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Par Excellence Academy
Par Excellence Academy


Our Staff

Our dedicated team of education professionals hold themselves to the highest standards, therefore providing the best education available. See some reasons why Par Excellence Academy are ranked among the best in the country.

Gisele James Principal
Ms. James has been the principal at Par Excellence Academy since 2010.  After 20 years in business, she transitioned to education with a Masters in Education from Ashland university. She is passionate about helping teachers nurture their students' inner genius.
Jeffrey Hollern Assistant Principal
I have  worked in education for 34 years. This is my second year serving as Assistant Principal at Par Excellence. I enjoy watching sports on the weekends (Go Buckeyes!). My life's focus is to empower  those students who need extra support to succeed.
Richard Volzke Director of Operations
Paige Anderson Administrative Assistant

This is my second year at Par. My son attends this extraordinary school and loves it here! In my free time I enjoy painting, traveling and Sunday Football! (Go Bengals!) I am excited to grow with Par and see what the future holds for our amazing students!

Stephanie Yost Secretary

I have been with Par Excellence Academy since August 2010.  I love everything about PARX!  My husband and I have been married for 36 years.  We have two grown daughters, two sons in law and one amazing grandson.    

Mia Bicker Enrollment and Community Relations
Both my kids attend Par Excellence and it’s been an amazing opportunity for them. I’m happy to be a part of connecting our community to the great education my kids have experienced here.
Bill Thorp Custodian / Building Maintenance
This is my first year as Custodian for Par Excellence. I came from Heath City School where I helped with catering lunches to Par Ex, which is how found out about this school! I am married with four children and twelve grandchildren. I enjoy camping and working on my 1985 Monte Carlo-SS classic car in my spare time.  Happy to be  here!
Ouila Hill After School Program Director
I have worked with children for 25 years and this is my second year at Par. I live for the aha! moments when the kids understand a new idea. I have four grandbabies and in my free time enjoy scrapbooking, doing hair, and watching sports with my husband.
Samantha Fowler Kindergarten
I’ve been a teacher for 8 years and love being a teacher and a mom more than anything! I believe students learn best through active, hands-on learning and work to facilitate a life-long love of learning in my students' lives.
Brienna Terrell Kindergarten
This is my first year teaching at Par Excellence Academy. I was recently wed to my husband, Ryan. We don't have children, but we have two large dogs - an English Mastiff and a yellow Lab who we enjoy walking. I like outdoor activities including hiking, biking and kayaking. My very favorite quote is by Bob Goff: 'Throw kindness around like confetti!'
Courtney Armstrong First Grade
Mom, Step mom, Foster Mom, Wife, Teacher, dog lover, fun, strict, goofy, selfie taker. I have many roles in my life, but one thing you will always get from me is 100% love and dedication to your child and to Par Excellence Academy.
Nicole McAlpine First Grade
    This is my fifth year working at Par.  I received my master's in education from MVNU.  I have two wonderful little boys and enjoy spending my free time with them. 
Jessica Hutchinson First Grade
I have a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, and a Master's degree in Special Education. I am married and have three children. We enjoy spending time at Lake Erie and especially at Cedar Point!
My goal is for each of my students to feel safe and loved, while learning. As a teacher, I believe in teaching to each student's ability, rather than his/her disability.
Chris Estadt Second Grade
I am a graduate of OSU with a master’s in elementary education. I have been married for 26 years and we have one son who is also married. In my spare time I like to fish, garden, cook, and build models.
Crystal Wood Second Grade
   I received my Bachelor's in elementary education from OUL. Currently, I am working to earn my master's degree  in reading. I have served  communities and families across Ohio throughout various education related positions, the Ohio Education Association,  and volunteer services for several years. I love to read and garden.           
Collin Blaney Third Grade
I obtained my degree in early childhood education/special education and a master’s of education from Seton Hill University, where I played collegiate lacrosse. I believe in the importance of movement and activity to engage students in a passion for learning.
Samantha Frizzell Fourth Grade
I received my master’s degree in education from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. I have been teaching at Par Excellence for four years. I enjoy making a difference in students’ lives and helping them become positive, life-long learners.
Breanne Fox Fifth Grade
I  have my Bachelor's degree in Education from Muskingum University. My licensure is for Language Arts, grades 4 through 9.  Last year, I was a full-time sub at John McIntire Elementary School in Zanesville. I am engaged to my finance, Jason and we are planning our wedding for October of 2020. I enjoy reading and spending time with my family. I also enjoy traveling when I have time. I am excited to be here at Par Ex and to have my own classroom!                                                      
Crystal Harding Fifth Grade
I  have my Bachelor's degree in Education/Middle School from The Ohio State University , with licensure in Language Arts/Social Studies. I came to Par Ex from Utica , where I taught 4th, 5th and 6th grade. I am married with three children. I enjoy journaling and traveling, and I am a big college sports enthusiast. Having taught up to thirty students at a time, I am looking forward to a smaller class size where I can get to know my students on more of an individual level.
Amber Sampson Fifth Grade
I am from the little town of Crooksville, Ohio. 
I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio University-Zanesville in 2010, and for the three years I’ve been teaching in Columbus.  This is my second year at Par Excellence Academy.
Megan Bullock Sixth Grade
I have a Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Ashford University, and a Master's degree from Muskingum University, with licensure for grades 4-9 in Language Arts and Social Studies. I am married with three step-sons and 2 daughters. I enjoy reading and spending time in nature. This is my first year at Par Ex, but even on my the first day I already loved this school and especially the staff!
Lindsey Peterson Intervention Specialist
I have a Master’s degree in special education and have worked in education for almost forty years, either in schools or corporate training & sales. I love to travel, especially to Great Britain, and  I lived in Mexico for six months. I’m a loyal Michigan State Spartans fan!
Kellie Mooney Intervention Specialist
I received my Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education/English, Communications and Speech from Penn State. My Master's degree is in Special Education (K-12), which I earned from Mount Vernon Nazarene College. I have two chihuahuas, and I enjoy musical concerts and writing poetry. As a student, I had extreme test anxiety so I can relate to many of my students who struggle with conventional learning and testing. For me, my work is about meeting each student where they are.
Allison Shardell Intervention Specialist
I have my PhD in Human Services and Counseling, with a focus on Autism, from Capella University. I am married and have four children, all of whom have special needs. My personal belief is that every child deserves a chance to learn. I enjoy practicing martial arts and traveling. This is my first year at Par Excellence Academy.
Erin DiGiacomo  Intervention Specialist
I earned my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education Administration from Ohio University, and my Master's degree in Special Education from Muskingum University. I am currently pursuing my doctorate (PhD) in Organizational Leadership. I love horses and have a retired brood mare farm. I am also a former competitor in the Western Pleasure horse show circuit!. I recently started a drone service business! I am thrilled to be here at Par Ex!
Sara Arends Success for All Facilatator
Title I Coordinator
Alisha Fenton Title I Math
I have a master’s in education and love school so much I keep going back for more certificates. I share this love of learning with my students! A Newark native, I love traveling and international cultures and taught in Japan for six years.
Amy Ewbank Paraprofessional
This is my third year with Par Excellence, serving as a paraprofessional. I have worked with all grades, and I especially enjoy working with students who have behavior challenges. I am married and have eight children and eight grandchildren. I enjoy rock-climbing, hiking and kayaking. I also coach and own a fencing club. I also have a Red Marble fox, Yuki, and have fun playing with her.
Alyssa Slocum Paraprofessional
I  recently received my parapro certification from ODE and am excited to work with students in the classroom this year. This is my second year serving as the E2 after--school enrichment program assistant. I am married with four children; the oldest was part of Par Ex's first-ever sixth grade graduating class last year! I love this school! I  enjoy kayaking and just being in and around water. My favorite quote is Dori's:  "Just Keep Swimming," from the movie Finding Nemo.
Ashley Pawley Paraprofessional
I am very excited to be working with kinders this year in the classroom. I have two children, one of whom is a second-grader at Par Ex this year. This summer I had the chance to tell my story on the radio and talk to many parents about how Par Ex provided such a positive experience to my son. In my free time I enjoy drawing, and doodling especially.  I am very happy to be here!
Johnne Heard Paraprofessional
This is my first year with Par Excellence. I am a Chicago native, but am happy to be in the Buckeye state. I have worked with children of all ages as an assistant youth minister in my former church and  also play an active role in my current church - Shiloh Baptist.  I enjoy helping youth  choose the right path in a culture of many negative influences. I am excited to be here at Par!
Michelle Neville Paraprofessional
I have come to Par Ex from Licking County ESC, where I served as a classroom aide for all grade levels. I have three children: one in high school, one in middle school and a four-year old - so I keep busy with 4H and band activities. My youngest is four years old, so I am also enjoying the toddler years! In my freetime, I like to cook and bake. My ! My boyfriend is also trying to convert me from a Buckeyes fan to a Crimson tide fan!
Adriana Hoy Paraprofessional
Last year, I had the chance to do my program observation here at Par Ex, as a student in Zane State University's Early Childhood Ed program. I am so excited to be back and working with students directly as I pursue my degree from WGA. I am engaged to my fiancee, Hayden, and we have an Australian Shepherd puppy who keeps me very busy. I enjoy weight-lifing and working out. My favorite quote is  by R.S. Grey: 'She believed she could, so she did!'
Patricia Hughes Paraprofessional
Jane Krueger Gym
I am a retired Physical Education Teacher from Newark City Schools. I am also a retired Heath City Water Park Manager and did that for forty years. I have three grown children and one wonderful grandson. I love to be active and love teaching physical education!
Lee Ann Lugar Music
Ginger Kehler Communications Coordinator
I have worked in a  communications support role for public school districts for over  15 years and prior to that worked in the corporate world. I love discovering how creativity and innovation in education is shaping the lives of youth, and then sharing these stories with the world. I am married, with three children and two step-children. In my free time, I enjoy gardening and am a practicing medicinal herbalist.
Cindy Quinn Staff Support Liaison
     Last year, most of the students and staff got to know me because I was the PTO president. My daughter is a student here. I own my own company and am co-owner of another company. I have over twenty years of experience in planning events and implementing programs. I'm thrilled to be on board in a part-time capacity helping with field trips and internal events and programs which enhance student learning. In my spare time I enjoy reading, cooking and playing the piano. I am excited for a great year!
Lani Rush Health Aide
I have worked for Par Ex for six years. I love spending time with my 13 grandchildren. I really enjoy my job and coworkers at Par Excellence Academy.
Adam Houchins Technology
        I bring a gambit of skills to the Par Excellence team and students! With 9 years of technical experience to boot. I like to think I’m part 1 part professional gamer, 1 part illustrator, 1 part mad scientist and 2 parts technological guru – Wait… is that too many parts?