Alumni Spotlights

MELODIE MALONE '05

"I moved to Atlanta in 2009 to work for WinShape camps, and led worship for them until 2014. Around the time that I moved to Atlanta, Passion City Church was starting. I was looking for a place to get involved and felt led to be a part of the church. I could tell the Spirit of God was moving there, and I wanted to be involved in that. I got plugged in, started serving, and God kept opening doors. I was part of our choir and eventually started leading worship which led me to become a part of what is now Passion Music." Read more

MARTIN PENNY '03

"I came to FRA in middle school. I was drawn here because of my love for football and baseball, and I had attended summer camps with George Weicker, David Tucker, Ed Zaborowski, and Jerry Williams—four men who ended up being influential in my life. When I transitioned out of the public school setting and into smaller class sizes, I was challenged to take a leadership role among my peers. That helped me academically and gave me a moral compass. At FRA, I was very much prepared academically." Read more

WHITNEY FORSTNER '94

"I took a big leap of faith when I graduated from FRA and decided to travel about 660 miles north to Virginia for college. After college, I settled in Richmond and have been here ever since. I have two boys in the eighth grade, and manage being a mom, a business owner, and a wife along with all of the things that come with everyday life. I got my start in corporate America, working for a then credit card company and now, Capital One bank. It was an amazing foundation for understanding how business works." Read more

AMY GRAVES STEWART '83

"I started attending FRA my freshman year of high school. When I graduated, I went to Samford University and then taught for 11 years before deciding to stay at home with my children and work in the youth ministry at my church. I’ve been able to connect my teaching and youth ministry experience as I lead events for families, teaching children how they can connect with God and hear His voice. This is one of my greatest passions. I met Governor Bill Lee 22 years ago while teaching his children in the first grade. First Lady Maria Lee and I have been friends even longer. When they came into office in 2019, they asked me to manage the Residence." Read more

BILL JOHNSON '82

"My parents sat on the original board of Franklin Road Academy, my sister taught here for 17 years, and my son Will is a senior this year. I’ve seen over and over how our whole FRAmily has pitched in to help through these tough times, specifically in my business distribution ofPURE Hard Surface sanitizer/hospital-grade disinfectant. As a businessman, I had five other ventures that were affected by COVID-19 before the one we’re producing now. My company, Marathon Group, is the master distributor of PURE Hard Surface, a sanitizing disinfectant that has been distributed all over the country." Read more

SUKI TALLENT LEVAVASSEUR '06

"I was an FRA 'lifer,' which means I started inPre-K4 and attended all 14 years. I have a lot of fond memories from my time there, but I think what stands out to me the most are the friendships I made. Most of my best friends to this day are friends from school. In fact, my best friend—who I met in second grade at FRA—recently got married, and I returned to Nashville to be a part of the wedding. After graduating, I went to the College of Charleston and majored in psychology with a minor in Spanish. My plan was to go into clinical psychology. However, after a couple of internships, I decided to take a break and follow my other passion—travel." Read more

DEVEN BHATIA '13

"I started at Franklin Road Academy in the fourth grade after moving to Nashville from New Orleans. Not only was it a great experience for me, but I became stronger academically and as a person. FRA does an excellent job in college counseling. My college counselors were phenomenal and helped me identify a combined BA/MD six-year program at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. While I attended UMKC, I had the opportunity to work in the emergency room at Truman Medical Center, which provides care for the underserved population in Kansas City. It really humbled me. My experiences at FRA helped prepare me for work in emergency medicine. Interpersonal skills are crucial in my daily life with patient care, and I use the tools that FRA taught me from the beginning." Read more

ROBERT LEWIS '16

"The goal of the Heart to Heart program is to maximize the full academic and social potential of our students with Down syndrome by giving them one-on-one instruction and opportunities to participate in co-curricular activities at FRA. They are prepared to move to the next level of their educational journey with skills and experiences that will give them the confidence to succeed in any endeavor. You don’t have to be on campus long to see and feel how the Heart to Heart students are some of the most beloved members of our community. After graduating from FRA, two of our first Heart to Heart students, Robert Lewis and Rob Funk, went on to programs similar to ours at Clemson University and Vanderbilt University. Both of them recently graduated from those universities in the spring." Read more

MONICA DEY '11

"After graduating from FRA, I went to Stanford University to study Human Biology—an interdisciplinary major combining both biology and social sciences. At the time, I thought I would pursue medicine, so I dutifully took all of my required pre-med courses. But I somehow found myself more drawn to courses on democracy, international development, and community-based research—topics that were not at all directly related to the “hard” sciences. At the same time, I knew I loved traveling, learning new languages, and living abroad, so after my sophomore year of college, I took a research trip to Madagascar and Uganda to study maternal health. While I was there, I was compelled by the work and questions that arose from that experience, and I realized this was the kind of work I was interested in." Read more

ASHNA DADLANI '16

"I first came to Franklin Road Academy when I was four years old, and I was presented with so many great opportunities that helped shape me into the person I am today. My time at FRA was so rewarding, and I am thankful to all of the faculty and students who helped me grow and succeed. Since graduating in 2016, I have been at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I am about to finish my senior year. I am double majoring in International Studies — Global Security and Political Science with a minor in European Studies, topics I love because they open up so many opportunities for me and allow me to learn about current events taking place all over the world." Read more

BALLARD BOYD '00

"I grew up loving movies and stories. When I was in third grade, I even tried writing my own novel, but I didn’t really have that much of a grasp on storytelling yet. Soon I was re-enacting and videotaping sketches and routines from SNL and David Letterman at sleepovers with friends. I joined FRA in seventh grade and was there through high school. I made my first “official” short film for my sophomore English class (instead of writing a paper on The Catcher in the Rye). It was terrible, but I had to start somewhere. I was active in the arts: I played trumpet in the band, sang in chorus, and acted in almost all the plays and musicals." Read more

DANE CARDER '90

"My path has not necessarily been an easy one. Life is unpredictable. Luckily through all peaks and valleys, storms, and surprises, there is a solid rock upon which we can stand... faith. In the middle of my high school experience at Franklin Road Academy, my father died suddenly of a heart attack. This traumatic event obliterated all faith and belief within me, and I roamed recklessly through the rest of high school using humor and rebellion as a means of surviving." Read more

LOUISE PHILLIPS FORBES '81

"I was a part of the second graduating class from FRA in 1981 and was prepared and excited to take off to the University of Tennessee, where I pursed a career in special education while minoring in dance. I received a scholarship for dance, which then led to dancing in two small companies and was incredibly fulfilling. In between all that, I used to do a lot of catering, modeling, and provide creative movement programs for special needs children. It took me a little bit, but I finally left my roots in Tennessee to try the big lights of New York City in 1989 with $800 in my pocket." Read more

FRA CONNECTIONS: ANDREW '07 AND CHASE '07

"When we were 14, our parents told us that if we wanted cars when we turned 16, we had to pay for them ourselves. We decided to start an auto detailing company, Extreme Detailers, where we built a large customer base throughout Nashville/Brentwood. Most clients were in Chase’s parents’ neighborhood, so we would walk to each client every weekend and sometimes before school." Read more

MATTIE JACKSON SELECMAN '08

"The lanes of life have led me in many directions in the 11 years since I walked across the FRA stage, stood with the 13-Year Club, and offered my short-sighted 17-year old wisdom in our class of 2008 commencement speech. From kindergarten to 12th grade, FRA was my home, my life, and in hindsight, the lens through which I would see much of the early years of my adult life. After receiving an undergraduate degree in creative writing from the University of Tennessee, I decided to spread my wings, move across the country, and find out who I was outside of Nashville private school and UT Knoxville." Read more