Enrichment Teacher Bios.

Mrs. Ashley Baker – 3rd through 8th Grade P.E.

Mrs. Susan Ballew – Media Center Instructor

Mr. Dennis Clark – Preschool through 2nd Grade P.E.

Coach Clark first joined BCA over ten years ago as the instructor for the BCA chapter of the Jumping for Jesus International Club, a ministry he founded to increase children’s level of physical fitness while teaching them God’s Word. This is eighth year as BCA’s lower school P.E. teacher.

With over 20 years of elementary physical education experience, Coach Clark also served as a college athletic director for four years at Christ for the Nations and Beulla Heights University . He earned a B.A. in Physical Education from Lenoir Rhyne University and a M.A. in Biblical Education from Evangelical Theological Seminary. The author of Exciting Elementary Physical Education Games and Guidelines, Coach Clark served as an instructor at the ACSI Physical Education Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Coach Clark loves working at a Christian school, and being part of a team that strives to make BCA a school of excellence. “Since I’ve been at BCA, I’ve learned that every student has great potential spiritually, academically, and physically. It’s an honor and a great responsibility to work with children.” In his free time, Coach Clark enjoys bike riding, camping, nature walks and reading scripture. “God has helped me read through the Bible for 33 years in a row.”

Mrs. Karina Cruz – Preschool through 1st Spanish

Mrs. Cruz is in her first year teaching at BCA.  She was born in Santiago, the Dominican Republic, she moved to Mexico City after getting married and received a Bachelors degree of Science in Communications at Universidad Tecnologica de Mexico (UNITEC).  After that, she worked as a content analyst of TV programming for children and then as a logistics coordinator for all kind of events for children as well. In 2004, her husband’s job brought them to Georgia and shortly after, Mrs. Cruz started teaching Spanish at the Smarta School, which is a Spanish Immersion.  It was while there that she found that children are her passion and she decided to purchase the preschool she was working for and they now offer Spanish Immersion Enrichment services to preschools, educational centers,  elementary students, etc.  Mrs. Karina also leads the kids ministry in her church as VBS director and also teaches Sunday Bible classes.

Mrs. Anna Kilbride – Music 

Mrs. Kilbride has an amazing gift teaching the arts to kids of all ages.  She has been leading our students in music and drama for the last few years. Mrs. Kilbride is also on staff at CYT Atlanta.   Mrs. Kilbride and her husband have a one year old daughter.

Ms. Olivia McClure – Drama

Pic and bio coming soon

Mrs. Demetra Stephens –  Technology

Mrs. Stephens earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Lamar University and a Masters of Art in Mathematics from Villanova University. She worked as a Software Test Engineer for 11 years with Lockheed Martin before relocating to Atlanta with her husband. Mrs. Stephens has three children that attended BCA. Since 2009, she has served in various roles at BCA.  Mrs. Stephens loves spending time with her family.

Mrs. Brandee Thurman – Art

A native Texan, Mrs. Brandee Thurman has a passion for education and a love for the arts. She continues to further her art education through the National Art of Education Association and the Art of Education. She is the mother of three and the proud (and very young) grandmother of two. Prior to joining the Bridgeway staff, she spent eight years teaching at a local art studio.

When she’s not in the classroom or holding a paintbrush, Mrs. Thurman enjoys snow skiing, gardening, hiking, and reading. She also loves teaching Awana and Sunday school. What she enjoys most about teaching at BCA is the family atmosphere. “It is wonderful to be able to share the love of the Lord with kids and to see their spiritual growth.”

Mr. Michael Watanabe – Band

Mr. Watanabe joined the BCA team through the school’s connection with Highland Day Camp in 2016.  An alumnus of the University of Georgia, Mr. Watanabe was a member of the UGA Redcoat Marching Band, as well as various concert ensembles during his time as a student.  After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in 2014, he went on to intern at Camp Highland and eventually joined their full time staff as a Program Coordinator.  Since then, he has continued to participate in the music community, volunteering with middle and high school bands, teaching private lessons, and playing trumpet and percussion in the American Patriot Winds community band in Cherokee County, GA.  Mr. Watanabe has been passionate about instrumental music since middle school and is excited to be entering his first year as the Band Director at BCA.  The purpose of Camp Highland has been central to his growth as a teacher, youth mentor, and follower of Christ, and he is looking forward to joining a community that shares a mission to “develop leaders and engage the heart” by “equipping students to know, grow, and go as committed disciples of Christ and disciple-makers in the world.”

Mr. Iain Velez – Spanish (2nd – 5th)

Mr. Velez has been teaching Spanish at Bridgeway for 10 years. He earned a B.S. in Spanish and Business Administration from Houghton College in Houghton, NY, and is certified by the State of Georgia and ACSI. What he most enjoys about BCA is being able to use his gifts and sharing his faith freely, while making an impact for the Kingdom of God. “My students have taught me to be a better teacher, role model, and Christian example.”

Growing up in Bolivia, Mr. Velez had many different pets and animals, but now he only has one funny looking dog called Bossa. Mr. Velez played for the U17 Bolivian National soccer team and toured with a Christian rock band during college. Today, he’s just as happy as the worship leader for Bridgeway Church, and coaching both the girls and boys BCA soccer teams.