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.
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.
Ms. Laura has experience teaching math in a residential setting as well as in an alternative high school. She loves to serve the educational needs of uniquely gifted students in non-traditional and innovative settings, which is why she has found a perfect fit and happy home at ArtSpace. Outside of work, Ms. Laura enjoys nature, friends, the idea of one day living in a yurt, and all things mathematics.
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.
Rob SineStudent Support and Exceptional Children CoordinatorArtspace Charter School
Rob started 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. 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 enjoys spending time with his wife, hiking and also plays professionally in a bluegrass band called Blue Wheel Drive that just released their first album.
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.
Jake WareExceptional Children’s Teaching Assistant Grades 6-8Artspace 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.
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.
Terri FletcherExceptional Children's Teacher Grades 4-5Artspace Charter School
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.
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.
Dede KeaslerTitle 1- Assistant Reading TeacherArtspace Charter School
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.
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. I love 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.