Ms. Lassetter is a graduate of Emory University's Goizueta Business School and has extensive experience in corporate operations, human resources, and facility management. Her children have been educated in a variety of educational environments including traditional public school, traditional charter school, private school, home school, and virtual school, which allows her to bring a well-rounded educational perspective to the board. Ms. Lassetter has years of experience on several other charters and private school boards, one being a National Blue Ribbon of Excellence School. Additionally, she has served on several school advisory committees, school AdvancED accreditation teams, and an AdvancED STEM certification team.
District Executive Director
Mr. Kooi is GCA's Governing Board Executive Director. Mr. Kooi began his career as a commercial litigation attorney before moving on to work as an attorney for the Florida Department of Education defending many of the education reform initiatives for then-Governor Jeb Bush. Mr. Kooi later served as Policy Chief for Education in the Florida House of Representatives under then- House Speaker Marco Rubio, as Executive Director of the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools, and as Executive Director of the Office of Independent Education and Parental Choice at the Florida Department of Education. In 2013, Mr. Kooi came to Atlanta and served as Education Division Director for Georgia Governor Nathan Deal’s Office of Planning and Budget. Most recently, Mr. Kooi was Managing Director of Capital Education Solutions, LLC.
District Operational, Compliance, and Accountability Director
Jennifer Mitchell started her journey as an educator in the Georgia public school system in 1996. She joined the GCA family as a Learning Coach in 2008. In 2010, Mrs. Mitchell joined the GCA staff as it began its induction of the high school. Since joining the GCA team, she has served as a high school mathematics instructor, lead teacher, mathematics chairperson, 8th grade mathematics teacher, new teacher trainer, assistant administrator, SIS administrator, and most recently as District Operational, Compliance, and Accountability Director. She believes in GCA and the opportunities afforded to the students who attend. In fact, her own family has continued to re-enroll year after year since 2008.
Elementary School Principal
Ms. Waters has been an educator in the Georgia public school system since 1995. She also has experience homeschooling students for seven years. She has been with GCA since 2010 and has served as a homeroom, language arts, math, and ELL teacher; supported students in the ALP Program; and been a lead teacher in elementary school.
Ms. Waters has also been the student achievement data coordinator for middle school. In August 2015, she accepted the role of principal for the elementary school. She is dedicated to students and leading the elementary school staff to assist students and Learning Coaches, so that all students are successful at GCA.
Middle School Principal
Mrs. Lowndes has been an educator in the Georgia public school system and private tutoring business for more than 20 years. She has been with GCA since 2009, and has served as a homeroom teacher, social studies teacher, and lead teacher. In August 2011, she accepted the role of assistant principal, and in September 2014, she accepted the role of principal.
Mrs. Lowndes is dedicated to the "student in the chair" and leading our middle school staff to assist Learning Coaches and students to master the skills and standards of each student's particular grade level.
High School Principal
Mrs. Blanda is committed to providing individualized education, improving student academic outcomes, developing positive classroom environments, and creating a cohesive partnership with our families to propel our high school program to a new level of achievement.
Kristen Blanda started with Georgia Cyber Academy in 2007 as a teacher and during her nine year tenure served in many different roles, including those of Middle School Principal, Interim High School Principal, and District Academic Administrator. Over the past two years, she has been supporting teachers at various K12 schools as an instructional coach and has had the opportunity to witness many innovative and effective virtual instructional approaches that improve both student academic outcomes and their classroom experiences.
Special Education Director
Ms. Redmon has worked in education since 2002, beginning her career in the postsecondary education sector as a college administrator. She has resided in the Atlanta metro area since 2005, when she relocated from Baylor University to serve as a student affairs administrator at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Ms. Redmon has served students across a variety of educational settings, and she brings prior experience in the private, public, charter, and virtual education settings to her role at GCA. She received her BS in special education and communication disorders and her MS in counseling from the University of Nebraska. She began her special education career in both the clinical and school settings as an undergraduate and has a unique perspective as a former college orientation instructor and a highly-qualified special education teacher. Ms. Redmon returned to secondary education in 2009 and gained experience in teaching and leadership in the public, virtual, and charter school settings prior to joining GCA this year. She is an advocate for career transition and holistic education and is passionately dedicated to ensuring educational benefit to all students.
Counseling Services Director
Mrs. Ross graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology. Prior to becoming a professional school counselor she was a mental health professional, counseling youth in residential treatment facilities. She served as a Behavioral Specialist, Transition Coordinator and the Director of Life Skills Development and Transition Program. Mrs. Ross graduated from Cambridge College with a M.Ed. in Professional School Counseling in 2008 and immediately began working as a High School Counselor in the Atlanta Public School District. She has been with Georgia Cyber Academy since 2013. Since joining the GCA team Mrs. Ross has served as a High School Counselor, Faculty Advisory Council Member, Lead Counselor and now District Counseling Services Director.
Mrs. Ross is a committed Advocate for the importance of educating the "whole child". There are emotional, social and academic needs of every student. It is paramount for all stakeholders to understand that meeting the needs of the “whole child” at GCA directly impacts our student’s success in school and life.
Family Engagement Director
Mrs. Watson has been involved with multiple facets of GCA since her arrival as a Learning Coach in 2007. Mrs. Watson officially joined FAST as a Family Academic Support Liaison (FASL) in 2010, after three years as an engaged, passionate Learning Coach who was excited about GCA's unique method of delivering K–12 education virtually. Since then, she has worked with all grade levels within FAST and has served as a FASL lead for both middle school and high school where she helped design and implement the school's FASL program. For the past two years, Mrs. Watson has served as the FAST assistant administrator, assisting in overseeing FAST's advisement, FASL, truancy, family engagement, and social work programs. Her ultimate goal is for all positions within FAST to support GCA's at-risk and struggling families, ultimately leading to their success within GCA's virtual environment.
Director of School Accountability, Federal Programs, & Grants
Ms. Peterson has been a Georgia educator since 1998. She has experience teaching in a variety of grade levels, contents, brick and mortar, and virtual settings. She came to GCA in 2010. Prior to accepting the position as the Director of School Accountability, Federal Programs & Grants, Ms. Peterson served as Title Programs Director where she coordinated educational programs for Title I-A, Title II-A, Title IV-A, Parent and Family Engagement, Homeless, Migrant, and Foster-Care. She also served as a Student Achievement and Data Coordinator where she helped to develop data driven practices at the school and district level. She has worked on various committees at the district and state level and served as a mentor to teachers and leaders.
Ms. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, and an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership. She is committed to helping all students, teachers, and leaders succeed. It is her goal to ensure that all students are provided equitable educational opportunities in Georgia.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Hopewell has extensive finance experience across multiple categories and disciplines within consumer, corporate, manufacturing, and education finance. Before joining the Georgia Cyber team, he was most recently a Regional Senior Finance Manager at K12 Corporation for five years. There he was responsible for about $100M in gross revenue across a number Southern Regional Program Schools. Prior to K12, Andre gained Big 4 consulting experience as he progressed through several Project Consultant roles at Deloitte and Touché, LLP where he managed account level clients worth over $360M across more than 30 projects. Previous to his Senior Project Consultant role, he spent over six years at General Electric where he held several financial planning and analysis roles in Philadelphia, Houston, and Atlanta while graduating from their Financial Management MBAE/Program. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting from Southern University.
Communications & Public Relations Director
Mrs. Blencowe joined the Family Academic Support Team in 2013 as Family Engagement Coordinator where she supported GCA families toward becoming active partners in their student’s education, provided parent training and support, and helped connect families with the GCA Community through regional connections, school culture initiatives, district communications, videos, and digital media. Mrs. Blencowe has been involved as a volunteer with GCA since becoming a Learning Coach in 2008 including Parent Booster, Parent Volunteer, Regional Parent Leader, and GCA PTSO Treasurer.
In 2018, Mrs. Blencowe accepted the role of Communications and Public Relations Director where her passion for effective school-family communications as well as her desire for a vibrant school culture continues to provide support to GCA families, students, and staff.
School-Based Enrollment Manager
Ms. Williams joined the GCA Special Education Records Department in 2014. Ms. Williams transitioned over to the enrollment department in 2016 serving as our School Based Enrollment Coordinator. In this role, Ms. Williams assists multiple families with knowledge of becoming a successful GCA family. She enjoys serving and assisting families the best way possible to make their enrollment experience satisfactory. As GCA continues to evolve, Ms. Williams is making sure that our enrollment process is streamlined for parents.
School-Based Records Manager
Mrs. Davis has been in the public school system for more than 7 years. She has been with Georgia Cyber Academy since 2013. She is currently serving as the Supervisor in the Records Department. Mrs. Davis is dedicated to ensuring all student records are compliant and meet state and federal laws. She’s also committed to providing superior customer service to our families. Mrs. Davis holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in English.