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.
Eddie Echols is the Principal of Bright Futures Academy. Originally from Cleveland, Tenn., Mr. Echols graduated from Lee University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics in 1980. He served as the Admissions Counselor at Lee University from 1980-1982 before moving to Rose Heights Church of God in Tyler, TX, as the Minister of Music from 1982-1987. While in Texas, he completed his Master’s Degree at the University of Texas at Tyler.
Mr. Echols moved to Atlanta in the fall of 1987 to begin his teaching career in mathematics at Roswell High School where he served for six years before being promoted to the Dean of Students position at Riverwood High School in 1993. Serving as Dean of Students for one year, he then became the Assistant Principal for the next eight years and served as Principal of Riverwood International Charter School the following nine years until the fall of 2011. During his tenure at Riverwood, the school received charter school status and was repeatedly ranked as one of the top 5 schools in the state.
Eddie’s hobbies include singing and spending time with his six wonderful children and beautiful wife LeighAnn. Mr. Echols is an ordained minister and has been involved with church music and leading of praise and worship for over 30 years. He has a heart for the children of Bright Futures Academy and their futures, and he has a vision to see each student achieve his or her goals and dreams.
Math & Health Teacher
Mr. Huddleston is a native of Minneapolis, Minn. and has lived in Ga. for 15 years. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University in 2009. He has worked as a private tutor for all ages and subjects for almost 10 years and as a classroom teacher for five years. He has served in the ministry for 14 years as the Musical Director and Youth Leader at God First Breakthrough Ministries in Stockbridge, Ga. Mr. Huddleston is currently the Math and Health/Fitness Teacher at Bright Futures Academy.
History & Science Teacher
Dr. Kenny Knight is the Middle School History and Science teacher at Bright Futures Academy. He wasborn and reared in Woodbine, Georgia. He holds a Bachelors of Christian Education, Masters of Theology, and a Doctorate of Philosophy and has 15 years of teaching experience ranging from middle school to post-secondary. Dr. Knight is very excited about making a difference in the lives of others.
His passion is to set the mark for those who are striving for a greater way in life. He enjoys reaching, teaching, and putting others before himself. He is the overseer of Refreshing Oasis Church in Woodbine, Georgia. Dr. Knight sits on several distinguished boards from Georgia to New Jersey. His motto is “work hard in silence, let your success make all the noise.” He enjoys playing golf, basketball, traveling, and spending time with his family.
Andrea Martinez is the middle school English teacher at Bright Futures Academy. She holds a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor or Science in Business Management. Ms. Martinez has nearly 18 years of teaching experience ranging from the elementary to post-secondary levels.
She is very enthusiastic about helping young people fulfill their full potential spiritually, emotionally and educationally. She is an active and proud Christian mentor for many children and young adults. She also serves with several organizations that aid young people and the general community including, but not limited to, Walking in Wisdom Ministries, Inc. (Board President), Prevention PLUS, Inc. (Board Member), YouthBuild USA (Mentor) and her own tutoring company, Novel Education Solutions.
Although she has three adult children of her own (Otis, Averyanna and Avery), Andrea has provided love and shelter for numerous other children over the years, which she considers her own as well. Her hobbies include traveling, water sports and enjoying fellowship with family and friends.
Karen Roache is the high school English teacher at Bright Futures Academy. Born and raised in New Jersey, Karen lived and worked most of her adult life in Pennsylvania. A graduate of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, the nation’s oldest historically black college, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education with a major in English. She has more than 35 years of experience in the field of education and has worked as both an administrator and classroom teacher. Throughout her career, she has worked with at-risk youth in urban settings providing educational instruction and mentoring opportunities. Her experience over the years has included serving as the director of alumni affairs at her alma mater for 23 years; teaching at the community college and high school level, preparing adult students for GED testing, and providing consultant services to small businesses and non-profit organizations. Prior to moving to Atlanta, Karen served as the site administrator for Sankofa Academy Charter School located in West Chester, PA where she was responsible for providing academic support and leadership to both staff and students.
Karen moved to Atlanta in 2013 to help raise a great niece and nephew. She attends Hillside International Truth Center, and enjoys reading and gardening in her spare time.
History/Social Studies Teacher
Jesse J. Walker, III is a native of Pontiac, Michigan. Mostly raised in Decatur, Georgia, he is the youngest child of Dr. and Mrs. Jesse J. Walker, II.
He was licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in April 2001 and ordained into the Gospel Ministry in February 2005. Walker is a 1994 graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School as well as a 1999 graduate of Alabama State University with a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education. While at ASU, he played in the percussion section for three years in their nationally acclaimed Mighty Marching Hornet Band, serving as a section leader his junior year. Walker has served as the Youth Pastor of Hunter Hill First Baptist Church in Atlanta and Shiloh Baptist Church of Jonesboro, Georgia.
Walker is married to Tambria Jennings Walker. They are the proud parents of one daughter, Noelle, a junior at the Art Institute of Atlanta. The Walker family are members of The Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church- The House of Hope Atlanta in Decatur, Georgia (Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr. Pastor/Teacher) where he serves as a Ministerial Captain, Co-Teacher of the High School Sunday School Class and a member of the Prayer Ministry.
Walker has a passion for young people. He has taught on every educational level from elementary school to college over the past 17 years. Currently, he serves as the History/Social Studies teacher at Bright Futures Academy.