Davidson Green School Teachers

 

Head of School

Jennifer Jakubecy is the Cofounder and Head of Davidson Green School. She holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in education from the University of Virginia. She has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Prior to Davidson Green School, Jennifer taught at the University of Mary Washington, College of Education, where she taught pre-service teachers best instructional practices. She is passionate about teaching children through a natural, holistic approach that inspires students’ innate curiosity and problem solving. Her hobbies include camping, yoga, and animal assisted therapy.

Science and Sustainability Coordinator

Kathleen McIntyre is the Cofounder and the Coordinator for Science and Sustainability for Davidson Green School.  She holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Health Science and a Master’s degree in Forestry Resources from the University of Georgia in addition to being certified in Secondary Education and Permaculture Design.  Kathleen has taught Biology and Earth Science at the high school and college level; and enjoyed teaching gardening and homesteading program at a children’s camp.  In 2012, she was elected to serve as President of The Children’s Schoolhouse in Huntersville, NC.  Kathleen is passionate about inspiring children of all ages to live in harmony with nature and enjoys creating opportunities for them to connect with the environment.  She loves going backpacking with her family, hiking, gardening, and animals.

 

whit dgs picUpper Elementary Lead Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher

Whitney Branisteanu is the lead teacher for the Upper Elementary class at Davidson Green School. She holds a M.A. in Early and Elementary Education as well as a Minor in Spanish from James Madison University in Virginia. Her years of experience include teaching 4th grade, 5th grade, preschool, and working with Kindergarten through 6th grade students as a gifted resource teacher. In 2013, she received the Educator of the Year award from the Dulles Chamber of Congress. Additionally, Whitney helped open a STEAM Lab in her previous school in Virginia, and chaired and established annual Walk to School Days, Family Fitness Nights, and 5th Grade TRASHion Shows. Whitney is committed to helping her students think creatively, take risks, solve problems, and be resilient when faced with a challenge. Outside of school, she enjoys writing, singing, boating on Lake Norman, supporting new mothers, and consuming cheese at every meal. Whitney resides in Davidson with her husband, two children, and dog, Conan.

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Upper Elementary Lead Math Teacher

Kim Smith is the Lead Math Teacher at DGS for grades 4th through 7th. Kim has a BA in education with a minor in math, science and gifted education, all earned at UNC-Charlotte. She is certified by the National Boards for Professional Teaching Standards in Mathematics and has her her North Carolina Environmental Educator Certification.

With 36 years of experience, she has held positions teaching, mentoring teachers and administration.

She is passionate about educating children, protecting animals and preserving the environment for future generations. When not at DGS Kim enjoys gardening, exploring new places, hiking, serving the community and spending time with family.

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Middle School Lead Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher

Michelle Erdt is the Middle School English Language Arts and Social Studies Lead Teacher at Davidson Green School.  She holds a B.A. in English and Business Administration from University of Maryland University College, and an M.Ed Science in Educational Leadership from Virginia Polytechnic University. Michelle has been in education for ten years and has taught at the middle and high school levels in Virginia, Texas, and North Carolina. She also teaches online ESL courses to children in Asian countries.  She believes that true learning happens through experience and strives to give her students as many experiences as possible inside and outside of the classroom.  When she is not in the classroom, Michelle enjoys whitewater rafting, kayaking, hiking, traveling, reading,and spending time with her family. She is very excited to bring her passion for experiences and education to Davidson Green School.

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Middle School Lead Math Teacher

Kim Smith is the Lead Math Teacher at DGS for grades 4th through 7th. Kim has a BA in education with a minor in math, science and gifted education, all earned at UNC-Charlotte. She is certified by the National Boards for Professional Teaching Standards in Mathematics and has her her North Carolina Environmental Educator Certification.

With 36 years of experience, she has held positions teaching, mentoring teachers and administration.

She is passionate about educating children, protecting animals and preserving the environment for future generations. When not at DGS Kim enjoys gardening, exploring new places, hiking, serving the community and spending time with family.

Middle School Lead Science and Engineering TeacherIMG_7490

Ed Haponik is the Lead Middle School Science and Engineering teacher at DGS. Ed is in his 13th year of teaching upper-elementary and middle school since completing his dual B.A. in Education and Music at Boston College. He has taught within public, independent, and charter schools, and has a passion for developing explorative, hands-on projects which challenge learners’ assumptions about the world.

In addition to teaching, Ed is an internationally known yo-yo champion, demonstrator, and contest judge. He holds a 2nd-degree black belt in the Japanese martial art of aikido and teaches classes at Aikido of Charlotte. Ed plays bass, ukulele, piano, and drums, and enjoys skateboarding, surfing, and exploring North Carolina’s natural beauty with his family.

Lower Elementary Lead Teacher

Lynne Erickson is the lower elementary guide at Davidson Green School. She holds a fine arts degree from Anderson College and a degree in Psychology with related work in Early Childhood Education from UNC-C. She holds American Montessori credentials in both pre-primary and elementary levels. With 30 years of experience in Montessori Education, she has held positions both teaching and in administration.

Lynne is passionate about providing hands-on learning experiences and quality education in a prepared environment that respects, promotes and appreciates the potential and possibilities in each child. She enjoys cooking, gardening, art and music and loves spending time with her 3 grandchildren.

Lower Elementary Classroom Assistant

Belkis Sica is a Lower Elementary Classroom Assistant at Davidson Green School.
She was born in Cuba and came to America as a child during the early seventies,
and has been a resident of Mooresville for the past ten years. Belkis is married
with two children and recently became a grandmother.
Belkis has sixteen years of experience in Childcare / Early Education as an
assistant teacher. In this role she has assisted the lead teacher with children of
various ages to help with their educational development and life skills. As a teacher assistant, Belkis loves working with children in this age group. She helps them grow in an environment where they feel comfortable and secure to where their main focus is expressing who they are.

On her time off, baking, antiquing and going hiking with her husband are her
favorite pastimes.

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Primary Lead Teacher

Collette Egan-Warner is the Primary Teacher at Davidson Green School. She holds Montessori Primary Certifications from CMTE/NC (AMS) and the London Montessori Centre. Collette grew up in Ireland in a very natural country environment. She is passionate about Montessori and once she was exposed to the Montessori philosophy it changed her perspective. She has been teaching Montessori at the primary level for seventeen years while rearing her family of four. She has taught at Marlboro Montessori Academy, NJ; Phoenix Montessori, NC and Countryside Montessori, NC, and is now extremely excited to join the Davidson Green School. Her hobbies include walking, bird watching, sewing and swimming.

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Primary Classroom Assistant

Judith Helms is a classroom assistant at Davidson Green School.  She has a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in school counseling, both earned at UNC-Charlotte.  She has worked as an assistant teacher at The Children’s Schoolhouse, which is where she fell in love with child-centered learning with an emphasis on nature and the full expression of imagination and creativity.  She has also worked as a classroom assistant at Metro School, a school dedicated to students with profound and severe disabilities. At both schools Judith learned so much from the students and the staff because she believes that the whole world is a classroom and every new discovery is an adventure. It is this passion for learning and genuine warmth for students that she brings to Davidson Green School.  She also has a deep respect for our environment and believes that nature can be the best teacher of all.  She loves to kayak and look for our wild neighbors, walk her dogs, and listen (and dance!) to music.

4427_80628574769_6786432_nBilly Jones: Guitar and Piano Teacher

Billy Jones is a performer, songwriter, and music educator based out of Davidson, NC.  He has released two albums of his original music, “Time”and “Without a Fight”.  As a performer, Billy has been a mainstay in the Lake Norman area for years.  He was awarded Summit Songwriter of the Year in 2012. As a teacher, Billy has taught thousands of private lessons specializing in guitar and voice.  He was the founder of the Davidson Green School music program and has been instrumental in helping it grow to what is now.  Billy also owns and runs the Birdsnest, a lesson studio/record store/performance venue in downtown Davidson.

Brian Burton: Drum and Percussion Teacher

Brian Burton is an honored graduate of the Berklee College of Music. He moved to Davidson in 2002 to tour with Cast Iron Filter. Since then, he has maintained a busy teaching, recording, and performing career with over 15,000 lessons taught and over 1800 performances. Highlights include work with Hipshack, Billy Jones, Rusty Knox, Coyote Joe’s House Band, Cast Iron Filter, Sy Arden, and Christ Central Church.

Brian maintains an independent teaching practice in Davidson, NC. He writes many of his own educational drum material and integrates current technology into his teaching. His students have gone on to receive prestigious awards, scholarships, music school admissions, band gigs, and praise band positions. He also hosts the quarterly student performance event “Drum-It At Summit”.

He currently leads the jazz based Brian Burton Trio and is the drummer for Sharon United Methodist Church. He also maintains a busy freelance career. Brian plays Vic Firth sticks, Remo heads, and is a Regional Affiliate endorser of Sabian cymbals.

 

Spanish Teacher

 

Maria Sola (Bio and picture coming soon, but in short… she is awesome!)