Working with students who have learning differences is a calling, especially in a non-profit setting. Our staff and faculty are here because they want to make a difference in the lives of students with learning differences. They are truly committed to our mission to empower students with learning differences to develop the skills and values necessary for success in our global community, and they fully embrace our vision to tap potential...one person at a time!
Below are all the people who make Bachman Academy such a great place to be. If you need to contact a member of our faculty or staff, please use the contact form located here.
Mark Frizzell, headmaster/CEO
B.S. in health education/minor in psychology from Tennessee Wesleyan University
M.Ed. in educational leadership from Trevecca Nazarene University
As headmaster of Bachman Academy, Mark Frizzell is responsible for the overall operation of Bachman Academy, keeping faculty, staff, and students focused on our school mission to help students learn how to learn independently. He oversees all hiring decisions and sets the school's tone to be both a structured and welcoming environment. Mr. Frizzell reports to the Bachman Academy Board of Trustees and is accountable for school policies, procedures, and finances. With more than 26 years of experience working with special needs students, Mr. Frizzell has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by our students and their families.
Melody Savio, CFO/director of human resources
B.A. in social and behavioral science from University of South Florida
As the chief financial officer and director of human resources, Ms. Savio oversees the work of the administrative support and maintenance teams. She ensures that all employees comply with school policies and requirements. With extensive experience in detailed project planning, Ms. Savio keeps Bachman Academy on track both financially and physically. She serves as the point person for accounting, hiring, and purchasing, as well as the management of all fiscal issues, including tuition payments and contract compliance.
Todd Schultz, dean of academics
B.S. in secondary education from Middle Tennessee State University; M.Div. from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary; M.A.Ed. in educational leadership from Bethel University
As dean of academics, Todd is responsible for implementing Bachman Academy's educational philosophy. He orchestrates curriculum development, intervention strategies, instructional planning, achievement testing, and progress monitoring. He is also the key architect of our proprietary independent learning rubric. After serving for six years as an inclusion teacher in a public school, Mr. Schultz has found his career purpose -- to help students with special needs overcome their challenges and achieve their goals. His experience has showed him that students with learning differences possess a great deal of potential to experience success in a variety of ways throughout life. Mr. Schultz is currently pursuing a doctorate from Regent University in special education and educational psychology. For his dissertation research, he is studying the outcomes of social-oriented student coaching versus cutting-edge brain-based training.
Nathan Carter, dean of students
B.S. in psychology with minor in adolescent development from Patten University
Nathan Carter oversees all areas of student life, including our residential program and after-school enrichment activities. Mr. Carter works alongside Bachman Academy teachers and dorm staff to provide support and training in redirection and de-escalation tactics when faced with behavioral issues. With more than a decade serving students with learning or developmental differences, he relishes in providing a fun and warmhearted atmosphere on our campus. Mr. Carter is particularly talented at helping students overcome their social anxieties by giving them countless opportunities to try new things and develop friendships with their peers. Bachman Academy students enjoy yearly field trips and retreats under his supervision, such as our 4-day tour of Washington, D.C. this past fall. A proponent of healthy living, Mr. Carter directs dorm staff to plan outdoor outings such as hiking and kayaking to encourage exploration, teamwork, and physical fitness.
Jamie Newberg, director of admissions
B.S. in business administration and M.S. in school counseling from Lee University
As director of admissions, Ms. Newberg is charged with helping families determine whether Bachman Academy is a good fit educationally and socially for their children. With a school counseling background, she offers both empathy for the challenges of learning differences and helpful information about the benefits we offer potential students. Ms. Newberg collaborates with educational consultants and serves as the school representative at many conferences and school fairs throughout the U.S.
Lisa Glisson, director of development
B.A. in journalism and M.A. in English from Texas A&M University
Lisa Glisson has a passion for grantwriting and for helping students overcome their learning obstacles. In her position at Bachman Academy, she is responsible for sharing the school's mission and strategic vision. She also manages the annual campaign and other fundraising events. Ms. Glisson tells the Bachman story throughout the community via publications, presentations, networking, and website content.
Bob McPeak, instructor of woodworking, music, personal finance, and ACT preparation
Bob McPeak is an experienced cabinetmaker, woodworker, and musician who shares his talents with the entire school. In his woodworking classes, he guides his students through multi-step projects, where they practice their math skills and refine eye-hand coordination. Hands-on, sensory learning is critical for our students; in Mr. McPeak's classes, they learn to make everything from boomerangs to octagon-shaped picnic tables used in our pavilion. As a certified National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) educator, Mr. McPeak teaches our personal finance classes, important life skills for everyone. In addition, he is a talented bass guitar player who mentors students and gives after-school guitar lessons.
Barbara "Babs" Zielke, instructor of math
B.A. in math education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Ms. Zielke feels called to teach math to students with learning differences. She is a strong proponent of hands-on learning, so her classroom buzzes with creative activity as her students learn mass and volume by carving pumpkins, slope by using toy cars and motion detectors, and geometry by assembling 3D structures. Ms. Zielke knows her students can understand challenging math concepts, such as algebraic equations, and is persistent in trying different learning approaches until each student gains competency and confidence.
Heath Hall, instructor of auto mechanics
B.S. in education from Lee University
Heath Hall, our auto mechanics instructor, spent more than a decade managing a Sears Auto Center, bringing both academic and workplace credentials to his position at Bachman Academy. As a former police officer and National Guard reservist, he has years of experience in leadership and mentoring. Mr. Hall has assisted numerous Bachman students with the aptitude for and interest in auto mechanics to land lucrative jobs after graduation.
Chad Pickeral, instructor of horticulture and provider of campus computer services
B.A. in theology from Southern Adventist University
With his sunny disposition and encouraging demeanor, Mr. Pickeral is a favorite among students who struggle with anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem. In addition to managing Bachman Academy's greenhouse, horses, and computer systems, he serves as a mentor, encouraging our students to participate in martial arts and other activities to manage stress and gain confidence.
Dana Darnell, instructor of science, STEM, and physical education
B.A. in education for elementary and middle school from Lee University
Dana Darnell loves the "hands-on" approach to learning at Bachman Academy, describing herself as a kinesthetic learner. This philosophy is evident in her classroom, where students are constantly looking under a microscope, field-testing water quality, or concocting experiments on the Bunsen burner. She is currently working with our Dean of Academics to plan for the space and equipment needed for a dedicated STEM classroom. Ms. Darnell is passionate about helping children. She enjoys hiking and meditating; her calm demeanor models healthy techniques for dealing with stress or anxiety.
Nolan Tippens, instructor of math and computer applications
B.S. in special education from Lee University
Nolan Tippens is committed to helping students with learning differences succeed. In addition to teaching mathematics and computer technology classes, he is the school's athletic director. Mr. Tippens makes sure our students have the opportunity to participate in the sports they enjoy, whether through the T.S.S.A.A. with a public school partnership or through Bachman's own cross-country or bowling teams. Mr. Tippens is currently finishing his M. Ed. in curriculum and development through Lee University.
Charlene Lightfoot, teacher's assistant
As a teacher's assistant, Ms. Lightfoot works with individual students each day to help them understand challenging materials. Her patient encouragement helps keep them on track and focused. She is particularly talented at motivating students to work through difficult assignments, helping them break it down into manageable steps, so that they see and believe that they can succeed.
Marget Sikes, educational interventionist
B.S.Ed. in special education from the University of Georgia
Ms. Sikes is a NILD-certified (National Institute for Learning Development) educational therapist. She evaluates the learning gaps for each student and creates an individualized learning plan. Ms. Sikes provides learning therapy, assessment, and intervention through work with students in small groups and individually. Although NILD-certified learning internvention is a recent addition to Bachman Academy, we are already reaping the rewards by seeing significant improvements in our students' assignments and benchmarking test scores. Ms. Sikes is also responsible for carrying out a "train-the-trainer" program so that our other instructors will benefit from learning more intervention-based educational tools and techniques.
Maria José Daily, instructor of Spanish
B.A. in Spanish from Lenoir-Rhyne; M.A. in Spanish from Appalachian State University
Maria Daily is originally from Argentina. A native speaker of Spanish, she enjoys teaching her students about the Latin American culture as well as the language. In addition to learning vocabulary words and verb tenses, due to our small class sizes, each student gets intensive practice in speaking and understanding Spanish. An avid sports participant, Ms. Daily encourages her students to stay active and healthy through exercise.
Wendy Tippens, instructor of English and fine arts
B.A. in psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Wendy Tippens is passionate about literacy and all forms of written communications. She designs creative activities, such as comic-book storyboarding, to teach concepts such as story arc, character voice, and other literary techniques. Ms. Tippens is also a gifted fine artist who shares her talents both in English and art classes, as well as through enrichment activities such as painting, sketching, art car design, welding, acting, puppetry, and mixed-media design.
Mike Sikes, instructor of history, government, and economics
B.S. in social sciences from Auburn; M.S. in special education from Jacksonville State; Ed.S. in instructional leadership from Lincoln Memorial University
With almost 40 years of experience in special education, Mr. Sikes serves as a leader on our campus. Whether teaching history, social studies, government, or economics, he makes great use of SmartBoards and other learning technology to spark student interest. Mr. Sikes encourages his students to develop their executive functioning skills, and is a big proponent of our vocational elective classes, where students get hands-on experience in planning, sequencing, and problem solving.
Janel Bradley, L.P.N., school nurse
As the onsite nurse, Janel Bradley is responsible for the health of both boarding and day students. With almost thirty years of nursing experience, she has been with Bachman Academy since 2006. Ms. Bradley cares for any illnesses and injuries, dispenses student medications, and accompanies students to and from medical appointments. She also serves as a mentor to our students for both their physical and mental health. She encourages students to eat well and exercise, arranges counseling sessions with certified therapists for those struggling with anxiety or depression, and keeps a close watch on the physical and emotional well-being of each child at Bachman Academy.
Alice McDaniel, food services manager/Sodexo
With almost 25 years in the food services industry, Alice McDaniel is a consummate professional. Technically a Sodexo employee, she is certified in food sanitation and safety. Every day, Ms. McDaniel and her staff prepare delicious and nutrititious meals. Considering Bachman's renewed focus on wellness, she incorporates healthier choices and substitutions, such as a wider array of vegetables and brown rice rather than white. Ms. McDaniel takes note of everyone's food preferences and offers vegetarian options. Her team enjoys baking cupcakes as a special treat to help celebrate each student's birthday.
Emilee Farris, assistant to headmaster
B.S. in business administration from Tennessee Wesleyan University
As assistant to the headmaster, Emilee Farris plays a wide variety of roles. She serves as the official first greeter for phone calls and in-person appointments, setting a positive image for the school. She plans events, records meeting minutes, schedules interviews, takes class roll, and collects cell phones before the start of each school day. Ms. Farris plays an important role in our board of trustees and professional development meetings, where she keeps careful notes of everything that has transpired and communicates all action items.
Betzayda (Betzy) Holguin, administrative assistant for business office
Ms. Holguin was motivated to join the Bachman Academy team once she realized we were a school for students with learning disabilities. She feels happy to play a role in offering support and guidance to these children, many of whom may have felt inferior and discouraged in other environments. Ms. Holguin juggles many of our business office tasks, such as running payroll and tracking expense reports, while managing financial and human resources paperwork.
Johnathan Johnston, maintenance
As a member of the maintenance team, Johnathan Johnston takes care of any facility issues or repairs. He keeps the grounds looking nice and makes sure all areas are clean and sanitized. He helps the faculty and staff prepare for special events. Mr. Johnston also serves as a relatable and encouraging role model, supervising student council members for special campus leadership projects.
Emily Ridge, admissions coordinator
B.S. in sociology from University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
As admissions coordinator for Bachman Academy, Emily Ridge serves as the point person for families visiting or showing interest in our school. She communicates with these families, as well as educational consultants, to help them determine whether or not Bachman is the right fit. Ms. Ridge attends educational conferences and participates in local media interviews to help spread awareness of our purpose and mission.
Jonathan Carter enjoys the varied experiences of repairing, maintaining, and beautifying our campus. He has a heart for kids with learning differences; every December, Mr. Carter dresses as Santa and visits local elementary school children in special needs classrooms. He is glad to serve as a positive role model for our Bachman Academy students.
Tony Conner, dorm parent - weekday
With years of experience as a foster parent, Tony Connor has a natural knack for connecting with teens. Our students enjoy spending time with Mr. Connor, an avid fisherman and musician who plays the guitar and sings. His understanding of and empathy for the challenges our students face make him a powerful, positive influence.
Jessica Dudley, dorm parent - weekday
B.A. in communications from Bryan College
Jessica Dudley likes helping our students and making sure they know how much the Bachman Academy staffers care about them. Youthful and athletic, she encourages them to explore the outdoors and participate in physical fitness activities. Ms. Dudley serves as a coach and impartial referee in helping students work out their conflicts.
Matthew Murphy, dorm parent - weekend
B.F.A. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Matthew Murphy is a gifted artist who shares his talents with our students. A writer and illustrator of comic books, "zines," and graphic novels, he mentors students who have an interest in drawing and painting. He connects with many of our teens through a shared appreciation of Japanese animation and movies. Under his guidance, Bachman students have the opportunity to gain an appreciation for art and explore their own unique talents.
Stephanie Galloway, dorm parent - weekday
Stephanie Galloway is a strong believer in Bachman's mission; she wants to be a positive influence in the lives of our students. An excellent and empathetic communicator, she models effective problem-solving. An avid participant of yoga, meditation, and running, Ms. Galloway encourages our students to explore these stress-reducing avenues for enhanced physical and mental health.
Mark Lewallen, dorm parent - weekday
Mark Lewallen's hobbies of playing guitar, fishing, boating, cooking, restoring cars, and riding motorcycles make him a popular figure on campus. He encourages our students to explore their own unique talents and interests. With a background in law enforcement and the military, Mr. Lewallen demonstrates self-discipline, service above self, and many other positive qualities for our students to emulate.
Gwen Stevens, dorm parent - weekend
B.A. in home economics and M. Ed. from the University of the Pacific
As a seasoned instructor for home economics--with special teaching credentials from Fresno State for the learning handicapped--Gwen Stevens models and teaches important skills that each student will need to learn in order to live as an independent adult. Ms. Stevens taps into the interests of our students and gives them a myriad of opportunities to bake cookies, make crafts, nurture plants, explore area attractions, and interact with our horses.
Rebekah Staats, L.M.S.W, coordinator of Bachman Transitions
B.S.W. from Dalton State, M.S.W. from Southern Adventist University
With a long tenure in social work, Rebekah Staats brings an array of strengths to Bachman Academy. She spent 15 years treateing children and adolescents with behavior issues and/or learning differences. Certified in trauma therapy, behavior modification training, and substance abuse counseling, Ms. Staats has the experience to successfully handle amost campus incident. She is excited to be part of the Bachman Transitions program, where high school graduates get the extra help they need to become fully independent. Ms. Staats mentors every participant as he or she learns life skills, gains career training, and enters the workforce.
Wade Haughton, life coach - weekend
B.S. in occupational health and safety from Columbia Southern University
Mr. Haughton spent four years in the U.S. Army as a police officer and accident investigator. Since leaving the military, he has worked as a civilian firefighter, EMT, police officer, and emergency communications officer. In addition to his responsibilities as a weekend life coach, he serves as a special agent with the US. Department of Transportation, conducting investigations into highway safety accidents. Growing up, Mr. Haughton struggled with ADD and behavioral challenges, so he can empathize with the challenges young adults face. However, throughout his career, Mr. Haughton has gained tremendous self-discipline, resourcefulness, and confidence, traits he hopes to inspire in our students.
Heath Hall, life coach - weekdays
B.A. in education from Lee University
Heath Hall is versatile enough to fill two jobs at Bachman Academy; in addition to serving as the auto mechanics instructor he acts as the life coach for our Transitions program. As a former police officer and National Guard reservist, he has years of experience in leadership and mentoring. In his role as a life coach, he treats the students in the program as the adults they are, but offers them a sounding board and source of advice when needed.