Kaitlin Baden, Administrative Intern, Interventionist and Visual Art Instructor
Kaitlin is so excited to be returning to education after a two-year “artistic rediscovery hiatus”. She received her undergraduate degrees in Music and Theatre Arts from UNC-Chapel Hill, and then continued on to earn her master’s degree in K-12 education from UNC. Her graduate work allowed her to teach in Alamance and Orange counties where she realized that she truly had a love for all grades, but particularly elementary school. Post-degree, she found a home at Myrtle Grove Middle School for 7 years as their chorus/drama teacher (and found too many other hats to wear) when she decided to take a break to reconnect with her acting and music. She has had the opportunity over the years to visit and interact with school groups in other countries and is also the organizer of an overseas “English literacy and fluency through theatre” workshop in Strasbourg, France, for students between the ages of 11 and 18.
When not at school, Kaitlin can be found teaching at the Actor’s Arsenal acting studio, working with Opera House Theatre Company downtown, spending time with her husband and their lovely menagerie of animals, painting in her studio, or in the yard trying to maintain the organized chaos that is plant growth. As someone who comes from a family of scientists (literally…even married one) and had the lifelong plan to become one herself, she fully believes that the arts are an integral part of a well-rounded education and life, and she is so excited to foster the love and appreciation for the arts in all of our children.
Amy Carter, Administrative Intern, Interventionist, and Virtual Learning Coordinator
Amy has over 10 years experience working with children and finds great joy in watching children’s natural passions unfold and take form through self-discovery and artistic expression. She has a degree in Elementary Education from The University of North Florida, has her Master’s Certification in Montessori Teaching, and has worked in Self-Directed Education as an Agile Learning Facilitator and Academic Director of an alternative school.
Amy is a loving mother of three who brings the warmth she would hope for her own children to experience in a school to her own work, is a proponent of Conscious Discipline strategies, and a promoter of community and parental involvement. She strives to use her own love of the arts and performing to create an environment for deeper understanding of academic concepts, creative expression, social justice, and cultural studies. Her passions include singing, acting, and dancing (especially in community theatre and musical groups locally).
She is inspired by the creativity of children and believes they are the most profound makers of art.
Christine Born, Administrator, and Testing Coordinator
For 29 years, she has been in the classroom with children ages 4-15. Her degree is from Bethany College in Elementary Education with a minor in Language Arts. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania she went straight into the classroom at 22 years of age and has been there ever since!
Since retiring from New Hanover County Schools in July of 2017, she has been working at Cape Fear Center for Inquiry as their Testing Coordinator and Interventionist.
“I believe having firsthand experience administering tests, along with writing and evaluating EOG test items will not only be helpful in this position but will enable me to aid the teachers in a successful, organized testing season.”
She has 2 daughters. Jenna, her oldest, works in the Obstetrics Department at Mercy Hospital near Chicago. Jillian is a Labor and Delivery nurse at NHRMC. Her husband is the Fire Chief at Ocean Isle Beach Fire Department, and they have a beautiful German Shepherd named Montana.
In her ‘spare’ time she enjoys planning and directing weddings, tutoring and scrapbooking.
Kym Turner, Lead Teacher’s Assistant and Director of Marketing
Kym comes to WSA with over 15 years experience working with children, primarily in a preschool setting. This background adds a warmth and gentleness to her approach to working with children. A strong proponent of positive discipline, handwriting without tears, and hands-on learning, she hopes to bring thoughtfulness and intention into the hiring and training of the school’s TA’s.
Kym’s background in marketing stems from her love of photography and over 10 years experience both working as a professional photographer and owning her own photography business. Many of the photos and other marketing materials were created by Kym!
She is currently furthering her education to obtain her N.C. Teacher’s Licensure.
Ginger Bunn, Administrative Assistant
Ginger is a graduate of East Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Business, who has spent most of her career in Outside Sales. For the past 5 years she has been performing administration and clerical duties.
Ginger has a passion for education, children, and the arts, which led her to WSA.
She has two teenage children, Griffin, and Emme, and her husband is a Territory Manager for Smith & Stevenson. She is also the proud owner of a German Shepard Mix named “Rosie”.
Ginger enjoys gardening, kickboxing, walking, the beach and spending time with family and friends.
Janice Williams, Administrative Assistant
A graduate of Fayetteville State University, Janice Williams, a native of Fayetteville, NC served the children of New Hanover county Schools for 32 years as an elementary school teacher, retiring in 2014. Janice has had a wonderful career in education and has a love for children. She has even tutored elementary students after retiring in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties.
Janice helped to develop a program called, ‘Sisters with Value’ with underprivileged 7th and 8th Grade girls in a local school. In this program, she helped the students develop high self esteem, develop vision boards to promote a desire to stay in school until they graduated, and most of all, develop self value. This was a personal and rewarding program for Janice until it ended.
Janice is married to James Williams and has lived in Wilmington for 35 years. They have two beautiful adult daughters and two handsome grandsons. In her spare time, she likes to crochet, read, and work large table puzzles.
Kirsten Kolb, Administrative Essentialist
A graduate of Elon University, Kirsten earned a Bachelor’s in Sociology and a minor in Spanish.
Kirsten has spent the last six years in the pharmaceutical industry analyzing key metrics and KPIs for a global pharmaceutical consulting firm. Prior to this, Kirsten spent six years with the Mission Delivery Team at Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina. Dedicated to nonprofit efforts and bettering young lives, Kirsten both planned and coordinated wish fulfillment for children with life-threatening medical conditions
Originally from New Jersey, Kirsten has spent the last seventeen years in North Carolina. She and her husband currently live in Wilmington, NC.
Silvia Bengle, Spanish Translator, Financial Systems Support
Silvia worked for the University of California, Irvine for 20 years. Originally hired in a temporary role, she quickly transitioned to full-time administrative assistant for the UCI Medical Center’s pediatric department. Silvia coordinated monthly reports for 22 departments and provided interdepartmental clerical support.
As a financial analyst at the School of Humanities, Silvia reconciled ledgers, oversaw accounting systems, and streamlined UCI’s online financial systems. From nine years with the Dean’s Office to the Office of Research Administration, Silvia’s expertise enhanced financial infrastructure campus-wide.
Silvia is bilingual and will also serve as Head Translator for Wilmington School of the Arts. After living in Mendoza, Argentina for seven years, Silvia and her husband of 23 years are happy to call Wilmington home.
SheaRa Nichi, Cultural Arts Programming Director
SheaRa Nichi is an accomplished dancer, actor, director and choreographer who’s been performing professionally since age eight. SheaRa Nichi studied professional theatre in New York City through the Circle in the Square School and BADA British American Drama Academy, a Shakespeare drama intensive program through Yale and Oxford University. SheaRa also holds a BS in Computer Science.
For SheaRa, art for every student should be a hands-on, interactive use of the performing arts, including dance, acting, singing, writing, and poetry. She has worked with Burning Coal Theater and Cape Fear Regional Theater company as a resource artist, choreographer, and writers’ director, and as a resource for Practical Art Therapy for New Hanover County Schools since 2004.
By helping students verbally and physically express their passions and experience, SheaRa believes in the power of the performing arts to stimulate both academic and interpersonal connection. Through the NC NEA endowment to bring Creative Forces incentive to Fort Bragg Intrepid Spirit Center, SheaRa will provide needed art therapy to soldiers with brain trauma and PTSD. She has traveled to Haiti, Europe and Brazil researching and learning all forms of African cultural dance, and while working with MWR on Fort Bragg, she will continue to provide African dance classes for all.