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Carrie Akers


"I am truly blessed to be surrounded by amazing people every day.  The faculty, staff and students at TCA are what make this school unlike any other.  My husband and I along with our two daughters are members of The Torch. This school has been a dream in my heart for over 12 years. The people here have truly helped that dream come to life.  I am a graduate of The University of Georgia.  I began my teaching career in 7th grade, moved on to 8th and 9th.  My last years of teaching were spent in kindergarten.   I began my administration here at TCA and look forward to continuing this journey."

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Whitney Whitaker



"Working with children has been a constant theme in my life & joining the staff at TCA to work alongside Carrie & with these precious children has been a joy! My husband and I have been in full-time ministry for a number of years, which led us here to North Georgia and we love it. We are blessed the have two of the sweetest kiddos on this earth. I love Jesus most, my family right behind Him, music, cooking, skinny vanilla lattes from Starbucks, the beach & Alabama football!"

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Jessalan Smith


"One of my favorite scriptures comes from 1 Timothy 4:12, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." Teaching the 3 year old class at TCA gives me the opportunity to plant the seeds of faith in my students so they can grow into strong young believers. I'm so thankful to be involved with TCA and the opportunity to connect with our students and the community. I have a heart for music, love sunflowers, belong at the beach, and will never own enough shoes! Most of all I love serving in ministry alongside my husband of 13 years and the adventurous life of raising 3 kids!"

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Brandy Ward


"Having the opportunity to be a part of TCA is an absolute blessing to me!  I attended University of West Georgia for two years and then moved back home where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications/Broadcast Journalism from Piedmont College.  My family and I worship at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church.  Spending time with my husband, and two children is what makes me the happiest! "

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Christi Cooper


"My name is Christi Cooper. I am married and have three wonderful children. My family and I attend The Torch Worship Center. I have been blessed enough to be a PreK teacher for 7 yrs now.  Children are such a blessing and I love each child like they are my own. "

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Mandy Bentley


"My name is Mandy Bentley, and I am a 2011 graduate of Truett-McConnell College.  I have worked in education for 7 years, with past teaching experience in grades kindergarten through 5th.  I recently discovered my passion is working with the younger students, which is the reason I am thrilled to be at TCA with this Pre-K class. It’s an honor to be at TCA investing in these young students’ lives and watching them grow academically and spiritually.  One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3:6, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  I hope to play a role in teaching these students to love and honor Christ and to depend on Him for everything in life. "

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Ann Wescott


“I have taught for many years. Kindergarten is my favorite. It is such a joy teaching kindergarteners to read and write! I am blessed to have the opportunity to teach at TCA in a Christian environment and help students grow emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and academically.“

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Tori Kelly


"From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a mother and a teacher. I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else. I have worked in education for 13 years. I have taught preschool, elementary and even middle school!  I love being with children and having the awesome opportunity to have an impact on their lives. I have a heart for Christian Education and feel blessed to have the opportunity to teach at TCA and help instill a love for learning, but most importantly a love for Christ in the lives of little ones. I have been married for 15 years and have three children. I enjoy watching my son play soccer and my daughter dance. If there is any spare time, then I can usually be found watching a movie with my family or camping."

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Mia Corchimillia


"I have so much fun assisting in our kindergarten classes! Getting to spend my weekdays with these bright students and friendly staff is a treat. Everyday, we have a Biblical, fun-filled educational adventure."

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Erica Helgeland



"My name is Erica Helgeland. I attended college at the University of North Georgia. I received my degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. I am currently in my fourth year of teaching first grade at TCA. I love having the opportunity to teach in a Christian environment. "

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Stephanie Waldon


"I am a  retired teacher from the  Habersham County School System.  I graduated from  Piedmont College with a degree in Early Childhood. I also graduated from Brenau University with a Masters in Early Childhood as well as a Masters in Special Education.  I attended Georgia State University where I received an endorsement  in Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative.  I am happy  to be able to share my experiences with The Torch Christian Academy. My husband and I have always been a part of The Torch.  We have two daughters, who are in the field of education also,  and six grandchildren."

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Sarah Stewart


"I graduated top of my class from Banks County High School. I went on to graduate from Truett-McConnell College and the University of Georgia, where I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. I have had a blast teaching everything from kindergarten through sixth grade the past 13 years. I am an adventure seeker who has enjoyed skydiving and has taught in the Marshall Islands."

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Kennedy Watts


"I am a graduate from Truett-McConnell University, and I am excited to spend my first year teaching at TCA! I originate from Rabun County where I live with my husband, Jess. I am excited to teach your children and grow along with them this year."

Email goes here.

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Kayla Clark


"I have been teaching for 5 years, all in the public school system in 4th grade. I have a Master's degree in early childhood education and in December I will graduate with my Specialist degree in curriculum and instruction as well as physical education. In my spare time I love to watch basketball (go TarHeels) and coach youth basketball here in Habersham. I love spending time with my husband and family at the lake and going to Pigeon Forge. I'm very excited to begin my first year at TCA and look forward to being a welcoming resource for parents and students. "

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Shelia Williams


"I was born and raised right here in Habersham County, and have lived the bulk of my life in Demorest. I graduated from Habersham Central High School, Truett-McConnel College and Toccoa Falls College, where I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Studies with an emphasis in Christian Counseling. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to work with children and young people. I've taught in private Christian schools for the past twenty-six years; and I've loved every minute!"


Hart Hatchett




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Kezia Hughes




Email Goes Here

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Heather Terrell


"I have always loved creating things and studying art. After graduating from Stephens County High School, I attended the University of Georgia and studied Interior Design and Art History. I was a stay at home mom for many years and then, later, I earned my Masters Degree in teaching from Piedmont College. For the past two years, I taught High School math, but I'm excited to be returning to art, which is my passion. I attend the Torch and live in Habersham with my husband and three children."

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Caleb McAllister


"TCA has the most talented students that I’ve been in contact with and it is my honor to be a part of their story. I am a native to Habersham County and have lived here the majority of my life. I graduated from Habersham Central High School and then from Lee University with my Bachelors of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with emphasis in History, Art, Sociology and Computers. I serve as the Connections Pastor here at The Torch. My wife, Liza and I have two amazing kids, Isaiah and Maelee."

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Heather NeSmith


"I am the librarian and preschool music teacher at The Torch Christian Academy. It is a blessing to me to have such caring coworkers and students. I am a University of Georgia graduate...Go Dawgs!!  My husband, Alan, and I have two sons, William and Fenn."


Mickey Hill


"I am Mickey Hill, I am the Controller for The Torch and The Torch Christian Academy.  It is an honor and blessing to work for an amazing church and school.  My husband Kevin and I have been married for 30 years and we have two beautiful grown daughters Hillary and Taylor.  We have been members here at The Torch for 13 years and are excited to be a part of  the impact that TCA is making on the young children in our community."

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Elwanda Richmond


"I have a Bachelor's degree in secondary English education and in elementary language arts.  My master's degree is in elementary reading instruction. My teaching experience has been with grades 3-8, Title 1 reading remediation, and 4 years as Teacher Literacy Coach.  I love doing things with family and friends, working with children, reading, singing, gardening."

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Carol Smith