Tonya Jones, 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.

Jo Giordano, Adventure PE Teacher
Phone: 828.298.2173 x 1402

Jo began teaching Adventure PE in 2004. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Warren Wilson College, a Masters in Physical Education from the University of South Florida, and is an Outward Bound semester course alumna.  

Throughout her time at Evergreen she has helped start many outdoor education & sports programs including climbing, mountain biking, ropes course, ski and snowboarding, and co-founded the school's sports league.  We are meant to move.  When in doubt, play it out.  

Jo Pic ropes course.jpg

Kevin Smith, Technology Teacher

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.

Laura Branch, Librarian
Phone: 828-298-2173 x 1103

Laura has worked as Evergreen's librarian since 2006. She has a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and a Masters degree in Library Sciences.  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 and currently co-leads yearly excursions with Evergreen middle school students. Hopefully, introducing our young people to our global neighbors will make for a more peaceful future for us all. So far she's visited six 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 spends her time playing with her dogs and cats, reading, and planning her next adventure. She is also currently serving on Evergreen's Board of Directors. 

Mary Ann Athens, Art Teacher

Phone: 828-298-2173


Mary Ann Athens has taught visual art in North Carolina public schools for 19 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
Phone: 828-298-2173 x 1101
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.


Doug was hired this school year as the Adventure Coordinator. He served as the 6th grade associate for three years prior to that.  Doug has worked with various ages and populations in the public school setting.  He also has over 10 years of experience working for Outward Bound and brings the experiential education model into his classes. 

In regards to his philosophy on education, Doug believes that educators best serve their students by simply making space, asking them questions and listening to their answers.  

And if he's not on campus or in the woods, check Lowes.