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MEET OUR TEAM

Home / About Us / Meet Our Team

Our faculty and staff consist of certified teachers, licensed social workers and family counselors, among other dedicated professionals. GSA is designed to connect vulnerable youth and their families to the necessary set of resources, from psychological services and family support to academic tutors and community mentors. Our goal is to accelerate remediation and academic advancement, enrich the learning experience of NC Common Core Standards and promote personal health, financial literacy and global awareness through our interdisciplinary curriculum.

Meet our Leadership Team

Head of School

DR. ANDREA CARROLL

Favorite Color:Grey

Managing Director

BRITTANY CURRY

Birthday:25-Aug

Hometown:Atlanta, GA

Undergraduate School:Hampton University

Graduate School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Years of Experience:Years of Experience :11 Years

Family Life:I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia – the oldest of two girls. My mother was a teacher and my father, an entrepreneur. I am a dog mom to an energetic Cocker Spaniel, Dylan.

What I Wish was True for Every Child:The right to education is as fundamental and universal as the right to food and clean water. Every child has a unique gift that is theirs and theirs alone to give to the universe. That gift could be the one to solve world hunger, terminal diseases, global warming – we can’t afford for any child to not be encouraged to find, cultivate and share that gift.

Favorite Color:Grey

Favorite Subject:English

Favorite Vacation Spot:Anguilla, but really anywhere with a beautiful beach!

Assistant Head of School

EBONI ALEXANDER

Birthday:Jan 23

Hometown:New Bern, NC

Undergraduate School:Barton College

Graduate School:University of Phoenix

Years of Experience:16

Fun Fact:Duke is always #1!

Favorite Color:Blue

Favorite Subject:Math

Favorite Vacation Spot:Beach

Meet our Faculty & Staff

GSA teachers and staff receive ongoing training on: evidence-based best practices for engaging students, thoughtful use of benchmark assessments, behavioral support, and progress monitoring among others.

Teachers’ sustained engagement in and disciplined execution of strategies that improve student readiness for learning are the hallmarks of GSA’s education philosophy. The entire staff is equipped to act on GSA’s brand promise to parents: students are guaranteed protection, affection, correction, and connections; and these core values are integrated in a school-wide model of collective ambition to succeed academically and in other walks of life.

GSA is the only laboratory school in North Carolina focused on developing teachers that can meet the unique needs of vulnerable youth and encouraging holistic student achievement through personal health, academic, and entrepreneurial education.

K-8 Faculty

3rd Grade Teacher and BT Coordinator

ANITRA WILLIAMS

Birthday:June 27th

Hometown:Roseboro, North Carolina

Undergraduate School:NCCU

Graduate School:NCCU

Years of Experience:32

Career Accomplishments:National Board Certified Teacher

Dreams/Career Goals:To positively impact students to be life-long learners and successful productive citizens into adulthood

Family Life:I have been married to my wonderful husband, David Williams, for 36 years and we have two beautiful daughters, Kristle and Ashley, who are both married with two amazing children each! I enjoy spending time with family and traveling. We do it as often as possible!

Fun Fact:As a child I said when I grow up, I want to be one of the Supremes so I sing in class as often as possible especially when teaching various concepts. It helps students remember more!

Teaching Philosophy:All children can and will learn when you find how they learn BEST! It is important to bring the excitement and energy of what you are teaching so that your students reciprocate that energy and are motivated to learn.

What I wish were true for Every Child:I wish every child had a teacher who genuinely loved teaching and cared about each student. It is true that students don’t care what you know until they know that you care. I also wish every child’s needs were met so that they could focus on learning only and not where the next meal will come from and what kind of evening and morning they will have when they go home. I wish they were all just stress free and could enjoy being a child!

Favorite Food:shrimp prepared any way

Favorite Color:red

Favorite Song:Oh Give Thanks Unto the Lord

Favorite Book:Bible

Favorite Subject:Math

Favorite Vacation Spot:The Beach!

Favorite Quote:All things work together for good. Rm 8:28

1st Grade

CRYSTAL BELCHER

Kindergarten Teacher

JENNA GOLDBERG

Birthday:3/11/88

Hometown:Bayside, NY

Undergraduate School:Union Institute and University

Graduate School:Union Institute and University

Years of Experience:6

Dreams/Career Goals:I’d love to continue working with children as a coach or in administration.

Family Life:My parents live in Raleigh with my dog and cat.

Fun Fact:I teach Hebrew School and I host music bingo shows.

Teaching Philosophy:Children learn best by playing and exploring. They have the ability to drive their own education.

What I wish were true for Every Child:Every child belongs with their family and deserves only happiness and love.

Favorite Food:Pizza

Favorite Color:Purple

Favorite Song:Second Time Around- Modena

Favorite Book:The Giving ree

Favorite Subject:History

Favorite Vacation Spot:Disney World!

Favorite Quote:I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me.

4th grade teacher

SHARON WATFORD

Birthday:April 6

Hometown:Winston-Salem, NC

Undergraduate School:North Carolina Central University

Graduate School:North Carolina Central University

Years of Experience:41

Career Accomplishments:Teacher Of The Year (3 times), coordinator of DURO (Duke University Retirees Organization), selected to participate in Duke-Durham Spanish LEAP Program to study Spanish at Duke University and La Union Spanish School and cultural immersion in Antigua, Guatemala, Odyssey of the Mind Coach, mentor teacher, Science Fair facilitator/coordinator, coordinator for Project Excellence ( community service initiative with North Carolina Central University, proud to have a trail in Duke Forest named in my honor because of countless hours spent teaching authentic science to students: The Sharon Watford Trail. Most of all, I have positively impacted the lives of countless students entrusted to me; many of which reach out to tell me what a difference I made in their learning and lives.

Dreams/Career Goals:The best is yet to come!

Family Life:Wife and mother of 2 amazing adult children

Fun Fact:Music takes me away! I love playing board games

Teaching Philosophy:Be the teacher you needed! facilitate thinking, engage minds, listen to questions, encourage risks, support struggle, cultivate dreams, learn everyday.

What I wish were true for Every Child:That they are prepared for the path.

Favorite Food:All seafood

Favorite Color:orange

Favorite Song:The Greatest Love of All, Man In The Mirror

Favorite Book:Children’s book: What Do You Do With A Chance

Favorite Subject:Social Studies

Favorite Vacation Spot:Beach and mountains

Favorite Quote:I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me! Life is about using the whole box of crayons!

3rd grade teacher

CYNTHIA COWARD

Birthday:January 31

Hometown:Chocowinity, NC

Undergraduate School:East Carolina University

Graduate School:East Carolina University

Years of Experience:14

Career Accomplishments:I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Masters of Teaching

Family Life:I have 5 older siblings and enjoy spending time with my large family. I come from a family of educators. I enjoy traveling the world, and eating good food!

Fun Fact:I love to Salsa!!!

Teaching Philosophy:“My philosophy of education is one that strongly believes every child is uniquely capable and deserves an equitable education where they are challenged and engaged in relevant, rigorous, and meaningful learning each day. As a teacher I am passionate about providing a safe, caring, and nurturing environment to ensure that every child is a successful learner, has experiences that promote growth, and help students reach their full potential.”

What I wish were true for Every Child:Education was equitable

Favorite Food:I’m a foodie so I love all types of food.

Favorite Color:Purple

Favorite Vacation Spot:Caribbean, Tropical

Favorite Quote:Be Careful how you live, You may be the only bible someone will ever read. -anonymous

5th Grade Teacher

LAKEISHA HOLLIDAY

Birthday:August 14, 1978

Hometown:Oklahoma City

Undergraduate School:Ashford University

Graduate School:University of Phoenix

Years of Experience:14

Career Accomplishments:Teacher of the Year, Nomination for Rookie of the Year

Dreams/Career Goals:Dream is to sing on Broadway/Get my licensure in all the levels of schooling so I can assisting in molding the minds of all students from Pre-K and into the college level. .

Family Life:I have 2 boys and a poodle name Minnie

Fun Fact:My favorite place to sing at is in the gymnasium and there usually musicals!

Teaching Philosophy:To simply teach from the heart, while allowing students to unfold in their own learning experiences and guide them so their not only capable of learning but also capable of success.

What I wish were true for Every Child:That they would have the constant passion to knock down every door that is presented to them, and to never give up no matter the circumstances.

Favorite Food:Crab legs and lobster

Favorite Color:Turqoise

Favorite Song:I’m a Champion by Nav and Travis Scott

Favorite Book:Charlottes Web

Favorite Subject:Mathematics

Favorite Vacation Spot:Paris or the Beach

Favorite Quote:What defines us is how we rise after falling.

6-8 Social Studies Teacher

ERIN ZAMBORSKY

Birthday:December 4th

Hometown:Saratoga Springs, NY

Undergraduate School:Vassar College

Graduate School:None

Years of Experience:8

Career Accomplishments:I published a paper in Unboxed (online PBL magazine) about a project that I did at Voyager Academy. I have won internal project awards as well.

Dreams/Career Goals:I would like to complete a masters degree in Library science.

Family Life:I have a husband and a three-year-old

Fun Fact:I have traveled to over 10 countries.

Teaching Philosophy:I believe in PBL and giving students a foundation in 21st century skills. I enjoy collaborating with my peers to express to students that each subject does not exist in a vacuum. The skills it takes to analyze and synthesize information are the most important tools that students can learn.

What I wish were true for Every Child:I wish that every child was given the foundation that they need to succeed in the world beyond school.

Favorite Food:Sushi

Favorite Color:Blue

Favorite Song:“Home (This Must be the Place)” by Talking Heads

Favorite Book:High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Favorite Subject:History and Geography

Favorite Vacation Spot:Anywhere there is cold mountains and snow or something historical to see.

Favorite Quote:“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” ― Confucius

6-8 Math Teacher

GWENDOLYN JACKSON-TAYLOR

Birthday:November 11

Hometown:Ahoskie, NC

Undergraduate School:North Carolina Central University

Years of Experience:30

Teaching Philosophy:To touch a cild os to touch a life.

What I wish were true for Every Child:To become a productive citizen and work in a career that involves doing what they love.

Favorite Food:Snow Crab Legs

Favorite Color:Purple

Favorite Book:Native Son

Favorite Subject:Math

Favorite Vacation Spot:Beach

Favorite Quote:“If excellence is possible; then good is not enough!”

Science Teacher

KENNESE BASS

Birthday:May 1st

Hometown:Oakland, CA

Undergraduate School:Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University

Years of Experience:5

Teaching Philosophy:I believe that all children are unique and have something special that they can bring to their own education. I will assist my students to express, accept and embrace the desire to inquire and awaken the scientist within!

Favorite Food:Thai and Mexican Food

Favorite Color:Neon Green

Favorite Subject:Science

Favorite Vacation Spot:Belize

Favorite Quote:“Each one, Teach one”.

Kindergarten Instruction Assistant

CHRISTANNA GRIFFIN-CRADLE

Birthday:February 29

Hometown:Durham, NC

Undergraduate School:North Carolina Central University

Years of Experience:15

Dreams/Career Goals:To leave a positive life changing memory with every child I encounter.

Family Life:I have been married to my highschool sweetheartf for almost Thirteen years. We have two wonderful sons, BJ who is four years old and Carson who is one year old.

Fun Fact:I have won several bowing championships and tournaments.

Teaching Philosophy:All children are unique and simply need a stimulating environment to grow socially, mentally and emotionally.

What I wish were true for Every Child:I wish that every child could achieve good health, happiness, a loving family and friends, an education, and a bright future in a peaceful sustainable world.

Favorite Food:Pasta

Favorite Color:Purple

Favorite Song:Made a Way- Travis Greene

Favorite Book:Becoming- Michelle Obama

Favorite Subject:ELA

Favorite Vacation Spot:Jamaica

Favorite Quote:“Mistakes are just an apprenticeship to achievement”

2nd Grade Instructional Assistant

VALERIE MCNEIL

Birthday:November 5th.

Hometown:Durham, NC.

Undergraduate School:Louisburg College

Years of Experience:15

Dreams/Career Goals:To someday become a motivational speaker & life coach.

Family Life:Mother of 2 & VMa of 1

Fun Fact:I love Haribo Gummy Bears!

Teaching Philosophy:Build a relationship with your Scholars & watch the magic happen!

What I wish were true for Every Child:That they have equal learning opportunities

Favorite Food:Seafood

Favorite Color:Sky Blue

Favorite Song:Love by Musiq.

Favorite Book:The Strength In Our Scars

Favorite Subject:Music/ELA

Favorite Vacation Spot:The Mountains

Favorite Quote:Knowledge is Power!

Instructional Assistant, 1st Grade

WILLISHIA BETTIS FARRINGTON

Birthday:19-Jan

Hometown:Greenville, MS

Undergraduate School:University of Mississippi

Instructional Assistant

CAMERON HALL

Birthday:May 17th, 1995

Hometown:Greenville, NC

Undergraduate School:North Carolina Central University

Graduate School:North Carolina Central University (currently enrolled)

Years of Experience:1

Career Accomplishments:Just getting started

Dreams/Career Goals:Graduate graduate school to pursue a career in Psychology. Write and direct a movie, retire before 40 and focus on a lucrative passion. Fulfill God’s purpose for me.

Family Life:4 wonderful nieces and nephews. SINGLE (for now)

Fun Fact:my car is purple

Teaching Philosophy:When teaching it is important to engage multiple senses to motivate retention of the information being taught. Genuine care builds the trust between the student and the teacher, creating a space where learning is fun and enjoyable, not a task.

What I wish were true for Every Child:Firm guidance and care

Favorite Food:Spaghetti

Favorite Color:Green

Favorite Song:Odd Sweaters 1992 – Retch

Favorite Book:One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Favorite Subject:History

Favorite Vacation Spot:Switzerland

Favorite Quote:Just keep swimming – Dory

Instructional Assistant, 4th/5th Grade

JACQUES WRIGHT

Specials Teachers

Media Specialist

EUGENIA ROGERS

ESL Teacher

MAGDALENA PIZARRO

Birthday:October 7

Hometown:San Juan

Undergraduate School:University of Puerto Rico

Graduate School:Interamerican University

Years of Experience:20

Family Life:Mother of two adult children (Boy and Girl)

Teaching Philosophy:Teachers should work on the development of their students’s social growth instilling cultural values and encouraging mutual respect and good citizenship. They should develop each student’s intellect, and students should be challenged to critically analyze different perspectives. Equal education opportunity should be given to all students. Students should be exposed to a diversity of cultures, beliefs and ethnicity. These values will provide our younger generations awareness of current problems and better understanding of themselves to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s society.

What I wish were true for Every Child:That they understand that education is more than just a privilege; it’s an innate right of every human being and that they should exercise this right.

Favorite Food:Mofongo con Carne Frita y Sancocho

Favorite Color:Black

Favorite Song:Wind Beneath My Wings

Favorite Book:Ilusiones de Richard Bach

Favorite Subject:Spanish

Favorite Vacation Spot:Italy

Favorite Quote:“Para que nada nos amarre que no nos una nada”. de Pablo Neruda

STEAM Teacher

RACHEL PERSON

Mandarin Teacher

JEANE CARPENTER

Art Teacher

LINDA CATO

Birthday:December 25

Hometown:Brooklyn, NY

Undergraduate School:University of Arizona

Years of Experience:15

Career Accomplishments:Reflecting on all that I have learned from the youth and mentors I have worked with along the way and using that knowledge to grow as an educator and artist

Dreams/Career Goals:To use creativity to change the world

Family Life:Blessed with 4 creative and fun children (now young adults) and enjoy watching them use their superpowers to impact the world

Fun Fact:Spent 5 years living in North Africa

Teaching Philosophy:Love and Empathy

What I wish were true for Every Child:Love, understanding, acceptance, along with a safe and sustainable world.

Favorite Food:Middle Eastern and Mediterranean

Favorite Color:Indigo

Favorite Song:A Love Supreme by John Coltrane and A Hard Rains Gonna Fall by Bob Dylan

Favorite Book:Collected Works by Pablo Neruda

Favorite Subject:Life

Favorite Vacation Spot:Anywhere in nature

Favorite Quote:We rise by lifting others.

PE Teacher

STEFAN LIOTCHEV

Birthday:March 21, 1990

Hometown:Durham, NC

Undergraduate School:Queens University of Charlotte

Graduate School:UNC Wilmington

Years of Experience:3

Family Life:I live with my fiancee’ and our two cats!

Fun Fact:I ran collegiately in track and cross country

Teaching Philosophy:I am a student centered teacher focused on teaching through encouraging students to problem solve using their critical thinking skills and interacting with their peers.

Favorite Food:Pizza and Mexican (it’s a tie)

Favorite Color:Duke Blue

Favorite Song:Too many to choose from!

Favorite Book:Fahrenheit 451

Favorite Subject:Physical Education!

Favorite Vacation Spot:Anywhere where there is sand and water nearby!

Favorite Quote:“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” -Steve Prefontaine

Guidance Counselors

5-8 Grades School Counselor

LAKEISHA THOMAS

Birthday:January 13th

Hometown:Surry, VA

Undergraduate School:Old Dominion University

Graduate School:Virginia Commonwealth University

Years of Experience:3

Dreams/Career Goals:To be the best version of me!

Family Life:My husband and I are newlyweds.We recently moved to North Carolina. We love to laugh and enjoy life 🙂

Fun Fact:I love to cook!

What I wish were true for Every Child:I wish that every child had access to education, clean water, nutritious food and clothing. Also, to be loved unconditionally and know that their dreams can be reality.

Favorite Food:Fried Crabs

Favorite Color:Purple

Favorite Song:India Arie – Beautiful Flower

Favorite Book:Unable to narrow it down to just one

Favorite Subject:Math

Favorite Vacation Spot:Anywhere with great food and warm weather!

Favorite Quote:“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

K-4 Grades Counselor

LESLI BRYANT

Birthday:6/12/89

Hometown:Thomasville, NC

Undergraduate School:East Carolina University

Graduate School:Liberty University

Years of Experience:8

Dreams/Career Goals:My dreams are to travel more to see the world and one day continue my education and earn a Ph. D degree in Counseling!

Family Life:I have a wonderful husband of 4 years, a 15 month old son named Nolan and two big fur babies, Kobe and Wooly.

Fun Fact:I got married in Mexico and have traveled to South America!

What I wish were true for Every Child:To know that they are loved and cared for and that they have the potential to do anything!

Favorite Food:French fries

Favorite Color:Teal

Favorite Vacation Spot:Anywhere tropical

EC Team & Behavioral Support

EC Teacher

AMBER WILSON

EC Teacher

ROCHELLE JACKSON

EC Teacher

TONYA JACKSON

Birthday:July 19, 1968

Hometown:Dayton, Ohio

Undergraduate School:Bennett College of Greensboro

Graduate School:North Carolina Central University

Years of Experience:12

Dreams/Career Goals:Create a Not-For-Profit Adult Literacy Center

Family Life:1 daughter

Fun Fact:Even though I am often thought of as being “too serious,” I love to have fun.

Teaching Philosophy:Sometimes you have to go back to the basics.

What I wish were true for Every Child:I wish that parents of every child would take the education of their child seriously.

Favorite Food:Pizza

Favorite Color:Orange

Favorite Song:Love Supreme

Favorite Book:If Beale Streets Could Talk-James Baldwin

Favorite Subject:English/Reading

Favorite Vacation Spot:Miami

Favorite Quote:“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves”-Malcolm X

ISS

ELTON O’NEAL

Birthday:March 12

Undergraduate School:North Carolina Central University

Graduate School:North Carolina Central University

Years of Experience:43

Career Accomplishments:Outstanding Young Educator, First Principal of Lakeview School

Dreams/Career Goals:Have been fulfilled

Teaching Philosophy:All students can be successful

What I wish were true for Every Child:An earnest yearn for learning

Favorite Food:Cookies, Cakes, and Pies

Favorite Color:Navy Blue

Favorite Song:What a Friend we have in Jesus

Favorite Book:The Holy Bible

Favorite Subject:Anything relating to the Holy scriptures

Favorite Vacation Spot:Myrtle Beach

Favorite Quote:If I can help somebody as I travel along, then my living will not be in vain

Child Nutrition

School Nutrition Data Manager

BETTIE LYONS

Birthday:15-Mar

Hometown:St. Louis, Mo.

Undergraduate School:North Carolina Central University

Cafeteria Manager

LINDA WILLIAMS

Office Staff

Office Manager

AMY NOBLE

Birthday:4/19

Hometown:Asheboro, NC

Undergraduate School:Appalachian State University

Graduate School:N/A

Years of Experience:24

Career Accomplishments:Over the course of 24 years, my career has spanned newspaper, corporate sales, software, and healthcare industries holding positions as copywriter, editor, course designer, instructional designer, and communications manager. Now, I am the Office Manager at GSA.

Dreams/Career Goals:I would love to travel the world, fill our GSA library full of books, and inspire and encourage others to dream big dreams!

Family Life:My parents both worked in the school system – my father as a teacher and administrator and my mother as a child nutritionist. While I was in college, they went into full-time children’s ministry. I have one older sister and she is a social worker. I also have a wonderful brother-in-law and an amazing nephew and niece!

Fun Fact:I love to travel and have been to all 50 states.

Teaching Philosophy:Encourage, inspire, dream big dreams

What I wish were true for Every Child:“We are dreamers! We are scholars! We believe in the impossible. We are not defined by circumstances… But instead by our ability to achieve greatness. We will overcome economic, societal, and language barriers. We are the next generation of medical, technical, educational, and business professionals To shape our community, our state, and our world. We are the Global Scholars Academy Eagles and failure is not an option. “

Favorite Food:Italian, Korean, Mexican

Favorite Color:Magenta

Favorite Song:“Overcomer” by Mandisa

Favorite Book:The Mitford Series by Jan Karon

Favorite Subject:Math and Creative Writing

Favorite Vacation Spot:Prince Edward Island!

Favorite Quote:“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

School Accountant

JAMIE NOBLES

Hometown:Durham

Undergraduate School:East Carolina

IT Administrator

JASON PRINCE

Marketing Coordinator

KARIS BATTLE

Birthday:August 24

Hometown:Raleigh

Undergraduate School:North Carolina A&T State University

Graduate School:Academy of Art University

Fun Fact:I love everything about FASHION! I’m also a freelance wardrobe stylist

What I wish were true for Every Child:To never learn hatred or exclusion…

Favorite Food:Shrimp

Favorite Color:In and all things pink and shiny!

Favorite Song:Too many to count- I LOVE Whitney Houston & Brian McKnight

Favorite Book:The 5 Love Languages

Favorite Subject:English

Favorite Vacation Spot:Anything tropical with a beach – I love sand between my toes

Favorite Quote:Favorite Poem is Footprints in the Sand

Administrative Assistant

JOHNNY BROWN