Jennie was handed the keys to her first kindergarten classroom in Boston in 1996 and has loved teaching this foundational grade ever since. During the ten years she spent teaching in Boston, she earned her Master’s Degree in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University. Integrating drama, poetry, creative movement, and the visual arts into the kindergarten day continues to enhance learning and plays an integral part of her curriculum. Jennie and her family moved to Asheville in 2007 to be closer to family. After teaching in Asheville City Schools and achieving National Board Certification, she was happy to begin teaching at Francine Delany where she enjoys the supportive community and the meaningful and creative teaching that happens there.
First Grade-Jessica Roberts
Jessica Roberts is currently the 1st grade teacher. She has been teaching at Francine Delany since 2008. Jessica has spent the majority of her 12 years of teaching in kindergarten. She began her career teaching at Evergreen Community Charter School where she worked for 9 years. Jessica received a bachelors’ degree and attained her licensure in K-6 elementary education from Champlain College in Burlington Vt. She has a National Board Certification that she attained in 2010. Jessica and her husband Marc are the proud parents of two daughters, Grace and Zoe, who are both students at Francine Delany. Along with teaching 1st Grade, Jessica also sits on Francine Delany’s leadership group, Executive Council and the school’s Board of Directors. In her free time she likes to run, and spend time with her family. She loves her job at Francine Delany, where she can combine her love of children, academic inspiration, movement, art, outdoors and music!
Second Grade-Melissa Murphy
Melissa Murphy began her teaching career in south Texas in 1996 with Teach for America. She then moved to Austin to continue teaching and completed a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Texas in 2001. In 2001, she moved to North Carolina, taught a year in Henderson County, and began teaching at Francine Delany in 2002. She has experience ranging from the primary grades through middle school and has worked as both a teacher of exceptional children as well as general education teacher during her career. She completed National Board Certification in literacy in 2008. At FDNSC she has taught first, second, third, and sixth grades. She currently serves as the second grade teacher and curriculum specialist.
Third Grade-Roslyn Clapp
Roslyn worked as a Title I teacher’s assistant in the Buncombe County and Orono, Maine school systems from 2001-2004. She decided to become a career teacher, working on her licensure and Master’s degree at the University of Maine. In 2005, returned to the Asheville area and began teaching at Francine Delany. Over the course of her career she has worked with students K-8. She has taught third grade at FDNSC for the past seven years.
Fourth Grade-Naomi Marotta
Naomi Marotta grew up in Massachusetts and began her teaching career in 2002 with Teach for America in South Louisiana after graduating from Messiah College with a degree in Psychology. She spent three years working in Baton Rouge teaching second graders before making the move to North Carolina in 2005 to teach at FDNSC. She taught third grade for one year and then moved up to fourth grade where she has been teaching ever since.
Fifth & Sixth Grades- Math & Science-Brian Pesci
Brian received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree both in elementary education from Western Carolina University. Brian moved to Western North Carolina in 1999 from Northern Virginia. He has always been interested in sports and played football at Western Carolina University. His love of sports has carried over to founding the “Hospitality Sports League” for Francine Delany New School and six other local charter and private schools in the Asheville area with emphasis on sportsmanship. He began teaching fourth Grade at Francine Delany in 2004. He now teaches 5th and 6th grades math and science.
Brian loves living in West Asheville and continues his interest in sports and fitness by running in marathons, biking, playing basketball and other sporting activities.
Fifth & Sixth Grades-Language Arts & Social Studies-Robyn Moser
Robyn has been teaching since 2002 loves it more than ever. She teaches the way she lives, with a strong sense of social justice and an ability to help students develop awareness of their choices. She believes that every action we take effects the energy of everything and everyone and hopes to help others around her practice being intentional with language and action.
Robyn grew up on a farm in Ohio and spent plenty of time walking the fields spotting birds, flipping stones, looking for salamanders, and visiting Grandma’s. She loves to go back to visit family.
She trained to be a teacher at Ohio University where she got to work with inspirational teachers and students, leaving excited to change the world at 22. After living in Portland, Oregon for a bit, Robyn began teaching 4th & 5th grade at Poe Montessori Magnet Elementary in Raleigh, NC, and stayed for 5 years. She got her Master’s degree at NC State; then tried out middle school at Moore Square Museums Magnet School for a year before starting new in Asheville in 2009.
Robyn is grateful each day to be part of the FDNSC community and truly loves the students and the work. When she’s not at school, you’ll see her walking her dog, Chai, around West Asheville or catch her in the yoga studio. She also reads a whole lot of children’s literature, loves yummy food and riding her bike.
Seventh & Eighth Grades Math-Tom Robertson
Tom is very happy to be teaching 7th and 8th grade mathematics at Francine Delany New School for Children. He began teaching in Decatur, Georgia and has been with FDNSC since 2006. Prior to teaching, he was a computer systems analyst for Bank of America Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters of Mathematics Education from Georgia State.
He believes in teaching a “problem centered” mathematics curriculum. “We all use math every day!”
Seventh & Eighth Grades Science-Julie Springsteen
Julie is originally from Michigan where she graduated from Western Michigan University earning a bachelor’s degree studying earth science and textiles. She spent the next 4 years in New York City working a variety of different jobs from advertising to engineering before moving to Asheville in 2002 to work for the North Carolina Outward Bound School. During the 10 years Julie worked for Outward Bound she had the opportunity to travel extensively and teach kids from all over the county. Julie’s classroom teaching career began in 2012 after receiving her North Carolina teaching license from Western Carolina University.
Julie is very involved in running, cycling, and triathlon community in Asheville. She serves on the board of directors for the Asheville Triathlon Club and is a member of the Asheville Women’s Cycling Race Team. Recently Julie finished her first marathon and is currently training for an Ironman Triathlon.
Seventh & Eighth Grades- Language Arts & Social Studies- Brady Rochford
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Middle School Ed, Brady began working at Exploris Middle School, another small charter school in Raleigh, NC. At Exploris Brady worked with the staff to plan and implement integrated, project-based units of study, which focused on our connections to other people around the world. Although Brady loved Exploris, Raleigh wasn’t her ideal place to live, so she moved higher (in elevation) and started working in a traditional public school in Boone, NC, called Green Valley. Over the course of my seven years at Green Valley I received National Board Certification and finished my graduate degree in Middle School Language Arts at Appalachian State. Brady now calls Asheville home, and is thrilled to be part of the FDNSC family.
Exceptional Children’s Staff- Stacy Branning
Stacy graduated from Humboldt State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She spent six years working with at-risk youth and runaways in California and North Carolina before receiving her teaching license in Special Education from the University of North Carolina- Charlotte.
Stacy has spent the past ten years working with students with disabilities in the areas of academic and functional, independent living skills. She previously taught in traditional public schools in Charlotte and Asheville prior to making the move over to Francine Delany in January 2011.
Exceptional Children’s Staff-Kelsey Goss
Kelsey began teaching in 1997 in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BA in Classics from Wesleyan University and her MS in Special Education from Bank Street College. In addition to her experience as a special education teacher with kids in grades K-8, she has worked as a general education teacher and a reading specialist. Kelsey moved to Asheville in 2007 and began teaching at FDNSC in 2008. She completed her National Board certification in Early and Middle Childhood Literacy in 2012.
Title One Teacher- Elana Froehlich
Elana studied at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC where she received her B.A. in education in grades K-6. She has also completed studies in the Montessori Method for children ages 2-6 years old. She started her teaching career in a two room schoolhouse at The Children’s Grammar School in Asheville for 4-7 year olds. She then went on to Isaac Dickson to teach a K-2 classroom for 3 years, before helping found Francine Delany. She started with a K-1 class at FDNSC for 2 years, then taught kindergarten for the next 10 years. For the past four years, she has served as the school’s Title I Coordinator, working in reading with students throughout the school grades.
Elana serves on the Directorate, the Executive Council, the Board of Directors and the Care Team.