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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.


Cheyenne Pennell is an Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep. 


Cheyenne graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Secondary Education, and Youth and Communities. In her undergraduate studies, she specialized in Secondary English Language Arts Pedagogy, as well as in Community Service Based Studies. Following her undergraduate degree, Cheyenne became a certified educator, and possesses a current Master’s Level NCDPI Educator’s License in 9-12 English Education. 


Cheyenne also received a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, with a concentration in Secondary Education, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 


Cheyenne has taught various levels of English Language Arts for over four years. She has also taught Student Government classes. She has worked with children in various literacy programs for over seven years. 


Cheyenne is passionate about community service and service learning. In her time as an educator, she has been an advisor for several community-service clubs. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her pets, hanging with her closest friends, and going on day trips.

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Sharon Poindexter is an Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep. 


Sharon graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood grades K-6.

She  taught Pre- Kindergarten through Fifth grade in both private and public school settings. She  also previously taught Literacy in grades Kindergarten through Fifth grade. Sharon has experience working with students with learning differences in her classes throughout her career. She is passionate about differentiating  instruction as needed in order for students to achieve success. 

Sharon was born and raised in Wilmington North Carolina until she moved to the western part of the state in 1990. She has two grown daughters, and two grandkids, two months old and 2 years old .

In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, walking/running.  Sharon recently began running  5k’s this year and enjoys the competitions.
She is looking forward to teaching her new students at CCP this year. She is eager to build  a relationship with them and watch them grow in all areas. 


Sarah Pulley is an Instructor 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.



Darien Cook is an Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep.


They graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2020 with a BA in Special Education with a focus on Adapted Curriculum as well as a minor in psychology. Darien started working with students while in high school while they were a TA in a self-contained 3-5 classroom. Darien has worked with students of all ability levels in grades K-12 in the general education, special education, and self-contained settings.

Darien is originally from south Florida and moved to the Charlotte area for college in 2017. Darien played soccer in the NCAA for Hollins University in Virginia for the 2016-17 season.

Outside of school, Darien takes their dogs hiking, plays soccer, and likes to read/dissect poetry. Darien also likes to travel to new places both inside and outside of the US. Their favorite place that they have traveled to is the Dominican Republic where they spent a few weeks meeting locals and learning about their culture.

Daniel Bernard,

Daniel Bernard is an Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep.


Daniel received a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Furman University and a Master’s in Teaching from Winthrop University.  He taught English/Language Arts in the Fort Mill School District in South Carolina for 3 years before spending a year tutoring SAT and ACT prep.


Daniel’s passion for helping young people find their voice stems from vivid memories of being a shy student.  He hopes to provide to his students what his own teachers gave him- a source of warmth and encouragement.


A life-long reader, Daniel loves stories of all kinds, particularly movies.  He also enjoys long (leisurely) walks in nature.



Naomi Nance is an Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep.

Naomi received a Bachelor of Science from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in 2016.  
She is originally from Greensboro, NC and has called Charlotte her home since 2020. She has 8 years of experience in the education field and has become passionate in providing intentional academic instruction to her students. Naomi's experience includes 3 years as an Instructional Teacher (for Sugar Creek Charter School where she worked in the 4th 
and 6th grades) as well as 4 years working as an Exceptional Children's Teacher Assistant and after school Counselor for schools in Greensboro, NC.

Additionally, Naomi considers herself a team player and enjoys planning, organizing and creating. She savors every moment with her fiancé, Chris and her husky, Max. 

ASSISTANT instructor

Taylor Lane is an Assistant Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep.

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Taylor relocated to Charlotte, NC in August 2022. Before her move, she received her Bachelor of Science from the University of North Texas. Taylor plans to pursue a teacher's certification in the near future.  

Taylor has 10 years of experience working with children. Her experience includes 2 years as a substitute teacher (for Keller ISD where she worked with grades PreK-3rd, 5th and 6th, as well as Special Education) as well as being employed as a Registered Behavior Technician in autism therapy. Her experience with children also includes volunteering at Cook's Children Hospital, nannying, tutoring, and babysitting. 

In addition to her career goals and work, Taylor enjoys spending time with her cat, hiking with her dog, photography, painting, and reading. 


Catherine Helm,
ASSISTANT instructor

Catherine Helm is an Assistant Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep.

Check back soon for Catherine's bio...

ASSISTANT instructor

Joe Healy is an Assistant Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep. 


He is a native Charlottean with a passion for education. Joe is currently working on his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Western Governors University. Joe has volunteer experience working with students and children with learning differences. His goal for the school year is to help students get excited and invested in their education. 


In his free time, Joe enjoys spending time with his two wonderful children. In fact, he is a big kid himself! He also enjoys watching all sports. He is a Panther and Hornets fan. He is a fan of History and likes to read a lot in that genre. 

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ASSISTANT instructor

Austin James is an Assistant Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep.

Check back soon for Austin's bio...

JR Assistant instructor

Reilly Parker Walsh is a Junior Assistant Instructor in the Lower Academy at Carolina Collaborative Prep.

Reilly Parker was CCP’s first graduate and is excited to start her career back at the school that gave her so much.  Born and raised in Charlotte, RP has always loved school and learning.  She had a short move to Vienna, VA but returned to the area in 2020 and that is when she started at CCP.

While in VA, Reilly Parker worked two years at the Fairfax JCC in their preschool program for 18 month olds to 2 year olds.  She also currently works at Flour Power, a children’s cooking studio. 

Reilly Parker has a special affinity for children as well as dogs. She is a dog walker on the weekends for many local neighbors.  When not working one of her many jobs, Reilly Parker enjoys being on the lake with her family, spending time with friends and is a life long Disney fan. 


Reilly Parker has always assisted CCP students by instructing them about rules and routines, assisting with technology including vocabulary templates and google classroom, and of course, making everyone feel comfortable and welcome. 

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Rachel Abbatiello is the Therapeutic Gardening Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep.


She graduated from Catawba College with a BA in Music Education and a BA in Vocal Performance with a minor is Special Subjects K-12.


After discovering a passion for exceptional children, Rachel made a lateral-entry shift into Special Education straight out of student teaching. She specializes in students with behavioral and emotional disorders and taught elementary school and high school for 8 years in the public school system. She has experience teaching students in resource, co-teaching, and separate settings across content areas and also served as Special Education Lead Teacher for 2 years at the high school level.


Rachel is passionate about making all students feel welcome, included, and cared for. She is a firm believer that while students might not remember everything you teach them, they will always remember the way you made them feel.


When Rachel isn’t teaching at CCP, you can find her running her private voice studio at CAPA School of Music, directing musical theatre workshops, singing with Charlotte Chamber Choir, or performing at Old Courthouse Theatre. She loves taking care of her (many) plants at home, reading, embroidering, traveling, and watching Love Island with her dog Bishop.

Victoria McLain,
SUBSTITUTE instructor

Victoria McLain is a Substitute Instructor at Carolina Collaborative Prep.


Victoria graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies. In her undergraduate studies, she specialized in Birth-Kindergarten Education and received a minor in Spanish. While attending UNCG, she tutored students in Biology, Nutrition, and Spanish. 


As an undergraduate student, Victoria studied abroad in Puebla, Mexico. During that time, she immersed herself in the culture and served at a local orphanage. After graduating, Victoria taught at the Jewish Community Center in Tampa, FL. After about 4 years, she relocated to her hometown, Charlotte, NC, and began working as a tutor for Beam Tutoring. Victoria enjoys teaching children of all ages, primarily in math, reading, and writing. 


In her spare time, Victoria enjoys hiking, traveling, learning new languages, and spending time with loved ones. 

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