Staff

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Lisa Barber – Executive Director, Educator for Math, Science and Personal Development

As the needs of the school have grown, Lisa stepped into a new role as Executive Director to continue to lead Pride School Atlanta in the next phase of growth and expansion. She sees the opportunity for Pride School Atlanta to become a model of education excellence for all students, LGBTQ and Allies. She is working to create a template for other Pride Schools to open nationally. Formerly an accredited teacher in the public school system, she also teaches Biology, General Science and Math, and Financial Literacy and Business Skills. Her perspective on the child/student as a complete individual drives the individually based curriculum. Her classes on Personal Development guide students to becoming completely comfortable in their own skin, and lay the foundation for them to find their path.

 
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Jeff Graham – Educator, English Language Arts and American Sign Language

Jeff Graham has been in the Atlanta area since 2001. He hails from New York, studied in Boston, studied American Sign Language at Northeastern University and was an ASL interpreter there for 16 years. His is an avid bibliophile and one of his favorite assignments was interpreting Literature classes on the high school and college level. He teaches English as a Second Language in Lawrenceville, as well as ASL at Emory University and UGA Gwinnett. He is also a professional flutist who loves being a part of the Atlanta Freedom Band, the only LGBT wind ensemble in the area. As J. Lee Graham, Jeff has written five novels: four adventure novels for Middle Readers and one coming of age novel for Young Adult. He is currently working on a sixth. He is also a playwright, actor, and professional astrologer. In April, 2017, after 16 years of being together, he and his partner, Ken Hornbeck were married.

 
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Dr. Katherine Benson – Educator, Math & Physics

Dr. Benson is a former physics professor from Emory and Agnes Scott. She taught physics, astronomy, and math, and applied them to research in particle cosmology – how fundamental theories of particle interactions affect the early universe. Dr. Benson’s education includes a B.S. in physics from Duke, an A.M. and Ph.D. in physics from Harvard, and an M.A.T. in secondary math education from Mercer (anticipated 2019). She is eager to teach and tutor students in grades 6-12 math and science. In math, she can teach all middle and high school Georgia core courses as well as advanced university-level ones: Grades 6, 7, 8, and Accelerated 6/7A and 7B/8 Math; high school courses Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Precalculus, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, History of Mathematics, Multivariable Calculus, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra; and accelerated high school courses Accelerated Algebra I/Geometry B, Accelerated Geometry B/Algebra II, and Accelerated Precalculus. In science, she can teach middle school 6th grade Earth Science; 8th grade Physical Science; astronomy; physics; and advanced (AP-level) physics. Dr. Benson is also the proud mother of a son who transitioned seven years ago at age 14; this has made her a long-time advocate and facilitator for trans youth and their families.

 
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Christian Zsilavetz – Co-Founder and Member at Large

My name is Christian J. Zsilavetz (zil a vits), Cofounder of Pride School Atlanta. My pronouns are he, him and his. I am a queer transman who is passionate about providing spaces for students to be authentic and thrive, especially those who are LGBTQIA+ and their allies. I have a B.A. in Mathematics from Rutgers University and a M.Ed. from Lesley University in Creative Arts in Learning. I have been teaching since 1992, with a few years off to stay home with my children and grow Pride School Atlanta, Inc.

In addition to small group standards-based homeschool math and science courses & math tutoring, I provide customized LGBTQIA-oriented diversity education and consultation to families, organizations and institutions, and mentor LBGTQIA & Ally youth and Gay Straight Alliances.

Math & Science: Small group elementary mathematics/science for grades 3-5, and these course courses: 6th- 8th grade math, Algebra 1, Geometry, & Algebra 2. Each class will meet for 3-4 hours per week.

Tutoring: I provide customized virtual and in-person math tutoring for grades 3-8 and for anyone taking Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2 (College Algebra), or PreCalculus. Whether a student is just struggling temporarily, wants to get a leg up on upcoming material, or needs regular support in a course, I can boil things down to their basics, making the work accessible at all levels for all ages.