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Meet Our Wonderful Team of Educators

Theresa Cain Morris


Mrs. Morris will teach general education and social emotional learning at Rising Hope Academy this year!  She received her B.S. in Elementary Education with a concentration in history from the University of Montevallo.  She has taught at  Oak Mountain Elementary School,  Master’s Academy, Creative Scholars, 280 Tutorials, and New Beginning Tutorial. She has received educational training in Equipping Minds and Trust Based Relational Intervention for the Classroom as well as TBRI 101. She has been married to Wayne for thirty-three years, has three children, two son-in-laws, and two cats. She has a love for teaching students from hard places and those struggling to learn. She home educated all three of her children who also struggle with learning differences. Mrs. Morris loves teaching and supporting her husband in his business and in ministry. She sees the opportunity to teach at Rising Hope Academy as a gift from God and a blessing. “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.” Psalm 25:4-5


Mrs. Ashleigh is returning for her 4th year at RHA! Mrs. Essig. completed her undergraduate program at The University of Alabama and received a Masters in Elementary Education from The University of Montevallo. This will be her 14th year of teaching. Ashleigh's experience began on a Marine Corps Base in Camp Lejeuene, North Carolina where I taught for 3 years. There, I taught in a multi-age setting with full inclusion of special needs students. My husband and I moved to Montgomery, Alabama where I taught for 1 year in the public school system and finished 6 years at Saint James School, a college preparatory school. Since then, my family finally settled back home in Birmingham. After taking some time off to help my children adjust, I felt God strongly pulling me toward teaching at Rising Hope Academy. I have been here for the past 3 years. We have 3 children, Brooks (11), Gray (9), and Bonnie (6) and a giant Newfoundland named Gus (3). Our family of believers attends Cathedral Church of the Advent.

Ashleigh Essig


Celinda Rosborough will be joining us 3 afternoons a week to guide students through a variety of brain games. Not just any games, but ones that give the brain a workout: improving working memory, visual and auditory memory and processing, attention, critical thinking, and communicating ideas. Celinda has been a Bridge Plan Tutor with Lifeline Children's Services for two years working with families and children to build up and strengthen attachment and emotional development, cognitive development, motor development, and sensory development. All parts of a "bridge" that when made strong and stable helps children and parents cross over from academic frustration to hope. We not only serve the God of hope, but the God who has allowed science to see the brain in a new way. Research has proven that the brain can change! Celinda is certified in levels 1,2, and 3 of Equipping Minds Cognitive Development Curriculum. She is married to her husband of 28 years, and they have a married daughter and two sons.


Mrs. Rebecca graduated from the University of Alabama, trained in the Multiple Abilities Program. She is certified in special education, early childhood, and elementary education. In addition, she received her masters from West Alabama. Rebecca has taught for 18 years in public schools in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Nashville. Rebecca is a National Board Certified Teacher. She and her, husband Brian have three boys.

Lindsey Mckinney


We are thrilled that Lindsey McKinney is back for a second year, this time full time. Mrs. Lindsey worked and trained all summer to increase her knowledge in INOW!, the intervention offered through our partnership with Alabama Game Changers. This year, Mrs. Lindsey will work with students to administer treatment for dyslexia  in addition, she is excited to work with parents to build a PTO program! Mrs. Lindsey has a Masters in Social work with a concentration in adults and families. She and her husband, Greg, have three children.


Susan Walker is a self-taught artist. She loves God, her family, her friends and to have fun! After a career in nursing; she picked up a paintbrush as an outlet to her creative side. Her painting style is primarily abstract, using mostly acrylic paint but dabbling with oils, often playing with various textures and color combinations. Having grown up near Lake Lanier in North Georgia, she has always been drawn to the beauty and serenity of the waterfront, thus her love to paint landscapes. She and her husband, Michael, live in Birmingham, Alabama with their daughter, Mary Knox.

Susan Walker
Michelle Cooley


This is Michelle's second year teaching at RHA. She has degrees in Spanish and Neuroscience from UAB and teaches Math and Science along with STEM lab at RHA. Michelle has a passion for children, skiing, scrapbooking, and traveling. God is her rock, and she leans on Him for everything!


Stan Sheridan is a lover of God, people, and worship…with a strong passion to connect all three.  He received a music Degree from Trevecca University (Nashville, TN). Stan has traveled and shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the industry. Currently, he oversees the Genesis School of Music, in Birmingham, AL, as well as the Exodus Group, a coaching and mentoring program for worship pastors and leaders. He has been married to Tracy for over 18 years. They reside in Trussville, Alabama with their three amazing children.

Stan Sheridan
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