Our Board of Directors

  • Gregory Taylor, President

  • Mark Curry, Treasurer

  • Davison Mupinga, Vice President

  • Earle Harris, Director

  • James Grant, Secretary

The teachers work diligently to meet the needs of every student with small group instruction. It is an honor to work in such a great establishment!
— Nancy Wardell

Meet Our Team

School Leadership

Karla Robinson, Principal, Beacon Academy, krobinson@beaconacademyedu.org
Salutations! My name is Karla Robinson and I am honored to be the Principal at Beacon Academy. I have been in education for almost thirty years. I hold a Masters Degree from Ashland University in Curriculum and Instruction.

The thing I’ve learned the most throughout my years in education, is that you’ve got to get to the heart of each student first and foremost before any other learning can take place. Students, now more than ever need us to be someone that they can rely on and count on. Our schools need to be a safe place for our students. Beacon Academy provides a place where young people can come and work to overcome the obstacles that have been held them back.

I live with my husband Rick, in Perry Township, here in Massillon, Ohio. Together we have raised five children into adulthood and we now have 5 grandchildren. I enjoy searching for old treasure and antiques and finding a new way to upcycle and enjoy them. I enjoy reading and traveling, especially trips to the beach. My husband’s passion is to bring new life back into old Corvette’s and Muscle Cars and we spend a lot of time at car shows, which I actually also enjoy.

Christina Fricker – Dean of Students, cfricker@beaconacademyedu.org 
Hello, my name is Christina Fricker, I am the Dean of Students at Beacon Academy.  I graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree, (1-8).  After graduation, I taught 1st grade in Northern Indiana for 3 years until I got married and then moved to Canton, Ohio. Currently, I am in my 15th year here in the building. During my teaching experience, I have taught Title 1, 3rd and 2nd grades. Every day brings new challenges as well as successes! My free time is spent with family and best of all, my 1 year-old granddaughter!

Office Manager

Temeah Ross – Office Manager/Enrollment Specialist, tross@beaconacademyedu.org

Educators + Intervention Specialists

Jen Anderson – 1st Grade, janderson@beaconacademyedu.org
Hello everyone! My name is Jennifer Anderson. I teach first grade here at Beacon Academy. This is my 20th year in education and my 3rd year teaching in Canton, Ohio. I enjoy working with children and helping them reach for their dreams through education.  I believe every child should be valued and treated with respect. I began my education at Muskingum University in southern Ohio, and finished with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (1-8) in 1995 from The University of Akron. My family and I live in the country where we enjoy raising chickens, gardening, riding 4-Wheelers and hunting.

Wendy Bartschy – 5th - 8th  Grade Science & Character Education, 
Welcome to Beacon Academy! I am Wendy Bartschy and it is a pleasure to teach 7th and 8th grade math and science. Teaching is my passion and I have a strong belief that every child has the potential to reach success. It is my goal to help each of my students develop and understand their full potential in the classroom and in the community.

I have been in the education field for 10 years and I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Childhood Education with a focus on Math, Science and Reading for grades 4-9. My experience includes working in urban areas of both Cleveland and Akron. I have been a teacher for Beacon Academy since 2017. In my free time I enjoy fishing and spending time with friends and family.

Kelly Brodzenski – 3rd Grade, kbrodzenski@beaconacademyedu.org
Hello, my name is Kelly Brodzenski and I teach 3rd grade at Beacon Academy. I have been part of the Beacon Bobcat team since August of 2016.  I graduated from Kent State University with my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree in 2015.  I have previously worked in the preschool field for twelve years including working for Precious Cargo in Sebring, Ohio and for the Stark County Educational Service Center.  

I have three children: Naomi (13), Enoch (9), and Lylah (7). I have been married to my husband Dwight for 9 years.  We enjoy fishing, traveling, music, and having fun of course, which is why I love to teach 3rd grade!  It is always an adventure and you never know what is going to happen.  We always have a blast in the classroom and try to make every day worthwhile! 

Abigail Engle – 5th - 8th Grade  Social Studies, Computer & Writing
Hi my name is Ms. Engle, I am the middle school history teacher at Beacon. I received my bachelors degrees in journalism and history from Miami University and my teaching license and Masters in Education from Malone University.

I live with my husband Jim and two puppies in Akron. I’m originally from the Cincinnati area and enjoy going home to visit my family and best friend. I love to read, write and be crafty. 

Adam Granger – Instructional Aide, agranger@beaconacademyedu.org
I am excited to be at Beacon Academy as an Instructional Aide. I feel my unique background and experience has really prepared me to be here.  I attended Cincinnati Christian University where I was on the basketball team. Graduated from the University of Findlay with a degree in Elementary Education. Taught fifth and third grade in Delaware City School before spending 15 years in youth ministry. I then spent five years at Heritage Christian School as Athletic Director, Fourth grade teacher and middle school history teacher.

I am married to Angie we have  three children-Makena who works for Eliquii in Columbus, Emma a sophomore at Robert Morris University where she studies Sports Psychology, plays on the volleyball team and is active in Athletes in Action and Caden who will be a freshman at St Thomas Aquinas and plays basketball. We like to travel to historic sites and museums. I like to read, fish and coach. 

Brooke Herbert – 2nd Grade, bherbert@beaconacademyedu.org

Nick Higginbotham – Title Teacher, nhigginbotham@beaconacademyedu.org
My name is Nick Higginbotham. I am 31 years old and will be entering my 8th year of teaching. I graduated from The University of Akron with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Over the years I have taught 4th and 5th grade, 2nd grade (2 years) in North Carolina, and recently 3rd grade (4 years) at Heritage Christian in Canton. Alongside teaching, I have coached girls JV at Akron Ellet, as well as girls basketball at Heritage Christian (5th/6th grade & 7th/8th grade.)

I am the oldest of three siblings and have two dogs (Beau and Buddy.) I am an avid golfer and play as much as I possibly can. I enjoy every sport especially football. Other hobbies of mine include the outdoors and fishing in my spare time.

I look forward to a wonderful 2018-2019 school year!

John Hughes – Physical Education, Grades K-12, jhughes@beaconacademyedu.org
Hi, my name is John Hughes. After spending 15 years in the tire industry, I decided to make a career change that offered more of a reward. I really enjoy working with youth and seeing them achieve their goals. I am a firm believer that Physical Education is not about sports and competition, but lifetime skills for a healthier way of living. Everyone can enjoy some form of physical activity, whether through walking, dance, or a game they like to play. At Beacon Academy, I hope to instill the values and work ethic that our young people can carry with them for a lifetime.

Kelsey Modlin – Intervention Specialist, kmodlin@beaconacademyedu.org
Hello! My name is Kelsey Modlin, and this is my first year teaching as an Intervention Specialist at Beacon Academy. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree from Malone University this year. I am certified in teaching  Pre-K through 3rd Grade in addition to my certification as an Intervention Specialist. I love helping students find what they are good at and using those abilities to showcase their true potential!

Prior to earning my Mild and Moderate Teaching License from Kent State University, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Marketing and worked in business for several years. Those experiences have helped shape my point of view about the knowledge and skills students will have to acquire to be successful in the workplace of the future.

Outside of the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my fiancé as we plan for our upcoming wedding this November. We like to challenge each other in a variety of games  as well as spend time with our families and friends.

Rachel Palmer – Kindergarten, rpalmer@beaconacademyedu.org
Hi, my name is Rachel Palmer and I teach Kindergarten.  I graduated from Kent State University and I am licensed to teach grades pre-Kindergarten through third grade.  I have previously taught for five years as a preschool teacher and spent a year teaching Title classes before joining the Beacon Academy team.  I have wanted to teach Kindergarten students since I was a little girl and I am so happy to say that I am living out my dream of teaching.  I enjoy getting to spend my day listening to funny stories and the curious minds of Kindergarteners.  In my free time, I like to play piano and spend time with my husband and family. 

Erica Raby – Art Teacher, Grades K-8, eraby@beaconacademyedu.org
Hi! My name is Erica. Raby and I’m the super-creative Art Teacher at Beacon Academy. My artistic background is in painting and drawing. I attended Mount Union College for my Bachelors of Art Degree and later Kent State University for my Master’s degree in Fine Art. For 10 years I have been teaching art classes part-time at different schools and art organizations in the area. My passion is sharing what I love to do.

Matt Sands – 5th - 8th Grade ELA and Writing, msands@beaconacademyedu.org

Nicoleta Smith –Intervention Specialist, nkourouniotis@beaconacademyedu.org
Hello! My name is Nicoleta Smith.  I am an Intervention Specialist at Beacon Academy. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in 2009 from the University of Akron, with Cum Laude.  My certifications include Pre-K to 3rd Grade in General Education and Intervention Specialist.  I teach small group instruction to students on Individual Education Plans.  I have been a substitute teacher for 6 years at various locations.  I also worked for Learn It for a year.  I live with my husband Thad and three children.

Brianna Stachler - Intervention Specialist, bstachler@beaconacademyedu.org

Nancy Wardell – 5th-8th Grade Math, nwardell@beaconacademyedu.org
Hi, my name is Nancy Wardell and I am the 5th to 8th grade math and social studies teacher here at Beacon Academy. I graduated from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, PA in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and Minors in Music and Middle School Mathematics. I also obtained my Master’s degree in Special Education. My licenses include a 5 Year Professional Middle Childhood (4-9), Early Childhood (P-3), and an Intervention Specialist (K-12). My love for mathematics and developing cooperative learning groups inspired me to work with this age group where students are really striving to think critically and question the world around them. I enjoy discussing our world’s history and how it can be seen today as well as having students share their different views on what could be used to make our world a better place. I diligently try to meet the needs of all my students so that they can develop into the leaders of our future and be successful citizens of society.

Brooke Yost – 4th Grade, byost@beaconacademyedu.org
Hello, my name is Brooke Yost.  I am the 4th grade teacher at Beacon Academy.  I received my Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Ashland University.  My license is Pre-Kindergarten to 3rd grade with a 4th and 5th grade endorsement. I have always had a love of teaching and knew that I wanted to work with children of all ages.  I love teaching 4th grade because my students love to do wacky and crazy projects to help them learn the information.