Meet our Team
Ms. Emily Eakes
Elementary Music and Band
My name is Emily Eakes and I am excited to be the general music teacher at Riverwalk Academy. I completed a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 2012 and a Masters of Music Education in 2017 from Winthrop University. I am a graduate of Clover High School where I was a member of the marching band and play the clarinet. I continue to play the clarinet with the Carolinas Wind Orchestra. I am a member of the National Association for Music Educators, South Carolina Music Educators Association, and have recently completed Orff Schulwerk Level 1. I am so excited to be joining the Riverwalk family and I look forward to meeting all my new students and their parents.
Ms. Catherine Griffith
My name is Catherine Griffith and I am very excited to be teaching Art at Riverwalk! I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Winthrop University and have over 10 years experience in the education field. I am originally from Spartanburg, SC but moved to Lake Wylie where I happily reside with my family. I am married to my best friend, Brian, and we have 3 amazing children – Lauren, William and Grace. We also have an adorable maltipoo named Bella. I spend most of my free time with my family, as I try to enjoy every minute I can (since my kids are growing up way too fast!) I also like to travel, paint, teach art lessons and relax at the beach! I can’t imagine doing anything else for a living that does not include children. It is an honor and blessing to be a part of a child’s education. I love watching each student blossom and grow in their artistic abilities throughout the school year. My hope is that each child will find their inner artist and enjoy expressing themselves and creating Art!
Ms. Karen Laster
Elementary Physical Education
Hello! My name is Karen Laster. I graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. I am originally from upstate New York. I am married to my best friend, and we have three wonderful children. I am so excited to be part of the Riverwalk Academy family!
MR. MONTY JOHNSTON
Middle School Robotics
My name is Monty Johnston and I have the privilege to teach robotics, band and to serve as financial secretary. I joined the Riverwalk team in the spring of 2016. I earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Lander University and spent the majority of my working career in performing music, including music director at church since 2010, and running pre-press operations in a print shop.
MS. Carla Sciandra - MIDDLE SCHOOL DANCE
Carla Sciandra has lived in Rock Hill since she was three years old. She graduated with a B. A. in Dance Education with SC K-12 Certification. She has taught color guard since 2005 and dance since 2007. She has worked with several middle and high schools in Rock Hill and Fort Mill. She is very excited to be at Riverwalk Academy! Carla enjoys spending her free time with her five year old pitbull, Zoey.
ms. Rachel Taylor
Hi . My name is Rachel Taylor . I am thrilled to be apart of the Riverwalk Family this year. I'm from Rock Hill and have lived here most of my life. I look forward to being apart of the great things that will happen this year at Riverwalk . I have been married to my amazing husband for a little over a year and I have a beautiful daughter and a chocolate lab named Ruger . In my free time , I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy Mexican food , going to the beach , and going to Clemson football games . Go Tigers!
Ms. Meaghan Westfall
Middle School Art
My name is Meaghan Westfall, and I am an art teacher at Riverwalk Academy. I recently received my Bachelor of Fine Arts from Winthrop University. While working towards my degree I concentrated in sculpture and printmaking. I'm from Columbia, SC and now reside in Rock Hill, SC. - middle school physical education
mr. mark wilson
Middle School Physical Education
Hi My name is Mark Wilson, I am the Physical Education teacher here at Riverwalk Academy. I am originally from the state of Michigan but spent 4 years in Indiana at Goshen College playing basketball and earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Education. After spending several years teaching and coaching elementary, middle and high school levels, I furthered my education at Winthrop University here in Rock Hill where I received my Master’s in Physical Education and met my beautiful wife Tessa. Upon graduation here, I spent 6 years starting/building one of the largest and most successful after school/summer camp programs in the Tri County area, The Gold Medal After School Program. I am now excited to be a part of the Riverwalk Family, with my wife and two children, and work with the communities, teachers and families that surround this wonderful, growing institution!
Mr. Brian wright
Middle School Chorus
Hello! My name is Brian Wright and I have the pleasure of teaching the upper level chorus for Riverwalk Academy. I started performing at the age of five and received my Bachelors degree in Music from Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina in 2013. I have been teaching voice privately for 3 years and have had the opportunity to perform and travel to over 5 countries including: France, Germany, Japan, and Singapore. Zealous, passionate, patient and consistent are just a few words to describe who I am as an educator. I am committed to cultivating an atmosphere that our students are able to effectively and efficiently learn to become their best selves.
“My sons vocal coach BRIAN W. was incredible! Always on time, with the perfect lesson planned, each and every-time. As a top notch performer himself, Brian , not only fine tuned his voice, but all aspects of singing and performing.” -Gregory Palmer, father of voice student, Carson Palmer