Bristol Hospice Encourages Volunteers to Help Families

Bristol Hospice pic
Bristol Hospice

Since April 2016, Dr. Laurie Kimbrel has served as head of school for Brookhaven Innovation Academy in Norcross, Georgia. When not at the public charter school, Laurie Kimbrel volunteers her time in the community, including at Bristol Hospice, LLC, where she is a patient-care volunteer.

The parent company of Bristol Hospice was established in 2006. It offers hospice services through almost a dozen facilities scatters across the country. Each facility strives to provide respect, compassion, and care to its patients and their families. The Georgia facility is found in Atlanta and serves more than 45 of the state’s counties.

Hospices rely heavily on volunteers to give patients end-of-life care services. Many patients receive hospice services at their home or at a hospital, nursing home, or assisted-living facility. As a result, volunteers are called upon to provide a comforting presence for patients and their families, offer caregivers a respite, run errands, and do some light housekeeping.

Occasionally, after a loved one passes, surviving family members wish to become hospice volunteer themselves. Bristol Hospice asks that they wait a minimum of one year before applying.

American Association of School Administrators/ iPD


Laurie Kimbrel
Laurie Kimbrel

Prior to becoming the head of the Brookhaven Innovation Academy, Laurie Kimbrel attended Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois, where she received an ED.D degree in curriculum and instruction in 2002. In her professional career as an educator, Laurie Kimbrel is also a member of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).

Founded in 1866, the American Association of School Administrators was organized at the meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, of the National Teachers Association. The AASA has served since that time as the voice for national public education to those on Capitol Hill, along with providing coaching and technical assistance to school districts. The Association also supports and promotes several different children’s programs, including the Innovative Professional Development Assessment and Redesign (iPD).

The iPD program was created to help school districts look at their current practices and analyze them to find areas of improvement. The iPD also redesigns and enhances teacher professional development and implements policy for more effective systems.

Brookhaven Innovation Academy Embraces Blended Learning

Brookhaven Innovation Academy pic
Brookhaven Innovation Academy

Dr. Laurie Kimbrel currently serves as the Head of School for the Brookhaven Innovation Academy, a public charter school recognized by the State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia. Part of Dr. Laurie Kimbrel’s job is to help establish the school’s curriculum and instructional program, which utilizes blended learning.

Blended learning is a teaching practice that aims to bring classrooms into the 21st century by utilizing technology to supplement and enhance education. As the name suggests, blended learning blends traditional in-class learning with online learning. Both online and in-person instruction follows the same topics, enabling the two components to complement one another. Blended learning also allows lessons to be personalized to each student, accounting for their interests and personal needs.

The Brookhaven Innovation Academy considers blended learning a core component of the school’s pedagogy. Blended learning affords the school the ability to break students into small groups with others who have a similar level of mastery in a given subject. The added flexibility also offers students more one-on-one attention, with teachers able to move at the pace of each student instead of the entire class.

To learn more about blended learning and the Brookhaven Innovation Academy, visit the school online at

StudentsFirst and GeorgiaCAN Establish Opportunity School Districts

StudentsFirst pic

The head of school for Georgia’s Brookhaven Innovation Academy, Laurie Kimbrel is an established school administrator with an EdD from Loyola University in Chicago. In addition to her position at the Academy, Laurie Kimbrel dedicates time to volunteer on behalf of StudentsFirst, an education reform organization.

StudentsFirst carries out their mission in four southern states: California, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. In Georgia, the organization developed GeorgiaCAN, which advocates for the instigation of beneficial education system policies.

Currently, GeorigaCAN is working to improve the student achievement ratings of schools around the state, which are based on graduation rates and standardized testing results. On the most recent survey, almost 6 percent of schools received a poor rating in this area.

To address this issue, GeorgiaCAN established Opportunity School Districts (OSDs). The program pairs low-ranking schools with a specialized model designed to create lasting improvement. Depending on the institutions’ circumstances, the OSD superintendent may enact some small changes within the facility, or work directly alongside the principal. Schools in need of more help could become state-authorized charter schools or, if all else fails, children at low-performing schools may be reassigned to schools with higher achievement rankings.

If a school is successfully rehabilitated, it will graduate from the OSD program and may return to its original status as long as it continues to foster academic success.