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Meet our High School Faculty/Staff


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).


Sandeep Aggarwal serves as the Assistant Director and Dean of Business, Technology, and Cultural Affairs at Sallie B. Howard. He received a bachelor’s degree in business studies from the University of Delhi in India in 1995 before going on to attain his M.B.A. from Himachal Pradesh University, a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Kashmir, and mostly recently a Master of School Administration degree from East Carolina University in 2018. He has 24 years of experience in the worlds of education, international business, technology, and finance, including as a successful international business owner, and first began working with Sallie B. Howard in 2004.



Vielka Givens is the Middle and High School Counselor at Sallie B. Howard School. She received her undergraduate degree in Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). After graduating from UNCG, she attended graduate school at Georgia State University where she obtained a Masters of Social Work. She spends most of her free time coaching volleyball and basketball. When she’s not coaching, she is spending time with her family and friends. Ms. Givens lives by the Mahatma Ghandi quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”


Kimberly Hines, Dean of Student Services, is a Wilson, NC native who has been with Sallie B. Howard since 2001. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000, she began working at IBM in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina before joining Sallie B. Howard as a first grade teacher. She received a Master’s in Teaching and Learning with Technology from Ashford University in 2012.


Ms. Deloatch comes to us from Eastern Carolina with both government and charter school experience as an office administrator. She is a lover of people, physical fitness, music of all genres, healthy, clean eating and traveling abroad which has enhanced her cultural perspectives and fortified her appreciation for the human spirit.

Gabriela Vasquez - Admin Assistant

Ms. Vasquez graduated from Wilson Community College where she earned a degree in Community Spanish Interpreter and completed her training as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She worked for three years in the medical field as an interpreter and CNA. Ms. Vasquez is excited for this new chapter in her life as a member of the SBH family!


Sarah Wiggins - Math

As a Wilson native, Sarah Wiggins is excited to continue her teaching career at Sallie B! When Ms. Wiggins graduated from Hunt High School, she knew she wanted to pursue her passion for education. She attended Meredith College and received a B.S. in Mathematics as well as a High School Teaching Degree. After college, she returned to Wilson to work as a math teacher at Beddingfield High School. She loved her five years as a Bruin, but when the opportunity arose to join the Sallie B team, she jumped on it! This is her second year here, and she enjoys the positive and supportive environment created by administration, staff, parents, and students. In her math class, Ms. Wiggins hopes her students learn more than just formulas but also see a new way of critical thinking, problem solving, and perservering that they can apply to real life.

Rhonda Meszaros - English

After eighteen years in public education, Rhonda Meszaros is delighted to join the innovative team at Sallie B. Howard High School as an English teacher and instructional coach. Mrs. Meszaros has served in a variety of educational roles, including International Baccalaureate coordinator, school improvement coach, and instructional technology facilitator. However, her greatest passion is in the classroom with students, having taught all levels of English from 6th-12th grade as well as IB and AP. A nationally certified teacher, Mrs. Meszaros was the 2009 district teacher of the year for Wilson County Schools and has been featured by McREL for her work. She looks forward to building relationships with her students and inspiring them to see the transformative power of literature to connect us as global citizens.

Whitney Strickland - MATH

Ms. Strickland is excited to begin her second year at Sallie B Howard High School. She transferred to SBH in 2021 after teaching in public schools for seven years. She grew up in upstate New York and graduated from SUNY Cortland in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in secondary math education. In addition to teaching math, Ms. Strickland will also take on the role of head Cross Country coach for the fall 2022 season.

Philip Brown - Math

Mr. Brown has served in the education system for over a decade as an instructor and coach of Mathematics and Physics. Additionally, he has served as a soccer coach for over five years in the USA, winning many tournaments and championships. Mr. Brown is a graduate of the University of Technology in Jamaica, West Indies, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Science and majored in Mathematics and Physics.


A recent East Carolina University graduate, Derick Smith joins Sallie B. Howard with 8+ years of elementary through high school tutoring, early childhood education, and college mentoring. A Wilson native, Mr. Smith is determined to guarantee that students not only value but enjoy learning about high school social studies. His primary goal is for students to recognize that learning about the past is the only way that the future can be changed for the better. Mr. Smith mentored Sallie B. Howard students prior to becoming an employee at the school and knew that he wanted to become a member of the team based off of the culture that the school emits through its wonderful students. In his free time, Mr. Smith can be found working on his skills as a barbecue pitmaster, reading, and watching basketball!

Ashley Becoat - English

Ashley Becoat was born in District Heights, MD, and raised in Wilson NC. She is an educator, mentor, and life-long learner. She received her undergraduate degree from Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC [GO BRONCOS!], and has been teaching English since 2017. When she isn’t teaching brilliant young minds, you’ll find her painting, completing jigsaw puzzles, or listening to music!

Rachelle Pierce - Athletic Director

Coach Pierce began teaching Physical Education in 1997 with Sussex County Public Schools in her home state of Virginia where she graduated from High School. She joined Sallie B. Howard School in 2002 as a Physical Education Teacher and began the Athletic Program in 2007. Basketball is her first love. She played at the high school and collegiate level and has coached successful basketball teams for 25 years. Additionally, Coach Pierce loves helping young people learn about the benefits of exercise and building strong bodies, a strong work ethic, character, and having fun with activities they enjoy. As a Teacher and a Coach, she believes in giving her students challenges and pushing them to be the best.


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.


Mr. Almerino is an award-winning physical science teacher with nearly 20 years of experience of teaching middle and high school science all over the world. He joins Sallie B. Howard from Wayne County Public Schools’ Goldsboro High School, where he was named “Beginning Teacher of the Year 2020.” His students have won multiple awards at state and regional science fairs across the state. Almerino holds a Master’s in Education with a concentration in Chemistry Education from the University of the Philippines.


Mr. Joseph has taught middle school History at Sallie B. Howard for 13 years. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History with a Minor in Elementary Education from Saint Augustine College. In addition to teaching, Joseph is a College and Career Instructor and Director of the SBH After School Arts Academy. A native of New Jersey, Joseph has over two decades of experience working in the arts and performing in step teams and as a dancer, singer and rapper. He has written 10 plays that have been performed across North Carolina, including at NC State, UNC Chapel and Duke Energy Center in Raleigh.


Debra Pegram joins Sallie B. Howard after 30 years as a teacher and athletic coach at Beddingfield High School. She is a 1990 graduate of North Carolina Wesleyan College with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. She started working at Beddingfield right out of college as a Math teacher, and went on to coach volleyball and girls basketball, leading her teams to numerous conference titles and state championships. She chaired the Health and P.E. department at Beddingfield for 27 years.



After 7 years teaching in public high school, Brandi Simonof will begin her 8th year by returning to her passion of biotechnology at Sallie B Howard. Brandi has four years of industry experience as an analytical chemist in pharmaceuticals and as a protein analyst for a leading company focused on genetically modified crops. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Biotechnology. A Texas native, Brandi spent 10 years in the United States Air Force and traveled to places such as Panama, Spain, and Qatar. She has called North Carolina her home since 1999. During her career, Brandi secured a relationship with NC State University promoting bio-sustainability for future generations and creating hands-on lab opportunities for students, which she will continue at Sallie B Howard. As someone who did not have a traditional path from high school to college, Brandi is looking forward to the opportunity to mold young science minds to discover their calling and secure their path to a bright future.


Stefano Micciche teaches K-12 ballet at SBH. He has over 17 years of experience in the dance professional environment. Mr. Micciche graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine and Performing Arts and obtained a Ballet Pedagogy Master’s Degree in July 2022 at the National Academy of Dance in Rome. Since June 2023, he is an ABT® Certified Teacher, successfully completing the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7 and partnering with the ABT® National Training Curriculum. His background has allowed him to travel and explore the globe mixing and improving his dance level and his personality with international colleagues from all over the world. He’s taught ballet classes between Rome (Italy) and the Bay Area in San Francisco.


Shawna Hall-Bowden teaches K-12 ballet, modern and jazz at SBH. Born and raised in New York, Ms. Hall-Bowden began her dance studies at Dance Theatre of Harlem at the age of six. Shawna’s intensive training continued at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Martha Graham, and Broadway Dance Center. She trained in various genres of dance, but especially enjoys modern dance. Shawna obtained her BFA degree in Dance from City College of New York and performed professionally with Freeman Repertory Dance Company and City Dance Company. She went on to serve as choreographer for Miss Florida Jamaican Pageant and LaFran Entertainment. Founder, Co-Owner, and Artistic Director of Diverse Element Dance Company, Shawna teaches master classes in modern dance, and has worked with Air Artist of South Florida. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and holds a certification with Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD).

Paul Atlas - Band Director

Paul Atlas has returned to SBH as Band Director after 7 years. A 16+ year veteran in music education, Mr. Atlas is a 1986 graduate of North Carolina State University with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering. After working for several years as an engineer, he returned to school and received a BS degree in Music/Math Education from St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, NC in 1997. He began teaching at Sallie B. Howard in 1997 as one of the inaugural members of the faculty. Initially he taught general music and chorus, but soon saw the need for an instrumental music program and established the band program in 1998. The band would eventually become one of the best middle school programs, not only in Wilson, but also in eastern North Carolina as evidenced in the numerous superior and excellent ratings received at the North Carolina Bandmaster’s Association Music Festivals.

Mr. Atlas has also earned a Master’s of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, NC. He serves as the senior pastor of Amanah AME Zion Church in Knightdale, NC. Mr. Atlas is married to the lovely Shellena Atlas and they have two wonderful canines named Wolf and Pack! He is passionate about music and looks forward to sharing that passion with the students he teaches.


Mavis Poole is an award-winning vocalist, composer, arranger, bandleader and educator who teaches Vocal Music at SBH High School. A classically-trained vocalist with over 20 years of teaching experience, Poole holds a B.A. in Music Education and a Bachelor’s of Music degree with a concentration in Jazz Vocal Studies from North Carolina Central University. In 2011, she earned a Master’s in Music from Queens College in New York City. She has performed and shared the stage with Lauryn Hill, 9th Wonder, Prince & NPG, Gladys Knight and many more.


Diana Torres, Dean of the Arts and Humanities Department, has been teaching Dance, Drama, and the Theatre Arts since 1992. She obtained a BFA in Theatre Arts in 1990 from the National University of Fine Arts in Mexico City, Mexico, before going on to teach and perform for the stage and film in both Mexico and the U.S. She joined Sallie B. Howard in 2001 as a teacher and was awarded the first Lynn Wright Professional Teaching Grant from the American Association of Theatre Educators in 2011.


Originally from Chicago, Amanda Janson has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre with an emphasis in Directing and Stage Management. She worked in New York and other places around the world doing theatre professionally. Amanda taught English as a foreign language in South Korea for 3 years and ran the theatre department at a private school before coming to Sallie B. Howard. She has always loved theatre and lives with her husband and Doberman Pinschers in Goldsboro.


Carrie Nobles has been an Art Teacher at Sallie B. Howard since 2012. Born and raised in Randleman, N.C., she holds a B.A. in Studio Art from North Carolina Central University. She’s completed Art Education courses at High Point University and NC A&T State University, and earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Howard University in 2011. Carrie’s work has been exhibited in North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, and Washington, DC. The Washington Project for the Arts selected her work to be a part of their annual Art Auction, “Select 2011.” In 2012, she was selected by artist/juror John Bankston to present her work at the Corcoran Gallery of Art for “Under the Influence: 30 Americans.” More recently, she contributed to the Wilson Downtown Development Corporation’s public art project “Artsy Alley.”
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