Mr. Reaves joins SBHS with over 20 years of experience as a Principal at both the middle and high school levels. He was most recently Principal at Winterville Charter Academy in Winterville, N.C., where he helped boost the school’s enrollment, improve their state report card grade and performance composite and reduced teacher attrition.
His career includes roles as Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services at Craven County Schools as well as Principal at Springfield Middle School and Beddingfield High School. Reaves was named Wilson County Schools “Principal of the Year” in 2008, and went on to lead Beddingfield to a North Carolina School of Distinction designation for the 2010-11 and 2011- 12 school years, reaching a school performance composite of over 88%.
Dr. JoAnne Woodard is the founder and executive director
of Sallie B. Howard School for the Arts & Education. She is the driving force behind the school’s unique arts-based curriculum, its culturally-diverse faculty and student body, and its study abroad program which sends students to countries like China, India, Africa and Australia. A native of Wilson, Dr. Woodard has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bennett College (1969) and a masters and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (1975).
I’m excited to teach English at Sallie B. Howard! This is my fourth year teaching; I’ve spent the last three years at Durham Public Schools. I grew up in Granville County. I’m a 2016 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s in English and Hispanic Linguistics. I also earned a Master’s of Arts in Teaching from Duke University in 2017 as a Durham Teaching Fellow. Education is something I’ve always been drawn to. My passion is helping students develop their perspective on the world and their expression of their beliefs. My hope is that students leave my classroom with a heightened ability to ask the hard questions. I believe my job is to help students learn how to question the world around them, figure out what they can do to make it better, and express their views and opinions to varied audiences.
Mirela Risden is a middle and high school science instructor with decades of research and clinical experience in biology, chemistry, and genetics. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and an MS degree from the University for Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture in Bucharest, Romania, where she studied genetics. She worked as a laboratory scientist and statistician for the National Institute for Agriculture Paris-Grignon in France. Ms. Risden earned her teaching certification from NC State University in 2008 and began teaching soon after in both Wake County and Nash County Public Schools. A native of Romania, Ms. Risden enjoys horses, the theatre and the ocean. She has traveled to 45 countries (and counting) so far.
Yaqshaan Medan teaches Modern Dance at SBH High School. A Philadelphia native with over 20 years of experience in Dance, he holds a B.F.A. in Dance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Yaqshaan’s career includes work with Dance Theatre X, Philadelphia Opera Company, The Rock School, Nevada Ballet, Norwegian Cruise Line, and the Las Vegas Classic “Jubilee!” He’s choreographed for Youth America Grand Prix and the North Carolina Museum of History’s “Celebration of Movement Inspired by Ernie Barnes.” Yaqshaan has held positions with the Charlotte Ballet, UNC-Greensboro and Winston Salem State University, and currently serves as the Jazz Director & Artistic Director of the 3D Jazz Project with the Cary Ballet Conservatory.