The role of the teachers is threefold – teaching, mentoring and discipleship. The basic goal for instruction is, by definition, a teaching model, advancing the students in the core subjects. However, just as with typical public school systems, mentoring also occurs as the teacher involves him or herself in the lives of the students on a daily basis through small-group education and personal tutoring. Unlike in the public school system, however, the ultimate goal of the instructor is discipleship through the mentoring process by applying the element of Christ.
is a servant-leader at the helm of Bright Futures Academy. She has a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in business management. A 22-year veteran of education, she is proudly serving at the Academy for the fifth school year, second year as principal. Ms. Martinez was born and raised in the same inner city neighborhoods of Atlanta as the students she now serves. Her most prized endeavors are inspiring young people to value and believe in themselves as they grow into productive and impactful citizens of society. She is indeed a gifted mentor who profoundly influence the students of Bright Futures Academy.
is Bright Futures Academy’s High School History Teacher. He is a graduate of Albany State University in Albany, GA where he received his B.S. in Middle Grades Education. A native Atlanta resident, Mr. Johnson values the opportunities that education and a diverse atmosphere can provide students. As a 10-year veteran of education, Mr. Johnson serves with honor in the unique education environment that Bright Futures offers its students. Paul has a deep passion and understanding for the Social Sciences, especially History. He believes that we can truly impact our future by learning from the successes and failures of those who have ventured before us. Mr. Johnson believes that the best teachers constantly seek knowledge for themselves to help others.
Middle School Science Teacher
is the Middle School Science Teacher. She has always had a passion for working with children, within her community, who are under-privileged and under-served. After obtaining her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Exercise Science, she was not aware that God would place her in a position where she would be leading in the classroom, and at the forefront of their education. Her goal is to teach and influence students to believe that they can write their own narrative, and achieve whatever they desire in life as they work towards changing the negative stigmas that often besiege them. Ms. Taylor is an exemplary leader and role model for the students, who continuously demonstrate and instill in them that they can achieve and succeed at anything their hearts desire.
DR. KENNY KNIGHT
Dean of Students
is the Dean of Students at Bright Futures Academy. He has two doctoral degrees in Philosophy and Divinity, a master’s degree in Theology, a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education and recently became a certified life coach. Dr. Knight enjoys being involved in the growth and development of every student at BFA. In addition to his role at Bright Futures, he travels extensively ministering the word of God throughout the country. He was born and reared in Camden County, Georgia. He is the eighth of eight children. His hobbies are playing basketball, listening to jazz music, and spending time with his family. He strives every day to make an impact on those he comes in contact with.
brings over 5 years of customer service and non-profit experience to the Bright Futures family. As an administrative assistant, she works very closely with the administrative team to ensure excellence, overall efficiency, as well as the development of new ideas and strategies. A native Floridian, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with family and friends. One of her favorite quotes is by Adam Grant, “The culture of a workplace, an organizations values, norms and practices- have a huge impact on happiness and success”.
RICHARD D. BARNETTE
Middle School English Teacher
is the middle school English teacher at Bright Futures Academy. He holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Hartford and a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College with three minor concentrations: Speech Communication, Religion, and Writing. He has over 20+ years in the arena of education from Teacher’s Assistant in the Department of Religion & Philosophy, Acting Director of Admissions, Associate Director of Admissions & Recruitment, Early Childhood Education Teacher, and Middle School Teacher at Bright Futures, where he begun working in January of 2018. He was born and raised in Connecticut, where he always had a passion in working with young people in various educational arenas. Mr. Barnette has told students on numerous occasions at Bright Futures to always have P.C.D. which is Persistence+Commitment+Determination. He continues to tell the students that “Character will determine their ultimate success in life!” He enjoys the students at Bright Futures and always says that he loves them with an Agape love. He is good friends with “Character Man,” who enjoys visiting the students at Bright Futures to tell them about the importance of character!
Middle School Math Teacher
teaches middle school math and high school Spanish. He is Cuban-American and grew up in California. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University in the beautiful central coast of San Luis Obispo. He is married and has two dogs. Mr. Luque is also a professional caricaturist (can draw faces) and has drawn at Disney parks and resorts in Orlando – years ago – and has drawn at countless corporate and private events here in Metro Atlanta since moving to Georgia in 2006. He is proud to be part of the Bright Futures Academy team!
High School Science Teacher
is a Native New Yorker. He is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics in 1990. Anthony later entered graduate school to pursue a Master’s Degree in Biochemistry. After his graduate work he worked in the private industry as a Quality Control Chemist, Paternity Index Chemist, and a Research Scientist. For the past three years Mr. Pabon has been the High School Science Teacher for Bright Futures Academy. He believes students acquire knowledge in science by doing science. He also utilizes the medium of a hands-on approach to science so that his students can learn life skills that are essential for their success in college and future careers. Anthony Pabon is currently working on a Masters of Science Education degree. His educational Philosophy focuses on critical thinking and problem solving, while using science content to develop evidence based reasoning and good communication skills.
serves as the Bible Teacher for both Middle School and High School students at Bright Futures Academy. He is a graduate of Mercer University with a MBA, MDiv. and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Education. Mr. Jules comes to BFA with over 12 years of experience working with students which includes serving as a mentor in both Rockdale and Dekalb County School Systems; being a youth pastor to teens and young adults; and as a teacher in the classroom. His greatest joy is exposing students to new information whether it be historically, culturally, or biblically. He doesn’t want his students to simply “know” information, but be able to embody and apply it so that it can always prove its value in their lives. Mr. Jules’ passion for learning is evident in everything he does and he wishes to spark that same passion in the hearts of his students so that they will always continue to grow beyond the classroom.
High School English Teacher
joined the staff at BFA in August of 2018 and is delighted to be a part of the Lord’s work in this part of the vineyard. As she declares this is an assignment of God’s own design. Armed with an MA in English and a BSc. in Psychology, she has been an educator all her life and enjoys impacting young lives. Her greatest pleasure is to meet her past-students as they make their substantive contributions to the universe. Ms. Oliphant desires to leave the world better than she found it and this drives her passion to be not only great at what she does but to do so honestly and with integrity. She knows that if she can direct individuals to become active thinkers she would have set them on the path to be intentional learners and so her buzz word is “think”. Her motto has always been: “If I can think it, if it is positive, then I can certainly achieve it.”
Minister ERICH THOMAS
High School Math Teacher
is a proud product of the Atlanta Public Schools System. Upon graduating from Benjamin Elijah High School, he received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Tuskegee University in Construction Science Management and began his professional career as a Project Engineer in the construction industry. After a few years, his search for more fulfillment landed him in northern California where he began teaching in the public charter system, helping to build up the lives of young people in the Bay Area. After the birth of his second child, Min. Thomas and his wife decided to relocate and move their family back home to Atlanta. Now back in the “A”, Min. Thomas secured a position with the Atlanta Public Schools System in their Project GRAD Program. He later stepped into the classroom to teach Math, History, and Science at Young Middle School, Coan Middle School, and Bright Futures Academy respectively. Min. Thomas is returning to Bright Futures to teach high school Mathematics after spending the last four years working in the non-profit sector and pursuing a Master’s of Divinity from the Morehouse School of Religion at The Interdenominational Theological Center.