A JK THROUGH 12 INDEPENDENT SCHOOL IN CHARLOTTE, NC

1941

Meet Our Faculty

More than 200 dedicated educators and administrators make up Country Day's full-time faculty and staff, a diverse team of professionals who love what they do. Working in close collaboration with each other, they are profoundly committed to discovering the key to each student's talents and abilities, and to helping each other grow in character, intellect, and confidence. Read about our faculty professional development opportunities.

Faculty Facts

218

Full-time faculty members

8:1

Average student / faculty ratio

25%

Are published writers

18

Average years of teaching experience

12

Average number of years at Country Day

86

Have received travel grants to 37 countries

100%

Engage in professional development each year

122

Hold advanced degrees

95%

Serve as advisors to students

Faculty Honors

Advanced Placement Exam Readers

Klingenstein Fellows

Tandy Scholars

Arts & Science Council Grant Recipients

National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Recipients

World Affairs Council of Charlotte Scholars

Dreyfus Master Teachers in Science And Math

GTE Grant Recipients

Dr. Denise Spruill Upper School History

Upper School History Teacher
Joined Country Day: 2014
Education:
BA, African American World Studies, University of Iowa 
MA, History, Wayne State University 
PhD, History, University of Iowa

Dr. Denise Spruill is a twentieth-century social historian, who focuses on U.S., African-American, and women's histories. Her role at Country Day extends beyond that of an Upper School history teacher. She also is a trusted adult who treasures and values the relationships she has with students and truly believes in the power of combining strong academics with diversity, equity, and inclusion.

"I have taught at a variety of places, kindergarten through college, public, and private and one thing remains the same—students are students. What makes Country Day special is the access to teachers and resources. Country Day intentionally allows teachers to build real relationships with students that last a lifetime and have incredible influence on the success of our students. When a student can meet with a teacher at any time—and have trust—anything is possible!"
Denise Spruill with student
"Student leadership opportunities both in and out of the classroom including clubs, the Diversity Awareness Forum, student government, and Honor Council provide students with the opportunities to lead in various capacities. Within my teaching, I truly believe in the value of cooperative learning where all students have an opportunity to teach and collaborate thus teaching them leadership, public speaking, and teamwork."
 
"The global exposure our students experience through Country Day’s extensive travel opportunities as well as our exchange and international students on campus, allows our students to better understand the importance of diversity, cultures, and ethnicity. I see this first-hand leading to young adults who have greater respect for difference."
Read More > about Dr. Denise Spruill

Jenny Goodfellow  Upper School Theatre

Upper School Director of Theatre Arts
Joined Country Day: 2012
Education:
BS, Theatre Education, Columbus State University
MEd, Theatre in Colleges and Communities, New York University

Jenny Goodfellow joined Country Day in 2012 as the Middle School drama teacher. Her previous experience as enrichment coordinator for the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte led to an enhanced production level for Middle School performances, and a program that connected theatre with community engagement and service. In 2015, Mrs. Goodfellow was tapped to direct the Upper School Theatre Arts program. She has training with Dell’ Arte International School and is one of 25 educators to hold a directing fellowship from The Juilliard School in New York. She has been recognized multiple times as Outstanding Director by the North Carolina Theatre Conference, and most recently as Best Director by the Southeastern Theatre Conference. 

"As a theatre director, my job is a lot like a parent. In the same way we, as parents, are preparing our children to become independent in the world, a director prepares a cast/crew to perform a show. When the cast/crew describe themselves, they often talk about being a family. These students overcome challenges, solve problems, even have disagreements, and work as a team to make the show a success. In the process, they form lifelong friendships.
As a teacher, I love seeing a student think in new and creative ways, step out of his or her comfort zone, or be an avid supporter of the arts by attending shows. Ultimately, it’s about helping students reach their fullest creative
potential and letting them use the foundational skills of their fine arts class to follow their own path—whether that be on the stage, in an operating room, or at a board meeting. These aren’t just theater skills, they are life skills."
Jenny Goodfellow
"Whether you are sewing on a button for a costume, buying a ticket to a production, cheering on your child’s stage debut, or an alumni returning for performances, it all creates a community of engagement and, ultimately, a successful program."

Read more about Jenny Goodfellow and the production of the 2019 musical, Catch Me if You Can."

Read More > about Jenny Goodfellow

Dr. Brittany Lott Upper School Chemistry

Upper School Chemistry Teacher
Joined Country Day: 2017
Education:
BA, chemistry, Arkansas State University
MS, physical chemistry, University of Memphis
PhD, physical chemistry, University of Memphis

After teaching at Western Carolina University for several years, Dr. Lott joined the Upper School Science Department. She shares how Country Day students and facilities compare to the college setting.

"The caliber of students at Country Day is phenomenal. I taught freshmen-level chemistry at Western and at the University of Memphis. The sophomore students I’m teaching now could walk out of my classroom and walk into the college classroom and be ready to go and not miss a beat. Whether I ask my students to go home and read an article, work on a project outside of class, come in and meet with me, work together, work alone, do this or that activity, it’s just automatically done. My students are motivated, dedicated, and capable and that is just a phenomenal environment for teaching and learning."
Brittany Lott teaching science
“I understand chemistry and I think it’s cool. I think it’s fun. The pieces all sort of fit together. And I want other people to get that too. I want to share with them and lead them to that moment. It sounds so stereotypical, but it’s really true. The “Aha!” moment where the student says, “Oh, so that relates back to this thing we talked about a month ago.” And I say, “Yes, that’s it!” That’s where the fun is for me. Personally, I like understanding things, knowing how the world works, and I want to give that gift to my students.”
Read More > about Dr. Brittany Lott

Simon Keilty Eighth Grade Science

Eighth Grade Science Teacher
Joined Country Day: 2006
Education:
BA, biology with a minor in African studies, Colorado College

"I'm a big proponent of the scientific process, so each month our students collect water chemistry data on the creek. Collecting data on natural phenomena like this is much more meaningful for young scientists and leads to improved critical thinking. Improved opportunities for creative thinking leads to asking questions, which leads to more experimentation and even greater discovery.
 
During our Storm Drain Mapping Project, my students examine different types of pollution on campus. They take GPS units to map the latitude, longitude, and elevation of the storm drains in our school community. After importing their personal data into Google Earth, the eighth graders discover that the storm drain system is based on the topography of the land and that each outfall is located at the creek. They are able to see first-hand that when our land is polluted, our creeks get polluted, too.
 
I love to witness our students searching for practical solutions to our campus waste stream and then present their tested solutions to the administration. Recently the eighth graders presented two years' worth of their data to lobby successfully for composting in the cafeteria. As a result, Country Day's Middle School is commercially composting and recycling its kitchen waste. Through their own discoveries, students learn that they can institute positive, lasting environmental change."
Read More > about Simon Keilty

Chris Gawle Upper School Science

Upper School Science Teacher
Joined Country Day: 2002
Education:
BS, biology, Bates College
MS, marine sciences, University of Charleston
Classes taught: 9th grade Biology, AP Environmental Science, Environmental Issues, IB Environmental Societies, Marine Biology
"I want my AP Environmental Studies students to leave for college feeling ready to handle an undergraduate thesis. My juniors and seniors do exactly that in their Eco-Column Project. Partners build an ecosystem, add a global problem—such as acid rain or climate change—and then analyze the environmental impact.
 
Students write mini-proposals, conduct their own research, analyze their data, and collaborate on their findings. They learn how to handle large amounts of complex data, and I teach them how to present their information correctly in tables and graphs. By the end of the process, they've completed a 20–30 page college-level paper and gain the confidence to do well in college science courses.
 
My ultimate goal is to prepare them to write the best reports in their college classes. Every year, I receive these resounding e-mails of affirmation from my former students. I love hearing that they're successfully preparing lab reports in their college science classes and that their professors are using their reports as examples to the rest of the class."
Read More > about Chris Gawle

Peter Floyd Upper School Spanish

Upper School Spanish Teacher
Joined Country Day: 2001
Education:
BA, comparative literature, Gonzaga University
MA, English, Gonzaga University

"My job is to get students to adopt the language, to make it their own, to help them realize they would somehow be impoverished if they spoke only English. In my mind, a foreign language is theirs if they think about it on their own time. I love it when they tell me that they've been using their Spanish outside of class.
 
The best classroom moments are those when the students forget they are "learning stuff." There are times they get passionate about a topic—such as the dress code or boy-girl relationships—and want to get their point across, but they are struggling with the language. That's when I can help them make their point. The key is, it's their point, not mine! It's not the teacher forcing them to memorize dry rules about direct and indirect object pronouns. The irony is that when I help them make their point, they're wide open to learning all the material because it enriches their lives.
 
When I was growing up, my dad was a professional explorer making maps in South America for the oil industry. We lived all over—Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil. A lot of my friends spoke at least two languages. Having spent more than half my life outside the United States, I believe strongly in encouraging kids to stay with a foreign language long-term because I've seen the benefits in my own life."
Read More > about Peter Floyd