The ClearWater Team

ClearWater Academy’s greatest assets are our exceptional teaching staff and licensed therapy professionals. To meet and exceed high standards, ClearWater Academy requires all members of the staff to complete specialized training above and beyond their formal training and specific to our student population. Many of our staff are Lindamood-Bell trained and many are also trained in DIR/Floortime as well as special reading/decoding methods such as Orton-Gillingham/SPIRE and SRA Number Worlds. At CWA, we believe that early childhood is the critical period for all children to learn how to identify their feelings and discover ways to calm down and solve their problems.  Through various approaches, parents and teachers can use common language to help students understand their own behavior and learn how to be better problem solvers and better friends. We are pleased to introduce our highly motivated, committed, and caring staff and licensed therapy professionals to you.

Administration

Tommy Collins

M. Ed. S. Ed. - HEAD of SCHOOL

Mr. Collins holds a M.Ed. in Special Education from Grand Canyon University, and an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Lincoln Memorial University, and a B.S. Ed in Special Education from the University of West Georgia. He is certified in Special Education, both Adaptive and General Curriculum (K-12) in addition to Health and Physical Education, and has been teaching in special education since 2004. Having spent ten years in Fayette County schools, he was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2015-2016 by his colleagues at Whitewater High School. Tommy, his wife Ashley, and their two children love to spend time ministering to people with special needs and their families through Young Life’s Capernaum, Club 2.0, and their own ministry which serves adults with special needs. Tommy’s passion is teaching people with special needs, and he is excited to continue doing this with the ClearWater Academy family.

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Virginia Warrick

M. Ed. - PRINCIPAL

Mrs. Warrick holds an M.S. Ed. in exceptional education from Walden University, a B.A. in Elementary Education from Florida Atlantic University, and is also ESOL certified. She has over 17 years of experience in Exceptional Education. Before relocating to Fayette County, Mrs. Warrick was an Exceptional Student Educator with a background in Transition Services and Life Skills Coaching for high school-age students. Mrs. Warrick enjoys helping her students attain their full potential by becoming an active part of their community. Mrs. Warrick is excited to lead a great group of educators at CWA. “ClearWater Academy supports and fulfills a philosophy that I believe in. I knew the moment that I walked into the school that I wanted to be part of the team of wonderful educators and loving children.”

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Christine Harper

OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

Ms. Harper came to ClearWater Academy with ten years experience in the Fayette County School System. The first seven years she spent as a Front Office/Clinic paraprofessional. The last three years she was a paraprofessional in a Kindergarten classroom. She was involved with the PTO and the Fayette County High School Band Boosters while her three wonderful children attended school. She received an Associate Degree in Marketing and Management from Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minnesota. Along with volunteering for the Special Olympics and Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Christine enjoys bowling and watching comedy. Christine loves the rewarding experience of being a part of helping students at ClearWater Academy develop their strengths.

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Heidi Johnson

M.Ed. – BUSINESS MANAGER

Mrs. Johnson holds a M.Ed. in Special Education from Albany State University and a B.A. in Liberal Studies with a minor in Mathematics from San Jose State University. She has certifications in Elementary Education, Middle Grade Education in addition to a Reading and Gifted Endorsement. She has been an educator for over thirty years. Mrs. Johnson is also a FranklinCovey Certified Facilitator for The Leader in Me and 7 Habits of Effective Families, and is trained in Love & Logic and MindSet Crisis Prevention Strategies. She has presented at numerous conferences on creative and innovative learning approaches utilizing differentiated instruction and multiple intelligence theory, and is a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma sorority. Mrs. Johnson serves as Board Secretary for the Georgia Association of Private Schools for Exceptional Children. Mrs. Johnson was previously the Head of School at ClearWater Academy for the past eight years. She has retired her position and will now help support the school's business affairs. She is a wife and mother of three grown sons, who are all married, and the joy of her life is being Mimi to her grandchildren. Meeting the needs of children has always been her passion. CWA provides an amazing environment that fosters discovering the strengths in students, and creating hope for families. Mrs. Johnson believes that magic happens at CWA through the love, compassion, and methods used where students grow into their potential. She feels blessed to be able to serve in such an incredible school.

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Judi O’Haver

Financial Administrator

Ms. O’Haver joined our team as the Financial Administrator in April 2018.  She was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, where she developed her skills as an Administrative Specialist.  In 1993 she moved to Georgia and began her career with AT&T where she filled several positions with the printer and publisher of the telephone directory.  She retired from AT&T in 2009.  She spent a few years as a caregiver before returning to work at a local company where she continued to build her knowledge base and improve her administrative skills.  Her philosophy is “Work smarter not harder,” and she uses her skills to improve processes when possible. She is a great support behind the scenes at CWA. Ms. O’Haver is an avid reader, and she loves being able to use her skills to support and serve at ClearWater Academy.

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Lower School

Gabby Nicholson

LEAD TEACHER – LOWER SCHOOL COORDINATOR

Mrs. Nicholson graduated from Gordon State College with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She is certified to teach on an Elementary Pk-5 in a General Education and Special Education Classroom. Mrs. Nicholson has been a part of the ClearWater family since 2020, and before that she worked as a Paraprofessional in 1st Grade and 5th Grade for the Fayette County School System where she had the opportunity to work with a variety of students with learning differences. She and her husband, Taylor, live in Tyrone and love serving at Flat Creek Baptist Church in the music ministry. Her goal, as a teacher, is to help the students feel included, independent, safe, and loved when they come to school. She plans to utilize her experience and education, as well as incorporate new techniques, to help further each student’s educational career and help them build confidence with their learning. Mrs. Nicholson is from Fayette County and is very excited about giving back by teaching in the beautiful community in which she grew up. She is elated to be a part of ClearWater Academy and to continue growing as a teacher.

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Bianca McCloud

M. Ed. -LEAD TEACHER - LOWER SCHOOL

Ms. McCloud graduated from Clayton State University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Minor in Education Specialties. She also has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education. She is certified to teach in both a special education classroom as well as a general education classroom in grades PK - 5. Ms. McCloud previously worked in a neighboring public school system as a Special Education teacher and General Education teacher for three years. One of Ms. McCloud’s goals in her life is to inspire children of all ages no matter their learning differences to go after their dreams and to never give up on anything that they want in life. She hopes that with her experience working with children K-5 that she can teach them multiple strategies that she learned and can adapt those strategies to fit their educational needs. Ms. McCloud grew up in Fayette County and is excited to be back and teach in the community that she loved so much as a child. She is thrilled to be a part of the ClearWater family and to gain more experience in educational strategies and to make a positive impact on her students she has the pleasure to serve.

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Jamie Burgess

TEACHING ASSISTANT - LOWER SCHOOL

Ms. Jamie or Ms B is super excited to join the ClearWater Academy family! She has a BA degee in Early Childhood and Elementary Education as well as a BA in Sociology from the University of Concordia, Montreal, Quebec. She has worked in the local public school system for the past six years as a substitute in both teacher and paraprofessional roles, at the elementary level.  She has worked mostly in the Exceptional Children’s Services program. Her favorite position has been at the Fayette Life Academy in the Thrive program. Ms. Jamie moved down from Canada in 2012 with her 4 daughters and has settled into Fayetteville, Georgia.  She is happy to have escaped the cold snowy winters of Canada and welcomes the super warm months and mild winters of Georgia.  Ms. Jamie is looking forward to this new journey and supporting the needs of the students at ClearWater Academy.

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Kristi Joyce

Teaching Assistant - Lower School

Ms. Kristi, as she prefers to be called, has an associates degree in Early Childhood Education and spent many years teaching preschool until she started her family. She then devoted herself to her three children, volunteering frequently in their classrooms.  She spent the next six years working in the neighboring school system as a Special Education paraprofessional. This is where she realized her passion for working with students with special needs. She most recently worked at an Autism clinic. She is very excited about being a part of the ClearWater family.

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Carolynn Pierce

TEACHING ASSISTANT - LOWER SCHOOL

Mrs. Pierce joins the CWA family after many years of working with special needs students and families in the Coweta County area. She graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1982 with a BA in Sociology. and moved to Atlanta to attend Georgia State University where she earned her MA in Human Services / Gerontology Certificate. She married her husband, Nick, in 1987 and moved to Coweta County where she worked at Coweta County DFCS as an Adult Protective Services case manager. In 2004, the opportunity to enter the school system as a paraprofessional in a special needs Pre-K class sparked her interest to teach special needs students and have her own class. Mrs. Pierce retired from the Coweta County School System in 2019 after teaching special education. Most recently, Mrs. Pierce has provided ABA therapy to students with autism at a local autism centers in Newnan. Mrs. Pierce is thrilled to have the opportunity to join the CWA staff and continue to serve CWA students  and to encourage them to be the very best they can be!

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Upper School

Angie Readd-McSpadden

LEAD TEACHER – CREATIVE ARTS COORDINATOR

Mrs. McSpadden, known to CWA as Ms. Angie, has spent over a decade learning and growing with the students, staff at ClearWater Academy.. She holds B.F.A. in Photography and Sculpting from Augusta State University, and post Baccalaureate certification in Art (K-12) from the University of West Georgia. Ms. Angie holds an array of certifications from Child Psychotherapy and Play Therapy to Trauma Treatment for Kids, ArtWorks Therapeutic Art-making Intervention, Yoga, Pilates, Personal Training, and Vibrational Sound Therapy. She enjoys the dramatic art of improvisation, music-making, dance, creative movement, and is an accomplished photographer and multimedia artist. Ms. Angie believes art has the ability to open doors of thought, make interdisciplinary connections, and provide a forum to practice personal expression, as well as, having the power to educate, unify, build tolerance, communicate, entertain, inspire, and innovate. Ms. Angie’s love of art is inspired by a passion for nature, travel, and music that she shares with her husband, son and daughter.

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Kimberly Henkel

M.Ed. – LEAD TEACHER

Mrs. Henkel holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with a Concentration in Special Education. Through her work at the sheriff’s office, she has worked collaboratively with teachers in both the elementary and high school levels since 2011. She worked hand in hand with the special needs teachers and students. This is where she found her passion for teaching and serving students with learning differences. She is the wife of a sheriff officer; the mom of two young daughters named Ryann and Heidi, and has previously worked in law enforcement.  She is very excited to be a member of the CWA family.

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Cassie Mitchell

M. Ed. - UPPER SCHOOL - LEAD TEACHER

Mrs. Mitchell is a veteran Georgia Educator who has a passion for working with students & their families! She has a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education, a Math Endorsement, and a Master's Degree in Reading Specialization. She also holds additional certifications in Special Education, Autism, Mindset, STEAM, Orton Gillingham, and various areas & types of behaviors & classroom management. Mrs. Mitchell has always been very passionate about her work with special needs children and believes that building meaningful relationships and continuously communicating with all stakeholders are crucial in the success of children. She enjoys working with families and members of the community to further engage her students in as many real life experiences as possible so that her students have the skills they need to be successful in their lives. Her goal is always to help each student be the best that they can be! Her favorite saying is "all I ask is that you try YOUR best and everyone's best is different".

Mrs. Mitchell is also a wife and mother to 3 beautiful girls and loves spending time with them! She is so excited to be a part of the ClearWater Family and looks forward to serving each of her students this year!

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Jenny Stuart

CAREER DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR - TEACHING ASSISTANT

Mrs. Stuart started her career in education as a kindergarten paraprofessional in Hartford Public Schools, Connecticut, where she worked for fifteen years before moving to Georgia. For eight years, she supported teachers in the Fayette County Public Schools with five years serving students as an Exceptional Children’s Services Collaborative Paraprofessional. She received an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from Capital Community College in Hartford, Connecticut. Her passion is growing her own vegetables! Mrs. Stuart is a member of the Peachtree City Community Garden where she serves as Registration Coordinator. She is married and has one daughter. Mrs. Stuart is excited for another year at CWA and cannot wait to greet the students.

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Britt Canby

TEACHING ASSISTANT

Ms. Canby joined the ClearWater Academy team in 2020, bringing her love and passion for serving students with learning disabilities. Ms. Canby holds a B.S. in History from the University of Missouri. She is also a wife and mother of two daughters named Evan and Autumn ages 15 and 9. She has been a lead teacher and teaching assistant at the pre-school level working with students with varying learning differences.  She has also spent many years volunteering in her daughter’s elementary school working collaboratively with teachers.  After having kids, she soon discovered that working with children was her passion and she too is so excited to be a part of the CWA team.

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Sunnidawn Anderson

TEACHING ASSISTANT - UPPER SCHOOL

Sunnidawn Anderson has a B.A. in Communications from University of West Georgia. Her previous careers included magazine copywriter, newspaper reporter, career coach, and teaching Government and Politics in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Anderson and her husband, Jim, have raised four adult children in Peachtree City. Mrs. Anderson is an avid reader, and enjoys spending time in Women’s Bible Study groups and traveling the world. She enjoys serving the students at ClearWater Academy, and says she has learned far more from these amazing kids than they have learned from her.

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Katie Dickson

TEACHING ASSISTANT - UPPER SCHOOL

Ms. Katie, as she prefers to be called, is thrilled to join the ClearWater Academy family! Her heart has always been with working with children; making them feel wanted and safe as they begin their learning adventure. She has studied Early Childhood Education at both Gordon State College and Georgia Military College. She spent numerous years working in the preschool program in Fayette County. Ms. Katie and her husband live in Fairburn with their five children and numerous pets. She is excited and looks forward to the opportunity to serve the needs of the students at ClearWater Academy.

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Roberta Haren

M. Ed. - MATH SUPPORT TEACHER - UPPER SCHOOL

Roberta J Haren has been an educator for over 39 years. She started at Bowling Green State University as a Music Therapy/Special Education major. In 1979, she married her husband, Brian, and began the life of an active-duty Army family. Her bachelor’s degree, from Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, was in Early Childhood Education.  Mrs. Haren attained her Master’s Degree in Mathematics from the University of Georgia as well as a Math and Gifted Endorsement.Along the way, she taught pre-school to middle school, in private schools and in DODDEA schools. Her experiences included regular education and special needs classrooms. In 2000, Mrs. Haren moved to Fayetteville, GA and she began teaching 5th grade, working with diverse student groups. She retired from FCBOE in May 2021. Brian and Roberta are the proud parents of two young, professional women. But best of all, they have two beautiful granddaughters, Helen and Margot. In her free time, Roberta enjoys gardening, crafting (especially crochet and embroidery), camping, and loving her 3 rescue dogs.

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Angella Burns

READING SPECIALIST

Mrs. Burns graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelors degree in Dance Education with a concentration in Choreography. She also attended graduate school at UGA in Exercise Physiology. After moving to Fayette County in 2002, she added Special Education to her certification. She has worked for the local school system as a special educator for the last twenty-one years. During the last eleven years, she held the title as LEA. She is a wife and mother of two grown sons and the grandmother to her pride and joy. Mrs Burns’ belief is that all children are worthy. She brings a positive attitude and is excited to be a part of the ClearWater Academy family.

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Therapists

Annette Miller

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Mrs. Miller graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy. Annette has been an OT since 2000 specializing in Sensory Processing Disorder and childhood development in clinic, home and school settings. Annette lives in Peachtree City with her husband and 4 children. Annette enjoys reading, travel, hiking and holistic healthy living.

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Holly Bender

SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST

Mrs. Bender graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders and from the University of Tennessee with a Master of Arts in Speech Language Pathology. She has over 20 years of experience and has worked in a variety of settings including a subacute care facility, private practice, and a hospital. Twenty of her years were spent working in elementary education in both private and public settings, including the Atlanta Speech School, Greenville County Public Schools, and Fayette County Public Schools where she spent the last ten years. Mrs. Bender lives in Peachtree City with her husband and their two children. She enjoys exercise, reading, spending time outdoors, and scuba diving with her family. 

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CORRAL

CORRAL was formed in the fall of 1987 to provide therapeutic horseback riding facilities and instruction for the mentally and physically challenged. Operating out of the historic Sewell barn in Roscoe, CORRAL started in the spring of 1988. There have been continuous renovations of the barn to provide better facilities for the horses and the students. They look forward to future progress with the continued support of the community. CORRAL’s mission statement is, “To provide and promote equine-assisted learning for physically and/or mentally challenged individuals in a safe, loving and Christian environment by offering participants exposure to a sense of freedom and achievement while enjoying the outdoors.” As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, it has been CORRAL’s goal to provide its classes free of charge to all participants. They rely on funding from grants and private donations, as well their volunteer force, to achieve this goal. They are also able to receive individual designated donations through United Way. They are an Accredited PATH International riding center.

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Becky Hall & Libby

DOG TRAINER & THERAPY DOG

Ms. Hall, along with Libby, our new therapy dog, has been working with us since 2020.  Libby is a three-year-old English Labrador Retriever. She completed her training as a therapy dog in Spring of 2019 and is certified through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. She is also qualified in The American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen and the AKC Therapy Dog Novice titles. As part of her training, Libby completed obedience classes, specialized therapy dog classes and visited medical facilities, libraries, and schools. Libby loves visiting people of all ages and especially enjoys listening to children read books to her! Libby visited ClearWater Academy several times before becoming a part of the family, and was very popular with the students and staff. She now looks to continue providing encouragement and motivation to the students at ClearWater Academy on a regular basis. Becky is a lifelong animal lover and former elementary school teacher and librarian. Her involvement in dog training grew in 2012 when she became involved with the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind (GDF) as a Puppy Raiser. Becky continued working with the GDF as a Puppy Raiser through 2015, during which time she was excited to see the positive reactions the puppies received while training in public. This led her to become interested in raising a puppy to become a therapy dog. Shortly after her last GDF puppy graduated, Becky began training her own puppy, Libby, for therapy work. Now Becky is an assistant dog trainer and sometimes brings Libby with her to help in puppy classes, private lessons and to supervise puppy play dates.  Becky is excited to have the opportunity to bring Libby to ClearWater Academy each year, and continue bringing joy and encouragement to students and staff alike.

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