Photo of Ademola Adeyemi
Ademola Adeyemi
Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Trigonometry Math


Joined: 2014

College: Graduated from University of Central Oklahoma with a bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering and a Minor in Mathematics

Why TSAS? Never knew about this school. Until I applied and met with Liesa, Eric and the rest of the teachers and friends and that’s when I knew I had been truly blessed to be at the right place at the right time to do what I truly love to do. TEACH!

Interesting Facts: I am a native born Nigerian. I’ve been in Oklahoma for over 17 years ( I guess I qualify to be called an “Okie” now.). I am blessed with a beautiful wife of 10 years who is also from Nigeria, but we met here in Oklahoma – amazing! We have three amazingly gorgeous and awesome kids named Super-Simi, King David and Queen Esther! And we are blessed to live in the United States of America!

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Jackie Brewer
Biology, Horticulture, Anatomy Science

Joined: 2015

College: College of Santa Fe, Art Therapy. Oklahoma State University, Bachelor of Science: Horticultural Science. Northeastern State University, Master of Education: Science Education (In progress)

Why TSAS? It was my first and top choice! I absolutely love the unique diversity of the staff and students. The TSAS mission reflects what I believe education should create within our community- life long learners. By encouraging students to approach problem solving creatively, respect individual values and actively engage I feel our school promotes a holistic approach to education and learning. I am so proud to be part of the TSAS family!

Interesting fact(s): My husband and I have a 10-acre farm called ‘Blackberry Burro’ that we purchased in 2017. Our land will soon be occupied by our 5 donkeys, 3 goats, 18 hens, 3 dogs, 3 beehives and a 1973 Airstream as we continue to build our home. I love to cook and create for others. I was a horticulturist at the Tulsa Zoo prior to teaching at TSAS.

Photo of Cheyenne Butcher
Cheyenne Butcher
Photography, Yearbook, Zine Visual Arts


Joined: 2018

College: Bachelor of Arts in Photography from the Art Institute of Colorado

Why TSAS? The passion and dedication for the Arts is what drew me to TSAS. In a time where many institutions are ending photography programs and taking out darkrooms, I admire a school that sees the importance and the potential of photography as a venue for expression for students. I believe it’s not just a skill but an avenue of learning history as well as making it.

Interesting Facts: I have spent my free time over the last few years converting a school bus into a mobile tiny house and through photography, I’ve been documenting the process.

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Rogelio Contreras
Spanish, ASL World Languages

Joined: 2015

College: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology  with a Minor in Biology from the University of Texas at Brownsville, Master of Science in Deaf Education from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and Postrado en Readaptación al Esfuerzo de La Universidad de Barcelona, Barcelona Spain

Why TSAS?: Initially I applied at TSAS because I wanted a shorter commute, but little did I know I would soon be working at the best high school in Tulsa.  Starting from the interview on I was really impressed with the staff and the things that are happening  at TSAS.  I’m excited  to be part of this community!

Interesting Fact: I have a wife and two children, Isabela and Joaquin Cuauhtémoc. I served 8 years in the U.S. Navy.    Besides English and Spanish, I am also fluent in American Sign Language. My wife and I love to dance salsa, bachata, and merengue. I played ruby in Barcelona and was part of the 2004 Spanish national championship team.  I am a Texas Longhorn fan (Hook-Em Horns)!

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Kevin Couch
Jazz Band Performing Arts


Joined: 2017

College: Bachelor of Science in Education – Music, University of Arkansas, and Master of Education in Administration, Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Why TSAS?I have been excited to be at TSAS for the past two years. I wanted an opportunity to develop students as musicians as well as help them find themselves through music. TSAS presents all of its teachers with the freedom to develop their curriculum in a way that best suits the teacher and the student. It is a unique and wonderful place to be both as an educator and a student!

Interesting Facts:I have traveled around the world playing music and working with wonderful musicians. Because I had the opportunity to study music, I have been able to do so many wonderful things that have enriched my life both through teaching and performing. I am also an avid gardener and I am working toward becoming a master gardener. I am researching ways to connect music and agriculture to develop healthier and more productive plants.

Photo of Catherine Denton
Catherine Denton
Office Manager


Joined: 2016

College: BA in English from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri.

Why TSAS?: I love the unique culture of TSAS (all three of my kids have attended) and wanted to be a part of the team! I came to TSAS for my kids and stayed because of amazing coworkers.

Interesting Fact: I consider myself the Pam Beasley of this office.

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Jeffery Donaldson
Sophomore English, Senior English English


Joined: 2018

College: Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Oral Roberts University

Why TSAS? I prize the value TSAS places on a liberal arts education and their mission to help all students achieve their personal goals.

Interesting Facts: My teaching career began in China in 1987. Three years later, at the American Academy in Istanbul, Turkey, I adopted my life’s motto: “I want to dance with the whole world!” I have been devoted to my partner in life for nearly 30 years, the last 18 of those in our little home on the river bend near downtown Tulsa.

Photo of Tangela Ekhoff
Tangela Ekhoff
Freshman English and Composition English


Joined: 2018

College: Auburn University B.S. in Education, and Auburn University – Montgomery M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary Education

Why TSAS?I have searched for a school like TSAS as both a parent and a teacher. I love that we are a “good human” workshop. I am so fortunate that my sons are educated by well-rounded, kind teachers who are experts in their field and cool people. I am thrilled to teach here, too. TSAS is home.

Interesting Fact:I was born on a U.S. military base in a country that no longer exists.

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Derek Fisher
Paraprofessional Support


Joined: 2018

Education: Camp Robinson Army National Guard GED Plus Program, and Special Education Para Professional Certified

Why TSAS? I chose TSAS because I believe in how we conduct and perform our duties as teachers and principals helping students learn & interact while preparing them for life beyond their graduation.

Interesting Facts: I have obtained a diploma with/and served in the US Army. In addition, I conduct certified personal training for sports & occupational therapy. I have been working with autistic children all my life, and am pleased to now be a certified paraprofessional with the greatest school ever, TSAS! I am also an active group leader for LifeChurch.

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Kelly Foshee
Teaching Artist Visual Arts

Joined: 2006

College: University of Tulsa– Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1998 University of Tulsa– Certificate in Museum Studies, 2000 University of Tulsa– Master of Fine Arts, 2002 Tulsa Community College– Certificate in Italian Language Studies, 2002

Why TSAS?:  Because I wanted a school where I was free to develop my own curriculum that was free from the constraints of traditional schools, and focused on encouraging the growth of students in their creative life. This school values the benefits of an all-around education in which art is seen as an essential tool for the development of both the student’s critical thinking and creative problem solving skills.

Interesting Fact: In his 87th year, Michelangelo inscribed on a sketch the words ‘Ancora Imparo’– Italian for ‘I am still learning’. It’s a reminder that learning is a life-long pursuit, and we’re never truly finished. I have also taught at the Philbrook Museum of Art for the last 10 years, and live with two dogs, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, Gus, and my husband, Aaron.

Photo of Marilyn Gates
Marilyn Gates
Musical Theater, Acting Performing Arts

Joined: 2009

College: American Conservatory Theatre Bachelor of Arts (not from ACT)

Why TSAS?: I was aware of its excellent reputation, and knew the school’s environment and goals for student learning were what I wanted to be a part of. More importantly, I’ve stayed at TSAS for eleven years because it has exceeded my hopes and expectations in providing an incredible learning process for all. The mutual respect and relationships formed between students, faculty, administration, and the entire staff all work together to build better futures for our kids and improve the world we live in!

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Stephanie Heiliger
Algebra II, Personal Finance, Pre-Calculus Math


Joined: 2016

College: Northeastern State University: Bachelor of Science (Mathematics Education) and University of Oklahoma: Master’s of Science (Teaching, Learning, and Leadership)

Why TSAS?: I believe every student is capable of succeeding in mathematics. It is my goal to encourage students in their ability and hopefully help them to find a love of mathematics.

Interesting Fact: I have two beautiful children that both have blonde hair and blue eyes.

Photo of Wes Hill
Wes Hill
Government, Oklahoma History, World History History


Joined: 2019

College: Oral Roberts University Master of Arts in Education and Bachelor of Science in Government

Why TSAS? I love the unique culture of TSAS – the administration, the faculty, the students! It a privilege to be apart of such an incredible place!

Interesting Facts: I spend most of my free time hanging out in coffee shops around Tulsa or watching the OKC Thunder (NBA) with my wife Lindsay!

Photo of Angela Hudson
Angela Hudson
Junior and Senior English, AP Lang. English

Joined: 2013

College: Oklahoma State University

Why TSAS? As I entered the field of education, I knew I wanted to teach in an environment that nurtured the student as a whole person rather than just a statistic. TSAS is the embodiment of all I believe education to be: individually focused and community minded.

Interesting Fact: I read magazines backward.

Photo of Kate Hughes
Kate Hughes
Speech and Debate, Choir Performing Arts


Joined: 2016

College: Oklahoma City University, BA in Theatre Performance / BA in Music

Why TSAS?: I’m from the Tulsa area (even though I moved away for 10 years) and I had admired TSAS from afar for a long time – TSAS alums I’ve met are so well-rounded, and none of them can stop talking about how great their high school was. Once I started teaching here, I understood what all the hype was about!

Interesting Fact: I enjoy puns.

Photo of Korie Johnson
Korie Johnson
English 2, Mythology, Creative Writing English


Joined: 2019

College: Bachelor of Arts in History from Colorado Mesa University and Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Wyoming

Why TSAS? When I moved to Tulsa, I was surprised to find a school committed to Liberal Arts education. That in its self is rare and inspiring. Since, I’ve admired the work that TSAS does to build and maintain an enriching learning community for students. I want to be a part of that work.

Interesting Facts: I have no sense of time and often have multiple alarms set on my phone. I’m into making birthday cakes for friends and family. Some might say that I can be indecisive, but I would say that I consider all options. I spend most of my time with my family and I think they’re great.



Photo of Aubree Karner
Aubree Karner
Art Foundations, Painting, Drawing I and II Visual Arts


Joined: 2017

College: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Arkansas, and Master of Sceince in Museum Science and Management from the University of Tulsa

Why TSAS? TSAS is a great school with dedicated faculty and a family atmosphere.

Interesting Fact: I have a deformed rib on my left side.

Photo of Taylor Kilburn
Taylor Kilburn
High School Counselor Administration

Joined: 2015

College: B.A. in Sociology from Oklahoma State University, Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma

Why TSAS?: I love the feeling of community, the wonderful and supportive people and the way students are respected and empowered as lifelong learners and individuals.

Interesting Fact: I am married to a TSAS alumnus (class of 2004), I love food, dogs, and Tina Fey.

Photo of Cynthia Lance
Cynthia Lance
Chemistry, AP Chemistry, Robotics, Ecology Science


Joined: 2012

College: Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from University of Tulsa and Masters in TOEFL from Oklahoma State University 

Why TSAS? An opportunity to work at a smaller school appealed to me on many levels.

Interesting Fact: I am a Marvel fan!

Photo of Adriana Lopez
Adriana Lopez
Director of Operations Administration


Joined: 2011

College: Northeastern State University – Criminal Justice Major – Legal Studies Minor

Why TSAS? Inspiring teachers and wonderful staff.

Interesting Fact: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when?” ~ Rabbi Hillel

Photo of Ellen McCoy Ph. D.
Ellen McCoy Ph. D.
Executive Director Administration


Joined: 2017

College: University of Oklahoma – Ph.D. of Education Leadership; DePauw University – B.A. Political Science

Why TSAS? I believe the heart of education rests within the hands of teachers, and TSAS recognizes and elevates this philosophy. It is a place where teachers give students the tools to grow and learn in dynamic classrooms. TSAS cultivates an environment of rich academic preparation while appreciating the unique needs and interests of the individuals we are and we want to become. I am honored to work alongside everyone who calls TSAS home.

Interesting Facts: Some of my favorites: Coca-Cola, The Beatles, Wendell Berry, Z104.5, Ford pick-up trucks, supreme pizza without sausage, Motown, Kentucky Wildcat Basketball, travel, chocolate…


Photo of DeVon Mohn
DeVon Mohn


Joined: 2017

College: Always continuing to learn!

Why TSAS?: I am honored to work at TSAS, I genuinely love the staff, kids, and community, and how no matter what your personality, you are welcome here. I have four children that has graduated from TSAS and two who attend.

Interesting Fact: I’ve been married 29 years. and I have a cat and three parakeets. I receive a word of the day email each day, because I enjoy learning new words as well as reading, cooking, and gardening!

Photo of Steven Okapal
Steven Okapal
AP Physics, Philosophy, Pre-Calculus, Calculus Science, Math

Joined: 2007

College: The Ohio State University. B.S. Physics and B.A Philosophy

Why TSAS? I heard good things about it from one of the founders. In the interview they asked what I would do with an elective, and I said I would love to teach Philosophy to HS students. When they said that could happen, I jumped on it.

Interesting Fact: I have speed-ran Final Fantasy 2/4 in between 20 and 21 hours.

Photo of Suzan Ozkilic
Suzan Ozkilic
Computer Science Science


Joined: 2017

College: Suleyman Demirel Universitesi – Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a minor in Electronics, Hacettepe University – Computer Programming, and North American University – Master of Science in Computer Science-Cyber Security

Why TSAS?  TSAS has a warm and friendly environment.

Interesting Facts: I am an MIT Master Trainer and write computer science curriculum extensions for JASON’s science curriculum. I give workshops and run “hack-a-thons” for some Texas teachers and students, so I sometimes travel to Texas. I have a great husband who supports me with everything I do, and two daughters. I love dogs and cats, but I am allergic to cats.

Photo of Stephen Place
Stephen Place
Health and Wellness, Cross Country, Yoga, Cycling Performing Arts


Joined: 2016

College: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from University of Tulsa, League of American Bicyclists

Why TSAS? It is the most community-centered school I have ever stepped foot in and the family atmosphere runs deep. Teaching runs in my blood but I’ve been looking for this home and open atmosphere for a while. I’ve taught a few classes here in the past but I’m so glad to finally call TSAS home!

Interesting Facts: I was born and raised in Denton, Texas and am a lover of all things bike, a well as music (especially metal). I have the most wonderful family in my wife Arianna and two little loves Julian and Evie <3 I have a deep love for cultivating the self – mind, body and spirit. My goal is to open the door of possibilities and let students lead from there.

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Morgan Reeves
English Language Arts English


Joined: 2020

Education: Bachelor of Science in Family Science from the University of Maryland

Why TSAS? Coming Soon

Interesting Facts: Coming Soon


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Daniel Sharples
Director of Community Development Administration


Joined: 2014

College: B.A. in Religious Studies, Minor in History –  University of Oklahoma; M.A. in Secondary Education (in progress) – University of Missouri- St. Louis

Why TSAS? When I imagined becoming a teacher and being part of a school, this place is what I pictured. The freedom of the teacher, the encouragement of curiosity, and the positive interactions between students and faculty match what I wanted to see happen. This place feels like home to me.

Interesting Fact: Sometimes when I am driving I catch myself singing Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” in the key of Michael McDonald. After that, I like reading books, listening to vinyl records, and watching / analyzing / writing about film and television. I dream about hiking and go occasionally. I love NY Times crossword puzzles.

Photo of Liesa Smith Ph. D.
Liesa Smith Ph. D.
Lead Principal Administration

Joined: 2002, 2009

College: OSU – Ph. D. : Curriculum Studies; NSU – Masters Degree : School Administration; TCC – Associates Degree : Fine Art; TU – Bachelors Degree : English Education and Fine Art;

Why TSAS? I choose to work at TSAS because it is a learning community focused on the potential and achievement of each individual student.  The teachers at TSAS care about each student’s academic growth as well as their human journey.  On an almost daily basis I am amazed at how our relational environment is supportive and encouraging to both the students and the faculty.  Our school community is made up of people at every level of involvement that care deeply about intellectual pursuits, creativity, innovation and humanity.There’s no place like TSAS and I am honored to work here.  

Interesting Fact:  I am super proud that all four of my children graduated from TSAS. I love books, writing, cooking  – and I wish I had more time to explore artistic pursuits and garden, because I really enjoy those too. I think that good conversations, time with family and friends, coffee (and dogs) bring beauty to the mess of life.
Photo of Jesse Stallings
Jesse Stallings
Librarian and College Counseling Administration

Joined: 2007

College: Rogers State University – BA Liberal Arts, and The University of Oklahoma – MA Library & Information Studies

Why TSAS? Choice! Not only do our students choose to attend TSAS, but teachers are afforded the opportunity to make the best decisions for their students’ education. This, coupled with an insightful and supportive group of colleagues who are dedicated to developing themselves and their peers, makes for a community enriching like no other.

Interesting Fact: I like to make robots that can draw.

Photo of Colton Tucker
Colton Tucker
Special Education Support


Joined: 2018

College: Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Oklahoma State University

Why TSAS? I chose TSAS due to its emphasis on the liberal arts as well as the level of autonomy granted to both its students and faculty. I was further impressed by the amount of electives, clubs, and extracurricular activities available to the students.

Interesting Facts: Alongside being a serial hobbyist, I have been playing guitar and singing/songwriting for over 12 years. I also enjoy transition skateboarding, longboarding, and extended road trips.

Photo of John Turner
John Turner
Government, History History


Joined: 2019

College: Bachelor of Arts in History and Certificate in Classical Studies from the University of Tulsa.

Why TSAS? I chose TSAS because of the atmosphere and the unique oppurtunities provided to students and faculty. The faculty to student ratio is ideal and the support system that teachers get is out of this world!

Interesting Facts: I am an avid horseman, reader, and movie watcher. On the weekends you will find on the front porch with a book in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

Photo of Erin Wilkins
Erin Wilkins
Geometry, Algebra 2, Personal Finance Math


Joined: 2018

College: University of Tulsa, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Why TSAS? The positive reputation that TSAS has by its staff and its community.

Interesting Facts: I’m a 7th generation Texan, but I love and have made a second home out of Tulsa. I’m a very devoted TU fan with season tickets for both football and basketball. Reign Cane!