I’m Kimberly Lott, a resident of Douglas, GA. I was born and raised in the small town of Willacoochee, GA. I was raised in the church and became saved at the young age of 11. It wasn’t until I reached adulthood that my walk with Christ strengthen and flourished. As my family endured the word “cancer” in multiple reports with my dad, I was nothing less but shattered. God placed me in that valley to help me understand that nothing can be done in my human strength or with any earthly resources; but only through his strength. Through that season of my life, I grew closer to Christ and developed a passion for spreading God’s word and educating this generation through him.
My love for education started when I was a child. I would pretend to play school for hours upon hours. I earned my bachelor and master’s degree in Early Childhood interrelated Special Education from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. I am currently pursuing a specialist’s degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University.
For eleven years, I gained classroom teaching experience with various ages and grades. I had planned to retire as a special education teacher and working in administration was never a desire of mine. However, God had a different plan for me.
Four years ago, God lead me to First Academy. At the time, I was unsure if remaining in education was the best choice for my family. I was at a rocky place within my career and sought God’s provision. I pressed forward and trusted God. I became a member of the First Academy Family in July of 2016. Since then, I have served as the Pre-School Director, Interim School Director, and I’m currently serving my second school year as the official School Director. God continues to equip me with all the qualities to fulfill the duties and I continue to allow God to guide me. As I reflect, God knew that I needed First Academy and I am blessed beyond belief for the opportunity to lead and grow a school for Christ.
My husband, Clay Lott, and I dated for 8 years and in addition to that, we have now been married for 7 years. Clay’s family owns and operates Lott Builders Supply Company and he is the 5th generation of the family to work there. We have a 3-year-old son, Fisher and a 6-year-old chihuahua, Paxie. We are active members of First Baptist Church. In our spare time, we enjoy taking family trips to Atlanta to cheer on the Yellow Jackets!
I am eager and looking forward to the years to come and excited to be a part of what God has in store for First Academy and First Baptist Church.
My name is Misty Martin. I am married to Nick Martin and we have three children, Blake, Whitney, and Eli. My husband and I have volunteered in different areas of ministry for the last 12 years and now serve as Children's Pastors at The Sanctuary in Douglas. I have worked in retail management for over 16 years and in the fall of 2016, took the position of Administrative Assistant at First Academy.
My name is Denise Purvis. I have been a member of First Baptist Church – Douglas for 50+ years. I have a BBA in accounting and have spent most of my life working in the accounting field. I have been the Business Administrator at First Academy for 7 years. I am blessed to work at First Academy.
Hello! My name is Kevin Bounds, and I will teach 6th through 9th grade Bible and 9th grade World History. I am married to Amber Bounds, and we have two children, Jakson and Lila. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Lee University with a B.S. in Bible and Theology. I have two years’ previous teaching experience. Before entering Christian Education, I served in pastoral ministry for over 15 years. As an ordained minister, I feel called to equip believers to defend the biblical worldview.
Middle & High School
My name is Amber Ware and I will be teaching Pre-Algebra and Algebra. I am a veteran math teacher that enjoys teaching and seeing students grow to their full potential. I am married to Danny Ware, and we have 2 children, Tyler and Kade. I began my career at Coffee High School and recently completed thirty years with the Coffee County School System. Now I am excited to be at First Academy. I know God has plans for each of us this year, and I can’t wait to see them unfold.
Middle & High School
My name is Jessica Shoemake, and I will teach ELA and History at First Academy. I am married to Todd Shoemake, and we have two children, Hunter (25) and Carly (22). I began my teaching career in 1994. This will be my twenty-sixth year of teaching, and my first year at First Academy. I have prayed daily for this upcoming teaching experience and can’t wait to begin the new year!
Middle & High School
Hi, I am Renee Roberson and I will be teaching Science and Family and Consumer Science (FACS) at First Academy. I began teaching 30 years ago as a UGA Extension Agent, but changed careers in 1998 to teach FACS at Coffee High. I am happily married to my highschool sweetheart Terry Roberson and we have two sons Clay (27) and Russ (25). We love our Sunday School class at First Baptist and I am so excited to start my new adventure at First Academy.
Middle & High School
My name is Teresa Holliday, and I will be teaching ELA and History in my first year at First Academy. I received a Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education in 1989 from Shorter College in Rome, Georgia. My teaching experience covers seventeen years in both public and private education in various counties across the state with an additional eight years as a homeschool parent. Some programs that I have overseen include literary and academic competitions, children’s choirs, essay contests, DUKE TIP, and an FCA huddle. I am married to B.J. Holliday who serves as the Minister of Music and Worship here at First Baptist Church. We have two children, Katie Johnson, married to Jacob Johnson, and Jonathon Holliday, married to Savannah Holliday. I enjoy participating in the music ministry at FBC Douglas through singing in the adult choir and praise team and by playing keyboard. I am excited to be working alongside others at First Academy as we help students grow academically while gaining a Biblical worldview and deeper love for Jesus Christ.
Hello! My name is Marilyn Commins. I moved to Douglas in 2014 with my husband, who is the pastor at St. Andrews Anglican Church here in Douglas. We have two grown children, who are both married to wonderful people, and two beautiful grandchildren. I believe in solid Christian Schools that teach through a Biblical Worldview and First Academy is just that. I feel very blessed to be able to teach here. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Specialization and 15 credits toward a Masters in Biblical Studies. I am permanently certified to teach Pre-K through 6th grade. I believe our purpose is to be Christlike to all, repentant when we fail, and we are always to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus.
Hello! My name is Michelle Houston and I live in Baxley, Georgia. I have been a Christian educator teaching 3rd grade for the past two years. Prior to that, I taught pre-school for nine years. I received an undergraduate in Psychology from Liberty University in 2017 and will graduate next May with my (M.A.T.) Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education. My husband and I have five boys. Four of them are in college and the youngest is a sophomore in high school. I love watching children learn and I consider it a great blessing to have the opportunity to teach them about the Lord.
My name is Cherie Rutland. I teach third grade at First Academy. I recently retired from the Coffee County School system as an elementary school teacher. During the course of my career, I taught all grades kindergarten through 4th grade. I most recently taught third grade at West Green Elementary School. I am married to Pastor Matt Rutland of First Congregational Christian Church. We have two children, Johnathan (12), and Claire (10). As a pastor’s wife , I have found fulfillment in the ministry at the local church. As I continue to serve, I am excited about being able to merge two of my greatest passions in life (aside from my family) teaching and ministry. I feel blessed beyond measure to be able to do what God has called me to do, as a member of the First Academy family!
I am Alissa Evans. This is my second year teaching at First Academy, and I will be teaching second grade. I have thirteen years of teaching experience in the Coffee County school system. I am married to Gabe Evans, and we have two sons, Reese and Brennan. My family and I attend church at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church. I am looking forward to a great school year in a wonderful environment at First Academy.
My name is Janet Pridgen, and I teach first grade at First Academy. I have been in education since 1991. I began my career as a special education teacher and eventually moved into regular education. This is my seventh year teaching first grade at First Academy. I am married to Derek Pridgen, and we have two children, Emily (20) and Stephen (18). Derek and I lead an adult Sunday school class here at First Baptist Church. I count teaching at First Academy as one of my biggest joys in life. I love our school and what it stands for. I am allowed and encouraged to openly proclaim the name of Jesus Christ and share daily with my students just how great our God is.
Hi, my name is Sarah Ward. I was born and raised in Douglas, GA and have been a member of First Baptist Douglas my whole life. I graduated from Georgia Southern University with a B.S. in Psychology. I have loved working with kids of all ages for most of my life, and have had the opportunity to work with them in many different atmospheres. I am so excited to show the love of Jesus to each student as I teach First Grade this year.
My name is Hollie Jackson, this is my first year at First Academy and I am excited to be working with the First Grade Team this year. I am married to my husband Ronnie, and we have two children, Lizzy and Brandon.
My name is Amanda Spears, and I have been working at First Academy for six years now. I started as a paraprofessional in the preschool department, then I moved on to be a lead teacher in the three-year-old classroom, and last year I completed my student teaching in first grade. This year I have the honor to teach Kindergarten. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in early childhood education. I have two daughters that attend First Academy. One of them is in eighth grade, and the other is in fourth grade. I love that my children are learning God’s word through all subjects. At First Academy, we have the best Godly teachers, who will pray, teach, and lead our children in their spiritual and academic journey.
My name is Ashley Wooten. I am married to Ben Wooten. We have two girls named Avery and Kaylee and are expecting a little boy to be born in November. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education from Albany State University. This is my second year as a teacher at First Academy. I fell in love with First Academy when my oldest daughter attended the mother’s morning out program.
Hi, my name is Sandra Summerlin. I am a kindergarten paraprofessional at First Academy. I have been married to my husband, Mack, for thirty-two years. We have two grown children. I have had the privilege to work at First Academy for seven years. It is amazing to share with our students the word of God and provide a quality education. Here at First Academy, we are not only a school, but we are also a family. Your child, or children, become like my own. Thank you for the opportunity to add your child to our family.
My name is Cassie Crisp. I am currently teaching Bible and music class at First Academy. I am married to Chad Crisp, and together we serve as the worship pastors at the Sanctuary Church in Douglas, Georgia. I am the mother of three beautiful children: Jocelyn, Jude, and Julianna. I am excited to be part of the team at First Academy. I was blessed to experience a Christian education as a child and college student, and I believe it is the most important aspect in obtaining a Biblical worldview. I have served for over fourteen years in the ministry, and during that time I taught children, youth, and college student Bible classes. My passion is music and teaching others how to worship God through art. I have experience leading all age groups in music and some of my best memories are of directing musical like Beauty and the Best. In my free time, I love to shop, try new foods, go to concerts, and spend time with my husband and children.
Bible & Music
My name is Diane Roberson. I have been married to Stacy Roberson for almost 28 years, and we have three children: Erica (and Cody) Prichard, Molly Roberson, and Gillis Roberson. I am currently the Preschool and Children’s Ministry Director at First Baptist Church. I also lead the weekly Chapel services for First Academy. I am a 1993 graduate of Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia with a BA in Biology and a minor in Business. I have volunteered with children’s ministry in local churches for about twenty years, while working in medical, administrative and educational vocations. For the past eleven years I have been called to serve in full-time ministry at FBC, Douglas.
Hi, I'm Meghan Lewis. I am a 2008 graduate of Brewton-Parker College. I am currently pursuing a Masters degree in Instructional Technology and Media from Georgia Southern University. I am excited to begin this journey at First Academy after teaching at Broxton-Mary Hayes Elementary School for the past 11 years. I was the Teacher of the Year for Broxton in 2013. I established the first Fellowship of Christian Athletes Huddle for 5th and 6th grades at Broxton-Mary Hayes Elementary School, and I am an active leader in FCA, attending many local events and mission trips in El Salvador. I am a lifelong member of First Baptist Church of Douglas where I am active in Bible studies and with the Children’s Ministry. I enjoy spending time with my dogs, traveling, and soccer.
My name is Kristina Troili, and I teach art at First Academy. I graduated from MGA with my art degree and will teach for the first time. I was a student and missionary with YWAM, (youths with a mission) for five months and have had training in the Bible. I am originally from Cochran, Georgia and moved here in January, 2019. I love the lord and am blessed to share my love with children through art.
My name is Jackie Troupe. I’m happily married to Chad Troupe. We have two boys, Garrett and Wyatt. I have been at First Academy for 3 years now. I will be doing PE this year and I am so excited for this new adventure! I love working at First Academy because of the positive and Christ first atmosphere. I have my Business Administration degree from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. I love cooking, being outside, and spending time with my family.
My name is Meagan Nettles. I help teach P.E. from preschool babies to the big kids of 9th grade. Clint Nettles is my husband and I have 3 precious boys, Cooper, Jude and Bodhi. I was born and raised in Coffee County and belong to Lone Hill Methodist church. My goal is to bring the love and light of Jesus to these little people everyday.
Hi, I am Kaylee Fuller. I was born and raised in Douglas, Georgia. I recently got married in June of 2018. My husband is a Holiness Baptist preacher, and I love ministry. Previously I worked at Douglas First United Methodist Church Preschool for two and a half years. There I worked in the one, two, and three-year-old classes. I am currently attending Western Governors University to obtain a Bachelor's degree in educational studies. I love the Lord and plan to seek His will in my life as a teacher and a minister’s wife.
My name is Shannon McDuffie. I am the preschool director at First Academy. I received my bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University and my master’s from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I am married to Jonathan McDuffie, who is the student pastor at First Baptist Church. We have two boys and we are currently in the progress of adopting a child from India. I am excited to see children learn and grow in Christ this year at First Academy!
My name is Pam Lewis. I have been in the field of education for many years. I have been a classroom teacher, a special education teacher, an assistant principal, and a curriculum director in the public school system. As I became close to retirement from the school system, I knew I was going to work at the First Baptist Church Preschool (now First Academy). God was calling me to teach children where I could talk about God, Jesus, and my faith. Six weeks after I retired, a position became available at First Baptist. I have worked here ever since. I finally found my true place in education- sharing the Gospel.
Hi, my name is Myya Stone. I live in Douglas, Georgia. I am currently an assistant teacher in Pre-K with Mrs. Pam Lewis. This is my second year in a classroom, but I have worked at summer camps for children of all ages in the past. I plan to be at First Academy for years to come. I have always wanted to work with children and help shape their lives, and I plan to do that at First Academy. Teaching here will help further my career and become like a home to me. First Academy is a place to learn about God and get a quality education. I look forward to helping facilitate an environment for both.
Welcome to First Academy! My name is Brenda Sweat. I am one of the preschool teachers at First Academy. This is my fifth year teaching preschool at First Academy. I have worked in education for a total of thirty one and a half years. I am married to John Sweat. We have been married for forty-seven years. We have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. First Academy is a big part of my heart. I love not only being able to teach but also to share the love of Jesus with my students. The children are a true blessing.
Hello! My name is Kayla Carver, and I absolutely love working at First Academy. Not only is it an excellent working environment, but it also offers one of the best Christian atmospheres around. I am currently in college working towards my teaching degree. I have always wanted to be a teacher and working in preschool pushes me to strive even harder to obtain my degree. I cannot wait to see hat this year brings, and for all the smiling faces I will enjoy from every child.
Hello there! My name is DeLaina Wilson and I have the awesome privilege of being the Lead Teacher for the three-year-old class and the Kindergarten Bible teacher here at First Academy. I am going in to my ninth year of teaching, and my third year teaching at First Academy. What an incredible opportunity given to reach the next generation! My husband Darin and I have been blessed with six wonderful children, one son-in-law and a precious grandchild on the way. My husband is the pastor of Franklin Holiness Baptist Church here in Douglas and we truly love our life together. Our whole life is committed to the ministry, and that’s just one more reason why I love working at First Academy. This is an environment where Christ is lifted up and where Christian Education is taught with biblical foundations from an early age. I am looking forward to a great, successful school year!
Hi, my name is Katie Winge. I am originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I moved to Douglas in August of 2008. I am married to Jeffery Winge. We have two beautiful children Mia Kate who is in the fourth grade and Reid who is in Kindergarten. I graduated with my RN license in 2004. I worked in the emergency room for ten years until I decided to stay home with my children. I started substitute teaching when my children began attending First Academy. In 2017, I began the school year as a long-term substitute teacher, which eventually led to a full-time position. I have fallen in love with teaching, and I feel blessed to be a part of these students’ lives.
I, Amanda Stinson, was born and raised in Florida. My family and I moved to Georgia almost seven years ago. My husband and I are middle school sweethearts and we have two daughters who attend First Academy. Shelby Nicole is 14 years old and is entering the Ninth Grade. Kylie Ann is 6 years old and is entering First Grade. I am so excited to begin my third year with First Academy as a preschool teacher's assistant.
Hi, my name is Lana Tillman. I am a born-again Christian, and I live to serve the Lord. I am married to a wonderful man and have been blessed with three beautiful children. My family and I are members of First Baptist Church of Douglas. I am excited to say God has blessed me with the opportunity to teach the one-year-old class at First Academy. I am determined to help little ones build their foundation on Jesus Christ.
My name is Renee Merritt. I was born in Douglas, Georgia. I am currently a paraprofessional in one of the preschool’s three-year-old classes. I am married to Ashley Merritt, and we have three children: Ethan (18), Shelby Rae (15), and Ivey (5). All of them attended First Academy’s preschool and really enjoyed it. My family attends Morningside Baptist Church. We are involved in Awana Clubs, the church’s nursery, and other ministry projects. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to share God’s love with the children of First Academy. I look forward to working with parents, so their children leave our class with a heart to serve and love God.
Hi, my name is Mary Torpea. I was born and raised in Coffee County, Georgia. I accepted Jesus into my heart at the age of five. From the fourth grade on, I was homeschooled. I believe that Biblical education is very important. Since I attended three-year-old preschool, I knew I wanted to be a preschool teacher. I have taught at First Academy for four years, and I am trusting in God that this will be a remarkable school year!
I am Sonia Batten. I have been in education for twenty-four years, and fifteen of those years have been at First Academy. I enjoy working in the Christian field of teaching. Teaching young children is what I love to do.
My name is Tailor Haney, and I am currently in school to obtain my degree in Early Childhood Education. This will be my second year working at First Academy as a paraprofessional. I love working with children and serving God.
Hi, my name is Kaylie Harper. I am so excited about teaching this year at First Academy.
I am married to Jordan Harper, and we have a little girl, Amelia. I am a member of Cornerstone Church, where I hold the position of Children’s Director. I am honored to be used by Jesus so I can be a light in every child’s life this year!
My name is Nikki Braddy. I am married to Randy Braddy, and we have two sons and a daughter. Camdon is in the fourth grade, Kole is in the second grade, and Emberleigh is in the three year old class. I am excited to start my first year at First Academy as a paraprofessional in the three year old class.
My name is Benita Royals. I am currently a part time teacher and a part time substitute teacher. I have been blessed to become a part of the First Academy Staff and I am enjoying the journey the Lord continues to lead me on. I am married to Jonathan Royals and we have a beautiful little girl. We attend Franklin Holiness Baptist Church and we are so blessed and excited to be a part of what God is doing and how He has been moving in our church. I look forward to my future here at First Academy and teaching your little ones by helping them grow, not only educationally, but spiritually as well. To God be the glory!