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Meet the Management Team



Ms. Jenni Ellis
Head of School

Ms. Ellis has over 19 years of experience teaching and working in Catholic schools. Before becoming the Head of School at Notre Dame Academy, Ms. Ellis lived in Richmond, VA working with Catholic schools in the Diocese of Richmond. Before that, Ms. Ellis served as head of school at Sophia Academy in Atlanta, GA, and she and was instrumental in merging Sophia Academy with Notre Dame Academy in 2017. Ms. Ellis spent 11 years at Marist School in Atlanta, GA as the assistant principal and as the director of student activities. From 2000-2004, she was assistant principal at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, GA. Before becoming an administrator, Ms. Ellis taught sixth and eighth grade math, reading, language arts, and social studies for four years at Westside Middle School in Rocky Face, GA. Ms. Ellis holds a bachelor’s degree in middle grades education from the University of Georgia, a certificate in gifted education from North Georgia RESA, and a master’s degree in library media technology from Georgia State University.


Mrs. Julia Derucki
Assistant Head of School
Principal, Lower and Middle School

Mrs. Derucki has spent over 30 years teaching and working exclusively in Catholic schools in Indiana, Florida, and Georgia. She has taught both elementary and middle school grades, with 11 consecutive years teaching 4th grade. Mrs. Derucki also served in administrative positions, including Principal, Dean of Students, and Dean of Academics. She is an active member of the National Catholic Education, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and Association for Middle Level Education. Mrs. Derucki 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. She has completed Level 3 Administrative Training for the International Baccalaureate. Mrs. Derucki was one of the initial faculty of Notre Dame Academy, beginning with the foundation in 2005.


 

Mrs. Kelly Jenkins
Director, Early Years Campus

Mrs. Jenkins has over 18 years of experience in the field of education in both the private and public sector. She spent most of her career in education teaching grades Pre-K2 – 1st grade. In her last year teaching in Georgia Public Schools, she was ranked in the top 10% of educators in the state. Mrs. Jenkins joined Notre Dame Academy in 2015 as a 1st Grade teacher. In 2016 she transitioned to the role of PYP/ Curriculum Coordinator for the lower school. For the 2019-20 school year, Mrs. Jenkins will continue in the role of PYP/Curriculum Coordinator as well as taking on the role as Director of the EYC. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Paralegal Studies from Mississippi University for Women. She went on to obtain her teaching certification, as well as a Masters in Education Leadership, and a Specialist degree in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Reading at Mercer University.


 

Ms. Jaclissa Haislip
Athletic Director

Ms. Haislip joined Notre Dame Academy in 2018 as the Assistant Athletic Director, Head Girls Basketball Coach, and PE Teacher. Prior to Notre Dame Academy, Ms. Haislip worked in Athletic Event Management at the University of Tennessee and as the Convention Logistics Intern at the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. She has a Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Sport Management with a Minor in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee. She also obtained her Master of Business Administration from Union University.



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.


 

Mrs. Kelly Pizzarelli
Director of Enrollment and Financial Aid

Mrs. Pizzarelli has over ten years of experience at Notre Dame Academy. After serving in many other roles, she now serves as the Director of Enrollment and Financial Aid. Prior to her time at Notre Dame Academy, she worked for Anderson Consulting in the Logistics Division before starting her family. She then stayed home with her children and started two businesses out of her home during these years. All three of Mrs. Pizzarelli’s children have attended Notre Dame Academy. Her youngest son started the year Notre Dame opened in Pre-K3 and is now a senior in the 2nd graduating class of 2020. Mrs. Pizzarelli is originally from Alton, Illinois, where she attended Lewis & Clark College.


 

Mrs. Nadia Robinson
Director of Finance

Mrs. Robinson joins Notre Dame Academy as the Senior Accountant. Her prior experience includes serving as the Director of Finance & Operations at a Quaker school in Newton Square, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Robinson has over eleven years of experience in the business office at a school that serviced students with learning differences. Mrs. Robinson earned her undergraduate degree in political science from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. She completed her Masters in Business Administration at West Chester University.


Ms. Liz Seraydarian
Father Colin Program Director

Ms. Seraydarian has over 35 years in the field of education in the public and private sector in Texas, Florida, and Georgia. Ms. Seraydarian worked for the last 10 years in Georgia, Forsyth County and Cherokee County, as a Special Education Facilitator, supporting at-risk students and special education programs in elementary, middle, and high school settings. Prior to moving to Georgia, Ms. Seraydarian held the position as a Student Support Specialist in Florida, supporting students at-risk and in special education with a focus on prevention and intervention. She has experience working directly with teachers to help support students with learning differences in traditional classrooms, inclusion classrooms, and specialized instructional settings. Her teaching background includes teaching students with Learning Disabilities and behavior challenges. Ms. Seraydarian holds a Bachelor's degree in Emotionally Handicapped from Western Michigan University, a Master's Degree in Early Childhood from Nova Southeastern University, an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.


Mrs. Tracy Verrigni
Principal, Upper School

Mrs. Verrigni was appointed Principal of the Upper School in January 2019. She served as Assistant Principal of the Upper School from July 2018-Decembert 2018. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from LeMoyne College, with a minor in Education, a Master’s Degree in Reading from SUNY Cortland and completed the Educational Leadership program at Kennesaw State University. Her career began in a rural area outside of Syracuse, NY where she taught middle school Social Studies and English. She spent the last 18 years in Forsyth County Public Schools as a teacher, Graduation Coach, and Assistant Principal. Mrs. Verrigni served as the administrator of South Forsyth High School’s Special Education Program, Advanced Studies Department, the International Baccalaureate Program and the Counseling and English departments. She has a background in professional development testing and working with at-risk students. She completed the IB Self-Study Review for South Forsyth High School in 2018, was a chairperson for The Georgia Assessment Performance and Advanced Education school accreditation, as well as other Instructional Leadership roles at the school and district level. She attended the Instructional Coaching Institute, was a member of the National Staff Development Council and is credentialed by the George Professional Standard Commission as an evaluator of teacher performance.