We Exist to Inspire

Providence Day School exists to inspire in its students a passion for learning, a commitment to personal integrity, and a sense of social responsibility.

An independent, college preparatory school, grades Transitional Kindergarten through 12

Maria Blackburn

Maria Blackburn graduated from Colorado College with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. She arrived in Charlotte in 2004 with the teaching corps program, Teach for America. This will be her third year as a classroom teacher at PDS, and her tenth year teaching kindergarten. When she's not teaching, or planning for awesome kindergarten fun, she enjoys going on adventures with her husband and her five-year old son.

Danielle Ferguson

Danielle S. Ferguson serves as Director of Diversity and Multicultural Education at Providence Day School, a TK-12th grade college preparatory school in Charlotte, N.C. Danielle has been with PDS since 2013.

Ferguson holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s in computer science from the State University of New York at Albany. During the last 15 years, Danielle’s previous positions included Assistant Dean of Admission at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT, and Assistant Director of Residence Life and Director of Residence Life at The Hockaday School in Dallas, TX.

While at Hotchkiss, Ferguson served as liaison for organizations and schools that promoted supporting underrepresented students of color in independent schools. She facilitated an annual event in which admitted students of color and their families had an opportunity to tour the campus. As advisor to BaHSA, the Black and Hispanic Student Alliance, Ferguson invited speakers, including Julia Alvarez, and helped students plan and execute workshops in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Day.

As Director of Residence Life, Ferguson developed and implemented social and educational programming. She also served as advisor to DADYO, the Dallas Area Diversity Youth Organization. Ferguson was an active volunteer with Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, where she helped build five new homes with her school group.

At PDS, Ferguson serves on the Multicultural Advisory Board and (FOCUS) Families of Cultural Understanding in Schools. She also is an advisor to Sow Much Good, and (SPEAK) Students Promoting Equality Awareness and Knowledge, an Upper School Club. Ferguson is an apprentice member of the Arts and Science Council.

Nadia Johnson

Dr. Nadia Johnson serves as Executive Director of Diversity and Multicultural Education at Providence Day School, a TK-12th grade college preparatory school in Charlotte, N.C. Johnson has been with PDS since 2010.

Prior to joining PDS, Johnson taught at the University of Miami, where she received her doctorate in Cultural, Literary and Gender Studies. In particular, her studies focused on race, gender and national identity formation in the Caribbean and Latin America. She continued to explore her interests in cultural politics, identity formation and social justice during her tenure at PDS, both in the classroom as a member of the English and Global Education faculty — her curriculum emphasized the importance of analyzing culture from multiple perspectives — and beyond through a service-learning study tour in Red Hill, South Africa.

She has served on the school’s Multicultural Advisory Board in a leadership capacity, chairing the Multicultural Curriculum Committee for several years. She also has been a faculty advisor to the Upper School Cultural Alliance club, guiding them through the transition to SPEAK (Students Promoting Education, Awareness and Knowledge), and helped create (and is the current advisor to) the student-led fundraising and awareness organization Students for South Africa, which supports a township preschool in Cape Town.

Johnson recently authored “The Culturally Responsive Classroom Without Borders,” which was published in the Summer 2015 edition of Independent School magazine.

Brian Li

Brian has been a middle school math teacher at Providence Day since 2004. Graduating from Wake Forest University with a double major in math and anthropology, studying and interacting with other cultures has always been a passion of his. He is thrilled to be part of the Providence Day Multicultural team.

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Providence Day School
5800 Sardis Road Charlotte NC 28270


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