Faculty

 

Administration

 

Jay SpencerDr. Jay Spencer – Vice Provost

Dr. Spencer has been involved in distance/online education since 1988 and with Liberty Online Academy since its inception in March of 2007. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tennessee Temple University, a Master of Arts from Liberty University and his Doctor of Ministry with Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He has additional graduate studies in Higher Education Administration from Walden University and Argosy University. As vice provost, he also is responsible for Liberty’s non-degree programs offered in the university’s online program and is an adjunct professor in the Rawlings School of Divinity. He has been married to his wife, Freda, for more than 35 years. Dr. Spencer and his wife have four children, five grandsons and two granddaughters.

 

Bunnie ClaxtonDr. Bunnie Claxton – Superintendent

Dr. Claxton has been involved with distance/online education since 2005 as a former homeschool parent and online college instructor.  She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Georgia, a Masters of Arts Degree in Special Education from Liberty University, an Autism Certificate from Liberty University, and her Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University.  She has taught in the public, private, and homeschool arena and has been an instructor at the university level.  Bunnie and her husband of 20 years have a teenage daughter and son.      

 

Khristina Kanagy – Administrative Assistant to the Vice Provost and Superintendent

Ms. Kanagy was raised in Ohio and later in North Carolina. She attended Liberty University where she ran for Liberty University’s Cross Country and Track and Field team.  Ms. Kanagy graduated from Liberty University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion: Certified Health Educator Specialist. After graduation, she worked for a year at a local non-profit in the Travel Department. She is currently a Young Life leader with Central Virginia Young Life and enjoys spending her free time doing outdoor activities. 

 

 

Directors

 

Dustin Miller –  Director of Advising

Mr. Miller earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Education, followed by his Master's of Education in Administration & Supervision in May 2014 and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Education. He enjoys working with students and their families and has been an active volunteer in the Lynchburg community. He has teaching and tutoring experience with Liberty Christian Academy and Faith Christian Academy both in the Lynchburg area. He is married to Crystal and they both expect to be involved and/or open an orphanage wherever the Lord leads them.

 

 

Aaron Marks - Director of Admissions and Recruitment

Mr. Marks was born and raised in Lafayette, LA before moving to Raleigh, NC – where he attended and graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Philosophy. He pursued his graduate studies at Liberty University, attaining a Master of Arts in Religion, a Master of Religious Education, and a Master of Divinity. He has worked in the field of education as an admissions professional and adjunct professor for over 7 years and has been with LUOA since May of 2016. In his spare time he enjoys playing various musical instruments, including piano and guitar, and traveling with his wife Naomi, who is a 1st-grade teacher.

 

Michael Thomas (PMP, CSM) – Director of Curriculum Development Support

Mr. Thomas was raised in Annapolis MD before serving in the U.S. Coast Guard for 4 years in Kodiak Alaska. He attended Capernwray Bible School in England before obtaining his B.S. at Salisbury State University.  Before finishing his college career he began a 20+ year career in Information Technology.  Michael and his wife Teresa moved to Lynchburg in 2014 with their daughter Chloe and youngest son, Ian, when their oldest son, Morgan began his Mechanical Engineering studies at Liberty University.  Michael serves as a board member of the Holocaust Education Foundation of Central Virginia and has organized international Holocaust Remembrance events on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  Michael and Teresa are also involved international missions with Chosen People Ministries and Celebrate Messiah NZ.

 

Eric Williamson – Director of Academic Assessment and Research

Mr. Williamson received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration: Marketing from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 2008 and a Master of Divinity degree from the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in 2013. He grew up in Monticello, Arkansas and moved to Lynchburg, Virginia in 2010 to serve as an Academic Advisor for Liberty University Online, where he later served as an Assistant Director and finally an Associate Director of Academic Advising before becoming a part of the LUOA team in November 2015. Mr. Williamson and his wife, Hannah, have two sons, and are expecting their third in Spring of 2016. He enjoys reading and studying the Greek New Testament, cycling, and chess.

 

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

 

Jocelyn Miller – Assistant Director of Strategic Communications

Mrs. Miller graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing in May 2012, and is certified in Google AdWords and Bing Ads. She has been with Liberty University Online Academy since February 2014. Jocelyn and her husband, Elliot, have a son named Joel and a golden retriever named Duncan. They love being outside, traveling, and spending time with their friends and family.

 

 

 

Faculty Chairs

 

Sarah Testerman – Elementary School

Ms. Sarah Testerman earned her B.S. degree from Liberty University. She went on to earn her Masters of Education from the University of Phoenix. She has taught in private and public education for many years. Education has been her calling since she was ten years old. She watched her 5th Grade teacher in a Public School standing up for his faith and leading an after-school “Good News Club.” Ms. Testerman was saved at an early age. She has held many leadership positions in the church.

 

 

Kelley Niblett – Middle School

Mrs. Niblett is a native of Georgia and moved to Lynchburg, VA in the spring of 2013.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from The Master’s College and a Master’s of Arts in Education from Central Michigan University.  For fourteen years she worked at a Christian academy in McDonough, Georgia where she started and was director of the online academy. She believes the best part of working for LUOA is being able to meet and help families and students from around the world.  Mrs. Niblett is married to Vance and has two sons.  In her free time, she enjoys traveling with family and friends, reading, watching sports, and cheering on the University of Georgia Bulldogs.

 

Shelly D. Bailess – High School History 

Mrs. Bailess earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Arts in History from Liberty University and is currently finishing her Master of Education with Liberty University.  She has a passion for history that has translated into several career opportunities.  She has taught US History courses for the Liberty University residential program and for Liberty University Online. She has been married to her husband, Jeff, for 18 years and has three daughters.  In her spare time she enjoys traveling  and touring historic sites, performs in community theater, and serves as a mentor for the graduate students in the History program at Liberty University.

 

Richard Garman – High School Mathematics and Bible

Mr. Garman serves as the LUOA math department chairman and he also maintains an Academy math teaching schedule.  Earning a bachelor’s degree from The College of William & Mary and a master’s degree from Hollins University provided excellent educational preparation for his teaching career. Additional professional development coursework has been completed at the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Radford University, Roanoke College, and VA Western Community College.  During the past 30 plus years of teaching experiences, Mr. Garman has taught students ranging from lower elementary to high school and college levels. Mr. Garman grew up in Roanoke, Virginia.  After accepting Jesus Christ as savior at the age of eight, active church attendance and church leadership roles became an integral part of his Christian journey.  He has been married to his wife Joanie for 32 years. The Garmans home schooled their daughter Ginny.  She currently attends Liberty.

 

Christopher Rusk – High School English

Mr. Rusk holds a master’s degree in English and is currently working on a doctoral degree in education. Throughout the past decade, Mr. Rusk has worked in various teaching roles with learners of various ages — young children through adults. He has a particular passion for working with international students in ESL settings. As a homeschooling father of six, he has had many years of experience working with non-traditional forms of education. This experience gives Mr. Rusk the ability to relate to many of the issues facing today’s students and their parents. In his spare time, he enjoys being with his wife of 18 years, and their four sons and two daughters. Mr. Rusk resides in the Lynchburg, Va., area.

 

Cameron Ward – High School Science

Mr. Ward received his Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from Liberty University while double minoring in Creation Studies and Biblical Studies. He originally joined LUOA as a teacher of mathematics and later became the chairman of the Science Department. He is passionate about physics, mathematics, and research. In particular, Mr. Ward is passionate about defending God’s Word through creationism from a scientific approach. Mr. Ward is married to Amaris Ward, and they have a beautiful daughter named Hadassah.

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