Welcome New Faculty and Staff!

Posted August 17, 2011, Archived September 5, 2011



  • Natalie Jendron joins our 3rd grade team as the assistant to Annemarie Shuman. Natalie received her Bachelor’s degree from Belmont Abby College and her Master’s in Education from Montreat College. Before coming to Country Day, she taught 5th grade in Gaston County. Natalie and her husband, Trip, have a Boston terrier named Beau and in her free time, Natalie enjoys cooking and reading. Now that she has finished graduate school, Natalie is concentrating on learning how to become a successful gardener.

  • Candy Batchelor is a new 4th grade assistant teacher working with Tom Fredenberg. Candy has her BS in elementary education from Appalachian State University and her master’s in education in reading from UNC Greensboro. She comes to us from CMS where she has taught reading, first, and second grades. Candy and her husband, Rick, have two grown children, Caroline and Will. In her spare time, Candy likes to read, cook, and walk.

  • Raegan Shaw is also joining our 4th grade team as the assistant to Libby Helms. She is a Country Day alum who received her BA in elementary education from Elon University. For the last four years, Raegan taught 3rd grade at Oakhurst Elementary School. In her free time, Raegan enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends. We are so happy that Raegan has “come home” to Country Day!

  • Ada Peterson is joining our Fine Arts Department teaching art. Ada has a BA in art history from Queens University and may look familiar to many of you as she did an internship at Country Day while completing her degree. Before coming to Country Day, Ada was the Child Life Assistant at Levine Children’s Hospital. When she has free time, Ada likes to scrap book, cook, and run.

  • Lanny Gillespie rejoins the Lower School as a lead teacher in 3rd grade working with Melissa Salvato. Lanny taught kindergarten and 3rd grade at Country Day, but left at the end of the 2009-2010 school year to move to New York City with her new husband, Aaron. Fortunately for us, Aaron’s job brought them back to Charlotte much earlier than expected.


  • Laura Bost holds a master’s degree in community counseling from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She received bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and interpersonal and organizational communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Laura has over five years of experience working with children with learning difficulties in both high school and middle school settings, and was with Country Day for two years before earning her master’s degree. Further, Laura specializes in helping students recognize their unique learning styles and improve their study and organizational skills.

  • R.C. Deer returns to the Middle School after a three-year absence that he spent at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC, as math department chair and 8th grade algebra/algebra honors teacher. He joins our 8th grade Red Dawgs team, again teaching algebra/honors algebra. R.C. has a master's in Middle School math education and a BBA (accounting) from the University of Notre Dame. He is married with two children, and his daughter, Quinn, will be entering our JK this fall. R.C. will also serve as assistant coach for our 7th and 8th grade volleyball team(s).

  • Stephanie Franz also joins our 8th grade Red Dawgs team as an English teacher. She has 27 years of experience, most recently at the Ravenscroft School in Raleigh where she taught 9th grade English and served as department chair. Stephanie has a master's of education in English from the University of Richmond as well as a BA in English from Davidson College. She is married with four children, two of whom will be CCDS Upper School students this fall. Stephanie’s husband, Thomas, is the new Head at Trinity Episcopal School.

  • Sarah Klingler has taught for 12 years in Charlotte, most recently at Jay M. Robinson Middle School, where she taught 6th grade science and also chaired the department. Sarah received a bachelor of science in education from Bowling Green State University. She will join the 8th grade Blue Bombers as a science teacher. Sarah is married and enjoys reading and gardening.

  • Adam Lawrence comes to us from Northridge Middle School in Charlotte, where he has taught 7th and 8th grade science for the past three years and also coached basketball. During Adam’s first two years at Northridge, he was a Teach For America teacher. He has a bachelor of science from Ohio University and is currently pursuing his master’s in education at UNC-Charlotte. Adam joins our 6th grade Ice team as a science teacher. He is engaged to be married and his hobbies include exploring the outdoors, traveling, cooking, music, and movies.

  • Bryan Stanton is another familiar face at CCDS. After three years tutoring and teaching at Country Day, Bryan left to attend graduate school at Harvard, where he earned a master's of education in policy and management last May. Bryan also holds a Masters of Arts in Math Education from UNC-Charlotte as well as a BA in History from Furman University. He will teach algebra, tutor in our ERP, and serve as head coach for the MS boys’ tennis team. Bryan is married; he and his wife, Jenn, welcomed their first child, Harper John, into their family on July 9.

  • Kiki Wilson-Tei is our Hearst Fellow this year, having graduated in May from Davidson College with a BA in French, with an international studies concentration. Kiki will assist Kookie Schmidt this year, teaching 5th grade French. Kiki enjoys watching horror movies and playing volleyball.

  • Lindsay Woog is new only to the Middle School, having taught art to our Lower School students from 2004 until her recent maternity leave. She and her husband, Jonathan, assistant director of college guidance in Upper School, welcomed McKennah Reidel into their family in March of this year. Lindsay joins our 5th grade Green Gators team and will teach visual arts.


  • Janice Benzenhoefer is returns to our Modern and Classical Language Department as a part-time teacher in Spanish. Janice earned her BA from Wilson College and her MAT. with a concentration in Spanish from the University of Pittsburgh. Janice’s most recent teaching experience has been with Myers Park High School. She is very passionate and enthusiastic about teaching and takes very seriously her commitment to excellence and achievement for all students.

  • Matt Chisholm returns to CCDS after spending a year tutoring in Colorado and enjoying the outdoors. Matt holds a bachelor of arts degree in history and health and exercise science from Furman University. Matt starts his third year at Charlotte Country Day this fall as a tutor in our ERP. In addition, he will be finishing his master's in history degree at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

  • Joe Gardner joins CCDS as our ESL Coordinator. He earned his bachelor’s degree as well as his master’s degree in English from Radford University. Joe completed his ESL Master’s Certificate at University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he has taught the last four years in their English Language Training Institute. Joe served as an English instructor for the Danish Embassy at the British English Center in Bolivia and also spent three years as Coordinator of the Appalachian Arts and Studies in Schools program at Radford University. The outreach program paired college students with rural high school students in an attempt to consider college as a viable option.

  • Mela Kirkpatrick is no stranger to independent schools, having graduated from Durham Academy. Mela received her bachelor of arts in art history from UNC-Chapel Hill and followed that with her master's of fine arts in poetry from Johns Hopkins University. Mela has been teaching poetry and fiction writing at Johns Hopkins University for the past three years. She also served as Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. for two years. Mela will be teaching 9th grade English classes in our English Department.

  • Matt Less is our new Head of Upper School. He comes to CCDS from Lake Forest Academy, a boarding school outside of Chicago, where he most recently served as dean of faculty while teaching two math courses and coaching junior varsity boys’ basketball. At Lake Forest, Matt was responsible for teacher supervision and evaluation processes, new faculty hiring and orientation, and supervision of professional development. He also served as associate dean of faculty and mathematics department chair. Prior to Lake Forest Academy, Matt spent five years teaching and coaching at Pembroke Hill School. He received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Columbia University and a master’s degree from the University of New Hampshire. Matt and his wife, Julene have three daughters who will attend CCDS – Mady an 8th grader, Olivia a 6th grader, and Elly a 3rd grader.

  • Tony Lombardino joins the Upper School faculty to teach psychology and freshman F.A.I.R. Tony earned his Ph.D. in animal behavior from Rockefeller University and his BS from Columbia University in biology and psychology. He taught biology and chemistry and coached tennis at the Peddie School in Hightstown, NJ as part of their Principio Project which was based on teachers developing innovative approaches in the classroom. He has also held adjunct teaching positions at Cornell University, Vassar College, and Bard College. His other experiences include research positions in the neuroscience field and teaching tennis at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida.

  • Renjie Ji is visiting from our sister school in Nanjing, China and will work closely with our Upper School Math Department this fall. As a teacher in a Chinese public school, Renjie is looking forward to the opportunity to teach in an American private school and eager to experience American culture and society.


  • Lauren Batten has been named Director of Advancement and is responsible for overseeing fundraising, stewardship, alumni affairs, and communications. Before coming to Country Day, she was part of the firm Vandever Batten, a successful philanthropic consulting firm specializing in organizational strategy, capital and endowment campaign management, developing planning, and strategic grant making. Lauren also served as a consultant to CCDS during the Believe & Achieve Campaign helping the school raise $34.4 million in capital and endowment funding. Lauren holds a BA in philosophy/political theory from Duke University and a certificate in business from Babson College Business School. Lauren and her husband Taylor, have three children Katie (5th grader), Lindsay (3rd grader) who will attend CCDS, and James who is four years old.

  • Tina Taylor joins the Athletic Department staff this year as our part-time assistant athletic trainer. She completed her athletic training education at Springfield College in Massachusetts and an internship at Greensboro College. She is a nationally certified, state licensed athletic trainer.

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