Kathy Preston grew up on a farm west of Montgomery, Alabama. There she learned to love animals and to work with and for her family. She is married to Harold Preston, and has three grown children: Dustin, Morgan, and Luke.
Almost 20 years ago she realized that she wanted to “make the world a better place.” So after much prayer and soul searching, she resigned from government work to pursue her teaching career. She has never regretted her decision. After 11 years teaching in Marietta, Georgia, she landed a job here at OAKS and the move has been a blessing for her and her family.
1st Grade Teacher
Laurelei Mendoza graduated from Tennessee Tech University with her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. After teaching for a few years, she continued her education and earned her Master’s degree in Reading and Literacy for grades K-6. Laurelei had the privilege to attend Adventist schools from first through twelfth grade, graduating from Hawaiian Mission Academy in 2004. Her and her husband, Josue are very blessed to have three amazing kids: Isabella, Lucas, and Juliette.
2nd grade teacher
Jesse Hoffman was raised in the small town of Mio, Michigan. He graduated from Southern Adventist University with his B.A. in Elementary Education and is so excited to begin teaching at OAKS. He and his wife just got married and they are happy to be back in the area. Some of the things Jesse enjoys are: swimming, longboarding, snow skiing, Ford Mustangs, and much, much, more!
3rd Grade Teacher
Miranda Starr graduated from Southern Adventist University in 2004 with a B.A. in Elementary Education. She has been privileged to teach in several wonderful schools on the east and west coast. She is thrilled to be starting her 3rd year teaching at OAKS. She enjoys hiking and kayaking with her husband Geoff and their two children Ben, and Katie.
4th Grade HOMEROOM
Kaylan Hartman grew up in Ooltewah, TN. She just graduated from SAU with her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She is excited to start her teaching career here at OAKS and hopes to make a difference in the lives of her students. Some of Ms. Hartman‘s favorite activities include camping, reading, and swimming.
Margo Haughee (Hoy)
4TH & 5th Grade Teacher
Margo Haughee grew up in an Adventist home in Kansas. She and her husband have three grown children. Her favorite activities include kayaking, walking, biking, reading, and traveling. In the spring of 2018 she and her husband Mike celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.
In 1982 she received her Master’s degree in Education from Northeastern Oklahoma State University. She is both denominationally and state certified. Her teaching career has spanned both public and private school teaching. She holds the distinction of being the longest tenured teacher at OAKS.
6th Grade teacher
Sharon Adams graduated from Andrews University with a B.S. in Behavioral Sciences with an emphasis on student development. She enjoyed being a dean at the high school and university levels before homeschooling her two children. She later received her teaching certification from Southern Adventist University and is in her 6th year at OAKS. She teaches 6th grade homeroom and 5th Grade Science and Social Studies.
Some of her favorite pastimes are kayaking, scrapbooking, music and reading. She lives with her family on a small farm with horses, a cat and a dog. A favorite bible verse is Joshua 1:9 where we are reminded that we need not be afraid for God is with us wherever we go. We are so blessed.
7th-8th Language Arts, Science & Social Studies
Janel Jensen is an alumna of Southern Adventist University. She graduated in 2012 with her B.A. in English and a secondary teaching certificate. She then attended Pacific Union College and received her elementary certificate. Janel graduated in 2015 with her masters of science in curriculum and instruction. Recently, she graduated with her Masters of Science in Instructional Leadership. Janel and her husband Geoffrey have a young son and daughter.
7th-8th Math, Bible, PE & TEchnology
Aaron Hall graduated from Southwestern Adventist University in 2004 with a B.S. in Communication and from Southern Adventist University in 2018 with a Masters in Instructional Leadership. Now in his 15th year of teaching and 6th year at OAKS, he teaches middle school Math, Bible, PE, and Technology while serving as OAKS Vice Principal.
When he’s not at school, he loves spending time and traveling with his wife, Alisa, and their three children. Aaron is also passionate about woodworking, music, sports, and exploring the great outdoors.
Elementary Music Teacher and Handbells
Mary Wilcox earned her music degree from Southern Adventist University and has lived in the Collegedale area for more than 20 years. She has been active in teaching music education for more than 25 years. Thirteen of those years as a kindermusik instructor. She is married and has three sons in college. She loves animals and music and is currently leading a community strings group called His Strings.
Wes Bradford has taught elementary and high school bands since the year 2000. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Southern Adventist University, and his Master’s degree in Music Education from Vandercook School of Music in Chicago. Mr. Bradford has always enjoyed playing any and all instruments, and is grateful for the opportunity to share this with so many students through the years. When he is not teaching or performing, he loves to spend time outside with his wife and 5 children.
Alisa Hall graduated from Southern Adventist University in 2013 with a degree in Character Animation. Soon after, she opened a successful photography and design business. Since moving to Tennessee in 2016, she’s continued taking a small number of photography clients (including OAKS), but has focused on clients with drawing and illustration projects. In 2018, she began teaching art at OAKS.
When she’s not at school, she is a full-time mommy to her three young children.
Heidi Matthews graduated from Chattanooga State Technical Community College in 2008 with an Associates degree in Radiologic Technology. While working full time she continued her education and graduated from AdventHealth University (AHU) in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Imaging Sciences. In 2014 she earned her Masters of Imaging Sciences degree. During her internship she spent most of her training in pediatric radiology. In 2020 Heidi felt God leading her in another direction and started working at OAKS as the Aftercare Director.
She is married with two children, soon to be three.
Randy Smith holds a Masters of Library Science degree from Indiana University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UT Chattanooga. Pryor to working at OAKS, he was a Research Librarian in Business, Law, & Government for the Broward County Library System, FL in addition to being head of Reference and Assistant Branch Manager at the Leon Slatin Library. He has worked Reference for both Indiana University’s Graduate Library and for the Wake County Library System in Raleigh, NC.
Shelly Caswell has served as an administrator and teacher in the Collegedale school system for 12 years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Multi-age-Multi Grade Education with an endorsement in School Administration from Southern Adventist University. Shelly is mom to Elizabeth who is 4. They enjoy riding bikes and making sauce in the kitchen. Shelly’s favorite bible verse is 3 John 1:4 “No greater joy have I than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
Yasmin Teale was born in Honduras, but moved to Fort Smith, AR when she was 13 years old. She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing. She is married with two kids, Kaitlin and Ethan. They moved to Tennessee when her husband, Roy was transferred here by McKee Foods about eleven years ago and this is where they now call home. She enjoys spending time with her family, vacations on the beach, watching movies and doing little projects around her house. She is happy to be a part of the OAKS family.