Eastside Academic Studies



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Beth Bacon has taught life science and biology for over twenty years. She currently teaches at Metro Academic Studies. Beth was Teacher of the Year for Daniell Middle School, Marietta, Georgia in 1999. She was listed in Who’s Who Among Teachers 2002. Beth graduated with a degree in Education with concentrations in math and science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 1990. Beth has a Master’s Degree in Education with concentrations in math and science from Georgia State University, 1998. She attended the Institute for Chemical Education at the University of Wisconsin the summer of 1991. Beth has been a presenter at National Science Teacher Association Conferences, Georgia Science Teacher Association Conferences, and many local schools. Beth has Level T-5 Georgia Teacher Certification. She has completed over 500 hours of biblical training and received a Certificate of Completion from the BTCP (Bible Training for Church Leaders). Beth and her husband Kevin and their three children Kate, Olivia, and Jackson attend Genesis Bible Church of Dunwoody. Beth teaches Sunday School there and is on the Children’s Ministry Team.


Grace has always loved history, even as a child! She earned her BA in History from Geneva College and has taught junior and senior high school in several Classical Christian schools in various states. In college as an undergrad and graduate she was a Teaching Assistant in the Humanities Department. During her years as a TA, she graded college essays, created exams, led discussions and attended college faculty meetings. Her students are important to her and she believes it is important to educate the whole student. Grace has lived in several states, including the Midwest and California, but considers herself an honorary Southerner. She is married to Ryan and together they have 3 young children who are homeschooled and 3 dogs who like to sit and listen to the kids "doing" school! When she isn't driving the children to sports and music practice, Grace enjoys reading, acting, singing, dancing, traveling, learning about new cultures, board games, the beach, spending time with Ryan and watching her children create and dream dreams. They are members of Westminster Presbyterian and enjoy worshipping and growing there very much!


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Noelle Bandy has been teaching and tutoring high school and college level math for over 25 years since she moved to the Atlanta area to attend Agnes Scott College and later Georgia Tech where she earned her Masters degree.  She taught one year in public school and then several years of freshman and sophomore level classes at Georgia Tech and Agnes Scott.  Since 1997 she has also been homeschooling her own five children and has successfully launched two of them into college.  She has been teaching math to other people’s homeschool kids for the last several years.  What she loves best about teaching mathematics is the opportunity to share the never-changing, easily accessible yet infinitely complex aspects of God’s creation.  Did she mention she loves math?

Noelle and her family attend St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church where they are involved in pretty much everything.  She loves to cook and knit and read and drink coffee.  She is married to a structural engineer named Brent.


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Jackie is a Leader of Leaders with her focus in the market place, educating and empowering women and men, young and old, to become their best self-expression! When she’s not writing, filming, or producing, you might find her inspiring others speaking at workshops or conferences, or emceeing.  She loves giving back, servings others, traveling and spending time with her family! 

Her mission in life is to help as many people Find Their Purpose, Reach Their Full Potential and Create the Life They Are Meant to Live and Live Life Now!

Jackie is the author of “Create, Produce & Host Your “OWN” TV Show!”, Creator, Host and Executive Producer of “It’s Up To You!”, TV Talk Show, and owner of Jackie Brown Productions & Publishing, LLC.  Jackie is a serial entrepreneur that brings a well-rounded approach to the industry!

Jackie Brown Productions & Publishing, LLC., a multimedia company, was created, to offer a variety of Inspirational Programs,  Workshops/Webinars, Courses and Inspirational Products such as Books, Music, and Apparel. The goal is to make a positive and global impact, through all forms of media.

Jackie believes everybody deserves to “OWN” their Life and take control of their destiny.  Whether it’s creating an amazing product, running their own unique business, or offering a specialized service she feels it’s their birthright to live an Abundant, Exciting, Blessed life!


“I love all things fabric. Love to create.”

Dovlane Ferguson is the Owner and Primary Instructor at And Sew On...Inc located in Stone Mountain GA. Born and raised in Jamaica, Dovlane learned to sew from her mother. She started making doll clothing at the age of 10 and further developed her skills making clothes for siblings and others. Dovlane holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing Management, CompTIA Project Management Certification and Interior Decorating Certification. As a professional seamstress, her experience and expertise were developed in both the garment and interior design industries. For years, she has instructed many students in sewing techniques for the home, as well as, various forms of clothing construction including, but not limited to, designing and drafting patterns, measuring and writing specifications for garment construction. Her experience spans over a period of thirty five years teaching, training and directing sewing educational programs. The ultimate mission for educating others, is to “preserve the art of sewing one stitch at a time”


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Teresa Hatten is a graduate of Fisk University with a BA degree in Applied Mathematics. For more than 26 years she worked in the corporate sector in various assignments including Human Performance Technology, Course Development and Instruction. She became interested in learning sign language in the 1980's after seeing it expressed during church worship services. Her journey into the Deaf world began through a small sign language class offered by the church. In 2004, after completing and accomplishing ASL skills training courses in the Sign Language Interpreter Program at Georgia Perimeter College, she transferred to Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Services. She received a degree in Mortuary Science, became a licensed mortician and took the helm as General Manager of her parent's funeral services establishment after the passing of her mother in the state of Tennessee. Teresa is an ordained Minister; Served as an Assistant Pastor in Louisville, KY, Associate Minister in Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA. For the past 4 years, she served at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD) as Assistant Librarian three days a week.  Until recently, she provided a service through WOHL Communications Services as a Reader, Scribe or Proctor for candidates with disabilities who are required to take national, state and local examinations and certifications. Teresa and her husband Jiendesha "JD" Hatten have been married 39 years. They have two children and three grandchildren. Teresa and her "JD" worship and fellowship at Buckhead Church.


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Kristi Helfen graduated from Asbury University, a Christian liberal arts school, with a Bachelor of Science in music education/piano. After homeschooling her children for 15 years, Kristi went back to school and received a Master of Music in piano pedagogy from Georgia State University. As a graduate student at GSU, she taught group piano classes to both non-music majors and instrumental/vocal music majors who were required to gain a certain level of piano proficiency in order to graduate. Kristi is in her sixth year of teaching at Oxford College of Emory University as the Applied Piano Instructor there. Along with teaching private piano lessons and music theory for the past 35 years, Kristi has also enjoyed performing. She is a former accompanist for the National Symphony Chorus of San Jose, Costa Rica and currently performs as a member of Redeemer Piano Ensemble, a group of eight pianists playing simultaneously on four pianos. Kristi loves working with homeschooled students. As a member of Dekalb Christian Home Educators, she coordinated and directed a summer music program for many years that culminated in a September Showcase Concert in which students performed in instrumental ensembles and as soloists on various instruments and voice. Kristi and her husband Paul have been married for 34 years, have three children, three grandchildren, and live in Stone Mountain. Their hearts are full of thanksgiving for all the Lord has done.


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Jeffery Duncan Henderson has been a homeschool teacher for Eastside Academy Studies since 2016 and started his own homeschool called Youth Branding University Homeschool in 2017. 

He also launched the YBU - Youth Branding University – Youth Cyber Academy in September 2019 whereby he is teaching two College Planning Programs which one involving non-student athletes and the other one pertaining to student-athletes.  He launched the YBU - Youth Branding University – Adult Cyber Academy in March 2020 and is scheduled to launch the YBU - Youth Branding University – College Students Cyber Academy in April 2020.

He had been an advocate for youth since the age of 15 when he spoke at Harvard University at the National Council of State Committees for Youth Helping Youth.  He has been an educational coach, mentor, and trainer for youth and adults for over 30 years. He also founded and was the head coach for a High School Girls Basketball Team and Youth Track and Field Team.

Under his leadership since 2016, Coach Jeffery’s organization Youth Branding University has provided educational training and development programs to over 13,500, youth, 2,500 young adults and adults, and served 2,000 homeless individuals.

He played a key role in helping a non-profit organization start-up and manage two Trio Programs (i.e., Upward Bound Program and Upward Bound Math-Science) which is a federally funded youth educational program within the United States whereby two-thirds of all participants must be low-income, potential first-generation college students

He has been instrumental in helping non-profit and faith-based organization raise over $400,000 and assisted a non-profit organization in securing a multi-million grant.  Currently, he is spearheading an initiative for his organization Youth Branding University to become the legal fiscal agent of WATTS - Women Aspiring Together To Succeed.

He is the founder and CEO of Alpha and Omega International, Inc. (aoi), which was launched in 2004 Youth Branding University (YBU) which was launched in 2010, and Kick-Back At The Hang-Out Ministry (KBATHO) which was launched in 2017.  Inasmuch, he now spends most of his time, energy, and focus on Youth Branding University (YBU), and Kick-Back At The Hang-Out Ministry.

As to Youth Branding University, its motto is Educating, Elevating, Empowering, Enriching, and Equipping; Today's Youth. to become global leaders and wealth builders. Coach Jeffery is currently providing personal and professional development training to youth in one recreational center, one Elementary School, two Middle Schools, and numerous High Schools in the following areas: Life Preparation and Skills, College Planning, Financial Empowerment, Entrepreneurship, Investments, Technology, Business and Life Skills, Estate Planning, and Career Readiness.

In 2019, he had the opportunity to assist the Dale Carnegie of Georgia Generation Next 3 Day Summer Academy as a coach and trainer.  He has organized and hosted educational events involving the NFL Alumni Association Georgia and the NFL Players Association Atlanta.

He is currently the President of the Board of Directors for Community Teen Coalition, Secretary for Four Quarter$ Foundation, Inc., Treasurer of the Board of Directors for Out of Love Ministries and Member of the Board of Directors for Self-Image Development, Inc.  

Previously, Coach Jeffery was on the Board of Directors for the NFL Alumni Association Georgia (Treasurer/Secretary), Still Waters Youth Sinfo-Nia of Metropolitan Atlanta Orchestra/Dance Company (Chairperson), Thankful Missionary Baptist Church Building Fund (Chairperson), HPAC - Health Promotion Action Coalition, Inc. (Vice President), Picture of Health Foundation, Inc. (Member), More than Conquerors Inc. (Member), PACE - Professional Association of Customer Engagement (Member), and YES - Youth Education Sports (Member).

He is also on the CTAE Advisory Board for DeKalb County Schools, Towers High School, Cross Keys High School, Stone Mountain High School, and Mays High School.  Since 2015, Coach Jeffery has been an Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy Youth Motivational Speaker for Operational Hope which is a worldwide non-profit organization.

He has been involved in the following organizations: Junior Achievement (Volunteer), Big Brother/Big Sisters (Mentor), Communities In Schools (Career Readiness, College Planning, Entrepreneurship, and Financial Literacy Motivational Speaker), Community Teen Coalition (Career Readiness, College Planning, Entrepreneurship, and Financial Literacy Motivational Speaker and Youth Mentor) Grace Heritage Christian Academy PTA (President), Chamblee Charter High School PTSA (Vice President), Faith Academy (Events Planner and Fundraiser), Chamblee Charter High School Lady Bulldogs Track and Field Team (President), Chamblee Charter High School Bulldogs Girls Basketball Team (Vice President), Chamblee Charter Middle School Lady Bulldogs Track and Field Team (Event Planner and Fundraiser), Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church Christian Education (Director), New Birth Missionary Baptist Church (Youth Basketball Head Coach and Evangelism Leader), Victory World Church – Atlanta (Youth Leader), USA Track & Field (Certified Youth Official), and State of Georgia Legislative Clergy Council (Member).

Furthermore, he has over 30 years as an accomplished customer relations advocate and operations/customer service management experience in collaborating with national and international financial business partners to achieve increased business, revenue, and return on investment (ROI). He also has a diverse global background in managing teams and projects involving promotional initiatives in multiple industries. He has a proven track record directing multi-million-dollar direct mail, inbound, and outbound marketing campaigns for Fortune 100 companies

He has traveled internationally (i.e. India, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic) on business, interacting with numerous business executive millionaires, and was formerly hired by billionaire J. Mack Robinson who the School of Business at Georgia State is named after.

While attending Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA), he was President of Phi Beta Lambda (College Business Association).and a member of the Cinema Club.

He has been honored by Former Governor Nathan Deal (twice), Former Fulton County Commissioner Emma Darnell, and other organizations for his community service involvement in various communities; especially as it relates to the Next Generation.

He is a graduate of Clark College (Clark Atlanta University) with a minor in entrepreneurship, finance, and human resources.

Coach Jeffery has been married for over 35 years and has two daughters which one of his daughters graduated from Georgia Tech as an honored role student-athlete (Business and Technology Major) in Women’s Track and Field and the other one currently attending The University of Georgia as an honored role student-athlete (Civil Engineering Major) in Women’s Basketball.


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Tim brings extensive business, corporate and entrepreneurial experience to our staff.  He has a strong background in leading training, sales, marketing and operations organizations, as well as founding his own training and consulting firm.  Tim graduated from the University of Tennessee with a BS in Business Administration.  Tim’s love for teaching began when he taught navigation systems while serving in the US Air Force.  Later he managed AT&T’s Sales Leadership Training Center where he oversaw the development and delivery of training courses to their Business Sales Division across the Country.  After leaving AT&T Tim founded his own company which provided Corporate Training Programs and business consulting.  He later taught in a small Christian school and at a Gwinnett County public school.

Tim and his wife Laura worship at Decatur City Church.  They have two children, Andrew and Elaine, both of whom were homeschooled before going on to graduate from the University of Georgia.  Go Dawgs!


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Snow Kendall has a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources (1990) from The University of Georgia. After working in forest land management and Geographic Information Systems in central Georgia, she moved to the Atlanta area. A veteran homeschooler, Snow has a heart for kids with learning differences, special needs children, and small, furry animals. She enjoys making things, crocheting, feeble attempts at gardening, kitten fostering, and investing in the lives of young people. Snow and her husband serve at Gwinnett Church of Christ in Lawrenceville. 

Snow also tutors/teaches privately and offers study hall with assistance at her home as well.


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Melody Landress graduated with a Bachelor’s in Art from Harding University (Arkansas) in 2018.  She was home schooled and grew up in the Atlanta area.   She has formal training in drawing, watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting.  She has a heart for kids and enjoys fostering the joy of creating art in others.  During her free time, Melody enjoys crocheting, gardening, and hiking with her husband.  She moved back to the Atlanta area in 2018 after getting married, and she and her husband worship at the Powers Ferry Church of Christ in Marietta.   


Christine Oswald graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and a certificate in Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR).  She would later earn a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Richmont Graduate University (formerly Psychological Studies Institute) in the Atlanta area.  She has taught classes and/or privately tutored for 25 years in the areas of literature and composition, psychology, spiritual formation. worldview/religion, math, elementary art, and ESL for professionals.  She loves offering support and creative alternatives to students with atypical learning needs.

Christine and her husband, Rich, have been married since 1998 and have homeschooled their four children.  Her family worships at an affiliate campus of North Point Community Church.


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Derek Owens graduated from Duke University in 1988 with a degree in mechanical engineering and physics. He taught physics, honors physics, AP Physics, and AP computer science at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA from 1988-2000. He worked at the TIP program at Duke for two years, teaching physics and heading the Satellite Science Program. He received a National Science Foundation scholarship and studied history and philosophy of science at L'Abri Fellowship in England. He worked as a software developer for six years before returning to teaching. Since 2006, he has been a full time teacher for homeschoolers in the Atlanta area. He and his wife Amor and their two children Claire and David attend Twelve Stone Church, a non-denominational church near their home in Lawrenceville.


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Tom Robinson graduated from Michigan State University in 1985 with an Electrical Engineering / Computer Engineering degree. At MSU, he was a 2-time letter winner on the football team and was recognized with the Potsy Ross Award for leadership scholastically and athletically. He served as president of Eta Kappu Nu, the Electrical Engineering honor society, during his senior year. Mr. Robinson has over 25 years of business and technology experience with leading companies including IBM, Gartner, and Computer Associates. He and his wife successfully homeschooled their three daughters who are all college graduates. Mr. Robinson will use Derek Owens` curriculum to teach Prealgebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Computer Science. Mr. Robinson and his wife Lisa are members at Church of the Apostles in Atlanta.


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Betsy is passionate about helping students appreciate God’s world more fully through science. After earning her Ph.D. in Organometallic Chemistry from the University of California at San Diego, Betsy enjoyed several years teaching chemistry to college students as an adjunct professor at various community colleges around the country. In 2011, the Lord called her to homeschool her own children, and she switched focus to teaching science courses to homeschoolers. She strives to take a very hands-on and practical approach to science education in the classroom, and sees the teacher as the “keeper of the keys” to help each individual student unlock his or her door to understanding.

Betsy loves hiking, cooking, board games, big cups of coffee, and is so geeky that she can frequently be found working chemistry problems for fun on the couch while streaming Netflix shows with her husband.


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Kathy Romanoff has an MEd from Georgia State University and a BS in Education from the University of Tennessee. She enjoyed teaching students in the Metro Atlanta Area for eighteen years and has maintained her teaching certificate. During her tenure as a public school teacher she taught various math and science classes, but chemistry was her love. Numerous levels of chemistry, including Advanced Placement, permitted her to develop a thorough - learner based program. Kathy stepped out of the classroom in 1995 and into the home to care for her children . Shortly after this transition she began to teach chemistry within the home school community. Bruce and Kathy enjoy fellowshipping at Westminster Presbyterian Church.


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Eastside Director

Michelle Shaw received her B.A. in Economics from Harvard College in 1985 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1989. She practiced law in Massachusetts for six years before she chose to focus on homeschooling her five children.  Three of her children have graduated from college and the last two are attending Kennesaw State University.  Michelle has taught teenagers in various capacities for over 20 years. She has taught at Eastside/LAC for eight years. She is married to Dr. Alan Shaw, a tenured Professor in Computer Science at Kennesaw State University and the pastor of Christ First Community Church in Snellville.


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Margaret Shuman earned a secondary English education/German double major and a renewable, 7-12 GA teaching certificate at Berry College. She went on to get a master's degree from Bowling Green State University, OH, in speech and theatre, where she also took graduate level courses in literature and theories of teaching writing. Since graduation, she has taught in two public schools, two private schools, and the home education world. The College Board has officially approved Margaret to teach both AP Literature and Language, and has hired her to score SAT essays. She has also led seminars in drama, AP English, speech, and writing at professional development conferences. Margaret and her family worship at Passion City Church. You can find out more about Margaret at www.margaretshuman.com.


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Dr. Dana Spears received her Ph.D. in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia. After graduation, she worked as an assistant professor at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and then returned to Georgia to work as a counselor in private practice for many years. She retired from counseling and now focuses on teaching social studies, drama, English, science and speech for home schooled students. She has directed numerous plays through community theater groups, at Konos Academy in Fayetteville, GA, and at Metro Academic Studies, and has coached students who qualified for regional and national competitions in speech through NCFCA (National Christian Forensics and Communications Association). She and her husband are active at Intown Community Church in Atlanta. Dr. Spears and her husband have three adult children who were home schooled: a daughter who graduated from Wagner College in New York City and works as a costume designer, a daughter who is a senior at the University of Georgia majoring in family studies, and a son who is a sophomore at the University of Tennessee majoring in business.


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Jessica Taylor has been teaching in various settings for 20 years. She received her B.A. in History from Hiram College, continued History and Education coursework at Case Western Reserve University, and has completed the Director's Training for the State of Georgia.   She works with ESL students during the summer and has completed the TESOL course through The Global Leadership Academy to teach English as a Second Language.  She currently offers tutoring & school break camps through her business, Thrive Academics. 

She loves all things that pertain to History, but thoroughly enjoys teaching all subjects! She and her husband have the awesome privilege of homeschooling their 3 children. She and her family are devoted followers of Christ at The Faith Church of Atlanta.


During her 15-year tenure at CNN, Mrs. Valerie Vaughan was involved in many enriching work experiences.  She was a video-tape editor, wrote news copy, served as an Associate Producer, and supervised and trained many new hires.  She spearheaded a campaign to heighten sensitivity and eliminate biased language in CNN story reports.  This action resulted in the production of a 30-minute internal training video. Valerie served as the project manager and executive producer of the program.  Ultimately, the tape was used for the training and orientation of all new hires.

Always a teacher at heart, Mrs. Vaughan says: “Whenever I learn something new, I feel compelled to teach it to someone else.”  In 2017, marrying her writing skills and her passion for education, Valerie expanded on that philosophy by founding the All-Write Academy.  The program uses creative, out of the box methods to help students become better communicators.

Valerie Vaughan is a native of Chicago Illinois.  She now lives in Snellville GA, with her husband, Robert and her daughter, Adora.


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Malaika Wells graduated from Florida A & M University with a Bachelor's degree in English. She has taught adults and children in the areas of spiritual formation and worldview/religion.  She loves thinking, parenting, community building, singing, exploring, reading, listening, facilitating dialogues, and learning about God, the world, and self. Malaika has been married to Andrew Wells since 1999 and they are the parents of four children they have intermittently homeschooled since 2012. Her family worships at Godly Love Christian Fellowship and enjoys visiting with other congregations as time and the Lord allow.


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Sandra Williams is a graduate of Georgia Southern University.  She homeschooled her son from first grade to college (Auburn University).  He is now a mechanical engineer working in the aerospace industry.  She has taught middle and high school, homeschooled students for the past 17 years, in classes that included critical thinking, chemistry, and history.  She has taught at Vantage Point Education, LEAD, Dunwoody Homeschoolers, and AAEN.  She develops creative learning methods for her classes based upon the needs of students.  Her goal for every class is not just to teach the subject but to teach students to love the subject and to develop the confidence and curiosity to continue learning about it.


Sandra enjoys painting, sewing, reading, gardening for wildlife, and learning about history from outside-the-box. She provides books for a children’s free-lending library at a church in Grayson, primarily books by publishers and authors who often are not included in public school libraries because they write from a Christian point of view.  Her goal is to encourage children’s love of reading with “living books” that also have a moral compass.  When her son was a beginning reader, Sandra and her husband started “Booger Books,” a free-lending library at AAEN, in order to nurture an avid-reading peer group for him.  For the same reason, she held Readers’ Theater in her home, using plays written for readers from emergent to independent.  


Sandra and Jeff Williams, her husband of 30 years, live in Tucker, where they garden and keep bees. Their household includes Jeff's 93 years old mother, three dogs, and one cat.  They have four adult children and 7 grandchildren.


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Scharell Williams has tutored Spanish since 2010. Her love for the language began in the fourth grade when her school taught Spanish over the intercom during the teacher's planning sessions. Upon high school graduation she had completed Spanish 5, joined the National Spanish Honor Society and studied abroad throughout Spain for a semester. She went on to study Spanish Language and Linguistics at Georgetown University. She has been able to apply her skills as a translator for a law firm, an international management consulting firm, in manufacturing, in hospitals and in Ministry. Scharell is married to Cedric Williams. They have a son Harris, two great-nephews, Terron and Terrell, and a great-niece, Ternysha. The Williams family attend The Solid Rock of Atlanta and they study healing with Dominion Life Church.


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