Betsy Ellis has taken fundraising at Christ School to levels never seen before since becoming Director of Advancement in 2018.
The 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21 fiscal years have been the most successful in school history.
Mrs. Ellis previously worked in the Advancement Office from 2002 to 2004 to assist with fundraising for the renovation to St. Joseph’s Chapel. In 2004, Mrs. Ellis became Director of Advancement at Asheville's Evergreen Charter School. After the birth of her son, Ben, Mrs. Ellis joined Asheville's Pisgah Legal Services, where she worked for 11 years. Her job grew to Director of Philanthropy, managing a talented team, 1,600 donors, and increasing the non-profit's annual campaign from $200,000 to more than $1.4 million a year.
Mrs. Ellis was ready for a new challenge, and the opportunity to return to Christ School came at the right time.
Mrs. Ellis, her husband James (an attorney in Black Mountain, N.C.), and their three sons live in Van Every House. When she is not working, Ellis loves to travel, cook, and entertain. She also enjoys spending time at the family's place on Lake Champlain in Vermont.
Cissy Elmer and her family are ingrained in the Christ School community.
Now in her 16th year, Mrs. Elmer handles all purchasing for the school as Bookstore Manager. Mrs. Elmer’s husband, Danny, is Director of Human Resources and Facilities. Their two sons, Ben ’09 and Sam ’13, attended Christ School from the eighth through 12th grade.
Mrs. Elmer received her A.A. degree in Arts from St. Mary’s College in 1980.
In her spare time, Mrs. Elmer enjoys beekeeping, hiking, spending time with her family, and checking out Asheville’s ever-growing culinary scene.
As the Director of Human Resources and Facilities, Danny Elmer manages the employee personnel files, the company health and benefits packages, as well as the progress of all new construction.
Look around campus and you can tell he has been busy lately with Stolz Dining Hall (completed, 2016), the renovation of ’30 House (completed, 2017), the Close-Krieger Athletic Center (completed, 2018), Father Kirk Brown Outdoor Chapel (completed, 2018), and new on-campus housing for faculty and staff. With the help of his maintenance and grounds crews, Mr. Elmer keeps every Christ School building – academic, residential, athletics – in working order and ensures the grounds are well-manicured.
Being in the wilderness is Mr. Elmer’s great passion, and when he finds the time, he shares that passion with Christ School students, either taking a group fishing or to the skeet-shooting range. These trips keep Mr. Elmer connected to the community, and the love the boys have for him was acknowledged in 2016, when they dedicated the Angelus, Christ School’s yearbook, to him. You can see his effect on his sons, too. Sam ’13, a fanatical fly-fisherman himself, works for Vanguard Financial. Ben ’09 is a professional fly-fishing guide in Cashiers, N.C.
Mr. Elmer graduated from N.C. State in 1985 with a double major in Business Management and Economics. After managing the financial operations for businesses in Asheville and Raleigh, Mr. Elmer worked as the Director of Finance for an all-boys summer camp in Flat Rock, N.C. He joined Christ School in 2007, and what’s kept him here is “Hands down, the people – great faculty and staff, great kids!”
Cissy Elmer, his wife of more than 30 years, manages the Student Center and Bookstore.
Doug Embler grew up on Asheville School's campus as the son of Blues legend William "Doc" Embler, but has been on opposite sides of the rivalry for the past 14 years.
His roles at Christ School are Bookstore Assistant and Athletic Coordinator.
Mr. Embler and his wife, Tina, are parents to Hunter '19.
Tina Evans brought a deep background in teaching and administrative work when she became Chair of the Learning Resource Department in 2018.
Early in her career, Mrs. Evans served as Admissions Director of Carolina Day School’s Key School, in addition to teaching students with learning differences at the school. From there, she moved overseas to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to teach English and direct a writing center at an international baccalaureate school. Most recently, she was a founding teacher of Buncombe County’s first public STEM high school, Nesbitt Discovery Academy. During her tenure there, she was chosen as the school’s 2016 Teacher of the Year. Included in Mrs. Evans’s impressive skills is a thorough understanding of the Orton-Gillingham approach to language.
Along with her husband, Bill, and their children, Zachary and Mariah, Mrs. Evans enjoys exploring new places, hiking, gardening, and learning how to play the didgeridoo.
Jack Fader began his career in education at Christ School in 2019 as an English, History, and World Languages teacher, with the backdrop of western North Carolina providing ample opportunities to pursue his loves for golf and fishing.
Mr. Fader graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2019 with a B.A. in History. He played for the Nashville university's club lacrosse team and was a sports reporter for Vanderbilt's school newspaper. He is fluent in Spanish and both of Mr. Fader's parents are educators. Mr. Fader's father, Mark, is Headmaster of The Williams School, a coeducational day school for students in grades 6-12 in New London, Conn.
Sarah Fox joined Christ School as Advancement Services Coordinator in September 2020. Ms. Fox has a background in digital marketing and events management and came to Christ School from the Biltmore Estate.
Ms. Fox moved to Asheville in February of 2020 to fulfill a dream of living in the mountains, after residing in Charleston, S.C. for eight years. She attended the College of Charleston, earning a B.A. in Communications and a B.A. in Public Health.
When not in the office, Ms. Fox likes to visit family in her hometown of Aiken, S.C., go to the beaches in Charleston, continue to explore Asheville, go on hikes, and watch sunsets.
Prospective families will find that James Garland ’10 speaks from experience when he talks glowingly about Christ School.
Ten years after his own graduation, Mr. Garland returned as Assistant Director of Admission in 2020. He has also been a Dorm Parent and an assistant JV basketball coach.
Mr. Garland is a former Headmaster's Cup winner who attended Christ School for four years. During that time, he was active in the Theater Department and played basketball.
Mr. Garland had been involved in corporate sales since graduating with a B.S. in Business Economics from Wofford College in 2014. His hobbies include basketball (Mr. Garland is a diehard UNC-Chapel Hill fan) and caring for his dog, Josie, a Great Pyrenees who he adopted in April 2020.
Dr. Lisa Garner P’24 hopes that every Christ School boy will grow and develop into the best version of themselves as Director of Student Counseling and Wellness Programming.
She is a native of western North Carolina and is happy to return home and join the Christ School community starting with the 2021-22 academic year. Prior to this, Dr. Garner spent more than 20 years living and working in Chicago with a professional practice that focused exclusively on work with children, teens and families in residential, community mental health, and school settings.
Outside of school, she enjoys travel with her family to locations near and far, exploring local trails, gardening, reading historical fiction, and snuggling with her dog, Clover.
Dr. Garner and her husband, Lee, are proud parents to Lawson, a senior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Lily, a freshman at Smith College, and Luke '24.
Many of the fondest Christ School memories are made during the weekends and evenings.
Jim Goodrum will be looking to provide the best entertainment and leisure possible for the boys in his first year as Director of Student Engagement and Summer Programs.
Even though he is a Georgia native, Mr. Goodrum spent much of his childhood going to the Falling Creek Summer Camp in Henderson County, N.C. He later worked at the camp as an activity leader, program director, and staffing director.
Mr. Goodrum attended Mercer University, earning a B.A. in History. He returned to his college alma mater in 2002, serving as Assistant Director of Admissions and Recreational Sports and Wellness. Most recently, Mr. Goodrum was in charge of student enrichment and summer programming at Carolina Day School.
Mr. Goodrum and his wife, Kristi, have a son, Thompson, and a daughter, Alice.
Will Gordon started as a Learning Resource and English teacher at Christ School in 2020 with a stated goal to empower his students inside and outside the classroom.
Mr. Gordon graduated from Clemson University in May 2020 with a B.A. in English and minors in Film and Sports Communication. At Christ School, Mr. Gordon teaches ninth grade English as well as assisting the Learning Resources Program. He also works as a dorm parent in Cuningham House.
Mr. Gordon has coached JV Soccer and Golf here, and his favorite pastimes include spending time with loved ones, watching movies, and golfing.
Brent Harris has quickly made his presence felt in the Christ School community. He was voted our 2018-19 Teacher of the Year following just his second year with the faculty and promoted to Head Swimming Coach in 2020.
During his doctoral work in Astrochemistry at the University of Virginia, where he received his Ph. D in 2014, Dr. Harris was a National Science Foundation Fellow. For four years after that, Dr. Harris employed his research as a principal investigator, commercializing and inventing new instrumentation for chemical sensing. As a result of his entrepreneurial and technical experience, Dr. Harris served as an expert reviewer for the National Science Foundation engineering directorate.
Dr. Harris teaches AP and Honors Chemistry at Christ School. He and his wife, Robin Pulliam-Harris have three children – Charlie, Kathleen, and Simon. In his spare time, Dr. Harris enjoys choir-singing as well as hiking and running Asheville trails.
Longtime Asheville resident Lisbeth Harrison joined the Christ School College Guidance Office in 2019. As Office Manager, she works closely with Director Kirk Blackard and Assistant Director Alyssa Belcher.
Ms. Harrison came to Christ School after 23 years at Carolina Day School where she was a teachers assistant and also worked in the Advancement and Admission offices.
Outside of work, Ms. Harrison likes to travel, work in her garden, hike, read, and spend time with her family. She is involved in the French Broad River Garden Club and serves on the hospitality team at St. Eugene's Catholic Church. Ms. Harrison has lived in Asheville since 1975 and has three sons.
Matt Houston added to the strength of Christ School's Math Department in 2020 after spending a decade as an Associate Professor at Middle Georgia State University.
Mr. Houston earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tennessee Tech University. He received a Ph.D. in Math from the University of Georgia in 2018.
Mr. Houston's hobbies include reading, coding, tinkering with electronics, and traveling. His wife, Melissa, is a local artist.
Christ School alumnus Drew Hyche '94 is a beloved mainstay of the administration as Dean of Students.
After graduating from Clemson University in 1998, Mr. Hyche came back to his alma mater to work as an intern in Residential Life and to coach basketball and tennis. Since then, he has worked in Student Activities, Admissions, and Student Life.
Currently, Mr. Hyche is head coach of the Little Greenies basketball team (8th & 9th grade team). Mr. Hyche also serves as one of the Administrators on Duty and as one of the advisors to Form VI (12th grade). He and his wife, Mary Kinsey, live on campus with their two children, Harper and Burns.
From his days as a head Prefect in high school, Jeremy Jacobs knows what it is like to lead.
Mr. Jacobs joined the faculty in 2020 as an instructor in the Science Department and Dorm Parent in South Carolina House. His coaching duties include baseball and football.
Mr. Jacobs graduated from Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., where he received a B.A. in Biology and B.S. in Secondary Education. In addition, he was an NCAA Division III baseball player for the Fighting Scots, a peer mentor, lab teaching assistant, teaching apprentice, resident assistant, tutor, camp counselor, and youth ministry intern during his college years. Mr. Jacobs was a student teacher last year at Covenant Christian Academy and has a coaching background in baseball, football, and track and field.
Mr. Jacobs was the head Prefect and varsity baseball captain his senior year (2016) at Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., the same school all three of his brothers attended.
In his spare time, Mr. Jacobs enjoys fishing, hiking, painting, poetry, and studying theology. He has regularly volunteered at a Christian summer camp on Martha's Vineyard.
Dr. Sean Jenkins became the 14th Head of School at Christ School in July 2021.
Originally from Knoxville, Tenn., Dr. Jenkins received his B.A. in English from Wake Forest University and his M.Ed. from North Carolina State University. He completed his Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Virginia, where he served on the honor council and was inducted into the Raven Society.
Dr. Jenkins is a graduate of the McCallie School and former member of its Board of Trustees. His other civic associations have included serving as senior warden at Christ Episcopal Church, serving on the Board of Trustees for the Virginia Episcopal School (VES), and the Charlottesville Free Clinic.
Dr. Jenkins joined the Christ School community from the University of Virginia after serving stints at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Jenkins served UVA Presidents John T. Casteen, III, Teresa A. Sullivan, and James E. Ryan as a senior assistant where his responsibilities included admissions, accreditation, development, board-governance, education policy, global programming, strategic and academic planning, and operations.
At UVA, Dr. Jenkins taught and advised undergraduate and graduate students. He was recognized for outstanding leadership and teaching by The Society of the Purple Shadows in 2015. His broad range of experience and expertise benefit our community in his role as Head of School.
Dr. Jenkins' family - wife, Lawson, a Spartanburg, S.C. native, and a fellow Wake Forest and UVA graduate, and sons Coleman and Jack - are also members of the community.
Michael Karp expects the best out of every Greenie, whether in the classroom or on the basketball court,
Mr. Karp, who was Carolina Day School’s varsity boys coach for the 2019-20 season, joined Christ School’s staff as an assistant coach in 2020 and also teaches Algebra I. Mr. Karp has been involved in education for six years total and previously taught and coached at Carolina Day and Seacrest Country Day School in Naples, Fla. He graduated from the University of Mississippi with a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in Education.
Mr. Karp originally came to western North Carolina seven years ago, accepting a position at Camp Mondamin, a summer camp for boys. He describes himself as an avid mountain biker. His fiancé, McKenzie, is a nurse with Mission Health.
Wesley King was announced as Varsity Baseball Coach in 2020 and assists boys in the Learning Resource Department as well.
Mr. King has been involved in education since 2003 and has taught in North Carolina and South Carolina schools. After receiving a degree in Sports Management from Western Carolina University, he earned teaching certificates in Business and Physical Education from Winthrop University and Mars Hill University.
Coaching-wise, Mr. King has worked at the varsity level in North Carolina since 2004 and amassed 180 career wins as a head coach. He has mentored 37 college players.
Mr. King is married to Kelli and the couple have two sons, Sawyer and Cason.
Steven Kramer is so accomplished in World Languages that he was formerly a court interpreter in Spain.
Mr. Kramer spent two years aboard as a teaching assistant and was a teaching fellow at the University of North Carolina for the 2018-19 school year. He graduated with a B.S. in Spanish and International Business, with a minor in German, from College of Charleston in 2014. Mr. Kramer went on to earn an M.A. in Linguistics from UNC in 2019.
Mr. Kramer is fluent in Spanish, which he teaches at Christ School, as well as German. He considers himself at the conversational level in Italian and is a beginner in Russian, Dutch, and Galician.