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.
Administrative Academic Assistant
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.
Amy holds a bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies with a concentration in Secondary History and earned a Gifted Student Certification. She also has a master’s degree in Teaching and Secondary History. She earned both degrees and certification from Piedmont College in Demorest, GA.
Amy wants to use her love and knowledge of history to help our students make a personal connection to the discipline of history and foster that into a love of what can sometimes be a difficult subject. She also wants to use her life experiences to encourage students who are struggling to learn that they are capable and able to do anything they set their minds to. As a troubled teen herself, she had specific adults who fed into her, encouraged her, and pushed her to be a better person. It was these actions that helped her to change her path and become the person she is today. She wants to be able to show her students that their past only defines them if they LET it.
She has worked with youth in some capacity in every position she has had in her career – most as a Family Advocate and Children’s Advocate in two battered women’s shelters in Northeast GA. She was also a Residential Advocate at West Avenue Home, a program for unwed mothers in the custody of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) where she helped young women keep their children and finish high school. Amy’s biggest love is in ministry and helping others. Along with her husband for the past eleven or more years, she has been a youth leader, teaches Sunday School, and is a co-leader at her church’s Celebrate Recovery program.
Amy has been married to her husband Chris for over 25 years, and they have two sons rapidly approaching the teenage years. She is a local historian and avid genealogist. She is also a historical period reenactor and is often found at a local historical site giving period cooking and kitchen demonstrations.
Lead Teacher’s Aide and Bible Teacher
Caleb received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Otterbein University in Westerville, OH, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. He is a worship leader at Revive Church, along with serving in Celebrate Recovery at The Pointe Church. He has former experience working with a Christian-based men’s recovery home.
At age 27, Caleb turned his life over to Christ to serve His Kingdom by helping others who are broken and in need of help. The Lord laid it on Caleb’s heart to work with this generation of young people to help impact their lives in a positive way. It is Caleb’s desire to share his own experiences to teach our youth to reach their full potential through a healthy relationship with Christ.
Caleb and his wife Hilary have a one-year-old daughter, Willow, and enjoy spending time as a family and playing music together.
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. She is currently enrolled in a Master’s program for Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling through Thomas University.
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.
Haley unquestionably appreciates and enjoys studying history. It is her heart’s desire to pursue a degree in history in the future.
She has helped up-and-rising college students and current college students at Anderson University, in Anderson, SC.
Haley acknowledges that teens are on the cusp of adulthood. She believes they are about to enter a new world of sorts, and she wants to help equip them to face that new world with confidence.
She enjoys reading, story writing, and painting. She also enjoys spending time outside surrounded by nature.
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.
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.
Taylor has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Minor in Bible and Theology from Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA.
She has worked with youth for several years by serving at youth groups, summer camps, and Vacation Bible Schools.
While growing up, it meant the world to Taylor when young adults took the time to get to know her and walk through life with her. Knowing how much this meant to her, she wants to do the same by investing in the lives of other youth.
Taylor’s immediate family is her mom and dad, her older sister, brother-in-law, and her younger brother. In her spare time, she loves playing soccer and enjoys studying and learning new languages.