Kennesaw Charter Science and Math Academy is a well-established, successful, public elementary charter school in its twelfth year of operation. KCSMA earned a renewal of its charter through the year 2020 to continue closing the achievement gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math using research-based approaches that are grounded in the understanding of how students learn.
In 2003 a concerned group of parents and community members founded what was then Chancellor Charter School of Kennesaw. In subsequent years the “little school that could” has surpassed its original goals by becoming a self-managed, independent school and has purchased 32 acres on Cobb Parkway. The building, an exceptional facility, is one of the first charter schools in Georgia financed with municipal bonds by the Public Finance Authority. We have also been able to increase enrollment by almost 100%, while being awarded the 2012 Georgia School of Excellence Award.
KCSMA is the school it is today because of the group of people we know as the KCSMA Community:
Hello! My name is Brian Beckwith. I am very excited to be teaching 4th grade Science and Social Studies at KCSMA! I grew up in Acworth, GA. I graduated from North Cobb High and The University of Georgia. I recently moved back to Georgia after teaching elementary school in Texas for the last few years as well as working for AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys). Looking forward to this year and happy to be back home!
I have been at KCSMA for 3 years, and I am happy to be working as the Enrollment Specialist this year! In addition to my current role, I have also worked in the ASP program, Substitute Teacher, and served as a Paraprofessional in Kindergarten. I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else!
Science/STEM Coordinator - Mr. Donnelly is in his sixth year of teaching at KCSMA. His previous career was at the management level in electronics. He graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2010. He is married with three kids, and is not-so-secretly a rockstar.
PE Teacher - This is my 6th year teaching PE at KCSMA. I graduated from Kennesaw State University with a degree in Health and Physical Education. When not at KCSMA you can find me on the soccer fields teaching young kids how to play soccer. I really enjoy finding fun and crazy ways to keep kids being active.
My name is Coach Tyler and I am second grade teacher at KCSMA. This is my second year being a Knight. Prior to teaching I was a student at KSU and I am entering my 8th year as a soccer coach at North Atlanta Soccer Association. I enjoy bringing fun and excitement to learning while throwing a curveball to the activities.
Reading and Social Studies - I have taught for 16 years with my first job as a Kindergarten teacher in Illinois and every grade up to 5th grade. This is my 6th year at KCSMA as the Reading and Social Studies teacher. I really love that we are creating the future leaders and innovators of the world. I am married now for going on ten years with a wonderful daughter Ryleigh who attends here in the 3rd grade.
Reading and Social Studies - I am in my sixth year teaching fourth grade at KCSMA. Prior to my time at KCSMA I spent over fifteen years in the restaurant industry. Most of that time was spent in management with Rafferty’s. My wonderful wife of twenty three years, Kim, and I have two wonderful children who are in college and high school.
This is my 3rd year at KCSMA and my first year with the fabulous 5th grade team. I had the pleasure of teaching 6th grade for the past two years. I am originally from Heidelberg, Germany. I have a beautiful wife, Jennifer, who teaches children with special needs in the Atlanta area and loving dog named Diesel.
It is my pleasure to serve as the Assistant Principal for Kennesaw Charter. I have been at KCSMA for 7 years, and in addition to my current role, I have also taught 5th grade. Prior to my time here, I worked for the Palm Beach County School District. I am blessed with a beautiful wife and 3 children, who keep me very busy outside of KCSMA.
Reading and ELA - I have been teaching since the earth's crust cooled. I have been at Kennesaw Charter since 2006, and am currently teaching fourth grade reading and language arts. My husband and I have two teenage children, who are students at Kell High School and the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick.
I talk, sing and ask (and answer) a lot of questions...I teach Kindergarten at KCSMA and love it with a passion!!! Prior to my time at KCSMA, I prepared children for the "big school" by teaching Georgia Pre-K for 11 years. When I am away from my Kinders, I spend time with my husband and 2 children. We love to cook, play games and camp outdoors!
Math and Science - My name is Valerie Baglivo. I was born and raised in Georgia. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 5 years, and we have 2 dogs a Sheltie (Maximus) and a Maltese(Zoey). I enjoy traveling, Starbucks, shopping, Falcons football, Braves baseball, and Hawks basketball. I am currently in my second year of teaching.
Reading and Social Studies - I am excited to be teaching 3rd Grade at Kennesaw Charter Science and Math Academy this year.
I am originally from Sydney, Australia, but have lived in Atlanta for 8 years. I received my Bachelor of Education in Australia, and this year is my 9th year teaching my own class.
My husband, dog Chester, and the new baby on the way, round out my little family.
EIP Lead - This year I will be serving as the Early Intervention Program Lead at Kennesaw Charter. It is my first year at KCSMA but my third year teaching elementary school. I have previously taught second and third grade. I feel fortunate to be part of the KCSMA family and to have an amazing husband at home.
Speech - Melissa is KCMA's Speech/ Language Pathologist. Melissa has a B.S from UGA in Communication/Speech Disorders and a M.S in Speech Pathology. Melissa is married with 3 kids.
This is my first year at KCSMA. I have previously taught kindergarten and Georgia PreK. My husband and I have a beautiful baby girl named Olivia.
Counselor - Mrs. Brown currently serves as the school counselor at KCSMA; this is her third year here. Prior to her time at KCSMA, she graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. She taught 2nd through 6th grade in local public and private elementary schools for 8 years before earning a Master of Education degree in school counseling and joining the KCSMA team. She currently lives in Acworth with her husband and 2 young children.
Penny is a paraprofessional in the 2nd grade inclusion classroom. She is a graduate from The City College in Ny, NY. Penny has been married for 3 years. Penny works for the Before School Program and is a great help with making sure all students have their breakfast.
Hello Kennesaw Charter Families! My name is Judy Cauthen and this is my 4th year at KCSMA as a Kindergarten teacher! Along with teaching, my passions are coaching, dancing, cooking, and baking! I am very blessed with an amazing husband of 3 years! We have one very large American Bulldog named Hulk and a new puppy named Rocky! I look forward to a wonderful year at KCSMA!
Hi! I am Mrs. Darby. Kindergarten is my favorite grade to teach. I have been teaching over nine years. I live in Dallas. I am married with two daughters and one grandson. I enjoy spending time with my family, watching college football, reading, and going to movies.
Math and Science - In my six years as part of the KCSMA family, I have had the pleasure of teaching 3rd, 6th, and now 5th grades. This year I am so excited to be part of our awesome 5th grade team and look forward to being a part of our students’ last year here at KCSMA. On a personal note, I have a crazy, but wonderful husband and with the addition of daughter-in-laws and grandchildren, a growing family. An awesome job + an awesome family = One happy gal!
Hello fellow Mathematicians!
I am ecstatic to be your 5th grade Mathematics teacher. I have been teaching the art of problem solving for the past 6 years to students ranging from grade 6-9. I recently moved from Orlando, FL with my amazing husband, and look forward to exploring all great things Georgia!
ESOL Lead - I graduated from UGA in 2011, go dawgs! This is my 3rd year teaching, and I have a Master’s Degree in ESOL. I enjoy traveling, learning about other cultures, cooking, fishing, and running (especially at Kennesaw Mountain). I have been married for 6 months, and my husband teaches high school Biology. We love teaching!
Mrs.Fazio is a kindergarten paraprofessional and has almost 11 years of experience working with Kindergarten students; six of those years were spent running a private kindergarten program. She is a loving mother and wife, and a self-proclaimed "free spirit"!
Hey! I'm Mrs. Fortson & I am a part of the Kindergarten Team! I have been with the KCSMA family for over 10 years and I absolutely love it here! One thing I love the most about each year is meeting our wonderful students, watching them grow, learn new things, and excel at all things in which they desire to accomplish.
Outside of work, I enjoy photography, reading, and spending quality time with my husband and our two children.
Kay Frey is originally from North Carolina and has been an elementary school principal for 12 years, the last 7 at KCSMA. She moved to Kennesaw in 2009 when the school realized how closely her philosophy and vision matched that of KCSMA. Mrs. Frey's experience as a special education teacher has served her exceptionally well as a school leader, providing her with insight and knowledge that she utilizes every day. Coach and Mrs. Frey enjoy living in Georgia with their granddaughter, Hailey, and their two English Bulldogs.
Gifted Lead - I am very pleased to be serving as the Lead Gifted/Quest Teacher here at Kennesaw Charter. This is my first year teaching Quest here at KCSMA, and my eighth year teaching overall. I previously taught 4th and 5th grade in Savannah before my husband and I moved here to be closer to family. I have a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education as well as endorsements in Reading, Science, and Gifted Education. I am looking forward to an exciting year in Quest!
ELA and Science - My name is Lisa Gomes. I am a 5th grade teacher, new to Kennesaw Charter this year. I teach Science and ELA. I have taught 1st grade and Ga. Prek, and I was a Director at a childcare facility for 11 years. I have been married for 7 years, and we have 3 beautiful boys together!
Hi! I'm Mrs Graham, I feel privileged to be working here at KCSMA for ten years.
Originally from the sunny isles of Trinidad in the Caribbean. I moved to Florida to pursue my degree in education. I previously taught Pre-K with Palm Beach County for 15 years and relocated 12 years ago to Kennesaw, with my hubby and daughter.
My passion for the kindergartners has afforded me the opportunity to be apart of their nurturing and educational development.
Just saying...Winter is NOT my favorite season! :)
Enviromental Education / STEM Coordinator - This is my 3rd year at KCSMA as a paraprofessional and my 4th year as an active parent. I have a Biology degree and feel blessed to share my enthusiasm for life sciences with the students at KCSMA. I love experiencing the outdoors and hope to help our students find connections to the natural world that foster a spirit of stewardship.
Hello friends. Welcome to KCSMA! Kindergarten is such a special time, full of learning and meeting new friends!
I have over 15 years experience teaching preschool and kindergarten and this is my second year teaching kindergarten at KCSMA.
I have been married to my wonderful husband Chip for 20 years and we have two daughters, Claire and Sophia. We also have two crazy cats, Misty and Peaches and one adorable dog named Nikita.
I love to run, hike and garden!
This is Mrs., Hardeman's third year at KCSMA. She has been married for 28 years. She has one son and one daughter. She also has a dog and a cat.
This is my second year teaching. I have been around KCSMA for many years. I used to work in the after school program from 2007 - 2009 as well as working as a substitute and long term substitute for the 2014-2015 school year. I taught 6th grade in Savannah, GA as well as coached cheerleading. I am a graduate of Kennesaw State University! I am married to my husband Travis and we have 2 dogs and 1 cat.
Math - I have been teaching for 6 years with 5 of those years in fourth grade. I became a teacher because of my dad's influence, who was also a teacher. I married my high school sweetheart and we have two beautiful children together.
This is my third year teaching first grade at KCSMA, but have taught for a total of nine years. Most of my experience has been in grades 1-2, and I have worked in both Cobb and Paulding Co. I'm married, and have one son, who is a high school senior this year.
4th Grade Special Education - Jotasha Jones has been a 4th grade inclusion teacher for 3 years and a co-teacher for a total of 4 years at KCSMA. She has a master's degree in Special Education from Walden University. Mrs. Jones is a wife and mother of three wonderful children, one of whom has special needs, and is dedicated to providing the best in daily teaching practices to any, and all of her students.
This will be my first full year here at KCSMA and I am beyond excited. I am the Para in PE with Coach Ensor. Prior to working here, I was a stay at home Mother to my three amazing children. I look forward to making very special memories here at Kennesaw Charter, Go Knights!
Chelsey Kinsinger is the Community Outreach Coordinator, responsible for cultivating strategic partnerships with businesses, individuals, schools and other organizations interested in supporting KCSMA. Although this is her first year working for KCSMA, she has been a parent volunteer for the past three years. During her time as a volunteer, she served in various positions within the PTO, more recently as the President. She has been married for 15 years and has two beautiful daughters and two crazy cats. When Chelsey is not out promoting the school within the community, she enjoys running, hiking with her family, playing golf and cooking.
Reading and Social Studies - I am so excited to be a part of the Kennesaw Charter family. This is my first year KCSMA. I am from Savannah and taught there for many years. I have taught Pre K, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. I have an awesome husband and 2 wonderful children.
Gifted Teacher - This is my 5th year teaching and my 3rd year at KCSMA. I finished my gifted endorsement June of 2015 and am now one of the current Quest Teachers. In 2011 I completed my Master’s Degree in Instructional Design. My past teaching experience includes 1st through 3rd grades. I have been married to my husband for 17 years and have 3 daughters in grades 2nd, 4th, and 6th. Our family also includes several fur babies, including a dog, cat, and guinea pig.
This is my second year teaching first grade at KCSMA. I have over five years of teaching experience in grades kindergarten through second grade. My husband and I have two children, Caleb and Chloe, who both attend KCSMA this school year.
Math and Science - I love teaching third grade at KCSMA! The two subjects I teach are math and science. I graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Then, I returned to Kennesaw State University and graduated with a Master’s Degree with an emphasis on reading. I have a husband and two very active dogs. Watching the Georgia Bulldogs play football is my Fall addiction. I grew up around the water and enjoy all lake and boating activities. I look forward to many more years of teaching and helping to develop young minds.
Renee is KCSMA's Occupational Therapist. Renee has a B.S in Psychology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and a B.S in Occupational Therapy from the University of Tennessee Memphis. She is married with 2 kids.
I am Temekia McFarlan, this is my third year at Kennesaw Charter as a kindergarten para. I enjoy working with busy little people and the kindergarten team. I am married to the love of my life Danny for twenty seven years and we have two amazing daughters.
Math - I am happy and proud to say this is my 9th year teaching 4th grade at KCSMA. For the past 7 years, I have taught Math. I am married to Bob McMasters, and together we have 4 children and 7 grandchildren/ I live close by in Woodstock. I have two dogs, one 11 year old sweetheart German Shepard mix named Drew, and one almost 3 year old Boxer mix named Addie. Both were adopted from rescue groups.
This year I am excited to be working with Mrs. Agresta and Mrs. Sims. Our classrooms are downstairs at the end of the third-and-fouth grades hallway.
This is my third year in first grade at KCSMA. Before that, I taught Pre-k and Kindergarten in other school systems.
This is my first year at KCSMA. I previously taught PreK for six years. I have eight years experience with special needs students as well. I am married, and I have three children and one grandson.
Special Education Teacher - I am the small group teacher at KCSMA. I have been working in special education for 4 years. I have a husband, 2 children (both are KCSMA students), and 3 dogs.
I graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2014. This will be my second year teaching and first year with KCSMA. I am very excited to start this new experience with a second grade class and be apart of such an amazing school! This summer I married the man of my dreams and became Mrs. Quakenbush. My husband and I are excited about this new chapter in our lives.
I am very proud to be a part of the Kennesaw Charter family! I have been at KCSMA since 2012. I work with the Special Education team as the Small Group Para. Prior to KCSMA, I was a Kindergarten Teacher Assistant at the Goddard School. I've been married to my wonderful husband for seven years and we have three sons.
Hello! I am Mrs. Talone and I teach 2nd grade at Kennesaw Charter. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. Go Bears! I earned my Bachelor’s degree at Judson University. I studied Elementary Education with an emphasis in English. This is my third year teaching at KCSMA, however this is our 8th year here as a family. We are proud to be part of the family here at KCSMA. Go Knights!
Renae has been the Special Education Coordinator at KCSMA for 2 years. She is a Georgia State University grad, with a dual degree in Special Ed and Early Childhood Education. Getting to advocate for students with unique needs at KCSMA has been her "dream job". She is married with a 2 year old son and one on the way.
I have been in the Education Field for 22 years and I feel blessed to be a part of this tremendous team at Kennesaw Charter! I have 3 boys ages 12, 14, and 17, and a step-daughter who is 6 years old. When I am not busy being a mother, wife or teacher you will find me in the garden! We have lovely gardens here at our school which make my heart soar!
I am a Kindergarten Teacher here at Kennesaw Charter, and I enjoy the unique experiences that I get to enjoy as a Kindergarten teacher. While this is my second year here at KCSMA, I have been in the field of education for five years. When not at school, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two beautiful girls.
3rd Grade Special Education - Jenny is a KSU graduate who teaches 3rd grade inclusion. She taught EIP before she ventured into Special Education and has 6 years of experience. She is married with two kids, and has one with special needs.
My name is Samantha York and I have been lucky to call KCSMA my home for the past two years. Before I was a teacher for a local Georgia Pre-K program for three years and now I am crazy about my second grade team and all of our bright students! At the beginning of my first year, my husband and I got married and now at the beginning of my second year we had our first child, Hudson.
I currently teach 4th grade science and language arts for the upstairs rotation. This is my 2nd year at KCSMA but my 8th year teaching all together. This year I have also taken on the role of STEM Coach. I am currently getting my science endorsement and love learning more about science and how to teach it to our students!
This is my first year at Kennesaw Charter Science and Math Academy. I began teaching in 2002 and taught in Georgia and The Bahamas. I am blessed with one son, and I am very happy to be at KCSMA.
I am thrilled to be a Kindergarten teacher here at KCSMA for my second year. I previously taught 2nd grade here as well. I graduated from Ohio University and played softball while I was there. I have a wonderful son who is teaching me more than ever!
Hi there, I'm Ms.Benefield. This is my first year at KCSMA and I am very excited to learn and grow with your students.
I am thrilled to be a part of the first grade team! This is my third year of teaching at KCSMA. I was the technology teacher for one year, and this is my second year of teaching first grade. I also have experience working with special needs students. My passions are reading, playing the violin, and singing.
Reading and Social Studies - This is my fourth year teaching 3rd grade at KCSMA. I am finishing up the last semester of my Master’s degree in Reading Instruction. When I’m not working or studying I like to relax with my two small dogs. I also love to go downtown and eat at all the different restaurants I can find!
"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales." -Einstein
Art Education - Ms. Amy Franz has been teaching art for eight years. She holds two college degrees; one in Art Studio from Georgia State and the other in Art Education from Kennesaw State. At home, her life is dictated by the whims of two Boston Terriers. She is a classically trained geek, with a Masters in the Force, a stint as a companion to a mad man in a blue box, and she may or may not run around on the weekends in a cape and mask.
Curriculum Coach and Testing Coordinator - I am the Curriculum Coach and Testing Coordinator for our school. I graduated from Wichita State University(GO SHOCKERS!) with a B.A. in Elementary Education. I continued my graduate work at Pepperdine University-Los Angeles where I received my M.S. in Early Childhood Education and then my post graduate studies were completed at California State University @ Long Beach where I received my Administrative Credential. I have been an educator for more than 40 years in the capacity of classroom teacher, Curriculum Specialist, Director of Curriculum, Principal, and Adjunct College Professor. I have 3 children and 4 grandchildren. I love puppies, going to concerts, watching a good movie and attending plays.
I have been teaching at KCSMA for several years. Also, I have taught various grade levels within different school systems.
Welcome to the Kennesaw Charter family! I am a second grade teacher and I work with a great team of teachers. Prior to teaching second, I taught Pre-K for several years. I'm looking forward to a wonderful school year.
I am Ms. McLeod, but truly I am Ms. Tara. I started with KCSMA back when it was just “KCS”. In my 11 years, I have had various positions including ASP Director, ParaPro in both Kindergarten and Special Education and currently Front Office Coordinator. I enjoy getting to know both parents and students and cherish the longstanding relationships that have grown over the years.
Ms. Owens has been a KCSMA parent for 7 years. Ms Owens became the assistant director for the asp program 4 years ago and has been a first grade para here for 3 years. She enjoys spending time with her son and hiking.
Technology / Fund Raising - Ms. Kenyatta Richardson also known as Ms. Kay, has been a full time employee of KCSMA for 2 years. However before that she worked as an ASP Teacher and an America reads tutor with our sixth grade academy. Ms. Richardson enjoys exploring new gizmos and gadgets with our K-2nd graders during technology. She also, as our program coordinator, works very hard to bring them the best programs and events, because she knows they deserve it.
Math and Science - This is my second year teaching 3rd grade at Kennesaw Charter. I have my Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Kennesaw State Uniiversity and also have a reading endorsement. I have an amazing fiancé who I will marry this June. We enjoy spending time with our families, friends, and our dog, Button. In my free time I also love crafting, decorating, spending time outside, and trying new things.
Kristen Settle is the ASP Director and Enrollment Specialist. She has been at KCSMA for 8 years. She has a degree in English and Sociology. She loves to travel and spend time with her bulldog puppy Tootie.
Director of School Nutrition- It has been my pleasure to be a part of Kennesaw Charter for 10 years now. I have watched so many children grow into bright young people. I joined the school in it's first year as enrollment and nutrition staffer. Prior to my time here at KCSMA I worked in graphic and textile design. I am the proud parent of a 21 year old daughter Torey, who you may have seen walking the halls of our ASP program.
Music / Chorus - This is my second year teaching music at KCSMA after graduating from Georgia College & State University in 2013 with a degree in Music Education. When I'm not teaching, I love playing soccer, making music, and playing the trombone with the Atlanta Wind Symphony.
I am a second grade teacher at Kennesaw Charter. I obtained my Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Kennesaw State University and now currently pursuing my Master's Degree in Elementary Education. This is my first year at Kennesaw Charter.
I am Sarah Walls and I am so excited to be your child's Kindergarten teacher. We are going to have a blast learning and growing this year. I received my bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Kennesaw State University. Go Owls! I can't believe I have been at KCSMA for 7 1/2 years! My how time flies.