Board of Directors

President, Sam McLamb

Vice President, Erica Anderson

Treasurer, Mark deVerges

Secretary, Lori Hilliard

Justin Arnall

Laura Branch

Maggie Carnevale

Jason Carter

Alicia Cole

Jeannie Curtis

Kris Dionne

Marisol Jimenez

Linnea Keen

Brittany Keeler

Susan Mertz

Theresa Showman 

Meeting Schedule: The Board of Directors meets at Evergreen on the second Thursday of the month at 5:30 pm. All meetings are open to the public. Board Minutes are available here.


Sam McLamb, Board President & Evergreen Parent

Contact Sam

Sam grew up in eastern North Carolina and enjoyed visiting extended family near Asheville.   He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of the South at Sewanee and his MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.  Sam has always been active in conservation, working with leading organizations in Washington, DC after college and remaining involved ever since.  After business school, Sam managed marketing at a large retail corporation and then left to launch an advanced air filter company focused on indoor air quality.  Sam has been involved in renewable fuels and energy since 2008. In 2011, he started Broad Energy Solutions to focus on developing large scale steam systems in industrial applications using alternative and renewable fuels to generate significant economic, environmental, and social benefits.   Sam, his wife, Elizabeth, and their son and daughter enjoy time hiking and biking in the woods and playing on the water from the mountains to the coast.


Susan Gottfried

Dr. Susan C. Mertz, Executive Director of Evergreen

Contact Susan

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.

Lori Hilliard, Evergreen Parent

Lori Hilliard moved to Western NC in high school and attended UNC-Asheville.  She received a BA in Acting and Directing, and after a few years touring in a children’s theatre company she returned to Asheville to become a certified Theatre Arts teacher.  Lori has taught high school and middle school drama and directed many community theatres and summer arts camps. A proud mother of two Evergreen students and wife to McRae, Lori continues to teach, direct and perform voice-overs.  She plays many roles in her community on and off the stage as an actress, past President of the Junior League of Asheville, a graduate of Leadership Asheville, volunteer and Smart Start Champion for Children.

Brittany Keeler, Community Member

Brittany Keeler received a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Colorado State University and is certified to teach both elementary and art education. She spent two years teaching and facilitating community outreach programs for the city of Fort Collins. In 2007, she moved to Asheville to teach 4th grade at Evergreen Community Charter School. In 2010, she was awarded the Fund for Teacher’s Grant and traveled to Cambodia and Thailand to do workshops for teachers, with an organization called Teachers Across Borders. After starting a family, Brittany decided to take a break from her teaching career to raise her children and focus on the family glass art business. Brittany loves being outside in nature, working on her pottery, traveling, and Bikram Yoga.

Theresa Showman, Evergreen Staff 

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.

Mark is honored to be Board Treasurer on the Evergreen Board. He and his parents would have benefited from such a special collective during his youth. At that time, Mark was both a participant and a volunteer for the Asheville Parks & Recreation, The Health Adventure and American Red Cross programs locally. Those experiences, along with time and key mentors within Boy Scouts, Project STEAM and their Outward Bound expedition, and the WNC Magic Club - among many others - helped him overcome agonizing learning challenges before a local Expeditionary Learning program (like Evergreen's) existed. Mark ultimately found success within Asheville High and went on to graduate cum laude from Elon University with a B.S. in Business Administration and Economics.

During this time, he developed an on-the-ground economic study regarding the then-pending entry of Poland and Hungary into the European Union. He also studied abroad in Australia, the highlight of which was meeting his brilliant and beloved wife, Jodi. Upon graduating, Mark joined on with a regarded Asheville based construction-focused executive search firm ultimately leading various sectors. After 12 years, he then accepted an opportunity to lead the Construction & Real Estate executive search practice within Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP – a Top 20 CPA and advisory firm.

Mark, an Eagle Scout, volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America, serves on the Buncombe County Board of Adjustment, and previously served on the Board of the Asheville Parks & Greenways Foundation. The deVerges family is proud to call Asheville home, and they spend most of their time captivated by the antics of their three young sons. They were especially ecstatic when their eldest was called off the Evergreen lottery waiting list in time to start his Kindergarten year with this great school. You’ll find their family camping, canoeing, fishing, and swimming as often as possible.

Mark deVerges
Evergreen Parent

Erica Anderson, Vice President & Parent

Erica is a proud mother of two Evergreen students and wife of Jason. Since moving to Asheville in 2010, she has worked at Land of Sky Regional Council and is currently the Economic and Community Development Director. Erica works closely with government entities and community partners to develop solutions to regional issues. She is also a Board member for Mountain BizWorks.

Prior to moving to Asheville, Erica worked for various government entities throughout the US and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. Erica holds degrees in Animal Science and Natural Resource Economics from Colorado State University, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech, where she specialized in environmental planning and economics. She grew up in the Appalachians of Northern Maine attending a small schoolhouse. She and her family love to hike, bike, garden, play sports, have dance parties and spend lots of time outdoors!

Justin copy.png


Laura Branch, Evergreen Staff

Laura Branch has worked as Evergreen's librarian since 2006. She has 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 loves to travel. She and Jason have taken hundreds of middle and high school students around the world in the hopes that understanding our global neighbors will make for a more peaceful future for us all. This upcoming summer's journey is with eleven courageous Evergreen students to the British Isles where they'll kiss the Blarney Stone, play some Gaelic sports, and ride the London Eye.

Before coming to Evergreen, Laura worked as a wildlife rehabilitator and she still loves animals.  She grew up in Morganton, NC and spends her time playing with dogs, reading, and planning her next adventure.

Kris Dionne, Community Member

Kris Dionne grew up in Buffalo, NY and attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio.  She and her husband, Nick, settled in Asheville almost 9 years ago.  Since then, they have had 2 beautiful children, Max (6) and Claire (4).  

Kris is a philanthropist and is proud to work as a Development Manager for United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County.  Her work with United Way keeps her well connected and active within the Asheville community.  In her free time, Kris enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, biking, reading and volunteering.  She is excited and honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Evergreen Board of Directors.  

Alicia Cole, Evergreen Parent

Alicia Cole has lived in Asheville for 20 years.  She is originally from Alabama, and graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and American Studies.  Alicia works in the Contracts division for a defense and aerospace corporation.  What free time Alicia has left is spent chauffeuring her child, Kellan, to various sporting and social activities.  Alicia is married to Dre, and hopes to one day be able read again for hours on end.  


Maggie copy.png











Erica Anderson.png

Justin Arnall, Evergreen Parent

After growing up and graduating from college in California, Justin Arnall decided to move to Asheville in 2004 to take advantage of everything these mountains offer. Justin earned his Bachelor’s degree is in Landscape Architecture and an MBA with a concentration in Real Estate Development from the California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, CA. Justin originally moved to Asheville as a land planner where he worked for a year before becoming a mortgage banker. Justin and his wife Laura have two daughters, with the oldest becoming a part of ECCS during the 2016-2017 school year as a Kindergartener and her younger sister will join the ECCS family as a Kindergartener during the 2017-2018 school year. On the weekends The Arnall Family enjoys hiking, camping, riding bikes at the Biltmore and having fun at Tweetsie Railroad.

 Write here...

Write here...


Alicia Cole.PNG


Maggie Carnevale, Former Parent & Community Member

As a member of Padgett & Freeman since 1998 and a Partner since 2009, Maggie has played a critical role in many of the firm’s most challenging and environmentally sustainable projects. She has specialized in education and commercial design for public and private
clients throughout WNC including Mars Hill University, Haywood County, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. She is well-versed in all aspects of programming, planning, and design and has been particularly successful in developing design schemes involving challenging site issues and multiple user groups. She uses her expertise to engage these groups in order to resolve potentially conflicting priorities and formulate a unique design approach.