Administration & Staff

_IAE6859 editJulie Kelly


Julie Kelly has been the Headmaster of Bessemer Academy since 2006. Upon arrival at BA, her vision for continuous improvement began. She developed and implemented a Four Point Plan, which included raised expectations for achievement, strong discipline and safety, promoting active community involvement, and establishing a character education program for students. During her tenure, Bessemer Academy has introduced an honors program which now encompasses all core subjects and has grown to include over 50% of our students. She has overseen and provided technological advances, making more technology available to both teachers and students for better instruction and communication. The environment created by the teachers and administration under Mrs. Kelly has encouraged an increase in enrollment year after year.

In addition to her work at BA, Mrs. Kelly has served the last three years as the Headmaster’s Association President for the Alabama Independent School Association. In this role she has lead the organization in professional development and served as a mentor to new administrators across the state of Alabama.

Prior to Bessemer Academy, Mrs. Kelly spent 32 years working for Jefferson County, serving as a principal for 18 of those years. She attended the University of Montevallo and holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Physical Education and a Master’s in School Administration. She is an active member of North Highlands Baptist Church and she and her husband, Johnny, have five children and six (and counting) grandchildren.

Mrs. Kelly’s favorite aspect about Bessemer Academy is the Christian spirit, which she encourages in all of her students. Her motto is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Jerri Lynn Morrow

Guidance Counselor

Mrs. Jerri Lynn Morrow is Bessemer Academy’s school counselor. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Montevallo before going back to her high school alma mater, Dora High School, to teach music and English. She eventually became the school counselor. After 14 years she transferred to Pleasant Grove High School, and recently retired from the Jefferson County School System. Having served at only two schools for the past 48 years, it is obvious that she loves to plant roots and establish relationships. Away from school Mrs. Morrow spends her spare time with her family and friends and enjoys church activities, traveling, reading, music, singing and hand bells. Mrs. Morrow’s favorite bible verse is Ephesians 4:32, “Be ye kind one to another; tenderhearted forgiving one another.”

Carla Perry 

Administrative Assistant, IT Director

Mrs. Perry graduated from Jess Lanier High School in 1985. After high school she majored in accounting at Bessemer State Technical College where she graduated in 1988. After her college graduation, she worked at the Bessemer Public Library for 27 years. Mrs. Perry has been at Bessemer Academy for 10 years, and she loves the Christian-based environment. Her son, Nick, graduated from Bessemer Academy in 2018. Mrs. Perry was married to her husband Roy for 20 years. Her family loves high school and college football (War Eagle and Go Rebels!). Lastly, Mrs. Perry loves to spend her free time in the summer at the beach.

Kristy Nolen

Administrative Assistant

Kristy Nolen is the registrar at Bessemer Academy. Prior to becoming Bessemer Academy registrar she was a substitute teacher. Mrs. Nolen graduated Hueytown High School. Mrs. Nolen later received her BS in management in 1995 and her MBA in 2000 from Samford University.  She has been proudly married to her husband, Andy Nolen for 20 years. She and her husband have two beautiful kids, Luke who is 16 and Ella who is 13 years old. During her spare time, Mrs. Nolen  loves to spend time with her family. Nevertheless she enjoys the friendly atmosphere here at BA and the warmth she receives from the kids.

Jill Stephens


Jill Stephens is the bookkeeper at Bessemer Academy. She graduated from McAdory High School and later went to Bessemer Tech to obtain her secretary degree. Jill is the mother of two students from BA, Bailey (class of 2014) and Brianne (12th grade.) Mrs. Stephens and her husband Scott have been married for 24 years. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and  high school and college football (Roll Tide and Go Rebels). Bessemer Academy is special to Jill because it is a home environment and she loves the family atmosphere.

Susan Nelson
At BA since 2011

Dr. Susan Nelson

Media Specialist

Susan graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, the University of Alabama at Birmingham with the Master of Arts and Education Specialist degrees, and the University of Alabama with the Master of Library and Information Studies and Doctor of Education degrees. She taught at Oak Grove Elementary School for four years, Hueytown Elementary School for thirty years, Hueytown Middle School for four years, and the University of Alabama for eleven years. Susan has been married to Roger “Corky” Nelson for forty-six years, and they have two sons. In her free time, she loves to travel, take care of her grandchildren, and listen to ZZ Top. She loves Bessemer Academy because of the wonderful faculty and students, and has been teaching here for six years.

Jane Winters

Media Specialist

Jane graduated from Hueytown High School. She graduated from Auburn University and UAB with a Masters degree in elementary education. She has taught at Concord Elementary, Hueytown Elementary, and she has been a field supervisor for UAB student teachers. She has been married to her husband, Jeff, for over 40 years. She has two children, Josh and Jana, and two grandchildren, Pierce and Cruz. She has a dog named Sky. She loves Pop music and her favorite band is the Beach Boys. She loves Bessemer Academy because the students are awesome.

Amy Bryant

Lunchroom Manager

Mrs. Amy Bryant is serving here at Bessemer Academy as the lunchroom manager. She is a graduate of Hueytown High School.

Mrs. Amy is married to David Bryant, and they have been married for 18 years. She has 3 children and they all have attended Bessemer Academy. She owned Bryant Seafood and Magan’s Creamery for 15 years prior to coming to Bessemer Academy. Her favorite genre of music is country. Her favorite aspects of Bessemer Academy are the staff and faculty and the the sense of family. Her favorite pastime is to go fishing. Her favorite verse is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

At BA since 2007

Kathy Diggins

Lunchroom Assistant

Mrs. Diggins has been working at BA for 10 years. She has a daughter who is a senior at BA, and a son who graduated in 2015. She has been married to Ronnie Diggins Sr. for 30 years. She loves working with the staff at BA. She says, “we are just a big happy family.”

Jean Hamilton

Lunchroom Assistant

Anna Nivens

Lunchroom Assistant

Debra Napier

Lunchroom Assistant

Mrs. Napier works in the lunchroom at Bessemer Academy as an assistant. She has been working at Bessemer Academy for 8 years. She is married to Mike Napier and has been married for 34 years. She has 3 children and 2 of them have attended Bessemer Academy. Mrs. Napier was a florist for 30 years prior to working at Bessemer Academy. Her favorite pastime is to work in her flowerbed. Her favorite musician is Jackson Browne. Her favorite aspect of Bessemer Academy is seeing children who love being at school. Her motto verse is Jeremiah 29:11.

Lindsey Kessler

Athletic Trainer