Brandi Williams, M.Ed
Director of Campus and Academic Affairs,
My name is Brandi Williams and I am the Director of Campus and Academic Affairs for K-12, here at Kent Academy. I have been in education for over 15 years. I am originally from New Jersey, but spent my teenage and adult years in Pennsylvania. I graduated from Kutztown University where I earned a Bachelors in Secondary Education with a concentration in English. I then proceeded to get my Masters in Education with a concentration on Curriculum and Instruction. I have taught students from various backgrounds including alternative education and early college. I believe that every child can learn, and we just have to identify the best way to teach each child. Education should be individualized and not a “one size fits all.” When not teaching, I can be found spending time with my husband and six children, or trying to train my doodle to do awesome tricks.
My name is Amanda Emmanuelli, and I am excited to be part of Kent Academy’s team, once as a parent and now as Office Administrator for the school. I have a BS degree in Montessori Education and kindergarten-8th grade teaching certification from Xavier University in Ohio. After moving to Charlotte, I taught for several years at Charlotte Montessori School and later at Charlotte Preparatory School. I’ve also had the privilege of sitting on the board of directors at a local private school specializing in neurodiverse learners. Aside from my school involvement, I was a longtime leader for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, guiding the girls from first grade through their high school years. I am grateful to land back at Kent Academy, a haven for serving the needs of children and families in the Charlotte community.
High School Co-Op Chair
My name is Brian Nelson and I am the high school teacher at Kent. I come from many years of non traditional teaching jobs, from homeschooling students with mental challenges to teaching English abroad. All of these experiences brought me to understand and appreciate the gap between students that could handle the rigors of traditional high schools, but wouldn’t necessarily thrive. I noticed that this population is underrepresented, which was my focus when creating the high school program at Kent. When Kent seniors graduate from our program, they will have all the tools they need for success in college and a vested interest in their own success. I love that no year is the same, I recognize that I don’t have all the answers, and can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds!
Orton Gillingham Instructor, K-3 Teacher, & Literacy Specialist
Hi my name is Sara and I am a teacher that believes every child possesses the capacity to learn and be successful. I have a passion for helping my students to not only find and achieve their individual level of success, but to also learn to embrace and enjoy the journey in a safe, creative, and nurturing environment. I have extensive Orton-Gillinham training with both The Institute of Multi-Sensory Learning and The Wilson Reading System, allowing me to customize literacy instruction to each of my students’ individual learning needs. In addition to over 100 hours of extensive literacy and math training, I have successfully completed course training focused on teaching students with ADHD. When not teaching, I can be found hanging out with my husband and 3 children, reading, fervently crafting away on any one of five million projects, or organizing yet another search party to find the missing owl carrying my acceptance letter to Hogwarts.
My name is Kaitlyn Rivera and I graduated from Mitchell College of CT with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education, and have my teaching certification in CT. I also hold a Master’s in Library and Information Science, and have my school librarianship certification in CT. I have been teaching since 2011 in Kindergarten and K-3 special education classrooms as well as K-12 school libraries. My philosophy of teaching rests on the pillars of learning through play, respecting each child as an individual, and building a foundation for confident, enthusiastic learners. My passion in teaching is centered around my love of reading and storytelling. I strive to instill this love in my students with the hope of creating lifelong learners like myself. I work to create a special environment in my classroom where we can create, play, sing, dance, and learn with joy. When I’m not in the classroom, you can find me avidly reading, playing with my two dogs, or exploring the city with my husband. To wind down I like to meditate, practice yoga, and have tea in my hammock.
3rd-5th grade Teacher
My name is Beth Kelly and I have been given the wonderful honor of teaching
students for the last 22 years. I am originally from Buffalo, NY, where I received my
BA in Sociology, but in 1997 I decided to move to Charlotte, NC and within a year
realized I wanted to pursue teaching. I attended UNC Charlotte where I received my
teaching certification in Special Education and have been teaching ever sense. If its
one thing I have learned, it is that every student learns differently and can be
successful and excel in the right learning environment. I have worked in a variety of
schools where I have taught students with Autism, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Emotional
Trauma, and Learning Disabilities. This is my passion and I feel so fortunate to be
able to teach these awesome kids every day!
4th-6th grade Teacher, Field Trip & Summer Camp Coordinator
I was born and raised right here in Charlotte, NC. My parents, sister, and brother and sister-in-law along with my nieces and nephew, all live in Charlotte. I graduated from Independence High School in 2000 and went to UNC Charlotte for college where I studied to be a teacher and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2003. I’m certified to teach Kindergarten through sixth grade. I’ve taught school for 18 years and during that time, I’ve taught all elementary school grades in different capacities. I began my career at Newell Elementary in the CMS system, then was a nanny for a couple of years for younger children, followed by a stint at Mountain Island Day School. I’ve been at Kent Academy since the fall of 2012 and wouldn’t want to be teaching anywhere else :). In addition to teaching lower school at Kent, I run a baseball league, called YMCA Miracle League for children and adults with special needs at the Keith Family YMCA. In my free time, I love playing sports and hanging out with my family and friends.
Middle & High School English/Language Arts and Writing Teacher, School Newspaper Facilitator
My name is Katie Sherman. I graduated from West Virginia University with B.A.s in News Editorial Journalism and English Language & Linguistics (2006). I have been fortunate to work in the English departments of several noteworthy universities including The International Academy of Design & Technology in Chicago, IL, Southern Piedmont Community College in Monroe, NC, and Converse University in Spartanburg, SC. I taught everything from Introduction to Literature to Fashion Publicity. In 2018, I received an MFA in Creative Writing and this past year, my first collection of short stories was published through a small independent press. I believe all students have the innate ability to be successful. I strive to bring enthusiasm and creativity to the classroom so students can realize their true potential. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis with my husband, Ben, and reading books with my daughters, Ella (9) and Addie (6).
Middle School Chair/Teacher; HS Math Teacher, Yearbook Facilitator, Media & Marketing Coordinator, Technology Facilitator
My name is Jarvis Miller; I am originally from a small town, Laurens, SC. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from South Carolina State University; I also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix. I have always
possessed a passion for mathematics and computers and later developed an even bigger passion for teaching. I started my career in education teaching GED courses to juveniles who struggled to learn in public schools. Two years ago, I started teaching introductory computer science courses at a local college. I started teaching middle school mathematics in the spring of 2021. Outside of the classroom, I serve as the Church Administrator at my church and a manager for the Center for Digital Equity at Queens University Charlotte. Although I have only been at Kent for a few months, the students, faculty and parents have made me feel like I have been a part of the Kent family for years. I look forward to pouring knowledge into the students as they pour knowledge into me.