Faculty and Staff Biographies
My name is Debbie Akbar and I am the Physical Education teacher at Humphries Elementary School. I am a proud graduate of the Atlanta Public Schools, Georgia State University, and the University of Phoenix Online. My goal is to develop physically educated students who will have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthy physical activities.
My name is Leney Houston and I am the Spanish teacher. This is my fourth year at Humphries Elementary School. The 2016-2017 school year begins my thirteenth year of teaching experience. I received a BS in Education from Auburn University, a Master of Education from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and a BA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. My principal goal is to instill in our young students the critical skill of being bilingual in today’s global economy.
My name is Nadene Houston Smith. I am a native of Jackson, Mississippi. I received a BA with emphasis in music performance from Tougaloo College, a Masters in Music Education from Jackson State University, a Specialist in Music from Mississippi College and a Specialist in Educational Leadership from Mississippi College. I have been a member of the Humphries’ staff for nine years. I believe that music can open the doors to many areas of success. Music allows you to say “I can” when others say “You can’t.”
My name is Howard Summers and this is my seventh year teaching visual art at Humphries. I am a Georgia native and I have been working for Atlanta Public Schools for twenty-nine years. I received my BFA in Art Education from Georgia State University and my MFA in Art Education from the University of West Georgia. My goal is for my students to gain an appreciation for art that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
Greetings! I am Ashley Lockett and I am so delighted and excited to be teaching Pre-K here at Humphries Elementary, the BEST elementary school in the city of Atlanta! I was born and raised here in Atlanta. My academic journey started at Atlanta Metropolitan College, where I received my Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. I went on to graduate from Kennesaw State University, with my Bachelor of Science in Birth to Kindergarten Education. I have known since MY very first time entering Kindergarten that I would be a teacher; it is definitely my passion.
I can assure you that your child will leave school every day knowing more than the day before, and more than prepared to successfully enter kindergarten. I am here to work together with you in helping each child reach their greatest potential.
Nequisha Sylve I am the paraprofessional in the Pre-K classroom at Humphries Elementary School. I am originally from Hammond, LA where I attended Southeastern Louisiana University. I am currently enrolled at Atlanta Technical College. I look forward to teaching and learning with all the children. I believe it takes a a village to produce successful young scholars. "Each one teach one and we all learn."
Joanne Carroll has been teaching for 16 years. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Early Childhood/Middle School Education and Psychology, as well as a Masters in Technology in Education. Joanne has obtained her endorsement in both Reading and ESOL. She enjoys motivating and challenging students to their full potential.
I am Yolanda Scales Faison. I received my bachelor's degree from Tennessee State University. I am currently a Kindergarten teacher. I have been teaching for 26 years. I love reading and watching my students become productive citizens. My goal this year is to increase the desire in my students to love reading!
Hello, welcome to my world! My name is Beverly Harvey. I am a product of the Atlanta Public School system. My area of expertise here at Humphries Elementary School is the kindergarten team. I am a paraprofessional of 20+ years. I am also a mother of two children. It is my belief that ALL children CAN AND WILL LEARN IN THEIR WAY, PLACE, and TIME!!!
My name is Avis M. Lewis. I am a kindergarten paraprofessional at Humphries Elementary School. I have been working at Atlanta Public Schools since August 2010. I have been a Pre-K lead teacher for over 12 years. I have worked as a PEC Paraprofessional for two years. I have four years towards my Bachelors in Psychology/Mental Health at Tougaloo College and my AA in Early Childhood Education from Atlanta Technical College. I have over 20 years of teaching experience. I am the mother of three lovely daughters; age 29,22 and 20; I have a four year old grandson. I believe that when it comes to teaching children you "teach one, reach one." In other words in doing your teaching you may not reach every child at the same time, because children learn at different levels. I love working with children and seeing the smiles on their faces when they learn something new and exciting.
I am Deborah Sumlin, a paraprofessional for 15 years at Atlanta Public School. I have a BS in Journalism (Georgia State University) and a BA In Human Services with emphasis in counseling (Shorter University). I am a Human Service Board Certified Practitioner. I am also a Lifetime member of Girl Scouts, USA. I am presently a girl scout leader at Humphries Elementary School and a Mentor/Director of I.S.I.S (Inspiring Sisterhood in School) which promotes building relationships and support groups among girls at Humphries through dance.
I am Yolanda E. Bell; and this will be my first year teaching at Humphries Elementary. I’ve been teaching for over 15 years and have taught the following grades: kindergarten, first, and EIP k-2. I received my Master’s degree in Curriculum Instruction from Grand Canyon University and received my specialist’s degree in Leadership in Educational Administration. I am the proud mother of a 6 year old energetic little boy. Teaching has been the BEST and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing a child learn a new skill or concept and knowing that you have been a factor behind that growth. I’m so excited and looking forward to a SUPER school year.
I am Carla Humphreys, a first grade teacher here at Humphries Elementary. I am originally from St. Simons Island, Georgia. I made Atlanta my home in the early 90s and began my young career in the business world doing everything from managing hotels, to bookkeeping,and accounting. However, my desire to teach continued to remind me that I was not happy. Therefore, in 2011, I completed my Master’s in Education with the University of Phoenix; landed a teaching job with Humphries, and have been happily fulfilling my destiny since. My goal is to build confidence and make sure that the children of today are equipped with the tools necessary to make it through school to become successful adults.
Hello, my name is Tameila Johnson! This is my sixth year teaching at Humphries Elementary School. I am a proud graduate of Georgia State University with a master's degree in Early Childhood Education and an endorsement in ESOL. I also earned a specialist's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln University. I have a deep love for children and teaching that is fostered by the belief that ALL students can learn! I'm looking forward to a wonderful school year.
Greetings, my name is Schajuan Jones. I am a product of Atlanta Public Schools. It is a privilege to be able to give to back to a system that afforded me many educational opportunities. I received my Bachelors of Arts degree in Business Administration from Talladega College. I also received my teaching certification from Tulane University with additional studies at Brighton University in Brighton, England. I am a seasoned teacher and firm believer that all children can learn. I try to give my students the best learning experience possible so that they can become lifelong learners and productive citizens. I am the proud mother of twins boys Tai and Taj. They are currently in middle school and making me proud. Together, we will grow learners and develop high achievers!
Hello, my name is Ashley Upshaw and I am a second grade teacher at Humphries Elementary. I am an Atlanta native and a product of Atlanta Public Schools. I'm entering my fifth year as an educator and I'm very excited to be working with the Humphries community. I graduated from Albany State University where I received my B.S. in Early Childhood Education, and I am currently attending Mercer University to receive my Masters in Reading. I am your child's educational cheerleader! Let's go, Road Runners!
My name is Cheryl Grashen. I have been teaching at Humphires Elementary for 25 years. I have taught Kindergarten, second, third and fifth grade. I am currently teaching third grade math. I earned a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and a Master's degree and Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction. I enjoy working with young children and look forward to a wonderful school year.
My name is Venecia Guthrie. I graduated from Paine College in Augusta, Georgia. I completed my Master’s at Concordia University. I spend my spare time having fun with my daughter and doing my homework assignments! I am very excited to be a new teacher here at Humphries. I will be teaching third grade Science and Social Studies. As a fifth year teacher, I understand the importance of making learning fun! I am looking forward to an amazing year!
My name is Tamika McNamee. I attended Illinois State University. My passion is molding our future leaders. I have been teaching at Humphries Elementary School for six years.
My name is Janae Lasley and I was honored to be the Teacher of the Year for the 2015-2016 school year. I am native of Los Angeles, California and I attended UC Berkeley for my undergraduate studies where I majored in Social Welfare and Public Policy. I received my M.Ed. from Georgia State University with an emphasis in Reading and Math. I have proudly served the students of the Atlanta Public Schools for the past fourteen years. If a visitor entered my classroom they would encounter an educator who teaches not just with mind, but also with heart! I genuinely love the art of teaching and I display my passion for education in the lessons I design and implement as well as in the partnerships I build with students and their families. One of my greatest joys of teaching is inspiring students academically and personally. I feel very rewarded when the light bulb of learning turns on and I can document my students’ success over time. Furthermore, my job is never boring and I enjoy all the experiences teaching provides.
Greetings! I am Mr. Nathaniel Wallace and I will be teaching fourth grade at Humphries Elementary, the best elementary school in the city of Atlanta. This is my second year teaching. I am excited to be a part this wonderful school and touching the lives of our children and their families. I am a retired Army Officer. I earned my bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy and my master’s degree from Webster University. I am originally from St. Stephen, SC and am committed to the belief that all children can learn and excel in life. My goal is to challenge our children to dream big and then to equip them with the knowledge, discipline and work ethic to make their dreams become reality.
My name is Jermain Hundley and I teach fifth grade at Humphries. I’m new to Humphries, but I am not new to the field of educating children. I am a native of Gadsden, Alabama. I completed my BS in Elementary Education at Stillman College, and my Masters of Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in mathematics at Walden University. I believe that all children can learn, and that the teacher is the most important factor in the process of providing students with a quality education.
My name is Catherine St. Cyr. I am proud to serve the students in the community where I reside. After two decades as a banker, I transitioned into teaching. This is my fourteenth year at Humphries Elementary. I earned a BA in Economics from
Early Intervention Program (EIP)
Hello, my name is Miguel Patrick. This is my tenth year as an educator and my fourth year at Humphries Elementary. This year I will be teaching EIP math. I spent six years at Clifton Elementary where I taught third, fourth, and fifth grade math. I have a Bachelor of Science in education from Alabama State University. I also coach varsity football and basketball at Cedar Grove High School. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela.
Greetings, My name is Patricia Whitehead and I am the EIP teacher for grades K-2. I am a graduate of Georgia State University with a Masters Degree in Reading. I also was trained and certified as a Reading Recovery teacher at Georgia State. I have held several positions in APS (coach, teacher tutor and regular classroom teacher) but the most rewarding position was Reading Recovery. The knowledge I gained about the reading process has allowed me to work with the lowest performing students and accelerate their progress to grade level.
I am Elizabeth Woods. I am the Reading EIP teacher for the third, fourth, and fifth grade students at Humphries Elementary School. I graduated from Atlanta Public Schools then obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Georgia State University. I love to learn new skills as well as learn about new people, places, and things. As a teacher, I strive to foster a love of learning in each of my students so that each child can have a positive effect on our world.
Department of Special Education
I am Rhondalyn Yvette Abdullah, a paraprofessional employed at Humphries Elementary School. I enjoy working in the Special Education Department with MOID students. I was born in rural SW Dawson, Georgia. My family moved to Miami, Florida when I was seven. Attending Liberty City Elementary School, Edison Middle School and High School was absolutely fun in the Sun. Later I attended Tennessee State University and Miami Dade College and University.
My name is Angela Andrews; and this will be my first year as the K-2 MOID Teacher at Humphries Elementary. I am a native of Atlanta, Georgia and I am a veteran teacher of Atlanta Public Schools for the past 14 years. I received a BA in Psychology from Agnes Scott University; and a Masters in Special Education from Grand Canyon University. My primary belief is that children can go as far cognitively as you can take them. Therefore, as I am a lifelong learner; so are my expectations for each and every student that I have and will continue to encounter. "The expert in anything was once a beginner." Each new year allows me the opportunity to both develop and create expert scholars and collegiate bound learners.
Sonja Atkinson is the Speech/Language Pathologist at Humphries Elementary School. Her hometown is Atlanta, Georgia and she has a Masters of Education in Speech Pathology. Her hobbies are theater, singing, dancing and reading.
My name is Mrs. Laila Harris, and I have been an educator for eight years in the area of Special Education. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree from The University of Georgia and my Master’s degree from Valdosta State University. I believe that education should not only be in the classroom, but a part of everyday life. After traveling the world and seeing the vast pyramids of Giza; there are no limits and boundaries as to what we can dream and make happen.
Greeting parents, students and staff of Humphries Elementary School. My name is Clemmie Hill and I am a new interrelated teacher here at Humphries. My teaching philosophy is that all students can learn and some students learn using different accommodations and modalities. My job as a teacher is to help students realize their potential and which accommodation or modality they can use to learn the most effectively and to make learning successful and enjoyable.
My name is Taka Hines. I have been an adaptive physical education teacher and Special Olympic facilitator for Atlanta Public Schools for seven years. I am a graduate of Georgia Southern University where I received my undergraduate degree in Recreation Therapy. I then received my graduate degree in Education from Cambridge College.
I look forward to a long career of providing as many smiles to my students as they have provided to me while we work on meeting their goals together.
Maisha Jack has served as an educator in Georgia and in Kentucky for 18 years and considers herself an advocate for all children, a servant hood leader, and most of all a teacher. She began her passion for educating children at Eastern Kentucky University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education: Interdisciplinary and a minor in Special Education. She received a Master’s Degree in Instruction in Education from Central Michigan University, and her Specialist’s degree from Central Michigan University, as well as acquiring her Educational Leadership certification and Teacher Leader Endorsement.
Mrs. Jack began her APS tenure as a Primary Non-Categorical Teacher where she taught K-1 Special Education students. Shortly thereafter, she received a promotion as a Lead Teacher of Special Education (SELT) serving several elementary schools within the Carver and South Atlanta Clusters, as well as Hillside Conant Residential facility.
Mrs. Jack had the honor of being selected by her peers as 2006 Teacher of the Year in DeKalb County for Flat Shoals Elementary School. She has also had the opportunity to work and educate children and parents in the general education and special education setting as a 5th grade teacher, Pre-Kindergarten teacher, an interrelated teacher, a self-contained teacher, as well as serving in the capacity of both roles within a co-teaching classroom for general and special education.
Mrs. Jack grew up in the state of Kentucky and enjoys spending free time with her family, friends, and helping others. She is married to Winston Jack Sr. and has four children (Kemiah, Kayla, Winston, and Anthony). Mrs. Jack, a former athlete and 1991 Female Athlete of the Year for the State of Kentucky, also loves watching professional and collegiate basketball and football.
My name is Tojuana Lindley. I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I enjoy meeting new people, learning new things and encouraging others. This is my second year at Humphries Elementary School as a para. I have an Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education. I am very excited about the new school year!
Greetings, my name is Beverly Phinazee and I am currently a Special Education Paraprofessional here at Humphries Elementary. I have over 15 years of experience working in special education and servicing individuals with special needs. I obtained a Bachelor's degree from Mercer University with a Major in human service and Minor in criminal justice. I was born in Chattanooga,TN. I moved to Georgia when I was 10 years old and I have lived here ever since. I'm an enthusiastic, caring individual who believes that all children can learn and thrive in an environment that meets their needs. I am very excited about working with your children this year.
Dr. Sarah E. Williams has worked with Atlanta Public Schools for 20 years. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in French and German from Morris Brown College; additionally she earned her Master of Education and Specialist Degrees from Georgia State University in the Education of Students with Disabilities. She returned to the Atlanta University Center as an Atlanta Public Schools Leadership Fellow in 1999 where she took her Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Dr. Williams currently serves students with Intellectual Disabilities.
Hello, my name is Dr. Latonya Pitts and I am the English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Teacher. I am an Atlanta native and a proud graduate of Atlanta Public Schools. Upon graduating from Spelman College (B.A.), Clark Atlanta University (M.A.) and Argosy University (Ed.D), I decided to make teaching a life-long career. I have 26 years of expertise with Atlanta Public Schools. I am certified in the areas of Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership, Reading and ESOL. I am excited about another great year here at Humphries Elementary School. I look forward to meeting all of you this school year.
Greetings Humphries Family! My name is Reeshard Scott and I’m the gifted teacher here at Humphries Elementary for the 2016-2017 school year. I’m a native of Atlanta and I’m proud to work with the City of Atlanta School system. This year I plan to explore many different areas of Technology with my students through computer coding, enrich critical thinking skills using Chest, and even teach about calculated risk and math using the Stock Market Game. I also have some exciting field trips planned. Let’s make this the best school year ever. Cheers!!!
I am Oreta Hinamon Campbell, and as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a school librarian. However, due to economic realities at the time I graduated, I took a detour into corporate work, spending twenty years as a retail and office manager and a legal secretary. Finally I was able to come back to my first love, librarianship. I earned my Master’s Degree in Librarianship from Emory University (ALA accredited) and my Specialist degree in Information Technology with an emphasis in School Library Media from the University of Georgia (AASL accredited.) I was Teacher of the Year for the school year 2010—2011. My calling is to provide teachers with print, non-print, technological and intellectual instructional resources so that together we can create students who have the resources, desire and skills to become enthusiastic, life-long, proficient learners.
Hello! My name is G. Quin Adaway-Howard! Welcome Parents of Humphries Elementary School! I am your optimistic Parent Liaison! My Goal is to see every child have an equal opportunity in education so that they may succeed in life. Together Parents, We can make their dreams come true and change OUR community! Lets be our children's first role models and superheroes because time invested is time well spent! Become an All-Star Parent and transform this world one child at a time!
¡Hola! ¡Mi nombre es G. Quin Adaway-Howard! Bienvenidos Padres de la Escuela Elemental Humphries! Yo soy su enlace de padres optimista! Mi meta es ver que todos los niños tengan igualdad de oportunidades en su educación para que puedan tener éxito en la vida. ¡Los padres unidos, podemos hacer que sus sueños se hagan realidad y cambiar NUESTRA comunidad! ¡Seamos los primeros modelos y superhéroes de nuestros hijos porque el tiempo invertido es tiempo bien aprovechado! ¡Conviértase en un Padre Estrella y transforme este mundo un niño a la vez!
Angela Bolin (counselor) Greetings!!! I am Dr. Bolin and I am honored and excited to be part of the Humphries Elementary School’s family, where we “Motivate Students to Learn, Excel and Imagine Greatness.” I bring extensive knowledge and years of experience in the fields of Counseling and Education Leadership. My Educational Philosophy is “A Hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child” –Anonymous
I entered into the field of education to make a difference in the lives of children! I believe education is one of the most important tools a person can have in life. Every child deserves to receive the best education possible, regardless of race, socio-economic background and or emotional/physical challenges. I believe the goal of education is to enrich the lives of students while producing articulate, expressive thinkers, open-minded lifelong learners, who are socially responsible, resilient, and active citizens of the world. Education is about teaching students, not subjects. It is about engaging students in their learning, and maximizing the potential of each and every child. I have a Ph.D. – Clark Atlanta University: Counseling & Psychological Measurement, an M.A. – Clark Atlanta University: School & Community Counseling and a B.A. – University of Alaska, Anchorage.
Hello. My name is Claudette Deyamport. This is my first year serving as the school social worker at Humphries Elementary, although I have worked with Atlanta Public Schools for 20 years as a social worker. I received my BS in social work from State University New York at Buffalo and my Masters of Social Work from Atlanta University. I am passionate about helping our students by assisting in alleviating any barriers to their academic success. Every child deserves a chance in life even if walls must be broken down. I look forward to serving the Humphries community.
Margie Jenkins Kunjufu stated that you must love and know the child in order to teach the child and those are the action words, that I use every day to work with children. I am dedicated to the mission and vision of our school system to have productive citizens for a forever changing world. APS mission is with a caring culture of trust and collaboration, every student will graduate ready for college and career. Our vision is to have a high-performing school district where student love to learn, educators inspire, families engage and the community trusts the system. Currently, I serve as the SST/RTI coordinator with pleasure and look forward to working with students, parents, teachers, administrators and support staff in order to have a fantastic academic year.
Hi, my name is Jacqueline Ross and I am the school nurse at Humphries Elementary. I am originally from Savannah, Ga. I have been here in Atlanta 22 years. I am recently married. I have a son who is 30 and a daughter who is 27. I have two lovely granddaughters, one 11 and one 3. My mother resides in Savannah, Ga. and my father resides in Springfield, Ga. I have one sister and two brothers along with one half-sister all of whom reside in the state of Georgia. I attended the public schools of Chatam County where I graduated from High School. I completed my nursing degree in Alabama and presently attend school in Alabama on weekends. I love helping people, reading, bowling, and eating plenty of seafood.
My name is April Buggs; Although I am new to Humphries, I am not new to APS. I have been with APS the past 18 yrs. I began working with APS in 1997 as a cashier in the cafeteria and also as a Parent Liaison at Blalock Elementary. In 2000, I was offered a position at Sammye E. Coan Middle School as an Office Assistant, which is now referred to as School Clerk. Though the position's name has changed many times over the years the duties are all the same. I worked as Office Assistant/School Clerk from 2000-2012 until the doors of Coan Middle Schools closed for good. In July of 2012, I began a new chapter as School Clerk at Mary Lin Elementary. During my time at Lin I became school Secretary up until my departure in July 2015. Upon leaving Lin, I served as support for the New Associate Superintendent of Schools K-8 and on September 14, 2015 I was presented with an opportunity to come work at Humphries and I graciously accepted. So, here I am! I am excited to be here, eager to learn new things and most importantly I am looking forward to meeting and working with each of you. I believe in positive energy and I am a fair, genuinely nice person, if there is something I can help with just ask. I am looking forward to a fantastic year!
Greetings!! My name is Shan Tukes. I am a new member of the APS family. I have been in an administrative position for the past five years. Upon my departure from my previous employment, I was granted the opportunity to join the Humphries Elementary team. I attended North Georgia College where I earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Management. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. In my spare time I enjoy customizing various arts and crafts projects, along with coordinating and planning events. I look forward to working with each and every one of you and having an awesome school year.
Hello, my name is Sam McMullen and I am a custodian at Humphries Elementary School. I have 21 years of service. You have heard of "Three Men and a Baby?" Well, I am "Three Dogs and a Man" because I have three dogs. My goal at Humphries Elementary School is to keep the school safe and clean so that our students can learn.
My name is Tammy Simon. I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and I graduated from Grady High School. I enjoy spending quality time with my family when I'm not working. I love to travel and go places I've never been. My favorite hobby is cooking.