Brianna Bustamante

Brianna Bustamante

6th Math Teacher

Jessica Cacace

Jessica Cacace

Student Support Teacher

Jessica is originally from Brooklyn, New York where she received her Bachelor's in Psychology and English from St. John's University and her Master's in Special Education from Touro College. Jessica's passion for teaching comes from her little sister, who was diagnosed as developmentally delayed when Jessica was 10. Jessica is beyond thrilled to teach in Nashville with such an awesome group of scholars!

Burrus Cox

Burrus Cox

7th Math Teacher

Burrus grew up in Nashville and studied at Vanderbilt University where he earned his degree in Child Development. During his time at Vanderbilt, Burrus was a part of the 2014 Vanderbilt Baseball National Championship Team. Burrus has coached youth baseball and basketball throughout the Nashville area and is excited to be teaching Math to NACS scholars.

Paige Dudek

Paige Dudek

7th Science Teacher

Paige graduated from UCLA with a major in Psychology and a minor in English. Paige planned to apply for nursing school after college, but instead found her deep passion and love for education through Teach For America. She loves the curiosity behind science and her favorite pastime is getting her kids as excited about learning it as she is!

Bradley Dunagan

Bradley Dunagan

5th Math Teacher

Prior to joining the RePublic team at NACS, Brad was born, raised, and taught in the Baltimore, MD, Metropolitan area. He fell in love with math while learning about sports statistics. Brad graduated from Towson University with a B.S. in Psychology. He then went on to receive a Masters in the Art of Teaching (MAT) from Towson University, focusing on elementary and lower middle school students.

Melissa Elliott

Melissa Elliott

7th & 8th Computer Science Teacher

Melissa, a small town Buffalo, NY native, is more than excited to bring her energy and positivity to NACS. After recently completing an internship at Walt Disney World, she is inspired to bring a little magic to the classroom. While at Elmira College, Melissa was Amnesty International Club President and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S in Biology and Education.

Garrett Gabalis

Garrett Gabalis

6th ELA Teacher

Garrett recently moved away from the Great White North of Michigan to pursue a teaching career in Nashville, Tennessee. His passion for lifelong learning and critical thinking fuel his love for literature and writing. With over 200 hours of classroom observations, a full semester of associate teaching, and experience in the world of substitute teaching, Garrett is more than ready to join the team. While receiving his B.A. in Secondary Education English from Adrian College, Garret was heavily involved on campus. As the president of the Pen & Ink Society, brother of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, vice president of Sigma Tau Delta, and CORE101 tutor, Garrett strove to make a positive impact on those around him, and continues this pursuit at the Nashville Academy of Computer Science.

Halim Genus

Halim Genus

Assistant Principal

Halim is a Teach For America Eastern North Carolina corps alumni where he taught 8th grade Social Studies at Bertie Middle School. At Bertie Middle, Halim served as chair of the social studies department and member of the school improvement team. Halim graduated from the University of Pittsburgh where he received a B.A. in Africana studies and Political Science. Halim’s favorite quote is, “You can't teach what you don’t know and you can't lead where you won’t go.”

Savannah Hagan

Savannah Hagan

6th History Teacher

Savannah studied English and History during her four years at Syracuse University, working for the Syracuse University Literacy Corps. After graduating, Savannah served in a charter school in Rhode Island, teaching small reading groups. When she ended her year of service, Savannah was accepted into the Nashville Teaching Fellows program. In addition to her passion for education, Savannah is a huge country music and New England sports fan, as well as an avid dog lover.

Candi Horsley

Candi Horsley

7th Grade History Teacher

Prior to joining the NACS team, Candi was a History teacher at Madison Middle School. Candi has a B.A. in Education with a focus on Social Studies and also holds Masters in Instruction/Curriculum & Technology, European History, and American History. She believes that continuing her education prepares her to be a better educator for today’s students. In her spare time, Candi enjoys spending time with her husband and stepson, 3 crazy kitties, reading, and going to Disney World.

Remington Holt

Remington Holt

Student Supports Teacher

Remington attended Vanderbilt University, where he double majored in Elementary Education and Child Development with a minor in Organizational Leadership. His love for student supports was born out of his first job in college at a preschool for students with developmental disabilities. Remington aspires to close the culture gap in education through high-quality instruction, culturally responsive pedagogy, and by educating teachers about the importance of cultural responsiveness both in and out of the classroom.

Maynard James

Maynard James

5th Math Teacher

Maynard has six years teaching experience in the United States, and three more years of international teaching experience in the Middle East. Prior to joining the RePublic family, he taught Math to local 6th grade boys in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This unique opportunity enabled him to embrace a culture very different from his own in order to better serve the students he taught. Maynard is a native of Huntsville, Alabama where he also taught 6th grade Math at a performing arts magnet school. He graduated from Athens State University in Athens, Alabama with a B.S. in Education.

Stephanie Jarrett-Thorpe

Stephanie Jarrett-Thorpe

Principal

Stephanie is a 15-year veteran educator with experience in instructional coaching, professional development, and curriculum development. Most recently, she served as the Principal of Democracy Prep Congress Heights, a K-7 charter school in Washington, DC. She believes that empowered teachers, engaged scholars, and supportive families are the key drivers in ensuring a successful change initiative.

She is excited to be moving to Nashville and is looking forward to leading the Nashville Academy of Computer Science. She says, “NACS has a great foundation to build upon. It has caring and supportive teachers, enthusiastic scholars, and the RePublic network has a reputation for getting strong results. I am excited to work among other energized leaders to drive dynamic results for the scholars of NACS.”

She loves reading, dancing, cooking and sharing cultural experiences with family and friends. She also plans to open her own Bed and Breakfast in her retirement years.

Jacquese Johnson

Jacquese Johnson

6th Math Teacher

Originally from Birmingham, AL, Jacquese taught in her hometown for two years and in Memphis, TN, for three years. She loves working with children and helping them grow academically. My philosophy of education is, "If you can reach a child's heart, then you can reach their mind." Jacquese has a B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.

Rachel Kengeter

Rachel Kengeter

Director of Student Supports

Rachel recently graduated from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College with a Master's in Public Policy. While at Peabody, she worked with the Nashville Promise Neighborhood and Martha O’Bryan Center on research and development. She was previously the Director of After School and Summer Programs at a Tony-award winning theater in Princeton, New Jersey where she developed middle and high school programming. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a B.S. in Drama/Theater for the Young and Children’s Literature.

Stacey Kenney

Stacey Kenney

Director of Operations

Stacey returns to Nashville after serving as the Program Manager of a STEAM-focused after-school program, leading 22 staff members in the service of 75 elementary and middle school students. In her previous career, Stacey worked as a medical equipment and transition planner for the Nashville-based consulting firm Balfour Resource Group where she managed the planning and procurement of over $100M of medical equipment. Stacey received her B.E. in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and her M.A.T. from the University of Southern California.

Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee

Paraprofessional

Barbara was born and and raised in Athens, Alabama. She is a graduate of Athens State University and Jones University. Barbara enjoys singing, reading and spending time with her son, Hezekiah.

Maggie Masse

Maggie Masse

6th ELA Teacher

Maggie is a born and bred Rhode Islander. She just received her Masters in Education from Brown University. Before that Maggie served with AmeriCorps in a small charter school in Rhode Island, teaching English Language Development. In addition to her passion for teaching, Maggie loves New England sports, cacti, and being barefoot.

Grayson Maxwell

Grayson Maxwell

8th ELA Teacher

Before moving to Nashville, Grayson taught English as a second language in Yamaguchi, Japan. He graduated from Georgia College with a B.A. in English, and from Bowling Green State University with a M.F.A. in Fiction Writing. He is always looking for the next book to read and is very passionate about writing and studying languages.

Susan McCullen

Susan McCullen

Paraprofessional

Susan previously worked as a teaching assistant for Kingman Elementary School District in Arizona for eight years. Volunteer work and children have been key focal points for much of Susan’s life. She coached youth soccer as well as served on the board of directors for the Northern Arizona Youth Soccer League. Susan has a passion for reaching children whose lives have been affected by incarceration, mental illness, and substance abuse. Susan attended Ashford University and obtained her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Child Development.

Adrianna Moss

Adrianna Moss

5th ELA Teacher

Adrianna graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.S. in Elementary Education & Child Studies. She is a native Tennessean who loves reading, singing, spending time with her family, and creating *lit* playlists. Her passions are making education accessible to all students and inciting a love of learning in her students. Adrianna has always dreamed of becoming a teacher and is excited about her work at NACS.

Max Mullen

Max Mullen

Student Supports Teacher

After studying Audio Engineering at Indiana University and managing a recording studio in Bloomington, IN, Max moved to Nashville where he served the scholars of MNPS as a substitute teacher and a paraprofessional. His time in MNPS showed him that his true calling is to serve children, specifically those with special needs. Max loves to learn, serve, and grow, and loves to encourage his scholars to do the same!

Juliana Musselman

Juliana Musselman

Student Supports Teacher

Before joining the NACS team, Juliana worked as a tutor at a small company in Philadelphia. During college, she also worked as a counselor at two different summer camps, including one specifically for children and adults with autism. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.S. in Special Education and Elementary Education, followed by receiving a Master's in Reading/Writing/Literacy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Natalie Nikitas

Natalie Nikitas

7th English Teacher

Natalie graduated from Bluffton University in Ohio with a degree in History and a focus in social studies education. After graduation, Natalie joined the Peace Corps and served two years abroad as an English and Gender Equality Volunteer in Togo, West Africa. During her time abroad, she had the opportunity to acquire the French language - including some local language - that helped spark and improve communication with her community. Along with travel, Natalie is passionate about all things culinary and never misses a chance to pick up a good book.

Melissa Payne

Melissa Payne

Dean of Students

Prior to joining RePublic, Melissa spent nine years working in education, with the past seven years in large public and charter school networks in Texas, Tennessee and Georgia. After earning a B.S. in Sport Management and Business from The Ohio University, Melissa spent several years working in the corporate sector before making a career change into education. In her determination to become a stronger classroom teacher and leader, she earned a M.A. in Special Education and Exceptionality from the University of St. Thomas (Houston). In addition to teaching, leading and coaching (athletics), she has also spearheaded regional talent selection for a large charter network in Memphis. Her passion for education reform comes from her experience as a twice exceptional child and her journey of breaking cycles of generational poverty in her own family.

Annie Phillips

Annie Phillips

5th History Teacher

Annie is United States Air Force Veteran and graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. As an undergraduate, she was a member of Phi Sigma Pi Honors Fraternity and served as its Vice President. Annie organized the first Wounded Warrior fundraiser on campus. She traveled the world during her military service and experienced many different cultures that became a catalyst for her decision to major in History with a minor in English.

Samuel Rosenberg

Samuel Rosenberg

8th Grade Science Teacher

Prior to joining the Liberty team, Sam graduated from Carleton College with a BA in Biology and spent three years conducting biomedical research at Northwestern University in Chicago. During that time he discovered his passion for teaching lab members the basis and techniques for the lab's research. After following his wife to Nashville in 2016, he taught Biology and Chemistry at Gateway Academy in Green Hills. He is currently pursuing his state certification and M.Ed. through Relay Graduate School of Education.

Iesha Rutledge

Iesha Rutledge

5th & 6th Computer Science

Iesha joins the NACS team after serving as a Career and Technical Education Teacher in Buffalo Public Schools in Buffalo, NY. Previously, Iesha worked as the Academic Counselor and Recruiter for the University of Buffalo TRiO Upward Bound Program. During her time in Buffalo, Iesha worked with several community organizations to aid students through mentorship and to motivate their personal and social development in middle school through high school. Iesha graduated from thee Spelman College with a B.A. in Psychology and Boston College with a M.A. in Elementary Teaching.

Mike Sbarra

Mike Sbarra

8th History Teacher

Mike enters Nashville Academy of Computer Science after having taught previously at LEAD Academy in Nashville. Mike has his B.A. in History with a minor in education. Prior to graduating college, Mike interned for the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA, as well as Aquila Basket Trento in Italy's Professional basketball league. In his spare time, Mike loves listening to Italian music, cooking, and playing basketball.

Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith

8th ELA Teacher

Ben started his career in education teaching special education in Chicago, then moved to St. Petersburg, FL, and taught 7th grade Civics for 3 years. While in St. Petersburg he was the head Track Coach. He received his AYA Education Degree from Dayton University.

Porsha Stallings

Porsha Stallings

7th ELA Teacher

Porsha started her teaching career as an apprentice teacher through a teacher residency program, working under a mentor teacher and learning meaningful ELA strategies. Porsha is currently seeking her M.A. in Education from Lipscomb University.

Jill Steinman

Jill Steinman

8th Math Teacher

Jill hails from New York City and joins the NACS family as a math teacher. She loves to travel, read, cycle, and complete puzzles in her free time. Jill graduated cum laude with an A.B. in Government from Harvard University.

Sean Williams

Sean Williams

Associate Dean of Students

Before Joining Nashville Academy of Computer Science, Sean was the co-founder of a non-profit organization B.R.O.S (Beyond Relying On Society). On Chicago’s south side, this program inspired the youth in the community to attend four-year colleges and universities. Sean has coached and mentored middle school students in the Nashville metropolitan area through the national project "Go To High School, Go to College," a program that members of Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity Incorporated lead across the country. Upon his arrival to Nashville, Sean attended Tennessee State University, where he received his B.A. in Criminal Justice.

Nicole Wilson

Nicole Wilson

5th ELA Teacher