2023-24 PTO Board Members
Principal: Jaime Tecza
My name is Jaime Tecza, pronounced "Teska," and I am the proud principal of J.V. Washam Elementary. A little bit about myself, the 23-24 school year will be my 7th year at Washam and 10th as a principal with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. In 2000, I moved from Erie, PA to begin my teaching career at Blythe Elementary. I was a fourth and fifth-grade teacher for 7 years before earning a fellowship called the North Carolina Principal Fellowship Award. This allowed me to go back to school full-time to learn how to be a school administrator. During my final year of earning my administrative degree, I worked at Bradley Middle as the 6th-grade administrator/Principal Intern from 2007-2008. Upon graduating from UNC Charlotte with my Masters of School Administration, I was hired as the Dean of Students at Davidson IB Middle School and served in that position from 2008-2010. I then moved to Cabarrus County where I worked for four years as both the Assistant Principal and Assistant Principal of Instruction at Boger Elementary and Irvin Elementary, respectively. My last role was at University Park Creative Arts where I served as the proud principal for 3 years. I am the lucky husband of Cathy, who is a Talent Development Teacher in CMS, and the proud father of Emmie (14) Nicole (11), Ben (7), and fur baby, Ripley (2). Needless to say, most of my free time is spent with my kids and I wouldn't have it any other way. When I can find the time, I love to golf, hike, and watch any Pittsburgh sports. I look forward to working with you all to continue making J.V. Washam Elementary a top school in North Carolina. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Co-President: Jen Hendrickson
Jen has one daughter who is beginning 6th grade at Bailey Middle and a second daughter in 3rd grade at J.V Washam. This is her 4th year serving on the PTO Board, and has previously enjoyed volunteering her time on many Washam committees. Jen is a Midwest girl, born in Indiana and a graduate from Purdue University. She is a stay at home mom and very excited to continue to serve on the J.V. Washam PTO Board.
Co-President: Emily Bixler
My name is Emily Bixler, I have a son in the 6th grade at Lake Norman Charter and a daughter in the third grade. I am originally from Chicago but grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida. I attended Florida Atlantic University before moving to North Carolina in 2001. This is my third year serving on the board previously I was VP of fundraising for two years, I have also been a room parent, co chaired the fall festival and helped with spirit wear. When I am not volunteering at Washam, I am the Liturgy Coordinator at St Mark Catholic Church in Huntersville . I am looking forward to another awesome year partnering with the admin team, teachers, staff and families at Washam!
Treasurer: Christy Clarke
Christy’s son, Finn is a third grader at JV Washam. She also has a five year old, Charlotte, and a two year old, Reid. She is originally from the St Louis area but has lived in the Charlotte area for over ten years. She graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Finance and Banking from the University of Missouri and went on to earn her Masters of Science in Accountancy from Gardner-Webb University. She currently works as a CPA in public accounting at a local firm.
This will be her third year serving on the PTO Board.
Co-VP of Fundraising: Adriane Ovcharenko
Adriane has two sons; one a third grader at Washam, and the other a kindergartener. Adriane was born and raised in Florida. She attended Florida State University and received her Juris Doctorate at Stetson University College of Law. Adriane left her legal career in Florida and has been a stay at home mom since moving to North Carolina. This is her second year serving on the PTO and is looking forward to another successful year at J.V. Washam!
Co-VP of Fundraising: Marissa Suarez
Marissa has a daughter who is a Junior at Davidson College and a daughter who is entering 3rd Grader at Washam.
She has resided in the Lake Norman area for 2 years after relocating from Miami, Florida and worked in the hospitality industry for 24 years. This is her first year on the PTO board and is looking forward to a fun and exciting year at Washam!
Secretary: Katie Sandler
Katie has a daughter who is going to be a 3rd grader and a son who is going to be a 1st grader at Washam. She has lived in the Lake Norman area for the past 18 years, moving to the area after receiving her Masters degree in Teaching at Duke University, though she’s a UNC Tarheel at heart. Katie grew up in California and Asheville, North Carolina. She spent several years teaching at Mooresville High School before becoming an Education Consultant with Discovery Education, working with teachers and students all over the nation. Katie currently works remotely and locally training educators and writing content for the website. Katie has volunteered on several committees and has been a room parent at Washam, this is her first year on the board. She is looking forward to learning and growing during another great year at Washam!
Co-VP of Communications: Melissa McLeod
Melissa has a son who is starting 7th grade at Bailey and a daughter who is going to be a 4th grader at Washam. She has lived in the Lake Norman area for the past 18 years, moving to the area after receiving her Bachelors at East Carolina University. Melissa grew up in Pennsylvania and Connecticut but North Carolina is where she calls home. She spent several years in sales before deciding to be a stay at home mom shortly after her daughter was born. Melissa has been on several committees and a room parent every year her children have been at Washam, this is her second year on the board. She is looking forward to another great year at Washam!
Co-VP of Communications: Deedra Grandelli
Deedra has a son who will be in second grade this year and a daughter in Kindergarten. She is originally from the Philadelphia area but moved down to North Carolina last year with her husband and children. (She still misses the cold though). She graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelors of Art and went on to University of the Arts to earn a degree in photography. She currently works as a family and wedding photographer.
This is her second year serving on the PTO Board and is truly excited to be a part of the community.
VP of Public Relations: Brian Nelson
Brian and his family moved to NC from Indiana in 2017. He and his wife, Jill, have a 5th grade son and 3rd grade daughter at Washam. He holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical and computer engineering technology from Purdue University. Professionally, Brian is a renewable energy segment leader, displaying a fervent passion for energy, effective teamwork, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. When he’s not looking for opportunities to see live music with his family, he is trying to defend his home from future pets as his wife has already brought home eight. This is Brian’s first year on the board and is looking forward to a great year!
Co-VP of Volunteers: Lynn Bettencourt Keith
Lynn has Irish twins at Washam, in 2nd and 3rd grades. A native of Massachusetts, she graduated from the University of Southern Maine before moving to Los Angeles. After LA she bounced to Savannah, GA to be with the love of her life and start a family. Then realizing they missed city life, found their way to Charlotte. A lover of reading, theater, and adventures, she's excited for the year to come.
Co-VP of Volunteers: Erica Johnson
Erica has a daughter in the 4th grade and a son in the 2nd grade at J.V. Washam. Erica was born and raised in Charlotte. She attended UNCC and received a BA in Health Communication and Gerontology. Prior to becoming a stay at home mom, Erica worked in the pharmaceutical industry and with oncology patients. Erica has enjoyed volunteering and getting involved at J.V. Washam the past few years. This is her first year serving on the PTO Board and she is so excited to be a part of this great community!