Principal - Maxann Wanamaker
M.Ed, AOG/C, GISA/M.T.
Maxann Wanamaker has served in the field of education for over 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Elementary Education. Ms. Wanamaker is a Certified member of the Academy of Orton Gillingham and has earned the designation of Master Teacher from the Georgia Independent School Association. As a public school educator, she was recognized as a Teacher of the Year. Ms. Wanamaker spent four years as the Director of Children’s Ministries at Dunwoody Community Church. For the last 12 years, she has been a teacher at Swift School in Roswell, Georgia. She has presented on educational pedagogy at local, state, and national conferences. Ms. Wanamaker was a founding board member for Dunwoody Christian School, serving as an educational consultant for three years. A longtime member of the Dunwoody community, Maxann, her husband Archie, and their four children have lived and worshipped locally for the last 24 years. As a Christian and an educator, she has responded to God’s call to serve as the principal of Dunwoody Christian School
Kindergarten Teacher – Julia Cochran
B.S., Elementary Education, Bryan College
Georgia Certified Elementary Education teacher
Ms. Cochran joined the DCS family in 2021. She studied at Bryan College where she got a B.S. in Elementary Education. She brings a warm Christ-center spirit with a love for education. She has a passion for teaching and is so excited to jump into the school year. A few of you met Ms. Cochran during the interview process and when she joined us for a model lesson. We are excited to welcome Julia to the team.
1st Grade Teacher - Kim Freemyer
B.S., Early Childhood Education, Emory University
M.Ed., Early Childhood Education, Emory University
Georgia Certified Elementary Education teacher
Ms. Freemyer has been part of the DCS family from the first year our doors were open in 2018. She has over 10 years of public elementary school teaching experience. She began her teaching career leading a classroom at Norcross Elementary. Ms. Freemyer later taught at Rebecca Minor Elementary and Dunwoody Springs Elementary, pausing her career to successfully raise three children. Ms. Freemyer has a deep personal relationship with Christ. She embodies the spirit of Dunwoody Christian School, which is to establish children in knowledge and Christ-like character.
2nd Grade Teacher - Aubrey McWaters
B.S., Elementary Education, University of Georgia, Summa Cum Laude
Georgia Certified Elementary Education teacher, ESOL Endorsement
Mrs. McWaters comes to DCS with a passion for teaching having worked with children of multiple age groups and cultures. During her education at UGA, she taught in a variety of elementary schools, while serving her church as a children’s ministry teacher. In her free time, Mrs. McWaters enjoys painting, camping and hiking, film photography, and traveling with her husband, Ross. She is enthusiastic about sharing Christ’s love and cultivating a fun and welcoming classroom. We are excited to welcome her to the DCS team!
3rd Grade Teacher - Jenna Rodriguez
B.S., Early Childhood Education & Special Education, University of North Georgia (Cum Laude)
Georgia Certified Elementary and Special Education teacher
Mrs. Rodriguez has been part of the DCS family from the first year our doors were open in 2018. Parents and fellow teachers immediately respond to Mrs. Rodriguez's passion for children and for Christ. Mrs. Rodriguez has taught at the elementary level in both Christian and public schools. While in college, Mrs. Rodriguez appeared on both the President’s list and the Dean’s list. She is a member of the Pi Lambda Theta Honor Society, and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.
3rd/4th Grade Teacher - Greta Newman
B.A., Elementary Education, Michigan State University
Georgia Certified Elementary Education teacher
Ms. Newman comes to DCS after having served as an instructor at Victory World Church School and Eastside Christian School in Atlanta, as well as Faith Christian Academy in MI. While building her career in education, she also spent time planting a ministry in Canada, serving as a children’s minister for Faith 4 Life ministry, and is involved in Toastmasters in Atlanta. She is a dedicated Christian and student-centered teaching professional who is committed to providing a well-balanced, supportive, and engaging learning environment for all students. Welcome to the DCS community
5th Grade Teacher - Hope Hedrick
B.S., Health and Physical Education, University of Georgia (Magna Cum Laude)
M.Ed., Educational Studies, Piedmont College (Summa Cum Laude)
Gifted Endorsement, Early Childhood Education, Certification Only Program, Piedmont College
Mrs. Hedrick has many years of private school teaching experience, having served as an educator at both Wesleyan and High Meadows schools. She highly values integrating Biblical principles across all subjects, so that children cultivate the loving and serving mindset of Christ, while developing the higher order thinking skills of creating, collaborating, problem-solving, and evaluating. Mrs. Hedrick is an avid learner. She continues to research teaching best practices in order to instill in her students a love of learning, and to help them reach their highest potential. Hope and her husband have two adult sons, Jake and Luke.
Associate Teacher (Kindergarten) - Emily Helu
B.A., Communications, Saint Mary’s College of California (Magna Cum Laude); Minor, Biblical Studies
Ms. Helu joined the DCS family in 2020 as an Associate Teacher and Lions’ Den Leader. She is returning as an Associate Teacher. Mrs. Helu is a committed Christian, a person of high integrity, and has a fun personality. She studied at Saint Mary’s College of California where she got a B.A. in Communications with a minor in Bible Studies. She was also a full-time student athlete, earning many accolades competing at the NCAA Division 1 level in both Indoor and Sand Volleyball.
Associate Teacher (3rd/4th Grade) - Sarah Smith
M.Ed., Early Childhood Education, S. Ed, Curriculum & Instruction
Mrs. Smith joined the DCS family in 2021 as an Associate Teacher. She has over 12 years of public elementary school teaching experience. She has experience as a math coach and a lead teacher in many grade levels. Her family moved to the Dunwoody community two years ago. In her free time, Mrs. Smith enjoys being a mommy to three active boys, hiking, and playing outside; also, decorating and organizing her home. She volunteers in the kid and student ministries at her church. Mrs. Smith is excited about sharing Christ's love with kids in a school setting.
Reading Specialist - Dr. Suzy Besson
Ed.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Liberty University
Ed.S., Educational Leadership, Lincoln Memorial University
M.A., Teaching (Elementary Education), Wayne State University
Reading Endorsement Classes
Dr. Besson came to DCS after retiring from Forsyth County school system, where she enjoyed a long and successful career, most recently serving as a first grade teacher. Dr. Besson was named the Forsyth County teacher of the year in 2008, and was a Georgia Teacher of the Year finalist in 2010. She holds 11 teaching certificates. More importantly, she is a woman of strong Christian faith who is highly energetic and passionate about teaching.
Spanish - Andrea Guerrero
B.A., Film and Video Production / Minor in Spanish, Georgia State University
Ms. Guerrero’s personal mission is to make a positive impact on children’s lives, and to help them succeed as they become fluent in Spanish. Having worked for several years in the film industry, Ms. Guerrero has a gift for making Spanish a fun and exciting learning experience. She does this by engaging our students through a variety of means, including music, stories, and vocabulary.
Technology Instructor - Chris Pugh
M.S., IT Project Management, George Washington University
Mr. Pugh has a uniquely diverse technical background, including working for many years as a flight instructor, and as a certified aircraft mechanic. He is credentialed to work on any airplane in the world. Chris also has many years of teaching experience. He holds a Masters degree in Information Technology Project Management from The George Washington University School of Business.
Physical Education Instructor - Devonta' White
Former professional basketball player
Coach White comes to DCS with a wealth of experience as a teacher, coach, and professional athlete. He played basketball at Georgia State and was one of the best basketball players in GSU history. Coach went on to play basketball professionally in Europe. Since returning to the U.S., Coach White has been coaching and training youth.
Coach White leads and mentors youth at other area schools and churches. He has a passion for health and sports, and enjoys developing teamwork in youth.
Music Instructor - Erika Sunday
Born in Arlington Texas, Ms. Sunday has been playing the piano for 10 years, and has been singing since the age of 5. She is currently a Preschool and Elementary School piano Teacher at Dunwoody School for the Arts. She has experience in piano, voice and guitar. Ms. Sunday also uses her gift of singing for the Lord, as a way to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. She currently serves as a worship leader and a piano director at her local church. Ms. Sunday’s vision is to help students learn diligently and truly understand the beauty of music.
Chapel Instructor - Miriam Buechter
B.S., Social Work, Louisiana College, M.S.W., Tulane University
Mrs. Buechter has been teaching Chapel and Music since 2004. Her Masters Degree in Social Work was focused on Children and Family Development. Miriam has a passion for teaching children Bible stories in an interactive way, using games, object lessons, drama and other creative methods to help children understand they are a part of God's Big Story. She has developed a three-year Scope and Sequence curriculum that will help children learn most of the major Bible stories over a three-year time period. She is excited to join Dunwoody Christian School and partner with families to help children develop Christian character while learning biblical truths.
Lions’ Den Director - Paula Costello
Mrs. Costello comes to DCS with extensive experience in the classroom and in aftercare programs, having previously worked for several years in the aftercare program at Mount Vernon School with different age groups. She currently works at the Dunwoody Baptist Church preschool as the science teacher as well as leading after school enrichment classes for the preschool. She also is a regular on Sunday mornings in the Dunwoody Baptist children’s ministry, serving in the classrooms and church nursery. Mrs. Costello is organized, creative, and a strong Christian who brings a spirit of service to our DCS families. She is from Canada and has been married to her husband, Kent, for 27 years. They have lived in Sandy Springs for 23 years and have 4 amazing children. We are excited to welcome her as our new leader of the DCS Lions’ Den program.
Business Manager - Jasmine Little
B.S., Psychology, University of West Alabama
Originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Ms. Little is an essential member of our team. Ms. Little focuses on managing the business of the school. She oversees school accounting and finances, including payroll and other HR support, budgeting, the annual fund, and purchasing. If you have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Little, then you are in for a treat! Our school community has learned to depend upon Ms. Little as an efficient multitasker who is thorough, organized, and resourceful in overcoming obstacles. Outside of her responsibilities at DCS, Ms. Little has extensive experience in cheer and dance. Most recently, she danced professionally for two seasons as a Glads Girl representing the Atlanta Gladiators hockey team, serving as team captain her second season.
Administrator - Yolandi Hattingh
Many of you know Ms. Hattingh from her previous service at DCS working in the front office. She has returned in the role of receptionist. Anyone who knows Ms. Hattingh knows that she is a warm and friendly face, professional, dependable, creative, and a self-starter. Originally from Durban, South Africa, Ms. Hattingh has lived in the U.S. for 5 years and is currently pursuing a degree in Business Administration at Georgia State University. She attends Dunwoody Community Church and is an au-pair with one of our DCS families. We are thrilled to welcome her back to the DCS family this year!