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Staff Directory

Mr. Robin Brackman
Physics Teacher
Ms. Ericka Brown
Mr. Jason Butler
Teacher, Social Studies - HS
   Jason Butler has been a proud member of DECA's faculty since helping to start the school in 2006. He was voted DECA's 2008 Teacher of the Year, was selected as a Teaching American History grant participant in 2011-12, and was one of two Georgia teachers to be named a James Madison Fellow in 2012. Prof. Butler is honored to have been named DECA's student-selected STAR teacher in 2010, 2013 and 2014.
   Born and raised a Browns and Buckeyes fan in Kent, Ohio, he graduated magna cum laude from Duke University while majoring in Comparative Area Studies, History and Spanish. Prof. Butler is married and the proud father of two sons. He is a certified personal trainer and enjoys reading and old-school music.
Edward Conner
Michael Costa
Assistant Principal
Mr. Ian Custar
English Teacher
Mr. Les Fourqurean
Social Studies and Economics Professor
Vickie Gaines
Special Education/Case Manager
I am from Indianapolis, Indiana.
B. S in Education fro Indiana State University
M.Ed in Leadership from Jacksonville State University
I have been a special educator in the DeKalb School District for 32 years
I have been a part of the DECA staff since September 2016
Mrs. Nakhia Hill
Instructional Support Specialist

Greetings! I am a proud product of DeKalb County School District Class of 1998 where my desire to educate was fostered by supportive staff. After hearing numerous reasons as to why I should attend Spelman, MIT, and Emory, I decided upon Oxford College of Emory University. I knew I wanted to be close to home, but still far enough to enjoy the “college experience”. Oxford College of Emory University allowed me to further explore my love for both math and dance in a quaint environment with small classrooms. I obtained my Associates of Arts and continued my studies at Emory University where I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computers Science with a Minor in Dance. I was awarded the McMurry Fellowship to teach at Pace Academy in 2001 and have been in the Education field ever since. I have experience engaging scholars in Middle, Secondary, and College Math for over 13 years. I seek to help students understand their learning style to better support the way they conceptualize academic content. I look forward to continuously supporting the dynamic scholars of the DeKalb Early College Academy! A quote that sums up my purpose is “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” – Marian Wright Edelman

I am proud to be part of the DECA community and look forward to witnessing the continuous strides of opportunities for all Scholars I come in contact with.

Mr. Christopher Issac
Teacher, Health and Phys. Ed.
Sherryl Jackson-Gill
Student Support Specialist
Mr. Yohannes Kahsay
Teacher, Mathematics - HS
Mr. Gregory Lewis
Teacher, Health and Phys. Ed.
Rodney Mayfield
Student Support Specialist
Ms. Ashley Miller
School Counselor
Mrs. Jeanette Nicol
Teacher, Art

      My name is Jeannie Goecke Nicol and I am a native to the Emory/Atlanta area. I matriculated in the DeKalb County School system, namely Fernbank Elementary and Druid Hills High Schools. I’m a 3rd  generation legacy from DHHS as my 99 year old Gram was of the first graduating classes, and now my son (a 4th generation,) attends DHMS deepening our circle. My undergraduate studies in Performing Arts began at the College of Charleston, S.C., and concluded at Georgia State University with a B.F.A in Drawing & Painting. I’ll earn my graduate degree in December 2013 with a Master of Arts in Teaching.

       My teaching philosophy is quite simple. I am passionate about the Arts and bringing soul-altering beauty to my scholars. I too build my teaching/personal philosophy on reciprocal respect, respect for each other and ourselves. We must always be open to each other’s history and background to collaborate and move forward. I aspire to constantly learn more about my craft so as to share with my young scholars. 

Mr. Roger Ordonez
Teacher, Spanish
Mr. Jimmy Owens
Music Teacher
Mr. Lavon Sampson
Teacher, Mathematics - HS
Kirsten Scott
Assistant Principal
Kirsten Scott
Assistant Principal
Mrs. Helen Shepherd
Mr. Lanza Smith
DECA Security
Mr. Stephen Stone
Teacher, Mathematics - HS
Stephanie Taylor
Academic Coach
Stephanie Taylor is a third generation educator, happily following in the footsteps of her grandmother, aunts, mom, and dad. Mrs. Taylor is also a proud product of the DeKalb County School System. After graduating from Redan High School, she went on to obtain degrees from The University of West Georgia and Georgia Tech.
Mrs. Taylor returned to DeKalb and began a teaching career at DeKalb Transition Academy. It was there that she developed her teaching philosophy: All students are capable of learning, we just have to make the curriculum accessible to them. Mrs. Taylor became part of the DECA family in 2015 as an Academic Coach.
Sara Walker
Ms. Necole Whisenant
Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper
Mr. Andre Wilkins
Teacher, Mathematics - HS
Mr. David Wilson
ISS and Paraprofessional
Dr. Samara Zeiger
English Teacher
My name is Dr. Samara Zeiger. I am returning to DeKalb County after 6 years away. I used those 6 years to finish my master's degree in Professional Writing and my Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. I was also an adjunct professor at Kennesaw State University, where I taught first year composition. I am thrilled to be part of the DECA community and look forward to preparing our students to be college ready.
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