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Our Team

Dr. Martin Nalls, Head of School

Dr. Nalls has more than seventeen years of public education experience. In those years, Dr. Nalls has not wavered in his commitment to preparing students for success. 
As a leader in education, Dr. Nalls has served on several state boards and task forces, including Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals, Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, Alabama ACT Council, Alabama Association of Middle School Principals.
Dr. Nalls received his Master’s degree in education in Secondary Education at the University of Montevallo, his Ed.S. in Education Leadership, and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Dylan Ferniany, Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Ferniany has eleven years of experience in public education. Four of those years were spent in school and district leadership.
Dr. Ferniany is committed to innovation in education. So much so, that she has dedicated her career to connecting students to resources that inspire and challenge. Dr. Ferniany was able to achieve this as a teacher for the gifted and talented and as an assistant principal.
She was selected as a global ambassador for TED-Ed Innovative, an initiative sponsored by TED. She also participated in a fellowship with 4.0 Schools —  a nationally-recognized organization that assists education entrepreneurs. Dr. Ferniany received her Ed.D. from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education in Leadership, Policy, and Organizations.

Bo Garrett, Assistant Principal for Student Affairs

Bo Garrett grew up in Florence, Alabama. He attended Birmingham-Southern College, while simultaneously serving in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. Mr. Garrett started his graduate work at the University of Alabama. From Tuscaloosa, he went to Washington, D.C. where he worked for the National Geographic Society’s Education Foundation.  

In the aftermath of 9/11, he returned to Alabama to serve in various middle grades positions during his seventeen-year career at Highlands’ Day School. Mr. Garrett has a Master’s degree (M.Ed) in Educational Leadership from Columbia University in New York and an Education Specialist degree (Ed.S.) from UAB. He is thrilled about the opportunity to build relationships with the students, families, and faculty of the i3 community. Mr. Garrett hopes to assist in creating an educational experience that is second to none!

Danny Brister, Community Liaison

Mr. Danny L. Brister Jr. is a native of Birmingham, AL and has over 10 years of experience in public service. He served with the City Birmingham Mayor’s Office as Program Manager and Operations Manager. He also served as the Community Relations Assistant with the City of Birmingham Municipal Court.  
He has received extensive leadership training through his participation in the Eagles Leadership Initiative, American Express Leadership Academy, and Project Corporate Leadership. He was also part of the 2018 Church Planting Leadership Cohort sponsored by Acts 29 Church Planting Network. 
Mr. Brister is an alumnus of Jefferson State Community College and Liberty University where he studied Biblical and Theological Studies. He has dedicated his career to serving communities and connecting people with the services that they need to thrive. He is excited to have the opportunity to serve at i3 Academy.

Lori Sills, Office Manager

Mrs. Lori Sills has nine years of experience in education administration. Before joining i3 Academy, she was the registrar at Hall-Kent Elementary School in Homewood for the past six years. Mrs. Sills received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Middle Tennessee State University. Mrs. Sills is excited to support the families of i3 Academy.