6 - 7 Educators

K - 2 Educators   3 - 5 Educators   EC/Intervention   Enrichment/Electives   After School

Cathy Belair 6th/7th Grade Math

Cathy is a two-time alumna as a Catamount - at two different Universities! She earned her Bachelor of Science in business administration with a specialty in accounting at her home-town school, the University of Vermont, and spent many successful years working in business and information technologies throughout the greater Burlington area. It wasn't until her daughter started kindergarten that she began questioning her life's path and contemplating a career in teaching. 

After much consideration, Cathy and her family decided to move to Fletcher, NC, where she earned her Master of Arts in teaching Middle School Mathematics (as a Catamount) at Western Carolina University. Cathy spent her first three years in education as a seventh grade math teacher at Flat Rock Middle School. In 2009, she moved to Valley Springs Middle School in Arden, NC where she taught inclusion, regular ed, and AIG classes in Math and Social Studies. Valley Springs is a great school filled with talented teachers, but when the opportunity arose to teach at FernLeaf Community Charter School, Cathy just couldn't pass it up! She is passionate about helping her students Learn to Love to Learn!



Lauren Stanfield, 6th/7th Grade English/
Language Arts and Social Studies

Lauren grew up in Hendersonville and appreciates her home even more every time she visits a new, beautiful place. She attended Queens University of Charlotte, double majoring in music and French, and went to deepen her knowledge of the French language by teaching English at the elementary level in Auch, France. This experience made it clear that working with kids was the best way to spend the day!

After returning to western North Carolina, she worked in the non-profit industry while earning her Master’s in teaching from Lenoir Rhyne University and has since taught 8th grade ELA, English 1, and Social Studies at Rugby Middle School. She believes in nurturing development of the whole student and reading as much as possible.

When not in the classroom, Lauren is probably in the woods running, reading, or playing tag with her two sweet children, Abe and Juniper, and huge extended family. She is honored to become a member of the FernLeaf community.


Vic Wiesel, 5th/6th Grade English/Language Arts and Social Studies

Vic is thrilled to be a part of the FernLeaf teaching team. With a degree in media studies, he had a brief stint working for the TV Food Network before leaving television to work with children in the outdoors. Vic has extensive experience teaching in a variety of environments, from backcountry environmental education to middle school language arts. He is committed to creating a safe educational space for everyone in his classroom. In his free time, Vic is an avid photographer, exploring traditional and historical photographic techniques in his Hendersonville darkroom. He also enjoys a variety of outdoor pursuits, including sailing, whitewater kayaking, and alpine skiing.


Ellie Busse, 6th/7th Grade Science

Ellie worked as an environmental geologist for the EPA before starting a career in teaching. She grew up in Atlanta, GA but has moved around since her adult years. She returned to North Carolina after living on the west coast for five years. She earned her M.Ed at the University of Reno, Nevada in 2017 focusing on middle and high school science.  She has worked in outdoor sports education leading backpacking and white water kayaking trips. She's also a certified yoga teacher; earning her 200hr yoga teacher training in San Francisco with a focus on kids yoga and bringing the practice into the classroom. Ellie values project based, hands-on learning. She strives to guide students in their learning through lab experiments and scientific inquiry. When not found playing in her kayak on a river, she's enjoying nature, gardening, hiking, listening to music, biking, or yogaing.


Joe Hartles, 6th/7th Grade (Teacher Assistant)

Joe is from the United Kingdom and moved to North Carolina in 2007 after completing his bachelor's degree in Outdoor Studies. After hearing bluegrass music for the first time he knew this was home. Joe has extensive experience working with children in a variety of mental health settings that include wilderness camps, day treatment classrooms, and inpatient psychiatric stabilization units. As an avid outdoorsman, Joe understands the importance of being connected to the environment around us and exploring the infinite learning opportunities that it can provide. When Joe is not at school, it is very likely that he is somewhere fishing. He also enjoys camping, canoeing, and exploring the woods and lakes of WNC with his family and dog, Scruggs.