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Cathy Best 2015 Bio
The Shine On 2023 Gala celebration is right around the corner! Don’t miss out. Order your Gala tickets today and help support our students!
Antoine Wood is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University and Grand Canyon University where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a Master of Arts in English Education, and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership. He has been in the field of Education for over twelve years and is also a licensed ESL instructor. He has taught at both the collegiate level as well as K-12. He loves everything about teaching English which explains why he’s so passionate about it. Outside of teaching he loves talking about his alma mater, (Go Rattlers!) cooking, writing, traveling, being around family, lecturing, and watching historical documentaries.
Joins us as a Charlotte area native, and is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music with a concentration in performance. He also attended graduate courses at the University of Alabama in Music Performance on Euphonium, where he served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) with the Tuba & Euphonium Studio and Million Dollar Band. As an active professional musician and educator – instrumentalist and vocalist, Malik also works with various high school marching bands, along with teaching private lessons at Music & Arts and Bach 2 Rock. He remains an avid lover, advocate and ambassador for the performing arts, previously working as a mentor to students with learning differences at the WCU chapter of United Sound ©. He is passionate about helping new students build self-esteem, grow creatively, and helping foster a love for music. When not teaching, he enjoys attending concerts, hiking, competing in sports such as disc golf and basketball, and also quality time with family and friends.
is a 5th-year teacher from Lincolnton, North Carolina. She graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelors in Education and began teaching in Lincoln County Schools. Jennifer began looking outside of the public school system for a school that believed in differentiation and personalization and found John Crosland. This is her first year at The John Crosland School and she is thrilled to apply her Orton-Gillingham training, learn new techniques, grow as an educator, and help parents and students achieve their goals.
comes to Crosland with extensive experience as an administrative assistant in fields ranging from a brokerage firm and a television station in Los Angeles to an intensive outpatient treatment center here in Charlotte. Semi-retired, she followed her heart and was drawn to the chance of once again being part of a caring, compassionate and dedicated team. She hails from New Orleans and loves music, classic movies, and reading. She also loves spending time with family and friends, laughter, and chocolate.
joins our faculty after having taught math at Audrey Kell High School for seven years. In that role, Katherine enjoyed building relationships, working collaboratively in inclusive classrooms with colleagues and school leadership, and solving problems by assessing new information. A Raleigh native, Katherine earned her bachelor’s degree in education and teaching licensure from The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. When not teaching, Katherine enjoys cross fit and running her online baking business.
is not a stranger to the John Crosland school community. He was a 15-year veteran at John Crosland School and served as a dedicated staff member to the school and its children. With a degree in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University, Mr. Mullis understands the importance of meeting students where they are. During his tenure at JCS, he was intentional about providing prescriptive instruction, with accommodations, to meet each child’s learning style. Mr. Mullis then furthered his teaching career at Trinity Christian Preparatory School as a STEAM instructor for Upper School students. Besides his love for teaching, Mr. Mullis is a dynamic musician and vocalist.
is originally from Miami, Florida and moved to Charlotte in 2012. She received both her bachelor of arts and masters of education in Special Education from UNC Charlotte. She is also licensed in Elementary and Middle School Math. Her roots originate from Argentina. She has been teaching for five years and is so excited to join the John Crosland school. She believes in differentiation and is dedicated to finding what works for our students. She loves to cook and try new recipes, spend time on the lake/in the ocean, spend time with her cats, and go camping/hiking with her boyfriend.
Keri graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in English and from Winthrop University with a Master’s of Arts in Teaching. Before joining The John Crosland School, Keri taught high school English primarily in an inclusion classroom setting. Prior to teaching, Keri worked at Lindamood-Bell in Charlotte, NC. She is excited to continue her passion for helping students find a place where they feel welcomed and comfortable enough to grow into confident learners! In her free time, Keri enjoys reading and exercising. She spends most of her time playing with her three-year-old daughter, Kennedy, and her rescue pup, Bailey.
Director of Development
Carmen Adams was led to Crosland while seeking a new path where her energy and strengths could support a program with a passionate purpose. She joins us from Procter & Gamble where she spent 16 years in shopper marketing creating campaigns designed to delight the consumer. This North Carolina native with a husband and two kids enjoys family outings, being active in the community, exercise and seeking out hidden gems in the state. Her favorite NC spot is Shackleford Banks in the shadows of the Cape Lookout Lighthouse with the wild horses dotting the shoreline.
Art, Steam, Middle School Science
Amber Dutcher is a Rochester, NY native who will be relocating to Charlotte, NC. She holds a BS in Studio Fine Arts and an MS in Special Education and is excited to join the team at The John Crosland School. She has a three-year-old son, Hudson, who is the light of her life, and a wonderful husband, Rob. She loves live music, specifically, the bands Phish and The Grateful Dead. She enjoys the great outdoors, yoga, and cheering on the Buffalo Bills during football season.
Head of School
Hallie earned a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a master’s degree in Low Incidence Disorders – both earned with honors from East Carolina University. She also holds a Post-Master’s Certificate in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is North Carolina certified in Elementary Education (K-6), and Special Education (K-12), and a Wilson Practitioner. She is proud to serve on the Board of North Carolina International Dyslexia Association. She brings 16 years of teaching and leadership experience to Crosland. Hallie enjoys traveling overseas, trying out new recipes, and playing Bumble and Buzzy, her Australian Labradoodles.
Upper School Counselor & Middle School Social Studies
Jennifer Bailey holds a Bachelors in Secondary Ed and Masters in School Administration from Crown College, as well as a Masters in Counseling from Liberty University. She has been teaching and mentoring students and staff for over seventeen years in private school settings. She is honored to join the teaching staff at John Crosland as a middle school Social Studies instructor and High School Counselor. Jennifer enjoys traveling with her husband and two sons to places of literary and historical significance. In her free time, she can be found drinking coffee alongside her English bulldog.
Student Support Specialist K-8
Laurie Sullivan is a 25 year veteran in education and has a bachelor of arts in English education. She has taught Pre-K through 9th grade focusing primarily on students with special needs. She has experience working with individuals with autism, intellectual disabilities, and behavioral health needs. Ms.Sullivan has worked at The Epiphany School of Charlotte for the last 10 years wearing many hats. She taught academics, as well as the social skills curriculum, and finished her years at Epiphany as Social Emotional Learning Director and interim Co-head of School. She has a strong passion for students who find the social world a bit challenging and is eager to support the students, families, and staff at John Crosland. She is excited to join the Crosland team and become a resource and friendly face to those in need. Ms. Sullivan has two children, Cecilia 21 and Kevin 19 and an absolutely adorable, yet poorly behaved Shiloh Shepherd named Kahlua. In her spare time she enjoys watching sports and listening to live music. She is honored to be part of the John Crosland community.
Director of Lower & Middle School
Antoine Brisbon is a 24 year veteran in education, who has served both the public and private school arenas. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English Education, Master of School Administration with an endorsement in Curriculum and Instruction. He has worked K-12 in the public, private and charter sectors and has a vast knowledge of teaching and learning and professional development. He has found a love for special education, where he is on a learning continuum to perfect his craft in this area and to provide sound, innovative best practices to instructional leaders. He has served as an Assistant Principal/Instructional Coach in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Rowan-Salisbury Schools, Interim Principal at Eastway STREAM Academy, and most recently as The Interim Co-Head of School and Academic Director at The Epiphany School of Charlotte. The genuine culture and positive climate at JCS provide a “safe space” where teachers are able to personalize the learning and students are able to capitalize on their experiences. He is honored to be a part of a well-diversified dynamic school community.
This package includes TEN bid paddles, plus a shareable internet link, an $850 charitable donation, optional listing as a VIP Host during the Gala streaming, and for delivery to your designated address within a 60-minute drive from the school, an exclusive VIP Host Basket containing one bottle each of red and white wine from Scout & Cellar’s “Clean Crafted” organic and sulfite-free wine collection and an assortment of sweet and savory cocktail hour snacks.*
* Listings and VIP Host basket apply to ticket orders placed by April 7; Patron and VIP Host Tickets may be purchased after April 7 but will come without these extra benefits.
This package includes an internet link and one digital bid paddle, plus an $85 charitable donation to the school, and optional listing as a Patron during the Gala streaming.*
This package includes an internet link and one digital bid paddle.
Student Support Coteacher
Carol Thurmond is a lifelong educator and artist. She loves spending her days at Crosland supporting the lower and middle school students on campus. She is a sports enthusiast and loves to adventure outdoors with her family.
“All those who wander are not lost.”
– JRR Tolkin
Karey Pasono is originally from Albuquerque, NM, and moved to Charlotte the summer of 2020. She is excited to share her experience with The John Crosland School. She graduated from UNM with a degree in Applied Mathematics with Distinction in 1989 and later earned her teaching licensure. She comes with 20 years of homeschooling her own children; now 18 and 24 and many others throughout the years as well. She also taught high school mathematics in both public and private schools and tutored privately for 39 years. Additionally, she owned a tutoring franchise. She enjoys spending time with her family, snow skiing, snorkeling, cooking and teaching the amazing children here at The John Crosland School.
Lower and Middle School
Nathalie Ottley is originally from Queens, NY and moved to Charlotte four years ago. She graduated from SUNY Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. In addition, to graduating Magna Cum Laude from Ashford University with a Master’s in Education, she has been an educator for four years with a focus on elementary and middle school students. As a new educator at John Crosland School, she is excited to apply her skills and experience as a teacher. Her goal is to help students utilize their strengths and conquer challenges they may have in life. In her spare time she does yoga, tutor, listen to music, cook, travel to the islands to see family, and spend time with friends.
Upper School Spanish
Originally from Asheville, NC, Vaniece graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in Spanish. While at UNC-Charlotte, she had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in beautiful Costa Rica where she lived with a family for two months. Soon after graduating, Vaniece began teaching at Dore Academy in 2002. In her spare time, she enjoy spending time with her family, taking Zumba© classes, and reading.
Mary Katherine graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and will be teaching Middle and Upper Sciences. Before joining the John Crosland School, Mary Katherine taught at a school for children with emotional and behavioral disorders in Tampa for two years. While in Florida, Mary Katherine also volunteered as the Basketball coach and student activities coordinator. She brings with her a passion for teaching and is excited to meet her new students! In her free time, Mary Katherine enjoys traveling to see family, hiking, and learning to play the guitar.
Teri is thrilled to be among the many wonderful talented teachers at The John Crosland School. Teri graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and she is a National Board Certified Teacher. She is trained in Orton-Gillingham and numerous other research-based programs. Teri taught in the Charlotte Public Schools for 11 years. This is Teri’s 18th year of teaching and her seventh year at The John Crosland School.
Lower and Middle School
Lisa graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with an M. Ed degree in Special Education: Learning Disabilities. She has been an educator for over 18 years. She obtained the Advanced Level of Orton-Gillingham training in 2005. Upon graduating from UNCC, she briefly taught as a Special Education teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system. She wrote a letter to Dore Academy that she was looking to teach at a school that showed integrity for children and their needs. She was called for an interview to the school and hired as a 5th-grade classroom teacher in 2002.
Lower and Middle School
Laura has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from SUNY Old Westbury. Laura comes to us from Charlotte United Christian Academy where she taught grades 3-6 for the past eight years. At Charlotte United Christian Academy Laura taught a full inclusion classroom which gave her the experience of working with students across many different ability levels. She believes teaching is a calling and works with each of her students to help them develop to their highest academic level. Laura has over 30 plus years of diverse teaching, curriculum development, and tutoring experience at both private and public elementary and middle school throughout-out the USA and Africa.
Middle and Upper School
Ashley teaches Middle and Upper School English for 8-11th grade students, and Senior Creative Writing. Ashley has a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, from the University of South Carolina, with a double major in English and History, as well as a concentration in Education. For the past ten years, Ashley has tutored a variety of subject areas, in both elementary and secondary grade levels. Her passion for school and learning began as a child and she was destined to be a teacher. She loves children of all ages and enjoys motivating them to be their very best selves. In her free time, you may find Ashley volunteering in her community or church, swimming away the summer, or enjoying board and card games with her family.
Athletic Director & Middle School Math
Vivian is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in K-12 Special Education and Middle School Mathematics. Through the years she has worked with every grade level. She came to us from Greenville County where she was working with students in self-contained classrooms with a variety of learning differences, ADHD, and autism. She comes from a large Greek family. In her free time, she enjoys going hiking with her German Shepard, Oto, and having play dates with her nine nieces and nephews. She finds many ways to stay busy including coaching basketball, Greek dancing, and her own professional development as a teacher.
Dan received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992. He returned to school in 2008 to earn his teaching license in secondary social studies from UNC-Charlotte and was certified to teach both middle school and high school students. He has taught 8th grade social studies at Charlotte Secondary School and joined The Epiphany School of Charlotte in 2013 to focus on students with learning differences. He has also been a member of the Charlotte Philharmonic and the Charlotte Civic Orchestra. Recently, he has been learning to play the mandolin. Dan enjoys vacationing with his family along the North Carolina’s Outer Banks at Cape Lookout National Seashore and backpacking with them in the Appalachian Mountains.
Lynn graduated cum laude from Mercer University in 1977. She taught elementary school in Pinellas County, Florida until she moved to Charlotte. She began teaching at Dore in 1994. She has completed basic and advanced Orton training, all 5 Project Read courses, a Differentiated Leaner’s Certificate from the Hill Center, and numerous workshops and graduate level courses in Special Education. She is an alumna of the Teaching Fellow Institute at Charlotte. Lynn is married and the mother of three grown children. In her free time, she loves to read, write, and exercise when forced, with her daughter.
Director of Operations
Shawn began working at The John Crosland School in 2007. Prior to his current role of Director of Operations, Shawn was the Athletic Director, PE teacher, and JCS Social Media Administrator. Shawn came from Atlanta where he taught high school students with severe emotional behavioral disorders in the public school. He has been honored to receive the Student’s Choice Teacher of the Year award three times. Shawn completed his Master’s degree in Education from Wingate University. In 2015 Shawn was elected as Mecklenburg County’s Soil and Water Supervisor. He also serves as Vice-Chair of the Metrolina Native American Association and as a volunteer paramedic. His number one hobby is spending time with his family and playing with his daughter.
Director of Information Technology
Ted attended Emmanual College and graduated with honors in 1985. He has worked in various Information System positions including Lead Designer, Systems Manager, Production Manager and Operations Manager for Color Response, Hi Q Photolith and Banta Digital Group. Ted is a Certified Microsoft Professional in Servers, Networking, and Security. He is also A+ Certified in computer and network hardware. Ted served in the US Army, working with Signal Intelligence for NSA. He rose to the rank of Sergeant in two and half years and after completing his service was honorably discharged. Ted and his wife Sherree have two sons, Phillip and Spencer.
Director of Finance
Karen graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BS in Marketing and Management. She has worked for over twenty years in the business administration and accounting fields. Karen is originally from Long Island, New York. She enjoys spending her free time with her family – Norm her husband of 24 years, daughter Nicole currently in college, and son Kyle currently in high school.
Director of Advancement
Portia earned a BA in Sociology from Clark University, an MBA from Cambridge College, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She brings many years of knowledge and experience in marketing, education, and non-profit management. Portia manages Development, Admissions, and Financial Aid. She has implemented many new programs a Crosland such as the Girls Group, Speaker Series, Young Men of Color Affinity Group, Crochet Club, and the New Family Ambassador Program. She obtained a Master of Advanced Crochet Stitches and Techniques certification and incorporates her love of art into her world by teaching classes, exhibiting art, and speaking to groups about fiber art and arts integration.
Director of Upper School
Charlie earned his Master of Science in Leadership from Pfeiffer University and has an undergraduate background in philosophy/religion and history. He has been part of the Crosland faculty and staff since 2005 in various capacities including English and Written Expression teacher, SAT preparation instructor, yearbook coordinator, and golf coach. Crosland is also honored that he serves as our SAIS accreditation coordinator. Charlie is an avid musician and plays drums for a local Charlotte band, as well as the Crosland faculty band, The Lunch Buckets.