Staff

updated 2/6/2014

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


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Alyssa Anderson, Science and Math Curriculum Coach
Penn State University
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Ms. Anderson arrived in Charlotte in 2009 through Teach for America, after graduating from the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University. She taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade at James Martin Middle School, and was the science department chair during her time there. She also works as a Learning Team Leader for Teach for America and a Seminar Leader for Teach Charlotte; both of these positions allow her to coach and train beginning science teachers in their respective programs. Ms. Anderson was excited to join the KIPP staff in 2011 to work with the talented and eager students of KIPP Charlotte.

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Tracey Battle, 5th grade Science
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
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Ms. Battle is a Washington DC native. She graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, NC with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Electronic Media. Ms. Battle is now pursuing a Masters of Art in Teaching at UNC Charlotte. She is looking forward to being a dynamic pulse within the education industry. Ms. Battle joined the team in 2011 and is extremely excited to get to know all of the KIPPsters and their families.


Jahnel Bocus, Registrar
Hampton University
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Ms. Bocus is a native of Brooklyn, New York. In 2008, she graduated from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing. Upon graduating from Hampton University, Ms. Bocus began her career in college admissions, working in both proprietary and non-profit institutions for higher education. Currently, Ms. Bocus is pursuing her Masters of Art in Counseling with a school counseling concentration at Wake Forest University. Ms. Bocus is a proud mother of a 2 year old daughter, and loves traveling and adventurous activities. She joined the team in 2013.


Malcolm Brooks, Assistant Principal of the Upper School
North Carolina A&T State University
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Mr. Brooks is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, with a degree in Public Relations. In 2003, Malcolm joined Teach for America in the Atlanta Region and taught fifth grade for six years. While earning his teaching certification at Agnes Scott College, Mr. Brooks served in many roles at his previous school including grade level chair, local school council member, and intramural sports founder. Mr. Brooks participated in the 2010 KIPP School Leadership Program (Leadership Team) and is the 2011 Teach For America School Director for the Mississippi Delta. He joined the team in 2009. Outside of KIPP, Mr. Brooks enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially his daughter, Moriah.


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Mark Chudzicki, Director of Finance & Operations
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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Originally from upstate New York, Mr. Chudzicki is a seasoned business leader and founder of two high technology software companies with business experience ranging from startup operations to the rigors of a publicly traded company. Consulting for urban homeless service agencies area led to Mr. Chudzicki’s commitment to nonprofit organizations and education. Most recently Mr. Chudzicki cofounded Green Tech High Charter School, an all-boys high school serving 350 students in upstate New York. He joined KIPP Charlotte in 2013.


Tony Crumblin, Facilities Coordinator

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Amanda Dragun, Exception Children teacher
University of South Carolina Upstate
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Ms. Dragun graduated from the University of South Carolina Upstate in 2008 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Elementary Education. After graduating from USC Upstate, Ms. Dragun began her career working one on one with students with autism in Clover, SC. She has also taught Math Intervention in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools district and 2nd grade in the Clover School District. Ms. Dragun is currently working on her graduate degree in Developmental Disabilities. She enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends. Ms. Dragun joined KIPP Charlotte team in 2013.

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Tiffany Flowers, Executive Director
Spelman College
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Ms. Flowers is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia with a degree in Psychology. Upon graduation, Ms. Flowers began teaching 6th and 7th grade Science at KIPP Gaston College Prep in Gaston, NC where she was named First Year Teacher of the Year. Ms. Flowers then moved to Houston and taught 8th grade Social Studies and was the Social Studies Department Chair at KIPP 3D Academy. Ms. Flowers moved to Charlotte to co-found KIPP Charlotte in 2007. In 2008 she was accepted into the very competitive KIPP Principal Prep program and received her masters in Educational Leadership from National Louis University in 2009. Always committed to educating the underserved, Ms. Flowers has dedicated her life to making sure students in Charlotte matriculate to and through college.


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Kama Garrick, Business Office Manager
Arcadia University
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Ms. Garrick is a native of the beautiful Caribbean island of Trinidad. However, she was raised most of her life in Philadelphia, PA. Ms. Garrick received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Arcadia University and is currently seeking her Master’s in Business Administration at Keller Graduate School of Management. Ms. Garrick started her career in the private business sector in 2007 and transitioned to KIPP Philadelphia Schools in 2010. She loves the KIPP culture, the passion for the success of the students, and is thrilled to join the staff of KIPP Charlotte in 2013.


Blake Gilliam, 7th grade English Language Arts
Ohio University
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Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Ms. Gilliam is a proud Bobcat and graduate of Ohio University. In 2010 she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in African American Studies. Shortly after graduating Ms. Gilliam relocated to sunny Los Angeles, California to serve with a national nonprofit organization, City Year, as a tutor, mentor and role model in efforts to tackle the national high school dropout crisis. For the next two years Ms. Gilliam volunteered both in and out of the classroom building relationships with students, parents and community members, which inspired her to pursue a career as a teacher. In 2012 Ms. Gilliam was accepted as a Teach For America Corps Members, relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina and is now proudly serving as a KIPP Charlotte staff member. Ms. Gilliam strongly believes in the power of youth to change the world and looks forward to helping students develop academically and socially.

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R.C. Hyatt, 8th grade Social Studies
University of Central Florida
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Born and raised in Florida, Mr. Hyatt graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in History and a minor in Latin American Studies. He joined Teach For America in 2010 and taught for two years at Garinger High School before joining KIPP Charlotte in 2012. Mr. Hyatt enjoys reading, running, and playing and watching sports in his free time.

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Bridgette Jackson, 6th grade Math
State University of New York at Buffalo
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Ms. Jackson was born in Buffalo, NY. She attended Michigan State and started her undergraduate studies in Astrophysics, and transferred to State University of NY at Buffalo and received her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. She has taught in public, private, alternative, and charter school settings. She has a passion for helping students accelerate into their paths in life to better their lives and the lives of their families. Ms. Jackson is excited to join the KIPP Charlotte team in 2013.


Charles Jones, 6th grade English Language Arts
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
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Mr. Jones is a North Carolina native from Gibsonville, which is located right outside Greensboro. Upon graduating from North Carolina A&T State University with a Bachelor's in Social Work, he joined Teach for America in Charlotte. He joined KIPP Charlotte in 2012 as the 6th grade Social Studies teacher and is eager to challenge the minds of his students by tackling the pillars of the past!


Donna Jordan, School Counselor
Knoxville College
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Ms. Jordan is a native of Virginia. She graduated from Knoxville College in Knoxville, TN with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is currently pursuing a Master in Social Work degree from Winthrop University. Ms. Jordan comes to KIPP Charlotte with over 20 years of mental health experience. She has been providing services at KIPP Charlotte for several years and joined the team and family as the School Counselor in 2013. Ms. Jordan is very passionate about the work that she does and looks forward to helping KIPPsters be the change they want to see in the world.

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Shamar Knight-Justice, 8th grade English Language Arts
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
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Mr. Knight-Justice is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University with a degree in Business Marketing. In 2010, Mr. Knight-Justice joined Teach For America as an English teacher, after developing an interest in education during his later years of college. He taught 12th grade English at Phillip O. Berry Academy, but is energized by the opportunity to join KIPP Charlotte in 2011. Mr. Knight-Justice’s passions include traveling internationally, laughing at ridiculous jokes, and developing students to become future leaders of society.

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Tamiko Lockett, Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator
University of Montevallo | University of Alabama, Birmingham
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Mrs. Lockett is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. She is a graduate of the University of Montevallo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She also earned an MS Degree from the University of Alabama-Birmingham in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Lockett worked as a second grade teacher in the Birmingham Schools district where she was recognized as Teacher of the Year in the district. She also worked as both a classroom teacher and the Instructional Support teacher in the Rochester City School District. Mrs. Lockett has played a leading role in the KIPP Parent Alliance Team at KIPP Charlotte, and joined the KIPP Charlotte staff in the summer of 2013. Education is very dear to her heart, and she looks forward to using her skill set to bring volunteers to the school, utilizing their talents to ensure that KIPPsters receive a rigorous academic curriculum while being given various opportunities to display their character skills to the greater Charlotte community. Mrs. Lockett lives in Charlotte with her husband, two children and their cat, Cheeto.

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Alexandra McPherson, Director of Data Management
University of Virginia
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Mrs. McPherson is from New Kent, Virginia. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Virginia, she relocated to Charlotte in 2008 through Teach for America to teach 6th and 8th grade Science. She taught middle school Science for four years and, during that time, earned her Master’s degree in Middle Grades Education, served as Science department chair and grade level chair, and coached new teachers for Teach For America and Teach Charlotte. She is excited to apply all that she has learned and join the KIPP team as the Director of Data Management in 2012, where she plans to learn even more! Mrs. McPherson lives in South Charlotte with her husband and their shih-tzu, Bella.


Angela Morrow, 7th grade Math
North Carolina Central University
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Ms. Morrow is a native of Shelby, NC. She is a proud class of 2000 magna cum laude graduate of North Carolina Central University, where she earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Mathematics. Upon graduation, Ms. Morrow moved to Atlanta, GA where she worked in the accounting and hospitality industries. In 2002, Ms. Morrow moved to Charlotte and began her career as an educator in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system as a seventh grade Math teacher at Albemarle Road Middle School. For the past six years, Ms. Morrow has taught seventh and eighth grade math, as well as Algebra 1 at James Martin Middle. Ms. Morrow has also served as a Math Facilitator (ARMS), Lead Math Teacher (ARMS & JMMS), Math Department Chairperson (ARMS) and cheerleading coach (ARMS). In her spare time, Ms. Morrow enjoys reading, cooking and dancing. Ms. Morrow is excited to join KIPP Charlotte in 2012 to continue her career as an educator.


Charmayne Morrison, Exceptional Children teacher
UNC Charlotte | East Carolina University
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Ms. Morrison is an Exceptional Children teacher at KIPP Charlotte. She will be working with students in the upper school. Ms. Morrison is certified in Special Education K-12 mild to moderate disabilities, Special Education Language Arts as well as being certified in General Education Middle Grades Language Arts. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. She completed her educational studies at East Carolina University. Ms. Morrison has one son, Matthew, who is completing his PhD at Columbia University. Ms. Morrison is an avid reader and loves to do needle crafts. She joined the KIPP Charlotte family in 2013.

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Tony Neal, Ph. D., Chief Development Officer
Jackson State UniversityI Denison University | Central Michigan University
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Mr. Neal, a native of Memphis, TN, has extensive fundraising and leadership experience with United Way and UNCF. Mr. Neal’s most recently served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Bennett College in Greensboro. His responsibilities included fund development, alumni affairs, marketing and communication. During his stint at Bennett College (2009-2012) contributions to the annual fund increased from $3 million to $4.3 million and the percentage of alumni giving increased from 17% to 25%. Mr. Neal also solicited and secured the largest individual cash gift in the institution’s history ($1 million). Mr. Neal has a Doctorate of Philosophy Degree in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University (MS), a master’s degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University and a Bachleor's degree in Economics from Denison University (OH). A fervent Atlanta Falcon’s fan, Mr. Neal also enjoys fishing and weight lifting. He joined the team in 2013.

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Claudia Ollivierre, Director of KIPP Through College
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University | George Washington University
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Ms. Ollivierre is a Charlotte native and attended the first open magnet school programs in the area (Irwin Elementary, Piedmont Middle, and West Charlotte High School). She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from North Carolina A&T State University and completed her paralegal training at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. While working as a corporate Paralegal, Ms. Ollivierre had the opportunity to volunteer at a nearby school. Her volunteer work and her experiences as a student of open schools sparked a passion for innovative approaches to teaching and learning that led her to a career change in education and family advocacy. Since that time, Ms. Ollivierre has worked with The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, ECAC/Parent Partners, Charlotte Advocates for Education, CMS Parent University, among others. She is excited to join the team at KIPP Charlotte in 2012 and to have the opportunity to support students and families through the high school and college process.


Rachel Oyola, 6th grade Writing
Metropolitan College of New York
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Ms. Oyola is a graduate of Metropolitan College of New York with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. Upon graduating, she joined Teach For America and made the move to the Tar Heel state. She taught at Thomasboro Elementary School in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools system for two years before joining the KIPP Charlotte family in 2009. In the summer of 2011, she expanded her mission to eliminate educational inequality to a global scale and spent 6 months teaching in Cambodia. She returned to the KIPP Charlotte family with a renewed passion for helping Charlotte's children discover the supernova within.

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Sarah Paine, 6th grade Social Studies
Princeton University
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Ms. Paine is a graduate of Princeton University, majoring in History with certificates in Teacher Preparation and The Study of Women and Gender. After graduation Ms. Paine spent time working in advertising in New York City before returning to her passion for education. She student taught in Trenton, NJ before joining North Star Academy in Newark, NJ. At North Star Ms. Paine intensified her love of teaching, specifically instruction of world history and culture. She relocated to Charlotte in 2013 and is so excited to join the KIPP family.


Aaron Pomis, Assistant Principal of the Lower School, Dean of Instruction
University of Illinois at Urbana
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Mr. Pomis earned a BS in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1996 and then worked as an award-winning research chemist and an elected member of a local school council. Mr. Pomis joined Teach For America in 2002, where he taught 7th and 8th grade science in Durham, NC. Afterwards, Mr. Pomis became a program director for Teach For America - Charlotte, helping nearly 200 teachers find success teaching in high poverty communities in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Mr. Pomis was the founding science teacher at KIPP Charlotte in 2007, and for two years his science students at KIPP Charlotte performed in the top 10% of all 5th grade science students across North Carolina. In 2010, he became Chief Accountability Officer and managed school-wide data while still teaching one class of science. In 2011, Mr. Pomis became the Dean of Instruction, and is now the Assistant Principal of the Lower School, supporting all students and teachers in the 5th and 6th grade.

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Shayna Quilty, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Ms. Quilty graduated in 2009 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she double majored in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies. As an undergraduate she studied abroad in China, Peru, and Thailand. After graduation she took advantage of opportunities to travel to Turkey and South Korea. In addition to traveling, Ms. Quilty also enjoys Carolina basketball, photography, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family. She came to KIPP Charlotte as an intern in 2010 and became a full time team member a few months later. Ms. Quilty grew up in Charlotte and is thrilled to be working in the movement to close the achievement gap in her hometown.

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Matt Rankin, English and Social Studies Curriculum Coach
UNC Charlotte
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Mr. Rankin is a Charlotte native and attended UNC Charlotte for his undergraduate studies. He taught 6th and 7th grades at James Martin Middle School, where he was the social studies department chair and school leadership team chair. He also taught 7th and 8th grade at Ashley Park PreK-8. During his time there he completed the Emerging Leaders Program through New Leaders for New Schools. He is currently attending Columbia University’s Summer Principals Program and aspires to become a future school leader. He is excited to work with KIPP Charlotte students to push student achievement in the language arts and social studies departments. He joined the KIPP Charlotte family in 2013.

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Kyle Schermbeck, 5th grade Math
Appalachian State University
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Mr. Schermbeck is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in Public Relations. He joined the KIPP Charlotte team and family in January 2013 as a Teaching Fellow, serving the 5th graders. Mr. Schermbeck, a 2013 Teach For America Corps Member, began as a full-time 5th grade math teacher with KIPP Charlotte beginning in June 2013. He is eager to build his pedagogy skills and knowledge about urban education while helping students become confident in their abilities and desires to make the world a better place, and excited to join a team that is incredibly mission oriented. In Mr. Schermbeck’s free time, he enjoys running, photography, spending time with friends and family, fine dining, and good books.


Brittany Schwikert, Spanish
University of Michigan
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Ms. Schwikert originally hails from Michigan and is a proud 2012 graduate of the University of Michigan where she studied Spanish and International Studies. Ms. Schwikert has always maintained a strong passion for diversity in cultures and languages and spent a semester studying abroad in Valencia, Spain and also interned for two months in the Czech Republic. Her desire to spread the beauty and power of the Spanish language led her to join the 2012 Teach for America Corps as a middle school Spanish teacher. Ms. Schwikert is ecstatic to start a new adventure in North Carolina and work towards developing the most well rounded students in Charlotte!


Leonders Spencer, Facilities


Dexter O. Stroman, Health and Physical Education
North Carolina Agricultural &Technical State University
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Mr. Stroman is originally from Bennettsville, South Carolina. Mr. Stroman graduated from North Carolina A&T State University (NC A&T), earning his Bachelor's in Psychology (2007) and Master's in Adult Education (2010). Mr. Stroman is currently working on his doctorate for Higher Education Leadership at Walden University. Before joining the KIPP team in 2012, Mr. Stroman was a collegiate football coach and also a residence hall director for NC A&T. Mr. Stroman enjoys working with students from different demographic backgrounds, developing and impacting the lives of those he meets, and working with a team who has a shared mission of success. In his free time, Mr. Stroman spends time watching sports and relaxing with his wife and his dog, Rocket.

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Katherine Van Heidrich, 5th grade English Language Arts
Brown University
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Ms. Van Heidrich is a proud graduate of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island where she studied Africana Studies and Religious Studies. She joined the KIPP Charlotte family in the summer of 2012 as a KIPP Through College office intern and is now teaching 5th grade reading as a 2013 Teach for America corps member. She is proud to be a part of such a dynamic team and looks forward to working with students to develop a true passion for reading and writing. In her spare time, Ms. Van Heidrich likes to read, eat great food and travel.


Janitra Venkatesan, 8th grade Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Ms. Venkatesan is a 2012 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied Psychology and minored in both Biology and Chemistry. While in school, Ms. Venkatesan volunteered with UNC Hospitals and completed an honors thesis in Psychology. She also is a big fan of Carolina Basketball (Go Heels!). Originally from Bombay, India, she has lived in Greensboro, NC since 1996. In her spare time, Ms. Venkatesan loves to spend time with her loved ones, enjoys listening to music and is learning to knit. She comes to KIPP Charlotte through Teach for America in 2012 and is very excited to be working in her favorite state!

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Rashid Williams, Associate Director of KIPP Through College
Florida State University | the Interdenominational Theological Center
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Mr. Williams is from Miami, FL. He graduated from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Real Estate. He also gained a Masters of Divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA. In 2009 Mr. Williams joined Teach For America and taught 7th grade Social Studies for two years at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Charlotte, NC. He joined KIPP Charlotte in 2011, and in the 2011-2012 school year he taught Seventh and Eighth grade History. He is excited to change roles within the KIPP Charlotte team and family and become the Associate Director of KIPP Through College.


Philana Woods, 8th grade Math
North Carolina Central University
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Ms. Woods, who is a native of Greensboro, came to Charlotte in January 2000 to teach middle school mathematics in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system. After graduating from North Carolina Central University with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Ms. Woods was extremely determined in teaching 6th grade mathematics, as math is her passion. While working at Albemarle Road Middle and Martin L. King, Jr. Middle School, Ms. Woods not only served as a classroom teacher, but also earned her Masters of Education in Curriculum & Supervision while serving in various leadership positions and an advisor/coach for several student extracurricular activities. She is also very service oriented as she is an active member of the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a local Girl Scouts of America chapter. After taking a “break” from the classroom in 2010, she has continued her work in the education field but has decided to return to the classroom, thus joining the KIPP Charlotte family in 2013, driven and looking forward to the experience.

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Karen Young, School Leader
Boston College | City College
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Ms. Young graduated from Boston College with a degree in Elementary and Special Education, and a minor in Spanish. Ms. Young began her teaching career in the New York City Public School System. While teaching in New York City, Ms. Young earned her Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from City College. Ms. Young is a veteran teacher and has taught grades K-8. In 2005, she was named Charlotte - Mecklenburg Teacher of the Year. In addition to being a general education classroom teacher, Ms. Young has experience in Title I Reading, Gifted and Talented Program, and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Ms. Young is an active teacher and performer of African dance. Ms. Young was the founding English Language Arts teacher at KIPP Charlotte in 2007. In 2010 she became the Dean of Students and Title I Coordinator. In 2011 she became the Assistant Principal of School Culture. In 2012 she became the Assistant Principal of the Upper School. In 2013 she was promoted to School Leader.


Meshiyah Young, 7th & 8th grade Technology
Saint Augustine's University | Strayer University
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Mrs. Young is originally from the Bronx, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Saint Augustines's University (formerly College) in Raleigh, North Carolina and her Master's in Educational Technology from Strayer University. She worked in Guyana, South America at Georgetown International Academy, an American Overseas School, where she wore many hats which included: media specialist, faculty representative to the board of directors, the faculty representative to AASSA the Association of American Schools in South America just to name a few. She joined the team and family in 2013.


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Lauren Zachary, 5th grade Social Studies
Williams College
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Ms. Zachary is originally from the lovely Queens, New York. However, she mostly grew up in splendid South Carolina. Ms. Zachary attended Williams College in Williamstown, MA where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies with a concentration in Race, Ethnicity, and Diaspora Studies. Ms. Zachary loves reading about American History, especially African American history and literature. Ms. Zachary started her career as a 2012 Teach for America Corps member. She is now excited and fired up to be joining the KIPP Charlotte family in 2013 and looks forward to encouraging students to be passionate about social causes and challenging students to understand history. In her free time Ms. Zachary enjoys watching sports (specifically tennis, basketball, and football), eating, reading, and spending time with her family.