©Brookside Academy


The heart of Brookside Academy beats with our qualified faculty. Check out some of Brookside's finest!

Desirae Bartholomew

Director, Brookside Academy

at Old Milton


Desirae Bartholomew has been in the childcare industry for over 2 decades. She

has been here at Brookside Academy for the past 11 years.  She was born and

raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts and moved to the Atlanta area in 1998.


Desirae’s passion has always been and will always be children.  “I cannot

imagine my life without teaching and creating lasting relationships with our

families and staff. There is nothing better than being able to play a role in a

child’s growth and development during one of the most influential times of their



As a natural leader, Desirae finds strength in “we” instead of “I.” Motivating,

coaching and developing her staff members is the best part of her day. She has

never forgotten what it is like to be in a classroom and it has helped her foster

tight working relationships with her staff.

Jessica Grabowski

Director, Brookside Academy

at Jones Bridge

Jessica comes to us with over twenty years experience working with children and families in various community and nonprofit settings. Her commitment to ensuring the highest level of quality services for youth and their families began at a young age leading to a Bachelor of Science in Child Psychology and a Master of Arts in Management of Community Organizations. Jessica has joined our Brookside family with the skills and commitment to ensuring that Brookside continues to deliver a solid educational foundation, while always maintaining a nurturing, stimulating and safe environment. Jessica and her husband have enjoyed living in the metro Atlanta area for the last 4 years with their beautiful children Jake & Maddie, both Brooksiders!

“Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Courtney Chaplin

Assistant Director, Brookside Academy

at Jones Bridge

Courtney joined the Brookside Academy management team in 2016 with ten years of experience in early elementary education. After working with the Houston County Board of Education as a substitute teacher, Courtney knew that her calling was in the classroom setting. Courtney’s extensive experience working with infants, toddlers and preschool aged children is an integral asset to the foundation of our school. She leads Brookside with the knowledge, dedication and commitment to ensuring that the needs of every child be met with love and learning. Courtney is originally from Warner Robbins GA and has been enjoying living in the metro Atlanta area while pursuing her BS in Early Childhood Education. She appreciates the privilege of being a part of inspiring the learning process for our Brooksiders.


“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite learning and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

Shantina Starks

Assistant Director, Brookside Academy

at Old Milton

Shantina Starks has been working with children since she was a teenager. She has always had a passion to work with children with her first job being babysitting and working in her church’s daycare center. She has been with Brookside Academy for a year and a half after earning her Bachelor of Art in History from Kennesaw State University. She was born in Wisconsin but considers herself a Georgia native since she's been here since she was in elementary school. She has one daughter, Sydney, who attends Brookside and is a part of the Juniors class.


She is totally committed to the idea that the education and care of children are the most important things for the future. She loves the great team she gets to work with and the awesome families she gets to serve.