Key School Staff
A Dedicated Team of Professionals
From researching physics in a nuclear laboratory, teaching English in Malaysia, developing a math dictionary, working in children's publishing, reporting on television, being foster parents, to running the Boston marathon in record time, our faculty brings a variety of valuable experiences and insights to Key School.
With a commitment to professional development, our highly trained teachers use a unified, intentional, cohesive approach. Dedicated and caring, Key's teachers are committed to helping children become successful students.
Every teacher at Key School is Orton-Gillingham-trained. Each language teacher has completed a rigorous, supervised clinical teaching experience to ensure a high level of compentancy with multisensory structured language instructional principles. Math teachers are trained in the multisensory math principles and approach. Both language and math teachers use a five-step Orton-Gillingham-based lesson plan which includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic teaching and ample review and reinforcement in a teaching-for-mastery environment.
Key School provides its own teacher training to all faculty, under the supervision of a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). Key uses the curriculum standards of AOGPE and is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). Teachers are in the mindset of continuous improvement and lifelong learning. Two-thirds of the faculty have passed a national certifying examination and are credentialed at the Certified Academic Language Practitioner level or the Certified Academic Language Therapist level.
B.S., Biological Sciences, Rutgers University
Kristin Averell teaches Grade 4 in the Key School and offers Lower School Study Support. She joined the CDS faculty in 2017.
Get to know Kristin Averell:
Kristin attended Rutgers University where she earned a B.S. in the Biological Sciences. Her first job out of college was piloting a program to bring advanced science concepts into (K-8) schools in the Philadelphia area. She was an amateur "Bill Nye" and even traveled around town with a tarantula in tow.
After earning her M.A in Communicative Disorders from West Chester University, she accepted a position at an independent school in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she both taught and provided speech and language services to children with profound hearing deficits.
Kristin then migrated to the hospital setting, where she launched a pediatric speech and language program which served a wide range of children, from at-risk newborns to teens with traumatic brain injuries. She also became part of the state’s early-intervention program, First Steps. It was during these years that she learned to never underestimate brain plasticity and the power of the human spirit.
Her love for the coast next took her to Wilmington, North Carolina, where she has resided for the past 9 years. It was there that she homeschooled her children (K-7th grade) and practiced privately as a speech-language pathologist. Kristin became a pro-bono child advocate for families in the local school districts, ensuring that her clients received appropriate services and accommodations.
It was during these years that she began to appreciate the undeniable connection between language and literacy disorders. A life-long learner, she was inspired to further her knowledge of the latter and pursued Orton-Gillingham training through the Hill Center in Durham.
When her husband accepted a position in Asheville, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to take classes at the renowned Key Learning Center. It didn’t take long for her to become enamored with the brilliant staff and inclusive culture at the KLC and Carolina Day.
Kristin’s life has come full circle as she is once again teaching at an independent school. She could not be more excited to be part of such a child-centered community.
When not working, Kristin values time with her beautiful family, being outside, and reading (of course!).
“Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.” -John Adams (1765)