Meet Our Faculty
Founder and Principal: Marty Griffith
Marty Griffith earned degrees from Kent State University and the Ohio State University College of Law. As an attorney, Marty worked with young men and women involved in the criminal and civil court systems of Franklin County and helped people launch businesses. In 2000, Marty returned to OSU, acquired a teaching license and embraced the fledgling charter school movement in Columbus. Since then, Marty served on the founding faculty of the Graham School, the A+ Arts Academy and launched a development and advancement department at the Arts & College Preparatory Academy before opening Franklinton Prep where he serves as its principal and superintendent.
Marty loves everything about FPA but mostly the kids who attend it. Marty serves on several local Boards, consults on school development, leadership and fundraising, loves to ski and lives in Bexley with his wife Jennifer, a Columbus City School’s Vocal Music Teacher and their two elementary aged children.
Science Teacher: Aaron Hunt
Aaron Hunt attended a small, liberal arts college in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee where he majored in Biology and minored in music, religion, and the humanities. He attended graduate school at Mercy College in New York City through a graduate fellowship where he studied Psychology.
In graduate school Mr. Hunt researched the experiences of underserved students, particularly those in urban charter schools. Hoping to continue in his education and one day be a professor, Mr. Hunt began looking for teaching experience and applied to FPA because the school’s values matched many of his own. He was drawn to FPA as it is an independent charter school and focuses on preparing students for their life rather than trying to push differently shaped pegs through the same square hole.
FPA is Mr. Hunt’s first time teaching High School and he has been here since January 2016. Prior to teaching at FPA Mr. Hunt taught biology, physics, and chemistry labs in college, directed educational research labs, guest lectured college courses, and tutored natural, physical, and social sciences for six years. He also started an after-school program that focused on the arts and worked as a corporate trainer.
Mr. Hunt teaches sciences. This semester he is teaching biology and psychology. He also does work at FPA related to school culture and recruiting.
Email Mr. Hunt
Teacher Leader: Anne Hyland
Dr. Anne Hyland is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo with majors in Curriculum, Instructional Supervision, and Testing and Measurement. She is also a School Improvement Specialist certified by North Central Association – Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.
Dr. Hyland believes that FPA is a rare opportunity for students to attend a small high school, where everyone knows your name, and cares about you. At FPA the teachers focus on the learning needed to earn an Ohio high school diploma, and do so while also helping students learn to make good decisions for themselves, help students find their own learning strengths and use those strengths in productive ways into their own futures. She is very pleased to be part of this student learning experience.
English Language Arts and Career Technical Education Teacher: Brady Calestro
Brady Calestro teaches English Language Arts and Video & Sound at FPA. He received his BSc. from the London School of Economics (UK) and his M.Ed. from Antioch University (Yellow Springs, USA). Prior to this, he founded Mondokio International News—a website that allows students to consider multiple perspectives on the same news topic (www.mondokio.com). Meaning “world eye” in Italian, Mondokio teaches students higher order analytic skills, as well as the importance of empathy, debate, and courage. One of his priorities at FPA is to develop the global identity and perspective of his students, so they may compete on a scale beyond conventional expectations. This includes engaging in synchronous, as well as asynchronous communication with FPA’s sister schools outside the United States. He is proud to be a new addition to the FPA team.
Mr. “J” comes to Franklinton Preparatory Academy with a background in business and coaching/mentoring individuals. I have sales and business consulting overseas and abroad. My goal is to work with the community of Franklinton to place our students in job shadowing, internships and finally meaningful wage jobs. If you know of an opportunity don’t hesitate to call!
Social Studies: Geral Leka
As a 1st generation immigrant to America, education was instrumental in the development of Mr. Leka as a young teenager in a new country. Understanding the significance of education in the development of students/individuals, Mr. Leka majored in Education and graduated from Ohio Dominican University with a teaching degree in Social Studies. This is Mr. Leka’s 3rd year teaching social studies at FPA and his first year being the Technology Coordinator. During his time at FPA, Mr. Leka has been coordinating the Youth in Government program which provides the students with a unique real world perspective of politics. One of Mr.Leka favorite things about FPA is witnessing the impact that educators make in the daily lives of their students. FPA is a great place for students because students at FPA are great.
Aside from teaching, Mr. Leka is a passionate soccer player/fan/coach. Mr. Leka coaches soccer for Whitehall Yearling Rams, which is the high school he graduated from. Mr. Leka enjoys coaching because of the life lessons that one can learn just by playing a game.
Math Teacher and Hybrid Learning Program Coordinator: Hugh Morris
Intervention Specialist: Kent McIntyre
Kent McIntyre is excited to share his love of learning with the scholars at Franklinton Prep. In sixteen years of teaching, he has taught every grade and nearly every subject. His teaching style draws heavily on reading and discussion, while keeping alert to the most memorable teaching tips, whether silly or serious. Lessons put a strong emphasis on understanding the motivation behind people and events. “Why?” may be the most important question, every day.
“Mr. Mac” graduated with business degrees from Miami and Illinois. He went into teaching several years later, earning education degrees and licenses in Social Studies and Special Education from Ohio State and Ashland.
Mr. McIntyre met his wife, Kathy, in college. They love spending time with their large family — they have seven children — and enjoy the quiet company of friends. In his spare time, he enjoys music, theater, a good story, and food.
Student and Family Engagement Specialist: Neffertee Richards
Ms. Richards is the Student and Family Engagement Specialist. She monitors attendance while working with students and families to avoid excessive absences and late arrivals. She is currently completing her Internship for her Masters Degree in Professional Counseling, where she will go on to be a License Professional Counselor (LPC). She has worked with teenagers in group homes, schools and churches. She enjoys working with teenagers because they have so much potential. She wants to help youth realize their abilities and look beyond their current circumstances to see their possibilities.
Prior to working with youth, Ms. Richards worked in the mortgage division of JPMorgan Chase for 10 years. She left her Executive Office position at the bank in order to complete her internship so she would be able to fulfill her desire to counsel individuals, as well as work with youth and their families.
When asked how she feels about working at FPA she says, “I love working at FPA! It is a great school where the principal, teachers and staff all truly care about the kids and the community.”
English Teacher and Resident Educator Mentor: Samantha Shaffner
Samantha J. Shaffner is an English teacher and the Ohio Instructional Mentor at Franklinton Preparatory Academy High School in Columbus, OH. Shaffner graduated from Ohio University in Athens, OH in 2008 where she earned a bachelor of arts degree (BA) in English Literature and a minor in Social Work.
She continued her education at the University of Rio Grande, where she earned a bachelor of science (BS) in Secondary English.
Samantha serves as the school’s Senior Advisor, and as the Ohio Instructional Mentor for teachers in residency. Samantha was the national recipient of the National Council of Teachers of English 2015 High School Teacher of Excellence Award: Secondary Section, as well as the state recipient of the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts 2015 Outstanding Educator of the Year Award. Her unique experience includes working with Child Protective Services, job counseling for various community action programs in southeastern Ohio including HAPCAP and Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and serving as a Site Director for the Ohio University Kids on Campus program. Samantha is the longest-standing veteran teacher at FPA and has a true passion for the school and its students.
Director of Development and Music Teacher: Sam McCoy
Sam McCoy has a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies from The Ohio State University as well as a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from William Paterson University. He earned the Graduate Scholar Award in 2006, and has had private studies with Bill Goodwin, Matt Wilson, Joe Ong and Jane Varella.
Sam has been teaching and performing for over 20 years. He has performed with various jazz artists in New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago and Ohio. While at William Paterson, he worked closely with jazz greats: Mulgrew Miller, Don Braden, Harold Mabern and many others. He was a house drummer for Premier Cruise Lines in 1999-2000. He has taught everything from marching drum lines to Jazz History. He teaches the World Percussion Ensemble at Franklinton Preparatory Academy and the Ohio Avenue Steel Band for Directions for Youth and Families. He has worked with many schools around Ohio as percussion instructor.