Apex Staff

Dawn Frink
Kindergarten – Apex
Dawn is a native North Carolinian and has raised her family in Holly Springs, homeschooling her three children from kindergarten through 12th grade. All have completed or are attending college. She and her husband enjoy their empty nest but also delight in seeing their children serve the Lord and bloom where they’re planted.

After receiving a Master’s degree in Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill concentrating on families and children, she turned her focus to education to better meet the individual needs of her own children. That focus blossomed into a tutoring business, Foundations Educational Services, where she specializes in early elementary reading, writing, and math. She also administers the Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement annually for homeschooled, public schooled, and private schooled students. Through her interaction with parents who have committed to educating their children, Dawn has found a passion in partnering with families to provide emotional support, practical guidance, and encouragement. Dawn is excited to enter the kindergarten classroom supporting children through their transition into school while laying a solid academic foundation on which to grow.

Karen Doyle
Kindergarten – Apex
Karen is thrilled and feels so blessed to be a part of the amazing staff at Heritage Leadership Academy. She has been married for 19 years and has three wonderful children, ages 15, 13, and 6. She moved with her family to Cary about two years ago from the Florida Keys where they lived for 5 years. Before living in the Keys, they lived in Loveland, CO for 12 years. Karen earned her BS Degree in Psychology with a double minor in elementary and secondary education from Ursinus College.

After graduating from college, she worked in two different adoption agencies both as a birth parent counselor and as the office manager. She says it was a joy to watch families come together and to have the chance to pray with her clients in her different positions. Karen claims her love and passion in life is working with children. Her favorite times during the day are witnessing those ”ah-ha” moments when a child’s eyes light up just as they have learned something new. Karen is so excited about working in a Christian environment and having the opportunity to share not just knowledge but the love of our Savior with the kids! It is her hope and prayer that each child she gets to work with will see Christ in her as she strives to teach and touch their lives for God’s glory.

Julie Volstad
First Grade – Apex

Julie joined the HLA team this summer.  She will be teaching first grade.  She has taught preschool at Shepherd’s Weekday Preschool for 13 years and has taught many HLA staff students.  Julie is excited to move into a new environment in her teaching career and is excited to be at HLA with her youngest son who is in 6th grade.  She will be both a teacher and a co-teacher.  She is looking forward to partnering with parents in the education of their children and in their spiritual formation as well.  


Julie attended Toccoa Falls College and got a B.S. in Interpersonal & Organizational Communications.  That is where she met her husband, Rob, and they have been married for 29 years.  They have been in NC for most of their married lives and they have 3 children.  Julie loves to read, hike, play games, and she is passionate about emotional health through a variety of inner healing modalities. 

Caitlin Todd
First Grade – Apex

Caitlin feels so blessed and excited to have joined the HLA staff this year. She and her husband of 11 years have a wonderful daughter who attends HLA. Born and raised in eastern North Carolina, she treasures this area she calls home. 


Caitlin earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She has been a registered nurse and patient and family educator for the past six years. Her nursing career has brought forth and inspired her true passion of educating and empowering others. She has a love for learning and hopes to spark that in others as well. 


 She is so happy that she listened to the Lord’s nudges to pursue teaching and feels there is no other job she would rather have than teaching first graders at HLA! She is excited to combine her love for Jesus and education while supporting, encouraging, and inspiring her students. She is delighted to partner with parents in their child’s learning and spiritual journey while feeling greatly honored at the opportunity. 

Rachael DeFreitas
Second Grade – Apex

Rachael is a graduate of The North Carolina State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and her Master of Arts in Education.  After teaching for 5 years in Wake County, she took a break from the classroom to stay home with her three children.


Rachael is so excited to be back in the classroom at HLA, where she hopes to inspire in her students a lifelong love of learning, while strengthening their relationship with Jesus. She and her husband, along with their 3 children serve and attend Hope Community Church and love spending time in Kure Beach with their 2 dogs.

Dona Froning
Second Grade – Apex

​​Raised in the southwest, Dona earned her Bachelor of Arts at Colorado State University and her Master of Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While studying African Art History, she trained in Museum Education at the Elvehjem Museum of Art. Upon graduation, she worked as the Curator of Education at the Saginaw Museum of Art and taught art history at Saginaw State University in Michigan.  Though she is enthusiastic about art and history, Dona’s heart is teaching elementary students. God faithfully provided teaching positions in Montessori schools in Michigan and North Carolina as well as an opportunity to work at Hope Community Church as the Preschool and Elementary Curriculum Coordinator.  Dona feels blessed to join Heritage Leadership Academy as a second-grade teacher, where she can combine her passion for education with her desire to encourage this generation of students to know, love, and serve God.


Marrying in 1997, Dona and her husband Dave, a Michigan native, moved to North Carolina in 2005, where they are raising their two sons and daughter. The family attends and serves together at Hope Community Church. We also enjoy family movie and game nights as well as traveling to new places.

Amber Ross
Third Grade – Apex

Amber has over ten years of teaching experience, four of those have been teaching third grade at HLA.  She received both her Bachelors and Masters Degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education from California Baptist University.  

She believes that as a christian educator, she has an awesome responsibility to guide young minds in cultivating their knowledge of who God is, who he has made them to be, and help shape their biblical worldview.  She hopes to inspire each student to have a love for life-long learning. She desires to partner with parents in helping teach responsibility, accountability, to encourage creativity, and facilitate critical thinking.  “Let my teaching fall on you like rain; let my speech settle like dew.  Let my words fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants. (Deut 32:2).”

Christa Liso
Third Grade – Apex
Christa has been an elementary school teacher for 5 years and has a passion for seeing children grow, discover and learn. She earned her BS in Elementary Education, with an ESL endorsement, from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2011. As of December 2018, she is Nationally Board Certified in elementary education extending through all subject areas and she is always seeking ways to grow in her teaching practice.
Christa was born and raised in sunny Southwest Florida and she and her family love spending time at the beach. She and her husband Justin, daughter Madelynn and Westie puppy Rufus, live in Holly Springs. Christa loves Jesus with all her heart and desires to glorify Him in every part of her life. This will be Christa’s first year at HLA and she cannot wait to see what amazing things God will do in the hearts and minds of her students this year.
Lauren Brady
Fourth Grade – Apex
Lauren earned her BA in Religion from Meredith College along with her K-6 certification. She also has a minor in History. After graduating, she taught 4th grade at a local elementary school for five years.
At becoming a mother, she left teaching and returned home for a while. As her children got older, she fell in love with the idea of Jesus being in her children’s textbooks as they learned, so when her children were school age, she homeschooled them for 4 years. Her family began at Heritage the first year it opened. Heritage has been a great alternative option for her family and she feels right at home in the 4th grade.
 Katie Talbo
Fourth Grade – Apex
Katie and her husband Logan have four beautiful daughters and have lived in North Carolina for the past seven years since moving here from Florida.  Their family are members and serve in various roles at Redeemer Community Church in Fuquay-Varina. Katie is a graduate of Johnson University and holds a degree in Bible and Christian Leadership with an emphasis in Early Childhood Development.  Since graduating college, Katie has been blessed to serve in roles from a full time mom, children’s church directory, homeschool co-op instructor and now most recently teaching here at HLA.

Katie fully believes that our only hope is found in Jesus.  Being able to take that love for the Lord and mix it with her love of teaching seemed like the perfect fit for Katie.  She strives to teach her own children, and now her students at HLA, that when we use the gifts and abilities given to us by our perfect and purposeful God, we will become successful in the deepest sense. 

Michelle Stevens
Fifth Grade/High School Guidance Counselor – Apex

Michelle joined HLA-Durham in 2018 after spending 10 years as an Army wife and a homeschooling mom. In 2019 she moved to the Apex team to continue to teach as well as serve as a school counselor in the high school.

Michelle received a B.A. in Religious Studies from Westmont College, a M.A. in Counseling Ministries from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and graduated from the Focus on the Family Institute. In private school settings, she has taught Spanish, Bible, and has served as a guidance counselor. Michelle is passionate about discipleship and encouraging others in their walk with Jesus. She treasures investing in students and supporting parents in their journey.

Kellie Auerweck
Fifth Grade – Apex

Bio Coming Soon. 

Heidi Reid
Sixth Grade – Apex

Heidi comes to HLA from the beautiful Great Lake State of Michigan where she was born and raised on a small dairy farm.  After graduating from Great Lakes Christian College (1992) with a BRE majoring in religion and minors in counseling, business, and education she went onto get her MEd in K-8 education with specialties in middle grades Math & Science at Milligan College in Johnson City Tennessee (1994).  After marrying her husband Jonathan in Michigan (1995), they quickly moved south where the weather is warmer and the sun shines more often. They moved to Raleigh two years ago from Marietta, Georgia with their three teenage children, the oldest of which has already headed off to Liberty University, opening a whole new chapter of family life. The youngest (Jorja) started as a 9th grader this year at HLA.

Heidi brings over 25 years of teaching experience to HLA, having taught at both middle and high schools for public, private, and Christian schools, homeschool and homeschool hybrids.  One of her greatest joys is watching children learn that their Creator reveals Himself to us through Math and Science and to give students confidence in applying knowledge gained in the world around them.

Janice Gregory
Sixth Grade – Apex

Janice is beyond excited to return to the classroom and feels extremely blessed that it is at HLA.  Born and raised in Prairie View, Illinois, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Illinois.  Upon graduation, she accepted a position with Dade County Public Schools in Miami, FL where she received Teacher of the Year honors for the 1984-85 school year.  After 6 years in the classroom, she left teaching to pursue other adventures.  She landed in North Carolina in the early 90’s where she met and married her husband, Martin.  They were blessed with 3 beautiful daughters, Katie, Lily and Abbey.  When their youngest, Abbey, was ready for school, they enrolled all 3 girls at a local christian school.  It didn’t take long for Janice to feel God’s pull back to the classroom. After more than a decade of chasing the world’s idea of success, she finally returned to the classroom. . .the place God created her to be.  She taught there for 10 years as her daughters attended the same school.  She left the classroom again after the birth of her grandson, Tucker, in 2016.  This time she pursued her favorite adventure yet. . .being a Grandma!

She learned about HLA from a fellow teacher shortly after the school opened.  Though intrigued by its concept, she was too busy being Tucker’s grandma and welcoming her second grandchild, Summerlin Faith in 2018.  But God’s plan is ALWAYS the best, and she once again felt pulled to return to the classroom.  She listened to His leading and applied to HLA.  No openings; not His time.  Then on July 26th she received an email from HLA asking if she’d be interested in teaching 6th grade!  It was finally His time, and, as always, His timing and plan is perfect (Proverbs 16:9).  The university model allows Janice to pursue her heart’s desires – teaching and being a Grandma.  She gives God the glory for the entire journey that has led her here, to HLA, where she can share her passion for reading, writing and history with His young leaders in training.

Kim Porter
Algebra 1/Admin Assistant- Apex
Kim grew up in Wilmington, NC and has lived in the Fuquay-Varina/Holly Springs area since getting married in 2004.  Her husband is Jeremy and they have two daughters.  Kim graduated from NC State in 2004 earning a BS in Mathematics Education.  She taught math at Cary High School and was a 1st grade TA at Green Hope Elementary before having children of her own.  Kim felt the Lord leading her to be a stay-at-home mom, also knowing that she would homeschool her girls.  While homeschooling, she also taught classes at co-ops and tutored high school math students.  Through homeschooling, she was able to teach (and learn!) from a God-centered perspective, which created an excitement and love for learning in her.  In 2018, Kim joined the HLA team teaching 3rd grade and Pre-Algebra while her children also became students at HLA.  This year, Kim is excited to focus on teaching Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry (as well as helping her 6th and 7th grader on satellite days).  Kim hopes to instill a passion for learning in her students because learning about the world around us helps us to know our Creator!  Kim loves Jesus and is thankful for the opportunity to be used by Him through teaching at HLA.
Sunny Yang
MS/HS Elective teacher + Student Support Specialist – Apex

 Sunny Yang believes God’s heartbeat is family. She joined HLA because she is passionate about serving homeschooling families, raising up Kingdom warriors one day at a time! Graduated from Liberty University, Sunny majored in Special Education, Elementary Education, and history. She enjoys living simply with Jesus, soaking up His creation daily.

Juliana  Jensen
Fundamentals + Pre-Algebra – Apex
Juliana graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an Elementary Education degree and certification to teach 1st – 8th grades. Feeling a tug on her heart toward full-time ministry, she attended seminary and studied in a Family Ministry program with a focus on discipleship counseling. As her family grew, she was surprised to discover a strong desire to homeschool her own children.

After 4 children and 10 years of homeschooling and co-op teaching, Juliana made a transition to a home-based business of one-on-one academic testing and educational consulting. She now believes that God has uniquely prepared her to teach in the UM educational setting at HLA and she looks forward to supporting and nurturing her students and their families both spiritually and academically each year.

Juliana enjoys gardening, making music and spending time with family and friends.

Chris Cockerham
Logic, & Leadership – Apex
After growing up in the northern Virginia area, Chris moved to North Carolina to attend UNC Chapel Hill where he studied Biology. While in school, Chris found two great things: his wife Jenni and a heart for young people.Over the past 23 years, Chris has served at the Cary YMCA as a Teen Director, as the area director for Young Life in the Wake County area, as a campus pastor for Hope Community Church and now serves as the Divisional Coordinator for Young Life College in the Southeast.
Chris brings his passion and energy for loving God and others into the classroom hoping to inspire others to love learning and discovering the beauty and intricacies of God’s world. When he is not teaching he loves walking his dogs with his wife, playing with his kids, reading, being active, laughing, nice slow dinners and watching comedies. He has always considered the chance to teach kids one of the greatest honors of his life.
Cheryl Klassa
Physical Science + Chemistry – Apex

Cheryl is married to John and is mother to three adult children. She was raised as a military child, moving to Germany and back to the States again. Somewhere along the way she fell in love with science and earned a Bachelor’s in Chemistry from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Her first post-college job was in Research Triangle Park doing research based on the Clean Air Act. She chose to stay home when her children were born. They were attending a local private school when Cheryl felt called to homeschool. She spent thirteen years homeschooling her children through high school graduation. During that time, she also volunteered at her church teaching Sunday school and chaperoning youth trips.

Ursula Fagerstrom
Middle/High School English – Apex
Originally from the Emerald Coast in Florida, Ursula’s first job aspiration was to be a journalist so that people could “know the truth and the truth would set you free” (John 8:32). Following that dream, she attended the University of Missouri, earning a Bachelor’s in Journalism, and began working at The News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, as a sports copy editor and designer, as well as a freelance reporter covering Christian music. At the same time she served as a volunteer youth ministry worker at Our Savior’s Baptist Church in Federal Way, Washington.

Wanting to merge the two vocations, she earned an English major and a Master’s in Teaching at the University of Washington to become an English Language Arts teacher.  She married her husband, Eric, in 2004 and they have three children – one boy and twin girls. She enjoys reading, traveling – she’s visited 47 of the 50 states (airports don’t count) – learning to cook new allergy-friendly creations for dinner and a movie themed family nights, and cheering on her children at sporting events or cheering with them watching American Ninja Warrior.

Kaitlyn Long
Middle/High English + History, Middle Journalism – Apex
Kaitlyn is a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Grades Education, with minors in Psychology and English. A native of Apex, she is a product of Wake County Public Schools and has grown up being led by devoted educators in her family and schools. It is here that she discovered her love both for learning and teaching. Kaitlyn has always felt God calling her into education, and is in awe of the doors He has continually opened to steer her career path in a direction she is truly passionate about.
While living in Wilmington, Kaitlyn served with Port City Community Church’s middle school ministry as a small group leader and intern. God used this experience to guide her towards ministry and to foster a desire to combine her love for Jesus with the gift for teaching that He has given her. She is excited to join HLA, and for the opportunity to invite Jesus into her classroom on a daily basis!
When she is not teaching, Kaitlyn enjoys reading, practicing calligraphy and creating digital art.
Erika Partenheimer
High English + History – Apex
Erika grew up in rural Wisconsin as the second of nine, all homeschooled, kids. Her family moved to Wyoming when she was 17, where she finished high school, attended community college for Music Performance & English, and then finished her undergrad at the University of Wyoming in English and Chinese. God then opened the doors for her to obtain a Masters degree in English and a second Masters in Theological Studies. After an overseas trip to a closed nation, God led her to return to school for a Masters of Divinity upon which she moved to Raleigh to attend Shepherd’s Theological Seminary. Driven by a love for missions, learning, and a desire to change the world through relationships, God has opened doors for her to study and serve abroad in several Asian, Middle Eastern, and European countries.
She is excited to help students discover and cultivate their God-given abilities and dreams, and explore how they relate to His story for the world. When not teaching, studying Greek and Hebrew, or serving at The Shepherd’s Church, Erika’s free time is spent traveling, enjoying family, especially her 13 nieces and nephews, taking online classes in law, international relations, politics, history, or business, and dreaming up how to reach the nations!
Kelly Frazier
Middle/High School History – Apex
After leaving her lifetime home on the farm in upper South Carolina and following the advice of her family, Kelly studied business in college despite her desire to become a teacher. She worked in a computer software company for twelve years on both domestic and international accounts by both teaching classes and writing manuals as well as other responsibilities. After marrying Joe, she became a stay-at-home mother, which led to homeschooling their children for ten years. Eventually, Kelly became a tutor then director at Classical Conversations for five years, realizing her dream of becoming a teacher after receiving training to teach the Classical Christian model. She led two programs for eighth grade students for a couple of those years. Answering God’s call for their family, the children were enrolled in traditional Christian private schools and Kelly was employed as an eighth grade English teacher. After seven years at Cary Christian School, Kelly joined HLA. In her twelfth year as an eighth-grade teacher, she eagerly leads the students in Omnibus and Logic instruction, exploring God’s loving work through history and literature. Outside of the classroom, Kelly enjoys spending time with her four children and husband. Her photographer daughter recently graduated from college, oldest son is a college senior while her twin sons are off to college for their first year. She can be found knitting, camping, or taking in a movie with her husband in her spare time. Every year promises exciting adventures ahead for Kelly, her family, and her students.
Shawn Bertholf
Middle/High School Science – Apex
After growing up in New York, Shawn moved to Florida to attend Clearwater Christian College where he studied Science Education. After college, Shawn moved to Seoul, South Korea to teach high school science and met his wife, Allison there.  While in Seoul, Shawn received his Masters in Education from Liberty University online.  After living overseas in Korea for 14 years, the LORD had called Shawn and Allison back to the states.
Shawn has taught both middle and high school science for more than 17 years.  Shawn brings his excitement and passion for GOD’s creation to the classroom.  His desire to have the students explore what GOD has created is shown in his labs and hands-on activities.  When he is not teaching he loves spending time with his children, watching movies, and traveling.
Gentry Doggendorf
Geometry + Algebra 2 – Apex
Gentry is excited to return to the classroom this year after being a full time mom for the past 9 years.  She and her husband, Jeff, have lived in North Carolina since 2006 and have two children, Josie and Jay.  Gentry and her family are active members of Macedonia Baptist Church where they have attended for many years.

Born and raised on a wheat farm in Kansas, Gentry loves being outdoors and traveling back to the family farm whenever she can.  She earned an Associates of Arts degree from Hesston College (a Christian college in Hesston, Kansas) where she played volleyball and basketball.  She then transferred to Kansas State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS degree in Secondary Mathematics Education.  She has 9 years of teaching experience in the Kansas and North Carolina public school systems.  During this time, she received National Board Certification, served as a Department Chair, and coached volleyball for several years.

Gentry has loved her time at home with her two children, but has recently felt the Lord calling her to return to education.  She is excited to follow where God is leading her, and is thankful for the opportunity to work in a Christian environment.  Gentry enjoys working with young people and looks forward to using her abilities at HLA to help students build confidence in themselves, their math skills, and their walk with God.
Nicholas Armogida
Middle P.E/Spanish + High School Spanish/Missions/Musical Performance – Apex
Nicholas Armogida is a Raleigh native who met the Lord after leaving high school.  God soon blessed him with a wonderful wife, Candace, and they have four amazing children together.  He has served as Youth Pastor at Calvary Chapel in Apex for a little over the last decade and has now started a non-profit to raise funds for missions work in Haiti.  His time serving with Haitians has given him key insight into relational evangelism, gospel missions, learning foreign languages and the nature of poverty.   He will be teaching Spanish classes with a missions focus as well as musical performance classes.
Nicholas values honesty, humility and compassion and brings those qualities into the classroom for his students.  For leisure, he enjoys exercise, playing music, reading, and being outdoors in God’s Creation.  Nick considers the spiritual gift of teaching as a part of his purpose and calling from the LORD and considers it an honor to teach students in a classroom setting.
Josh Estep
HS Apologetics – Apex

Bio coming soon.

Katye Wood
Music – Apex
Growing up in a musical family Katye was able to take both piano and violin lessons as well as performing with several choirs and in many musicals. It helped develop a deep love of learning music and being a part of group performances. She was able to continue that learning at Taylor University, in Upland Indiana, where she studied Music Education and Communications Studies.

After Taylor Katye interned in youth ministry at a church, worked as house staff in a therapeutic boarding school, and taught preschool for ten years, as well as teaching private piano, voice, and violin lessons for the last 20 years and various week long music camps. She is so excited to go back to her first love of teaching music in the classroom where she is passionate about helping students learn about themselves and their world through the lens of music and giving them the tools to be life long music makers and music enjoyers!

Jay Helms
Physical Education – Apex
Jay is a local product, having grown up in Cary. From an early age, he had a sense that some of his best gifts lie in teaching. After getting a Civil Engineering degree in college, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. He then served as a pastor in the eastern half of North Carolina in the United Methodist Church for 15 years. Most recently, he was worked with Networks Basketball and the YMCA of the Triangle to coaching teach over 1,200 young athletes of all ages and skill-levels.

Some of the books that have informed Jay’s life journey over the last half-decade are “Love Does” by Bob Goff, “Mindset” by Dr. Carol Dweck, “Beautiful Outlaw” by John Eldredge and “The Underground Railroad” by William Still. Additionally, he enjoys road trips and videography. When you see him, ask him about the time he flew his drone over Beverly Hills.
His favorite Bible verse is 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

Jay met his wife Carla in college. Together they have four children, Anna (15), David (13), James (11), and Roger (1).

Kim Elliott
Art – Apex
Kim Elliott was born in raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from California Lutheran University with a Bachelor ‘s Degree in Fine Art. A couple years after graduating college, she met the love of her life, Josh on a missions trip to Guatemala through their church. They have four amazing children: Hannah, Abby, Ben, and Sam. The Lord opened the door for her to teach 1st – 12th grade art at her children’s classical Christian school in Southern California. Then the Lord paved the way for Kim and her family to leave Los Angeles and move to North Carolina. This year, she will be serving at all the HLA campuses (Hope, Summit Apex and Durham) as the art teacher for first through eighth grade students. She couldn’t be more thrilled!
Dana Cordell 
High School Bible – Apex
Originally from the mountains of East Tennessee, Dana attended Carson Newman College and pursued a psychology degree. However, God redirected her path as she married her husband Sean and they moved to Wake Forest where she graduated with her bachelors in Biblical Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological College (now, The College at Southeastern). Sean and Dana have served in full time ministry roles for over 25 years. Dana has a love for God’s Word and her passion is to help others treasure Christ. Her classroom strategy for teaching Bible is blend between head and heart, knowing that the goal is to make whole-hearted lovers and followers of Jesus who know Christ and desire to make Him known. 
Dana has over 12 years of education experience, from homeschooling, directing classical conversations, and teaching Bible to middle and high school in a private school for five years. She and her husband Sean have four children between the ages of 10 and 19. Dana serves alongside her husband as pastors wife at Treasuring Christ Church in Raleigh North Carolina. Dana loves cooking, watching sports, being outdoors, reading, and has a special place in her heart for her bulldog Josie. 
Beverly King
Spanish – Apex
My name is Beverly King and I am very excited to be a part of Heritage this year at the Apex campus. My formal education includes a Bachelor’s degree in French from North Georgia College, a French immersion program at Laval University, and the Governor’s Language Institute Spanish immersion program at Appalachian State University. Previously, I have served as a foreign language teacher for K-12 students in both public and Christian schools. I am pleased that Heritage allows me to apply my foreign language skills in a Christian environment which includes both elementary and middle school students.

My experience has been that learning through song allows students to retain new language concepts far longer than simple memorization. I have applied this wonderful tool of teaching in all of my elementary classes and they have enjoyed it! In my middle school classes (7/8), it is my desire to provide the students with some conversational skills in the language which they could easily incorporate, whether it be on a mission trip or family trip to a Spanish-speaking country. I am also excited to take a closer look at Spanish-speaking countries around the globe.

Anya Butcher
Latin – Apex
Anya is wife to Jonathan and mother to Josiah, Lydia, and Micah. They have lived in Raleigh since 2011 and are members of the Summit Church, where they have served in the children’s ministry, small group leadership, and other volunteering. Besides Spanish language and culture, she has studied Latin, German, and sign language, and she always loves learning about other cultures and times. In her spare time she enjoys baking, quilting, and playing the piano.

Anya graduated from Asbury University in Kentucky with a degree in social work and a minor in Spanish. After moving to Raleigh, she taught high school Spanish at North Raleigh Christian Academy from 2011-2014, taking one year of maternity leave to substitute in the elementary, middle, and high school. She transitioned to staying home when her second child was on the way and have spent the last three years caring for our family as well as babysitting for several other families in her home.

Robbie Spiers
Middle School Worship Band – Apex
Recently married 2 years ago, Robert (Mr. Robbie) moved to Apex to live with his new bride KK and stepsons Austin and Grant. Originally from Virginia, he has 2 grown sons, Joel and Nathan. Robbie is active at Summit-Apex as a Small Group Co-leader with his wife and is on the Summit-Apex worship team.
Prior to moving to NC, Robbie was a public-school Band Director at Lancaster High School in Virginia. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Instrumental Music from James Madison University. While at Lancaster he grew the high school band program to 190 members in 10 years. His bands performed all over the Eastern US as well as overseas in London, Bahamas, and Bermuda. His bands were known for their superior performances both in concert as well as marching band. He retired in 2018 after teaching at the same school for 33 years. In 2018 he was named teacher of the year for Lancaster County Schools. In addition to his teaching job Robbie was the Music Director and Worship leader at Kilmarnock Baptist Church (Va) for 10 years. He directed the choir, lead the worship band, and planned music for all services.
“I feel extremely excited and blessed to be a part of HLA. The fact that I can teach music, disciple young people, and serve my Lord and Savior is incredible.”
In his spare time, Robbie enjoys walking, biking, playing the trumpet and just spending quality time with his wife. Robbie volunteers weekly at “With Love from Jesus” where he enjoys being God’s Hands and Feet.