In addition to its regular full-time staff, Redemption Christian Academy has a number of professionals including business men and women, entrepreneurs, inventors, artists, college educators, and retirees who volunteer as teaching faculty and guest lecturers. All work together diligently to educate each RCA student’s heart, head, and hands. “An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t… It’s knowing, where to go to find out what you need to know; and it’s knowing how to use the information you get” (William Feather).
Dr. James Tkacik, Ph. D.
Dr. James Tkacik has both taught and conducted research at the University of Connecticut and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He brings a wealth of knowledge from years of experience in the corporate world. He has both tutored and taught math and science at Redemption Christian Academy since 1996. The first RCA student he mentored subsequently graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and later earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from Morehouse College.
Dr. Natalie C. Wimberly, Psy.D.,S.T.M.,M.Div.,M.Ed.,
Dr. Natalie C. Wimberly comes to RCA with a diversified portfolio of education, experience and expertise. She has taught at Boston University. She has experience as a teacher and elementary school principal. She has done consulting, counseling, pastoring, and work in clinical psychology. Her affiliation with RCA began in 2004 when her son attended our high school boarding program.
Sandra Luraas, M.S. Ed.
Sandra Luraas, RCA’s English instructor and reading specialist since 1979, teaches students with the latest technology through our virtual classroom. Her students have done primary source research on the Underground Railroad which they have presented at various colleges and historical societies. Many of her students have won writing contests and have had their works published. She was named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year. She also coordinates International student services.
Laura Holmes, M.A.
Laura Holmes has been Vice Principal at RCA since 1979. In addition to being a certified high school teacher, she supervises curriculum development, coordinates RCA’s community volunteer program, and is the director of International student services. Aligned with her master’s in social policy, she served on the Mayor’s Interfaith Steering Committee for the City of Troy and was a member of the United Way Allocations Committee. She is the recipient of a Research Experiences for Teachers grant through the National Science Foundation. Mrs. Holmes is currently a member of the Rensselaer County Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Program Development Committee.
Lataya Lewis, MSW
Lataya Lewis is an RCA alumnus who has been a Rensselaer County Family and Children Services case manager. She has worked for the Commission on Economic Opportunity, counseled in the public school system, worked with seniors and homeless families, and has been a substance abuse prevention counselor. Lataya Lewis assists in coordinating activities for middle school aged children at RCA and has worked with RCA’s boarding girls.
Mr. Jackson has a robust career path in administration, educational instruction, and policy making. Having taught math at the high school and college level, he was a postgraduate studies award recipient from the National Science Foundation. He served as a member of the Education Committee of the NAACP and Board of Directors of the United Way of Westchester. Mr. Jackson served as New York State Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and was the first African-American city mayor in New York State history in 1984. He is the recipient of the 2018 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching and has joined the faculty at RCA.
Roosevelt Banks is a former Naval nuclear power engineer who attended the Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida. He also studied and finished in the top 5% at the Knolls Atomic Power Lab S7G Nuclear Prototype. He became the Chief Reactor Watch onboard the USS Eisenhower. Roosevelt Banks later returned to the Knolls Atomic Power Lab as an instructor of officers, enlisted men, and civilians. His engineering and teaching background makes a perfect fit for RCA’s science and engineering program. He recently received a scholarship from the ASM Materials Education Foundation and attended a graduate level summer training program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for teachers in materials science and engineering.
Gloria Walker is a former bank manager who has served both as a community center board member and a school board member in New York State. She is Director of Computer Aided Instruction (CAI). She facilitates the virtual classroom with participating faculty and is also involved in curriculum development of RCA’s Agricultural Engineering Program.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Hutchinson
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Hutchinson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, holds a Masters of Science in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School, and has served in the Special Forces. He has received numerous military awards and decorations and has served our country in Afghanistan. He has expertise in artificial intelligence, cloud-native software development, sensor-based analytics, and workforce development. He currently serves as the commander of the Albany Recruiting Battalion at the Watervliet Arsenal, and assists young men and women in joining the Army and Army Reserve across four states, Europe, and the Middle East. Lieutenant Colonel Hutchinson currently volunteers teaching a STEM program at RCA.
GUEST LECTURERS/ACADEMIC SUPPORT STAFF
Dr. Douglas Mitchell, former Chancellor, Swinburne University of Technology
Dr. Douglas Mitchell is a former research scientist, successful businessman, and philanthropist. He is one of a very few living contemporary pioneers in the development of Sonodynamic Photodynamic Therapy, an innovative therapy for metastatic cancer. He has worked in this field since 2002 and operated one of the first clinics in the world to bring this effective and safe therapy to cancer patients. Read More
Professor Tony Scardillo, Siena College
Tony Scardillo has taught as an adjunct professor at a number of colleges: Siena College, Maria College, The College of Saint Rose, Sage College of Albany, and Mildred Elley School. He has taught business, advertising & marketing, and finance & communications.
James McCarthy has worked for a major consulting service as a professional recruiter and customer representative. He has also been the owner and operator of a small company. James McCarthy has been a volunteer tutor and mentor at Redemption Christian Academy since 1996. He has tutored students in virtually all subjects.
Legacy Lecturer (In Memoriam)
Ronald Court, Founder of Booker T. Washington Society
Ronald Court was founder and President of the Booker T. Washington Society. He assisted RCA with establishing a chapter of the Booker T. Washington Society. He provided curriculum and served as a volunteer guest lecturer at RCA.
Donald Hinsdale has worked for the State of New York, primarily with the Department of Health. He has a college and graduate school background in mathematics and statistics. Donald Hinsdale has volunteered at RCA as a tutor, mentor, and sponsor. He has also helped secure curriculum supplements and technology for RCA. The Donald A. Hinsdale Dining Hall was recently named in his honor for his years of faithful support.