James Madison High School Teachers and Staff
James Madison High School is staffed by professional educational administrators with vast experience in online education, as well as a distinguished team of certified teachers and dedicated academic tutors who support our high school programs.
The impressive credentials of our dedicated teachers and staff are comparable to those of the best career educators in accredited schools across the nation.
Academic Assistance at its Best
If you need academic support during your studies, you may contact our helpful teachers via email and/or our tutorial staff online, by email or by phone. They will answer your questions and ensure you fully grasp your lessons, performing their roles with the utmost integrity and respect for the individual learning styles of students.
Leslie Gargiulo, Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer
Leslie earned her Ph.D. in comparative education from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has a master's in philosophy from University of California, Riverside; master's in physics from San Jose State University; and bachelor's in chemical engineering from University of Illinois. For over ten years, she led an education consulting firm working with state university systems, community colleges and school districts. She has been involved in distance and online education for over ten years and been an instrumental administrator at three institutions.
In directing the activities of Ashworth College, Leslie brings vision and leadership to curriculum and instruction, and ensures that every student receives the highest quality learning experience. She manages all accreditation and regulatory matters.
John Riser, M.S., Director of Education Operations
John has a master's degree in production and operations from Georgia State University and earned his bachelor of science in management from Clemson University. John was awarded the Carl A. Bramlette, Jr. Scholastic Achievement Award for outstanding Academic Achievement in 2006. He manages the administration and development of all programs of study.
Lisa Rutsky, M.Ed., Principal
Lisa earned both her bachelor's degree in psychology and master of education degree in school psychology from Georgia State University. Lisa was the first teacher at JMHS Online. She was soon promoted to Assistant Principal, left for a time to teach online and consult in higher education, returned as Vice Principal of Instruction, then became the Principal of James Madison High School.
With more than ten years of experience in educational instruction and administration at the high school, associate and bachelor's levels, Lisa provides the vision, leadership and strategic planning for the high school. She is also responsible for implementing programs that improve student success. Lisa is dedicated to providing James Madison High School students with optimal instruction so they can achieve their academic goals.
Eric Ryall, Registrar
Eric earned a bachelor's degree from West Georgia University in 2004 and has been with James Madison High School since then. He looks forward to continuing helping students to enroll in the programs of study or individual courses they need in order to further their education and achieve their goals.
Melissa Maddox, Business Services Manager
Melissa is responsible for managing corporate partnerships. Melissa works with corporations such as Clorox, Verizon and Boeing, to meet any special billing or servicing needs of their employees. Melissa also serves as a liaison for our military students to assist with processing active duty tuition assistance, VA/GI Bill benefits, military spouse benefits and transfer credits.
Christina Baker, M.A., Teacher
Christina is an educator, tutor and a writer with more than ten years of experience. She has taught grades K-12 with an emphasis in the language arts for 7-12, including reading, writing, English fundamentals, literature, and rhetoric.
Victoria Barbour, B.S., Math Teacher
Victoria has more than six years of experience in the teaching field. She earned her B.S. degree in mathematical sciences. Her diverse academic roles and innovative teaching experiences have been both online and in the classroom. She has experience teaching high school and middle school mathematics in Georgia.
Sherri Billings, M.A., Math Teacher
Sherri has a master's degree in teaching mathematics, and B.S. degrees in both math and computer science. She currently holds certificates to teach secondary mathematics in two states. For the past eight years Sherri has taught secondary mathematics courses in various academic settings, including private school classrooms and online, through the university level. She has also applied her knowledge of database software and systems to market research projects for large corporate clients.
Nadia Blake, M.B.A., Teacher
Nadia's professional math background includes over 20 years of experience in engineering and business industry along with several years of experience in the field of education as both a high school teacher and college adjunct faculty.
Megan Bowen, B.S., Lead English Teacher
Megan brings experience in private, public, and alternative education to James Madison High School as an online English Teacher. She has been with James Madison High School for more than ten years, working as an online high school English Teacher for more than five of those years.
Rhonda Brookshire, Ed.S., Math Teacher
Rhonda received her Ed.S. in math education and has more than 15 years of classroom experience teaching math in both traditional and online settings. She has been awarded STAR teacher for two years and received Atlanta Toyota's Most Inspiring Teacher award in 2003. Rhonda believes that all students are capable of learning but not all students learn in a traditional school setting.
Lillian Byrd, Ed.S., English Teacher
Lillian has an Ed.S. in curriculum and instruction and an M.Ed. in English education. She earned her bachelor's degree in English, and has also received Gifted and Reading endorsements through the Atlanta Public Schools in Atlanta, Georgia.
Lillian's 10 years of professional and academic experience span elementary, middle and high school level linstruction in English, reading and math in both traditional and online environments. She has instituted strategies to help online students feel comfortable with demonstrating knowledge and seeking assistance as they need it.
Bryan Carver, Lead Science Teacher
Bryan Carver teaches James Madison High School science courses. Bryan holds a bachelor of science education degree from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining our faculty in 2005, Bryan taught for six years in the Georgia public school system in Atlanta and Savannah and has worked in the education field for 13 years.
Monica Cates, M.Ed., Lead Math Teacher
Monica earned her M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership, completely online at Walden University, and her B.S.in Mathematics from Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, GA. She is currently working toward a doctorate in Teaching and Learning at Georgia State University, Atlanta Georgia. Monica has 10 years of mathematics teaching experience.
Charles (Chuck) Cook, B.A., Spanish Teacher
Charles has a bachelor's degree in business administration. He has more than thirty years of experience as a professional educator in the U.S. and abroad. Fluent in Spanish, he has taught in public and private schools as an ESL/bilingual transition teacher for grades K through 12, and also taught at the university and post-graduate levels.
Sylvia Holagh, B.S., French Teacher
For the past sixteen years, Sylvia has taught in the Atlanta, GA area, both in high school and online programs. She was named Teacher of the Month in April, 2009.
J. Renae Jackson, Ph.D., English Teacher
Renae earned her Ph.D. in educational leadership, an M.Ed. in school counseling, an M.S. in organizational management and her B.A. in English. In her 11 years as a professional educator, Renae has served as a school counselor, curriculum chair and language arts instructor. Additionally, she has worked with special needs students along with honors, gifted, AP and IB level students. She has also counseled at-risk youth and their families at a behavioral health agency.
John Johnson, M.Div., Math Teacher
John Johnson has over 25 years of secondary teaching experience in Mathematics and is a member of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Stephanie Johnston, M.A., Social Studies Teacher
Stephanie's academic experiences have been both online and in the classroom. She has experience teaching high school social studies, middle school social studies and middle school English/language arts in public schools in Georgia and South Carolina.
Natasha Lyles, Ph.D., Social Studies Teacher
Valerie MacDonald, B.A., Spanish Teacher
Valerie has more than 11 years of experience in the teaching field. She has worked with a non-profit organization teaching English to Hispanic children and has experience teaching grades K-12 with an emphasis in the language arts for 7-12, including reading, writing, English fundamentals, literature, and rhetoric.
Quiana McCoy-Taylor, M.Ed., M.A., English Teacher
Quiana has an M.Ed in educational technology, an M.A. in liberal studies/English and a B.A. in English and Education. She is a certified English teacher with more than eight years teaching in the traditional and online classroom, at the secondary and college level. Quiana is currently a member of the Council of Writing Administrators and National Council of Teachers of English.
Kevin McReynolds, Ed.S., Science Teacher
Kevin earned a specialists degree in science education, focusing on the relationship between students' home environments and science achievement. He has 30+ years of professional and academic experience focused on chemistry, physics and astronomy education up through the college level. Kevin participates in a National Science Foundation-funded initiative that sponsors secondary science teachers and university professors to meet monthly to discuss science teaching and student achievement.
Merrol Moore, B.S., English Teacher
Merrol has more than 10 years of classroom experience teaching English and won the 2009 Fulton County Schools Collaboration Award. In addition, she is a member of Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society), Phi Kappa Phi and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Kristina Nelson, Ed.D., English Teacher
Kristina has a B.A. and M.A. in English, an M.S. in psychology, an M.A. in history and an Ed.D. in educational technology.
Kristina has been an online educator for more than 11 years, with experience teaching at the college and elementary school levels and developing many online classes. Besides her teaching role at JMHS, she also teaches for Ashworth College and serves on the Core Faculty of Allied American University. Kristina won the Distinguished Faculty Award at Westwood College Online in 2005 for outstanding teaching performance.
Karen O'Connor, Ed.S., Math Teacher
Karen earned her Ed.S. in curriculum and leadership, has an M.B.A. in finance and a B.S. in both accounting and math education. Her 28 years of professional and academic experience encompasses the teaching of math, business, finance and education at the high school level; Gifted and Talented Certification; and teaching high school math courses online. She also currently teaches honors math at a private school.
Andy Pasarilla, M.Ed., Social Studies Teacher
Andy has distinguished himself in the classroom, receiving nominations for Teacher of the Year three times and is listed in Who's Who among American High School Teachers.Specialties: Geography, Economics, American Government
Johnita Farmer Patterson, M.Ed., Science Teacher
Johnita has an M.Ed. and a B.S. in biology. She has been a middle school teacher and taught 3 years of science and social studies in a public school where she also served as department chair of science and cheerleading coach. She has also taught 6th and 8th grade science and served on the Science Fair Committee.
Alfred Porter, Ph.D., Science Teacher
Alfred has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, a master's degree in biology education and a bachelor's degree in biology. He has taught science for 12 years, encompassing a broad span of subjects including advanced placement biology, microbiology, genetics, chemistry, physical science, human anatomy and physiology, and environmental science.
Leslie Retchko, M.A., Math Teacher
Leslie's core belief is that every student has the ability to excel academically. She has more than 20 years of experience in teaching math and is one of the original teachers of James Madison.
Angela Ruff, B.S.E., Spanish Teacher
Angela has taught Spanish for over 20 years at all levels. She has spent time in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Peru studying the language, and has a passion for teaching..Specialties: Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish III,
Nikiya Webb, B.S., Science Teacher
Nikiya has a bachelor's degree in biology education. She has been a high school biology teacher, mentor and professional learning development coordinator. She was also awarded Teacher of the Year and enjoys volunteering as a science lab instructor, enriching elementary students in science and laboratory concepts.
Emily White, M.A., English Teacher
Emily is also a graduate assistant at the University of South Carolina. She has a love for literature and is a passionate and imaginative communicator. She has taught Journalism and English in high school and college classes.
Common Core State Standards
JMHS meets Common Core State Standards in English and Math. The CCSS, developed by a collaboration of teachers, parents and school administrators nationwide, defines the rigorous academic content needed to prepare high school graduates for success in college and careers.