A national benchmark in
Educational excellence through integration of the arts

5-8 Staff

Meet our Fifth through Eighth Grade teachers and teaching assistants.

Marni Rubin-Flanigan Fifth Grade Teacher Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 637

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.

Heather Burrows Fifth Grade Social Studies and Language Arts Teacher Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 619

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 Magidson Fifth Grade and Exceptional Children's Teaching Assistant Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 622

Clay holds a degree in Fine Art from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and is currently pursuing a license in Art and Special Education certification at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Clay joined ArtSpace in 20011 and has worked in the classroom as a teacher assistant, as well as a one on one in our Exceptional Children Program. Clay is also involved in the ArtSpace extracurricular program as both a painting and pottery instructor.

John Hall Sixth Grade Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 611

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 Senior at Catawba College. 

Ian Canary-King Seventh and Eighth Grades Social Studies Teacher Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 648

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 Wheless Seventh and Eighth Grade Language Arts Teacher Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 643

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 Smith Seventh and Eighth Grade Mathematics Teacher Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 636

Megan is in her 6th year teaching math at ArtSpace and co-directs the GRITS after school girls science program.  She 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.  Outside of school Megan is a big fan of backpacking, playing water polo, cooking, and making music.

Nick Rogowski Seventh and Eighth Grade Science Teacher Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 612

Nick has worked in education for 17 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.

Sue Cummings Middle School Teaching Assistant Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 620

Sue holds a B.A. from Montreat College in Liberal Arts, with an emphasis in Bible and a minor in Cross-Cultural Communications.  Sue has been a part of ArtSpace in one way or another from the beginning.  She will be the one opening the door in the morning for morning care.  In her spare time Sue enjoys canoeing and spending time with her wonderful husband Bob.