Matt BarrySocial Studies
Stacy Brown21st Century Learning
Sean CoffeyPhysical Education
Susan FieldsLanguage Arts
Julie Herman-CohenDavis Learning Center
Melissa MondelloMedia & Technology
Rich O’DellJewish Studies
Simcha PearlHebrew & Jewish Studies
Kendrick PhillipsVisual & Performing Arts
Constanza PizanoMedia & Technology
Loren SpauldingAthletic Director
Michelle SteinLanguage Arts & Digital Art
Megan SullivanTeaching Assistant
Erin SweigartPhysical Education
Sigal TzorefHebrew & Jewish Studies
Ilan WeismarkHebrew & Jewish Studies
Orna WillisHebrew & Jewish Studies
Mrs. Barry is a Middle School Counselor at The Davis Academy. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Mrs. Barry holds a Bachelor in Arts from Indiana University and both a Master’s in Education and a Specialization in Education from Georgia State University. Mrs. Barry has been a School Counselor since 2012, and she joined The Davis Academy team in 2015. One of Mrs. Barry’s favorite Davis memories is traveling to Charleston for the sixth grade field trip. Outside of work, Mrs. Barry enjoys exercising, travelling, and spending time with her husband and two children.
From Worcester, Massachusetts, Mr. Barry has been a World History & Religion and U.S. History and Government Teacher at The Davis Academy since 2005. Mr. Barry studied at The University of New Hampshire, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and attended graduate school at Georgia State University, where he earned his Master of Arts in Teaching Social Studies. Throughout his career, Mr. Barry has presented at conferences including The Georgia Council for Social Studies on the topic of: “Bringing History Alive!” and the Georgia State University Teacher’s Conference on the topic of: “Incorporating Writing in the Social Studies Classroom”. Some of Mr. Barry’s favorite Davis Academy memories include his first Israel Trip in 2008 and coaching Davis’ first individual track and field state champion in the pole vault. Mr. Barry has also taken three Davis alum to the United States Track and Field Junior Olympics Nationals in the pole vault.
Brown joined The Davis Academy team in 2006 as a 21st Century Learning Coordinator. She started her teaching career in 2004 after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and then from Florida State University with a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences. Outside of teaching, Mrs. Brown sits on the board for Savvy Cyber Kids, Inc. and on the board for Atlanta Area Technology Educators. Additionally, She is a national speaker presenting at a variety of educational library and technology conferences, a published author, and currently serves on the American Association of School Librarian’s Best Websites for Teaching & Learning Committee In her spare time, Mrs. Brown enjoys reading and spending time with her two children, both of whom are Davis Academy students.
Originally from Decatur, Georgia, Coach Coffey began his teaching career in 1997 after graduating from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education and Walden University with a Master of Science in Technology in the Classroom. He joined The Davis Academy team as a Physical Education Teacher in 2012. One of Coach Coffey’s favorite aspects of his job is helping his students grow to become mensches. Outside of work, Coach Coffey loves to go whitewater rafting, enjoys building things, such as ukuleles, and loves spending time with his two daughters, both of whom attend The Davis Academy.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Fields earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Science in Education from University of Georgia. She began her teaching career in 1972 at North Springs High School, where she taught for thirty-three years. She joined The Davis Academy in 2004, where she teaches eighth grade Language Arts. Throughout her teaching career, Ms. Fields has received The Coca-Cola Teacher of the Year Award, STAR Teacher Award numerous times, and the IBM Teacher of the Year. One of her favorite moments of teaching occurs when students make lateral connections from literature to life. She has enjoyed traveling to Israel with Davis students, where she sees students show their genuine interest in all that they are seeing and doing. Ms. Fields is a huge dog lover, and in her free time, she loves to spend time with her beagle mix, Zoey and to take long walks by the river.
Originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, Mrs. Ganz began teaching in 2001 and joined The Davis Academy family in 2010 as a Visual Arts Teacher. She attended The University of Florida, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts, and the Rhode Island School of Design, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts. One of her favorite parts of being an art educator is watching her students’ confidence and love for art grow throughout the year. In her profession, Mrs. Ganz’s artwork has been featured in design books, magazines, and publications, including: Mapping the Intelligence of Artistic Work and The Biannual International Design Exhibition Catalogue. Outside of work, Mrs. Ganz enjoys spending time with her two daughters, both of whom are current Davis Academy students.
Mr. Gerston has been a Middle School Teacher at The Davis Academy since 2009. He is from West Bloomfield, Michigan where he earned his B.A. in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University and his Masters in Middle Grades Education from Mercer University in Atlanta. While obtaining his Master’s degree, Mr. Gerston worked as a Kindergarten Teaching Assistant at the Davis Academy.
Originally from Montevideo, Uruguay, Mrs. Grinberg became a teacher in 1982 and taught Hebrew at Jewish Day Schools in Uruguay and Argentina for twenty years. After she moved with her family to the United States, she joined The Davis Academy community in 2002 as a Spanish Teacher. Prior to starting her teaching career, Mrs. Grinberg earned her Bachelor of Education degree from Machon Greenberg L’Morim in Israel. Outside of teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, one of which is a Davis Academy alum.
Mrs. Herman-Cohen has been in the field of education since 1990 and joined The Davis Academy team as a Davis Learning Center teacher in 2011. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Mrs. Herman-Cohen attended Tulane University and Georgia State University, where she earned her degree in Education. She also earned certifications from Lindamood-Bell Instruction for Reading and Comprehension as well as Orton Gillingham. Throughout her career, Mrs. Herman-Cohen has presented at The Getty Foundation Conference on “How to Integrate Drama into Reading”. She also has been the recipient of The Power of One Award – recognizing her impact on inclusion in Atlanta, Teacher of the Year Award, and a Getty Foundation Grant Winner. Mrs. Herman-Cohen has two children, both of whom are Davis Academy Alumni. Fun fact about Mrs. Herman-Cohen – she loves to dance!
Mrs. Herrin has been a Middle School Math Teacher at The Davis Academy since 2016. After relocating with her family to Atlanta in 1999, Mrs. Herrin attended The University of Georgia, where she majored in Child and Family Development with a minor in Spanish and attended Loyola University Chicago for graduate school, where she received her Master’s degree in Elementary Education. In addition to the degrees she holds, Mrs. Herrin also earned an endorsement in Middle School Mathematics. Throughout her profession, Mrs. Herrin has presented at the GISA conference on “Using Hands-On Materials in the Pre-Algebra Classroom”. Outside of the classroom, you can find Mrs. Herrin travelling or spending time with her family.
Mr. Houben has been teaching since 2007 and joined The Davis Academy team as a Middle School Math Teacher in 2017, teaching Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry. Mr. Houben is originally from Belgium and graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in Computer Information Systems. At Georgia State, Mr. Houben played on the soccer team as a midfielder for three years. One of Mr. Houben’s favorite Davis Academy memories is go kart racing with the sixth graders on their fieldtrip to Charleston, South Carolina. Outside of school, Mr. Houben loves spending time with his family, hiking, and playing tennis.
Born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Mrs. Lefkovits began her career in counseling in 2000 and joined The Davis Academy team as a Middle School Counselor in 2007. Prior to her career, Mrs. Lefkovits attended The University of Georgia, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Georgia State University, where she earned her master’s degree in Education with a Focus on School Counseling. One of Mrs. Lefkovits’ favorite aspects of her job is seeing students show care and empathy toward one another. Throughout her career, Mrs. Lefkovits has presented at the GISA conference on “Using Media to Enhance Guidance Lessons”. Outside of work, Mrs. Lefkovits enjoys taking dance classes, and spending time with her children, one of which is a Davis alum and another is a current Davis student.
Originally from Norwalk, Connecticut, Mr. Michek attended Western Connecticut State University, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music. In 2003, he completed his teaching certification. Mr. Michek has been teaching music since 1987 and joined The Davis Academy team in 2009. During his time at Davis, he has developed a successful Fusion Band curriculum, which has given students of all experience levels the opportunity to connect with an instrument and perform with their peers, in a rock band setting in front of live audiences. In addition, Mr. Michek teaches keyboard fourth graders. Many of his students have graduated and continued to perform together in bands around Atlanta. Outside of teaching, Mr. Michek is currently a member of the band Tevyeh, where he performs at weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. In the past, he has performed at the annual Daffodil Dash, honoring and remembering children who perished during the Holocaust. Throughout his music career, Mr. Michek has performed in New York City and internationally. In addition to teaching/playing music, Mr. Michek enjoys spending time with his family and going to concerts.
Mrs. Mondello joins The Davis Academy as a Media and Technology Specialist serving Mechina – Eighth grade students. She has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Valdosta State University. Mrs. Mondello has a diverse professional background, having worked in Engineering Services, Costuming/Entertainment analytics at Disney World and in Demand Planning at Coca-Cola Bottling of Hawaii. Pursuing a career path in educational technology stems from her combined experiences and love of helping others. Mrs. Mondello teaches coding and STEAM classes at the public library, plays the piano and saxophone, and loves to read!
From Ohio, Mr. O’Dell has been a Jewish Studies teacher at The Davis Academy since 2006. Mr. O’Dell started his teaching career in 1999 after graduating from Miami University in Oxford Ohio, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and then graduated from Gratz College, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Judaic Studies. Mr. O’Dell loves that in his role as an educator, he is able to share his passion for learning and positively impact his students’ lives. Throughout his teaching career, Mr. O’Dell has had the honor of being named Teacher of the Year by West Clermont Institute of Performing Arts and being a participant in the Legacy Heritage Teacher Institute. Outside of his profession, Mr. O’Dell enjoys spending time with his wife, two sons, and two cats.
Dr. Pearl joined the Davis Academy team as a Judaics Teacher in 2016, although his teaching career began in 1987. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University and has a Master’s in Instructional Leadership from Argosy University. He is an experienced teacher of Judaic Studies and is a graduate of the Senior Educators Program at Hebrew University’s Melton Center for Jewish Education in the Diaspora and the Jerusalem Fellows Program of the Center for Advanced Professional Educators. One of Dr. Pearl’s favorite Davis Academy memories is going on the eighth grade trip to Israel. Outside of teaching, Dr. Pearl enjoys spending time with his three children and playing the accordion.
From Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Kendrick attended Vanderbilt University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre, English Literature and Molecular Biology with a minor in Vocal Performance, and The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she earned her graduate degree in Acting & Shakespeare. Prior to becoming The Davis Academy’s Director of Visual and Performing Arts, Ms. Kendrick performed in London’s West End under such noted directors as Sir Peter Hall and Adrian Noble of the RSC and has toured extensively in Europe and in the US as a director, actor, dancer and guest soloist. Ms. Kendrick is the founder and the artistic director of the Metropolitan Theatre Conservatory, which develops performing arts departments, arts centers infrastructure, and after-school programming for public and private schools for over 200 schools; offers professional training in voice, acting, auditioning, film-making, and on-camera work for professional and emerging youth performers in the Greater Atlanta area; and works with corporations to build connected communities through the Arts. She consulted with The Davis Academy for two years before she joined The Davis Academy team full time in 2005 to create a long term vision for a Davis performing arts center. One of Mrs. Phillip’s favorite aspects about her role at The Davis Academy is having the opportunity to direct, mentor and teach every grade in the school through the all school musical and to create opportunities for learning, achieving and growth that happen outside the four traditional walls of a classroom. In addition to the work she does at The Davis Academy, Mrs. Phillips sits on the Alliance Theatre Board, where she works on several committees including the Community Engagement Committee and the Education Committee. Throughout the past 18 years of her career, Mrs. Phillips has presented at almost 200 conferences, which include The Drama League and Shakespeare Association of America conferences. Presentation topics have ranged from “Shakespeare ‘Understudy’ for the 21st century: Understanding the Past and Making It Present” to “Life Skills from the Stage”. She has also earned many accolades including: Atlanta Magazine’s “Woman Making A Mark Award”, The Chamber of Commerce’s “Nonprofit Leader of the Year”, and 11Alive/WXIA News’ “Class Act Award”. Ms. Kendrick is one of 10 alumni inducted, along with fellow classmate now Hollywood star Ed Helms, into The Westminster School’s prestigious Performing Arts Hall of Fame.
Mrs. Pizano joined The Davis Academy team as a Media and Technology Specialist, engaging with students on both the Lower and Middle School campuses. Mrs. Pizano holds a Master’s of Education in Prevention Science and Practice from The Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Delaware. Prior to joining The Davis Academy family, she worked as an Instructional Technology Coach at the Wildwood School in Los Angeles, California. Mrs. Pizano is passionate about technology integration, project-based learning, and design thinking. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling with her husband and finding all of the best food spots.
Mr. Rogers joined The Davis Academy team as a Middle School Science teacher. He has a true passion for science and has been teaching science in the state of Georgia since 2006. He has taught biology, chemistry, and environmental science at several middle and high schools including Woodward Academy and Columbia High School in Decatur. Mr. Rogers has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Education from Berry College and enjoys helping students discover a love for science, explore the natural world, and find what excites them about science. In addition to being a wrestling coach, Mr. Rogers enjoys building things with his hands and woodworking. He recently became engaged and enjoys spending time with his fiancée, his children and his dog.
Coach Spaulding began his teaching career in 1992, and has been the Director of Athletics and Physical Education at The Davis Academy since 2001. Originally from Swanton, Vermont, Coach Spaulding attended The University of Vermont, where he earned a degree in K-12 Physical Education and Health. His favorite Davis Academy memory is when the boy’s basketball team won the MAAC Basketball Championship. In addition to being a coach at The Davis Academy, Coach Spaulding also volunteers as a basketball and baseball coach at Ocee Park. Outside of work, you can find him hunting, fishing, and spending time with his two children.
Mrs. Stein joined The Davis Academy team in 2001 and is currently a Language Arts and Digital Studio teacher. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Mrs. Stein began her teaching career in 1997. As an educator, she enjoys guiding students as they develop self-confidence in their own unique process of learning. Mrs. Stein has presented at conferences such as Martin Institute Conference for Educators where she spoke on “Creative, Lateral, and Divergent Thinking” and Georgia Independent School Association where her presentation topic was “Using Technology in the Language Arts Classroom”. Mrs. Stein has also developed and presented a number of Professional Development Courses for teachers, both in and outside of Davis, focusing on the creative process and the benefits of using storytelling in content area classes. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Stein is an artist, musician, and mother to two adults, both of whom are Davis Academy alumni.
Mrs. Sullivan is originally from Huntsville, Alabama and has been a Teaching Assistant at The Davis Academy since 2015. One of Mrs. Sullivan’s favorite aspects about teaching is making learning exciting for her students, especially in science. Prior to teaching, she studied Moral Philosophy and Ethics at Tulane University and KLC School of Design – London. Outside of teaching, Mrs. Sullivan enjoys spending time with her dog, Torgo. Fun fact about Mrs. Sullivan: she spent four weeks in India teaching English!
A recent graduate of the University of Georgia, Coach Sweigart holds both a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Drama. She joined the Physical Education team in 2016 and believes physical education is important for students because it provides particular tools that help students overcome adversity and fulfill their unique purpose. Coach Sweigart enjoys coaching and playing both volleyball and soccer and spends her free time with her husband as well as playing video and tabletop games, reading comics and volunteering at anime/sci-fi conventions.
Originally from K’far-Saba, Israel, Morah Sigal has been teaching since 1995 and joined the Davis Academy team as a Hebrew Teacher in 2001. She studied at Ben Gurion University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education and Hebrew Literature as well as her Master of Arts in Philosophy. One of Morah Sigal’s favorite aspects of being a Hebrew Teacher is seeing her students grow their love for Israel and develop strong Jewish roots. She especially loves travelling to Israel with her eighth grade students on their Israel trip. Throughout her career, Morah Sigal was named The Davis Academy Teacher of the year and has presented at the 2018 Jewish Federation Conference on the Shinshiniyot program.
Mr. Weismark is a Jewish Studies Teacher at The Davis Academy. Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, he earned his bachelor’s degree in communication at Indiana University, master’s degree in Jewish education from Hebrew College in Boston, master’s degree in Independent School Leadership from Vanderbilt University, and a certificate in Jewish studies from the Pardes Educators Program in Jerusalem. When asked what his favorite aspect of teaching is, Mr. Weismark said it’s coming to work happy and excited to do his job every day. In his spare time, Mr. Weismark enjoys listening to music and playing and watching sports.
Originally from Haifa, Israel, Morah Orna joined The Davis Academy team in 2009 as a Middle School Hebrew teacher. Her teaching career began in 1979 after she studied at Vizo, a seminar for teachers in Haifa. In her role as an educator, Morah Orna enjoys seeing the joy of learning students’ eyes, especially when teaching about Israel. One of her favorite memories as a Davis Academy teacher is celebrating Israel’s 70th birthday as a kehillah. Photographed here, Morah Orna is teaching her students the Hebrew song, “Next Year” by Ehod Manor as she introduces their unit on the future tense. Outside of teaching, Morah Orna enjoys cooking, gardening, photography, and spending time with her children and grandchild.