Our Staff

R&S staff group photo

The diverse group that comprises the Rise & Shine staff is united in our shared passion for educating and inspiring young people. A belief that every child deserves an equal chance to learn, to explore, and to blossom drives everything we do. Each day brings a fresh excitement that's reflected in our scholars' faces as they make new discoveries and experience the joy of learning.

R&S Executive Director

SHELIA NORMAN, Executive Director

My association with Rise & Shine goes back over a decade and includes service as a volunteer fundraiser, president of the Parents' Council, and member of the Board. As a former elected member of the Transylvania County School Board and a small business owner in Brevard, I came to this leadership position with an extensive base in education and in the local community. GET IN TOUCH: shelia@riseshine.org.

R&S Program Director

WILLIAM MIlls, Program Director

As Program Director, I am grateful that God has allowed me to return to the place where I grew up and, by working with the children here, to and give back what so many before me worked so hard to give to me and others of my generation. Prior to my employment here at Rise & Shine, I served in the United States Army for over 30 years. In my current role, I assess needs, coordinate activities with the Executive Director and other staff, and ensure that program objectives are met. As well, I devote a great deal of time to collaborating with other community-based organizations, meeting with school officials, and creating innovative initiatives that will help our scholars in life.  

R&S Director of Development

tony meachum, director of development

After my retirement from 34 years as a public school administrator, I began looking for opportunities to continue helping children. When I found Rise & Shine, it immediately became clear that it was a perfect fit for me. My primary responsibility is to secure funding that will allow us to continue serving our scholars, their families, and our community, as we have done for more than two decades. A typical work week finds me writing grant proposals, calling potential donors and sponsors, planning fundraising events, and meeting with some of the many individuals and organizations that so generously support us. I am always looking for new projects that will enrich and positively impact our scholars!

R&S Office Manager


I have been a part of Rise & Shine for many years. My grandchildren attend the program, so I get multiple perspectives on the impact of our program daily! I continue to be drawn to my work here because of the value of the program to the local community. I'm responsible for maintaining financial records for Rise & Shine, and I have the great pleasure of seeing our wonderful volunteers each day when they walk through the door. As a long-time resident, I know our community well, which allows me to try to ensure that all voices are heard.

R&S Site Coordinator

Michele Weston, Site Coordinator

After attending college and working in digital services for 30 years, I returned to my native Brevard and began working with Rise & Shine in 2015. My primary role is to assist the Program Director in addressing our scholars' educational needs. Initially I supervised our middle school and high school students, and today I work with youngsters from kindergarten through fifth grade. I love and enjoy them all!

R&S Guided Reading Specialist

Laura Leatherwood, Guided Reading Specialist

I joined the Rise & Shine Program in the fall of 2016, after having taught Exceptional Children's classes at Pisgah Forest Elementary School for 28 years. As a Guided Reading Specialist, I enjoy working with the scholars and helping them increase their reading skills through the exploration of rich literature. Our small group Guided Reading sessions give the scholars an opportunity to share their own experiences as well as gain knowledge from the other scholars in the group. I hope that I can instill a love of reading in our children so that they can be successful in every stage in their lives.

R&S Intervention Specialist

Nina Rimes, Intervention Specialist & Teacher Conference Coordinator

I worked as an educator in both North Carolina and Alabama before retiring to Brevard, where I quickly discovered a multitude of volunteer opportunities. Alongside my involvement in The Children’s Center and SAFE,  I felt a strong pull to directly help the children of this community in my volunteer endeavors, and thus began my connection with Rise & Shine. As the intervention specialist, I work one on one with scholars who need extra support in reading and math. It is very rewarding to be part of the Rise & Shine team and to watch our scholars grow from year to year.


Rise & Shine/Neighbors In Ministry board members work tirelessly, devoting countless hours toward sustaining and growing our remarkable program. We supply vision, set and adopt policies, and direct our skilled and dedicated staff. We take pride in our unwavering commitment in the face of many challenges, and believe this has allowed Rise & Shine to produce exceptional results.

This is my way of changing the world
— Ruth Lentz, Treasurer
R&S Board

Judy Griffin, Chair
Maureen Copelof, Vice-Chair
Carol Dugger, Secretary
Ruth Lentz, Treasurer
Rev. Larry Davis (not pictured)
Barbara Grimm
Julie Heinitsh
Phratasia Macon
Rev. Ruth Peters