Meet Our Faculty and Staff

True education does not ignore the value of scientific knowledge or literary acquirements; but above information it values power; above power, goodness; above intellectual acquirements, character. The world does not so much need men of great intellect as of noble character. It needs men in whom ability is controlled by steadfast principle. (Education p226)

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    Kelvin Dela Paz


    BA Secondary Education; MA Educational Leadership

    Mr. Dela Paz has been teaching Math for the last 18 years. He is passionate about teaching young people and ultimately leading them to Christ. Witnessing the growth that takes place in the lives of the students is what inspires him to continue as an educator. 
    Mr. Dela Paz , his wife Marie, and sons Kurt and Matt moved to Memphis in 2020 after serving as missionaries in the islands of Micronesia for 18 years.

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    Sara Nelson

    Administrative Assistant

    Mrs. Nelson has been a part of the Memphis Junior Academy family for12 years, first as a parent, then as Home and School Leader, and currently as the Administrative Assistant. She considers it a special honor to serve the students, families, and staff at MJA. She and her husband, Robert, have lived in the Memphis area for over 16 years and have three wonderful children.
    Mrs. Nelson's favorite verse is Joshua 1:9. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

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    Raquelle Connor

    English Teacher7th/8th Grade Teacher

    BS English

    Hello! I just joined the team here at Memphis Junior Academy and I am excited to teach English and Bible to the 6th-10th grade students this year! I just graduated this past spring from Oakwood University, then I moved here to Memphis from Atlanta, Georgia. Some of my hobbies include reading, playing soccer, cooking, and gardening.

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    Marie Dela Paz

    5th/6th Grade Teacher

    BM Music Education; BM Piano Performance

    Mrs. Dela Paz brings to her classroom the fun and discipline that music offers. She earned degrees in elementary music education and piano performance.

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    Sophenia Partlow-Brown

    3rd/4th Grade Teacher

    BA Elementary Education

    It is a pleasure to be part of such a great school family. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways by bringing me to Memphis Jr. Academy.

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    Dawnmarie Simmons

    1st/2nd Grade Teacher

    BA Liberal Arts Education

    Hi! I am the 1st and 2nd grade teacher at Memphis Junior Academy. I first fell in love with Tennessee when I moved here in 2010 to go to Southern Adventist University. Getting to experience all 4 seasons and explore new activities such as hiking in actual mountains, convinced me that I could trade the sunshine of Florida for the southern charm of Tennessee. This is now my 6th year teaching at Memphis Junior Academy and I consider Tennessee my home. I love exploring the vegan cuisine around Memphis, hiking at Shelby Farms, and participating in various sporting activities. I am an avid sports fan who enjoys supporting all the local teams even though the Florida Gators will always be number 1 in my heart. I love learning new things and can now add a red belt in karate, balloon twisting, and ukulele playing to my list of skills learned since coming to Memphis. The most important things I have learned have come from my students. They have taught me so much more than I could ever teach them. Each child is more than a student to me; I consider them family and I am blessed to be their teacher.

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    Kaylee Baughman

    Pre-K/Kindergarten Teacher

    BA Early Childhood Education; BA Psychology

    Kaylee began her career teaching 2nd grade and then spent many years working as a Disabilities Consultant for the Head Start program with children 2 -5 years old. After having two children, Kaylee decided to retire from her career and focus on just being a mama. When child number 3 headed off to Kindergarten, Kaylee decided to go right along with her. Kaylee will be coming up on her 3rd full year of teaching this December, but has had years of experience as a favorite substitute here at Memphis Junior Academy. She is a teacher and a parent at our school, with a 1st grader, a 4th grader and an 8th grader. Mrs. Baughman is married to her college sweetheart, Brandon.