Co-Director and Coach: Nicole Rivers


Mrs. Nicole Rivers is an English and Creative Writing teacher at Gray’s Creek High School.  Originally from Whiteville, North Carolina, Nicole graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2005.  Afterwards, she began teaching at schools in the Fayetteville area, including E.E. Smith High School before joining the Gray’s Creek High School staff in the fall of 2011.  The next year, she was promoted to Department Chair and began working closely with Mr. Mayo in English I.  In 2013, Nicole and Mr. Mayo founded the Gray’s Creek High School Poetic Pathos Slam Team, and the rest is history.  Nicole is also the club adviser the GCHS club G.E.M.S., which stands for Girls Expecting More Success.  The club provides mentorship to young girls at the school, giving the girls many opportunities to develop as successful leaders, as well as providing mentorship to young ladies at the middle school.  Besides teaching, advising, coaching, and helping lead Poetic Pathos Youth Slam, Nicole is a wife and mother of two.

Co-Director and Coach: Joel Mayo


Mr. Joel Mayo is an English and Annual Staff (Yearbook) teacher at Gray’s Creek High School.  Joel was an Army brat who made Fayetteville home, having graduated from Westover High School in 2005 and UNC Pembroke in 2008 with an English degree.  He joined the Gray’s Creek High School staff in Spring of 2012, earned his Master’s of Arts in Teaching in 2014, and formed Gray’s Creek High School Poetic Pathos Slam Team with Mrs. Rivers in 2014.  Along with Mrs. Rivers, he has worked hard to get the organization to its current state and get the kids to Brave New Voices.  Besides Poetic Pathos Youth Slam and GCHS Slam, he’s adviser of the Poetry Club and Gamer’s Club, one of the co-advisers of the Harry Potter Club, and assists with GSA and Photography Club.

Writing Coach: Jamie Berrier


Ms. Jamie Berrier is an AP History and Psychology teacher at Gray’s Creek High School.  Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, she attended The University of Tennessee at Knoxville and graduated with a degree in History and English in 2006. Shortly after she moved to North Carolina, where she got a job teaching at Gray’s Creek High School.  In the spring of 2013, Jamie earned her Masters of Arts in Social Studies  v , and it didn’t take long for Jamie to become the Social Studies Department Chair, SIT team chair, and the 2015 Gray’s Creek High School Teacher of the Year.  Besides teaching at GCHS and online through NCVPS, Jamie helps coach Gray’s Creek Slam and is the head adviser of the Harry Potter Club.  In her spare time, she loves to travel and spend time with her two black cats, Luna and Worf.

Data Manager: Allison Barnes


Fayetteville native and Gray’s Creek High School Class of 2017 alum Allison Barnes has been a member of Poetic Pathos Youth Slam since its inception her Sophomore year of high school.  An amazing writer in her own right, Allison has always chosen to act as the team’s manager.  Her manager duties included promoting the team’s activities to the public/school, organizing data for the coaches, running things backstage during a showcase, and helping teammates with pieces and performances.  Allison then had the opportunity to go an entourage and manager for Poetic Pathos when they went to Brave New Voices for the first time last summer.  It was a perfect moment for her as manager after graduating from Gray’s Creek High School, as it allowed her to see the team she has worked with for so long realize a dream.  When it came to the organization needing someone to organize data during events and other managerial aspects, the directors of Poetic Pathos knew that Allison was the perfect person for the job.  Today, Allison goes to school, works part-time, and assists the team whenever needed.