Meet Our Staff

While scholars are the most important people in our school, our teachers and parents are the most important adults. Our teachers and staff at FDS are certified, experienced, and well-trained yet sensitive to the needs of the whole child. Our teachers share their passion and love of education by successfully promoting academic rigor while preserving the excitement and sense of discovery inherent in young scholars.

Administration

Mrs. Ashley McKinley
Head of School
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Biography

About Mrs. Ashley McKinley

Mrs. Ashley McKinley, head of school, is a Greensboro, NC native and has been a resident of Charlotte for the last 19 years. With a background in both elementary education and counseling (B.A. from UNCC and Master’s from Winthrop University), she has experience as a language arts teacher, school counselor, and assistant principal. She obtained an administrative license from Wingate University and most recently served as an assistant principal at a middle school that enrolls 1100 students. In that role, Mrs. McKinley gained considerable administrative experience that groomed her for her duties as Friendship Day Head of School. She believes that all students can learn at high levels and that it is the responsibility of educators to have high expectations while also meeting students at their level of need. Mrs. McKinley has an outstanding immediate and extended family, including her husband Clem and two beautiful sons; Cannon (4) and Cohen (1).
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Mrs. Valerie Dixon
Curriculum Coordinator
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About Mrs. Valerie Dixon

Mrs. Valerie Dixon is the third-grade teacher here at Friendship Day School (FDS). This is Mrs. Dixon's second year at FDS. She has 30 years of teaching experience in public school. Mrs. Dixon retired from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in June, 2019. During her educational career, she has taught K–2 multi age, first grade, second grade, and third grade and served as an International Baccalaureate Primary Years program magnet coordinator as well as a reading teacher. Mrs. Dixon will have the privilege of teaching her current scholars for two years at the end of this year. She believes it is important to teach children how to think–not what to think. Mrs. Dixon gets excited when scholars use their strategies to solve problems. She is passionate about educating others, especially children. Mrs. Dixon believes in the power of service. Her favorite quote is, "Each one teach one!"
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Ms. Diane W. Jones
Office Assistant
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About Ms. Diane W. Jones

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Teaching Staff

Mrs. Margaret Spears
Kindergarten
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About Mrs. Margaret Spears

I am an upbeat elementary educator devoted to promoting student learning and enhancing individual potential. With 45+ years of experience, I am highly adept in classroom instruction, parent-teacher relations, and innovative classroom activities. My experience has afforded me a well-rounded skill set, including but not limited to organization and differentiated instruction. I couple the aforementioned with my solid educational foundation and passion for teaching. I am focused on the academic success of every student.
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Ms. Brittni Chase
First Grade
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About Ms. Brittni Chase


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Mrs. Nicole Gordon
Second Grade
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About Mrs. Nicole Gordon

This is Mrs. Nicole Gordon's second year as our third-grade instructional assistant. Prior to joining us at FDS, she worked in banking for 20 years. She graduated in 2016 with a master's in clinical mental health counseling. As a member of Friendship Missionary Baptist church, Mrs. Gordon worked as a youth advisor. This experience allowed her to travel to Jamaica on a mission trip in 2018 where she worked with children ages six to 10 years of age. Mrs. Gordon's passion is helping and serving. She believes that by offering a small gesture, such as a smile, she can make someone's day brighter.
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Ms. Samecia Dance
Third Grade
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About Ms. Samecia Dance

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Ms. Angelica Davis
Fourth Grade
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About Ms. Angelica Davis

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TBA
Fifth Grade
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About TBA

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Special Areas

Mrs. Ebony W. Barrionuevo
Spanish
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About Mrs. Ebony W. Barrionuevo

¡Bienvenidos a la clase de español! My name is Señora B. I have taught Spanish for more than 13 years. I have been teaching at Friendship Day School for four years. My purpose is to provide scholars with a quality and versatile immersive language experience that generates curiosity in learning and travel. My program places emphasis on communication. Classes are structured in an inviting, nourishing, and immersive environment so that each scholar can enjoy and appreciate the language and various cultures through song, dance, games, and celebrations. Students are encouraged to observe the teacher closely. Your scholar will learn the following: the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish, to introduce oneself, to answer and ask questions, the weather, the days of the week/months of the year, classroom objects, family members, body parts, Afro-Hispanic literature, numbers/alphabet, and phonetics.
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Mr. Brian Cooper
Suzuki Violin
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About Mr. Brian Cooper


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Mr. Phillip Clay
Physical Education
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About Mr. Phillip Clay

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Mrs. Jessica Gordon
STEM Lab
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About Mrs. Jessica Gordon

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Mrs. Andrea Metz-Nicholson
Mindfulness/Yoga
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About Mrs. Andrea Metz-Nicholson

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Mr. Maleek Young
Creative Arts
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About Mr. Maleek Young

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Instructional Assistants and Support Staff

Ms. Nikki Bennett
Instructional Assistant
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About Ms. Nikki Bennett

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Ms. Charlese Chapman
Instructional Assistant
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About Ms. Charlese Chapman

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Ms. Celia Chisholm
Before School Associate
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About Ms. Celia Chisholm

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Mr. Calvin Cunningham
Instructional Assistant
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About Mr. Calvin Cunningham

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Mr. Thomas Horton
Afterschool Associate
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About Mr. Thomas Horton

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Mrs. Antoinette Seymour
Instructional Assistant
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About Mrs. Antoinette Seymour

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