• 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.

    Steven Norris, Director

    Steven Norris, a North Carolina native, is a father, a husband, and a nationally recognized REALTOR, having been named into the National Association of REALTORs Hall of Fame. He is co-author of the book “Winning Real Estate: 9 Secrets to Success from Industry Pros”, and was named the region’s most innovative REALTOR.

    “I am so very honored to be able to help lead and shape such an innovative and student focused school. Growing up, the traditional model never did work for me, as I needed a way to explore and learn in a way that challenged me and did not force me into the “box”. When I learned of Achievement Charter Academy, I knew that this was a special school that is exactly the place that would have been perfect for me. I wanted to be able to give back and make sure that these kids, who are our future leaders, have exactly what they need to thrive and take the reins of this world that we are the current stewards of.

    “In the words of the late, great Whitney Houston, I believe that children are our future, so it is up to all of us to teach them well and let them lead the way. “


    Anna Miller, Director

    Anna Spell Miller is a fundraising executive at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC, the largest and longest-serving hunger relief organization in the state and the 2020 Feeding America Food Bank of the Year. Anna has more than 20 years of nonprofit and fundraising experience in human services, the arts, and education. Anna and her partner Mike live in Raleigh with their two active teenagers. The family enjoys healthy competition with frequent game nights or a round of tennis and finds their peace and connection with annual trips to the NC mountains.

    Born and raised in North Carolina, Anna was honored to be an NC Teaching Fellow at Meredith College before finding her way into the nonprofit sector where she continues her personal mission of helping others reach their potential. She received a master’s degree in public administration from High Point University and a Bachelor of Arts in politics and women’s studies from Meredith College.

    “I am excited to join the dedicated Board of Achievement Charter Academy and hope my skill set and experience can support the growth and enrichment of this unique school.”


    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. 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. 

    A special called meeting of the ACA Board has been scheduled for Thursday, April 25 at 5pm.  Regularly scheduled Board of Director Meetings are held in person at Buttonwood Ct. on the third Thursday of each month at 5pm. Meetings can be accessed online using this Zoom link.  Password: 219743

    Click here for more information on our 2023-24 board meeting dates.