Our Mission: The Raleigh School is a cooperative community of children, parents and teachers that fosters a love of learning in an atmosphere of challenge, inquiry and respect.


Elementary Faculty


Adam Sherland
Elementary Director
B.S., Business Administration, Elon University
M.Ed., Child Studies, Vanderbilt University

Adam joins The Raleigh School after serving as Assistant Head of Lower School at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, PA. During his career as an independent school educator in Philadelphia and Nashville, TN, Adam has been involved in many aspects of the student experience. He has taught multiple elementary grades, coached athletic teams, coordinated summer programs, led class trips, and developed an after school STEM program. He believes in creating relevant, fun, and engaging learning experiences for students. Adam is a mission driven educator and is excited to contribute to a vibrant, dedicated, and caring community of students, families, and educators.


Cara Garrett, Lead Teacher
B.A., Intervention Specialist K-12, Bowling Green State University
M.A., School Administration, North Carolina State University

Cara re-joined The Raleigh School in 2021 as an assistant in the 2/3’s classroom and stepped in to become one of our lead kindergarten teachers. Prior to joining TRS Cara worked for eleven years as a teacher for grades K-5 and received her master’s in school administration. Cara grew up in Cleveland, Ohio before moving to Raleigh in 2006. She has two children who both went to TRS for preschool. She enjoys running, traveling, and hanging out with her friends and family.

Jennifer Martin, Lead Teacher
B.A., Psychology with Early Childhood Education Certificate, Duke University
M.Ed., Instructional Leadership with Concentration in Reading, Writing and Literacy, University of Illinois

Jennifer joined The Raleigh School in 2018. Her prior experiences include teaching preschool through second grade, teaching fourth and fifth grade reading, and working as a lower school science instructor at an independent school in Chicago. She strives to integrate literacy across the curriculum. Jennifer enjoys spending time outdoors with her two sons and her husband. While she misses Lake Michigan and the hustle and bustle of living around the corner from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she loves all the hiking options the Triangle has to offer. Jennifer also enjoy reading, yoga and baking.

Diane Harley, Assistant Teacher
B.S., Elementary and Kindergarten Education, Penn State Univ.

Picture of Diane HarleyDiane joined The Raleigh School in 2022. She and her husband moved to North Carolina from Connecticut in 2021. For the past 15 years, Diane worked as a teaching assistant in a Montessori elementary classroom, and an assistant and substitute teacher in their local public school. Along with three sons, they are Penn State and Hurricanes fans. She enjoys hiking, yoga, gardening, cooking, reading and visiting with family and friends.

Kathy Reid, Assistant Teacher
B.A., Speech Communication, North Carolina State University
Early Childhood Education Certification and Credential, Wake Technical Community College

Kathy joined The Raleigh School in 2015, originally working with first- and second-graders in the After School Care program. Her prior experience includes teaching preschool at St. Michael’s Parish Day School for eighteen years and working in the radio industry. Kathy is a Raleigh native and a huge Wolfpack and New York Yankees fan. She also enjoys reading and running.


Meggan Coltrain, Lead Teacher
B.A. Elementary Education, Psychology Concentration, University of North Carolina Greensboro
M.Ed., Literacy K-12, Reading Specialist, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Meggan joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2013. She has taught first grade since 2008, including five years in the Wake County Public Schools. Meggan loves integrating technology into student learning and teaching first graders to read! She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and cheering for the Tar Heels!

Amanda Tiedemann, Lead Teacher
B.A., Child Study, St. Joseph’s College, New York
M.A., Literacy, St. Joseph’s College, New York

Amanda joined The Raleigh School in 2016 after moving from NY and has enjoyed teaching 2nd grade. Her prior experience includes teaching Universal Pre-K in New York and being a long term substitute teacher. Over the last 12 years, Amanda has also worked as a summer camp counselor working with children with special needs. She has a special interest in using yoga and sign language in the classroom. Amanda enjoys reading, going to the beach, doing yoga and spending time with her family.

Kathryn Delacote, Assistant Teacher
B.A. Education, Stephen F. Austin University
ESL Endorsement, University of Texas

Kathryn joined the faculty in 2017, as an assistant teacher in second grade. She has experience teaching a wide range of ages at the Dallas International School in addition to over 20 years experience as an ESL teacher and English language tutor. Kathryn enjoys taking walks with her dog and spending time at the beach.

Selden Steed, Assistant Teacher
B.A., Speech Communications, UNC-Chapel Hill

Selden joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2011. She worked in Admissions and Financial Aid at Saint Mary’s School for ten years. She also taught preschool and worked as a teacher’s assistant in the Wake County Public School System. She enjoys cheering for the Tar Heels, spending time with her family and teaching summer camp at TRS.


Laura Nightengale, Lead Teacher
B.S., Family & Child Development with Early Childhood Education, Virginia Polytechnic & State University
M.S., Exceptional Children, Old Dominion University

Laura has 19 years of experience teaching children in preschool through the elementary grades. Her master's degree is Exceptional Children with concentrations in learning disabilities and behavioral and emotional disabilities and she is also certified to teach Academically and Intellectually Gifted children. Laura has a passion for science and math and believes strongly in inquiry, problem, and project-based learning. She also recognizes the importance of connecting with students as well as cultivating their curiosity and love of learning.

DeAnna Ranheim, Lead Teacher
B.A., Elementary Education, University of Wisconsin
M.Ed., Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, Concordia College

DeAnna joined the faculty in 1999 and has enjoyed being a fourth grade teacher and most recently a second grade teacher during her time at The Raleigh School. She began her teaching career in Wisconsin and stays loyal to her Packers and Badgers sports teams. She has a special interest in brain development and how she can teach each child most effectively. She enjoys spending time with her two children and traveling whenever she gets a chance.

Jessica Gordon, Assistant Teacher
B.A., Child and Family Studies, Muskingum University
M.S., Social Administration, Case Western Reserve University

Jessica joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2006. She has assisted in kindergarten for three years and has been in first grade since 2010. Jessica loves watching her fourth-graders grow into readers and writers. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to the beach and cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes!

Sherri Pekks, Assistant Teacher
Elementary Education, University of North Florida
A.A., Early Childhood Education, Florida State College

Sherri joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2022. She spent the last decade of her career at Arts Together, where she taught Preschool, Art, and Drama to ages 3 to 12, as well as two years as a Teaching Artist at Raleigh Little Theater. Sherri prides herself on her ability to truly connect with students while providing them with a nurturing atmosphere to learn and grow. She admires their unique perspectives, naive humor, and the way they love without judgment. When not at school, Sherri enjoys painting, gardening, reading, and spending time with her family.


Linda Campbell, Lead Teacher
B.A., Elementary Education, William Paterson University
M.A. Counseling, Human Services, and Guidance, Montclair State University

Linda joined the Raleigh School in 2016. Her prior experience includes teaching kindergarten and first and second grades in New Jersey for more than 15 years. Linda enjoys sharing her love of learning with her students. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and three sons, as well as her little dog, Lulu. When not with her family, Linda can be found meditating or spending time reading.

Karma Myers, Lead Teacher
B.S., Interdisciplinary Studies, Lander University
M.A., Teaching, Certified Grades 1-8, College of Charleston

Karma joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2010 and joined the TRS community as a parent in 2005. Before moving to Raleigh in 1998, she taught third and fourth grades in Charleston, S.C., and spent as much time as possible traveling in Europe and Asia. Third and fourth grade are Karma’s favorite grades to teach. She enjoys the projects, the field trips, and the lively classroom discussions.

Kat McCutcheon, Assistant Teacher
B.S. Education, University of Vermont

Kat has been a middle school team teacher and tutor in Burlington Vermont. She has worked in Wake County as a teacher assistant for the past ten years. She describes herself as a lifelong learner and strives to instill a love of learning into her students. Kat is a certified yoga instructor and loves to kayak and hike in her free time.

Sharon Mitchell, Assistant Teacher
B.S. Accounting, Robert Morris University

We are pleased to welcome back Sharon Mitchell. Sharon is a former Raleigh School parent and board member. She served as the first Admissions Director for the Elementary School for more than a decade. Most recently, Sharon has been a frequent substitute in both our elementary classrooms and after school care program. She attended Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, majoring in accounting. Sharon brings with her more than 20 years of experience and knowledge about our school and elementary classrooms. Sharon enjoys biking, hiking and camping when she has the chance.


Ben Hoover, Lead Teacher
B.A. Business & Economics, Lafayette College
M.Ed. Elementary Education, Lesley College

Ben brings seven years of teaching experience to TRS, having taught 4th grade for six of those years at independent schools in the Washington, D.C. area. Ben is an ardent proponent of project based learning and enjoys developing curriculum stemming from the interests and ideas of his students. He is also interested in deepening conversations around issues of diversity and equity.

Hillary Merritt, Lead Teacher
B.S., Family and Childhood Studies, University of New Hampshire
M.S., Elementary Education, University of New Hampshire

Hillary joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2015. Prior to that, she taught at Sant Bani School, an independent day school in New Hampshire. A mother of a seven-year old, Hillary is passionate about making learning exciting and engaging. She has a passion for science, the environment, theater and community service. She is motivated by a belief that all children can be successful learners and is deeply committed to improving children’s lives.

Beth McKinney, Assistant Teacher
B.A., Elementary Education and Social Studies, Grand Valley State University

Beth moved from Michigan to North Carolina after college to begin her teaching career. She taught 4th grade for two years and has taught preschool for the past thirteen years. She loves finding creative ways to inspire children and to make learning fun. In her free time she enjoys reading a good book, spending time outdoors with her family, and taking walks along the Greenway trails.

Evelyn Thorpe, Assistant Teacher
B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies with minor in Education, University of Florida

In pursuing her degree, Evelyn minored in Education and collaborated with lead teachers to design and deliver interactive science and math lessons for 4th and 5th graders. She enjoys traveling, gardening, crocheting, hiking and is a big Star Wars fan.


Jennifer Brunetti, Lead Teacher
B.A., Education, University of New Hampshire
M.Ed., Elementary Education, University of New Hampshire

Jennifer joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2007 and has taught preschool and fifth grade at TRS. Her prior experience includes teaching first grade in New Hampshire. She has a special interest in integrating technology into the curriculum. Jennifer is a New England Patriots fan and loves to read. She recently attended the National Science Teacher’s Association conference.

Jennifer Stikeleather, Lead Teacher
B.S., Psychology, NC State University
Elementary Education, Meredith College
M.Ed., Integrated Curriculum, American College of Education

Jennifer joined The Raleigh School in 2003 and began working in kindergarten. She moved to fifth grade in 2004 and has been there ever since. She previously taught at a local preschool before joining TRS. Jennifer has a special interest in American history, and enjoys making historical events come alive for her students. She is an avid NC State fan and enjoys photography, reading, being at Lake Gaston, volunteering in the community, and spending time with her children, Eva and Zach, both of whom attended The Raleigh School.

Lisa Glosson, Assistant Teacher
B.S., Marketing & Finance, Drexel University

Lisa knows The Raleigh School well with three children who graduated from TRS and are now in college or beyond. In addition to the many ways Lisa supported TRS as a parent, active volunteer, and substitute teacher, she has dedicated a great deal of time to supporting children in other capacities. Over the last 15 years, Lisa has served as a volunteer, Board member, and leader in a variety of educational and non-profit environments.

Sara Koch, Assistant Teacher
B.S., Education, UNC-Wilmington

Sara joined The Raleigh School faculty in 2015. Prior to joining The Raleigh School, she taught fifth grade in Wilmington and worked in Human Resources for ten years. She worked part-time from home once her children were born and volunteered extensively in their schools. She enjoys working with her class during science lessons and in the outdoor classroom. Sara enjoys traveling with her family and attending her children's sporting events.



Stephanie Coyle
Diploma in Social Pedagogy with Focus on Early Childhood Education, Germany

Stephanie grew up in the southern part of Germany. She has acquired extensive international experience teaching in Australia, Canada, Germany and the United States, and in curriculum development and teacher training. After moving with her husband and three children to Apex, NC in 1997, Stephanie worked as Preschool Teacher at St Andrews Early Childhood Center, Curriculum Lead at the Grove School in Cary, and Education Manager for Carolina Kinder. In 2013 she became certified as a Site Supervisor and Administrator for childhood programs and began work as Afternoon Program Director at the German International School of Silicon Valley. Stephanie enjoys traveling and learning about other cultures, outdoor activities, cooking, loves animals and recently learned to play the ukelele.


Hollis Dorafshar
B.A., Art Education K-12 Certification, Meredith College
B.F.A., Alfred University School of Art and Design, NY

Hollis joined The Raleigh School in 2008. She has enjoyed a dual career as an artist and art educator for 30 years. Prior to The Raleigh School Hollis designed and implemented art programs for Ravenscroft Middle School, the Montessori School of Raleigh and Follow the Child Montessori. She is a teaching mentor to Meredith College Methods students and a regular presenter at NCAIS and NCAEA conferences, where she helps to emphasize the importance of the arts in education. When not teaching art Hollis can usually be found making art! She has three children, the youngest of whom is a TRS alumnus.

Learning Partner

Tatyana Ratliff
B.A., Adapted Curriculum Special Education, UNC-Wilmington
M.Ed., Elementary Education, UNC-Wilmington

In addition to being an educator, Tatyana is a dancer and is skilled in jazz, tap, and hip hop. She loves to bake and go to the beach. The past three years, Tatyana served as the resource special education teacher and dance team instructor at a public charter school in Wake Forest, NC. Tatyana also has years of experience as a summer camp counselor and dance instructor.


Kim Pettit
B.S., Secondary English Education, Miami University of Ohio

Kim joined The Raleigh School in 2014. Her many years of work experience includes serving as library media specialist as well as teaching elementary and middle school students. Kim spent seven years at Grymes Memorial, an independent K-8 school in Virginia, as well 15 years in the Orange County (VA) Public School system. Just before joining The Raleigh School, Kim served as project coordinator at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Visitors’ Center.


Corey Leak
B.A., Music, Shaw University
M.A., Music Education, Columbia University

Corey's love for all things music began as a young child and he has spent his life developing his talent as well as honing his craft as a music educator. He was a member of the Boys Choir of Harlem and went on to study music at the renowned Westminster Choir College, completing his degree at Shaw University. Corey has spent the last seven years teaching music in the elementary grades in Cumberland county. He is eager to join TRS and find ways to use music to bring us together as a community. In addition to working with all elementary classes, Corey will also be working in our afterschool program and will offer various clubs and enrichment opportunities to children across the grades.


Casey Beauchamp
B.F.A., Performance & Traditional Eastern Arts, Naropa University, CO
M.A., Contemplative Education, Naropa University, CO

In addition to being an accomplished athlete, Casey is a skilled dancer and hip hop artist who is also passionate about yoga, mindfulness, and the outdoors. He is adept at teaching gym games, traditional sports, dance, yoga, and mindfulness all through the lens of social-emotional learning, For the last 5 years Casey has served as the Movement/Dance, Physical Education and Yoga/Mindfulness Teacher at the Gateway School in Manhattan. In addition, Casey has years of experience as a teaching artist, summer camp coordinator, and site director for after school care programs.


Amy Yost
B.A., German, Muhlenberg College, PA
M.S., Counseling, The University of Tennessee

Amy joined The Raleigh School in 2018. She was an elementary school counselor in Knoxville, TN for 13 years. Amy enjoys tennis, New York Times crosswords, and playing the flute. She also loves to travel and had the opportunity to spend a year exploring Europe while living in Italy.


Juliet Mallory
B.A., Vassar College
A.A.S., Interior Design, Parsons School of Design

Juliet joined The Raleigh School as a parent in 2003 and as faculty in 2008. Prior to becoming a Spanish instructor, she spent 10 years working as a commercial interior designer in both New York City and Raleigh. When not teaching at TRS, she tutors middle and high school students in Spanish and has recently begun to offer elementary children private lessons in French. Juliet spends her summers in Spain with her family and enjoys hiking, swimming and traveling abroad.

I was always encouraged to expand my knowledge beyond what we learned in class. Never was I told to restrain my curiosity; with loving assistance I got to explore as far as my mind could reach.

Hope Ferris, TRS alumna