Houston Academy’s new staff for the 2022-2023 school year
Houston Academy welcomes Ashley Adkinson to the Lower School, where she will be teaching four-year-old preschool. Ashley earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Auburn University in Elementary Education and has 11 years of teaching experience. She has worked with students from Kindergarten to 6th grade and has a heart for children of all ages. She and her husband, Keith, have two sons, Mac (15) and George (11). When she’s not shuttling her boys to the ballpark, gym or football practice, Ashley enjoys arranging flowers, painting, and spending time with her family at the lake.
Houston Academy welcomes Suzy Browning to the Lower School, where she will be teaching three-year-old preschool. Suzy earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Alabama and has worked 29 years as an educator in both Alabama and Mississippi. Suzy’s most recent experience comes from Saint James School in Montgomery where she taught K-3 in the preschool program for the last 15 years. Suzy and her husband Jerry , who will serve as Athletic Director at Houston Academy, relocated to Dothan in July. They have two daughters, Paden Browning Majure (25) recently married and resides in Atlanta where she works as an Occupational Therapist at Atlanta Wellstar Medical Center and Allyn Elizabeth (21) who will be a Senior at Auburn University majoring in Biomedical Sciences.
Houston Academy welcomes Sophie Gilmore to the Lower School, where she will be teaching Spanish. Sophie earned her bachelor’s degree from University of Georgia in Education and studied Spanish throughout college, including a study abroad in Spain. While living in Georgia, Sophie taught 1st grade. She and her husband Brett, a Houston Academy graduate, have recently moved to Dothan with their year and a half old son, Griffin. Sophie loves to read, bake, and swim. She swam for some time at the University of West Florida Women’s Swim Team.
Houston Academy welcomes Alana Gray to the Lower School, where she will be teaching First Grade. Alana earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Troy University and her Master’s degree from John Hopkins University in Educational Technology. She and her husband Bob have three children, James, Meg, and Kale. Alana enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, and cheering on the Crimson Tide. She is looking forward to returning back to Houston Academy and welcoming her first graders.
Houston Academy welcomes Catie Nichols to the Lower School, where she will be teaching first grade. Catie earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Auburn University in Elementary Education and has 6 years of teaching experience in Auburn City Schools. She and her husband Stetson, both Houston Academy graduates, have recently moved back home to Dothan with their 9- month old, Beckett. Catie enjoys spending time with her family at the beach, playing with her niece and nephew, and cooking a good meal.
Houston Academy welcomes Tiana Boisvert to the Lower School, where she will be a first grade teachers’ aide. Tiana was born and raised in Texas and received a B.A in Sociology at the University of South Florida. The Boisverts are a retired military family, and their children, Alana (3rd) and Nico (1st), have attended Houston Academy since 2019. Tiana participated in the Army FRG (Family Readiness Group) for 16 years, and she has substitute teaching experience. In her spare time, Tiana enjoys cooking, crafting, and traveling.
Mr. Kenley Byrd joins the Houston Academy as a member of the Upper School English Department. Possessing degrees in Theater, English (University of Southern Mississippi), and English Education (William Carey University), Mr. Byrd has over twenty years of teaching experience at a variety of levels. His most recent experience is as a high school English teacher in Florida and as an adjunct instructor at Chipola College. He and his wife Brandi live in Marianna, Florida and enjoy traveling in their free time.
Mr. Brian McDonald is not new to the HA Community, having been a part of the family as a parent for 12 years, coaching the wrestling team for the past 4 years, and as a substitute teacher. Now, he is joining the Upper School and Middle School faculty as a teacher of Digital Media I & II, Computer Programming, and Advanced Placement Computer classes. Mr. McDonald will draw upon his 20 years of professional experience and certifications in HTML/CSS (Emory University) and Java Programming (Auburn University) to make his classes both relevant and useful. Originally from Birmingham, Mr. McDonald graduated from Auburn University in 1998 and lives in Dothan with his wife, Adair, and children John, Liam, and Jake.
Caroline Powell – Middle School Learning Specialist
Houston Academy welcomes Caroline Powell to the Learning Services Department as the Middle School Learning Specialist and the Assistant Middle School Volleyball Coach. Caroline has earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in K-6 Elementary Education with a dual certification in Collaborative Special Education from the University of South Alabama in Mobile. She comes to us from Ozark City Schools with experience in teaching math and teaching students with learning differences. We are proud to say that she is a 2014 graduate of Houston Academy. When she is not teaching, Caroline enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and playing with her dog, Lola.
Lee Richards – Upper School Learning Specialist
Houston Academy welcomes Lee Richards to the Learning Services Department as the Upper School Learning Specialist. Lee has earned his Bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies Special Education and Elementary Education from the University of West Florida and his Master’s degree from Troy University in Counseling and Psychology. He holds Florida Department of Education Certificates in the following areas: Guidance and Counseling PK-12, Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum 5-9, Physical Education K-12, Elementary Education K-6, Exceptional Student Education K-12. Lee comes to us from Vernon High School with 13 years in education, gaining classroom, coaching, and counseling experience. Prior to working in education, Lee served 8 years in the Army National Guard, 4 of which were active duty. On the personal side of things, Lee enjoys running, rucking, lifting weights and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is not all physical fitness, though. He can also be found logging some serious hours on the Xbox.