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Middle School Staff Directory
Evan Kurtz moved to Charlotte after becoming the Middle School Head at Prep in 2017. Previously he spent 15 years in Pittsburgh, working at Sewickley Academy. His time at Sewickley saw Evan in several roles - teacher of Physical Education and Health, Dean of Students, coach of many sports, and concluded with a year as Head of Middle School. Also, during his time in Western Pennsylvania Evan earned his Master's in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. Evan’s first teaching position was at Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC, where he lived after earning his undergraduate degree from George Mason University. Evan’s passion is for the Middle School age, which is why after 20 years he continues to enjoy working with adolescents. Outside of school Evan continues to explore Charlotte and the surrounding area with his wife and two high-school age children, making time to visit at least one new baseball park each season.
Heather Dixon joined the Charlotte Prep community in the fall of 2018 as the 7th and 8th grade Social Studies teacher. Originally from Jackson, TN, Mrs. Dixon earned her Bachelor of Science degree in History and Secondary Education from Bethel University where she graduated magna cum laude in 2004. Prior to joining Prep, she taught middle school social studies and science in Paris, TN and Atascocita, TX, before taking time out of the classroom to stay home with her two children. She has 5 years of teaching experience and has coached high school and middle school volleyball, as well as middle school track and field. Mrs. Dixon strives to instill a love of history in her students and believes that learning about the past should be engaging and relevant. She hopes that all students leave her classroom with a deep understanding of our nation’s past, having made strong connections between our past and present. When not teaching, Mrs. Dixon enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her family.
Melissa London joined the Charlotte Prep community in the fall of 2017 as the seventh and eighth grade Spanish teacher. She is originally from Saratoga Springs, New York. Ms. London earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish/Latin American Studies from American University in Washington, DC where she graduated cum laude in 1999. During her senior year at American University, she spent a semester abroad studying at Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires which further developed her love of everything Spanish. Melissa worked for ten years in the business community, before deciding to leave to pursue and share her passion of Spanish and Latin American culture and language. In 2009 she began her Master’s degree program in Secondary Education at St. John’s University, earning her Master of Science in 2011. She began her educational career as a high school Spanish teacher in Moravia, NY in 2012. Melissa then moved closer to home and taught high school Spanish in the Shenendehowa School District from 2013-2017. Throughout her teaching career Melissa has taught every level of Spanish from Spanish 1 up through AP/University Spanish. Ms. London strives to share her passion for the Spanish language and culture while treating her students with respect and dignity, recognizing their unique individuality. When not working, Melissa is an avid fitness enthusiast, enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends, especially her niece and nephews.
Dave Marchant joined the Charlotte Prep community in the Fall of 2006 after moving from Arlington, Virginia. Mr. Marchant has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he graduated cum laude with a concentration in mathematics. He taught for five years as a fourth grade teacher and coach at Prep before moving to the Middle School to teach fifth and sixth grade Math, Science, Language Arts and Writing. Mr. Marchant is a proud parent of two Charlotte Prep students who are in fifth and and sixth grade this year! This is Mr. Marchant’s sixteenth year at Charlotte Prep where he is currently the Middle School Dean of Students and the fifth and sixth grade science teacher. Mr. Marchant strives to create a classroom atmosphere where creativity and innovation breed success. He is a dedicated teacher, mentor, and coach and challenges his students to be their best selves mentally, physically, and emotionally. When Mr. Marchant isn’t in the classroom or coaching, he enjoys traveling with his family, fishing, boogie boarding at the beach, playing golf, and spending time with his mini-goldendoodle puppy, Maya!
Ms. McGovern grew up on Long Island, NY. She moved to Charlotte in 2016 and came to Prep in 2018 as a part time 5th grade mathematics teacher. Ms. McGovern attended Boston College and earned degrees in Mathematics and Secondary Education. After college, Ms. McGovern earned her Master of Education from the University of Virginia. Ms. McGovern began her teaching career at The Greenwich Country Day School, teaching middle school mathematics. She then moved back to Long Island and taught mathematics at a public middle school in Bellmore, NY. She has two daughters, one who currently attends Prep, and another who just graduated. Ms. McGovern enjoys spending time with her family, which also includes a dog and a cat.
Sylvana Murphy joined the Charlotte Prep community full-time as the 5th and 6th grade Spanish Teacher in 2020. Sylvana moved to Charlotte from Ireland in 2007. She earned a Post-Baccalaureate in English with a Concentration in Education from Queens University in Charlotte. Over the past decade, she taught IB English in High School and Spanish in Elementary, Middle, and High School from Spanish 1, through AP Spanish Literature. During that time she also earned a Masters in Teaching and Learning the Spanish Language and its Culture from the University of Granada in Spain. As a teacher, she encourages her students to appreciate and discover the value of applying lessons learned in the classroom to real life situations.
Her passion for languages inspires her to share with her students the advantages of mastering more than one language fluently.
Sylvana has two children; her son is a Data Scientist and her daughter a Graduate student of Neuropsychology. Mrs. Murphy loves nature, animals, books and traveling.
Noreen Roosa joined Charlotte Prep in the Fall of 2020 as the 7th and 8th-grade science teacher. Noreen grew up in Hurley, NY and graduated from Binghamton University with a BS in Biology. After working in the corporate world for several years, she decided to stay home and raise her three children. While substituting in her own children’s K-8 school for six years, she pursued and received her MAT in General Science from the University of Massachusetts. Noreen then worked in a private K-8 school as a science teacher. After moving to North Carolina in 2012, Noreen joined Holy Trinity as an 8th-grade science teacher, teaching chemistry and physics. Noreen is passionate about teaching earth, life, and physical science to middle schoolers.
One of her goals is to help students relate the science content to the real world around them. Some of Noreen’s favorite things to do include camping at the beach, traveling to the mountains, and visiting family with her husband and three children.
Ashley Shaefer is joining the Charlotte Prep community this year as the 7th and 8th grade ELA Teacher. Ashley received a Bachelor’s in English with Honors from Vanderbilt University in 2007, and went on to pursue a Ph.D. at Ohio State University, with goals of becoming an English professor. During her graduate school summers, however, Ashley worked for the Duke TiP Summer Studies Program and realized her heart belonged fully to teaching younger students. So, after achieving “All But Dissertation” status, Ashley withdrew from graduate school and moved to Charlotte in 2013 to begin her independent school teaching career at Cannon School. Ashley's passion is to instill a lifelong love of reading in her students and to teach habits of avid and active reading that support rich academic and personal growth. Ashley grew up in the tiny town of Paducah, Kentucky, and has loved living in big cities ever since. She and her husband got married here in Charlotte in January 2017, and spend much of their free time exploring Charlotte, often with their ten-year-old rescue dog, Rory, in tow. They are also avid world travelers: Ashley has been to ten countries in the past four years, and her passion for global connection is a huge influence on her teaching.
Ms. Stafford joined Charlotte Prep in 2018 as the Director of Drama for K-8th grade. She has eight years of teaching experience and holds a Bachelor's degree in Theatre Performance and Journalism/Communications from Lynchburg College in VA. She also received a graduate degree in Theatre Education from UNC Charlotte. Prior to joining the Prep family, Ms. Stafford taught in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools at Community House Middle School. During her time at Community House, Ms. Stafford led her students to top honors at the NCTC Middle School Play Festival, garnering Superior ratings, Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Acting Awards, Stage Design, and the Excellence in Directing award two years in a row. She has performed professionally at Rocky Hock Playhouse in Edenton, NC and stays active in the Charlotte theatre scene. Ms. Stafford encourages her students to build confidence through storytelling and expression. Her classroom is a fun and engaging environment where all students can feel safe to express themselves.
Ms. Stefanini has been a music educator for over 23 years and is entering her ninth year at Charlotte Preparatory School where she serves as Director of Fine Arts, and as the K-8th grade general music teacher and the director of the choral and musical programs. In addition to teaching at Charlotte Prep, her diverse experiences range from teaching general music and chorus at private schools in NYC, NY and Trieste, Italy, as well as public schools in Massapequa, Long Island and Charlotte, NC. Ms.Stefanini is a National Board-Certified Teacher who holds a post-master’s degree in Education Administration from UNC-Charlotte, and a master’s degree in music education from NYU with certifications in Orff and Kodály methods. Her awards and honors include the New York State Parent Teacher Association lifetime achievement award, Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District Teacher of the Year Award, Music and Arts Music Teacher of the Year finalist, and Veterans of Foreign War Middle School Teacher of the Year Award. As a vocalist, Ms. Stefanini has performed with the Charlotte Oratorio Singers, Carolina Voices, and continues to adjudicate vocalists for NYSSMA’s (NY State School Music Association) School Music Festival. Her choruses have performed at the Peninsula Yacht Club, Biltmore House, Carnegie Hall, and in Italian cities such as Trieste, Sorrento, and Venice. She has been a presenter at numerous state education conferences, and mentored teachers from universities such as Hofstra, Adelphi, SUNY Binghamton, and UNC Charlotte. “I teach because I had great teachers. Their passion to devote their time and talent to ensure I had access to a variety of experiences and opportunities ignited my passion to pay it forward to future generations.”
Renee Suttles joined Charlotte Prep in 2018 as the Middle School Physical Education and Health teacher and the Intramural Coordinator. Renee received her Health, Physical Education and Sport Science degree from Kennesaw State University. She has ten years of teaching experience. Renee started her career at Moses Middle School in GA. Renee was the Physical Education Department Head, taught health and physical education and coached multiple sports. After relocating to Charlotte, Renee spent five years teaching in the Clover School District in SC, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2011. Renee spent the next seven years at home with her two children. Outside of school, Renee enjoys building and refinishing furniture, family movie night, spending time with her husband and watching their two children play soccer and basketball. In the classroom, Renee believes that children need to discover different fitness activities that they enjoy, to be healthy and physically active for a lifetime.
Jim McCarl moved to the Charlotte area in the summer of 2021. He and his wife Robyn have long loved the area, and are excited to be new to the area, and working together at Prep!! Mr. McCarl is originally from the Louisville area and earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Middle Tennessee State University. He has performed and been invited as a guest artist/teacher in Panama, Costa Rica, and China. Previous to his appointment at Charlotte Prep, Mr. McCarl was the Band Director at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, Florida for nine years. While teaching in Melbourne, Mr. McCarl earned his Master of Music in Music Education from the University of Florida (GO GATORS). In addition to his work at Holy Trinity, Mr. McCarl was a regular performer with the Henegar Center for Performing Arts as a Trumpeter and Percussionist, as well as Music Director for numerous musical theater productions. Outside of school, Jim enjoys finding different performing outlets, playing golf, disc golf, and spending family time with his 1 year old son Jameson, and Shih-tzu Poodle Hammy.
Robyn McCarl is a new addition to the Charlotte Prep family. She and her husband, Jim McCarl, our new Band Director, moved to Charlotte from Central Florida in the Summer of 2021. Robyn has 2 years of experience in an administrative position at a mid-level private school and 6 years in other office administration positions. With an associates degree in General Studies from Eastern Florida State College and a wealth of experience, she comes prepared to be a helping hand in our school. Robyn enjoys spending time in the mountains with a cup of coffee and a good book. As a new mother, she is enthralled with the joys of motherhood and loves watching her son grow and learn. Be sure to welcome the McCarl family to Charlotte Prep!
Stephanie Mould joined the Charlotte Prep community in the summer of 2021 as the visual arts instructor. Originally from Clinton, New York, Ms. Mould grew up outside the mountains and earned her degree in fine arts at SUNY Oneonta. Upon graduation, Ms. Mould moved to Florida to earn her Master of Art Education at the University of Florida. Ms. Mould also spent five years total teaching in Florida at both a STEM charter school and an alternative public school. Ms. Mould believes that with the right exposure, every student can find success in the art studio, and hopes to instill lifelong habits of creative thinking, curiosity, and exploration. When she’s not teaching, Ms. Mould loves to paint, read, hike, and spend time with her Beagle, Honey. Also, when she has time off, Ms. Mould spends time with her family in the mountains (Adirondacks) and on the Gulf coast of Florida.
Michael Raskevitz grew up in western Massachusetts. After attending Salem State and teaching in Melbourne Australia, he moved back to Amherst and taught middle school and high school mathematics at Hopkins Academy. For the past fourteen years he has taught, advised, and coached at Cary Academy while also serving as the varsity lacrosse coach at Broughton High School in Raleigh. Mr. Raskevitz strives to create a classroom environment where students are empowered to take risks in learning and celebrate their own and others' success. Outside of school, he enjoys being outdoors, running, coaching lacrosse, golfing, and taking his beagle Shea on hikes.
Dawn Tenev is the 5th and 6th grade English Language Arts teacher. Originally from Massachusetts, she received a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Master of Science in Education from Wheelock College in Boston. In addition, she holds a North Carolina Academically or Intelligently Gifted certification. Prior to teaching at Prep, Ms. Tenev taught 5th grade in Brookline, MA before moving to New York City where she was a 4th and 5th grade teacher at The Brearley School, a K-12 independent school. In 2016 she moved to Charlotte where she taught 5th and 6th grade ELA at a charter school for gifted students for the past five years. As Ms. Tenev enters her sixteenth year of teaching, she always strives to create a challenging, engaging and supportive classroom environment where she encourages students to take an active role in their learning. She enjoys exposing her students to diverse cultures and ideas through the novels they read in ELA. When Ms. Tenev is not teaching, she loves cheering on many Boston sports teams and tries to catch a game when they come down south. Also, she can be found outside with her husband and two girls playing tennis, golfing, riding bikes or relaxing at the beach in the summer.
Jessica Sarnicola is new to Charlotte Prep this year as the Middle School Counselor. Originally from New York City, Jessica received her Master’s Degree in School Psychology (2007) and her Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology (2009) from Pace University in New York City. Jessica has experience in both clinical and academic settings with children and adults, having most recently worked for 11 years at Dwight School, an independent pre-k-12 school in Manhattan. While at Dwight, she served as the early, lower and middle school counselor, as well as head of the school’s grade 6-12 advisory program. Jessica has a real passion for social-emotional learning as a key component to school curriculum in developing the whole child as a successful learner, compassionate friend and responsible community member. Outside of school, Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband, young son and daughter, exploring everything outdoors, cooking, reading and running. She is also a proud Prep parent!
Katy Heard moved to Charlotte in the summer of 2008. She attended Bergen Community College, AAS Early Childhood Education, minor psychology and Pace University, B.A. Elementary Education, minor psychology. She has taught students with learning differences for 13 years here in North Carolina. Previous to that she taught in Bergen County New Jersey in the public school system for 6 years after graduating college. Katy has experience working with students aged 6 weeks-7th grade. She has training in Applied Behavior Analysis, Project Read, Technology Facilitator, Orton-Gillingham, The Hill Center for diverse learners and executive function, Wilson Foundations, Framing Your Thoughts, Handwriting Without Tears, Preventing Academic Failure, Merrill Readers, Explode the Code, Reading Mastery Program, and other Orton based curriculum/material to teach reading, spelling, and writing in an individual and small group setting.
She loves to watch and play sports. Previously, she was a tennis, soccer, and cross country coach. In high school in New Jersey she was a foil fencer who earned second place in the state with her team and earned other individual medals. She is married to a lovely man who is also in education. He is the head of a High School for students with learning differences here in Charlotte. They met at that school and married some years later. They have a 5 year old daughter who will be attending Kindergarten this year at Prep. Go Tigers!
Susan Friend - After School Care Teacher