meet our staff & volunteers
The Nest Academy Staff
HEAD OF SCHOOL AND FOUNDER
I feel honored and privileged to lead our staff, students, volunteers and board of directors.
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.
I love living in Charlotte as it has become home to me. I have 3 amazing children… Jaden 17, Josiah 15, and Jace 13, 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, building donor bases and fundraising, as well as non-profit, 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 in churches, chapel services and professional groups & have had the fortunate opportunity to see God do amazing things in and through the lives of the students that have been in my life.
WHAT A JOURNEY OF LIVING AND LOVING LOUDY!
Volunteer Math Teacher
Ann obtained her BA (double majoring in Math & Sociology) in 1992 and JD 1997 from Vanderbilt University. She has a Post-Baccalaureate Teaching Certification for Middle and Secondary Math from Queens University.
She has taught math at East Mecklenburg (Fall 2014) and is a private tutor for Algebra and Geometry.
Middle & Upper School Lead Teacher
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.
Volunteer Teacher, Specialist
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.
Volunteer Teacher, Specialist/Consultant
Jessica has served as an English teacher, department chair, director of studies, and assistant head at a number of independent day schools. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and a founding partner of 120 Education Consultancy.
Assistant to the Head Of School
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.
Middle/Upper School Teacher
We are so excited to have Elias join our team at The Nest for Spring 2021. Elias is a Sports Maangement Major from North Greenville University with a passion for teaching and investing in the next generation! Elias has previously taught at a private school in South Carolina where he coaches soccer and basketball. Elias is involved in making music on the side and will be a great example for our young men at the academy.
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.
Sophia is our intern from Queens University. She is in her senior year studying Psychology with a focus in Child Development. Sophia has been a huge help at The Nest!
Connor has been an intern with us for several years. She has a passion to work with our students and support in whatever needs arise.
Physical Education Teacher
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.
Educational Therapist , Educational Consultant Language, Reading and Speech Specialist
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.
Staff & Volunteer Spotlight
Hey everyone! I’m back! If you’ve been involved with the Nest for a while, you might remember me, but, for those who don’t, let me introduce myself. My name is Connor Derrick and I am interning here at the Nest for the fall semester. I first got involved with the...
So excited to introduce to you our newest staff member, PE, Health and nutrition teacher...Maiya Black-Keeling. Maiya started with us as a volunteer last year, teaching PE two days a week on her lunch break and has now joined our staff!!! Maiya’s heart for kids, her...
Hey there! My name is Connor Derrick and I am interning here at The Nest Academy for the fall semester! Throughout these next few months, I will be sharing my experiences with the Academy, as well as creating Student Spotlights on each of our Academy students! (Check...
Clearly God knew our need even before we asked...We prayed for a science professor and He sent us Dr. Dave Clark!!! Believing for the unseen is becoming more and more second nature as we SEE how much God blesses!!! What a blessing and privilege to have...
Friday Chapel continues to be our favorite part of the week, as we have had so many amazing speakers come to share their life experiences, devotions and encouragement, and real life biblical application. We are so blessed to have so many that have taken the time out...
It has been said that a volunteer isn't unpaid because they are worthless, but they aren't paid because they are PRICELESS!! WE know this to be true here at the Academy. Our budget could never afford the AMAZING, PRICELESS serving volunteers we have who SUPPLEMENT and...
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