FACULTY AND STAFF
Ms. Paige Cantrell has been part of the CCS Family for 22 years. She was first known as Rebekah and Jacob’s mother. She has made an impact on lives as a teacher’s aide, the director of the extended care program, and now as the K-3 teacher. She is a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Decatur and a Praise Band vocalist there. Mrs. Cantrell’s special interests are singing, baking, cooking, reading, and especially spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite thing about CCS is its feeling of family. “The staff and faculty have a commitment to, and real love for, the students, each other, and the school.”
Mrs. Sarah Cooper teaches 6th-8th grade history. History was her major at UNA where she received a B.S. in Secondary Education. Mrs. Cooper is married to Beau. They have three small children, Deegan, Mollie, and Amelia. Mrs. Cooper is a 2005 graduate of CCS and a lifelong member of Tuscumbia’s First United Methodist Church. She describes CCS as “a family that seeks to love and serve Christ and each other.”
Mrs. Gina Couch teaches high school History and Bible. She graduated from UNA with a B.A. in Education. She is a member of First Baptist Church in Tuscumbia. Her daughters Reagan and J.J., and their pets, Graham, Charlotte and George keep things lively at home. Mrs. Couch enjoys reading and traveling. The caring nature of the staff, faculty, students and parents give CCS the family atmosphere that she cherishes.
Mr. Donny Davis is officially Covenant’s Administrator, but his service here exceeds his job description. Before coming to CCS his experience included 8 years of teaching biology and coaching, being an assistant principal for 17 years in Russellville, and being the principal of Deshler High School for 3 years. At Covenant he loves “the presence of the Holy Spirit on its campus, the honesty and caring nature of its students, and how the teachers integrate God’s Word in their lessons.” He and his wife Melody are members of Highland Park Baptist Church. Their adult children are son Mark and daughter Morgan, married to Bo Mansell and mother of Stella Grace and Eden Elise. Mr. Davis loves spending time with his family, reading, hunting, and fishing.
Mrs. Julie FInch has served at Elementary Principal for 15 years. She earned a B.A. in Elementary Education and Sociology and a Master of Education from Covenant College. She joined the CCS family as our first second grade teacher, serving there for 17 years. Our sixth and seventh grade students get to have Mrs. Finch for Bible. Married to Gib, the Finches are parents of three CCS graduates and one current student. They are members of First Presbyterian Church in Tuscumbia. Mrs. Finch enjoys reading, crocheting, traveling, and singing. “What a blessing to have had a small part in this ministry and to be strengthened in faith as God has providentially moved from its inception to the present! I LOVE CCS!!”
Miss Mary Cait Finch enthusiastically teaches middle school English and 5th grade language arts. She is a graduate of CCS and Auburn University, and she is currently working on a Master of Education degree from Covenant College. Ms. Finch taught English as a Second Language in Cologne, Germany in 2015. She loves traveling, experiencing new places, and reading, especially Shakespeare. Ms. Finch cherishes the CCS community, which she says is “unlike any other!” She thrives on sharing the love of God and Bible verses with her students.
Mrs. Ishella Fogle is the Sponsor/Coach of the Robotics Team, Fishing Team, and Tennis Team. She is married to Pastor Andrew Fogle of Calvary Baptist Church in Florence and the mother of three children. Mrs. Fogle graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. from UAH with a math major and physics minor. This year Mrs. Fogle was honored to receive the Toyota Teacher Leadership Award from North West Alabama BEST and the Teacher of the Year award from South's BEST at Auburn University. “Hearing and seeing how the Robotics Team has changed the way students approach their schoolwork and what they want to do with their lives” is a blast for her.
Mrs. Melanee Frederick teaches Pre-algebra, Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra 2. At UNA, she earned a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics and a B.S. in Secondary Education. She and her husband Huey are members of Grace Life Church of the Shoals and parents of two daughters, Jordan and Darby. Mrs. Frederick names “cooking” as her main interest. Her favorite thing about CCS is its family atmosphere.
Mrs. Amy Handley is teaching fourth grade famously at CCS for the 23rd year. She graduated from UNA with a B.S. in Elementary Education. Amy and Jonathan Handley have a daughter Anna, a CCS graduate, and are members of Launch Point Church in Tuscumbia. Mrs. Handley loves taking fourth graders to Montgomery and watching their excitement in seeing first-hand the things they learned about in Alabama History. She loves LOTS of things about CCS. One of her favorite things is her freedom to relate everything that is done or taught to God’s Word.
Mrs. Denise Hodge diligently teaches 6th-8th grade science, 6th grade Bible, and 6th grade reading. She graduated from Mississippi State with a B.S. in Elementary Education and has now taught eight years at CCS. Tuscumbia’s Valley Grove Baptist is the church home for Mrs. Hodge, her husband Brandon, and their two sons, Jonah and Zane. Her hobbies are reading, painting, and crafting. How people at CCS genuinely love each other is especially dear to her.
Mrs. Jo-Lynn James is Covenant’s lively librarian. She holds a B.A. in History and a Master's of Library and Information Science from the University of Alabama. The James Family (including husband Matt, and CCS students Sarah and Will) are members of Barton First Baptist Church. Mrs. James says that she knows her children each day at CCS “will have an encounter with God that draws them closer to Him.” She loves the Christian fellowship at CCS which encourages her and draws her heart closer to God, too.
Mrs. Stephanie Lawler is very thankful to be a part of the CCS staff for 14 years! She is a graduate of the University of North Alabama with a B.S. in Elementary Education (K-6) and graduated with a certification of a Highly Qualified teacher. Mrs. Lawler taught 1st grade at CCS for 11 years and now 3rd grade for the last 3. She has been married for 24 wonderful years to David and is blessed with three children: John David( a 2016 graduate of CCS), is a sophomore at the University of North Alabama, and twin daughters, Laura Beth and Emily Jane, are 5th graders at CCS. The Lawlers worship at Grace Life of the Shoals. One of my favorite scripture passages is Psalm 16:8 - “ I have set the Lord before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.”
Mrs. Angie Livingston teaches kindergarten kindly to five year-olds. She earned a B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the University of Alabama. Through the years, Mrs. Livingston has taught in various capacities including preschool, public school, and homeschool before coming to teach at Covenant in 2012. Her husband Scott is the pastor of Valdosta Baptist Church in Tuscumbia. Their children, Jacob and Kelsey, both have attended CCS since first grade. As a family they like to play games, watch movies, and go on walks and hikes. Her vision is for CCS to continue to strive to provide the very best academic education possible, while preparing students to go out into the world to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ.
Mr. Hal Mills teaches Bible and physical education. He is also the Athletic Director and Volleyball Coach. He earned a B.S. from UNA while on a football scholarship. He has taught 32 years and coached 33 years in Tuscumbia’s public schools and CCS. In 1998 Coach Mills was selected the Alabama Golf Coach of the Year. He and Lori have three adult children. The Mills are members of First United Methodist in Tuscumbia. He is active in the Alabama Emmaus Community and likes the outdoor life with dogs, hunting, and sports. Coach Mills particularly looks forward to the graduation ceremony at CCS “that I always thought was so special even before I became a member of the CCS family.”
Mr. Gary Nantt teaches Spanish in 3rd-5th grades. He served for 35 years on the mission field in South Korea and Mexico. As a Doctor of Theology, he is well-equipped to address both theological and linguistic questions from students. A member of First Presbyterian Church in Tuscumbia, his hobbies are teaching the Bible, English as a Second Language, and Spanish. His favorite things about CCS are the friendliness and enthusiasm of its students and staff.
Mrs. Allie Spain teaches first grade at Covenant. She is a 2013 alumni of CCS and also graduated from the University of Alabama. Ms. Spain attends Tuscumbia First United Methodist Church and sings in the worship band. In her free time, she enjoys attempting to cook, traveling, organizing, spending time with family and friends. She loves teaching at CCS because, "I believe The Gospel is best lived out in the context of community, and CCS provides that essential community for its faculty and students!"
Mrs. Brandy Patrick teaches fifth grade and serves as the Curriculum Coordinator for CCS. Married to John, Mrs. Patrick is the mother of Isaiah and Naomi Grace. The Patricks worship with Launch Point Church in Tuscumbia. She revels in life on their farm and free-style cooking. Mrs. Patrick says, "I love CCS because I am free to teach God's Word throughout the day and display God's truth within each subject area. I am blessed to be at CCS, where God has planted me to equip students with sharing the Gospel while fostering academic excellence."
Mrs. Leesa Poag teaches Art in the elementary grades, but brings creativity throughout the school. She is married to Ronny, and their children are Christian, a UNA student, and Aubree Faith, a CCS student. They are members of Faith Church in Florence. Ms. Poag is well-known for murals she has painted in other local schools and churches in North Alabama and for her work in theater stage design. Her hobbies are her spending time with her family, painting, decorating, and exercise. About CCS she says, “We are all family and here to encourage, build character, be accountable, and pray for one another.”
Mrs. Kim Rhodes teaches K-4 knowingly. Her degree is in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She is also certified Highly Qualified by the state of Alabama. Her children, Sarah and Thomas, both are CCS graduates. Mrs. Rhodes attends Valdosta Church of Christ. She loves seeing how unique each of her students is and how they grow through an important year. “I count it a blessing to be able to spend a year with each of them and only hope I have helped them grow in a way pleasing to God.”
Mrs. Debbie Shirley offers the first radiant smile that most people encounter as they walk through the doors of CCS. She became Covenant’s secretary in 1996 and performs dozens of services from putting band-aids on boo-boos to academic record-keeping and life counseling. Mrs. Shirley is a multi-talented staff member. Her interests in gardening and interior design are often employed on the school campus. She and her husband Robert presently serve on staff at First Baptist in Sheffield. They are the parents of two adult children and five beloved grandchildren. Their daughter, Molly, is a 2007 CCS alumni. Mrs. Shirley loves hearing the Scriptures recited and Christian songs sung in the classrooms and witnessing the kindness that is shown throughout the school.
Ms. Adina Stone ably teaches Latin I and II, Biology, Earth Science and Fine Arts. She is a lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church in Tuscumbia. A born scholar, she earned a B.A. and M.A. at UNA, a Latin degree and certification at Troy University, and an ABD PH.D. in Classics at the University of Florida. Ms. Stone started the first ACCESS Latin program online and in the virtual classroom for the Alabama State Department of Education. In 2011, while teaching at Sheffield High School, she was selected District 7 Teacher of the Year for the state of Alabama. Ms. Stone’s interests include music, traveling, archaeology, ancient medicine, nutrition, gardening, and animals. Her very favorite part of teaching at CCS is “the peace that I find her, the people with whom I serve, and the students and their families.”
Mrs. Jackie Stutts has been teaching Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology at CCS for 11 years. She earned her B.A. in Pharmacy at Auburn, and worked as a retail, hospital, and home health pharmacist. Mrs. Stutts has served as an International Sorority President and as a CCS board member. She is married to Senator Larry Stutts, MD. Adults now, all four Stutts children attended Covenant. Her grandchild, Michael, is a current student in the preschool program. The Stutts are members of First Presbyterian in Tuscumbia. Mrs. Stutts thrills “to watch students grow academically and spiritually while observing God’s grace in their lives is the best thing about CCS.”
Ms. Wanda Sutton, a member of Grace Life Church of the Shoals, has committed over 30 years to Christian education. She earned a B.S. in Secondary Education English and History at UNA, a Masters of English Education at Bob Jones University, and has taken classes in Old Testament at Birmingham Theological Seminary. At CCS Ms. Sutton teaches high school English, dual enrollment English, and sponsors the yearbook and National Honor Society. Her hobbies include reading and traveling as well as working with international missions. Ms. Sutton loves the students at CCS and delights in seeing God working in their lives both currently and in the future.
Mr. Bret Waldrep is head boys’ basketball coach and teaches computer. He and his wife Jennifer have two sons and are members of First Presbyterian Church in Tuscumbia. Mr. Waldrep is a CCS graduate and earned his B.A. from the University of Alabama. Coach Waldrep has the distinction of leading the boys’ basketball team to two consecutive play-off appearances for the first time in the school’s history. About CCS he says, “I am amazed at the accepting and open attitudes that all the kids have toward new students. I particularly enjoy the Christ-centered world view, and I know how much the world view being instilled can prepare students for the rest of their lives.”
Pictures courtesy of Joseph Romans Photography
More staff info coming soon!
Mrs. Morgan Mansell, 2nd Grade
Mrs. Lizzie Norris, Kindergarten
Mrs. Robin Lopez, School Counselor
Mrs. Alyson Estave, Math Teacher
Mrs. Leslie Stults, Finance Office