Cousins enjoy educating at The Reading Nook Academy

Published 9:05 am Sunday, January 15, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Chastity Moak and Andrew Redd showed all of the different classrooms at The Reading Nook Academy close to where The Dart landed Thursday. They serve as administrators and teachers with the MAIS accredited school. 

Moak and Redd have some things in common. They are former public school educators, each earned a degree from Mississippi College, go to Johnson Grove Baptist Church and are second cousins. Her sister Wendy also works at the Reading Nook, Redd said it was easy working with family. 

“We all get along well and if there is a problem we know how to find the solution,” he said. 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Moak said she has worked at the Reading Nook for the past six years after teaching 16 years at Mamie Martin Elementary. A teacher, administrator and speech pathologist aide, she works with students who need one-on-one attention and enjoy hands-on learning. 

“I was the daughter of an educator and I knew I wanted to teach from Kindergarten. I would teach my stuffed animals,” Moak said. “I was teaching at Mamie Martin when Millie Porter, Reading Nook founder, asked me to come teach at the private school. I took a leap of faith and now see kids with different needs on a daily basis.” 

She graduated from Brookhaven High School and earned a degree at Mississippi College despite being an Ole Miss fan. One of her sons graduated from BHS and works on the railroad while her youngest son will graduate from Brookhaven Academy and plans to go to Mississippi State. 

Redd worked for 28 years in the Lincoln County School District at West Lincoln before retiring for a few years. He started working at the Reading Nook two years ago and has since seen them grow in enrollment and expansion of their school. 

Reading Nook Academy enrollment is 170 kids which is 14 times the size of their first class of 12. Moak said the school is celebrating its 10th anniversary and will have its first graduating class of 10 students at the end of the school year. They specialize in small classroom instruction. Some of the kids who go to the school don’t have any learning challenges but their parents wanted to put them in a smaller classroom setting. 

Redd said the opportunity came up to get back to working in education and he took it. 

“I enjoy working with kids and education,” he said. “Some of our kids might have dyslexia, ADHD or autism. They might struggle with speech. Here, we place an emphasis on speech and language. It is neat to see the light bulb come on and it helps.” 

Moak added “it makes you feel like you are making a difference.” 

Two of Redd’s daughters went to Mississippi State and one of them went to Mississippi University for Women. One is a speech pathologist, one is becoming a real estate agent and the other works as a teacher at Starkville Academy. 

In his spare time, Redd tries to deer hunt, work on his farm and visit family since his girls live out of town. Moak said she enjoys traveling in her time off as well. 

“I love to go to ball games. My husband and I go to a lot of SEC football games,” she said. “My goal is to visit all of the stadiums in the SEC at some point. Like Texas A&M, I want to see the 12th man. I love to go see different things and I plan to go to New York and Washington D.C. this year.