Ms. Emily McAfee
My name is Emily McAfee, and I’m so grateful to be a part of the SFA Charter School family. I moved to Nacogdoches from Dallas in 2019 to attend SFA. I interned in kindergarten and third grade at the SFA Charter School before graduating in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. I look forward to growing and learning alongside our kindergarteners!
Ms. Ragan Philliber
I received my Bachelor of Science in education from SFA in 2009 and began teaching kindergarten at Woden ISD after graduation. I continued teaching there until I accepted my current kindergarten position with the SFA Charter School in 2012.
Ms. Tiffany Carr
My name is Tiffany Carr, and I'm so excited to be a part of the SFA Charter School family and the Nacogdoches community. I graduated from the University of Arkansas with an early childhood education degree in 2008. I have taught prekindergarten, kindergarten and second grade.
Prior to joining SFA Charter School, I was a stay-at-home mom to my boys. I'm beyond excited to be back in the classroom and have the opportunity to invest in my students' lives. I love spending time with family and friends and doing anything outdoors. My goal for my classroom is to create a safe place for building relationships and a positive learning environment.
Ms. Holli Zawlocki
I received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education with an early childhood endorsement in 1994. I received a master's degree in elementary education as a reading specialist in 2009. My husband, Mark, and I have been married more than 30 years and have two daughters, Julea and Lylea. In June 2016, I gained a son-in-law, Corley and have two precious grandchildren.
I began my teaching career at the Early Childhood Laboratory with kindergarten. In 2000, I returned to teaching by accepting a kindergarten position at a private school where I developed the curriculum for its new kindergarten classroom. During the second year, I began working at the SFA Charter School part-time as an intervention teacher. When the opportunity became available for a full-time interventionist, I accepted the position.
As the SFA Charter School expanded, I was excited about the possibility of returning to the classroom. In 2004, I taught fifth grade in all subjects. In 2005, I began teaching fourth and fifth grade reading and writing. Then for several years, I taught writing, reading and social studies in fourth grade and many years in a self-contained third grade classroom.
Ms. Morgan Dean
I grew up in the small town of Tatum, Texas and my family of four means the world to me. We love our dogs, Beau and Lily, and often enjoy time outdoors. My hobbies include wakeboarding, boating and reading. I live a very active lifestyle and have a huge passion for sports. In college, I played softball for two years at Northeast Texas Community College before transferring to SFA.
I graduated from SFA with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master of Education in educational leadership. I also have taught kindergarten, second and third grade at the SFA Charter School. I strongly believe children learn best by doing. It is my pleasure to share my love of learning with our Junior Jacks!
Ms. Sophia Walton
I moved here from Columbus, Ohio, and am passionate about traveling, exploring new places and trying out different cuisines. During times of leisure, I love playing board games at home and spending time with my two beloved pups.
I graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in education. I've had the privilege of teaching kindergarten, first grade and second grade. I am thrilled to be embarking on a new chapter in third grade! My goal as an educator is to ignite a love for learning in my students and to support them in becoming lifelong learners.
Ms. Kelly Finnerud
A part of the SFA Charter School family since 2010, I was first introduced to the school as a parent and then shortly after became a teacher. I have taught music here for several years and often filling in as a maternity leave guest teacher. Being a guest teacher allowed me time in the second through fifth grade classrooms. I landed in first grade in the 2022-23 school year and absolutely loved teaching in the classroom. I'm thrilled to now be teaching fourth grade!
I graduated from SFA in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in music education and an all-level music teaching certification. I'm also certified to teach general education in grades EC-6. I have four children who all attended the SFA Charter School.
Each year, I’m excited to create an engaging and joyful classroom community where students feel safe to share new ideas and see risk-taking as an opportunity to learn!
Ms. Stephanie Creel
I received both my Bachelor of Science in education and a master's degree in education from SFA. My areas of specialization are early childhood education and reading.
My teaching career began in 2003 as a kindergarten teacher with the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. I continued teaching kindergarten in Cy-Fair until I accepted a kindergarten position at the SFA Charter School in 2008. In 2017, I had the opportunity to teach second grade. Then in 2019, I began teaching fourth grade. I enjoy partnering with my students' families for a phenomenal year.
Ms. Madison Taylor
My name is Madison Taylor, and I am so excited to be a part of the SFA Charter School family! My husband and I graduated from SFA and have loved being a part of the Nacogdoches community. After receiving my Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from SFA, my teaching career began with the Nacogdoches Independent School District, where I taught both second and third grade. My passion and love for teaching is driven each and every day by the young minds that come through my classroom. I truly believe that we are all lifelong learners, and I cannot wait to grow with my students and their families. Axe em, 'Jacks!
Mr. Russ Havard
I earned my master's degree in art in 1997 from SFA and spent a number of years as a professional artist. I began teaching elementary and college students in 2010 and have really enjoyed the artistic adventures of children and adults. I joined the SFA Charter School in 2020 and have enjoyed seeing and sharing the art students create.
Ms. Amy Whitaker
I'm a proud Nacogdoches transplant as of July 2022! My family of four kids (Ava, Gavin, Livia and Devyn), along with my fire captain husband and our four dogs moved here from Rockwall.
I received my bachelor's and master's degrees from West Texas A&M University in Canyon where I performed regularly as principal clarinet with the band and symphony orchestra. After graduation, I accepted my first teaching job as a middle school band director in Garland. After two years, my husband and I started our family, but I returned to the middle school band world in 2016.
When I'm not teaching, you can probably find me at the Boys and Girls Club pool. All of my children are on the swim team there!
I'm extremely grateful to be teaching at the SFA Charter School. I have the privilege of spending time with every single Junior Jack every week! My hope is that every student of mine learns really cool things about music but also grows to love, appreciate and even create music of all kinds while having lots of fun!
Coach Jackie Hamilton
I graduated from SFA in December 2015 with a Bachelor's of Science in kinesiology. After graduating from college, I taught at Center Independent School District and coached soccer and cross country until my current position at the SFA Charter School. I am excited to work with the many students in physical education each year.
Ms. Angelique Beckwith
The TIER II and TIER III reading intervention teacher for the SFA Charter School, my education includes the following credentials:
- Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in reading and early childhood endorsement from SFA
- master’s degree in education from SFA
- dyslexia specialist
- completed the dyslexia specialist program from Neuhaus Education Center in Houston
- licensed dyslexia therapist through the Texas Department of State Health Services
- certified academic language therapist
- and a member of the Academic Language Therapy Association.
My teaching career started with Klein Independent School District, where I taught third and fourth grades for five years. I also taught for two years in PreK-II for the SFA Early Childhood Laboratory. After the lab, I began teaching at the SFA Charter School. I taught third grade for four years before beginning my work as an intervention teacher working with struggling readers and children with dyslexia.
I also serve as the district test coordinator for State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System and coordinate 504 and Language Proficiency Assessment Committee meetings.
Ms. Eileen Meyers
I am so excited to a part of the SFA Charter School. I received my Bachelor of Science in special education and the all-level certification in special education, both from SFA. I taught for 12 years at Carpenter Elementary as a resource, self-contained and inclusion teacher for kindergarten through fifth grade.
Ms. Lysa Mize Hagan
CEO and Principal
Learning can be one of the most enjoyable experiences in life, it is all in how it is presented.
I've spent more than 36 years refining this concept with children and teachers. In 2008, alongside SFA administrators and Dr. Janice A. Pattillo, I had the pleasure of establishing the SFA Charter School, where I've remained as CEO/Principal/Superintendent. My passion grew to new heights through the success of educating the whole child, with a focus on cognitive, social and emotional development.
My educational background includes a Master of Education and Bachelor of Science in education from SFA, where I continue to provide a learning platform for pre-service teachers to work within the SFA Charter School.
The SFA Charter School community truly believes the task at hand is to prepare students to be leaders in careers that do not even exist today. Children must be thinkers!