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Linda Alicea

Assistant | 5th and 6th

I am very blessed and privileged to have the opportunity to spend my time with tremendously gifted teachers and students. There is nothing I enjoy more than to see a smile on a student’s face as they walk through the GRACE doors in the morning.

I married my husband, Mike, in 2002 at a ceremony which his father officiated. We relocated to Raleigh in 2008 and we never want to leave.  Our children attend GRACE: Macey (Class of 2025) and Nicholas (Class of 2027). Hope Community Church has been our church ever since we moved to Raleigh. Our 2 dogs are named Anakin and Sandy, they warm my heart every time I see them.

As a family we are avid Carolina Hurricane hockey fans! When I am not chauffeuring the kids to softball or hockey practice my hobbies include crafting, hiking, and puzzles of any kind. Brain teasers and riddles are some fun ways to connect with the students.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Email: LAlicea@GRACEChristian.net

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Ryan Armstrong

Member | GRACE Board of Trustees

Ryan Armstrong is a North Carolina native. He was born in Raleigh and grew up in High Point. He attended Appalachian State University (ASU) where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Technology with a minor in Physics. Ryan met his wife Holly at ASU and they married in 2001.

Ryan and Holly live in Holly Springs and have three children at GRACE - Cole, Taylor, and Emma Kate. The Armstrongs have been a part of the GRACE community for ten years. Cole and Taylor are both very involved in athletics, so you will often find the Armstrongs at either the soccer field or the basketball court.

Ryan and his family attend Hope Community Church where he serves on the Roadie Crew in the parking lot and enjoys being one of the first people to greet someone and welcome them to church.

In 2004, the same year Cole was born, Ryan and Holly started GoPlaySave. They have been blessed to be able to work together for 16 years and have seen God’s hand in growing their business. Ryan is honored to be a part of the GRACE Board of Trustees and is excited to see how God will continue to grow and bless our great school.

Contact Ryan Armstrong at RArmstrong@GRACEChristian.net

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J.B. Baker

Chairman | GRACE Board of Trustees

JB Baker is a Raleigh native who attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While in college, he enjoyed singing with the UNC Clef Hangers and continues to fulfill his love for music by serving on the worship team at Hope Community Church. He graduated from UNC with a Bachelors in Psychology and upon graduation joined IBM's Software Group. JB served in numerous software engineering management and upper leadership roles over his 17 years with IBM. In August of 2016, JB joined UnitedHealth Group as the Director of Software Engineering for Optum, UHG's health information and technology services company.

JB and his wife, Courtney, met in Chapel Hill and have been married for 17 years. They have 3 children at GRACE spanning both campuses - Keenan, Campbell, and Hudson - and have been part of the GRACE community for eleven years. Since joining the GRACE Board of Trustees in 2012, JB has served in various roles during his tenure, including membership on the Strategic Planning Committee, the Chair of the Head of School Search Committee, and Vice Chairman.

When JB is not pursuing his woodworking hobby, he most enjoys spending time with his family and church small group, while also supporting various local charities, among them the Brown Bag Ministry, Pancreatic Cancer Awareness, and the Children's Home Society of North Carolina. Having attended a local Christian primary school himself, JB has a driving passion for Christian education and supporting the mission and vision of GRACE Christian School in both the local and surrounding communities.

Contact J.B. Baker at JBaker@GRACEChristian.net

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Michele Bandy

Director of Community Advancement | GRACE

Hi, my name is Michele Bandy and it's a privilege to be serving the GRACE community since 2002 in many capacities throughout the years. Currently, I am the Director of Community Advancement and enjoy supporting the school through philanthropy, community events, alumni engagement, PTF liaison, and facility development and design. My role advances the school's mission and vision in building a loving community that academically and spiritually equips students for life and impacts the world for Christ.

I'm originally from the West Coast having lived in California and Washington for half my life. In the West, I graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Apparel, Merchandising and Textiles with a minor in Business Administration and have prior experience in the wedding planning industry. During college, I met my husband, Rick, with whom I am now celebrating 28 years of marriage. We've been in the Raleigh area since 1995 and are proud to call North Carolina our home.

Our daughter, Taylor, is a Class of 2013 GRACE Alumna, a graduate of the College of Charleston, and soon-to-be married to my best friend's son, Kyle Margosian. And, our son, David, is a Class of 2019 GRACE Alumnus and now attends North Carolina State University studying mechanical engineering.  In my spare time, I enjoy entertaining, decorating, traveling, attending sporting events, snow skiing, and spending time with family, and friends.

My favorite Bible verse from Jeremiah 29:11-13, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the LORD."

Email: MBandy@GRACEChristian.net

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Rion Bell

Bible & History | Upper Campus

My name is Rion Bell and I am so thankful to be part of the GRACE Christian School family ever since 2014. I grew up on the North Carolina Outer Banks and attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I received my Bachelors in Biblical Studies with an emphasis on Philosophy and History, as well as my Master of Divinity in Christian Apologetics. My wife Kristen and I met while we were attending college.  I am currently pursuing an advanced degree ThM from there as well.

I love discussing and defending the truth of God's Word as well as seeing God work in the hearts of young people. I taught several classes with Southeastern Seminary on Apologetics and Philosophy. I have also been blessed to work with teens and youth as either a teacher or youth pastor ever since 2003.

Email: RBell@GRACEChristian.net

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Mark Bianchi

Computer Science | Upper Campus

Hello. My name is Mark Bianchi and I have been with GRACE since 2016. I teach Computer Science courses and support the IT department when needed.

My wife Sissy and I have two boys, Chris and Alex.

I have an Associate’s degree in Electrical Technology from Hudson Valley Community College located in Troy, New York. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Marist College located in Poughkeepsie, New York. I attended the NC TEACH program offered by NC State.

I have worked for both IBM Poughkeepsie and IBM East Fishkill located in New York.  In 2004 I transferred to IBM's System X division in Research Triangle Park. IBM sold System X to Lenovo and in January 2015 I accepted a voluntary package to leave Lenovo.

Attending Colonial Baptist Church in Cary, N.C. has been a pleasure for our family. I was involved with the youth ministries at Colonial throughout the years my boys grew up and graduated from high school.

I am excited to work alongside the staff here at GRACE. My goal is to share all that I have gained from working in the computer industry to the students at GRACE.

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Email: MBianchi@GRACEChristian.net

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Catherine Bizieff

History | Upper Campus

My family and I moved to North Carolina in 1999 where we made Apex our home until last year. After our youngest son graduated from high school, we moved to the Broadway area, building our “forever home” in the middle of the woods.

I completed college at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, my husband’s final duty station with the USAF, a few years before we moved to North Carolina. I graduated with both an undergraduate and graduate degree from WSU and then I began my teaching career in Fairborn, OH in the late 1990’s.

I love teaching and I also love learning. I am currently working on a second Master’s degree. I am excited to continue my  journey teaching at GRACE and I can’t wait to see what the Lord does over the next year!

email: CBizieff@GRACEChristian.net

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Courtnae Blount

Math | 6th

My name is Courtnae Blount and I am excited to return to GRACE! I teach 6th grade math and love every minute of it! I have a wonderful husband, three awesome boys, and labradoodle named Sunny. I enjoy reading, traveling, spending time with family and friends, and going to UNC basketball and football games.

I cannot wait to see God work in the lives of our children! What a privilege and honor it is to watch and help our children grow academically and spiritually!

Email: CBlount@GRACEChristian.net

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Johnson Boru

Member | GRACE Board of Trustees

Johnson Boru and his family have been a part of the GRACE family since 2010. His son, Keerthi, graduated from GRACE in 2012 and received his collegiate degree from Carnegie Mellon University. His daughter, Pranaya, graduated in 2014 and attended NC State University.
 
Johnson moved to America, from India, in 1989 to pursue a master’s degree. Johnson holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from India and an MBA in International Business from Oklahoma City University.  After earning his MBA, Johnson worked in Silicon Valley and eventually relocated to the Triangle in 2006.
 
Throughout his career, Johnson has held several leadership positions within various tech corporations. He currently leads a Silicon Valley boutique tech consulting firm with offices in Canada, Europe, and Asia. The experiences Johnson has had with his global clients have provided him with unique insight into other cultures. Johnson is excited to offer his various perspectives to GRACE Christian School.
 
Johnson has been married to his wife, Sharan since 1991.  During their free time, they enjoy playing badminton, practicing yoga, and trying new cuisines.  Driven by their culinary curiosity, the couple now operate a small fusion café, Masala Wrap,in Morrisville, North Carolina.
 
Johnson and his family are excited to give back to the community and he is grateful for the opportunity to serve the GRACE Christian School board.
 
Contact Johnson Boru at JBoru@GRACEChristian.net

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Merrily Boyd

Art | Lower Campus

My name is Merrily Boyd, and I love teaching TK-6 art at GRACE!

I grew up in Raleigh and graduated in 2004 from Meredith College with a BA in Studio Art and Art History. I also spent a semester studying at the Burren College of Art in County Clare, Ireland. I worked as a gallery assistant and also as a freelance artist (focusing on painting and illustration) before finding my way to the teaching field, which I truly love!  God has blessed me greatly by guiding me to GRACE Christian School. I joined GRACE in 2008 and have enjoyed seeing our school grow in so many ways! In 2012 I completed my Masters in Elementary Education at NCSU and earned my ACSI certification, and I hope to be teaching art for many more years.  Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my husband Michael and our son, Gibson.

In transitional kindergarten (TK) through fifth grade, art is about exploration. I encourage my students to be creative, to discover the talents God has given them, and to have fun while learning! We learn about the art elements and principles as well as many well-known artists, and many of our projects correspond to the curriculum units studied in students' classrooms during the year. In sixth grade art, students work to improve their skills in both 2D and 3D media. I am proud to hang student artwork in the hallways of GRACE and to display examples of students' art at community events such as the North Carolina State Fair, the ACSI Art Festival, and at Crabtree Valley Mall, to name a few.

I look forward to another great year of art class!

Email: MBoyd@GRACEChristian.net

Learn more about Merrily in the October 24, 2017 Staff Spotlight

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Eric Bradley

Head of School | GRACE

The 2018-19 school year marks Eric Bradley's third year as Head of School at GRACE and his twenty-second year as a Christian school educator.

Mr. Bradley graduated from Alan C. Pope High School in Marietta, Georgia, in 1991. He received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Georgia in 1995. After serving two years as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received a master’s degree in History, Mr. Bradley accepted a teaching position at Charlotte Christian School in North Carolina. Mr. Bradley also earned a master's degree in Educational Leadership from Regent University in Virginia and an Educational Specialist degree from Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

Mr. Bradley served in a variety of roles over the course of his nine years at Charlotte Christian School. He taught AP US History, AP European History, World History, Modern US History, and the Civil War. He served as a national grader for the AP US History exam for three years. As Spiritual Life Director, he created a program that was nationally recognized by the ACSI as a program of excellence. While serving as Assistant Principal, he served as part of the executive leadership team and was largely responsible for teacher evaluations. He also served as a Bible-study leader and basketball coach.

In 2006, Mr. Bradley accepted the position of high school principal at Mount Paran Christian School (MPCS) in Kennesaw, Georgia. At MPCS, he led the growth of the academic program, building the AP offerings from four to eighteen, while also participating in the creation of a directed studies program for students with learning differences. Enrollment in the high school nearly doubled under his leadership. The school also experienced unprecedented growth in college acceptances. He continued to teach, adding British Literature and Senior Seminar to his classroom experiences. Partnering with a fellow teacher and parent, he also led a Bible study for a group of boys that began during their fifth grade year and continued through their seventh grade year.

Eric and his wife, Amy, have been married for nineteen years and have three children who are students at GRACE – Amelia (10th grade), Thomas (6th grade), and Audrey (4th grade). Amy is the National Director of Secondary School Programs for YouScience, an online career guidance program for high school and college students. Avid sports fans, the Bradleys enjoy cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs, Florida State Seminoles, and Atlanta Braves. Mr. Bradley cites Dietrich Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, Erik Larson, and Malcolm Gladwell as his favorite authors.

Email: EBradley@GRACEChristian.net

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Ashley Brantley

Assistant | 4th

My name is Ashley Brantley and I am so blessed to be a part of the GRACE family. Since 2010, I have had many opportunities to serve at GRACE including being the cheerleading coach, room mom, substitute teacher, and lunch room assistant. This year I am thrilled to once again be a part of the 4th grade team as an Instructional Assistant.

I attended the University of South Carolina where I met my husband, Rick. We have been married since 1991 and we have four children. Our oldest, Maddi, is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and teaches 1st grade in Chapel Hill. Noble graduated from GRACE in 2018 and is a part of UNC-Chapel Hill's class of 2022. Claire graduated from GRACE in 2020 and will pursue a marketing degree at UNCW and get her Esthetician license at the Aveda School in Chapel Hill. Gabe (Class of 2026) has attended GRACE since kindergarten and has grown socially, academically and spiritually in the loving environment provided here at GRACE.  In 2012, my husband retired from the Navy after 22 years of service as a Navy pilot and recruiter. His career took us all over the country, but we fell in love with the Raleigh area and GRACE Christian School. God answered our prayers when Rick was hired by Southwest Airlines and we were able to stay in Raleigh. We are very thankful to be here surrounded by our GRACE family.

Email: ABrantley@GRACEChristian.net

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William Brewer

Athletics | Upper Campus

My name is William Brewer and I am excited to be returning to GRACE Christian School to serve in the Athletics Department and as the head Varsity Baseball coach. Athletics have always been a big part of my life and are an amazing platform to display Christ to others. In the words of Billy Graham, “A coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime.”  I am very thankful to be in such a position at GRACE and am looking forward to another fruitful year full of new opportunities.

I grew up in Raleigh and graduated from Furman University in 2013. While at Furman, I was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as the High School Outreach leader and played on the baseball and club ultimate frisbee teams. Go Paladins!! After graduating from Furman, I followed God’s call to serve in Christian camping at Camp Willow Run in Littleton, NC for four years. My time spent serving with this ministry instilled in me the words of the apostle John from 3 John 4 where he says, “I have no greater joy than to know that my children are walking in the truth.”

I have a dog named Koda and we enjoy spending time outdoors, all sports (specifically baseball), frisbee, fishing, good music, drinking coffee, and any sort of activity from Spikeball to swing dancing! I attend the Summit Church and have enjoyed serving with the high school student’s ministry there. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to continue impacting the lives of youth in the classroom and on the athletic fields at GRACE. I am excited to be a part of the GRACE community and for what the upcoming year has in store for us all!

Email: WBrewer@GRACEChristian.net

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BJay Brown

Facilities Director | GRACE

BJay is a true handy man and it would be easier to list what he doesn’t do than what he does! He planned and supervised the upstairs renovation on the Upper Campus during the summer of 2016 which first had the whole second floor gutted, before adding two bathrooms, four new classrooms, and a renovated chapel room in what was previously two large meeting rooms.

During the summer of 2017, he planned and supervised the renovation of the former Hope Community Church office spaces on the upper campus, the lower campus bathroom renovation, the upgrades to the fifth and sixth grade areas, and the new HVAC installation.

BJay grew up in upstate New York and has been married to his high school sweetheart, Marlene, for 36 years. If you have time, he is more than happy to tell you about his beautiful and smart granddaughter, Elliana Belle, or the 1973 Plymouth Barracuda he once owned. GRACE is blessed to have a man with BJay’s experience serving our school. Something you might not know about BJay is that he is licensed to shoot fireworks, officially a pyro-technician. BJay’s favorite book of the Bible is Ecclesiastes as the wisdom contained in it fits so many aspects of life.

Email: BJBrown@GRACEChristian.net

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Andy Chang

Latin & Bible | Upper Campus

After substitute teaching at GRACE throughout 2018-19, I came on board full-time in 2019-2020 to teach Latin and Bible. I grew up in the Washington D.C. area (Potomac, MD), then spent 5 years in Chicagoland, and in 2004, moved to Cary where I’ve been ever since. My family is small: my parents, who are still in Maryland, and my two orange cats (Henry & Little Brother) here in Cary with me.

God has led me through the “scenic route of life” back to full circle to when I was a student at Wheaton College (IL), majoring in Christian Education (B.A.), with a minor in Psychology. Later on, I went on to seminary (M.Div. in Theology, Liberty University), followed by a Master of Theology (Th.M) in Biblical Studies, an M.A. in History, as well as graduate courses in Latin. As far as languages go, in addition to Latin, I studied multiple years of Greek and Hebrew in seminary. I grew up speaking Chinese at home (both Mandarin and Cantonese dialects), and I’m also conversant in Spanish.

Prior to GRACE, my life and work for almost 20 years has also centered around education and students: as youth pastor in predominantly Asian-American churches and teaching music (primarily piano and guitar, though I also play bass, drums, strings). My passion has always been to teach… and to teach about anything that I am passionate about! If you get me talking about any of my interests— theology, photography, music, the great outdoors (rock climbing, caving, kayaking, hiking, camping, etc.), I will likely go into “teacher mode.”

It is a blessing to be at GRACE and I look forward to all that God has in store.
Soli Deo Gloria, humilus et oboedens servus!
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Mandy Church

Teacher | Kindergarten

My name is Mandy Church, and I am excited to be a teaching on the Kindergarten team. Over the years, I have had many roles at GRACE which have included being a room mom, hot lunch volunteer, Communications Committee member for PTF, an "all over the place" substitute on the lower campus, and a Kindergarten Instructional Assistant.

I grew up in the Raleigh area where I graduated from Apex Senior High School. I went on to earn a BA in Elementary Education from High Point University. Following college, I taught at Temple Baptist Day School in Raleigh before moving on to teach in the Wake County Public School System.

God has blessed me greatly with a beautiful family which includes my husband Chad and our two children: Molly, who attends NC State University (GO PACK!) and Carter, who attends GRACE. We are members of First United Methodist Church in Cary - the same church I have attended my whole life!

I pray for God's blessings as we begin a new year together at GRACE!

Email: MaChurch@GRACEChristian.net

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Lisa Ciancarelli

Hot Lunch | 7th-12th Campus

Hi, my name is Lisa Ciancarelli and I have the honor of serving our teenagers at our Crossroads Campus hot lunch program.  I feel extremely blessed to be part of such an amazing staff and to have the privilege of interacting with our teenage students on a daily basis.

I grew up in Rochester, NY, where I met my husband, Matt, soon after graduating college. After marrying Matt, we moved to Camp Lejeune, NC, where my husband served as a United States Marine. Prior to having children, I worked in the travel industry as a travel consultant, doing leisure, corporate and government travel.

My family has been part of the GRACE Family since 2006.  I currently have two children who are students here at the school, with my eldest pursuing his studies at Clemson University.  I do not use the term "GRACE Family" lightly.  We are truly a family here and I am blessed to be part of it.

I look forward to this upcoming year and cannot wait to see what God has in store for this school.

Email: LCiancarelli@GRACEChristian.net

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Nettie Clawson

English Teacher | 6th

Hello! My name is Nettie Clawson. I started teaching English at GRACE in March of 2020. Originally, I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and was inspired by my teachers to pursue teaching as a career in life.

I graduated from Geneva College with a B.S. in both Elementary Education and Special Education along with a Reading Concentration. Then I moved to Raleigh, NC in 2015 to teach Special Education as well as 4th grade. Afterward, I served overseas for a year on a mission trip called the World Race. Upon returning, I knew the Lord was calling me back into the teaching field. I am humbled and thankful to be one of the staff here at GRACE and use my passion for helping students learn and grow. I am grateful to see all the Lord does!

Email: NClawson@GRACEChristian.net

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Willa Bea Coates

Student Information Manager | GRACE

Willa Bea Coates has been a part of the GRACE family since 1997 when her daughter started GRACE as a pre-school student. Today she is the Student Information Manager and oversees the application process for new families as well as assisting GRACE seniors by interfacing with their prospective colleges.

Email: WCoates@GRACEChristian.net

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Cathy Cole

Director of College Counseling | GRACE

My name is Cathy Cole and I am the current Director of College Counseling and a former Communications Director for GRACE. I became a member of the GRACE family in 2007 when my son started 6th grade and have been on staff since January 2012.

I received dual degrees from the University of Pennsylvania; a B.S. in economics and marketing and B.A. in political science. After teaching business skills to non-business managers with an executive education firm in Philadelphia for 11 years, I spent the next eight years home with my children. My son attended GRACE for middle and high school, graduated with the class of 2014, and graduated from Luther College in December of 2017 (a semester early!) with degrees in math and secondary education. My daughter began attending GRACE in the fourth grade, graduated with the class of 2017, and will graduate with degrees in nursing and Spanish from the University of North Carolina Charlotte in the spring of 2021. I have been married to my husband, Wesley since March 1992 and we have lived in Cary all but our first year of marriage. Our aging cairn terrier, Jamma, completes our family.

Our family is active in serving the local church, and I served as a 2nd grade Sunday School teacher for 12 years followed by 7 years as a youth group leader. Currently I rock babies in the nursery and Wesley and I are a host family to a group of NCSU students and enjoy how they make our nest a little less empty!

I did not become a Christian until age 25 and am thrilled to be working in a school where our students can hear the truth about Jesus Christ from the earliest possible age. It is a delight to work alongside such a talented group of staff and teachers who in addition to their subject matter expertise demonstrate the love and sufficiency of Christ to the students at GRACE.

Email: CCole@GRACEChristian.net

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Sarah Counts

English | Upper Campus

Before relocating to North Carolina, I was born and raised in Central Virginia. I graduated from Liberty University in 2013 with my B.S. in Family and Child Development and a minor in Psychology. Additionally, I earned my Virginia teaching license for secondary English. Currently, I am in the process of completing my M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. I have experience teaching in both the public and private school classroom, and I have taught English 9, 10, 11, 12, and AP Literature. My favorite part of teaching is helping students enjoy the process of becoming stronger readers, writers, and communicators.

Outside of school, you can find me watching Food Network, seeking creative ideas on Pinterest, or planning my next vacation. I have been to over twenty countries, and I am passionate about giving my students global experiences and opportunities to see the world with me.

I am excited to be in Raleigh with my husband, Charles, my Aussiedoodle, Louis, and my GRACE family.

email: SCounts@GRACEChristian.net

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Gina DeBruhl

Receptionist | Upper Campus

My family and I moved to Cary in June of 2006.  I began working at GRACE in 2009 as a first grade Instructional Assistant.  After two years I became the fifth grade Instructional Assistant and stay in that position for nine years.  Currently, I am the Front Desk Receptionist at the upper campus.  I am an East Carolina University graduate (Go Pirates!!!) and lived in Greenville, NC for 17 years before our move to Cary. I have two daughters: Sophia at GRACE (Class of 2021) and Margaret (GRACE Alumna) at East Carolina University (Class of 2021).

Each day is a gift from God and what a blessing to spend part of that time helping others be successful.  I find joy and peace working with a team of strong believers, and a pleasure to assist in helping our GRACE students.

I am a member of Apex United Methodist Church, where I am involved with as a small group leader and on the worship service team.

I am looking forward to another great school year!

Email: GDeBruhl@GRACEChristian.net

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Nathan Dewey

Bible & History | Upper Campus

My name is Nathan Dewey and I am excited to have been at GRACE since 2013. I was born and raised in the Finger Lakes area of western New York state before heading to Philadelphia where I went to college at Cairn University. There I received a B.S. in Biblical Studies and a B.S. in Secondary Education, and discovered a passion for teaching.

I ended up returning to my high school alma mater for the next ten years and while back in New York I met and fell in love with my wife, Emily. We have been married since 2009 and been blessed with four wonderful children.

In early 2013, we recognized several signals that God might be wanting us to consider a change. Following His lead led us to this amazing opportunity at GRACE where I have been ever since.

I get pretty excited about teaching Bible and history, analyzing culture, watching Syracuse play ACC basketball, spending time with my five favorite people, and influencing teenagers to make a difference in their world for Christ. I'm blessed to have the opportunity for all those things here at GRACE.

Email: NDewey@GRACEChristian.net

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Anna Downs

After Care | Lower Campus

My name is Anna Downs. The 2019-2020 school year is my second year serving in the After Care program at the Lower Campus, which I love! I love being a part of the GRACE community. I love ministering to the students and families, as well as showing them the love of Christ.

I am full-time college student and in December I will have my Associates in Arts. I am an undecided major and I am still praying what to Lord wants me to do with my life and where He wants me to go. I have a two wonderful parents who have built a strong, solid Christian foundation for myself and my three siblings. At the age of 16, I gave my life to Christ at a church retreat at Fort Caswell in Oak Island, NC. In the summer of 2019, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve on the band with BeDoTell at the very same camp where I accepted Christ. I was able to lead in song for thousands of students, and I was able to disciple to middle school and high school students for 8 weeks.

In my free time, I enjoy going to the beach, photography, playing guitar, spending time with my family and friends and being out in the sun.

My favorite Bible verse is from Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Email: ADowns@GRACEChristian.net

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Anthony Dreesen

Bible & History | 6th

My name is Anthony Dreesen and I am excited for another year at GRACE. I am from Lincoln, Nebraska where I studied History for my undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska.

I also hold a Master of Theological Studies from Shepherd’s Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity degree, also from Shepherds. While studying for my MDiv, I had the pleasure of substitute teaching at GRACE and love teaching here full-time. I love history and teaching the Bible, and am excited for the opportunity to pass this enthusiasm on to students.

My wife and I were married in January 2018 and live in Raleigh where we welcomed our first baby in January 2020 and love every moment with our little girl.  We also enjoy watching Husker football, hunting and fishing, and hanging out with our friends and family.

Email: ADreesen@GRACEChristian.net

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Duane Davis

ENGLISH | UPPER CAMPUS

Duane Davis teaches seventh and eighth grade English at Grace.  He is the son of an Army Chaplain and spent time growing up in Utah, New York, Alabama, Germany, and North Carolina.  He studied English Literature at Appalachian State University and George Mason University before teaching English for several years at Millbrook High School in Raleigh. 

He also studied theology at Westminster Theological Seminary near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has worked as a pastor at churches in Philadelphia, Asheville, and Raleigh.

Some of his favorite books are: The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene, King Lear by William Shakespeare, The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor, The Complete Poetry of George Herbert, and Telling Secrets by Frederick Buechner.  He often confuses himself for Hamlet, and—when not reading—you are likely to find him listening to Bob Dylan.     

Duane and his wife, Julie, live in northeast Raleigh with their four children. 

Email: ddavis@gracechristian.net

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Melanie Dunning

Science & STEM | Upper Campus

My name is Melanie Dunning and I grew up in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. I graduated from N.C. State University in 1997, with degrees in Chemistry and Science Education. I have taught Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science and Physics in Granville and Wake Counties. After taking several years off from teaching when I had children, I worked as a Teacher Assistant and STEM specialist at Briarcliff Elementary where my children attended. During that time, I added elementary and middle grades to my secondary teaching certificate.

I enjoy spending time with my husband and our 2 boys. We love to travel and explore new places. One of my passions is seeing students work together to explore and understand science. I love incorporating technology and project based learning into the classroom. I joined the GRACE community in 2018, and I am excited to share my love of Chemistry and STEM with the students!

Email: MDunning@GRACEChristian.net

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Hannah Eichhorst

Science | Upper Campus

After earning my Bachelors of Science in geology at UNC Wilmington, coming back to teach at GRACE (my alma mater) feels like coming home, and I am honored to be part of this community. I find so much joy in the opportunity to love your young scientists and inspire them to go outside and explore. I currently teach all Earth & Environmental Science classes at GRACE, including AP Environmental Science, 7th grade and High School Earth Science. My academic goal is to help your students see themselves as capable scientists. More importantly, I pray that by studying the Lord's creation we may know Him better, as it says in Psalms 111:2 “Great are the works of the Lord, they are studied by all who delight in him."

When not in the classroom, I spend time with your students on mission trips and adventure camps, or practicing yoga with our sports teams to prevent injuries. If I'm not at school, I'm either fumbling through DIY projects with my husband, or hiking with my very chubby beagle, Bean.

Email: HEichhorst@GRACEChristian.net

Classroom Instagram @Mrs.Eichhorst

Learn more about Hannah by reading the October 2, 2017 Staff Spotlight.

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Nathan Ennis

IT Director | GRACE

The 2018-19 school year will be my first year at GRACE as the IT Director. My family and I moved from Charlotte where, for the last six years, I worked at Charlotte Christian School. After growing up in the Triangle, we are excited to be back home and close to family. My wife, Kristen, and I have two wonderful daughters. The oldest one is part of the Transitional Kindergarten class at GRACE this year.
 
Email: NEnnis@GRACEChristian.net
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Hayley Field

IT Systems Administrator | GRACE

My name is Hayley Field and I am the Systems Administrator at GRACE Christian. I was raised in the Garner area and graduated from a Christian school in Raleigh. I later went to university at a Christian college in Arkansas, called Harding University.

I began my professional career in technology after college at a Raleigh area Christian school. I later joined a managed service provider and provided custom IT services for five years to local companies throughout the state.

I am pleased to be serving the GRACE family with the skills and knowledge that God has given me in IT.

Email: HField@GRACEChristian.net

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Audrey Fogle

Strings Elective | 9th-12th

My name is Audrey Fogle. I have been playing the violin for 20 years and have performed in orchestras, symphonies and philharmonics, for just as long. I teach at the Cary School of Music and have taught group and private lessons. I graduated from East Carolina University and took graduate level classes in Suzuki Pedagogy. I also love worship music and have performed with worship teams as well. I am also a GRACE Christian School alumni and look forward to teaching and working with your students.

Email: AFogle@GRACEChristian.net

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Katie Fowler

Director of Admissions | GRACE

I am so excited to be a part of the GRACE community for another school year as the Director of Admissions (since 2019).  Prior to my role in admissions, I was a faculty member and coached at GRACE. I have enjoyed being a part of this community in various capacities, and I am eager to continue working with current and prospective families to help spread the news of the incredible things happening at GRACE! During my years at GRACE, I have continuously seen the love and light of this community pour into the lives of students, and their families. I am so fortunate to love where I work, and I look forward to seeing God's faithfulness continue to unfold this year!

I attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where I obtained a Bachelors's Degree in Special Education with a minor in Psychology and earned my Master's in Educational Psychology from Ball State University in 2017.  In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my fiance,  family, my two pups (Remi & Whaler),  and being outdoors (especially on the water)!

Email: KFowler@GRACEChristian.net

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Randy Fox

Facilities Staff | GRACE

Randy is a valued member of the GRACE facilities team. His co-workers describe him as a fun-loving guy who is easy to get along with and according to several staff members, Randy is a worthy "Words with Friends" opponent. After graduating high school, Randy joined the navy as part of the Construction Battalion, better known as the Seabees, and served six years. After leaving the Navy he served in the North Carolina Army National Guard for 18 years where he was a mechanic working on M1 Abrams and M1A1 tanks. During his time in the National Guard, Randy completed his college degree and one of his favorite memories is when he walked across the stage to receive his diploma at the age of 32.

Email: RFox@GRACEChristian.net

 

 

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Nancy Gardner

LEAP Specialist | GRACE

I am delighted to be joining the staff at GRACE Christian School as a learning specialist on the Upper Campus. I have 30 years of professional, instructional experience and was most recently an 8thgrade language arts instructor at Cary Academy. I have also taught high school English, all levels of Spanish, and English as a Second Language classes.
 
I have my master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with content specialties in English, Spanish, and Speech. As an educator, it is my passion to help students develop their individual, God-given talents and gifts.
 
My husband, Gary, and I have been married for 43 years and we are active members of the Brooks Avenue Church of Christ in Raleigh. We have two adult children and two grandchildren who we enjoy immensely.

Email: NGardner@GRACEChristian.net

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Beth German

Resources Manager | GRACE

My family has been a part of the GRACE Christian School community since our twins started at GRACE in 2005. As all four of our children became school-aged and students of GRACE, I have served the community as a parent, as a member of the PTF and finally as the secretary of the GRACE Board of Trustees. In 2014, I joined the staff at GRACE in the Finance Department and in 2015 I moved into the position of Resources Manager. The common saying is that I manage our pens, pencils, paper, printers, processes, and personnel (files)! In addition, I manage the internal GRACE calendar but we cannot seem to come up with a "P" word for that!

I have been an NC resident my entire life, having grown up in the north-eastern part of the state. After receiving my BS in Accounting from Meredith College I completed my Masters in Accounting at UNC-Chapel Hill. I have worked with large CPA firms, large corporations, and small CPA firms prior to staying at home with our four children while they were young. My husband and I are very thankful that God led us to find GRACE for our children's education.   We are the proud parents of three GRACE graduates and a sophomore. It has been an honor to serve the Lord here with the incredible, godly faculty and staff and to see the changes and growth that GRACE has experienced since we joined the community in 2005.

Email: BGerman@GRACEChristian.net

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Tina Giammetta

After Care | Lower Campus

Hi!  My name is Tina Giammetta and I am so blessed to be joining GRACE Christian and am very much looking forward to being a light in the lives of the children.

I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior 2 1/2 years ago and was baptized one year later and am a member at Good Hope Baptist Church in Cary.  I love Jesus, my church and my church family and look forward to becoming part of a new family at GRACE Christian.

I moved here from New Jersey 11 years ago where I taught children’s cooking classes and then, after moving to NC, became staff at Southern Season Cooking School in Chapel Hill, where I also had opportunity to teach children’s classes as well.  I love cooking and inviting friends for dinner and do so often.

email: TGiammetta@GRACEChristian.net

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Mandy Gill

Principal | Upper Campus

My family and I moved to Cary in July 2007 from Los Angeles where I taught in a Christian school for 11 years. We were born and raised in South Africa and are now United States citizens. Our heart is for reaching the lost. We are part of a church plant here in NC. We enjoy coming alongside and being a support team for the lead couple.

My husband loves construction and runs a business remodeling bathrooms. He also enjoys real estate and invests here in North Carolina. My son, Joshua, graduated from UNC Chapel Hill the first time with a degree in political science and recently graduated from UNC Chapel Hill a second time with a degree in nursing. He is now nursing at Duke Hospital and really enjoys helping people! My daughter, Vickilyn, graduated from UNC Wilmington with a degree in social work and has recently completed her Masters in social work at NCSU. My youngest daughter, Michelle, graduated from NCSU with a degree in tourism management. The girls live together in downtown Raleigh minister to their neighborhood from their home, called the Hope House. Both girls have a passion for working with young people and helping them reach their potential and the calling on their lives.

Although I am in administration now, I enjoy teaching Science and Math at any level. My motivation is to see our students grow in all areas of their lives and to continually build our school into a school of excellence. What a privilege it is to see students reaching new heights and new challenges.

I received my Masters degree in Administration and Supervision from Liberty University and really enjoy using the skills I have learned from this course at GRACE. We have a wonderful and supportive team of teachers and administrators who love God, love each other, and love your students! We pray that this will be a great year for GRACE and our students.

Email: MGill@GRACEChristian.net

 

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Samantha Giuggio

Member | GRACE Board of Trustees

Samantha and her husband, Nick, are originally from Massachusetts and relocated to North Carolina in 2007. They have four children who have all attended GRACE Christian School. Their oldest sons are currently attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech while the other two children are currently enjoying the culture and student life at GRACE.

Samantha has passion for helping others and a natural desire for knowledge which has provided her with the skills and ability to share and effectively teach others. Over the years and through her experience she has developed a strong personal and professional work ethic.

Samantha is currently the Senior Vice President at Fathom Realty, a full time Real Estate Professional, and a Certified Speaker and Coach for the John Maxwell Company. Samantha also has an entrepreneurial spirit and work history that has allowed her the opportunity to work in many different industries. She and Nick are the owners of a local restaurant in Apex, NC called Apex Wings.

Samantha is motivated by the opportunity to teach, educate and inspire people to make a difference in their own life but also in the lives of others. She does this by sharing her passion for business, growth, personal development and servant leadership with others. Developing leaders, coaching on best practices, and creating processes to allow them to explore a deeper understanding of servant leadership and its greater impact on others has been a privilege and a gift she is grateful to have been given. 

Samantha has many things she enjoys in her life but nothing compares to the joy she receives when she is spending time with her family. She has a passion for Christian education and is thankful for the life lessons and the opportunities that it has provided for she and her family.

Contact Samantha Giuggio at SaGiuggio@GRACEChristian.net

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Jennifer Goeking

Teacher | 2nd

Hi! Welcome to the GRACE community!  My name is Jen Goeking. I grew up in Raleigh and am definitely a North Carolina girl! Go Tarheels! I attended Wheaton College in Illinois for my undergraduate degree in elementary education, and UNC Wilmington for my masters degree in teaching. This is my 15th year of teaching, and I have been so blessed each year by the students and families that the Lord has placed in my classroom. I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity to teach at GRACE!!!

I am passionate about the Lord and proclaiming his name and his love to the nations. A few years ago, I went on the World Race, a mission trip through Adventures in Missions which goes to 11 countries in 11 months. That experience shaped my understanding of other cultures and the desperate need for prayer and the gospel to continue to go forth to all nations. I am grateful for the opportunity to incorporate my knowledge from my trip into my classroom each year as I have joined the GRACE community in equipping world changers for Jesus!

Email: JGoeking@GRACEChristian.net

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Lilian Gomide

3rd Grade Assistant | Lower

Hello, my name is Lilian Gomide. I am so excited to be working at GRACE as the 3rd Grade Instructional Assistant. Our family has been a part of the GRACE community since 2017 and are so blessed by the relationships we have created here.

I am originally from Brazil and have attended Newton Paiva College there. My husband, Cris, and I moved to Raleigh in 2002. We have 2 wonderful kids, Lucas in 3rd grade and Isabella in Kindergarten.

I am so honored to be a part of the GRACE community.

Email: LGomide@GRACEChristian.net

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Paula Green

Assistant Principal | Lower Campus

Working with children and sharing the love of Jesus are my passions.  Watching my own children grow, gave me a deeper understanding of how important these early years are.  Knowing the foundation children receive when they are young will be with them all their lives drives my passion for being part of a Christian school.

My degree is in elementary education and I was an elementary teacher for twenty-two years, seventeen of those at GRACE. As the Lower Campus Assistant Principal I delight in supporting our teachers and continuing to point your children to Jesus.  I consider it a privilege to be entrusted to help train up the next generation in the way of the Lord. It is my prayer that these children will go from GRACE with a firm foundation in Him, ready to serve wherever He calls, being salt and light to those around them.

Consider the words of our Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: ‘The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.'" 

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: ‘The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.'" 

Email: PGreen@GRACEChristian.net

To learn more about Paula, read her February 20, 2018 Staff Spolight.

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Lynn Greenfield

1st Grade Teacher | Lower Campus

Hello! My name is Lynn Greenfield, and I am blessed to join the staff of Grace Christian School as a 1st Grade Teacher! I am a graduate of the Masters University (2005) and have a BA in History. Since 2006, I have taught grades Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 2nd Grade in three different states including California, Texas, and North Carolina. I have taught in public school most of my career including schools in both Northern and Southern California, Frisco, Texas, one year of Pre-K at a small Christian preschool in Allen, Texas, and Wake County School District. This will be my 12th year of teaching for the 2020 school year.

My family is from California, and we are excited to have made North Carolina our new home in April 2019.  I have been married to my wonderful husband, Logan, since 2008. He works as an Agent Services Director for Keller Williams in Cary.  We have four adventurous and energetic children who will be attending Grace Christian with me.  Sophia (5th),  Zoe (3rd),  Nora (1st), and Phinehas “Finn” (TK).  We just got a new puppy, a yellow lab, in June 2020 and his name is Bolt.  He sure keeps us all on our toes, and we just love him! Our family loves anything outdoors including hiking, swimming, and cheering on our favorite sports teams: The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Rams.

Thank you for allowing me the blessing of being able to teach your child. I value each child I teach and cannot wait to get to know him or her. I look forward to inspiring my firsties to learn in a safe, loving, and Christ-like environment. It’s going to be a fantastic year!

Email: LGreenfield@GRACEChristian.net

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Lindsey Hannah

After Care | Lower Campus

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Brenda Hare

Teacher | 3rd

Hi! I'm Brenda Hare. I have taught third grade at GRACE for several years. I am a graduate of North Carolina State University.

My husband is the pastor at Stanhope Baptist Church.  I have two adult sons. Walking my dog, reading, and gardening are a few of my leisure activities. I have been a supporter of GRACE since it was established over 30 years ago because I know the importance of Christian education.

Email: BHare@GRACEChristian.net

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Karen Harrison

Spanish | K-6th

I attended Meredith College in Raleigh and received a B.A. in Spanish, a K-4 elementary education/teaching certificate and a K-6 Spanish certificate. I have a Christian Education certificate from ACSI.  I taught Spanish for 8 years in the Wake County Public School System before staying home for 10 years with my children. My family has been active at First Church (FUMC-Cary) for over 25 years where I taught preschool for 2 1/2 years. I have served as room parent and board member at GRACE and currently teach our younger students Spanish. I have had three children at GRACE over the past 19 years.  My two oldest graduated in 2015 and 2017, and the youngest graduates in 2021. I've been teaching Spanish at GRACE since 2010.

Email: KHarrison@GRACEChristian.net

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Jaime Hartley

Drama & Dance | Both Campuses

My name is Jaime Hartley, and I love being a part of the GRACE Christian School family. I hold my MA in Dance from American University and my BA in Theater and Dance from Cedar Crest College. I am a former student of the Laban Conservatory in London, England, where I studied European Dance Theatre. I was a recipient of the CWKelly award for Movements Studies. Following a blessed performance and teaching career in London and Washington, D.C., God put me in a wonderful church where I met my husband Terry. In 2013, along with our son Liam, we moved to my husband's home state of North Carolina. In my free time I enjoy being with my family at the lake and the various parks through out the area.

I am excited to share my love for Christ and the performing arts with the students at GRACE.

Email: JHartley@GRACEChristian.net

To learn more about Jaime, read the January 16, 2018 Staff Spotlight.

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Tomeka Hartsfield

Computer | TK-6th

Hello! My name is Tomeka Hartsfield and God brought my husband and I to GRACE as parents seeking a great education with a Christian foundation for our children. I have almost two decades of teaching experience and I am certified in North Carolina to teach technology/business education courses. Teaching children is truly my passion and gift which I am very excited to share with the GRACE family.

I graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Technology Education in 1998 when I met and married my husband. We have 3 children Robbie, Leah Grace, and Camille. We are active members of White Rock Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, NC where we serve in the youth ministry. I enjoy spending time with my family watching movies, playing board games, and traveling.

I feel very blessed to be able to teach at GRACE. My hope is to teach my students how to utilize technology to enhance their learning and daily lives while incorporating God’s word.

Email: THartsfield@GRACEChristian.net

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Beth Hawks

Science | Upper Campus

What do you need to know about me? I am a Raleigh native who attended Friendship Christian and Sanderson High School. The Lord led me to ORU in Tulsa, Oklahoma to earn my BS in secondary science education (physics emphasis). For three years I taught physical science to freshman in the great metropolis of Jenks America, Oklahoma (Yes, that's the name of the town). I loved my work there, but I missed my family. My parents live in Raleigh. My brother and sister-in-law were raising my niece and nephews in Wake Forest, and I didn't want them growing up without me.

I moved to Raleigh and worked for one year at my alma mater, Sanderson High School. During my time there, God made it clear that He wanted me to teach in a place where I could address the hearts of my students, not just their minds or behavior. While interviewing with Teresa Allsbrook and Kathie Thompson, I knew I was home. While at GRACE, I have taught 8th Grade Physical Science, Chemistry, Physics, 7th Grade Health, Freshman Health, Algebra IB, Photography, and Yearbook (not all in one day). Yearbook is a challenge that I love and look forward to each year. Look around any time you are attending a GRACE event. I'm the crazy woman with the camera. It is more work than I ever knew was possible, but I adore it.

What do you really need to know about me? I love science. I love your kids. I love watching your kids discover science. I am so grateful to be a teacher here with this family of believers. I recently heard someone say that GRACE is like a second church family for them. I couldn't agree more. Thank you for entrusting your children to us. Please know how seriously we take that charge.

Email: BHawks@GRACEChristian.net

Learn more about Beth in the December 12, 2017 Staff Spotlight

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Dr. Karri Hawley

Guidance Counselor | GRACE

I am thrilled to be joining GRACE this year as the school counselor and establishing the guidance program. I have been a part of the GRACE community as a parent for the last 5 years and I know firsthand what a special place it is.  I am excited to use my experience in counseling and human development to come alongside our kids and to help create a healthy school environment in which they can learn and grow. 

My background is in counseling and psychology; I have a master’s degree in counseling and my PhD is in Developmental Psychology from Louisiana State University. I have worked in a variety of settings with students and families including schools, hospitals, and individual counseling centers. For the last nine years I have been online faculty and a subject matter expert at Liberty University in the department of Psychology. Throughout all my professional positions, one of my biggest joys is mentoring and encouraging students. I have missed this face-to-face interaction with students, so when the opportunity at GRACE became available I knew this was where I was called to be.

I have been married to my husband Robert for 22 years. We have three children that attend GRACE; Avery, Alex and Walker. We are members of Hope Community Church and I have served in a variety of roles, primarily in children’s ministry. We relocated to North Carolina six years ago and just love the area!  My husband and I both grew up in Florida and we have lived all over the South, with one stop in the Northeast. I love spending time with my family, traveling, and am always up for a good cup of coffee! My entire family are avid college sports fans - both the SEC and ACC are represented in our home - Geaux Tigers and Noles!  Looking forward to a wonderful school year and all that God has in store for us as a school community!

email: KHawley@GRACEChristian.net

 

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Darrel Hegar

Treasurer | GRACE Board of Trustees

Darrel Hegar has graduated two sons from GRACE. Michael graduated in 2014 and recently graduated from Washington & Lee University while Justin graduated in 2018 and is attending the University of Pennsylvania.

Up through the beginning of 2018, Darrel held the position of Regional Vice President of Field Operations for Charter Communications Carolinas Region. In that role he was responsible for leading the execution and improvement of Charter’s service delivery strategies in the Carolinas.  Darrel managed operations across 3 states, with a team of more than 4,000 employees serving more than 2.5 million customers.

Prior to 2009, Darrel served as the Vice President & General Manger of the Northeast Ohio Division of Time Warner Cable. He was responsible for the overall growth and service strategies for all customers in a five county territory based out of Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1998, Darrel joined the cable industry working for MediaOne in Denver, Colorado. He subsequently worked with AT&T Broadband and Comcast through a series of mergers. He has senior leadership roles in Corporate Strategy, Product Management and Marketing prior to dedicating his career to serving customers in a field leadership capacity. His knowledge of the consumer business segment was developed as an entrepreneur, when he started his own computer sales and service company six years prior to entering the communication industry.

Originally from Benton Harbor, Michigan, Hegar graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, where he received scholarships from NASA and the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office. Hegar completed his Masters in Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He also completed Executive Leadership training at Harvard Business School, Tuck Business School at Dartmouth and the Anderson School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Hegar served five years in the United States Air Force. He is a Gulf War veteran with several medals and awards of recognition for his service. 

Contact Darrel Hegar at DHegar@GRACEChristian.net

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Blake Hickman

Bible & Dean of Students | Upper Campus

My name is Blake Hickman and I am thrilled to be a part of the GRACE family teaching Bible and serving as one of the Dean of Students. Our family has been a part of the GRACE community for many years. My wife, Amber, teaches at the lower campus and our 5 boys are all students here at GRACE. I have been teaching at GRACE since January of 2019 and started serving as Dean of Students in June of 2020.

I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and Amber and I met at Liberty University which is where I graduated with my bachelors degree in Religion. Amber and I moved to Raleigh in December of 2000 so I could work on my masters degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Upon moving here, Amber started teaching at GRACE and did so til I graduated seminary with my masters degree in Christian Education. I served in local church ministry for 16 years as a student pastor, children and families pastor, and as the lead pastor of a church plant.

I love teaching God's Word, discipling others and helping parents and students grow in their relationships with one another and the Lord.

email: BHickman@GRACEChristian.net

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Amber Hickman

Teacher | 4th

After rejoining the GRACE family in 2013 in third grade where I taught for six years, I was promoted to 4th Grade for the 2019-2020 school year.  My family has been a part of GRACE for the past 11 years when our oldest son started kindergarten, and then our second son followed two years later. Prior to becoming a stay at home mom to our five boys, I taught 2nd Grade here at GRACE for three years.  I graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. I am originally from Colorado, but met and married an Alabama boy while we were both attending Liberty. We moved to Raleigh in 2000 for my husband, Blake, to attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Blake has pastored in the local church, until 2019 when he joined me at GRACE part-time teaching Bible to juniors and seniors.  We have five boys, all who attend GRACE, Asher (Class of 2022), Caleb (2024), Nate (2026), Judah (2027), and Maddox (2029).

I feel very blessed to be back in the classroom teaching, and am thrilled to be a part of the wonderful GRACE family.

Email: AHickman@GRACEChristian.net

 

 

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Zoai Hines

After Care | Lower Campus

Hi everyone! My name is Zoai Hines. I am a sophomore at Wake Technical Community College and am majoring in Early Childhood Education. I have two great parents and three wild and loving sisters, so I am always prepared for anything. I have grown up in church. I accepted Christ when I was 10 years old and was baptized by my grandfather who is a preacher, which makes that day extra special. I have loved working as a counselor at camp Chestnut Ridge for the past three summers and volunteering with Vacation Bible School at my church. I am excited to be a part of the GRACE Christian School community and am looking forward to getting to know and help encourage the young students in the aftercare program.

I love the outdoors and in my free time I enjoy hiking, camping, playing sports, running, going to the beach, listening to music, and going to concerts. I am so happy to be  joining in what God is doing at GRACE Christian School! GO EAGLES!

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Donna Howard

English | Upper Campus

I came to GRACE as a parent seeking purposeful education for my children in 2004. Now, I teach AP English Literature, AP Language, Senior English and serve as Head of the English Department. While teaching allows for imparting knowledge, building skills, and continual learning, I love the process in Christian education as we educate the whole child both intellectually and spiritually. My goal is to guide students to understand the privilege, value, and responsibility in learning while considering the biblical implications of knowledge.

When not in my classroom, I love being with my husband and our adult children enjoying outdoor activities, traveling, reading, gardening, and visiting with friends. My academic and educational training came from Peace College and North Carolina State University; my practical training came from parenting our son and daughters.

The greatest hope for all of my students, past, present, and future, is that we meet one day around the throne of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Email: DHoward@GRACEChristian.net

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Mary Claudia Huntley

Teacher | 1st

My name is Mary-Claudia Huntley and I teach first grade at GRACE. I am a native North Carolinian and graduated from Meredith College with a B.A. in Religion and Elementary Education. My family has been a part of GRACE since 2003. My husband Scott and I married in 1989. We  have two sons who are both GRACE graduates (2014 and 2017). Our oldest graduated from Charleston Southern University and our youngest is a junior at UNC Charlotte. Most of the time you can find me reading, attending baseball games, and playing with our new puppy, Sugar. Our family loves to travel. We enjoy the beach, Blowing Rock, N.C., Disney World, and cruising.

Teaching in a Christian school is a work of the heart. My heart is with Jesus and serving Him. I pray that all of my students will grow in Him this year. As a teacher, I get to be a part of many little moments where God demonstrates His love.

Email: MHuntley@GRACEChristian.net

To learn more about Mary Claudia, read her February 6, 2018 Staff Spotlight.

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Paul Hutton

Facilities Staff | GRACE

Paul may not love painting, but seeing Paul with a paintbrush in his hand is a common site at GRACE, especially during the summer. Paul is likely one of the few people that knows the “paint name” of every color on every wall at GRACE! Paul has played a huge role in keeping the athletic field neat and tidy as well as clearing out the “grassy” are near the parking lot of tree stumps, poison ivy, etc. Paul attends Hope Community Church where he volunteers on the security team. Paul enjoys running, hiking, and kayaking.

Email: PHutton@GRACEChristian.net

 

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Laura Jacobs

English & College Counseling | Upper Campus

My name is Laura Jacobs, and I teach English, junior seminar, and senior seminar. Teaching the seminar classes inspired my decision to join the college counseling team. The first half of my career was spent in corporate America, but ten years ago, I was called into education and cannot imagine being anywhere else.

I earned my B.A. in English/creative writing from UNC-Wilmington, my teaching certification from Western Carolina University, and I'm  certified to teach English as a Second Language. In addition to my teaching certifications, I hold a college counseling certification from UC San Diego.

I'm passionate about social justice. I encourage students to be open to looking at life and literature from different perspectives. Teaching through a Biblical lens provides space for courageous conversations and develops compassion. My goal in both English and college counseling is to equip students for the variety of experiences they will encounter once they leave GRACE. I encourage critical thinking, asking difficult questions, and examining how we can share the gospel through our actions and not just our words. My faith, my travels and my life experiences are what drive this passion.

I'm married and have two sons - a junior at GRACE and a sophomore at Cary High School. In our free time, we most enjoy relaxing and spending time as a family. When I am not with them, I am reading.

My favorite Bible verse is Micah 6:8 "What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (NIV)

Email: LJacobs@GRACEChristian.net

Learn more about Laura by reading the August 29, 2017 Staff Spotlight.

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Sarah Jarvis

Teacher | 2nd Grade

Hello! Welcome to the GRACE community. My name is Sarah Jarvis and I have the privilege of being on the 2nd grade team as one of the teachers! I attended Liberty University and graduated with a double major in psychology: human services and family and child development. I am passionate about helping children grow in the knowledge of the Lord and helping them learn the foundations for life!!

In 2015, I married the man whom I wanted to marry since high school! Long story short, in my senior year of college, God provided us to re-connect, 2 years later we got engaged at the Outer Banks and then got married here in Raleigh. We do not have any children but two lovable cats named, Ruthie and Boaz! We attend RFA (Raleigh First Assembly) and have for most of our lives!

One fun fact about me is that I attended GRACE from preschool all the way up until 12th grade. It is a real testament to the Lord and to the school that God has provided a space back for me at GRACE! It is an honor to serve the children here at GRACE and can't wait for a great year with all the wonderful 2nd graders!! May God richly bless this year as we pursue Him and learn lots!!

Email: SJarvis@GRACEChristian.net

Learn more about Sarah by reading the September 26, 2017 Staff Spotlight

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Kathleen Huggins Johnson

Transportation Coordinator | GRACE

I'm Kathleen Huggins Johnson and am one of the few Raleigh natives around! We came to GRACE in 2009 from public school when my oldest was in 5th grade. From a parents' perspective it was the best move we could have made, and it was the first time my son had been truly happy in school in a long time. The loving, nurturing, biblical setting has allowed both my boys to flourish. My boys are in 12th and 6th grades and truly love being a part of the GRACE community.

I started working at Grace in 2011 with the After Care program and over the years have transitioned to the Accounting Department as well as serving as the Transportation Coordinator. I have enjoyed working for GRACE because it gives me a chance to meet students and parents and see the overall Christ-centeredness of our school. God has blessed me with incredible people from GRACE - educators, prayer warriors, friends - all who remind me that our Christian faith and the Truth we know will prevail. Being a part of the GRACE family lifts me up daily!

I graduated with a business degree from Wake Forest University and worked several years in the travel industry before becoming a stay-at-home-mom (who, ironically, never seemed to be at home). I teach 3rd/4th/5th grade girls' missions at my church. I do not enjoy housework but do enjoy traveling, reading, sports, and being with my family and friends.

Email: KHuggins@GRACEChristian.net

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Ellen Kaehler

Chorus, Vocal Ensemble, 3rd-5th Grade Music Teacher | GRACE

Hello. My name is Ellen Kaehler, and I am the Choral Music Director for Elementary Chorus, 6th Grade Vocal Ensemble, and Middle School and High School Vocal Ensembles. I am also the general Music Teacher for 3rd-5th Grade.

I received my Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in music from Appalachian State University where I also taught piano and piano classes as a graduate student. I also taught piano and keyboard theory for several summers at the renowned at Cannon Music Camp at ASU.

Prior to coming to GRACE, I was a Choral Director at the high school level in Wake County. I have served the music ministry at Edenton Street United Methodist Church here in Raleigh as the Director of the Youth Choir and Substitute Director for the Chancel Choir.

My husband, Larry, and I have two children. Brittany is a doctoral student in Choral Music at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (Class of 2022). (Another Choral Director in the family!) Brad is a student at East Carolina University. We live in Knightdale with our much-loved Cairn Terrier, Angie.

Email: EKaehler@GRACEChristian.net

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Miranda Kaluka

Teacher | Kindergarten

Hi! My name is Miranda Kaluka and I am one of the kindergarten teachers here at GRACE.

My husband, Jesse, and I met at Liberty University in 1999 where I first felt the longing to work with children in a classroom setting. I graduated from Liberty with my degree in Elementary Education with minors in both English and Child Psychology and have been working with children in some capacity since then. I have taught 1st and 2nd Grade in Christian, public, and charter schools in both North Carolina and Virginia.

I have also directed the Awana Cubbies program at The Summit Church at the Brier Creek Campus for several years as well as assisted in directing the special needs, and elementary children’s program there. We are very blessed to have an amazing church family and small group.

Jesse and I were married in 2002 and after moving around from Lynchburg, Virginia, Manassas, Virginia, and Northwest Cary, have settled in Apex with our three children; Miller (12 years old), Ellie (10 years old), and Thaxton (7 years old). Our family has been at GRACE since 2015 and has seen the Lord do amazing things in the lives of our children through the amazing teachers and staff here. I was blessed to join the Kindergarten team in 2017 and am excited for another amazing year! I am truly honored to be a part of the GRACE faculty.

Email:MiKaluka@GRACEChristian.net

To learn more about Miranda, read her May 1, 0218 Staff Spotlight.

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Christina Kern

2nd Grade Teacher | Lower Campus

Hello and welcome to the GRACE community! My name is Christina Kern and I am honored to be teaching second grade at GRACE. I grew up in New Jersey but relocated to the Raleigh area with my family in high school. I had the privilege of attending GRACE as a student for 9-12th grade and had the BEST experience.  I graduated from Liberty University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in Reading. I then returned to the area where I taught third and fourth grade in Wake County Public Schools for five years. I currently live in Cary with my husband and Mack, our German Shepard. If I'm not at school, my husband and I are either working on a home project or checking a new national park off our list!

I have a passion for making sure each child knows that they are seen and feel like they matter in my classroom. I am looking forward to seeing all the Lord will do this school year as we learn and grow together!

Email: CKern@GRACEChristian.net

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Heather Kinrade

Hot Lunch | Lower Campus

Hello, my name is Heather Kinrade and I have had the pleasure of working with the TK-6 students since 2014 with the Hot Lunch Program, first as the assistant and now as the Food Services Director.  I cannot explain the joy I get out of seeing all these smiling faces each day at lunch! I get the pleasure of sharing jokes, hugs, and encouraging kids to try new foods. I also love going to the upper campus and seeing the sweet little faces having grown into teenagers taller than me!  Each day is so very special to me and I enjoy every minute of it.

My family has been a part of the GRACE family since 2011.  I’ve had the pleasure of serving as a volunteer, room parent, member of the PTF, and a sports mom.  Even now, you’re likely to see either me or my husband, Marcus, as a volunteer on a field trip or acting as room parent.  If I’m not in the lunchroom, I’m probably in the carpool line with one very spoiled Chihuahua named FeeFee!

I obtained my Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Meredith College in 2001 and am ServSafe certified through the National Restaurant Association in accordance with Wake County Environmental Health & Safety Division requirements.  We attend Aversboro Road Baptist Church in Garner and are active in youth activities and other committees within our church serving The Lord.  We also volunteer our time at various charities and are always looking for a way for us to serve our community. I look forward to another year here at GRACE, helping these amazing kids try new foods, and experiencing all that God has in store for me.

Email: hkinrade@gracechristian.net

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Sarah Kornegay

Accounts Receivable & Payroll Manager | GRACE

I am so grateful that the Lord led our family to GRACE in the fall of 2018.  I have two daughters who are students here, and I really love being a part of the Finance Department working with Accounts Receivable, Donations, and Payroll.

I grew up in North Carolina and graduated from UNC-Charlotte in the Business Honors Program, with a major in accounting and a minor in communications. It was also during college that I became a Christian, through the ministry of Inter-Varsity.  After graduating from college, I worked for Arthur Andersen and Grant Thornton in their federal tax department for several years.

In 2003, I joined Wycliffe Bible Translators, and raised financial support before starting my assignment as the accounting manager for JAARS in Waxhaw, NC. JAARS is where much of the transportation, training, and technical support for Wycliffe Bible Translators happens. Before joining the staff at GRACE, I spent a year working at NC State University as a budget analyst in the Facilities Division - Go Pack!

My husband Craig and I were married in 2008, and we have been in Raleigh since then. We love being a part of The Summit Church. In my free time I enjoy being with family and friends, especially if it involves hiking in the mountains or reading (but not at the same time)!

I am so thankful to be a part of the encouraging staff team here at GRACE and look forward to God continuing to use GRACE to raise up this next generation to be a part of His Kingdom.

Email:SKornegay@GRACEChristian.net

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Marlaina Law

Administrative Assistant | Upper Campus

Hello! I am a PA native who married my best friend, Nathan, in 2018. Together we moved to Raleigh, NC right after we were married and about 9 months later, I found myself working at GRACE first as a Substitute Teacher and shortly after an Admin Assistant for the Upper Campus.

I have a International Business degree from Liberty University, and hope to use it one day to do business as missions in another country. Until the Lord calls us over to a specific place, we are here stateside training to be obedient to Christ no matter where we are. We are members of Imago Dei Church in North Raleigh and have loved how the church is structured, teaches the Word exegetically, and the family community since we stepped foot in the door. We love discipling youngsters, being outside (hikes, kayaks, camping, walks, life, you name it!), playing any sort of competitive sport (especially volleyball), and snacking on many sweet treats. My favorites would be devouring some Double Stuf Oreos, Chocoloate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, some juicy fresh Strawberries!

Starting my first year at GRACE in the craziness of 2019-20 (COVID-19), I am already proud to be a part of such a strong school finding and exemplifying their unity in Christ for all the families involved. I am certainly looking forward to playing my part in whatever GRACE has planned for the future!

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Lorna Lodholz

3rd Grade Instructional Assistant & Admissions Assistant | Lower Campus

My name is Lorna Lodholz and I am thrilled to be joining the 3rd grade team and the Admissions Office starting this year in 2020.

In 3rd grade, I will be serving as an Instructional Assistant, working every day with students and assisting teachers.  In my Admissions role, I will be welcoming new families and leading our GCS Parent Connection Team.  I have been a staff member at GRACE since 2013, working with our littlest Eagles in Transitional Kindergarten.

Our family feels so blessed to be part of this loving community (I know you will too!) and we have enjoyed watching our children, Aubrey (2025), Jonas (2020), and a student at Appalachian State University, and Grace (2015), and a 2019 graduate of Gardner-Webb University, grow and develop into all God wants them to be.

I graduated from Gonzaga University and spent many years raising money for private schools and NC State University, before I made the choice to stay at home with our kids - even though I was never really at home.

My husband and I have been married since 1992, and our family enjoys living in downtown Cary.  We recently purchased 60 acres on the New River, just outside of Boone, and we enjoy spending time together whenever we can, playing with our animals (we have goats and donkeys), and remodeling a house - there is lots to learn, but we are having fun!

We attend Triangle Community Church and love serving as a family.  It is my prayer for our students and their families to know what a privilege it is to partner with them this year.  I am excited for us to learn, explore, laugh and have fun together.

I will let them be little, fill their hearts with laughter, nurture their sense of wonder, encourage them to dream, inspire them to believe, and love them like there is no tomorrow. 

Email: LLodholz@GRACEChristian.net

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Julianne MacBain

Math | Upper Campus

My name is Julianne MacBain and I am very excited to be returning to GRACE for another school year. I grew up in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina and then attended North Carolina State University. Go Pack! After graduating, I joined Teach For America and began teaching math at a high school in Charlotte, NC. I fell in love with teaching math and decided to stay in the classroom after my commitment with Teach For America ended.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends and traveling to the beach on the weekends. I also enjoy attending a variety of NC State sporting events. I married my husband Charlie in the Fall of 2019. Teaching at GRACE is such a blessing. I pray this year that students would be able to grow deeper in their love of the Lord and in their love of others around them.

Luke 10:27 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself."

Email: JMacbain@GRACEChristian.net

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Andrei Malacinski

Member | GRACE Board of Trustees

My name is Andrei Malacinski and I am grateful to be a GRACE board trustee. I am excited about what the Lord continues to do in the hearts and lives of students both academically and spiritually at GRACE. Christian education is a privilege I do not take for granted and am thankful for the fruit of our wonderful school.

I have a wonderful wife and three active boys, each attending GRACE. Most days after school, you can find us on a ball field, shooting hoops, or enjoying family time. I enjoy volunteering at our church and attending Bible Study Fellowship. I have a heart for missions, and a strong love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am a graduate of Indiana University, and am currently employed by IBM.  At IBM, I manage a world-wide software development team, but have held management positions in engineering, customer support and operations. It is my prayer that I will be able to contribute to the Board as we strive to be faithful to our Mission Statement and to bring glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

 

Contact Andrei Malacinski at: AMalacinski@GRACEChristian.net

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Lisa McCarthy

Computer Science | Upper Campus

Hello! In 2017, God led our family to GRACE when my son began his freshman year. In 2018, I enjoyed putting my teaching and technology skills to work as a volunteer in GRACE’s computer science department. In 2019, I officially joined the GRACE staff teaching computer science electives in both middle and high school.

In elementary school, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was a teacher and a missionary. Although my path has not been a traditional one, God has brought me full circle from attending a Christian school to being a faculty member at a Christian school. I look forward to watching my students explore how they can use technology to improve their place in the world, glorify God, and serve others.

I grew up in Michigan and earned my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan where I studied Computer Science. I moved to North Carolina after marrying my husband, who was serving in the Marine Corps. I taught computer science classes at Craven Community College. My corporate technology experience includes working in the IT department at a hospital and as an IS Manager at an international software company. Throughout my corporate career, my responsibilities often included training employees to use a variety of software systems.

I left the corporate world when our son was five years old. At that time, God called me to homeschooling. During the 10 years I was involved with homeschooling, I learned valuable skills on how to adjust traditional methods of learning to meet my son’s needs as well as the needs of students in the co-op classes I taught at Colonial Baptist Church. I also learned that I really love science and hands-on learning!

Our family attends Salem Baptist Church in Apex where I serve as a tutor as part of Salem’s MissionApex program.

email: LMcCarthy@GRACEChristian.net

 

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Corey McGuire

P.E. | TK-6th

My name is Corey McGuire and I am the Elementary Physical Education teacher for the Lower Campus. I am also the Head Coach for the JV Football and MS Baseball Teams. I was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida. I attended Methodist University where I received a B.S. Degree in Physical and Health Education in 2011.

I hope to encourage all my students to trust in the Lord during the good and difficult times and I want to challenge them to always find the positive in any situation that they come across. I enjoy spending my free time with my beautiful wife Ashley and our daughter Lilly. We attend Hope Community Church right here in Raleigh.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Email: CMcGuire@GRACEChristian.net

To learn more about Corey, read his February 27, 2018 Staff Spotlight.

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Kim Medina

After Care | TK-6TH Campus

I am excited to be part of the GRACE After Care team! I have always enjoyed working with children. Throughout the years, I have taught Sunday School and worked with youth. I raised three sons and one daughter, who are now 35, 33, 29 and 26. I was fortunate to be able to stay home with my children.

I moved to North Carolina from Florida in 2013 to be closer to my daughter’s family. I have two grandchildren who are six and eight years old. I have been working with a catering company for the past two years. I worked events and I was part of the school lunch team for two private schools.

I enjoy spending my free time outdoors with my family. Paddle boarding, hiking, biking, snowboarding and camping our my favorites. I love taking short trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains to hike and visit waterfalls.

Email: KMedina@GRACEChristian.net

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Sarah Messick

Assistant | 2nd Grade

Hi there! My name is Sarah Messick and I am grateful to be at GRACE. I am thrilled to be working as an assistant for second grade. It is such a joy to be able to assist in the learning and growth of the students. Not only academically but spiritually as well. 

I reside here in Raleigh with my husband and two children. I was born in eastern North Carolina and graduated from ECU with a bachelors degree in elementary education. Go pirates! I have experience in teaching from pre-k to second grade. 

When I am not working I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. We enjoy hiking, going to the beach, and spending time with our extended family. 

I am thankful to be a part of GRACE and I count my blessings for being able to work at such an incredible place.
 

email: SMessick@GRACEChristian.net

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Kati Montague

After Care | TK-6th

Hi there! My name is Kati Montague, and I am so blessed to be able to say that I have been a part of the GRACE family since 2012. I was a member of the After Care team from 2012-2016, and the Assistant for the second grade team during the 2016-2017 school year. I spent the 2017-2018 school year as a missionary in Ecuador, serving alongside an awesome family that is working to reach the lost among the university students of Ecuador! After that, I returned to GRACE in August of 2018, and I am now back in After Care serving as a part of that awesome team!

I was born in New York, but grew up right here in Raleigh. I attend church at RFA (Raleigh First Assembly), and have for the majority of my life. I love the Wolfpack, and graduated from NC State with my Bachelors of Science in Meteorology.  During college, God called me into missions, so I switched gears after graduation and attended a discipleship school (Master's Commission) where I could learn more about missions within the church. I have been on many short term missions trips over the years, and now I can say I have lived overseas for missions too!

I spend my summers still serving in Ecuador. I love that kids are kids all over the world. They all have the same basic needs, and when it comes down to it, they just want to know that they are loved and valued.  My heart is for children and I am so thrilled to be here at GRACE and serving our After Care families!

email: KMontague@GRACEChristian.net

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Kenny Montgomery

Facilities Staff | TK-6TH Campus

My name is Kenny Montgomery, and I am the custodian on the Lower Campus. I was born and raised in Raleigh North Carolina. I am a graduate from Broughton High School. When I’m not in the lunch room with your children, or assisting teachers, I enjoy football, basketball and fishing. I am married and have 3 daughters and 1 son. I attend First Baptist Church of Apex.

 

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Anthony Moreland

IT Specialist | Lower Campus

My name is Anthony Moreland. I am originally from Illinois but have lived in the Raleigh area since 2002. I am happily married with four beautiful children. I graduated in 2014 from Wake Technical Community College with a degree in Information Technology Security Systems. This is my fifth year working in the IT department at GRACE.

In my spare time, I love spending my time with my family, dancing, and enjoy listening to many genres of music. I also enjoy teaching dance to the youth.  I look forward to another year contributing my skills to assist everyone at GRACE Christian School but most importantly being a vessel to the kingdom of God.

Email: AMoreland@GRACEChristian.net

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DeShannon Morris

P.E. | Upper Campus

This will be my fifth year as a member of GRACE Christian School, and I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to serve in a loving community such as this!  I teach Physical Education and Cross Training, and I am the Varsity Boys Basketball Coach.  I grew up in Raleigh and attended college at Shaw University, where I received a degree in Religion and Philosophy.  I am passionate about building relationships and seeing people's lives transformed through the power of love. 

I have spent the past 21 years coaching and mentoring young men in and around the Triangle through parks and recreation leagues, AAU teams, various camps, and other school-affiliated programs.  I love to see the lives of young people impacted for the Kingdom of God through sports and other extra-curricular activities. 

I am happily married, and my wife and I are the proud parents of three children.  My favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 3:20 - "Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we could ask or think according to the power that works in us."  I love this verse, because I think it perfectly summarizes the amazing power of the Almighty God that we serve.  Anyone who knows me well knows that my motto is "Don't worry about nothin'!"  These words to live by are biblically based (Philippians 4:6), and I hope that they encourage and inspire all those who have heard them! 

Email: DMorris@GRACEChristian.net

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Dr. Lynnae Morris

Principal | Lower Campus

It is such an honor and a privilege to be a part of the loving community at GRACE, and I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the Lower Campus Principal.  No matter where I have worked, I have always viewed my career in education as more than a job; it is my calling and my ministry.  During my career I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of students at all levels from preschool through college.  I began my career as a high school science teacher before deciding to return to school and pursue my doctorate in education.  While in graduate school, I taught at the college level and supervised several student teachers.  Prior to joining the GRACE family, I also worked for ten years as an assistant principal at both the elementary and middle school levels.  

Outside of work, I love cooking, long walks, trips to the beach, and spending time with my sweet family.  My dear husband and I are the grateful parents of three GRACE students - Hannah, Kynndal, and Colinn; and, you will most often find us at one of their sporting events or cheering on our favorite team - Go Heels!  

Email: LMorris@GRACEChristian.net

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Angela Morrison

Receptionist | Lower Campus

My husband Dana and I have been married since 1993. We are originally "Mainers" but moved to North Carolina in 2014. Our family has been blessed to be a part of GRACE since then. We have two boys: Caleb and Aaron. Caleb graduated from GRACE in 2018 and Aaron is in 8th grade.

I have always enjoyed helping people of all ages. Over the years I have worked with preschoolers, mentally handicapped adults, and done home care for seniors. Our family also worked in Christian camping for nearly 20 years in Maine.  When I came to GRACE as the inner office receptionist/nurse in 2015 I knew I would enjoy it.  This year I have been blessed to work as administrative assistant and help out in various locations. You never know what desk you may find me at. I always look forward to the smiles and hugs from all my little friends who continue to grow!! I am so thankful to be a part of GRACE.

Email: AMorrison@GRACEChristian.net

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Dru Murphy

Teacher | Transitional Kindergarten

I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the GRACE staff! Our family has been a part of this school community for the last several years.  I have served as a room mom, lunch helper, substitute teacher, and now (as of 2019) I am excited to be the TK Teacher!

I attended Campbell University (GO CAMELS!) where I attained my Bachelor's Degree in K-6 Elementary Education.  I worked for five years as a first grade and multi-age teacher before I became a stay-at-home mom. From 2017-2019, I worked in a Moms Morning Out preschool program at a local church where I have worked with a variety of ages. Working with preschoolers has been an amazing experience. I met my husband Nick at CU and we have been married since 2002.  We have three children that attend GRACE: Carter, Landon, and Ansley. My family is the light of my life and my joy!

I owe all blessings to our Lord and Savior who has bestowed more upon me than I deserve.  I enjoy traveling with my family all over the country and world, gardening, singing and antiquing.  I am so excited to get started as the TK teacher and work with these precious students!

email: DMurphy@GRACEChristian.net

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Emily Myers

Spanish | Upper Campus

¡Hola!  I began teaching at GRACE in 2017.  I am excited to return to this wonderful community where I have the blessing of sharing both my passion for the Spanish language and my faith with my students.

My love for the Spanish language began in high school.  I had a Spanish teacher who inspired me with the way she made the language come alive.  I decided that I wanted to become a Spanish teacher so that I, too, could share this beautiful language with students of my own. I attended Grove City College where I graduated with a degree in Spanish Education. Over the years, I have spent time traveling, working, and studying abroad in Guatemala, Uruguay, Spain, Argentina, and Costa Rica.

In my free time, I enjoy college football (Go Dawgs!), hiking, horseback riding, salsa dancing, and spending time with friends and family.

¡Este va a ser un año buenísimo!

Email: EMyers@GRACEChristian.net

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Karen O’Conner

CFO | GRACE

My name is Karen O'Conner and I love working in the Finance Department at GRACE. I have experienced GRACE both as an employee and parent. It is a fulfilling place to work knowing we serve God first. As a parent, the passion from our teachers and their attentiveness to our students is hard to find any where else.

I attended NCSU and received a degree in Accounting. While at State I met my husband Harry and we have been married for 30 years! We have three children; Jacob, Hannah and Matthew. All three of our children have graduated from GRACE. Jacob and Hannah are both college graduates (ECU and NCSU respectively) and Matthew will begin his freshman year at ECU this fall.

Email: KOConner@GRACEChristian.net

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Megan Olson

Music | TK-2nd Grade

Having joined in 2016, I am so excited to begin another year at GRACE as the TK-2nd Music Teacher, 3rd grade Recorder Teacher, and Choral Accompanist! Our family has been a part of the GRACE community since 2014 and we are so blessed by the relationships we have made since our children have been here.

I have a Bachelors of Music in Education from East Carolina University, with a concentration in Voice and Piano. I taught public school K-5 Music for 3 years before staying home with my children. I have been so thankful for the flexibility to be at home with my children while continuing my love of music by teaching private piano and voice, as well as Kindermusik instruction. Music is a gift from God we can all develop, and I want our children at GRACE to be engaged in music by learning to read, explore, play and perform while having fun and praising God.

I have been married to my wonderful husband Brett since 2002 and have 3 beautiful children. I enjoy home decor, baking, tennis, reading and traveling in my free time. My family and I love to worship together at church, it is such a gift to continue that worship at GRACE as well as serve the community around us. Blessings to all of our GRACE families for a wonderful upcoming school year!

Email: MOlson@GRACEChristian.net

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Brittany Oxendine

PE/Health, Summer Camp Director, and MS Volleyball Coach | Lower Campus

It has been such a joy to be able to work at GRACE since 2015. I teach 6th Grade PE/Health and School Success, direct GRACE Summer Camp, and coach the Middle School Volleyball team.

I trusted Jesus when I was 8. Since then, many godly mentors influenced my life to help grow and strengthen my faith in Him. I'm so grateful for the impact they have made on my life. It is my hope and prayer to follow their faithful example to impact the lives of the students here at GRACE!

In 2011, I moved to Raleigh to attend NC State and met my husband, Jarrick, there. We enjoy serving our church together through the student ministry. We both have a huge passion for students to see and savor the beauty of Christ in all aspects of their life, and for them to grow up to impact their world for Him. We also love missions and meeting people from all over the world. We pray one day that all people would know Jesus!

Email: BOxendine@GRACEChristian.net

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Roman Pibl

History | Upper Campus

I love teaching and coaching. I love teaching history and coaching boys and girls soccer and swimming. Most importantly, I love teaching history and coaching soccer and swimming at GRACE Christian School. The Lord has truly blessed me in allowing me the opportunity to serve His kingdom here at GRACE. I was born in Canada but raised on Long Island. I attended Duke University where I majored in economics and swam for four years on the varsity swim team being the captain my senior year. I than attended Washington University School of Law and practiced law for 14 years. Then in 2006, the Lord lead me to GRACE and allowed me the opportunity to pursue my true passion. I am Head of the History Department here at GRACE and teach AP World History, AP US History, AP US Government and AP Microeconomics. I also coach the boys and girls varsity soccer teams and the varsity swim team. I married my wife, Doctor Lisa Grana, in 1990 and the Lord again blessed me with two beautiful daughters, Katarina and Alexa, who both graduated from GRACE.

Email: RPibl@GRACEChristian.net

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Dena Prior

Assistant | 1st

I'm excited to be part of the GRACE family as the first grade teaching assistant! Our family joined the GRACE family when our children, Cameron and Jessica, began attending in 2006. I have also served as a receptionist on both the lower and upper campuses.

I graduated from UNC-Greensboro with a degree in elementary education, and taught in Wake County and the Netherlands. My husband and I live in Fuquay Varina and have been married for 37 years. In our spare time we love to travel or relax at the lake.

Email: DPrior@GRACEChristian.net

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Christi Robinson

Language Arts | 5th

I am honored to be a member of the GRACE faculty.  I have been a part of the GRACE family as a parent and volunteer since my oldest daughter, Rebecca, started kindergarten here in 2006. She is now GRACE alumni! My other daughter, Kathryn, has attended GRACE for all of her schooling as well. I have served as a substitute teacher, room mom, and spent many years as an active member of our Parent Teacher Fellowship. GRACE is one of my favorite places to spend time, and I cannot imagine my children or family anywhere else!

I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, so I am a southern girl through and through! My husband, Greg, and I are high school sweethearts and have been married for over 25 years. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education from North Carolina State University, and on most Saturdays in the fall, you will find us cheering on the Wolfpack at Carter Finley Stadium. In the summer, we enjoy spending time at the beach or traveling with our family.

I have been blessed that my children have been surrounded by the loving, Christian teachers at GRACE, and I am excited to be a part of this amazing team of men and women. I look forward to being back in my fifth grade classroom and enjoying another wonderful year!

Email: CRobinson@GRACEChristian.net

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Blythe Roycroft

Science | 3rd, 4th, and 6th

Hello! My name is Blythe Roycroft and I am blessed to be a part of GRACE Christian! God allowed a substitute teaching job during the 2018-2019 school year to open a door for a full-time science teaching position the following school year. I graduated from Bob Jones University with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Speech. Between South Carolina and Florida, I taught 2nd grade for a total of five years, moving states as a result of being married to a Navy man. Spanning our four years in Florida, in addition to teaching 2nd grade, I was also the lead teacher of the elementary department, worked in a Bible summer camp, and taught ballet classes. After we moved to Apex in 2010, I worked from home writing 2nd grade lesson plans for a Christian homeschool curriculum. In addition, I also started teaching some ballet classes. From 2010 through the summer of 2019, I taught ballet for a variety of ages, worked with a ballet volunteer program, and led ballet lecture demonstrations in local schools.

My husband, John, and I have a lovely adopted daughter from Ukraine. We love to camp, hike, and spend time with our rambunctious dog! I am truly blessed to be at GRACE to encourage and teach students about God’s amazing love!

Email: BRoycroft@GRACEChristian.net

 

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Tammi Saenz

Admissions Coordinator | Lower Campus

My name is Tammi Saenz, and I am an admissions coordinator on the Lower Campus. I had the privilege of growing up in a home with wonderful Christian parents. I attended Hackensack Christian School in Hackensack, NJ but graduated from Hawaii Pacific University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a minor in Hotel and Restaurant Management. I met and married my husband, John, in 1991 while he was stationed on Oahu as a Sergeant in the United States Army.

My professional career began with Marriott Hotels. I found my niche in the sales side of the hotel business and began a 12 year career in the hotel industry. We moved to Raleigh in 1994 and quickly settled in to life in the Carolinas. After ten years of marriage, we welcomed our first child, and following the birth of our second, I left the workforce to become a stay-at-home mom.

My husband and I desired Christian schooling for our children and were once again blessed to find GRACE. When my children started school at GRACE, I couldn't resist the temptation to follow and was blessed to be given the opportunity to become part of the GRACE staff. I joined the workforce once again at the start of the school year in 2008. When we opened in prayer at our first staff meeting, I knew I would never return to the corporate world.

My husband and children love to travel, be outdoors, and enjoy all water sports and camping. We are members at Salem Baptist Church in Apex where my husband and I serve in many different areas.

I am excited to be a part of GRACE and watch how the Lord will continue to bless our faithfulness to him.

Email: TSaenz@GRACEChristian.net

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Amy Savage

Assistant | Kindergarten

My name is Amy Savage and I am thrilled to be a part of the Kindergarten team at GRACE. I grew up in Cary, NC and graduated from Apex High School. I then went on to graduate from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Go Heels! I began my teaching career in Irving, Texas and then moved back to Raleigh and taught in Wake County.

My husband, Daniel, and I have been married since 2005. He is a pastor at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh. We have 3 children that attend GRACE.

We are grateful to be in the GRACE family!

Email: ASavage@GRACEChristian.net

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Penny Schaeffer

Teacher | 4th

I started at GRACE in 1989!  I love teaching 4th grade as it is my favorite age to teach. We have a lot of fun in the 4th grade! I am excited with each new school year and what it has in store and what new things we can learn and discover. And yes, there is still more to learn. I am always excited to see what new thing I can add to the mix. 

I am a graduate of Lee College in Cleveland, Tennessee, where I met my husband, Michael. We moved to North Carolina in 1984. Our daughters, Elizabeth and Laura, were both part of the GRACE family through 8th grade. Both are married and live in the area. We are also grandparents to six adorable grandchildren, Marilaura, Ayden, Clara, Levi, Cadence, and Chloe. Family time is very important to us. Our weekends are usually filled with doing something with the girls and their families.

Email: PSchaeffer@GRACEChristian.net

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Cassidy Scholten

3rd/4th/6th Science Teacher | Lower Campus

Hello! My name is Cassidy Scholten and I am excited to be a part of the GRACE Christian community! I graduated from Calvin University in 2020 with a degree in Elementary Education and majors in Early Childhood Education and Language Arts. I have taught preschool and outdoor education during the summer and served as a paraprofessional in an Early Childhood Special Education classroom. 2020 will be my first year teaching in the elementary classroom!

God recently prompted my husband, Bradley, and I to relocate from our hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan to Raleigh when he was accepted into a biology PhD program at NC State. Bradley and I are both passionate about science! We love spending time outdoors, especially in the ocean or on the coast of Lake Michigan. Gardening, hiking, playing board games, and finding new ways to take care of the earth are a few of my favorite things. I am so blessed to be at GRACE and share my passion for God's creation with my students each day!

Email: CScholten@GRACEChristian.net

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Christi Schwalk

Teacher | 3rd Grade

Hello! My name is Christi Schwalk and I love being a part of the GRACE Christian family! From 2005-2019, I taught at a private Christian school in downtown Orlando, Florida. I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.  My passion is to see my students develop a love for learning, recognize God’s design in our world and grow in their relationship with Him. My goal each day is to make sure that my students know how much God loves them.

I grew up in New Mexico, where I attended a Christian school.  My husband, Tim and I met each other in elementary school! We married in college and then moved to Florida. God has recently moved us to a new adventure here in Raleigh. We have a lovely daughter, Kenley, who  attends GRACE.  Our family loves to spend time watching movies, playing games, and making fun memories together. We are excited to explore and find out more about our new home city!

Email: CSchwalk@GRACEChristian.net

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Kayla Searson

1st Grade Teacher | Lower Campus

My name is Kayla Searson and I am so excited to teach 1st grade at GRACE starting off in the 2020 school year. I graduated from Liberty University in 2018 with a degree in Elementary Education and I have spent the past two years teaching in Virginia public schools.

My husband, Matt, and I were married in 2019 and just relocated to North Carolina this year. We love spending time in the outdoors, traveling, reading good books, drinking coffee, and spending time with friends. We are passionate about the local church and training up students for Christ.

I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the GRACE community and I am excited to see what God has in store for this year!

Email: KSearson@GRACEChristian.net

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Daniel Servi

Dean of Students, PE Teacher | Upper Campus

My name is Daniel Servi and I’ve been teaching at GRACE Since 2014. I was born and raised in Wisconsin. I received a degree in Multi-age Physical Education and a minor in Bible and Coaching from Cedarville University in 2008, and I received a Masters in Education from Liberty University in 2013. I am also the Varsity Golf Coach. I enjoy spending time with my wife, Emilie and my two sons, Micah and Trevor.

My favorite verse is Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Email: DServi@GRACEChristian.net

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Amy Sirhal

Assistant | Kindergarten

My name is Amy Sirhal, and I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of GRACE’s Kindergarten team as an Instructional Assistant since 2019! I have volunteered at GRACE in various roles (lunch helper, room mom, recess & lunch duty) since 2015 which is when my family relocated to North Carolina from California! I thoroughly enjoyed the privilege of being a stay at home since 2011. However, I LOVE working with children and families and feel that being with the precious kindergartners and their families is just where God has called me!

I grew up in Arizona, and received my Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies from the University of Arizona. After working for a year in child and family services I decided to pursue my masters degree in Social Work from Boston College, which I received in 2003. After graduation,  I held various social work positions which included hospital social work and working on a child study team for a school district in New Jersey.

I met my husband, Geoff, while in school in Boston and knew very quickly that he was the guy for me! During the course of our marriage we have lived in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, California, and North Carolina. We have seen God’s perfect provision and plan for our lives during our times of transition! We are truly happy to call North Carolina our home. We have been blessed with three daughters who all attend GRACE. Our daughters, Charlie, Caroline, and Mary bring us so much joy! They are all involved in extra-curricular activities and keep us quite busy!

We attend Apex Baptist Church and our children are involved in the youth program there. Geoff and I are part of a small group and are so thankful that we have found people that we can share our individual, marriage and parenting journeys with!

I am so honored to be a part of the GRACE community, and can’t wait to see how God works this year!

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Leslie Smith

Hot Lunch Coordinator | Upper Campus

I must say it is good to be back!  From 2009 - 2012, I had the privilege of running the Lower Campus lunch program.  My daughters were attending GRACE Middle School at the time and I absolutely loved serving the students, teaming with the parents, and being part of such an amazing GRACE family.  I left to help run our family business, and now, I am thrilled to be running the Upper Campus lunch program at GRACE.  I am grateful for the opportunity I have to work with these students every day and am humbled by the privilege and responsibility of my opportunity.   Realizing that what I do and say will make an impact,  I will serve my best, leading by example while aiming to be an extension of Christ's love and humanity.

Email: LESmith@GRACEChristian.net

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Dr. Zane Smitley

Science | Upper Campus

It is amazing how God leads in our lives. The first time I entered the doors of GRACE I knew God was leading me to teach, but the process had begun many years before. God had to first show and teach me important lessons in life. First he led me to college where I obtained a B.A. degree in Secondary Education of History. Next I traveled half way across the country to Kansas City to attend graduate school. Completing four years of classes and internship I earned a Doctorate degree in Chiropractic medicine. After 13 years of private practice in North Raleigh,God has led me back to my first love, teaching. I began teaching at GRACE in 2003 and have loved every minute of it.

My high school anatomy class is structured to apply class knowledge to practical applications. The students will be challenged through class work, dissection labs, and class projects. I hope to increase an awareness of various medical field opportunities which students could pursue after high school.

AP Biology provides students with an opportunity to develop a conceptual framework for modern biology, emphasizing applications of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns. AP Biology is a high school course designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory course usually taken during the first year at colleges and universities across the nation.

I have enjoyed teaching 9th grade Biology where students have the opportunity to experience the details of God's creation. Students will explore photosynthesis, genetics, cell respiration and other components of creation.

Email: ZSmitley@GRACEChristian.net

Learn more about Zane in the October 17, 2017 Staff Spotlight

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Brian Stafford

Strategy Games | GRACE

This is my first year at GRACE and I am excited to teach the Strategy Games elective course.

My parents are missionaries, so I spent my early childhood in Bogota, Colombia. We moved to Florida when I was six and then to North Carolina when I was in middle school and have loved living here ever since! I studied BFA Acting at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where I met my amazing wife, Autumn. We have two kids: Alia (5th grade) and Eli (2nd grade).

I have been in full-time ministry at Hope Community Church since 2006, where I currently work as the KidCity Programming Specialist in our children's ministry.

My two greatest passions are acting and games. My love of acting started in 3rd grade when I was cast in my school’s production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. My passion for games started even before then and has only grown ever since! I feel that “un-plugged” gaming is important - especially these days. In a media-saturated world, I love seeing kids and students experience the fun, strategies and connection of tabletop games.

Email: BStafford@GRACEChristian.net

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Rob Stansberry

Band | GRACE

My name is Robert Stansberry and I am new to GRACE in 2019. I grew up in Alabama, where I also went to college and where I met my wife. I have an A.S. in Music Performance, a B.A. in Church Music Education and Theology, and an M.Div. 

I have served in many musical, ministry, and teaching roles. These came from the commitment the LORD gave my wife and I: to be involved in helping others. I know that might seem too simplistic, but it is the calling we believe we have on our lives. She is an RN and I am a teacher. At the end of the day, from a few complimentary angles, my wife Renee and I just want to live well and help others to do the same.

We have three wonderful children and are excited everyday to see life through their eyes. We are those parents that think summer break is too SHORT! We are happy to have been given the opportunity to be included in the GRACE family this year.

email: RStansberry@GRACEChristian.net

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Amy Stevens

History Teacher | Upper Campus

I am so excited to begin my journey at GRACE this 2020 school year as a middle school Social Studies teacher! Prior to my start at GRACE I was a high school Social Studies teacher at Blacksburg High School in Blacksburg, VA for 17 years. I have taught US Government, US History, Psychology and Sociology. I am also a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid instructor. I have learned so much over the last 17 years in a public school setting, but I am so excited to start a new path at GRACE, where I can share my love of the Lord as well as my love for Social Studies.

I am a Mississippi girl at heart (Hotty Toddy), but moved to Florida when I was 10 years old. There I graduated high school and ended up attending Warner University, a small Christian college in Central Florida. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science, along with a minor in Communications. I was also lucky enough to meet and marry my college sweetheart, Adam.

My family, which includes my husband Adam, and my two sons (Jordan- 18 and Caymen- 13) have lived in Blacksburg, Virginia for the last 17 years. We enjoyed our time in the mountains and have recently relocated to the Raleigh area for the next chapter in our lives. Caymen is so excited to be starting 8th grade here at GRACE (2025), he has aspirations of becoming a pastor so he is especially excited for Bible classes! Jordan, our oldest, graduated this year from Blacksburg High School and is attending Holmes Community College in Mississippi to play soccer and major in Athletic Training.

I look forward to meeting each of you so soon!

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Email: AStevens@GRACEChristian.net

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Meagan Stone

Math | Upper Campus

My name is Meagan Stone, and I started teaching math at GRACE in 2013. I grew up in Kernersville, NC and attended Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point. I love and appreciate my teachers there who invested in me and were wonderful, godly role models. Because of the impact Christian teachers had on my life, I developed a passion for Christian education.

After graduating from high school, I attended Wake Forest University and graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.A. in Economics. I then pursued an M.S. in Mathematics at N.C. State University and completed that degree in May 2013. My husband and I got married in 2012 while I was in graduate school, and we currently live in Clayton.

Email: MStone@GRACEChristian.net

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Zack Stone

Business Leadership | Upper Campus

Zack Stone is currently the CFO of Neuwave Systems and a graduate of the Calloway Schools of Business at Wake Forest University. Zack’s career includes time working in wealth management, venture lending, and most recently, private equity. In his free time, Zack can be found chasing snakes and squirrels through Umstead with his delightful wife, Meagan.

email: ZStone@GRACEChristian.net

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Lisa Suarez

History & Bible | 5th

I have been privileged to serve as a 5th grade teacher at GRACE Christian School since 2013. I am the History and Bible teacher for all 5th grade students.

I grew up outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education at Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida. After graduation I taught at a private Christian school in Vero Beach, Florida. My family relocated to Cary, NC in 2009.

My husband, Manny, and I are blessed with two boys who both attend and love GRACE. I enjoy being outdoors with my family, baking, and traveling.

I look forward to another year at GRACE and pursuing my love for teaching.

Email: LSuarez@GRACEChristian.net

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Julia Taylor

Academic Dean | GRACE

Welcome to GRACE Christian School! I have been privileged to serve as the TK-12 Academic Dean since 2017. Previously, I was the TK-6 Assistant Principal from 2013-2017 and the K-12 Curriculum Director from 2008-2013. It is a blessing to be a part of an incredible school ministry as both an administrator and GRACE parent!

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Law and Society from the University of California, Riverside (1995) and my California Teaching Credential and Master's in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction from Azusa Pacific University (1999). I hold a current All Levels Principal Certification with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and have had the opportunity to serve as an accreditation external team member and chair for both ACSI and Cognia (AdvancED).

My family and I relocated to North Carolina from Southern California in the fall of 2007. Prior to coming to North Carolina, I taught elementary school for eight years in California public and Christian schools and I also worked for three years as the K-8 Assistant Principal at Capistrano Valley Christian Schools in San Juan Capistrano, CA. In addition to the school setting, I have had the privilege of writing curriculum for online learning instruction with e-learning for Kids, a non-profit e-learning company that provides free education to children worldwide. My husband, Brian, and I have been married since 1999 and have been blessed with three wonderful children, Ava (Class of 2022), Hannah (Class of 2025) and Zachary (Class of 2029). We enjoy attending GRACE ball games and school events together and we're active church members at The Summit Church. My personal theme verse is Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I look forward to a fantastic school year as our students grow academically and spiritually in the loving community that is GRACE Christian School!

Email: JTaylor@GRACEChristian.net

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Debbie Taylor

Assistant | Art

Hi, my name is Debbie Taylor and I am the Art assistant for Mrs. Boyd. My family moved to Raleigh in 2001 and I was a substitute that first year in my son's class. For the next 14 years I was a kindergarten assistant before moving up to 3rd grade and Art for three years. In 2019, I started focusing my time in Art. I love the Raleigh area and our family here at GRACE. I have been married to my husband, Mike since 1988 and we have three beautiful children that have all attended GRACE. Britney graduated from East Carolina University, Mariah graduated from North Carolina State University, and Michael Jr. Graduated from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. I love working with your children and working here at GRACE.

Email: DebTaylor@GRACEChristian.net

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Devin Terris

Athletic Director | GRACE

I began my career at GRACE Christian School in 2012. I thoroughly enjoy leading our athletics program for both high school and middle school students and families as the Director of Athletics. I pray that I am able to lead, serve, and empower coaches, student-athletes, parents, and volunteers to leave a legacy for Christ and reflect humility, sportsmanship, and integrity through the avenue of interscholastic competition. I believe athletics serve as a vital role in equipping students for life and I am very thankful to be a part of this role in the GRACE community.

I grew up in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education Physical Education & Health K-12 from Shepherd University . I have been in Christian Education since 2010 and an Athletic Director since 2013. I enjoy studying God's Word, discipleship, basketball pickup games, reading, and humbled to serve as the Worship Leader at Redeemer Community Church in Fuquay-Varina. I love spending time with my wonderful wife Brittany (married since 2010) and our three boys, Zayin, Ezra, and Elias.

Acts 20:24 - But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Email: DTerris@GRACEChristian.net

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Mary Allison Tessneer

Math & Science | 5th

I was born and raised in Belmont, NC where I spent most of my childhood working in my family’s restaurant.  I graduated from North Carolina State University in 1999 and was married to my husband, Adam the same year. I taught in Wake County Public Schools for four years before having a family of my own. We have 3 daughters who attend GRACE. Emma Grace is in 10thgrade, Leah Beth is in 7thgrade, and Anna Claire is in 3rd grade. We have been members of Salem Baptist Church for 20 years and my husband and I have loved leading the Young Married Bible Fellowship group for 8 years as well as working with both the youth and children’s ministries there. When we are not on the soccer field, you will find us hiking in the mountains.

Teaching is truly my passion and it brings me such joy to help a student succeed. It is my prayer that each student not only grow in their academic skills, but also in their relationship with the Lord. I look forward to a wonderful school year!

email: MTessneer@GRACEChristian.net

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Chase Tew

Member | GRACE Board of Trustees

Chase has been a GRACE parent for ten years and has a student in 6th and 9th grade. Chase grew up in a small Baptist church in eastern North Carolina, accepted Christ as his Savior in his early teens and recommitted his life to Christ in 2010.

Chase graduated from NC State in 1998 with a degree in agricultural and environmental technology/engineering and earned his MBA from Campbell University in 2002. He has been employed by John Deere since graduating from NC State.

Chase and his wife, Amy, are active members of Hope Community Church and Chase has been active in the community as a coach for youth basketball, baseball and volleyball. Chase is also active as a volunteer with several local ministries including Habitat for Humanity, Triangle Food Bank, Stop Hunger Now, and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.

Chase enjoys serving on the GRACE Board of Trustees and desires to use the skills he has developed in the workplace for the benefit of our school. His strong business background and training in problem solving methodologies will be an asset to the Board as they work to develop the strategic roadmap to ensure GRACE’s long term viability and prosperity while providing excellent Christian education to families in the Triangle.

Contact Chase Tew at CTew@GRACEChristian.net

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Cindilee Thorne

Aftercare & Study Hall | Upper Campus

Our family has been at GRACE since 2007. I am thrilled to be the Aftercare Coordinator for the Upper Campus as well as supervising several study halls. I always look forward to chatting with and getting to know the students. I enjoy learning about what they love, think, value. I have been involved at GRACE for many years, coordinating the PTF Christmas store, serving on the hospitality committee, and currently coordinating the “We Love You Wednesday” monthly luncheons. I like being involved behind the scenes, connecting with the GRACE community.

I love spending time with my husband, Greg and our two boys. Trek, our oldest graduated from GRACE in 2019 and is attending ECU to study Information Technology, and Levi graduating GRACE in 2021, deep into the college search. We attend Hope Community Church where I serve in the Common Grounds coffee ministry. I enjoy coffee, board games, book club, Bible study, jigsaw puzzles, and naps.

My favorite Bible verse is Hosea 6:6.

“I don’t want your sacrifices -- I want your love,
 I don’t want your offerings — I want you to know me." says the Lord.

I pray that I am a blessing to the Lord and to all those He brings my way.

Email: CThorne@GRACEChristian.net

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Susan Anschutz Walker

Library Teacher | TK-3rd

Greetings from the TK-6th Kathie Thompson Library!  My name is Susan Anschutz Walker.  I am Mrs. Walker to the many students who I have the privilege to teach.  Like many at GRACE, I wear several hats and each one gives me an opportunity to serve our current and prospective families.  The first hat I put on is that of Safety Patrol at Station 1.  It is here I get to welcome students at the start of their day with a quick word to parents with a smile and wave.  The second hat I put on is the one I wear the most.  I have the incredible joy of being the TK-3 Grade Library Teacher.  Students develop a love and appreciation for books by understanding what they read for enjoyment or for educational purposes.  As Library Teacher, I lead both a 3rd Grade Girls and 3rd Grade Boys Book Clubs that meet weekly.  Another hat I wear is the Character Education Teacher Hat.  This is a rather big hat that includes TK-5 grades coming to the library for Character Education classes for a monthly focus on a Christ-like character.  These inspired lessons encourage GRACE students to grow spiritually by practically applying God’s Word to their lives.  On occasion I wear yet another hat.  This one is the one I wear to greet prospective families and tour them around GRACE.  During this time, I have the opportunity to talk about the school from my personal experience as a parent first sharing how GRACE has been the place for my family to grow, learn, and be prepared for the future God has planned for them.

If you will indulge me as a pleased and proud parent, I will share about my family.  We have three sons who started and finished at GRACE.  They are part of the Classes of 2015, 2017, and 2019.  They received a great education at GRACE that prepared them for college.  Each was given opportunity to participate in band and sports.  They went on mission trips and participated in reaching out to the community.  All of this combined with much answered prayer has prepared them for college (NCSU, Clemson, and UNCC) and future employment.  As parents, my husband Will and I are grateful the LORD brought us to GRACE.  Though ours are no longer students at GRACE, we continue to feel part of the community through my position at school and from the relationships we have formed over the years.

My husband, Will and I married in 1994.  We worship at Summit Blue Ridge Campus.  We serve on the Hospitality Team, host a small group, and we are training to be Marriage Mentors.  We enjoy walks in nearby Umstead Park, sporting events, and time with our family and friends.

Email: SWalker@GRACEChristian.net

To learn more about Susan, read her April 17, 2018 Staff Spotlight.

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Anna Walters

Math | Upper Campus

My name is Anna Walters and I am thrilled to be part of the GRACE family!

Born and raised in Durham, NC, I have always called North Carolina home.  I received my BS in mathematics at Meredith College in 1999 as well as a NC Teaching License. My first seven years of teaching were spent in the public schools, first at Athens Drive and then at Havelock High School in Havelock, NC. My husband Tim and I were married in 2002 and in 2006 our family started to grow. We have two sons at GRACE - Ty (Class of 2024), Ben (2025) - and our daughter Paige is at Alston Ridge Middle School (Class of 2026). We also have a cutie-pie dog named Charlie. Starting in 2012, I've been teaching at GRACE and before then my teaching career started in 2005.....time flies when you are having fun!   Tim works for Maestro Productions and is a realtor with eXp Realty. Our church family is The Bridge Community Church in Morrisville.

I look forward to another great year at GRACE!

Email: AWalters@GRACEChristian.net

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Elizabeth Walters

Art | Upper Campus

I am excited to be teaching middle and high school art at GRACE Christian School again this year. God called me to GRACE in January of 2010, and I am so glad that I listened to Him. I love teaching art at GRACE! I love the school and my students!

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, I came to North Carolina for my first undergraduate degree in art from Wake Forest University. After college, I returned to Alabama and worked for an advertising firm as a graphic designer. I later started my own design company creating murals and custom art for commercial and residential interiors. At the time, I had art gallery representation in six states throughout the Southeast. After years of working as an artist, I returned to college and received another undergraduate degree from Auburn University's College of Architecture and a Master's Degree in Industrial Design. I worked for many years as a carpet designer in new product development. I was also busy teaching art on the side. I have taught many art classes throughout my life, but teaching art at GRACE has been my favorite position.

My role as a Christian art teacher is to guide my students so that they may develop their own unique spiritual gifts for the glory of God. I strive to provide the information, tools, and structure necessary to inspire independent discovery and life-long learning. I have experience designing a broad range of products, including carpet, ceramics, websites, clock faces, murals, magazine spreads, advertising, furniture, and children's book illustrations. I hope to bring this broad knowledge of different mediums to the students, offering them the opportunity to try different creative processes. Every student has been given talents, opportunities, and blessings from God. Everyone has his or her own uniquely important role. Art can be a wonderful vehicle for students to explore their own uniqueness. I strive to help my students accept their own God-given individuality and celebrate it rather than hiding within the crowd. The art classroom can be an excellent place for students to express their emotions, learn to solve problems, and explore within a Christian environment.

Email: EWalters@GRACEChristian.net

To learn more about Elizabeth, read her February 13, 2018 Staff Spotlight.

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Wendy Warlick

Health and Photography/Graphic Design | Upper Campus

Hi! I'm Wendy Warlick, and I am excited to teach 8th-grade Health and the Photography/Graphic Design classes at GRACE. I am very excited about the school year and looking forward to working with your student!

I have taken multiple education classes, including Health, Safety & Nutrition, and Child Development classes. I also recently went back to school and earned my BFA in Graphic Design from Liberty University. I have many years of experience working in the classroom and enjoy working with the students.

My husband, Chuck, and I have been married since 1999. Our son, Daniel, will be a graduate of GRACE in 2021. We attend The Summit and are involved as part of the photography team at the church. We own a photography and design company, and both love taking pictures and working on custom designs.

My favorite Bible verse is Psalm 139:13-14 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (NIV).

Email: WWarlick@GRACEChristian.net

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Deb Weingart

LEAP Teacher | Lower Campus

My name is Deb Weingart. God called me to Grace Chirstian School in 2019.  I am excited to be teaching and supporting students in the LEAP program. I work with students in grades K-6. I moved here from Utah in November of 2019.  I am originally from Connecticut. I lived in Connecticut most of my life.  I have been teaching for 18 years. My career began at a residential placement facility for at-risk kids.  There I taught horse care and horseback riding. This is what began my love for teaching special education students.

I have been married to my husband, Tom, since 1994.  We have two dogs, no children. I also have one horse. I attended Calvary Chapel of Southeastern Ct. since 1994.  I graduated from the University of Connecticut, Southern Connecticut and received my administration certification from Sacred Heart University.

I have many passions and hobbies.  I love learning new things. I love riding my horse and training him.  I also love the dramatic arts, basketball, running, biking, hiking and swimming.  I am currently involved in acting classes and have written a couple of scripts. I like being outside and traveling.

Email: DWeingart@GRACEChristian.net

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Paula Welch

Spanish | Upper Campus

Hola! My name is Paula Welch. I am a Carolina girl who has lived in different places, but returned to the Carolinas in 2013. I was born and raised in SC, then went to college in Virginia, where I met my husband, Larry, who is a native of Southern California. After our marriage, we began preparing for a cross cultural ministry that led us to the Republic of Panama in 1985. We worked with an indigenous group on the Northwest Coast of Panama as church planters and are blessed to keep in touch with believers from that area. We love returning to visit there when possible.

Along the way, we were blessed with three daughters, Amanda, Laura and Tiffany. Amanda is married to John and they live in Florida. Laura is married to Gordon and they live here in NC. Tiffany is married to Sterling and they live in Virginia. They are parents to our granddaughters, Ariana, and Annalise. We are proud of them and cherish times spent with our growing family.

After two decades in Panama, God led us back to California, where I received my teaching certification from ACSI and became involved in Christian Education. I have loved being involved in the lives of students in a way that challenges them not only academically, but also spiritually. One of my goals in teaching is to encourage students to know God and His written Word better and to make Him known to others in a way that is relevant culturally and linguistically.

After nine years in California, God stirred our hearts to relocate to NC. God definitely led me to GRACE in 2013. It is a blessing to be part of the wonderful and encouraging Grace family. I enjoy teaching High School Spanish here and developing long term relationships with the students and families that God brings into my life.

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Isaiah Whelpley

Director of Christian Life | GRACE

My name is Isaiah Whelpley and this will be my eighth year at GRACE.  My first role here was as a substitute teacher, which lead to a full-time teaching position.  As a Bible teacher, I had a passion for the spiritual life of our campus and began participating in and eventually leading our weekly chapel program.  I moved into the 7-12 Assistant Principal position in the 2013-2014 school year.  In the 2017-2018 school year, I became the Director of Christian Life.  I focus on spiritually equipping students, teachers, and parents through our chapel program and service opportunities.  With each opportunity, I have seen God’s hand at work and believe that GRACE has been the most influential place in my employment history because of the administration, staff and faculty, the families, and of course the students!  I received my Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies and taught at Southlands Christian Schools in Walnut, California from 2005 to 2009. I recently completed my Masters in Administration and Supervision at Liberty University.

My wife, Kat, and I sensed God calling us from southern California to North Carolina to help with a church plant, we are still part of this thriving body of believers. We have two young sons and are currently in the middle of an international adoption from South Africa.  We have completed the mounds of paperwork and are in the official "waiting" category (the estimated wait time is 1-2 years).  We have so appreciated the love and support of the GRACE community in this process.

Early on, we knew God would provide jobs for us and have been incredibly encouraged and blessed by the GRACE community! I am looking forward to challenging, discipling, praying with, and partnering with students and parents. My greatest desire is for the GRACE community to have a radical revelation of God's life-altering love, grace, and justice!

Please feel free to contact me throughout the year if a need should arise. Email is my preferred mode of communication.

Email: IWhelpley@GRACEChristian.net

Learn more about Isaiah by reading the August 15, 2017 Staff Spotlight

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Marcia Wingerd

Media Specialist | Upper Campus

I have been at GRACE since 2013, teaching 8th and 9th grade English, 12th grade British Literature, Creative Writing, and Senior Seminar. In 2019, I moved into the Media Specialist role at the upper campus. This position aligns well with my belief that developing and maintaining a reading habit is essential to student growth, and that increasing fluency, stamina, and volume of reading is critical for middle and high school students. As the Media Specialist, I help students find “just right” books and equip classroom teachers to facilitate independent reading.

In 2018, GRACE launched a Writing Center, where student mentors could meet one-on-one with other students and help them grow as writers. I will continue to lead the Writing Center this year, and the Upper Campus Media Center will be our primary mentoring space.

I have a B.A. in English-Communications from Trinity International University, and I’m working toward the Master of Library and Information Science from UNC Greensboro. Not surprisingly, I enjoy reading and talking about books. My other interests include traveling, playing strategy games, sketchnoting, walking and hiking, and cooking for family and friends. I have been married to Byron Wingerd for 27 years, and we have three children:  Emma, a senior at Appalachian State University; Caroline, a junior at GRACE; and Lauren, an 8th grader at GRACE.

Email: MWingerd@GRACEChristian.net

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Moss Withers

Member | GRACE Board of Trustees

Moss Withers, SIOR, MBA has spent 13 years as a commercial real estate advisor within the Raleigh/Durham market. Quickly recognized as an industry leader, Moss has completed more than 700 transactions reaching over $1 billion in total value. Over the course of his career, he has created and maintained professional relationships with city and industry leaders as well as volunteered his time with leadership in many local organizations.

As the managing principal at Lee & Associates - Raleigh/Durham, Moss oversees daily operations and supervises a team of 16 brokers and eight support staff. Prior to his affiliation with Lee & Associates, Moss spent 10 years with NAI Carolantic, where he was consistently recognized as one of the top three performing brokers in the NAI Global network totaling of over 7,000 brokers worldwide. Several other recognitions include the “2016 Realtor of the Year” by Triangle Commercial Association of Realtors, the “2017 TCREW Powerhouse Award,” and one of Triangle Business Journal’s 40 under 40” in 2014.

Moss is a member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR), the Vice President of Economic Development for the Cary Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Taylor Family YMCA, an avid supporter of the Miracle League of the Triangle, and member and capital campaign chair at First United Methodist Church of Cary.

In his spare time, Moss enjoys spending time with his family. He resides in Cary, NC with his wife Kendall, and their four young children – two of whom are current GRACE students.

Contact Moss Withers at MWithers@GRACEChristian.net

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Melinda Wright

Member | GRACE Board of Trustees

Melinda Wright is mom to three kids, is married to Charles Wright, and resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Melinda has had a long career in education and it is her heart’s passion.

After graduating from Cornell University with a Bachelors in Africana Studies,  Melinda joined Teach For America in 1994.  During her tenure as a corps member, she taught in the South Bronx and Washington Heights for three years.  After completing her corps commitment, Melinda worked with a variety of non-profit and for profit educational organizations before heading to George Washington University law school.  While at GWU she attained her Juris Doctorate as well as her Masters in History (African-American Studies) and Public Policy (Education).  She spent her second summer of law school studying International Human Rights Law at Oxford University, an experience which deepened her interest in human rights and passion for traveling.  Immediately following law school, Melinda seized the opportunity to serve as the Head Coach of Howard University’s women’s lacrosse team, which was the only Division I team at a historically Black University.  After coaching at Howard, Melinda worked in the Human Resources office of District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS).  Following her time at DCPS, Melinda worked at Westminster School as the Director of Diversity, an Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Student Life.  Melinda then returned to Teach For America for five years where she served in a variety of roles, most recently as a Senior Vice President of  Alumni Diversity and Regional Alumni Support.  In August of 2016,  she joined the education team at the Walton Family Foundation where she will help manage a diverse portfolio of state and local grantees along with a few national grantees.  She is excited about bringing her education background to the GRACE board and grateful for the opportunity.

Contact Melinda Wright at MWright@GRACEChristian.net

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Nicki Wright

LEAP | UPPER CAMPUS

I am so excited to begin my journey at GRACE Christian School as the LEAP (Learning Enrichment and Achievement Program) Learning Specialist in grades 7-12. I received my B.S. in Education from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where I was born and raised. After graduation, I moved to Nevada to begin my teaching career. I taught there for 2 years, then my family moved to The Woodlands, Texas.  While teaching in Texas, I continued my education to become a licensed Speech Pathologist Assistant. I worked in the Speech Therapy field for 6 years in the school and clinical setting. We moved to North Carolina 3 years ago to be closer to family and we absolutely love it here! 
 
My husband, Brandon, and I have 4 children. We love spending time together and traveling to all of the amazing places that are a short drive away. My family attends Hope Community Church and I am actively involved with the Special Needs Ministry at the Raleigh Campus. 
 
I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of GRACE Christian School and I can't way to see what God has planned for this upcoming school year! 

Email: niwright@gracechristian.net