WHO WE ARE

WHO WE ARE

Meet Our Staff

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Ms. Stephanie Nalls

Founder, Director, Teacher, and Principal

Meet Ms. Stephanie Nalls, our founder, director, and principal! Before founding Futures Academy, Ms. Nalls was a certified public school teacher, earning her bachelor’s degree in Education from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. In addition to being a public school teacher, Ms. Nalls was a traditional homeschool parent, a private school principal, and spent many years in various areas of administration. Her experience as a parent, teacher, and administrator, as well as her empathic spirit and passion for teaching guides everything we do here at Future Academy.

Ms. Nalls was inspired to create Futures Academy for students like her late husband and high school sweetheart. She knew in high school that as smart as he was, he struggled to learn in traditional classrooms.  Later she wondered at how easily he learned by “doing” rather than listening to lectures and filling in bubbles.  Today, Ms. Nalls is the driving force behind traditional education for non-traditional students because she respects that each student “does learning” differently.  She equips and encourages teachers to teach in all the fun ways kids love to learn! It is Ms. Nalls’ firm trust in teachers as experts that makes each student’s learning experience at Futures Academy unique.

Amy Thurlkill

Math and Science Coordinator

Mrs. Thurlkill was formerly a public school teacher and has taught in private homeschool for over 12 years. Mrs. Thurlkill identifies as both a teacher and a learner, stating that she loves to learn new things and then implement them. She uses her Wildlife Fisheries Science degree, years of teaching experience, and training in numerous special learning methods to create some of the most memorable science lessons your child will ever participate in. Outside of the classroom, this Victoria native enjoys gardening, raising animals, and spending time with her family and church family.
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James Shook

History and Middle Language Arts

Mr. Shook has been teaching Sunday school, preaching the Gospel, and working with young people for almost 20 years. During that time, he worked in private schools and had the privilege of directing a school while on mission in the Alaska bush. He has dabbled in television directing and producing, and has even worked as a radio DJ and local gameshow host!  While he says that was lots of fun, it was nothing compared to the joy he gets from helping young people achieve their academic dreams!

Jessica Taylor

Office Manager, Sign Language Teacher

Ms. Jessica Taylor is the Office Manager and Sign Language Teacher at Futures Academy, and hers is one of the first of many smiling faces you’ll see when you walk onto our campus. Ms. Taylor has educated both of her own children at home and at Futures Academy. She values community, volunteering for various organizations both on her own and through her church family. Ms. Taylor is not only a gifted multitasker, she treats each and every student she comes in contact with, either in her classroom or in the halls, as her own. Nervous parents of new students can rest assured knowing Ms. Taylor will keep their child’s best interest at heart during their time at Futures Academy.
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Laura Martin

Geography, Bible, Electives

The broad experience of Mrs. Laura Martin is one of Futures Academy’s most valuable resources.  A natural teacher, Mrs. Martin began teaching Sunday School at the age of 12. She came to us in 2019 with a resume that includes having “taught ages 2 to 88 – in the same room!” Mrs. Martin developed her expertise in Business Administration through work with Salvation Army Women and Children programs, and non-profit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club – all while raising three boys! An ordained minister, Mrs. Martin now teaches Bible and Geography, as well as Financial and Adulting electives aimed at preparing teens for life after graduation.

Sophia Wilson

Junior High English

Mrs. Sophia Wilson is the newest addition at Futures Academy. A retired English teacher, Mrs. Wilson joined the team at Futures because she missed the kids. I’m sure there is a lot to learn about and from Mrs. Wilson as we all get to know her better!
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Guiding Quote

It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.

Ann Landers

A Faith-Based Approach

A faith-based curriculum is one that teaches a Christian or Biblical worldview – creation by one God, salvation through Jesus Christ, and eternal heaven for those who accept the gift of salvation.  Individual curriculum publishers may vary slightly and include broader truths like love, acceptance, and justice, but they are all long established and widely regarded as true, accurate, and effective.  Lessons created by teachers may or may not reflect these specific ideas and often will be religion-neutral like “normal” school materials.

The first and foremost goal of Futures Academy is to educate students and help prepare them for adulthood.  We do not provide encouragement or indoctrination toward any specific belief, religion, church, or doctrine.  Part of meeting kids where they are includes helping them find their own path that works for them in their families and communities.