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Our Leadership

“We’re really doing a good job of building people.” – Superintendent Cheryl Turner

At Sugar Creek Charter School, we pride ourselves on cultivating and promoting exceptional educators from within.

Cheryl Turner


When did you first come to Sugar Creek? March 2001

What other rolls have you had at Sugar Creek? Principal, School Director

Why Sugar Creek? I identify with and am deeply committed to the mission of Sugar Creek. I know that a solid educational foundation along with life skills can put a student on the trajectory to change their economic situation. When that happens, the foundation is set to improve the circumstances of future generations. I want to be a part of setting that process in motion for as many families as possible.

Formal Education: BA - University of Maryland - Government and Public Administration, Seton Hall University - MAED - School Administration Gardner- Webb University ABD Ed.D in School Administration

Most impactful educational experience outside the classroom: The non- classroom experience that has most impacted how I functioned as a teacher and now as an administrator was raising a child with mental health challenges. Over those years I not only learned a lot about empathy, but I also became familiar with diagnosis and treatment, medication implications and how to access much needed services and resources. All of this has helped me to understand the need for and value of SEL support in the school. Consequently, at SCCS see these services as essential and are willing to make other sacrifices to include them in our budget. Sugar Creek has 2 social workers, 8 school counselors, and 4 character education teachers. Their work is central to our mission and totally integrated into our academic program.

Celeste Sundo

Deputy Superintendent

When did you first come to Sugar Creek? I started at SCCS in 1999 as a founding Lead Teacher in 2nd Grade. I was one of the first employees hired at SCCS.

What other rolls have you had at Sugar Creek? Founding 2nd Grade Lead Teacher, 3rd Grade Lead Teacher, Curriculum Facilitator, Director Of Professional Development & Licensure Specialist, Deputy Superintendentr

Why Sugar Creek? Honestly, I chose Sugar Creek because the advertisement in the Charlotte Observer back in 1999 caught my eye. I had taught for two neighboring school districts and was in the process of changing careers due to those negative experiences. I decided to give Sugar Creek Charter a chance. That was the best decision I have ever made. Being a part of this school from the very beginning matters a great deal to me.

Formal Education: Slippery Rock University, BSEd in Elementary Education; University Of Cincinatti; Cincinatti, OH; Master's of Education, Gardner-Webb University, EdD ABD in Curriculum and Instruction (2016-2019)

Most impactful educational experience outside the classroom: I've had so many wonderful experiences outside of the classroom that have helped set the stage or guide me as a classroom educator. One key experience was when I worked for an outdoor environmental education camp. During both my junior and senior years of high school I was chosen to lead groups of 5th Grade students in my school district on outdoor learning experiences. I took groups of students and their teachers on hikes and taught environmental education mini-lessons during each hike. This one experience cemented for me that I wanted to be a teacher.

Melissa Gaddy

  • Chief of Academic Affairs

When did you first come to Sugar Creek? My employment at SCCS started in July 2016

What other rolls have you had at Sugar Creek? 7th grade ELA Teacher, 6th Grade ELA Teacher, 6th Grade Lead Teacher, 6th Grade Instructional Coach, Middle School ELA Curriculum Facilitator, Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Chief of Academic Affairs

Why Sugar Creek? Sugar Creek Mission is a direct alignment with why I became a teacher in 2007. I have been committed to supporting my community through education since I left college. When I found Sugar Creek, I knew that I had found a home filled with likeminded educators committed to the of improving the lives of disenfranchised populations by exposing them tothe quality education that they deserve.

Formal Education: BA in English Education

Most impactful educational experience outside the classroom: I think that the work that I am able to do in the arena of developing teachers and leaders has been very impactful outside of the classroom. I must say, inside the classroom is my happy place. Within every position that I've had at SCCS, I always make it a point to teach students. To me, the real work is done in the classroom, and I never want to lose sight of that. It's the work I do and see in the classroom that keeps me rooted in my why.

Richard Russell

Elementary School Principal

When did you first come to Sugar Creek? I first came to SCCS in August of 2002

What other rolls have you had at Sugar Creek? In-house Substitute, Instructional Assistant, ISS Teacher, Soccer Coach, Cross Country Coach, 2nd Grade Teacher, 3rd Grade Teacher, 5th Grade Lead Teacher, interventionist Teacher, Intervention Coordinator, Read To Achieve Coordinator, Curriculum Facilitator, Accreditation Coordinator, and Elementary Principal.

Why Sugar Creek? I choose SCCS because I want all our students to complete the Mission of eradicating generational poverty for themselves and their families through education.

Formal Education: BA in Elementary Education Belmont Abbey College, Masters in the Science of Elementary Education from Pfeiffer University, and Administration license from Gardner Webb University.

Most impactful educational experience outside the classroom: The most impactful experience I've had outside of the classroom has been fulfilling the role of Elementary Principal, where I have had the honor of serving all SCCS Stakeholders for the last seven year. Go Wildcats!

Brandy Morrison

Middle School School Principal

When did you first come to Sugar Creek? I began my journey with Sugar Creek in 2023.

What other rolls have you had at Sugar Creek?I am currently the proud Middle School Principal. That has been my only role at SugarCreek.

Why Sugar Creek? Sugar Creek Charter is rooted in values and principles that align with my personal mission. I truly believe that all students can learn and with that knowledge they can forever change the trajectory of their lives and their families lives. Sugar CreekCharter provides students, staff, parents, and the community with resources and a sense of safety and security that allows for academic greatness. Sugar Creek caters to the whole person preparing them for life's challenges and successes. .

Formal Education: Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts, Bachelors in Business Studies, Master in Educational Leadership, NC Certified Business Education Teacher, NC Certified Principal Certification. .

Most impactful educational experience outside the classroom: I completed a Spanish Immersion Simulation that transformed my educational career. I had the pleasure of participating in a day in the life of a Hispanic student who was new to the country and spoke only Spanish. As I speak English, everyone around me spoke Spanish and all the resources and signs were in Spanish. I felt that the world around me was happening, yet I was not a part of it. Not because I did not want to or did not have the capabilities to, but simply because I did not understand the language. It was then I made the decision to ensure that in my practice, I would make every effort to ensure every student not only understands and learns the lesson but that each student feels valued and their family is supported. I began tosee each student as I had never seen them before. I became a more self-aware, reflective, and intentional educator.

Jamaal Young

High School School Principal

When did you first come to Sugar Creek? I first came to Sugar Creek Charter School in 2006.

What other rolls have you had at Sugar Creek? During my time Sugar Creek Charter School I have served in the capacity of 7th and 8th grade middle school history teacher, Lead Teacher, Middle School Coordinator, 21st century after school program director for C.A.T.S Academy, Middle School Civics and Economics teacher, High School Dean of Students/Instructional Coach, High School Assistant Principal, High School Principal

Why Sugar Creek? What connects me to Sugar Creek Charter School is the mission statement of the school, the vision of our superintendent, Ms. Turner, the teachers that I have worked with throughout the years, the students, and the commitment to creating an environment that understands the value and importance of a quality learning environment for students.

Formal Education: Bachelor Degree in History, Johnson C. Smith, Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Phoenix, Master of Science in Educational Leadership & School Administration form Walden University.

Most impactful educational experience outside the classroom: My most impactful experience outside of the classroom was several years ago when I started a non profit organization with several individuals called Men of Excellence and we were able to feed the homeless and provide toiletries during covid. We have been able to sponsor several families for the past three years for Thanksgiving at different schools, and donate culturally relevant books to a school as well.

Marcella Elijah

Director of Exceptional Children

When did you first come to Sugar Creek? 2023 is my first year at Sugar Creek Charter. However, I am not new to the world of Education. I have worked in education for more than 30 years. I have held such positions as teacher assistant, teacher, new teacher mentor, facilitator, assistant principal and area coordinator.

What other rolls have you had at Sugar Creek? Director of Exceptional Children

Why Sugar Creek? I chose Sugar Creek because it embodies my believe that " empowering kids to become productive, confident and eager to change the world are paramount.

Formal Education: Bachelor's in special education k-12 from Winston-Salem State University. Masters in school administration k-12 from Gardner Webb University from Boiling Springs. ED.S in curriculum and Supervision and Leadership from Capella University.

Most impactful educational experience outside the classroom:The most impactful experience I have had outside the classroom has been the ability to meet and collaborate with amazing people and stakeholders that embrace the love of children in their day-to-day interactions. Those experiences will always drive my work at Sugar Creek. I am honor to have this opportunity. Let's Go!!