Meet our first grade teachers
Kathie Fansler – First Grade Teacher
Kathie is thrilled to spend her day in the company of the children and teachers at the Arts Based School. She loves teaching first grade because she enjoys helping children develop confidence as readers, learners, and artists. Mrs. Fansler brings to the classroom a wealth of experience in private, public, and charter schools, and she has experience working with learners in Kindergarten through eighth grade. Mrs. Fansler is a lifelong learner. She is an experienced Orton-Gillingham tutor, as well as a graduate student, and a music student. She loves to sew and quilt, write, play music, travel, and read. She lives in Winston Salem with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
Nicole Whitaker – First Grade Assistant
Nicole is excited to be returning to the role of assistant teacher at ABS! Originally from Texas, educated in New Zealand, she has enjoyed many roles as part of the ABS community since her move to Winston-Salem in 2005. She loves to cook, dance, and travel and is lucky to be joined by her husband and two (ABS-alumni) children on her journeys.
Nicole Howard – First Grade Teacher
Nicole feels blessed to celebrate her 5th year teaching 1st grade at the Arts Based School. Her family feels most fortunate to have joined the inspired ABS community. She especially loves supporting young learners as they make daily discoveries about how they learn and what they know. In addition to participating in the many activities of her four children, Mrs. Howard enjoys playing soccer, photography, cooking, and hiking.
Melissa Scott – First Grade Teacher Assistant
As a parent to two Arts Based School students, Melissa has seen how children bloom here and is honored to join the ABS team as a teaching assistant. She has a BA in Communications from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Masters in School Counseling from CUNY-Hunter College. For the past two years, Melissa has been a preschool music teacher and loves to sing and write silly songs. Melissa’s favorite things: her family & friends, hiking to waterfalls, and homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Sherrell McArthur – First Grade Teacher
As a lover of life, Sherrell enjoys finding new ways to connect with people and new ways to eat more healthful foods! Sherell is passionate about seeing people at their best. Eating healthful earth foods and sharing joy are two ways she likes to share love. Sherell has extended her arms into the community through after school programs, summer camps, Winston Salem’s visual arts center, and more. This year Sherell has a renewed anticipation for meeting new families, colleagues, and learners all around our school.
Dawanna Benjamin – First Grade Assistant
Dawanna is overjoyed to be with Arts Based School as an assistant for the twelfth year. She has one son that is an alumni of Arts Based School and enjoys African dancing, yoga and spending time with her family and friends.