Leadership

Noktes_Ande

Ande is a true visionary and pioneer working with gifted learners and working in the field of problem-based instruction. She has 20 years of experience in education and educational administration. Her many years abroad and multicultural family at home have reinforced her passion for globally-minded education in the strategy and day to day practices of the school.

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Ande Noktes

Head of School
Hicks_Lindsey

Lindsey loves working with students and families and has truly found her school home in MIS. She has been working with students in a variety of facets for 18 years. Having worked as a professional school counselor for many of those years, Lindsey often finds herself partnering with various stakeholders to create innovative solutions. She has always believed that enthusiasm is one of her greatest strengths, and that is certainly evident in work with prospective families. Lindsey brings a detail-oriented focus to student schedules and other special projects.

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Lindsey Hicks

Director of Student Advancement
Jason_Levister

Jason Levister

Director of Business
Blassingame_Tiffany

Tiffany Blassingame ``Ms. B`` is our Academic Coordinator who works to connect students, families, and teachers with necessary support inside and outside of the classroom. She also supports cultural diversity and underrepresented gifted populations in both the public and independent school sectors. Ms. B is a graduate of Columbia College with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s degree from Clemson University in Education Administration. She also holds endorsements in both reading and gifted education. She has taught kindergarten, first, and second grades in South Carolina and metro Atlanta including varied experiences with public and private school teachers, families, and students.
When she is not at MIS, Ms. B works as an educational consultant for non-profit organizations offering STEM and Literacy opportunities to students in rural communities. Additionally, Ms. B's passion is helping students and families to develop a more organized approach to home, work, and school as a professional organizer.

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Tiffany Blassingame

Director of Academics
Lourdes_Cartagena

Lourdes Cartagena

Sr. Accountant

Faculty & Staff

Joyner_Erin

Erin is a life-long education professional who recently graduated from Wake Forest University with her Master of Arts in School Counseling. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Social Studies Education and Political Science from the University of Georgia, and a master’s degree in Special Education from Arizona State University. Erin was a Teach for America corps member in Phoenix, where she taught middle school special education, specializing in students with dyslexia and dysgraphia. She is passionate about student wellbeing in a holistic sense, and believes in the school as a central place for social, emotional, and academic growth and development. Erin is thrilled to bring this passion to students in her third year at MIS, where students continue to amaze and surprise her daily. Originally from the suburbs of metro Atlanta, she returned to her hometown in August 2015 and is enjoying the city’s cultural resurgence, and takes pride in now living ITP. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, trying new restaurants, reading anything she can get her hands on, and exhibiting passionate sports fandom.

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Erin Joyner

School Counselor
Woods_Kathi

Kathi Woods

High School Counselor
Adeleye_Kascha

Kascha Adeleye is a double graduate from the University of Georgia. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master's Degree in Education Administration and Policy. Originally from Augusta, Georgia, this will mark her third year in Atlanta and at Midtown International School. This will be her seventh year teaching elementary school, with experience in Fifth Grade, First Grade, and Kindergarten. She loves making learning fun and interesting for her students, all while making connections between the world and the classroom.
Kascha loves movies, spending time with her husband, Henry, and all their friends, and managing their bakery, Kupcakerie. Growing up overseas in Germany as a military brat, Kascha learned the importance of global learning experiences, which is what attracted her to Midtown International School. She is more than excited to begin a new adventure as Elementary Coordinator, allowing her to work with all students and teachers in grades Kindergarten through Fourth Grade as they become independent, global citizens and thinkers.

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Kascha Adeleye

Elementary School Coordinator
Szymanski_Laura

Laura is entering her tenth year in education and holds a Bachelor’s degree in mass communication/journalism, a Master of Arts degree in elementary education (K-8), and a gifted endorsement. Laura is excited to continue her third year with MIS as the Middle School Coordinator and National History Day teacher. She had the unique opportunity to spend her career focused in gifted education by creating a gifted program for a private school south of Atlanta and has served as the Educational Specialist for Gifted Education over Baltimore City Schools where she created gifted programming for the district. “MIS provides a unique home where our students have the opportunity to thrive in an all-gifted environment while developing and honing in on their gifts and talents.” In her spare time, Laura enjoys reading, hiking, kayaking, and working out with her husband Ben (also a teacher at MIS). They have a full house with three boys, Alex, Matthew, and Zach, three dogs, and two cats.

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Laura Szymanski

Middle School Coordinator
Rezaie_Munib

World citizenship has always played a central role in Munib’s life: he was born in Belgium to Iranian parents and grew up in Brazil, Macau, China, and the United States. Munib received both his Bachelor’s in Film Studies & Creative Writing as well as his Master’s in Film Studies from the University of Miami in Florida, and holds a PhD in Communication with a concentration in Film and Media Studies from Georgia State University. He has presented original research in a number of regional and national conferences, including ones held by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the Association for Asian Studies, the American Men’s Studies Association, and the Popular Culture Association. Munib has also worked as a script reader and editor for a number of media projects.

Munib believes education is a life-long process that does not end with any graduation, and that the most productive way to live life is in a humble mode of learning, acknowledging that new insights and knowledge can be gained any time, any where, and from any one. When he’s not writing about himself in the third person, Munib enjoys trying new restaurants, drumming, and watching movies (of course!). He has two sons: Tristan, an MIS 3rd grader, and 2-year-old Thornton (Thor).

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Munib Rezaie

Asst. Middle School Coordinator
Joyner_Erin

Erin is a life-long education professional who recently graduated from Wake Forest University with her Master of Arts in School Counseling. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Social Studies Education and Political Science from the University of Georgia, and a master’s degree in Special Education from Arizona State University. Erin was a Teach for America corps member in Phoenix, where she taught middle school special education, specializing in students with dyslexia and dysgraphia. She is passionate about student wellbeing in a holistic sense, and believes in the school as a central place for social, emotional, and academic growth and development. Erin is thrilled to bring this passion to students in her third year at MIS, where students continue to amaze and surprise her daily. Originally from the suburbs of metro Atlanta, she returned to her hometown in August 2015 and is enjoying the city’s cultural resurgence, and takes pride in now living ITP. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, trying new restaurants, reading anything she can get her hands on, and exhibiting passionate sports fandom.

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Erin Joyner

School Counselor
Woods_Kathi

Kathi Woods

High School Counselor
Szymanski_Laura

Laura is entering her tenth year in education and holds a Bachelor’s degree in mass communication/journalism, a Master of Arts degree in elementary education (K-8), and a gifted endorsement. Laura is excited to continue her third year with MIS as the Middle School Coordinator and National History Day teacher. She had the unique opportunity to spend her career focused in gifted education by creating a gifted program for a private school south of Atlanta and has served as the Educational Specialist for Gifted Education over Baltimore City Schools where she created gifted programming for the district. “MIS provides a unique home where our students have the opportunity to thrive in an all-gifted environment while developing and honing in on their gifts and talents.” In her spare time, Laura enjoys reading, hiking, kayaking, and working out with her husband Ben (also a teacher at MIS). They have a full house with three boys, Alex, Matthew, and Zach, three dogs, and two cats.

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Laura Szymanski

Middle School Coordinator
Adeleye_Kascha

Kascha Adeleye is a double graduate from the University of Georgia. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master's Degree in Education Administration and Policy. Originally from Augusta, Georgia, this will mark her third year in Atlanta and at Midtown International School. This will be her seventh year teaching elementary school, with experience in Fifth Grade, First Grade, and Kindergarten. She loves making learning fun and interesting for her students, all while making connections between the world and the classroom.
Kascha loves movies, spending time with her husband, Henry, and all their friends, and managing their bakery, Kupcakerie. Growing up overseas in Germany as a military brat, Kascha learned the importance of global learning experiences, which is what attracted her to Midtown International School. She is more than excited to begin a new adventure as Elementary Coordinator, allowing her to work with all students and teachers in grades Kindergarten through Fourth Grade as they become independent, global citizens and thinkers.

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Kascha Adeleye

Elementary School Coordinator
Rezaie_Munib

World citizenship has always played a central role in Munib’s life: he was born in Belgium to Iranian parents and grew up in Brazil, Macau, China, and the United States. Munib received both his Bachelor’s in Film Studies & Creative Writing as well as his Master’s in Film Studies from the University of Miami in Florida, and holds a PhD in Communication with a concentration in Film and Media Studies from Georgia State University. He has presented original research in a number of regional and national conferences, including ones held by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the Association for Asian Studies, the American Men’s Studies Association, and the Popular Culture Association. Munib has also worked as a script reader and editor for a number of media projects.

Munib believes education is a life-long process that does not end with any graduation, and that the most productive way to live life is in a humble mode of learning, acknowledging that new insights and knowledge can be gained any time, any where, and from any one. When he’s not writing about himself in the third person, Munib enjoys trying new restaurants, drumming, and watching movies (of course!). He has two sons: Tristan, an MIS 3rd grader, and 2-year-old Thornton (Thor).

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Munib Rezaie

Asst. Middle School Coordinator
Ahmed_Sana

A native of Chicago, Sana Ahmed received her B.A. in Economics from DePaul University and her Masters in Public Health from Benedictine University. Her real passion, however, has been developing and educating the minds of our young people. She has a long-standing history of volunteering in educating underprivileged youth, teaching basic reading and writing, as well as more recently getting involved in Kindergarten. Prior to working at MIS, she has devoted her time fully to the rearing of her two girls, Emaan (an MIS 2nd grader) and Nurah. She has had a life-long love of math and engineering and has transmitted this to her daughters, taking away the myth that math is not for girls. Understandably, she is excited to be teaching math at MIS this year but even more excited about helping shape these wonderful kids.

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Sana Ahmed

Faculty
Bachner-Allen_Kate

Kate Bachner-Allen

Faculty
Betz_Andy

Andy Betz grew up in St. Louis and lived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where he attended Lehigh University (’87 in Engineering Physics and ’94 in Chemistry), worked at Bethlehem Steel as a chemist, and for the City of Bethlehem Fire Department as a firefighter. Moving to Georgia, he was a Loss Control Consultant (teaching firefighters), a contractor for the CDC (through the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) as an Emergency Response Coordinator, and in risk management for the AJC. Andy continued tutoring math, chemistry, and physics, then teaching the same at a variety of high schools (during the day) and Gwinnett College (at night). He also is a certified American Heart Association CPR/AED/FirstAid instructor. He is happily married to his wife for 25 years.

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Andy Betz

Faculty
Bridges_Aaron

Aaron Bridges

Faculty
Bryant_Traci

Traci Bryant is an Atlanta native and a third generation educator. To say that teaching is in her blood is an understatement (and also very cliche`). She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Spelman College and a MBA from American Intercontinental University. She also studied Campaign Management at The George Washington University School of Political Management in Washington D.C. In addition, Traci has enjoyed an extensive career developing and leading training programs within various industries . Ultimately, it was her fascination with Global Studies and her inherited desire to teach that led her to Midtown International School.
Traci’s Philosophy on education is deeply rooted in the belief that Teacher’s have the most important job in the world, shaping the future of our society. She believes that a passion for learning can be infectious and that everyone can be inspired to learn from someone who is passionate about what they are teaching.
Outside of the classroom, Traci enjoys spending time with her family (Husband Christopher & Son CJ) and Volunteering at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She also enjoys an occasional TV Show marathons on Netflix.

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Traci Bryant

Faculty
Budd_Gary

Gary understands there are two types of people in the world – those that can look at a math problem and smile from ear to ear and those that, when faced with a math problem, would rather be chased by lions. Good news - Gary loves both (well, maybe those chased by lions a little more…). Regardless of how a person feels about the subject of mathematics, Gary works to disarm anxiety, build on previous knowledge, and will turn ordinary math students into extraordinary problem solvers. What’s more, students entering the classroom with mastery in a content area are quickly challenged and thrilled by the depth offered, resulting in engaged, highly collaborative environments where everyone builds off the strengths of each other. Gary comes to MIS from Baltimore County Public Schools where he taught a variety of subjects and grade levels – primarily elementary mathematics. Gary completed his teaching education at Notre Dame of Maryland University and holds undergraduate degrees in both public relations and journalism from Utica College of Syracuse University. When he’s not writing math problems, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, writing the novel he will never finish and perfecting his nearly world-famous chocolate chip cookie recipe.

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Gary Budd

Faculty
Buresh_Mariaelena

Mariaelena Buresh is the English Language Arts and Math teacher for 5th grade. She graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She also teaches Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to students 3-6 years old, and attends Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church.
Mariaelena was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico to a Spanish father and French mother. Her diverse cultural up-bringing helped to instill a great love of travel and a fascination with different cultures. As a child, she would often visit her family in France and Puerto Rico, as a result she is fluent in Spanish and French. After she graduated from high school with honors, she travelled Eastern and Western Europe, as well as the Soviet Union. These experiences afforded her a unique global perspective that is inherent to her teaching style.
She is married to Scott Buresh, entrepreneur and CEO, and has two beautiful daughters. It was her love of her children,and all children, that prompted her to pursue a rewarding career in education. After working as a substitute andvolunteer for many years and interning at MIS, Mariaelena has committed herself to inspire each child to be their very best while continuing to further her own education.
When Mariaelena is not reading or creating fun lessons, she loves biking, baking, swimming, meditating, playing with her dogs, and above all spending quality time with her family.

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Mariaelena Buresh

Faculty
Byrd_Jordan

Jordan is in her 5th year as an MIS Science Lab Instructor. She is the K-4 STEM Coordinator, 5th/6th grade Robotics Instructor, HS Marine Biology Instructor and Director of MIS Summer Camps. Her holds a Master's of Science in Science Education from Montana State University where her research focused on using executive function in the 2nd grade mathematics classroom. Jordan earned her Bachelor's of Science from North Carolina State University, a Specialized Certificate in Gifted and Talented Education from San Diego State, and her teaching certification form West Florida University. She has presented at The Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary on Executive Function in Gifted Learners as well as the Georgia Association for Gifted Children on problem-based learning and atthe National Association of Gifted Children on underrepresented populations in STEM. Jordan also directs the STEM Club afterschool program with fellow NCSU alum Grace Ward. Go Pack! Additionally, Jordan loves all things weird and wacky as well as talking to her cats. She is a mom to rising MIS fourth grader, Michael, and rising second grader Katie.

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Jordan Byrd

Faculty
Carrasco_Eli

Eli Carrasco

Faculty
Dixon_Katie

Katie Dixon has Bachelor of Arts in English and Bachelor of Science in English Education degrees, both from the University of Georgia. She earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree with an emphasis in Secondary English from the University of Southern California. Katie is in her second year at MIS and her eleventh year of teaching. She has experience teaching students from 4th grade through 10th grade, and the majority of that time has been spent teaching language arts at the middle school level. Katie loves reading and writing in her free time and strives to instill her students with an appreciation and enthusiasm for these skills. Katie’s favorite book is always changing, but she agrees with Harper Lee that “the book to read is not the one that thinks for you, but the one which makes you think.” She also loves playing with her dog, spending time outdoors, and traveling.

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Katie Dixon

Faculty
Gardner_Selina

After 13 years in Henry County middle schools, Selina is thrilled to have the opportunity to join the MIS family. She has held numerous leadership positions, including gifted coordinator, curriculum chair, and team/grade level leader, as well as serving as yearbook and newspaper advisor. Since 2006, the majority of her classes have been gifted. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (Georgia State University), a Master of Arts in Teaching (Emory University), and a Gifted Endorsement.Before she was a teacher, Selina was a freelance writer and business owner. In her spare time, Selina enjoys being outside, reading, writing, traveling, weight training, and DIY home projects. She and her husband Scott have two grown daughters, two dogs, two cats, and a turtle.

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Selina Gardner

Faculty
Gold_Elaine

Elaine has been an educator for over forty years and has enjoyed the last sixteen years teaching Gifted Education. As the Literature Coordinator, she bridges her expertise in Language Arts and her love of the printed page by overseeing the three MIS libraries. Elaine leads the elementary book clubs in literary pursuits and supervises the Reading Bowl team. She has a great love for the humanities and enjoys building educational opportunities that reflect an interdisciplinary approach. Elaine engages students in creative moments that develop critical thinking and expertise in problem solving. She is a voracious reader and loves to travel, exploring museums and architecture all over the world. During school holidays, Elaine particularly enjoys visiting her two sons in New York and California, and playing with her new grandson.

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Elaine Gold

Faculty
Hammett_Lisa

Lisa Hammett and grew up in the Atlanta area and attended Auburn University, where obtaining a B.S. in Microbiology. After working working for one year at the Auburn Vet School, and she decided to work on an M.S. in Microbiology at Auburn, which was received in 1998. She worked at a small biotech company in Huntsville, AL for two years until 2000 when she went to work in a forensic biology lab. Lisa and her husband moved to Maryland in 2002 to work at The National Institutes of Health. Additionally, she was an adjunct faculty member at three community colleges teaching biology and microbiology. In 2014, she completed a certificate program in Gifted and Talented Education. Lisa and her family moved back to Atlanta in 2005 and has two kids and two cats.

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Lisa Hammett

Faculty
Lamothe_Gabriella

Gabriella Lamothe

Faculty
Lane_Tone

Tone has been in theatrical arts as both a seasoned entertainer and proficient educator for more than thirty years, and enjoyed the last seventeen years teaching Arts Education to children. At MIS, Tone brings his expertise to our gifted learners in two amazing programs, theatre and public speaking. Tone has enormous passion for civility, particularly where human communication and interaction take place. He will inspire our students this year in a course entitled “Civic Connectivity” that will engage students in a year long journey that will expand both their personal and student tool-sets. This year in particular, Tone has crafted a school wide endeavor that will take all of us on a journey to improve learning and relationships at MIS. “The Art of Consideration” (AOC) will engage our administration, faculty, students, and parents. This year long journey will broadening self awareness and help strengthen learning and relationships here at MIS. Tone is extremely active in his community and helped establish bylaws for his community. Tone enjoys fitness, cooking, music, journaling, graphic design, meditation, photography, publishing, painting, the company of family, friends.

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Tone Lane

Faculty
Martin_Marisa

German native Marisa Martin is passionate about education, music, and sharing her culture with others. Marisa is a graduate of the music conservatory in Nuremberg, Germany, where she earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Elementary Music Pedagogy, Orff Education, and Vocal Pedagogy. In 2015 Marisa earned her Gifted Endorsement from UC San Diego. Last summer, Marisa visited the Institute for Research on Musical Ability at the University Paderborn, Germany, where she began research for an independent Ph.D. program under the tutelage of Prof. Dr. Heiner Gembris. Marisa has enjoyed more than a decade of teaching voice, piano, chorus, and a variety of group music classes. A performer herself, Marisa can be heard singing at various venues in the Metro Atlanta Area. Along with her passion for music, Marisa enjoys sharing her German language and culture as a German teacher at the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta and assumed a similar role, last year, at MIS. This year will mark Marisa’s fifth year at MIS where she will serve multiple roles, including as Arts Coordinator and as classroom teacher for both music and German. In her free time, Marisa enjoys being outdoors, spending quality time with family and friends, and cheering for her favorite sports teams Atlanta United and FC St. Pauli.

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Marisa Martin

Music Instructor
Mobley_Heather

Heather Mobley

Faculty
Morley_Matthew

Matthew Morley was born in Tripoli, Lybia, and grew up in France and Switzerland. He attended public school in France, and developed a life-long passion for French language and culture. As a third-culture child, Matthew is interested in comparative cultural studies, cultural conflict, and seeks to develop students’ overall cultural IQ in and out of the classroom. Matthew holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina Charlotte in Geography, an M.A. in French from Georgia State University and completed M.A. French coursework at the Université de Paris-Saclay, France. Prior to MIS, he taught French as an adjunct instructor at GSU and philosophy as a GTA at Florida Atlantic University. He also has 15 years of work experience in the IT field.

In the classroom, Matthew focuses on developing students’ French speaking and writing skills. His students are encouraged to discover cultural variety through comparative study, usually between the U.S. and Francophone cultures. He focuses on activities which require creativity and collaboration to solve problems and develop a consciousness of inquiry - while having fun, being creative and innovative. He gains great satisfaction from connecting with his students, and really enjoys facilitating class discussions that dig below the surface and foster critical thinking and metacognitive skills.

Matthew loves to travel, and spends several weeks a year in France and Switzerland visiting friends and family. He also enjoys reading, gardening and hiking.

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Matthew Morley

Faculty
Park_Lisa

Lisa attended the University of Georgia for her Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Women’s Studies, and her Master’s in Early Childhood Education. This is Lisa’s third year at MIS teaching elementary English Language Arts and Social Studies. In the classroom, Lisa finds joy helping students become life-long learners through culturally relevant teaching. She deeply values the knowledge and experiences that each child brings to the class. Prior to MIS, Lisa worked with elementary students of all ages in Georgia classrooms. She also brings diverse experiences from tutoring in Tanzania to instructing beginning rock climbers. In her leisure time, Lisa enjoys the outdoors – rock climbing, hiking, camping, and backpacking.

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Lisa Park

Faculty
Platek_Travis

Travis is very excited to be starting his third year teaching math at MIS. Before joining the team at MIS, Travis was a teacher at the International School of Helsinki, in Finland, where he learned about Finnish culture, explored Europe, and taught a diverse group of students from all of the world. Travis found working in an international environment to be extremely fulfilling and an ideal education setting where students are encouraged to become empowered, global citizens. These are just a few factors that make MIS such a great place! Before moving to Finland, he received his Master’s of Arts in Teaching Mathematics from Georgia State University after earning his Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature from Emory University. Travis loves incorporating liberal arts into his math lessons, and believes that math can be found all around us. In his free time Travis enjoys playing tennis, cooking, and cheering on the Atlanta Falcons.

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Travis Platek

Faculty
Rodgers_Latisha

Latisha (Chef Tish) Rodgers is a chef and native Of Detroit MI. Chef Tish is a US navy veteran and the newest member to the MIS team. She was one of the first twenty five females aboard the US Navy Amphibious ship USS (Devil dog) Belleuwood LHA 3 homeported In Sasebo Japan. She actively participated in a ship to crew Hull swap with San Diego California based ship the USS Essex LHD 2. Within her first two year’s aboard the USS Essex Latisha was awarded both her Surface warfare and Air Warfare qualification pins making her number three out of over 120 seaman to be duo warfare qualified. While stationed in Japan Latisha visited countries and places such as Thailand, Singapore, Korea, Australia, Philippines, China, and Guam. Latisha worked as a Navy Master at arms (military police) where she discovered her passion for teaching by operating as a Field Training officer as well as a non-lethal weapons instructor, weapons instructor and journeyman instructor. While in law enforcement she actively pursued antiterrorism and homeland security qualifications up to Antiterrorism Specialist. In her Travels Latisha was assigned to Gaeta and Sicily Italy where she lived and worked completely immersed in the Italian culture for four years. Latisha speaks intermediate Italian and specializes in Italian Cuisine. Italy is where she decided to cook professionally. Changing her career Path she exited the military and pursued her dream. She holds individual certifications in culinary arts and Baking and Pastry from Le Cordon Bleu Atlanta. She has an Associate’s degree in culinary operations from Le cordon Bleu Scottsdale and has worked in Atlanta’s finest dining establishments as a Farm to table Chef for the last Five Years. Latisha has cooked with establishments such as Turkish cuisine Café Istanbul 1 in Decatur, The esteemed Ritz Carlton Buckhead, Ford Fry/Rocket farm restaurants JCT kitchen and bar and the trendy Victory brands such as Little Trouble, Victory sandwich bar and SOS Tiki bar. She has competed on Food Network shows such As Guys Grocery games Holiday veteran show down and owns and operates her own specialty food and intimate catering company Comfortable Gourmet. Latisha’s enjoys all things art in cooking, music, dancing and literature. Spreading her knowledge with others mixed with philosophy of ”One Can never stop learning” is what drove her to MIS. With full initiative she plans to bring her love of growing and cooking to the students by creating a curriculum based farm to school program. A fun and creative program with great daily food experiences to include trips to visit local farms to learn the benefits of seasonal eating and local outsourcing.

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Latisha Rodgers

Chef
Roth_Karen

Karen comes to MIS from Evansdale Elementary, where she worked for 21 years as an administrative team. She is very detail oriented and efficient with deadlines. Karen worked as a bookkeeper and registrar but her favorite job is meeting people and problem-solving with students, staff and parents. Her favorite pastimes are reading and walking. She and her husband, Dave, have one daughter, Melissa, who is a special education teacher at Evansdale.

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Karen Roth

Administrative Coordinator
Scott_Ashley

Ashley Scott is the middle school Social and Cultural Studies teacher, Travel Coordinator and Social Studies Coordinator who works with the travel team to plan and facilitate travel in all grades and the social studies team to help plan and implement curriculum throughout the school. As the Travel Coordinator and Social Studies Coordinator, Ashley works with the team to integrate all travel within the curriculum. This ensures that MIS students are not just traveling as tourists, but are intentionally engaging the destinations as an extension of the classroom. Ashley also leads all international travel for Middle school. Ashley is graduate of Georgia Southern University. He has taught all grades from pre-k to eighth grade in both public and private institutions in both traditional public schools and charter schools. Desiring to provide his students with more authentic and meaningful learning opportunities, Ashley received his School Master Gardener certification from the University of Georgia Extension. This allowed Ashley to get out of the classroom with a hands-on approach to learning while cultivating raised beds, shade gardens, bog gardens, pollinator gardens and caring for chickens. Understanding not all students are reached the same way, Ashley then started an international travel program where he began to plan and facilitate international trips for students. To date, he has been to 32 countries and 94 international cites. Much like his students, Ashley is a lifelong learner. This passion for learning takes him to Guatemala for 2-3 weeks every summer to learn Spanish volunteer in the local community to teach English. Additionally, Ashley passion to travel helps give other students and parents outside of MIS the opportunity to travel as a Global Education Ambassador for Education First and owner of his own travel company. Ashley has two boys, Dj (21) and Amir (14).

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Ashley Scott

Faculty
Serrette_Jamila

Jamila is thrilled to join the staff here at MIS! Jamila attended the University of Georgia graduating with a BSEd. In addition to science, Jamila also pursued her passion of sports by working for 4 years as a student athletic trainer at UGA, interning with the Women’s Sports Foundation and the local hospital. Before joining the team, she spent over a decade teaching science to students of all ages and greatly enjoyed helping students see the value of science in everyday life. Most recently, Jamila provided the academic and social support needed for students and families to develop a plan for college and upon acceptance persist to graduation. In addition, she has planned and conducted many domestic and international trips and service learning projects. During her free time, Jamila enjoys participating in outdoor activities, designing/building, traveling, volunteering, spending time with family and seeking out diverse learning experiences.

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Jamila Serrette

Faculty
Simpson_Alan

In his third year as PE instructor and soccer coach at MIS, Alan believes physical education should feel more like play than work. From a competitive soccer team learning zone defense to a playground group sharing made-up rules of foursquare, everyone should be having fun. Alan finds true joy in athletic games and challenges, and he seeks to create a learning environment where each student can find a positive relationship with fitness that will last a lifetime.
Alan is a nationally licensed soccer coach and is excited to be a part of the growing athletics program at MIS. After a successful year of 6th-8th grade competing provisionally in the Metro Atlanta Athletic Conference (MAAC), Alan is eager to guide the middle school teams through their first year of full competition. Go Lynx!
On a personal note, Alan addresses three pressing questions: Beatles over Rolling Stones, Coke over Pepsi, Messi over Ronaldo.

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Alan Simpson

Faculty
Smith_Maeretha

Maeretha Smith

Faculty
Szymanski_Benjamin

Ben is new to MIS this year and brings 13 years of physical education experience. He has a Bachelor’s degree in physical education and health, and is a certified fitness instructor for the R.I.P.P.E.D and Body Pump programs. He has worked with students in grades kindergarten through high school and believes that physical education is an essential part of a child’s education. With a focus on lessons that involve sportsmanship, teamwork, friendly competition, and risk taking, Ben’s goal is to help students grow socially while developing a positive self-image. He also enjoys integrating math, science, reading and other core subjects into his lessons. “By building a positive relationship with my students I hope that each student will be intrinsically motivated to eat healthy and exercise for the rest of their lives.” When Ben is not teaching or working out he enjoys kayaking and staying active with his family.

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Benjamin Szymanski

Faculty
Taylor_Sher

Sher Taylor

Art Instructor
Torres-Leon_Khiry

Khiry Torres-Leon

Faculty
Twum_Nana

Nana is a highly established Concierge/Supervisor with over 10 years of experience in hospitality. His strengths lie in his ability to build relationships as well as make people feel at home and welcome wherever he is. Nana is known for his infectious smile and positive attitude he brings to every situation. He is a graduate of St. Paul's Technical School in Accra, Ghana, and speaks fluent Akan, Ga and some Ewe (all local dialects). He is a firm believer in hard work and believes anything can be accomplished when you apply yourself and work hard. He is committed to displaying qualities such as team spirit, pride, trust and group identity where ever he works.

Nana lives in Atlanta with his wife, Joan and his two sons, Jerryl and Kende. He is a diehard futbol (soccer) fan. Although Arsenal is his favorite team, any team playing will suffice. Outside of his regular work, Nana is a personal trainer and also enjoys basketball and just hanging out with his family. He is a member of the Tabernacle of Praise Church International.

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Nana Twum

Concierge
Veit_Henry

Henry has a passion for the English language and is a self-proclaimed ‘word-nerd.’ He received his BA in English/Creative Writing from Miami University of Ohio, where he also earned a minor in Japanese. Combining his BA with an MAT in English Education from Boston University has taught him to value imagination and investigation in his classroom. Henry spent seven months in Osaka, Japan as a study- abroad student at Kwansei Gakuin University, where he enjoyed tutoring the native students in English as much as grooming his own skills in Japanese. In the classroom, Henry’s objective is to equip his students with a ‘tool-belt’ of practical, critical thinking, and observational skills to assist in their becoming well-rounded citizens of their communities and the world. Originally from Stamford, Connecticut, Henry grew up in the Atlanta area. In his spare time, he enjoys writing, hiking, and camping in the north Georgia mountains and South Carolina, as well as spoiling his two cats, Dino and Lucia.

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Henry Veit

Faculty
von Neumann_Kyle

Humans have an innate capacity for artistic expression. Like anything else, that capacity for expression grows and changes with practice and experience. In Kyle's classroom, students, teachers (and parents!) engage with our identities as musicians and artists as peers through a program focused on the influence of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade on music, art, and culture.

Kyle attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he studied Instrumental Music Education with a focus on educational leadership. Eager for growth, Kyle sought to diversify his experiences from the normal western art music curriculum through performing with the Miami University Men’s Glee Club, Steel Band, african drumming ensembles, and was the director of the Miami University Klezmorim. He took on private studies in west african dance drumming with Dr. Chris Tanner of Miami University and choral conducting and score study with Dr. Ethan Sperry of Portland State University. Kyle is an active musician and educator in the Atlanta area and is the assistant director of Eclectic Music and the Little Middle School and is the musical director of the Metrognomes jazz band, an ensemble of the Atlanta Freedom Bands.

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Kyle von Neumann

Band Instructor
Ward_Grace

After completing a yearlong cultural exchange program in Madrid, Spain, Grace is enjoying her return to the classroom. During her time abroad, she lived with a local family, participated in a language immersion program, interacted daily with the regional culture, and traveled around Europe as often as she could. Hoping to one day become completely fluent in the Spanish, Grace looks forward to continuing her practice of the language in Atlanta. In the spring of 2011, Grace earned a degree in Elementary Education from NC State University, and then went on to teach 2nd grade for two years in Raleigh, NC. Grace completed her Master’s Degree in Global Studies in Education from the University of Illinois. In her classroom, she places a large emphasis on global citizenship and diversity. Her students spend a lot of time learning how to be productive team members by effectively working together both in and out of the classroom. In order to foster this philosophy, Grace participated in an extensive research study with NC State University in her second year of teaching that was based around how to create a classroom centered on student discourse. She strives to integrate this learning into her each of her classes at MIS, as well as her enthusiasm for cultural studies, mathematics, and adventure seeking.

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Grace Ward

Faculty
White_Eydie

An educator for the past thirty years, Eydie White began her teaching career in Tennessee and Georgia. For the past fourteen of those years, she worked with the Gifted students of a STEM Magnet school in South Florida. During her tenure there, Eydie established the Gifted Program for K-5 students who attended the school, nurturing and supporting countless young minds and their families. When asked why teaching Gifted students was important to her, Eydie explains how they have not only helped her grow as a professional, but more importantly, they are the driving force behind her encouragement to grow into the best version of herself. “Together, our curious natures, our shared interest in ‘digging deeper,’ and our ever-questioning mindset consistently takes us down paths where creativity, imagination, and innovation reign. Our shared passions are the gateway to exploration. To name a few, we have explored the Fibonacci number pattern in nature, constructed Tesseract models, and designed Rube Goldberg machines and Automatons.” With a steadfast learning-attitude, Eydie knew she still had a lot to gain from her students the day one of her first-graders beat her at a game of chess; she was thrilled. Eydie is enthralled by the endless possibilities of the integration of subject areas, specifically when incorporating Literature with Science and Math. While working on her Master of Arts, Teaching and Learning degree at Nova Southeastern University, she quickly discovered her passion for Math, with a focus on problem-solving. Ill-structured problems provided opportunities for reasoning and communicating that she was instantaneously eager to bring into the classroom. At MIS, Eydie brings her expertise to the Math program and a new interest in Computer Science for the primary grades. In addition to her passion for all things education, Eydie has a love for reading, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with family as well.

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Eydie White

Faculty
Wolfe_Rachel

Rachel Wolfe

Faculty
Zhang_Dongxiong

Dongxiong Zhang

Faculty