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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.

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 HPA Board Room on the campus.

Current Board Members:

Rob Gouge - Board Chair

Rob Gouge
Board Chair
[email protected]

Rob Gouge brings a “big picture” idea to the High Point Academy Board of Directors. His passion for doing things in the right manner drives his desire to lead our school into the future. He believes his ability to apply practical knowledge and wisdom to situations will help create better relationships throughout the school and our community. Rob enjoys interacting with people and connecting with them on a personal level. Mr. Gouge is a pastor and works to teach and share God’s word. Rob is a native of Hampstead, Maryland, and has lived in both Carolinas; however, he now calls Spartanburg home. He says this is his favorite place to live because of its proximity to “so many great places and things to do.” He’s been happily married to his wife Sharon for nearly 30 years. The couple has two children Josiah, and Lauren. In his spare time, Rob enjoys cooking, gardening, and remodeling. His favorite vacation spot is the Smoky Mountains.

Matt Nestberg - Vice Chairman

Matt Nestberg
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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

Ann Marie Israel
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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.

Derek Hawk

Derek Hawk
Board Member
[email protected]

Originally from Southeastern Michigan, Derek Hawk now calls Spartanburg home. He aims to bring a dedication of service to all families at HPA. Derek is a Certified Financial Planner and believes his strength is “studying the numbers and situations to summarize and find a workable solution to problems.” Each day, Derek’s goal is to help families prepare and plan for the future. He brings that same passion to High Point Academy. Derek and his wife, Elizabeth, have five children. They love being a part of the HPA family and enjoy spending family time together on the coast of North Carolina at Holden Beach. In his spare time, Derek enjoys weightlifting and mountain biking. 

Scott Taylor

Scott Taylor
Board Member
[email protected]

Scott brings an analytical mind to the board to interpret data and apply it to “real world” situations for practical solutions. He is an advocate for students and believes all children should have an opportunity for quality education. Taylor has a background in electrical and computer engineering and has spent most of his career in the printing industry's IT field. Mr. Taylor is a lifelong resident of Spartanburg County and is a proud graduate of Clemson University. He is happily married and has one daughter who loves attending HPA. Scott is an active member of his church and enjoys making new memories and sharing new experiences with his wife and daughter. In his spare time, Scott enjoys collecting antique radios, photography and is an avid car enthusiast. 

Genna-Jo Parker

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Board Member
[email protected]

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. 

Eduardo Chen

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Eduardo Chen truly enjoys working with a team to advance an organization’s goals – especially involving young people. As a board member, he hopes to use his education and experience as an educator and coach to support HPA’s mission to promote academic excellence and STEAM education. Chen earned his B.S. in Engineering from Purdue University and holds an MBA from Strayer University, now serving as a college instructor and USSF Licensed Soccer Coach. He is the father of two children – a son in college and a daughter at HPA.
He enjoys inline skating, playing soccer, coaching, traveling, and cooking a variety of international foods. In addition, he has been a hockey enthusiast since his hometown days in the Washington, D.C. area. 
One of his most memorable experiences was being stuck on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean with people from different parts of the world. Chen says they all had the common goal to stay safe and support one another - while keeping their heads up, learning, and having some fun along the way! Though there were many languages spoken, making others smile and helping with a purpose were actions that created part of a common language.  

Amanda Ewing

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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!

School Board 2021-2022