Mansfield, OH (January 26, 2023) – GOAL Digital Academy wouldn't be complete without the administration, staff members, and teachers running their plentiful unique programs. Individuals are backed by certifications, degrees, and real-world experience, striving to make everyone's time at GOAL inclusive, successful, and fun. The team at GOAL is highly trained to differentiate instruction, individualize support, and encourage students to engage in their education. Outside of working hard for GOAL, the staff members engage in all sorts of activities. This month, GOAL Digital Academy shares the spotlight with a few outstanding staff members.
Here we highlight four staff stories that show how GOAL's unique employees spend their time outside of educating, working, and bringing success to students.
Jessica Caughlan, Director of Partnerships & Family Engagement, obtained her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Development from Texas A&M University. She has three kids, all girls, and lives on a farm raising Quarter Horses. Jessica Caughlan has shown horses her whole life and barrel races horses all over the United States, as do her three girls. One of her most significant accomplishments is winning the Level 1 Amateur Barrel Racing class at The All-American Quarter Horse Congress in 2022 with her horse Champagnontherocks "Dutchess." She also enjoys spending quality time with her husband taking care of the farm, playing & coaching volleyball, and working out.
"I was riding a horse before I could walk. I grew up on a Quarter Horse farm in southern Ohio but now live on my grandparents' farm in Knox County.” Jessica Caughlan describes. “I have barrel raced since I was 13 years old, but showed in 4-H and western pleasure since I was four years old. I now travel all over the US, competing at barrel races with my three daughters, which all compete too."
Mike Galleher has been a teacher at GOAL for the past 19 years. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education from The Ohio State University class of 1975. He taught Vocational Agriculture at Elgin High School, as well as first-grade, Middle School Health and PE, and seventh-grade Science at Mt. Gilead Schools from 1981-2010. In his spare time, he raises and shows registered Horned Dorset sheep at the county and state fairs. Mike Galleher is also an elder at The Pines Christian Church near Mt. Gilead, a former cross country coach who serves as a registered official at Cross Country and Track meets, and a family man.
"My twin daughters and my two grandsons, Caleb, 7, and Logan, 5, help me with the sheep at the fairs. My border collie, Bella, also helps me with the sheep," Mike Galleher explains.
Stephanie Bowers, an Intervention Specialist at GOAL, enjoys playing rugby outside of her time at the academy. She currently plays for the Columbus Women's Rugby Club team and has been on the team for about nine years. Her competitive season is throughout fall, and in the springtime, she loves recruiting new players to join in on the fun season. She has also served on the Board for the Rugby team as the social media chair for two years.
"I have played rugby for about 18 years and began playing my freshman year of high school. My primary position in rugby is scrum half, also known as Number 9!! It is by far my favorite position to play and lets me be all over the pitch throughout the game," Stephanie Bowers expresses her love for the game.
McKynna Byrne is a K-3 Reading Instructor and recently graduated from The Ohio State University. She has big dreams and goals, as she plans to continue her education and earn her Master's degree to become a school psychologist. In her free time, she plays pickle ball with her family. Pickle ball is an indoor and outdoor racket/paddle sport where players team up to win against their opponent, hitting a ball over a net using solid-faced paddles. She enjoys spending her time outside of GOAL bonding with her parents while appreciating the game. McKynna Byrne also loves traveling the world and getting to see new things.
McKynna Byrne states, "I play pickle ball! I love playing with my mom and dad! We play two vs. two until 11 points, then one team has to win by two. It's super fun!"
The valuable team at GOAL is filled with fun, energetic individuals who want to make a real difference in the lives of the students. From their real-life experiences, they are able to offer a blended model of learning. All personnel are ready and willing to assist, tutor, guide, and motivate students to set goals and achieve them. GOAL also provides counseling to students in need.
GOAL Digital Academy serves 12 counties in Central Ohio with its 7 Learning Labs, and celebrates students’ diverse learning styles, interests and talents by going beyond academics and providing students with well-rounded opportunities to meet new people and engage in their passions. GOAL offers regular family education and networking opportunities and continually works to remove family or community barriers that impact student success.