- Chief Administrative Officer
B.A. in Education, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Helen Nance, founder and Chief Administrative Officer, graduated from Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC, where she learned early-on the value of a strong high school experience. She later furthered her education at Peace College and earned her B.A. in Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Helen spent the beginning of her career as an elementary school teacher. Then, while raising her children, she served in multiple capacities from substitute teacher to leader of PTO to president of a high school athletics booster club. She also worked as a teach/re-teach specialist, English as a Second language instructor, and as the media specialist at a local K-8 elementary school.
After her children went to college, she was very inspired by their frustration. Each called home after her first semester freshman year with the same complaint, “Mom, we’re not prepared for college.” Between her experiential knowledge, her husband’s idea of approaching Pfeiffer University as a location and partner, and her sheer determination, Helen wrote the 78-page application for Gray Stone Day School. The first year it was denied. And, much like her personality will show, Helen did not take “No” for an answer. She re-wrote the charter, re-submitted it, and was accepted the following year.
She initially served as the Chairman of the Board and later became Chief Administrative Officer at the school. Since then, Helen has presented her work at several annual NC Charter School Conferences. She has also hosted and presented at several civic or professional organizations in the state. Because the government does not provide funding for charter school buildings, Helen created the Educational Foundation campaign in 2008 that raised nearly $1.5 MM down payment to build a $7.2 MM state-of-the-art facility. In January, 2013, with the completion of an addition, the school has a nearly 63,000 square foot facility valued at $8.7 MM.
She served as Chairman of the North Carolina Charter School Advisory Board from 2013-2015. This board oversees charter schools and makes recommendations to the North Carolina State Board of Education.
Helen enjoys spending time with her husband, Jim Nance, and their 3 daughters along with their husbands and 10 grandchildren.