Staff Bios

Administrator - Brent Williams

Brent Williams, Administrator As a native East Texan, Brent Williams spent his formative years in and around the Athens’ area. Raised by two life long educators Brent developed a shared family passion for education. His father, Ray Williams, served at Trinity Valley Community College for 30 year as the Vice President of Instruction. His mother, Barbara worked in Brownsboro as a first grade teacher for 34 years.

Brent comes to ACA from Mabank ISD where he has spent the last ten years as an administrator, teacher and coach. While with Mabank Brent served as the Dean of Students on the junior high campus, it that role he helped students to understand the importance of college readiness. He was also able to help students assess their skills and interests.

Mr. Williams received his Master of Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at Tyler in May of 2012 and a Master of Church Ministries/ Christian Education from the Baptist Missionary Theological Seminary in May of 2015. He will begin his Doctor of Educational Ministry in 2016. His hope is that every Athens Christian Academy student will leave with a strong educational and spiritual foundation.

“Rather than our students being consumed by the culture, they will be empowered to transform the culture by being the salt and light in our community.”
—Brent Williams, Administrator

Kindergarten - Rita Byerley

Ms. Byerley was born in Louisana, but soon became a Texan where she attended and graduated from Fort Worth Technical High School. She then attended and graduated from UT Tyler.

She has a great passion for teaching children and her 17 years of experience is testimony to that passion. She joined the staff at Athens Christian Academy in 2014 as a kindergarten teacher, where she increased the achievement test scores for our kindergarteners from 81% to 99%.

Ms. Byerley enjoys reading, crocheting and gardening in her free time. Her favorite bible verse comes from Phillipians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."

1st Grade - Macey Miller

Ms. Miller was born and raised in LaRue, Texas. She graduated from LaPoynor High School and Trinity Valley Community College. In 2014 she graduated summa cum laude from University of Texas at Arlington with a B.A. in elementary education with an emphasis in second language acquisition. Macey believes her training in ESL education has prepared her to build foundational reading skills in her young learners. Seeing her students grow through the year is one of her favorite aspects of teaching.

Coming from a family of educators inspired Ms. Miller to enter the field of education. Before joining ACA, Ms. Miller was a substitute teacher for four years and a first grade teacher in the public school system. The nurturing, Christ-centered environment inspired Ms. Miller to join the staff at ACA. She is thrilled to have the privilege to teach sweet first graders again.

Ms. Miller is a member of LaRue Baptist Church where she has served in children’s ministry. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking as well as spending time with family.

One of Ms. Miller’s favorite verses is Romans 8:38-39. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

2nd Grade - Kathy Daniel

Mrs. Kathy Daniel grew up and was educated in Tyler, Texas. She graduated from Robert E. Lee High School, Tyler Junior College, and The University of Texas at Tyler. Mrs. Daniel taught second and third grade at Brownsboro Elementary for 23 years before she retired from the public school system and joined the staff of Athens Christian Academy in the fall of 2013.

Mrs. Daniel enjoys teaching because she knows children are usually eager to learn new things. She especially enjoys sharing Bible lessons with them and often feels she learns something new along with the students when a familiar story is shared again and again.

In her spare time Mrs. Daniel enjoys reading Christian fiction, scrapbooking, embroidery, and her favorite times are those spent with her family. She and her husband of 38 years reside in Murchison, Texas and have two children and their spouses and four grandchildren.

Mrs. Daniel is a member of Shady Oaks Baptist Church where her husband Ricky is Music Minister. She sings in the choir and also sings duets with Mr. Daniel. Over the years, she has worked in Vacation Bible School, led GA’s, Acteens, and has taught children’s Sunday School. She and her husband have also led small group adult Bible studies in their home.

3rd Grade - Dottie Dunn

Ms. Dunn has a BS degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington. In addition, she took masters classes in literacy from Texas Woman’s University in Denton. After a successful interior design career in Dallas, she learned the Lord had something else He wanted her to do. Her love of children led her to teach. She went back to school and got certified to teach. Her certifications include Early Childhood EC-4, English as a Second Language PK - 12, and Special Education EC-12. Ms. Dunn moved to Athens in 2006 and continued her career teaching in public schools.

In 2013, Ms. Dunn was asked to join Athens Christian Academy. She gladly accepted and has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of a Christian community. She loves the children and considers it a blessing to be able to share the Word. She especially enjoys teaching Bible and continues to learn more about the stories every time she teaches them.

When not teaching, Ms. Dunn enjoys gardening, reading, painting, studying Spanish, and traveling. Her favorite book is the Bible.

4th Grade - Janet Ragsdale

5th Grade - Angie Gross

6th Grade - Jodie Baxter

Music and Computer Lab - Jim Taylor

James K. Taylor (Jim) was born to musical parents May 21, 1947. His mother was a classically trained musician while his father was a country fiddler. James began piano lessons at age six, violin lessons at age nine and sang in choir at church. His most important music training began when he moved to Richardson in 1962. His band director at Richardson High School, Joe Frank, and his choir director at First Baptist Dallas, Lee Roy Till, cemented Jim’s future as a musician. Jim made the All-State Band, was soloist with the Chapel Choir at FBC Dallas, and was the only high school age male selected to sing in the Dallas Civic Chorus. Jim continued on to SMU, played in bands in the military (one in Mineral Wells and one in Viet Nam) and eventually received his Music Education degree from North Texas State, where he was under the baton of Maurice McAdow. During this time, Jim began composing: first for horn choirs and then for full band.

Jim married Dianne while in the Army. The Taylor family has three children and eight grandchildren. Jim and Dianne have been married 44 years.

After college and the military, Jim began his career as a band director. He taught eighteen years in public schools around Texas and twenty years in private schools. His bands won many honors and contests. He has never considered himself a teacher but as someone who has a gift to share with others. He feels very fortunate and blessed to be able to “share music” with the students of Athens Christian Academy.

Jim’s hobbies include aviation, computer programming, and bird watching and he has a very extensive marble collection. He has composed music that has been published and he continues to write. He is an active member of FBC Athens and sings in the choir.

Spanish - Annsley Johnson

Annsley Johnson is the Spanish Enrichment teacher at Athens Christian Academy. She is a Texas state-certified teacher (1st-8th) that has taught part time with ACA the last seven years. Mrs. Johnson has been married to her husband, Chancz for 14 years. Mr. Johnson has been a teacher and coach in the public school setting for the past eighteen years. He is currently serving on the ACA school board. Their daughter attended ACA from kindergarten -6thgrade and their son is a currently enrolled 5th grade student. The couple and their two children are active members of First Baptist Church Athens. Mrs. Johnson has taught VBS, children’s Sunday School, and volunteers on the welcoming team at FBC. She loves the children and families of ACA and what the school provides with its nurturing, Christian environment and strong academic standards. Mrs. Johnson enjoys attending her family’s many sporting events and activities. She also enjoys sports herself, along with travel and scrapbooking.

Art - Julia Willis

Accounting and Student Records - Lila Stroud

Lila Stroud joined the staff of Athens Christian Academy in the fall of 1999 as the Student Records keeper and Bookkeeper and worked closely with Marsh Howard who started our school in 1996. She has been involved with the students and parents through fundraising, student competitions and all other school activities. She has a sincere love for the students.

Ms. Stroud has two grown sons and her favorite pastime is getting together with family and spoiling her grandchildren. She loves to work in her flower garden and her yard, to cook, and read. She also loves spending time with friends.

Ms. Stroud is Baptist and has taught Sunday school, VBS, and served on numerous committees in the past. She is now happy to turn over most of these services to the young church members and just enjoy being involved on a smaller scale.

Administrative Assistant - Angel Sonnentag

Angel Sonnentag is an East Texas transplant. She moved to LaRue in December of 2011 with her husband Jacob Sonnentag. She is blessed with six beautiful children, four of which attend Athens Christian Academy.

Her back ground is in hospitality management and business administration.

ACA helps each child grow at his or her own pace. In addition they teach at an advanced grade level so each child can reach their full potential.

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