Michelle Spaulding, executive Director

Michelle Spaulding is the Executive Director of Carolina Collaborative Prep. She is a North Carolina Certified P-12 Special Education Teacher with 26 years of experience in the field. This certification has allowed Michelle to help students of all ages and abilities succeed both in the classroom and their personal lives. Prior to CCP, Michelle worked in Laurel Heights Behavioral Health Hospital in Atlanta, Atlanta Public Schools, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, UCP Easter Seals, Developmental Disabilities Resources, and her own start-up company Soar Tutoring.

Michelle graduated from the University of Georgia in 1995 with a 5 year Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education. Additionally, Michelle has received certificates in Orton-Gillingham Multi-Sensory Training, TEACCH Fundamentals of Structured Teaching, and Handwriting Without Tears. Her goal in teaching is to help children achieve their maximum potential in all areas of development in a multi-sensory, fun, positive, supportive environment that focuses on the unique learning styles and strengths of the individual learner.

Michelle has lived in Charlotte since 1998. She is happily married with two children and two adorable

mini-schnauzers. She is on the PTSO of her son’s high school and enjoys golf, yoga, reading, playing cards

and going to the beach.

GRACE PAYNE, Instructor

Grace Payne is an Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep.


She received her bachelor's in Special Education from Winthrop University in May 2017.


While at Winthrop, Grace was one of the first peer mentors for the Think College Program. This program was developed for persons with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities to address their employment and daily living skills. She helped establish the campus library as an internship opportunity for Think College students. Grace has also taught a total of four years in a variety of settings with various ages k - 8 and feels that self-advocacy and determination are key components for thriving adult lives and gainful employment.


Grace's favorite quote is “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m Possible” - Audrey Hepburn.



Denisse Sanchez is an Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep.


She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science Degree

in Biology. She has a passion for working with children to improve their confidence in math, science and leadership. Denisse has five and a half years of experience working in the educational field as a tutor, ACT/SAT tutor and teen coordinator at the Center for Prevention Services in Charlotte, The Tutoring Club of Ballantyne, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


Denisse is Mexican-American and grew up in Charlotte. She is the oldest of seven and enjoys spending time with her big family. In her free time, she enjoys painting, running, swimming, traveling, and practicing her Mandarin Chinese skills.


Sarah Pulley is a Teaching Assistant at Carolina Collaborative Prep.

Sarah graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. After graduation she joined the team at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher as an

Outreach Coordinator traveling around the state teaching environmental science classes featuring native NC animal species. After moving to Charlotte she became the Youth Programs Manager at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden where she continued to foster a fun, inclusive learning environment for all students.

While in university, Sarah studied abroad in Australia which deepened her love of traveling and environmental science and jump started her journey of teaching others.