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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.