Faculty and Staff
Xavier King | Principal | firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. King is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina. Mr. King received his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University. He immediately began teaching High School Social Studies in Gaston, North Carolina. His favorite class to teach is Civics and Economics. He later moved back to Charlotte, NC and began teaching at his alma mater. Mr. King enjoys teaching and decided to continue his studies in School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill. Mr. King has worked in several middle and high schools as an Assistant Principal. Mr. King thoroughly enjoys working in magnet schools. He is excited about the future of WYMLA. He understands the importance of guiding and pouring into our young men during such a significant time in their life. When Mr. King is not at school, you can find him enjoying family time with his wife and daughter!
Kevin Murray | Assistant Principal (Thompson Campus) | email@example.com
Mr. Murray was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, but was raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is entering his 23th year in the field of education—all of which has been in North Carolina. He started in Davidson County working with sixth grade in the fields of science, social studies and math. He then came to Wake County Public Schools where he worked for a total of 12 years as a science teacher first at West Millbrook and then Dillard Drive Middle School. Mr. Murray was also the middle school principal of the East Wake Academy Charter School in Zebulon where he worked for three years.
Mr. Murray attended Kutztown University in Eastern Pennsylvania where he received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education (K-8) with a concentration in science. He is also certified in science, math and social studies in North Carolina. He has a master’s degree from North Carolina State University in School Administration.
Mr. Murray and his family live in Raleigh near the Rolesville/Knightdale area with his wife Valeria who is from Argentina. The couple has two children: Emma, and Sean, and three dogs. When he’s not working, Mr. Murray loves sports: whether it’s watching or playing. He is a former coach of soccer, baseball, football, basketball, cross country, and softball so he loves playing them all. Mr. Murray was attracted by WYMLA’s focus of helping each student be successful in obtaining a college education.
ANDREA GREENE FLOWERS | Assistant Principal (SAU Campus) | firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Greene is a graduate of Shaw University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Math Education and North Carolina State University with a Masters in School Administration. She has nearly 20 years of experience as an educator in North Carolina. Ms. Greene served as a math teacher at Selma Middle School and Ligon GT Magnet Middle School before transitioning into school administration. Prior to joining WYMLA, Ms. Greene fulfilled roles as an administrator at East Wake (High) School of Integrated Technology and Perquimans County Middle School, an Executive Director at the Achievement Academy of Durham, and most recently as an Academic Assessment Coordinator at Shaw University.
Cortina Dixon | High School CTE | email@example.comCortina Dixon is Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy’s CTE business teacher. She teaches Computer Skills & Applications I, II and II. Mrs. Dixon, like several of our new staff members, previously worked with Mr. Solomon at North Lenoir High School in Lenoir County. Mrs. Dixon worked in Lenoir County for 18 years and she still lives there with her husband Ricky and sons Covaunte, 16, and Jaheim, 13. Her son Maurice, 22, is attending East Carolina University where he is majoring in business and economics.
Mrs. Dixon graduated from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science in business education and she received a Master’s degree in school administration from East Carolina University. In her free time, Mrs. Dixon enjoys planning trips, working with youth at her local church, and teaching classes outside of school. Excited about the transition to middle school, Mrs. Dixon is looking forward to working with the staff, students, and parents of Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy.
Michelle Blanck | Spanish | firstname.lastname@example.orgMs. Blanck joined the WYMLA family in August of 2020; the year Covid flipped our classrooms (and realities) virtually, upside-down. She is a seasoned language teacher with experiences at higher ed institutions, including three formative years at Campbell University. Prior to moving to North Carolina, Ms. Blanck studied Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Florida. Her commitment to language learning led her to research and live abroad in Latin America, where she gained awareness in international issues and perspectives.Outside the classroom, Michelle enjoys nature; riding her bike, practicing yoga and exploring with her dog, Zuma. She is grateful for the opportunity to facilitate growth and learning with others, and aims to create space for meaningful connections and conversations in the community.
Cassandra Monroe | Middle School CTE | email@example.com
Mrs. Monroe is a native of Martin County where she grew up on a farm helping her grandparents. After graduating high school, she attended Elizabeth City State University and obtained her B.S. Degree in Business Administration. She was the first in her family to attend college. She worked as a paralegal/secretary for Legal Aid of North Carolina for 8 years. She attended Walden University online and received her MBA. Also during that
time,she went back to school to obtain a Master’s of Arts Degree & her teaching license from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. She lived in New Bern, North Carolina for 10 years and taught at H. J. MacDonald Middle School as a Career & Technical Education Teacher. She is excited to come to Wake County and explore new possibilities and share her experiences with her students. She is also a choir director at her small church in Martin County. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, writing, and spending time with my family.
Jesse Joo | Art | firstname.lastname@example.orgKwang Soo Joo received both BFA and MFA in painting and drawing from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Mr. Joo earned scholarships and an SVA presidential grant for his BFA program. Following the BFA program, Chairman of the Board of SVA awarded Mr. Joo with the Rose Family Award for his graduate program. While in his graduate program, Mr. Joo joined Manhattan Art as an art instructor. He worked as an art instructor for seven years sending students off to top art colleges in the country. He then worked as a stock trader for ten years before entering the art education program
inNorth Carolina Central University. After finishing his student teaching at Shepard Middle School in Durham, Mr. Joo joined Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy.
Mr. Joo has had numerous group and solo exhibitions internationally, and one of his drawings was chosen to represent the Drawing Center in The Gramercy International Contemporary Art Fair.
Jaylen Colton | Physical Education | email@example.com
Hello! I am Mr. Colton! I am from a small town by the name of LaGrange, Georgia. I attended the University of West Georgia where I earned my Bachelor's in Science in Health & Physical Education. I enjoy playing pick-up basketball and going to the gym! In my free time, I spend hours playing video games and board games. I am extremely competitive, and I hate to lose. I have a passion for driving students to be the best student and person they can be. It is an honor to be able to lead your child.
Evan Farkas | High School Social Studies | firstname.lastname@example.org
Evan Farkas has a BA in History and Political Science from the College of Charleston and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from East Carolina University. He taught for 3 years at the Wake STEM Early College High School in Raleigh before joining WYMLA in July of 2016. Mr. Farkas is excited about being at a school that emphasizes leadership through service learning and he especially enjoys engaging his students on those topics in Freshman Seminar. Outside of school Mr. Farkas enjoys live music and playing his guitar. He is an avid reader and a croquet master.
Solange Faucette | High School Science | email@example.com
Ms. Faucette joined the WYMLA family in August of 2019. She is an experienced science teacher as she has taught both middle and high school students. She enjoys creating hands-on activities for students in the form of labs. Prior to teaching, Ms. Faucette worked in the pharmaceutical industry. She has been an educator for over 7 years now and she loves every minute of it. During her off time, Ms. Faucette enjoys listening to music from the 80s and she enjoys reading research, cooking, or a good book.
Stuart Gordon | High School Math | firstname.lastname@example.orgStuart Gordon graduated from NC State University in 2012 with a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Mathematics Education. He graduated as a valedictorian of his class: a distinction given to all students graduating with a 4.0 GPA. At NC State he was also a part of the Caldwell Fellows Program: an intensive leadership-development program that helped foster his passion for leadership which made the Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy an appealing place for him to teach. Mr. Gordon is passionate about teaching mathematics and empowering young people, especially young men, to reach their potential as scholars, leaders, and persons of character. He enjoys engaging his students in mathematics through discovery activities, discussion, and exposition, but he was initially drawn into the field of education by the opportunity to equip young men to maximize their potential in all aspects of life. He was a founding member at the Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy and he has taught all courses offered in the WYMLA HS Math Curriculum.
Outside of school Mr. Gordon enjoys spending time with his wife Kelley and their daughter Ellie.
Jeannine Haigler | High School English (St. Aug. Campus)| email@example.comEmployed by Lenoir County Schools from 2006 – 2014, Ms. Haigler was a high school English teacher at North Lenoir High school until 2010. From 2010 to 2014, she worked with Lenoir County as an educational grant coordinator, working with at-risk youth in the Drop Out Prevention Grant, and later working with all high school students in the college-readiness grant GEAR UP – Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. Ms. Haigler attained her graduate degree in Multicultural International Literature in 2010 from East Carolina University. She has three sons: a UNC-W graduate, a junior at NC State, and a high school senior. She is thrilled to be working in Wake County and very happy to have joined the WYMLA family.
Laura Woodard | High School English | firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Woodard has a BA in English and a Masters of Education. She attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She began her teaching career in 2002 and taught in New Hanover County and Pender County before moving to Wake County in 2007. She earned her National Board Certification in 2009. Prior to joining the WYMLA staff in the fall of 2018, Mrs. Woodard taught at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School for 11 years. Outside of school, she loves to travel.
Ellen Raby | High School Social Studies (St. Aug. Campus) | email@example.com
Ellen has been a member of the Wake Young Men's Leadership Academy staff since she graduated with a degree in history and teaching from Queens University of Charlotte in 2014. She teaches on the SAU campus with our 11th and 12th graders. So if you don't see her around much, that's probably why. Ellen spends a good portion of her time learning how to play roller derby, leading youth programs at the LGBT Center of Raleigh, and watching terrible horror movies. It is her personal theory that you can learn a lot about a society by looking at what scares and inspires them.
Lamonica Brodie-Williams | Language Arts and Social Studies (6th) | firstname.lastname@example.orgLamonica Brodie Williams is a native New Yorker, but spent the majority of her childhood growing up in Franklin County. Mrs. Williams, a North Carolina Teaching Fellow, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Environmental Sciences and K-6 Education. She received her Master of Science degree in Educational Administration from the University of Scranton, as well as attended various post graduate studies at North Carolina State University. Mrs. Williams has over 20 years of experience with Wake County Public Schools. She has served students as a classroom teacher, an Intervention teacher, and as a tutor. She has supported teachers and fellow colleagues by serving as a Math Coach, Tier III Case Manager, PBIS Chair, Leadership Team Co-Chair, School Improvement Team Co-Chair, and a District Mentor. Mrs. Williams has a passion for helping both students and teachers develop their potential. She once had an admired mentor of hers to tell her, “I use what happens to me, whether something positive or something challenging, I use it to reflect, to grow and to make myself better.” This is an insightful perspective that Mrs. Williams encourages students and teachers to share.
Kristie Farrell | Social Studies (7th and 8th) | email@example.comKristie Farrell graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She quickly obtained further certifications in Middle Grades Social Studies and Language Arts. In college, she was apart of many activities including the Pennsylvania State Education Association, The National Council of Teaching, THON (the largest student-run philanthropic event), and the nationally recognized Pennsylvania State Equestrian Team, where she was an Executive Board Member. Kristie was involved in these and other various activities all while exceeding the strict standards for Penn State’s Dean’s List every semester.
Kristie loves helping students learn and develop their own sense of pride in learning and personal growth. In her spare time, she likes being outside, playing sports, and spending time with her husband. She also enjoys going back to Pennsylvania to visit her family and two horses. Kristie loves to cook and runs her own food blog to share her love of cooking with others.
Allen Strader | Math and Science (6th) | firstname.lastname@example.orgIn 2014 Allen Strader graduated Summa Cum Laude from East Carolina University with a B.S. in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Math and Science. Before college, Mr. Strader spent 20 years in the construction industry as a framing carpenter, business owner, and superintendent. During this time he worked closely with architects and engineers, ensuring their two-dimensional drawings became 3D realities. He looks forward to blending his real-world experience in mathematics and science into classroom lessons in order to challenge his students, and, “Keep them learning at the edge of their potential,” he says.
When he’s not teaching, Mr. Strader enjoys spending time with his wife Amanda and two young children: Lucas, age 7 and Lily Kate, age 2, or riding his motorcycle or writing.”
Kimberly Byrd | Science (7th and 8th) | email@example.com
Mrs. Byrd is a 18 year veteran teacher. She received her undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University and her graduate degree from East Carolina University.
During her career, she has had multiple opportunities to serve in various roles. Those roles include mentor to beginning teachers, site administrator for implementation of inquiry based learning, professional development facilitator, lead teacher and co-chair of the school improvement team. The aspect that she enjoys most about teaching is being a role model to future leaders. When she's not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family and attending college sporting events. Go Pack!
Lavina Bond | Language Arts (7th and 8th) | firstname.lastname@example.org
Lavina Bond is a native of Alabama which meant she was bred in saying, "Roll Tide Roll!" and bleeds Crimson. Lavina was determined to choose a college focused on education and could not have felt more prepared as a teacher than the education she received studying English Education at The University of Southern Mississippi where she got to meet a lot of international students and even do a study abroad herself in Mexico which was such a valuable experience getting to live in the culture. After graduating from Southern Miss, Lavina started her teaching career in Charlotte, NC. She then moved to Virginia and was honored to receive her Master's Degree in English Education at (then titled) Lynchburg College. Lavina has been in the Raleigh area for the past seven years where she has truly grown as an educator. Lavina's favorite part of teaching is empowering students through writing and seeing themselves through critical analysis of literature, and she loves getting to know her students and their families. Lavina has been teaching for 17 years, and every year is delighted in how much more she can learn, give to her students, and expand her creativity.When Lavina isn't teaching, she is writing her latest novel or short story, hiking, cooking, going to CrossFit, volunteering, reading, or, of course, watching Alabama Football or a plethora of sports she enjoys. Her first name is pronounced La-Vine-A and is a family name that means strong and beautiful. "It was definitely an odd name growing up, but I am honored to feel I have grown into my name and a legacy of strong, beautiful women.
Tamiko Williams | Math (7th and 8th) | email@example.comTamiko Williams is a 19-year veteran of teaching middle school mathematics. She graduated from Saint Augustine’s University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Math Education. Mrs. Williams has a variety of teaching experiences in different environments such as Montessori, public and private schools. She is also a Wake County teacher mentor where she has had the pleasure of guiding new teachers to find their path in education.
Mrs. Williams recently co-lead a Math Lab tutoring program for three years. The program was designed to help students improve their growth in mathematics. She has a special interest in architecture and building design and because of this, Mrs. Williams encouraged students to design and build model bridges. She took two teams to the NCDOT model bridge competition.
When she’s not teaching math, Mrs. Williams can be found spending time with her family, husband and two children. She is excited about the opportunity to teach at WYMLA. Her goal is to encourage our young men to be tomorrow’s leaders.
Tracy Branch | Lead Secretary | firstname.lastname@example.orgTracy Hicks is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina and a product of WCPSS. She received her Masters of Science in Health Services Administration from Strayer University (2013) in Raleigh, NC and her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from St. Augustine's College (currently St. Augustine’s University) (2004) also in Raleigh, NC. She worked for the Federal Government for many years. She received her Certified Nursing Assistant license in the late 90’s which afforded her the opportunity to work at an assisted living facility as the 3rd shift Supervisor and Medication Technician.Tracy is a mother of 3 children, one of which was killed in action while serving his country in Afghanistan in 2012. She enjoys spending time with her family, singing, traveling, relaxing and playing with her dogs. She is excited about her new position and she looks forward in working with all the students, faculty and staff here at WYMLA.
Simone Ivory | Data Manager (Power School) | email@example.com
Simone Ivory was born and raised in Durham, NC where she graduated from C.E. Jordan High School. She later received her BA in Justices Studies from Winston Salem State University. Ms. Ivory is joining us from Southern School of Energy and Sustainability High School; where she was the Data Manager for the last two years. She was employed with Durham Public Schools for six years. Ms. Ivory is elated to be a part of Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy.
Sharmaine Barnes | Clerical Assistant (St. Augustine's Campus) | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kimberly Crutcher | Special Education Teacher | email@example.comKimberley Crutcher, M.A., M.Ed., is the new special education teacher for Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy. She worked with students with learning disabilities and taught Social Studies at Enloe High School. Ms. Cutcher also taught at a private international high school in Kuwait for two years, working with students with mild to moderate disabilities. She taught Social Studies and was the curriculum coordinator as well while there.
Ms. Crutcher received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interpersonal Communications and Psychology from Meredith College. She received her Master of Arts degree in Special Education from North Carolina State University and her Masters of Education from Liberty University in Administration and Supervision.
Ms. Crutcher lives in downtown Raleigh. She was born and raised in Raleigh and graduated from Southeast Raleigh High School.
In her free time, Ms. Crutcher loves to travel. She loves experiencing all that she learned in school. She enjoyed the Egyptian museum in Cairo where she saw King Tut’s bust. Ms. Crutcher also loved Dubai, Greece, Istanbul, Turkey, Thailand and South Africa to name a few of the places she visited. “I love collecting new experiences, whether it’s trying a new restaurant or just something new,” she says.
Dr. Daysha Lawrence | Special Education Teacher (ICR) | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Daysha M. Williams joined the WYMLA family in Mach of 2018! She is a native of NC and received both her BA and MA from Fayetteville State University and her Doctorate in Educational Research and Policy Studies from NC State; she is a proud Bronco and part of the Pack :)
She has taught every grade level from elementary to college and middle school students are her favorite. She loves working with middle school students because they are beginning to realize how important school is and what they need to do to be successful. When she is not working she is enjoying family time with my wonderful husband and brand new baby girl.
Michael Citrini | Dean of Students | email@example.comMichael Citrini has enjoyed his
23 yearcareer as a School Counselor. Born and raised in Durham, NC, Mr. Citrini earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wake Forest University before receiving a Masters in Education in School Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned a Masters of Pastoral Studies degree from LoyolaUniversity of New Orleans in 2006. Mr. Citrini spent the first eight years of his career in middle school (Margaret Brent Middle School in MD and North Garner Middle School) and the past fifteen years at the high school level (seven years at Cary High School and the past eight years as Dean of Students at Wake Early College of Health and Sciences in Raleigh). In his spare time, Mr. Citrini enjoys traveling to our state and national parks where he develops his love for wildlife and landscape photography. In addition, he enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with his three nieces and six nephews. Mr. Citrini is very much looking forward to meeting our students, parents, faculty, and staff here at WYMLA and being part of the best learning community in North Carolina.
Abigail McGlade | School Counselor | firstname.lastname@example.orgAbigail McGlade has been fortunate to develop a
21 yearcareer in North Carolina public schools as a Teacher and then as a School Counselor. Born in Knoxville, TN and raised in Atlanta, GA. Mrs. McGlade earned a Bachelor's in Education and Masters in School Counseling from Appalachian State University. She is also a Nationally Board Certified Counselor since 2004. Mrs. McGlade began the first four years of her career at West Mecklenburg High School and Crestdale Middle school, both located in Charlotte, NC. Over the past seventeen yearsshe has served as the Lead Counselor and Track 4 Counselor at Durant Road Middle School in Raleigh, NC. Mrs. McGlade is married and has a daughter in high school and a son in middle school. She enjoys playing tennis, reading, traveling, and watching her children participate in activities. Mrs. McGlade is very excited to be a part of the WYMLA family.
Samuel Lee | Head Custodian | email@example.com
Heather Barkley | School Library Media Coordinator | firstname.lastname@example.orgMs. Barkley has been a School Library Media Coordinator for over 6 years. She previously worked at Dixon Road Elementary in Johnston County. Ms. Barkley received her Master's in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She graduated Valedictorian and Summa Cum Laude from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture and a Minor in Spanish.Ms. Barkley has a son, Isaiah and a cat named Morris. When she is not being a School Library Media Coordinator, she enjoys all kinds of crafts including crocheting and painting, spending time with friends and family, and of
coursereading and learning!
Kylene Thomas | Intervention/ALC Coordinator | email@example.comKylene Thomas is a native of Southeast Ohio. She began her teaching career in 2003 where she taught
eighth grademath for five years in Zanesville, Ohio for the Maysville Local School District. She then decided to move to Raleigh in 2008 and began teaching Track 1 sixth grade math at Durant Road Middle School. She joined the Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy in 2018 as the Intervention Coordinator and Math and Reading Support Teacher. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Ohio University, in Middle School Education Math and Language Arts. She earned a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Dayton. She is married to her husband Tiko, and they have a daughter, Hadlee.
She hopes to change the world through her students! As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Lorrie Hetzell grew up in Wendell, North Carolina attending Wake County Public Schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Middle Grades Education and a concentration in Language Arts and Social Studies. After graduating, she returned to Wake County, obtaining her AIG certification while teaching
6th gradelanguage arts and social studies at East Wake Middle School. She has been an AIG teacher since 2006 at East Wake Middle and Wendell Middle. She also taught social studies, math, and science during this time. She joins the staff of WYMLA in 2018 and is the AIG teacher at Wakefield Middle as well. She enjoys challenging her students to think outside the box and to learn something new every day.
When not teaching, Ms. Hetzell enjoys spending time with her husband Jason, and her children, Mason and Carson. She loves the beach and the mountains, playing volleyball, and spending time with friends and family.
Wanda Barnes | Career Development Coordinator | firstname.lastname@example.orgWanda Williams Barnes is a native of Kinston, North Carolina (Lenoir County) and a proud graduate of Kinston High School “Vikings”. When she entered college, she chose to major in Business Administration. She attended North Carolina A & T State University and completed her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from North Carolina Wesleyan College. She obtained her certification in Business Education (6-12) from East Carolina University. She received a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction/Specializing in Technology Education and a Masters in Supervision and Administration from the University of Phoenix. Her first teaching position was at North Lenoir High School where she taught Business courses at the high school level for more than 19 years. She was honored to serve on a curriculum team with professional colleagues from across the state of North Carolina to assist in writing the Principles of Business and Finance curriculum for North Carolina Public Schools.
Mrs. Barnes' philosophy of teaching is simple: a teacher is a leader who inspires and encourages individuals to reach their true potential. She relishes the daily conversations of uplifting students who are feeling down, instilling in them to be a positive individual, cheering them on when they have accomplished a goal and inspiring them to dream big dreams. This is a daily routine that she lives by in making her students have a wealth of belonging, feeling loved and supported regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds. As she fosters a good rapport with students, they tend to display good work ethics in the classroom, have healthier attitudes and show respect. Self-respect and self-acceptance enable her to have the respect and acceptance of her students and other professional colleagues. She was chosen by her peers as “North Lenoir Teacher of the Year” during the school years of 1998-1999, 2002-2003 and 2013-2014. She was also chosen by her school administrators as “North Lenoir Teacher of the Month" in October 2013.