Governance Board

Governance Board

The Board of Directors at Graduation Achievement Charter High School is charged with the fiscal, legal, and operational responsibilities of managing a charter school. The board entrusts the day-to- day management of the school to the Superintendent and CEO, who in turn is accountable to the board for the performance of the students and staff.

The Board of Directors is responsible to:

  • Review and support a clear mission, vision, and performance objectives.
  • Review and maintain bylaws.
  • Establish, interpret, and enforce policies consistent with the mission.
  • Ensure fiscal health of the school including capital assets, operating budgets, fundraising, and endowments.
  • Adopt the annual financial budget.
  • Approve monthly General Fund and other reports and approve expenditures as required by Board policy.
  • Hire, support, manage, and assess the school leader.
  • Require reports of the school leader concerning the school’s progress.
  • Evaluate itself annually and develop itself through orientation, ongoing education, and leadership succession planning.
  • Establish strategic plans.
  • Comply with Georgia’s Open Meetings Act by conducting open and public meetings where required, complying with notice provisions, and maintaining full and accurate records of meetings, committees, and policies.
  • Ensure all members are actively involved in the work of the Board and committees.
  • Assure compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, and rules.
  • Assist in development of plans and specifications and provide financing school facilities.
  • Act as a final appeals Board for personnel, parent, and student grievances.
  • Hear communications, either written or oral, from stakeholders related to matters of policy.
  • Act as charter school advocates and liaisons between the community and school.

Board Members

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Charisa Bell


Charisa is a certified life coach with a Bachelors in Human Resources and a Master’s in Organizational leadership. Charisa lives in Metro Atlanta, Georgia, born in Chicago, IL and raised in Wichita, KS. With years of experience working with the adult learner, the legal industry, coaching and guiding people through career advancement, relationships & family growth it has always been her desire to help people see the best version of themselves. Her mission is to focus on uplifting and empowering the mind through education, spiritual growth and personal development.

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Kristin Bernhard

Kristin Bernhard serves as Deputy Commissioner for System Reform at Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), where she oversees the cross-agency implementation of the state’s $51.7M Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant and Quality Rated, the state’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System for child care programs. She joined the team at DECAL from Governor Nathan Deal’s Office where she served as his Education Policy Advisor. In that role, she advised the Governor on P-20 education issues and represented his positions on education before the state legislature and other stakeholders. She received her undergraduate degrees from the University of Georgia and her law degree from Georgia State University. A member of the Junior League of Atlanta and Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, she resides in Atlanta.

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Linda Ford

Linda Ford has more than twenty years of community service experience. She was elected an Athens-Clark County Commissioner in 1999 and was Mayor Pro-tem in 2001. She has served on various boards, including the Classic Center Authority, the Citizens SPLOST advisory committee, the Classic Center Cultural Foundation, Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build, and the Georgia Federation of Women’s Clubs. She co-chaired the “We Let the Dawgs Out” public art project, which continues to bring Athens artists and businesses together to benefit non-profit organizations. Last year, she was appointed to the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission. After many years in the private sector, Linda transitioned into education through the TAPP program and taught math at Rockdale County High School. Linda also taught math at Foothills Charter School.  Linda currently lives in Athens, where she is the Executive Director of Business Services for the Athens Downtown Development Authority.

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Brianna Jones

Brianna Jones is a Financial Analyst at Turner in Atlanta, Georgia where she is responsible for the forecast, budget and LRP for the Public Relations, Human Resources, and Executive departments within the company. Brianna began her career with Turner in 2010 after graduating from Kennesaw State University Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with an MBA from Kennesaw State University in 2013.

Brianna is extremely service and community minded, as is illustrated by her involvement in a variety of fundraising and volunteer efforts including her company’s global Turner Volunteer Day, work with Hands On Atlanta, The Global Soap Project, and a multitude of World AIDS Day campaigns. She tries to live by the following mantra “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” – Epictetus.

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Lieutenant Commander Herb Jones

Lieutenant Commander Herb Jones is a retired United States Navy officer who spent more than 30 years as a professional military leader in service to his country. LCDR Jones is honored to be able to continue providing volunteer leadership to his community-at-large as a GACHS school board member. As well, he still serves in a military capacity with the Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF). He was hand-selected by his GSDF First Brigade Commander to serve as the leader of the Fourth Battalion, the premier search and rescue military team, for the Georgia Department of Defense. LCDR Jones is a former board of director who served at the YMCA San Francisco, Continentals of Omega Boys and Girls Club, Robert & Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts (University of California Davis) and American Red Cross in the state of California. LCDR Jones is a passionate leader that is teaching young people in both the millennial and Z generations to strive for excellence. LCDR Jones earned his Master of Science in Applied HR Leadership at Fordham University in New York, New York and his Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois.
LCDR Jones currently resides in Snellville, Georgia with his wife Tarea and their Yorkshire Terrier dog named Tootsie.

GradGorgia-Robert Koncerak

Robert Koncerak

Bob has more than 30 years of experience in financial services and related organizations. His background includes senior and executive roles at Mellon Bank, Wachovia and J&L Specialty Steel. Over the years, Bob has served as Chief Financial Officer and/or Chief Risk Officer for five banking organizations ranging in size from de novo start-up to money-center institutions. Bob currently serves as a member of the Board of Visitors for the Black School of Business at Penn State University and as an advisory board member for the Isakson Family YMCA. In 2013, Bob published a well-received book about his community banking experiences titled The Most Fun I Never Want To Have Again: A Midlife Crisis in Community Banking. Bob earned a BA in Economics from Penn State and an MBA from Duquesne University.

Bob Koncerak is president of Cold River Land, LLC in Alpharetta, GA. Cold River serves clients in the banking, property development, REIT and capital fund sectors. Bob is also Principal of BankForward Consulting, LLC, which provides strategic planning and performance management services to financial institutions.

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Nicole Temple

Nicole Temple is a licensed CPA at Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, Georgia. Nicole has been with Turner Broadcasting since 2013. In this role she is responsible for working with multiple networks and groups within the company. Previously, Nicole worked as an Accountant for Oxford Industries, a local retail holding company. Nicole graduated from Georgia State University with a Master of Professional Accountancy.