A national benchmark in
Educational excellence through integration of the arts

Special Programs Staff

Meet our Special Programs Staff.

Lucy Sawyer Assistant Director: Grades 5-8 and Exceptional Children Program Director Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 305

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.

Michael Barfield Physical Education Specialist and Exceptional Children’s Assistant Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 638

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.

Adina Arden-Cooper School Counselor Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 323

Adina Arden-Cooper has been at ArtSpace since 2008. She holds a B.A. in English and Photography and an M.A.Ed. in School Counseling. She has North Carolina professional teaching licensure in School Counseling and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and an accredited Triple P Parenting Program provider. Prior to serving ArtSpace, Adina worked as a School Counselor and a School Based Therapist. Additionally, she worked as a Teaching Assistant for a K-2 classroom, and in After School programs, serving children Pre-K through 8th grades. She completed a term of service with AmeriCorps Project Power, tutoring students in literacy and teaching anger management, conflict resolution and service learning.

In her spare time, Adina creates various types of visual art. She also loves to write and is an avid reader. She enjoys the great outdoors and loves to travel, listen to music, and explore the universe.
If you would like to find out more about counseling program at ArtSpace follow this link.

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Dede Keasler Exceptional Children’s Teacher Grades K-3 Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 306

Dede has been at ArtSpace since 2007. She has worked with children for more than 15 years. Her earlier experiences include various summer camps including a camp for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Director of Recreation at Lake Royale and 10 years in the Wake County Public School System. She holds a B.S. in Recreation Administration from Wingate College and Special Education Certification from Western Carolina University. She enjoys interior design, home remodeling, watching movies and spending time with her dogs.

Rob Sine Exceptional Children’s Teacher Grades 6-8 Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 635

Rob started at ArtSpace in 2011. He earned a B.S. in Speech Communication from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and is earned his alternative licensure  Western Carolina University. Mr. Rob has worked as a behavioral facilitator in Virginia and Pennsylvania.  He has also worked as Assistant Program Director for Talisman Summer Camps for Children with Autism. Rob is recently married, enjoys hiking and also plays professionally in a bluegrass band called Blue Wheel Drive that just released their first album.

Eric Florence Exceptional Children's Teacher/Intensive Intervention Classroom Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 613

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 McDuffie Student Support Coordinator Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 604

Amy joined the ArtSpace staff for the 2014-2015 school year as the second grade teaching Assistant. This year she has changed roles and will be 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 Reese Exception Children's Teaching Assistant Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 633

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.

Jake Ware Exceptional Children’s Teaching Assistant Grades 6-8 Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 624

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.

Hal Smith Exceptional Children’s Teaching Assistant Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 618

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.

Terri Fletcher-Frye Exceptional Children's Teacher Grades 4-5 Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787 Ext.627

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 for 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.

Glenda Brouwer Title I Coordinator and Teacher Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 621

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.

Christie Kendall Title 1 - Reading Specialist Artspace Charter School

Ms. Christie joined the ArtSpace staff in the 2016-17 school year. Ms. Christie graduated from Columbia International University in South Carolina. She has years of experience working with children of all age.  She has facilitated cross-cultural teams to Central America and Eastern Europe, worked as a dorm parent in a middle school boys dorm at an international boarding school in Kenya and as a youth ministry counselor.    In her spare time she enjoys reading, thrift shopping and spending time with her family which includes a growing number of grandchildren.

Beth Watman Speech Language Pathologist Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787

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.  I love this area for the natural beauty and mild winters.  She enjoys hiking, jogging, cooking and playing golf.

Tami Magidson After Care Coordinator Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 646

Tami holds an A.A. in Foreign Language Studies from Brevard College and a B.A. in Foreign Language with a concentration on Spanish Language and Culture from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She enjoys making pottery, fishing, and four-wheeling with her husband.

Amanda Annarino After Care Staff Artspace Charter School
Phone: 828.298.2787, ext 646

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.