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Welcome Message from Mrs. Charles

As the new principal at SPARK Academy, I am excited and honored to work with parents and the community to promote exploration and problem solving while learning the fundamental skills necessary to become a life-long learner.

SPARK stands for Scientific, Project-based, Academic Research by Kids.

We believe:

  • Play is learning
  • Struggle may be productive
  • Learning and mastery may be demostrated in multiple ways
  • Students should be creators as well as consumers
  • Our community is our classroom

Our SPARK family looks forward to exploring, questioning, and creating with your child and your family.


Mrs. Lorian Charles




Phone: 256.233.6627

Mrs. Lorian Charles

Welcome to SPARK Academy at Cowart Elementary! My name is Lorian Charles and I am proud to be your principal! I have been a part of Athens City Schools since 2002, working first as an ELA teacher at Athens Middle School and then at Athens High School. I also served as an assistant principal at Athens High School for two years, followed by seven years at Athens Intermediate School as an assistant principal. I love working with students to help them achieve their greatest potential, and being a part of team SPARK with its bright students and hardworking staff members brings me great joy. 

I have two wonderful daughters, Breanne and Ava, and an amazing husband, Kenny. When I am not working, I enjoy traveling with my family, reading, and jogging or walking. My goal is to partner with parents and other community members to support the long-term success of our students. Do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can do to serve our school and community. 

Assistant Principal


Phone: 256.233.6627

Degrees and Certifications:

Instructional Leadership Certification, University of North Alabama
M.A.Ed. Physical Education & Health, University of North Alabama
B.S. Physical Education & Health, University of North Alabama

Mr. Darran Alexander

Darran Alexander is a native of Florence, Alabama.  Since 2002, he has taught in the elementary setting with experience in physical education, coaching various sports, and administrative roles.  He and his wife, Valerie, have 3 beautiful girls.  He is a man of Faith and serves as an Elder for the Helton Drive Church of Christ. 

He and his family love to travel and camp.  Camping is a big part of their lives.  Hiking, bike riding, playing games, and making memories are just some of the things they do to bond with each other.

He values being a part of the SPARK Academy Family! He feels that a school should be a happy learning environment where students, staff, and parents can’t wait to walk through the door.