Directory

Elementary School Directory

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Christina Badenchini

Learning Specialist | K-6th

Hi! I am Christina Badenchini and I am a Learning Specialist in the LEAP program. I love teaching and helping students succeed. The Lord is my strength! I am thankful every day that He has given me to make a difference in the lives of students.

This will be my 8th year serving the Lord as part of the GRACE family. My favorite verse is Ephesians 3:20: "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…" Our God is an awesome God!!

Email: CBadenchini@GRACEChristian.net

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Crystal Barker

Math, Science | 5th

Hello! My name is Crystal Barker. This is my 15th year teaching, and I am very excited to start my forth year at GRACE.  I love the Christ-centered atmosphere here at GRACE Christian School.  I have the privilege of teaching math and science as we explore and engage in God’s amazing creation.  It is a blessing to share God’s Word daily with the 5th grade 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.

Email: CBarker@GRACEChristian.net

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Courtney Billings

Assistant | Kindergarten

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.

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 18 years and our time together is only made sweeter by the fun chaos that comes with the blessing of four girls.  Our daughters, Hannah (9th grade), Payton (7th grade), Taylor (4th grade), and Avery (2nd grade) will be attending GRACE this year and can’t imagine being anywhere else!  Our family attends Church Alive in Fuquay-Varina.  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!

Email: CBillings@GRACEChristian.net

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Merrily Boyd

Art | TK-6th

My name is Merrily Boyd, and I am excited to be back for another year of teaching K-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 the Barnes and Noble Book Fair, to name a few.

I look forward to another great year of art class!

Email: MBoyd@GRACEChristian.net

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Ashley Brantley

Assistant | 4th

My name is Ashley Brantley and I'm thrilled to be part of the GRACE family. Over the past 7 years I have been blessed with many opportunities 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 26 years and we have 4 children. Our oldest, Maddi, is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and teaches 1st grade in Chapel Hill. Noble (12th grade), Claire (10th grade), and Gabe (4th grade) all attend GRACE and have been very active in art, theater, football, cheerleading, and student council. In 2012, my husband retired from the Navy after 21 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. 

 

Email: ABrantley@GRACEChristian.net

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Mandy Church

Teacher | Kindergarten

My name is Mandy Church, and I am excited to be a part of the Kindergarten team. Over the past nine years, I have had many roles at GRACE which have included being a room mom, lunch volunteer, serving on the Communications Committee for PTF and an "all over the place" substitute.

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!

Email: MaChurch@GRACEChristian.net

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Christi Colyer

Teacher | 4th

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 am looking forward to my second full year teaching 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, and visiting family up north in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 

Email: CColyer@GRACEChristian.net

Learn more about Christi by reading the September 12, 2017 Staff Spotlight

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Louis Cuany

After Care | TK-6 Campus

Hi, my name is Louis Cuany. I have four brothers and growing up we were all home-schooled, so you can imagine it was pretty crazy around the house. I'm very active and enjoy any activity that is outside. I've done a good bit of traveling. Some places I've been to are India, Egypt, Costa Rica, Mexico, Hawaii, Greece, and France.

I am currently in my junior year at NC State studying criminology. I love being a part of the wolfpack. My hobbies include soccer, kayaking, cars, running, and Netflix.

Email: LCuany@GRACEChristian.net

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Andrea Dajnowicz

After Care | TK-6TH Campus

My name is Andrea Dajnowicz. I was born and raised in Michigan. My husband Jon and I recently moved to North Carolina from Minnesota. I have always enjoyed working with children. I am grateful for the opportunity to work at GRACE Christian School this year. I look forward to getting to know each of you and your child/children.

Email: ADajnowicz@GRACEChristian.net

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Gina DeBruhl

Assistant | 5th

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 9th grade at GRACE and Margaret, a freshman 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 the youth group leader and on the worship service team.

I am looking forward to another great school year!

Email: GDeBruhl@GRACEChristian.net

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Karen Doyle

After Care | TK-6TH Campus

Hi, my name is Karen Doyle.  I am thrilled and feel so very blessed to be joining the staff at GRACE. I've been married for 17 years and have 3 wonderful children, ages 14, 12, and 5.  We moved to Cary a little less than a year ago from the Florida Keys where we lived for 5 years.  Before life at the beach, we lived in Loveland, Colorado for 12 years.  It's been quite a ride! 

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a double minor in Elementary and Secondary Education from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania.  After graduating from college I worked at two different adoption agencies as a birth parent counselor and as the office manager.  It was a joy to see families come together and to have the opportunity to pray with my clients in those positions. 

My true love and passion in life is working with children.  I love witnessing those "ah-ha!" moments when a child lights up as they grasp a new concept.  I've worked as a substitute teacher for many years and home schooled my kids for the five years we lived in the Keys.  I also had the awesome opportunity to lead and direct VBS when we lived in Colorado.  I'm so excited to have the privilege to work in a Christian environment and share not only knowledge but also the love of our Savior with the kids at GRACE.  It is my hope and prayer that each student I work with will see Jesus in me as I have the opportunity to see them grow closer to our Lord throughout the year.

I'm looking forward to meeting you and getting to share in watching your child grow in grace and maturity here at GRACE Christian School.  

Email: KDoyle@GRACEChristian.net

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Carol Gehringer

Media Coordinator | TK-6TH Campus

I am excited to be starting my 11th year (2017-2018) 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 26+ 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 GRACE students: twin daughters in high school. 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.wordpress.com. Reviewing books allows me to get free copies for our school, saving us about $1000 in book expenses each year. Another bonus, I often get copies of their books before they are published!

More importantly, I like to encourage reading and learning in children of all ages. We have several daytime book clubs at GRACE to give our students more opportunities to read. I look forward to helping your children to discover the world of information, and to develop a lifetime love of learning.

Email: CGehringer@GRACEChristian.net

 

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Jennifer Goeking

Teacher | 2nd

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 13th 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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Paula Green

Teacher | 2nd

Being a teacher, working with children, and sharing the love of Jesus is my passion.  Watching my own children grow, gave me a deeper understanding of how important these early years are.  The foundation children receive when they are young will be with them all their lives.

My degree is in elementary education from East Tennessee State University. I have twenty-one years of teaching experience, five in public school and the sixteen at GRACE. It gives me great joy to be able to share my faith with children. I believe we are commanded to share our faith in every aspect of life. This is why Christian education is so important. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 the Lord instructs us “Hear, O Israel: ‘The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.'"

I consider it a privilege to be entrusted to help train up the next generation in the way of the Lord. It is my prayer that these children will go from GRACE with a firm foundation in Him, ready to serve the where ever He calls, being salt and light to those around them.

Email: PGreen@GRACEChristian.net

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Lynn Guerrera

After Care | TK-6TH Campus

Hi, my name is Lynn Guerrera, and I am so very blessed to have the opportunity to join the GRACE Christian School staff! I’m married to my high school sweetheart for over twenty seven years and we moved to Cary, NC in 1997 from Long Island, NY. We have three wonderful children: two sons, ages 21 and 25, and a daughter, 23. 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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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 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!

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 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.
 

Email: THartsfield@GRACEChristian.net

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Amber Hickman

Teacher | 3rd

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 eight 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.  In 2015, he felt God's calling him into church planting and left to plant Redemption Church in Apex.  We have five boys, all who attend GRACE, Asher (8th), Caleb (6th), Nate (4th), Judah (3rd), and Maddox (1st).

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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Lindsey Hignite

Learning Specialist | TK-6 Campus

Hi, my name is Lindsey Hignite and this is my second year at GRACE. I am the LEAP teacher 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 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.

Email: LHignite@GRACEChristian.net

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Zoai Hines

After Care | TK-6TH 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. As a family, we have been at GRACE over 14 years. I have been married to my husband for 28 years and we have two boys. Both are GRACE graduates. One is a senior at Charleston Southern University and the other a freshman at UNC Charlotte.  Most of the time you can find me reading, cross-stitching, or enjoying time with our beloved dog, Maggie. 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.

Email: MHuntley@GRACEChristian.net

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Sarah Jarvis

Assistant | Kindergarten

Hi! Welcome to the GRACE community. My name is Sarah Jarvis and I have the privilege of being a Kindergarten Assistant Teacher. ( I also sometimes help in After Care.) 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 Kindergartners!! 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 | 3rd-12th

Hello. My name is Ellen Kaehler and I am excited to be returning to GRACE for my twentieth 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.

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 eighteen 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 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 fifteen years and after moving around from Lynchburg, Virginia, Manassas, Virginia, and Northwest Cary, have settled in Apex with our three children; Miller (9 years old), Ellie (7 years old), and Thaxton (5 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 last January and am excited for another amazing year! I am truly honored to be a part of the GRACE faculty.

Email:MiKaluka@GRACEChristian.net

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Heather Kinrade

Hot Lunch | TK-6TH Campus

Hello, my name is Heather Kinrade and I have the pleasure of working with Lisa Michaelsen in the Raleigh Campus hot lunch program.  I cannot explain the joy I get out of seeing all these smiling faces each day at lunch.  From sharing jokes, hugs, and encouraging kids to try new foods, 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, when my two sons were enrolled.  AJ (Class of 2022) and Tyler (Class of 2024) thrive here and moving from public schools to GRACE was one of the best decisions we have ever made.  I’ve had the pleasure of serving as a volunteer, room parent, member of the PTF, and now 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.

We attend Aversboro Road Baptist Church in Garner and are active in youth activities.  We also volunteer our time at various charities and are always looking for a way for us to serve our community.

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 my fourth year as part of the Transitional Kindergarten Team. Our family feels so blessed to be part of the GRACE 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), now a junior at Gardner-Webb University, grow and develop into all God wants them to be.

My husband and I have been married for 25 years and our family enjoys living in downtown Cary. We love spending time together with family and friends, talking and playing games on our front porch. We attend Oasis Church in Holly Springs and love serving as a family and seeing lives changed forever, as people encounter Christ.

It is my prayer for our students and their families to know what a privilege it is to partner with them on this journey. 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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Sharon Martin

Assistant | 3rd

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!

Email: SMartin@GRACEChristian.net

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Corey McGuire

P.E. | TK-6th

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.”

Email: CMcGuire@GRACEChristian.net

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Megan Olson

Music | TK-2nd Grade

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! 

Email: MOlson@GRACEChristian.net

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Dena Prior

Assistant | 1st

I'm excited to return to GRACE in 2016 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 34 years. In our spare time we love to travel or relax at the lake.

Email: DPrior@GRACEChristian.net

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Alissa Rassette

Nurse | GRACE

I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve the children at GRACE as the school Nurse. I graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. 
 
This will be my 7th year working as a nurse and first year at GRACE. Over the years, I've worked with children and adults in cardiac surgery, oral surgery (I'm your gal for pulling those baby teeth), occupational health and pharmaceuticals.
 
My husband, Chad, and I have a son in 2nd grade and are members at Midtown Community Church in Raleigh. We joined GRACE last year and we absolutely love the community here! Last year I spent time volunteering, getting connected, and being room mom. When I have free time, I enjoy boating at the beach, traveling, exercising, watching sports, cooking, and reading. 
 
 
Alissa was featured in the September 19, 2017 Staff Spotlight. Click to read more about Alissa.
 
 
 
 
 
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Christi Robinson

Bible, Grammar, & Composition | 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 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!

Email: CRobinson@GRACEChristian.net

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Penny Schaeffer

Teacher | 4th

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.

Email: PSchaeffer@GRACEChristian.net

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Jenae Schmidt

After Care | TK-6th

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.

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Becky Schnake

Assistant | 2nd

I am excited and thankful to be starting my tenth year at GRACE.  There is no place in the world like GRACE - the love and support here truly make it feel like home!  I will be taking on the position of 2nd grade Teaching Assistant this year rather than being a teacher. I look forward to an amazing year and what the Lord has in store for us all.

I received my B.A. in Christian Education from Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky and my M.A. in Education from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. My husband, Terry, and I met and married while I was in college and he was attending Asbury Theological Seminary - 44 years ago! After graduating we served as missionaries in Indonesia for 12 years and Ukraine for 7 years. We have also taught in International Schools in the Republic of Georgia, Khazakhstan and most recently Italy. Along with my desire to help create lifelong learners who seek truth in academic pursuits, these experiences give me a passion for seeing the Word taken to the nations of the world and a desire to plant seeds of missionary zeal in the hearts of the students. As I assist all three 2nd grade classes, it is my prayer that the Lord will call at least one student from each class into full time missionary service.

My husband and I have three children, two sons and a daughter, who have blessed us with ten grandchildren - seven grandsons and three granddaughters from ages 1 to 16! So I have lots of experience with children in various stages of development and am acutely aware of the importance of "training up a child in the way that he should go." (Proverbs 22:6) It is a privilege and humbling responsibility to partner with the parents of our students and the teachers in this sacred calling. I covet your prayers for the Holy Spirit's empowering and God's wisdom, guidance and grace each day as I strive to know Him and make Him known. (1 Corinthians 2:2, Philippians 3:10 & Psalm 105:1)

Email: BSchnake@GRACEChristian.net

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Carol Shelton

Teacher | 3rd

My name is Carol Shelton. I love teaching at GRACE Christian School, and I love teaching 3rd grade. I have a BS in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (I'm a huge Tarheel fan!)  I love working with children, and I believe a Christian education is the best way to prepare our children to be moral, intelligent, and responsible members of society.

I have been a lifelong resident of Raleigh. I love to cook and spend time with my family. I am a member of Church on Morgan (CoM) a "table" of Edenton Street United Methodist Church. 

I am the proud mother of three grown daughters, and the proud "Mimi" of Zoey, Owen, Caroline, Boone, Grady, and one on the way in November!  God is so good!

Email: CShelton@GRACEChristian.net

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Maggie Stancliff

Teacher | 4th

Hi, I'm Maggie Stancliff and this is my first year at GRACE! I am excited to teach fourth grade and see all that God has in store for this year!

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. I am passionate about Christ, His word, and sowing into young lives. 

I enjoy reading, running, drinking coffee, hiking, traveling, gardening, and searching for the best taco in Raleigh! I attend Imago Dei Church and look forward to serving there more. I trust that God will show us more of Himself this year. 

Email: MStancliff@GRACEChristian.net

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Laura Stein

Teacher | 2nd

I'm so excited to be joining the GRACE family and to get back into the classroom after 7 years in higher education. I graduated from Campbell University with a B.S. in Educational Studies, and I received my M.Ed. from NC State University in Educational Psychology. I previously taught 2nd grade for two years in Harnett County and then two more years at a Christian school in Charleston, SC. I have spent the last 7 years working at Duke University with various student populations, and I spent one semester working with the football team at NC State. I've enjoyed being in higher education, but 2nd grade really is the best! 

I live in Cary with my husband, Chris, and our children, Jack and Reagan. I used to have hobbies, but now I have two kids under 2! Having my own children has only increased my passion for Christian education. I believe strongly in the partnership between family and school, and I am so thankful and mindful that parents are entrusting me with their sweet children. We attend Crosspointe Church in Cary and are extremely grateful for our church family. 

I'm a proud (Nebraska) Cornhusker, and I love talking college football almost as much as I love Jesus. 

Email: LStein@GRACEChristian.net

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Shari Still

Teacher | 1st

Hello! My name is Shari Still, and I have been teaching first grade at GRACE for eleven years. 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 seventeen years.  My husband Greg and I have four wonderful children who span the ages of 21 to 28.  Our oldest son and beautiful daughter-in-law are both educators; high school band director and elementary teacher.  Our second son is graduating in December from Texas Tech with a doctorate in saxophone performance.  Our third child, and oldest daughter, will begin her second year of teaching 7th grade language arts this upcoming school year.  Last but not least, our youngest daughter will be a junior 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.
 

Email: SStill@GRACEChristian.net

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Lisa Suarez

History, Reading & Literature | 5th

My name is Lisa Suarez. This is my 11th year teaching, and my fifth year at GRACE Christian School. I am excited to be teaching History and Reading again this year. My husband, boys and I enjoyed joining the GRACE family four years ago. Our oldest son will be in fourth grade at GRACE and our youngest will be in second 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!

Email: LSuarez@GRACEChristian.net

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Debbie Taylor

Assistant | 3rd Grade

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. This past year I moved upstairs to 3rd grade.  We love the Raleigh area and our family here at GRACE. I have been married to my husband Mike for 28 years and we have 3 beautiful children that have attended GRACE. Britney graduated from ECU, Mariah graduated from NCSU, and Michael Jr. is a Senior playing basketball at 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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Emily Tischer

Teacher | Transitional Kindergarten

My name is Emily Tischer and I am the Transitional Kindergarten teacher at GRACE Christian School. This is the fourth year of the TK program and I am thrilled to have another successful year with some 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."

Email: ETischer@GRACEChristian.net

Learn more about Emily by reading the August 22, 2017 Staff Spotlight

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Susan Walker

Library Teacher | TK-3rd

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 17 years.  My husband, Will and I have been married for 23 years.  Our three sons have grown up at GRACE.  Conner (Class of 2015)  is a junior at NCSU studying industrial systems engineering with a minor in business. Go Pack!  Colin (Class of 2017) is a freshmen at Clemson University studying engineering.  Go Tigers!  Cameron (Class of 2019) is a junior 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.

Email: SWalker@GRACEChristian.net

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Kirsten Wray

Band, Music Appreciation | 4th-12th

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!  I have had twelve wonderful years as the Band Director at GRACE, and I am excited about beginning year thirteen. I am also looking forward to my fourth year of Music Appreciation.

I attended East Carolina University where I received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Flute is my main instrument, and I play piano for the elementary chorus at GRACE.

My husband, Brian, and I have been married for 18 years. We both grew up right here in Wake County. We are blessed to be surrounded by so much of our family. Our daughter, Isabella, is in 8th grade. She loves GRACE as much as I do!  We love to travel, and attend The Point Church in Fuquay-Varina.

Email: KWray@GRACEChristian.net

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Megan Yabani

Teacher | 1st

Hi! I'm Megan Yabani, and I am one of the first grade teachers here at GRACE.

It is my fifth year here in 1st grade and I am SO happy my job is my passion! 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 Pinterest 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.

Email: MYabani@GRACEChristian.net