Faculty & Staff

  • Joan Allen

    Academy Principal

    Joan Allen has been an educator with over 25 years of experience working with elementary-aged students. She started her career as a teacher working with K-6 students followed by serving as a unit director and most recently as principal. Mrs. Allen has a North Carolina K-6 Educator License, a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development/Family Relations as well as a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from East Carolina University. She is a wealth of knowledge and is passionate about challenging students to reach their fullest potential.

  • Wanda Williams

    Kindergarten Teacher

    Wanda Williams is a Greenville native who earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from East Carolina University. She has 45 years experience in early childhood education and of those, 18 years teaching Kindergarten. Her teaching goal is to provide students with creative, stimulating, and engaging learning activities to master grade level skills. She is passionate about teaching students’ foundational knowledge to become lifelong learners. Mrs. Williams is an active church member and enjoys walking, biking, dancing, playing canasta, working in her yard, and watching Hallmark movies. While these things keep her busy, her most favorite activity is spending time with her grandchildren.

  • Ingrid van Leeuwen

    1st Grade Teacher

    Ingrid van Leeuwen was born and raised in Armonk, New York. She graduated from James Madison University in Virginia with a degree in Elementary Education. She also has her K-12 Reading Licensure and her Birth through Kindergarten Certification. Ms. van Leeuwen has taught for over 30 years. She enjoys challenging her students to reach their full potential while fostering a love of learning. When Ms. van Leeuwen is not teaching, she loves visiting her daughters who live in Charlotte and Raleigh. Lastly, she enjoys outdoor activities and reading.

  • Amy Sheppard

    2nd Grade Teacher

    Amy Sheppard has been an educator for thirty-two years. Mrs. Sheppard graduated from East Carolina University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a K-12 Reading licensure, and again in 1990 with a master’s degree in Elementary Education. She also received her AIG Certification from East Carolina University. Mrs. Sheppard has experience teaching students in first grade through sixth grade. As an educator, she has served in many leadership roles. Mrs. Sheppard has a passion for teaching and loves to engage her students in meaningful learning experiences. Her vision for Walton Academy is to continue to teach with passion and to provide a balance of rigorous and fun integrated learning opportunities for her students. Mrs. Sheppard loves the beach, sports, reading, and spending time with her family.

  • Sharon Nicholson

    3rd Grade Teacher

    Sharon Nicholson has been an educator for 35 years. She was born and raised in “Little Washington”. She attended East Carolina University where she earned her BS and MAED in Elementary Education as well as a K-12 Reading Certification. Mrs. Nicholson taught for 17 years in Washington before moving to Greenville where she taught at Wintergreen for 13 years. She then taught and supervised interns at East Carolina University School of Education for 5 years.

    Mrs. Nicholson’s teaching goal is to inspire students to develop a lifelong love of learning by providing them with a learning environment that is creative, exciting, engaging, authentic, relevant, and safe. She is passionate about education and building relationships with her students and their families to provide the best learning experience possible.
    Mrs. Nicholson is married to Lee Nicholson (28 years), and they have 2 children, Sara Gray (23) and Zach (22). Mrs. Nicholson enjoys spending time with her family and her chocolate lab River and her Puggle Bella. She loves sports, fishing, going to the beach, reading, and gardening – “dirt therapy”.

    She is all things purple and gold, a true Pirate!

    As it relates to education:
    One of her favorite quotes is, “Hard work beats talent when talent won’t work hard.” -Tim Notke
    One of her favorite sayings is, “All flowers don’t bloom at the same time.

  • Jada Rogers

    4th Grade Teacher

    Mrs. Rogers graduated from ECU as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow, earning both her BS and Masters degrees in Elementary Education. Over her 31 year career, Mrs. Rogers distinguished herself as a Master Teacher by earning her National Board Certification in Middle Childhood Development and was named one of Pitt County’s “Top 5 Teachers of the Year” both in 1996 and again in 2016. Most recently, Mrs. Rogers continued her educational growth journey through training in the Teacher Leadership Institute. This experience inspired her to pursue educational research as a Facilitating Teacher and Multi-Classroom Teacher. Her educational passion is to implement collaborative partnerships that build bridges between her classroom and the outside world. In this way, her students are able to foster skills that allow them to implement compassionate leadership skills into the communities in which they live. She loves to help her students reach their full potential.

  • Janel Mangold

    5th Grade Teacher

    Janel Mangold was born and raised in Belhaven, NC, but has called Greenville “home,” for the past twenty years. Her inspiration for wanting to become a teacher was due to the experience she had with her own 3rd grade teacher.

    Ms. Mangold worked as a teacher assistant prior to accomplishing her dream of becoming a teacher. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education from East Carolina University, and she is also licensed in K-12 Reading. Ms. Mangold worked with Pitt County schools for ten years and was nominated and served as a Key Beginning Teacher for her school. She is known to sing at school events, and she loves incorporating singing/music into her teaching. Her passion is building relationships with students, so they will feel confident, loved, and encouraged to push themselves to succeed.

    Ms. Mangold has four children; 3 boys and 1 girl. Her oldest two are in high school, and her youngest two are here at Children’s World and Walton Academy. Ms. Mangold loves cats and has a Ragamuffin cat named Bella. She also has a bearded dragon named Sir Striker, as her class pet.

    Ms. Mangold is a HUGE Harry Potter fan. One of her favorite quotes is: “It is our choices that show what we really are, far more than our abilities.” Professor Dumbledore.

  • Amira Ali

    Health Teacher

    Mrs. Ali has been working with children for many years and it fills her heart with joy to watch them learn and enjoy their time at school. She educates students on the importance of maintaining a healthy body and mind through positive behaviors and believes in the value of arming children with practical and healthful skills. In addition, Mrs. Ali strives to create a culture that empowers all students to make life-long, healthy decisions. Mrs. Ali completed her first Bachelors in Science in Arabic Studies back in 1999. In 2018, she completed her Associates in Early Childhood Education at Pitt Community College and was the recipient of the Academic Excellence Award of NC and several other Awards. Mrs. Ali continued her education at East Carolina University and in 2021, she completed a Bachelor degree in Family and Community Service with a concentration in Child Development while receiving outstanding graduate recognition. Mrs. Ali is passionate about education, whether learning or teaching. She is currently working on a master’s degree in Health Education and Promotion at East Carolina University. As a mother of four, Mrs. Ali doesn’t have a lot of free time, but when she does, she enjoys serving her community and writing poems in both English and Arabic.

  • Elizabeth Blount

    Art Teacher

    Elizabeth Blount graduated with an Art Education degree from Meredith College and received her MA Ed in Art Education from East Carolina University. She has over 20 years of experience teaching art at the Greenville Museum of Art and in Pitt County Private schools. Mrs. Blount loves the enthusiasm of all the amazing artists at Walton Academy and the very supportive faculty. Mrs. Blount commutes from Washington NC where she lives with her husband and cockapoo, enjoys traveling, gardening, and volunteering as a docent at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

  • Carrie Everette

    PE Teacher

    Carrie Everette was born and raised in Illinois. She received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Bradley University. Mrs. Everette taught with Pitt County Schools until she took time off to stay home with her own children. She has over 10 years of classroom teaching experience ranging from 2nd grade through 5th grade. Mrs. Everette lives in Greenville with her husband, Todd, three children, and three dogs. In her free time, she enjoys watching her children play sports, going to the beach, and relaxing by the pool. Mrs. Everett loves watching the students play and learn in a fun environment during PE classes.

  • Denisse Rivera

    Spanish Teacher

    ¡Hola! Denisse Rivera is a native Spanish speaker. Sharing the love for her language and culture has become her passion. Mrs. Rivera is from Puerto Rico where she attended college at Interamerican University of PR and earned her Bachelor degree in Biology. She has worked in education for the past 16 years in a bilingual setting. Mrs. Rivera’s philosophy for learning is that each child is unique and learns in their own way. She wants to help students discover their individuality and work alongside them to maximize it. In addition, she wants them to embrace the Spanish language and culture and feel confident with it. Mrs. Rivera’s biggest joy is seeing her students outside the classroom and hearing them greeting her in Spanish and practicing what they have learned. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her two sons, Javier and Luis. Mrs. Rivera also loves watching Netflix, dancing to salsa music, making flan cake and ceviche. ¡Delicioso!

  • Dawn Braddy

    STEAM/Robotics Teacher

    Ms. Braddy has her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education as well as General Education. She is in the process of working on her Birth – Kindergarten Degree and has plans to pursue her Masters Degree as well. Ms. Braddy has been with Children’s World for 13 years and loves to watch children learn and help facilitate their growth! In her free time, Ms. Braddy enjoys spending time with her son, Tyler, family, and friends. In addition, she likes to go to the beach, baking, reading, and shopping. Ms. Braddy is looking forward to teaching STEAM this year with her objective being to teach each child about STEAM through hands on learning experience!

  • Molly Barr

    Music Teacher

    Mrs. Molly Barr received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Bob Jones University in December of 2022. She is originally from Greenville, South Carolina, but now lives in “the other Greenville” with her husband, Andrew. Mrs. Barr grew up in a very musical family, taking piano lessons and participating in choirs since Kindergarten. In addition, Mrs. Barr has taught piano lessons, accompanied large ensembles, held an assistant administrative position in a music studio, been a part of adult community choirs, and have had assistant roles in children’s choirs. She is excited to share her love of music with the students, families, and faculty of Walton Academy!


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