Upper School Team

 

 

erickallenErick Allen – Upper School Latin / English and Philosophy Teacher

Erick Allen is from Horse Shoe, NC, and has a BS in French and secondary education from ASU, and MA in English from Appalachian State University. He and his wife Kathy live in Galax, VA, with their two dogs. He is certified to teach Latin, and teaches Latin and 10th grade English at MCA, as well as the philosophy elective for 8th graders.   He is an avid outdoorsman and started an outdoor club for MCA students.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail erickallen@mcacademy.com

 

Pamela Braley – Upper School Director

braley2Pamela Braley is a native of New Hampshire and has lived all over the Northeast, including seven years as a missionary in the Province of Quebec, before moving to North Carolina in 1997. Her teaching experience includes ten years in New Hampshire and ten years in Alleghany County, NC, and she has been on the faculty at MCA since fall of 2007. Mrs. Braley holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Berkshire Christian College and a Master’s Degree from Appalachian State University. During her tenure at Millennium, Mrs. Braley has been an English and history teacher, MCA’s Dean of Middle School Students and Dean of Academics, and now is the Upper School Director to serve grades seven through twelve. She and her husband live along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. She has four children and twelve grandchildren.
Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail pambraley@mcacademy.com

 

 Brittany Branch – Upper School Science Teacher

branch1Mrs. Branch has a Bachelors of Science degree from NC State University in Animal Science. She acquired her teaching license at UNCG and is currently working on her masters at UNCG. Prior to coming to MCA in 2012, she taught for two years in Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Mrs. Branch lives with her husband in Mount Airy.
Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail brittanybranch@mcacademy.com

 

 

 

James Chappell – Upper School Spanish Teacher

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail jameschappell@mcacademy.com

 

 

 

Eric Cook – Upper School History Teacher

A Pennsylvanian native and resident until 2013, Mr. Cook graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with a BA in History. During his time at university, he was a dual English major and heavily involved in the University’s music program as well; later he earned Pennsylvania teaching licenses in Elementary Education, History,and English, and a Masters Degree in Education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.  He has taught in public and private schools in Pennsylvania and, most recently, in Montana.  Prior to teaching, Mr. Cook was employed as a pipe organ builder and technician and also as a professional church organist and choir director.  He and his wife, Rebecca, founded the Ivy Leaf Orchestra in Pennsylvania, a 15 piece ensemble that performs music for live screenings of silent films, and he is also active as a playwright and historian.  In his free time, Mr. Cook enjoys hunting, hiking, antique toy trains, cooking, vegetable gardening, and reading.  He has two children, James and Miriam, and resides in Mount Airy.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail ericcook@mcacademy.com

 

Kelly Cummings – Upper School Math Teacher

Kelly Cummings graduated from Appalachian State University with Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a minor in Sociology and a minor in Real Estate and Urban Analysis. She worked as a paralegal for several years before accepting a position with Hallmark in Mount Airy, where she worked in management for over eight years. Mrs. Cummings also graduated from Gardner-Webb University with a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management. Mrs. Cummings owned her own business for nine years, as well as taught as an adjunct professor at Gardner-Webb University in the business program for four years. She worked as a substitute teacher at MCA for three years before joining MCA as a Teaching Assistant in 2014 and accepted the position of upper school math teacher in 2016. She lives with her husband, Roy, and son, Max, in Ararat, NC.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail kellycummings@mcacademy.com

 

 Kevin Currie – Upper School Science / Math Teacher

kevincurrieMr. Currie earned a Master of Science in Environmental Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology at State University of New York at Brockport.  Before coming to MCA, he taught an array of science courses at the Middle College at UNC-G, where he was also a founding member of the science department.  He has also taught at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and at Forsyth Country Day School.  He has experience with science camps, extracurricular programs and conference presentations.  At MCA, Mr. Currie teaches, various sciences, including Chemistry, and various math classes.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail kevincurrie@mcacademy.com

 Mrs. Wyatt-Davidson – Upper School English Teacher

Mrs.Davidson, originally from Bristol, Tennessee, teaches seventh-grade science and English. Her hobbies include painting and hiking. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from East Tennessee State University, and she views one of her strengths as the use of hands-on projects in both subjects to benefit students’ learning. Mrs. Davidson and her husband reside in Mount Airy.
Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail autumndavidson@mcacademy.com

 

 

Amber Davis – Upper School Earth Science Teacher

Amber Davis was born in North Carolina and is a native of Pilot Mountain. She achieved her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from Salem College and is very passionate about the math and sciences. She is very excited to begin her teaching career with Millennium Charter Academy as an Upper School science teacher.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail amberdavis@mcacademy.com

 

 

 

 Neal Dawes – Upper School History Teacher

Neal Dawes is a native of upstate New York who has resided in the state of North Carolina since 2000. He received a B.S. Secondary Ed/Social Studies degree from Nyack College and later received his M.S.Ed. degree in the same field from the State University of New York at Potsdam. Prior to arriving at MCA in 2015, he taught for five years at a private school in Rocky Mount, NC and 10 years at Paisley IB Magnet School in Winston-Salem, NC.  Neal enjoys acting and has assisted in directing MCA’s high school dramatic productions. He also is a fervent, and at times frustrated, supporter of the Syracuse Orange basketball team. Neal resides with his wife Anne, son Michael, and daughter Darshina in Winston-Salem, NC.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail nealdawes@mcacademy.com

 

Josiah Degraaf – Upper School History Teacher

Josiah DeGraaf grew up just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received his bachelors in literature from Patrick Henry College. He taught high school literature part-time for two years prior to coming to MCA and is excited to join the team. Outside of teaching, Mr. DeGraaf enjoys hiking in national parks, writing fantasy novels, and reading a mixture of psychology, philosophy, & theology.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail josiahdegraaf@mcacademy.com

 

 Annaley Donabo – Upper School Math Teacher

 

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail annaleydonabo@mcacademy.com

 

 

 

 Antonio Donabo – Upper School Spanish Teacher

 I was born in Oxnard, California to parents from San Felipe, Guanajuato Mexico and was raised on a rural  tobacco farm in Patrick County, Virginia. I grew up speaking Spanish in my home and was formally educated in English at school. I got my B.A. in Criminal Justice and Spanish from Radford University and also attended Middlebury College’s Language School. One of my most memorable learning experiences took place through Middlebury’s Guadalajara, Mexico study abroad program where I got to experience the language and culture through life experiences.   I enjoy travelling around the world and have been to France, England, Scotland, Wales, Mexico and just recently drove across the United States and back with my wife. I am an avid outdoors man. I enjoy fly fishing, mountain bike racing, being creative (making utilitarian one of a kind items), indoor and outdoor soccer, spending time with family and friends, teaching Spanish and exploring the outdoors. I like to enrich my students’ learning by incorporating authentic materials and providing them with fun and exciting cultural experiences as often as possible. I would like my students to come away with the ability to communicate in Spanish and an appreciation for the cultures of the Spanish speaking world.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail antoniodonabo@mcacademy.com

 Brenda Ferry – Upper School English Teacher

.Mrs. Ferry grew up in Canada where most of her extended family still reside. She graduated from the Chicago campus of Moody Bible Institute with a B.A. in Theology. She and her husband have four children, all of whom have attended MCA’s upper school. In addition to home schooling her own children for lower school, she taught high school French and middle school history at a classical co-op for one year. She enjoys reading classic literature, gardening, and walking Mount Airy’s lovely green ways.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail brendaferry@mcacademy.com

 Paula Griffin – Upper School Teaching Assistant

griffinPaula Griffin first joined MCA as a parent volunteer in 2004, and that position transpired to a full time teaching assistant in the MCA upper school in 2007. Although she is the “real” parent of her son Banner, she claims all middle school students as her own!
Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail paulagriffin@mcacademy.com

 

 

 Maria Kern – Upper School Science Teacher

kernA native of Michigan, Mrs. Kern teaches upper school science at MCA. She graduated from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, MI, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. Mrs. Kern taught 5th grade science and social studies at MCA for several years before moving to the Upper School. She is endorsed to teach science K-8 and physical education K-12. She lives with her husband, David, daughters, Maya, Ameila, and Clara and their dog, Bella, here in Mt. Airy.
Phone Number 336.789.7570 E-mail mariakern@mcacademy.com

 

 

 Anna Kiefer – Upper School English and History Teacher

Ms. Kiefer has BA in history and a minor in music from Washington College and a MA in history from the University of New Hampshire. She has eight years teaching experience in community college and with high school students in dual enrollment.  She has worked with  five state or national historic sites, including Alamance Battlefield and Fort Dobbs here in North Carolina, and she has served as the program interpreter with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the outreach educator with James-Yorktown Foundation, and the educational specialist with the Virginia War Museum. She has published and/or presented nine less than nine articles. Ms. Kiefer was awarded the Lord Fairfax Community College Distinguished Adjunct Faculty.
Phone Number 336.789.7570 E-mail annakiefer@mcacademy.com

 

Courtney King – Upper School Teaching Assistant

Courtney King graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. Upon graduation, she worked for Hospice of Stokes County as the Social Worker and Bereavement Coordinator for several years before making the decision to stay at home with her children. After eight years of being a stay-at-home mom, she joined the MCA team as an Upper School Teacher’s Assistant. She and her husband Rodney have three children who also attend MCA.

Phone Number 336.789.7570 E-mail courtneyking@mcacademy.com

 

 

 Wendy Kriek – Upper School Teaching Assistant

Wendy Kriek moved to Mount Airy in 1999 from Naples, Florida to be closer to family. She worked at North Surry High School for 4 years, before starting a family. In early 2017  she started substituting at MCA, and now enjoys being a teaching assistant. She and her husband (George) have 2 children, Emma & Georgie, both of whom attend MCA. She enjoys  outdoor activities, spending time with family, and her family’s many pets.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail wendykriek@mcacademy.com

 

 

 

 Donald Jellison – Upper School History Teacher

donaldjellison

A proud native of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Donald (DJ) Jellison Jr earned a B.S. from California University of Pennsylvania in 2012. In college, DJ studied to be a meteorologist. To help him become a better broadcast meteorologist, he began traveling to local school districts in order to teach weather to students of all ages through the University’s educational outreach program. It was during his 3 years leading the education outreach program that he found his true gift of teaching. DJ’s passion for teaching would inspire him to pursue a graduate degree in secondary education. He joined the MCA team shortly after earning his M.A. from California University of Pennsylvania in 2015. DJ is excited to spend his first year as a 7th grade history teacher with MCA.  Away from teaching, his hobbies include fishing, storm chasing, and volunteering in youth ministry.
Phone Number 336.789.7570 E-mail donaldjellison@mcacademy.com

 

 TJ Lievsay – Upper School Fine Arts Teacher

Mr. Lievsay teaches the High School technology elective and fourth-grade music.  His three grown children are alumni of MCA.  Mr. Lievsay earned a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business  Management from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, with minors in Romance Languages and Musical Theatre in 1986.  He also earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication and Digital Design from The American Intercontinental University-Online in 2007.When he is not teaching at MCA, Mr. Lievsay is a freelance writer and designer, and he teaches private voice and piano lessons.  He and his wife have made their home in Mount Airy for the last 17 years, where they live with their youngest son, Dawson.
Phone Number 336.789.7570 E-mail tjlievsay@mcacademy.com

 

 

 Bernard Mauser – Upper School History Teacher

Dr. Mauser was born and raised in Youngstown, OH.  His Ph. D. and Master’s in Philosophy is from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. He also has a Master’s degree in Christian Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary.  His background includes teaching at every level from pre-school to graduate school, recently publishing Reading to Grow, and being a funded scholar at the Acton Institute. Dr. Mauser teaches Politics, Government, and European History at MCA.  He loves to run with (not from) his wife Amber and five children.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail bernardmauser@mcacademy.com

 

 

 

 Amanda Meadows – Upper School Teaching Assistant

Amanda Meadows began substituting at MCA in 2013. She started working part time in second grade in 2014 and now works in the upper school. She attended Surry Community College and resides in Pilot Mountain, with her husband and daughter, Maddie, who graduated from MCA in its very first graduating class.
Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail amandameadows@mcacademy.com

 

 

 

 Ann Moore – Upper School English Teacher

moore

E. Ann Moore is a product of a military home and thus is from “the east coast”.  She has a BA in elementary education from Toccoa Falls College and an MA from ASU.  She received her national board certification in 2004 in middle school English. She resides in Dobson, NC, with her husband and two dogs.  Inspired by her creative writing students, she is a published author of a children’s book series called A Bird’s Eye View of Virtues (Amazon.com). She enjoys wood working and sells hand crafted puzzles at a local gift shop.  She is excited to be teaching sixth-grade English at MCA and looks forward to finishing her career here.

Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail annmoore@mcacademy.com

 

Paul Rezzo – Upper School English Teacher

rezzoMr. Rezzo thoroughly enjoys reading great literature, taking in a fine play or film, and staying physically active. He is also an avid baseball fan and a trained actor. He attended Hillsdale College in Michigan, and now he resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail paulrezzo@mcacademy.com

 

 

 

 Mary Richardson – Upper School Math Teacher

richardsonMary Richardson, a graduate of North Surry High School, joined MCA staff in 2008 and is currently an upper school teaching assistant. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance from UNCG. After twelve years employment in human resources, she left corporate America to start a family with her husband, John. Since having children, she has worked in early childhood education through children’s ministry at church and has taught a three-year-old preschool class at CMCC. Her two children, Henry and Emily, are currently enrolled at MCA.
Phone Number 336.789.7570 E-mail maryrichardson@mcacademy.com

 

 

 Dr. Rusty Roberson – Upper School Dean of Students / History Teacher

rusty-bioDr. Roberson was born and raised near Winston-Salem, NC.  He received his Ph. D. in history from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and has one masters degree in English Education and one in History along with a double bachelors degree in history and English.  He has taught both secondary and higher education on both sides of the Atlantic, and teaches American and European History at MCA.  He currently resides in Winston-Salem with his wife, Haley, and their daughters, Lucy and Vera.
Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail rustyroberson@mcacademy.com

 

 Dawn Rook – Upper School Math Teacher

Mrs. Rook graduated from NC State University, majoring in Business Administration, and she holds a graduate degree from Washington State University.  After living away from Mt. Airy for more than twenty years, she and her husband Barry, moved back to raise their son Shelton, who is an MCA student.  After serving on MCA’s MPACT board for three years, and serving as chair person of MCA’s campaign committee, she came to MCA as a teacher for 7th though 9th grade math in 2016.  She, Barry, and Shelton, and their dog Barney, live in Mount Airy.
Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail dawnrook@mcacademy.com

 

 Bethany Shepherd – Upper School Math and Science Teacher

shepherdBethany Shepherd completed her degree in Elementary Education at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She graduated from ASU with a Master’s Degree in Middle Grades science and in 2000 received National Board Certification. She has taught 5th grade at MCA since 2001, before joining the Middle School Team in 2007.
Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail bethanyshepherd@mcacademy.com

 

 

 

 Christie Speer – Upper School Math Teacher

speerChristie Speer came to MCA in 2006 after teaching 4 years at Pilot Mountain Middle School. She was an NC Teaching Fellow at UNC-Greensboro where she received her BS in Middle Grades Math and Science Education in 2002. She also has a Curriculum Specialist Master’s Degree from Appalachian State University. While at MCA, Mrs. Speer achieved National Board Certification in Middle Grades Mathematics. She is also the coach of our Mathcounts team and the adviser for the Habitat for Humanity Youth club. She lives in Mt. Airy with her husband, Danny and their three children, Jimmy, Alayna, and Alydia. She enjoys participating in community service projects, spending time with her family, scrap booking, and running.
Phone Number 336.789.8421 E-mail christiespeer@mcacademy.com