Fortis Leadership and Teachers

Dedicated to teaching excellence in the classroom and showing God’s love to students

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” -Proverbs 22:6

Leadership

Dr. Brannan

Head of School (DMIN., MDIV.)

Dr. Brannan and his wife have been in ministry for over 20 years.  They began in youth ministry in Ann Arbor, Michigan where they pioneered outreaches in the high schools, middle schools and local colleges.  William then spent 5 years as a missionary pastor in Northern Ireland before returning to the United States as a church planter.  Dr. Brannan studied Biblical Languages, Religious Studies and Music at Concordia University.  He later earned his Masters of Divinity from Trinity Seminary and his Doctor of Ministry from Vision University.

Dr. Brannan’s passion is to infect the next generation with the hope and love of the Kingdom of God, with the goal of raising up future leaders that will promote a thoroughly biblical faith and worldview. He believes that the quality and content of the education at Fortis Academy is designed for that very purpose, and considers it an honor to be head of school.

Mrs. Brazill

Academic Director

Mrs. Brazill comes to Fortis Academy with 26 years of teaching experience in grades 2, 3, 5, and high school.  Mrs. Brazill has a Master’s in Teaching, holds a lifetime Texas certificate, and was ESL and GT certified. While living in Nevada she was involved in teacher training of Investigations math series for elementary teachers and helped develop math assessments. Mrs. Brazill served as a lector at her church for several years. She believes in life-long learning and feels blessed to be part of Fortis Academy.

“Two are better than one…for if they fall, one will lift up the other.” 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Mrs. Martin

Family Life Director

Mrs. Martin graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a BA in Education and went on to receive her Master’s Degree (also from APU) in Curriculum and Instruction. She began teaching at the young age of 20 and holds current teaching credentials for grades Pre-K-6 in both California and Texas. Mrs. Martin taught at a variety of schools in California including West Covina Christian School, Eucalyptus Elementary School (Hawthorne, Ca), and Silver Spur Elementary School (Palos Verdes Peninsula, Ca) before moving to Texas in 2006. Mrs. Martin and her husband met in church in California and have been married for 23 years. They have one child, Emma Jean Martin, who is currently a Logic student at Fortis Academy. Mrs. Martin had the privilege of being a stay at home mom until Emma started preschool. She then decided to work part-time at Harmony Hill Preschool and Fellowship Preschool before deciding to get her Elementary School teaching certificate in Texas. Mrs. Martin worked as a Reading Interventionist and then as a 5th grade teacher at Blackland Prairie Elementary School in Round Rock from 2014-2018 before transferring Emma to Fortis Academy. Mrs. Martin has been a Christian for as long as she remembers and is blessed to be on the Administration team at Fortis Academy. 

“Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” – Proverbs 4:13

Logic and Rhetoric (6th – 12th)

Mr. Paone

History, Logic, Speech & Debate

After having homeschooled his own children for 17 years and worked as an ESL instructor, Mr. Paone came to Fortis in 2014 after being captivated by the students, curriculum, teachers, administration, and vision of Fortis. He was convinced they had the right message and the right method to educate the next generation of leaders in the Christian faith.

Mr. Paone met the Lord as a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston and subsequently spent about 20 years in Latin America carrying the message of the Bible to the spiritually hungry youth of the Hispanic world through street evangelism and music.

Mr. Paone’s teaching style is relaxed and fun, but challenging.  He is currently enrolled in Austin Graduate School of Theology where he is expanding his knowledge of Christian studies in order to enrich the lives of our Fortis students.

“The intelligence can only be led by desire. For there to be desire, there must be pleasure and joy in work.” – Simone Weil educator and philosopher

Mrs. Krenek

Language Arts

Mrs. Krenek has enjoyed over 30 years of teaching students ranging from PreK to 12th grade in Williamson County. She received my BS in Education from Texas State and attended UT Austin for graduate work in Library and Information Science. She also holds multiple teaching certifications, including a specialization in reading instruction.

Mrs. Krenek was raised in a loving Christian home where devotion to the Lord and love for learning began. Mrs. Krenek and her husband have been happily married for over 35 years and reside in Georgetown where she enjoys the outdoors and especially observing animals in nature. She has raised Monarch butterflies for 20+ years and looks forward to sharing that miraculous metamorphosis with students every Spring.
 
I believe that everything we do should be to the Glory of God and feel a personal connection to John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Mrs. Krenek

Mrs. Barbosa

Science

Mrs. Barbosa comes to Fortis Academy with 30 years experience in public education.  She began her career as a geologist working with two oil companies in Dallas.  When her family moved to Austin, she decided to go back to school at Southwestern University to become a secondary science teacher.  She taught Biology and Chemistry at three high schools with 11 years experience in Georgetown ISD, Pflugerville ISD and Arlington ISD.  She later became a campus administrator for 15 years at the middle school level before ending her career as the Director of Assessment for Georgetown ISD. She has a BS in Geology-mathematics minor, M.Ed. in Educational Administration, and recent graduate work in school improvement working on her superintendent certification.  Her current certifications:  Secondary Science (6th-12th), ESL (6th-12th), Mid-Management (Principalship), and Superintendent.  She and her husband live in Georgetown and have three grown children living in England, Chicago and Austin.  She has devoted her life the past 30 years to working with children in public schools, in volunteer work, and in church ministry with Romans 12 NSV IHumble Service in the Body of Christ) guiding her work with others.  She is so happy to share her gift of teaching at Fortis Academy.

Mrs. Sladek

History

Mrs. Sladek is new to the Liberty Hill area, but has called Austin her home for more than 20 years.  She earned a Bachelors in History from Wheaton College and a Masters in Classical Archaeology from The University of Colorado.   Mrs. Sladek became a Christian at a young age and was raised in a Christian home.  Her faith has always been the guiding light in her life, but it was not until she attended Wheaton College that her Christian faith and academic life came together to give full meaning and understanding to her daily walk.  She was a teacher for 7 years prior to starting her family at both Hill Country Christian School of Austin, and Regents School of Austin.  Her most recent teaching job was at Veritas Classical Academy in South Austin.  Mrs. Sladek has a love for all things ancient, particularly the history, art and architecture of the Greeks and Romans.

“Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum “  translation: To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” -Cicero

Mrs. Davis

Math

After graduating from the University of Colorado with a Bachelors in Environmental Biology, Ms. Davis spent time in law enforcement as a game warden and a crime scene investigator. After she and her husband got married she stepped in the classroom and found that she had a love for teaching, especially math at the high school level.  Mrs. Davis has homeschooled as well as taught all levels of math from 7th-12th grade in public, private and charter schools for over 10 years.   She became a Christian in 1998 after an in depth study of the book of Romans and has spent the last 20 years serving in the church with her husband and 4 children.  Her passion is teaching and mentoring teenage youth and is currently serving in junior high and high school ministry at her church, Hill Country Bible in Leander.   Mrs. Davis’ teaching style is challenging but interactive and she always tries to plan fun and engaging math lessons for her students.

 

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” -Albert Einstein   

Mrs. Porrello

Math

Mrs. Porrello’s formal qualifications include a B.A. in Mathematics, M.S. in Computer Science, California Secondary Mathematics Teaching Credential, and 6-8 Mathematics Texas Teaching Credential.  She has several years of experience working as a software engineer and over 20 years of teaching experience in levels kindergarten through college. While homeschooling her four children, Mrs. Porrello learned about Montessori and Classical Education and begin “re-educating” herself along with her children.

Raised in a Christian home, Mrs. Porrello’s faith has always been an essential part of who she is. As a catechist for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, she enjoys rediscovering the joy and beauty of the faith through the children (ages 3 – grade school) as they learn and explore it.

Mrs. Porrello, her husband of 26 years, and children moved to Texas four years ago. She enjoys watching her son’s play baseball, doing art with her daughter, and hanging out with her family, including her son, his wife, and their beautiful daughter of 4 months. She feels blessed to have the opportunity to work at a Classical Christian school.

“Mathematics gives a person eyes to see.” -Andrew Kern

“Everybody loves math when they know it. When they don’t, they think they hate math. What they really hate is not knowing it.” –Andrew Kern

 
Grammar (K – 5th)

Mrs. McKethan

Kindergarten

Mrs. McKethan graduated from the University of North Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and has been married to her college sweetheart for 18 years.  She has 2 children, Rylan and Zane, who are both enrolled at Fortis and love it!  Her family likes to spend time outdoors discovering all of the amazing swimming holes and natural wonders that the Austin area has to offer, going to waterparks and theme parks, and just relaxing together playing card games.   Her family also enjoys serving in their church where they help with the children’s ministry and the youth group.

“I promise that your child will learn that God loves them and has a plan for them, challenge them to reach their full potential, and prepare them for their educational future.” – Mrs. McKethan

Mrs. Kuhn

1st Grade

Mrs. Kuhn graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Microbiology. While at Cal Poly, she met and married the love of her life, and the two of them recently celebrated 21 years of marriage. Mrs. Kuhn and her husband are very proud of their two wonderful teenage sons who attend Liberty Hill Junior High and High School, where they are active in student leadership and band. Mrs. Kuhn came to faith in Christ when she was in 6th grade and heard the gospel for the first time at Christian school.

 

After working in the public health field and in human resources upon college graduation, Mrs. Kuhn was privileged to become a mom and was able to stay at home with her boys full time. Once they entered school, she volunteered at their Christian school. Having worked with children her whole life, it was a natural fit and she was soon hired as an Instructional Aide. It was here that she caught “the bug” for teaching as a natural extension of her love for children. Two years ago, the Kuhns moved to Texas and Mrs. Kuhn taught Pre-K in Liberty Hill for one year before finding Fortis Academy. She considers teaching 1st grade (the BEST grade!) a true blessing, and feels honored to be part of the Fortis family. She is inspired to share the love of Jesus in everything she does.
 
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” -Lamentations 3:22-23

Mrs. Lafferty

2nd Grade

Mrs. Lafferty grew up in New Mexico, but calls herself a Texan now because she has lived over half of her life here!  She graduated from Texas Tech with a BS in Family Studies and worked primarily in the foster care system while also getting her Masters in Social Work from the University of Texas.  Mrs. Lafferty spent many years working with children and families all the way up to the elderly.  Her and her husband, Scott, met and were married at our church shortly after I moved to Austin.  She has two amazing children (Luke and Chloe) who both attend Fortis.   Mrs. Lafferty has been a part of the Fortis community since 2014 and is very committed to this model because she has seen firsthand the beautiful fruit born of a Classical Christian education! 

“I’m thrilled to be returning to my first love of working with children in the role of teacher.  I have a passion to nurture the gifts that God has placed in each one of my students and love to walk alongside parents as well.” Mrs. Lafferty   

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

Mrs. Torres

3rd Grade

Mrs. Torres graduated from the Apostolic University International with a bachelor’s degree in Theology with a concentration in Christian Education.  She has eight years of experience in early and elementary education in a private school.  Mrs. Torres has been married for 11 years and have three wonderful children, Giana, Halle and Christa.  Mrs. Torres is very active in their church where she leads the children’s ministry.  

“I feel so blessed to be able to teach children in a Christian Worldview environment like Fortis Academy.” – Mrs. Torres

Mrs. Johnson

4th Grade

Mrs. Johnson  graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan with a degree in Psychology and moved to Texas where she worked for 8 years as a counselor for at-risk students in private and public school settings.  She spent 18 years homeschooling her own children as well as teaching classes in educational co-ops and homeschool enrichment programs.    Mrs. Johnson loves to learn and is passionate about fostering a love for God and a lifelong love of learning in the hearts of her precious students.  Mrs. Johnson has been married to her husband for 25 years and has three amazing children.  Her oldest is living and working abroad, the middle child is in college, and our youngest is attending Fortis Academy, which she loves!  Mrs. Johnson is also active in their church where they serve in student ministry, leading discipleship groups with high school students. 

Mrs. Allan

5th Grade

Mrs. Allan received her bachelor’s degree from ACU was in print journalism and I worked for a couple of non-profit organizations before she became a mom. For the next 15 years, she worked from home part-time as a freelance writer and graphic designer and also began homeschooling her children.  Mrs. Allan’s family are the most important people on the planet to her.  She met her husband while they were both students at Abilene Christian University, and have been married for 26 years. Her two oldest daughters, Mackenzie and Karynna , were both adopted. The stories of how God placed them with her family are beautiful and a true blessing, but He had one more blessing.  Season is their biological child, who came into their lives as a HUGE surprise.  As a family, they like to spend the majority of their free time involved in their church, Highpoint Fellowship.   Her family found Fortis Academy and was instantly drawn to the Christian Worldview and University Model program.  

“My years as a teacher here at Fortis Academy have been more wonderful than I could have imagined, and I ‘m incredibly thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside the parents and teach children about the truth of God’s love in this Classical program. We consider ourselves truly blessed to be part of such a wonderful, caring community. It’s going to be a fabulous year, and I can’t wait to get started!” – Mrs. Allan

Mothers Day Out, Electives, and Specials

Mrs. Barney

Mother's Day Out Director

Mrs. Barney teaches the 3 yr. old MDO class at Fortis Academy.  She has taught students at all grade levels and is so glad to be pouring into the little ones this year. She believe it’s so important for children to be in a safe, loving environment like the one Fortis provides.  “I’m excited this young age group is able to participate in quality instruction which encourages favorable attitudes towards education now and in the future.”
 
 
3 “Children are God’s love-gift; they are heaven’s generous reward.“ -Psalms 127:3
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