Middle School Teachers
Angela Hassenzahl grew up in a small town in Michigan where she attended the same school district for her entire K-12 career. She graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree with honors from Spring Arbor University. After graduation she had the wonderful opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom, which was an experience she will cherish always. In 2011, her family moved to Knoxville, TN, her youngest daughter began school and she began teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students in a variety of subject areas. She piloted a program for Knox County schools for two years called Literacy Design Collaborative (much like PBL’s) and was able to successfully implement the program into her classroom. She has taught and/or tutored in all middle school subject areas, which makes her a very well-rounded teacher. In 2015, her family moved to Maryville as Angela began her new endeavor at Clayton-Bradley Academy teaching 6th grade. Angela describes teaching at CBA as an opportunity she is grateful for and excited about each and every day!
In her spare time, Angela keeps busy working on her farm with her family. She also enjoys hiking, swimming, and making memories with family and friends.
Angela and her husband Dan have three daughters; Corey, Lauren, and Claire. Together they have three dogs, three cats, two bunnies, six chickens, two goats, and a fish. Angela and her family love living on a small farm and appreciate all the life lessons it has brought to them!
Liz Shugart is an experienced middle school teacher with over 18 years experience in developing creative lesson plans and implementing instructional best practices in the classroom. Before Clayton-Bradley Academy, Ms. Shugart taught social studies and art at Greenway School, in Knoxville, Tennessee. While there, she was awarded Outstanding Teacher of the Humanities in Tennessee and attended the Oral History Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta to develop an oral history project where her students collected oral histories of Oak Ridge WWII residents. She has been a Children’s International Summer Village National Leader Trainer for all USA chapters and has traveled to Finland and Indonesia with students who lived with families for a month promoting peace education and cross-cultural friendships. In 2008, she traveled to China and Japan as part of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. In 2007, she was a Volunteer Voices Grant Project member teacher helping teachers incorporate primary source documents into their school curriculum. In 2003, Ms. Shugart was named Tennessee National History Day Teacher of the Year for her work with students competing in National History Day.
Ms. Shugart graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Botany from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from Carson Newman College in Jefferson City. She also earned Montessori Certification from New Horizon Montessori in Alcoa, Tennessee. At Clayton-Bradley, she is passionate about creating an edible schoolyard and working to make the campus more sustainable.
Susan grew up in Wisconsin. She has been fortunate to combine outdoor and writing interests through her career. She majored in Environmental Studies and Nonfiction Writing at Middlebury College, studied Ecology abroad in Ecuador, and pursued a Geography MA and Creative Writing (Fiction) MFA at the University of Arizona. In each of these experiences, teaching emerged as an integral–and favorite–part. At Middlebury she served as an elementary reading tutor and college peer writing tutor, in Ecuador taught English classes to indigenous children, and in graduate school taught Geography and Composition/Rhetoric courses to undergrads. After graduate school she worked at Mount Rainier National Park, where she met her husband, William, also a long-time trail crew leader and (now) high school English teacher.
Susan fell in love with the Southeast U.S. on a trail crew with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) at Cumberland Gap NHP way back in 1999, and that experience motivated her to work for the National Park Service as a science biotechnician, and with the SCA leading high school crews, for the next 12 years. She also wrote for the Arizona Governor’s Drought Task Force, Climate Assessment for the Southwest, NPS biodiversity offices, and for a K-12 National Parks education series. She has published works in literary journals and the local Smokies Life magazine, as well as co-authored the book The Geology of the Ice Age NST. She has an unnatural love of editing, and has done so for several journals and books. Eventually her experience translating science topics and teaching brought her to a job as a science education ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There she initiated youth and public citizen science programs, and began Dispatches from the Field to profile scientists at work through photos and creative nonfiction writing.
Through all of these experiences, Susan loved interacting with students most. Whether in a classroom or on a trail, she takes great joy in helping others to see their potential. She earned her MEd from Lincoln Memorial University. After her first son, Robbie, was born, she began at Clayton Bradley Academy and taught for two years as a third grade teacher. Following the birth of her second son, Olin, she is excited to join the middle school team to teach math and writing!
Nicole Whitecotton began in Georgia where she piloted a paperless classroom and wrote project based curriculum for US History, World History and Government at the Whitfield County Career Academy. While there she also helped develop an online curriculum to be used for homebound students. She moved to Cleveland, Tennessee and taught at East Ridge High School, worked as an assistant volleyball coach and attended Lee University. In 2010 she stumbled across a wonderful opportunity to join a cohort at Lee University through the federal “Teaching American History” grant. During that time she got the opportunity to travel to the Navajo reservation and examine the long term effects of Native American Relocation and study the different original tribes of the American Southwest. She also was able to visit many other historical places including Birmingham, Selma, and Washington D.C. During her under-grad studies she was able to visit England and Scotland through her university on a cross cultural experience, even traveling to Lindisfarne, where she got to see the evidence of the furthest reaches of the Roman Empire and view the Lindisfarne Gospels. She graduated Cum Laude with undergraduate degree from Lee University in 2007 and began the first Advanced Placement United States History program at East Ridge High School. Nicole graduated Summa Cum Laude from Lee University in 2013 with her master’s degree in American History and Classroom Teaching.
Nicole enjoys reading, hiking in the Smokies, and laughing with friends and family.
Nicole’s daughters are Priscilla, Amanda, Riley, and Zoe. She also has 4 grandchildren (who call her Gigi) and a dog, “Miss Honey.” Her husband, Patrick, is a highly respected, 20-year veteran teacher and they and their two youngest daughters live in Alcoa.