• 919-552-5446
  • info@achievementcharteracademy.org
  • 25 Buttonwood Court, Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526
  • ACA Board of Directors

    Ray Strain, President

    I am a strong and influential administrator known for delivering results in challenging environments with a “mission first, people always” approach. Recognized as an effective communicator and dependable team player with a history of solving complex issues using critical thinking. I have lived in Harnett County for over 20 years, I am married, and have 3 successful adult children. 

    Ryan Denney, Vice President

    Ryan is a licensed psychologist in full time clinical practice where he provides counseling and evaluation services. He earned a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from The University of Southern Mississippi and is an assistant professor in the Department of Community Care and Counseling at Liberty University. He is originally from Texas. He and his incredible wife and awesome son now live in Holly Springs, NC. He is passionate about supporting high-quality education for our children in an environment of safety, respect and kindness.

    Nancy Herrick, Director

     Founder and Director of Reality Counseling and Training Center, Nancy Herrick has served public school systems for three decades. With degrees in Sociology, Special Education, and Counseling Psychology, she will serve our board as a consultant for the Glasser Quality School process. Currently a Senior Instructor and consultant for the William Glasser Institute, she serves on the William Glasser International Board of Directors and is a contributing author to the Get Happier Project curriculum. 

    Kira Royal, Treasurer

    Kira Royal is a therapist at AHB Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness in Durham, NC. With over eight years of experience, she is passionate about encouraging adolescents, couples and families with their daily challenges and celebrating their success. Kira enjoys spending time with her clients, typically couples and families, while providing coaching strategies and coping mechanisms.

    A native of Tarboro, NC, Kira was raised by an educator and a veteran, who instilled the value of education in her at an early age. She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and holds a master’s degree in psychology from North Carolina Central University.

    In her spare time, Kira expresses her creative skill set as an event coordinator, which is a hobby that is second nature. She is also the proud Army wife of her husband, Jermaine, and a doting mother of two young children. She is an active member of her church and provides service in the community through Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

    Kira is excited to be a part of the Achievement Charter Academy family, where she is eager to use her experience with children and families to learn and support the ACA community.

    Becky Winchester, Secretary

    My name is Becky Winchester. I am an accomplished business professional with experience in operations, strategy development and execution, project management, event planning, marketing, and proposal development. I’ve spent more than 20 years in various marketing roles at public accounting firms and have been with Grant Thornton LLP for the last 10 years. Our family (husband, 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats) recently relocated from the Chicago suburbs to Apex. I’m excited to be a part of Achievement Charter Academy’s board and establish my NC roots.

    Jason Smith, Director

    My name is Jason K Smith and I am the Vice President of First Bank in Fuquay-Varina. I am also a local native to Fuquay-Varina, where I have spent most of my career in Finance. I am a devoted husband of 18 years to my beautiful wife Deidra and a father to three amazing children, Caleb, KaLeigh and Kenzie Smith. I am passionate about serving my community and have done so by volunteering as a Little league coach for baseball, softball, several travel teams and was a volunteer fire fighter for Fuquay-Varina. Also, I served on the local advisory board for United Way of the Great Triangle and I believe in volunteering and supporting the local FVHS.

    Director of Education

    Leaja Horne

     My name is Leaja Horne and I am the Director of Education at Achievement Charter Academy. I was the Board President through the school’s charter application and acceptance process. As a founder of Achievement Charter Academy, I have spent many years working with my team to create this amazing school for our community. I am married to my wonderful husband, Tommy, and we have three children Kai, Ket, and Keas ages 9, 7, and 3. We enjoy spending time together outdoors and being active. I am currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education at Liberty University. I have a BA in Psychology and English from ECU and a MA in Psychology from NCCU; I am also licensed in psychology in North Carolina. I have served families in Harnett County since 2004 in a variety of roles including Early Childhood Educator, Administrator, Assistant Director, Director of Psychology, and Principal at a small private K-12 school. I am excited and honored for the opportunity to breathe life into the ACA mission and create this school of choice for the community. The model at ACA resonates with me because I believe in the importance of developing trusting, respectful relationships, cultivating individual achievement, and providing a personalized educational experience.