Southland Academy hires new personnel

Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Staff Reports

On August 10, 2022, Southland Academy opened its doors for its 55th year of operation with sixteen new
faculty and staff members. Directing the lower school music program this year is Lori Burke. She and her
husband have two children, and she lists reading, sports, and spending time with family as her interests. Mrs.
Burke has also been a church pianist for over ten years.

Morgan Jones Cripe returns to her alma mater this year to teach AP biology and anatomy and physiology.
Mrs. Cripe is married to another Southland alumnus, Caleb Cripe, and she lists being with family and friends,
listening to music, and watching UGA football as her interests. About returning to Southland Mrs. Cripe said,
“Southland Academy has been a major factor that has molded me into who I am today, and I absolutely cannot
wait to mentor and teach students this year.”

Kevin E. Douglas comes to us this year as the head boys’ basketball coach, an assistant middle school football
coach, and the director of lower school physical education. He has five children, and his interests include
playing basketball, fishing, and attending sports events. Mr. Douglas spent four years playing basketball
overseas in Germany, Denmark, Turkey, and Puerto Rico.

Krista Walker Greene also returns to her alma mater to teach first grade. She and her husband, fellow alumnus
Mason Greene, have two children: Walker and Hampton. Mrs. Greene enjoys spending time with family, and
she states, “It is a joy to be back at Southland Academy!”

Another returning alumna, Mackenzie Hart Greene takes up the post of Director of Communications as well as
an assistant in the Learning Lab. She and her husband Mack Greene (also a Southland alumnus) have three
children: Owen, Berkeley, and Grant. Commenting on her return to Southland, Mrs. Greene states, “Southland
Academy is a huge part of my life; it is more than a job to me–it is an investment for my family.”

Heather Harrod returns to the Southland campus to teach K3. She has two daughters: Addy in the 6th grade
and Kensie in first grade. Her activities include cheering on the ‘Dawgs and spending time by her pool. About
her return to the classroom, Ms. Harrod stated, “I am excited to be back with my Southland family in the
classroom. I have missed teaching and the Southland atmosphere.” Another interesting detail about Ms.
Harrod is the fact that her younger daughter is Level 3 Autistic, and advocating for her has become Ms.
Harrod’s passion.

Southland’s new business manager is Meredith Haugabook. Her interests are whatever her children are doing
and UGA football. She and her husband Benjamin have three children: Ella, a 2021 Southland graduate; Lily, a
senior this year; and Ben, an eighth grader. One interesting fact about Mrs. Haugabook is that she is the only
member of her family who has never attended Southland Academy, but she loves it here now.

Coming to us from thirty years in special education in the public school setting, Lisa Holloway takes over the
reins of the Learning Lab. She is also a Southland alumna who married a Southland alumnus, Clint Holloway,
and together they have two adult sons. Mrs. Holloway commented, “Southland provided me with the
educational foundation on which I built my career as an educator. I am forever grateful for Southland and its
impact on my life.”

Alicia Jones joins the Southland faculty as an aid to K4. She is married to J. R. Jones, who presently teaches
and coaches at Southland, and she has a seven-year-old daughter. Her interests include relaxing on weekends
and spending time with family with an occasional bowling match. Mrs. Jones is CPR/First Aid certified and has
an eight-year-old Alaskan malamute. About coming to Southland, Mrs. Jones said, “I have heard wonderful
things about Southland, and that is why I chose a career here and also to send my child here.”

Another graduate of Southland who returns to her alma mater is Victoria Bagwell Kelley, who is teaching
seventh grade science and ninth grade biology. She and her husband Travis have four sons, all of whom
attend Southland: Max, Samuel, Howell, and Thomas. She loves reading, running, and being outside and
active with her children. Mrs. Kelley left the Georgia Cyber Academy to come to Southland, about which she
wrote, “I believe that Southland has always built a great level of confidence and leadership among its students.
I look forward to teaching at Southland, and I am grateful to be a part of this wonderful family.”

Returning to her alma mater to teach AP Language and Composition, English 11: American Literature, and
English 12: British Literature is Kathryn Lee Timmerman Lavender. She and her husband Robert have one
daughter, Virginia. Her interests include traveling, writing creative nonfiction and poetry, reading, and going on
mission trips with her church. Mrs. Lavender commented, “I am excited to be teaching English at my alma

James Tyler Lowe comes to Southland after recently graduating from GSW with a health and PE degree to
teach sixth and seventh grade math and to help coach high school football. His interests include all things
sports related. Even though he grew up with his roots at Deerfield-Windsor, he is “looking forward to being a
part of this great, tight knit community and excited to be a part of the Raider family.”

Jenny Parker leaves her fifteen years of professional grant writing experience with Habitat for Humanity to
teach ninth grade English and composition for the tenth and twelfth grades. She is married to Mark Parker, who
is from the SAR Class of 1990, and they have two sons: Jackson, Class of 2018; and Riley, Class of 2020. Her
interests include traveling, reading, and going to Georgia Southern and UGA football games. This is Mrs.
Parker’s first year of teaching, and she states, “I’m so excited to be back at Southland now as a teacher! I have
missed the SA family!”

Joining the K3 group as an aide is Lisa Ragusa, a native of California. Mrs. Ragusa is married to Steven
Ragusa, and they have two children and one granddaughter. Their family loves to play games and trivia as a
group, and Mrs. Ragusa’s favorite activity is reading a good book.

This year Randy Saye will be teaching eighth grade Bible as well as Spanish for the fourth and fifth grades. He
also will be helping with C-team football. He and his wife Leigh Anne, also a teacher at Southland, have three
sons. Mr. Saye’s interests are drumming, woodworking, and fishing. About working at Southland Mr. Saye
says, “Southland has been great for our family!”

Hired to work in the office and primarily assist with purchases and vendors is Alina Taylor, wife of 2006
Southland alumnus John Taylor. They have two children who attend Southland: Thor and Mila. When Mrs.
Taylor attended her husband’s ten-year reunion, she fell in love with our school, enrolled her children, joined
the Raider Club, and began substituting. Now she is employed by Southland. An interesting bit of information
about Mrs. Taylor is that she speaks Russian fluently. Listed among her interests is a love of the Atlanta
Braves, UCF college football, and all GSW sporting events.

We feel fortunate that all of these have joined our Southland family.