FACULTY & STAFF
Head of School
“As a life-long educator, my passion has been grounded in educating the whole child. The right social and experiential education environment coupled with supportive curriculum creates an amazing place for children to learn and succeed! I am excited for the journey that lies ahead and honored to be chosen as the Head of School for the Epiphany School of Charlotte!”
My “Epiphany Story” goes back to the very first weekend that I moved to Charlotte. I visited the school at the former campus and received a tour from the Head of School at that time. I was overwhelmed with how happy the children were, how engaged in learning they were, and how calm and peaceful the school was. All that while having the children experience wonderful curriculum and social skills programming. I immediately called all of my colleagues in the education profession and told them, “They’re doing it! They’re really doing it! This school is doing exactly what they say they are, and they’re doing it well.”
A little background on me: I had been the Director of LearningRx for over six years, both here and in Jacksonville, FL. LearningRx is a nationwide cognitive therapy program. I most recently ran and helped open the new center in Concord, NC. During my LearningRx years in Jacksonville, I volunteered for the Duval County, ESE Advisory Committee. During that time I served as Vice Chair and then Chairperson. I am a former middle school Teacher (math/science/gifted/remedial), Director of Exceptional Student Education, and Guidance Counselor. Before that, I taught in experiential education while working as a Zoo Educator and as a Captain aboard sailing vessels where children learned biology, navigation, and seamanship. I have my B.S. in the Interdisciplinary Psychology of Biology and my M.S. in Psychology.
My husband and I moved to Charlotte in 2014. We love Charlotte and all that it has to offer. My husband and I are from the North East, so we’re happy to get our seasons back! We are both sailors and spend our weekends up at Lake Norman. Join us for a sail, one day!
I couldn’t be more excited to join the students and staff at Epiphany. My door is always open! I look forward to meeting all of you!
Erin Morris, Head of School, Epiphany School of Charlotte email@example.com
I am the 3rd/4th grade teacher here at the Epiphany School of Charlotte.I recently moved to North Carolina all the way from Massachusetts. I have worked with children for as long as I can remember in many different settings including daycares, after-school club, home settings, school settings, and even a clinic setting. I graduated from Framingham State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Art degree in Sociology and then went on to begin earning a Master’s of Education in the Teacher of Students with Severe Disabilities program from Bridgewater State University. I am looking forward to finishing up my graduate studies down here in North Carolina. After graduating, I began an internship at Tuft’s Floating Hospital Day School as the elementary special education teacher working with students who had complex medical diagnoses and cognitive challenges. Once completing the internship, I then took an intensive needs special education teacher position in the same public elementary school where I attended as a child. Two of my former teachers taught down the hall from me – it was pretty inspiring to be able to collaborate and teach along side them. I realize the impact that teachers have on the lives of their students is tremendous and this is why I am thrilled to teach at Epiphany! Teaching here allows me to build strong relationships with every student providing a solid foundation for learning. This strong foundation is then layered with both social & academic skills delivered in unique, individualized methods giving each student the knowledge and tools to thrive!
Special Education Teacher
Hello! My name is Mrs. Lutz and I run the Learning Lab and provide small group instruction and academic support to students here at Epiphany. I have been involved in education for 20+ years. I found my passion to help others during my childhood/teen years learning about people and their needs while growing, learning, and living amongst a diverse population of individuals in the group home my mother and father founded. I also have a younger brother with disabilities. These are two of many reasons I chose a profession that involves working with and helping others to reach their highest academic, social, and emotional potential. Prior to attending college, I worked as a paraprofessional for seven years where the picture of my passion came into focus. At that time I knew I wanted to be a teacher of exceptional children. I attended William Peace University in Raleigh, NC where I double majored earning B.A. degrees in Education and Child Development along with a K-5 General Education and K-12 Special Education dual licensure. I moved back to Cincinnati, Ohio, my hometown, in 2010 and started an in-home special education business, Teaching to the Total Child & Supporting Families. I soon became an Ohio Department of Education Autism Scholarship Provider serving area families. My focus became working with children across the Autism Spectrum and “teaching to the total child” by first getting to know my students and their families very well and then identifying their learning styles, intelligence types, and personal interests. It was imperative to me that I was not only addressing my students’ academic needs, but also their social, emotional, and physical needs. My philosophy is that I believe that all students can learn; we just have to figure out the best way for them to do so. I use a variety of multi-sensory activities to create hands-on learning experiences for students; activities that are not only memorable and fun, but that are also designed and implemented for the student’s instructional/developmental level. These are the things that led me to Epiphany. When I read about Epiphany’s philosophy, I knew that I wanted to be a part of this place. This is my second year at Epiphany and my passion for students’ success continues to grow.
My husband, Greg, and I live in Charlotte. We have two sons and two lovely daughters-in-law who live in Chicago and Socorro, NM. I love spending time with family and friends doing anything outdoorsy ~ hiking, skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, and paddling. I also love creating and decorating just about anything.
Hello! My students call me Mrs. Dudiak or Mrs. D. and I enjoy teaching Language Arts and Social Studies here at Epiphany. I have a BA in English from Walsh University in Ohio and a MA in English: Applied Linguistics from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). I have been an educator in different capacities for over nine years now. I’ve taught college writing courses at UNCC, provided intensive educational intervention in an academic clinic, and built my own business providing one-on-one educational services for families whose children needed a “different kind of educator,” because their academic, social, and/or emotional needs were not fully addressed. What do I mean by a “different kind of educator”? I mean, I am a teacher who will try to read aloud with a different voice for each character, even if three of those characters are insects. I am a teacher who individualizes and accommodates whether it’s dictated on an IEP or not. I am a teacher who knows the value of a kind word, a gentle smile, and a well-timed laugh. I am a teacher who is not afraid to be silly with my students and firm when needed. I am a teacher who believes in the magic of kindness and I want to build an army of kind individuals who will shape the world in new ways I haven’t yet imagined. I am both the center of calm in my classroom as well as the center of laughter and excitement. The Epiphany of Charlotte is where I choose to teach because Epiphany is truly a different kind of school that celebrates and encourages our students and staff for who we are and who we can become.
Student testimonials: “Mrs. Dudiak says to revise a lot because it’s important.” ~Duane “Mrs. Dudiak says, “nice” a lot because she gets interested in stuff we talk about.” ~Drew “Mrs. Dudiak really likes… everybody except criminals.” ~Mark “The most interesting thing about Mrs. Dudiak is… when she tells her nerd stories.” ~Cameron “The most interesting thing about Mrs. Dudiak is… she knows about good books.” ~Joey “My favorite thing about Mrs. Dudiak is… that she is very sweet and helpful.” ~Caleb “My favorite thing about Mrs. Dudiak is… her reasonable goals and careful methods.” ~Michael
Hi! My name is Kelly Guarente (Grr-RENT-tee) and I teach Math and Science here at Epiphany. I have a BA in Middle School Education from Appalachian State University. While in college, I developed an interest in autism, as I babysat a child with a unique brain. After moving to Charlotte, I worked for Swan Learning Center and Brain Balance where I worked with children who had a variety of strengths and needs. I am so happy to have finally found my way to Epiphany where I can do what I love everyday. Teaching is truly my passion and I love working with such amazing children. While I teach them fun ways to enjoy Math and Science, through games that promote social skills and hands-on experiments that allow them to make connections to the world around them; they teach me all about how their extraordinary brains see the world.
Some student quotes: “My favorite thing about Ms. G is… her laugh and jokes.” –Julie “The most interesting thing about Ms. Guarente is…. how she feels about Science.” –Duane “Ms. Guarente really likes… her students and her cat Pickles.” –Michael “Ms. Guarente really likes… cats, math, mountains” –Aaron
“I believe passionately in the mission of The Epiphany School and I am thrilled to work at a school that offers so much to the students and their families.”
Laurie has been working in education for over 20 years. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in English Education, and eventually started her own preschool so that she could spend the days with her children. During this time she was introduced to a family whose son was autistic and needed an ABA therapist. Laurie took on the role and began providing independent counseling/behavioral therapy for families of autism. She became a part of The Epiphany School staff five years ago. She began as a teacher at Epiphany and her current role is Student Support Coordinator, implementing behavior, intervention and transition plans. Laurie also teaches our Friends and Feelings program; a program designed to teach social communication and emotional skills.
Laurie lives with her two teenage children, Cecilia and Kevin, and their dog, Kahlua. She is an avid sports fan and loves anything Boston sports related.
Student testimonials: “I like her sense of humor, her kids and her pets.” – Cameron “I like her direct and understanding attitude.” – Michael “Ms. Sullivan really likes The Patriots, Boston and us.” – Aaron Ms. Sullivan says “focus and be positive because it’s good for us”. –Duane “After school I think she takes selfies and posts them on Instagram.” – Mark” “She likes French fries and she is funny.” – Joey
Assistant to the Head of School
Sierra Babbidge is a Maine native who has lovingly called Charlotte home for many years. She studied Recreation Therapy and Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and proceeded to work in a fast-paced, major non-profit in the Greater Atlanta Area, serving children with chronic illnesses, disabilities, and other life challenges. Passionate about children and impacting the next generation, her move to Epiphany was a natural fit. Sierra enjoys promoting positive relationships and high productivity in the workplace, with a bit of fun mixed-in, of course! Sierra loves to go hiking in the NC mountains and catch concerts whenever she can. She also volunteers with Let Me Run, the Ronald McDonald House, and other charities near to her heart. Grateful for an amazing group of colleagues that she gets to call friends, Sierra makes sure that students and staff at Epiphany are cared for in a way that has become unique to the Epiphany School of Charlotte. Catch her in the weekly newsletter, or stop by to say hello!