Our Educators

Who We Are
Hands-on, experiencial Learning

We Know How to Make Learning Fun For Kids

Haywood Haven focuses on hands-on, experiencial learning to assist students in building the foundational knowledge necessary for them to discover God’s “good, pleasing and perfect will” for their lives (Romans 12:2).

Meet Our Educators

When you enroll students in our program, you are entering into a partnership with fabulous educators who love teaching and want your student to love learning!

Melanie Williams

Melanie Williams

Director, PE, Middle School & Junior High History & Anatomy

Melanie Williams is the Director of Haywood Haven, and she teaches Language Arts and History, as well as co-teaching PE. She is passionate about providing a loving educational environment for our students. She has a daughter who graduated from our program last year and a ninth grade son. Her husband, Chris, has been instrumental in Haywood Haven’s success.

Julie Murray

Julie Murray

Kindergarten through 2nd Grade

Mrs. Julie is our Kindergarten through second grade teacher. With 15 years teaching experience and a background in Montessori education, she brings a loving, fun spirit to teaching that makes learning the fundamentals of reading, writing, and math like child’s play! Mrs. Julie is raising her granddaughter, Maya, who attends Haywood Haven as a seventh grader. She also manages our community service program, and is a dedicated member of The Rock church in Asheville.

Maria Frost

Maria Frost

Middle School/Junior High Language Arts & Math

Maria Frost, mother of 5, has a BFA in Music Education and uses it to teach all subjects including private music lessons.  She has over 23 years experience in the homeschool community where she has graduated 3 of her 5 children. She has a passion for helping students learn to read.  She has taught in the Public School System as well as in multiple Co-op Homeschool classes.  She brings a joy of learning and helping students find their gifts and talents. She sings and plays keyboards on the worship team at New Covenant Church in Clyde and is the Musical Director for Kids at HART in Waynesville.
Briley Jo Cruz

Briley Jo Cruz

Third through 5th Grade Math, Language Arts, and History

Briley Jo has been an early childhood educator for six years. She has been been a substitute teacher at Shining Rock Classical Academy, and has also served, and loved on children for Jesus on the mission field in Uganda, and Greece. She is passionate about investing well into today’s generation – God’s precious Children – building up their identity, rooted in Christ. She is passionate about ministry, and has a heart for worship, and creating a space for others to encounter God’s presence.
Shawn Porter

Shawn Porter


Shawn Porter is an Associate Pastor and leader of the choir and praise team at Dellwood Baptist Church. Pastor Shawn has been around music all of his life and sings with his family in a gospel group, The Porter Family. Best known for his lead voice, he also plays the acoustic guitar and drums. He has a definite love for the southern gospel music and looks forward to teaching choir at Haywood Haven.

Dep Spitzer

Dep Spitzer

Sign Language

Deborah (Deb) Spitzer is a mother of 2 and grandmother of 3. At 12 years old, she met befriended a hearing impaired neighbor. This began a lifelong interest in helping and enjoying friendships with the deaf. She is conversational in American Sign Language and is excited to introduce people to this beautiful language. ASL is not signed English words and sentences, but it is a visual-spatial language with its own grammar and sentence structure. ASL incorporates not only the use of facial expressions but head and body movements as well.

A Word

From Our Director

Thank you for visiting the digital home of Haywood Haven. Our ultimate goal is to help students find God’s “good, pleasing, and perfect will” for their lives. I’m passionately dedicated to this goal because that’s what Haywood Haven is for me. Teaching and building this program have given me the opportunity to truly experience what it is like to walk in God’s “good, pleasing and perfect will.” He knows us at a level we cannot comprehend, and he loves us with an affection deeper than we can fathom. He wants your children to experience a fulfilling, purposeful life. Our role is to partner with you in educating, equipping, and empowering your childern to reach that life. Our students are known and loved at Haywood Haven. ❤️

– Melanie Williams

Get In Touch

Location: 115 Hall Drive Waynesville NC, 28785

Telephone: (828)565-2657

Email: info@haywoodhaven.org

School Hours: T/Th 8:15-3:00; Wed 9:00-3:00


Non-Discrimination Policy

Haywood Haven admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students in the ministry. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship availability, and other ministry-administered programs.