We are excited to introduce the Ardent Patchwork Farms Administrative Team! These four amazing leaders have a combined 18 years of experience with Ardent!

Carter Knighten


Mr. Knighten along with his wife, Katherine and three daughters, Eloise, Vivian and Sybil, have been an Ardent family since June of 2015. The Knightens attend Redeemer Community Church and live in the Vestavia area. As a family they enjoy visiting the Birmingham Zoo, their local swimming pool and doing many outdoor activities together. Carter looks forward to having his daughter Sybil join him at the Patchwork Farms campus.

Carter holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and also a Bachelors of Arts in Chinese. Yes, your new Director is fluent in Mandarin! He served as an English Teacher at the Harbin Institute of Technology in Harbin, China from 2005-2007 and most recently served as Director of Ardent’s Valleydale campus since August 2017.

Carter looks forward to meeting you all and serving your families.

Betty McDowell

Assistant Director

Betty began her Ardent journey in 2013. After three years of classroom experience as a teacher, Better was promoted to the position of Classroom Coordinator at Ardent Preschool of Valleydale in 2016.

She and her daughter Lillyanna live in Helena where they share their love for animals and the outdoors. Time is well spent camping, visiting new places and playing with their animals. They attend Church of Cahaba Bend and live in Helena.

Betty loves serving the teachers and families at Valleydale and is excited for the opportunity to serve the teachers and families at Patchwork Farms!

Kara Russell

Classroom Coordinator

Kara Russell is a graduate of Huntingdon College where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and an Associate of Arts degree. Kara has been with the Ardent Preschool family since January of 2013. She has held many positions throughout the years including Lead Teacher, Interim Office Manager, Interim Assistant Director and her current position of Classroom Coordinator.

Kara has held the Classroom Coordinator position for the last 5 and a half years, and is excited to take on the challenge of the new Patchwork Farms location.

Kara and her husband, Jon, live in Calera and have been married for seven years. They attend Church of the Highlands-Riverchase Campus, and have 1 fur-baby, an Old English Bulldog named Bella. Kara and her husband enjoy the outdoors, traveling, movies and are annual Disney pass holders who frequent the parks often throughout the year.

Kara is excited about meeting all the families at Patchwork Farms. She can’t wait to see what fun and memories we are going to share!

Theresa Boyd

Office Manager

Mrs. Boyd has been at Ardent Preschool and Daycare since March of 2016. Theresa began working at Ardent as an Assistant Teacher in the 2 year old classroom. Theresa was quickly promoted to the Lead Teacher position and remained as the lead for 2 years. Theresa also has experience working as a Lead Teacher in the 3 year old classroom and truly enjoyed teaching and helping her kids accomplish those important milestones!

Theresa and her husband, Yancy, along with their daughter, Charlize, attend Church of the Highlands in McCalla. They are involved in a mountain bike and running small group on Saturdays. As a family, they enjoy running at Railroad Park along with rock climbing and sand volleyball (among many other outdoor activities.) Theresa enjoys crocheting and DIY crafts also in her spare time!

Theresa looks forward to meeting you all and serving your family!