Susan Mertz, Executive Director

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



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.



Cameron Brantley, Associate Director K-4

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 taught both in the regular classroom and as a facilitator of gifted and talented children for 15 years before moving into the administration role.

Cameron has been a part of the Evergreen community as faculty and a parent since 2007. His away from school time is spent being with his wife and two kids, a cat and a dog.  He loves to spend his free moments cycling, reading, and working around the house on 2 acres in Candler.


Jen Watkins, Associate Director 5-8

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!