Dr. Lorrie Bearden began her career in education after completing her studies at Auburn University, in 1992, where she received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics. Dr. Bearden completed her Masters of Education, with a minor in mathematics, at the University of West Georgia in 1996. In 2010, she earned a Specialists Degree in Educational Leadership from Kennesaw State University and then went on to complete her Doctorate of Education in 2012. She has 23 years of experience in education with the last 18 being in Fulton County Schools.
Dr. Bearden began her educational career in Greenville, AL as a high school math teacher. In 1993, her husband's job transferred the family to Dalton, GA and she accepted a position teaching math at Dalton High School. In June of 1999, her family relocated to North Fulton County and she accepted a mathematics teaching position at Milton High School. Her three children, Leighanna, Kaysee, and Chaz, were enrolled at Milton High School, Northwestern Middle, and Summit Hill Elementary, respectively. All three of her children eventually graduated from Milton High School. For the past 18 years, Dr. Bearden, her husband, Chuck, and their children have been a part of the Milton schools' community.
In 2003, Dr. Bearden earned the prestigious National Board Certification in Secondary Mathematics; a highly rigorous process, which required submission of a teaching portfolio and passing assessments in both knowledge of mathematics standards and content. In 2005, Milton High School was moved to its new location and the academy concept of learning was implemented. Dr. Bearden was named as lead teacher of the STEM academy. In this position, she was charged with leading curriculum and instruction, as well as coaching teachers. She served in this role until 2010, when she was promoted to an administrative position at Milton High School. In June of 2012, she became an assistant principal at Elkins Pointe Middle School, where she has worked as the curriculum assistant principal for the past six years. In this position, she has worked closely with feeder elementary schools to enhance the transition from 5th to 6th grade, as well promote continuous achievement for all students. She has been learning the elementary curriculum for six years, and has had multiple opportunities to lead vertical alignment from K-8 as a master scheduler.
Dr. Bearden is passionate about students and her work as an educator. She loved being a teacher and believes teaching is the only profession that provides daily opportunities to have a positive, life-long impact on every child. As a school leader, she strives to lead and inspire the teachers and staff to facilitate an educational experience which enhances the whole child, accommodates a nurturing climate for learning, and provides opportunities to develop leadership skills.
Dr. Bearden is thrilled to begin the next chapter of her professional journey and is excited to join the amazing team at Summit Hill Elementary School as their new principal.
Mary Beth Burns
Mary Beth Burns began her journey in education as an Elementary Education major at the University of Alabama. She has been with Fulton County since the beginning of her teaching career in 2008. After teaching 1st, 4th, and 5th graders for six years, she was promoted to serve as the Data Support Specialist at Ison Springs Elementary and Dunwoody Springs Elementary. Shortly after, Mrs. Burns became the Lead Data Support Specialist for the Central Learning Community. Throughout this time, she earned a Master of Science in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University, as well as a Specialist in Educational Leadership from Georgia College and State University.
Mrs. Burns is passionate about delivering high quality instruction to students, as well as supporting teacher growth through coaching and feedback. She is committed to creating an environment that supports all students and cultivates a love of learning. Mrs. Burns is looking forward to making connections and building relationships with Summit Hill families, as well as the Northwest Learning Community.
Mrs. Burns is a newlywed and is enjoying married life with her husband, Joe. They have two four-legged friends, Benny and Tony. In her free time, she loves to be with her family, renovate her new house and watch Alabama football.
Curriculum Support Teacher
Melissa Herring began her teaching career after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education at the University of Central Arkansas. She began working in the North Little Rock School District where she taught grades 1 through 5 and gifted and talented. During her teaching time in North Little Rock, she earned her Master's Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Reading, Gifted and Talented Licensure and achieved National Board Certification in Literacy/Language Arts. In 2011, Mrs. Herring moved to Alpharetta where she began teaching in Fulton County.