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Established in Christ. Prepared for Life.

Our Teachers and Staff

Lucy Perich

Kindergarten Teacher

M.Ed., Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment      
Walden University - Minneapolis, MN     
B.S., Early Childhood Education     
Samford University - Birmingham, AL 
Georgia Certified Elementary Educator


Mrs. Perich is an Atlanta native that began her career teaching in Gwinnett County. She taught 1st Grade and Kindergarten for 9 years before deciding to stay home for a few years. In 2009 she married her husband and they welcomed a daughter, Sydney, and second daughter, Taylor. Lucy returned to teaching in 2016 at the Kingswood Preschool to teach 3 year olds for 3 years and Kindergarten for 1 year. Her son Wyatt was born in 2019. Finally in 2020, Lucy returned to the public school system as a paraprofessional in Kindergarten for 1 year at Kingsley Elementary.


Christi Dearborn    
1st Grade Teacher

B.S., Bible and Early Childhood Education        
Lancaster Bible College - Lancaster, PA      
Georgia Certified Elementary Educator 
ACSI Certified


Christi was born and raised in Lancaster County, PA and moved to Georgia six years ago. She has been teaching for over 30 years, 25 years teaching preschool aged children, and Kindergarten and 1st grade the past few years. She has been married for 14 years to her husband, Jason. They enjoy singing at church, going for walks with their dog, going out to dinner, and spending time with family. They decided early on not to have children when God called them to “parent” in a different way, hosting 12 exchange students. Their dog, Lily, also serves as a therapy dog with Canines for Christ!


Laura Stewart    
2nd Grade Teacher

B.A., Elementary Education      
University of Florida - Gainesville, FL   
Orton-Gillingham Trained  
Georgia Certified Elementary Educator


Upon graduating college, Mrs. Stewart’s desire “to see the world” prior to teaching led her to Delta Air Lines. Her In-Flight Service career included flying, participating in Marketing and HR special assignments, and working as an IFS supervisor. In 2008, she left Delta to fulfill her dream to teach.

Mrs. Stewart comes to us from The Howard School in Atlanta where she taught 3rd grade for three years before being recruited to serve as Math Specialist for six years in Middle School. Prior to teaching at Howard, she also taught 3rd grade for three years at The Swift School.

Mrs. Stewart and her husband, George, reside in Roswell. Their children, Olivia and Harrison, both live in metro Atlanta. The Stewart family is Episcopal in faith. 


Mindy Young 
3rd Grade Teacher

B.S., Elementary Education, Specialization in Reading   
University of Texas - Austin, TX  
Project Wild Science - Certified


Mrs. Young joins DCS bringing with her experience in both public and private school settings. Most recently she taught Pre-Kindergarten at Wesleyan School and has extensive experience instructing younger elementary grades as well. She has previously taught in the Spring School District and at Second Baptist School in Houston, Texas, and has a deep passion for inspiring children to become lifelong learners and followers of Christ. Mrs. Young attends both First Baptist Church of Atlanta and Peachtree Corners Baptist Church, where her son is a member of the praise team. Mrs. Young enjoys reading, traveling, photography, Bible Study Fellowship, and spending time with her family.


Chloe Koh 
4th Grade Teacher

B.A., Elementary Education  
Asbury University - Wilmore, KY  
ESOL Endorsed


Ms. Koh was born in Korea but raised in China for 12 years. She has recently graduated from Asbury University and served in the Children's ministry at her church. Chloe has traveled to many countries in Southeast Asia for mission trips and hopes to visit other places to provide Christian education. She has received a private Christian education her entire life, and is excited to share what she's experienced with her students, and establish a welcoming classroom.


Greta Newman  
4th Grade Teacher

B.A., Elementary Education    
Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI    
Georgia Certified Elementary Educator 
ACSI Certified


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 Michigan. 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.


Emily Helu  
Kindergarten Assoc. Teacher

Obtaining an M.A., Elementary Education (finishing 11/22) 
Western Governors University - Millcreek, UT 
B.A., Communications, Minor in Biblical Studies   
Saint Mary’s College of California - Moraga, CA


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. While at Saint Mary’s College of California she was also a full-time student-athlete, earning many accolades competing at the NCAA Division 1 level in both Indoor and Sand Volleyball.


Alyssa Sherman 
1st Grade Assoc. Teacher

Obtaining a M.S., Early Childhood Education 
Mercer University - Atlanta, GA 
B.S., Early Childhood Education 
Mercer University - Atlanta, GA


Ms. Sherman is a first year teacher entering the teaching profession with passion and fresh ideas. Her mission is to educate, engage, and enable students and guide them in their development. She has been a Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society recipient since 2019 and enjoys assisting in philanthropic activities with her sisters at Phi Mu Sorority. Alyssa will be working as a long-term substitute and floater between every classroom while working towards her Masters Degree in Education at Mercer University. She has been raised as a devoted Christian and is thrilled to begin her teaching journey as a DCS Lion!


Derrick Abrams  
Middle School Math Teacher

M.E., Elementary Education  
Grand Canyon University - Phoenix, AZ  
B.S., Christian Leadership & Management  
Liberty University - Lynchburg, VA


Derrick Abrams comes to us comes to DCS with enthusiasm and experience teaching 5th grade for the past two years in the public sector. He is a church Elder, former Youth Minister, and current Men’s Ministry leader. His goal is to help students identify, engage, build upon, and create new learning opportunities through discussion, collaboration, and reflective thinking. Derrick states that “all students are unique and must have a diverse, stimulating educational environment where they can freely grow mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and academically!”. It is his desire to create this type of atmosphere so students can meet their full potential and achieve academic success.


Brandi Adams     
Middle School ELA and Social Studies Teacher

M.B.A. (currently obtaining)     
Columbia Southern University - Orange Beach, AL     
M.S., Organizational Leadership     
Columbia Southern University - Orange Beach, AL     
B.S., Criminal Justice     
Alabama State University - Montgomery, AL


Mrs. Adams is a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She comes to DCS as an educator and mentor for youth in many settings. She has served as an educator with Gwinnett County Schools, Broward County Schools, along with other academic programs in the Atlanta area. She has helped students reach academic goals in Science, Math, Language Arts, and STEM. Mrs. Adams also serves beside her husband, Pastor Andrew Adams, as First Lady and Minister at The Empowerment Temple in Decatur, Georgia. In 2021 Mrs. Adams founded Freedom Dance Theater. A community outreach program that offers Performing Arts education and physical training to Children and Adults. She aims to spread the word of God and salvation of Jesus Christ in all that she puts her hands to do.


Sherrill Weihe     
STEM Teacher/Middle School Science Teacher

M.B.A., Marketing     
University of Tennessee - Knoxville, TN  
B.S. Management Science and Computer Science  
Newman University - Wichita, KS  
Georgia Certified Educator K-8 
Gifted Endorsement


Mrs. Weihe started her career in computer sales after obtaining her degrees. She decided to change her focus to teaching and received her teaching certificate from Oglethorpe University. With over 20 years of experience in both public and Christian private education, she is excited to become a faculty member at DCS. Her passion for nature, space, and STEM education spurs creativity and wonder in all of her students. She is a member of Dunwoody Community Church where she teaches children's Sunday school and volunteers in the ladies' ministry. She also attends the Bible Community Fellowship at DBC.


Dr. Suzy Besson  
Reading Specialist

Ed.D., Curriculum and Instruction  
Liberty University - Lynchburg, VA  
Ed.S., Educational Leadership  
Lincoln Memorial University - Harrogate, TN  
M.A., Teaching (Elementary Education)  
Wayne State University - Detroit, MI  
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.


Melissa Upchurch Gibson      
Math Specialist

M.Ed., Mathematics Education 
Georgia State University - Atlanta, GA 
M.S., Computer Based Education 
University of Georgia - Athens, GA 
B.S., Middle School Mathematics and Music 
University of Georgia - Athens, GA 
Reading Endorsement Classes


Mrs. Gibson has been teaching 33 years and has taught math all 33 of those years. She spent 31 of those years in the public sector and the last 2 years in the private. She now tutors various students throughout the Atlanta Area. Melissa grew up in Fulton County schools and has always called Fulton County home. She and her husband, a Band Director, both love music very much and were in the Georgia Redcoat Marching Band. Melissa was also on the Georgette Dance team and plays the flute in the Georgia Wind Symphony.


Miriam Buechter 
Chapel Leader and Librarian

M.S.W., Children and Family Development focus    
Tulane University - New Orleans, LA  
B.S., Social Work    
Louisiana Christian University - Pineville, LA


Mrs. Buechter has been teaching Chapel and Music since 2004. 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 excels at partnering with families to help children develop Christian character while learning Biblical truths.


Megan Hilton  
Art Teacher

B.F.A., Animation, minor in Drawing  
Savannah College of Art and Design - Savannah, GA  
Georgia Certified Art Educator P-12


Mrs. Hilton has been teaching P-7th grade art for a few years in the private Christian sector and previously worked for 13 years in Marketing. Megan is an Atlanta native living in Sandy Springs. She and her husband, Michael, have been blessed with twin daughters, Ana and Genny, and their rescue dog Kona. When Megan is not helping out around the school and church, she enjoys doing art projects with her daughters, gardening, Zumba, and cooking.


Erika Sunday  
Music Teacher

Musical Internship Completed - 1.5 years at Paulding County High School 
Musical Internship Completed - 4 years at Seven Springs 
Musical Internship Completed - 2 years at Free Chapel


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.


Trina De Mar-Tucker   
Spanish Teacher

M.Ed., Secondary Education 
Grand Canyon University - Phoenix, AZ 
B.A., Spanish Literature 
Georgia State University - Atlanta, GA 
ESOL Endorsed


Mrs. De Mar-Tucker is a twin, and is from Chicago, IL. Trina really enjoys volunteer work. Currently, she assists distributing food in Latino communities for the city of Atlanta. Mrs. De Mar-Tucker is also a volunteer farmer with the Good Samaritan Clinic. She loves people and likes to help when she can. In addition to that, she teaches English to immigrants in the evenings.


Davonta' White   
Physical Education Teacher

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. 


Paula Costello 
Lions’ Den Director


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.


Jasmine Little    
Business Manager

B.S., Psychology    
University of West Alabama - Livingston, AL


jlittle@dunwoodycs.org

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. 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.


Yolandi Hattingh      
Administrative Assistant

A.S., Business Administration     
Georgia State University - Atlanta, GA


yhattingh@dunwoodycs.org

Many of you know Ms. Hattingh as our Administrative Assistant. Anyone who knows Yolandi 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. She recently completed her degree and attends Dunwoody Community Church.


Phyllis Breech 
IT Specialist

B.S.B.A., Business Management 
University of Alabama - Huntsville, AL


Mrs. Breech launched her firm, Software Applications Technology, in 1995. She incorporates her faith and love for God into an exciting combination of strategic goals and action to get results for her clients. Phyllis has been instrumental in the formation of more than 100 non-profit organizations and has served on several boards, exercising her passion for serving others. She has also helped businesses and non-profit organizations set up and establish their online presence. Together with her husband, they served as Marriage Ministry Pastors at a multi-culture megachurch in her community where they impacted hundreds of lives for the Kingdom of God. Her passion to serve others has taken her on several mission trips, both locally and to India and Nicaragua. In addition to being a wife, mother, and grandmother, Phyllis is passionate about being able to give back to the community through a variety of volunteer and non-profit opportunities.