Meet Our Staff and Faculty
David WIley - Owner
David is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, and a graduate of University of Tennessee with a B.S. in Marketing. For the last 27 years, David has worked as a professional medical device salesman for Henry Schein. In 2000, he made the move to the peaceful mountains of Jonesborough and bought the 10 acres of land that Serenity Knoll now sits on. He gained a passion for contra dancing after learning how in April of 2005, and it wasn't long after this that he founded the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society in January of 2006. His passion for contra dancing and the community surrounding led him to eventually build the pavilion that is now known as Serenity Knoll.
David is an avid gardener and has a passion for food, traveling, and contra dancing. He is excited to see the possibilities of Serenity Knoll Farm come to life and truly be an asset in our farming, dancing, and cooking community here in East Tennessee.
Margie Kendall - Director
Margie was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but later moved to Johnson City, Tennessee after graduating from Michigan State University with her B.S in medical ethics. She later went on to earn her Masters Degree in Social Entrepreneurship from Carson Newman University. She spent six years working for Appalachia Service Project in fundraising, community development, event planning, and program development, but always held an immense passion for food and travel. Margie launched her own food blog called The Wander Foodie, where she features food and restaurants she enjoys on her many travels, and curates her own recipes. Margie has a huge passion for teaching others cooking skills and introducing new food to the palates of many.
Other than reading about food, cooking food, and eating food, Margie enjoys world travel, local craft beer, renovating her and her husband's Tree Streets home in Johnson City, and spending time with friends, family, and her rescue puppy, Izzie.
Amy Fletcher - Staff Assistant
Amy is originally from the Detroit area and has lived in the area for two years with her husband, Jason. Earlier travels took her to 48 of the 50 states and gave a wealth of job experience in various roles. Together they have lived in Austin, Portland, Detroit and Charleston before settling here in east Tennessee.
A Contra Dance enthusiast, she met Serenity Knoll's owner, David Wiley, through the Historic Jonesborough Dance Society.
Today she is a nearby neighbor to Serenity Knoll Farm and you may find her in the kitchen, the garden or the yard.
Sheridan Nice - Guest Faculty
Sheridan Nice is the owner of Mona Lisa's Gelato & Cafe in Johnson City, TN. She is a graduate of La Varenne, Ecole de Cuisine, Paris and a recipient of a Baking and Pastry scholarship from IACP, International Association of Culinary Professionals, to The Culinary Institute of America, Napa Valley. Sheridan has taught cooking classes in the area at ETSU, Kingsport Community Center, and Cooking Along the Crooked Road in Abingdon, Va. She also offers private lessons and private chef services.
Nathan Brand - guest faculty
Nathan Brand is a chef and restauranteur. After completing a 7-month pop-up restaurant, "The Orchard Mason" in downtown Johnson City, Tennessee, his next project will be "Timber!" on W. Walnut St. in Johnson City. Nathan seeks to draw on his cooking experiences at The National and Five & Ten (Athens, GA), The Roosevelt and Dutch & Co. (Richmond, VA), Luksus/Tørst (Brooklyn, NY), AMASS (Copenhagen, Denmark), and at The Willows Inn (Lummi Island, WA). Drawn to Johnson City by its natural beauty and budding food scene, he is seeking to bring a fresh perspective to the food of East Tennessee, focussing on building local community and serving the finest local ingredients at their peak.
Deidra Harruff - Guest faculty
Deidra grew up watching her mother cook, and eventually, worked with Danielle del Peusch, who preached that you should buy the best ingredients you can find or afford, prepare food properly with the accent on flavor, make ample servings, and create a beautiful plate. This is what Deidra as strived to teach in her years as restaurant chef, cooking class instructor, and personal chef. Deidra believes that cooking with love feeds both the soul and body. Deidra is currently a personal chef and instructor, but was also the chef owner of Deidra’s restaurant in Greeneville, TN for five years. She has studied with Marcella and Victor Hazan in Venice, Italy, Danielle del Peusch (French president Mitterand’s personal chef), Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and Rene Bernard. You could learn a thing or twenty from her!