Meet The Team

The Ron Clark Academy has assembled a faculty of master educators who have different teaching styles but a shared objective: to demonstrate how to improve student engagement, increase academic rigor, and create a school climate and culture that leads to success for all learners. In other words, we strive to create an environment that exemplifies everything we believe that a school should be, and then we open our doors to share our methods with others in hopes that they, too, will do the same. Our entire staff is committed to fostering a dynamic, passionate learning environment where every child is valued, challenged, loved, and nurtured.

Founders

  • Ron Clark

    Ron Clark

    Founder and Mathematics Teacher

    Mr. Clark has been called "America's Educator." In 2000, he was named Disney's American Teacher of the Year. He is a New York Times bestselling author whose book, The Essential 55, has sold over 1 million copies and has been published in 25 different countries. He has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, and Oprah, and Ms. Winfrey even named him as her first "Phenomenal Man." His classes have been honored at the White House on three separate occasions. Ron's teaching experiences in New York City are the subject of the uplifting film, The Ron Clark Story, starring Matthew Perry, better known as Chandler from Friends.

  • Kim Bearden

    Kim Bearden

    Cofounder, Executive Director, and Language Arts Teacher

     

    Kim Bearden is the cofounder and executive director of the Ron Clark Academy; she also teaches language arts.

     

    Kim was honored at the White House for being inducted into to the 2016 National Teachers Hall of Fame. She was selected from over 70,000 nominations to be honored as the Disney American Teacher Awards Outstanding Middle School Humanities Teacher. The Milken Family Foundation selected her to receive the Award for Excellence in Education, and she is a former Cobb County Teacher of the Year. Women Works Media Group named her one of Georgia’s Most Powerful and Influential Women, and she is the winner of the 2016 Turknett Leadership Character Award and the InfluenceHer Award. She is also the recipient of the Outstanding Educator Award from the University of Georgia, her alma mater.

     

    Over the past thirty years, Kim has been a teacher, instructional lead teacher, curriculum director, school board member, staff development trainer, and middle school principal. 

    Kim’s book, Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me, made several bestseller lists, the LA Times Bestseller List being among them. Kim often delivers keynote addresses to educators across the county to uplift them, inspire them, and motivate them to find ways to connect and engage with their students.

    Kim resides in Tyrone with her husband and her three adopted sons from Soweto, South Africa—Sisipho, Sabelo, and Phakamani.  Her 27-year-old daughter, Madison, lives close by.

     

 

Master Educators

 
 
  • Korey Collins

    Korey Collins

    Language Arts Teacher

    Korey Collins is the newest member of our language arts department.  He hails from the northeastern part of Pennsylvania by way of New York. He received his undergraduate training in Elementary Education and Bible from Clarks Summit University and a Masters Degree in Reading Education from Edinboro University. 

    A former member of the Scholastic Teacher Advisory Panel, Korey is an accomplished literacy teacher who has done consulting work.  He specializes in fostering a love for reading in his students.  Korey’s lovely wife Stacey and his five beautiful children are thrilled to join the RCA family.

  • Susan Barnes

    Susan Barnes

    Language Arts and Literature

    Ms. Susan Barnes has taught language arts, creative writing, and literacy in Brooklyn and Harlem since 1996. She is a gifted staff development trainer, artist, singer and performance poet. Driven by the philosophy that ‘language is art,’ she uses her love of the arts to create language experiences that illustrate how skilled expression conveys, explores and documents the human condition. This maxim takes center stage at the Writers’ Block Party, an event co-hosted by the mentors at Verbal Eyze to connect aspiring writers to the talented poets, musicians and artists who make up Atlanta’s Art Community. The resolve to help young people discover their voice has led her to begin work on her first novel, a fiction work exploring the role of cultural identity in changing times. She earned her B.A. in English from Stony brook University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

  • Brandon Fleming

    Brandon Fleming

    History Teacher

    Mr. Brandon Fleming teaches social science and coaches the Model United Nations and National Speech and Debate team at the Ron Clark Academy. Mr. Fleming is also a summer instructor at the Harvard University Debate Council in Cambridge, MA. The Georgia Center for Nonprofits & Young Nonprofit Professionals Network selected Fleming as a 2016 recipient of the Georgia '30 Under 30' award. Fleming received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education from Liberty University. As an undergraduate student, Fleming founded S.Y. Scholars Program, Inc., a non-profit college preparatory and leadership development institute for public and private school students in Central Virginia. Fleming's path to discovering his passion for education has been a journey of overcoming obstacles and failures. Here is a part of his inspirational story:

    Fleming matriculated to college in pursuit of athletics but became a college dropout after sustaining a career-ending knee injury. The next two years of his life were spent as a factory worker where he endured 12-hour shifts on an assembly line. It was this painful experience that induced an awareness of the importance of education. After realizing the mistake in forfeiting his education, his passion for academia was birthed through his quest for readmission into college. After given a second chance, Fleming completed four years of college in only two and a half years, and he dedicated his life to helping kids avoid sharing his negative experiences.

    As a junior in college, Fleming founded S.Y. Scholars Program, Inc. to train students to be the world’s next leaders. Fleming has been successful in transforming at-risk students into high performing college prospects, many who've matriculated to Ivy League and prestigious universities.  To learn more about his work in education, visit www.bpfleming.com.

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  • Pamela Haskins

    Pamela Haskins

    Language Arts Teacher

    Originally from Clarksdale, MS, Pamela Haskins moved to Atlanta to earn a Bachelor's Degree in English from Spelman College. She went on to earn her Masters in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix where she learned the immense benefits of technology in the educational arena. Before coming to the Ron Clark Academy, Mrs. Haskins worked for the Atlanta Public Schools for 12 years as an English Language Arts teacher in both the middle school and high school levels where she focused on developing the writing skills of her students.

    While working with her own students, Mrs. Haskins offered professional development for pre-service and novice teachers in the areas of writing and using complex texts for the Common Core Standards implementation. Because of her work, she has also been recognized by several civil organizations for her service to the students of Atlanta. Mrs. Haskins desires to stay on the cutting edge of education. She believes that parents are the underdeveloped force that can change education for the better. Mrs. Haskins lives in Ellenwood with her husband and 3 beautiful children.

  • Dr. Camille Jones

    Dr. Camille Jones

    Mathematics Teacher and Department Head

    Dr. Valerie Camille Jones was recently honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, which is America’s highest honor in math and science for teachers. 

    In the fall of 2015, Dr. Jones was also recognized by Congressman John Lewis at the 114th Congress 1st Session. Georgia Trend Magazine named her to their Top 40 Under 40 List for her contributions to education, and Mental Floss magazine highlighted her for her commitment to her students.  For over 16 years, Dr. Jones has served her country and the people of metropolitan Atlanta. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at Spelman College and continued her studies by earning masters and doctoral degrees in Mathematics Education from Georgia State University and Columbia University respectively. Dr. Jones is national board certified and also a certified industry studio teacher. 

     Dr. Jones is greatly respected for her creative approach in making the most difficult subjects accessible and tangible to her students. Dr. Jones teaches her students how to effectively use mathematical models as communication tools. In the classroom, she develops art and video game simulations to connect students to math and coordinates field trips to provide real-life examples of the influence of math. Dr. Jones is a champion of promoting math esteem in general.

  • Hope King

    Hope King

    Reading Teacher

    Hope King is an award-winning educator from Anderson, South Carolina where she teaches reading and ELA at the Ron Clark Academy. She received her bachelor's degree from Anderson University in Early Childhood Development and Elementary Education, and her Master of Education in Reading Instruction from Clemson University. In 2010, Hope was awarded the Debra Peebles Golden Deeds Excellence in Teaching Award by her district, an award selected by district administration and peer teachers.

    After teaching for five years in various grade levels, Hope had a desire to begin transforming teaching and instruction outside of her own classroom. She began developing resources for teachers that break the traditional mold of instruction and facilitates new ways of planning to bring passion and energy into the classroom. She established her own business, and Hope’s resources and strategies have since impacted thousands of students and classrooms around the world. At the Academy, Hope serves also as the sponsor for the cheerleading, dance, and track teams. She resides in East Atlanta with her husband and their dog.

  • Wade King

    Wade King

    Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Social Studies Teacher

    Mr. Wade King serves as the director of curriculum and instruction and teaches social studies at the Ron Clark Academy. He has served as a delegate for the United Nations for Sustainable Development. 

     Mr. King attended Anderson University, where he received both his undergraduate degree and his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision. Prior to teaching at RCA, Mr. King was recognized as a District Choice Teacher and Teacher of the Year. A former college wrestler, Mr. King shared his expertise at the high school level and was awarded as the Region Coach of the Year. His students’ outstanding achievement scores and growth on standardized tests were some of the highest scores in the state of South Carolina. 

     Mr. King attributes his students’ success to a “no excuse” policy that he models himself. The relationships he fosters with his students, their families, and community is the driving force behind his teaching. Mr. King’s classroom is filled with music, engagement, rigor, and discipline. He strives to prepare his students for their futures while placing an emphasis on global learning. Mr. King and his wife, Hope, currently reside in East Atlanta with their dog Maya.

  • Daniel Thompson

    Daniel Thompson

    Science Teacher

    Mr. Daniel Thompson is a graduate of Auburn University, where he received his undergraduate degree in Secondary Science/Biology Education. While at Auburn, Mr. Thompson was an undergraduate assistant to the Auburn Tiger football team during their 2010 national championship campaign. He has spent three years at the middle school and high school levels cultivating students’ skills in chemistry, physics, and biology. Mr. Thompson attributes his success to stern discipline, heightened rigor, deep engagement, thorough inquiry, and critical questioning within the classroom. He firmly believes in developing strong relationships with students to reach the maximum potential within each child. Additionally, Mr. Thompson utilizes a blend of whole brain teaching methods along with music and technology to push and engage his students. He also maintains a role system within his classroom to develop skills in communication, collaboration, and critical thinking amongst his students.

  • Carrie-Jo (CJ) Wallace

    Carrie-Jo (CJ) Wallace

    Mathematics Teacher

    Carrie-Jo Wallace is the newest member of our mathematics department.  She graduated with Suma Cum Laude honors from the State University of New York College at Cortland, with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education.  

     
    Upon graduation, she was honored with the Helen E. Smith Award for Excellence in Student Teaching.  She moved to Osceola County in Florida, where she has worked for the past eleven years.  During her first year, she was given the honor of being named First Year Teacher of the Year at St. Cloud Elementary School.  
     
    She became a leader within the school, creating and leading professional development in the areas of technology, math, and science.  CJ’s husband Bill and her three precious children are also excited about this new adventure!
  • Ben Walker

    Ben Walker

    Physical Education Teacher
 

Staff

 
  • Kenneth Adams

    Kenneth Adams

    Tutoring and Mentor Services

    In May 2009, Mr. Adams received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with a minor in African American Studies. During his collegiate years, Adams was involved with UNC at Greensboro’s Student Activities Board, working in a Supervisor role for the campus Game Room.

    Mr. Adams is a former student of Ron Clark’s. He has traveled to several places around the world with Clark including: South Africa, Costa Rica, Japan and England. Adams was born in Oklahoma, and then moved to Aurora, North Carolina as a child. His family still resides in Aurora.

  • Joey Barr

    Joey Barr

    Finance Manager

    Mr. Barr joined the RCA Family as a part-time employee on September 1, 2007. Mr. Barr handles the day-to-day accounting operations for the school including accounts payable, budgeting and payroll. Mr. Barr started his own firm, Barr Marketing, Inc. in 2004.

    Barr Marketing is a managing agency for Ron Clark's books and merchandise sales. Prior to Barr Marketing, Mr. Barr worked 7 years in the finance industry with Regional Acceptance Corporation - a subsidiary of BB&T. Mr. Barr graduated from East Carolina University in 1997 with a BSBA in Finance.

  • Junior Bernadin

    Junior Bernadin

    Dean of Students and Director of Information Technology

     

    Mr. Junior Bernadin joined the Ron Clark Academy family in June of 2009.  Originally from Miami, Florida, Junior received his bachelor's degree from Florida State University and obtained his master's degree from Regis University.  He currently holds certifications as a Microsoft Certified Professional, Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Promethean Certified Installer, and Mental Health First Aid USA.   

    In his role as the Dean of Students, he works with the cofounders in carrying out the school's culture and climate.  He serves as a positive influence and leader among students, staff, and parents to help implement the school's mission and vision.  He also serves as the Director of Information Technology where he provides all system support to the Academy as well as maintaining and managing all levels of technology support and integration within the school.  In conjunction with his daily duties at RCA, Mr. Bernadin spends additional time after hours serving as a coach for the RCA award-winning First Lego Robotics team, MAD about Mattering Team, and the 3-time National Step Team Champions, the Essentials Step Team.  Furthermore, he serves as a member of the Promethean Administrator Advisory

    Prior to RCA, Mr. Bernadin was worked a Customer Support Specialist for Handshake Software, Systems Field Engineer at a DELL Service Center, Technology Support Specialist at Infinity Software, and a Student Partner/Brand Ambassador for Microsoft.In 2012, Mr. Bernadin was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Nu National Honors Society.  He was also the 2012 Creative Research Fellowship recipient for the 7th District of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. as well as the 2012 Denver Chapter of ISACA Scholarship Recipient.   

    Later that year, Mr. Bernadin was selected as part of the inaugural class of Florida State University Alumni Association's "Thirty Under Thirty" Award which recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of FSU’s young alumni.Mr. Bernadin is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., a member of the National Society of Black Engineers as well as the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering.  

    In the past, he has enjoyed mentoring the youth and volunteering his time with organizations including (but not limited to) Hosea Feed the Homeless, the American Red Cross, YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Children’s Miracle Network, Big Bend Cares, Kids Incorporated, and the Leon County Humane Society.  Mr. Bernadin currently resides in Atlanta with his wife Tashinea

     

  • Kirk Brown

    Kirk Brown

    Senior Director of Development

    Mr. Kirk Brown is Senior Director of Development for the Ron Clark Academy where he leads the fundraising and advancement programs for the middle school. He joined the Academy in August 2013 after five years with United Way of Greater Atlanta. In his last role, he had tremendous success managing and raising more than $8 million annually from top corporate partners, including Accenture, Equifax, Delta Air Lines, Newell Rubbermaid and SunTrust. With Kirk’s professional fundraising expertise, the organization was able to improve the lives of hundreds of individuals and families throughout the metro Atlanta region. Kirk’s career at United Way also included many leadership roles as the Loaned Executive Program Chair, Internal Campaign Co-Chair, cross-functional team member—tasked to create the United Way Young Professional Leaders group, and he served on the marketing Digital Strategy Team. Kirk is an active ten-year member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. where he serves on the board for the Atlanta alumni chapter, founder of the Emerging 100 of Atlanta-- the young professional auxiliary of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, and a proud graduate of LEAD Atlanta Class of 2015.

  • Lazarus Bruner

    Lazarus Bruner

    Head Basketball Coach

    Mr. Lazarus began volunteering at RCA in October of 2007. As he began to build relationships with the faculty, students, and parents, it became evident that he was called to serve the needs of this one-of-a-kind school. His desire grew to become an educator to help advance the dreams and goals of the students. With a background in high school and collegiate athletics, his vision was to use sports and physical education as a means to supplement students' academic education.

    As Mr. Bruner is also the head coach of the boys basketball program, he designed a comprehensive program that stressed the importance of conditioning healthy habits that are beneficial to student/athletes. His mission as the head basketball coach is to develop high-performing student/athletes who are just as successful and talented academically as they are athletically.

His foundation is in his faith and his family, which is composed of his virtuous wife of 8 years and their 3 awesome children (2 boys and a girl). He holds a B.A. in Organizational Leadership and is soon planning on pursuing his master's degree.

  • Hutch McMillan

    Hutch McMillan

    Project Manager

    Hutch makes sure the school building, its climate and the entire school campus is operating at top-notch.


     

  • Chrissi Major

    Chrissi Major

    Creative Marketing

    Chrissi Major joined RCA in 2012 after 7 years with Promethean as Head of Global Branding and Photography. Through the partnership with Promethean and RCA, Ms. Major has been connected with RCA since the school opened.  She has designed the RCA newsletter, volunteered and built relationships with the staff and students over the years. Now as an RCA staff member, she continues to help with marketing the Academy.

    Ms. Major has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Appalachian State University in Graphic Design. She recently completed her second Ironman race, a long-distance triathlon that is 140.6 miles of swimming, biking, and running

  • Johnny Mills

    Johnny Mills

    Facilities Maintenance Manager

    Mr. Mills is an integral part to day-to-day operations of the Academy. In his role, Mr. Mills makes sure the school building, its climate and the entire school campus is operating at top-notch. Mr. Mills also works closely with general contractors in managing RCA’s future building projects. Mr. Mills lives in metro-Atlanta with his wife and children.

  • Renita Mosley

    Renita Mosley

    Office Manager

    Renita Mosley has been in Administrative Services for the past 26 years at Bellsouth and has an extensive background in Project Management, Executive Secretarial Support and Business Operations. Renita attended Arizona State University where she majored in Journalism/Public Relations. An Atlanta native, she is involved with numerous community organizations. She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for the Fulton County Juvenile Court, she conducts a home-based adult literacy program, and she also teaches Junior Achievement classes. At the corporate level, Renita has spearheaded several programs to eradicate homelessness and teenage pregnancy, and she has developed mentorship programs to offset reading/writing deficiencies among elementary and middle school students. Renita has served as a BellSouth representative to the United Way, and she has also served as their Job Shadowing coordinator for their local high school program.

  • Aujahuna Smith

    Aujahuna Smith

    Executive Assistant

    Aujahuna Smith Aujahuna is a proud graduate of the RCA Class of 2010—the first class ever to graduate from the Academy.  She and her classmates helped to create the magic that began our school, and Aujahuna was instrumental in establishing many of the traditions that still remain to this day.  

    A mass communications major, Aujahuna will continue to attend college at Atlanta Metropolitan State College in the evenings. She is a proud member of the house of Altruismo, and she is a three-time reigning house champion.

  • David Spearman

    David Spearman

    Visual Media Manager

    David is our Visual Media Manager, heading up our videography and photography departments. David received a BA in Drama from the University of Georgia, which led him to embark on a career as an actor in New York City.  He quickly found himself behind the camera - writing, directing, and producing projects on the New York scene for almost a decade.  

    David returned to Georgia in 2010, excited to explore Atlanta’s booming film and television industry.  Over the years, David has enjoyed producing short films, commercials, and industrial videos, as well as portrait, event, and architectural photography.  David’s diverse background enables him to value all views and perspectives, a principle he applies to every video and photo he captures. David’s wife is an accomplished dancer and a teacher, and their son attends the school where she teaches Chinese.

  • Aungelita Williams

    Aungelita Williams 

    Educator Training Coordinator 

    Ms. Williams graduated from Auburn University in 2001 with a B.S. in Management Information Systems and an MBA from Troy University in 2002. For over nine years she worked as an analyst in business operations and risk management before obtaining her mathematics certification

    Ms. Williams is passionate about empowering both students and adults. She worked for Kaplan as a teacher, tutor, and trainer. She was awarded Kaplan Teacher of the Year in 2009 for preparing students for pre-college testing. Most recently, she taught Advanced Algebra and PreCal/Trigonometry to high school juniors and seniors.  At RCA, Ms. Williams coordinates the educator training program, The RCA Experience, and the National Educators’ Conference. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Education from Troy University.

  • Alejandro Uria

    Alejandro Uria

    Custodian

    Alejandro and his wife have been long supporters of the Ron Clark Academy. Alejandro is now an integral part to day-to-day operations of the Academy. In his role, he makes sure the school building and the entire school campus is operating at top-notch.

  • Elektra Thompson

    Elektra Thompson

    School Counselor

     

    Elektra Thompson holds Bachelor of Science degree in Operations and Information Systems Management from Northern Illinois University. Originally from Chicago, she worked in a corporate environment for five years before switching her career to follow her passion for helping students reach high levels academically while being emotionally balanced. 


    To pursue this passion, she earned both her Master of Education and Specialist of Education degrees in School Counseling from Georgia State University. Ms. Thompson’s counseling philosophy is rooted in understanding the story of each student and knowing that a child’s academic environment can be affected by home life and adult/peer relationships. It is necessary to understand all aspects in order to assist in a child’s growth.

     

  • Kyle Walcott

    Kyle Walcott

    Development Officer

     

    Kyle Walcott joined the Ron Clark Academy family in July of 2016. Originally from Connecticut, he received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Georgia State University in 2013. Post-graduation, he followed his desire to serve our youth by providing in-classroom support and after-school tutoring services to students as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Washington, D.C. After fulfilling his service commitment, his role as scholar relations coordinator with the United Negro College Fund allowed him to implement leadership development programs to underrepresented college students nationwide.Upon returning to Atlanta in 2015, his entry into the world of fundraising began with United Way of Greater Atlanta as a member of the Loaned Executive program. Tasked with managing a portfolio of over 40 accounts, Kyle acquired a passion for bringing individuals and companies together in order to uplift our communities in need.Most recently, Kyle served as Georgia State's development coordinator of annual programs, where he oversaw strategic plans concerning student philanthropy and young alumni giving.At RCA, Kyle contributes to the process of writing grant proposals and engaging both individual donors and corporate sponsors in order to maximize the fundraising potential of our school. He currently resides in Atlanta where he is an active member of the fundraising committee for the local alumni chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

     

Meet our Trustees