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.