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The staff of the Lower School includes 12 full-time and seven part-time teachers with backgrounds in education and child development.

Because the Lower School shares its campus with the CFS Upper School, Upper School students often serve as assistants in classes.

There is a balance of men and women on the staff, providing healthy adult models for the children in their care. Each teacher brings a variety of interests and experiences into the classroom. All CFS staff members are encouraged to attend workshops, conferences, and classes both in education and in other areas of personal interest.

The + denotation below links to a "Raising Healthy Children" article authored by the particular Lower School staff member. You can also access the entire collection of these Healthy and Healing magazine columns by CFS community members.

Aden Darity
P.E. Teacher, Athletic Director
Aden joined CFS in 2015 to teach P.E. electives, Exploratorium, and strength and conditioning classes for the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools respectively. He added Communications Associate responsibilities, supporting the School's outreach efforts, especially for prospective students and families and is now Athletic Director for the Middle and Upper Schools. He is a graduate of Cornell College and has worked with students in the Durham Public Schools in various capacities. Aden enjoys helping young people develop skills, understanding, and enjoyment of athletic activities and trains athletes of various ages.

Annie Dwyer+
Dance Teacher
Annie has been teaching for 42 years, and she has been teaching at Carolina Friends School since 1990. Her daughter and son are both graduates of CFS. Annie completed undergraduate work in Speech, Theater, English, and Dance and she holds an M.F.A. in Dance. Annie's dance classes offer a space in which children's voices can be heard through writing, dancing, and sharing together. This year Annie is focused on sharing her knowledge of anatomy and somatics while also creating connections between dance and other curricular areas. In 2014 she was certified as a teacher of Evans technique and continued her study of Bill Evans' unique way of interfacing Bartenieff Fundamentals and Laban-Based Modern Dance technique and composition. This past summer she attended the Creative Dance Center Summer Dance Institute with Anne Green Gilbert to explore ways to bring this work forward with younger dancers. She continues to thread this vocabulary into Lower, Middle, and Upper School dance experiences.

Caroline Hexdall+
Early School/Lower School Learning Specialist

Caroline grew up in Lawrence, Kansas surrounded by books, a family of teachers, and big sky. After being a devoted Jayhawk at the University of Kansas, she moved to South Carolina and earned her Ph.D. in school psychology. During a fellowship at the Center for Development and Learning in Chapel Hill, she continued to specialize in serving individuals with developmental disabilities. She then worked as a clinical scientist at the now-named Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at UNC for nearly 10 years, while for much of that time also serving as the consultant for school psychology for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Wanting to return to the rewards of clinical work with all children and families, she went into independent practice in 2013 with an emphasis on the practice of mindfulness. Her professional interests include mindful parenting, mindfulness in children (particularly as it may benefit children with learning differences and disabilities), targeted assessment and intervention, and the development of reading. She is thrilled and honored to be working with inspirational teachers – children and adults - at CFS. At home with her husband and exuberant children, she is never far from a camera, paintbrush, spatula, piano, or book.

Charlie Layman+, +
River Class Teacher, Staff Clerk

Charlie Layman began his teaching career in the mountains of North Carolina in 1980. He came to CFS in 1990 as a full-time teacher in Lower School. After 10 years, Charlie moved into a dual role of teaching and serving as the CFS Staff Clerk. Presently, Charlie teaches language arts (beginning reading and writing) and math to first-year Lower School students. Charlie has a master’s degree in Elementary Education. He considers himself a life-long learner and finds working with young children a wonderful source of inspiration.

Charlie's position as Staff Clerk provides support for all CFS staff. He's available to support staff members who may experience unexpected challenges in their lives, he can serve as mediator, and offer opportunities for supportive conversations. His on-going training in professional coaching allows him to offer one-on-one coaching sessions that help staff members design sustainable actions to serve their personal and professional goals. Charlie serves on the School Life Committee and is the staff liaison for the Parent-Staff Association Care Committee. Please visit our River Class blog.

Cyrise Davis
AfterHours Coordinator
Cyrise holds a B.A. in Art Education from North Carolina Central University and a B.S. in Commercial Art and Photography from Alamance Community College. In addition to her freelance photography, she’s worked as an art and photography teacher at The Hawbridge School in Saxapahaw, a site coordinator and lead teacher for a middle school afterhours program, a YMCA summer camp counselor, and a display ad designer for the News and Observer. Cyrise is excited to employ her child-centered style of teaching (and passion for art) to help CFS Lower and Middle Schoolers learn, explore, and create in our AfterHours program.

Deloise Dudley-Mayfield
River Class Teacher
Deloise has worked at CFS for 35 years! She graduated from North Carolina Central University with a Bachelors and Masters in Education. She enjoys singing and drama, occasionally offering those as choices for interest groups. Deloise is married to Silas, and together they founded RHEMA, a Baptist church in Durham. Please visit the River Class blog.

Emi Charboneau
Administrative Assistant
Emi grew up traveling and living around the world. Having called Hawaii and Okinawa home for many years this island girl loves playing on the beach with her husband David and her two boys Duncan and Evan. Emi loves singing, baking, and crafting and will enthusiastically pursue these activities whenever the opportunity arises. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with her degree in Psychology and minor in Art History. Emi has years of experience in early childhood, elementary, and exceptional children education. Prior to joining the CFS Lower School staff in 2015, she worked in the exceptional children’s department at Central Park School for Children. Emi is thrilled to be a part of the peaceful and nurturing environment of Carolina Friends School.

Jenni Scoggin
Forest Class Teacher
Jenni joined the Lower School after teaching elementary school in Wake County Public Schools from 2005 to 2010. She holds a masters in early childhood education from Belmont University (Nashville, Tennessee) and is a National Board Certified teacher. Prior to teaching, Jenni worked in the music industry in web marketing. She incorporates her love of technology, music, and the arts into her teaching. In her free time Jenni enjoys cooking, singing, reading, and drinking coffee. Please visit the Forest Class blog.

Joanna Sisk-Purvis
Music Teacher
Joanna has been teaching music in the Lower and Middle School since 2008. Her diverse musical career has included solo and ensemble performance as a professional flutist, musically directing for youth and community theaters, conducting the Piedmont Youth and Family Orchestra, composing for film, teaching private music lessons and the Music Together early childhood music program, playing in a rock band, and exploring her passion for the music (and flutes) of other cultures. She holds degrees from the University of Southern California (D.MA), Northwestern (M.M.), and UNC-CH (B.M.). Joanna incorporates mindfulness practices, world music, and technology in her teaching, and blogs about the CFS music program at motleymuse.blogspot.com. She has three children at CFS ('23, '28, and '31), a husband, far too many pets, and a habit of writing novels in her spare time.

Kathy Schenley
Shared Resource Teacher
Kathy found her way to CFS in the fall of 1976, first as a substitute teacher. She joined the staff full time as Lower School librarian in February of 1977. Seventeen years as librarian were followed by thirteen years as a Mountain Class teacher. Kathy now serves as a shared resource teacher working with all the classes and providing math and language arts enrichment. She delights in her "grandstudents" (children of former students). When not at school, Kathy may be found with her nose in a book or playing Renaissance music with friends. She has two daughters, Alexis and Jessica '00.

Katie MacTaggart
Sky Class Teacher
Katie just recently moved to North Carolina from Philadelphia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in both Special and Elementary Education from Saint Joseph’s University. In addition, she holds a masters degree in Special Education with a focus in high incidence learning disabilities and is Orton-Gillingham certified. Katie loves working in Friends schools (she most recently taught 3rd and 4th grade as an assistant teacher at Westtown School) and is thrilled to be joining the CFS community! Please visit the Sky Class blog.

Kim Sulman
P.E. Teacher/Administrative Coordinator for Athletics
Kim joined CFS this year after teaching for five years at Montessori Children’s House of Durham and two years at Willow Oak Montessori Charter School in Chapel Hill. Kim brings a passion for Physical Education and fitness education and is looking forward to using her skills as a certified personal trainer and Health Coach to help our students learn and grow. Kim has worked with our students as an assistant Middle School soccer coach and Exploratorium instructor. She is also a parent to a current middle schooler and an upper schooler. Kim has experience playing multiple sports at a high level and is excited to share her love of athletics with students in all three units.

Laura Lamberson+
Mountain Class Teacher
Laura has been a teacher in Mountain Class since January of 2007. She was a part-time teacher at Durham Early School for four years prior to her move to the Lower School. She began her teaching career in 1997 in the Orange County School system where she developed her skills as a special education and literacy teacher. She has been a lifelong runner and enjoys reading and gardening. Laura is the mother of three children, all of whom attend CFS.

Linda Dixon
Mountain Class Teacher
Linda joined the CFS staff in 1996 after eight years of teaching in other Friends Schools. After serving as Lower School Head Teacher for her first 11 years here, she is delighted to be back in the classroom full time. She has degrees in Psychology and Elementary Education from Earlham College and The University of Iowa, respectively. Linda has spent her life in Friends Schools beginning with pre-school at Goshen Friends School, which her mother founded. She then spent 13 years as a "lifer" at Westtown School. Her greatest joy is her daughter Lucy, who was born in 2001 in Guatemala and joined her here in North Carolina the following spring.

Lisa Wilson Carboni+
Head Teacher, Mountain Class Teacher

Lisa joined the Lower School as Head Teacher in 2007. Lisa taught elementary school for many years before earning her Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in elementary mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She recently earned the Certificate of Advanced Education Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After working as the Director of Teacher Education at Duke University, she was called back to being with children every day and is thrilled to be here at CFS!

Lynn Pickles
Forest Class Teacher
Lynn has always been passionate about teaching math, writing, and cultural geography, and feels very much at home at CFS as she was born in Nelson, Lancashire, in the shadows of Pendle Hill, a cornerstone place in the history of the Quaker movement. She and her husband John have a son, Leon, and they enjoy traveling whenever the opportunity presents itself. If neither John or Leon are able to travel with her, Lynn has been known to take her Scottish Terrier, Lewis, with her to Europe given that he is the proud owner of a European Union Pet Passport!

Lynn grew up working in her parents’ fish, fruit, and vegetable shop in the 1950s in the days when British money was not based on the decimal system, and calculators had not been invented. She has always maintained that those experiences shaped her world-view and trained her to think mathematically. Her formal post-secondary education took place at St Martin’s College in Lancaster, England, and she then taught in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa for four years. She and her husband came to the U.S., to State College, Pennsylvania, in 1978 where Lynn worked as a Special Education Teacher and as a Young Adult and Children’s Librarian for the County. She undertook a second Education/Math degree and a Masters Degree in International Affairs and Linguistics at Ohio University, prior to moving to Morgantown, West Virginia. There, a group of parents asked her to start an alternative elementary school, and to create and oversee its growth from an initial KG class to a Pre-K through 6th-grade program. Lynn later moved to The Lexington School, in Lexington, Kentucky, and then to the Duke School in Durham before beginning work in the Forest Class at Carolina Friends School. She has come full circle. Please visit the Forest Class blog.

Michael Bonsignore
Forest Class Teacher
Michael found Carolina Friends School after student teaching in a primary school in Bristol, England. He has worked in the Lower School for the past 37 years, taking breaks to attend graduate school, where he received an M.Ed. in Early Childhood, and a sabbatical to live and teach in the Grand Canyon. His two sons attended CFS from age three and both graduated from the school. His interests in the outdoors and in making things have helped inform the direction of his teaching. With colleague Jenni Scoggin, he's authored Maker Elementary: A Guide to Designing and Teaching in a Maker Classroom for Children in Upper Elementary Grades. Michael is a builder, a maker, and a tinkerer who enjoys playing music, gardening, rafting, and traveling. Please visit the Forest Class blog.

Natalie Sapkarov Harvey
Natalie has been teaching at CFS since 2014, when she enthusiastically designed the enlarged library with a focus on collaborative teaching and learning. A Chicago native, Natalie earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education and master's degree in library and information science from Loyola University Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, respectively. She started her career as an elementary school librarian in Urbana, before she moved to North Carolina where she became a middle school librarian in Chapel Hill, and incidentally, met her wonderful husband. Happily married and parent to a feisty furball cat, she enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, knitting, and riding rollercoasters. Natalie also serves on the Tech Team for the Lower School. Please visit the Lower School Library blog.

Natasha Shannon
Sky Class Teacher, Art Teacher
Natasha has been teaching at CFS since the fall of 2003. Prior to her work with CFS, she taught in the North Carolina and New Mexico public school systems and for two years at the Monteverde Friends School in Costa Rica. She graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and later received her teaching certification from the University of New Mexico. She grew up among Quakers living on the campus of Pennsylvania's George School and later moving to Celo Community, a Quaker community in the mountains of North Carolina. She met her husband while spending a year living and working at Pendle Hill, a Quaker center for study and contemplation, outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her daughter Isabelle is also a student at the school. Please visit the Sky Class blog.

Ruth Gaskin
River Class Teacher

Ruth grew up in England and received a B.Ed. in Modern Languages from the University of Wolverhampton. She lived in Naples, Italy for a year where she worked at an International School. Ruth has taught at CFS since 2000. Her two children are both CFS graduates. Ruth loves music, dance, horseback riding, and traveling to new places. She also has a passion for photography and technology and founded the Interest Group known as the Website Wizards. She loves the outdoors and you will often find her kayaking, hiking, or biking with her family. Please visit the River Class blog.

Tom Shewey
Sky Class Teacher
Tom has been teaching at CFS since 1980. Growing up in California, he attended UC Davis earning a BS in Zoology and spent an additional year there earning his elementary teaching credential. After teaching four years in public school in California, Tom moved to North Carolina. He went on to earn a Masters in Education specializing in learning disabilities and emotional handicaps from UNC. He is married to Annie Dwyer, who teaches dance at CFS. His two children are graduates of CFS. His daughter, Blake, graduated in 2002 and his son, Banks, graduated in 2005. Tom enjoys cooking, reading, gardening and spending as much time as he can at the beach. Please visit the Sky Class blog.

Kelly Yupanqui
Spanish Teacher Kelly is from Perú and moved to the United States in 2005. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education and her M.Ed. in Educational Administration at Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, Perú. She got her certification as Montessori Teacher by American Montessori Society. She has taught different levels of students for 22 years in public and private settings in her native country and in the USA. She loves to dance, sing, play the guitar and walk outside with her eleven year-old son and her husband Benny.

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Carolina Friends School          
4809 Friends School Road
Durham, NC 27705
919.383.6602 tel / 919.383.6009 fax / info@cfsnc.org

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