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Bradford Preparatory School

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Stephen Gay, Executive Director
Stephen Gay joins Bradford Prep as Executive Director and brings 30+ years of educational experience. Stephen is a graduate of NC State with a BS in Secondary Math Education. Stephen’s administrative training occurred at Appalachian State University, earning a Master’s in School Leadership, an EdS. in School Administration, and coursework towards his EdD. Stephen’s educational journey has spanned over thirty years. He taught high school math at Hickory High and became an administrator with Hickory Public Schools and was the bus coordinator for the district. In 1999, Stephen helped open American Renaissance Middle School in Statesville as the first Principal. In 2007, ARMS was the first charter school in NC to merge with another charter to form American Renaissance School, which continues to thrive in downtown Statesville. In 2013, Stephen joined East Wake Academy as their Superintendent where he oversaw the growth of the school and six consecutive years of growth prior to the COVID Pandemic. With twenty-plus years in charter schools, Stephen has had the opportunity to work with and for so many great educators, but he is most proud of the many opportunities put in place for kids to find success. Stephen has been married for thirty-one years and lives in Statesville. Stephen and wife, Kathleen both graduated from NC State and are both educators. They have three grown children.Family is important to both of them, and they live by the motto "family first."

Kelly Painter, Director of Academics
Kelly, co-founder of the school, holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, a minor in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling. Prior to beginning her graduate work, Kelly was the Director of the non-profit organization, Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation. During her graduate work at UNC Charlotte, Kelly worked in the Department of Special Education as a graduate assistant for a federal grant program focused on developing a literacy curriculum for students with moderate and severe disabilities. Kelly completed her counseling practicum and internships in the Cabarrus County Schools and then went on to work as a school counselor in Cabarrus County. Kelly and her three children live in Charlotte.

Karin Drescher, Director of Operations
Co-founder of the school, Karin holds a Bachelors of Science in Marketing Management. While Kelly manages the academic side of the school, Karin handles the business side of running the organization. She spent most of her professional years in Information Technology before developing a food service business from the ground up. Karin has led the facility development effort for the school as well as the enrollment process and has overseen the technology program. Karin and her husband James have four children, three girls, and a boy, and live in Highland Creek.

Brenda Robinson, Finance Director
Brenda Robinson graduated from Springfield (MA) College with her Bachelor's degree in Education. She was certified in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Middle/High School Math. Brenda taught elementary school for one year then became a High School Dorm Head and math tutor at Northfield Mt. Hermon School for five years. She spent 31 years at Green Acres School- a K-8 brain-based learning school in MD. There she taught MS math for ten years before going into administration. She was the Business Manager at Green Acres for her last 14 years there. Brenda came to Bradford in its inaugural year and lives in Harrisburg with her husband, Rick. She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Billie Little, Upper School Principal
Billie Little earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in History from Queens College in 1987 and her Master's of Arts degree in School Administration from Gardner-Webb University in 2007. She taught Social Studies for 18 years at East Mecklenburg High School before becoming the Instructional Accountability Facilitator at EMHS. After serving as the IAF for three years, she became Dean of Students. Billie coached cheerleading, volleyball, basketball, and softball during her time at EMHS. In 2012 she accepted the position of Assistant Principal of Instruction at EMHS where she remained until she retired in 2017 after 30 years at East Mecklenburg HS. Billie joined the staff at Bradford Prep in July as the PowerSchool Data Manger and moved recently into the position of Upper School Principal. Billie lives in Matthews with her husband and three children, Olen, Hannah, and Luke. In her free time, she enjoys cheering for her children at their athletic events, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Sulayman Kadir, 7th-8th Grade Principal
Mr. Kadir graduated with a BA in History from UNC-Pembroke and a Masters in School Administration from UNC Gardner Webb.  Teacher License Status:  Standard Professional. He has received certifications in IBMYP World History, AP US History, and AP World History. 
Stephanie Baucom, 5th-6th Grade Principal
Stephanie Baucom graduated with her Bachelor’s in Middle Grades Education from Appalachian State University and her Master’s in Elementary Education from Wingate University. She earned her administrative licensure from High Point University. Stephanie has taught middle grades through college students, ESL students, math and social studies classes in CMS, Stanly Community College, and Cabarrus County Schools. Stephanie has joined our team this year as the Middle School Assistant Principal. Stephanie lives in Harrisburg with her husband Chad and their 3 children Kylie, CJ, and Cooper who also attend Bradford. Stephanie enjoys time with her family, sports, and trips to the beach.
Chris Locke, Lower School Principal
Chris has a  BA in Childhood Education with a MAEd in Curriculum and Instructional Design. He began his career as a lower school teacher in the Charlotte area and then came to Bradford when it first opened. He taught Middle School History for two years at Bradford before moving into the Middle School (5-6) Principal role. For the 2017-2018 school year, he has moved into the Lower School Principal position. Chris and his wife Jessie along have identical twin boys Jackson and Brady. They keep him on his toes, and he looks forward to them one day joining the Bradford family.