The staff of OASIS NC/SEA Academy has knowledge, experience, and is unparalleled in its enthusiasm for teaching the whole child. They understand the key to learning is forming a relationship of trust, honest communication, and mutual respect. Teachers get to know each student personally and are able to capture their interest with engaging, student led, creative lessons, while administrators continually develop and adjust programs to challenge students academically and socially. OASIS NC believes that administrators, teachers, and students are all equal and support each other unconditionally.
Erika is a certified Exceptional Student Educator in North Carolina. She graduated from the University of Miami (FL) in 2004 with Bachelors of Science Degree in Exceptional Student Education and Psychology, with an additional ESOL endorsement. In 2005, she received a Masters of Education Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Texas and has since been teaching students with autism, learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, and emotional/behavioral disorders. Erika taught elementary students with high-functioning autism in the Intensive Social-Communication Support program for three years in New Hanover County, before founding OASIS NC in 2011. Erika was named one of WILMA’s 2017 “Women to Watch” and graduated from the Wilma Leadership Institute in September 2018. Most recently, Erika received a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell and the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Outside of OASIS, Erika enjoys spending time with her 3 year old daughter, going to the beach, taking yoga classes, and advocating for kids, animals, and the planet!
Co-Founder/Math Teacher/Program Coordinator
Kim has worked in the field of special education since 1989. In 1995, when applying for a position in NC public schools after a relocation, she was offered a position teaching children with autism. She readily agreed to the position, and found her passion and purpose as an educator. In 2004, she moved to Wilmington and soon after, began teaching in the New Hanover County Schools. It seemed the time was right, after years of teaching children with autism and advocating for their needs, that she, along with her friend and colleague, Erika Merriman, started Oasis NC. From the days of “coffee shop planning” to admitting their first after school students to becoming a private school, Kim’s passion for children with different abilities had manifested into the opportunity to help students and their families in a more creative, more focused setting.
Kim has an adult daughter who lives in Raleigh, various rescue cats and dogs, and is learning slowly to make her kitchen into a friend (her most difficult challenge yet!) so she can prepare healthy “plant-i-ful” meals! Kim also received a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell and the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in November 2018!
Director of Development and Operations
Angela graduated from UNC Wilmington in 2014 with her Bachelor’s in Adapted Special Education and then worked as a classroom teacher for NHCS. Angela is currently pursuing her Graduate degree in Public administration at UNCW. She is a founding member of the Cape Fear Enrichment Program (a nonprofit that provides real life opportunities for adults with disabilities) and is the Social spoke leader for this organization. She started the “I Am Beautiful Fashion Show” (a fashion show fundraiser featuring individuals with disabilities) in 2013, which has occurred annually ever since. Angela is passionate about bettering the lives of individuals with disabilities both in her work and personal time. She loves her dog Macy-which is her pride and joy, is vegan, and loves to cook!
Elizabeth graduated from Meredith College in 2001 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and with her K-6 teaching license. She was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow and received her National Board Certification in 2008. Elizabeth taught third grade for eight years in Currituck County Schools and in New Hanover County Schools. She and her husband have four children and live in Wilmington.
Taylor Bunn, M. Ed
Taylor graduated from Appalachian State University in 2014 with a Bachelors in Psychology and a Bachelors in Child Development. In 2017, she earned her Masters in Special Education from Florida State University. Prior to coming to Oasis, Taylor was a director at Camp Lakey Gap for Autistic Individuals in Black Mountain, NC and later worked as an ABA therapist and provided Early Intervention services to children and their families in Wilmington and the surrounding areas. Taylor has 6+ years of teaching experience with children and adults of all ages and abilities. She loves cooking, running, painting, and her goofy dog- Raley!
Laura Elliot, MA
Resource/Life Skills Teacher
Laura Elliot graduated with a BS in Speech and Language Pathology at Ball State university in Indiana. She continued graduate studies at San Diego State University, attaining a MA in Communicative Disorders. Laura worked as a speech therapist, special educator specializing in working with students with autism at Vista Unified School District, in Vista, CA, with the Greenville TEACHH Center and later at Greenville, NC. Upon moving to Wilmington in 2001, Laura took the position of teacher for the first NHCS pilot Intensive Social Communication Skills class. Ms. Elliot was later assigned as a Special Education Liaison for NHCS programs for students with autism. Laura finished her career with ISCS highs cool students. During her tenure with NHCS, Laura was also the administrator of “Open Doors” summer camp for students with autism. She received Special Educator of the Year Award for Vista Unified School, San Diego Schools, Roland Grise MS, and NHC and the NC State level. Laura was also awarded the 2007 Linda G Alford Professional Advocacy Award by the Family Support Network of SE-NC. Ms Elliot retired from public schools in 2015, but is very happy to join the staff at OASIS/SEA Academy. She is married with a son and daughter in addition to 6 grandchildren. She loves gardening, traveling, jewelry making, and life in general.