Sandra Wiggins was born in Winston-Salem and always called this city home. She is married to her husband Tom, has two adult daughters and sons-in-law and six grandsons! Sandra has worked in education throughout her career. She has experience in private Christian school and is a retired kindergarten public school teacher from Old Town Elementary. Sandra joined Rise Academy in 2019 as a kindergarten teacher and loves being a part of this school. God has guided her throughout her career and led her to Rise Academy where He is using all those rich experiences for His glory. She never teaches alone as God leads and guides through each day.
My career experiences have all been a part of God’s preparation for my time at Rise Academy. I am honored and thankful for the opportunity to teach and seek to live Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
Leah Qualls has been working with children in some capacity for over thirty years. She grew up in southern Illinois and moved to North Carolina in 1998, where she began teaching at South Fork Elementary. There she taught kindergarten and first grade and most recently was able to work in curriculum and instruction with a focus on K-2nd grade. Through her experiences working with children and families at South Fork, God began to give her a vision of a school where children were given a first rate education that included teaching them about Jesus--his love for them, his plan for them, and how they could know him through his word. In August 2018, she was able to retire early from the public school system and become the first teacher at Rise Academy.
1st Grade Teacher
I am so grateful to God for the rich experiences He's given me in working with children and families. Through my work as an educator for over thirty years, I have come to understand some things. All children have the capacity to learn, but things like access to healthcare, socioeconomic status, and access to good nutrition can affect a child's growth. Because of that, they come to school at different starting points. My goal as a teacher is to meet children where they are and provide for them a safe, nurturing environment where they can flourish. I want to teach them to read and write, but also teach them how to get along with others, how to process difficult emotions, how to persevere, because worthwhile things take time and hard work, how to fail and try again, and all along teach them that God is FOR them, that He loves them and has uniquely gifted them, that they are made in His image and that makes them valuable. I am so excited and humbled by this extraordinary opportunity and pray that I am able to steward it well. I cannot wait to see what God does with the students of Rise Academy.
Jasmine Blue is from Fairmont, NC, but currently resides in Greensboro. She received her BA in Speech Language Pathology from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. Jasmine had the unique pleasure of teaching 10th, 5th, and most recently 2nd grade during her time as an educator. God has truly used her as His instrument for His glory inside and outside of the classroom. Jasmine enjoys singing, sports, reading, making others laugh, and fine food cuisine.
2nd Grade Teacher
I count it as a blessing and prayer answered to be able to join Rise Academy where I can not only grow as an educator, but also in my walk with Christ. I look forward to this new journey and am excited about what the future holds!