Anna Little has been an educator for fourteen years teaching in a variety of grades from Prekindergarten to 6th grade. Anna has a BS degree in Elementary Education (K-6) from East Carolina University where she had been a recipient of the NC Teaching Fellows Scholarship. As an educator, she has served in several leadership capacities and is continually looking to enhance her own education and professional development. Anna played a key role in the development of Walton Academy and has served as our kindergarten teacher since it opened. In addition to teaching kindergarten, she worked during the summers in an administration role on both the Academy and Childcare side. Anna’s vision for Walton Academy is that it will continue to grow and become known for its excellent teachers, concern for families, and academic achievements. We are very excited to have her as the Director of Walton Academy.
Col. Vic Coffenberry
LTC (Ret) Victor R. Coffenberry II, graduated from Old Dominion University with a BS in Business-Finance. Immediately after graduation, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army. During his twenty-one-year career, he served as an Armor Officer in Germany and Texas, deployed to the Mid-East for the Gulf War, served on the Army Staff at the Pentagon as Personnel Systems Manager, and as the Deputy Director for Personnel Administration at the US Army Cadet Command. As a lifelong learner, he took advantage of GI Bill benefits while on active duty earning an MBA from Old Dominion and a Master of Education from Troy State. Upon retirement from the Army in 1996, he moved to Greenville to teach Junior ROTC at North Pitt High School. In 1999, he completed ECU’s Masters of School Administration and in 2001 he received his first Assistant Principal assignment. For the next ten years, he learned about elementary education while serving as an administrator first at Eastern Elementary and later at Wintergreen Primary. In 2012, he was selected as the Director of Pitt County’s NC Pre-K Program. During his tenure as Director, all fourteen PCS NC Pre-K sites maintained five-star rated licenses. On January 31, 2018, he retired after twenty-one years with the public schools.
Dawn Singleton is a retired administrator from Pitt County Schools with thirty-two years of experience. Her last 10 years were spent as the principal of Wintergreen Primary and Wintergreen Intermediate schools. Dawn has a Masters in Elementary Education and a degree in Administration/Supervision as well as Curriculum and Instruction. Dawn was Pitt County Schools Principal of the Year in 2007. During her career, Dawn taught 2nd through 6th grade, supervised elementary interns and taught several reading courses as an adjunct instructor at East Carolina University. She has served as the K-8 Curriculum and Instruction Director, was an Assistant Principal and became the principal for Eastern Elementary and the Wintergreen schools. She has twins; Trey and Kesler Singleton. They both attend East Carolina University and will graduate in May 2018. Her vision for Walton Academy is for the staff to provide the optimum learning experience in Kindergarten through fifth grades. She is an advocate of the Arts and feels that adding the Encore classes of Spanish, Music, Art and Physical Education will greatly enhance the Walton Academy experience.
Lou Crawford has been an educator for 31 years. She is an ECU alumni, graduating with a BS degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in Reading. Teaching a range of grade levels from kindergarten through fifth grade has given her a strong understanding of the scope and sequence for learning. Lou has been a reading specialist for the past six years which has strengthened her in-depth knowledge of the teaching and learning of the components of literacy. During her time as an educator she has had a variety of leadership roles such as teacher mentor, clinical supervisor for interns from ECU, literacy trainer and grant writer. Mrs. Crawford is National Board certified in the area of early childhood generalist and she renewed the certification in 2015. In 2011 she obtained a master’s degree in the teaching and learning of Elementary Mathematics. Lou’s teaching principles are based on a child-centered approach while differentiating instruction to meet the needs of the individual learner. She feels there is no greater joy than to see young people grow into problem solvers and critical thinkers who have a heart for others in their community and the world. She is truly excited to be a part of the Walton Academy team.
Laila Farhadi knew she was going to be a teacher when she graduated as Vice President of her class at Rose High School. After receiving the Future Teacher Award, she began her educational foundation at East Carolina University. Mrs. Farhadi graduated with honors Summa Cum Laude in 1998 with a BS in Elementary Education. In 1999 she obtained her masters in Elementary Education with a concentration in Reading. She began her fifteen years of teaching in Snow Hill where she became Greene County’s Teacher of the Year. During that time, she became a National Board-Certified Teacher. She then taught at Creekside Elementary in Pitt County and became the school’s Teacher of the Year and a Pitt County Finalist. After teaching two years in Maryland, she took time off to raise her two sons. Mrs. Farhadi has taught thirteen years in third grade and two years in fourth/fifth grade. She has her Academically Gifted Certificate and Inclusion based experience. She has been published in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and has received countless grants. She looks forward to fostering a love of learning in her students and enabling their success at Walton Academy.
Janey Hachmeister, born and raised in Greenville, has been an educator for eight years. She graduated JH Rose High School where she received the NC Teaching Fellows Scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After earning her BA degree in Elementary Education from UNC, she received the Auxiliares de Conversacion grant to teach English to Spanish students in Madrid. Following her two years abroad, Janey spent several years teaching 4th grade in inner-city Durham. It was there that she discovered her passion for STEM education. She took a break from the classroom to become the Director of Programs at TechTerra Education, a company that specializes in STEM professional development, curriculum and education for students and teachers. After she and her husband decided to move back to Greenville, she has spent the last few years teaching fourth grade in Pitt County Schools. She is excited and looking forward to challenging, inspiring, and teaching her students to become the very best they can be!
Amy Sheppard has been an educator for twenty-eight years. Amy graduated from East Carolina University in 1989 with a BS Degree in Elementary Education and again in 1990 with a master’s degree in Elementary Education. She also received her AIG Certification from East Carolina University. Amy has experience teaching students in first grade through sixth grade. As an educator, she has served in many leadership roles. Amy has a passion for teaching and loves to engage her students in meaningful learning experiences. Her vision for Walton Academy is to continue to teach with passion and to provide a balance of rigorous and fun integrated learning opportunities for her students.
Taylor Sweet has been teaching second grade for three years in Buffalo, NY. She is certified to teach Early Childhood Education (birth-grade 2), Childhood Education (grades 1-6), and Students with Disabilities (grades 1-6). In addition to her professional experience teaching second grade, she has over five years of unique classroom experience on the kindergarten through fifth grade level. She also had an opportunity to teach first grade abroad in Auckland, New Zealand. Taylor attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2016 and her Master’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education in 2017. During her graduate studies, she completed extensive research on the impacts of technology on academic achievement, student engagement, and differentiated instruction. Taylor’s goal is to foster personal and academic growth in all her students by challenging them to explore topics independently, assume different roles as learners, formulate thought-provoking questions, and discover possible solutions.
Anna Saieed is Walton Academy’s school guidance counselor. Anna graduated from East Carolina University in 2017 where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development and Family Science with a focus on Early Intervention. She understands the impact that social-emotional development has during the early years. After graduating from ECU, she attended a Sanford Harmony workshop where she was trained and certified in research-based lessons and classroom interventions. Her mission is to spark social, emotional, and academic growth in our students at Walton Academy and we are confident that she will meet that goal!
Lead Teacher – Encore Music
Joy Carter is a retired music educator from Pitt County Schools with twenty-nine years of teaching experience. Her last twenty-one years of teaching were spent at Elmhurst Elementary School. Joy has a Masters in Music Education from ECU, is National Board Certified and was the Pitt County Schools Teacher of the Year is 2013. She is also certified to teach both World Music Drumming and Orff music. Mrs. Carter retired in 2015. During her career, Joy supervised numerous music education interns and taught Music for Elementary Classroom teachers at ECU as an adjunct instructor. She also taught private piano lessons in her home. Her husband, Dr. Scott Carter, teaches at the ECU School of Music. They have two daughters, Laura Carter and Mallory Adams. Their oldest, Laura, lives in Boston and manages a medical practice. Mallory is a second-grade teacher at Ridgewood Elementary. Joy and Scott have a 3-year-old granddaughter, Adrienne, and are expecting a grandson in December! Since retirement, Joy has enjoyed her “grandma” time but has missed the creativity and fun of teaching music. She is excited to start the music program at Walton Academy and looks forward to making lasting musical experiences with the students! Her plans include writing a Walton Academy song and utilizing both World Music Drumming and Orff lessons. In music class students will sing, learn to read basic rhythm patterns, perform on instruments, listen, analyze and create music!
Why is music important? Plato said: “I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.” Music is an integral part of our lives and for children to be fully educated, they need to learn about and experience music. Why music? Often, a child may discover great success and enjoyment in music class outside of the academic setting. There are many ways to be “smart” and music is one of them! Why music? Music is a critical learning tool that engages students and develops well-rounded individuals. Music classes also address 21st-century skills that include creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration often covered in cooperative group settings. As important as the educational value of music is, music class is also FUN and ENGAGING providing a break in the academic day for your child.
David Cary has been an elementary school teacher for the last 30 years. He has taught all subject areas in grades 2, 3, and 4 and spent his most recent years teaching here at Walton Academy. Mr. Cary has been recognized as Teacher of the Year at the school level at Bethel School and Wintergreen Intermediate School and was the runner-up for Pitt County Schools in 2011. Mr. Cary has served the students of Pitt County as a coach in football, basketball, baseball, and tennis. He was also a coach of Wintergreen’s Battle of the Books team. Mr. Cary, a graduate of Bloomsburg University, lives in Greenville with his wife, Julie. They have a daughter, Catherine, who attended the University of Alabama on an academic scholarship.
Randy Collier has been an administrator and educator in Pitt County and Green County Schools for thirty-nine years. Randy is a graduate of East Carolina University, Chowan Junior College, and Barton College. Randy has extensive experience teaching students in a variety of grade levels ranging from elementary school to high school. As an educator, he has served in many leadership roles. He has served as an Assistant Principal and became the Principal for both Green Central High School and Grifton Elementary School. Randy served as a Central Office Administrator as Director of the Health Sciences Academy, High School Director, and Director of Career and Technical Education. He has held leadership positions in the community serving on the Pitt/Greenville Chamber of Commerce, is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Pitt Community College, and is currently Secretary of the Foundation Board. Mr. Collier has a passion for education and is very excited to be a part of the Walton Academy Team and Family.