About Us

Welcome to Live Oak! We are a diverse team of software engineers, UX/UI designers, project managers, data scientists, and educators located in Georgia. Our mission is to use our industry skills and education expertise to bring critical computer science knowledge and skills to students everywhere.

Our Vision

We envision a world where all students feel empowered to compete professionally in the technology-driven 21st century workplace.​

Our Mission

Our team’s sole focus is to build the absolute best CS curriculum that complies to Georgia’s rigorous standards that outline the 9 Pathways and 15 CS classes within the Department of Education’s standards.​

Our Values

As our society shifts more toward widespread digital technology we believe the education system must also shift to provide students with the skills they will need to be successful.​

Our Purpose

We’re teaching students the same skills and industry standards that we look for when we’re hiring new team members for our own software design team to ensure students are prepared for industry.

Our Team

We are a team of experienced computer scientists who have taken our experience building software for the business world and used this to develop a custom CS curriculum for Georgia’s high school students and teachers.​

Who we are...

Dane Hildreth

Dane Hildreth is a graduate of the University of Georgia and has worked extensively within the educational sector of Computer Science. During his time as an undergraduate, Dane worked as a lead classroom instructor for FourAthens, a non-profit organization supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Athens, GA. Prior to joining LiveOak Academy, Dane worked as a software engineer for the silicon valley based company Digication, a global leader in ePortfolio software solutions and educational learning tools. 

Kemble Hildreth

Kemble Hildreth is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and currently serves as the CEO of Big Southern Software, a tech-based services and solutions company based in McDonough, GA. Kemble has extensive experience developing logistics management software for the retail and telecom industries for companies such as Whole Foods, Point to Point surveying, and Home Depot.

James Mac William

James is the Chief Technology Officer at Big Southern Software, directing all aspects of development and research that drive the feature set of this innovative solution.  He has over 10 years of experience building high performance industry leading solutions, and brings a deep understanding of computing architecture, rapid scaling, availability, and operational excellence to his role.  Prior to joining Big Southern, James held technical and leadership positions for various organizations including large publicly organizations, mid tier organizations, and startups.  He has helped teams achieve success in health, cybersecurity, legal, finance, and marketing.  James holds a B.S. in Information Technology from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Raphael Smith

Raphael is a self-taught web developer with a natural passion for education. Raphael learned programming by building python applications to automate his repetitive tasks, organize his mom’s computer, and aide a college law professor in London to teach his college course . He started volunteering as a CoderDojo instructor where he taught programming basics, game development and web development. He also has experience with 2D animation,  3D modeling, digital design and UI/UX design.

Joan Monahan Watson

Joan is a graduate of Virginia Tech with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Educational Psychology. She brings over 20 years of teaching, administrative, and faculty development experience to her role as Director of Pedagogy and Engagement at Live Oak CS. Joan works with the curriculum and engineering teams at Live Oak to provide developmentally appropriate and pedagogically engaging instruction to all students.

Meet with our team to learn more about how Live Oak can make a difference in your school and community!