Teasley MS Administration
Dr. Ben Lester – Principal
Welcome to Teasley Middle School! My name is Dr. Ben Lester, and I am entering my second year as principal of the Raider Nation. I earned my Ph.D. at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida in second language acquisition, M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Florida International University, and B.A. in Spanish from the University of Georgia. I have been a teacher, researcher, and administrator in a variety of k-12 learning environments in Georgia and Florida. I am a former Spanish, ESOL, and language arts teacher, and university professor. My university level experience has centered on teaching courses focused on first and second language acquisition, culture, curriculum development, and assessment in diverse classrooms. My professional publications investigate issues related to teaching science content to second language learners, influences of home language/culture on the k-12 experience, and civic action through curriculum development and implementation. Teasley Middle School strives to be a school of excellence through determination, kindness, and gratitude. It is an honor and privilege lead our school family. I am proud to be a Raider!
Dr. Chris Garity – 8th Grade Administrator
My name is Dr. Chris Garity and I am excited to begin my eighth year as an assistant principal at Teasley Middle School! I earned both my Ed.D. in Executive Leadership and Ed.S. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Lincoln Memorial University, M.A. in Interrelated Special Education from the University of North Georgia, and B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. This is the 11th year that I have had the privilege of working in the Cherokee County School District. The first three years of my tenure in Cherokee County were spent as an assistant principal at Etowah High School. Prior to working in Cherokee County, I taught middle school in Fulton County and served as an administrator in Cobb County. My professional interests include mentoring administrators as well as the concept of servant leadership and its role in creating a positive school climate for our student’s success. I continue to be honored to serve the faculty, parents, and students in the community in which I reside.
Mr. John Carter – 7th Grade Administrator
Hi there. My name is John Carter. I am in my third year as an assistant principal at Teasley. I feel like this is my home away from home, I hope this welcome will help you feel the same way. My personal educational experience began with a Bachelor of Music from Berry College in Music Education, continued with a Master of Arts in Music Education from Piedmont College, and an Educational Specialist from Kennesaw State University in Educational Leadership. Areas of particular focus in my study have been technology in education and the intersection of euro-centric and afro-centric culture in American music.
Prior to my four years of school leadership, I was a band director for 13 years here in Cherokee County. My experience is primarily in middle school as both a teacher and administrator, though I spent three years teaching band and STEM music in an elementary school setting as well as a year in elementary school administration.
In addition to being an educator, I am also a proud army reservist. For the past 18 years, I have served as a member of the 313th Army Band. That experience of teamwork, mastery of skills, and grit guides me in my role in the Raider Nation. This place and these people create a family environment where values of hard work, kindness, and thanks drive everything we do. I am proud to be a Raider!
Dr. Julie Dutko – 6th Grade Administrator
My name is Dr. Julie Dutko and I am thrilled to begin my first year as an assistant principal of Teasley Middle School! I earned my Ed.D. from Liberty University in Curriculum and Instruction, Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from Berry College, Ed. S. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Administration from Nova Southeastern University, M.A. in Instructional Technology from Nova Southeastern University, and B.S. in Elementary Education from Messiah College. This is the 15thyear that I’ve had the pleasure of working in Cherokee County School District. Twelve years were spent as a classroom teacher, one year as a district Response to Intervention Facilitator, and one year as an Instructional Lead Strategist. I also enjoy serving as an adjunct professor for two universities. My university experience includes courses related to curriculum design, assessment practices, and research design and analysis. My personal research interests have included the impact of mathematics anxiety, along with procedural and conceptual fluency, on student mathematics achievement. My greatest desire as an educator is to support teachers in ensuring effective instructional practices that will positively impact all of our students. I am very excited for the opportunity to work in my community, and I am proud to become a part of the Raider Nation!