State Charter Schools Foundation Names Shining Star Teachers

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

The State Charter Schools Foundation of Georgia (SCSF), a nonprofit foundation dedicated to supporting high-quality state charter schools in Georgia, announced 25 state charter school teachers selected as 2021 Shining Star Teachers. Awardees come from around the state and represent 19 different schools authorized by the State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia. The SCSF created the program to honor teachers who have gone over and above to serve their students and school communities. Shining Star teachers will receive a $50 gift card to Amazon and recognition on the SCSF website ( and social media channels (@SCSFofGA). Awards were presented through surprise visits by Michele Neely, President of the SCSF, and Chris Sears, SCSF Board Chair, or during special recognition events organized by school leaders, students, and coworkers. The teachers were selected from nearly 150 nominations submitted by parents, students, school leaders, fellow teachers, and family members. Nominations included stories of creativity, tenacity, and an overwhelming commitment to improving the wellbeing of students during an extremely challenging school year. The initiative is proudly funded by the SCSF and AirTutors, an organization that provides online tutoring services and wants to show their appreciation for these teachers.

            “All of our state charter school teachers across Georgia have shown amazing resilience and dedication throughout the school year. Their actions speak volumes about their passion to serve the children of Georgia, which we at the SCSF are extremely thankful for. We know this commitment will pave the way for another successful school year in the coming fall after the learning disruptions,” said Chris Sears, Board Chair for the SCSF. “To see Kaija Barrett from Resurgence Hall receive the honor of being a Shining Star Teacher - and how emotionally moved she was - shows just how much our teachers care about their profession and Georgia’s children. It was thrilling to be present for the award, and I am proud that the SCSF created this recognition program,” expressed Sears.

            Photos and quotes from the nominations for each teacher can be found online at Each teacher will be featured individually on the SCSF’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.

Shining Star Teachers by School

  • Baconton Community Charter School, Baconton

o   Shelby Donnan, 8th Grade Math

  • Brookhaven Innovation Academy, Norcross

o   Matthew Robinson, 3rd Grade Math

  • Coweta Charter Academy, Senoia

o   Angela Goddard, 6th Grade Science

o   Allison Holley, 4th Grade

  • D.E.L.T.A. STEAM Academy, Lithia Springs

o   Ashelea Grier, 3rd Grade

  • DuBois Integrity Academy, Riverdale

o   Erica Foxworth, 2nd Grade

  • Ethos Classical, Atlanta

o   Christina Russell-Oliver, 1st Grade

  • Genesis Innovation Academy for Boys, Atlanta

o   Terrentena Grant, 2nd Grade

  • Georgia Connections Academy, Duluth

o   Dieldra Griffin, Instructional Coach 5th – 8th

o   Jacob Hale, High School Special Education

  • Georgia School for Innovation and the Classics (GSIC), Hephzibah

o   D’Lee Pollock-Moore, 9th -10thGrade Literature

  • International Charter School of Atlanta, Roswell/Alpharetta

o   Jacob Robinson, 7th -8th Grade Individuals & Societies

o   Maud Devine, 5th Grade French Immersion

o   Wiebke Blair, 2nd Grade German Immersion

  • Ivy Preparatory Academy, Atlanta

o   Tonya Barr, 4th Grade Math

o   Janene Clark, English, Special Education

  • Liberty Tech Charter School, Brooks

o   Brianna Burns, 7th -8th Grade Science

o   Diana Caldwell, 4th Grade Math & Science

  • Mountain Education Charter High School, Cleveland

o   Casey Jones, Physical Education/Administration

  • Odyssey Charter School, Newnan

o   Alyssa Barsky, 3rd Grade

  • Pataula Charter Academy, Edison

o   Fallyn Askew, 7th Grade Math

  • Resurgence Hall Charter School, Atlanta

o   Kaija Barrett, 1st Grade

  • School for Arts Infused Learning (SAIL), Evans

o   Caroline Teagarden, 1st Grade

  • Southwest Georgia STEM Charter School, Shellman

o   Mary Martha Ivey, 1st Grade

  • Spring Creek Charter School, Bainbridge

o   Jamye Donalson, Pre-K & Middle School Cheer Coach