Administration


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Administration


Administration

Susan Mertz, Executive Director
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
susan.mertz@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173 x 224
FAX: 828.298.2269

Susan Mertz has a B.S. degree in Special Education; an M.Ed. in Special Education, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of NC-Greensboro. Susan has worked as a School Improvement Consultant with the Southern Regional Education Board providing consultation, coaching and professional development to schools across the country implementing the school reform model, High Schools That Work/Making Middle Grades Work. Susan was also the Director of The Piedmont School, an independent school for children with learning disabilities, in High Point, NC.

In her role of Executive Director at Evergreen, she provides forward-thinking leadership with strong organizational development skills. She has led the school in aligning the many initiatives, programs and partnerships and creating a collaborative leadership team structure. Susan also led the school through the AdvancEd accreditation process, resulting in full accreditation. She strives to create structures and processes within which her highly skilled and passionate faculty and staff can create magical learning opportunities for children.


Kathy Norris, Director of Exceptional Children/504
50 Bell Road, EC Suite
Asheville, NC 28805
kathy.norris@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-3449
FAX: 828-298-2269
 

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Kathy Norris began her teaching career in 1985 after graduating from Appalachian State University and moving to Colorado Springs. She continued her teaching journey in Raleigh, NC and St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana before moving to the mountains of North Carolina. She earned her Master’s in Education with a concentration in Behavior Disorders from Western Carolina University in 2000. Her teaching experiences range from kindergarten to college level. She has a husband who is a high school English and Academically Gifted teacher. Kevin and Kathy have two wonderful sons who live in Austin TX. 

Kathy loves being with her family, meeting new people, and working in the field of education. She believes that every person can learn and has individual gifts, strengths and needs. Everyone’s strengths and gifts should be recognized, celebrated and encouraged in a supportive community of learners.

 

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Cameron Brantley, Associate Director K-4
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
cameron.brantley@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173 x 235
FAX: 828.298.2269

Cameron earned a degree in business administration from San Diego State University, followed by a degree in psychology and teaching credentials from Metropolitan State College in Denver. 

His education continued at the University of Northern Colorado where he earned a masters degree in gifted education. He has taught both in the regular classroom and as a facilitator of gifted and talented children for 12 years.

Cameron comes to the Evergreen community from Colorado. His away from school time is spent cycling, telemark skiing, reading, and working around his 80-year-old house.


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Jen Watkins, Associate Director 5-8
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
jen.watkins@evergreenccs.org
828-298-2173 ext. 223
FAX: 828-298-2269

Jen Watkins has worked at Evergreen since 2006.  She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and lived in several different states before settling in Asheville with her husband and two children in 2006. She loves working with children, playing soccer (even helping to run the local adult soccer league), gardening, and playing outside! After graduating from Furman University, she began her career as a classroom teacher before taking a few years off to stay at home with her children. She now loves her dual roles as Evergreen staffer and parent, working with so many individuals and also seeing her children grow and thrive every day at Evergreen!

Office Staff and Building and Grounds


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Office Staff and Building and Grounds


Office Staff

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Sarah Hartnett, Director of Student Services
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
sarah.hartnett@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173 x 229
FAX: 828.298.2269

Sarah began working with children and their families in 2001, after completing her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Utah. Sarah’s professional experiences have included work with Early Head Start, Kane County Health Department in Illinois, Children’s Developmental Services Agency here in WNC and a myriad of other opportunities that have led Sarah to Student Services. Thus far, Sarah’s earned over 300 training hours surrounding child development and family dynamics. Sarah’s work at Evergreen includes a variety of roles including Assisting Robin with Student Services, Garden Coordinator, Associate Teacher for 5th, 7th and 8th grade, Behavior Support Specialist and as an Exceptional Children's Associate Teacher.

Sarah thoroughly enjoys volunteering, including serving in various ways at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville. Sarah and her wife, Kate serve the Buncombe County community by providing foster care to children, as well. Sarah also loves hiking, camping and gardening with Kate and their son, Jack. Sarah's other favorite hobbies include birding, drawing, cooking and baking.

Sarah looks forward to sharing learning experiences with the students and families at Evergreen and being a part of the community guiding them through exploration and adventure as they grow and develop each day.


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Gordon Simmons, Business Manager
50 Bell Road, Room 218
Asheville, NC 28805
gordon.simmons@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173 x 221
FAX: 828.298.2269

 

Gordon recently returned to the Asheville area from Ijamsville, Maryland where he was the business manager of Friends Meeting School. The past five years he has been working at independent schools in administration but has also found some time to teach. He is interested in ensuring schools to have diverse student bodies, teach to differentiated learning styles, and offer a safe learning environment for all their students.

Prior to working in education Gordon was a documentary photographer and a vice president in trust banking. He has an extensive background in administration, audit, estate planning, investments, and planned giving. His entire career he has volunteered with local and national non-profit arts and service organizations. He has worked both in direct services and at the board level. His board participation is focused on organizational effectiveness, development, and sustainability. He lives in Mars Hill and his nephew and niece have been Evergreen students.


Margaret Fuller, Receptionist and Office Assistant
50 Bell Road, Front Desk
Asheville, NC 28805
margaret.fuller@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173 x 0
FAX: 828.298.2269

Margaret brings over twelve years of experience working as an Administrative Assistant for non-profit organizations. She has presented Arts-In-Education programs for students grades K-12. Margaret is a native of Asheville and has four adult children and ten beautiful grandchildren. 

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Jody Flemming, Development Coordinator
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
jody.flemming@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173, ext. 228
FAX: 828.298.2269

Jody grew up in Charlotte and lived in Arizona and Colorado before returning to Asheville to put down permanent roots. His first involvement with Evergreen was as a parent and volunteer. Those experiences showed him what a special school and community we have here, and he jumped at the chance to join the team.

After working as a Park Ranger with the National Park Service for several years, Jody moved into the world of environmental advocacy. He brings years of organizational and policy development experience to Evergreen, as well as a passion for environmental education. Jody enjoys exploring the furthest reaches of western North Carolina on his mountain bike, and is a huge music nerd.

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Dave Costelloe, Network Administrator
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
dave.costelloe@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Dave holds degrees in Network Technology and Information Security from AB Tech College. Coming from a long history of working with computers and electronics, Dave enjoys keeping the technology working at Evergreen. When he is not working on computers, Dave enjoys gaming, gardening, writing, and being the proud father of his two children, Taylor and Ben.

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Jean Reese, Business Office Assistant
50 Bell Road, Room 213
Asheville, NC 28805
jean.reese@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173, ext. 231
FAX: 828.298.2269

Jean started at Evergreen as a parent volunteer, and currently works behind the scenes to help keep Evergreen running smoothly. She is also the editor and publisher of a B&B directory for Unitarian Universalists, the newsletter designer for the Carolina Mountain Club, and an editor for a performance-based management training company. She serves as assistant comptroller for the Westwood Cohousing Homeowners Association, and has worked as an editor, researcher, freelance writer and photographer for various organizations.Jean has a master in Public Administration from Auburn University, as well as a BA in Journalism and Political Science from Indiana University. She and her husband have lived in Asheville since 1996 and have one child, an Evergreen graduate.

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Building and Grounds

Bob Oakes, Facilities Manager
50 Bell Road, Room 218
Asheville, NC 28805
bob.oakes@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Bob Oakes has worked in service to children since 1979 including management positions in residential treatment centers and owning and operating a child care center with his wife Ann. Bob has a Masters in Human Services Administration from Antioch/New England College. 

Bob has held associate teacher positions at Evergreen in 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades and, combining his love of music and children, he has been a children's musician, music teacher and guitar teacher. Bob has four children and moved from Connecticut to North Carolina in 2000.

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Donnie Roberts, Head Custodian
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
donnie.roberts@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

Donnie first came to us as a temporary employee and soon was known throughout the school for his helpful and gentlemanly manner. He is now our head custodian. Donnie has worked in custodial and maintenance in Florida and Tennessee. He lives with his family in Asheville and enjoys weekend sports.


Ricky Price, Maintenance
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
ricky.price@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269
 
Ricky has been working at Evergreen since 2005. He enjoys woodworking, and can sometimes be found with a karaoke microphone in his hand.

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Teachers and Associates


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Teachers and Associates


Kindergarten

Heather Tate, Kindergarten Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 243
Asheville, NC 28805
heather.tate@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Heather Tate is currently a kindergarten lead teacher who has been teaching with Evergreen since the school’s beginning in 1999.

Although she grew up in Asheville, she attended UNC-Charlotte before transferring home to UNC-Asheville where she graduated with a Bachelors degree in Sociology. Later, she attended Mars Hill College and attained her licensure in K-6 elementary education. She has a National Board Certification obtained in 2008 along with Basic Orton-Gillingham Certification and serves on the Evergreen Board of Directors. She was named Evergreen Teacher of the Year in 2006.

Heather and her husband, Chris, are the proud parents of two daughters, Keilayn and Breona.

Heather has worked with children in various settings including daycare, summer camp, and Asheville City Schools. She has taught children all the way up to fifth grade, and has been a lead kindergarten teacher at Evergreen since 2001.
 

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Juliana Beegan, Kindergarten Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 243
Asheville, NC 28805
juliana.beegan@evergreenccs.org

Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Juliana, originally born and raised in Appalachia Ohio, moved to North Carolina for college. She earned a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in International Studies from UNC Asheville in 2011. After graduating, she spent a couple years in Asheville teaching academic, social and life skills to individuals with developmental disabilities of all ages. She later decided she wanted an international adventure, so she interned in Argentina at a bilingual elementary school. It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with being in the school environment! After returning to Asheville, she worked as an assistant teacher in a second grade classroom. She is currently enrolled in online classes through Western Carolina University and is working towards her Special Education Licensure. Also, this year she will begin her year-long training in Gestalt Therapy. 

In her spare time, you can find Juliana trail running, making art, wandering around town listening to the life stories of random people, reading philosophy or spirituality books, laughing, dancing, soaking up some sunlight, or spending time with her friends!

 
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Ona Armstrong, Kindergarten Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 241
Asheville, NC 28805
ona.armstrong@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Ona is currently a lead Kindergarten teacher who has been fortunate enough to teach at Evergreen since 2003.

She graduated from Bennington College in Vermont with a bachelors of the arts in ceramics and education. She returned later to earn her Masters of the Arts in Teaching. She is a certified Music Together teacher and was named Teacher of the Year at Evergreen in 2010. She also serves as the Chair of the Environmental Education Committee and teaches Zumba (Latin inspired dance fitness) at the downtown YMCA. She has recently been a consultant for the School of Rock where she co-authored a preschool rock-based immersive music curriculum.

Ona lives with her husband Jeff and their two boys, Rowan and Elias, in southeast Asheville. They enjoy swimming, painting, making music and growing together! Ona has taught in many arenas including ceramics classes, art classes, music classes, bike tours and wilderness adventures in Alaska, music to infants to six year olds, creative movement to children, Zumba to students of many generations. She loves her job at Evergreen, where she can combine her love of children, academic inspiration and instruction, movement, art, outdoors and Spanish.

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Michelle Stanley, Kindergarten Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 241
Asheville, NC 28805
michelle.stanley@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269
 

Michelle was born and raised in Miami, Florida, where she studied Early Childhood Education. She and her family moved to Asheville in 2009. She has two boys, Aidan and Joshua, and they are both students here at Evergreen. Michelle enjoys staying active, both she and her husband have a passion for fitness. She is currently enrolled at AB-Tech, in hopes to pursue her bachelors in Psychology, with education advantages.  


First Grade

Cathe Bradshaw, First Grade Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 240
Asheville, NC 28805
cathe.bradshaw@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Cathe completed most of her liberal arts education at East Carolina University and then received her B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in philosophy and concentration in early childhood from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Cathe has worked with children in many different settings, including being a site director for a before and after school/summer camp program and being a teacher in Buncombe County Schools for five years. 

Cathe is thrilled to be a part of the Evergreen community. Cathe lives in West Asheville with her husband, David, and their two children, Ian and Mia. When not working, Cathe enjoys playing with her children, gardening, and sewing.

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Eli Miller, First Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 240
Asheville, NC 28805
eli.miller@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Eli Miller grew up on a family-run beef cattle farm in East Tennessee. He has a BA. in Philosophy from UT of Knoxville with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing. After college, he went to C.O.R.E Massage Institute and became a Licensed Massage Therapist.He has taught as a Mad Science instructor in after-school and summer camps and as the primary after-school guide for Waseca Montessori School in Athens, GA. His interests include, among other things, Science, Philosophy, Technology, collaborative storytelling, and cooking.

 



Misty McDonough, First Grade Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 244
Asheville, NC 28805
misty.mcdonough@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Misty has a master’s degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and several years of experience as a preschool teacher in a Waldorf school.  Her undergraduate work was in psychology and business administration. She joined the Evergreen community in 2006 when she moved to the mountains with her husband.  Misty was drawn to Evergreen by the holistic aspects of the expeditionary learning curriculum and has found that she feels at home in this unique community.  Misty's hobbies include reading, gardening, traveling, and playing in rivers, lakes and oceans.  She now has a daughter, Leah, and enjoys watching her as she grows and changes each day!

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Tara Pacheco, First Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 244
Asheville, NC 28805
tara.pacheco@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Tara is an Asheville native and is thrilled to be back home and working at Evergreen. She has a Masters of Education in Early Childhood from Arizona State University and a Bachelors from Western Carolina University in Elementary and Gifted Education. She has been a classroom teacher in Asheville teaching 4 th and 1 st grades, and most recently taught kindergarten for several years internationally in Thailand and at Green School Bali, also serving as the Early Years literacy coordinator. She has extensive experience in Reggio Emilia, a holistic approach to Early Years education.

Tara enjoys all outdoor activities, travelling, drawing and painting, and time with family and friends. She enjoys working with all children but sees early years as the most magical time of childhood, rich with wonder and imagination.

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Second Grade

Sally Boerschig, Second Grade Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 232
Asheville, NC 28805
sally.boerschig@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

Sally has a B.A. in Russian and International Development and an M.S. in Environmental Education. She has taught in many settings including teaching English in Taiwan; teacher training in Russia; teaching at a Montessori school in North Carolina; global rivers education in Detroit, Michigan, and working with a non-profit in Durham, NC where she worked with school groups, did statewide teacher training and provided community education. While raising her two children, Sally took a hiatus from the formal working world and volunteered in the community and at her children's schools. She is now thrilled to be working with second graders and helping them along their paths of lifelong learning.When not providing taxi services for her two children, she enjoys reading, arts and crafts, playing tennis, gardening, hiking with her husband and children, and mountain bike riding (but not on scary terrain).

 
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Sarah Johnson, Second Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 232
Asheville, NC 28805
sarah.johnson@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

For the past two years Sarah has worked in EverAfter as a middle school instructor, as well as the climbing wall instructor. She is originally from the southwest, and went to school in Indiana where she earned a BA in Human Development and Social Relations from Earlham College.  She has enjoyed leading backpacking trips in Colorado and canoe expeditions in Ontario. Most of her experience is with instructing rock climbing to all ages. Sarah is passionate about issues of racial justice, self-care, time spent outside, and cooking lots of food. 

 

Susan Thompson, Second Grade Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 230
Asheville, NC 28805
susan.thompson@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

Susan received a MA in Theatre Arts and Communications from Emerson College in Boston and holds NC teaching license for grades K-12 in Theatre Arts and K-6 in Elementary Education. In addition to her years in the classroom, she has been a counselor and wilderness trip leader for middle school students, arts education administrator and Outreach Coordinator for Outward Bound National.

She loves helping students discover who they are as learners and community members. Susan is also a proud Evergreen parent. She loves being active outside, working in her yard, doing craft projects, reading  and making large pots of soup.

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Simone Randazzo, Second Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 230
Asheville, NC 28805
simone.randazzo@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Simone received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder. After completing the teacher training for Music Together at the Center For Music for Young Children in Princeton NJ, Simone taught
Music Together and assisted in a preschool in Wilmington, NC for two years
before moving to Asheville. Simone is currently pursuing licensure in
Integrated Education (k-6 Elementary Education and k-12 Special Education)
through the Adult and Graduate Studies program at Mars Hill University.

Simone enjoyed five years working as an associate with Ona Armstrong in
Kindergarten at Evergreen before moving down the hall to Second Grade to be
the associate with Susan Thompson.

Simone is the proud parent of an Evergreen seventh grader and in her free
time likes to sing, exercise outside, and enjoy local food with her family.


Third Grade

Melanie Derry, Third Grade Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 228
Asheville, NC 28805
melanie.derry@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Melanie earned her B.S. in elementary education (with a minor in photography) from Appalachian State University in 1993. Since that time, she has worked at an independent school as an assistant teacher and lead teacher in grades one and three, served as a counselor and the educational coordinator at Camp Woodson, and most recently, worked as a pastry chef at West End Bakery.

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Deidre Barrett, Third Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 228
Asheville, NC 28805
deidre.barrett@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Deidre attended Warren Wilson and UNCA, and taught preschool at Rainbow Mountain Children's School. Now she takes great pride in being one of the founding teachers of Evergreen. This will be her 21st year in the education field! She is a bookworm and long time resident of our beautiful Asheville, NC. She is grateful each and every day to live such a blessed life with her son and sweet dog, Julip, and to spend her days at a job she loves.

 
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Eben Heasley, Third Grade Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 226
Asheville, NC 28805
eben.heasley@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Eben Heasley has a BA in Cultural Anthropology and studied Elementary Education at UNCA. Prior to coming to Evergreen in 2003, he had been independently tutoring students in a range of subjects within the Asheville area. He spent three years providing backcountry education for the Appalachian Mountain Club and thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1995. A self styled musician, writer, thespian, board gamer, outdoorsman, carpenter, cook, candle-maker, husband, father, and oh yes, elementary school teacher, he has his fingers in more pies than he can truly appreciate the flavor of.

“If you keep walking while doing the simran [remembrance of the destination], the destination will come to you by itself.”   - Kirpal Singh

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Catherine Fletcher, Third Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 226
Asheville, NC 28805
catherine.fletcher@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Cat Fletcher is delighted and grateful to be joining the Evergreen community as part of the third grade team!Cat grew up in Cincinnati, but she fell in love with the North Carolina mountains at an early age while spending time down here with her family. After earning her B.A. in Outdoor Leadership from Warren Wilson College, Cat spent two years working at camps and outdoor centers in Texas, California, Ohio, and Massachusetts, and another two years teaching at an environmental education center in Rhode Island. When Cat decided to make the transition into the classroom, she went back to school and earned her teaching license and M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH.After six years away, Cat knew it was time to return to Asheville and arrived at Evergreen ready to teach and learn. When not at school, Cat can be found working in her garden, cooking, playing guitar, knitting, reading, and hiking in the mountains with her family and her sweet little dog, Jenny.

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Fourth Grade

Theresa Showman, Fourth Grade Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 223
Asheville, NC 28805
theresa.showman@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Theresa is a fourth grade teacher and has been teaching at Evergreen since 2007.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.  After working for three years as an environmental educator in the Chicago area, Theresa decided to return to school to pursue a career in the classroom.  She received a teaching license from Ashland University while doing graduate work at The Ohio State University.  Upon completion of her licensure program, Theresa moved to Asheville in hopes of working at Evergreen. When away from school, Theresa loves spending time planting and playing in and around the Ivy River that runs through her backyard.  She enjoys relaxing in the Florida Panhandle with family and exploring in the woods with her fluffy, orange puppy.

 
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Michael Kligerman, Fourth Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 223
Asheville, NC 28805
michael.kligerman@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Michael is extremely excited and grateful to begin his teaching career at Evergreen. For the past year, he has been working for the EverAfter Program leading clubs like gymnastics and Ultimate Frisbee.

He graduated from Warren Wilson College with a B.A. in Outdoor Leadership, working at Verner Preschool as a part of their work-study program. He has worked with all ages in settings varying from the wilderness to the classroom.  He loves being outdoors, running, biking, gardening, and swimming. 

 
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Jean Kelly, Fourth Grade Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 224
Asheville, NC 28805
jean.kelly@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Jean Kelly just made a big jump out of her comfort zone to move with her family from Bend, Oregon to Asheville!  She is beyond excited to be at Evergreen to share her love of learning, celebrating the beauty in each moment, and guiding kids to find and share their own unique gifts.  Her son Connolly will be in first grade and her four year old daughter Quincy Rose will be coming to visit school whenever she gets the chance!  Jean is excited to explore the Southeast- the "last corner" to uncover after growing up in Connecticut, making the big migration to NAU in Flagstaff, Arizona, and soaking up the amazing community of Bend. 

"Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom."
-Steiner 


Erin Lowe-Pagliaro, Fourth Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 224
Asheville, NC 28805
erin.pagliaro@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

Erin is an experiential educator from the Bahamas, who has spent much of her life traveling by sea, horseback, and foot to explore the natural world.  With a BA in Environmental Education and Policy from Warren Wilson College, she began her career lobbying for environmental legislation in CT and NC, then quickly moved into environmental education where she has found many ways to educate people of all ages in the field.  For almost 20 years she was a naturalist guide in many ecosystems, including the mangroves and rainforests of Costa Rica, the Bahamian Islands, the forests of the southeastern United States, the Pacific Coast, and the marine mammal mating grounds of the Atlantic Ocean.   As a Nature Tour owner/operator and President of a local NGO in the Bahamas, she designed environmental education programs, advocated for national park designations, coordinated international environmental research and service projects, and consulted on governmental environmental legislation.

 
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Fifth Grade

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Joy Neily, Fifth Grade Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 225
Asheville, NC 28805
joy.neily@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

Joy has a B.S. in Education and Exercise Physiology from the University of Maine and has completed the Elementary Education Teacher Program at UNCA. The years in between were spent teaching outdoor skills and leading paddling trips in Maine, the Carolinas and abroad. Joy has teaching experience in a variety of classrooms in Buncombe County Schools and Asheville City Schools. She is thrilled to join the team at Evergreen and looks forward to adventures in and out of the classroom with members of this wonderful learning community.

Joy lives in Fairview with her husband Dave and their son Zachary. They all love to get out and explore their surroundings, especially when this involves going on a river somewhere.
 



Alli Nortz, Fifth Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 225
Asheville, NC 28805
alli.nortz@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Alli is a midwesterner, who received her B.S. in Sociology from Wittenberg University in Ohio.  After graduation, she began working with middle school aged students at a wilderness therapy program on the coast of NC.  She then moved to Lake Tahoe, CA to work as a nordic ski instructor.  She went back to school in 2002 to receive her teaching credential (K-8) from California State University at Monterey Bay, and spent the past twelve years teaching in the Bay Area.

Her family recently relocated to Asheville, and her love for teaching and the outdoors have led her to Evergreen.  She is thrilled to be working part-time this year, as it allows her to spend more time with her husband, two young children, and dog.

In her free time, Alli loves to play soccer, run, practice yoga, and explore the great outdoors of WNC with family and friends.

 
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Ben Tzinberg, Fifth Grade Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 227
Asheville, NC 28805
ben.tzinberg@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

Ben graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in sociology and has completed the Elementary Education Teacher Program at UNCA. Prior to joining the Evergreen team, Ben spent several years teaching outdoor experiential education and most recently served as an interim fourth grade teacher at Estes Elementary. He is excited to be a part of the Evergreen community and looks forward to meeting the students and their families. Ben grew up in St. Louis and is an avid Cardinals fan. When Ben isn’t at school you can find him cooking, watching Alabama football, reading, enjoying live music, or hiking with his wife, Ella, and their dog.

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Mari Echevarria, Fifth Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 227
Asheville, NC 28805
mari.echevarria@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

Mari received her BA in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Education, Natural History, & Ecology from Prescott College in Arizona. Her love for the desert tethered her to the Southwest for 7 years where she wore many hats. In 2012 she interned as an Environmental Education Instructor at the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center in Albuquerque, NM. She returned to Arizona & dedicated the following year to bicycle advocacy in her community with local non-profit Prescott Alternative Transportation as their AmeriCorps VISTA Director of Outreach and Development. Deeply missing her role as an educator she landed a position as Associate 6th grade teacher at Acorn Montessori School in Prescott Valley, AZ. 
In search of new inspiration and change Mari would dream of Asheville (and Evergreen) for a couple of years before finally making the move in August of 2015.

Her quests for self-discovery and reflection usually take place in remote mountain landscapes, preferably in a water hole or hot spring. 

Caffeine enthusiast. Reptile lover. Destined backpacker. Committed Bike commuter. Bold climber. Aspiring paddler.

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Sixth Grade

Marni Silverberg, Sixth Grade Lead Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 202
Asheville, NC 28805
marni.silverberg@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Marni joined the Evergreen family during its first year of operation. She has fully enjoyed seeing the Evergreen community grow stronger over the years. Although she has experience teaching students from 4th grade through 8th grade, she currently teaches 6th grade Math and Science and absolutely loves it.  She is Nationally Board Certified and has earned her Masters Degree in Differentiation.  She lives with her daughter Zoey in west Asheville. 

 
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Jeff Armstrong, Sixth Grade Lead Teacher, Language Arts and Social Studies
50 Bell Road, Room 202
Asheville, NC 28805
jeff.armstrong@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Jeff recently earned a BA in Education from Mars Hill University. Jeff was an Associate at Evergreen for a few months last year and also did some Substitute Teaching. He has lived in Asheville for 10 years with his wife Ona and their two boys Rowan and Elias. Jeff is very excited to be part of the sixth grade team and looking forward to an amazing year.

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Doug White, Sixth Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 202
Asheville, NC 28805
doug.white@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Doug graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Liberal Studies, and is taking classes at AB Tech to further his educational goals. He has worked for several Outward Bound Schools along the east coast (including NCOBS) as a field instructor and course director.  Doug has been with Haywood County Public Schools for the past three years and just made the move to the Asheville area.  Among his interests: wood working, stained glass, fitness, reading, tai chi, art, magic, and anything outdoors.

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Seventh and Eighth Grades

Jason Carter, Seventh and Eighth Grade Science Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 109
Asheville, NC 28805
jason.carter@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269


Jason Carter, 7th and 8th grade science teacher, graduated with a BA in English and minors in math and womens studies from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Over his career, he has taught middle grades math, language arts, and social studies and has been associate director for the middle school. He is also one of the Science Olympiad coaches for Evergreen's team. When not teaching, Jason loves reading, learning trivia, and spending time with his pets. He also leads educational trips for students overseas and has traveled to over 20 countries.


Kortney Conner, Seventh Grade Social Studies Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 207
Asheville, NC 28805
kortney.conner@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

Kortney Conner grew up in Franklin, North Carolina and has spent all of her life living in and around Western North Carolina. She attended nearby Brevard College where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History and her Social Studies Teaching license. Having always considered herself a lifelong learner, she fell in love with the experiential approach to education while studying to become a teacher. 

Kortney has served students in Asheville for the past two years by teaching history and psychology at Asheville High School. She recently added onto her license and became certified in Middle School English/Language Arts and Social Studies. Kortney loves reading, traveling, cooking, gardening, and hanging out with her puppy, Riley. 

She is so excited to be joining a community of thinkers and doers at Evergreen! 

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Jesse Wharton, Eighth Grade Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 205
Asheville, NC 28805
jesse.wharton@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

Jesse grew up in WNC, then earned her BA in English and Women's Studies at UNC Chapel Hill (GO HEELS!)  She taught experiential education in a variety of settings including camps, outdoor adventure programs, and schools.  In 2007 she returned to WNC and settled in Asheville to return to school and work in the classroom full-time.  She earned her MAT and licensure from Western Carolina University and taught middle school language arts, SS, outdoor ed, and dance at two schools before coming to Evergreen in 2015.  

Outside of school, Jesse spends lots of play time outdoors with her husband and son, a future Evergreen student.  You also may find her hiking, dancing, eating yummy foods, gardening, or curled up with a good book.

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Amani Duncan, Seventh and Eighth Grade Math Teacher

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50 Bell Road, Room 205
Asheville, NC 28805
amani.duncan@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

My name is Amani Duncan, and I am thrilled to be the middle grades math teacher at Evergreen. I have been teaching since 2002.  I have taught middle school math, science, and social studies as well as  elementary school grades 3 and 5.  I have also been an adjunct professor at Warren Wilson College in the education department.  I hold a Masters degree in Science Education as well as a B.S. degree in Environmental Science.  I worked in the environmental regulatory field for over seven years before becoming a teacher.

 I have lived in Asheville for about 23 years and have no intention of leaving.  Asheville is home.  My husband Ted and I met here and have been married over 15 years.  We have two wonderful boys.  They are currently in 3rd and 4th grade.  My hope is that they join the Evergreen community along with me.  They have already joined the EverAfter community.  I love road biking, hiking, reading, and cooking.  Oh, and I also absolutely love teaching.  


Emily Boykin, Eighth Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 109
Asheville, NC 28805
emily.boykin@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Emily Boykin was born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  She moved to the mountains to attend Brevard College where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education. Emily has pursued a career as an educator in and out of the classroom as a teacher and outdoor guide. She believes that education should be an exciting, lifelong learning experience that every person should enjoy.  In her free time Emily enjoys being in nature canoeing, sea kayaking, backpacking and mountain biking.

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Dan Mussulin, Seventh and Eighth Grade Associate Teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 205
Asheville, NC 28805
dan.mussulin@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Dan was born and raised in Ohio. He graduated with a degree in Adventure Recreation from Ohio University. He has worked with all ages of youth in a variety of settings from the wilderness to the classroom. He is excited to be at Evergreen and part of the Evergreen community.

 


Heather Taddonio, Intern


Enrichments


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Enrichments


Enrichments

Tonya Jones, Music Teacher
tonya.jones@evergreenccs.org

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.


Jo Giordano, Adventure PE Teacher
jo.giordano@evergreenccs.org
Phone: (828) 565-1456

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. She has a masters in physical education from the University of South Florida.

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@evergreenccs.org

Kevin Smith has a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Warren Wilson College. He was hired as a fourth grade teacher with Evergreen back in 2004. In 2005, he was honored by his colleagues and received Evergreen's Teacher of the Year award.  He was one of twelve in the state nominated for North Carolina Charter School Teacher of the Year. After five years of teaching fourth grade, Kevin became the school's Technology teacher.  He also manages the school's social media endeavors and content creation. Kevin loves nothing more than spending time with his son. He is passionate about photography. He also enjoys a variety of outdoor activities such as rock climbing, paddling, and hiking in and around Western North Carolina.


Kriya Lendzion, Middle School Guidance Counselor, Crew Coordinator, Positive Discipline Coach
kriya.lendzion@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173 x 248
FAX: 828-298-2269

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.


Laura Branch, Librarian
laura.branch@evergreenccs.org
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.



Mary Ann Athens, Art Teacher

Phone: 828-298-2173

maryann.athens@evergreenccs.org

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.


Environmental Education

Marin Leroy, Environmental Education
50 Bell Road, Science Lab
Asheville, NC 28805
marin.leroy@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173
FAX: 828-298-2269

Marin is a native of Northern California where she received her BS in Environmental Biology and Botany at Humboldt State University and began her journey as an Environmental Educator.  She shared her love of wildness and adventure with youth teaching ecology in the Redwoods, leading trail restoration crews throughout the Pacific Northwest, and guiding wilderness excursions in the mountains of New Hampshire.After many seasons and many adventures, Marin began to wonder why connecting with the natural world couldn't be more integrated into the daily lives of all children. She felt passionate that Environmental Education shouldn't be reserved just for camp and summertime adventures, rather, that it is a powerful lens for teaching across the curriculum throughout the year.  Marin completed a MS in Environmental Studies and received her high school teaching certificate in biology from Antioch New England in Keene, New Hampshire, and has been working in public schools to design curriculum and experiences engaging students with their community and the natural world ever since.

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Differentiated Services


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Differentiated Services


Exceptional Children

Kathy Norris, Director of Exceptional Children/504
50 Bell Road, EC Suite
Asheville, NC 28805
kathy.norris@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-3449
FAX: 828-298-2269

Kathy Norris began her teaching career in 1985 after graduating from Appalachian State University and moving to Colorado Springs. She continued her teaching journey in Raleigh, NC and St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana before moving to the mountains of North Carolina. She earned her Master’s in Education with a concentration in Behavior Disorders from Western Carolina University in 2000. Her teaching experiences range from kindergarten to college level. She has a husband who is a high school English and Academically Gifted teacher. Kevin and Kathy have two wonderful sons who live in Austin TX. 

Kathy loves being with her family, meeting new people, and working in the field of education. She believes that every person can learn and has individual gifts, strengths and needs. Everyone’s strengths and gifts should be recognized, celebrated and encouraged in a supportive community of learners.

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Carole Soucaze, Speech Language Pathologist
50 Bell Road, Room 244
Asheville, NC 28805
carole.soucaze@evergreenccs.org
828-298-2173
FAX 828-298-2269

A native New Yorker, Carol graduated from Douglass College of Rutgers University with a BA in Speech-Language Pathology and from Vanderbilt University twice - once with a MS in Speech-Language Pathology and again with an Education Specialist degree in Human Development. She arrived in Asheville about a year ago, after an unexpectedly lengthy stay in Tennessee. While in Tennessee, she was a Speech-Language Pathologist specializing in teaching children with language processing deficits. Her passions include raising her two beautiful daughters, ages 4 and 8, swimming, quilting, redbuds and groundhogs. She is known in several states for her elaborate practical jokes. Consider this your heads up!

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Rose Goldfarb, EC Teacher/Academic Support
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
rose.goldfarb@evergreenccs.org
828-298-2173

I was born in raised in and around Austin, Texas.  I went to the University of North Texas where I earned a BA in Psychology.  I worked in the mental health field for several years working with both children and adults.  I then went back to school at Texas State University where I earned my Masters in Special Education.  After teaching for a few years, my husband and I decided to embark on a new adventure and I became a stay at home mom with my son, Ewan.  

Having both grown up in Texas, my husband and I were ready for a change of scenery.  We traveled around the US and fell in love with Asheville and then moved here as fast as we could.  We are so thrilled to get to live in such a beautiful, wonderful place.  I am also very proud and excited to get to work at Evergreen.

 

 
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Kay Cole, EC Associate Teacher, 1st Grade
50 Bell Road, Room 226
Asheville, NC 28805
kay.cole@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828.298.2173
FAX: 828.298.2269

Kay grew up in Berea KY, and graduated from Berea College with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.  She has lived in Western North Carolina for 25+ years, and has been lucky enough to enjoy a number of careers, providing her with a variety of skills that come in handy usually when least expected. However, while teaching preschool for three year olds, she found her place in the world, and working with special needs kids has become the greatest gift of all. 

Kay lives in Leicester on a farm that has been in her husband Anthony's family for 6 generations.  He works hard raising sheep, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, peppers, Christmas trees and other odds and ends. They are the proud parents of two kids, Eli and Anna, an Evergreen graduate and an Evergreen middle school student, respectively.  In her spare time, Kay enjoys reading, knitting a lot, history, her two dogs and two cats, camping and exploring Western North Carolina.  Her current obsession is American Sign Language, and it’s a great adventure learning this amazing language, and sharing it with her students.


Jessica Williams, EC teacher, 5th-6th Grades
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
jessica.williams@evergreenccs.org
828-298-2173
FAX 828-298-2269

Jessica Williams is the EC teacher for fourth grade and provides support for students in kindergarten, first and second grade as well.  Jessica has been working in educational settings for 14 years.  This has included environmental and experiential education programs, a therapeutic boarding school, and elementary school.  Prior to joining Evergreen, Jessica worked for Buncombe County Schools as a resource and intensive intervention teacher.  Jessica has a masters in Special Education and is certified in Elementary and Special Education.  She also has National Board Certification for Mild and Moderate Disabilities.Jessica obtained her B.A. from Appalachian State University and after graduation move to the west coast.  After spending five years in Oregon and Arizona, she moved back to North Carolina.  She has a 2½ year old daughter and enjoys spending time outside hiking, running and playing soccer.  

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Toerin Kintner, EC teacher, Grades 2-4
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
toerin.kintner@evergreenccs.org
828-298-2173
FAX 828-298-2269

Toerin knew she wanted to work with exceptional children since she was in 7th grade.  She began her work with as a summer teacher to children involved in the exceptional children recreation program.  She graduated from James Madison University in Virginia in Special Education.  After graduation, she moved to New York City and worked with kids on the street with Covenant House. Next, she left the country to work with families in Guatemala with Habitat for Humanity. She returned and spent many years working with the Hispanic/Latino community in Asheville. She worked in early intervention with Spanish-speaking families of children, birth-3. She became involved with Evergreen when her son started kindergarten.  She began as a tutor with Evergreen and was hired to teach in the EC department for K-3rd grade.  Both of her children attend Evergreen and her husband owns his own engineering and electrical contracting business. Toerin enjoys spending time with her family and can usually be found on the soccer fields watching her kids playing.


Abby Crahan, EC Teacher, 7th-8th Grade

50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
abby.crahan@evergreenccs.org
828-298-2173
FAX 828-298-2269

 

Abby Crahan is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio but moved to the mountains for Appalachian State University. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology, and moved to Asheville in 2010. Abby's background is in the mental health field where she spent much of her time working in different classroom settings. She made her way to Evergreen in 2012 as an associate teacher in 7th and 8th grade.

Abby is currently enrolled at Western Carolina for a Master's in Special Education. When she's not reading and doing school work, she can be found running with her dog, Huckleberry. Abby enjoys canoeing, yoga, biking, and swimming in her free time.

 
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Amber Munden, EC Associate Teacher, 3rd Grade
50 Bell Road
Asheville, NC 28805
amber.munden@evergreenccs.org
828-298-2173
FAX 828-298-2269

Amber is an Asheville native. She loves her community, and being of service to those in the community. She spends her free time hiking, reading, and playing with her dog Lazlo. She has worked with children with disabilities for many years. Amber is currently obtaining her special education licensure at Mars Hill University.

Previously Amber worked at the Autism Society of North Carolina. There she became aware of her passion for education. After working in the direct care profession she then had a mind opening experience working overseas as an au pair. After returning home she began working as a title one assistant. She then worked as an exceptional children’s assistant at North Wind Ridge in Weaverville. From there she is continuing her journey as an educator cultivating each adventure along the way.


Program for Advanced Learners

Fynn Crooks, Program for Advanced Learners Teacher
fynn.crooks@evergreenccs.org
Phone: 828-298-2173

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.

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On Sabbatical:

Lynn Player, 7th and 8th Grade EC teacher
50 Bell Road, Room 201B
Asheville, NC 28805
lynn.player@evergreenccs.org
828-298-2173
FAX 828-298-2269

Lynn Player has been teaching at Evergreen since 2007. She is the Exceptional Children’s Teacher for the 7th and 8th grade.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from James Madison University and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Western Carolina University.  Lynn spent five years working in therapeutic wilderness programs and leading wilderness trips for troubled youth in Florida, Colorado, and North Carolina. From these experiences Lynn gained understanding and compassion for youth who need extra support in life. This nourished her desire to learn more about working with students with disabilities and constantly inspires her to continue supporting their needs.Lynn is involved in the “Strive Not to Drive” campaign in Asheville and encourages others to find alternative means of transportation to and from school. You may have passed Lynn on the way to school as she often rides her bike to work. She would like to remind you to please pass with care.  Lynn spends her free time going to see live music and working in her garden with her husband, Zac Altheimer and her son, Alton.

Lynn also serves on Evergreen's Board of Directors.