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GOAL Digital Academy Welcomes New Staff

Mansfield, OH (August 25, 2022) – With the start of the 2022/2023 school year, GOAL Digital Academy is excited to announce the hire of 9 new staff members within the organization. Introductions to the new staff follow in alphabetical order by last name.

Christion Brooks is the new physical education and health teacher at the Delaware Lab. He graduated from the University of Akron with a degree in Geographic Informational Science, and is currently an Army Reservist. Christion has been in the Army Reserves for 12 years. This is his first educational position, but previously worked for the United States Postal Service. “I am excited to work with kids from all these diverse backgrounds and help them reach their full potential, not only with their bodies but with their minds. I would love for everyone to build a happier version of themselves through their new knowledge of physical fitness and health. I want students to feel more informed about how their body and mind works.” Christion is a fan of reading and has a huge collection of books, nearly 2000, including one that is 159 years old. He also likes to collect salt and pepper shakers and has about 50 sets.

JR Burns is the Jobs for Ohio's Graduates (JOG/JAG) Specialist at the Delaware Lab. JR provides Graduate Recovery Program services to all youth in Delaware County with an emphasis on Delaware City Schools. JR recently graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Criminal Justice. He moved from Dorchester, Massachusetts, where he worked in the Department of Youth Services, to Ohio and was hired as a tutor by GOAL during the final quarter of last school year. “My career path is not the one I planned on, but I am so happy I ended up at GOAL. I love working here because it is an alternative way of learning,” he said. “GOAL is unique in the sense that you are coming into these labs to work on your schoolwork and you have teachers by your side, doing anything it takes to see these kids graduate.” JR has made it his goal for the year to see every student graduate and see them in a job they enjoy or college. “I want to see these kids succeed and live a life they enjoy. I want to help these students explore options they did not know existed.” JR is big on health, creating outside-the-box weight loss recipes like cheeseburgers and fries and Chipotle-style bowls for lunch.

McKynna Byrne is an tutor/intern, working with the school psychologist at the Marion Lab, and is currently attending Ohio State University pursuing her Psychology degree. She is planning on then continuing with her education and earning her masters degree to become a school psychologist. This is her first position in education having previously worked at Outdoor Resource Supply for three years. She said she is looking forward to working with GOAL because of the impact for her future. “I will be gaining experience relevant to my degree which excites me. My goal for this school year is to learn as much as possible, and I hope to achieve [the students’] trust. Trust goes a long way in school psychology!” A fun fact about McKynna is that she will be traveling to Switzerland next year.

Clarissa Deming teaches Career Based 11th and 12th grade English at the Mansfield Lab. Deming has a degree in Theatre and Speech Education and in English Education. She has a Level 2 teaching license in Utah and is working towards the equivalent Ohio license. Previously she worked 7 years at a residential treatment center in Utah as their English teacher, and before that, at an alternative school in Idaho Falls. “My experience gives me expertise in working with students who didn't succeed in the average public school. Students who fell through the cracks and under the radar. I love working with students and giving them confidence in their own work. I love seeing their realization that they're not ‘stupid;’ they're struggling. They just needed extra or modified help.” Clarissa said she is excited to work within GOAL’s unique model of online and in-person learning. “I hope to give students confidence and help them feel they can succeed in school. To show them they're capable of graduating high school and getting a good education as well as a great career. I want to give students hope for their future and a new perspective on what they're capable of.” One thing that makes Clarissa unique is that she has a rare genetic neurological condition, but that doesn’t stop her from enjoying her hobby of cosplay. “I've been making costumes and wearing them to conventions and events for the past 20 years. I'm a member of Rebel Legion and Saber Guild, two groups that are officially affiliated with Lucas Film.”

Kyleigh Holtsberry is a new high school science instructor as well as math tutor at the Galion and Delaware Labs. She attended the University of Toledo earning a B.A. in Education and a B.S. in Mathematics. She went on to Western Governors University for a Master’s Degree in Earth Sciences. She is a veteran teacher with 7 years experience spent at Pleasant High School and Oakstone Community School. “I am excited to work at GOAL because of the opportunity to teach a diverse population of students,” she explained, “and to help inspire them to grow academically and personally. I chose GOAL because GOAL allows me to encourage and celebrate students' diverse learning needs and styles.” When Kyleigh isn’t working she loves to travel, she has been to 40 U.S. states and 18 countries. Interestingly enough, one of those countries is not Canada, even though she grew up only about 2 hours from the Canadian border!

Nic Levine is starting as an intervention specialist, working with students on Individual Education Plans (IEPs) at the Newark and Delaware Labs. He is a Ohio State University Buckeye, having earned a degree in Political Science 2001. He also earned a social studies certification at Ashland University in 2018 and an intervention license from Muskingum University, where he will be graduating with his master’s this year. He has previously worked as an intervention specialist for 3 years at the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, but he made the move to GOAL because he was intrigued by the education model. “My goal this year is to build relationships with students that will help them succeed.” Nic said he is lacking in fun facts, but he makes up for that with puns, saying, “The more on a roll I am with them, the batter I get.” He is also a proud father of a son!

Carla Pasheilich, an intervention specialist with 12 years experience, has joined GOAL in Mansfield and Galion as a K-8 intervention specialist, as well as teaching Read to Success classes. Her primary job is to ensure that students complete their education so they can reach their full potential and have a fulfilling life no matter the challenges they may face, including adjusting curriculum to meet each students’ individual needs. She received a Bachelor's degree in Special Education in 2009 and added a reading endorsement in 2015. She then received a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction of the Inclusionary Classroom from Concordia University-Portland in 2020. She has previously worked for Constellation Schools in Mansfield and Lexington Local Schools. “I am very excited to be working with GOAL this year,” she said, “because I know I have the skills and the experience to provide the students of GOAL to find success in their education. I am confident that I can make an immediate impact on students by having open communication and leading with the passion I have for my students.” Carla said she hopes to help students believe in themselves. “I want them to feel special and convinced that they can take over the world if they wish. A bright future is usually laced with high self esteem! I want them to feel successful and have pride in themselves for doing this well!” A fun fact about Carla is she loves to watch and read about true crime, playing detective herself as the case plays out.

Shawn Rose is a new math teacher at GOAL, working from the Marion lab and also at Mended Reeds in Ironton. He graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. in Secondary Education (Math) and a M.A. in Secondary Education (Math) from Morehead State University. Shawn has a long career as an educator. In the past 34 years, he has worked at Rock Hill Local Schools, Greenup County (Kentucky) Schools, Dawson-Bryant (Coal Grove) Local Schools, Shawnee State University, Tri-State Bible College, and Columbus State Community College. He took the leap to GOAL because he feels that digital learning is the future of education. “I have heard great things about GOAL Digital Academy and I want to be part of a program that is on the cutting edge. One of my goals has always been to make math a little less scary for students and to give them an appreciation for the subject.” In his free time, he loves to read and study, listen to music, and chat with friends. Shawn is also an amateur composer and almost became a band director instead of a math teacher. He’s been married for 33 years, has two grown daughters, and a dog named Motley.

Ben Schaad is a new intervention specialist for the Mansfield lab. He has a business degree from Ohio Dominican University and a Master’s degree in Teaching from Muskingum University. He also has school business and law credits from Ashland University, and is certified in special education as well as holds a school treasurer license. During the pandemic, he saw how students could excel under the right guidance online which drew him to GOAL. “I’m looking forward to helping those students who struggle in a traditional classroom setting to reach new heights through the online approach.” he said. His favorite thing about being a teacher is seeing kids with no academic confidence gain that confidence through success. Ben is a busy father of 4 boys. Enjoying sports is a way they like to spend time together. You’ll find Ben rooting on the Buckeyes, Reds, Blue Jackets, and Bengals.

Tish Jenkins, Superintendent of GOAL, said, “It takes all kinds of personnel, both teaching and support, to give our students a full education. Each of these new staff members brings fresh enthusiasm and dedication to our students, and we eagerly anticipate seeing how they add to GOAL!”

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