Heather Tate, Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Heather Tate is currently a kindergarten lead teacher who has been teaching with Evergreen since the school’s beginning in 1999. She has been teaching Kindergarten since 2001.
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 University and attained her licensure in K-6 elementary education. She has a National Board Certification obtained in 2008 along with Basic Orton-Gillingham Certification. She is a past member of the Evergreen Board of Directors and currently serves on both the School Improvement Team and the Equity Leadership Team. 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, who are both former Evergreen students. The family is passionate about animals and have fostered over 25 puppies, dogs, kittens, and even a rabbit! They have 5 pets of their own, 3 of which were "foster fails".
Juliana Beegan, Kindergarten Associate Teacher
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 at a school in Arden. She was thrilled to become a part of the Evergreen community when she landed a job in kindergarten in the Fall 2016!
She is currently enrolled in online classes through Western Carolina University and is working towards her Special Education Licensure. She will complete the program by the end of Fall 2018.
In her spare time, you can find Juliana trail running, making art and jewelry, traveling, reading philosophy or spirituality books, laughing, dancing, soaking up some sunlight, and spending time with her friends!
Ona Armstrong, Kindergarten Lead Teacher
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.
Laura Arnall, Kindergarten Associate Teacher
Hi, my name is Laura Arnall and I am excited to begin my first year as an associate teacher at Evergreen. I am the proud mom of two Evergreen students, one in Kindergarten and one in first grade. I taught first grade for 12 years before starting a family, so I'm in familiar territory. When I'm not working I enjoy running, reading, and movies.
Cathe Bradshaw, First Grade Lead Teacher
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 since 2003. She lives in West Asheville with her husband and has two children who were Everlasters. When not working, Cathe enjoys crafting, gardening, and sewing.
Eli Miller, First Grade Associate Teacher
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.
After falling in love with teaching he went back to school and got his teaching license and went through the educator's initiative with Outward Bound. His interests include, among other things, science, philosophy, technology, video games, board games, collaborative storytelling, guitar, piano, singing, and cooking.
Misty McDonough, First Grade Lead Teacher
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!
Amanda Cloyd, First Grade Associate Teacher
Sally Boerschig, Second Grade Lead Teacher
Sally has a B.A. in Russian and International Development and an M.S. in Environmental Education. She has taught in many settings in the US and abroad, including teaching English in Taiwan and teacher training in Russia. In addition to her years teaching, she worked in the solid waste and recycling field.
She is now thrilled to be working with second graders and helping them along their paths of lifelong learning. Sally and her husband, Richard, are proud parents of two children who both attended Evergreen at one time but are now graduated from high school. When not teaching, she enjoys reading, doing arts and crafts, playing tennis, gardening, and hiking.
Jessica Stepp, Second Grade Associate Teacher
Jessica is a K-6 certified classroom teacher but has been "stuck" in second grade upon completing the UNCA licensure program in 2014. She thinks second grade is the best and just can't seem to leave! She is truly passionate about the charter school community and integrating social responsibility, environmental compassion, and character development into a caring, interactive environment. She hopes to inspire her students to never stop exploring, asking questions, and discovering excitement in the littlest of things.
Jessica also has a degree in Art and Mass Communication and is a trained dog groomer. She loves animals and has 6 "fur babies" of her own. In her spare time you will find her cooking, spending time in nature, practicing yoga, or curled up with a good book. Jessica lives in Arden with her husband, Andrew, who owns and operates an organic lawncare business.
Susan Thompson, Second Grade Lead Teacher
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.
Melanie Derry, Third Grade Lead Teacher
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.
Deidre Barrett, Third Grade Associate Teacher
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 25th year in the education field and she feels very grateful to spend her days at a job she loves! Her son, now an adult, is an ECCS alumni and clothing designer. Deidre is bookworm, proud Appalachian, stereotypical cat weirdo, and long time resident of our beautiful Asheville, NC. In her free time she reads, hikes and camps with her partner, Shannon, enjoys photography and writing, and is a barista at a local bookstore/cafe. She supports animal rescue, LGBTQIA issues, child welfare and protection organizations and laws, and education initiatives and issues.
Marianne Simmons, Third Grade Lead Teacher
Marianne studied Elementary Education at UNCA and earned her B.S. from Appalachian State a long time ago. Her love for adventure and travel began as a young child growing up in the mountains of both Brazil and Southern California. She moved to Asheville in 1992 and has felt at home hiking through these ancient mountains ever since. She began her teaching adventure in a third grade classroom at Vance Elementary in West Asheville. After many happy years teaching third grade at Vance, Marianne, her husband, and their two children moved to the largest city in Ecuador and fell in love with the challenge of international living. For the past three years, Marianne taught fifth grade at small, private international school located in the port city, Guayaquil. This is her first year teaching at Evergreen and she is delighted to become a member of such an inspirational community.
Kevin Thompson, Third Grade Associate Teacher
Kevin holds a BA in Studio Art from Hendrix College in Arkansas, and a NC Early Childhood Education Credential. He has worked with children in the Asheville area since 2006, first as a family entertainer, and then for six years as Director for a local YMCA Afterschool program. He enjoys leisure time on the family farmstead with his wife and baby son, and his hobbies include gardening, yoga, balloon twisting, mushroom hunting, and music. He spends his summers in the trees as a zipline guide.
Kevin aims to encourage the creative individuality of each child in his care, and is thrilled to help nurture the healthy development of young minds, bodies, and spirits as part of Evergreen's holistic approach to education.
Theresa Showman, Fourth Grade Lead Teacher
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.
Michael graduated from Warren Wilson College with a B.A. in Adventure Education, 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 enjoys being outdoors, running, biking & gardening.
He has been working at Evergreen for three years now & is loving it! He started his career here as an EverAfter Associate, leading clubs like gymnastics, running, & climbing. This is his second year teaching 4th grade.
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."
Erin Lowe-Pagliaro, Fourth Grade Associate Teacher
Erin has been at Evergreen (along with her kids) as an Associate Teacher in 5th and 4th grade for 8 eight years. 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.
Joy Neily, Fifth Grade Lead Teacher
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.
Megan Krintz, Fifth Grade Associate Teacher
Megan is an Asheville native and glad to be back in her hometown after living in IN, IL, WI, OH, and VA! She has a background in Environmental Education, working for several different nonprofits in non-formal teaching. Megan holds a BS in Biology and Humanities from Valparaiso University and a Master's in Natural Resources / Environmental Education from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. During her Graduate Fellowship, she lived and worked at a residential semester school with 60 high school juniors; after graduation, for a change of pace, she lived on a grass-fed livestock farm, where she enjoyed milking cows and making butter and cheese. Megan loves being outdoors--hammocking, reading novels, hiking with her dog, or playing the ukulele.
Ben Tzinberg, Fifth Grade Lead Teacher
Ben graduated from the University of Colorado with a BA in sociology and completed the Elementary Education Teacher Program at UNCA. Prior to joining the Evergreen team, Ben spent several years teaching outdoor experiential education, leading international and domestic service trips, and also served as an interim fourth grade teacher at Estes Elementary. 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 dogs, Phil & Gary.
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.
Marni Silverberg, Sixth Grade Lead Teacher Math/Science
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.
Jeff Armstrong, Sixth Grade Lead Teacher, Language Arts and Social Studies
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.
Emily Boykin, Sixth Grade Associate Teacher/Athletic Director
After graduating from Brevard College with a degree in Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education Emily pursued a career as an educator in and out of the classroom as a teacher and outdoor guide. She is excited to start her second year at Evergreen and is looking forward to supporting the growth of young minds and athletes.
Jason Carter, Seventh and Eighth Grade Science Teacher
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.
Jesse Wharton, Eighth Grade Language Arts Teacher
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.
Randy Rice, Seventh and Eighth Grade Math Teacher
Chris Woodward, Eighth Grade Associate Teacher
Chris was born in Gainesville, Florida and grew up all over the place before settling in Western North Carolina to turn into an adult. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, and has spent his years figuring out what life is all about. So far, he’s found that the best program includes hard work, fun times, being true to oneself and helping folks. Chris has worked with students of all ages and is excited to be a part of the Evergreen family. He enjoys reading, making art and music, walking in nature, cooking and meditation.
“Wherever you may wander, wherever you may roam: Always keep the Diamond in your Mind.” - Tom Waits
Dan Mussulin, Seventh Grade Associate Teacher
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.