AMBER HEINE, k-4 COUNSELOR
This is Mrs. Heine’s 6th year as a school counselor. She attended the University of North Carolina- Charlotte to obtain her school counseling degree. She was previously a school counselor at Indian Trail Elementary in Union County and at Polo Ridge Elementary.
Outside of school, Mrs. Heine stays busy with her husband and two children (11 and 13).
Most of her time is spent on a baseball field or watching swimming meets. She also likes to
run and read. Mrs. Heine grew up in Kansas and is an avid Kansas Jayhawks/college basketball fan. She is very excited to serve the families of Rea Farms!
ashley smith, psychologist
I’m married to my husband, Joseph, and we have two daughters. Blair is 17
and Maci is 2.5. We moved in June of 2012 to the Charlotte area from
southern New Jersey.
I have a master’s degree in School Psychology and an education specialist
degree. In graduate school I had a job doing ABA therapy and was a one-on-one aide with a student who had autism. As a school psychologist, I have
experience with preschool through high school and many specific
populations. I am certified to assess students with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in North Carolina.
I enjoy attending church, spending time with my family, and running a small business.
CHLOE DAVIS, 2ND GRADE TEACHER
Chloe Davis has been teaching for seven years. She grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ms. Davis graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education degree from Western Carolina University in 2012. She began her teaching career teaching first grade at
Spartanburg Preparatory School in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Ms. Davis taught six years
in first grade before moving to second grade at Lead Academy in Greenville, South Carolina. This year, she will be teaching second grade at Rea Farms!
Currently, Ms. Davis lives with her daughter, Gwendolyn, and two dogs, Chase and Poochie,
She enjoys exercising, cooking, reading, watching movies, and spending time with her daughter and dogs.
Ms. Davis looks forward to meeting all of her students in August!
alexis finch, 2nd grade teacher
Alexis Finch is a native Charlottean and has worked with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools for 8 years. She is coming to Rea Farms STEAM Academy from Sharon Elementary. At Sharon, Ms. Finch served as a 1st grade teacher for the last 4 years. Ms. Finch earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2017. She received her Masters of Arts in teaching Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2020.
Ms. Finch enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to new places, all things music, cooking, shopping, and learning new things.
She is very excited to join the Rea Farms Family this coming school year!
sarah calcutt, 2ND GRADE TEACHER
MAGGIE LESIAK, 2ND GRADE TEACHER
Maggie Lesiak has been teaching for 20 years, 18 in CMS and 2 in her home state of New Jersey. She spent the past eight years at Polo Ridge and ten before that at Steele Creek Elementary. Mrs. Lesiak has taught Kindergarten, first, second, third and fifth grades, with
most of her experience in 2nd grade. She has a Master’s Degree in Teacher Leadership from Walden University and is a National Board Certified Teacher. She lives with her husband of
19 years, Scott. Mrs. Lesiak enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading mysteries, working in her yard and anything to do with the beach.
Jennifer Zywicki, 2nd Grade teacher
Jennifer Zywicki was born and raised in Buffalo, New York and has been a teacher for twenty two years. She has taught second, fourth, fifth grades and an Inquiry Special Area Class. Her past fourteen years have been at Rea View Elementary in Union County. She has a Bachelors degree from SUNY Brockport, teacher certification from Daemen College, and a Masters degree from UNCC. She is a National Board Certified teacher with a special interest in inquiry teaching methods. She lives with her husband and rescue pets in Lancaster, South Carolina. In her free time she enjoys attending book festivals, gardening,hockey, reading, learning to play the ukelele, and trying new cuisines. She is looking forward to soaring with her new students this year.
LISA SHAW, MEDIA COORDINATOR
This is her 21st year in education. She was a classroom teacher (3rd and 4th grades) for 6 years before moving into the media center. She earned her elementary education degree at UNC Chapel Hill, and her Master’s in Library and Information Science at UNC Greensboro. She is National Board certified in Library Media and renewed in 2019. She and her husband Kevin have 4 children--Aidan (17), Ian (13), Elena (8), and Ewan (3).
My name is Jai Deo. I was born and raised in Pune, India. I did my bachelors in science(Electronics) from Pune University, India. I came to the USA in 2009 with my husband who is an IT professional. I lived in Atlanta for 4 years and relocated to Charlotte in 2013. I have two kids, a son who is 11 years old and will be joining Rea Farms STEAM Academy this year and a daughter who is 3 years old and will be joining preschool.
In India I worked for WNS for 2 years. After a long break I worked in USA with H&R BLOCK for some time. Also, last year I enjoyed helping kids in Science Olympiad. In my free time I love cooking, reading, watching movies, gardening and spending time with my kids.
I am totally excited to being part of the new experience at Rea Farms STEAM Academy!
My name is Helen Grafakos. I am originally from Queens, NY and have lived in Charlotte for the past 13 years. My husband and I have two boys and an Aussiedoodle Ajax. I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree from St. John’s University, NY. Since moving to Charlotte and leaving the business world behind, I found true happiness in teaching and tutoring children. For five years, I taught Greek language to students in the Charlotte area and for the past 3 years, I have taught English via a live, online platform to students in Asia.
My interests include traveling, learning about different countries and cultures, sports and cooking.
I am very excited to become a part of this wonderful team at the Rea Farms STEAM Academy.
head custodian, talathia lawhorn
CUSTODIAl team, mario, maria, and lina