OUR MANAGING DIRECTOR
Leslie Paynter is the Managing Director of Alamance Community School. For the past eight years, she was the founding Elementary Principal at Voyager Academy, a leading K-12 charter school, in Durham, NC with a Project Based Learning focus. Fourteen years ago, she was an original board member at Voyager Academy and was instrumental is starting the Voyager Academy middle school in 2007, the high school in 2010, and the elementary school in 2011. Leslie received a BA in Elementary Education (K-6) and a M.Ed. in Special Education (K-12) from UNC-Charlotte and an Education Administration and Supervision add-on license from North Carolina Central University. In her 28 years as an educator, she has been a regular classroom teacher, a special education teacher, an EC facilitator, a founding board member of a charter school, and an administrator.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Natalie Turner, Board Chair
Before becoming a stay at home mom, Natalie, a former technology teacher and Elon University Alumni (History A.B. with Teacher Licensure and a Spanish minor), was a Human Resources and Labor Relations Representative for Duke University Facilities Management. She specialized in recruitment, onboarding and labor relations.
From 2013-2016, Natalie proudly served on the Orange County Human Relations Commission. The HRC works to promote the equal treatment of all individuals; to protect residents' lawful interests and their personal dignity; and to prevent public and domestic strife, crime and unrest within Orange County.
Natalie is currently a Tinkergarten leader where she uses her passion and joy for play, love of the natural world and community to facilitate outdoor classes for kids.
Natalie is very thankful for the opportunity to work with this wonderful team dedicated to providing a new tuition free, school of choice for Alamance and surrounding counties. She is excited for the students of Alamance Community School to find meaning, develop empathy and create solutions.
Cindy Jones, Vice Chair
Originally from Chicago, IL, Cindy has been a resident of Durham for 20 years. After graduating with a degree in Communications/Human Relations from Western Illinois University, she moved to Florida where she met and married her husband, Andy. Together they have 3 sons; the oldest is a graduate of Florida State University currently working in California, the middle son attends Appalachian State and the youngest is a Junior at a Durham charter high school. Cindy works in her husband’s State Farm Agency as a marketing representative. She has previously served on the board of directors of a successful charter school as well as worked as teacher associate in an elementary classroom. Cindy has served on several committees and boards for the Boy Scouts, sports associations and her church. When she’s not working, Cindy volunteers with animal rescue groups, attends her son’s sporting events, reads, listens to music and is always planning her next travel adventure.
Alex Christiansen, Secretary
Alexandra “Alex” Christiansen relocated to Alamance County in 2018 from Nashville, TN. Alex attended Shenandoah University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She subsequently attended Belmont University, earning a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (OT). Alex is an OT at Duke Regional Hospital and while she has experience in a variety of settings, she specializes in working with individuals who have sustained spinal cord injuries. When not working, Alex can be found spending time with her family and friends, completing DIY projects, and exploring local restaurants and stores. She is excited to serve on the ACS Board.
Brenda Derrick, Treasurer
Brenda has been teaching in Durham, North Carolina for 38 years. She began her career with Durham Public Schools, where she taught elementary Physical Education for 30 years. For the past eight years, she has been teaching PE at Voyager Academy, a K - 12 charter school located in Durham.
Brenda grew up in Pulaski, Virginia and attended Virginia Intermont College graduating with a B.S. in Physical Education, Health, and Recreation (K-12). Brenda is married and has two children. Playing golf, working out at CrossFit, going to the beach, and hanging out with friends are her hobbies. Brenda looks forward to serving on the ACS board. Her experience working in traditional public schools and in a public charter school will be helpful to the board and the community in building a successful school.
Charter Success Partners
With over 14 years experience, CSP provides financial, facility financing, and student information services to charter schools. Their services provide security and peace of mind for charter school boards and administration through sound fiscal and student information management, allowing the school to focus on student instruction.
Schoolhouse Development, LLC
Schoolhouse Development has been working with charter schools since 2004. They partner with charter schools through the entire process. Through proper planning, strategy, and execution, they work to alleviate concerns related to finance, building design, permitting, and construction. They give charter founders and educators the freedom and confidence to focus on childhood development and education, rather than the uncertainty that can arise and distract in the process of completing a large real estate development.
Hubrich Contracting, Inc.
Hubrich Contracting, Inc., located in Durham, NC, has pioneered a different type of relationship with their charter school clients. They create mutually beneficial projects through careful planning, design, and hands on oversight, which helps their clients avoid the typical pitfalls sometimes associated with contractin and development.
Steve Hubrich and his team built all three schools that comprise the K-12 Voyager Academy in Durham, NC (the middle school in 2007, the high school in 2011, and the elementary school in 2012). This will be the fourth charter school construction project our Managing Director, Leslie Paynter, will work with the Hubrich Contracting team. Leslie said, "Knowing that we will have Steve’s vast knowledge and experience in charter school construction, in addition to the local aspect, brings me great relief and security." You can learn more about Hubrich Contracting at https://www.hubrichcontracting.com/ourwork.html.