meet our staff & volunteers

 

Volunteers

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The Nest Academy Staff

 MC (Mary Catherine) Hildreth

MC (Mary Catherine) Hildreth

Head of School

HEAD OF SCHOOL AND FOUNDER

 

I feel honored and privileged to lead our staff, students, volunteers and board of directors for the past 12 years.  

Each day I have a ‘bird’s eye view’ of the impact that the gift of education from The Nest is making in the lives of our students.  It is my passion to teach and inspiring our students, lead our staff and engage our volunteers of The Nest Academy and empower Charlotte’s most vulnerable children to ‘find out what happens when they don’t give up’.  

 I love living in Charlotte as it has become home to me.  I have 3 amazing children… Jaden 18 (Nest Academy Class of 2021 Alumna), Josiah 16, and Jace 14, who attend the Nest Academy and are my world.  I feel so blessed to be mom and head of school to them.

Leadership,  outreach & discipleship have always been my passion,  as well as encouraging and inspiring mental,  physical and spiritual importance in other’s lives!  I became a personal trainer to further my expertise, knowledge & experience and LOVE challenging our students and staff to strengthen themselves emotionally,  physically  and spiritually!

 

I have over 20 years in full time ministry, leadership, outreach, building education, development and advancement,  building donor bases and fundraising, as well as non-profit education, ministry and fitness consulting.   

In 20 years, I’ve founded and co-founded two 501(c)(3) non-profits, successfully developed a strategic and successful donor base,  founded a fitness outreach ministry,  created a Christian health/fitness curriculum used in our Academy & local churches called ‘Christfit”,   was recognized as one of The Mecklenburg Times 50 Most influential Women of Charlotte,  have spoken on panels across NC and the US, led professional and development seminars in churches, chapel services and professional groups & have had the fortunate opportunity to see God do amazing things in and through the lives of these students that have been in my life.  

WHAT A JOURNEY OF LIVING AND LOVING LOUDY!

 

Kelli Bush

Middle School Teacher

Jackie Cristobal

Jackie Cristobal

Middle & Upper School Lead Teacher

[email protected]

Jacki obtained her Bachelor’s in Education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She is a Certified teacher specializing in language. Her teaching career began in 2009 as the FIRST Nest Academy teacher to the first 5 academy girls. Jacki’s love for teaching and experience has grown and she is lead teacher of The Nest Academy, now 13 years later.

Ellen Leitch

Ellen Leitch

Lower School ESL Teacher

[email protected]

 Ellen Leitch is a 1984 graduate of the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Commerce. After graduation she worked as a CPA at Coopers & Lybrand ( now PWC)in Washington, DC. She married David Leitch in 1985 and they have three children. While raising their kids, Ellen taught ESL to the immigrants and diplomats from 33 different countries  through McLean Presbyterian Church and coached gymnastics at the YMCA. 

In 2005, the Leitches moved to Michigan for David’s job. Ellen tutored at-risk kids in an after-school enrichment/dinner program. She was also on the board of The Lighthouse,a community-based organization that housed and educated homeless mothers until they became self-suffircient. 

Ellen and David have been in Charlotte since 2016, when David took a job with Bank of America. Ellen has recently left the board of Council for Children’s Rights and is excited about becoming more involved with The Nest. Her hobbies include cooking, golf, travel, and her dog, Cash. 

Meghan Silvia

Meghan Silvia

Middle/High School Chemistry & Math Teacher

[email protected]

Meghan has a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Purchase College, State University of New York. She obtained her Masters of Science Education, in Secondary Science Education from City University of New York, Lehman College.  She has been teaching science for the past 8 years in New York City. Meghan loves to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with her family.

Debbie Knudson

Debbie Knudson

Lower School Teacher

Alexandria Buttgereit

Alexandria Buttgereit

Assistant to the Head Of School

[email protected]

Alexandria is our assistant from Alabama. She graduated from the Univeristy of North Alabama with a major in Spanish Commerce and with minors in French and Marketing & Communication Technology. She has worked with students around the world and assists the head of school.

Jan Aaron

Jan Aaron

Educational Therapist , Educational Consultant Language, Reading and Speech Specialist

[email protected]

Jan joins our Nest with a B.S., Education; M.S., Educational Psychology 

She is Professionally Certified NILD Educational Therapist, an Orton-Gillingham Educator and has a Private Practice in Matthews, NC, Educational Therapists of the Carolinas.

 

 

 

Laura Reed

Laura Reed

Teacher/Administrative Staff

[email protected] 

Laura Reed joined the Nest Academy’s staff in 2019 as volunteer middle school teacher and is now teaching all grade levels and serves and co-leads the Nest’s Administrative staff.  

Prior to joining the Nest Academy, Laura was the Director of Professional Development for the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools (NCAIS) for 6 years. Before working with the state association, Laura served as Head of School at Noble Academy in Greensboro for 8 years. She has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Special Education  from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. 

Ramsey Howard

Ramsey Howard

Intern

Elodie Deneassembaye

Elodie Deneassembaye

Intern

Eddie Bell

Eddie Bell

Physical Education Teacher

[email protected]

A former pro football athlete driven by his faith, family and fitness has a BA from Elon University and over 10 yrs teaching experience. Prior to coming to The Nest, Eddie was teaching and in administration at Martin Luther King middle school and specializes in special needs and physical education.

Reesh Ohgra

Reesh Ohgra

Physical Education Teacher

Staff & Volunteer Spotlight

Intern Spotlight: Alexander

My name is Alex Jackson and I am very grateful and excited to have the opportunity to intern with the Nest Academy this summer!  I am a rising sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill studying Business and Public Policy and I am looking forward to helping grow The Nest in any way...

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Intern Insider with Sophia!

I had an amazing opportunity to intern at The Nest Academy this semester. I had not heard of the Nest Academy before and was not sure what to expect. But from the first day, I knew that I was at the right place. Interning has developed my interest even more in working...

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Volunteer Spotlight: Ariana

This week we want to spotlight another great volunteer! Ariana actually began as a virtual tutor in January and transitioned back to in person with us! She is a native Charlottean and graduated from North Carolina State University with degrees in Graphic Design and...

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Volunteer Spotlight: Ella

Ella is our volunteer that has been with us since mid-semester last fall! She is a freshman at UNCC and majoring in Bachelors of Science in Biology and minoring in Chemistry, but also thinking about adding a Healthcare Management major. Her personal goal is to get...

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Volunteer Spotlight: Liddy

Liddy is one of our new volunteers this semester! She is from Huntsville, Alabama. Liddy attends Davidson College and is studying philosophy while on the pre-med track. Liddy loves the role she has as a tutor. She loves the privilege of developing relationships with...

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Volunteer Spotlight: Carter

Carter is a new volunteer with us this semester! His primary focus is on math and he works with our lower school students. He majored in Finance at NC State and since graduating has spent the last year working as an enterprise sales rep for software companies.  We...

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