Skip Navigation
Engaging Minds. Building Futures. 

Brock Overcash, SA Class of 2009

 

Background

A Salisbury Academy student from junior kindergarten through eighth grade, Brock Overcash attended Salisbury Academy from 1999 to 2009. He progressed onto Salisbury High School and then studied computer science at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Overcash graduated from Georgia Tech in May 2017 and now works for Facebook in Menlo Park, California. He loves to hike, backpack, and cook new and interesting dishes.

Biggest Takeaways from SA

"My biggest takeaways from Salisbury Academy are the value of understanding and learning by doing. Out at Facebook, there has been a lot to learn. You can't memorize things last minute for a test and then forget them the day after; you have to understand them. At Salisbury Academy, as we did projects, wrote papers, or took tests, there was this focus on understanding. In many ways, this understanding came from exploring and doing."

"There were so many examples of this: insect collection in science, acting out the Boxer Rebellion in social studies, writing our own poetry in English class, learning to sew for puppets in Spanish, and the list goes on. This curiosity for understanding has been a driving factor in my education, and now in my work."

Favorite SA Memory

"I've got lots of favorite SA memories, but I'll select a few. I remember doing a unit on buoyancy in middle school science. For that, we were tasked with creating a boat that could hold as many pennies as it could fit within a given size and materials. We ended up having to break out some small weights to put in the top performers and it was fun to see myself and my classmates exceeding even our own highest expectations."

"I also remember making leprechaun traps for St. Patrick's day in kindergarten. It was so intense for our little selves since we only had one shot to get it right. The creativity and work that went into those traps was so much fun, and the day we went to check the traps has to be my most anticipated school day ever!"

"Finally, there are too many sports memories to pick just one. From glorious victories to crushing defeats, being a part of a team is something that cannot be replaced. I was taught the value of that first at Salisbury Academy."

Meredith Weisler Norvell, SA Class of 2003

 

Background
 

Meredith Weisler attended Salisbury Academy from kindergarten through eighth grade, from 1995 to 2003. She attended UNC Chapel Hill where she graduated with a B.A. in journalism, mass communications, and public relations. Weisler went on to earn her law degree, graduating magna cum laude from University of South Carolina School of Law in 2016. Weisler was recently married and is an attorney at Fisher Phillips, LLP in Charlotte where she practices employment litigation. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and taking spin and barre classes. 

Biggest Takeaways from SA

"Salisbury Academy sparked my love of learning and writing. The teachers at Salisbury Academy were always creating new, innovative, and exciting ways for us to learn. They really made learning fun! I looked forward to going to school every day, which is not always the case. I truly treasure my memories from Salisbury Academy!" 

Favorite SA Memory

"There are so many memories to choose from! My favorite would probably be all of our amazing field trips. During my time at Salisbury Academy we went to Washington, D.C., Key West, Gatlinburg, and also went on countless ski trips. Getting to travel with friends and the many hands-on learning experiences were so much fun! On our eighth grade end of year trip to Gatlinburg, a prank war started between the girls and the boys. The teachers even got involved- it was great!"

 

David Simons, SA Class of 2007

 

Background

A Salisbury Academy student from junior kindergarten through eighth grade, David Simons is a member of the SA Class of 2007. Simons attended high school at Salisbury High School and then moved onto UNC Chapel Hill where he graduated with a double major in economics and public policy. Today he works for Senator Thom Tillis as a legislative correspondent and holds an issue portfolio that includes banking, housing, tax, trade, commerce, and economics.

"I enjoy being able to work for my home state on a policy portfolio that directly relates to my interests and to the subjects I studied in college," shares Simons.

Simons' hobbies include running, reading, and exploring Washington, D.C. where he currently resides.

Biggest Takeaway from SA

"Salisbury Academy prepared me in many different ways for the life that would come after the eighth grade. My experiences allowed me to transition easily to high school, then college, and on to my current job where I still rely heavily on grammar lessons learned from Mrs. Coulter. Additionally, Salisbury Academy provides such a great family environment, and the friendships I made with both classmates and faculty have proven to be lifelong."

Favorite SA Memory

"Choosing just one memory from my 10 years is so difficult. Salisbury Academy constantly provided unique opportunities for me to learn and grow, all while preparing me for my next steps. From countless lifelong lessons in the classroom, to weekly chapel services, to trying just about every sport the school had to offer, Salisbury Academy provided the perfect learning environment."

"I still remember the fantastic trips, from the third grade trip to Camp Thunderbird with Mrs. Agee all the way through the D.C. and Charleston trips with the seventh and eighth grade classes. Looking back, the trip to D.C. may have had more of an impact than I ever would have imagined. While visiting, we toured Capitol Hill and went on a night time monument tour. Who would have guessed that a decade later, I go to work on Capitol Hill and those same monuments are part of my favorite running route."

Alex Eaton, Class of 2000

 

Background

A Salisbury Academy student from sixth through eighth grade, Alex Eaton attended Salisbury Academy from 1996 to 2000. She progressed onto North Mecklenburg High School and then studied hospitality and tourism management at Appalachian State University. After completing an additional degree from the Culinary Arts School in Charlotte, Eaton became an executive chef at age 24. She moved to Charleston, SC at age 27 and currently serves as sous chef at The Ordinary. In her free time, Eaton enjoys painting, kayaking, and swinging in her hammock at the beach.

Biggest Takeaways from SA

"My biggest takeaway was how important it is to have time for individualized education. Students (and adults) have different strengths and gifts, and it's important to nourish those strengths and interests that are unique to each person. This absolutely impacts my management style in my career. No two minds are alike, and I try to relate to each employee in a way that works for them. Playing to the individual's mind helps to build relationships, bring out the best in them, and it keeps morale high."

Favorite SA Memories

"My favorite memories of my time at SA are going to Space Camp and participating in the Christmas play! I also loved that the language programs put me in more advanced levels when I went back into the public school system. It helped me get more AP credit!"

Chad Hoskins, SA Class of 2013

 

Background

Chad Hoskins attended Salisbury Academy from junior kindergarten through 8th grade. "Salisbury Academy had a really close, community feel," says Hoskins. "It was awesome to grow up with the same people from 4 to 14 years old. Some of them are still my best friends today and will always be my best friends. Between academics, athletics, and social life, Salisbury Academy was the best combination of all three things."

A soccer, basketball and golf player during his tenure at the academy, Hoskins went on to RJ Reynolds in Winston Salem for high school, and UNC Chapel Hill for college. He played for the UNC tennis team, was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and graduated in May of 2017 with a major in economics. Hoskins plans to continue his education by attending either law school or a master's program in accounting.

Favorite SA Memories

 "I really enjoyed playing on the basketball team. Those were some of the best experiences at Salisbury Academy. I developed a passion for winning, and my coach was definitely a role model."

"Salisbury Academy was such a big part of my childhood. I still remember doing community outreach to Magnolia Gardens and playing bingo with elderly people."

Biggest takeaways

"All of the kids I graduated with went on to very successful colleges. We pushed each other to do better on the court and in the classroom. It made competition fun and it was good for everybody." 

Favorite SA Takeaways, from a Parent's Perspective

LeeAnna Hoskins shares: "The teachers and staff at Salisbury Academy nurtured and loved both of our children from JK through eighth grade. The positive environment in those critical years gave them the confidence to believe they could set their standards high and achieve anything they could imagine. For that we are forever grateful."

Grace Yatawara, SA Class of 2012

 

Background

Yatawara attended Salisbury Academy from junior kindergarten through eighth grade and graduated from Salisbury High School as salutatorian. In addition to her academic interests and favorite subjects of calculus and physics, Yatawara is a highly talented golfer. Her accomplishments include winning the NCHSAA 1A/2A State Championship for the past two years. Looking to her future, Yatawara is considering an engineering major in college. 

Favorite SA Memory

"One of my favorite memories at Salisbury Academy was chapel. I loved when we all came together and sang songs. I especially remember when we sang 'Pharaoh, Pharaoh' and 'Lord I Lift Your Name on High' and everyone would sing and do the hand motions, just having fun and coming together in worship."

"Another memory is of when I ran track in the fourth grade. I was definitely not the best runner, but it was fun to just be able to participate. In one meet, I was running the 400-meter race and it was a challenge. I was far behind all of the other contestants. As I rounded the corner to the finish line as the last place finisher, the crowd cheered me on as if I was finishing first. After the race, I said to my mom with a laugh, 'It's almost better to finish last because I got the most cheers out of anyone!' This is just another example of the unwavering support from Salisbury Academy."

Biggest Takeaways from SA

"The biggest thing that Salisbury Academy taught me is self confidence. As a student I was always valued at Salisbury Academy. This taught me to never be afraid to voice my opinions, which can sometimes be difficult. Salisbury Academy has taught me to always be comfortable in my own skin and stand up for what I believe in no matter what anyone else thinks"

"The friends - more like brothers and sisters - that I have made at Salisbury Academy have continued to be my best friends, though we went on to different high schools. They are always the ones I can count on and will pick me up when I am down. They will forever be my best friends!"

Favorite SA Memory, from a Parent's Perspective: 

Dr. Gayle Yatawara, Grace's mother, shares: "Picture a Salisbury Academy Valentine's Day dance for the entire school (first through eighth grade) with a DJ that was trying to get the party started! Most of the kids were on the dance floor when the DJ asked for the boys to ask a girl to dance." 

"As all of the girls were being asked, my sweet Gracie (in the first grade) was standing in the middle of the dance floor looking around and wasn't being asked to dance.  As a parent, my heart started to drop as I saw her looking around and realized that she wasn't being asked to dance."

"Just as I was starting to feel anxious, an eighth grade boy who was sitting on the bleachers and saw what was happening jumped up and ran to the dance floor and asked Gracie to dance. Tommy Coggin will forever be a hero to me! And Gracie never even knew what happened. I cried as I watched a sweet, eighth-grade boy proudly dance with my little, first-grade girl."

"That is Salisbury Academy! That is a story that I tell to anyone who will listen. Wouldn't you want your child to go to a school like that? A school that looks brand new despite being over 10 years old. A school where the lockers have never needed to have a lock on them."

Upper photo: Grace Yatawara celebrates a NCHSAA 1A/2A State Championship. Middle photo: Yatawara in junior kindergarten at Salisbury Academy. Lower photo: Yatawara signs her letter of intent to play golf on a full scholarship for East Carolina University. 

Taylor Sexton, SA Class of 2000

 

Background

Taylor Sexton attended Salisbury Academy from fourth through eighth grade, from 1996-2000. Taylor is a graphic designer and co-owner of The Lettered Lily, a graphic design studio in downtown Salisbury. 

What are your greatest takeaways from your SA education? 

"Salisbury Academy gave me the basis of my education and I used every moment and experience as I moved forward through my schooling. Problem solving and individuality are two of my biggest lessons and takeaways from Salisbury Academy. We were very hands-on in school and our teachers pushed us to find solutions through our own experiments and problem solving.  I also found my voice while at Salisbury Academy. — I was never a quiet, shy child but through the open and honest classrooms, I was uniquely myself and never felt judged." 

What are your favorite SA memories?

"Looking back and being one of the first classes of Salisbury Academy, I am grateful to have been a part of such an amazing school. Some of my favorite memories — that is tough because I have so many! Front and center is when we moved into the middle school building on Brenner. We had the two-story school building and then the out-building where we would have music class. Being in the small environment meant that many of our activities, social breaks, study hours, etc. were spent not only with our class but also the other middle school classes and teachers.  This created such a fun learning atmosphere and looking back, I remember so many smiles. Our theater productions of “Buddy the Elf” and “Charlie Brown” are also some of my favorite memories. Setting up the sets, all of the rehearsals and production night jitters were so exciting and rewarding at the same time. Another memory was our 8th grade trip. We went to Myrtle Beach, visited the aquarium, the Dixie Stampede and had a bonfire on the beach. Overall, I would say that the closeness of the school and our class are where my memories lie — the individual one-on-one moments with our teachers, study sessions with classmates, field trips and once again, smiles." 

Is there anything else that you'd like to share about SA?

"Salisbury Academy is not only my past but my future. I absolutely love being a part of such a wonderful school, and I call Salisbury Academy not only my client through my graphic design business but a key component to our community that I am passionately invested in." 

Adam Drye, SA Class of 2014

 

Background

Drye attended Salisbury Academy from junior kindergarten through eighth grade, and was guided through his SA journey by his two older sisters who also attended the academy, Alexandra and Carley. While at Salisbury Academy, Drye participated in soccer, tennis, golf, swimming, basketball, and track. He continues to be interested in sports and was an All-County, All-Conference, and All-Region tennis player for Salisbury High School. Drye attends Auburn University's Flight School and is majoring in professional flight. 

Favorite SA Memory

"Some of my favorite SA memories would have to be the Christmas pageants in junior kindergarten and kindergarten. I also enjoyed watching the programs as I got older and seeing the younger kids perform in them." 

"Participating in sports was a huge part of Salisbury Academy for me. I loved trying out all of the different sports and being part of a team. My favorite class would have to be double Language Arts with Mrs. Coulter on Monday morning. I can say now that Mrs. Coulter taught me so much that I used to think was useless, but is now so crucial to writing mechanics in high school essays."

Biggest Takeaways from SA

"My biggest lesson learned from SA is that hard work will pay off in the long run. I also feel that SA exposed me to the joys of community service. 'Book Buddies' was one of my favorites, and they still do that! We also collected hats for kids who didn't have anything warm for winter and took those to them, and did many food drives for the homeless shelter."

Favorite SA Memory, from a Parent's Perspective

Lesleigh Drye, Adam's mother, shares: "My strongest memories are probably the field trips, the fun, hands-on learning (the Roman bath, the Indian/Pilgrim feast, Day of the Dead - I could go on...) and the warm feeling you get every time you walk through the doors. Salisbury Academy weathered several storms while our family was there, but that feeling never changed."

"I will be forever grateful for the high standards, strong morals and love of learning that SA instilled in all three of my children."

Upper photo: Drye smiles with his SA Kindergarten teachers Jan Ketner and Darlene Peoples. Right photo: Drye in his Eagle Scout uniform. 

Sam McNeely, SA Class of 2012

 

Background

Sam McNeely attended Salisbury Academy from 2005 - 2012.

What are your favorite memories and biggest takeaways from your SA education? 

"One of my favorite SA memories is beating our rival school in basketball. My biggest takeaway from my SA education is that each teacher cares deeply for each student and prepared me and my classmates for a higher level of high school education that I would not have otherwise been able to reach."

How has SA inspired you and helped to shape you into the person you are today? What are your future plans? 

"I appreciate my SA education because it has shown me that I can achieve any goals that I am determined to reach. For me, this was getting accepted into NC State, which was achieved thanks to the high level of education that I received at SA. Now, I am preparing to attend NC State in the fall semester as a declared first year civil engineer. I understand math and science more than anything and I also love building things. For fun, I love to play basketball, guitar, exercise, and just be outside. I could see myself working as an environmental or civil engineer helping the environment or building intricate structures."

Is there anything else that you'd like to share about SA? 

"SA is an amazing place because of the lifelong lessons that I learned there and the lifelong memories that I will never forget."

Admission Events