Hugh Harris: Headmaster
In 2004, Mr. and Mrs. Harris began Franklin Christian Academy. He serves as the Headmaster of the school and President of the Board of Trustees. He is the former President of the Middle Tennessee Athletic Conference. Mr. Harris received a Masters of Education Administration and Supervision degree from Tennessee State University and he graduated from Baylor University with a degree in accounting in 1978. After spending 20 years in business both as employee and owner, God called Mr. Harris to the world of education. He is committed to seeing students grow in the grace of Christ through knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
Lisa Harris: Dean of Faculty
Lisa Harris has a passion for teenagers to know Jesus and walk with Him personally. As Dean of Faculty, Mrs. Harris encourages the teachers to disciple students from a God-centered world view. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1976 from Baylor University's School of Dentistry and worked in that capacity for 10 years. God called her into academic education as a second career and began teaching in 1986. She has taught all grades from kindergarten to 12th grade. She also recruits and trains teachers to serve at the School of the Medes in northern Iraq, a biblically based school in an Islamic environment. She also received her Masters of Education Administration and Supervision degree from Tennessee State University.
Jim Tannahill: Dean of Students, Science Teacher, Career and College Counselor and MS Soccer Coach
Jim grew up in Philadelphia, PA and attended the U.S. Naval Academy where he met his lovely wife, Sheryl. After getting his BS in Oceanography and a commission in the Navy, he and his growing family went on a twenty-year odyssey around the world: Hawaii, Monterey, San Diego, Iceland, where he taught night school at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Gulfport, MS, and a final tour of teaching at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Along the way, Jim earned his MS in Physical Oceanography and Meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School and visited 29 countries. After retiring in June of 2010, Jim wanted to break into Middle and High School education and continue coaching as his mission field. Two of his five children have graduated from FCA and a third is currently in high school. "When I reflect on my time at FCA, my best memories are all about relationships: with parents, teachers and mostly importantly, students."
Wayne Smith: Athletic Director
Wayne Smith is native of Nashville, Tennessee. Wayne began his basketball career at Hillsboro Comprehensive High School and continued his basketball career at Nashville’s Aquinas Junior College. Wayne also played at Belmont College, playing for the legendary Rick Byrd in his first season as Head Coach. As a post player, Coach Smith quickly established himself as a good defender and presence near the basket and was an 87% free throw shooter, with many career games. After playing a year professionally in Portugal, Coach Smith earned his degree in education from Tennessee State University. Having taught in the private, public and charter school settings and institutions for the past 18 years, he brings a wealth of knowledge in Health and Physical Education while coaching various sports such as softball, volleyball, and football. Coach Smith has over 25 years of basketball coaching experience. Currently, he is serving FCA as the Athletic Director and Head of all Basketball Operations. Coach Smith also serves as a Head Coach for the Upward Stars Travel Basketball Program, Camp instructor for Nike Elite Basketball Camps and Belmont Basketball Camps. Coach Smith and his wife Lucretia have a blended family of 6 kids.
Melanie Sutton: Director of Student Life
Melanie Sutton has been serving FCA since 2009. She holds a degree from Abilene Christian University in Children & Family Ministry. Prior to teaching and ministering at FCA, she served as Program Director for Barefoot Republic Camp and Children’s Pastor for Harpeth Community Church. Melanie has starred in or directed dozens of productions over the last 20 years… some of her favorites include: Brigadoon, Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap, The Diary of Anne Frank, West Side Story, Grease, Godspell, and more. Melanie’s husband Ryan is a multi-talented musician and producer, and they are the proud parents of two young boys- Jackson and Matthew. When she’s not discipling or directing students, Melanie loves watching college basketball or football, going to the theater, trying new restaurants, traveling, and cheering way too loudly at her son Jackson's baseball games.
Rachel Powell: Office Manager and Umbrella Program Administrator
Rachel Powell is the Administrator of the Umbrella Program for homeschool families. She is also the office manager at FCA. Mrs. Powell received her B.A. in Global Studies from Azusa Pacific University. She was also a member of the first class to receive a Graduate Certificate from Lipscomb University’s Institute for Sustainable Practice. She enjoys fostering a diverse community at FCA and has a passion for adoptees and the adoption journey. When not at school, she enjoys swimming, being outside, collecting postage stamps, and spending time with her family.
Dawn Hoesel: Math Department Head
Dawn has a passion for students and guiding them to a greater understanding of God's universe through Math. Dawn has a gift for explaining complicated concepts in a way anyone can understand. As our Math Department Head she oversees all facets of our Math curriculum and instruction. Dawn Hoesel has been teaching at FCA since 2006. She is married to Don and has two children. Dawn received her degree from Taylor University in Spanish and Math education.
David Stengele: High School English Teacher
David grew up in India with his missionary parents, and then returned to the States for higher education. He has a B.A. in Literature and Writing (double major) and an M.A. in English. He has worked in a graphics company for New York publishers; taught Freshman English at the community college and university level; trained English teachers in Sichuan Province as part of the first Peace Corps team into China; taught ESL in Japan, where he met his wife, Akiko; taught I.B. English for six years at Kodaikanal International School in India, where he himself went to school; and, for seven years, taught High School English at Dalat International School in Penang, Malaysia. David has been with FCA since 2012.
Tammy McDonald: Art Teacher
Tammy graduated from Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC with a degree in art and K-12 education. She later studied music at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC. She has a lifetime of experience in the United Methodist Church as a pianist and children/youth choir director. After graduating from college, she began working in advertising with Maxway. She also started her own studio for private piano and art lessons. In 2000, she joined the staff at Cape Fear Christian Academy in Erwin, NC as an art and music teacher, and eventually served as Fine Arts Director until spring of 2011. Since moving to Nashville, she is excited to be part of the FCA family and is very passionate about the arts. Her goal is to help students see the beauty of God’s creation through the exploration of various mediums, styles, self-expression, and problem-solving skills.
Rod McLain: Middle School Bible, Civics, Economics
Rod grew up in Atlanta, Ga. After high school, he attended Presbyterian College earning a B.A. in Business Administration. He moved to Franklin in 1990 and began work as a youth pastor for Christ Community Church. In 2000, he moved to Vancouver, B.C. with his wife, Shana, to attend Regent College. While there, they had four children, earned a Masters of Divinity, helped plant two church congregations, and developed a recovery program for sexually exploited women of Vancouver.
Paul Ellsworth: Spanish Teacher, Middle School Student Life
Mr. Ellsworth (better known as "Profe") is passionate for all things Spanish. After leaving the missions field in Mexico, Profe earned a Bachelors of Science in Education from Liberty University and has been teaching since 2011. Profe is dedicated to helping students not only appreciate other languages and cultures, but also discover their God given strengths and callings. Profe enjoys spending time with his two boys in the parks around Franklin and writing on his blog (ProfePablo.com).
Jennifer Donovan: Middle School Math
Jennifer is originally from Knoxville, TN. After high school, she attended Lee University where she received a B.S. in Elementary and Middle Grades Education as well as TSOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Religion. After 4 years of teaching on the mission field in Paramaribo, Suriname, Jennifer returned to the United States in 2016 and joined the FCA family. She is very excited about another year of sharing her love for mathematics with her students.
Stacee Strickland: Health and Wellness Teacher
Stacee was born into a Navy family and raised in San Diego, CA. She earned her BA in Communications with a video production emphasis and a Minor in Religion from Vanguard University. Upon graduating in 2008, the Lord moved her to Spring Hill, TN where she has been for the past 10 years. After working in the film/production world for 8 years, the Lord shifted her focus to coaching which is her not-so-secret passion. Coach Stacee LOVES athletics! She has had some sort of ball in her hands since she was born. She is passionate about helping develop athletes/students into all the Lord created them to be and to use their athletic abilities and talents to glorify God. Her desire is to help point everyone she meets in the direction of becoming a whole, healthy person: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Ashley Donnelly: Middle School Teacher
Ashley was born in Alabama and attended Auburn University. She received her undergraduate and Masters's Degree in Elementary Education. WAR EAGLE!!
She met her husband, Sam, while in graduate school at Auburn they married in 2000. For the next 19 years, the Army has stationed them all over the United States. After Sam retired from the Army, they were excited to finally be able to choose where to live. Prayerfully they were led to Franklin and thrilled to find FCA. They are blessed to have their children (Sami Grace-11th grade, Anna Lou-7th grade, and Eli-5th grade) currently attend. Outside of school, Ashley loves to read, go shopping, watch college football, and delights in spending time with her family!
Bob VanFleteren: High School Science
Bob VanFleteren was born and raised in Michigan. He met his wife of 38 years at Michigan State University, where Bob got his academic degrees in Engineering and in Communications. They have three adult sons and three grandchildren. His career has spanned over 35 years in automotive engineering, chemistry, metallurgy, packaged goods, and the diesel fueling industry. Bob has a heart of service and a passion for teaching. He has tutored and coached hundreds of students and athletes, and has led hundreds of students on short-term mission trips to Mexico, Haiti, and Russia. He and his wife are founders of a Christian school in Haiti, where they spend a lot of their time and effort ministering together. When he is not in the classroom, Bob enjoys spoiling his grandkids, playing fast-pitch baseball, competing in Masters track meets, advancing ministry work in Haiti, and mentoring younger professionals. He is passionate about reaching young people and helping them fall in love with Jesus.
William Shipman: High School Math
Will is the son of a minister and grew up in Wartburg, TN He is married to Jenni and they have two children Georgia 11 and Victoria 8. After high school, he attended Tennessee Tech University earning a B.A. in Business Administration. He moved to Aiken, SC in 2001 where he worked as the youth minister for the Aiken Church of Christ while returning to school to earn his teaching certificate in 6-12 math education. After teaching one year in South Carolina, Will returned to Tennessee and taught at Grassland Middle School for 7 years and Ezell-Harding Christian School for 5 years. He currently serves the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville as a deacon overseeing a summer camp for families and worship leader.
Annette de la Torre: High School Music Teacher
Annette received a BA in Music (Vocal/Education K-12) from Luther College and loves using music as a tool to develop life skills and grow Faith. Performance: Great America & Opryland; Starfire touring show group; Actor’s Equity professional theaters in Chicago; commercials, industrial films, studio demos & Chick Singer showcases. A move to TN while working on a project for Word Records was followed by songwriter rounds, church retreats & prison ministries. She returned to theatre in Magdalene at Grace Chapel (music by Mimi Johnston). Teaching: Midwest HS Show Choir workshops; children’s music at St. Philip & Holy Family Catholic Churches; choir director at First United Church; music director at Bravo Creative Arts; instructor at Kids On Stage (10 yrs). Annette specializes in musical theatre and college admissions audition prep. Her private voice students have been accepted to Destination Broadway, NYU, CCM, Boston Conservatory, Marymount, Millikin, Texas Christian, Samford, Belmont & others.
Cameron Duroe: Middle School and High School English Teacher
Cameron grew up in Wisconsin and recently moved to the Nashville area. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2016 with a degree in Secondary English Education. Cameron is excited to share the joy of reading and writing with students and to help them consider difficult ideas from a Christ-centered perspective. In his free time, he enjoys reading and writing, movie-going, basketball, and trying new coffee shops and restaurants.
Bryan Kelsey: Middle School and High School Social Studies
Bryan received his Masters in the Art of Teaching at Lee University where he also spent extensive time going on and assistant leading study abroad trips. He has a passion for adoption that he developed in China while serving as a volunteer at an at risk orphanage for sick children. His lifelong aspiration is to become a successful screenplay writer. Working at FCA is a dream come true for Bryan and he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!
Tim Johnson: Assistant Athletic Director
Coach Johnson earned B.S. in Secondary Education from Vanderbilt and a M.Ed. in Administration from Lincoln Memorial University. While at Vanderbilt, Tim was a four-year letterman as a defensive back for the Commodore football team. During his thirty years as an educator, he has taught multiple subjects in the social sciences. At a variety of public and independent schools, he has also enjoyed serving as an assistant football coach, strength and conditioning coach, head football coach, and in multiple administrative positions. Two of his stops included serving as head coach at nearby Franklin High and BGA, highlighted by his 2004 Franklin team reaching the state championship game. Tim and his wife, Julia, enjoy spending time with family, hiking, playing tennis, biking, serving the community and walking "Vito" their Gold Retriever. I am so excited to work with the FCA faculty as we mentor our future great servant-leaders.
Lanie Garrison: Spanish Teacher
Lanie Garrison grew up in bilingual Cuban household in New Orleans, LA. She received her B.S. and MBA from Loyola University New Orleans and after graduation moved to Colorado to raise her three girls. The Lord recently brought her and her family back South from Littleton, CO, where she taught both high school and college for the last 14 years. She enjoys sharing her love of the Spanish language and culture with her students in a Christ-centered environment.
Lana Myers: Middle School Teacher
Lana is a native of Williamson County and attended Taylor University with a B.S. in Education. After teaching a few years at Lighthouse Christian, she attended Covenant Seminary for a year, then returned back to Nashville where she married her husband, Bryan, and taught for the next several years at Christ Presbyterian Academy. She enjoyed staying home with her two daughters as well as homeschooling them for four years. Lana is excited to be teaching her favorite subjects at FCA: Bible (8th grade) and English (7th grade)! She desires to see students develop a love of literature and writing, and most of all, grow in deeper walks with Jesus and with one another.
Roger Lemons: Student Resource Officer
Roger worked in the Tennessee Highway patrol and worked at another Christian school for 6 years as their Student Resource Officer. He has been serving the Nashville area community since 2007. He has been with FCA since April of 2019. Roger is married to his wife Tiana and has two furbabies Linus and Lucy. He greets the students daily at the front door and helps bring security to our community.
Abbey LeRoy: Middle School Teacher
Abbey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Teaching and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Columbia International University. Her background includes experience in marketing, coaching, nonprofit work, and higher education, but her primary passion is using everyday opportunities to point others to Jesus. Specifically, she has a heart for helping others know and understand God’s Word so that they will grow in the knowledge of and love for Jesus. Abbey is the proud wife of David and mom to Deni. She enjoys running, spending quality time with family and friends, and cheering for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Dan Richey: Middle School Teacher
Dan Richey was born and raised in Southern California, to a family with deep roots in ministry and education. He met his wife of 21 years in high school. They have three children in middle and high school. He attended California State University, where he earned his BA in Political Science and Public Administration, minoring in Criminal Justice and German Language. While still attending college, he combined his heart of service with a passion for teaching, and began a 25 year career in Law Enforcement, where spent a majority of his career teaching and certifying officers in advanced training. Dan has always had a passion Christ and mentoring youth, so early in his career he identified and acted upon the difficult circumstances many middle school aged children face. He earned the distinction of fifth grade DARE teacher and also began to coach youth sports, partner in homeless and at-risk youth outreach, camps, and Sunday School. When he is not working, Dan enjoys spending time with his family camping, hiking, and skiing. He is passionate about partnering with families and reaching he next generation for Jesus, pointing them to Him for their identity, as they navigate their teen years.