|Kirk Walker, Ph.D. - President
Kirk Walker was born and raised in Chattanooga, TN. He is a graduate of McCallie School ('69), was a Morehead Scholar at UNC (Chapel Hill), and completed his Masters and Doctorate degrees at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. He has taught at the middle, high school, and college levels. He served as a supervisor of instruction (Ft. Campbell, KY) and as head of school of Bright School (Chattanooga, TN), Ensworth School (Nashville, TN), and McCallie School (Chattanooga, TN). Most recently he served as interim president of the Webb School of Knoxville. He has served as board chair of TAIS and SAIS. He is married to Patsi Walker. They have three children. In his free time, he enjoys travel with his family, hiking, reading, and badminton.
|Lori Spear, CAE - Executive Vice President
Lori received a B.A. from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY, in 1995. After moving to Atlanta in 1997, she spent six years working with the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE) before coming to SAIS in August 2003. Lori is an active member of GSAE, having served as Chair of the GSAE Board of Directors in 2009. She earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in June 2006. She is also an advocate of historic preservation, and has served on the board of Rhodes Hall, a historic home in midtown Atlanta, as well as the board of the DeKalb League of Women Voters. Lori has also volunteered as a big sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
|Damian Kavanagh - Vice President, Accreditation & Membership
Damian joined the SAIS staff in July 2010. He received both a B.A. and M.A. in Latin Literature from the University of Georgia – go dawgs. After 15 years at The Westminster Schools of Atlanta teaching, coaching, running a variety of profit center programs, and serving in administrative capacities, he served as Head of School at Cambridge Academy in South Carolina. He was a founding board member of the Georgia Lacrosse Officials Association (GLOA) where he was both treasurer and president. He has the distinction of having been named both a Georgia lacrosse coach of the year and a Georgia lacrosse official of the year – but not in the same year. He has been inducted into the Georgia Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame, the state US Lacrosse Chapter. He is a regular volunteer reader in numerous classrooms in the Atlanta area, a barbecue enthusiast, and an ice cream fanatic.
|Joanne Andruscavage - Director of Accreditation
Joanne joined SAIS as Director of Accreditation in June 2014 after many successful years as a teacher, administrator and head of school. Most recently she was the Accreditation Coordinator for the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. A lifelong educator, Joanne has also been a consultant on governance and leadership in independent schools and has traveled extensively to schools across the continent. Her experience in school accreditation includes work on both sides of the process and collaboration with more than 14 different accrediting agencies. Joanne has a passion for animal rescue and dog training and spends her free time volunteering for animal welfare causes.
|Julia Grantham - Director of Administration
Julia Grantham joined the SAIS staff in January 2012. In her role as Director of Administration, Julia is responsible for accounting, human resources, and office services. She holds bachelor’s degrees in both Accounting (Mercer University Atlanta) and Business Administration (University of Georgia). In her spare time, Julia enjoys playing on several tennis teams and cheering her Braves and Falcons to victory.
|LeeAnne Minnick - Director of Member Services & Technology
LeeAnne joined the SAIS staff in May 2008. She graduated from the University of Georgia in December 2004 with a B.A. in Anthropology and a certificate in Environmental Ethics. She worked as the Lead Project Manager for J House Media before coming to SAIS. She is a member of GSAE, and volunteers for Hands on Northeast Georgia and the Athens Sandy Creek Nature Center, among other places.
|Sarah Stewart - Content & Member Engagement Manager
Sarah joined the staff at SAIS in August 2013. She has more than ten years of experience in communications, content creation, and public relations. She spent the first four years of her career in journalism, writing for papers like The Rockdale Citizen and The Atlanta Business Chronicle. She transitioned into public relations and marketing in 2006, taking a job with The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, managing internal and external communications. After starting a family in 2007, Sarah moved into freelance work. She wrote a book called Newcomer’s Handbook for Moving and Living in Atlanta, which is an extensive 366-page guide on the city. Sarah holds degrees in Psychology and English from Georgia State University. She is also a proud alumna of Woodward Academy and an active member of North Point Community Church.
|Anna Taylor - Events & Marketing Assistant
Anna joined the SAIS staff in May 2014. She graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Sociology. During college, she worked as an intern, administrative assistant, and substitute teacher at The Suzuki School in Buckhead. She has a love for education and a passion for working with and helping people of all ages. She spends her free time volunteering at a music venue as well as spending quality time with family and friends.
|Carole Weems - Administrative & Accreditation Assistant
Carole joined the SAIS staff in April 2015. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a B.S. in Education. She worked for 15 years at McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN as Executive Assistant to the Head of School as well as Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Planning and Board Relations. She is married to Sam and together they have four children: Christopher, Anne, Marybeth, and Lindsey. When Carole is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family, and friends. She also enjoys hiking, reading, golfing, and porch-sitting.