Our Team

Spence Dickinson  

Founder/Owner, Mentor, 

Originally from Nashville, TN, Spence has been working with kids since 1976,  over 33 years on this farm.  He is a Vietnam Vet, attended the School of Education at UNC,and has been riding horses since he was 10.  His Uncle Joe Dickinson mentored him through high school at his camp, Camp Natchez Trace, in Franklin, TN, where Spence was challenged to be the most improved camper. Spence was inspired by his uncle’s contribution to children and to his community.

              Heather Davis  

               Program Director/Mentor

Heather is a local. Born and raised in Cary. Her career has taken her to exciting places, from many years as the Education Coordinator at the Duke Lemur Center to owning her own bakery. Heather spent time at the Farm a few years back before leaving to obtain her Masters Degree. She returned recently to continue bringing quality work at Spence’s Farm.

Matthew Whitcher  

Social Media and Communications Director/Mentor

Matthew is Spence’s nephew and grew up in the NorthEast. He spent many years in the U.S. Army before going to NYU Film School and spending 20 years working in the film and television industry in New York City. He recently relocated to Chapel Hill to work on the Farm helping Spence create a fun and educational environment for children.

Anthony Heartline

 Barn Manager/Horse Lesson Instructor/Mentor

   Originally hailing from Northern California, Anthony spent much     of his childhood on fishing boats. He relocated to the Chapel Hill       area 23 years ago and spent 9 years working at UNC Hospitals.           During his 3 years at Spence’s Farm Anthony has developed               strong, lasting bonds with the horses under his care. He feeds             and exercises them daily and enjoys sharing this time with the           children, teaching them beginning horsemanship, and the proper     care and handling of horses.

Tom Wright       

Maintenance/Woodshop Instructor/Mentor

Born in Sainte Therese Quebec, Canada. Tom is a Nashville trained musician, published country song writer. He is also a trained seminar leader for Landmark, education contractor, and handyman, co-owning 5 construction businesses. He has expertise in direct marketing, sales in concrete asphalt weatherization, people management, and motivation and personal coaching. Tom is an invaluable asset in keeping the farm running smoothly.

Davis Akins


Davis was born and raised in Chapel Hill and is a huge Tar Heel basketball fan. He does his best to attend all the home games. Davis studied biology at Campbell University and holds numerous PADI scuba certifications. His hobbies include camping, hiking, playing the ukulele, and collecting vinyl. He spends much of his time with the children at the baby chicks and chickens and bunnies. He also instructs the children in the garden showing them how to grow vegetables.

Sarah Cheung

She grew up in Los Angeles and Hong Kong, but spent her summers in North Carolina at her mother’s childhood home.
Sarah attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts then moved to Portland, Oregon to pursue a career in music.

She moved back to Hong Kong for a year to complete her yoga teacher training, then returned to LA to teach kid’s yoga and focus on her music.

Sarah returned to North Carolina to give birth to her son in 2015, working as an assistant teacher at a Montessori School in the area.Sarah joined our team in June of 2018 with a desire to deepen her knowledge of gardening, connect with the Earth, and to follow her life mission of working with children.

Sarah is a musician/singer/songwriter who will try to play any instrument she can get her hands on. She loves hiking, studying plants, and making art. Her son, Sky, is now 3 and spends his days puttering around the farm, helping Mom with her work, and tormenting the dog.