Our academic team members are not only filled with the talent and passion to teach troubled teenagers. They are also filled with the Spirit of God, and this is their calling. From our principal to our teachers and teacher’s aides, our academic team helps teens from all walks and challenges of life come to appreciate and enjoy learning. Our fully-accredited junior and senior high school provides your troubled teen with the classes he or she needs to successfully graduate high school. In addition, our faculty is committed to helping your teen improve an underachieved Grade Point Average (GPA) without compromising his or her educational integrity. With a 5:1 student to staff ratio, your teen receives individualized attention and a quality education from educators who really care about his or her future.
Gail Dickerson, ED.S.
Academic Director – Math Teacher
Gail received a bachelor’s degree in Math Education from Piedmont College in Demorest, GA, and a master’s degree in Math Education from Clemson University in Clemson, SC. She also has an Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Piedmont College in Demorest, GA.
It is Gail’s calling to serve teenagers. She has a lifetime career (32 plus years) as a public high school math teacher in the Northeast GA area. Her teaching experience also includes teaching at a local charter school, as well as various Sunday school and Bible school classes. Gail will say, “I believe part of God’s plan for me is to work with teens. To put it simply, it just feels like the right thing to do.”
Gail has been married to her husband Wesley for 29 years. She has three children: Marcie, Bobby and John. Her other family members include their dog Newton, and their two cats Lahiam and Theo.
When Gail is not instructing teenagers, she enjoys spending time with her family. She likes to cook and bake for others. She enjoys exercising with friends at the local YMCA and napping with her dog Newton.
Science and Bible Teacher
Amy holds a bachelor’s degree in Education with certification in History, English, and Science from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA. She is also certified through Niyelo as an Adventure-Based Counselor, Ropes Course Facilitator, First Aid, CPR, and Crisis Intervention through Handle with Care (HWC).
She has worked with the students of SHA since 2001. Her prayer is that, as young people are healed by the love and truth of Christ, they will continue to witness and be a light to the world into which they return.
Amy feels a dual calling on her life to be both teacher and minister to struggling teens. Her deepest aspiration is to model Christ because of the gratitude she has towards Him for the work He has done in her life. She desires to be a witness through her words and the way she lives her own life. She believes that SHA serves a unique purpose in this day and hour and is grateful to be a part of it. It is gratifying for Amy to witness the many young lives she sees at SHA changed through Christ.
Amy and her husband Jeremiah enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and kayaking. Amy also plays the hand drum in the worship team at her church.
Cody has served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves for five years. As a member of the Armed Forces, he served as a cook and a small team leader. Cody attends Toccoa Falls College, in Toccoa Falls, GA studying the Pastoral Ministries Leadership program.
He has previous experience working with youth by serving at vacation Bible school. He also worked for five years with youth, particularly pre-teens and younger, through various major retail programs.
Cody’s strong desire to work with and help the youth of today stems from his own childhood experiences. He claims he could have benefited from a program like Shepherd’s Hill Academy when he was growing up. Today, he will say it is a call from God to help those who have difficulties and to guide them, like God has guided him, to seek a better life.
Cody is an avid reader and loves to read almost anything within his reach. He does enjoy an occasional computer game, and he works out regularly with his wife.
Donald received a bachelor’s degree in English, with a concentration in Literature, from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.
Donald has a heart for working with young people. He has worked with youth at the various churches he has attended since 2007. It is Donald’s desire to not only prepare his students for college by teaching them to become better readers and writers but to help them become better, more mature individuals as well. Primarily, he wants to show them the love of Christ, and be an example of Christian maturity in their lives.
Donald is married and has three children. He is an avid reader and film buff. He also does a bit of creative writing from time to time. He enjoys playing tennis, listening to music, and follows the University of North Carolina Tar Heels basketball and the Atlanta Falcons football teams.
Frank has been working with youth since 2014. It’s Frank’s mission to serve and honor God. He wants to serve God and has followed His path to Shepherd’s Hill Academy to continue working with the teens of this generation.
Frank has one son and one daughter: Frank Moore II (son) and Candace (daughter).
He enjoys mixed martial arts. He also enjoys coaching and has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Gennesis received an associate degree in Science from Gainesville State College in Oakwood, GA. She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Middle Georgia State University in Macon, GA.
Gennesis served as a children’s Sunday school teacher for two years, and at SHA since 2013. She understands that adolescence is such a critical time in a child’s life. She believes so much is expected of our youth, yet not enough is expected in the areas that matter.
Gennesis wants to make a difference in the lives of teens. Her hope is to challenge and to show Christ’s love through coming alongside our students to show them the fulfillment that can come through Him, as well as through having a community of Christ-followers.
Gennesis has been married since 2016. She spends most of her time doing school work and working with kids. She loves her family and likes to spend time with them whenever she can. She also enjoys singing with her husband while he plays the guitar.
Math and Science Teacher
James was blessed to attend Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA for three years before completing his bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences from the University of South Florida, in Tampa, FL. He received an Education Endorsement from St. Petersburg College, in St. Petersburg, FL. James also earned a Master of Education degree in Science Curriculum and Instruction from the American College of Education.
James has always felt a heart of concern for teens and all kids. He has been a children’s church volunteer since middle school. He worked for both Pioneer Clubs and Young Life for seven years each. In between each of those, he served as a youth pastor. James loves that God makes the body of Christ to contain many different gifts. The verse I Corinthians 7:17 is a verse he reflects on and shares with others because he believes we are often aspiring to be someone else and we fail to see the wonderful person God made us.
James has been married to his wife Kris for 26 years. He refers to her as a Proverbs 31 woman. He also has three daughters Josie, Kalli, Kasie. They do a lot together as a family and they love and enjoy: the outdoors, waterfalls, hiking, reading, old movies, making things, fixing things, playing games, making pizza, campfires, bugs, the library, roller skating, their 3 cats and 4 reptiles, Fixer Upper, American Girl dolls (any dolls), Legos, the fall season, Christian music, Hobby Lobby, Family time, and of course their Church Family.
Residential Coordinator and Bible Teacher
Josh received a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA.
Josh has experience giving young people guidance and direction by working at summer youth camps within various churches.
Josh personally knows the pain and trials of growing up without a godly Christian father in his life. It was through church functions, such as summer camps and vacation Bible school, that he was introduced to positive Christian male role models that showed him what being a godly man was all about. Josh wants to be that same type of role model for any young man that has never had any sort of positive influence in his life.
In Josh’s free time, he enjoys hiking, kayaking, swimming, and anything to do with the great outdoors.
Kelly received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Piedmont College in Demorest, GA. She also has a minor in Studio Art with an emphasis in painting from North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, GA. She is affiliated with the Currahee Artists’ Guild in Toccoa, GA.
Kelly has been actively involved as a Pack Committee member of the Cub Scouts for Boy Scouts of America since 2015. Kelly volunteers her time in the community by serving the Lions Club, Citizens Advisory and Planning Committees, the Chamber of Commerce, and her church.
Kelly considers it a blessing to offer the opportunity to help teens think creatively and have the confidence to use and produce art. She wants to help students realize their potential and discover their hidden gifts. She understands creativity is often smothered out by the worldliness of our modern daily lives, and she loves to inspire people to quiet their minds and draw out their beautiful God-given gifts. Kelly believes, through visual arts, students are able to hone in on their critical thinking and firm-up their creative problem-solving skills, because both are crucial aspects of a well-rounded individual. The self-confidence that grows through creating dynamic artwork is invaluable.
She is married to her husband Gary. They have a well-blended family of seven children. They also have two dogs, a crow, a rooster, a few hens, and an albino leopard gecko. Kelly and her family love the outdoors and enjoy camping, kayaking, fishing, and exploring. They play sports and participate in the Cub Scouts together. Kelly is creative and crafty and enjoys her new-found interest in rug-making. Her heart’s desire is taking care of her family and watching them grow.
Lizz received her bachelor’s degree in Ministry Leadership with a minor in Counseling and Bible from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA. Prior to her Teacher’s Aide position at Shepherd’s Hill Academy, Lizz served as a Girls Residential Team member.
Lizz believes that God has truly placed a passion in her heart to disciple teens, specifically girls. She loves listening to those who are seeking after Christ and are hungry for the Word. She realizes it will not always be simple or easy to guide teens with love to Christ, but she is willing to accept the challenge. She believes God can move in big ways and can heal big problems. Her goal at Shepherd’s Hill Academy is to love girls through discipline, to challenge them in being above reproach, and to help them find their identity in Christ so that they can live life to the fullest.
Lizz teaches a middle school class on Sunday mornings at her church. She played soccer in college, and it really had an impact on her life. Now she feels blessed to give back to the same team by being the assistant coach for the ladies’ soccer team at Toccoa Falls College.
She also enjoys reading, exercising, learning, cooking, spending time with family, and traveling.
Diana is a married student at Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA. She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree with a major in Counseling Psychology and a minor in Biology.
Diana has worked with youth since 2011 at a summer camp in her home state of Ohio. She was a camp counselor, activity leader, and horsemanship assistant.
When Diana was a teen, she was blessed to have godly adults in her life who helped guide her through the difficulty of teenage years and taught her significant Spiritual and life skills. Diana is now a cultivated young woman who desires to follow God’s path for her life as He leads her to become a godly model for future generations through leading by example.
Diana enjoys being outdoors and spending downtime with her friends and husband. She enjoys reading novels and learning new things. Diana enjoys hard work and good company and the reward of a difficult task done well and to completion.
History and Bible Teacher
Nate has a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with a minor in Biblical Studies from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA.
Nate has been a teacher for nearly 20 years. He has been an instructor at SHA since 2005, teaching History and Biblical Studies to our resident students. Nate is a creative teacher who encourages his students to think critically and to take initiative in their learning. He has a deep passion for teaching history and is very respected by his students.
Nate cherishes being an educator, and he especially loves the challenges of teaching teenagers. His passion for youth began with parenting his own five children. Nate finds it rewarding to see God’s glory work in the lives of troubled youth.
He enjoys time with his wife Margie, and he loves carpentry, auto mechanics, gardening, camping, fishing, and disc golf.