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High Point Academy

School Board Info

HPA Board of Directors

The High Point Academy Board of Directors is a panel of nine elected or appointed officials. Board positions are staggered two-year terms with seats up for election each spring. Those who serve on the school board are either elected by parents, High Point Academy faculty and staff, or are appointed by current members. Each family of an enrolled student at High Point Academy receives one vote per the number of children enrolled.

Top from left: Matt Nestberg, Jack Bellaire, Josh Purser, Kyle Waltz
Bottom from left: Ann Marie Israel, Genna-Jo Parker, Debbie Wright, Leteka Benson, Amanda Ewin

Those who serve on the Board do so because they care about providing quality education for students. Therefore, the Board of Directors asks for your support in meeting our shared goal of educational excellence at High Point Academy. Most regularly scheduled board meetings are on the fourth Monday of the month, at 6:00 p.m., and are open to the public. All discussions are held in the open, except for executive sessions. Meetings are held in the administrative common area on the HPA campus.

Current Board Members:

Genna-Jo Parker - Chairman

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Genna-Jo brings a passion for loving others to the High Point Academy Board of Directors. She is dedicated to working as a collaborative unit to achieve whatever is needed for our school's students, staff, and families. She brings an attention to detail and a sharp sense of organization to the board. In most cases, Genna-Jo says she likes to think things through before making a decision. She also strives to see things from all perspectives. Genna-Jo is originally from Virginia but moved to the Upstate of South Carolina during her childhood. A mother of three sons, one of her favorite experiences is visiting the African safari. Genna-Jo enjoys going to concerts, volunteering, and going to Clemson football games in her spare time. She also competes in triathlons. 

Matt Nestberg - Vice Chairman

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With a degree in Education, Matt is passionate about caring for people and nurturing relationships. A strategic thinker, he endeavors to face challenges and conflicts in a way that builds others up and creates opportunities to find healing and resolution. His desire for HPA is to create an environment for students and teachers alike to grow in their relationships and foster a sense of community. Matt has lived in the Upstate his entire life and is married to Katie. They have three children, Jake, Molly, and Andy. They love to travel, especially to the American West and the National Parks. Matt enjoys roasting coffee, reading, hunting, gardening, and also cares for honeybees. Matt is currently the Pastor of Counseling Ministries at North Hills Church in Taylors.  

Ann Marie Israel - Treasurer

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[email protected]

Ann Marie Israel looks to bring an analytical style of reasoning and effectiveness to the HPA Board of Directors. Her professional success has come with multiple start-up businesses. Currently, she manages the operations, human resources, and marketing campaigns for a five-store clothing chain. She believes her financial experience will allow her to look at things from an operational standpoint and understand the impact on the organization. Ann Marie is passionate about bringing the very best educators to High Point Academy and equipping them with the resources and tools they need to succeed in the classroom. She attended Wofford College and grew up in Spartanburg County. Ann Marie and her husband Brent have been married for more than 20 years and have two sons who attend HPA and a yellow lab named Charlie. On vacation, you will most likely find Ann Marie and her family in the South Carolina Low Country. Ann Marie says she is a true “boy mom” and spends many weekends at soccer games or volunteering in her local Cub Scout Troop.

Lateka Benson - Secretary

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Board member
Dr. Lateka Benson holds both a doctorate and master's degree in Theology and a second master's degree in Healthcare Administration. She grew up in Spartanburg County and now resides in Moore after living in several large cities including Richmond, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.

As a software developer and guardian ad litem, Dr. Benson brings strong listening, communication, and problem-solving skills to the table. A mother of three, she is passionate about children, education, and the positive impact she can have on their futures. Her goal as a Board member is to help develop ideas, programs, and resources that empower students to succeed beyond the classroom, whether they attend college or step into a career upon graduation. Open-minded and appreciative of others' perspectives, she values the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors to ensure every voice is heard. 

Dr. Benson's favorite vacation spot is Sweden, where her daughter played in the Gothia Soccer Cup. In addition to traveling abroad, she enjoys reading and photography.

Amanda Ewing

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Board member

Amanda Ewing earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of South Carolina and the South Carolina Honors College. She has been a pharmacy manager for 15 years. Educating students and making sure they have the resources they need is her top priority as she serves on the Board. Ewing values many different learning styles – a principle upon which High Point Academy was founded and sets it apart. She believes in teamwork and leading by example.
Ewing and her husband, Crey, have been married for 15 years and live in Boiling Springs with their two children, a son, and a daughter, who attend HPA. Her favorite thing to do is travel. She also enjoys reading, trying new foods, and watching reality tv. Ewing recently had the opportunity to ski in Colorado 13,000 feet above sea level. She says it was a fear conquering day - and an amazing experience!

Kyle Waltz

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Board member

As a mentor and manager, Kyle enjoys the energy of a motivated team. The CFO for JM Smith Corporation and Pi Kappa Alpha regional president, he looks for ways to inspire and give back - finding pride in the success of his employees and colleagues. He is a CPA and previously served as an auditor at an international accounting firm and Fortune 500 company.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, he now lives with his wife Leslie in Simpsonville, where they often foster schnauzers. They enjoy golf, tennis, and travel. Amelia Island, Aruba, and South Africa are among their favorite destinations. 

Debbie Wright

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Board member

Throughout her career, Debbie Wright has been blessed to serve in various roles that help her serve the students, faculty, and parents at HPA. She has worked in education for more than 30 years as a teacher, reading interventionist, instructional coach, assistant principal, principal, Dean of Curriculum, and educational consultant. “I have a unique perspective to view the issues through the lens of a parent, teacher, and administrator,” says the long-time educator.

Born in Asheboro, North Carolina, she now lives in Lyman, South Carolina. She believes HPA has so much to celebrate but must always keep looking forward, improving, and never forgetting why we are here - to serve our students. Married with two children, she is "Gigi” to four wonderful grandsons. While her favorite place to live is in the Upstate, she and her husband love to travel.  She also enjoys reading, spending time with her family and friends, and thrift shopping.  Debbie says, "I just love bargains!"

Josh Purser

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Board member

Josh is a lifelong resident of the Upstate, growing up in Boiling Springs, where he now lives with his wife, April, a teacher at High Point Academy, and two children, who are HPA students. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of a concrete floor company, having served as a construction project manager for many years. His greatest strengths are working with a team to get things done and a willingness to go the extra mile to help ensure the future success of HPA. Josh’s mission for HPA aligns with our mission to create a foundation for students that lasts a lifetime. “I want to see HPA change the lives of students who may come from difficult backgrounds and for HPA to be a home where they know that they are important,” he says. Josh is a golfer and enjoys being involved in his children’s athletic endeavors.