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Grace for the Strong-Willed Child

Larry Bussey

i have taught all grade levels of English/Creative Writing/Drama/Debate and Cultural Literacy for 40 years in the public and private schools of Georgia as well as ABAC and VSU and Moultrie Tech.


It was a great life and experience but about 4 years ago, I decided to retire. ​My educational experience has been an odyssey.  I did not go to college after graduation from Hogansville(GA)High School.  Leaving home the day after graduation, I moved to Atlanta and went to work.


When I decided to go to school, I spent a year at Norman College in Norman Park, GA. After one year at Norman, I transferred to LaGrange(GA) College, got married, and got my BA in English.  I began graduate school at Auburn(AL) University and transferred to BreadLoaf School of English at Middlebury(VT) College.  Later, I came back to LaGrange and finished my master’s in Secondary Education.  In 1994, I studied at Columbia University in New York City as a fellow appointed by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


I also have a certificate in medical transcription from Moultrie Technical College. ​In 1989, I was honored to be chosen as Georgia’s Teacher of the Year and to finish in the top ten for National Teacher of the Year.  In 1994, I was again honored to be chosen as Georgia’s Presidential Scholar’s Distinguished Teacher.   Students have chosen me as STAR Teacher nine times in my career. ​I am married to Betty and have been for 46 years.  We have three children and five grandchildren.

Amy Maves

my name is Amy Maves and I moved to Tifton in 2009 when my husband, Sam, took the job as pastor of New Life Presbyterian. I have two girls, Cameron (13) and Mallory (10) that will be in 8th and 6th grades at Chess Academy. 


This will be our 9th year of homeschooling and our second year at Chess.  I graduated from Medical College of Georgia in Augusta as a physician assistant in 1994.


I work part time as a PA in gynecology.  Besides my awesome family, my favorite things are Disney World and reading.

Lori Purcell

hi, my name is Lori Purcell.  I have been married to my “most awesome” husband, Bill for 31 years.  We have three incredible children.  Our oldest is 27. Many of you probably know Dusty. Dusty has Down Syndrome; it should be called Up Syndrome!  He is a miracle and great blessing to our family. God has used him to teach us so much about Himself through this beautiful boy. 


Ten years later Caroline surprised us and after 17 years she still does. I can’t believe how fast she has grown up.  Our youngest, Micah, is 13 years old.  He is a creative kid and always has an “idea."  (Yes, I am a doting mama.) We moved our family to Tifton from Phoenix, AZ 12 years ago. We have been so blessed to be a part of this community.


I have too many hobbies to list. I can tell you they are pretty much arts and crafts related.  I love dark chocolate, coffee, and salad.  My favorite

scriptures are Romans 8:1 and Psalm 139. I thank God for

the privilege to teach your children.  I welcome your

input and look forward to getting to know you and your


Christi Evans

Tulah Bishoff

i am extremely excited about joining CHESS this year.  My son Seth will also be joining me here at CHESS.  God has blessed me with my wonderful husband Jason, We have been married for 18 years and we have 3 precious children Seth(12), Gabrielle(9), and Josiah(6).  I have been homeschooling going on 9 years.


I have a BA in education from the University of North Florida.  After I had my son I chose to stay home and become a fulltime wife and mother.  About 6 months after Seth was born we moved to Georgia. 


After losing my mother to cancer I went to work part time as a teacher here in Tift County.   I chose to stay home rather than go to fulltime teaching and I have been there ever since.


Our family looks forward to a wonderful year here at CHESS!

my husband, Jason and I have been married  17 years and God has blessed us greatly with 2 incredible children, Nathan (12) and Anna (9).  They are true miracles from God that the doctors never thought we would have.  


Life has not been without it's challenges especially for our son, Nathan but I can honestly say that God has always been there through every storm to meet the needs in a mighty and real way.


I have homeschooled my children since Nathan was 5 years old so this adventure is turning into a lifelong path for us.  I am so thankful for CHESS Academy and the opportunities it has presented for my family.  


CHESS has just the right mix of academic growth and relationship

building to help a child thrive and excel.  I hope I can

continue to bring honor to this ministry and to God with

everything I do.

Debbie Free

my My name is Debbie Free. My husband, Bruce, is a Ranger 1 for Ga. Forestry in Tift Co. I have two grown children, Chris (29 years old) and Amanda (26 years old). Amanda has a two-year old, Grayson and will have another little boy in Feb.


I retired last December after teaching in elementary school in Turner Co. for thirty years. I taught 2 nd , 3 rd , 4 th , and 5 th grades as well as spending time as the librarian.


I spent the first 7 months of retirement babysitting Grayson. But I missed teaching. So
I am glad to be a part of the Chess family. I am very proud to be working in a Christian school. I am a part of Sycamore Baptist Church and bring the children’s message to our kids every Sunday morning. I love to sing, read, and spend time with my family, especially Grayson.

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