South Campus Faculty and Staff

Grant Bickell

South Campus Principal

Mr. Bickell began serving Academy Families in 2020 as South Campus Principal. He has a deep love for classical education, Academy Culture, and specifically for the school’s House System. (Benedict! For Nursia!) 

Mr. Bickell earned his BA in Educational Foundations from Iowa Wesleyan College and has a Master of Education from Friends University. He first fell in love with classical christian education at Classical School of Wichita and is forever grateful for the relationships and lessons found there. 

Mr. Bickell married Joy in 2010 and they have six children. Ask him about how they met, it’s one of his favorite stories to tell. On the weekends you can find him hanging out with his family as they figure out what their new city has to offer. The Bickell’s love spending time taking day trips, cooking, and following the Dodgers.

Grammar Teachers

Traci Hurley

Blended Pre-K Teacher

 Traci Hurley is the 2021-2022 Pre-k teacher. She 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.

Keely Steger

Blended Kindergarten Teacher

Keely Steger serves the South campus team as Kindergarten Blended teacher. She 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. 

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!


Zereta Sucharski

Traditional 3rd Teacher

Zereta graduated from MACU with a BS in Christian Ministries. Previously, she served five years in the United States Navy as a Seabee where she met her husband, John. 


Jill Judd

Blended 3rd Teacher

Jill Judd teaches Blended Third Grade on the South Campus. 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.

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. 

Jessica Orr

Blended 4th Teacher

Jessica is a graduate of the University of Arkansas where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Masters of Arts in Teaching.  Jessica loves traveling, running, and a good book.



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.

Catie Forester

Blended 5th Teacher

Catie earned her B.S and M.S. in English Education from the University of Oklahoma. Before switching to a teaching career, Catie trained to become a professional ballet dancer, performing with the Nashville Ballet and spending two years as a Ballet Performance major in college. 

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.

Tony Pyles

Tony Pyles is a PhD candidate in Old Testament at McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, and holds an MDiv from Reformed Theological Seminary and a BA in Linguistics from the University of Oklahoma. When he isn’t reading a dead language, he is probably building something in the garage or going to the park with his wife and six children.

Samantha Lynn

Information Coming Soon!

Dialectic Teachers

Matthew Halsted

Theology & Bible, Practicum & Omni

Matthew Halsted teaches Bible and Omnibus for Dialectic students at The Academy’s South Campus. He holds degrees in International Studies and Philosophy, as well as a PhD in Biblical Studies/Philosophical Hermeneutics. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys running, writing, and reading good books (mostly the old books in the old languages).

Devona Hutson

Practicum/Omni & P.E.

Devona graduated from Southwestern Christian University with a BS in General Studies. She taught Humanities/English for seven years at Claremore Christian School. Devona enjoys visiting local coffee shops in her free time.

Charlotte Mills

Science (Science Chair)
In addition to teacher courses at the Dialectic and Rhetoric level, Charlotte serves as the Science Chair.  After serving in the USAF for six years, she completed her Bachelor degree in Science Education at the University of Oklahoma.  She also has a Masters in STEM Curriculum. 

Charlie Burgess

Dialectic Math

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.

Aides and Other Staff

Erin Abbot

Blended PreK Aide

More info coming soon!

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! 

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.