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DREAM Academy
P.O. Box 652
Macon, GA31202



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DREAM Board of Directors

The Governing Board of Directors works to ensure there are adequate resources and local partnerships; serves as a support mechanism on personnel, community, and grievance matters; and supports the school, leadership, and staff in accomplishing performance goals set forth in the school’s charter.  All Governing Board Members will be provided orientation, training, and support prior to the school opening as well as ongoing support and professional learning through its service providers.  

Governing Board responsibilities include:
•    Establishment of short and long term goals and objectives. 
•    Support in the vision and mission of the Charter.   
•    Approval of School Improvement Plan and updates.   
•    Approval Annual Budget and related allocations.   
•    Selection of the school leader/principal.   
•    Periodic evaluation of policies, procedures, operations, and propose amendments. 
•    Decision-making upon recommendations from Leadership.   
•    Solicitation of input from faculty and staff, families and community.   
•    Service as or appointment of the Title I Committee (as permitted under federal regulations).   
•    Oversight in the preparation and publishing of the annual report.   
•    Assurance all decisions and actions are consistent with the charter.    

Read the Board By-Laws HERE

Karla Redding-Andrews (Chair, Governing Board) 

Executive director for The Otis Redding Foundation, Karla Redding-Andrews always pauses to remember the contributions her famous father made not only to soul music, but to her own success. The Foundation exemplifies her father’s goal to motivate young people to stay in school and actively works to prove the importance of music and the arts in the classroom.  Redding-Andrews earned a B.A. from Georgia Southern University in 1985, where she remains an active alum and serves on the Board of Alumni. She is vice-chair of the Georgia Music Foundation board, which operates to market and support the continued importance of Georgia music and its legendary musicians under the direction of the Governor of the State of Georgia. She serves on the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings Board of Visitors, which supports the Foundation. She is also on the steering committee for the Mill Hill project (a neighborhood revitalization partnership between neighborhood residents, Macon Arts Alliance, the Macon-Bibb County Urban Development Authority, and many community stakeholders) and a member of Georgia Women of Achievement board. She is in the Leadership Macon Class of 2015. Redding-Andrews is also the founder of the Otis Music Camp (formerly the Big “O” Singer/Songwriter Camp), now in its tenth year.


Betsy Fitzgerald (Vice Chair, Governing Board)

Betsy Fitzgerald is a local harpist and music teacher. An Atlanta native, Ms. Fitzgerald lives in Macon, Ga. with her husband Keith and daughter Isabelle.  She earned a Bachelor of Music in Harp Performance from the Eastman School of Music, one of the nation’s top music conservatories, and studied harp performance at the graduate level at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music.  She also holds a Masters Degree in Arts Administration from Goucher College (Towson, MD).


Myrtle Habersham (Secretary, Governing Board) 

Myrtle Habersham has served more than three decades with the U.S. government, holding a succession of senior-level positions, including Commissioner for the Southeastern and Midwestern Regions of the Social Security Administration, Regional Inspector General for the Southeastern Region of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Associate Director for the Office of Management Planning in the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Her tenure with the federal government included 18 years as a member of the senior executive corps, an elite leadership group that numbers approximately 6,000 from among more than 2 million federal employees. While a senior leader, she was a three-time recipient of the U.S. President's Executive Rank Awards, an honor shared by only 1 percent of the senior executive corps. After retiring from federal government service in 2010, she formed M S Habersham Consulting Services, which she leads as the managing member. Ms. Habersham serves on the Executive Council of AARP Georgia and was named Key Volunteer Leader in having Macon-Bibb designated as an Age-Friendly Community in the World Health Organization/ AARP’s Global Network of Age Friendly Communities. She is also a coordinator and consultant for the Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving, a member of the executive boards of the AIDS Atlanta, the Andrew and Walter Young Southwest YMCA and the Urban League of Atlanta.


Eric Manson (Governing Board) 

Eric Manson is Senior Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.








Paula Adams (Governing Board) 

Paula Shipp Adams is a retired educator with 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and Instructional Lead Administrator. She began her career in Bibb County as a member of the inaugural faculty at Alexander II Math-Science Magnet, Georgia’s first Magnet School. At Alexander II, she served as a fifth and sixth grade teacher. While there, she was voted Teacher of the Year by her peers. Later she continued her educational career at Danforth Primary School, later King-Danforth Elementary, as a second grade teacher, Special Instructional Assistance Teacher, Early Intervention Program Specialist, Certified Teacher Support Specialist and Instructional Lead Administrator. She was also selected Teacher of the Year by her Peers at Danforth Primary School and King-Danforth Elementary. Immediately upon retirement, Paula returned to the Bibb School District as a Teacher Support Specialist and spent four years mentoring first year teachers. She continues to be involved in numerous educational endeavors, including volunteering in elementary schools, serving as Academic Coach for select students during the summer and as an advisor for Motivating Youth Foundation After School Program. Paula received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary and Middle Grades Education from Albany State University and earned the Master of Science Degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Technology from Nova Southeastern University.


Dr. Ivan H. Allen (Governing Board)

Dr. Allen currently serves as president of the new Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC). Prior to being named president of the merged college, Dr. Allen served as Middle Georgia Technical College’s president. Preceding his appointment as MGTC’s president in 2005, he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director of Instruction, and Chair of the General Education Division. Additionally, as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness, he was instrumental in successfully leading MGTC through the initial Commission on Colleges accreditation process for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/COC). Dr. Allen joined the faculty at MGTC as an English instructor in 1997; and, in 2000, he received the Rick Perkins Award for Excellence in Technical Education. This award, presented by the Technical College System of Georgia, recognized him as the system’s Instructor of the Year for the state of Georgia. In April 2010, Dr. Allen was selected to serve as interim president at Griffin Technical College and led the College’s merger with Flint River Technical College to form Southern Crescent Technical College. In June 2012, he was again tapped to serve as the interim president at CGTC. Shortly thereafter, in September 2012, the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia approved the merger between CGTC and MGTC. After taking the helm of what has become one of the state’s largest two-year colleges, Dr. Allen has remained steadfast in his commitment to the students and to the communities served by Central Georgia Technical College. In addition to serving the Technical College System, Dr. Allen is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Houston Healthcare System and is a member of the Navicent Health Foundation Board. He is active with the Chambers of Commerce and Development Authorities in the middle-Georgia region and serves on the boards of the Museum of Aviation, 21st Century Partnership, Central Georgia Better Business Bureau, Middle Georgia Workforce Investment Board, Middle Georgia Regional Education Service Agency, and Community Health Works. Previously, he served on the Mount de Sales Academy Board of Trustees for several years, including chairmanship during the 2010-2011 academic year. Dr. Allen is a native of Macon where he graduated from Mount De Sales Academy. He is a Phi Beta Kappa Graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, earning a Bachelor’s degree in English. He also holds a Master’s of Public Administration from Georgia College and State University and a Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Allen and his wife Danyel reside in Centerville with their three children.  


Blake Lisenby (Governing Board) 

Blake is a graduate of the University of Georgia, the University of Chicago and Mercer Law School.  He serves as the Manager of the law firm of Lisenby & Associates and practices a wide-range of commercial and corporate law, including the representation of several charities.  Among other community activities, Blake serves on the Board of the 21st Century Partnership Foundation, DREAM Academy, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, Historic Macon Foundation, Macon Arts Alliance, Macon-Bibb Co. Global Affairs Coalition, Macon Pops, NewTown Macon, Ocmulgee Land Trust and the Thomas C. Burke Foundation.




Lisa Love (Governing Board) 

Lisa Love is the Director of Music Marketing and Development for the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the co-founder of the Otis Music Camp. In her role at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Lisa Love assists in the efforts to promote Georgia as a music and entertainment destination for tourists and as a location for music projects. Previously, Ms. Love served as executive director of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame museum in Macon. A writer, editor and avid supporter of music education, she serves on the Board of Governors for The Recording Academy® Atlanta Chapter, on the founding board for the Otis Redding Center for Creative Arts and she recently served on Governor Nathan Deal’s Task Force for Arts Learning. She also works closely with the Georgia Music Foundation to support programs of music preservation, education and outreach statewide.


Elbert McQueen (Governing Board) 

Elbert McQueen is Senior Vice President of Post Acute Services for Navicent Health and provides executive leadership to the health system's emerging Population Health Management strategies. In this role he serves as President and CEO of Rehabilitation Hospital Navicent Health and has held this position since 1996. In addition to his role at RHNH, he serves as President of Senior Health/Carlyle Place Navicent Health. Elbert provides leadership oversight for Navicent Health's other post acute portfolio of services: Home Health Navicent Health; Pine Pointe Hospice Navicent Health; The Center for Palliative Care; and the partnership with Advanced Home Care in the provision of DME, Home Oxygen and Infusion services. McQueen attended Auburn University and graduated from the University of Alabama in Birmingham where he also attended the Master's Degree Program in Hospital and Health Services Administration. He served his Administrative Residency at the University of South Alabama Medical Center, Hospitals and Clinics, in Mobile, AL and was appointed Assistant Administrator following his residency and remained there until 1983.


Starr H. Purdue (Treasurer, Governing Board) 

Starr H. Purdue is a Funeral Director and Treasurer for Hutchings Funeral Home, Inc., a family-owned business in Macon, Georgia. Previously, she was the Manager of trust investments for Florida Power Corporation and its parent company, Florida Progress Corporation; a Controller for BiRite Company, Inc.; and a Senior Auditor with Price Waterhouse in Tampa, Florida. Starr serves as Board Chairman for Navicent Health and for the Development Authority of Bibb County. She is State Treasurer for the Georgia Funeral Service Practitioners Association and National Treasurer for the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association. She is also a member of the Board of the Tubman African-American Museum and the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce. Starr is a CPA and a licensed insurance agent. She is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and a life member of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. Starr earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from Stetson University and an MBA in Finance from the University of South Florida.


Tim Regan-Porter (Governing Board) 

Tim Regan-Porter moved to Macon, Ga. in 2012 to become the director of the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University, "one of the nation's boldest journalism experiments" according to the New York Times. Previously, Regan-Porter was the co-founder, president & chief technologist at Paste Magazine. He is also the creator of Obamicon.Me and the Paste mPlayer. Prior to co-founding Paste, Regan-Porter worked for seven years in the tech industry as lead architect for IBM’s e-Business Group and director of development for Enterpulse, whose clients included AT&T, the City of Chicago, Coca-Cola, CNN, T-Mobile and Sprint. Regan-Porter holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Olivet Nazarene University and has completed graduate work in business and mathematics at Georgia State University and the University of Georgia.


Benjamin Griffith, III (Founding Board) 

Benjy Griffith is the founder of Southern Pine Plantations and the Griffith Family Charitable Foundation. Benjy Griffith has holdings in Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, and Montana. He emphasizes clean air and water along with maximizing wildlife habitats on each property. Griffith recently donated $2.5 million to endow a scholarship at Georgia’s Mercer University, and the first recipient was named this summer. Griffith is a graduate of the private college. In addition, his father served as a longtime member of its faculty. In January 2011, Griffith acquired the 8,400-acre Senah Plantation, whose name is derived from the backwards spelling of a previous owner. Griffith intends to turn Senah into one of the finest wild bird plantations in southern Georgia. Amongst one of the biggest landowners in the country.


Teresa Griffith (Founding Board) 

Wife of Mr. Benjamin Griffith, III, Teresa Griffith is a local Macon artist and owner of Vieux Carre' Antiques. She co-owns Southern Pine Plantations, and attended Mercer University in Macon, Ga. Teresa Griffith in on the board of the Macon Pops.


Sharon Hutchings (Founding Board) 

Sharon Hutchings is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, and co-owner of Hutchings Funeral Home, where she had worked throughout high school, college, and after college graduation. She returned to work full time at the funeral home in 1989 after mortuary school. Sharon attended Northeast High School Graduate, where she graduated as part of the class of 1976, and then earned her BSEd at the University of Georgia in 1980. She lives in Macon and has two children, Kioki Hutchings and Jadzia Hutchings.


Rose Lane Leavell (Founding Board)

Rose Lane is a native of Twiggs County, Georgia where she lives on Charlane Plantation with her husband of 37 years, Chuck Leavell.  She is a 3rd generation Tree Farmer inheriting her original tract of land from her Grandparents Julia Faulk White and Alton Vestal White in l981. She and Chuck, who is a world renowned musician, moved to this Tree Farm immediately taking over the role of managing and renovating the forestland and home place. Love of the land was very dear to her paternal and fraternal family. Her forefathers and mothers have all been working the land in Twiggs County since 1792.  Rose Lane is very committed to historic preservation and sits on the board of many organizations.  She is currently working with Georgia Women of Achievement to recognize the women who have an important place in state history. This year she is working on The Georgia Council For The Humanities Smithsonian Exhibit “New Harmonies” which will tour Georgia in 2012. Also, she has been asked to sit on the Board of Trustees of “Ties To The Land”. The Ties to the Land Initiative was established to provide family forest owners throughout the United States with the knowledge, skills, tools and resources needed to successfully plan for the future of their land.


Chuck Leavell (Founding Board)

Chuck Leavell’s piano and keyboard work has been heard on the works of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Black Crowes, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Indigo Girls, Blues Traveler, Train, Montgomery-Gentry, Lee Ann Womack and many, many more. In addition to being a well-established pianist/artist in the music industry, Leavell is also a published author, long time tree farmer, co-founder of the popular website The Mother Nature Network, and keeps busy with his advocacy work on behalf of the environment. Leavell moved in Macon in 1969, joining the Allman Brothers Band in 1972. In addition to his musical expertise, Leavell is also a respected authority on forestry and conservation. In 2001, he penned “Forever Green: The History and Hope of the American Forest.” This book is now in its second printing in the U.S. and has been translated and released in Germany and Austria. Leavell is a highly sought after speaker on the subject, invited by various committees, environmental officials and high level government officials to share his knowledge and help shape forest policy in America. Along with several conservation recognitions, he and his wife Rose Lane were given the ultimate honor for their outstanding management of their own forestland, Charlane Plantation in Macon, Georgia, by being named National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year in 1999.


Jimmy Mills, Jr. (Founding Board)

Mr. Mills has been a music educator and choral director for the Bibb County Board of Education for 60 years. His accolades include Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Music Education ACDA, Governor’s Community Nominee and A.P.W.U. Humanitarian Award. He teaches at Central High School in Macon-Bibb County.







Zelma Redding Maryann Bates.jpg

Zelma Redding (Founding Board)

Zelma Redding is a woman of distinction and community activist. She has raised four successful children, been an ardent advocate for the revitalization of downtown Macon, become a savvy businesswoman, and most importantly, a protector and promoter for her late husband, Otis Redding Jr. She founded the Big “O” Youth Educational Dream Foundation, now known at the Otis Redding Foundation, in 2007. After her husband’s death, Zelma completed her education at Crandall Business College. She has positioned herself as an industry mogul, handling Otis Redding’s business affairs, image and likeness, and protecting the legacy of the King of Soul. The entrepreneurial spirit abounds in Zelma. She worked as a leading agent with the late Phil Walden at Paragon Records Agency to learn from the expert the “ins and outs” of the recording business and opened her own successful booking agency, Redding Theatrical Agency. Along the way, she owned a record shop and a club (New Directions), as well as a clothing store, and a shoe store that she co-owned with her daughter, Karla. She takes her community responsibilities seriously and has sat on the Board of Directors for Piedmont Community Bank Group, Inc., which she helped to found, and on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Georgia. Zelma says, “I have never forgotten the importance of continuing Otis’ philanthropic efforts. My family and I know that it is important to give of our time, treasure, and talents, just as Otis was doing before his untimely death.”