Directory

Elementary School Directory

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Lynn Guerrera

After Care | Lower Campus

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

Email: LGuerrera@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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Lorna Lodholz

Assistant | Transitional Kindergarten

My name is Lorna Lodholz and I am thrilled to be starting another year (since 2013) 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 (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.  I began my journey serving in a Transitional Kindergarten classroom years ago (2011) and have enjoyed every single minute.

My husband and I have been married since 1992, and our family enjoys living in downtown Cary. We recently purchased 60 acres, just outside of Boone, and we enjoy spending time together whenever we can, 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.