Hello! My name is Crystal Barker. This is my 16th year of teaching, and I am very excited to start my 5th year at GRACE. I love the Christ-centered atmosphere at GRACE Christian School. I have the privilege of teaching 3rd through 5th grade science as we explore and engage in God’s amazing creation. It is a blessing to share God’s Word daily with students as they prepare to use their gifts and abilities to follow God’s plan for their lives. I am thankful for the loving prayers and support of the parents, faculty, and staff here at GRACE which bonds us together in Christ.
I am so thankful to God for providing the blessing to teach at GRACE! GRACE has held a special place in my heart for a long time, because I went to school here from 2nd to 7th grade. At GRACE, God did a huge work in my heart by developing a passion in me to become a teacher. I was blessed to have engaging and innovative learning experiences that helped me gain a love for learning while I was here during my childhood. I desire to give back to students the same experiences I had in my education. By God's goodness, He has allowed this dream of mine to become a reality.
I was born in Georgia, but I have lived in North Carolina for most of my life. I went to school at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and received my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Sociology. I also was on the cross-county and track team at UNC-G. Since graduation, I have taught in both Georgia and North Carolina. I have taught 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade. This August I will begin my seventh year teaching and my first at GRACE.
Currently, I live in Cary, NC with my husband, and we work with college and international students at our church. We both are so excited for God providing the opportunity for me to teach at GRACE!
My name is Courtney Billings and I am so excited to be a part of the GRACE family. We joined the GRACE community in 2009 when my oldest daughter started 1st grade. I have enjoyed serving as a room mom and volunteering in the classrooms for my daughters’ classes during these past years at GRACE and am so blessed to be starting my fourth year working with the kindergarten class!
I attended Catawba College in Salisbury, NC and earned my BA in Business Administration. After graduation, I attended NC State and received my Masters in Accounting. As a CPA, I started by working with a large public accounting firm and after my oldest daughter was born, I started my own CPA firm so that I could work from home and spend each day with my girls. When my youngest was ready to start kindergarten, I think that I was just as excited as she was to be at GRACE everyday (and that is no easy match)!
Catawba College is even more special to me since this is where I met my husband, Wayne. We have been married for almost 19 years and our time together is only made sweeter by the fun chaos that comes with the blessing of four girls. Our daughters, Hannah (10th grade), Payton (8th grade), Taylor (5th grade), and Avery (3rd grade) will be attending GRACE this year and can’t imagine being anywhere else! Our family attends Faith Community Church in Garner. I look forward to getting to know each of my new kindergarten friends and their families and love seeing my old friends come by to visit with lots of hugs!
My name is Merrily Boyd, and I am excited to be back for another year of 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 completed 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 sweet little boy, Gibson.
In kindergarten through fifth grades, 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!
Learn more about Merrily in the October 24, 2017 Staff Spotlight
My name is Ashley Brantley and I'm thrilled to be part of the GRACE family. Over the past 8 years I have been blessed with many opportunities to serve at GRACE which include 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 the instructional assistant.
I attended the University of South Carolina where I met my husband, Rick. This year we will have been married 27 years and we have 4 children. Our oldest, Maddi, is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and teaches 1st grade in Chapel Hill. Noble graduated from GRACE last year and will attend UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall. Claire (11th grade), and Gabe (5th grade) both attend GRACE and have been very active in art, theater, football, cheerleading, and student council. 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 found a civilian job locally after retiring. We are very thankful to be here surrounded by our GRACE family.
My name is Mandy Church, and I am excited to be a part of the Kindergarten team. Over the past ten years, I have had many roles at GRACE which have included being a room mom, hot lunch volunteer, member of the Communications Committee 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 and Carter, who attend 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!
It is a joy to be part of the GRACE family and to fulfill the call on my life to teach! I started at GRACE in October 2016 and enjoy teaching my sweet 4th grade sleuths! Before moving to North Carolina in 2015, I taught 5th grade sleuths for eight years at Immanuel Christian School in northern Virginia. Since learning is all about investigating, asking questions, and exploring God's amazing creation, our classroom has a detective theme. We have fun digging into God's holy word, North Carolina's history, rich literature pieces of various genres, and so much more. I really enjoy using my creativity and inspiring life-long learners!
I graduated from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania where I received my bachelor's in education (K-6) with a minor in psychology. In addition to teaching and tutoring, I also teach BodyPump classes a couple times a week, am involved in college ministry, and enjoy spending time with family and friends. My handsome husband, Jon, and I met in northern Virginia and got married on June 30, 2013. We have 2 furry babies (sister kitties): Turbo and Rex and are praying for children of our own. We love to go on adventures bike riding, hiking, white water rafting, building things, taking swing dance lessons, and visiting family up north in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Learn more about Christi by reading the September 12, 2017 Staff Spotlight.
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 moved up to fifth grade. I am an East Carolina University graduate (Go Pirates!!!) and lived in Greenville, NC for 17 years before our move. I have two daughters; Sophia in 10th grade at GRACE and Margaret, a sophomore at East Carolina University.
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 teaching 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!
Hi! My name is Anna Downs. I will be working in the After Care program at the Lower Campus. I am a sophomore at Wake Technical Community College. I am getting my Associates in Arts and after I graduate, I plan to attend Liberty University and obtain my Bachelor’s degree. I have two wonderful, Godly parents, two brothers, and a sister. I grew up in a Christian home and I am fortunate enough to be a pastor’s kid. When I was 5 years old I became a Christian not knowing what it truly meant, and I never had a real relationship with Christ. At the age of 16, I was at Fort Caswell with my church for a fall retreat and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I can’t wait to be a part of the GRACE Christian School community and I am very excited to get to know and minister to the students and families at GRACE.
As I stated above, I am pastor’s kid. My dad is a music pastor and my family loves music. In my free time I enjoy playing my guitar, spending time with my family, and my wonderful youth group. I enjoy going to coffee shops and spending outdoors relaxing in my hammock.
I am excited to be starting my 12th year (2018-2019) at GRACE as the Librarian/Media Coordinator. I graduated from the University of Michigan with B.A. in English and M.I.L.S. in library science, and earned a NC teaching license and ACSI certification. I have 28+ years of experience in a variety of libraries in Michigan and North Carolina.
My husband is a computer science professor at NC State. We are the parents of 2 current GRACE students: twin daughters in high school, and our son is a former GRACE student. Our family is active at our church, Cary Alliance.
I am an avid reader and a book reviewer for upper elementary, young adult and adult books. You can read my reviews on http://worthy2read.wordpres
I co-teach 4th and 5th Grade Media, as well as 6th Grade Computer Science Fundamentals with Mrs. Hartsfield. We also co-facilitate the 6th grade Girls Who Code and STEM clubs. I also lead book clubs in our 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.
More importantly, I like to encourage reading and learning in children of all ages. I look forward to helping your children to discover the world of information, and to develop a lifetime love of learning.
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.
Hi! 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 14th 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!
Hi, my name is Lynn Guerrera, and I feel so blessed to be part of the GRACE Christian School staff! I have been married to my high school sweetheart for over 28 years. We moved to Cary, NC in 1997 from Long Island, NY, and now live in Apex. We have three wonderful children: two sons, ages 23 and 26, and a daughter, 25. Our daughter was born with autism and has taught our family the meaning of compassion, patience, and a love and trust for God and His plan.
When I moved to North Carolina I was hired at the Taylor Family YMCA (formally known as the Cary Family YMCA) and spent eighteen years working in the preschool as a Lead Teacher, then became the Preschool Director, and then a few years later became the Nursery Coordinator. In the year 2000, I received my Early Childhood Credentials from Wake Technical Community College and received a Leadership Certificate through the YMCA Leadership training school. In addition, I have also completed several additional training courses in areas such as behavior management and health/safety.
I have a true love for children and strive to encourage positive attitudes and interactions, independence, and confidence in my students to help them succeed as they grow. It is my goal to model God’s unconditional love in my classroom and bring the children in my care closer to Him. My desire is to serve the Lord through serving my students and building healthy, spiritual, and loving relationships that seek to honor Him and encourage one another.
One of my many favorite Bible Verses: “Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from him”. Psalms 127:3
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.
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 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 host tours for prospective families, as well as introduce our students at GRACE to Spanish. I have had three children at GRACE. My two oldest have graduated and are at UNC Chapel Hill. Go Heels! My youngest will be in ninth grade. I'm happy to be coming back for my seventh year of teaching Spanish at GRACE!
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 taught a total of 12 years and 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 Education where I met my husband of 19 years. 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.
I am thrilled to have rejoined the GRACE family in 2013 as a third grade teacher. My family has been a part of GRACE for the past nine 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 second 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 worked at Providence Baptist Church for fourteen years both in student ministry and as pastor to children/ young families. He is now ministering through a mentoring network called Xcel. We have five boys, all who attend GRACE, Asher (9th), Caleb (7th), Nate (5th), Judah (4th), and Maddox (2nd).
I feel very blessed to be back in the classroom teaching, and am thrilled to be a part of the wonderful GRACE family.
Hi, my name is Lindsey Hignite and I've been at GRACE three years. I am the LEAP Instructor for the Lower Campus. I love that we have a God who creates all different types of people with their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Teaching my students to overcome their learning differences and discover their God-given strengths is a joy that I embrace!
I was privileged to grow up in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and a piece of my heart will always be there. I graduated from Appalachian State with a degree in Special Education. While there I met my husband and we now have three SUPER amazing kids! I was a stay at home mom for over 15 years until God called me back into teaching.
The Bible verse that I cling to and have called my own is Psalm 46:10, Be still, and know that I am God.
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!
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. I have been married to my husband for 29 years and we have two sons who are both GRACE graduates (2014 and 2017). Our oldest just graduated from Charleston Southern University and our youngest is a sophomore at UNC Charlotte. Most of the time you can find me reading, cross-stitching, or attending baseball games! 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. In teaching young children I see small moments that are teachable moments about God. Those moments are both a privilege and a joy.
To learn more about Mary Claudia, read her February 6, 2018 Staff Spotlight.
Hi! Welcome to the GRACE community. My name is Sarah Jarvis and I have the privilege of being a 2nd Grade Assistant Teacher. I attended Liberty University and graduated with a double major in psychology 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 one lovable cat named, Ruthie! 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!!
Learn more about Sarah by reading the September 26, 2017 Staff Spotlight.
Hello. My name is Ellen Kaehler and I am excited to be returning to GRACE for my twenty-first year. I am the Choral Music Director for Elementary Chorus, Middle School Vocal Ensemble and High School Vocal Ensemble. I am also the general music teacher for grades three through five.
I received my Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in music from Appalachian State University where I also taught piano and keyboard theory at Cannon Music Camp.
Prior to coming to GRACE, I was a choral director at the high school level in Wake County. I am the director of the youth choir and substitute director for the chancel choir at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh. My husband, Larry, and I have two children. Brittany is beginning her third year as a choral director at the middle and high school level, and Brad is a college student. We live in Knightdale with our much-loved Cairn Terrier, Angie.
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 nineteen years ago 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 first and second 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 have been married sixteen years and after moving around from Lynchburg, Virginia, Manassas, Virginia, and Northwest Cary, have settled in Apex with our three children; Miller (10 years old), Ellie (8 years old), and Thaxton (6 years old). Our family has been at GRACE for three years now 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 two years ago and am excited for another amazing year! I am truly honored to be a part of the GRACE faculty.
To learn more about Miranda, read her May 1, 0218 Staff Spotlight.
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.
My name is Jennifer Lehmann and I am excited to be part of the GRACE family. My oldest son began kindergarten at GRACE six years ago and I have loved being involved as a room parent, prayer team member, substitute teacher and volunteering in the classroom and on field trips. I am happy to join the kindergarten team as the instructional assistant.
I grew up in Sioux City, Iowa and moved south to attend Baylor University in Waco, Texas. I graduated with a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders (Speech Pathology). I met my husband at church in Texas and we moved to North Africa as missionaries soon after we were married. After eight years we moved to Cary to plant a church. My husband is the pastor of Antioch Community Church and we are so thankful to know Jesus and share His love everywhere we go. I have four beautiful children who attend GRACE. Evan is in 6th grade, Kate is in 5th grade, Colin is in 3rd grade and Joshua is in 1st grade. We are thankful for the vision, support and love of the GRACE family!
My name is Lorna Lodholz and I am thrilled to be starting my 5th year as part of the Transitional Kindergarten Team - we have the BEST job at GRACE! 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 (Class of 2025), Jonas (Class of 2020) and Grace (Class of 2015), a senior nursing student at 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. I began my journey serving in a Transitional Kindergarten classroom seven years ago and have enjoyed every single minute.
My husband and I have been married for 26 years and our family enjoys living in downtown Cary. We love spending time together in the mountains with family and friends, and playing games or chatting on our front porch. You will also find us cheering on our favorite baseball player or at the gym watching our youngest, play volleyball. We attend Emmaus 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.
Hi! I'm Sharon Martin, teaching assistant for third grade. I've been a teaching assistant since 2002, and both of my children are GRACE graduates. I have a degree in Electrical Engineering and worked in that field for a number of years prior to having children. I've since moved on to a much more rewarding career here at GRACE. This is a wonderful, Christ-centered environment, full of folks who love Jesus and love children. What a blessing!
Learn more about Sharon in the December 5, 2017 Staff Spotlight
My name is Corey McGuire and I am extremely excited to be joining the GRACE family as the new TK-6th Grade Physical Education teacher and JV Head Football coach. 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 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 church right here in Raleigh and I'm looking forward to the possibility of partnering up as a male mentor to the youth there.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
To learn more about Corey, read his February 27, 2018 Staff Spotlight.
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.
Hi there! My name is Kati Montague and I am so excited to be returning to the GRACE family for this upcoming school year! This will be my sixth year overall with GRACE. I was a part of the After Care Staff from 2012-2016, and the assistant for the second grade team during the 2016-2017 school year. I spent the past year in Ecuador, serving as a missionary, alongside an awesome family that is working to reach the lost among the university students of Ecuador!
I was born in New York, but grew up right here in Raleigh. I love the Wolfpack, and attended NC State where I received my Bachelors of Science in meteorology. During college, God called me into missions, so I switched gears after graduation and attended a discipleship school where I could learn more about missions within the church. I have been on many short term trips over the years, and now have lived overseas for the past year. 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 back at GRACE and serving our After Care families for this school year!
I am originally from Edenton, North Carolina, a small town that is a relatively short drive to the Outer Banks. My wife, Krista, is from Fort Wayne, Indiana. We both lived in rural areas, so we love nature and enjoying God’s creation by walking down trails and rivers, swimming, and exploring.
I hold a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from East Carolina University. I have experience teaching middle school band in Lenoir County, NC and elementary general music in Wilson County, NC. I am passionate about worshiping God through music in creative ways, including incorporating music from various cultures other than western culture. The clarinet is my primary instrument, but I also play the saxophone and piano.
Krista, and I have joined a church planting organization, Finisterre Vision, and we hope to one day move to a remote village in Papua New Guinea to share God's Word to those who have never heard the name of Jesus. My wife and I are also involved in efforts of disaster reconstruction, fighting human trafficking, and supporting church planting in Nepal. We love sharing Christ's grace and mercy through music and ministry.
I am so excited to be joining GRACE this year as the TK-2nd music teacher! We have been a part of the GRACE family for 2 years now and are so blessed by the relationships we have made since our 3 children have been here.
I have a Bachelors of Music 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 for 15 years and have 3 beautiful children. I enjoy reading, baking and traveling in my free time. Our family attends Hope Community Church where I am involved in small group women's bible study, women's ministry, and participate in both local and foreign mission work. Blessings to all of our GRACE families for a wonderful 2017-2018 school year!
I'm 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 36 years. In our spare time we love to travel or relax at the lake.
Hi! I’m Jen Quirk and I am the lunch assistant at the lower campus and I can't even begin to explain how excited I am!
My husband Aaron and I met on Summer Project with CRU and have been married for 12 years. We live in the heart of Raleigh by NC State (Go Pack!) with our kiddos, chickens and dogs. We are a total circus, but we think life's more fun that way! We attend and serve as small group leaders at The Summit Church: Blue Ridge Campus. If you don't have a church home I'd love to show you ours! Our family started at GRACE when my oldest entered kindergarten and we have been here since. I have 3 children at our school: Eden in 4th, Hudson in 2nd and Asher in K (be still my heart).
The last two years I’ve been both a member of GRACE PTF and a substitute teacher. The kitchen was the first place I volunteered as a new mom at GRACE and I remember being so impressed with the excellence that goes into serving our children. It was such a great place to not only see my own child and get to know their friends, but also other parents and grandparents at our school. I am so excited to be back as a staff member and continue to love and serve our children well. If you’re looking for a place to get connected I highly recommend the lunch room! It’s so much fun! Plus, I’d love to meet you!
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 daughters, Rebecca and Kathryn, started kindergarten here in 2006. 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 20 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 for the last ten years, 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!
I am so excited to return for my 28th year at GRACE. 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 5 adorable grandchildren, Marilaura, Ayden, Clara, Levi, and Cadence. Family time is very important to us. Our weekends are usually filled with doing something with the girls and their families.
Hi! My name is Jenae Schmidt. I was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, but moved to Raleigh when I was four. I was privileged to grow up in Raleigh in a Christian home. My dad had a job transfer to Lincoln, Nebraska when I was 13. After being in Lincoln for 3 years, my family moved to Denver which is where I graduated from high school. I just moved back to Raleigh this summer.
Currently, I attend Colonial Baptist Church which is where I was saved when I was 10. I love serving in the nursery at my church and being a part of the college group. Some of my passions include reading, music, and cooking. I'm excited to work with your kids and build a relationship with each and every one of them.
I am Carol Shelton and this is my 20th year at GRACE. I love teaching at GRACE and feel it is the best Christian education available today.
I grew up in Raleigh and went to Lacy Elementary School, Martin Middle School, and Broughton High School. I graduated from UNC-CH with a B/A in English. I am a huge Carolina fan! Go Heels!! I attend Edenton Street United Methodist Church where I grew up. I am a traditional worship fan, but enjoy contemporary Christian music, too.
I have three married daughters and my grandchildren call me "Mimi". They are the sunshine in my life! I love a good cup of coffee (Starbucks knows me by name!), sitting on my deck in my rocking chair, and spending time at the beach with my family. I feel blessed to be a part of the GRACE faculty and look forward to seeing how God is going to work through us this year to further His kingdom.
Hi, I'm Maggie Stancliff and I am returning for my second year at GRACE!
Before GRACE, I taught in Wake County in the ESL department, and in third grade. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio (Go Bucks!), and I graduated from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee in 2016. During college I was able to teach in Thailand where God opened my eyes about how He has created other cultures and deeply loves them. As a result of this experience, I love to pull in any global connections I can to my classroom! I am passionate about Christ's Word and bringing theology down to the level of a fourth grader. I'm also very excited to be a part of helping build the girls' lacrosse program this year here at GRACE!
You can find me reading on my porch, running around the many greenways of Raleigh, drinking coffee, hiking, or searching for the best taco in Raleigh! I'm a member at Imago Dei Church and volunteer with their college ministry. I trust that God will show us more of Himself this year in my classroom!
Hello! My name is Shari Still and this will be my thirteenth year of teaching first grade at GRACE. I absolutely love this age group because they are so eager to learn, and I also love the curriculum because it is exciting to teach! Our 1st graders have plenty of opportunities to explore subject matters through writing, reading, crafts, hands on activities, role play, technology, and field trips. We are blessed to have a SMARTboard in our classroom which really opens up many avenues to approach a particular subject.
GRACE has been a big part of my life and the life of my family for the past eighteen years. My husband Greg and I have four wonderful children who span the ages of 22 to 29. Our oldest son and beautiful daughter-in-law are both educators; high school band director and elementary teacher. Our second son has a doctorate in saxophone performance and teaches at UNC Charlotte. Our third child, and oldest daughter, is a middle school language arts teacher and just got married to a wonderful young man this summer. Last but not least, our youngest daughter will be a senior at UNC Charlotte this year pursuing a major in Criminal Justice. Each of our children has been influenced in a beautiful way by attending GRACE, and we have seen those godly influences impact them as they have grown and matured.
As a teacher at GRACE, I view it as a great privilege to teach those students who are given into my care each year. It is my desire and prayer that my students not only come away with a love of learning, but more importantly, a love and passion for who God is and a desire to grow in a relationship with Him.
My name is Lisa Suarez. This is my 12th year teaching, and my sixth year at GRACE Christian School. I am excited to be teaching History and Bible this year. My husband, boys and I enjoyed joining the GRACE family five years ago. Our oldest son will be in fifth grade and our youngest will be in third grade at GRACE this year! In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, and baking. I know God has amazing things in store for this upcoming school year!
Hi, my name is Debbie Taylor and I am the 3rd grade assistant for Mrs. Hare and the Art assistant for Mrs Boyd. My family moved to Raleigh in 2001. I was a substitute that first year in my son's class and then I was a kindergarten assistant for 14 years before moving up to 3rd grade. We love the Raleigh area and our family here at GRACE. I have been married to my husband Mike for 29 years and we have 3 beautiful children that have attended GRACE. Britney graduated from ECU, Mariah graduated from NCSU, and Michael Jr. Graduated from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. I love working with your children and working here at GRACE.
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 three daughters who attend GRACE. Emma Grace is in 9th grade, Leah Beth is in 6th grade, and Anna Claire is in 2nd grade. We have been members of Salem Baptist Church for 19 years and my husband and I have loved leading the Young Married Bible Fellowship group for seven years as well as working with both the youth and children’s ministries there. When we are not on the soccer field and at dance recitals, 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 math skills, but also in their relationship with the Lord. I am very excited and blessed to be joining the GRACE family as a staff member this year!
My name is Emily Tischer and I am the Transitional Kindergarten teacher at GRACE Christian School. This is the fifth year of the TK program and I am thrilled to have another year with these amazing kiddos!
My family and I relocated to Cary from Minneapolis, MN in 2014. I received degrees in Communication and Elementary Education from The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and a Master's Degree in Education from St. Mary's University in Minneapolis. I spent 14 years teaching first grade in MN and feel very blessed to continue teaching in North Carolina. My husband and I have two children who attend GRACE.
Transitional Kindergarten students will begin their road of learning in our classroom and I am forever grateful that God has chosen me to be part of their journey.
"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's no tomorrow."
Learn more about Emily by reading the August 22, 2017 Staff Spotlight.
Hello, my name is Susan Walker. You will see me at Station 1 in the morning on the lower campus waving at you as you go through the carpool line. I have the wonderful privilege to conduct library lessons for TK-3 grades. It is a joy to help GRACE students read with confidence and success. During our Open House tours, I tell prospective families about the great learning experiences going on here at GRACE and what a wonderful community we have.
My family has been part of the GRACE community for 18 years. My husband, Will and I have been married for 24 years. Our three sons have grown up at GRACE. Conner (Class of 2015) is a senior at NCSU studying Industrial systems engineering with a minor in business. He is pictured on the GRACE Wall of Fame. Go Pack! Colin (Class of 2017) is a sophomore at Clemson University studying Political Science. Colin is part of Air Force ROTC. Go Tigers! Cameron (Class of 2019) is a senior and will be wearing #42 on his GRACE football jersey. Go Eagles! We have much to cheer about! On Sundays, you will find us at Summit Blue Ridge campus where we worship and serve.
It is a tremendous blessing to be a parent & teacher at GRACE where we love God, love others, and build community as we learn together.
To learn more about Susan, read her April 17, 2018 Staff Spotlight.
My name is Wendy Willard and this will be my ninth year serving at GRACE. Before coming to GRACE, I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in education from Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. My husband, Kirk and I then moved back to Connecticut, where we are originally from, and I worked as a fifth-grade teacher in the elementary school I attended. I was blessed to grow up on a sheep farm in Connecticut with great historical significance, but God moved us away again to this foreign land called, North Carolina, and for all but a brief sabbatical, we have been here for the last twelve years. We now think of it as our home here on earth. We love it and GRACE Christian School is a big reason why we feel so at home here.
After working for two years in the Wake County Public School System, I came to this wonderful school and found my home. After teaching three years of fourth grade and three years of fifth grade, I moved into the role of covering for our wonderful eighth grade U.S. History teacher and twelfth grade Bible teacher while God healed her. After a brief sabbatical to care for my own family members and earn my Master’s Degree from Liberty University with a degree in Educational Administration and Leadership, my two girls, Devon (senior) and Morgan (sophomore) are back home with our family here at GRACE.
This year I will be serving as the K-2 Early Intervention Teacher, teaching in our Learning Enrichment and Achievement program and working with our teachers on professional development.
Hi! I'm Megan Yabani, and I am one of the second grade teachers here at GRACE.
It is my sixth year here at GRACE and I am SO happy my job is my passion! I taught 1st grade for five years, and now am upstairs in 2nd grade. I went to school in Michigan and after teaching Kindergarten the Lord brought me here to North Carolina. I am so THANKFUL He did! I met my husband here and we have been married for 3 years. In my free time, I enjoy playing volleyball and looking up creative ideas for the classroom.
My mission in teaching is to empower students to be CREATIVE, challenge them to think outside the box, and to provide a HUNGER for learning. My favorite parts of the day include guided math and guided reading! The students have an opportunity to choose activities that ENGAGE their minds and also have the chance to work alongside others to solve problems. What a blast it is! I am excited for another year to begin, where we can experience more laughter, joy, and adventure together as a family.
I hold my students to high expectations because I KNOW that they are capable of meeting them. I continually remind them: Don’t be afraid to shoot for the moon. You just might miss and hit the stars.
Learn more about Megan in the November 14, 2017 Staff Spotlight