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Damien Perez
Executive Director

Damien Perez is a seasoned Charter School Administrator with a rich background in education and military service. A retired member of the United States Air Force (USAF), Mr. Perez has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to leadership and development throughout his career. His instructional experience is vast, encompassing roles at the USAF's Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) and various educational levels, including primary, middle, high school, and adult continuing education. This diverse teaching background underscores Mr. Perez's ability to adapt and connect with a wide range of learners.

Beyond his professional pursuits, Mr. Perez is deeply rooted in North Carolina, where he retired after a distinguished military career. He shares his life with his spouse of 18 years and is a proud parent to five children, embodying the values of commitment and family. His household is lively, further enriched by the companionship of two beloved dogs.

Perez's leadership extends into the community, where he serves on the board of the North Carolina Project Management Institute (NCPMI), demonstrating his ongoing commitment to professional excellence and community engagement. This blend of educational expertise, military discipline, and community involvement makes Mr. Perez a dynamic and influential leader at the Riverside Leadership Academy, where he continues to inspire and shape the futures of the students and staff he serves.

Kelli Miller
Director of Instruction, Curriculum, and School Culture

Kelli Miller is the Director of Instruction, Curriculum, and School Culture at Riverside Leadership Academy. Originating from Morehead City, she is an esteemed educator with an academic foundation in Psychology and Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, complemented by a Master's degree in Addiction Counseling from Grand Canyon University.

Mrs. Miller's educational career spans over fifteen years, predominantly as an elementary school teacher before transitioning to a licensed therapist for the last nine years. Her leadership experience within elementary education is extensive, having held positions such as a grade level chair, a virtual teacher during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a PTO Board member.

An advocate for Project-Based and Social-Emotional Learning, Mrs. Miller has adeptly incorporated these approaches into her teaching, aligning with her certification for grades K-6. Her dedication to fostering engaging and positive learning environments resonates with the values and mission of Riverside Leadership Academy.

Residing in New Bern, NC, with her husband Andrew and their children Eliza (14), Oliver (10), and Theo (5), along with a dog, a cat, and a bearded dragon, Mrs. Miller enriches her community with her commitment to educational excellence. Her transition to Riverside Leadership Academy in July 2024 as the Director of Instruction, Curriculum, and School Culture is highly anticipated, promising a future of enhanced educational quality and student success at the academy.

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