The Cantrell of Alliance Charter Academy

By Elizabeth Tarsia

Kathleen Mixer-Cantrell, a greatly appreciated Educational Specialist (ES) and staff member. Cantrell has been working at Alliance Charter Academy since our program started in 2007.

After so many years working at Alliance Charter Academy she says she enjoys it just as much as she did when she first started working here in 2007. Kathleen says she loves working with her ES students as well as amazing co-workers and admin. She has a total of twenty-five students this year, and that number can vary each year.

“I deeply enjoy having Mrs Cantrell as my ES,”  stated Emily Rouse.

Through all the years Cantrell has been working at Alliance Charter Academy she has been an ES, and for a while she was a Social Studies and reading teacher. Cantrell has high expectations for her students’ educations.

“I always hold my students to their educational capabilities that I know they have.”

Cantrell has a B.S. (Bachelor of Science) in Accounting and an M.A. (Master of Arts) in Teaching. Becoming a teacher-was actually a career change for Cantrell.  She was a hairstylist when she was younger. Cantrell had her own shop, which she gave up to become a stay-at-home-mom, in 1991. “ My husband’s health issues forced me to contemplate how to support my family, if need be-and I found myself back in school.  I will say that going to school full-time, while working full-time, having a sick husband and young children is challenging.”

“I often use myself as the poster child of “How-not-to-do-things!”  I encouraged my children to finish their university educations before they started families.”

Kathleen is a loved member of the ACA community. All of her ES students love how much she is willing to help improve their learning skills.

“We are very grateful to have Kathleen on as staff here at Alliance Charter Academy,”  stated Director Nic Chapin.

Cantrell has two biological sons, and a foster daughter. Cantrell’s oldest son is twenty-six and youngest is twenty-five. Her foster daughter is thirty-three and has given the Cantrell family five foster grandchildren.

Besides being a active member of our ACA community, Cantrell also likes to sing in her church choir as well as giving back to the community whenever she can. Whether it is doing a fundraiser for the homeless or being a member of ACA’s party-planning committee. She also likes to travel, and is always ready to go on a trip.

Getting to know your ES can open up your ability to really understand the reason why they are in the career path they are, as well as finding stuff out you never thought that person has experienced.



Director Nic Chapin. Personal Interview. Jan 9, 2018.

Mixer-Cantrell, Kathleen. Email/Personal Interview. Dec 12, 2017.

Rouse, Emily. Personal Interview. Jan 11, 2018.