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Erik K. Laursen
Vice President, Learning and Program Development
Erik K. Laursen, Ph.D., has held a variety of positions at Charterhouse School and UMFS since 1986. He serves as the Executive Director of Charterhouse School and oversees program development and organizational learning for UMFS and Charterhouse School. Erik is endorsed as secondary principal as well as in emotional disturbance, mathematics, and history. Erik draws on more than 30 years’ experience in education, youth work and treatment and has trained professionals in the U.S., Canada, and several European countries. He has authored more than two dozen publications on strengths-based practice with youth. Return to top.
Brendan A. Folmar
Principal, Charterhouse School
Brendan Folmar has worked in residential and private educational programs since 1989. Brendan received his undergraduate degree in elementary education from California University of Pennsylvania and his master's degree from Virginia State University in education administration and supervision. Brendan is endorsed in the special education areas of emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, mental retardation and as a principal. His passion is developing teams and programs to serve troubled youth. Return to top.
Assistant Principal, Charterhouse School
Tonya Salley-Goodwin joined UMFS in 1998 as a youth counselor and relief youth counselor in the UMFS Treatment Program. In October 2007, Tonya was hired as the coordinator for Charterhouse School Day Program. Tonya started her career as a special education teacher in a residential facility for children. She was also Head of Academy for several specialized schools in the Richmond and Middle Peninsula areas. Tonya has a bachelor's degree in history/political science. She attended Old Dominion University where she obtained certification in the area of emotional disturbance and holds a Virginia teaching license in special education. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix in education and supervision. Return to top.
Associate Clinical Director of Educational Services
Sasha Yazdgerdi oversees the autism programs at Charterhouse School. This includes the middle and high school classrooms, Camp Courage, and the Courage to Succeed college support program. Sasha began working with students with autism in 2006, working several years as a teacher in private and public schools as well as being a self-employed applied behavior analysis consultant and therapist. Sasha holds a master’s degree in special education from Virginia Commonwealth University and an undergraduate degree in psychology and theatre from the College of William and Mary. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and licensed Virginia Special Education/General Education K-12 teacher. Return to top.
Susan Westfall comes from Illinois and brought her love of plants and science to Charterhouse School in 1999. She has a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Illinois and completed her special education licensure at Old Dominion University. She developed the CHS Greenhouse Program, designed to engage our students in all aspects of horticulture, from gardening to hosting our annual plant sale. Susan’s interest in exploring nature led to her desire to teach science. Students study science using learning tools emphasizing critical thinking, communication, technology and collaboration. Return to top.
Rasheed Pope came to the Charterhouse Day School Program in September of 2009. He graduated from Huguenot High School in 1995. He is a Southside Virginia native who has a passion for giving back to his community. His athletic abilities, along with his compassion for others, have motivated him to hold a volunteer coaching position for the Bellemeade Community Center in South Richmond for 12 years. He is currently on track to receive his Associates of Arts in business management. Return to top.
Jamaison Wilkins graduated from Huguenot High School. Jamaison received her associate's degree in the human service field from the University of Phoenix and she is currently working on her bachelor's degree through the University of Phoenix. She enjoys working with children and has worked in the field since 2000. She also enjoys traveling and watching movies. Return to top.
Pam Wachtel, LCSW, a native North Carolinian, recently returned to the south via Richmond with her family. She lived and practiced social work in Chicago and Connecticut. She earned her bachelor's degree in social work at North Carolina State University and her master's degree from East Carolina University. In her limited spare time she enjoys ACC basketball and is proud to be nicknamed by her friends the "Dancing Queen." Return to top.
Rebekka Hennigan is originally from Michigan, where she completed her undergraduate degree in special education at Eastern Michigan University. She is currently working on her master’s degree in education with a concentration in Autism studies, eventually resulting in board certification as a behavior analyst. She brings almost 10 years of experience teaching students with a wide varieties of capabilities. She avoids yard work and laundry by taking her daughters to the pool and park as often as possible. Return to top.
Teri Cagle is a native of Goochland County, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Phoenix with an associates degree. Teri is currently studying to obtain her bachelor's degree in psychology. Her love of children, conversation, art and math brought her to Charterhouse School. She has been assisting her students in academic and social successes since February of 2008. Return to top.
William W. Hamilton, “Mr. Ham” as he is called by the students, came to Charterhouse in 2007 as a retired educator from Fairfax County, Virginia. Mr. Hamilton also worked for Virginia Opera’s education department where he assisted in developing student night at the opera for students in the Richmond area. He received his bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia. When not strolling around Charterhouse School, Mr. Ham loves to spend time with his wife, reading, and traveling. Return to top.
Stephanie Merchent is a native of Richmond and the mother of two school-aged children. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in exceptional education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She began her teaching career in a public high school and moved to Charterhouse School in 2007 where she feels the environment is more conducive to individualizing each student’s educational needs through building trusting relationships with the students. Return to top.
Kelly Norman is an LCSW with a bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology from George Mason University. Since earning her master's degree in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University, she has worked in a variety of clinical environments providing support to families and children in the Richmond area. When not at work, she enjoys the company of friends and family and the simple pleasures of working and playing in the great outdoors. Return to top.
Delany Deavers has been the technology teacher for Charterhouse School since December 1998. In addition to teaching, he provides support for the school computer network. Delany has 16 years experience in the public schools and holds a bachelor's degree in technology education. He loves the students he works with, hiking in the mountains and being on the water. Return to top.
Claudia Carawan, affectionately known as “Ms. CC”, enjoys teaching and inspiring a love of music to our students. Ms. CC has a bachelor's degree in applied music from Virginia Commonwealth University and has been teaching at Charterhouse School since 2000.In addition to teaching she performs with area bands and is an award winning songwriter and recording artist. Return to top.
Sherri Glover is originally from Hampton, VA and has resided in Richmond, VA for almost 10 years. She obtained her bachelor's degree in criminal justice at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently in pursuit of a master's degree in school counseling and a degree in culinary arts. Sherri was employed by UMFS in 2006 as a youth counselor, and then transitioned to Charterhouse School in 2007. When she’s not at work, she enjoys reading a good book. Return to top.
Adrian Williams grew up in Henrico County. She received her cosmetology license in 1995 and instructional license in 2007. She owned a salon for 12 years and also was a substitute teacher in the cosmetology department at Highland Springs Tech Center and Hermitage Tech Center. Adrian enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. Return to top.
Elizabeth Perez grew up in Bloomfield, New Jersey. She earned her bachelor’s degree in literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey in 2004. In her first year out of college, Ms. Perez worked as a lifeguard, swim instructor, and assistant aquatics director for the YMCA of Montclair. In 2004, Ms. Perez obtained her master's degree in the area of curriculum development and design at AIU. In 2007, she moved to Richmond, VA to pursue her teaching career. She became an instructional assistant for Grafton School, inc. and within a year was promoted to teacher. She loves the sport of swimming and now works part time for the YMCA in Goochland, VA; there she is the head swim coach for the swim team. Return to top.
Elyse Waugh earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in education from the University of Mary Washington. Elyse began her teaching career in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She moved back to Richmond in 2010 to be with friends and family. Elyse believes that every student can succeed if given the support and opportunity. In her spare time, Elyse enjoys staying physically active, spending time outdoors, and long walks with her dog, Maggie. Return to top.
Andrea Watts started the 2011-2012 school year with Charterhouse School as a teacher for students with Asperger’s Syndrome. She moved to Richmond after graduating from Radford University with a bachelor's degree in special education. She has over two years experience working with students with Autism and is currently pursuing her master's degree in severe disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her Pomeranian, Reggie, reading, watching reality television, and experiencing all that Richmond dining has to offer! Return to top.
Angela Miles has been an administrative assistant with UMFS since October 2006, and was promoted to office manager in July 2011. She has an associate's degree in computer and information science with a major in business administration. She enjoys being with her children, and especially her grandchildren. Return to top.
Behavior Specialist/Culinary Arts
Jerry Taylor is a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School and later attended Virginia State University where he majored in business administration and minored in culinary arts. He is the father of two children and enjoys interacting with others. Return to top.
Letitia Johnson comes from Hampton, Virginia and brought her love of math to Charterhouse School in 2011. She has a bachelor's degree in economics and business from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and a master's degree from VCU. Tish is endorsed to teach English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and is working towards her master’s degree in mathematics. She loves teaching youth as well as adults and continues to actively volunteer in the community working with church groups, youth programs, and adult education programs. Tish enjoys any activities to do with water and being outdoors, including swimming, fishing, and kayaking. Return to top.
Dexter Taylor is a graduate of Prince George High School, Virginia. He holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and criminal justice from Canterbury University. He has been in the mental health field for six years, starting his career with the Central State Mental Hospital in 1994. Since then, he has held a position with the Chesterfield County Sheriff Office as a deputy. He now provides a variety of counseling, rehabilitation, and support services for at risk youth. He came to Charterhouse School in 2010. Return to top.
Krystal Merritt came to UMFS in January 2010 as a behavior support counselor for the Therapeutic Treatment Services in the Public Schools. Before transferring to Charterhouse School, Ms. Merritt worked as a behavior specialist with Camp Courage and as a youth counselor and relief counselor in the Child & Family Healing Center. Ms. Merritt received a bachelor's degree in community based education/ interdisciplinary studies from Virginia Union University. Ms. Merritt is an advocate in the community and has a passion for volunteering as a cheerleader coach for Blackwell Community Center. Return to top.
Will Mundie graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from VCU in 2004 and has worked with youth since graduation. He has developed a rapport with children in a variety of settings, including UMFS since 2009, and enthusiastically joined the team at Charterhouse School in 2011 to serving our youth and supporting their education. In his free time, he enjoys cooking and finding interesting ways to save money at home such as energy conservation and utilizing solar power. Return to top.
Education Support Specialist
Lauren grew up in Houston, TX and London, England. After graduating with a B.A. from the University of Virginia, Lauren joined Teach for America and taught in Charlotte, NC. She comes to us most recently from KIPP DC: College Preparatory in Washington, DC where she taught high school Spanish. Lauren brings to Charterhouse School her experience working with low-income and special needs students and families in public and charter schools. She is passionate about ensuring every child has the opportunity to receive an excellent education and is always pursuing opportunities to grow and develop as an educator. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling to visit family, spending time with friends, staying physically active, shopping at community markets and watching movies." Return to top.
Shakeya Boone, a Harlem, New York native, considers Virginia to be her second home. She joined Charterhouse School in 2011, having previously worked with group homes for youth in Henrico County. Shakeya earned an associate’s degree in computer systems applications from ECPI in 2002, as well as another associate’s degree in medical billing and coding from Fortis College in 2010. With a passion for helping others, her personal philosophy is, “If I have it and you need it, it’s yours”. She enjoys traveling and spending as much time with her family as possible, including her “shining star” six year old son, whom she adores. Return to top.
Lorie. Butler graduated in 1997 from Eastern Mennonite University with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a teaching certification in special education. She is an active member of Alpha Delta Kappa International Honorary Organization for Women Educators. She comes to Charterhouse after spending the last 15 years in public education as an exceptional education teacher. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, quilting, scrapbooking and traveling with her family. Return to top.
Kim Denmark is originally from Portsmouth, Virginia. She moved to Richmond to join Charterhouse School in 2012. She graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree and received her secondary English licensure from Old Dominion University. She worked for two years in residential substance abuse treatment before beginning her teaching career as an English teacher in Newport News Public Schools. She brings a passion for helping all students reach their potential as well as a desire to make English relevant and inspiring for her students. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, kayaking on calm water, reading, and watching movies. Return to top.
Theresa Chalghoumi comes to UMFS from New York City. She is proud of her NY accent. Theresa has been working in the fields of education and counseling for more than 15 years. She loves working with children and finds her work very rewarding. Theresa has a master of education in curriculum and development from Averett University. In her free time, Theresa loves to cook for family and friends. Return to top.
Sara Ferrell is a native of Henrico, Virginia. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2006 from Longwood University and is currently working to complete her master’s degree in special education. She is excited to return to the Richmond area with her husband and son following two years of living in Lebanon, Missouri. She cannot wait to share her love of language arts and technology with the students at Charterhouse Day School. Return to top.
Stevara joined the UMFS staff in May 2010 as the training support specialist and joined the Charterhouse School staff in August 2012. Stevara has experience in developing curricula, workshops and policies. In her previous position, Stevara taught foster care youth independent living, social and advocacy skills. She received both her bachelor of social work and master of social work degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration in administration, policy and program planning. In her free time, Stevara enjoys watching sports, reading a good book and spending time with family, friends and her two loyal dogs. Return to top.
Devario Hawkins graduated from VCU with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in criminal justice. He spent his first years out of college working at a private school for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Shortly after, he began working with at-risk youth, doing in-home and day treatment counseling. When not working, he enjoys playing basketball, fishing, and his new puppy Sky. Return to top.
Kathleen Hudson has several years of experience in both social services and residential treatment. She has served as a case manager for a Community Service Board for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and as a residential services supervisor with a not-for-profit organization. She also served as a positive behavior support facilitator and a clinical support specialist with UMFS foster children before joining the Courage to Succeed program full time. She is also a foster parent with her husband and teen son. Kathleen earned a master’s degree in Christian education from Union Theological Seminary Presbyterian School of Christian Education and is endorsed as a positive behavior supports specialist through the Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU. Return to top.
Lisa Moore is currently working towards her licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and family studies from James Madison University. After working in the school system, Lisa returned to James Madison where she received her master’s degree and educational specialist degree in clinical mental health counseling. Prior to working at Charterhouse School, Lisa worked as a therapist in UMFS’ Child and Family Healing Center. When not at work, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family in Maryland and enjoying Virginia’s great outdoors. Return to top.
Health & PE Teacher
Coby Wilmer grew up in Buena Vista, VA, and has always enjoyed spending time outdoors, playing sports, and staying active. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hollins University in 2006 and her master’s degree in teaching special education degree from Liberty University in 2010. Before coming to Charterhouse School, she taught in the public school setting. She is thrilled to use her athletic and leadership skills to provide youth with positive behavioral support, social skills development, and an understanding of the importance that positive choices and physical fitness are needed to be successful and healthy in life. Return to top.
Culinary Arts Teacher
Hollie Wrenn holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from VCU and has used her artistic talents in the restaurant and hospitality industry for 20 years. She pursued cooking for many years then transitioned to service management after having her two beautiful children. Knowing children, food and fun go together, teaching culinary arts at Charterhouse School is a perfect fit for Hollie. It allows her to share what she has learned about food and entertaining while making a meaningful and positive contribution to a young person and their pursuit of a full and happy life. Return to top.
Steve Floyd joined Charterhouse School in October of 2012 as our history teacher. Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle Grades Education from East Carolina University with concentration areas of English and social studies and a Master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Educational Leadership and Supervision. During his tenure in education (Virginia and North Carolina public schools), Steve taught middle school English as well as high school and middle school social studies. Steve has a passion for working with young people in the fields of academic improvement, developing potential, athletics, and personal development. In addition to his educational endeavors, Steve is also a nationally certified personal trainer. Return to top.
Erin McKone graduated in 2006 with a degree in Art Education. After working in several schools, she decided to pursue a provisional license in special education – she then taught English, math, science and history at Kids in Focus from 2009 to 2012.
In addition to teaching art at UMFS, Erin is also a traveling art teacher with Art Adventures. She teaches painting, drawing, and clay classes in preschools and retirement communities. Return to top.
Karina von Borstel
Career and Technical Teacher
Karina von Borstel has worked as a special educator for more than 10 years. She taught with the Newport News Public School District and with the Morenci Unified School District in Morenci, Arizona. She is certified to teach students in grades K-12 with emotional, learning, and intellectual disabilities. As an undergraduate, Karina majored in psychology at James Madison University. Karina is currently pursuing a Master’s degree through the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program at University of Richmond. She plans to apply for the Virginia Administration and Supervision endorsement level 1.
Karina also works as a youth leader for grades 6-12, at Tikvat Israel, a Messianic Jewish Synagogue in Richmond. Return to top.
Angela Meccia has been in the educational field for seven years. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and a M.Ed. in Counselor Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked as a substitute teacher, one-to-one counselor and school counselor. Prior to joining Charterhouse Day School, Angela worked as a case manager for treatment foster care at UMFS in the Richmond Regional Center. She is currently working toward her goal of becoming a special education educator.
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