Teacher Leadership Academy 2023-2024


Megan Henderson

Hello! I am Megan Henderson and I teach 1st grade at Banks School. This is my 12th year teaching. During my teaching career, I have also taught 3rd grade and Kindergarten. I love teaching and the joy it brings each day.  

I am married to Tyler Henderson and we have a daughter, Avery. While not teaching, I enjoy being with my family, spending time outside, going to the beach, and cooking.  

S. Younglbood

Sontessia Youngblood

Learning of her daughter’s speech and language disability altered Sontessia’s pathway in life; it led her to her destiny. She would become a teacher to advocate for her students and provide parents with the comfort of knowing she entered into the classroom to make an enormous impact on the lives of every student she encounters.

Sontessia Youngblood is a fifth-grade teacher at Banks School in Banks, Alabama.  She earned her Bachelor's and Master's Degree of Science in Elementary Education from Troy University. With strong dedication, Ms. Youngblood has been teaching for fifteen years in Pike County School System.  In partnership with Troy University’s Department of Education Teaching Program, Ms. Youngblood continues to mentor undergraduate students who are seeking their degree in education.  Her goal is to help prepare future Alabama educators to motivate, inspire, and set high, attainable expectations for students who they will eventually impact daily. Giving back and supporting the youth in her community, she was recognized and presented with an honorary award as an educator from leaders of community churches in 2018 and 2019.  In the following year, Ms. Youngblood was honored as Pike County’s Elementary Teacher of the Year in addition to being Teacher of the Year for Alabama District Five.  This opportunity elevated her to being selected on the state level as Alabama’s Sweet 16 Finalist in 2020. This year, Ms. Youngblood is honored to have been selected in such a distinguished magnitude as a representative for Pike County’s Teacher Leadership Academy and Banks 3rd through 5th Grade BARR Coordinator.  During her relaxation time, her enjoyment is embedded with spending time with her family, but especially with her amazing daughters, Jhada, Jabria, and Chasity. Her continued message to her past and present students is to promise to strive to be the best version of YOU!

Alberta Miles

Alberta Miles

My name is Alberta Miles. I am a second-grade teacher at Goshen Elementary. I received my Masters in Education from Troy University.  My certification is for grades 1-6. This is my 23rd year as an educator in the Pike County School System. I have been teaching for 24 years and have been blessed to teach 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. I’m so thankful to have made an impact on so many young lives!

I enjoy helping each child progress in all areas of their development. I strive to build positive relationships, provide a safe learning environment, and set expectations that nurtures the growth of my students.

Personally, I have been married for 29 years and have one child who is 28 years old and is a traveling CNA. I enjoy reading, relaxing at the beach or lake, and spending time with family.

Jessica Tatum

Jessica Tatum

Hello! My name is Jessica Tatum. I am married to Shane Tatum and we have two wonderful children, Bryce and Ella. We also have two dogs named Molly and Mike.

I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Troy University in Early Childhood Education. My Master’s Degree was received from Troy University in Elementary Education.

In 2013, I was blessed to be named GES Teacher of the Year and Elementary School Teacher of the Year for the Pike County School System.

Over the last 21 years, I have taught Kindergarten and First Grade. 

Coretta Gholston

Sgt Major Joyce Allen

Sergeant Major Allen is the JROTC Senior Army Instructor at GHS. She is a retired veteran with 23 years of military service and 8 years of teaching as a JROTC instructor. She earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Trident University, a Masters in Instructional Education from Central Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Maryland University College. She enjoys working with students and loves it when students show a passion for learning inside and outside the classroom.

Kristen Kelley

Kristen Kelley

Lytelia Berry

Lytelia Berry

Ms. Lytelia Berry was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1962. She grew up in a poverty-stricken area of Mobile, Alabama, and found it challenging for school to be her focal point in life. She encountered unexpected childhood obstacles. Being raised without her biological mother and father, Lytelia suffered from low self-esteem, no personal control, and problems with family members causing estrangement.

During her junior year of high school, Lytelia moved from Mobile, Alabama to Brundidge, Alabama. She graduated from Zion Chapel High School in 1980. In June of 1982, she married her high school sweetheart, and they raised two sons. In April 1996, she joined the military. After working in a sewing factory for 18 years, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.

Lytelia attended Enterprise State Jr College and received an Associate Degree in Early Childhood. She is a Troy State University graduate and received her Bachelor of Science in education. She has been chosen Teacher of the Year four times during twenty-one years of teaching. 

Today Mrs. Lytelia Berry is a twenty-one-year veteran teacher at Pike County Elementary where she continues to touch the hearts and minds of every child she meets.


Valencia Flowers

In her 20 years as an educator Valencia Flowers has taught in the state of Georgia for 18 years. She has been honored to work with students and teachers in a variety of K-6 settings. She has functioned as a first, second, and third grade classroom teacher as well as in a collaborative capacity. Currently, Valencia teaches and learns with extraordinary first grade students and colleagues at Pike County Elementary School in Brundidge, Alabama. There she has also been a team leader, mentor, role model to both her colleagues and Troy University intern teacher candidates, and a member of the Pike County Teacher Leadership Academy. Valencia received her undergraduate degree at Troy University and extended her education at Walden University to obtain a master’s degree in Elementary Reading and Literacy Instruction. Her vision is to create visible and real change in the lives of ALL students in her classroom, one including an academically engaging learning environment for EVERY student, while building authentic literacy experiences. Valencia has been married to her husband, Leon Flowers for 34 years. Together they have two children, Elizabeth and Jokim. Valencia loves organization and devoting time to her family.
Rebecca Lester

Erica Shepherd

Stance Neal

Stance Neal

I am an Alabama native who was born and raised in Dothan, Alabama. I have called the Wiregrass home for much of my life, but I have lived in a few other cities as well. Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, Pa. are just a few of the places I have resided.  Some years back I decided to pick up some extra money as a substitute teacher. It was not long before I realized I had a natural ability to teach and I legitimately enjoyed the process of educating our youth. Soon after I decided I would return to university in order to receive my teacher certification. My decision to teach has been one of the most important decisions in my life and I take very seriously the trust that the parents and administration have placed in me. It is my hope that every student who enters my classroom leaves with a new level of appreciation for the beauty of the written word. 

E. Gilbert

Elijah Gilbert

I am a 1987 graduate of Elba High School and a 1989 graduate of George C. Wallace State Community College in the field of structural and pipe welding. I worked at Dorsey Trailers in Elba, AL right out of trade school doing mostly GMAW (MIG) process fabricating trailer parts and doing pick-up welds that were missed in the main plant. I then went to ALFAB in Enterprise AL and did mostly GTAW (TIG) process welding aluminum aircraft landing mats and missile containers. From there I went on the road working in papermills, doing new build and shutdowns. I came back home for a job at Utility Trailers in Enterprise AL where I worked as a welder and then as a line supervisor. In 2001, I began my oilfield career with Diamond Offshore and Pacific Drilling. During this time, I was able to see a large part of the world. In April of 2020, COVID shut down the oilfield, so I came home to start my own business. Shortly after, I was offered the opportunity to be a welding instructor at TPCT.  I am in my 4th year of teaching welding at TPCT and love seeing young people get excited about learning the trade of welding, just like I did at the age of 13 in VoAg class. I have also been teaching an adult night class which has just started its 4th year. This has allowed people in Pike County and surrounding areas to learn a trade that can land them an excellent paying job. We have gone over 3 years without an LTI at TPCT Welding, to include day and night classes. This has been our greatest accomplishment. We have also completely remodeled our welding classroom and shop, going from 8 welding booths to 18 welding booths, with most of the work being done by welding students.

 On a personal note, I have a wonderful family including my wife of 22 years, 2 sons, a stepdaughter and 5 beautiful grandchildren. My hobbies include hunting, fishing and playing my guitar. I released a country album in 2009 that has had airplay in at least 11 different countries. I have sung in Nashville at songwriter shows, did a radio interview and television show. The pictures for my album cover were actually taken in Troy, AL at the Pioneer Museum. I still enjoy playing acoustic shows and will play for my students sometimes as well. 

Jessica Walker

Kim Sellers

Mrs. Sellers is the 7th - 9th Grade STEM Academy instructor at the Center for Advanced Academics and Accelerated Learning (CA3L). She attended Troy University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education in 2010. She earned a Master's in Adult Education with a specialization in Leadership Studies in 2015. Mrs. Sellers taught PLTW Pre-Engineering for 10 years at Troy Pike Center for Technology. With 14 years of teaching experience, Mrs. Sellers loves sharing STEM experiences with her students! 

In 2010, Mrs. Sellers married her best friend, Jonathan. She has 2 children, Maddie and Nolan. The Sellers family lives in Troy and absolutely love it.  When Mrs. Sellers is not in school, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family and friends, and attending any Troy University athletic event.  She especially loves to watch Trojan football!