I strive to give my students the same experience.”

Mrs. Wilson is originally from Buffalo, New York, but was raised in Lawrenceville, GA. As her father was a devoted teacher for over 30 years, Jenna grew up grading papers, creating bulletin boards, and talking about teaching and learning. As a young adult, Jenna worked in schools and orphanages in South America and India. There, she realized that teaching was her true calling. Upon returning to the States, Jenna studied constructivist teaching at Georgia State University and has additional training in gifted education, special education, and second language learners. Celebrating community, diversity, and the arts in the classroom are some of her greatest passions. Jenna is married to her high school sweetheart and has two fur-babies: a dog and a cat. She loves traveling during her time off and enjoys trying all kinds of new food, especially eastern Asian cuisine.

Diane Whitten, BA

My Favorite Teacher was Jacqueline Hanson, my sixth-grade teacher. Mrs. Hanson made learning fun! She was a master at engaging her students with innovative projects that not only educated but allowed for creativity. Mrs. Hanson used humor in her classroom and the students knew she truly cared about them and their future.

Diane graduated from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Middle School Education. She continued graduate studies at Georgia State University and The University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!), where she received her Gifted Endorsement.

Diane taught middle school for thirty years in Gwinnett County before moving into a private school setting. She believes in a hands- on approach to learning which empowers her students to think for themselves. Diane does this through creative projects that demonstrate real world application to classroom lessons. She loves to see the “lightbulb go off” as she witnesses her students “think outside the box.”

Diane’s family is very important to her. Her husband, Court, retired from law enforcement after 32 years. They have one grown daughter, Brooke, who lives in Suwanee. The Whitten’s are dog lovers. They have rescued a total of six dogs so far. Diane enjoys being active. She plays tennis and tries to run at least one 5K/10K per month. Diane is excited to be joining the Hess Academy family.