Jane Robinson, Ph.D
I hold a B.A. in Education (K-8) from Roanoke College (1988), a M.A. in Education from the university of North Carolina at Charlotte (1992), and Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) counseling degree from the University of South Carolina (1996) and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of South Carolina (2001). I have been serving as a counselor and consultant since 1990. Outside of school and counseling, I enjoy spending time with my 3 children, 2 dogs, and ferret. The 2020-2021 school year will be my tenth year as Director of Kent Academy.
My name is Jenn O’Neill and I have worked in education for twenty-six years with students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade. I am originally from Pittsburgh, PA and went to Duquesne University to get my degree in Education and began my career teaching English to middle and high school students. I then moved to New England and continued teaching while I received a MA in Psychology from Westfield State University with a focus on School Counseling and a MS Ed in Educational Leadership from Keene State College. My career has included positions as a teacher, school counselor/department head and administrator. I have a passion for teaching in all forms. When I am not in school, I teach at the Upper Palmetto YMCA instructing fitness classes to adults of all abilities. This will be my first school year teaching at Kent, and I am thrilled to become part of a team where the focus is on helping students to achieve their own personal and academic goal.
My name is Sara Muller and I graduated from California University of PA with a B.S. in Elementary Education, and have my teaching certification in NC, PA, and NJ. I have been teaching in NC since 1997, and teaching at Kent Academy for 10 years. I have extensive Orton-Gillingham training with both Institute of Multi-Sensory Education and The Wilson Reading System, allowing me to customize literacy instruction to each of my students’ individual learning needs. In addition to over 100 hours of extensive literacy and math training, I have successfully completed course training focused on teaching students with ADHD. I believe every child possesses the capacity to learn and be successful. I have a passion for helping my students to not only find and achieve their individual level of success, but to also learn to embrace and enjoy the journey in a safe, creative, and nurturing environment. When not teaching, I can be found hanging out with my husband and 3 children, reading, fervently crafting away on any one of five million projects, or organizing yet another search party to find the missing owl carrying my acceptance letter to Hogwarts.
2nd/3rd Grade Teacher
My name is Beth Kelly and I have been given the wonderful honor of teaching students for the last 22 years. I am originally from Buffalo, NY, where I received my B.A. in Sociology, but in 1997 I decided to move to Charlotte, NC and within a year realized I wanted to pursue teaching. I attended UNC Charlotte where I received my teaching certification in Special Education and have been teaching ever since. If I have learned one thing, it is that every student learns differently and can be successful and excel in the right learning environment. I have worked in a variety of schools where I have taught students with Autism, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Emotional Trauma, and Learning Disabilities. The 2020-2021 school year is my fourth year at Kent Academy. This is my passion and I feel so fortunate to be able to teach these awesome kids every day!
4th/5th Grade Teacher
I was born and raised right here in Charlotte, NC. I graduated from Independence High School in 2000 and went to UNC Charlotte for college where I studied to be a teacher and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education in 2003. I’m certified to teach Kindergarten through sixth grade. I’ve taught school for 16 years and during that time, I’ve taught all elementary school grades in different capacities. I began my career at Newell Elementary in the CMS system, then was a nanny for a couple of years for younger children, followed by a stint at Mountain Island Day School. I have been at Kent Academy since the fall of 2012 and wouldn’t want to be teaching anywhere else. In addition to teaching lower school at Kent, I run a baseball league, called YMCA Miracle League for children and adults with special needs at the Keith Family YMCA. In my free time, I love playing sports and spending time with my family and friends.
My name is Brian Nelson and I am the high school teacher at Kent. I graduated from Lynchburg College with my Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and minors in Outdoor Recreation and Communication studies. I come from many years of non-traditional teaching jobs, from homeschooling students with mental challenges to teaching English abroad. All of these experiences brought me to understand and appreciate the gap between students that could handle the rigors of traditional high schools, but wouldn’t necessarily thrive. I noticed that this population is underrepresented, which was my focus when creating the high school program at Kent. The 2020-2021 school year is my sixth year at Kent Academy. When Kent seniors graduate from our program, they will have all the tools they need for success in college and a vested interest in their own success. I love that no year is the same, I recognize that I don’t have all the answers, and can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds!
My name is Rebecca McKenzie and I am the office administrator for Kent. My role at Kent is to assist with the admissions process, as well as our day-to-day operations. I graduated from Queens University of Charlotte with a B.A. in Human Services and minor in Psychology. In addition to my position at Kent, I am also a Habilitation Technician for individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities. In my spare time I am a volunteer leader for Young Life, a high school ministry. Through my experiences, I have learned that I have a heart for students with learning differences as well as a passion for mental health advocacy. The 2020-2021 school year is my second year at Kent Academy.