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.
Nancy Herrick, Vice President
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.
Cindy Pierce, Secretary
My name is Cindy Pierce and I have a Master’s Degree in Horticultural Science with emphasis in Entomology from North Carolina State University. I worked for 10 years in Agricultural Research at N.C. State. I am currently in my 15th year as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist with the Harnett County Health Dept. My husband Gary and I have one son Bo who has been the beneficiary of a fantastic foundation through instruction under the Choice Theory and Glasser model.
Barbara Marchioni, Treasurer
My name is Barbara Marchioni and I was born and raised in Willow Springs/Fuquay Varina. I attended local public schools and graduated from Campbell University with a degree in Sociology/Social Work. I was a social worker for 20 years in the growing nursing home business. Presently, I am a Real Estate Broker in Fuquay Varina, which has been my career for the last 20 years.
I have been married for 44 years and have 4 adult children and twin grandsons. Over the years, I have served on various community/school committees and boards. I am presently serving on The Fuquay Varina Planning Board and the Board of Peak Charter Academy in Apex and am greatly involved in various positions at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Fuquay Varina.
The Fuquay Varina area is so dear to me. I am excited to be a part of the Achievement Charter Academy! As a parent, I have always been involved in the public schools…this is our future!
Kira Royal, Director
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.
Michael Payne, Director
I am Michael Payne. I am Married to my beautiful wife Chrissy Payne, together we have an incredible son named Jaxon Jordan Payne. I am a man of faith. We are originally from Aurora, IL. We have been in NC for almost 10 years.
I have a BS in IT Software Engineering and a minor in Management. I am an IT Manager for Align Technologies for the last 4 years. I have been in IT for around 12 years. Prior to my IT Career, I was an Electrician for about 10 years. I am a man of many trades.
Our hobbies are working on our house. We love to make old things new and beautiful. We also love creating things together. I am new to ACA, and I love the vision of the people that help bring this great environment together. I will do anything in my power to ensure the kids and the parents have a great experience with ACA as well. I look forward to serving on the board of ACA.
Ryan Denney, Director
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.
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.
Becky Winchester, Director
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.
Director of Education