Lynn Schoeneck – Head of School; Occupational Therapist
Lynn earned a M.S. in Occupational Therapy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Psychology (graduated with honors) from Wake Forest University. She is certified and licensed to practice occupational therapy. She has attended continuing education courses in the areas of handwriting (Handwriting Without Tears and Solving the Handwriting Puzzle), executive function, auditory training (Integrated Listening Systems, Therapeutic Listening), auditory processing, visual processing, sensory processing, information regarding specific learning differences, and course relating to administration. She has given presentations to parents, staff, and at the annual GISA conference. Lynn joined Porter Academy in 2004.
Barbara Richard – Assistant Principal
Barbara earned a M.A. in Educational Administration and a B.A. in Elementary Education. She has 20 years experience teaching Kindergarten-grade 4. She was a Vice Principal for two years in Florida. Barbara has teaching certification in FL and MA. She is trained in Orton-Gillingham, Handwriting Without Tears, Sensory Integration Disorders, Math Their Way, and Differentiated Instruction. Barbara joined Porter Academy in 2003.
Tracye Purchase – Academic Director
Tracye earned her Doctorate (EdD) in Special Education from Northcentral University, her Masters of Science in Special Education from Long Island University, and her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Lincoln University. She has 11 years experience as a resource teacher , 5 years experience as a preschool owner, and 12 years experience as a general education teacher. She has worked with children preschool through fourth grade. Tracye joined Porter Academy in 2016.
Hannah Cha – Administrative Assistant
Hannah is finalizing her Early Childhood Education at Kennesaw State University. She teaches violin. Hannah joined Porter Academy in 2003.
Marcie Schultz – Lead Teacher
Marcie earned a B.S. in Computer Technology and an A.A.S in Computer Programming. She is certified as a Wilson Dyslexia Practitioner. Marcie has experience tutoring children with dyslexia in reading and spelling and worked at Pathways Academy. Marcie joined Porter Academy in 2004.
Stacey Edwards – Lead Teacher
Stacey earned her Master of Behavioral Science from Cappella University and her Bachelor of Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art. She holds a license in Art Education and through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horseman (PATH Intl). Stacey has over thirty years of experience teaching grades K-12, most recently teaching a 4th/5th grade special education class at The Cottage School. She is also a lead instructor at Special Equestrians of Georgia. Stacey joined Porter Academy in 2021.
Cathy Wiggins – Lead Teacher
Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Clark Atlanta University. She comes to us with 21 years of experience teaching elementary students. She has been awarded Teacher of the Year, is gifted endorsed, and maintains her T-4 Georgia Teaching Certification. Cathy joined Porter Academy in 2023.
Laura Corn – Lead Teacher
Laura earned her M.A. in Special Education. She took additional coursework in Autism. Laura earned her Georgia certification in level 4. Prior to Porter Academy, she had 5 years experience with special needs children, specializing in Autism. She is trained in Orton Gillingham and has sign language skills. Laura joined Porter Academy in 2006.
Cristin Pharis – Lead Teacher
Cristin earned her Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Georgia and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Georgia College and State University. She has been working with children with special needs for two years. Cristin joined Porter Academy in 2023.
Mahjabeen Aamer – Lead Teacher
Mahja earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Karachi and has worked as a substitute teacher, special education paraeducator, and ESOL instructor. Mahja joined Porter Academy in 2023.
Amanda Kluba – Lead Teacher
Amanda earned her Bachelor of Science in Special Education with a focus in learning disabilities and behavior disorders from Illinois State University. She started off her career by teaching elementary students in a special education resource room. She decided to reduce her workload as she raised her own children, working part time in a Parents Day Out Program, substitute teaching, and nannying. During COVID, she went into children’s homes to teach them so they would not fall behind. As her own children aged, she returned full time to the classroom. She is excited to get back to her roots, helping children with special needs. Amanda joined Porter Academy Fall 2022.
Cecilia Giordano – Academic Support Teacher
Cecilia earned her Masters in Special Education from the University of Louisville and her Bachelor of Education in Special Education, Elementary and Middle School from Eastern Kentucky University. She has 21 years of experiences in private and public education settings, from preschool through middle school with over 10 years assisting preschool teachers and students in the Atlanta area. Cecilia joined Porter Academy in the spring of 2019.
Nancie Murray – Assistant Teacher
Nancie earned her degree as an Educational Specialist with a specialization in Special Education from the University of West Georgia, her Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Special Education and Learning Disabilities from the University of West Georgia, her Bachelor of Science in psychology from Georgia State University, and her certification from Bright from the Start from Georgia State University. Nancy is also trained in the Orton Gillingham method of teaching reading, Wilson Reading Program, Fundations, and the Spire curriculum. She is coming to us with twenty years experience, teaching preschool through middle school students. Nancie joined Porter Academy in 2023.
Divina Harjani – Assistant Teacher
Divina is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Speech Communications with a minor in Special Education at Georgia State University. She started volunteering at Porter Academy in Summer 2022 and is joining our staff Fall 2022.
Marissa Diana – Assistant Teacher
Marissa has ten years of experience working with children, including in daycares, as a nanny, and as a dance instructor. Marissa joined Porter Academy in 2023.
Cassidy Ratliff – Assistant Teacher
Cassidy has seven years of experience working with children ages ranging from eight months to thirteen years. She joined Porter Academy in 2023.
Tyree Etienne – Physical Education Teacher
Tyree has been working with children at The Boys and Girls Club of America, recreational sports programs, and training centers. He has experience providing instruction in soccer, basketball, flag football, speed, agility, and strengthening. Tyree joined Porter Academy in 2023.
Cecilia Price – Music Therapist
Cecilia earned her Music Therapy MT-BC from the University of Georgia, her NICU Music Therapy Training from Florida State University, Her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Alabama, her Bachelor of Arts from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina, and her Music Education for Elementary Level in Argentina. She has teaching for 28 years and providing music therapy since 2021. Cecilia joined Porter Academy in 2023.
Sarah Kachur – Art Teacher
Sarah earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Florida State University and studied Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, including drawing, painting, printmaking, puppet making and B/W photography. She has worked with various populations of students age range from 4 to 15 years old since attending FSU. She uses proponents of DBT especially mindfulness in her teachings. Sarah has been making and selling art since 2001. She joined Porter Academy in 2022.
Liana Valentin-Scott – Sign Language
Liana earned an A.S. in Early Childhood Education. She is certified as a M.I.L.E. math instructor, skilled in Advanced American Sign Language, and has experience as a classroom Teacher and Assistant Teacher. Liana has over 20 years experience in Office Administration. She joined Porter Academy in 2004.
Claudia Porter – Founder, Retired
Education/Licensure: M.A. in Speech/Language Pathology; Certified Speech/Language Therapist since 1971, GA license in Speech-Language Pathology; CA Life Teaching Certificate
Experience: Developed L.D. program at High Meadows School; Program Director of North Fulton Child Development Center in Roswell; Speech Language Therapist & teacher/coordinator for the Georgia Challenge Grant Program; Kindergarten teacher in L.A. public schools. Founded The Porter School with Muriel Lange in 2000.
Associations: Member of ASHA, GSHA, PEO, International Dyslexia Association (IDA)
Awards: Presenter at the Annual GISA Conference, 2007-2011; Hand-in-Hand Award 2008 presented by The Leita Lift Foundation; Who’s Who in the South and Southwest; ACE award presented by ASHA for outstanding accomplishments in Continuing Education; Fellowship for Master’s degree at Occidental College; Certificate of Excellence by Occidental College Speech and Reading Clinics
Fieldwork/Internship programsWe are proud to work with the following college/universities' student internship and fieldwork experience programs:
- Kennesaw State University - Counselor/Social Worker
- Georgia State University - Occupational Therapy
What Sets Us Apart
- Developmentally Grouped Homerooms
- Differentiated and Individualized Academic Instruction
- Utilization of a Variety of Well-Supported Academic Programs and Multi-Sensory Instruction
- Small Groups for Core Academics
- Group Speech-Language, Occupational, and Music Therapy for all