Woods Summer Wonders
Staff & Camp Instructors

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

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!

   
Bonnie Ross

As a retired Woods Charter teacher (plus 22 years as a MA teacher), Bonnie Ross continues to guest teach at Woods quite often. Travel around the world has played a huge part in Ms. Ross' life. From family cross-country and European vacations, visiting China, Thailand, Costa Rica, & Peru, to spending time living in Scotland as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher, she feels excited to bring the world to life for young children and share her varied travel experiences.

   
Carl Robbins

Carl Robbins and his wife, Cassie Robbins, are the owners of Kids Learning Carpentry, LLC. Their business provides individual, parent-child, and small group lessons in carpentry to kids of all ages. Carl Robbins is a licensed Wake County teacher, NCCER and OSHA-Safe Certified. He has three young children, ages 2, 5, & 7. Carl has always considered himself more than just a carpenter; but rather a craftsman. Through his teaching he strives to share his carpentry passion with today's younger generation.

   
Carley Back

Carley's Bio Picture!

My name is Carley, I'm currently majoring in Fashion Design at NC State. Recently I spent a month at Pratt Institute's precollege program in New York learning fashion design. I've also volunteered my time at the YMCA as a CILT (Counselor in Leadership Training), looking after children in grades K-5 for two summers. I've been teaching this camp for several years and always enjoy the opportunity to inspire kids to start sewing from a young age. It's an incredibly rewarding pastime, and I hope the kids have as much fun learning as I do teaching!
 
   
Christene Vaughan

Christene Vaughan is an experienced music teacher with a passion for Disney music. Each year students return to this camp for the fun they experience every year. This camp is a highlight of the summer for Mrs. Vaughan.

   
Cordelia Hume

Cordelia Hume has worked in art summer camps over the last 8 years, teaching, exploring, and sharing the joy of artistic expression. She also instructs junior volunteers at an 18th century historical farmhouse and provides tutoring in math and science. In addition to drawing she has taught other arts including origami, soutache, and fiber arts like knitting and spinning wool. She will graduate from Woods Charter School this year and plans to study the connection between art and science, while pursuing a degree in Biology.

   
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).

   
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.

   
Dena Floyd

Director of Skills and Sports Performance Training at Soccer Genome, Current Athletic Director at Woods Charter School, Former Assistant Women's Soccer Coach at NC State, Former Sports Performance Coach at Stanford University, Professional Soccer Player for WPSL and W-League, D License from U Soccer Federation, All Region Varsity Soccer Player for The University of Florida, Certified Trainer and Sports Performance Coach.

   
Ebony Delgado

I have been a dance instructor in Chatham County since 1998. I am the current owner/director of Chatham Dance Connection in Pittsboro, NC. I have experience teaching jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, creative movement and tumbling classes. I look forward to working with your children while not only teaching them dance skills, but them a chance to create, explore and build friendships at camp.

   
Elizabeth Faulkner

Elizabeth Faulkner is a Kindergarten teacher at Woods Charter School in Chapel Hill, NC. Growing a teaching family, teaching is in her DNA. Liz received degrees in History and Elementary Education from Hillsdale College. She also earned her Reading Endorsement in K-12 instruction the University of Cincinnati. This is Liz's 6th year teaching her well-loved Kindergarteners. She also coaches the Elementary NCSO team at Woods Charter School, North Carolina Science Olympiad, for the 3rd-6th graders. Her father is a NASA engineer and her mother has been a K-12 teacher for 20+ years and have actively contributed to her love of teaching, science, engineering, and writing! Thanks for checking out her camps!

   
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.

   
Erin and Kathy Nowak

     

Erin and Kathy Nowak both graduated from Woods Charter School in 2018 and 2016 respectively. Erin Nowak is currently a sophomore at Salem College majoring in biology with a double minor in chemistry and mathematics. Kathy Nowak will graduate from North Carolina State University this May with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in psychology. Kathy and Erin both have years of experience working with kids from babysitting, to science and math tutoring, and even to officiating soccer. Kathy has also lead the Dig It! Volleyball Camp at Woods for 4 years now. Both of them love kids and value the opportunity to make science fun and enjoyable for all ages.

   
Eryn Dillard

Hello! My name is Eryn Dillard! I am a second grade teacher here at Woods Charter School! I grew up in the midwest and earned my BA in Elementary Education at the University of Iowa. My husband and I moved to North Carolina at the beginning of the school year and have loved getting to know this area. I have a huge passion for both student learning and nature.  I am so excited to spend some time this summer in the big, beautiful classroom of the outdoors. Join me as we get messy and discover new things!  I am currently getting my environmental education certificate and I am Wilderness First Aid trained. I can't wait to have a blast with you this summer! 

   
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/.

   
Jordan Driving School of the Carolinas


Jordan Driving School of the Carolinas operates throughout greater eastern North Carolina with a full-time staff of instructors, offering private and public instruction to NC school districts.   

   
Kathy Matero

Professional certified teaching Professional since 2008. Girls Varsity Coach for Wooster School Danbury, CT Spring of 2010 & 2011. Head Tennis Pro for Summer at Wooster 2008 & 2009. Currently Girls Varsity Tennis Coach at Immaculate HS Danbury, CT. Worked for four separate clubs. USTA Coach and have run several after-school tennis programs in school gym.

   
Kathy Nowak & Rose Holden

 

 

Rose and Kathy have been playing volleyball since they were in sixth grade. They played consistently for the Woods Varsity Team as well as various club teams in the surrounding triangle area. Rose and Kathy graduated from Woods in 2016. Currently, Rose attends UNC Chapel Hill and Kathy attends NC State University. Rose and Kathy have run the Dig It! Volleyball camp for 3 consecutive summers now. They have received great feedback regarding the camp and are excited to have the opportunity to offer it again!

   
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!

   
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.

   
Marney Whitney

Marney Whitney, owner of YogaJoy, is a licensed Yoga instructor with 10+ years experience teaching children in classroom environments. She has her master’s degree in Speech Pathology and Education and is certified through the Yoga Alliance to teach adults and children’s yoga and mindfulness. Marney and her team have spread the “yoga joy” at 30+ schools and organizations across the North Carolina Triangle.

   
Michele Kish

Michele Kish started her handcrafted jewelry business, m’s studio, in 2014 after leaving her job as an apheresis phlebotomist.  Michele has shown & sold her pieces at many local markets and has an online Etsy shop. 2020 will be her 4th year teaching metal jewelry making at Woods Summer Wonders.  You may recognize Michele because when she’s not working in her studio she's working part-time here at Woods originally at the front desk and now assisting the directors.

 

   
Olive Lamm, MD (Little Medical School)

 

Olive Lamm, MD, MPH is the owner and director of Little Medical School, Greater Raleigh Area. Dr. Lamm has a Bachelor of Science from Gardner-Webb University and moved on to obtain a Master of Public Health in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Afterwards, she received her Doctorate of Medicine from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed her residency in Emergency Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School with Board Certification. Dr. Lamm has been involved in teaching for many years from tutoring in college to mentoring medical students during residency. She practiced clinical medicine full-time for several years after residency until she discovered her passion for teaching and inspiring children to learn more about the various careers in healthcare.

   
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.

   
Rebecca Ames

I am an award winning professional wedding photographer with ten years experience. I've won Best of Durham twice and have been featured on The Washington Post, ABC News and The Huffington Post.   I'm also the mom of three wonderful children, and used to be a professional pastry chef!

   
Sarandan Abernathy

Hello! My name is Sarandan Abernathy and I am a Home Economics Teacher in Concord, NC. I just recently graduated from Appalachian State University this past May and plan to get married in February of 2020! I love all things baking and pastry, except I think eating the food is my favorite part! Your child will love coming to my camp this summer! We will be learning how to create simple and easy snacks that you can trust they are capable of making alone! Your child will learn the importance and safety behind working in a kitchen, while still having fun and creating some tasty treats!

   
Scott Barnes

Me

Greetings! My name is Scott Barnes and I am not only an alumni of Woods, but a faculty member of Woods too! I graduated from CCCC with an Associate's Degree in IT. I believe that exercise, learning, and having fun are essential to any particular sport. 

   
Taryn Self

Taryn Self has been dancing at 7 Dance Centre in Pittsboro, NC under Jenna Oldham since she was six years old.  This is her second year serving as a North Carolina Dance Ambassador under Katherine Mark.  She has studied ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, acrobatics, and tap as well as has had the opportunity to take classes in jazz funk, modern, and contemporary hip hop.  During her dance career Taryn has taken classes with some renowned choreographers such as Shannon Mather, Courtney OM, Phil Wright, Michael Dameski, Tion Gaston, and Kathryn McCormick.  Recently she received an early invitation to attend Urbanity Dance summer intensive in the summer of 2020 and perform in the Boston Modern Dance Festival aside professional companies from around the world.  Taryn's goal is to attend ECU to major in dance and minor in business and recognizes the importance of a strong academic performance as well as a strong on stage performance.  When she is not dancing she enjoys time with her dogs, Hailey and Faith, as well as trying out tricks on her trampoline, reading, and hanging out with her friends.

   
Trina Cole

My name is Trina Cole. I have taught young children from ages 3 to 7 for the past 20+. I am currently in my seventh year teaching Kindergarten at Woods Charter School. Prior to working at Woods I worked at Christ Church Preschool in Southern Village. Teaching children has been my love since I was in high school. I love teaching the younger children because they grow so much in such a short time. They soak up knowledge and really love to learn. Nothing beats seeing a child smile with pride in knowing they have done a good job.

   
Taylor Transue

I love to play outside and include experiential learning in my teaching everyday! I have been a teacher for over ten years. I have participated in Outward Bound and I enjoy lots of hiking and outdoor activities

   
Tobin Logan

Coach Tobin Logan has  25 years of experience working with children and holds a bachelor's degree in U.S. History from UNC.   He has played in over 800 tournament chess games and is rated over 1700 USCF.  He has taught chess to children in many individual and group settings since 2008.  In chess training, he uses a whole-game approach that centers around focus, patience, and consistent ongoing effort to find each individual talent level.  He encourages a tournament-style orientation and decorum in pursuit of these goals, and allows plenty of time for the sheer enjoyment of the game and all of the life lessons that come along the way.

   
Triangle Rock Club

 

 

Triangle Rock Club, located in Morrisville NC, is an indoor climbing facility featuring over 27,000 square feet of climbing terrain with options for all skill levels from first timers to experts! Visit Triangle Rock Club for more information.

This year's instructor, Paul Klem, is a Tarheel-native and has been a Triangle resident for nearly 20 years. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Psychology, he spent about 10 years working in clinical research project and operations management. Rediscovering climbing as an adult initially to destress from the work-week, he found that the physical and mental challenge combined with the opportunity to meet other people engaged in an active lifestyle would become more than a hobby for him. Paul spent time as our Lead Instructor prior to becoming Programs Manager in Morrisville; over his time working with TRC he has instructed our entire catalog of climbing courses and clinics, worked with TRC Campers during Track Out and Summer Camps, and organized a number of our successful Member Meetups. When Paul is not at the gym, you’ll probably find him underneath a boulder in Hanging Rock State Park or doing yoga with his multi-talented wife Mercedes and (adorable) daughter Lia.