Faculty & Staff


Twila Brown, Principal

5th & 6th Homeroom

Welcome to Learning Tree Elementary School! In the forest of educational choices, you will find valuable treasure under the refreshing shade of Learning Tree—the treasure of learning to love God, the treasure of being taught to think, the treasure of being equipped to serve, and the treasure of showing Jesus to everyone.  I teach because I love children and I love helping them learn. I also love Jesus, and I believe He has called me according to this purpose. It is an honor and a privilege to have your children here at Learning Tree. I am excited to watch God as He not only grows this tree, but as He grows each one of us to bear more and more fruit for Him.

In His service,

Twila S. Brown

B.S. in Health

Secondary Education Certification

Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Professional Teaching Certificate from North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists



Brenda Hagan

Primary Grades Teacher

B.A. in English

Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential

Professional Teaching Certificate from North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists

Brenda Hagan initially planned on teaching English; however, after assisting in an elementary school near Walla Walla University where she was attending, she realized what she was really interested in was elementary education.  So after she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English, she went on to complete Elementary Education courses at Humboldt State University.  She received a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential and began her career with a wide range of teaching experiences in multi-grade classrooms in Montana, Oregon and Washington before making her way to the south to teach at Learning Tree.  She has had experience in every grade from Pre-K to 8th, and while she has found great things about teaching each grade level, she is particularly interested in early childhood education and helping children grow and develop their character and become lifelong learners.  Brenda feels that teaching is a mission and she works diligently to create an environment where students can learn more about Jesus. Above all, she desires to help each child grow closer to Jesus and to know He is always by their side and that He loves us all more than we can imagine.



Teresa Dorn

Primary Grades Teacher

B.S. in Early Childhood

M.A. in Outdoor Education

Professional Teaching Certificate from North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists

Teresa Dorn enjoys working with students to improve their reading and math skills. Teresa obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood and a Master of Arts degree in Outdoor Education from Southern Adventist University.

She believes that each child grows and learns best at their own pace and in their own style. She feels it is important for children to be in a warm, loving, and nurturing environment. Teresa’s greatest desire is for her students to grow closer to Jesus and grow in their desire to share Jesus love to those around them. Teresa’s hobbies and interests include cooking, swimming, reading, antiquing, and spending time with her family which includes two grandchildren.


Tim Knowlton

7th & 8th Homeroom

B.A. in History with Teaching Endorsements in Religion and Math

Standard Teaching Certificate from North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists with Endorsements in History, Math and Bible

Tim Knowlton feels strongly that God has called him to teach and he has spent the last eight years serving Him in that capacity.  After graduating from Southern Adventist University, Tim was hired at Atlanta Adventist Academy to teach Math, Bible and Drama.  After teaching there four years, he and his wife moved their young family up to Chattanooga to be closer to their extended families.  The past four years Tim has taught 8th grade Math and Algebra 1 at East Ridge Middle School.  He is very excited that God has called him to serve at Learning Tree and he looks forward to a great year teaching young people about God’s world and His desire to be an active part of their lives.

Tim is married to his high school sweetheart, Niki, and God has blessed them with a son, Reid and twin daughters Avery and Olivia.  Tim’s  free time is spent enjoying sports, board games, and spending quality time with his family.  He loves his church family at Dalton Seventh-day Adventist Church and looks forward to being a part of the school family at Learning Tree this year and for years to come.


Niki Knowlton

Music Teacher

B.A. in Liberal Arts Education, Minors in Voice & Piano

Elementary Education Certification with Music Minor

Standard Certification from North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists

Niki Knowlton began serving God through music at a young age, spending most of her school years accompanying musical groups on piano, singing in choirs, leading song services and playing oboe in band. While still in school, Niki taught middle school music part-time and offered private lessons to her students. After graduating from Southern Adventist University, she spent 6 years as a classroom teacher in the Georgia Cumberland Conference while continuing to teach classroom music, organize concerts and direct musical programs and plays. She has directed one high school and two middle school touring choirs that have performed throughout the United States. Since 2004, Niki has been teaching private piano and voice lessons and will be providing this service to LTES students during school hours this year. (Contact the office for more information).


Mayri Cruz


Mayri, a Texas-born Puerto Rican, graduated from Southern Adventist University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. After graduation however, God led her on a different path to work in southern Illinois at 3ABN English & Latino as production coordinator (Latino), makeup artist, floor director, production assistant and receptionist, among other duties. After her time at 3ABN came to an end, she moved back to the Chattanooga area  and eventually God led her in an awesome way to Learning Tree to begin working as the secretary in January 2018! She is passionate about showing others the realities of God’s love and sharing what He has done in her life. She also loves traveling, learning about other cultures, cooking, and spending quality time with family and friends.


Pastor Chester Clark2

Pastor Chester V. Clark, III

Senior Pastor

Dalton Seventh-day Adventist Church