Exceptional Children

Kathy Norris, Director of Exceptional Children/504
Kathy 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.


Carole Soucaze, Speech Language Pathologist
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!


Rose Goldfarb, EC Teacher/Academic Support
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.


Kay Cole, EC Associate Teacher, 1st Grade

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
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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.  


Toerin Kintner, EC Teacher, Grades 2-4

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.

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Lynn Player, 7th and 8th EC Teacher
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Lynn Player has been teaching at Evergreen since 2007. She is the Exceptional Children’s Teacher for the 7th and 8th grade. Lynn was Evergreen's Teacher of the Year in 2014 and was a finalist for North Carolina Charter School Teacher of the Year. 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 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 and her son, Alton. Lynn is working toward her certification in Neurofeedback and hopes that this will bring new opportunities for her students. 


Academic Support


Carrie Pusey, Director of EverLearning
Carrie graduated from Carson-Newman College with an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and an MEd in Counseling.  After a few years working in environmental education and outdoor retail in the Great Smoky Mountains, Carrie journeyed to Winston-Salem where she taught middle school at Triad Academy.   She was trained at the associate and certified level in Orton-Gillingham instruction while at Triad Academy.  She was immersed in the world of dyslexia and learning differences and found a love for this work. 

After four years in WInston-Salem, Carrie and her husband Caleb moved to Asheville to be closer to friends and family and a landscape they adore.  She was honored to be given a position as a 5th grade lead teacher at Evergreen.  After 3 years in 5th grade, she transitioned into her current position as an Academic Support/Title 1 teacher and the director of EverLearning.  

When Carrie is not teaching she is enjoying time with family and friends, traveling, hiking, traveling, climbing, gardening, and caring for her furry and feathered friends.

Program for Advanced Learners (PAL)

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.