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Faculty

Faculty will be added or removed to meet the needs of the student population and the school.

Bobby Carnes was born January 24, 1931 in a "shotgun" house with no plumbing and no electricity. He grew up baling hay and picking cotton on his family's farm in the Mississippi Delta. After high school, he attended Mississippi College with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Following college, he went into the U. S. Air Force for two years. Next he worked as a civilian employee in the math and computer department at Eglin Air Force base in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. Soon he decided this wasn' t to be his lifetime career and entered what was then Mississippi Southern College for his pre-dental training. Here, he met his wife, Diane, and after marriage, they moved to Memphis, Tennessee for him to attend the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry. After graduating, he spent several years in private practice and then became employed at the V. A. hospital here in Lexington. He and Diane raised their three children, became grandparents, and celebrated their fiftieth anniversary on April 1 of this year. He retired from the Lexington V. A. Hospital in January, 2009. Bobby is starting his third year on the Board of Directors for MacPherson Academy.

Diane Carnes was born in Louisiana and grew up in Mississippi. Her mother was a taxidermist, Girl Scout professional and later a professor of biology. Her father was a botanist, landscaper, railroad worker, author, and in his last years was able to teach biology in the same college as her mother. She grew up roaming the forests of South Mississippi and Florida and learning about the animals and plants there. She attended grade school and high school in Mississippi and attended Mississippi Southern College (now the University of Southern Mississippi) for two years before marrying in 1960 and moving to Memphis; Tennessee. When her three children were in high school and middle school, she returned to college and received a BA in English in 1982. She taught English at the University of Louisville in the 1982-83 school year, while working on a Master's in English. . Last year she was given the opportunity to teach at MacPherson Academy and has enjoyed it very much, where she is also the faculty advisor for the MacPherson Academy chapter of The National Beta Club.

Lora Carter, a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, emphasizing in graphic design, joined MacPherson Academy as an art instructor last year. Her high school students competed in the Kentucky High School Art Exhibit and Contest at Eastern KY University in spring of 2007. In addition to operating her own commercial art and graphics design business, Mrs. Carter has significant experience in the advertising agency field as a free-lance illustrator and graphic designer. She has taught art classes for the Montessori Middle School of Kentucky and in private home settings. She is a past board member of St. Agnes House, Lifetime member of the UK-Lexington-Fayette Co. Arboretum and a member of the Lexington Art League. For beginners Mrs. Carter follows the teachings of Dr. Betty Edwards’s insightful book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Guided practice in the five basic skills of drawing will be the foundation of the class. A convenient, effective workbook will be used for practicing each skill. For more advanced students Lora will be starting them in painting this year. As part of our Humanities curriculum, she will be teaching an “Art Through the Ages” art appreciation. Lora will not be teaching during the 2011-2012 school year.

Dr. Robert V. Hale was born in Prestonsburg, Kentucky and has resided for 40 years in Lexington. He earned a BA in Education from the University of Kentucky, an MRE from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford American Institute. A past member of the Oxford Society of Scholars with 30 years in education he currently heads Cutting Edge, a seminar and curriculum study group for schools and churches. A father of three with three grandchildren his interests are music, reading and motorcycling. This will make Dr. Hale’s 9th year teaching with us. He specializes in Social Studies and math. Dr. Hale is also President of the Board of Directors for MacPherson Academy.

Calvin (Ted) Higgs, Jr. will be joining the Board of Advisors and the teaching staff of MacPherson, this year. Mr. Higgs is a full-time instructor at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. He currently teaches courses in Latin, Mythology and Art. His UK duties also includes tutoring in Latin and Italian, supervises Classics teaching assistants, and acts as Faculty advisor for the Classics honor society, Eta Sigma Phi. He is retired from the U.S. Military and previously taught at University of Maryland, European Division, City Colleges of Chicago, European Division, Assistant Professor(7 years) at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, and other assorted experience in the U.S. and Italy. We are so looking forward to his Latin and Italian classes and I know the students will find great achievement under his tutelage.

Angie Jonczy was born and raised in Georgetown Kentucky. She was employed by IBM in 1978 as a keypunch operator. She attended Transylvania in 1996 through a special partnership with IBM and Transylvania and received a "Computer Science Core Certificate". She has programmed in assembler languages, PL/1, C++, and in research and development and application development. She has done massive testing and simulations for SNA, TCP/IP, and dial-up network traffic. Prior to her retirement from IBM in 2007, she spent the last 10 years, at IBM as a Certified project manager in delivery services for mainframe outsourcing and Web Hosting. She has done volunteer work for Brookside Elementary, West Jessamine County, and Bluegrass Baptist schools as a reading mentor and in Student Leadership Technology and taught computer classes to Georgetown Senior Citizens. She currently works as a contractor for TekSystems at LexMark.

Terry Leap is the pastor of Southern Heights Baptist Church in Lexington, KY and currently a Ph.D. candidate at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. He has served as a pastor for over fourteen years and holds degrees from Temple Baptist College (B.A., Bible), Northern Kentucky University (B.A., History), and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He and his wife, Monnie, have four children whom they homeschool. Terry formerly taught middle / high school literature at Calvary Christian School in Northern KY.

David Mortkowitz will be teaching the Shotokan Karate class. Mr. Mortkowitz earned a Shodan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate on October 24, 2000. David has 3 years experience as a teaching assistant for James M. Smith, Chief Instructor or Jim’s Shotokan Karate Club. Mr. Mortkowitz received the high score in student teaching competition at Transylvania University in 1999 for his work with a Karate class. In addition to his regular training, Mr. Mortkowitz also taught 2 summer Karate camps and participated three times in the Bluegrass State Games. David pursued his love of Art, English, writing and history at the University of KY. He taught Writing, Civics and Geometry and Art in years past. David has served as the faculty advisor for the Student Council for seven years and has been a member of the Board of Directors for four years. He will be teaching Art Studio and Art History in the 2011-2012 school year.

Jane Ann Mortkowitz is a graduate of MacPherson Academy and is enrolled as a student at the University of KY, where she is a Mechanical Engineering major and Classical Studies minor. She has had several years experience tutoring Mathematics, English and Writing. Jane Ann has studied Latin for over seven years. She will be working with the beginning and intermediate Latin classes and the first and second year Chemistry classes. She lives at home with her family and her best friend, Beast, the school mascot. In her spare time, she is a prolific reader, a Star Wars aficionado and a championship dancer in Competitive Ballroom and Highland Dance.

Judy Mortkowitz, MacPherson Academy Administrator, graduated Georgetown College with a degree in Elementary Education in 1971. Mrs. Mortkowitz later completed a Master on Arts in Education and a Master of Arts in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from Morehead State University. Mrs. Mortkowitz has many years of teaching experience from the Kindergarten level through College level. She is a certified teacher who has taught in public, private and home schools. She has worked in a Title III program as a Curriculum Consultant and Resource Specialist, has lectured at in-service day programs for public school systems, conducted teacher training programs, demonstration classes, written and edited home school news letters (Springboard for Family Christian Stores and The Explorer for Joseph-Beth Booksellers and Davis-Kidd Booksellers) and served as a principal in a private school. Before opening MacPherson Academy, Mrs. Mortkowitz was an Education Consultant for a chain of bookstores and taught at Transylvania University. She is certified in Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina and Florida. The new transition into MacPherson Academy is very exciting and Judy is looking forward to the new changes. In addition to being the Administrator for the school, she also teaches classes in Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Critical Reading and Math. This year she will also be teaching “The Novel” for students working on a college reading list. Ms. Mortkowitz is a member of the Board of Directors for MacPherson Academy and serves as the schools administrator.

James Ploskonka serves MacPherson Academy as Education and Administrative Consultant. Dr. Ploskonka is the past Executive Director of Sullivan University. Prior to this position at Sullivan, Dr. Ploskonka served as Dean of Academic Affairs at Sullivan University. He received his undergraduate training at the University of Pennsylvania, Mansfield, his Master’s Degree from Boston Conservatory and his Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation from the University of Kentucky. Additional studies were completed at Boston University. Dr. Ploskonka has served as President of the College Personnel Association, Research Chair for ACCHO-I, Kentucky State President for the American College Personnel Association for Kentucky and serves as adjudicator for the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. His community activities are numerous including; serves as Minister of Music and Education at the First Church of God, a University of Kentucky Fellow, member of the Kentucky Chamber Chorale, Commissioner of Garrard County Athletics, Board member of the Partners for Workforce Development of the Bluegrass involvement with Junior Achievement, Kentucky Education Television and Partners in Education with the Lexington Herald Leader. Dr. Ploskonka has served as a professor of Music at the State University of New York, and taught at graduate school for the University of Kentucky in educational psychology. He is an author of several periodicals with focus on student retention. He is the father of three boys and education is his passion.

A.Patrick Schneider II, MD, MPH: Dr. Schneider is a family physician in private practice. He is a native of Lexington and is board certified in Family Practice and Geriatrics. He holds a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University and is on Active Staff at St. Joseph Hospital. He does volunteer work in Pro-Life and charitable activities and was a co-founder of Faith Pharmacy. Dr. Schneider hosts a weekly radio broadcast and is an active musician and member at The Cathedral of Christ the King.

John Seabolt received his B.A. with a major in Biology from Berea College, Certificate in Medical Technology from Duke University, M.S. and Ed. D. from University of Kentucky, and Ed.S. from Morehead State University. Additional coursework was taken at E.K.U., Virginia Polytechnic Academy, and Cornell. He also completed numerous workshops at the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Seabolt has worked as a medical technologist; taught medical technology at Columbus College (Ga.) and the University of Kentucky; taught medical microbiology at Lexington Community College; taught non-majors biology laboratories; coordinated such and microbiology laboratories; and taught other diverse biology courses such as parasitology, pathogenic microbiology, emerging infectious diseases, and contemporary topics in biology. Over the years he has given numerous professional workshops and is author or co-author on 50 publications. Although a native of southwestern Virginia (Cumberland Gap area), he has lived in Lexington for MANY years. He and his family attend University Heights Church of Christ. John has taught Marine Biology, Microbiology, and Genetics for us. We are very happy that John has accepted an appointment to the Board of Directors of MacPherson Academy. His leadership, knowledge and insight will be invaluable to our school.

Barry W. Stamper is a Kentucky certified teacher in Mathematics and Integrated Science. Mr. Stamper earned a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics with a specialty in Mathematical Physics from Morehead State University. He has had 15 years experience teaching high school and middle school mathematics and science in Louisville, Frankfort, Lexington and Washington County. Mr. Stamper has also taught math students at the University of Kentucky and The University of Louisville. Mr. Stamper is a published poet and in addition to teaching, he has had experience as a Research Analyst, Private International Contractor and Computer Programmer at the University of Kentucky. He was the Principal at Wellesley Academy and will continue in that position at MacPherson Academy. He teaches advanced mathematics, including Algebra I, Algebra II, Plane Geometry, Solid Geometry, Trigonometry, Analytic Geometry, Pre-Calculus and Calculus. His science classes include Environmental Science, Physical Science, Chemistry, and Physics. His elective classes include World Comparative Government, History and the Poets and Poetry class. Barry is a Viet Nam veteran having served in the U.S. Navy and we are fortunate to have his vast experience to inspire the students and support the structure of MacPherson Academy. He will be teaching at the University of Kentucky this year as well as MacPherson Academy.

Erika Stevens serves MacPherson Academy as head of the English and Foreign Language departments. Mrs. Stevens is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky, pursuing a program in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Teaching, having completed her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Secondary Education with a specialization in Spanish at Georgetown College. Mrs. Stevens is a member of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Spanish Honor Society and a former member of the Kentucky Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages. She has had experience teaching in public, private and home schools. Her areas of professional teaching are in Spanish, English, Journalism, and World Geography, Speech and Debate.

Christopher Stieha is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biology at the University of Kentucky. His dissertation research combines mathematical models and field experiments in the tropical country of Trinidad to understand the mechanisms for the maintenance of the sexes in a tropical plant and determine why some populations of the plant contain both sexes while other populations contain only one sex. He has taught the fundamentals of biology to future elementary school teachers, ecology, chemistry, and introductory biology to undergraduate students, and English to elementary students in Germany. In the community, he is active with Collexion, an art and technology collaborative, and OpenLexington, a movement to promote open data and a more transparent local government.

 

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