About Epiphany

Middle School Faculty

Middle School Spanish Teacher: Spanish 1A & 1B - Cristian Bilbao

  • Position: Middle School Spanish Teacher: Spanish 1A, Spanish 1B
  • Email: cbilbao@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Education: BA in Teaching Foreign Languages from Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia
  • Background: A native Colombian, Mr. Bilbao has taught at Colegio Gimnasio Los Cedros, Colegio El Triangulo, and Colegio Bethlemitas in.
  • Preferred methods of teaching:
    • Lecture Based
    • Student Collaboration
    • Class Presentations
  • Learning styles: Mr. Bilbao incorporates a variety of different learning styles, including the use of images while teaching new vocabulary words, and videos and songs to provide students with linguistic contexts of native Spanish speakers. He tries to be very patient and encouraging toward all of his students.
  • Educational philosophy: Mr. Bilbao believes that all children are unique and have a lot to share with the world. As a teacher, he has learned much from his students. He believes in children's innate abilities, and every day he works to push them toward their full potential.
  • Cocurricular involvement: JV Soccer Assistant Coach and Green Thumb Garden Club Advisor
  • Hobbies: After a long day at school, Mr. Bilbao enjoys reading, walking, and relaxing in front of the TV.
  • Fun fact: Mr. Bilbao has been deer hunting with Mr. Hearne, but he has never actually seen a deer, only opossums.

6th Grade Life Skills,Intro to Latin, Latin 1, Classics - Samantha Bivans

  • Position: 6th Grade Life Skills, Intro to Latin, Latin 1, Classics
  • Email: sbivans@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Education: BA in Anthropology from East Carolina University, MA in Classics from University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Honors: Outstanding Minor in Classics from East Carolina University
  • Background: Ms. Bivans has worked at Jan's Hallmark since 2005, and she has also worked at the Aurora Fossil Museum since 2012.
  • Preferred methods of teaching:
    • Lecture Based
    • Circular Table Classroom
    • Demonstration and Modeling
    • Collaboration
    • Delegation
    • Plentiful Personal Feedback
    • Group Work
    • Class Presentations
    • Audio Focused
    • Visually Focused
  • Learning styles: Ms. Bivans addresses the needs of different students through the collaborative approach of group work. Sometimes she assigns stronger students to work with weaker students, so that different skill levels may learn from each other. At other times Ms. Bivans assigns students of similar skill levels to work together so that stronger students can push each other while Ms. Bivans can take time to address the collective needs of weaker students. Ms. Bivans relies on variety and spontaneity to capitalize on student momentum and keep students engaged. When she notices that students respond well to certain strategies, she focuses on incorporating those strategies into her lectures.
  • Educational philosophy: Ms. Bivans's educational philosophy continues to grow and develop with every new class of students she instructs. She wants her classroom to be a place where students feel like they can be themselves. She maintains a professional environment, yet truly believes that students have the most success understanding the material when what they are learning is presented in a fun way. Ms. Bivans loves seeing her students form relationships between the classical world and the world in which they live. As students learn from her and make connections through her class, Ms. Bivans also learns from them and gains new insights into how to teach in a productive, fun, and challenging way.
  • Hobbies: Ms. Bivans loves to read, particularly every night before going to sleep. She also enjoys knitting, making jewelry, chainmaille, and any type of crafting in general. If you're lucky, you may catch Ms. Bivans painting at the Accidental Artist on a Sunday afternoon.
  • Fun facts: Ms. Bivans lived in Dublin, Ireland, for a year to complete her master's degree. While abroad, she backpacked around Scotland for several weeks, and she also travelled to England, Italy, and Greece. Some of her life dreams include backpacking around Southeast Asia and teaching English to foreign students in South America or Asia.

PE Teacher - Joshua Campbell

  • Position: PE Teacher
  • Email: jcampbell@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Education:Associate's degree from Craven Community College in PE; Bachelor's degree from the U. of Mount Olive in Park and Recreation, Leisure Studies
  • Preferred methods of teaching: Kinesthetic (hands on) and Auditory (demonstrating different methods)
  • Learning styles: Top of the list would be Kinesthetic
  • Educational philosophy: Finish what you start, finish it strong, and never give up. Give it your best!
  • Hobbies: Love being involved with active sports. Anything recreation and being outdoors.
  • Fun facts: Huge Duke fan! Love running 5 k's, and love dogs!

Life Science, STEM Elective, Science Olympiad - Jon Fitzgerald

  • Position: Life Science, STEM Elective, Science Olympiad
  • Email:jfitzgerald@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Education: BA in Psychology from East Carolina University
  • Honors: 2007 Varsity Girls' Soccer Coach of the Year
  • Background: Mr. Fitzgerald has taught at The Patterson School in Lenoir, North Carolina; Ivy Collegiate Academy, a private school in Taichung, Taiwan, and is in his tenth year with Epiphany.
  • Preferred methods of teaching:
    • Lecture and Hands-On Based
    • Emphasizes Skills Learning
    • Primarily Visually Focused
    • Demonstration and Modeling
    • Group Collaboration Activities
    • Delegation
    • Facilitation
    • Plentiful Personal Feedback
    • Group Work
    • Class Presentations
  • Learning styles: Mr. Fitzgerald tries to incorporate “Think Like a Scientist" in all of his classes—no matter what the subject—he emphasizes being observant to the world around you, asking good questions about those observations, and finally, finding the answer to those questions. Additionally, Mr. Fitzgerald uses PowerPoint presentations with photographs and videos for visual learners, and he discusses the material for audio learners as well.
  • Educational philosophy: Mr. Fitzgerald believes that students should be engaged and should be excited about learning the course content. To that end, he strives as a teacher to spark his students' interests and encourage their curiosity.
  • Cocurricular involvement: Science Olympiad and Golf Coach, Advisory to Eighth-Grade Boys
  • Hobbies: Mr. Fitzgerald enjoys traveling to National Parks, hiking, kayaking, music, and old movies.
  • Fun facts: Mr. Fitzgerald has petted a tiger, has been skydiving, has tasted cobra blood, and he has ridden an elephant. He has also lived in Taiwan and Japan, and he can play the guitar.

Middle School Science Teacher - Kathryn Gerber

  • Position: Middle School Science Teacher
  • Email: kgerber@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Holds a BA in Biology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College
  • Holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University
  • National Board Certified science teacher
  • Has taught in NC public schools since 1998
  • Volunteer Girl Scout Leader since 2009

Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 - Wendy Hopkins

  • Position: Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1
  • Email: whopkins@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Education: BA in Psychology from St. Bonaventure University, MA in Education from the University of Connecticut
  • Background: Prior to teaching at Epiphany in 2009, Mrs. Hopkins taught for nine years at St. Edward School in Connecticut
  • Preferred methods of teaching:
    • Facilitation
    • Demonstration and Modeling
    • Plentiful Personal Feedback
  • Learning styles: Mrs. Hopkins fosters a wide variety of learning styles. She particularly encourages students to ask questions both in class and outside of the classroom.
  • Educational philosophy: Mrs. Hopkins underscores the school motto, ToLove God and Your Neighbor as Yourself. Not only is this a moral guideline, but also an educational one, for when the students of The Epiphany School of Global Studies love their neighbors, they open themselves up to learn wonderful things about the world.
  • Cocurricular involvement: Future City Coach, MATHCOUNTS Coach, Math Club Advisor, NJHS Advisor
  • Hobbies: Mrs. Hopkins's hobbies include scrapbooking, tole painting, and watching pro football and NCAA basketball.
  • Fun fact: She and her husband raised five children for 23 years in a house with one bathroom. Phew!

Middle School Chorus Teacher - Alyssa Howell

  • Position: Middle School Chorus Teacher
  • Email: ahowell@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Education: BA from East Carolina University in Vocal Performance
  • Honors: 2004 Teacher of the Year: Immanuel Center for Christian Education
  • Background: Private Voice Teacher, Assistance Choir Director, 5 Solos on the East Carolina University Chamber Singers CD, “Greater Love" with Gothic Records, 5 years in the East Carolina University Chamber Singers
  • Preferred methods of teaching:
    • Demonstrator/Modeler
    • Collaborator
    • Delegator
    • Hands-On Learning
    • Group Work
    • Primarily Audio-focused
  • Learning styles: Ms. Howell utilizes visuals, audio, technology, and tactile experiences.
  • Educational philosophy: Ms. Howell enjoys working with students and believes that although music should be enjoyable, there should be structure in the classroom. Music, like any other subject has to be taught and students are capable of becoming an ensemble especially in a choral setting.
  • Hobbies: Ms. Howell enjoys horseback riding, reading, knee boarding, hiking and most of all, singing. She also enjoys learning new languages. She took French, Italian, and German courses at East Carolina University.
  • Fun fact: Ms. Howell has performed in Carnegie Hall, and has traveled up and down the Eastern Coast singing many different genres of music including; classical, jazz, country/ country rock, blue grass, early sacred and even a little soft rock.

Yearbook Adviser, 6th Grade Art Teacher - Michelle Mathiot

  • Position: Yearbook Adviser, 6th Grade Art Teacher
  • Emailmmathiot@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Background: Former small-town newspaper reporter, freelance journalist, artist, home-schooling mother of four, 10 years teaching art and pottery at Bear Hands Art Factory.
  • Preferred Method of Teaching: Visual, audio, kinesthetic. I try it all to get through to students with different learning styles. I like to inspire the students to research things for themselves, ask questions and get excited about the subject. I like to give them ample time to discuss things.
  • Educational Philosophy: You are educated if you know how to learn what you need to know. Never stop learning!
  • Hobbies: Love to go camping in the mountains, and take long walks with my poodle, Charley (named after Steinbeck's poodle).
  • Fun Facts: There probably isn't any subject in the universe that I can't think up a question about.

Middle School Social Studies - Cherise Milburn

  • Position: Middle School Social Studies
  • Email: cmilburn@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Education: Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from Fort Lewis College; Master of Education in Secondary Social Studies Education from Georgia State University
  • Honors: Graduated her Master's program with a GPA of 3.9
  • Background: Social Studies Teacher at Chrysalis Experiential Academy in Atlanta, Organizer of a Field Studies Program that led trips to Key Largo Marine Lab, participant in mission trips to Greece and London on behalf of Pearl Ministry
  • Preferred methods of teaching:
    • Socratic Method
    • Collaborator
    • Facilitator
    • Hands-On Learning
    • Group Work
    • Class Presentations
  • Learning styles: Mrs. Milburn's classroom is a very dynamic learning environment. She entertains all of her students' learning styles by constantly changing the format of her teaching. Utilizing traditional methods such as note taking, lecture, and silent reading alongside group activities and presentations, poetry, video, and musical analysis, her daily lessons meet the needs of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.
  • Educational philosophy: Mrs. Milburn's goal is to foster critical thinking skills in the classroom that can be applied to the world beyond. She strives to encourage students to develop an appreciation for diversity, to motivate the youth to become active citizens in their immediate and global communities, and to inspire students to choose a path of lifelong learning.
  • Hobbies: Whether she is hiking, boating, gardening, or camping, Mrs. Milburn loves to enjoy the great outdoors. She also dedicates much of her time to raising awareness on the issues surrounding Human Trafficking through her work with the Pearl Ministry.
  • Fun facts: In keeping with her passion for the outdoors, Mrs. Milburn once spent a month living in a tent in the Colorado Mountains. She also has spoken in London regarding Human Trafficking.

Middle School Spanish - Ellie Sherrill

  • Position: Middle School Spanish
  • Email: esherrill@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Education: BA in Spanish from Davidson College; MA in Spanish from NC State University; IB diploma from Trinity Episcopal School.
  • Honors: Member of both Sigma Delta Pi and Omicron Delta Kappa and the recipient of both the Outstanding Graduate Student and Outstanding Tutoring Awards in 2013.
  • Background: Spanish Department Tutor at NC State University, Assistant Swim Coach at Saint Mary's School, Spanish Teacher at Saint Mary's School.
  • Preferred methods of teaching:
    • Demonstrator/Modeler
    • Hands-On Learning
    • Group Work
    • Class Presentations
  • Learning styles: As a language teacher, Mrs. Sherrill's lessons involve repetition of sounds, concepts, and ideas. She tries to introduce and review material in a variety of ways to reach students who learn in different ways. While one vocabulary lesson might center on the images associated with the words they are learning, another may involve movement and acting out to help students remember the words. The repetition inherent in language learning grants her the freedom to experiment with many different styles of learning.
  • Educational philosophy: Mrs. Sherrill firmly believes that teachers bear the primary responsibility in creating in their students the drive to succeed and achieve. As students become more driven, they are more willing to take risks in the classroom, and this enables them to move beyond what they already know.
  • Hobbies: Mrs. Sherrill loves to swim and play ultimate Frisbee.
  • Fun facts: Mrs. Sherrill loves to travel and visited places all over over Europe before coming to Epiphany. She has enjoyed getting to visit Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica with her students to watch them grow in their Spanish-speaking abilities.

Middle School Instrumental Music Teacher - Arlington Tart

  • Position: Middle School Instrumental Music Teacher
  • Email: atart@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Holds an MA in Jazz Performance from East Carolina University
  • Completed his undergraduate degree from the Berklee College of Music
  • Over 20 years of experience in providing individual music lessons
  • Owns and operates Arlin’s Music Lessons and Repairs in Oxford, NC 

Visual Arts 6, 7, & 8 - Jodi Tomboulian

  • Position: Visual Arts 6, Visual Arts 7, Visual Arts 8
  • Email:jtomboulian@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Education: BS of Education in Math and Art from Western Carolina University; NC Licensed in: Art for K–12, Mathematics for 6–12, and Social Studies for 6–9.
  • Honors: Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society; Art Chairperson at Piedmont Open Middle; Math Chairperson at Piedmont Open Middle; 2003 Finalist for the World Affairs Council of Charlotte Scholar Program; Duke Energy Outstanding Educator Award; Charlotte Hornets Educator Recognition Award; Wachovia Ben Craig Outstanding Educator Award; Arts and Science Council Outstanding Leadership Award
  • Background: Mrs. Tomboulian has been teaching since 1980. She has taught Visual Arts, Language Arts, Mathematics, Computer Programming, Social Studies, Self-Contained Classrooms, and After-School Enrichment.
  • Preferred methods of teaching:
    • Lecture Based
    • Demonstration and Modeling
    • Facilitation
    • Plentiful Personal Feedback
    • Hands-On Learning
    • Primarily Visually Focused
  • Learning styles: To help incorporate students' learning styles in her classroom, Mrs. Tomboulian varies the delivery of the instructional material. She utilizes lectures, teacher demonstrations, handouts, YouTube videos, slideshows, white boards and SMART Boards. She also facilitates class discussions. She encourages note taking and labeling of diagrams, and she always loves a good question.
  • Educational philosophy: Mrs. Tomboulian believes that the learning atmosphere of a classroom should be open to creativity. She encourages a safe space where students can learn from their mistakes and grow spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. She strives to help instill the joy of learning in her students, so that students become lifelong learners who seek to find beauty in the world. Mrs. Tomboulian models an enthusiastic attitude, a genuine interest in learning new things, and a continuous desire to address the needs of her students.
  • Cocurricular involvement: Elementary School and Upper School Art Club Advisor, National Art Honor Society Advisor
  • Hobbies: Mrs. Tomboulian loves arts and crafts, Chinese culture and arts, and Chinese Chess. She is a member of the Twin Rivers Art Association (TRAA) and actively participates in church and missions.
  • Fun facts: Mrs. Tomboulian has petted a panda bear in Chengdu, has seen the Terracotta Soldiers in Xian, and has flown over an active volcano in Hawaii. She was also a former foster parent to eight teenage girls—of whom she formally adopted one and unofficially adopted three others.

6th Grade Math & Social Studies - Beth White

  • Position: 6th Grade Math & Social Studies
  • Email: bwhite@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Education: BA in Elementary Education from Mississippi State University; MA in Elementary Education from Mississippi State University
  • Honors: 2004 Teacher of the Year: Immanuel Center for Christian Education
  • Background: Math and Pre-Algebra Teacher, Seventh and Eighth Grade; World History and American History Teacher, Seventh and Eighth Grade; Fifth-Grade Self-Contained Classroom Teacher
  • Preferred methods of teaching:
    • Lecture Based
    • Facilitation
    • Plentiful Personal Feedback
    • Hands-On Learning
    • Group Work
    • Class Presentations
  • Learning styles: The majority of Mrs. White's lessons provide opportunities for audio, visual, and textile/kinesthetic learners to actively engage in the learning process. Most of her classroom activities and assignments are project-based, offering the students a variety of ways to demonstrate an understanding of the material.
  • Educational philosophy: Mrs. White believes that all students have the ability to learn and develop when given three basic elements: the appropriate tools, correct instruction, and a beneficial environment. Mrs. White sees it as her role as a teacher to do everything possible to provide those elements for her students while she demonstrates the relevance of the material and fosters critical and independent thinking skills.
  • Cocurricular involvement: Cooking Club Advisor for grades 5 and 6
  • Hobbies: Mrs. White enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, boating, and spending time near the water in her free time.
  • Fun fact: Mrs. White is a PADI Certified Scuba Diver; however, she hates to scuba dive!