A message from the Upper Campus principal

Greetings Upper Campus Families, 

As the summer break comes to a close, we look forward to welcoming you back for the start of an amazing 2023-24 school year! GRACE is a special place where knowledge and learning are valued and imparted, faith and spiritual growth are instilled and deepened, and friendships are forged and strengthened. We are thrilled to have each one of you back and are eager to welcome our new students and staff members into the GRACE family.

Throughout the summer, many of our teachers have taken advantage of summer professional development opportunities in the form of webinars, conferences, and workshops, and they are all diligently planning their courses for the upcoming school year. All of our faculty and staff read Biblical Worldview by Josh Mulvihill, and we will be digging deeper into this book during the school year to discuss how we integrate biblical teaching into our instruction and how to best partner with families to spiritually equip our students. 

Our staff has been working diligently to prepare for the new school year. The facilities team has constructed a new classroom from part of the existing main office space, several offices have been relocated in the building, walls have been repainted, and the floors have been stripped and waxed. We have also added a new safety glass protective film to the front windows and doors. We are grateful for our facilities team and their hard work, and we thank you for making these renovations possible through your generous donations to the GRACE Annual Fund! 

The Lord has provided us with talented and highly qualified new faculty and staff members for the coming school year, and He has made a way for some returning team members to utilize their gifts and talents in new ways at GRACE. Here is a comprehensive list of new additions and changes on the upper campus: 

Please welcome the following new individuals to GRACE: 

  • Kathy Barnes, Upper Campus LEAP Director
  • Megan Boutwell, Middle School English teacher
  • Noah Daniels, High School English teacher
  • Natalie Eastabrook, High School English teacher
  • Jaz Inserillo, Director of Safety and Security
  • Amanda Kennedy, Middle and High School Math teacher
  • Terri Pennypacker, District C Teacher
  • Christina Owen, High School Math Teacher
  • Alyssa Powell, Middle and High School Science Teacher
  • Joshua Webb, Middle and High School PE and Health Teacher
  • Wendy Willard, High School History Teacher
  • Cooper Evans, School Nurse

Please note the following individuals moving into new positions this year: 

  • Linda Alicea, Upper Campus Administrative Assistant (previously Lower Campus Instructional Assistant)
  • Mandy Gill, High School Math Teacher and Department Chair (previously Principal) 
  • Karri Hawley, Full-Time Upper Campus Guidance Counselor (previously TK-12 Guidance Counselor)
  • Blake Hickman, Bible and Upper Campus Christian Life Director (previously also served as Dean of Students)
  • Aubrey McCarn, Upper Campus LEAP Teacher (previously Lower Campus LEAP Teacher)
  • Dominique Reid, Upper Campus Dean of Students (previously LEAP Director)
  • Chris Stack, Athletic Director from (previously LEAP/ History Teacher)

Please be sure to mark your calendars now for the following events: 

  • Monday, August 14:
    • 6:30- 8:30 p.m., Upper Campus Parent Orientation
      For parents only – students do not attend. Come and meet your students' teachers and hear from them about what to expect this year.
  •  Tuesday, August 15:
    • 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Meet and Greet for All 7th Grade Students and New Students Grades 8 - 12
    • 3:30 - 4:00 p.m. Optional Meet and Greet for parents of all 7th-grade and new 8th -12th-graders. Meet the administrative team for an Upper Campus Q&A.
    • 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Meet and Greet for All Upper Students to visit teachers and classes

The first day of school for students will be staggered. Students will only attend school on their assigned day, and will not report to GRACE on either of the other two days listed.  Students will receive their MacBook and Blackbaud training on their first day. The staggered entry dates for all students are as follows:

  • Wednesday, August 16th: Students whose last names begin with A-G only
  • Thursday, August 17th: Students whose last names begin with H-N only
  • Friday, August 18th: Students whose last names begin with O-Z only
  • Friday, August 25th - Back-to-School Bash and Football Game 

It is a privilege to partner with you to educate young hearts and minds and equip them for a life that will impact their world for Jesus Christ. Working with you in this endeavor is an honor and a blessing!

Warmest regards and blessings, 


Julia Taylor, M. Ed.
Upper Campus Principal, Grades 7-12
Phone: 919-747-2020
Email: [email protected]