Founding School Leader
Patrice Meadows is a veteran educator with over a decade of experience. After graduating from North Carolina State University with a BS in Biology, she joined Teach for America and relocated to Atlanta. She began her teaching career at Therell High school in SW Atlanta teaching 11th and 12th grade chemistry. Since then, she has taught 5th-12th grades at traditional and charter schools in Atlanta Public Schools and DeKalb county. Most recently she served as the assistant principal at DeKalb PATH Academy, a high performing charter school and the 2018 GA Charter school of the year. Her most notable achievements include developing a data driven culture using national norm-referenced assessments, starting the new teacher support program and building community engagement through mentoring and volunteering. In 2010, she earned a Master’s degree in Science Education and in 2016 earned her Specialist’s degree in Educational Leadership both from GA State University. She now presents to teachers and school leaders at educational conferences around the country including the Georgia Charter School Association Conference and Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (GA TAPP) New Teacher Symposium. She is the lead founder of Atlanta SMART Academy, a charter school with a mission to use science, math and the arts to build students into innovative solutionists. This new school is proposed to open in Fall of 2020 with 5th and 6th grades then grow a grade level each year up to 8th grade. The vision of the school is to be a conduit from elementary years to high school, where students are equipped with the critical thinking skills to thrive in a rapidly evolving world. In her off time she enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family.
Adam Tolliver is a Southwest Atlanta native, and a graduate of Florida State University. He currently runs a Financial Services Practice, serving young professionals and growing families and businesses in Atlanta. Adam joined the Atlanta SMART Academy Board as Chair because he believes in the power of innovation and choice in education, and its ability to provide a limitless range of opportunities for students and families in the community he has always called home.
Max Smith serves as Vice Chair of the Board. Max brings years of experience in the field of education and currently serves as a high school teacher, instructional coach, department chair, grade level chair, and member of the leadership team. Before returning to the classroom, Max coached and managed new teachers in middle and high school math and science in 26 different schools in the districts of Clayton County, Fulton County, and Atlanta Public Schools. Max has a Master’s in Education through the School Leadership Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His concentration is in School Development, and he has applied that concentration in consulting work to start and develop innovative school models for secondary education. He is passionate about creating a learning environment where all students are pushed to think critically and creatively and where students engineer their passions in the pursuit of fulfillment. He is excited to be a part of the founding school team for Atlanta SMART Academy where he will utilize his expertise to make this vision a reality for our future students.
Veronica Crenshaw currently serves as board secretary. She is dedicated to sharing her love and passion for students through her work in advocacy and dispute resolution with the Georgia Department of Education. She has over five years of teaching experience working with Teach For America-Alabama, Birmingham City Schools, and KIPP Metro Atlanta. In her spare time, Veronica pursues her other passion for law by seeking opportunities to make necessary voices heard in education policy. She is a strong believer in equipping people with the tools necessary to empower themselves. She is a graduate of Fisk University and Cumberland School of Law. Veronica joined the board to ensure that students have access to a high quality education that will place them on a more stable path to success in college and/or career. Her focus is to increase student access and promote creativity through the arts. She is an active member of the Junior League Atlanta, Leadership for Educational Equity, The Collective - Atlanta, and the Go On Girl Book Club. Veronica and her husband are thrilled to now call Atlanta home. They have two young sons, James and Ethan, and their family pet, Blue.
D’Angelo graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University and a Master of Accountancy from Georgia Southern University in December of 2012. Shortly thereafter he earned professional designations as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). D’Angelo serves as a Manager at Porter Keadle Moore, LLC in a variety of assurance and consulting capacities. To date, his experience includes consolidated financial statement audits for public and private companies primarily in the insurance and banking industries along with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 internal control documentation and COSO Internal Control-Intergrated Framework implementation. D’Angelo is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants D’Angelo serves as the Board’s Treasurer and joined the Board because he wholeheartedly supports the school’s vision and mission. He believes everyone should have access to the quality education, particularly with emphasis on the sciences and the arts.
Ki’Jia Briel Willingham, a native of the Midwest, developed a passion for entrepreneurship while working with non-profit organizations on branding and marketing. After being laid off from her corporate job in the insurance industry, she decided to follow her passion to help others see the greatness within themselves as business owners. She decided to never again let someone else have control over her happiness and financial stability. Ki’Jia soon discovered her natural skill not only for helping entrepreneurs to create their brands, but also for developing and equipping the 21st century entrepreneur with tools to endure through all those unforeseen, new-business obstacles. Ki’Jia’s portfolio spans brand consulting, business coaching, and new homes sales. She is stands firmly behind the belief that strength and focus teaches you how to endure and leads to great success Ki’Jia’s success and commitment to her clients has seen her work and her clients featured across a range of media, including Bravo, Fox, and VH1. Ki’Jia is a successful entrepreneur who is passionate about helping others achieve their full success through determination and focus. She knows people can reach their highest potential with strong guidance and she is committed to teaching them how to effectively merge their passions and talents to reach others. Ki’Jia holds a BA in public relations and is currently working on her MBA in Marketing.