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  • Meet the Team - Charlotte

Led by Rachael Barron, the Effective Students team is a group of successful professionals, educators, counselors, and graduate students imparting skills to a younger generation of students with a focus on building academic grit. Each coach brings a unique set of study tools for students, leveraging their personal experience and The Effective Student™ Method. Students practice study skills online with their coach for specific assessments so they can measure the impact of their efforts right away and be encouraged to persevere. 

Learn More About Our Trusted Academic Coaches in Charlotte

Rachael Barron

Rachael Barron

Founder, Principal Executive Function Coach & Author of The Effective Student™ Curriculum

Meet Rachael. A graduate of Emory University, Rachael has spent her professional career coaching and solving complex educational problems. From applying problem solving and vision casting skills in the business environment through applying these principles to the education realm, she excels at helping individual students and families find educational success. Prior to founding Effective Students, Rachael solved complex educational problems in her role as an educational advocate mastering the maze of finding solutions for families within Georgia’s public and private schools, helping the most difficult learners find success.

Rachael now spends all of her time working with children, young adults, and families who are focused on achieving success in their school environment and acquiring a set of self-management skills that last a lifetime.

Kathy Fine, Ph.D.

Kathy Fine, Ph.D.

Practice Lead

Meet Dr. Fine. Raised in New York City and London, England, after six years in the Washington D.C. area, Kathy moved to North Carolina in 2000. She started her career in the corporate world, but after struggling to understand why her young, bright, and happy son went from loving school to struggling and dread, she embarked on a mission to find answers. During her quest to make sense of why some students go from happy kindergarteners to unmotivated adolescents, Kathy became a passionate advocate for students and families and has devoted her career to helping adolescents find academic success. Over the past decade, she has immersed herself in college admissions and offers expert advice based on extensive theory, knowledge, and experience. 

Kathy is married and enjoys her early morning tea with milk and sugar (a throwback to her London days), yoga, walking her 75-pound rescue pup, hiking, and traveling with her husband. When she is not working with other people’s students, she spends as much time as possible in the mountains and with her own phenomenal six children, step-children, and beautiful granddaughters.

Chyna Bates

Chyna Bates

Academic Coach

Meet Chyna.  Chyna Bates served as a Special Educator for twelve years. She also served as a director of professional development, and college professor specializing in the area of beginning teacher support. 

Chyna is dedicated to unleashing the potential of ALL students. She inspires to help students find their voice and contribute their unique talents and gifts to the world.

Chyna finds great joy in not only coaching students, but also learning and growing with them.

Chyna lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. She enjoys spending time with her family, exploring outdoors, and traveling the world. 

Leighann Mattson

Leighann Mattson

Academic Coach

Meet LeighannLeighann is originally from Indianapolis, IN and comes to Effective Students with 9 years of education experience. Education and athletics have been an important part of her life from an early age. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ball State University, where she was also a Division 1 swimmer.

Following her bachelor’s degree, Leighann earned her master’s degree in elementary education from Johns Hopkins University. Throughout her teaching career, she has moved to a few different places, due to her passion for travel and new experiences. She has lived and taught in New Orleans, LA, Bangkok, Thailand, and Memphis, TN. While working as an educator, she also founded a swim team at a school she was teaching at, where she took on the role as head coach. Leighann is happy to now be in Charlotte, NC and is excited to be on the Effective Students team. She is passionate about teaching the whole child and wants to set students up with valuable skills that can help them in school and beyond.

In her free time, Leighann enjoys working out, trying new restaurants, and traveling.

Ashley Fleming

Ashley Fleming

College Coach

Meet Ashley.  Ashley comes to us with over a decade of expertise as a high school science teacher. She currently works in higher education as well as with Effective Students as an experienced college academic coach. Ashley also has a Master’s degree in Youth Development from UIC and has been a soccer coach and camp counselor. Ashley is committed to education and supporting students to build skills to be successful. When Ashley is not working, you can find her walking with her dog in a nature preserve.

Ashley is the co-teacher of and contributor to the Effective College Connection. She works with college students around the country as they seek to master their time and use all of the resources available to them at their universities.

Questions about Charlotte-based academic coaching for your student?