Faculty and Staff Directory
School: (828) 684-6232 ext. 106
Coco Parham’s 14th year at Christ School will offer some change for the longtime employee. She is the new Admission Department Office Manager after 13 years in the College Guidance Office as an Administrative Assistant and Testing Coordinator.
Mrs. Parham graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with a B.A. in Sociology in 1987. Her hobbies include hiking, reading, and watching a great movie. She prides herself on being an animal advocate, and has volunteered in the past with the Asheville Humane Society.
Mrs. Parham is married to Christ School Assistant Athletic Director and Strength Coach Duncan Parham. They have two children, Ellsworth ’13 and Emma.
B.A., Business Administration, Loyola University
School: (828) 684-6232 ext. 169
Duncan Parham serves as Assistant Director of Athletics and Strength Coach, using his expertise in strength and conditioning training to assist Christ School coaches in preparing teams for their seasons. Prior to joining Christ School, he had served as Asheville School's Annual Fund Director. He is a graduate of the Asheville School (NC) and Loyola University of New Orleans, Louisiana.
After coming here every summer for the past 12 years to work at Camp Ridgecrest in Black Mountain, Assistant Director of Admission Mike Payne is delighted to finally be a resident of the Asheville area.
Mr. Payne was born and raised in Warrenton, VA, with a family tradition of boarding school; one of his grandfathers is a graduate of Virginia Episcopal and a great grandfather was a headmaster at Northfield Mount Hermon School. Mr. Payne himself graduated from Virginia’s Christchurch School, where he served as a prefect, played baseball and soccer, and was a head tour guide. He graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in English from the University of Mary Washington.
After college, Mr. Payne lived in Charleston, SC, and Chatham, VA, where he served as an admission counselor, presidential ambassador coordinator, and varsity baseball coach at Hargrave Military Academy.
Mr. Payne’s hobbies include playing guitar, watching sports, being active in the gym, and traveling.
Andrew Pearson, Christ School’s new Digital Content and Communications Specialist, brings 18 years of journalistic experience to the job. Mr. Pearson graduated from UNC-A in 1999 with a B.A. in Mass Communication. From there, he began his career in journalism and joins us after thirteen years with the Asheville Citizen-Times (ACT), the region’s largest newspaper.
At ACT, Mr. Pearson created the High School Huddle blog, which quickly became one of the most popular high school sports websites in North Carolina, logging 4 million page views annually and attracting over 29,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter. Mr. Pearson looks forward to “finding new and better ways [to] accentuate and communicate the Christ School experience.” Mr. Pearson and his wife, Jennifer, live in Haw Creek (East Asheville), where, as a former scholarship cross country runner, Mr. Pearson jogs daily.
School: (828) 684-6232 ext. 100
Diane Pennington spent 33 years as a Senior Systems Analyst in Banking and Manufacturing before coming to Christ School. She is starting her 13th year here and is the Student Life Office Manager.
Ms. Pennington was a diver her freshman year of college and graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1972 with a B.S. in Systems Analysis.
Her passions outside of work are knitting, sports, and watching live theater. Ms. Pennington has two sons; Matthew is a local realtor, and Brian performs with the Blue Man Group out of Chicago.
M.A., Latin American Studies (History), University of Connecticut
Matthew Perse joined the World Languages Department as a Spanish teacher after three years of teaching middle school Spanish at Fort Worth Country Day. He also serves as an offensive line coach for the Greenie football team.
Mr. Perse graduated from Miami University in Ohio with a B.A. in history and Spanish. While there, he rowed crew and played jazz trombone. He then lived in Buenos Aires, where he took graduate seminars, worked as a bicycle tour guide, and taught business English. Upon his return to the United States, he earned a Master’s in Latin American Studies (History) from the University of Connecticut.
Mr. Perse considers himself an avid traveler and looks forward to helping with the Outdoor Program. He spent the summer on a road trip through Colorado, Utah, and California. For much of the summer, Mr. Perse led outdoor trips in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Lake Tahoe, where he was able to stoke his current passions for backpacking and mountain biking. He is eager to pursue both hobbies in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
B.S., Business Administration/Accounting, University of South Carolina
School: (828) 684-6232 ext. 168
Dwight Phillips joined Christ School in 2014 and serves as the Controller/CFO. Mr. Phillips has a background in public accounting with extensive experience in non-profit organizations. In addition to completing the Duke University Non Profit Management program he is also a graduate of Leadership Spartanburg (SC) and has served as a board member for several community organizations.
M.F.A.,, University of Southern Maine
Emily Pulsifer teaches various courses in the English Department and serves as the department’s chair. She is also one of the faculty advisors for the Struan, the school’s art and literary magazine, an assistant coach for cross country and track, and a writing coach for seniors as they prepare college applications. She earned her B.A. in History from Emory University, and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. Previously she taught at Kents Hill School in Maine.
A member of the Christ School faculty since 2009, Emily is proud of her sons, Liam ’15 and Zach ’17, who thrived at Christ School. She lives in West Asheville with her husband, Andrew, and pup, Lucy.
M.S., Science Teacher Education, Montana State University
Teaching his students about the way the world works is paramount to Ron Ramsey, whether it’s in the classroom or knee-deep in a mountain stream. Ramsey came to Christ School in 2013 and serves as chair of the Science Department and Director of the Outdoor Program. He teaches Honors Environmental Science and Integrated Science, and is the lead instructor for Fly Fishing in the spring. Mr. Ramsey also coaches goalkeepers for the JV and Varsity Soccer teams.
Mr. Ramsey earned a B.S. in Secondary Education from Tennessee Tech University in 1998 and an M.S. in Science Education from Montana State University in 2009. He began his teaching career at St. Andrews-Sewanee School, where Mr. Ramsey spent 12 years. Along with his duties at Christ School, Mr. Ramsey volunteers for the Buncombe County Rescue Squad and serves as a member of the Western North Carolina Mountain Rescue Team 3.
In his free time, Mr. Ramsey likes to fly-fish, read, and explore the outdoors with his family. He and his wife, Vivian, have a daughter, Audrey.