South Campus Faculty and Staff

Josh Spears

South Campus Principal

In 1999, a small private school took a flyer on a 19-year-old know-it-all to teach (ironically, for a born out of season Luddite) computers to grammar students. Twenty-three some odd years later Josh Spears is still teaching, having taught, in that span, all manner of subjects to all manner of students from kindergarten to upper division college students. During his roughly 179 months at the Academy, he’s served as athletic director, janitor, Lyceum director, chair of theology and teacher, mostly in the biblical, theological and philosophical world. He spent the usual amount of months earning a bachelor of arts in Theology from Randall University and a master of arts in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma.  In his free time, he likes to write new principal bios, take naps, yell at/because of OU athletic events, spend time with one wife/four children, read, watch Netflix, think about climbing fourteeners and steadfastly avoid Oxford commas.

‘The move to principal surprises even me. I’ve loved, loved the classroom. I’m passionate about students seeing and experiencing the new world Christ is recreating. Doing that day in and day out has been deeply fulfilling. But South campus is in my bones. It’s the place that’s shaped my understanding of classical education. It’s the place I learned how to teach. It’s the place I learned by watching exemplary principals lead and put up with up-start teachers like me. South campus culture, parents, teachers and students make the Academy what it is. I’m a huge fan. I’m humbled, honored, terrified and overjoyed to return to serve as the principal.’

Jill Judd

South Campus Assistant Principal

Jill Judd teaches Blended Third Grade on the South Campus and is assistant principal to Josh Spears. She graduated from OBU and spent many years overseas overseeing educational programs and providing education consulting to English training centers. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Grammar Teachers

Traci Hurley

Blended Pre-K Teacher

 Traci Hurley has a degree in Journalism and worked in Pre-k for two years as a Teacher Assistant and one year in first and second grade. She has walked along the same streets that Paul walked on in Ephesus, Turkey.

Heather Griffith

Blended Kindergarten Teacher (Bach)

More Information Coming Soon! 

Amanda Deshotels

Traditional Kindergarten Teacher

Amanda earned her bachelors degree  in Communications/French at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. In her free time she likes to travel and read.

Tina Ray

Traditional 1st Teacher
Tina earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Theology and Missions from Hillsdale College in Moore, OK. She and her husband participate in annual missions trips with 1040 Initiative to Ivory Coast, West Africa.

Deborah White

Blended 1st Teacher
Deborah earned her Bachelor of Education degree in 2009 at Wichita State University and taught for 6 years in the public schools.  Deborah likes to quilt, embroider, and sew in her free time if she isn’t making cakes on the side.

Amy Finch

Traditional 2nd Teacher

Amy graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  She lives in Tuttle with her husband and their three children.  

Tevin Holloway

Blended 2nd Teacher

Tevin serves as the 2nd grade teacher for the blended model at South Campus.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her master’s degree in Social Work, both from the University of Oklahoma.  Tevin enjoys spending time with her husband and two children and their adventurous road trips together!


Keely Steger

Traditional 3rd Teacher

Keely Steger studied Psychology and Bible for 2 years at OBU and earned a degree in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. She loves to read books, buy books, and talk about books in her spare time. 

Scott Cushman

Blended 3rd Teacher

More Information Coming Soon!

Abbie Wickersham

Traditional 4th Grade

Abbie Wickersham graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She is in her tenth year of her career as an educator with 8 of these years being served at The Academy in various grades across the grammar school. She has five children in attendance spanning from 1st to 12th grade. She enjoys reading, playing with various artistic mediums, traveling, crisp air, and good coffee. 

Kathleen Kammerer

Blended 4th Teacher

More Information Coming Soon!



Alison Thompson

Traditional 5th Teacher
 Alison earned her bachelor’s degree in Music and English from Gustavus Adolphus College and her Education Certification from the University of Oklahoma. In her free time, Alison enjoys being outdoors and reading.

Tosha Halsted

Traditional 5th Teacher
More Information Coming Soon!

Stephanie Stephens

Grammar Art

Stephanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma where she majored in Psychology, focusing on Child Development and Art Therapy.  Stephanie enjoys traveling, painting, Sooner Football, and spending time with family and friends. 


Dr. Darla Eshelman

Dr. Darla Eshelman teaches all music classes at the South Campus: PK-5 Grammar Music and 6th-8th Dialectic Choir. Dr. Eshelman has taught all levels of vocal music education (elem, middle school, high school, university, community children & youth choirs) for the past 40 years and earned her Ph.D. in Music Education with Kodaly Emphasis from the University of Oklahoma. Darla is a composer of choral and solo music and has over 40 pieces in publication.

Julie McClain


Julie holds a BA in Theology from Colorado Christian University with an emphasis in church history. She also studied at Oxford, where she quickly fell in love with the Latin language and its history. Julie has taught Latin to students of all ages for over a decade, and has also developed and taught introductory Latin courses to students, parents, and teachers. Julie is an avid audio book listener and enjoys traveling, studying the etymology of words, and adventuring with her husband and three children. Dominus illuminatio mea.

Dialectic Teachers

Dhante Aguirre

Dialectic Latin

Dhante Aguirre works as a Latin instructor for grades 5-8th at the South Campus. He has taught Religious Education in his home parish, St. Thomas More, and studied Latin as an elective while at OU. Dhante enjoys drawing, writing, and taking care of his pet fish in his spare time. 


Charlie Burgess


More Information Coming Soon!

Charlie Burgess teaches Dialectic Math at the South Campus and lives in Norman with her family.  This is her 7th year as an Academy parent at the South Campus.  Charlie studied Vocal Performance and Human Resources Management at the University of Central Oklahoma, and Adult Education and Training at the University of Oklahoma.

Layne Grady


More Information Coming Soon!

Adam Mearse

Dialectic Theology / Practicum

Dr. Adam Mearse teaches Bible and Practicum. He holds a B.S. in Biblical Studies and Family Studies (Oklahoma Christian University), an M.A. in Family Ministry (also from OC), an M.A. in Counseling Ministries (Wheaton College) and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School). Adam spent 20 years in church ministry before entering into classical education in 2018. Adam is married to Christina and they have three children – two classical school graduates and a current Academy student. 


Aides and Other Staff

Naz Jones


More info coming soon!

Lindy Beswick

South Campus Admissions Coordinator / Omni

Lindy earned her bachelor’s degree in English from East Central University and her master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario.  She lives in Norman with her husband and their two children. 

Vicki Bates

Blended Kindergarden Aide

After graduating from high school, I attended a Bible institute where I heard the gospel.  Accepting Christ as my Savior has been the most blessed experience of my life.  Reading, jogging, and teaching Sunday School are a few of my interests.

Carolyn Gowens

P.E. Coach & Office Assistant (F)

Information Coming Soon! 

Shawn Rhea

South Athletics Coordinator & Omni/Practicum & Science
Shawn graduated from Wynnewood  where he played basketball.  He went on to receive an Associates of Arts degree from Central Baptist College in Conway, AR and a Bachelors degree in Organizational Leadership from UCO.  He is currently a Kindergarten teacher in Oklahoma City.  Shawn has a passion for youth athletes and has coached many youth teams ranging in age from 4 years to 8th grade. 

Shawn is married to Cross Country Coach Sarah Rhea and the couple has three children at The ACADEMY. 

Tana Schuermann

South Accommodations Coordinator
Tana Schuermann enjoys working with students, teachers, and parents as the Accommodations Coordinator. After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Secondary English Education, she went on to complete her Master of Education in Reading at Northeastern State University. Tana enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and cheering on her three children in their sports and activities.

Dana Smith

Culture and Events Coordinator

Dana Smith is the Culture and Events Coordinator at South Campus. She has a degree in Social Work from The University of Oklahoma and has been an Academy parent since 2009. Dana loves reading, embroidery and has an impressive collection of socks with cats on them. 

April Spencer

Office Manager (M-T)

Before becoming the Office Manager, April schooled her children in the blended model at The Academy for 10 years. She attended the University of Oklahoma, and still lives in Norman with her husband and two boys. She enjoys reading, cooking, baking, fire pit weather, and over analyzing everything.