- Expeditionary Learning
- Environmental Education
- Exceptional Children
- Social Studies
- Language Arts
- Assessment and Testing
- Title One
Tonya Paul, Music Teacher
Tonya has a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Elon University. She taught elementary music and middle school band after graduating from Elon in 2005 and then decided to venture into the amazing world of elementary education in 2007. Tonya is an Asheville native! In her free time she enjoys hiking and exploring the mountains of her hometown, and spending time with her family, friends, and her dog Hops. Tonya has worked in the EverAfter program, SummerCare program, as first grade associate, and as a member of the community chorus in her time at Evergreen.
Mary Ann Athens, Art Teacher
Mary Ann Athens has taught visual art in North Carolina public schools for 15 years and holds a B.A. in Art from Agnes Scott College and M.A.Ed. from Western Carolina University. Mary Ann is a 2007 National Board Certified teacher in Early/Middle Childhood Art and has worked with young artists of all ages in afterschool and summer art classes. She has also been a lifeguard, camp counselor and wedding singer. She is married to Clay Griffith and they have two children, Will and Virginia.
Jo Smith, Adventure PE Teacher
Phone: 828-298-2173 x 248
Jo began teaching Adventure PE in 2004. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Warren Wilson College. She also studied Outdoor Education at Unity College in Maine and attended an 81-day semester course with Colorado Outward Bound School.
This class gave her leadership experience in rock climbing, canyoneering, boating, ice climbing, skiing, winter camping, and group process. With her teaching experience in the classroom, she brings academics into the world of physical education. Jo’s goal is to expose students to learning situations through physical activity.
She was named Teacher of the Year in 2008 and has served on the Health & Wellness Committee, Tech Committee, Board of Directors, and volunteers with Special Olympics.
Kevin Smith, Technology Teacher
Kevin Smith has a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Warren Wilson. Originally hired as a fourth grade teacher with Evergreen in 2004, he became Technology teacher and also supports the school's social media endeavors. He enjoys rock and ice climbing, backpacking, canoeing, snowboarding, mountain biking and hiking.
Kriya Lendzion, Middle School Guidance Counselor, Crew Coordinator, Positive Discipline Coach
Phone: 828-298-2173 x 238
Kriya joined the Evergreen community in 2008. She has a Bachelors Degree in Sociology, a Masters Degree in Mental Health counseling, and post-grad studies in "high risk" youth and addictions. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, an Internationally Certified Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist, a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, and Licensed School Counselor. Kriya has experience counseling and teaching life skills to youth in alternative school settings with Juvenile Justice, pregnant and parenting teens, high-risk girls, and expelled boys. She has also conducted substance abuse and wellness education with college students, and substance abuse treatment with adults.
Kriya also has a background in intercultural education and various expressive arts, which she weaves into her counseling and life skills education. She also co-chairs the school's Diversity Task Force, Health & Wellness and Service Leadership teams. During working and non-working hours Kriya enjoys dance, yoga, Taiko drumming, singing, gardening, cooking and time spent in the gorgeous nature of North Carolina.
Fynn Crooks, Program for Advanced Learners Teacher
Fynn comes to Evergreen as she continues to work on a Master's degree in Storyelling and Reading Education. Yes, you read that correctly, she's getting a degree in Storytelling! Originally from Missouri, Fynn also holds a BA in Sociology, but that isn't the half of it. Fynn is fluent in American Sign Language, a certified lifeguard, she knows 14 different ways to tie a bowline knot, and she spent 11 summers coordinating a camp for gifted students. Fynn loves good jokes, bad puns, and tough riddles. When she's not teaching the Program For Advanced Learners (PAL) at Evergreen, you can find her biking, hiking, contra dancing, playing the ukulele, and laughing as much as possible.
Laura Branch, Librarian
Phone: 828-298-2173 x 237
Laura comes to Evergreen with a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and a Masters in Library Science. She loves reading and sharing books with students so she can inspire them to love to read also. Her library is filled with Curious George dolls and she knows you're never too old for a good read-aloud or a great picture book. Laura also coaches the Evergreen middle school Science Olympiad team which allows her inner science nerd to emerge and she feels blessed to be able to share so many of her passions with our amazing Evergreen students.
Laura loves to travel and is fortunate to be a Delegation Leader for the Asheville chapter of People to People Student Ambassador programs. Each summer she shares the world with these high school students from around western North Carolina and introduces them to people and culture in the hopes that understanding our global neighbors will make for a more peaceful future for us all. So far she's visited five continents and hopes to reach them all someday.
Before coming to Evergreen, Laura worked as a wildlife rehabilitator and she still loves animals. She grew up in Morganton, NC and lives with her amazing husband, four cats, and a dog named Molly.
Come visit her in the library anytime!
Melissa Breck, Third Grade Associate Teacher and Health Educator for 5-8
Melissa is originally from Connecticut and attended Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana to study Anthropology and Sociology. After graduating in 2004, Melissa moved to Boston before taking a "gap year" to travel to Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and the Caribbean.
After returning to the States, Melissa moved to Cincinnati and worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer for a non-profit organization to assist "at risk" youth. Melissa has also worked as a health educator for Planned Parenthood and taught HIV prevention classes for high risk populations at large public schools, juvenile detention centers and substance abuse treatment centers. Melissa found her new home in Asheville in 2008 and worked as a youth leader for the YMCA and at Evergreen in the EverAfter program and as a substitute teacher.
In 2010, Melissa completed her Master of Arts in Teaching at UNC Chapel Hill and immediately moved back to the mountains. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys traveling, hiking, gardening, art projects, West African dance and volunteering in the community.
Sue Ford, After School Music Coordinator
Sue Ford is a native NC musician. Certified in Orff Schulwerk, she worked as Evergreen’s fulltime music director for 6½ years. Sue enjoys playing a variety of instruments in a variety of styles. Her experience blends classical, folk music from around the world, harmony singing, songwriting, African Balaphone, marimba and djembe, She released a CD of originals, The Water Is Fine, and continues to perform in the community.
Sue is going back to her roots at Evergreen where she began the marimba program in 2003. She will be teaching classes after school in marimba, chorus and ensembles. She is also continuing her work with the lunchroom concert series, which she pioneered and implemented at Evergreen in 2006. Sue is married to one of Asheville’s favorite puppeteers, Hobey Ford and is a proud mother of three grown and accomplished daughters.