Woods Summer Wonders
Staff & Camp Instructors

All Woods Summer Wonders camps are led by expert instructors who love what they do.

Barb Ballachino

I have been blessed with multiple artistic talents - the ability to paint, sew/quilt, and knit, among others. As an educator, these skills have certainly enhanced my work with both children and adults. Now retired, I look forward to the opportunity to share my expertise with others.

   
Beth Hoffman

Beth Hoffman is a hands-on Science Educator and has worked at fun places like the Staten Island Zoo and the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation. Ms. Hoffman has a B.S. degree in Biology and has been a Environmental Educator for 15 years, and has been teaching fun, hands-on arts and science programs for even longer!  Beth  believes that summer camps offer children opportunities to excel and grow in new ways and tries to set up each student for success. Programs are not just about gaining new skills but also about gaining confidence, making new friends, and having fun!

   
Bryan Evans

Bryan Guntoshi Evans graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2008 with a B.S. in Biology and has been training at the Quest Center since 2006. Before becoming a full-time instructor, Bryan was extremely active in the Coach/Trainer program. His natural leadership abilities make him an ideal instructor for both youth and adults.

Mr. Evans is a Sandan (third degree black belt) in To-Shin Do.

   
Bryan Griffin

Bryan Toutoshi Griffin is a long-time practitioner of To-Shin Do Ninjutsu hailing from Dayton, Ohio. In 2007, he entered into active duty with the Marine Corps and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan as a Scout Sniper. Following his military service, Mr. Griffin joined the Chapel Hill Quest Center team and now enthusiastically translates his experiences from Stephen K. Hayes' Hombu Dojo a well as real-world combat into valuable self-defense applications.

Mr. Griffin is a Godan (fifth degree black belt) in To-Shin Do.

   
Camp TechTerra/Susan Wells

Camp TechTerra and the TechTerra curriculum, inspired by Maker Education and Project Based Learning, was developed by Susan Wells, a veteran public school educator and EdTech innovator. Over the last five years, over 600 students have attended Camp TechTerra, many of them returning from one year to the next. Camp TechTerra offers programs for students that help them explore the natural world in makerspace communities through coding, digital storytelling, robotics, making and digital devices. Sharing, connecting and collaborating are integral to these authentic meaning-finding experiences. Using our innovative Camp TechTerra curriculum, students are taught the process of computational thinking within an environment that honors safety, choice, exploration and fun. Over the last five years, over 600 students have attended Camp TechTerra, many of them returning from one year to the next. Camp TechTerra offers programs for students that help them explore the natural world in makerspace communities through coding, digital storytelling, robotics, making and digital devices. Sharing, connecting and collaborating are integral to these authentic meaning-finding experiences. Using our innovative Camp TechTerra curriculum, students are taught the process of computational thinking within an environment that honors safety, choice, exploration and fun.

   
Carley Back

Carley's Bio Picture!

My name is Carley, and I'm an Advanced Studies Apparel student at Broughton High School. I've been sewing for several years, and I've even been making my own clothing for a while now. For the past two summers I've volunteered my time at the YMCA as a C.I.L.T. (Counselor in Leadership Training), looking after children in grades K-5. I'm very excited to teach this program - to have the opportunity to inspire kids to start sewing from a young age. It's an incredibly rewarding pastime , and I know the kids will have as much fun learning as I will teaching!

   
Christene Vaughan

I am the music teacher at Woods Charter. I have taught music at Woods for the past 8 years. I maintain a private piano studio and teach a few students some guitar. I graduated from Radford University with a degree in music education. I love that I can teach piano, chorus, elementary music and occasionally some band instruments.  

   
Creighton Irons

 

Creighton Irons spent the first 22 years of his life in Chapel Hill (Morehead Scholar, 2005) before moving to New York City for grad school (MFA in Musical Theater Writing, NYU 2008). He and has been writing musicals and teaching ever since. He leads two children’s choruses and conducts songwriting workshops with Lincoln Center, The Roundabout Theater, and the Shakespeare Society, and has music directed several musicals in Pittsboro (incl. Diamond Studs, Kudzo, and Dreamland).

   
Dena Floyd

Dena is a former Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach at NC State and Strength/Conditioning Specialist at Stanford University. She has also designed and directed team strength, agility and conditioning programs at NCSU and Stanford. For the past 15 years, Dena has coached and directed several soccer camps all over the country. Before Dena became a coach, She was a former member of the Florida Gators soccer team and member of the W-League and WPSL. Currently, Dena is the athletic director at Wood's Charter, and director of sports performance at Soccer Genome. Dena also plays on Oak City United in the summer, which is a semi-professional soccer team based in Raleigh, NC.

   
Diali Cissokho

 

Diali Cissokho is a master musician from Senegal, known as a “griot” (pronounced GREE-oh). The role of the griot, sometimes called “the keeper of memories”, is to pass down through song traditions, values, and stories from generation to generation. Diali’s family has held this responsibility for centuries, and as such his musical training began at birth. After years of performing and teaching in Senegal and in Europe, Diali relocated to the U.S. after marrying a native Pittsboro resident. Although Diali performs widely for audiences of all ages, he loves nothing more than sharing his music and culture with young people.

   
Diane Hunter (Sciensational Instructor)

    

I was born and raised in North Carolina, and formerly worked as a 5th grade teacher.  I am currently a graduate student at NC State studying how children learn, and how teachers can make the most of their instructional opportunities.  In my free time I run, powerlift and hope to compete in an upcoming Powerlifting Competition at NCSU.  My Ph.D. will be in Elementary Learning Sciences.  I have always loved math and science, and look forward to sharing that love with my campers!

 

   
Ebony Delgado

 

Ebony Delgado received dance training in ballet, tap, jazz and pointe from a very young age. She was the choreographer for her high school cheer team. Ms. Delgado Attended UNC Chapel Hill and was a member of the the University's dance team, The High Kickin' Heels as well as the OPEYO Dancers. Choreographer for the Durham Storm Cheerleaders, semi-professional. She has been teaching dance in Chatham County since 1998, and is the owner and director of Chatham Dance Connection in Pittsboro, NC, as well as the Director of Extensions Dance Company (competition dance company). She is also the Head coach of Northwood High School dance team. Quite simply, Ebony loves to teach dance!Ebony Delgado received dance training in ballet, tap, jazz and pointe from a very young age. She was the choreographer for her high school cheer team. Ms. Delgado Attended UNC Chapel Hill and was a member of the the University's dance team, The High Kickin' Heels as well as the OPEYO Dancers. Choreographer for the Durham Storm Cheerleaders, semi-professional. She has been teaching dance in Chatham County since 1998, and is the owner and director of Chatham Dance Connection in Pittsboro, NC, as well as the Director of Extensions Dance Company (competition dance company). She is also the Head coach of Northwood High School dance team. Quite simply, Ebony loves to teach dance!

   
Eric Hale

My name is Eric Hale. I am a first grade teacher at Woods Charter School. I grew up in Harrisburg, North Carolina. I have a bachelors of arts in Elementary Education from Elon University, and have 3 years of teaching experience with children from ages 4-12. I have spent the past two years teaching in Seoul, South Korea where I taught English to Korean students. This camp is great for any students who like solving problems and learning about the world around them. We will be doing lots of hands on experiments in order to learn how to make our own flying machines. Come fly with us.

   
Hope Hynes Love

Hope Hynes Love is a National Board certified theater arts educator with over twenty years in the field and is currently the Artistic Director of East Chapel Hill High School's theatrical program. She is also the Early Elementary Education Instructor at Chapel Hill School of Music.

   
John Berry

 

John Berry (a.k.a. Coach Berry) has been a skill development trainer since 1993 and has instructed/coached over a 1,000 kids. Dating back, Coach Berry has coached at the recreation, travel, AAU, Junior Varsity and Varsity levels and is now the Head Boys Varsity Basketball Coach at Woods Charter School. Since 2007, the Woods Charter basketball program has been transformed into elite status.  The “surgical instruction” style, with an emphasis on detail has been Coach Berry’s calling card. Coach Berry is, and always has been committed to helping youth in life and on the basketball court.  Visit Coach Berry's website http://www.youthhoops.com/.

   
Kathy Nowak & Rose Holden

 

Both Rose and I have been playing volleyball since we were in middle school. It is a sport we are both passionate about and want to share our love of the game.  We have not only played on school volleyball teams, but we have also played for club volleyball teams as well. Additionally, we have gone to several volleyball camps and training sessions. We have both progressed our knowledge and skill level of the game over the years and hope to one day coach volleyball teams.

   
Katy O'Mara & Summer Pomeroy

         

Katy O'Mara and Summer Pomeroy bring a combined total of over 30 years of playing and coaching experience. Summer played lacrosse at Princeton University and Katy played at Dartmouth College. These collegiate rivals joined forces to help spread the sport in North Carolina after Katy finished three seasons coaching at UNC. Katy currently owns and operates Win Win Sports, the parent organization for Blast Lacrosse (girls' rec) and Fever Lacrosse (girls' elite travel). Additional staff may include Katy's partner and current head coach at Cardinal Gibbons, Patricia Alexander as well as current college players and Win Win experienced coaches.

   
Kayla Phillips/TRC

 

A Missouri native, Kayla Phillips graduated from The Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics, and Computing. In 2011, she moved to the Triangle and was thrilled to get connected in the rock climbing community. She is currently the Programs Manager at Triangle Rock Club in Morrisville, and oversees all of the facilities programs and group visits. Kayla is passionate about rock climbing and the outdoors and loves being able to share her passion and knowledge with others. When she isn't climbing, Kayla enjoys reading, hiking, and watching movies.

   
Kim Moody

Kim Moody is a Middle School Mathematics Teacher at Wood Charter School. She grew up in Cardiff, Wales and graduated from DeMontfort University in Leicester, England with a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics. She taught mathematics in the UK for 3 years before moving to North Carolina and making it her new home. In her spare time she loves to travel as much as possible with her family and exploring different cultures. She is also a HUGE robot enthusiast!

   
Kristin Prelipp


Kristin Prelipp is the principal photographer and owner of KPO Photo. For over 15 years, KPO Photo has created photographs for businesses, organizations, families, and engaged couples who are looking for that perfect image to capture their wedding story. Kristin also works with the Hillsborough Arts Council as their program coordinator. And she was lucky enough to teach photography camp at Woods Charter School last year and made a video of the fantastic student's work: check it out here.

Check out KPO's website here. Kristin just completed a year-long project in which she posted one photo per day. It is a great example of the kind of work she loves to do and the kind of techniques she will teach her campers. Here is the link to see those photos.

   
Olive Lamm, MD (Little Medical School)

Little Medical School, Greater Raleigh Area, was started by Olive Lamm, MD, MPH. Olive received her Master in Public Health degree in Nutrition from UNC-CH and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Brody School of Medicine at ECU. She is board certified in Emergency Medicine and practiced clinical medicine until she discovered her love for teaching children about the rewarding careers in healthcare. All instructors are trained by a certified Little Medical School employee. 

   
Loretta Hackney

Loretta Hackney formerly owned and ran an after-school/summer camp program, and worked at Woods for many years as an Elementary TA. Ms. Hackney graduated from ECU with her Elementary Education Degree in December of 2015 and has worked as a 2nd grade teacher in Chatham County Schools since then. She is also the Assistant Camp Director for this program, and this will be her 7th summer creating fun for kids at Woods! One of her many passions is running which she started doing in the winter of 2010. From her first 5k in December of 2010, to her current training for a half marathon she has mentored many runners in the Fleet Feet Carrboro training programs. This has afforded her a wealth of knowledge in motivating and encouraging others to be their best.

   
Michele Kish

Michele Kish started her handcrafted jewelry business, m’s studio, in 2014 after leaving her job as an apherisis phlebotomist. She attended classes at the Art Institute of Seattle and studied jewelry making with several local silversmiths. Michele has an online store on ETSY and has shown/sold her pieces at local markets. You may recognize Michele because when she’s not working in her studio she's working part-time in the front office at Woods.

   
Miroslava Budlong & Jim Paddison

    

Mirka Budlong is originally from Slovakia. She just came to North Carolina in August, after having lived in San Diego for the past 19 years.  Ms. Budlong was a classroom teacher and taught Physical Education for various age groups from K-8. She received her Master’s Degree in Education with an Emphasis in Physical Education from Constantine the Philosopher University in Slovakia and over the past few years has incorporated CrossFit into her PE classes where she saw firsthand the benefits of CrossFit to the younger population. Mirka brings both a passion for CrossFit and childhood education to CrossFit 15-501 and our CrossFit Kids program. •CrossFit Level 1 Certified •CrossFit Kids Certified •State of California Multiple Subject Credential with Supplement in Physical Education •Avid Spartan Racer

Jim earned his Bachelor of Arts in Recreation Management from UNC-Wilmington, Master of Science in Sport Management from Georgia Southern University, and Master’s of Business Administration from Wake Forest University. He was a competitive gymnast, basketball player, wrestler, and collegiate cheerleader and coach. After teaching indoor cycling, muscle pump, and TRX in Durham for over 14 years, Jim found that CrossFit provided the most beneficial, efficient, and effective method of achieving and maintaining high levels of fitness. In addition, he looks forward to returning to his birthplace to help the great people of Chapel Hill meet and exceed their fitness goals. • CrossFit Level 1 • CrossFit Level 2 • USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach • Coach, UNC Cheerleading, 1996-2001 - National Champions, 1997 • Former state gymnastics Champion - North Carolina

 

   
Myungha Spencer

 

I was born in South Korea and moved to the U.S. when I was 27 years old. I am married to a wonderful husband and have two children who attend Woods. I enjoy cooking, eating, and spreading awareness about my native culture. I am excited to teach our youth that healthy choices of food can be a source of pride in taking care of themselves and their family.  I was taught and lectured that healthy food each day is most important for longevity of life.  Now I would like to share with you what I have learned and enjoy. I can't wait to meet all of you!

   
Paul Deans (Play-Well TEKnologies)

I'm 27 and have been with Play-Well for 4 years, leading LEGO engineering classes and camps across the Triangle. After graduating from NCSU with a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering, I joined Play-Well to engage and educate children through the awesome medium of LEGO. Our camp teaches children how to build and design machines and structures all while having fun in a safe, structured, environment.

   
Renee Powell

 

My name is Renee Powell. I am a graduate of East Carolina University. I have served in various professional roles in Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities, and in Property Development and Management (Affordable Housing for the Elderly). Prior to joining the Woods Charter School family, I served as an Early Childhood teacher. Currently, I am a Kindergarden Teacher Assistant. I am qualified to provide your child with a positive, challenging and fun camp experience, having worked for the Chatham YMCA After School Program as a Site Coordinator at Horton Middle School and now, Woods Charter School. I have also coordinated the YMCA Specialty Camps held duirng Woods Summer Wonder Camps. My ability to undergird the growth and development of young people has been futher developed by working with the youth ministry in my church. I have arranged, organized and implemented youth sevices accomodating up to 100 youth. My ojective is always to ensure that the children have fun learning and fellowshipping in a safe and secure environment. I will bring the culmination of my experiences working with young people to offer your child a fun, secure and nurturing environment that will foster personal growth. I am a graduate of East Carolina University. I have served in various professional roles in Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities, and in Property Development and Management (Affordable Housing for the Elderly). Prior to joining the Woods Charter School family, I served as an Early Childhood teacher. Currently, I am a Kindergarten Teacher Assistant. I am qualified to provide your child with a positive, challenging and fun camp experience, having worked for the Chatham YMCA After School Program as a Site Coordinator at Horton Middle School and now, Woods Charter School. I have also coordinated the YMCA Specialty Camps held during Woods Summer Wonder Camps. My ability to undergird the growth and development of young people has been further developed by working with the youth ministry in my church. I have arranged, organized and implemented youth services accommodating up to 100 youth. My objective is always to ensure that the children have fun learning and fellowshipping in a safe and secure environment. I will bring the culmination of my experiences working with young people to offer your child a fun, secure and nurturing environment that will foster personal growth.

   
Sciensational Workshops for Kids Sciensational Workshops For Kids has been in business for 35 years. Our programs are both fun hands on and educational.

 

   
Tanja Cole

 

I've been creating, sewing, drawing, painting, and playing with color and design since I was a very young girl. I went to college for art & design, now teach others to find their creative side. I currently teach sewing, quilting, and art classes to adults and children in Chatham County. Additionally, I am continually creating new art pieces in my home studio. You'll often find me sharing my handcrafted items at a local art fair. When not in the studio or teaching others, I enjoy reading, cooking, exercise, music, coaching soccer, hiking with my dogs, and watching my 4 children stretch their wings in sports, dance, or art.

   
Todd Baron

My name is Todd Baron, and I'll be leading the Minecraft camps this summer at Woods. A little bit about about me: I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, I am Director of Technology at Woods, and I hail from Carrboro, NC with my wife Irene. You should choose this camp for your child because they'll love it! They will get to learn all about Minecraft and what it takes to survive in the blocky world they create. They will be able to work together as a group with the other Minecrafters and sharpen their [virtual] crafting skills. PLUS, they will be able to take the fun home with them because your child will be able to keep their Minecraft game license after the camp! If you have any questions about the camp, please feel free to reach out to me. I want to make this a great experience for you and your children!

   
Triangle Rock Club

 

Triangle Rock Club was started by two former Marines with one vision: to provide state of the art climbing facilities, instruction, and programs for beginner to world-class climbers alike in a safe, professional, and fun environment. We strive to be inviting to all and to help build a strong community of people who share a common passion – climbing.  . Their military and mountaineering backgrounds have led them around the world and back again. They’ve enjoyed ascents of Mt. Whitney (CA) via the Mountaineer route and multiple ascents of Mt. Hood (OR), and Mt. Shasta (CA). In the winter, They’ve ascended Mt. Fuji, (Japan) several times as well as the Tetons (WY), Chair Peak’s North face (WA), and Mt. Rainier’s Liberty Ridge (WA) to name a few. In between those trips, they had extensive ski mountaineering experience in the Sierra Nevada Mts. (CA), Norway, and Japan. The entire TRC family is comprised of climbers of all ages and abilities – all happy to help introduce you to the sport and help you grow.  Visit the Triangle Rock Club

   
Trina Cole & Kim Carpenter

    

My name is Trina Cole. I am one of the kindergarten teachers here at Woods Charter School. I have just completed my fourth year at Woods and sixteenth year teaching. My teaching assistant Kim Carpenter will join me in teaching this camp. I look forward to meeting all my new campers.