About Epiphany

Lower School Faculty

Kindergarten Teacher - Adriann Crowe

  • Position: Kindergarten Teacher - English
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: BA in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Elementary Education (U. of N. Colorado); MA in Special Education with an emphasis in Deaf Education (Pre-K - 12) (U. of N. Colorado).  Adriann has been teaching for 13 years
  • Educational philosophy: All children have the ability to learn when you meet them at their level with a positive attitude, perseverance and a bit of fun.
  • Hobbies: Running, reading, singing (at church or jamming in the car), fluent in American sign language, and enjoys playing the piano and oboe.
  • Fun facts: Spent a semester abroad in high school in Halle an der Salle, Germany.
  • Favorite place she has traveled: Sicily, Bora Bora, and Tahiti

Kindergarten Teacher - Maria Fernanda Sibaja

Kindergarten Teaching Assistant - Nohora Cepeda

  • Position: Kindergarten Teacher - Spanish Immersion
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: Señora Cepeda is from Colombia, but has lived in the United States for 19+ years. She has been working as a Spanish teacher and teacher's assistant for 10 years. 
  • Educational Philosophy: Señora Cepeda believes that every student has the ability to learn and should be treated with dignity and respect. 
  • Hobbies: Nohora enjoys reading the Bible, traveling, and collecting decorative dishes. 
  • Fun Fact: She loves skating, but the conventional skates, not in-line skates. 
  • Favorite Place She has Traveled: Aruba.  It is a charming island full of warm people, but what she admires most is that the natives of Aruba can speak 5 languages: their Papiamento, Dutch, English, Spanish, and Italian. 

Kindergarten Teaching Assistant - Tammi Newton

  • Position: Kindergarten Teaching Assistant - English
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: AA Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.  Wake County Public School System Kindergarten Teaching Assistant for four years.  
  • Educational philosophy: Everyone can learn.  We all learn differently!
  • Hobbies: Travel and photography
  • Fun fact: Tammi tried out for the show "The Singing Bee" while on vacation in Nashville. 
  • Favorite place she has traveled:  Aruba and Greece

1st Grade Teacher - Paola Forigua

  • Position: 1st Grade Teacher - Spanish Immersion
  • Email: pforigua@epiphanyglobalschool.org
  • Background: Graduated as a language educator from the Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador in Venezuela, and taught English as a Foreign Language for six years prior to coming to the US.
  • Educational philosophy: Sra. Forigua likes to establish bonds with her students.  She believes that creating a kind and encouraging environment is essential for learning.  She also tries to personalize learning to make it more memorable.  Sra. Forigua believes every child has so much to offer and her job is to challenge them and guide them to reach their potential.  
  • Hobbies: Paola enjoys watching movies and series, reading books, dancing, and spending time with friends and family.  
  • Fun facts: She is afraid of heights, but went zip-lining in Costa Rica and loved it! Paola loves to dance and participated in a Salsa Casino contest. 
  • Favorite place she has traveled: Asheville, NC in the fall,  La Cienaga Beach in Venezuela, and the Volcan Poa's National Park in Costa Rica.  

1st Grade Teacer - Cailin Whitsett

1st Grade Teaching Assistant - Kathleen Diamadi

  • Position: First Grade Teaching Assistant - English
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: Pediatric school-based occupational therapist for 25 years, teacher's assistant at Epiphany since 2014. 
  • Educational Philosophy: Mrs. Diamadi strives to do her best every day to get to know her students as individuals and coach them to grow through their mistakes.
  • Hobbies: Fostering animals for Capitol Humane Society, tennis, and cooking
  • Fun Facts: Kathleen loves the Boston Red Sox.  She has lived in seven states and she is not in the military. 
  • Favorite Place She Has Traveled: Nova Scotia with her mom. 

1st Grade Teaching Assistant - Darlene Dorado-Palma

  • Position: First Grade Teaching Assistant - Spanish Immersion
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background:  BA in Human Development from California State University Long Beach.
  • Educational philosophy: Señora Dorado loves working in education.  Equity, fun, and academics are highly important to her.  Her goal is to create/assist in creating a productive and exciting learning environment. 
  • Hobbies: Señora Dorado is extremely athletic and enjoys playing all sports.  Her favorite sport is soccer, which she has been playing since she was 10 years old. 
  • Fun facts: Darlene played soccer for California State University, Long Beach.  She has 11 uncles & aunts on her dad's side, and 7 on her mom's side.  In total, she has 18 aunts and uncles, and 45 first cousins. 
  • Favorite place she has traveled:  Mexicali, Baja California.  She plans to travel to Greece soon. 

2nd Grade Teacher - Vanessa Soto

  • Position: Second Grade Spanish Teacher - Spanish Immersion
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: Bachelor degree in Teaching of Spanish and Literature. Masters in Teaching of Spanish and Literature from Universidad de Costa Rica. 
  • Educational Philosophy: Señora Soto believes every student is smart and creative and that they each learn at their own pace with guidance.  She also believes the class environment needs to be a safe space where the children feel loved and free to make mistakes and learn from them. 
  • Hobbies: Reading, watching tv, scrapbooking, swimming, and traveling. 
  • Fun Facts: Vanessa has taught Spanish to native and foreign students.  She has also taught elementary, middle school, upper school, and college students. 
  • Favorite Place She Has Traveled: Spain and the Pacific and Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica. 

2nd Grade Teacher - Lisa Whittaker

  • Position: Second Grade Teacher - English
  • Email[email protected]
  • Background: BA in Education from Curry College, Milton, Massachusetts—Magna Cum Laude; MS in Child Development, Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Educational philosophy: The core of Mrs. Whittaker’s educational philosophy centers around the belief that each student is worthy of love and each child’s well-being matters. In her classroom, Mrs. Whittaker sees it as her job to discover what is special about each child; then she works with her students to bring out the best in them. Each child’s individuality needs to be honored, nurtured and cherished. As an educator, Mrs. Whittaker earnestly tries to bring joy, excitement, and positive energy into her classroom on a consistent basis. Her educational toolbox is ever evolving because she wants to keep learning fresh and productive for herself and her students.
  • Hobbies: Lisa is an avid gardener, an e-Bay seller, loves to travel, cook, and craft.  She does yoga and exercises and has found a new hobby in scuba diving. 
  • Fun facts: Lisa has been to all 50 states, and lived in Cape Cod, MA for over 20 years. 
  • Favorite place she has traveled: Big Sky, Montana, the Pacific Northwest in the summer, and the mountains of New England in the autumn. 

2nd Grade Teaching Assistant - Melina Lopez

  • Position: Second Grade Teaching Assistant - Spanish Immersion
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: Graduated with an early childhood education degree from Escuela Normal Superior N° 1 en Lenguas Vivas “Presidente Roque Sáenz Peña” in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 
  • Educational philosophy: Señora Lopez believes that every child is smart and amazing.  As a teacher, she believes that her role is to guide the students to be the best versions of themselves.  Her other responsibility is to create a calm and nurturing environment where each student can feel loved, comfortable, and happy. 
  • Hobbies: Riding bikes, reading, going to the beach, and traveling. 
  • Fun facts: Melina loves animals, and she has been a vegetarian for 16 years.  She's also been skydiving! 
  • Favorite place she has traveled: Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel, and Ushuaia in Argentina. 

2nd Grade Teaching Assistant - Sonya Thurman

  • Position: Second Grade Teaching Assistant
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: Attended Greensboro College, Bowie State University, and Shenandoah University- Bowie State.  Special Education Teacher (Pre-kindergarten through Fifth-Grade), Pre-School Teacher, and Library Assistant
  • Educational philosophy: Mrs. Thurman believes that all students are unique learners who need a stimulating atmosphere. She also feels that teachers should always be motivating their students to want to learn more. Students should also feel safe to respond during class.
  • Hobbies: Outside of school, Sonya cultivates her passion for creativity by reading and baking. Most importantly, she loves spending time with her family.
  • Fun facts: Mrs. Thurman is continually searching for pieces of Gone with the Wind memorabilia to add to her ever-growing collection.
  • Favorite place she has traveled: Key West, Florida, and Coronado, California 

3rd Grade Teacher - Tiffany Morris

  • Position: Third Grade Teacher - Language Arts
  • Email[email protected]
  • Background: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Middle Grades Language Arts, University of North Carolina-Wilmington
  • Educational philosophy: By expanding learning experiences beyond the classroom, Mrs. Morris enjoys planting seeds of learning.  Each day, she models reading strategies, and fosters a love of reading, through read alouds and shared reading activities. She believes that all students will thrive in an enriching environment where integrity, respect, honesty, and cooperation are evident.  "Seeds" will prosper, and become lifelong learners, when encouraged to share their talents with peers, while learning that mistakes are evidence of effort.  "I will plant my seeds in the rich soils of love, enthusiasm, and creativity, while providing the foundational skills to encourage educational growth!" 
  • Hobbies: Tiffany loves spending time with her children, ballroom dancing with her husband, visiting local plays, water sports, reading, watching classic musicals, and decorating.
  • Fun facts: In high school and college, Tiffany was a cast member in "Worthy is the Lamb," an outdoor drama on the Crystal Coast. She has a Goldendoodle named Sailor.  Tiffany met her husband while in college.  
  • Favorite place she has traveled: New York City, New York - Broadway, of course!

3rd Grade Teacher - Cindy Williams

  • Position: Third Grade Teacher - Math, Science, Social Studies
  • Email[email protected]
  • Background: Bachelor of Arts in Education, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill.  Twenty-seven years of experience in Elementary Education, mostly in Craven County Schools, teaching all grade levels. Served as a mentor teacher for several years and for the last three years before retiring from NC Public Schools, Mrs. Williams has been a STEM Lab Facilitator.
  • Educational philosophy: Mrs. Williams believes that all children can learn and achieve given the right environment and encouragement that makes them feel that they can take risks and that their opinions are valued.
  • Hobbies: Cindy loves to play golf, exercise, and spend time on the water. 
  • Fun facts: Cindy was on the flag team at UNC-CH, loves Cape Lookout, Went to Harris Teeter one Sunday to buy supper, but came back with a puppy. 
  • Favorite place she has traveled: London, Canterbury, and Dover, England and Eleuthera, Bahamas 

4th Grade Teacher - Kimberly Kelly

  • Position: Fourth Grade Teacher - Math & Science
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: BS in Elementary Education with a concentration in Mathematics from East Carolina University; Certification in Special Education
  • Educational philosophy: Mrs. Kelly’s educational philosophy of teaching is to teach and challenge her students in a caring and organized classroom that makes them think.  Students learn in different ways, so her goal is to incorporate as many styles daily, with whole group instruction, cooperative learning groups, and project-based learning. 
  • Hobbies: Kim likes home projects, reading, and spending time with her family. 
  • Fun fact: To her surprise, Kim once let her kids get a rat as a pet--they named him Patches! She collects crosses and angels.  
  • Favorite place she has traveled: Bahamas
     

4th Grade Teacher - Laura Smith

  • Position: Fourth Grade Teacher - Language Arts
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Education: BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; MS in Early Childhood Education from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia
  • Educational philosophy: Mrs. Smith believes that children learn best in a supportive, peaceful and structured environment. 
  • Hobbies: Laura loves reading, gardening, cooking, and boating.
  • Fun facts: Laura has been bitten by a snake. She’s also climbed the tallest mountain, sand dune, and lighthouse on the East Coast all in one summer. Can you name the state with all three? (Hint: it’s ours!)
  • Favorite place she has traveled: Paris

5th Grade Teacher - Mark Krcmar

  • Position: Fifth Grade Teacher - Math & Science
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Education: BS in Social and Behavioral Science from Penn State University; Master’s in Education from Arcadia University
  • Educational philosophy: Mr. Krcmar believes that all children can learn if teachers are willing to meet them at their level and help them move forward from there. According to Mr. Krcmar, to educate children is to build the pyramid of their lives; they cannot reach the pinnacle without a strong base.
  • Hobbies: Mark loves the outdoors. When not teaching, he can be found boating, fishing, canoeing, camping, traveling, or cooking international food.
  • Fun facts: Mark retraced a portion of the Lewis and Clark expedition for ten days by canoe. He also collects international and regional cookbooks, and he has collected and read—from cover to cover—nearly 100 of them.
  • Favorite place he has traveled:  A tour of Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam that he took a couple summers ago with a group of educators from all over the US.

5th Grade Teacher - Diane Stewart

  • Position: Fifth Grade Teacher - Language Arts
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: BS in Education (Reading Specialist) from Texas Tech University.  AIG Certified. Taught in Texas, Utah, NC, homeschooled in Mexico, subbed and tutored in Germany. 
  • Educational Philosophy: When you respect your kids, recognize their talents and unique qualities, they feel safe, loved, and eager to listen to what you have to say.  Keep expectations high but surround them with tools and encouragement to succeed. 
  • Hobbies: Puzzles, travel, museums, outdoor activities
  • Fun Facts:  Diane found out that her oldest son may be related to his stepfather (her husband) through their grandmother's lineage. 
  • Favorite Place She has Traveled: Salzburg, Austria; Etretat, France; Victoria, Canada; and Dublin, Ireland

3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Spanish - Monica AzaƱedo

  • Position: 3rd grade small group Spanish, and 4th and 5th grade Spanish Teacher
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: Bachelor degree in education from Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University. Masters in Education from Universidad Femenina del Sagrada Corazon.  15+ years of teaching experience in pre-school and elementary. 
  • Educational philosophy:  Srta. Azañedo believes every student is unique and has their own process of learning.  Educational methodologies should be designed considering the different needs of the group. Teaching respect helps create a peaceful environment and establishes the basis for a successful learning process.
  • Hobbies: Monica enjoys going to the beach, reading, going to the movies and spending time with friends. 
  • Fun fact:  Monica likes to watch movies about superheroes. 
  • Favorite place she has traveled: Cusco in the highland region of her country, Peru, because of its beauty and landscapes. 

3rd & 4th Grade Spanish - Roxana McElearney

  • Position: Third Grade Spanish and Fourth Grade Small Group Spanish Teacher
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: Born in Lima, Peru. BA in Human Development with an emphasis in elementary teaching from Azusa Pacific University.  Señora McElearney has been teaching Spanish to all levels since 1999. She is currently working on her Masters at ECU in Spanish Linguistics. 
  • Educational Philosophy:  To enjoy innovative teaching while loving and educating each child differently as a unique person.  Teaching has to be fun.  With creativity and love of children, teaching is a hobby and a way of life, not a job. Children should be able to express themselves at all times. 
  • Hobbies: Roxana loves the pool, beach, and boogie boarding.  She also loves family time--weekends away with her husband, watching her daughter horseback riding, Her son play baseball, and her youngest son working with the scouts. 
  • Fun Facts: Roxana has 8 pets.  She was a Chaplain's Assistant in the US Navy. She played field hockey from age 3 to 17 traveling all around South America.  She volunteers with Boy Scouts of America, Early College East - Havelock PTSO, and as the Senior Enlisted Spouse Advisor for Cherry Point. 

Music & Spanish - Miguel Delima

  • Position: Lower School Music & Spanish Teacher
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: Graduated as a music educator from the Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador in Venezuela, and taught music for two years prior to coming to the US.
  • Educational philosophy:  A combination of different methodologies from Carl Orff, Zoltan Kodaly, and Edgar Willems. Señor Delima likes to integrate and apply them through the body, movements, dance, body percussion, songs, and games, as well as integrating spoken words to music to help learners internalize the different elements of music. 
  • Hobbies: Listening to music, playing musical instruments, movies, soccer, biking, coffee, beach, nature
  • Fun facts: Miguel has a paternal twin brother, he can juggle, and he can make funny noises with his mouth. 
  • Favorite place he has traveled: The Outer Banks and The Native American Museum in Washington, D.C. 

Physical Education - Addrian Rhodes

  • Position: Lower School Physical Education
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: Appalachian State University; BS: Recreation Management concentrating in Outdoor Education, Minor: Psychology. Pursuing a degree in M.A.Ed. concentrating in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
  • Educational philosophy: Mr. Rhodes' goal is to create an environment for all students to explore different types of recreational activities, games, and sports they see throughout the world.  In a non-competitive environment, students will have the opportunity to develop new skills, try different equipment, work on collaboration through group games, and play together in a safe, fun learning atmosphere.  
  • Fun facts: Addrian has been Ocean Racing sailboats with a former America's Cup Skipper. He has also played tennis with Billy Jean King and has met Andre Agassi.  
  • Favorite place he has traveled: Sydnee, Australia

Technology - Bobbi Jo Kelly

  • Position: Lower School Technology Instructor & Infrastructure Specialist 
  • Email: [email protected]
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Visual Arts - Christy Casciello

  • Position: Lower School Visual Arts Teacher 
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Background: BFA, Art Education from Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Educational philosophy: Ms. Casciello is committed to improving students' ability, appreciation, confidence, creativity, and motivation through the arts.  She is invested in guiding students through the creative process and celebrating their masterpieces. 
  • Hobbies: Yoga, paddle boarding, spending time with friends, and of course ART!
  • Fun facts: While in college Christy drove a 600 passenger 290-ton ferry boat at Disney World, and she is good at minor electrical and plumbing!
  • Favorite place she has traveled: Germany

Learning Services - Leigh Healy

  • Position: Lower School Learning Services
  • Email[email protected]
  • Background: BA in Elementary Education from Wake Forest University; MA in Reading Education from Appalachian State University; Academically/Intellectually Gifted Certification from East Carolina University
  • Educational philosophy: Mrs. Healy creates a community of learners and gives each student a voice. Her ultimate goal is for students to apply the concepts presented in the classroom and become independent thinkers. She hopes to instill a lifelong love of reading and reads aloud to her students every day!
  • Hobbies: Mrs. Healy enjoys cooking and reading a good book. She adores her dog, Deac, and spending time with her family on the river.
  • Fun facts: Mrs. Healy once did some hang gliding over the Alps.
  • Favorite place she has traveled:  Venice, Italy and Victoria, Canada