Faculty and Staff


Georgeanna Wiest
Founder & Head of School


Georgeanna was born and raised in Cary, North Carolina and now lives with her husband, Chris, and their 5 kids on a farm in Holly Springs. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 2006 and worked for 7 years as a Postpartum/Newborn nurse. After bringing their daughter home from Taiwan in 2013, Georgeanna quit her job to stay home and care for her medical needs, which marked the beginning of their family’s homeschool journey. Given life’s circumstances, homeschooling was the best option, but still not their family’s ideal.

After her second child started Kindergarten, Georgeanna began to seriously consider what her role might be in starting a hybrid school in the Apex/Holly Springs area. Over the next couple of years, God made it clear that the need was great and He wanted her to take the lead in opening a University-Model® School. It has been amazing to watch what God will do when we simply put our “yes” on the table. She is honored to play a part in the story God is writing through HLA. 

Carl Chaney
Head Administrator

A desire to serve others by using the abilities and gifts God gave Carl instilled in him a deep passion for teaching and education, which led him to the mission field of the public school system here in Wake County for the last ten years where he was a lead teacher at Cary High School. In 2014, Carl took his first trip to South Sudan where he led teacher and administration workshops to help them establish schools. It was then that God started laying on his heart a desire to work with teachers as a coach and mentor. God has opened many doors since in preparation for this new role at HLA. Carl is overwhelmed by God’s graciousness and faithfulness as He continues to do more than we could ever hope or imagine in and through HLA to make His name great here in our community and across the world.

Carl is a husband to Elizabeth and father to two nonstop, beautiful children: Zeke and Haven. He earned a Master’s of Arts in Teaching degree in 2007 and had the privilege of impacting close to 2,000 students at Cary High over the last ten years. Carl was honored as Cary High’s Teacher of the Year during his tenure there as well as taking a lead role in initiating several programs to promote teacher development and growth. He also started a club called “Students for South Sudan” as a way for students to partner with the schools in the world’s newest country and looks forward to continuing this partnership with the community at HLA. Carl is extremely excited to begin this new journey to see how God will raise up the next generation to impact the world for Christ!

Jerusha Miller
Administrative Coordinator

Jerusha is a wife and mother of 5 beautiful children who she has been homeschooling for the past 6 years. Her husband, Tim, has been a huge support, enabling her to pursue many other dreams. They love Jesus, music and just about anything that means they get to run around and make some noise!

Her educational background is in foreign language studies, biblical studies, music and elementary education. While Jerusha’s passion has always been music, the Lord clearly led her down the path of teaching. She received her multi-subject credential for K-8 and an early childhood special education credential for birth-5 years old. She taught in an early intervention program for 10 years, and came home to be a full-time mom 6 years ago!


Allison Bertholf
Apex M/W/F Site Administrator

I am so excited to be back at HLA for my second year.  This year I am serving as site administrator on the Apex Monday/Wednesday Track.  It is a joy to be able to learn all the students and families by name!  I am also continuing to serve as the missions coordinator for the Apex campus, as well as teach geography to our Apex middle school students.  As I step into these exciting roles at HLA, I am overwhelmed with excitement to be able to be used by our LORD in a variety of different ways. It is my prayer GOD uses the gifts He has equipped me with along the way, as well as continue to grow new talents within me.  


My family and I are fairly new to North Carolina, as we recently moved from Seoul, South Korea, where we served as missionaries with Network of International Christian Schools (NICS).  There I had the opportunity to teach a variety of subjects, such as science, English, and Aquatics.  My husband and I have three children, all who were born in South Korea. My love for missions and reaching out to the international community runs deep, as I have been living abroad for the past 16 years. In addition to serving in a school setting in Seoul, my family and I have taken short-term mission trips to places like Indonesia and the Philippines. We have enjoyed leisure travel abroad as well, including visiting countries like Australia and Singapore. I come to HLA with a B.A. in Education with certification in Elementary Education, as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning for the Middle School Grades. 

LaVett Saddler
Apex T/TH Site Administrator

LaVett has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Jackson State University and a certification in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. Before joining the Heritage team, she spent over 15 years working in nonprofit management for local and statewide nonprofits. She left the traditional workforce four years ago and began transitioning into education while homeschooling her children.  That experience prompted her to blend her passion for education with her nonprofit expertise as a member of HLA’s administrative team.
In addition to her nonprofit experience,

LaVett has served as an adjunct professor at Saint Augustine’s College, and her heart to encourage and equip parents led her to become a certified parent-coach through the National Center for Biblical Parenting.  LaVett loves working one-on-one with parents to help them become better equipped in raising the next generation for Christ. She and her husband Dwayne reside in Raleigh and have four beautiful children: Darrian, Madison, Brooke, and Gabriel.

Scott Slater
Durham Administrator

I was born and raised in north-central Texas, growing up primarily in Ft. Worth.  I graduated from Texas Tech University in 1983, and began my career in education in 1985, teaching and coaching in public school at the middle school and high school level.  School administration was always something that I felt God had gifted me with, and I had the opportunity to move into that field in 1991. After four years as an assistant principal, I was fortunate enough to secure principalships in a K-5 elementary school for 14 years, and a 6-8 middle school for 5 years.  My last year of service in Texas was as principal of our district’s alternative high school.

In the spring of 2017, God began to show us that changes were coming for the Slaters.  I had started to think about retiring from the school system and open my mind and heart to wherever He wanted to take us.  That process, facilitated by the Summit Network, led us to a one week, summer mission trip to the Triangle working with Waypoint Church primarily.  While we were here in Durham, we experienced the Holy Spirit’s subtle calling. We fell in love with the mission of bringing the Gospel to the Nations living right here among us, and also began to hear about a new University Model School coming to the area called Heritage Leadership Academy. Donna and I relocated in July 2018 (one year to the day after leaving to travel back to Texas the summer before), and absolutely love it.  I am so encouraged by what God is doing here at HLA, and can’t wait to see what He has for us.


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

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.

Janice Bezanson
Kindergarten – Durham

Janice was born and raised in Pasadena, California. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies from Cal State San Bernardino and her Masters in Educational Technology from Boise State. She taught in the public school system in southern California for almost 20 years before retiring and moving to Florida. Janice is married to Glen, who recently retired from the produce business after working in this industry since he was a teenager. After a short stay in Florida, they felt God was leading them to North Carolina. They have resided in Durham since April of 2017. They are active members of Waypoint Church and spend much of their free time with their church family.

Janice has embraced the position as lead kindergarten teacher at HLA Durham. She loves having the opportunity to partner with parents to raise children up to their full potential. She is committed to growing children in all areas; emotionally, socially, academically and mostly spiritually. She feels honored that God has led her to this position and sees each day in the classroom as a blessing.

Anitra Elmore
First Grade – Apex

Anitra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Barat College of DePaul University (Lake Forest, IL) and a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Nova Southeastern University (Las Vegas, NV). She has a diverse teaching background, which includes experience in public school, private Christian school and homeschooling. She excels in classroom discipline and management and maintains an engaging, student-centered learning environment that incorporates multiple learning styles and hands-on discovery.

Anitra became a Christian in high school and has since served the church in teaching ministry, women’s ministry, and administrative support. Whether serving in the church or in the classroom, she maintains a commitment to amplifying the Truth of the Gospel and educating others to live full and purpose-filled lives. Anitra has been married to her husband, Darold for 24 years and they have two children: Annah, 17 and Donovan, 13. They’ve lived in a number of states, including Illinois, Nevada and Louisiana, and they are proud to call North Carolina their home.

Meagan Seymour
First Grade – Apex
Meagan is a teacher at heart and so enjoys the craft of the classroom. She graduated with her BA from Wake Forest University but it was her NC teaching license from NCSU that truly struck a cord in her heart. She taught at two local public high schools for many years before deciding to stay home after the birth of her first born. From that point until now, she has been either teaching for the NC Virtual Public School or at her church in the 1nd and 2nd grade Sunday School class. Meagan‘s youngest son recently began kindergarten and she felt God’s call to return to the classroom. It was with great joy that she joined the HLA family.
Meagan has a  sincere heart for discipling younger generations. She is honored and humbled by the opportunity the Lord has given her to be in the classroom. It is her fervent prayer that the Lord will use her as His servant in the process of growing and nurturing her students. Meagan is wife to Aaron for 16 years and mother to three beautiful, wiley little boys, Collin, Tanner, and Cole. All three of her children attend HLA with her.
Ashley Mason
First Grade – Durham

Ashley taught first grade at HLA’s Apex campus last year and is happy to be at the new Durham campus this year. She taught at a Classical Academy in North Carolina for 4 years prior and has also spent a year working at different private and classical schools as an on-call substitute teacher. Her heart is to see students of all ages realize and tap into their full potential; not only in academics, but in their God-given callings.

Ashley has traveled the world assisting in and leading service teams to countries such as the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, China, Israel, Tanzania, etc. In 2014 she helped found a non-profit organization specifically focused on raising support and funds for anti-trafficking groups around the world. Ashley has been married for 5 years to her husband, Scott, who currently works as an Outreach/Missions Pastor in the North Raleigh area. Previously, she was also employed as a Children’s Pastor alongside her husband in North Carolina and worked in this role for 3 years. Ashley puts her heart and soul into teaching students and helping them connect with the way they best comprehend and learn. Fun and wonder are an integral part of the learning process and that’s what she strives for in teaching the curriculum.

Kara Loomis
Second Grade – Apex

Kara has been working in the public and private school environments for over 15 years- specifically in the area of special education areas of autism and learning disabilities.  She has a passion for seeing kids learn in unique ways and develop a love for learning. She is passionate about not only teaching them academics, but helping them grow spiritually and emotionally as well.

Kara and her family recently moved to North Carolina from Illinois and they are loving the warmer weather! Her husband Matt is an accountant and her three kids attend HLA. With her family,  she loves traveling, relaxing,  and taking care of their 30 chickens! She is excited to be a part of this amazing school as a teacher and as a parent!

Jessica Penley
Second Grade – Apex

Jessica earned her BS in Elementary Education from North Carolina State University. Following graduation, she served as campus field staff with Cru at NC State for about four years before turning her focus back to Elementary Education. She has K-5 teaching experience in both public and private schools, as well as in tutoring settings. When working with children, she is passionate about nurturing each child as a whole, seeking to invest in them not only academically, but also emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

Jessica is wife to Jordan, who is the Mission Director at Vintage Church in Downtown Raleigh. In addition to her commitments to church and teaching, Jessica also directs a dance company that she founded in 2014. She feels honored and blessed to teach and shepherd students at Heritage Leadership Academy!

Donna Slater
Second Grade – Durham

Donna began her career in education in 2004. She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree and Teaching Certification from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, and her Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Literacy from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is also trained in Dyslexia instruction. She has taught kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade, and a dyslexia pull-out program in Texas public schools.

Donna has been married to her husband Scott since 1990. Their daughter and son-in-law, Hannah and Elijah, are expecting Scott and Donna’s first grandchild, Beau, to be born at the end of November! Scott and Donna also have a son, Samuel, who recently moved to Durham and is loving living in a new place. In July 2017, Donna and Scott came to Durham on a vacation/personal mission trip/church planting, fact-finding trip.Through a series of God-orchestrated events during that week-long trip, they headed home to Texas feeling as if God had something for them in Durham. A year later, (to the day!), they moved to Durham to be a part of the inaugural year of HLA-Durham. Donna’s favorite thing about teaching young elementary students is witnessing the amazing growth they experience in reading and being a small part of those successes in her students’ and families’ lives.

Amber Ross
Third Grade – Apex

Amber has over eight years of teaching experience, most of those years have been spent teaching third grade for the North Carolina Public Schools System.  She received both her Bachelors and Masters Degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education from California Baptist University.  This past year she was recognized as one of the third-grade teachers who ranked in the top 25 percent in the state and in Harnett County for the growth her students showed in the area of reading.

She believes that as an educator, she has an awesome responsibility to guide young minds and help shape their learning.  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).”

Kim Porter
Third Grade – Apex

Kim has lived in the Fuquay-Varina/Holly Springs area since getting married in 2004.  Her husband is Jeremy and they 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 becoming a homeschool mom.  Along with teaching classes at co-ops and tutoring high school math students, she has homeschooled her two children for the last 8 years.

Through homeschooling, she was able to teach (and learn!) from a God-centered perspective, which created an excitement and love for learning in her.  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.

Debbie Rook
Third Grade – Durham

Debbie is a native of Durham and loves teaching children of all ages.  She organized the first Classical Conversations group in Durham and spent 7 years tutoring middle school students in Challenge A.  This is all while homeschooling her daughter, Summer (17) raising her son, Cameron (4) and keeping her grandchildren (3 & 6).  The previous ten years of her educational experience was spent teaching music at Bethesda Christian Academy in Durham as well as 1 year of Kindergarten.  Before that, she enjoyed teaching in the Chapel-Hill Carrboro Public Schools (music) as well as Durham Public Schools (music/5th grade).  On a side note, she also taught private piano lessons for 15 years, as well as a few summers of specialized camps, including music, writing, geography and Latin. 

She obtained her Bachelors of Music Education from Mars Hill University and is currently working on her Masters of Special Education from Regent University.  She is certified in NILD Therapy, Level 1 and loves working with individual students to train their brain to strategize and overcome learning barriers.  Debbie has also led the children’s worship time at First Baptist Durham and a mother/daughter Bible study for the past 6 years.  When she has a free day, you will find her catching up on cleaning the house and playing board games with her kids.

Kori Spangler
Fourth Grade – Apex

Kori received her B.A. in Christian education from Gardner-Webb University, the same place where she met and married her husband of fifteen years. She received her M.Ed. from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and spent years teaching in both public and private school settings. After adopting their two middle children from the Democratic Republic of Congo, she made the decision to homeschool to have more time together as a family. After loving her experience as an HLA parent last year, she determined to pursue a classroom teaching position for the 2018-2019 school year. Kori has traveled around the world with various mission organizations training teachers and being deeply impacted by the cultures she has experienced. Her greatest blessings include parenting her six children, volunteering at Mercy Hill Church where her husband serves as part of the pastoral staff, and teaching her classroom of children here at HLA.

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.
Laura Claggett
Fourth Grade – Durham

Laura Claggett has been teaching since 2009 when she got married and graduated from Cairn University with a Bachelor’s degree in Bible and Master’s degree in Education. Since having her first daughter in 2013 she has enjoyed teaching at  2 different University Model Schools.

It has been a huge blessing to allow her to teach and stay home with her daughters. Laura loves to teach 4th grade academic content areas while sharing what God has done and continues to do in her life

Susan Ruark
Fifth Grade – Apex

Susan recently moved to Pittsboro from New Mexico, but she has spent most of her life on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. There she taught everything from 3rd grade through college level classes, mostly at Christian schools, but also public schools and colleges. Her areas of  special interest are history and reading.

She loves to sing, as well as fellowship with other women in small groups and bible studies. She is a historical re-enactor, representing colonial women from the 1600’s. Book clubs, reading voraciously, art, gardening, traveling, antiquing, yard sales, and her little dog, Cricket, keep her very busy! She is so excited about starting a new school, making new friends, learning from one another, supporting one another, and serving God in His new Heritage Leadership Academy.

Michelle Stevens
Fifth Grade – Durham

Michelle joins HLA after spending 10 years as an Army wife and a homeschooling mom. She has been married to Rudy for 17 years, and they have 4 children. She 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.

Shea Watson
Sixth Grade – Apex
Shea was born and raised in Alabama, is married to her husband Brett (married 2009), and has two sons, Zachary (born 2016) and Connor (born 2017). Brett and Shealived in Mississippi, Virginia and Jacksonville, North Carolina before settling in the Raleigh area in 2014. They are active members of the Summit Church, love being active and prefer spending time outside!
Shea received her B.S. in Secondary Education and Mathematics from Troy University. She spent time in high school serving on domestic and international mission trips, and she spent two summers during college teaching English in China. Shea has taught in both private and public schools across grades 6 through 12, as well as managed reading, math and ACT/SAT programs and school contracts with Sylvan Learning Center. She is excited about the privilege to teach and love the students, as well as love and serve families at Heritage.
Nicki Wright
Sixth Grade – Durham

Nicki has over 5 years of teaching experience working in public and private schools along with 6 years of experience working as Speech Pathologist Assistant in the school and clinical setting. Nicki earned her BS in Elementary Education from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. She also has extensive experience in tutoring from Pre-K up through young adults. 

Nicki is married to Brandon and has four children. Her family attends Hope Community Church and is actively involved the Special Needs Ministry at the Raleigh Campus. She feels incredibly blessed to teach and make an impact in the lives of the students at Heritage Leadership Academy.

Chris Cockerham
Omnibus, Logic, & Life Science – 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 22 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 College Director for Young Life at NC State University and Meredith College.
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.
Gregory Soderberg
Omnibus, Logic, and Biblical Principles of Leadership – Apex & Durham

Gregory Soderberg teaches Omnibus I and Logic at HLA – Durham and Biblical Principles of Leadership at HLA – Apex. He has 17 years of teaching experience in classical Christian schools. He has a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Culture (New St. Andrews College), a M.A. in Church History (University of Pretoria), and is completing a Ph.D. in Historical Theology (Free University of Amsterdam). He also serves as the Academic Dean of LAMP Seminary RDU.

He has published numerous articles and book reviews, and contributed to Omnibus VI: The Modern World, and More Than Luther: The Reformation and the Rise of Pluralism in Europe. He has served in a wide range of church ministries and non-profits, ranging from prison ministry to foster care. He and his wife Cynthia have five rambunctious children and the entire family serves with Safe Families for Children.

Ursula Fagerstrom 
Composition – Durham
Composition, Fundamentals of Math, Creative Writing, and Earth Science – 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.

Rebekah Dorris
Pre-Algebra & Life Science – Durham

Rebekah grew up in Asheville, from a young age aspiring to someday be a teacher and pass along her love of education to others. For a time, it seemed like the Lord had other plans and during college at the University of Georgia she felt called to pursue a degree in social work. Passionate about children and families, she pursued volunteer and learning opportunities which allowed her to serve nonprofits focused on child wellbeing. After earning her Masters at UNC,

Rebekah stayed in Durham to be a part of the work God is doing here, including the opportunity to be a part of the Heritage team. Her desire is to see God glorified in all things and to help her students grow and develop an understanding of God’s creation through math and science. She enjoys baking, hiking/being outdoors, and learning about other cultures (including a current attempt to learn Arabic).

Selina Murrell
Middle Schoo Geography & Missions Coordinatorl – Durham

Selina’s personal motto: Every day is an adventure! Modeling this reality of new life in Christ is her mission at Heritage Leadership Academy. As part of HLA’s Middle School Team, Selina teaches Geography using a biblical perspective, focusing on how the gospel of Jesus Christ reveals God’s love for the nations and His plan for salvation (Acts 17:26). As Missions Coordinator, Selina will organize opportunities for HLA to serve as ambassadors for Christ on campus and throughout the community (Acts 1:8).

Selina is married to Steve, calling Durham home for the past fifteen years. Murrell family adventures have included: homeschooling Machaela (15) and Steve (11), launching Steve from homeschool to middle school (2018), connecting with neighbors through prayer walks and community dinners, and serving the city as community-minded, active members of their church in Durham. A city planner by training, Selina graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning (2001) and a heart for building up and blessing people – all who have been created in the image of God to know, love and serve Christ. (Eph. 2:10)

Joanna Willison
Algebra – Apex & Durham
Joanna Willison was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia, just thirty minutes outside of Atlanta. She only left the big city when God called her to attend Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, where she received her bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in mathematics. She moved to the Raleigh area after her husband chose to attend Southeastern. Her passion for people and math have combined to give her a unique joy in teaching the next generation to develop the same mathematical skills that she knows and loves.
When she isn’t teaching math, you will find Joanna reading, knitting, painting, and catching up on all of her favorite TV shows. But more than continuing to develop the talents and abilities that God has given her, Joanna enjoys teaching students to recognize their own God-given strengths.
Kelly Frazier
Omnibus & Logic – Apex & Durham

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.

Katye Wood
Music – Apex & Durham 

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!

Anya Butcher
Latin – Durham

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.

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 this new opportunity at Heritage allows me to apply my foreign language skills in a Christian environment which includes both elementary and middle school students.

I believe as the Word tells us, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10) and any quest for knowledge outside of Him will serve to only “puff up” the individual (I Corinthians 8:1). Praise God for Christian education! My experience has been that learning through song allows students to retain new language concepts far longer than simple memorization. I am applying this wonderful tool of teaching in all of my elementary classes and they seem to be enjoying it! In my middle school class (7/8), it is my desire to provide the students a working knowledge of the language which they could easily incorporate, whether it be on a mission trip or family trip to a Spanish-speaking country. I hope to cover most of the basic grammar points, as well as the major -ar, -er and -ir verbs.

Laura Mann
Spanish – Durham

Laura graduated from Furman University with a BA in Spanish, and a minor in Secondary Education.  She also has a MA in Intercultural Studies from The College at Southeastern in Wake Forest.  Laura and her husband met in Mexico City, where she was the Director of the Baptist Campus Ministry at UNAM.  Laura, her husband, and two boys have lived in Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Indonesia, and have traveled extensively around the world.

They speak in Spanish at home.  Laura has previously taught Spanish at the high school level in a public school setting, English as a Second Language to students of all ages, homeschooled her two boys, and currently substitutes at all grade levels in the Wake County Public schools.  She loves to study languages and cultures, and strives to teach her students to do the same. Laura and her family are active members of the Summit Church.

Holly Allen
Latin – Apex

Holly is the Latin Teacher at the Apex Campus for 7th and 8th Grade. She is a native of North Carolina and is a graduate of NCCU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music. She attended Wake Christian Academy from Kindergarten until 4th grade and was homeschooled from 5th grade through high school. Her earlier education consisted of 5 consecutive years of Latin. Two years of which were spent completing the Cambridge Latin courses 3 and 4. She has taught Latin at homeschool co-ops previous to working at Heritage and is familiar with working with middle school and elementary aged students.

Holly also works as a music teacher outside of Heritage giving private Voice and Piano lessons for young children and adults alike. She works with the High school youth at Redeemer Community Church in Fuquay-Varina and is married to her husband, Paul Allen who is an attorney for the Town of Holly Springs. In her spare time she enjoys reading, playing the piano, staying active, and singing in the North Carolina Central University choir as an alumna.

Jay Helms
Physical Education -Apex & Durham 

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).