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Communications and Journalism Pathways

Communications and Journalism Pathway Teachers
carterKate Carter has a bachelor’s degree in English from Duke University and a master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University. She is an award-winning journalist and spent two years as a reporter for the Athens Banner-Herald.  She received the 2002 Beacon Award from the Georgia School Boards Association for her coverage of K-12 education, and she also has received several awards from the Georgia Associated Press Association for her reporting. After leaving Athens, Kate served as an editor at the Atlanta Business Chronicle where she focused on business trends and strategies.  She also served on the Metro Atlanta Chamber board that selects the Atlanta Small Business Person of the Year.

Kate's first foray into teaching was as a high school English teacher at a bilingual school in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. More recently, Kate has taught journalism at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and at Kennesaw State University.  She was the editorial adviser for the students who publish The Red & Black, UGA's independent, student newspaper. She now teaches journalism at Grady High School and serves as co-adviser of Grady's award-winning student paper, The Southerner,
in the Print Journalism Pathway.

As an instructor in Digital Media and Graphic Design, Patricia Kendall draws from nearly twenty years' experience as a professional in the field of communications. Following her graduation from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Motion Picture and Television Production, she worked for nearly five years' in post-production with Walt Disney Studios (Burbank) before launching a career as a freelance photographer in San Francisco and Atlanta. A photo shoot with the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation led to an eight-year position as their in-house graphic designer where she created and supported the branding and communications emanating from this nationally known scholarship program. The desire to explore other opportunities to work with young people led her to apply as a full-time instructor with Grady High School in 2003, where she channels her talents into instructing students in graphic design, web page design and film production.  

Ms. Kendall teaches in the Graphic Design Pathway. Her professional networking has resulted in active student/business partnerships with design community leaders such as the School of Industrial Design at Georgia Tech, the Museum of Design Atlanta, the Association of Independent Graphic Artists (AIGA) and the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design in New York.

Tutorial hours are typically Wednesday or Thursdays (A day) from 3:30 - 4:30 or by appointment.
Carrie MacBrien has been serving students in Atlanta Public Schools since 1995. She began her career as a language arts teacher at Crim High School and was the language arts chairperson at Harper-Archer and Carver High Schools. She joined the staff of Grady High School in 2004 and taught literature and journalism before being appointed program coordinator for the Communication Magnet in 2005.  In 2010, Ms. MacBrien was named Leader for the Communications and Journalism Pathways at Grady.
Ms. MacBrien holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education from Emory University and received her leadership certificate from Georgia State University. Her awards include Star Teacher (Carver High School, 2004), Rising Star Teacher (Georgia Perimeter College, 2004), Supervising Teacher of the Year (Georgia Association of Teacher Educators, 2001), Teacher of the Year (Crim High School, 2000), and Debate Coach of the Year (Atlanta Public Schools, 1998).  Ms. MacBrien can be reached at 404-802-3015 or at
Susie Mercer is a certified gifted educator with a passion for American literature and film.  A graduate of the University of Florida, she has a bachelor’s in English and a master’s in English education, with plans to obtain her doctorate in the near future.  She also earned a summer scholarship to study at Exeter College in Oxford, England, prior to joining the Grady family.  Mercer wears many hats; in addition to heading up the English department, she also serves as the yearbook adviser and coaches the Grady Gauntlet ultimate team, currently ranked second in the state.  She was named Coach of the Year in 2009 for Georgia.  Ms. Mercer sponsors the Orator, Grady's yearbook, in the Print Journalism Pathway.
nicPaul Nicolson graduated from Grady High School and went on to pursue a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design.  He is an active member of the Association of Career and Technical Education, the Journalism Educator’s Association, the Printing and Imaging Association, the National Educators’ Association, and the PTSA.  He has been the adviser of Grady’s yearbook, the Orator; coached volleyball; and served on the Grady Foundation.  Outside of Grady, Mr. Nicolson lends his talents as a creative design and services consultant, which includes design solutions and videography.  He is also a husband and father.  He teaches in the Graphic Communications Pathway.  Mr. Nicolson can be reached at
robertsThaddeus Roberts is the coordinator for GNN (Grady News Now) and GameTime within the Audio-Video Technology and Film Pathway.

Nalin Needham obtainined a B.A. in English from Oberlin College (2005), a J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (2010) and a M.A.T. in Secondary English from Emory University (2012). 

My philosophy of education is best described as an example of the Frierian model of education.  Specifically, I believe that students and teachers need to occupy simultaneously (and equitably) the (falsely described) “dichotomic” positions of teacher and learner, of educator and pupil in order that true and humane learning occur.  This “resolution” of “the teacher-student contradiction,” as Friere in Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2006) notes, is a “quest for mutual humanization” that must be “imbued with a profound trust in people and their creative power” and that, at its core, requires that students and teachers be viewed, and view themselves, as “partners” with each other.  All of this is to say that I believe that if schools are to produce responsible, self-regulated and mature (both intellectually and emotionally) students, teachers must provide these students with room to participate, direct and impact their education, classroom and surrounding environment.  Mr. Needham sponsors The Unmasking, Grady's literary magazine, within the Print Journalism Pathway.

Mr. Needham is available for tutorial every Thursday from 3:15-4:30 p.m. and by appointment.  

winterDave Winter teaches Journalism 2M, 3M and 4M and is the adviser of Nexus and co-adviser of The Southerner in the Print Journalism Pathway.  He holds tutorial hours during lunches and by appointment.  A 1990 graduate of the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin, Winter also earned a master’s degree in history at Georgia State in 2001. He holds a level 5 teaching certificate with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to teach gifted students and the following subjects: behavioral science, economics, English, history and political science. The Georgia Scholastic Press Association awarded Winter its Career Service Award in 2006. He also received the Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award in 2005. The Georgia Association of Journalism Advisers named Winter its Teacher of the Year in 2002. Before coming to Grady in 2001, he taught for nine years at Wheeler High School in Marietta and for one year at Mayfair High School in Lakewood, Calif. At Wheeler, he was named Teacher of the Year in 2001 and S.T.A.R. Teacher in 1998 and 2001. Winter was inducted in the Wheeler High School Hall of Fame in 1999 and into the Mayfair High School Faculty No. 1 Club in 1992.
Emma Watson has a M.A. (Hons) in English from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland (2007), and a Master of Arts in Teaching with certification in Secondary English from Emory University (2012). Originally from Maine, Ms. Watson moved to Scotland after graduating high school and lived there for six years - earning her degree, working, and traveling - before moving to Atlanta in 2010. She teaches Advanced Composition in all of the Communications and Journalism Pathways.