235days since
Days Till School Starts

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Faculty and Staff


Debbie Gathmann

I am the director of Kingfisher and I've been with the school since its very inception. I always knew that I wanted and needed to work at a small community-based school and Kingfisher is the embodiment of that desire. I am very enthusiastic about our new site and our current school year. We are networking with a few other small schools and child-oriented organizations in the area and naturally, plan to walk to the library a couple times a week!

We  have received full accreditation with quality from the Georgia Accrediting Commission and we are very proud of that.  We are also codifying the board of directors and reviewing our legal paperwork and insurance paperwork in preparation for writing some larger grants to support our art, music, and science programs. 

Kingfisher is a wonderful and challenging environment and we intend to keep it that way.  I live in Clarkston (about 7 minutes away) and I have two adult children living and working in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.  I serve on several county and city committees and task forces, I spearheaded the annual Clarkston Bike Rodeo event, I am a member of Sierra Club, Atlanta Science Tavern, Atlanta Birdwatchers Group, and am on The DeKalb County Juvenile Court's Citizens Review Panel.  I have a garden plot to maintain and I have a new aquarium, two Cocker Spaniels, one crazy cat.  I'm interested in all kinds of things, but recently have become extremely interested in urban planning and how it creates a certain quality of life for the citizens of an area. I also love crafting (art with a practical purpose) and it's hard to resist stenciling all over the school. I recently finished a quilt made of small circles that turned into a fringe that goes all around my house--my neighbors are worried that I'm going to start a "yard art collection" next. I'm also a bird watcher and have worked off and on with Fernbank and Audubon over the years. This year, I will be out one or two times a month in the fall through January as I am taking some graduate courses in Environmental Education through the Warnell School of Forestry at UGA. You guys always knew I was a tree hugger!

Kate Lepedus

Kate comes to us from Hungary. She attended Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She came to Atlanta to work with the Carter Center and eventually found her way to Kingfisher. She's been with the school for 6years and is the lead 5/6 teacher. Kate's gift to the school is her overwhelming enthusiasm for making regular days "special" and we often celebrate different days that the rest of the city (Dr. Suess's birthday, Bread Pudding Day, etc.). Kate lives over near Emory and she loves exploring the city--even though she doesn't drive, ask her about any place on any bus line and she can tell you about it. Kate loves gardening and she's responsible for the pretty stuff growing in front of our building. Kate has taken up running and has done a couple 5K's this year. She loves to read and is an avid follower of the news. She's also visited almost every state in the U.S.

Beth Brieske

Beth has worked in small private schools much of her professional life, including the Cottage School in Roswell and the Orion School in Midtown. She is teaching the upper elementary group this year and she's really busy with their many projects and experiments. She lives close by in Smoke Rise and has two sons and two cats. One of the gifts she brings to us is the ability to organize all of our many, many science and art supplies into a more cohesive set up and we are discovering that this organizing of supplies has made us all more creative and inspired. Beth is another avid gardener and she's gotten interested in bird feeding over the past six months and often has hummingbirds fighting on her deck over the feeder. She's also interested in rocks and fossils and has found something to add to her collection almost every month.


We contract with Miss Laurie at Mainstreet Art for special art classes. This year we'll have classes in October and January  with her. We can walk over and she's reserved Wednesday for the 5/6's to have a class this October. Older kids will work with her in January. Between times, Miss Kate's group does millions of arts and crafts projects with her on a daily basis. Miss Debbie will work with the older kids once or twice a week for more advanced art activities.

Music for the younger kids will be with the new Music School over on Main Street. We hope to do classes every other week beginning in September. Older kids will once again be privileged to be included in the Northlake Children's Chorus; they practice on Tuesdays. The new Music School will also offer afterschool instrument lessons to interested families.

Tennis begins in October for 7 through 9's at the ALTA course in Clarkston. We haven't gotten the full details, yet, but they provide the rackets and the balls. Our children just provide the energy. That class will be from 10:00 to 11:00 on  Fridays. Coach Benny is working with us and he says, "Well, they do like to move . . ."

Gymnastics is offered to us by the Atlanta School of Gymnastics, a Tucker tradition that has been around since Beth was little. The younger kids take classes on Mondays from 10:45 to noon.

We are doing "Aladdin" in Drama this year. Drama Class is on Wednesday and is pretty intense. We've attracted a few homeschoolers who come here to take Drama. The teacher, Mr. Patrick, is with Forefront Arts--a Drama Group located in Gwinnett.