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.
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 is a sough-after harpist specializing in solo and chamber music performances as well as special outreach and school music programs. She has performed as a soloist with orchestras in the US, South Korea, and Japan and served as Principal Harpist of Sinfonia Gulf Coast (Destin, FL) and Principal Harpist of the Encore Cast Orchestra at Walt Disney World. Betsy currently teaches harp at Wesleyan College and in her private studio. 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. In addition to her work with DREAM Academy, she is currently the Director of Development at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in Columbus, serves on the Board of Directors of the USA International Harp Competition, and serves on the Development Committee of the American Harp Society. In 2016 she received the Cultural Arts Award for her dedication to the arts in Central Georgia by the Macon Arts Alliance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Retired Air Force Architecture/Engineering Officer at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with over thirty-five years of progressive management experiences with a working knowledge of Public Housing issues and policies to effectively manage and balance internal management with external impact of affordable housing programs. Successfully supervised, directed, and coordinate large and sophisticated programs with major sub-programs ranging from $0.1 million to $1.6 billion some with multi-funding sources. Technically astute with hands-on executive-level involvement managing individual and multiple simultaneous programs where a portion of work was self-performed. Possess sound judgment, professionalism, strong collaborative skills, and the ability to forge partnering relationships. Expert knowledge implementing low-income affordable housing and community development programs leveraging tax credits equity, public, and private funding.
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.
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 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.
Eric Manson is Senior Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
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.
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.