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.
Steve holds a Master of Education degree from Michigan State University and a Bachelor degree in Education from Western Michigan University. Steve has also earned 23 credits beyond his Masters at The University of Idaho in order to gain certification in Administration and Supervision. He is a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders.
He has a long list of honors and achievements including: Outstanding Young Educator (runner-up) Hartland Jaycees, State Championship, Plummer High School Football, Superintendent’s Award, Fulton County Schools, proven record of leadership in improving student achievement, proven record of leadership in improving school climate, national acclaim for promising practices in character education and finalist for “School Administrator of the Year” Florida African American Education Alliance.
Steve’s lifetime career as an educator involved 18 years as Junior/Senior High School Principal, five years as Assistant Principal for curriculum and instruction, three years as Assistant Principal for attendance and discipline and 16 years as teacher of Language Arts and Social Studies. He has also owned and operated a private business.
Steve has a deep passion for helping the young people of our society reach their life goals, and his career as an educator is evident to what is in his heart. Because of his love for today’s youth, he left retirement to become the Principal of SHA.
Steve has been married to his wife Patricia for 50 years. They have three children, Stephen, Ann and Michael, all of which are educators. Steve and Patricia also have six grandchildren.
Science and Bible
Amy has received a Bachelor of Science 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.
Dania received her Bachelor of Science degree in Music with a concentration in Worship and Voice from Toccoa Falls College, in Toccoa Falls, GA. She has five years experience in Music Pedagogy, which fueled her strong desire to teach.
Her special love for kids, youth, and our next generation lead Dania to be involved in children’s ministry for seven years, and youth ministry for four years. Her love for music allowed her to become a Youth Worship Leader and an active member of the Traveling Toccoa Falls College Camp Band.
Dania’s prayer is for God to use her as His vessel to show His life to those around her that He is near and faithful. She longs for the opportunity to be His own musical tune of grace and truth to those around her as she guides the students with her words and character. Her life has been personally impacted by her own relationship with God, and she wants to teach others to allow Him to share His truth and love in their lives.
She loves creating music and believes it is one of the sweetest avenues for connecting with our Maker. She is a worship leader in her church where she simply shepherds people to the Great Shepherd. In her daily life, she leads worship to those around her by allowing His presence shine through her.
Dania and her husband Carlos have been joyfully married since 2016. Together they have just one child… his name is Cooper, and he is the sweetest golden retriever you will ever meet.
Elijah received his Bachelor degree in General Studies with his major concentration in Early Childhood Education from Toccoa Falls College, in Toccoa Falls, Georgia. He also has a double minor in Biblical Studies and Outdoor Leadership Education. He also attended North Georgia Technical College. He holds certifications in Wilderness First Responder, Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR. He is Med and ESI trained.
Elijah has worked with youth, on and off since 2007, through his church youth group, and international missions work in Nicaragua and Indonesia. He serves his local community by coaching soccer to pre-adolescent and college-age youth. Prior to his teaching position, he served the youth of SHA as a residential counselor and teacher’s aide.
Elijah believes God uses experience as a powerful teacher, and recognizes that Shepherds Hill Academy provides teens with an experience that challenges them in every way, especially in the spiritual realm. He has a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of youth. He believes the vision of SHA in developing teen’s lives is right in-line with his passions. He enjoys helping students form good habits, and experience individual growth, as they are consistently exposed to the Christ-centered lifestyle modeled by the staff at SHA.
Elijah and his wife Elizabeth married in 2016, and together they have a delightful guinea pig named “Hinkle.” He is a touring cyclist, soccer player, and a musician. Aside from playing any and every sport and instrument he can get his hands on, he loves to read, dabble in photography, and travel.
Josiah is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Nonprofit Business Administration from Toccoa Falls College, Toccoa Falls, GA.
While he was growing up, Josiah was homeschooled through his high school years. He gained interest in working with youth and nonprofit ministry by serving with Camp Maranatha. Camp Maranatha is a faith-based nonprofit ministry in Georgia that provides summer and fall retreats for youth.
Josiah has always had the heart and the desire to help young men that are in trouble. He firmly believes the hope of our nation’s future rests in his generation. His aspiration is to help troubled youth in any way he can.
Kelly received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Piedmont College, in Demorest, GA. She also has a minor in Studio Art, with emphasis in painting from North Georgia College and State University, in Dahlonega, GA. She is affiliated with the Currahee Artists’ Guild, in Toccoa, GA.
She 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 six 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 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 Shepherds 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 Shepherds 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.
She 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.
History and Bible
Nate has a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with a minor in Biblical Studies from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA.
Nate has been a teacher for 14 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.
Wesley obtained two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Theological Studies, and one in Secondary Math Education from Emmanuel College, in Franklin Springs, Georgia. From this same college, he also has an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration and General Education. He also received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Albany State University, in Albany, Georgia. Wesley studied further course work in business administration and management from Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan.
Wesley has 20 years of experience in working with youth at various functions of the church at the local and state level. He has served as both Lay Leader and Youth Mentor. He performed as a Lay Speaker for three years, and sings in the church Worship Team. Wesley has a passion to serve and make a difference in the lives of young people so they can become successful adults.
Wesley is married to his wife Jo. He has three daughters, three son-in-laws, and two grandsons. When Wesley isn’t enjoying time with his family, he enjoys woodworking, kayaking, and computer programming.