Faculty & Staff

School Leadership

List of 12 items.

  • John Thorsen, Head of School

    John Thorsen was appointed Athens Academy's fifth head of school beginning in 2014-2015.  With over 25 years of independent school leadership experience, Mr. Thorsen previously served as assistant head of school for advancement at Asheville School in Asheville, North Carolina.  He has held positions at Francis Parker School in San Diego, California; Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania; and Darlington School in Rome, Georgia.  Mr. Thorsen earned a B.A. in Economics from Washington and Lee University and a M.Ed. in Institutional Advancement from Vanderbilt University. 
  • Patrick Cuneo, Director of Academic Affairs

    Patrick Cuneo joined the Athens Academy faculty as English Department chair and assistant director of Academic Affairs in 2004-2005, assuming the role of Academic Affairs director in 2007.  He previously served as English Department chair at The Steward School in Richmond, Virginia, from 1996 until 2004.  Mr. Cuneo received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Virginia.
  • Mark Cunningham, Director of Lower School

    Mark Cunningham joined the Athens Academy administration in 2016-2017 after relocating from Virginia, where he previously served as director of the Lower School and instructional technology at Cape Henry Collegiate School in Virginia Beach.  Mr. Cunningham has also served as the Lower School director at Hamden Hall Country Day School (CT) and held a variety of roles at Louisville Collegiate School (KY).  He has an undergraduate degree from Penn State and an M.Ed. from the University of Louisville.  He was honored with an endowed teaching chair at both Louisville Collegiate and Cape Henry.  Mr. Cunningham also participated in the Peabody Professional Institute for Independent School Leadership at Vanderbilt University in 2014.
  • Charlotte Mullen, Director of Development

    Charlotte Mullen joined the Athens Academy administration in July 2017 after relocating from Tyler, Texas, where she served as development director for All Saints Episcopal School for six years.  Prior to that, Mrs. Mullen was the director of communications and public relations for The Schenck School as well as director of community relations and marketing at Holy Innocents Episcopal School, both in Atlanta.  Mrs. Mullen is a graduate of Converse College (SC), where she received both her undergraduate and Master of Education degrees.
  • Kevin Petroski, Athletic Director

    Coach Petroski joined the Athens Academy faculty in 2005-2006 and has been the athletic director since 2008-2009.  Before coming to Athens Academy, he spent two years at Monsignor Donovan Catholic High School and seven years at Southwest Georgia Academy in Damascus, Georgia.  Coach Petroski started his teaching/coaching career at Thomas Jefferson Academy in Louisville, Georgia.  He has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Georgia and a master's degree from Concordia University.
  • Debbie Schab, Director of Fine Arts

    Debbie Schab joined the fine arts faculty at Athens Academy in 2001 as a part-time orchestra teacher.  In 2003, she took over as the director of fine arts and currently also teaches orchestra to grades 2-4 and 7-12. Mrs. Schab has over 30 years' experience teaching Suzuki violin and is currently a free-lance violinist/violist with the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and Augusta Choral Society.  She has a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a master's in violin performance from Western Illinois University.
  • Bob Sears, Director of Student Services

    Bob Sears joined the administration at Athens Academy as the dean of guidance in 2004-2005. He then went on to serve as director of Upper School from August 2008 until July 2017. For the 2017-2018 school year, Mr. Sears assumed the newly-created position of director of student services, helping to support students and families throughout their years at Athens Academy. Mr. Sears has bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Georgia and a master's in professional counseling from Georgia State University, and he is certified in counseling by the National Board for Certified Counselors.
  • Jeff Stachura, Director of Middle School

    Jeff Stachura has been director of the Middle School since 2014-2015.  He joined the Athens Academy faculty in 2005 and has served as the English department chair, grade level coordinator, and college counselor.  Mr. Stachura is a graduate of Augusta Preparatory Day School and received his bachelor's degree from Furman University and an M.Ed. from the University of Georgia.  He served as English teacher, grade level coordinator, and senior project director at The Lovett School in Atlanta for a decade before relocating to Athens.  Over the course of his 20-year career in education, Mr. Stachura has been named STAR Teacher four times, including state-level STAR Teacher honors in 2000.  He has received the Faculty Award for Professional Excellence at Athens Academy twice, in 2006 and 2013.
  • Geoffrey Walton, Director of Admission

    Admission Director Geoffrey Walton came to Athens Academy in 1995 as a volunteer coach for the cross country team while he was still a student at the University of Georgia.  Following his graduation from UGA in 1997, he began teaching Middle School science full time until he assumed the role of Middle School dean of students in 2005.  After serving as interim director of admission for a year, Mr. Walton took over as director in 2016-2017.  He has been the varsity cross country head coach since 1998 and also coaches the Middle School track team.
  • Melton Weekley, Director of Preschool

    Melton Weekley joined the Athens Academy administration in 2002 as assistant director of Pre/Lower School. She then served as director of Pre/Lower School for six years until administrative restructuring allowed her to focus on the Preschool.  Mrs. Weekley has a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and an M.Ed. from Georgia Southern University.
  • Alan Weiler, Director of Finance & Operations

    Alan Weiler joined the Athens Academy administration in December 2016, relocating from Clearwater, Florida, where he was previously director of finance and operations for Saint Paul’s School.  Mr. Weiler has 20 years of independent school experience and has held similar positions at Oak Hill Classical School (GA), Howard School (GA), and the Alexander Dawson School (NV).  Raised in Norcross, Georgia, he is a graduate of North Georgia College and received his MBA from Brenau University.
  • Susan Zalac, Director of Upper School

    Susan Zalac joined the Athens Academy administration in July 2017 after relocating from Land O'Lakes, Florida, where she was the dean of students and English and Language Arts department chair for Academy at the Lakes for six years.  Previously, Mrs. Zalac taught English at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School in Spring Hill, Florida, and served as assistant principal at Riviera Day and Preparatory School in Coral Gables, Florida.  She has 20 years’ experience in the classroom in addition to a variety of leadership, mentoring, and coaching positions.  Mrs. Zalac received a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of South Florida and a master’s in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Florida International University, and she recently completed a fellowship in Independent School Leadership through the Peabody Institute at Vanderbilt University. 

Excellence with Honor

An independent school for grades K3-12