The success of Warren T. Jackson Elementary starts with the leadership of Brent McBride, Dr. Patrice Austin, Allyson Atwell, and Melissa Hugh-Girdhari. These educators lead the charge to ensure our school maintains the high standards, rigid curriculum, and creative vision that keeps Jackson one of Atlanta’s most sought-after public schools Their upbeat energy and professional leadership help keep our reputation soaring.

Brent McBride is the Principal of both campuses, and Melissa Hugh-Girdhari is the Assistant Principal at Main. Dr. Patrice Austin is the Program Director for Primary, and Allison Atwell is the Assistant Principal at Primary.

Brent McBride, Principal


Professional Experience in Atlanta

  • Principal of Kingsley Charter School in DeKalb County
  • Principal of Heards Ferry Elementary in Fulton County
  • Assistant Principal of Heards Ferry Elementary
  • Instructional Technology Specialist in Forsyth County
  • Classroom Teacher in Bibb County

Dr. Patrice Austin, Program Director


  • Ed.D – Clark Atlanta University
  • M.A. – Clark Atlanta
  • B.A. – Hampton University

      Professional Experience

  • Assistant Principal – Warren T. Jackson – 11 years
  • Teacher – Frederick Douglass High School
  • Counselor – Elementary School Counselor within APS
  • Teacher at Griffin-Spalding County Schools

Allyson Atwell, Assistant Principal


  • B.S. – University of Georgia
  • M.A. – Piedmont College – Elementary Education
  • Specialist Degree – Georgia State University – Educational Leadership

Professional Experience

  • Teacher and SST Chairperson Morningside Elementary
  • Teacher at Dekalb County Schools
  • Teacher at Sarah Smith Elementary

Melissa Hugh-Girhardi, Assistant Principal


  • San Francisco State University
  • Georgia State University

Professional Experience

  • Summer Site Administrator for 10 APS elementary schools
  • RTI/SST Specialist
  • Compliance Facilitator
  • Teacher in California, Georgia and South Carolina