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Meet the Management Team

Ms. Debra Orr
Head of School

Debra Orr has worked in education for more than 30 years. She started in the Dekalb County public school system and later moved to St. Pius X Catholic High School, where she worked as a teacher, Learning Specialist and administrator. In 2000, Ms. Orr was hired as an Assistant Principal and helped open Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell. Later, she was recruited to launch Pinecrest Academy’s High School. In 2005, following approval from the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Ms. Orr founded and opened Notre Dame Academy as an independent Catholic School where she remains as Head of School. Ms. Orr has a Masters Degree as a Reading Specialist from Georgia State and Post Graduate work in Education Leadership at the University of Georgia.

She has served on numerous accreditation visit teams including those at Pinecrest Academy, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School and St. Patrick’s in Norfolk, Virginia. Ms. Orr is a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett and is actively involved with numerous organizations including SAIS-SACS, GISA, AAAIS, and IBO. She is currently on the Board of Trustees for Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. Ms. Orr was recently awarded the prestigious Klingenstien Heads Program Fellowship at Columbia University.

Mr. Preston Bazemore
Athletic Director

Mr. Bazemore joined the Notre Dame Academy Family in 2015. He previously worked as the assistant athletic trainer for Life University. Following his time at Life, Mr. Bazemore worked for an orthopedic surgeon for three years before working fulltime at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in 2001. Mr. Bazemore served 15 years as the head athletic trainer at BT, helping build the athletic program and a fantastic sports medicine program for students. Prior to his time at Life University, Mr. Bazemore spent time at Georgia Tech under Coach Bill Curry and was apart of the undefeated NCAA I-AA national championship Georgia Southern football team in 1989 under then Head Coach Erk Russell. Bazemore was part of Life’s NAIA National Championship Men’s Basketball team in 1997 with Head Coach Roger Kaiser. While working for the orthopaedist, Mr. Bazemore was an assistant athletic trainer for the WCW. Mr. Bazemore earned his bachelor’s of science in Biology from Georgia State University and his Masters of Science in Sports Health Science from Life University. Mr. Bazemore is a State Licensed and NATABOC Certified Athletic Trainer.

Mrs. Sharon Colletta
Director, Early Years Campus

Mrs. Colletta has been teaching in various capacities since leaving her role in technology consulting in 2001. She began her career in education at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School teaching Spanish. During her years of rearing young children, Mrs. Colletta spent many hours volunteering with both youth groups and marriage ministries. She also continued to work as a Spanish tutor. Since 2011, she has been teaching Religion at Notre Dame Academy’s Early Years Campus. In 2016 she transitioned into the role of Director of the Early Years Campus. Mrs. Colletta completed her undergraduate degree in Spanish at the University of Notre Dame and her Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Seattle Pacific University. She is a founding leader of the Notre Dame Academy Marist Way groups.

Mrs. Julia Derucki
Principal, Middle School

Mrs. Derucki has spent 23 years teaching and working exclusively in Catholic schools in Indiana, Florida, and Georgia. She has taught 2nd-8th Grade, with 11 consecutive years teaching 4th grade. She also served in administrative positions, including Dean of Students at a K-8th inner-city school and Dean of Academics. Mrs. Derucki piloted the ND Academy 8th Grade Annual “International Trip” and has traveled with the students to Japan, Italy, France, Spain, and Ireland. She is a member of the NCE, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and was nominated by parents for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution (AJC) Teacher of the Year in 2002 and Disney’s Teacher of the Year in 2003. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Ball State University, graduate courses in Educational Leadership from Indiana University-Purdue University Institute, and a Master of Science in Education with honors from Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL.

Mr. Bradden Kluesner
Principal, Elementary School

Mr. Kluesner joins Notre Dame Academy as Principal of the Lower School. His experience includes serving as principal of two Catholic elementary schools in Anderson, Indiana and as headmaster of a K-12 Catholic independent school in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has approximately twenty years of experience in Catholic education and Catholic ministries. Mr. Kluesner earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and Catholic studies from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota where he spent a semester studying in Rome. He completed his graduate education at the University of Notre Dame through the Alliance for Catholic Education program earning two Master’s degrees, one in Education and the other in Educational Leadership.

Mr. Ken Lemons
Director of Educational Technology

Mr. Lemons joined Notre Dame Academy in 2011 as the Education Technology Coordinator. Prior to Notre Dame Academy, Ken spent eight years with Black and Veatch Special Projects Corporation where he worked as an Environmental Engineer and Computer Network Administrator (Atlanta, GA), and three years with the University of Virginia where he worked as an Information Technology Specialist (Charlottesville, VA). Ken holds a Master of Science in Technology and Science Policy, a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering, and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, all from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a registered professional engineer in Georgia.

Mr. John Henry Spann
Principal, Upper School

Mr. John Henry Spann attended Southern Catholic College for three years and completed a BA in History at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. After working as a firefighter, he moved to Atlanta and began his career as a Social Studies teacher at Holy Spirit Preparatory school, eventually becoming a House Master. After receiving his M.Ed. in Independent and Charter School Leadership from Mercer University, Mr. Spann joined Notre Dame Academy as a member of its inaugural Upper School faculty, teaching, and managing student activities from the EYC thru the Upper School. In May of 2016, he completed his Master’s of Theological Studies from Holy Spirit College.

Mr. Spann is passionate about Catholic education, focusing his cumulative master's research project on formulating an authentically Catholic philosophy of education. He looks forward to his two oldest children starting Kindergarten and Pre-K3 at Notre Dame Academy next year.

Mrs. Stacy Stanford
Director of Advancement

Mrs. Stanford joined Notre Dame Academy in the fall of 2011. Prior to Notre Dame Academy, she spent nine years in Sales Management and Marketing at Newell Rubbermaid. Mrs. Stanford not only brings a business perspective to her role in the Advancement Office, but also a strong passion to enhance the "ND Academy experience" for our students, parents, faculty and staff. Mrs. Stanford is a graduate of Marist School in Atlanta and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism degree from The Grady College of Mass Communication at The University of Georgia.

Mrs. Carol Tiarsmith
Director of Finance

Mrs. Tiarsmith is the former CFO of Atlantic Capital Bank. Mrs. Tiarsmith is a graduate of the University of Alabama earning a bachelor's degree in corporate financing and investment management. Mrs. Tiarsmith attended the Stoner Graduate School of Banking.