Faculty


Robbin Robertson – Pre-K

Robbin has been happily married to Rodney since 2012. They have five grown children between them, and are blessed with nine amazing grandchildren. She attended U.T. Martin, studying Early Childhood Education. Robbin also is a certified Pilates teacher and a children’s book author. She loves spending time with her family and friends. Being a part of…

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Bretta Freeman – Pre-K

Bretta Freeman joined New Hope Academy in June 2016. Bretta moved to Franklin along with her husband and three children in 2014, when her husband assumed the position of Executive Director of the Franklin YMCA. Bretta brings to NHA a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and over 20 years of experience working and volunteering with children…

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Ariane Durham – Kindergarten

Ariane Durham joined New Hope Academy as our newest Kindergarten teacher in December 2016, just five months after relocating to Middle Tennessee. Originally from La Porte, Indiana, Ariane moved to Music City after spending 18 years in New York City. Desiring “a change” and the pursuit of her husband’s country music career led her to Nashville…

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Rachel Anderson – Kindergarten

Rachel began teaching at New Hope in the fall of 2013. She was born and raised in Nashville and attended college at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she received a bachelor of arts in elementary education. Her parents and sister also live in Nashville. Rachel previously taught Pre-Kindergarten at a local school before coming…

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Amanda Kerstetter – 1st Grade

Amanda Kerstetter joined New Hope as our newest 1st Grade teacher in June 2016. Amanda joined NHA after having just relocated to Tennessee and right before getting married. She has a Bachelor’s degree in both Elementary and Early Childhood Education, and has experience teaching the lower grade levels in public and private schools in Oklahoma. Amanda…

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Christine Sandusky – 1st Grade

Christine Sandusky began working at New Hope Academy in 2014. Raised in Memphis, Tennessee, she is one of five children in her family. She attended college at Auburn University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Christine loves traveling and was grateful to have completed her student teaching abroad in Auckland, New Zealand….

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Pauli Wear – 2nd Grade

Pauli Wear began teaching at New Hope Academy in August 2014. Born and raised in Nashville, she is blessed to work and live in a community that is close to her heart. Pauli attended Covenant College on Lookout Mountain in Georgia, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and married her husband…

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Paula Morrison – 2nd Grade

Paula grew up a Midwest girl, living in Kansas City, MO and Springfield, IL before her family settled in Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Judson College in Elgin, IL, a master’s of Church Music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, and a master’s in Teaching from Trevecca Nazarene…

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Ashley Alexander – 3rd Grade

A Franklin native, Ashley Alexander joined the faculty of New Hope Academy in 2014. She graduated from Belmont University with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and a Master’s Degree in Teaching. She has always loved teaching, whether it be on a ballet floor or on dirt floors in Kenya and Haiti or in pueblos in…

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Kathy Peabody – 3rd Grade

Kathy grew up in Nashville and Memphis. She attended the University of Martin and graduated from the University of Memphis with degrees in Elementary and Special Education. She has been teaching third grade at New Hope Academy since 1996. She and her husband, Rick, have been married since 1973. She has three children and six beautiful grandchildren.

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Nicole Grayson – 4th Grade

Nicole has been an elementary school teacher since 2005. She went to Palm Beach Atlantic University and received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Nicole grew up in Central Florida and recently moved to Tennessee to be near family and to join the New Hope Academy community.

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John Bryant – 4th Grade

John Bryant joined New Hope Academy in June 2016 as our Fourth Grade Math and Science teacher. He earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Vanderbilt University and a Master’s of Education from Boston College. He previously taught Fifth Grade for both the Davidson and Williamson County School Districts, and also led “Extracurricular”, a Brentwood-based company…

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Brian Goodwin – 5th and 6th Grade Math

Brian and his family have lived in Tennessee since 1999, and is originally from Maryland. A veteran teacher at New Hope Academy, he taught Fourth Grade for fourteen years – from 2002 to 2016. In June 2016, Brian transitioned to our Upper School, teaching Fifth and Sixth Grade Math. He is married to Jacilyn, also a teacher…

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Samantha Pence – 5th and 6th Grade Language Arts

Samantha Pence joined New Hope Academy as our Fifth and Sixth Grade Language Arts Teacher in June 2016. She joined NHA after saying farewell to another New Hope Academy – New Hope Christian Academy in Memphis, Tennessee, where she served for the past 14 years in various roles, including 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher, Academic Dean…

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Keli McInnes — 5th and 6th Grade Science

Keli McInnes joined New Hope Academy’s faculty in Fall 2015. Originally from Scottsboro, Alabama, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Science Education from Auburn University in 2002. Keli has lived in the Nashville area since 2003, and in 2004 she married her best friend and college sweetheart Will, a native of Nashville. Animal lovers…

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Alice Dighton – 5th and 6th Grade Humanities

Alice was born and raised in Houston, TX.  She has been teaching since 1988, and began her teaching career at New Hope Academy in 2000. She has a B.S. and M.S. in Education from Baylor University and has been married to Craig since 1988.

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Patti Kelly – Extended Learning

Patti Kelley has served New Hope Academy is several capacities since 2007, and currently teaches in our Extended Learning program. She has also taught second grade at New Hope Academy. Originally from Virginia, she studied Elementary Education and Special Education at East Tennessee State University. Patti brings a wealth of teaching experience to New Hope Academy, having…

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Jacilyn Goodwin – Math Coach

Jacilyn was born and reared in New York City. She attended college in Florida, where she met her husband, Brian.  They have two daughters, who are both alumni of New Hope Academy. She has been teaching since 1995, and has taught at New Hope Academy since 2003. She currently teaches sixth grade math and science but has…

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Bethany Bergey – Extended Learning

Veteran teacher Bethany Bergey joined New Hope Academy in 2006, and today she enhances our school with over two decades of teaching experience. She grew up in Telford, Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Grace College in Winona Lake, Illinois. Her family includes a host of furry friends that she calls…

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Katie Schrodt – Literacy and Writing Coach

When Katie Schrodt joined New Hope Academy in April 2015 as our Literacy and Writing Coach, she came as no stranger to our classrooms. The Texas native had previously taught Kindergarten for 3 years at New Hope, leaving New Hope pursue her PhD in Literacy Studies. In May 2015 Katie earned her PhD from Middle Tennessee…

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Teena Boone – Music Teacher

Teena began teaching music at New Hope Academy in the fall of 2006. Previously, she taught elementary music in two Kentucky school systems for 14 years. She also has worked as a teacher’s aide and a kindergarten aide. She has a bachelor’s degree in music education from Austin Peay and a master’s degree from Murray State…

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Jen Grow – Reading Specialist

Jen Grow joined New Hope Academy in 2005, adding her passion for reading and literature to our unique learning community. A native of Dearborn, Michigan, she previously taught at two Michigan elementary schools. In addition to her teaching experience, Jen earned a B.A. in Education from Michigan State University and a M.Ed. in Reading from Middle…

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Doris McMillan – Acorn Director

Doris McMillan joined New Hope Academy in 2008, leading our after-school enrichment program. She is originally from Stamford, Connecticut, but spent her formative years in South Carolina. She is married and blessed with three daughters. Each year at New Hope Academy has brought Doris a wealth of experiences and joy. “Working at New Hope Academy is…

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Lenis Paez – Spanish and Latin Teacher

Lenis Paez began teaching New Hope Academy students El Espanol in January 2011. Born in Venezuela, South America, she began her career as an elementary school substitute teacher in her native Venezuela and also taught English in elementary schools in Mexico. Having relocated to Franklin in 2004, Lenis and her husband Neil have three children, Virginia…

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Hunter Arnold – Physical Education

Hunter Arnold joined New Hope Academy in August 2016, giving us a welcomed boost to our wellness program. A Franklin native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Mississippi. When not instructing our students in health and fitness, Hunter spends lots of time with his wife Amanda and with the Lord. He…

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Jenny Williams – Librarian

Jenny Williams began working in the New Hope Academy library in 1996. She was born and raised in Nashville and attended Peabody College at Vanderbilt where she received degrees in Elementary and Special Education. She has three grown children and six grandchildren who are her joy! Working in a library has always been a dream of…

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