FRA News Details

New Faculty and Staff

As we kick off the 2021-2022 school year, you may notice a few new smiling faces on campus. We are so pleased to welcome 30 new friendly faces to our faculty and staff. Among our amazing new FRAmily members, we have teachers from across the country, new staff from the local Nashville community, and faculty from places in between. Each coming with different backgrounds and stories, we feel so blessed to have each of these talented and respected educators join our community!

Take a minute to read about each of our new Panthers and their background.
 

Lower School

Erica Brown is our new lower school Spanish teacher, lower school yearbook liaison, and middle school cross country assistant coach. She earned her M.A. in second language acquisition from Kansas State University and her B.A. in Spanish from Christopher Newport University. Most recently she was an ELL Specialist at Liberty Collegiate Academy here in Nashville. Prior to that, Erica served as a Spanish instructor at both The State University of New York at Oneonta and Kansas State University. She began her career teaching English for three years at several primary and secondary schools in Spain.

Ashlyn Bufton will be teaching 3rd grade. She will also be the head 5th/6th grade girls’ soccer coach. She earned her M.Ed. in teacher leadership from Lamar University and her B.S. in elementary education from Baylor University. She comes to FRA from Cherry Hills Christian outside of Denver where she has been teaching 5th grade for the past three years. Prior to that she taught 3rd grade in Texas (3 years) and 4th grade in Florida (4 years).

Bailey Clemons will be teaching PE in the lower school, will be the head middle school softball coach, and will be assisting with varsity volleyball. She earned her B.S. in physical education/health from The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, where she also played on their women’s volleyball team. She is a graduate of Goodpasture Christian School and returned there to serve as a PE teacher/volleyball coach during the 2020-21 school year.

Anna Draper will be teaching 1st grade. She will also be an assistant coach for Middle School volleyball. She earned her B.S. in elementary education from Union University. She taught 4th grade at Dan Mills elementary here in Nashville for three years and has been teaching kindergarten for the past four years in Pasadena, CA.

Caroline Fossett will be teaching kindergarten. She will also be an assistant varsity football cheer coach. She earned her B.A. in elementary education from The University of Mississippi and her M.A. elementary education from Belmont University. She has been a teaching intern at four different schools in Nashville over the past year. She has been involved with the Mission of Hope in Haiti and Sozo Children’s Mission in Uganda.

Sarah French will be teaching pre-kindergarten 4. She will also be the assistant coach MS 5th/6th football cheer. She earned her B.A. in elementary education from The University of Mississippi and her M.A. in curriculum and instruction from The University of Mississippi. She has been a teaching intern at three different schools in Oxford, MS over the past year.

Julia Goodin will be teaching 2nd grade. She will also be an assistant coach for MS volleyball. She earned her B.A. in elementary education from Indiana University and has been a 2nd grade teacher in Indiana for the past year.

Leigh Ann Gordon Barnes will be teaching 2nd grade. She earned her B.A. in elementary education from Trevecca Nazarene University and has been a Kindergarten, 1st grade teacher, as well as a Literacy Specialist, at two elementary schools here in Nashville over the past eight years.

Cecelia Hampton is our new lower school ASPIRE coordinator. She earned her B.S. in special education from Louisiana Tech University and her M.Ed. in behavior disorders from Vanderbilt University. Most recently, she has been a special education teacher at Harris Hillman school here in Nashville since 2017.  Prior to that she served as a special education teacher for over twenty years in several elementary and middle schools here in Nashville.

Kathryn Lewis will be serving as a teacher assistant. She earned her B.A. in art from Millsaps College, her M.A. in art education from The University of Alabama and her Ph.D. in art education from Penn State University. She was an art and math instructor at Currey Ingram Academy from 2018-2020 and before that she served for six years as an elementary art teacher at several elementary schools. She has also served as an adjunct art instructor at several colleges in Mississippi and Tennessee and has been Director for the Greenville Arts Council and the Southeast Institute for Education of the Visual Arts.

Julianne Robinson will be teaching 4th grade. She will also be a lower school assistant cross- country coach.  She earned her B.S. in early childhood education from Auburn University and her M.Ed. in Reading Instruction from Vanderbilt University.  She most recently taught Kindergarten at Eakin Elementary School in Nashville and previously taught 2nd grade and Pre-K-5th Technology at Brookwood School in Georgia.  Julianne has volunteered extensively at numerous churches and other non-profit agencies in multiple cities.  

Nachelli Roy will be serving as a teacher assistant. She earned her B.A. in early childhood education from Lesley University. She has served as a teacher assistant, kindergarten teacher, and second grade teacher at several elementary schools in Massachusetts and Tennessee. 

Karen Smoak will be serving as a teacher assistant. She has served as the Service Life Coordinator at Chattanooga Christian School for the past 8 years and assisted with their after-school care program for two years before that.

Linda Grace Stephens will be serving as a teacher assistant. She earned her B.A. in elementary education from Tennessee Tech University. She has served as a teacher assistant and pre-kindergarten teacher at the Oak Hill School here in Nashville.
 

Staff

Josh Lester is our new Assistant Director of Athletics and will assist with varsity boys’ basketball. He earned his B.S. in exercise science and his M.A. in sports administration from Belmont University, where he played varsity basketball. Over the past three years he has been the head men’s basketball coach at Cincinnati Christian University and has served as a graduate assistant at Belmont. He has also worked in the admissions department at Brentwood Academy and coached for the STARS basketball club.

Brodrick Thomas is our new Director of Diversity, Community and Inclusion. He earned his B.S. in business from Auburn University, and his M.S. in business, his M.A. in organizational leadership, and his Ed.D. in educational leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University. He served Trevecca in a variety of roles for nine years, the last five in the diversity and equity office.

Meredith Fifer is our new Advancement Services Manager. She earned her B.A. in anthropology from Rhodes college. She worked for the Nashville Zoo for the past five years in their development office and before that she served for four years in the alumni and development office of St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School (VA).

Amanda Rush is our new Director of Annual Giving. She earned her B.S. in speech language pathology from The University of Nebraska. She has been the associate director of development for the University of Alabama for the past two years and before that served for four years as the director of development for The University of Nebraska Foundation.

Brian Shaffrey in our new Communications Coordinator. He earned his B.A. in media marketing from Auburn University. His experience includes being a marketing assistant at Auburn and being a social media manager at iHeartRadio.

Laura Webb is our new Digital Communications Strategist. She earned her B.M. in vocal performance from the University of North Texas and her M.M. in opera from The Boston Conservatory. For the past two years she has served as marketing communications/graphic design specialist at St. Bernard Academy here in Nashville. She served in a similar role with the Tennessee Arts Academy prior to being at SBA. She has also served in graphic design roles in churches in both Texas and Massachusetts.
 

Middle School

Chelsea Rogers will be teaching 6th grade math. She earned her B.S. in elementary education from The University of Tennessee. She has been the lead 5th/6th grade math teacher at Liberty Collegiate Academy in Nashville for the past four years and prior to that she taught both reading and math at several elementary schools in Nashville. 

Ed Sanders will be a MS physical education instructor and will coach MS boys’ basketball and assist with varsity football. He earned his B.S. in psychology from Tennessee State University. Most recently, Ed was a physical education teacher and coach at Goodpasture Christian Academy. He has also taught and coached at Harding Academy and McKissack middle school in Nashville, and coached football at both Delaware State University and Tennessee State University from 2005-2017.
 

Upper School

Shawn Allen is our new US humanities teacher. He earned his B.A. in history and his M.A. in history from Florida State University, where he also was a member of the track and field team. He is a published author, with nine articles appearing in six different journals. He has taught history at Seven Rivers Christian and The Maclay School (both in Florida), and has also taught bible and coached at CPA here in Nashville.

Corri Calandra will be teaching chemistry and biology and coaching MS lacrosse. She earned her B.S in chemistry from Longwood University and was accepted into the Ph.D. program in organic chemistry at Vanderbilt (where she took classes for one year) before deciding that teaching is her true passion. She was a chemistry tutor at Longwood for four years and did multiple practicum experiences teaching in high schools close to Longwood.

Kyle Jackson will be teaching calculus and assisting with varsity and MS girls’ soccer, and JV boys’ soccer. He earned his B.S. in applied mathematics from Auburn University and was a full year substitute in 6th grade math here at FRA for the 2020-21 school year.

Chad Sandford will be teaching AP world history and assisting with MS boys’ basketball. He earned his B.A. in history from Saint Anselm College and his M.A. in history from William and Mary. He also earned a certificate in bible and applied Christianity from Fairwood Bible Institute. He has been a history teacher at Manchester high school (NH) for the past 16 years (over 90% of his students taking AP have passed the exam during that time).

Ben Suitt will be the LT substitute for Whitney Wiley and Jenna Lamm. He earned his B.S. in business from Wake Forest, his MTS (masters in theology) from Emory, and his Ph.D. in religion from Boston University. He worked in the Boston University writing center for three years and taught multiple undergraduate writing seminars.
 

Faculty Fellows

Maddi Devey will be working with Carly Schneider in 9th grade English and will coach varsity girls’ soccer, MS girls’ soccer, US cheer (Winter), and assist with US lacrosse. She earned her B.A. in English from Gettysburg College. 

James Morrison will be working with Addrian Frederick and Hayden Copeland and will be assisting with varsity boys’ basketball. He earned his B.S. in sports management from The University of South Carolina. He founded the club basketball program at The University of South Carolina and was the student manager for their varsity men’s program. He has served as the assistant men’s basketball coach at both Huntingdon College (AL) and Trevecca Nazarene and most recently was the Director of Engagement for the Uncommon Sports Group.

Karley Whitehead will be working alongside Mary Sentell teaching first grade. Outside of the classroom, She will be working with the volleyball, basketball, and softball teams. Karley is originally from the Nashville area and graduated from McGavock High School. She attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she earned a degree in Elementary Education and English as a Second Language.