Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers at Columbus Christian Academy hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, and are certified by both MAIS and ACSI. Our pre-school teachers are highly qualified and hold certification through MAIS.  Each teacher professes to being a Christian and is part of a local church of their choice. Our faculty not only is committed to the overall academic advancement of our students but also to the spiritual growth and development of each student.


Jay Watts

School Administrator

Mississippi State University – B.S. Economics
Mississippi State University – Masters in Educational Leadership

School Administrator

Mr. Watts has 30 years experience in Independent school education. He has proven leadership accomplishments in two of the most recognized  private schools in the state of Mississippi. He comes to us after 11 years experience as head of school in Greenwood, MS.

He has served as President of the MAIS Coaches Association, President of the MAIS Educational Association, and served multiple terms on the MAIS Athletic Activities Commission.

Sandra White

Elementary Administrator

Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education – MS State University

Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership – MS State University

  13 years in 2nd – 8th grades
  Taught at Hebron Christian School
  Taught at Oak Hill Academy

  Headmaster at Hebron Christian School – 7 years
  Elementary Principal at Columbus Christian Academy 10 years
  Administrator at Columbus Christian Academy 1 year
  Currently serving as elementary principal at CCA

Mrs. White is married with two children and three grandchildren. She and her husband are active members of Calvary Baptist Church in West Point. Her hobbies include reading, playing the piano, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Favorite Bible Verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6




Tracey Agerton

5th & 6th Grade Teacher

Education & Experience:
Graduate of Pickens County High School
Bachelor of Science – MS University for Women
10 years experience at Columbus City School District
CHAMPS certification 2012
CHAMPS instructor 2014

Married for 21 years and the mother of two CCA students. Tracey attends Disciples New Beginning Church where she sings on the praise team. She loves to cook and make crafts.

Class Motto:
It’s okay to not know, but it’s not okay to not try.

Favorite Verses:
Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (NIV)

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”(NIV)

Moundville Archaeological Park Field Trip – Oct.2015

6th Grade Science – builds a cell – Oct.2015

BIOMES Display

Tiffany Cooper

Preschool Teacher

My favorite Bible Verse is:
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Our Class bible verse is:
Psalm 139:14 …I am fearfully and wonderfully made

Our class motto:
We don’t say I can’t because we can; We can do anything with God’s help!

Sheila Cooper

Preschool Teacher

A graduate of Central Academy and an experienced Preschool Teacher for 19 years.
-Immanuel Preschool 7 years
-ABC & Me Preschool 12 years

“Mrs Sheila” has been married for 24 years and has 3 children. Her daughter Meagan attended CCA from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Favorite Verse:
Matthew 19:26 “ Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Nancy Dodson


Gail Forstner

K4 & Elementary Art Teacher

High School – Central Academy
College- Emcc
College course in administration of childcare facility at the University of AlabamaCertified Director of Childcare facility  State of Mississippi

Pre-K Teacher  since 1994
Pre-k teacher – ABC and Me Preschool 1994-2003
Assistant Director – ABC and Me
Director –ABC and Me
K-4 Teacher – Tomorrows Pride –Columbus 2003-2004
With Immanuel/Columbus Christian Academy 2004-2015
Assistant teacher 5th and 6th grade 2 yrs
After care  – 2 yrs
Pre-K 2006-present
Elementary Art 2006- present
Coached Girls Basketball/varsity and jv/ assistant coach 8 yrs
Coached Girls Track/varsity and jv/ 3 yrs.  2 yrs. Head coach

“Mrs Gail’s” passion in teaching is to teach children not to be afraid to try whether it is in Pre-K, Elementary or sports.  Practice doesn’t make perfect it makes progress.

Favorite scripture:
Colossians 3:23  “Whatever you do , work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

Class motto:
With heart and helping hands a child can accomplish anything.

Mrs. Gail has been married almost 25 years to Dave Forstner.  We have four children between us and 8 grandchildren.


Wacky Wednesday - Dr. Seuss' Birthday

Wacky Wednesday – Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

Popsicle day

Popsicle day

Going on a Teddy Bear Hunt

Going on a Teddy Bear Hunt

Little Indians dressed for the Thanksgiving Feast

Little Indians dressed for the Thanksgiving Feast

Judy Gray

6th Grade

Education & Experience:
Graduate of Millport High School
Master of Arts Degree: University of North Alabama
Bachelor of Science Degree: Mississippi University for Women
24 years experience at Winfield City Schools
1 year experience at Sulligent Elementary School

About Mrs. Gray:
Judy is married with two children and three grandchildren who attend CCA. She attends Shaeffer’s Chapel. Her favorite hobbies include reading, camping, and spoiling her grandchildren.

Class Motto:
I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it
(Art Williams)

Favorite Verses:
Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heart.”

Mrs. Gray’s Photo Galleries


Fantastic Friday (Sept 16, 2016)


Homecoming Pep Rally


Thanksgiving 2016


Brittney Lambert

Preschool Teacher

Taylor McCown

Preschool Teacher

Raylene Pate

K5 Teacher

Bachelor of Science: University of Alabama

In my classroom, we say all the time
“Do what is right, even when no one is looking.” Because Jesus sees us and knows our hearts even when no one else does.

My favorite verse is
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Crystal Phillips

K5 Teacher

Caledonia High School – Class of 1994
Mississippi University for Women – 1994-1997
Mississippi College – 1997-1998
Mississippi State University – 1998-1999; Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education

This is my seventh year of teaching. I taught two years after college, then I became a stay at home mom for seven years. I have been teaching kindergarten at CCA for two years. I have also taught Pre-K, 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 4th grade.

I LOVE praying with my students and teaching them about Jesus. Having taught in public school, I realize what a blessing it is to be able to pray and share the gospel in school. I also love teaching my kindergarteners how to read!

I am a native of Columbus. I have been married to my husband, Matt, for 18 years, and we have two boys, Matthew (13) and Luke (10). Matthew and Luke both attend CCA. When Matt and I moved away after we got married, I never thought we would move back to Columbus. However, after 11 years, we felt God was calling us to move back home. I am so thankful He did, and I’m so thankful He called us to CCA. This school has always been so special to me, since I was a student here many years ago. My fourth grade teacher at Immanuel (now CCA) was my inspiration for becoming a teacher, and my dream was to teach in a Christian school. What a blessing it is to serve in that ministry today!
My classroom Bible verse is one of my favorite verses. Psalm 118:24: This is the day that the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. We begin each day by singing this verse. It’s a great way to start the day!! 

Amy Shaw

Second Grade Teacher

High School Graduate of Immanuel High
Dental Hygiene degree from Meridian Community College
Elementary Education degree from MS Univ for Women

2nd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Amy Shaw teaches second grade at CCA. She graduated from Immanuel High School in 1991. After graduation, she attended Meridian Community College and graduated with a major in dental hygiene. She later received a degree in Elementary Education. Before accepting the position at CCA, she worked at Sale Elementary for four years. Mrs. Shaw values the Christian education offered at CCA and is thrilled about teaching in the same school in which her children attend. Her favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” With this in mind, Mrs. Shaw plans to have a great year educating and inspiring her students through God’s love.

Stephanie Studdard

3rd Grade Teacher

Bachelors & Masters degrees held from MS State University.
Mrs. Studdard has taught 3rd grade at CCA for 7 years. Third grade works hard AND plays hard.

Mrs. Studdard’s favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 40:31, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”


Brenda Westmoreland

Preschool Teacher

Pre-School Teacher for the 3-year-old program




Robin Duncan

High School Science

Bachelor of Science – MS University for Women
Advanced Courses – MS State University

Physical science
Anatomy and Physiology

Favorite Verse:
Joshua 1: 9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Jenny Hutcherson

Secondary Teacher

Bachelor of Science: MS University for Women

7th & 8th Pre-Algebra
Consumer Math
Accounting I
Art Appreciation
Bible (11th & 12th)

A look in the classroom:
Rock Sculptures in Art Appreciation

Janice Ryals

Secondary English & Librarian

Bachelor of Arts: MS State University
Masters Degree: MS State University

English (11th & 12th)
National Honor Society Sponsor

Favorite Verse:
Psalm 118:24 This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Mrs. Ryals_Library Friends

Mrs. Ryals teaches High School English, but she also really enjoys her elementary “Library Friends”

Margaret Shields

Computer/English Teacher

Rachel Thomas


High School – Hamilton High School
Bachelor of Science – Regent University

Guidance Counselor
Bible Teacher
Career Development

Mrs. Rachel Thomas is employed at Columbus Christian Academy as the guidance counselor. In addition, she will also be teaching seventh and tenth grade bible as well as psychology and career development to high school students. Mrs. Thomas is married to Billy Thomas and they have two daughters. Before working at CCA, she was employed by Brickyard Properties as a business administrator.

She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Regent University. She also attended EMCC and MUW. For this school year (2016-2017), Mrs. Thomas hopes to see students excel in what they love and grow through their struggles. She also looks forward to being in the classroom.

Outside of her job, Mrs. Thomas and her family enjoy spending time together, going to school events, and attending church. Her passion to help people and help them reach their fullest potential led her choose education and psychology. When asked why she chose CCA, she responded with, “I wouldn’t choose any other place.”


10th Grade – Semester Project Sign-up

Lawrence Tyndall

History Teacher

Bachelor of Arts: MS State University

U.S. History
World Geography
MS Studies


Favorite Verse:
1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

Ram Page Contributions:
“It’s A Birthday in the U.S.A”

Jimmy Wofford

Secondary Teacher


Phone: 662.328.7888





Robin Cochran

PE, Softball, Assistant Basketball Coach

Bachelor of Arts: Maryville College (Maryville, TN)

Pre-K – 8th Physical Education
Softball Head Coach

Favorite Bible Verse:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Coach Cochran comes to CCA with nine years of teaching and coaching experience. She, her husband Marcus, and their sons, Will and Ben, have lived in Columbus since 2014. Coach Cochran is a member of First Baptist Church where Marcus serves as the minister of Education and Missions. In her spare time, Coach Cochran enjoys singing, playing a variety of stringed instruments, and cooking. Coach Cochran is excited to join to the CCA family!

Greg Watkins

Athletic Director, Varsity Football Coach, Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Jr., Varsity Boys Basketball Coach, Jr. Varsity/Varsity Track Coach

Athletic Director
Varsity Football Coach
Varsity Boys Basketball Coach
Jr. Varsity Boys Basketball Coach
Jr. Varsity/Varsity Track Coach


Coach Watkins from Columbus Christian Academy on Vimeo.




Donna Buchannan

School Accountant



Caron Byrd

Admissions/Administrative Assistant

Office Administration
Admissions Assistant

Favorite verse: 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.


Phone: 662.328.7888


Betsy Pounders

Administrative Assistant

Favorite Verse:  
Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
(Psalms 62:1-2)




Dave Forstner


Tammy White

School Support

Early Care
Elementary Physical Education
Teacher Assistance
Lunch/Office Assistant