LeafSpring School at Ballantyne

Meet Our Staff

Essence Walker Infant Room Teacher
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Hannah Clark Infant Room Teacher
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Ta’Kiyla Walker Toddler Room Teacher
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Mary Wilson Red Room Teacher
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Tinasha Hinton Red Room Teacher
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LaShay Mingo Red Room Teacher
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NeOughta Sanders Orange Room Teacher
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Roshunda Roseboro Orange Room Teacher
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Jillian Dickey Yellow Room Teacher
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Margaret Vance Yellow Room Teacher
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Donna Gilmore Green Room Teacher
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Breanne Shaw Green Room Teacher
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Candice Hopkins Blue Room Teacher
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Liz Garcia Purple Room Teacher
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Melendy Moore Purple Room Teacher
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Chandra Kennedy Gold Room Teacher
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Alicia Amore Gold Room Teacher
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Akansha Lal Half Day Preschool Teacher
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Brittany Paulus Half Day Preschool Teacher
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Camille Jones Preschool Floater
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Amie Coulter Half Day PreK Teacher
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Seema Bhamani Village PreK Teacher
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Kelly Hickey Transitional Kindergarten Teacher
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Cindy Ortiz Transitional Kindergarten Teacher
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Jenese Ashton-Adams Chef
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Victoria Coulter Village Float
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Chris DeGraaf Recreational Counselor
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Sheeka Proctor Regional Director of Operations
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Sheeka Proctor
Sheeka Proctor
Regional Director of Operations

I have been a member of the LeafSpring School family since August of 2011. I served as the TK Lead Teacher for year years, I served as the Assistant Preschool Director for two years, and I also served as the Preschool Director for 3 years and I am so excited to now be the Regional Director of Operations for both the Ballantyne and Matthews campuses. I graduated from Francis Marion University in Florence, SC with a B.S. Degree in Early Childhood Education. I completed my Administration Credentials through Stanly Community College. Before coming to LeafSpring School, I taught in a private school as a Preschool teacher for 3-4-year-olds and I also taught in the public school as a first grade teacher.

My husband Gene and I enjoy spending time with our three children, Marleigh, Gabrielle, and Kyree as well as family and friends. In our free time we love watching football, bowling, and playing pool.

My mission is to provide staff with the support needed to ensure that the children have meaningful experiences every day. My goal is to build relationships with children, parents, and teachers and to focus on the partnership with one another to make our school successful. I believe that educators are lifelong learners and I will continue to educate myself to be more effective as a leader here at LeafSpring School.

(704) 909-4527
Anne Lovell Preschool Assistant Director 
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Anne Lovell
Anne Lovell
Preschool Assistant Director 

I am the newest member of LeafSpring School, joining in 2016. I graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S. in Child Development with a concentration in Family and Consumer Science, with a Minor in Psychology. I completed my Early Childhood Administration Credential Level 3 at South Piedmont Community College in 2014. I have worked with children my entire professional career.

My husband John and I enjoy watching HGTV and working on and in our house. We also enjoy spending as much time outside as possible with our daughter Grace and dog Piper. My mission is to ensure that our staff has the support needed to provide each and every child the ability to grow and develop into the best person they can become. My goal is to build long lasting relationships with parents and our children. To give our staff the focus and goals to make our LeafSpring School the most nurturing, safe place for our families.

(704) 909-4525 
Sara Cress Village Director 
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Sara Cress
Sara Cress
Village Director 

I am the Village Director at the LeafSpring School at Ballantyne. I have worked with children for 14 years in many different capacities. I started as a resident camp counselor and found that my calling and passion is working with children. I have been a Director of School-age Recreation and Camp programs for 8 years and a Preschool Director for 5 years. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as my Director and Administrator III Credentials.

I live here in Charlotte with my husband and our two daughters, Parker and Elliott. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my girls, running, whitewater kayaking and reading.

(704) 909-4535 
Elizabeth Partin Village Assistant Director
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Elizabeth Partin
Elizabeth Partin
Village Assistant Director

I have been a member of LeafSpring School since April of 2011. I have served as a Lead Teacher in our 2s classroom  and as a Recreation Counselor with school-age children in the Village. I am excited to be a part of the Administration Team as Assistant Director in the Village.

I graduated from the College of Charleston with a B.S. Degree in Health Promotion. I graduated from Winthrop University with a Master’s of Arts in teaching Physical Education. I have completed my Administration credentials through Stanly Community College.  In my free time, I enjoy playing sports and attending sporting events. I enjoy spending time at the lake, going on hikes, traveling and spending time outdoors.

(704) 909-4525
Rhonda Rivers Regional Director of Curriculum and Training 
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Rhonda Rivers
Rhonda Rivers
Regional Director of Curriculum and Training 

I am the Regional Director of Curriculum and Training for LeafSpring Schools in Charlotte. I have been a part of the Administrative Team since opening in August of 2008. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from South Carolina State University and recently received my Masters in Education with an emphasis on Leadership in Early Care and Education. Over my career as an educator, I have taught children from infancy through eighth grade. I discovered several years ago that my passion lies with early education and having a part in helping children develop a strong foundation for learning and confidence to build on that foundation in their formative years. Prior to coming to LeafSpring School, I worked as a Program Quality Specialist where I provided technical assistance and training for over 20 Preschools throughout Mecklenburg County and assisted teachers and directors in improving quality and programming in their schools. I am fortunate to be able to use those skills in my current position to support teachers through training, mentoring, and professional development.

I recently received two honorable appointments that allow me to expand my efforts and love for advocacy throughout the state on behalf of children, families, and teachers. I was appointed to the North Carolina Child Care Commission and serve on the board of the North Carolina Early Education Coalition.

I am happily married to my wonderful husband of 25 years, Craig. We are blessed to have three amazing children, Caylee, Kendall, and Preston. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling, attending sporting events, and dining out!  In my spare time, I chair an organization that mentors to local high school girls and organize community service projects and leadership training for them. I am also very involved in various leadership roles in our area public schools, as well as my church. I am blessed to be in a profession that I am passionate about, and I feel even more blessed to work for a school that represents everything that I believe in.

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Kimberly Zipperer Get Well Place RN
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Kimberly Zipperer
Kimberly Zipperer
Get Well Place RN

I am the newest nurse to join the Get Well Place at LeafSpring. I graduated as a Registered Nurse from Citizen’s School of Nursing in Pennsylvania. My background has primarily included working in labor and delivery and mother/baby care. Prior to my work as a nurse, I spent much of my time as a labor and post-partum Doula. I’ve spent some time over the past few summers as a camp nurse for kids with different abilities and they’ve inspired me to transition to a role that allows me more time connecting with kids. My passion is working with children and their families. Building healthy habits and encouraging family connected care is something that is very important to me. I also appreciate lending a helping hand with the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte and volunteering with the Looking Out Foundation.

I recently moved to Charlotte from Pennsylvania. My wife and I have an adult son – Liam, a teenage daughter – Carlyn, and a small zoo of rescued fur babies. We enjoy traversing the area and finding new ‘old’ spots to explore (please share your favorites!). We love random road trips, getting lost, and finding mom and pop shops. I am looking forward to finding our own small sanctuary in the area where I can start back up with gardening, beekeeping, and raising chickens.

My goal at LeafSpring is to build trusting relationships with your children and teach healthy habits, while keeping them safe, and providing as much nurturing and TLC as they need.

My current schedule is Monday, Thursday & Friday, 7:30 am-5:30 pm.

704-909-4530
Peggy Smith Get Well Place RN 
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Peggy Smith
Peggy Smith
Get Well Place RN 

Hi, my name is Peggy Smith.  I have worked at LeafSpring since 2012. I have been a Registered Nurse for 30 years.  I have worked in many areas of nursing such as Pediatrics, Oncology, Operating Room, Women’s Surgery, and Geriatrics.  I have also worked over 15 years as a Labor and Delivery, Postpartum and Nursery Nurse. I am from Macon, Georgia and have lived in North Carolina for the past 30 years. I currently live in Weddington, NC with my husband, son, Jordan and daughter, Rachel.  Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and reading. I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a small child. During my nursing career, I have especially enjoyed taking care of children.

My goal as a Get Well Place nurse is to provide comfort in any way possible. Each child reacts to sickness in various ways.  I love the uniqueness of each child and the challenge of making each child have an enjoyable experience in Get Well Place. I love hearing a child, who has been in Get Well Place, tell their parents they want to “stay” with me and not go home. I feel as if I have accomplished my goal. I also look forward to the big hugs I get throughout the day as I visits the classrooms.

My current schedule is Tuesday & Wednesday, 7:30 am-5:30 pm.

(704) 909-4535