Classroom Teachers


Katie Dugan

Kindergarten Teacher

Education I am a graduate of Brenau Woman’s College in Gainesville Ga. where I received my Bachelors of Science in Early childhood Education in 1991. My teaching experiences ranges from teaching first grade, Kindergarten and Pre-School while in DeKalb County, Saint Thomas More Catholic School and Decatur Presbyterian Children’s Community. I am trained in Ortin-Gilliham which is an approach to teaching not only children who are struggling with letter recognition and sounds but all beginning readers, and hold a Gifted Endorsement from TMS. My Teaching philosophy is to teach each child through real life experiences, hands on approach, positive atmosphere, while challenging them to be self-learners. To find out what their best way my students learns and provide them with the materials needed in order to become a successful l learners.

Lauren Pangle

Kindergarten Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Special Education (Elon University), Reading Endorsement (Western Oregon University), Masters in Language, Reading & Culture (University of Arizona) and Nationally Board Certified in Early Childhood Education. I am excited to join The Museum School for my eleventh year as an elementary school teacher. I taught Kindergarten in my home state of North Carolina for five years then moved to Oregon where I taught first grade for another five years. My husband and I then moved to Arizona where I spent a short time out of the classroom to complete my graduate studies and spend the first year at home with our son. And now, I’m happy to resume teaching and learning in The Museum School community. I view learning as a social, active process that is unique to each child and I work to facilitate learning engagements that nurture children’s natural eagerness to learn, help them grow as critical thinkers, and give them opportunities to discover and explore new interests. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Luke, and son, Emory, and with our friends and family. I love being outdoors, trail running, reading good books, and cooking yummy food.

Carla Sublett

Kindergarten Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Science, Longwood University This is Mrs. Sublett's sixth year teaching elementary education. Mrs. Sublett taught kindergarten for four years in Virginia, prior to moving to Georgia, and one year in 5th grade at The Museum School of Avondale Estates. Mrs. Sublett is passionate about kindergarten and their first year in elementary school. She is very excited to shift her thinking back to the primary grades and to help support the love of learning into young children. On a Personal Note: I like to spend time outdoors with my dogs, Pixie and Ellie, and husband Zack. We have acclimated from our farm life in Virginia to the big city of Atlanta well and have found many new hobbies that Georgia has to offer. In my free time I enjoy hiking, kayaking, traveling, and spending time with family. Teaching Philosophy: My philosophy of teaching focuses on each individual child in the classroom and their educational needs. I also spotlight the development of positive character traits, which are essential in becoming a productive citizen in the classroom, and in our community. I believe that students thrive in an environment that allows them to explore, through discovery and inquiry, which appeals to multiple learning styles. One of the most important concepts I hope to pass on to my students is that learning is a process that never ends!

First Grade

Caroline Almand

First Grade Teacher


Bachelor of Art in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Spanish, Samford University
Master of Science in Child and Family Development, University of Georgia
Master of Art in Teaching Early Childhood, Converse College
Ms. Almand began her career in the area of child coping and intervention and quickly realized that the parts of her job she loved the most were the teaching parts! Moving into the area of education, Ms. Almand taught K4 at the University of Georgia McPhaul Child Development Center, 1st grade in South Africa, and 2nd and 3rd grade at a school in Greenville, South Carolina. She is excited to be returning to The Museum School for another year of teaching 1st grade. 
A personal note: I grew up outside of Atlanta, but recently lived in Greenville, SC for the last 9 years. Much of my family is still here in Atlanta, so this feels like home. I love to traveling and spending time with my precious niece and nephews! In my spare time I enjoy running, reading, and exploring Atlanta. 
Teaching philosophy: I believe that every child is special and unique. I love fostering students' individual interests, abilities, and learning styles as we work through our 1st grade curriculum and standards. I believe in helping children develop a love for learning and a knowledge that school is for them and authentically meaningful to them. Therefore, we spend time studying our curricular concepts and discussing why they are important and how they impact us personally. Through these discussions and learning experiences, I love seeing children become passionate about the topics and concepts! 


Michelle Newbold

First Grade Teacher

Ms. Newbold was born and raised just north of Atlanta. She attended Georgia Southern University where she received her Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education. This is Ms. Newbold’s third year at The Museum School and second year teaching First Grade. She was the Culture and Language teacher during her first year at TMS. In her free time Ms. Newbold loves to travel, read, and exercise.

Katie Stenberg

First Grade Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education, Minnesota State University, Mankato Stenberg taught kindergarten for three years in Minnesota and for two-and-a-half years in Fairfax County, Va. In addition, she spent a year in Reykjavik, Iceland tutoring foreign students in English and has worked in DeKalb County teaching at-risk students in grades 2-5. This is her third year at The Museum School. A personal note: My husband and I enjoy traveling back to Minnesota to visit our families. We recently began tent camping and love exploring northern Georgia. In my spare time, I love knitting and reading! Teaching philosophy: I believe it is important to instill a lifelong love of learning in children, building their self-esteem and fostering their independence. In the classroom, students work both cooperatively and independently to make meaningful choices and to develop complex thinking skills. Similarities and differences are acknowledged and celebrated. A variety of methods, modalities, extensions and supplements are used throughout the curriculum and in the classroom environment to meet the various needs and learning styles of all students.

Second Grade

Katheryn Hatch

2nd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Hatch graduated from Young Harris College with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education in 2009 and from the University of North Georgia with a Master of Education with a major in Early Childhood and a Gifted Endorsement in 2013. Mrs. Hatch spent the first three years of her career teaching third grade in her hometown of Cleveland, Georgia. Providing hands-on, student-centered learning experiences in an environment where students feel free to be themselves is the cornerstone of Mrs. Hatch's teaching philosophy. On a more personal note, Mrs. Hatch enjoys going to Georgia Tech football games with her husband, hiking, reading, and cooking.


Hope Lybeer

2nd Grade Teacher

Ms. Lybeer graduated Magna Cum Laude from Furman University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She has taught fifth grade math and science in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she worked with the Spartanburg Writing Project to integrate writing into other content areas. Ms. Lybeer has had a calling to teach from a young age and works to make every child feel successful each day. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, spending time with her dog Evie, staying active, and singing.


Katherine Morgan

Second Grade Teacher

Education: Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education,  Georgia Southern University. This is Ms. Morgan's third year teaching second grade at The Museum School. She previously worked at TMS as a 3rd grade co-teacher, assistant, and Museum School Coordinator.

A personal note: I grew up right out side of Atlanta in Tucker, GA. I spent several years of my childhood living in the great community of Avondale Estates! I love hiking, camping, taking my dog on walks, traveling, and visiting museums.
Teaching Philosophy: I believe that children thrive the most in a welcoming, supportive, and challenging environment. As a teacher I encourage students to make healthy decisions for themselves, others, and the world. My role as the teacher is to provide students with opportunities to learn from real world and hands-on experiences. I want all my students to live a life as learners and continue to grow by challenging themselves, taking risks, and learning from mistakes.

Third Grade

Lynnsey Armstrong

3rd Grade Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from The University of Georgia with an endorsement in gifted education. I began my teaching career in 2011.

A personal note: I am from a small city called LaGrange, GA and am greatly enjoying the Atlanta area. As a daughter of a father who is a police officer and a mother who is a social worker, I have always appreciated the value of a career in helping others and providing a public service. I enjoy reading, traveling, watching sports (specifically college football), and generally experiencing new things. Teaching philosophy: I believe that a teacher's job is to facilitate learning. In my classroom, I hope to help students reach their own understandings in their own unique ways. My goal is to create a community of lifelong learners who enjoy discovering as much as possible about the world around them.


Shaniece Marie Bates

Third Grade Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Tennessee State University Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, Central Michigan University *Certified in Middle Grades (4-8) *Gifted Endorsement Bates is entering her eighth year of teaching. She has experience teaching second and third grades in DeKalb County schools. This is her second year at The Museum School. A personal note: I am originally from Brown Deer, Wis., a small suburb of Milwaukee. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband Jonathan, my daughter Kennedi Elaine, my son Aidan Kenneth and my step-son Jaylen. Other pastimes include cooking, reading, shopping and traveling. Teaching philosophy: I believe all students can learn and should be engaged in the learning process at all times. I also believe students should be made aware of what is expected of them, and educators should be firm and consistent, yet nurturing. I believe students should grow academically, socially and emotionally in an atmosphere that is stimulating and adaptive to their diverse needs. Most importantly, I believe the learning process should be a fun and rewarding experience for both the student and the educator.  

Christi Brittian

Third Grade Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Middle Level Education, Clayton State University Gifted Endorsement Brittian has been teaching at The Museum School since 2012. She also served as an instructional assistant for third and fourth grades at The Museum School during the 2011-2012 year. A personal note: My husband and I have two amazing daughters, Gracie and Sophia who both attend TMS. I enjoy camping, hiking, traveling and cooking. Teaching philosophy: My teaching philosophy centers on honoring and respecting each student and his/her unique and individual needs. My goal is to create an atmosphere of trust and compassion so that all students feel confident to take risks and reach their highest potential. I believe learning should always be meaningful and relevant to students' lives. I encourage students to question, problem solve and work together to find solutions and understand other points of view.

Fourth Grade

Tami Gonzalez

Fourth Grade Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Science Middle Level Education, Georgia State University -Middle Grades Reading (4-8) -Middle Grades Language Arts (4-8) -Early Childhood This is Mrs. Gonzalez's third year teaching 4th grade at The Museum School. A personal note: You can find me in my hometown of Destin, Fla. spending time with friends and family on the Emerald Coast. After dating my husband Chase for 6 years, we were married in September of 2015! My most treasured pastimes include attending music festivals, sporting events, yoga, cycling, hiking, traveling and snuggling up with a good book, alongside our long-haired chihuahua, Princeton. Teaching philosophy: My philosophy embraces an inclusive learning atmosphere that fosters differentiated instruction in a general classroom to accommodate the needs of all students. I believe in incorporating interactive, student-centered activities, that will stimulate the essence of gratitude, appreciation of diversity, and importance of working collaboratively to solve problems meaningfully. Ultimately, it is my priority to maintain a classroom where students feel comfortable, inspired, and valued.

Robin Hollis

Fourth Grade Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Communications, The Pennsylvania State University Master of Arts in Teaching, Oglethorpe University This is Ms. Hollis’ ninth year in teaching. Before joining The Museum School, she taught third and fourth grade at Dunwoody Elementary, and fourth grade at Austin Elementary in DeKalb County. Prior to teaching, Ms. Hollis spent 15 years in the corporate world, mostly in marketing and public relations. This is her third year teaching at The Museum School. On a Personal Note: I belong to two book clubs. Some of my favorite pastimes are traveling, reading, watching movies, exercising at boot camp, decorating our home, and creating arts and crafts projects. Teaching Philosophy: I believe in creating a classroom community based on mutual respect and responsibility, fostering a passion for learning by allowing children to explore and make choices about what and how they learn, incorporating families, the community and various perspectives in the classroom, and developing and supporting each child’s emotional and social development along the way.

Kimberly O’Malley

Fourth Grade Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Georgia State University Masters of Elementary Literacy and Mathematics, Walden University Educational Specialist in Early Childhood Education, Georgia State University This is O'Malley's sixth year as a classroom teacher. For one year, she worked as a studio teacher teaching child actors on film sets. She is certified in gifted education and holds a TSS endorsement. She is not only certified to teach elementary grade levels, but also middle grades Social Sciences. A Personal Note: My husband and I have been married since July 2007. I am originally from Marietta, Georgia and moved to midtown Atlanta during college. I love living in the city where I can walk everywhere and enjoy everything that encompasses a city life. In my spare time I enjoy reading, dancing, singing and playing with my dog, Thomas Jefferson. Teaching Philosophy: I believe children benefit from an environment that allows them to explore and construct their learning as I facilitate. I teach to the individual child by differentiating my instruction based on ability levels, interests and learning styles. My hope is that my students develop a life-long love of learning and they understand that with hard work and dedication, they can become whatever they dream of being.

Fifth Grade

Catherine Eisel-Elder

Fifth Grade Teacher

Mrs. Eisel-Elder grew up in Macon, Georgia. She got her undergraduate degree in English in 2007, then had an internship in Washington, DC for 6 months. While earning a Master's degree in Teaching from Mercer University, she ran the Children's Department at Barnes & Noble and worked as a kindergarten assistant. The 2016/17 school year will be her fifth year as a certified teacher with Gifted Endorsement. She got married in 2013, and she and her husband, Philip, welcomed their first child, CJ, in November of 2014! She loves to read, play with her son and two dogs, knit, and learn about anything and everything!

Kathryn Pierce

Fifth Grade Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Music in Music Education, University of Georgia; Master of Music, Georgia State University; Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, George Mason University; Certified in Middle Grades (4-8) and Music (K-12); Gifted Endorsement.   A personal note: This will be my eighth year in education. Prior to The Museum School, I taught private and group lessons in Atlanta as well as English in the Marshall Islands. I then spent the last six years teaching music at TMS. While the arts will continue to be a passion of mine, I am excited to transition to an academic classroom. My husband, Drew, and I live in Decatur and enjoy cooking, spending time outdoors, and trying to grow our first garden. I also continue to enjoy playing music for weddings and other events.   Teaching philosophy: My goal as an educator is to create an environment where students are empowered to ask big questions and discover their own understandings of our world through real-world applications; where respect, tolerance, and kindness are practiced daily by every child and adult in our classroom; where risk-taking is encouraged and celebrated; and where each student knows they have a voice that matters and that they can use that voice throughout their lives.


Avery Straw

5th Grade Teacher

Education: University of Maryland, College Park (Go Terps!); Marymount University, Masters of Elementary Education; University of Virginia, Gifted Endorsement I taught in Fairfax County, Virginia, for 7 years, teaching 4th grade, 5th grade and was a gifted resource teacher. A personal note: I've been living abroad for the last 5 years (Toronto, London) and am excited to have landed in Decatur! We moved here in January. My husband, Josh, and two kids, Ellie and Sam, are enjoying getting to know Georgia. We also love our dog, Albus. I love to read, travel and be outside. Teaching philosophy: My goal is to create a classroom environment where students can be themselves, take risks and try new things, and be excited to learn each and every day. I want to grow and foster curiosity, ah-ha moments and joy in learning. I do this through interactive, hands-on lessons where students are encouraged to take an active role in constructing their own knowledge.

Middle School

Avery Alexander

6th and 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher

Education: B.S. in Middle Grades Education (Social Studies and Reading) and minor in Appalachian studies from the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, GA. Being a part of The Museum School is a rewarding and unique experience. 6th Grade Social Studies is my favorite grade and subject so I feel very lucky to be here in a community that allows me to provide young people with creative outlets and opportunities within public education. I love project based learning and I believe students learn best by experiencing and researching. I grew up in Atlanta and live in Decatur with my husband, dog, and cats. I love to travel, but have a deep love for southern Appalachia. I enjoy gardening, cooking, reading, creating, and being a part of my community. I'm a life long learner and hope to inspire my students to be life long learners as well.

Desiree Carter

7th Grade ELA & Social Studies

Education: Gifted Certification - 2012 - Dekalb County School District Gifted Endorsement Program M.A.T. + T5 teaching certification - 2009 - Reading, Language, and Literacy Education with Reading Endorsement - Georgia State University M.A. - 2006 - Anthropology - Georgia State University B.A. - 2004 - Anthropology, Minor in History - Georgia Southern University Mrs. Carter is the newest Humanities teacher at The Museum School of Avondale Estates.  Most recently, she taught 9th through 12th grade students and advised the yearbook journalism staff at Dunwoody High School. In the summer of 2010, Mrs. Carter married her husband, Brian Carter, who is an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society.  In September 2014, she and her husband welcomed their child, Margot, to the family.  They also have a 5-year old labradoodle named Chloe.  In her spare time, Mrs. Carter loves reading, running, gardening, making music, and spending time with her family. 

Stephanie Earnest

6th & 7th Gr Science

Education: Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education, North Georgia College and State University Masters of Secondary Science, Mercer Unviersity Gifted & ESOL Endorsement This is my first year at The Museum School, but my 12th year of teaching in the classroom. I have taught Science, Social Studies, and Reading in grades 6-8 in Dekalb County and Forsyth County. I have been fortunate to teach a wide variety of students that differ in their backgrounds and needs. A personal note: I live with my husband and dog, Cash, in Tucker. We are both Atlanta natives. I am most at peace when I am outside and/or active; that could be hiking, biking, traveling, camping, or sitting in a hammock and reading. Teaching Philosophy: My Philosophy is somewhat wrapped up in my content area. I think kids are born with a natural curiosity and wonder about the world around them, which is the basis of science: a question. My hope in teaching is to maintain and grow that curiosity in kids. I want kids to desire to be creative, innovative, and knowledgeable. I hope to accomplish this goal by providing engaging and hands-on instruction that addresses a variety of learning styles.

Dakota Floyd

6th Grade ELA

Paul Johnson

7th and 8th Grade Math

Education: B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University M.S. in Secondary Education, Georgia State University M.S. in Mathematics, Georgia State University I have taught high school and college mathematics since 1998.  I am very excited to be a part of The Museum School, where emphasis is on communicating and collaborating, as opposed to simply memorizing facts and procedures.  I firmly believe that mathematics is a language: one that facilitates thinking, analyzing, and communicating.  Middle school students will do a lot of practice to develop skills, but will be assessed largely on how well they can communicate their ideas.  Frequently, culminating activities will be short presentations to their classmates, lessons for younger students, or physical models of something we are learning about. On a personal note: I like to run, bike, swim, and climb, and I play bass and ukulele.  I have an eight-year old daughter and my wife works at The Museum School.

Kerrie Rich

6th and 7th Grade Math

Education: Bachelor's in Early Education at Buffalo State University Master's in Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction from Walden University Rich has 11 years experience teaching third and fourth grades in South Fulton County schools. This is her second year at The Museum School. A personal note: In my spare time I like to read (Harry Potter is a personal favorite), dance and try new, Atlanta restaurants. I love to travel, especially to Jamaica, but any tropical beach will do. Teaching philosophy: I believe in teaching the whole child: academics, socialization, character education and conflict resolution. I try to make everything relate to a real world experience in order to connect the student to their learning and make learning more exciting. If students can see that what they are doing makes a difference in the world, they will become more interested in learning and doing, which makes our community a better place.

Peter Robertson

8th Grade ELA & Social Studies

Laura Steward

6th & 8th Grade Science

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