Elizabeth Kennedy - Head of School
Faith Hezel - Introductory Physics, Algebra 2, Pre-algebra, Logic 1
Hello! My name is Faith Hezel and this year I am teaching Algebra II, Physics I, Pre-Algebra, and Logic I. Though I grew up in St. Louis, MO, I have called Mobile home for 5 years. I am currently studying at University of Mobile, pursuing my Masters of Music in Vocal Performance.
The more I learn about math, science, and music, the more intricately intertwined they seem to me- a testament to God’s creativity and thoroughness in his creation; I hope to impart this love of knowledge to my students as well. I am delighted to be part of a school and team of teachers whose goal is to reach students with the Gospel while also providing excellent education.
During my time as an undergraduate at UM, I tutored everything from math to science to English. Science and art were my favorite subjects as a kid, and I love that I get to combine them every day in my music and teaching! I have four years of experience teaching private music lessons, most of which have been spent with the Worship Arts Academy at Moffett Road Baptist Church. I am delighted to be part of a school and team of teachers whose goal is to reach students with the Gospel while also providing excellent education, and I look forward to meeting you all soon!
Susan Currier - Literature & Composition
- I’m one of the founders of Cypress Grove Academy. I am married to the most patient of all husbands, Joe, and we have three wild and wonderful boys: Mason, Josiah, and Amos. I have an MA in Intercultural Studies/TESOL from Wheaton College and a BA in English from Mississippi College. Over the years, educating my own children took our family on a journey that led us to classical education. Teaching my children through the classical method during our homeschooling years, my own education began to be redeemed. I had no idea that a secular/sacred divide did not have to exist in the realm of education, that in reality, all things – whether math, science, or history – are part of God’s domain. The wonder of it all changed how I viewed education. One of the things I love most about classical Christian education is that at its foundation are great books and stories. And if there is one thing you should know about me, it’s that I love stories – how they reach and teach us in ways that nothing else can. The story I can never get over is the true one that changed everything: how God stooped low and became one of us to rescue and redeem and re-story us. CGA’s very mission – at the core of a robust and beautiful education – is to rehearse the Gospel story over and over again, to teach kids that they are more sinful and in need of a Savior than they could ever know and also more loved in Christ than they could ever dare to hope, and to pray and work to make disciples that will follow hard after Christ long after they have left our school.
Nicolette Duke - 3rd Grade
Nicolette Duke holds a B.A. and Master’s Degree in Social Work. She worked as a case manager in a foster care agency before having children of her own. She has volunteered in children’s ministry both through her church, Christ United Methodist, and as a children’s leader in Bible Study Fellowship. Nicolette has four years of experience with homeschooling and tutored in both the Foundations and Essentials programs at Classical Conversations. She loves great children’s books and has shared that passion with students as Cypress Grove Academy’s Elementary Literature teacher in its 20-21 inaugural year. Nicolette is married to Cullan, and they have three boys: Oliver (15) Henry (12), and Silas (9). Silas will be a 4th grade student at CGA this year. Nicolette’s hobbies include cycling, reading, gardening and practicing the violin.
Olivia Etheredge - Kindergarten
Hello! My name is Olivia Etheredge, and I am thrilled to begin the new adventure of teaching Kindergarten at CGA this year! After living in Texas nearly all my life, my family & I have now called Mobile home for the last 5 years. I have enjoyed working with children for much of my life, including homeschooling my two children through the preschool ages. When my son was still a baby, the Lord began to pursue my heart vigilantly in the area of education. In my (initially reluctant) pursuit of homeschooling, the Father eventually lead us to classical education & Cypress Grove. I enjoy spending time with friends & family, any excuse to celebrate, bird watching, traveling, frequenting local coffee shops & collecting children’s books. Children’s literature & early literacy are my passion! Between my unique experiences, gifts & a love for education, my hope is to help lead students in the joy that is learning, marvel at creation & to know & love the Father more deeply in the process.
Chase Harrison - Physical Education
My name is Chase Harrison. I am 39 years old and have lived in Mobile my entire life. I am married to Amber Harrison and we have 3 children, Caedmon (14), Finley (11), and Nora (7), all of whom will be attending Cypress Grove this year. For the 2022-2023 school year, I will be the P.E. teacher. I love the idea of a healthy lifestyle. I don’t remember much of my P.E. classes as a kid, but I remember it was mostly playing outside so the teacher could get a break. While there will be tons of playing and having fun, which kids should do, we will also learn the importance of healh and wellness as well as work our physical bodies in shape this year!
Leann Hanes - 4th Grade
My name is Leann Hanes, and I am so excited to be teaching Fourth Grade at Cypress Grove! I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. My husband Robin and I are both from Mobile, but lived in Birmingham when we first got married, where I worked at Brookwood Forest Elementary in Mountain Brook as an Instructional Aide. In 2005, we moved back to Mobile and have loved raising our three daughters here. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be at Cypress Grove this year!
Sarah Walley - Music, Latin
My name is Sarah Walley and I will be teaching music to grades K through 6 on Mondays AND I get to teach First Form Latin! One of my favorite things about CGA is our morning assembly, where I have a front-row seat to the singing and Bible lessons that happen every day. Derrick and I have two boys, and our oldest will be in first grade at CGA. My degree is in music education, and before our boys were born, I taught elementary music for Baldwin County Schools. Since then, I’ve taught a little here and there, most recently for the Mobile Opera afterschool program, and I also have the joy of playing piano for Covenant Presbyterian Church. I count it a privilege to teach at CGA, where we can praise God for His good gift of music (and so many other things), and I look forward to doing just that with your children!
Rebekah Fitts - Latin
My name is Rebekah Fitts, and I’m excited to teach Latin at Cypress Grove this year! I grew up in Atlanta and attended Auburn University, where I graduated with a BA in History and a minor in Classical Studies. My husband Stephen and I met through RUF and married after I graduated. After living in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham for 10 years, we settled in Mobile in 2014. My affinity for Latin, and education generally, began in my 8th grade Latin class. There I found a love of learning, not only the structure and vocabulary of Latin, but also its deep connection to the English language. Having taught here since CGA’s first year, I’m thrilled about the opportunity to continue to explore the Latin language. Vini, Vidi, Vici!
Ben Nelson - Biblical Interpretation
Meghan Pagan-Kindergarten Enrichment
My name is Meghan Pagan, I am excited to be teaching the kindergarten enrichment class.
I received my BA in Biblical education and church administration in 2010. I have always loved working with children, they have an amazing ability to teach us to explore nature and create freely. I am married to Clint and together we are raising our 3 children Ellison (8), Ean (6), and Eliza(1). We’ve been a homeschool family for the past 3 years and are so grateful to start another year at CGA.
Carolyn Neese-Fifth Grade
Hello! I am Carolyn Neese and this will be my first year at Cypress Grove Academy. I must say that I already sense the presence of the Lord in this place!
I married the love of my life in 1978, with whom we parented eleven children, and was married for 26 wonderful years. During those years, I home-educated my children for over 20 years. I served as president of South Alabama Home Educators in the early 1990s. My husband and I worked in inner-city missions in Mobile, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Lakeland, Florida, and Oklahoma City.
In November 2004, my husband passed away suddenly from a heart attack when I still had 7 minor-age children at home. The following August, at the age of 49, I began college at USA, graduating in the spring of 2008 with a BS in Secondary Education & Social Sciences. I then taught various upper-level grades with Mobile County Public Schools for 14 years. I am now the proud grandmother of eight grandchildren.
This year, I will be teaching 5th grade at Cypress Grove. I look forward to getting to know you and your children as we partner together in their education.
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118: 23
Monique Williams - 2nd Grade
Hello. My name is Monique Williams and I am pleased to be joining Cypress Grove Academy as the second grade teacher. I have enjoyed working with children for many years. I grew up in Jackson, AL and moved to Mobile to attend the University of Mobile where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I am so thankful to be able to be a part of this school and I look forward to teaching your wonderful children!
Patra Culpepper - School Administrator
Kate Croom- First Grade
My name is Kate Croom and I am looking forward to my first year at Cypress Grove teaching First Grade. I am a wife to my husband, Michael, and mother to my 3 boys, William Braylon, Leon, and Charlie. After attending the University of South Alabama, I have been fortunate to stay home with my boys for the past 9 years. Our life is very busy, and I enjoy every second on the go, but I also enjoy time at the beach and relaxing as a family. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have at Cypress Grove. I am excited to be apart of your what your children learn and how they will grow this year.
Hi! My name is Krista Huber. I’ve been a math tutor for ten years and look forward to serving as the Geometry teacher for Cypress Grove Academy this year. I am originally from Oneonta, AL and attended the University of Montevallo to receive a Bachelors of Science degree in Art with a minor in Public Relations. I now live in Semmes with my husband Tim, and our two littles, Titus and Eden. I have a great love for individualized teaching- especially in seeing students become more confident as they begin to master a skill. I am glad to partner with CGA in equipping students both mentally and spiritually.
Wendy Hogan-6th Grade
My name is Wendy Hogan, and I am from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and have lived in Mobile since 1993 when I came to attend the University of Mobile. There I met my husband, Michael. We have three sons who are in college and high school. I have loved raising my sons and learning with them as we home-educated them following the classical model for 10 years.
We began homeschooling when our oldest son, Jack was beginning 2 grade. What a gift this time of life truly was as I was able to follow along myself in the classical model of learning. I wholeheartedly believe in this ancient approach and saw my sons learn through each of the stages with enthusiasm.
Playing games, exploring outdoors, gardening, concerts, going to swim or to the beach, cheering on our sons at their football and soccer games, and humor, and spending time with family are important parts of our family. I am thankful to be able to impart my passions for students, classical education, and Christ with the students of Cypress Grove!
Rachael DeBruin-Literature & Composition
Bethany Wattier- Art
Hi! My name is Bethany Wattier and I am honored to be teaching Art to the K-6th grade students at Cypress Grove this year! I grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina and have had a love for drawing ever since I learned how to hold a pencil! I moved to Alabama in 2008 to attend the University of Mobile. I graduated in 2012 with a degree in Art and have spent the last 9 years learning photography. I met my husband, Daniel, at UM and we’ve been married for 10 years now and have two young boys. This will be my first year teaching and I am excited to share my passion for Art with the students!