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.
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.