Meet Our Staff


Headmaster – Jeff Johnston

After earning his bachelor’s degree from Brock University, Jeff worked for a short time as a youth pastor. Feeling the call to serve young people as a classroom teacher, he moved from his home in Canada to Grand Rapids, MI, to pursue teacher certification from Cornerstone University, where he was recognized as Student Teacher of the Year. He began his teaching career by opening a home school cooperative then later joined with National Heritage Academies as a middle school instructor. He continued teaching in Greensboro after marrying Laura, a native to North Carolina. In 2004, Jeff accepted the position of Assistant Principal at Greensboro Academy, while working to complete his master’s in educational leadership/curriculum and instruction from Calvin College. Through the years of moving from student to instructor to administrator, Jeff’s passion for classical, Christian education deepened. The Christian Education Society of Mebane, Inc. was born out of his vision as he shared it with other local parents through monthly meetings beginning in 2004. Years of prayers were answered when Bradford Academy opened its doors in 2008.

Jeff and Laura are parents to four children who all attend Bradford. Jeff’s service as a Sunday school teacher combined with his school teaching has afforded him opportunities to teach students from age three through twelfth grade. He still teaches Latin and logic in the Upper School at Bradford Academy.

Executive Assistant – Laura Johnston

Laura is the middle of three children, born and raised in the great town of Mebane, NC. After graduating from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro, she was employed by PurEnergy Health and Wellness Services as executive assistant until she and Jeff married in 1999 and moved to Michigan. Shortly after returning to North Carolina, their first child, Avonlea, was born in 2002. Laura was thankful for the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom while their children were little. During that time, she helped run a ministry for moms at Grace Reformed Baptist Church for 10 years, worked as a transcriptionist, and volunteered frequently at Bradford until officially joining the staff in 2014. Laura counts it an immense privilege to work alongside her husband, Jeff, serving the teachers, students, and families of Bradford Academy for the glory of God.

Laura enjoys running, coaching cross country, watching her children play sports, serving as team manager for travel soccer, and teaching a kindergarten Sunday school class.

LOWER SCHOOL (K – 6th Grade)


Mrs. Davis is a familiar face around Bradford Academy.  She has been a Bradford Academy parent and volunteer for 7 years. And is now eager to begin the new school year as Director of the Transitional Kindergarten program. Amanda discovered her love for childhood development as she worked with students and young children in a clinical setting, while obtaining her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication Disorders at Appalachian State University. While she studied for a Masters in Biblical Counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, she continued to work with children as a teacher at a local, private preschool and an elementary school.  Over the years Mrs. Davis began and ran a children’s’ ministry as a church planter and most recently helped manage and teach a preschool co-op for the last two years. Amanda looks forward to guiding great discoveries and being a catalyst for a love of learning for our youngest class at Bradford Academy.

Kindergarten Instructor – Barbara Rivera

Barbara was born and raised in upstate New York. She received her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton with a double major in political science and history. She has over 20 years’ experience teaching Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, and was a director and teacher of the Awana program which focuses on teaching children the Bible and Bible memory. She enjoys reading, especially in history and theology, but her greatest passion is serving others in the name of Christ. Barbara has been actively involved in various mercy ministries both locally and internationally. She has been teaching at Bradford since 2015.

First Grade Instructor – Jenny Campbell

Jenny is a native of Alamance County and came to Bradford Academy after many years of homeschooling her four wonderful children (who now attend Bradford). She met her husband while on the mission field at an orphanage in Vlore, Albania, during her senior year of college. Jenny graduated from Cedarville University in Ohio with a degree in elementary education. She worked at E.M. Yoder Elementary School  here in Mebane before having children. Jenny, her husband Mike, and their children attend Grace Reformed Baptist Church where she teaches Sunday school. She has loved serving Christ and ministering a Biblical education to our students since 2014.

Second Grade Instructor – Megan Jones

Megan began teaching at Bradford in 2016 and loves her second grade students. A native Texan, she graduated with a degree in business management from Texas A&M, then worked as a graphic designer for several years at Providence Classical School in Houston.  While there, she also began working as a substitute teacher and found her passion for teaching! She has served the Lord by teaching Bible classes for both children and women. Megan absolutely loves the beautiful seasons of North Carolina and is enjoying living here. In her spare time she also enjoys painting, knitting, exploring God’s gorgeous nature, and singing. Some of her greatest joys in life have come from getting to raise her two children, Mallory and Will, both students at Bradford.

Third Grade Instructor – Ellen Mitchell

Ellen and her husband Brent have been married 30 years and have six children. Of their six, Hannah, Lydia, and Jacob have completed their education and are working, Aaron is in college and Mary Grace and Andrew attend Bradford Academy. The Lord called Ellen to home school her older children for 15 years. Part of that journey included being introduced to classical education through Classical Conversations, where she taught 5th and 6th graders. Three of her children attended public school for some time. This broad spectrum of experience has been an education in itself and has honed her desire to teach in a classical school. She and her husband currently serve the Lord through Crosslink Community Church where they coordinate infant through fifth grade children’s ministries. She is thankful for the blessing of being part of the Bradford community and says it is like a dream come true! We are blessed this year to have her guide our third graders through their academic journey. Ellen has been teaching at Bradford since 2012.

Fourth Grade Instructor – Ana Hamilton

Russian-born pianist Ana Palanciuc Hamilton came to Bradford Academy after an award-winning performance career under the tutelage of internationally acclaimed pianist Mark Zeltser. Before coming to Bradford, she spent much of the last decade working with young people in the indigent communities of Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and inner-city America. She is now in her tenth year of teaching. In her spare time, she is working on completing her master’s degree in piano performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ana has been teaching at Bradford since 2014.

Fifth Grade Instructor – Amanda Windes

Amanda Windes is originally from Kingsport, TN, where she grew up with an older sister and two younger brothers. She graduated from Grove City College in Pennsylvania as an English major and history minor, and is glad to be part of the Bradford team! She wanted to teach because she loves both learning and students! She especially enjoys fifth graders for their energy and enthusiasm for learning as well as their growing and questioning minds. She is thankful to be teaching at a classical Christian school where she can share with her students the same love of learning blended with a love for the Lord that many of her teachers and professors have shared with her throughout the years. In her spare time, she loves pursuing art, taking ballet classes, reading, running, playing frisbee, traveling, being outdoors, and having a good conversation over a cup of tea. Amanda has been teaching at Bradford since 2012.

Sixth Grade Instructor – Virginia Garrett

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Virginia longed to be surrounded by nature. Thankfully, she was able to move to the hills of Tennessee for college. There, she fell in love with art, literature, and history at The University of the South in Sewanee. After obtaining her degree, she served and taught teenagers through Young Life in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as through The Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools. In 1996, she began her master’s of divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, where she met her husband, Chris. The couple moved to the Philippines for missions work in 2003, where Virginia homeschooled her eldest daughter, Caroline. Teaching women and children in the Philippines through summer Bible camps and women’s groups was an honor for Virginia. Her other three children were born in the Philippines: John, Brooke, and Christopher. Upon returning from overseas work in 2007, Virginia began homeschooling her four children and teaching in home school cooperatives in Cary and Durham. She also currently volunteers at her church with the children and women’s ministries. Virginia began teaching at Bradford in 2016.


Seventh-Eighth Grade Math – Jason Palmer

Jason Palmer teaches algebra and pre-algebra as a part-time instructor with Bradford.  He is married to his beautiful wife and best friend, Charity. They have four beautiful girls, and together they strive to love God, each other, their family, and those around them daily. He has a Business Management degree from Appalachian State University and a Masters of Divinity in Advanced Biblical Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jason also serves as an elder at Crosslink Community Church with several years working with youth and youth ministry.  Prior to that, he spent time working in Bratislava, Slovakia as a church planter with the International Mission Board. Together, he and Charity spent over three years learning the language and serving with their Slovak friends. 

Seventh and Ninth Grade Humanities – Jesse Hamilton

Jesse Hamilton teaches humanities and composition in middle and high school. He holds a B.A. in English from Louisiana State University in Shreveport, an M.A. (with distinction) in philosophical theology from the University of Nottingham, and is a Ph.D candidate in philosophy at the University of Aberdeen, where he is writing his dissertation on the problem of evil. He has 12 years of teaching experience at various levels. Before coming to Bradford, he served as a missionary to China for over seven years. In his spare time he enjoys writing poetry and spending time in nature. Jesse has been teaching at Bradford since 2014.

8th and 10th Grade Humanities – Joshua Miller

Josh Miller was born and raised in the suburbs of Milwaukee, WI, where his entire family resides. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Humanities from Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. This past spring he completed a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree at Duke Divinity School.  He is very excited to be teaching at Bradford Academy this year, especially in the area of humanities insofar as it will allow him to (re)read and engage with so many classic texts that he already deeply values. Reading (esp. theology, church history, and the classics) is Josh’s biggest hobby—when the reading is not already required for school or work, that is. Other hobbies include traveling (esp. to visit friends and to explore Europe), enjoying good coffee (esp. from local shops and through home roasting), and engaging in music (esp. listening to classical and country or playing piano on the worship team at church). He attends All Saints Church in Durham, which is an Anglican parish that is a member of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). He is serving as an intern at All Saints for a second year under the music director, with whom he helps lead the worship team on certain Sunday mornings. Josh is equally and passionately committed to both the education of young people in schools and the formation of all people in local churches.

Math – Lori Byrd

Lori Byrd is a part-time math instructor at Bradford Academy. She holds a B.S. in mathematics and physics from Roanoke College. Lori spent two years teaching math and science at a Virginia high school and six years teaching math to underprivileged students through a federal program, Upward Bound. In more recent years, she has enjoyed homeschooling her four children, especially when it comes to math and science. She and her husband, Stephen, enjoy serving together at Grace Reformed Baptist Church where Stephen is a lay elder. A special focus is their ministry to college and career students. Lori’s current hobbies include efficiency cooking, cheering and stats keeping at her boys’ basketball games, and being an “adopted mom” to college students. She began teaching at Bradford in 2016.

 Chemistry Instructor –  Kenneth Duke James, Jr., Ph.D.

Dr. James is an entrepreneur and consultant in the pharmaceutical industry. A founder of two companies, he is an inventor of four drug candidates and one repurposed drug that have been out-licensed or sold to other companies for further clinical development. Prior to his work in pharmaceutical discovery and development, his studies took him to places such as the Galapagos Islands and the rain forests of Costa Rica studying the ecology of those regions.  Kenneth received his B.S. from Furman University with a double major in chemistry and biology. He also received a doctorate in organic chemistry from Indiana University, working in the field of molecular evolution supported through NASA’s exobiology program. Kenneth worked as a visiting scientist at Albert Ludwig’s Universitaet (Freiburg, Germany) supported by a grant from NATO. He concluded his academic training with post-doctoral research at Duke University. He has 15 U.S. patents, over 100 foreign patents, and approximately 50 scientific publications. Kenneth is a deacon of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, where he also serves as treasurer.

 7th & 8th SCIENCE: Johanna Freuh

Johannah Frueh is originally from upstate New York. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science from Grove City College with degrees in biology and secondary education. After living for a short time in her husband’s hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, she and her husband, Eric, relocated to North Carolina in 2006, where Johannah began her teaching career. She taught middle school science at Eno River Academy (formerly Orange Charter School) for 7 years.  Since 2013, she has stayed home with their three children, Molly, Ian, and Ezekiel (“Zeke”), homeschooling, as well as working part time as both a private tutor and a birth doula. She currently serves as a preschool Sunday School teacher and on the women’s ministry leadership team at Crosslink Community Church. She is passionate about teaching and is especially excited to be working with middle school students again! She is thankful to be joining the Bradford team and looks forward to cultivating a love for the beauty and complexity of God’s creation in her students. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, cooking, camping, and exploring all that North Carolina has to offer.

 9th & 10th SPANISH: Mary Lou Dovan

Originally from western Pennsylvania, Mary Lou attended Grove City College where she majored in English and Spanish.  On a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with college classmates, she met her husband Andy.  The Dovans have lived in Hickory, North Carolina for the last three years where Mary Lou taught Spanish at Hickory Christian Academy.  Now living in Liberty, Mary Lou looks forward to joining the Bradford team.  Currently, she is also a student at New Saint Andrews College where she is pursuing a master’s in Classical Christian Studies.  When she’s not reading, Mary Lou loves to write letters, organize, laugh, and spend time with loved ones around the dinner table.

Bible: Gary Hendrix

Pastor Hendrix graduated from Piedmont Bible college in 1970 and immediately took a temporary preaching position in Mebane.  In God’s kind providence, he has been here in Mebane ever since!  Gary is well known for his thorough biblical and expositional preaching at Grace Reformed Baptist Church.  He is a popular conference speaker and has preached in the Dominican Republic, Australia, Canada, and throughout the United States.  Bradford Academy is very excited to have such an able and faithful servant teaching the Bible to our young scholars.  He is also a grandfather, so a handful of Bradford students just call him Pop


Visual Art – Amy Fairchild

Amy is currently teaching logic and rhetoric level art at Bradford Academy as a part-time adjunct instructor. Her love for art has always been a big part of her life and even as a child she spent countless hours creating “masterpieces.” In recent years she has helped to start an interior design business and has sold her artwork through multiple outlets. Amy spent most of her childhood in Mebane attending Grace Reformed Baptist Church. The highlight of her life was when Christ saved her as a teenager. God patiently taught her to depend on Him and trust in Him alone. Amy’s greatest desire in teaching art at Bradford Academy is to teach the students to look for the truth and beauty of Christ in their surroundings and in their lives. She is praying that students at Bradford would regain some lost battleground in the world of art and, by God’s grace, have a platform to speak truth and share the gospel through their message of art. Amy began teaching at Bradford in 2016.

K-8th Grade Music – Allison Gregory

Allison Gregory joined Bradford in 2016 as a part-time music teacher.  She was born in Texas and attended Liberty University where she studied as a vocal performance major for three years. She performed in Liberty University’s opera and was a member of the Liberty University Chamber singers. During her freshman year, she won the regional NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) competition for freshmen sopranos. While at Liberty, Allison met her husband, Daniel Gregory, to whom she has been married since May 1999. She received her bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies from Liberty University in 2003. Since 2000, Allison has been an active choir director at each church in which her husband has been pastor. Currently, her husband Daniel is the pastor of Mars Hill Baptist Church in Hillsborough, NC, where she directs the choir and fills a few other volunteer jobs. She and Daniel have one daughter, Grace Gregory, who is a student at Bradford Academy. Allison believes the most important part of life is giving glory to God. She feels music is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable ways to give God glory.

Bradford PLUS

After-School Program Director – Jennifer Gowl

Jennifer joined the Bradford team in 2018 as Director of Bradford Plus.  She specialized in classical faith based education while homeschooling her son from 2008 – 2017.  Jennifer is active with the children’s ministry at Crosslink Community, while participating in additional ministry opportunities.  When not at Bradford or Crosslink, she can be found enjoying family time with her husband and son at the Orange County Sportsplex, where they are involved in hockey.   Focused on her faith and service opportunities, she loves to work with children and values finding ways to support her co-workers.  Jennifer’s family has long-standing ties with the Mebane community and she looks forward to being involved with our Bradford families.  She is enthusiastic to direct Bradford Plus – our exciting after-school program – and help our families with after-school care.

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