Our Leaders

Jennifer Killen, Head of School, is committed to serving Piedmont’s staff, students and parents daily. She strives to have a servant leadership style. Every student matters every day, so Mrs. Killen is very focused on individual student achievement and growth. It is a strong asset to her leadership to have the perspectives gained from serving Piedmont as a substitute teacher, teacher assistant, teacher, curriculum coordinator, Assistant Managing Director, Elementary Director and Head of School. With 18 years experience at PCCS, a Bachelors in Business Administration from USC-Upstate and a Master’s Degree in School Administration from the University of Phoenix, Mrs. Killen has the wisdom needed to lead Piedmont. Our Head of School is an instructional leader who uses data heavily to make informed program planning decisions.

Holly White, Elementary Director, is originally from Ohio, where she graduated in 2003 from Mount Union College with a degree in Middle Childhood Education. She has a master’s degree from Western Carolina University in School Administration. Mrs. White taught Language Arts for 8 years in middle school, three of those years at PCCS. Whether as a Challenge Foundation Fellow, an assistant director at the secondary campus, an assistant director at the elementary campus or as her current role of Elementary Director, Mrs. White brings proven leadership skills and expertise to Piedmont.

Kayla Woods, Elementary Assistant Director, is originally from Iowa, where she graduated in 2012 from Iowa State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish. In 2017, she earned her Master’s degree from Drake University in PK-12 Education Leadership. Mrs. Woods started her career in education as a high school Spanish teacher and then a middle school Spanish teacher. She has thoroughly enjoyed her transition into leadership and looks forward to many more years at Piedmont.  

Sheila Richards, Middle School Director, graduated from Canisius College in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a concentration in English and relocated to North Carolina to teach in Cleveland County. In 2008, she completed her master’s degree in school administration from Gardner-Webb University. She joined PCCS in 2012 as an 8th grade Science teacher and in 2013 became the Assistant Director of the elementary campus and remained there until May 2020. She currently serves as the Middle School director.

David Benfield, Middle School Assistant Director, This is his 17th year in education, having spent 13 years in the classroom as a middle school and high school band director. He received his bachelor’s degree in instrumental music education from Western Carolina University in 2002 as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow and completed his master’s degree in School Administration in 2019 from UNC Charlotte. Mr. Benfield looks forward to working with Piedmont families and helping to prepare students for a successful future!

Ernie Bridges, High School Director, is the former Highland School of Technology Health Sciences Academy Coordinator. Mr. Bridges has 16 years experience of leadership in high school administrative roles. His strong background in Science paired with his commitment to academic excellence is a huge asset to Piedmont. His commitment to well-rounded programs shines when you consider his love of sports as he was voted Conference Coach of the Year in 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006 and 2007 for Girls Basketball. With a master’s degree in school administration from Gardner Webb University and 28 years of experience as an educator, we are so pleased to have him on our team.

Pamela Huffstetler, High School Assistant Director, She has over 20 years experience in education with specialized degrees in school administration and instructional technology. Previously she was the Assistant Principal for both Pleasant Ridge Elementary School and Ashbrook High School. She has also been the Director of Testing for Gaston County. As a community leader, Mrs. Huffstetler has been on Gaston College’s Career and College Promise Advisory Board, a Virtual Learning Study Team, Gaston County’s School Technology Review Committee, and much more.

Colton Ballard, High School Assistant Director, is an Assistant Director at the High School Campus. He has served as a teacher at PCCS and thoroughly enjoys being a part of the Patriot Family.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in History from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master’s degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.