A national benchmark in Educational excellence through integration of the arts
The best way to contact teachers is through email. Teachers do not have individual voicemail boxes. Our administrative team and our Exceptional Children teachers have extensions in which to leave voicemails.
Ms. Sarena attended East Carolina University with the Teaching Fellows Scholarship. Majoring in Exercise Science and minoring in Interdisciplinary Human Studies, she graduated with a teaching license in K-12 Health/ PE. Ms. Sarena’s first teaching job brought her to Morganton, where she taught high school dance, gymnastics, and health. Collaborating with the Fine Arts department she established the 1st Annual Art Expo, a night that celebrated all forms of art. Ms. Sarena earned her National Board Certification, a Master’s of School Administration degree from Appalachian State University and was honored as Burke County’s Teacher of the Year.
After earning her master’s degree Ms. Sarena was an Instructional Coach, Assistant Principal, and Principal at North Carolina School for the Deaf. She enjoyed the opportunity to learn a new language and being embraced by a different culture. During her tenure at NCSD, Ms. Sarena was recognized as the STEM Administrator of the Year by the NC SMT Center for developing the STEM program. Ms. Sarena is also in the process of completing her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Western Carolina University.
Ms. Sarena enjoys traveling and seeking new adventures with her husband and twin daughters.
Esteve was born in Spain, in the Barcelona area. He moved to the USA in 1995, lived in California, and finally settled in the mountains of WNC. He has a degree in Economics and Finance from UNC-Asheville and came to Artspace in June of 2019 after a 15 years career in the credit union industry. His connection to Artspace goes back to 2008 when his son started in Kindergarten. Esteve enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities, from hiking to mountain biking as well as cooking Spanish food.
Hollis McKeownKindergarten - Fourth Grade DirectorArtspace Charter School
This is Ms. Hollis’ third year as K-4 Director and Testing Coordinator. She joined our staff in the 2009 school year, as a third grade teacher. Ms. Hollis was voted Teacher of the Year at ArtSpace in 2011. Before working at ArtSpace, Ms. Hollis taught with Asheville City Schools as well as in the Chicago area. Ms. Hollis holds a B.A. in Sociology from Tulane University, and her teaching licensure through Western Carolina University. Hollis loves hiking the mountains of Western North Carolina with her husband and two sons. She is an avid runner and will be completing her first half marathon this school year.
Lucy SawyerDirector of Grades 5-8 Artspace Charter School
Lucy has worked in education for over 17 years. She holds a B.A. in English and American Literature and an M.Ed. in Special Education from the University of Tennessee. In addition, she holds North Carolina teaching licensure in Cross-Categorical K-12 and Middle School Mathematics. She enjoys spending time with her family, outdoor activities, reading, and science fiction shows.
Rob SineStudent Support and Exceptional Children CoordinatorArtspace Charter School
Rob began working at ArtSpace in 2011. He earned a B.S. in Speech Communication from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and has earned his alternative licensure from Western Carolina University. Prior to his tenure at ArtSpace Rob worked with children with disabilities in a variety of capacities. Since working at ArtSpace he has been a Teaching Assistant, an EC Teacher, and now serves as the Student Support Coordinator. Rob enjoys spending time with his wife, hiking with his dog, and plays in various musical groups in the Asheville area primarily in the bluegrass and country genres.
Meg BoernerMusic Specialist and Band TeacherArtspace Charter School
Meg holds a BSE in Music Education from Millersville University in Pennsylvania. She was ArtSpace Charter School’s Teacher of the Year 2014-2015, as well as Mountain Xpress Best Of Winner: 2nd Best Music Teacher (2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and tied for 1st in 2018). Meg has been a part of the ArtSpace family since 2013. Meg has recently submitted her work for National Board Teacher Certification. In addition to K-5 general music classes, Meg serves as the director of the choral and instrumental ensembles and has taught private lessons through the AfterCare program. Meg has experience working in the field of behavioral health, and with children who are visually impaired. She has been an Assistant Coach with Girls on the Run for the past four years. Meg also volunteers in the community through the Girls Rock! Asheville non-profit. Meg enjoys running, yoga, and exploring Asheville’s restaurants and live music!
Beth LexaTheatre Arts SpecialistArtspace Charter School
Beth holds a B.S. in Theatre Arts from Towson University and an M.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also licensed in Theatre Arts, Middle Grades Language Arts, and Special Education.
Ms. Beth began her career as an intern at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the education department. She then served as a Teach for America corps member teaching in South Louisiana for two years. Beth then worked as a teaching artist in Chicago Public Schools with the non-for-profit, Reading in Motion. After moving to western North Carolina, Beth taught theatre arts at East McDowell Junior High. Beth joined the ArtSpace Faculty in 2008. She enjoys books, movies, yoga, and chocolate!
Steve LipeInstructional Technology SpecialistArtspace Charter School
Since its inception in 1999, Steve has been associated with ArtSpace Charter School. He wrote the school’s first state technology plan as the school’s charter was being finalized. After 10 years in traditional schools, serving as a 4th and 5th grade teacher, technology specialist and media coordinator, Steve joined the original ArtSpace staff as a 5th grade teacher, which he did for 5 ½ years, before transferring into the technology program.
Steve holds a B.S. in Recreational Resources Administration from NC State University, an M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and an M.L.S. from Appalachian State University. He completed his teaching certification at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. With over 25 years of experience, he holds North Carolina professional licensure in K-6 General Education, K-12 Computer Science, and K-12 Media Library Science. In addition, Mr. Lipe is a North Carolina A+ Fellow, and has presented integrated technology workshops at regional, state and national conferences. His personal interests include reading, traveling, camping, and history. His daughter, Alex, is attending college at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, and his wife, Roberta, is a co-founder of ArtSpace Charter School, and an art teacher at Vance Elementary in the Asheville City Schools, where she was chosen as the 2015 Vance Elementary Teacher of the year.
Lacey originally from Blacksburg, Virginia has lived in Asheville since 2015 where she has been teaching at Owen High School. Previously Lacey taught at Galax Elementary in Galax Virginia after graduating from Virginia Tech. She is very excited to be a part of the ArtSpace community and to be working with younger grade levels again. When she isn’t in the classroom she enjoys running, kayaking, napping and spending time with her husband and 2 small children.
Simone holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder and completed the Teacher Education Program through Adult and Graduate Studies at Mars Hill University to obtain licensure in Elementary Education and Exceptional Children.
Simone’s love of teaching started by being a music teacher after completing the teacher training for Music Together at the Center For Music for Young Children in Princeton, NJ. For ten years following Simone worked as an associate teacher in kindergarten, second grade, and with children with exceptional needs in grades 2-8 at Evergreen Community Charter School. Prior to teaching Simone was a floral designer, and a journalist for Florist’s Review magazine.
In her free time, Simone loves to read, write, enjoy music, garden, and go for hikes with her husband and daughter.
Jane holds a B.S. in Business Education from Florida Southern College. She has been involved with ArtSpace from its inception, first as a volunteer. Jane has been on staff at the school since 2003. She enjoys reading, hiking, and music.
Darlene holds an M.A. in Health Psychology from Appalachian State University. She joined ArtSpace as a parent and volunteer in 2001 and joined the front office staff in 2009. She is passionate about health and wellness and shares this with the ArtSpace community through the wellness committee and the annual Health Fair. She coordinates the ArtSpace garden growing flowers, herbs, the occasional vegetable and cultivating a love of plants and fresh healthy food with students. She is also an herbalist and currently serves on the board of the North Carolina Herb Association.
Beth has a BA in Art from University of California, Santa Cruz and a Masters in Library and Information Science from University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She has a long history of working in libraries, which began as a page shelving books in a public library during college over 20 years ago, and the last being in the Asheville-Buncombe Public Library as a children’s librarian. Beth has been an ArtSpace parent since 2013 and joined the ArtSpace staff in 2015. She enjoys reading, crafting, swimming, and spending time with her husband and three daughters.
Erin CarrCommunications and Marketing CoordinatorArtspace Charter School
Erin has taught 3rd and 4th grade at ArtSpace, working with the school since it’s inception in 2001. She earned a B.A. in Literature from Earlham College, an M.A.T. from the University of St. Thomas in Secondary Language Arts Education. Erin also studied photography, printmaking and art history at Marshall University. Erin spent most of her growing up years in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She and her husband are currently converting their grass-filled yard into a permaculture food forest. She enjoys cooking the food growing in her yard, as well as reading, laughing, photography, and spending time with her family.
Thomas has worked in residential and commercial construction for 17 years and has experience in carpentry, electrical and plumbing. He studied at Haywood Community College and Western Carolina University. He enjoys fly tying, fly fishing, and walking through the woods with his children.
Dr. Wise is a native of Queens, New York. She has an MFA in Media and Performing Arts and a Doctorate in Divinity, specializing in Spiritual Metaphysical Research and Investigation. Ms. Waterfall was the Multidisciplinary Arts Director for Zion Method Performing Arts Academy, Inc. from 2003-2015. She has developed Garnet Xong Productions so professionals and highly skilled performers will have a platform for innovative choreography and storytelling.
Dr. Wise is a teacher, choreographer, performer, script writer and director of many original Dance concerts. She is also the author of the book, Neo Genesis: Revelations of The Wise Theory.
Ms. Waterfall has over 35 years of dedication to education and the performing arts.
She was the developer and the first dance faculty at Savannah College of Art and Design, for their Dance Minor. Additionally, she has been the Dance Professor for Savannah State University and Humanities Professor at the University of Phoenix.
In 2019 Ms. Waterfall directed The Lion King Jr. at ArtSpace Charter School. February 2020 was the debut of her original dance drama “A Vampire In Asheville.”
Michael BarfieldPhysical Education Specialist and Exceptional Children’s AssistantArtspace Charter School
Michael holds a B.S.Ed. in Physical Education from Western Carolina University and is also licensed to teach Special Education. He was born in Georgia and raised in Canton, North Carolina. Before coming to ArtSpace, Michael taught at North Buncombe Elementary for 2 years in an intensive intervention classroom for students with significant disabilities. He enjoys going to church, fishing, and playing disc golf, basketball, and softball.
After earning dual certification in Elementary and Special Education from Slippery Rock University (Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania) in 2009 and completing a short stint teaching in Mexico City, Ryan went on to teach in a variety of different educational settings, ranging from K-5 Emotional and Behavioral Intensive Intervention to 4th Grade general education to 8th Grade inclusion. He is thrilled to be joining the ArtSpace team for 2018-2019 school year. When not teaching, Ryan enjoys reading, traveling, making and enjoying art and music, and spending time with his wife, Allison, and their animals.
Elise graduated from Appalachian State Cum Laude. She played varsity Field Hockey and taught snow skiing and snow boarding throughout her college career. After graduation she was the director of the children’s ski school. Elise completed prerequisite course work for veterinary school in Charleston, South Carolina. She joined the ArtSpace staff in 2014. Elise was a stay at home mom for several years. While at home she started a mini-farm where she raised rabbits, chickens, and pigs.
Evangeline earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and an M.A.T in Special Education from Western Carolina. She had the privilege of teaching special education, grades K-5, for Henderson County public schools. When not focused on teaching, she loves to get lost in a great book, take the unexpected adventure, attempts to conquer her garden and enjoys few things better than sitting around a firepit on a cool night with friends and family.
Chainey has been working as a Teaching Assistant at ArtSpace since 2019. She holds dual B.A. degrees in Psychology and French from King College in Bristol, TN. Chainey is an Asheville native that returned to the mountains after briefly living abroad. She has worked in educational research for 13 years, helping inform evidence based practices. Being in the classroom has allowed her to put these practices to use. She often says she is the ‘Oldest First Grader” because of how much she learns from the students. Outside the classroom, Chainey and her family keep themselves busy with a multitude of projects, mostly relating to homesteading. She enjoys fiber arts such as knitting, sewing, and fabric dyeing, but mostly reserves these for colder months since being outside gardening, hiking, and camping feed her soul.
Annabell earned a BA in education from Warren Wilson College. Before joining the ArtSpace staff in 2004 she taught ESL in Brazil and Venezuela. Annabell was ArtSpace teacher of the year for the 2012-2013 school year. She enjoys hiking, painting, dancing, and gardening with her son Coltrane.
Susanne was born and raised in Asheville, and comes from a whole family of teachers! She went to Appalachian State University and earned a degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Art. Her teaching career began at Asheville City Schools teaching 3rd, 1st, and Kindergarten for 8 years. Following that, she taught 3-6 year olds at Asheville Montessori School and Julia St. Montessori School for 3 years, in order to learn more about the Montessori method. This will be her 12thyear teaching as she joins the ArtSpace community. Susanne believes that learning and school should be fun for students and teachers alike, and using a hands-on experiential approach to teaching and learning. Susanne’s other interests include: making pottery, cooking, hiking, camping, biking, traveling, reading, listening and dancing to music, and spending time with family, friends, and her dog Pearl.
Michelle earned a BA in Theatre and spent her younger years on stage before she was called to teach. She earned her MA in Special Education 14 years ago in Arizona. She has taught in Abu Dhabi, Bali, and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. She has enjoyed being part of a variety of school communities, including bilingual, Native American reservation, deaf and hard-of-hearing, outdoor, Waldorf, and Montessori. Michelle has served as an adjunct professor for special education courses. She is currently working on a bilingual picture book. For fun, she enjoys ecstatic freestyle dance, argentine tango, hiking, stand up paddleboarding. She understands the importance of creativity to a whole and happy life, and is excited to share this with the ArtSpace community.
Jake MartinKindergarten Teaching AssistantArtspace Charter School
Jake was born in Buffalo, New York and grew up in Sarasota, Florida. In 2014, Jake moved to Asheville to attend Warren Wilson College. In 2018, he graduated with a BA in Studio Art with a concentration in Printmaking and a minor in Early Childhood Education, after which he started working at Verner Center for Early Learning as a substitute and then Assistant Teacher. Jake is excited to start working as the Kindergarten Teaching Assistant for the 2020-2021 school year, especially because of his love for art and art education. He is looking forward to being part of the process of art-integration across the curriculum.
Michelle earned a Business Associate degree from Broward Community College with an added emphasis in psychology. Michelle recently completed her 200-hour yoga training at Asheville Community Yoga. She joined the ArtSpace staff in the fall of 2012 as our Student Data Coordinator she is very excited to be working directly with students. Michelle has been an ArtSpace parent since 2008. Michelle is a beekeeper, an avid gardener, loves to travel and spend time with her family.
Melissa joined our staff in the 2014-15 school year. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Georgia College and State University with a certificate in Arts Integration. Before coming to ArtSpace, she taught third grade for 8 years at Brevard Elementary where she was Teacher of the Year in 2014. Melissa has earned her M.Ed from Mars Hill University and has submitted all of her work for National Board certification. In her free time Melissa enjoys creating all kinds of things (mostly knitting and sewing, but also jewelry, drawings, paper crafts, and visual design pieces). She also tremendously enjoys reading, kickboxing, and hiking.
Heather earned her B.A. in Geology from Bryn Mawr College and completed the teacher licensure program in middle grades science at UNC-Asheville. She began her career as an educator at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC before moving back home to the South to teach at an outdoor school, and later at a therapeutic boarding school. Outside of the classroom she enjoys hiking with her dog Luna, reading and listening to podcasts, making pottery, and volunteering with Asheville’s LGBTQIA+ youth advocacy group. Heather is excited to join ArtSpace’s creative, collaborative community and to form relationships with students and their families!
Mary received her degree from Appalachian State University in Recreation Management. After working briefly for the Forest Service in Lake Tahoe and being home with her son for three years, she started teaching at a Montessori School in Spruce Pine, where she spent the next fourteen years. Mary completed her elementary certification through UNCA in May 2014 and has taught second grade at Two Rivers Community School in Boone for the last two years. She has now joined Artspace teaching third grade. Mary enjoys guiding children through the process of discovering what inspires them, and igniting a passion to learn about the world. Mary’s bucket list includes becoming a master pasta maker on the Italian Riviera, going on safari in the Serengeti, and learning the mysteries of Angkor Wat (previous life goals were to become Indiana Jones). Mary’s other interests include reading, cooking, hiking, camping, music, and spending time with family and friends. Mary is slightly obsessed with tubing on the river and can be found at the river near her house on most sunny summer days.
Jake WareThird Grade Teaching AssistantArtspace Charter School
Jake first began working with children in high school, volunteering in an afterschool program for elementary students. Upon graduating from the University of Maine at Farmington with a degree in creative writing, Jake found himself working as art director for a girl scout camp in Cuba, New Mexico. In 2001, he was hired to work in an afterschool program and sub at an elementary school in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, where he remained in many different capacities, (pre-school assistant, one-on-one assistant, office manager, union president) until 2011. Jake joined the middle school and EC teams here at ArtSpace in 2012. He enjoys sharing his passion for writing and the arts, and is proud of his time spent coaching the middle school spelling team to several region-wide victories.
Ms. Tonya earned a Master of Education in Reading from the University of Florida. She taught 4th – 8th grade at The Learning Community in Black Mountain for 5 years where she trained in and utilized reader’s and writer’s workshop. She also collaborated with the arts teacher to integrate social studies curriculum with visual and perfoming arts. After leaving TLC Ms. Tonya taught 5th – 8th grade language arts and social studies at two different charter schools. She feels very fortunate to be a part of a community that nurtures the whole child and fosters critical thinking, problem solving, and independence through the arts. Ms. Tonya’s favorite hobbies include writing, hip hop fitness, and learning to play the ukulele. She and her husband enjoy traveling and attending concerts together.
There are no projects available at this time.
Katie Gerstel4th Grade Math and Science TeacherArtspace Charter School
Katie earned her BA in Human Development from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. After moving to Asheville in 2012 Katie went on to receive her teaching license at UNC Asheville and has taught third grade for the past four years. She is very excited to join the ArtSpace team and is looking forward to incorporating her love of the arts in the classroom. Katie was drawn to the school’s emphasis on creativity and the imagination it fosters. On the weekends, Katie can be found with her dog, her two cats, her daughter Charlotte and her partner Max. Together they enjoy hiking in the mountains, riding their bikes, or floating down the French Broad River.
Sheila Midgett4th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies TeacherArtspace Charter School
Sheila holds a BA in Elementary Education and an M.Ed. in Reading, both obtained from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She has certification in Exceptional Children as well and has taught in Elementary and EC settings over the past twenty-three years. She has spent the bulk of her career as an ELA teacher and has a passion for building a love of reading. She spends time gardening, running, yoga, exploring nature, and reading various types of literature. This community provides so many opportunities for personal growth in these areas, and can be found in the learning environment she helps to create for her students. She is excited to join the ArtSpace family. She is looking forward to the opportunity to integrate the Arts into an ELA and Social Studies environment that is both engaging and impactful.
Anne earned her Bachelor’s degree in Art History from Salem College. She has worked as a classroom assistant in Buncombe County Schools for 8 years and has experience as a homeschooling parent as well. Anne is currently pursuing her teaching license. Anne has lived in WNC since 1995. Anne is a fiber artist who enjoys making things with her hands along with hiking, gardening, and yoga.
Heather BurrowsFifth Grade Social Studies and Language Arts TeacherArtspace Charter School
Heather began working at ArtSpace in 2008 as a Teacher Assistant, and has been teaching her own class since 2009. She taught seventh grade Language Arts for five years, before becoming the fifth grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher. Heather holds a B.A. in English from Keene State College, in New Hampshire, where she is originally from. Heather holds NC teaching licenses in Middle Grade English Language Arts and Elementary Education.
In 2009, Heather completed a NC Teacher’s Initiative Outward Bound program, where she gained experience with experiential learning and teaching. In 2015, Heather completed a National Endowment for the Humanities training in Concord, Massachusettes, focusing on the Crossroads of a Revolution, where she gained expertise on the eve of the Revolutionary War. Heather co-leads the GRITS program, where she fosters a love of science and builds community with girls in grades 5-7. She is a proud recipient of the AmeriCorps Education award for three years in a row. In addition to spending time with her family, she enjoys music, exploring the mountains, reading, and yoga.
Clay holds a degree in Fine Art from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Drawing and Painting and before arriving at ArtSpace was represented by Ron Judish Fine Art in Denver, Colorado. Clay moved to Asheville in 2003 and became associated with The Asheville Arts Council where he volunteered as well as participated in group exhibits in the gallery.In 2009 Clay began working at ArtSpace as a Teacher Assistant in the Special Needs Program, two years later moved to fifth grade as an Assistant, and currently works in the Intensive Intervention Classroom in a Student Support role. Clay, along with wife Tami, founded ArtSpace ArtCamp and continues to be involved in extracurricular programs as both a painting and pottery instructor.
John HallSixth Grade Language Arts and Social Studies TeacherArtspace Charter School
John, a National Board Certified educator, has a long history with ArtSpace, beginning in 2003. He was the ArtSpace Teacher of the Year in 2008-09, and North Carolina Charter School Teacher of the Year in 2009-10. He also served on the State Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council in 2010 and 2011. He earned his B.A. in Humanities from Milligan College and has taught for 17 years. A professional entertainer, John enjoys performing in theatre and cabaret in the Asheville area. He also enjoys attending local theatre productions featuring former students, as well as hiking and reading. John has a daughter, Anna Kate, a graduate at Catawba College who has followed in her father’s acting footsteps.
Kinsey Steere6th Grade Math and Science TeacherArtspace Charter School
Kinsey graduated from Union University in Jackson, TN with a BA in Biblical Languages and a minor in Chemistry before moving to the Asheville/WNC area with her husband. She earned a BA in Classical Languages from UNC Asheville and completed the teacher’s licensure program while there. She enjoyed teaching 6th and 7th-grade math, science, and Latin before moving to ArtSpace to teach 6th-grade math and science.
Kinsey has been a lover of the arts since childhood, acting in school theater productions, singing in choirs and ensembles, and taking part in dance classes and groups. She and her husband have enjoyed living in the mountains of WNC, hiking, and camping with their three dogs, and enjoying food and fun in Asheville with friends. She is excited to be part of the amazing team at ArtSpace.
Ian Canary-KingSeventh and Eighth Grades Social Studies TeacherArtspace Charter School
Ian holds a B.A. in history from Macalester College and an Master’s of Education in social studies from the University of Minnesota. Over the past seven years he has worked in schools as a teacher, tutor, mentor, and college access coach. He joined the ArtSpace staff in 2014. Outside of school, he enjoys music, reading, and walking his dog along the French Broad River.
Leila WhelessSeventh and Eighth Grade Language Arts TeacherArtspace Charter School
Leila holds a BA in Comparative English and French Literature from Davidson College and a Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary English from Agnes Scott College. She has taught kindergartners through high school seniors subjects including French, humanities, phonics, creative writing, and martial arts. Leila joined the ArtSpace staff in 2014. Leila loves Shakespearean theater, poetry, long distance running, and bouldering. Leila also enjoys spending time with her husband, three children and many cats.
Megan SmithSeventh and Eighth Grade Mathematics TeacherArtspace Charter School
Megan earned her a bachelors in environmental science in Pennsylvania and a masters in teaching from Western Carolina University, and she is still loving and learning new things about math every day. Megan is also the co-director of the GRITS extracurricular program. Outside of school Megan is a big fan of backpacking, playing water polo, cooking, and making music.
Nick RogowskiSeventh and Eighth Grade Science TeacherArtspace Charter School
Nick has worked in education for over 20 years. He holds a B.A. in Arts and Architecture from the University of New Mexico, and a teaching degree from Appalachian State University. He enjoys painting, playing with his son, bike riding and racing, car racing, hiking, and time with his family.
Marni joined the ArtSpace faculty in 2006 and was Teacher of the Year in 2013-14. Marni holds a BFA and a MEd from West Virginia University. Marni lived in Taos, New Mexico for 5 years where she began her teaching career in an Expedition Learning Outward Bound school. She directed a camp in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and she also taught 6th grade at a charter school in New Mexico. In her free time, Marni enjoys spending time with her son, husband, and dog, reading, and exercising.
Ryan OlliffeExceptional Children TeacherArtspace Charter School
Ryan obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Georgia College & State University, with a Minor in Spanish. During his time there, he spent over a year teaching math in an 8th-grade inclusion/resource setting. He recently moved to North Carolina from Atlanta, where he worked for three years at a therapy center for students with a wide range of physical and intellectual exceptionalities. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, paddleboarding, and playing bass guitar and banjo.
Eric FlorenceExceptional Children's Teacher/Intensive Intervention ClassroomArtspace Charter School
Eric taught in Exceptional Children’s programs for 9 years in McDowell County and for 3 years at Owen High School before coming to ArtSpace in 2015. He has worked in a variety of outdoor recreation and therapeutic programs for people with special needs over the decades. He has a BA in Biology from Albion College in Michigan and has taken graduate classes in Special Education from Western Kentucky and Western Carolina University. He is licensed in Special Education and Biology. He has earned National Board certification in Exceptional Needs Specialist; Early Childhood through Young Adulthood. He enjoys playing with his boys, doing just about anything outdoors, reading, and playing chess.
Amy McDuffieStudent Support CoordinatorArtspace Charter School
Amy joined the ArtSpace staff for the 2014-2015 school year as the second grade teaching Assistant. In the 2015 -2016 school year she changed roles and is working with students with behavioral needs. Amy holds a BA in Psychology and a M.Ed. in Special Education. She has taught in residential treatment facilities as well as 2 other charter schools. She is very excited to be a part of a community that fosters creativity. She loves painting, hiking and spending time with her husband and two children.
Tara ReeseException Children's Teaching AssistantArtspace Charter School
Tara studied Early Childhood Development at McDowell Technical Community College. She has been involved in ArtSpace since its inception: while her husband served on the original Board, she was a co-founder of the ArtSpace parent organization. Tara has worked at ArtSpace for eleven years. A coach in local soccer and baseball associations, she enjoys cooking, her church, and time with family.
Hal SmithExceptional Children’s Teaching AssistantArtspace Charter School
Hal holds a B.A. in History and English Wofford College. He joined the staff in 2003. Hal also coaches the middle school Odyssey of the Mind team each year as well as coaches flag football and soccer for the hospitality league. When not at school Hal enjoys reading, tennis, camping, and photography.
Ms.Terri earned a B.A. in psychology and communicative disorders from San Diego State. She earned an M.A. in education with a focus in special education from UC Riverside. Ms. Teri has worked with children for over 6 years and has experience working with adults with traumatic brain injury. She joined the ArtSpace staff in the 2016-17 school year. In her free time Ms. Teri enjoys spending time with her family hiking, biking and playing games. She also enjoys reading, going to concerts and gardening.
Misty GreenExceptional Children's TeacherArtspace Charter School
Misty earned a B.A. in Communications from Mars Hill College, an M.S. in Human Service specializing in Counseling Studies from Capella University, and received her Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification in Special Education from East Carolina University. Misty previously taught through Buncombe County schools as an exceptional children’s teacher. Prior to teaching Misty worked as a behavioral specialist at a day treatment school for six years. She also has ten years of work experience in the social work, human service, and mental health field working with children and families.
In her spare time, Misty enjoys spending time with her son, family, friends, and dogs. When it is time to relax, she can be found doing yoga, taking walks, reading a book, doing puzzle games, and learning to paint.
Sarah began her teaching career in 1995 as an art teacher in upstate New York after earning her art degree from SUNY Cortland. More recently, she has been a Title I math specialist at the Franklin School of Innovation. Sarah received her teaching licenses in middle grades English and math from UNC Asheville. Sarah is also a professional mindfulness teacher and a non-fiction writer.
Glenda holds a B.S. in Bible and Bible Teaching from Columbia International University and an M.A. in Human Resource Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. She holds NC teaching licensure in Bible (K-12) and in Reading (K-12) and has worked in education for over 15 years. Glenda joined the ArtSpace staff in 2008. She enjoys spending time with her family, travel, reading, and scrapbooking.
Beth WatmanSpeech Language PathologistArtspace Charter School
Ms. Beth earned her degree from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL. Ms. Beth just recently moved to WNC from the Chicago area. She is enjoying the natural beauty and mild winters of the area. She has worked for 37 years with children 3 years -14 years in ages. She also has 13 years experience with children birth to 3 years old. moved here from Chicago about one year ago. She loves this area for the natural beauty and mild winters. She enjoys hiking, jogging, cooking and playing golf.
Tami holds an A.A. in Cultural Studies from Brevard College as well as a B.A. in Foreign Language and Cultural Studies from UNC-Asheville. Tami enjoys traveling abroad and has lived in England, Austria, Italy, and Argentina, and though she grew up in Buffalo, NY and Baltimore, MD she now enjoys the beauty and tranquility that western North Carolina provides. Tami coordinates all AfterCare related programs at ArtSpace as well as teaching the afterschool Pottery class.
Amanda joined the ArtSpace AfterCare staff in August of 2012. She studied at AB Tech before transferring into the English program at UNC-Asheville. Ms Amanda was a nanny for 7 years traveling to Europe and other places in that position. Ms. Amanda also worked with high risk youth in an after school program while in college She is a certified travel and tourism agent, and is a CNA 1. She loves travel, especially in Europe and Africa, gardening, hiking, pottery, and glass art.