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 19 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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    Claudisha Harriel

    Math and Science Teacher

    BS in Elementary Education

    Mrs. Harriel has 17 years in the education field, which includes:3rd-8th Grades Math, Science, & Bible Teacher, Pre-Algebra Teacher, Pre-Calculus Teacher, 6th-8th Grade Language Arts TeacherPre-Algebra Teacher, and Camp Counselor.

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    Kevin Mote

    Bible and English Teacher

    BA in Religious Education minor in English

    Hello, my name is Kevin Mote. I am the new English and Bible teacher at MJA, and I'm incredibly excited to be joining the MJA Family.

    I'm originally from Louisville, Kentucky and I attended Louisville Adventist Academy for all 12 years of school. I recently just graduated from Southern Adventist University with a degree I Religious Education and a minor in English. I have one goal at MJA, both through my English and Bible classes, and that is to guide students through the most important words that have ever been written, and show them Jesus in every word. My prayer and my mission is to educate, enlighten, and understand questioning youth to promote searching for coherent biblical answers, and guide those youth to a deeper relationship with God. I cannot wait to join the MJA Family! God bless!

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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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    Marie Dela Paz

    1st/2nd Grade Teacher

    BM Music Education; BM Piano Performance

    Marie first taught kindergarten and has been teaching for 25 years in both classroom setting and private piano lessons. She believes that music education impacts students' academic performance in a positive way and that exposing our children to music improves IQ, attention span, and emotional development. She is looking forward to another exciting school year at MJA as she work with the 1st and 2nd graders this year.

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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.