Directory

Middle School Directory

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Debra Barkett

Bible | Upper Campus

I have been teaching at GRACE for over 10 years, and I love serving in this ministry. I lived in Clayton for 23 years, but made a more recent move to Holly Springs. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and have lived in Springfield, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; attended college in Indiana (near Chicago) where I worked with Chicago gang kids for eight years; and lived in the north Florida and south Georgia area doing youth ministry work.

I have over twenty years of teaching experience, in addition to home-schooling and working in church and youth ministries for many years. My Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education came from Hyles-Anderson College in Indiana, with minors in business, home economics, psychology, and Bible. I also obtained a Master's Degree in Education and English and have earned my lifetime professional accreditation certificate with ACSI.

I have two adult sons, Nathan, who is an artist and mechanic, and Ben, who is a talented salesman and works in Development for my non-profit organization, Hope Connection International, which I founded several years ago. Hope Connection empowers survivors and families of abuse and addiction by providing resources and offering free support groups, classes, and sponsorships with tailored solutions, along with supportive, long-term housing. My church home is Hope Community Church, where I have been active for over 10 years. My passion is to impact our GRACE students to serve God and find their purpose through leading them by example in this endeavor. I am honored to be part of the GRACE family.

Email: DBarkett@GRACEChristian.net

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Rion Bell

Bible & History | Upper Campus

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

I love discussing and defending the truth of God's Word as well as seeing God work in the hearts of young people. I taught several classes with Southeastern Seminary on Apologetics and Philosophy. I have also been blessed to work with teens and youth for the last 15 years as either a teacher or youth pastor.

Email: RBell@GRACEChristian.net

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Mark Bianchi

Computer Science | Upper Campus

Hello. My name is Mark Bianchi and this will be my fourth year at GRACE. I am a member of the IT team providing support and teaching Computer Science courses. 

My wife Sissy and I have two boys, Chris and Alex. Chris graduated from East Carolina University in May 2019 and Alex graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2019.

I attended Hudson Valley Community College, in Troy, New York where I completed my Associate’s degree in Electrical Technology. After graduation I went to work for IBM Poughkeepsie, New York. A few years later I attended Marist College in Poughkeepsie where I completed my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science.

I transferred to IBM East Fishkill, New York, in 1996 and in 2004 I transferred to IBM System X in RTP. IBM sold System X to Lenovo and in January 2015 I accepted a voluntary package to leave Lenovo.  

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

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

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

Email: MBianchi@GRACEChristian.net

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Catherine Bizieff

History | Upper Campus

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

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

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

email: CBizieff@GRACEChristian.net

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Courtnae Blount

Math | 6th

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

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

Email: CBlount@GRACEChristian.net

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Jonah Bookman

History & Bible | Upper Campus

My name is Jonah Bookman, and I am so excited to return to GRACE Christian School this year. I grew up in Southern California, where I graduated from The Master’s College in 2009. I love teaching U.S. history, and I relish the chance to reflect Christ’s love in the classroom while instilling in young people a love for learning and a desire to seek the truth.

Email: JBookman@GRACEChristian.net

To learn more about Jonah, read his April 24, 0218 Staff Spotlight.

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Merrily Boyd

Art | Lower Campus

My name is Merrily Boyd, and I am excited to be back for another year of teaching TK-6 art at GRACE!

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

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

I look forward to another great year of art class!

Email: MBoyd@GRACEChristian.net

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

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Andy Chang

Latin & Bible | Upper Campus

After substitute teaching at GRACE throughout 2018-19, I am excited to come on board full time in 2019-2020 to teach in two areas: Bible and Latin. I grew up in the Washington D.C. area (Potomac, MD), then spent 5 years in Chicagoland, and in 2004, moved to Cary where I’ve been ever since. My family is small: my parents, who are still in Maryland, and my two orange cats (Henry & Little Brother) here in Cary with me.
 
God has led me through the “scenic route of life” back to full circle to when I was a student at Wheaton College (IL), majoring in Christian Education (B.A.), with a minor in psychology. Later on, I went on to seminary (M.Div. in Theology, Liberty University), followed by a Master of Theology (Th.M) in Biblical Studies, as well as graduate courses in Latin. According to my family, I may have taken the saying of “a teacher is first of all a student” too seriously, as it seems my career path is that of “professional student.” Be that as it may, I am proud to be both an educator and a student, and pray that excellence in one will lend to excellence in the other.
 
Prior to GRACE, my life and work for almost 20 years has also centered around education and students: as youth pastor in predominantly Asian-American churches and teaching music (primarily piano and guitar). My passion has always been to teach… and to teach about anything that I am passionate about! If you get me talking about any of my interests— theology, photography, music, my currently-reading list, the great outdoors (rock climbing, caving, kayaking, hiking, camping, etc… activities that I’d happily do with the GRACE family!)— I’ll likely end up “teaching” you more about that topic than you probably wanted to know!  
 
As far as languages go, in addition to Latin, I studied multiple years of Greek and Hebrew in seminary.  I am conversant in Spanish and I dabble for fun in multiple other languages.  I also grew up speaking Chinese at home (both Mandarin and Cantonese dialects). I am excited to begin my first year at GRACE, teaching Latin—the language of the Classics & early Church Fathers— and teaching about Jesus, the incarnate Word of God.
 
email:AChang@GRACEChristian.net 

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Nathan Dewey

Bible & History | Upper Campus

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

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

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

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

Email: NDewey@GRACEChristian.net

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Julianne Donoghue

Math | Upper Campus

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

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

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

Email: JDonoghue@GRACEChristian.net

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Anthony Dreesen

Bible & History | 6th

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

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

My wife and I were married in January 2018 and live in Raleigh where we enjoy watching Husker football, hunting and fishing, and hanging out with our friends and family. 

Email: ADreesen@GRACEChristian.net

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Melanie Dunning

Science & STEM | Upper Campus

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

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

email: MDunning@GRACEChristian.net

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Hannah Eichhorst

Science | Upper Campus

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

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

Email: HEichhorst@GRACEChristian.net

Classroom Instagram @Mrs.Eichhorst

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

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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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Carol Gehringer

Media Coordinator | Lower Campus

I am excited to be starting my 13th year (2019-2020) 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 over 30 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 twin daughters who recently graduated from GRACE, and our son is a former GRACE student. Our family is active at Cary Alliance Church.

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, as well as in Christian Library Journal. 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!

I co-teach 4th and 5th Grade Media, 6th Grade Computer Science Fundamentals, and TK-4th grade STEM classes with Mrs. Hartsfield. We also co-facilitate the 6th grade Girls Who Code and STEM clubs. In addition, I also lead book clubs in our 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.

More importantly, I like to encourage reading and learning in children of all ages. I look forward to helping your children to discover the world of information, and to develop a lifetime love of learning.

Email: CGehringer@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 Educ. 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 host tours for prospective families, as well as introduce our students at GRACE to Spanish. I have had three children at GRACE.  My oldest just graduated from UNC Chapel Hill and my middle son will be a Junior there. Go Heels! My youngest will be in tenth grade at GCS. I'm happy to be coming back for my ninth year of teaching Spanish at GRACE!

Email: KHarrison@GRACEChristian.net

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Jaime Hartley

Drama & Dance | Both Campuses

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

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

Email: JHartley@GRACEChristian.net

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

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Tomeka Hartsfield

Computer | TK-6th

Hello! My name is Tomeka Hartsfield and God brought my husband and I to GRACE as parents seeking a great education with a Christian foundation for our children. I have taught a total of 15 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 21 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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Beth Hawks

Science | Upper Campus

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

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

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

Email: BHawks@GRACEChristian.net

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

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Laura Jacobs

English | Upper Campus

Hi! I am Laura Jacobs, and I am thrilled to be a part of the GRACE family. After spending twenty years in corporate America, I decided to pursue my passion and began teaching. I cannot imagine doing anything else. Middle school and high school students are my heart, and I love teaching and learning with them. I look forward to getting to know all of my students and their families.

I received a B.A. in English/creative writing from UNC-Wilmington, and I received my teaching certification from Western Carolina University. I am certified to teach English/Language Arts and English as a Second Language.

I am married and have two boys who are also at GRACE. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family. We can often be found playing board games, riding bikes, or relaxing. I also enjoy exercising, reading, and writing in my free time. My hope is that my students will cultivate a love for reading and writing as we explore the various themes and genres throughout the year.

Email: LJacobs@GRACEChristian.net

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

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Ellen Kaehler

Chorus | Both

Hello. My name is Ellen Kaehler and I am excited to be returning to GRACE for my twenty-first year. I am the Choral Music Director for Elementary Chorus, Middle School Vocal Ensemble and High School Vocal Ensemble. I am also the general music teacher for grades three through five.

I received my Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in music from Appalachian State University where I also taught piano and keyboard theory at Cannon Music Camp.

Prior to coming to GRACE, I was a choral director at the high school level in Wake County. I am the director of the youth choir and substitute director for the chancel choir at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh. My husband, Larry, and I have two children. Brittany is beginning her third year as a choral director at the middle and high school level, and Brad is a college student. We live in Knightdale with our much-loved Cairn Terrier, Angie.

Email: EKaehler@GRACEChristian.net

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Heather Kinrade

Hot Lunch | Lower Campus

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

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

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

Email: hkinrade@gracechristian.net

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Mary Martin

ENGLISH | UPPER CAMPUS

Prior to joining GRACE, I have been blessed to train the next generation of teachers as the Director of Education at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.  Additionally, as a Christian school K-12 administrator and classroom teacher for more than 25 years, I can affirm that  Christian education is my calling.  I earned my doctorate in literacy education because literacy (reading, writing, speaking and listening) affects every course and activity involved in the learning process, both inside the classroom and in life. 

My first book, Impacting Student Learning through Christ-Centered Instructional Leadership, was published in 2019 by Wheaton Press.  I am currently co-writing a servant-leadership, worldview Bible curriculum for grades 1-5 and hope to publish more resources for Christian educators. 

My amazing husband Michael and I have two wonderful adult children, Jaclyn and John.  We greatly enjoy travel and experiencing new cultures and communities together. 

Email: mmartin@gracechristian.net

 

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Sarah Maxey

English | Upper Campus

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

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

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

email: SMaxey@GRACEChristian.net

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Lisa McCarthy

Computer Science | Upper Campus

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

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

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

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

Our family attends Salem Baptist Church in Apex where I serve as a teacher in both children and youth ministries. I also serve as a tutor as part of Salem’s MissionApex program. 

email: LMcCarthy@GRACEChristian.net

 

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Corey McGuire

P.E. | TK-6th

My name is Corey McGuire and I am 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

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

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DeShannon Morris

P.E. | Upper Campus

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

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

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

Email: DMorris@GRACEChristian.net

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Debbie Motsinger

Math | Upper Campus

My name is Debbie Motsinger and I am excited to be joining the staff of GRACE this year where I will be teaching middle school math.
 
My husband, Steve, and I have been married for 23 years. We have three wonderful children. Stacy lives in the Hickory area and has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Appalachian State University and a Master’s of Professional Studies from LIM Institute in NYC. Aaron just graduated from UNC Wilmington with a Bachelor’s degree in biology. Abby is currently attending Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach Florida where she is studying communications. We also have a daughter-in-law, Gabbby, who will begin law school at UNC Chapel Hill this fall.
 
I have a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Appalachian State and a Master’s degree in management from Troy University. I later pursued a certificate in Middle Grades Math from Appalachian State University which has allowed me to do what I am passionate about.  I have taught 5 years in public school and 17 years in a Christian school in Catawba County.

Email: DMotsinger@GRACEChristian.net
 
 

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Emily Myers

Spanish | Upper Campus

¡Hola!  My name is Emily Myers, and this will be my third year teaching Spanish at GRACE.  I am excited to return to this wonderful community where I have the blessing of sharing both my passion for the Spanish language and my faith with my students.  

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

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

¡Este va a ser un año buenísimo!

Email: EMyers@GRACEChristian.net

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Brittany Oxendine

PE/Health & Summer Camp | Lower Campus

It is such a joy to be able to work at GRACE. I teach Physical Education and Health on the lower campus, serve as the Summer Camp Director, and coach the middle school volleyball and basketball.

I grew up in the western part of North Carolina and was captivated by Jesus when I was 8. Since then, many godly mentors have been in my life to help grow and strengthen my faith in him. It is my hope and prayer to follow their faithful example to impact the lives of the students here at GRACE!

In 2011, I moved to Raleigh to attend NC State and met my husband, Jarrick. We enjoy serving our church together through the youth ministry. We both have a huge passion for youth to see and savor the beauty of Christ in all aspects of their life, and for them to grow up impacting their world for Him. I am so thankful that I am able to be a part of the community at GRACE which allows me to invest in lives of students.

Email: BOxendine@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 9th year working as a nurse and third 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 at GRACE and attend Summit Church in Raleigh. We absolutely love the community here at GRACE! When I have free time, I enjoy boating at the beach, traveling, exercising, watching sports (Go Canes), cooking, and reading. 

Email: ARassette@GRACEChristian.net

Alissa was featured in the September 19, 2017 Staff Spotlight. Click to read more about Alissa.

 

 

 

 

 

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Blythe Roycroft

Science | 3rd, 4th, and 6th

Hello! My name is Blythe Roycroft and I am thrilled to be joining the GRACE Christian family! God allowed a substitute teaching job during the 2018-2019 school year to open the door at GRACE for me to come on staff full time. 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 five years, moving as a result of being married to Navy man. During our four years in Florida, in addition to teaching, for two of those years, I was also the lead teacher of the elementary department. After we moved to Apex in 2010, I worked from home writing 2nd grade lesson plans for a Christian homeschool curriculum and, in addition, started teaching some ballet classes. From 2010 through this summer, I taught ballet for a variety of ages, worked with a ballet volunteer program, and lead 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 excited to be at GRACE to be a part of encouraging and teaching students about God’s amazing love! 

Email: BRoycroft@GRACEChristian.net

 

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Daniel Servi

Dean of Students, PE Teacher | Upper Campus

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

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

Email: DServi@GRACEChristian.net

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Whitney Spencer

English | 6th

This is my third year teaching at GRACE. I choose to teach in a godly environment because I believe that education is more than just imparting knowledge, but equally involves molding a child's character. My desire is not only to see these students develop a love for literature, an understanding of the English language, and a development of strategies to help them throughout their entire academic career, but also to spend time in prayer with them, to be a light for them, and to spark in them a love for godly things. "Whatever fascinates you will guide you, so pray that the only thing that'll fascinate you is God and His marvelous glory." -AW Tozer

I spent most of my youth in a small town in beautiful West Virginia. I received a degree in Bible and elementary education from Appalachian Bible College in Beckley, WV. I have also completed several continuing education courses from Concord University. When I am not spending time with my school “kids," I am spending time with my husband, Tyler and our three little boys, Hunter, Thorin, and Lincoln, ages 5, 3, and 1. I enjoy an array of activities including reading, knitting, cooking, exercising, and volunteering at our church, Apex Baptist. We love calling North Carolina our home and plan to watch our children grow up here! 

Email: WSpencer@GRACEChristian.net

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Brian Stafford

Strategy Games | GRACE

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

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

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

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

Email: BStafford@GRACEChristian.net

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Rob Stansberry

Band | GRACE

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

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

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

email: RStansberry@GRACEChristian.net

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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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Cindilee Thorne

After Care | Upper Campus

Our family has been at GRACE since 2007.  I am thrilled to be the After Care Coordinator for the upper campus and I always look forward to chatting with and getting to know the after care students.  I have been involved with the GRACE PTF for many years, coordinating the Christmas store, serving on the hospitality committee, and currently coordinating the “We Love You Wednesday” monthly luncheons. This year I have added supervising Study Hall to my list of activities.

Greg and I were married in 1991 and have two sons, Trek, our oldest graduated in 2019 and is attending ECU to study Information Technology, and Levi is in 11th grade.  We attend Hope Community Church where I serve in the Common Grounds coffee ministry.  I enjoy coffee, board games, book club, Bible study, jigsaw puzzles, and naps.

My favorite Bible verse is Hosea 6:6.

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

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

email: CThorne@GRACEChristian.net

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Anna Walters

Math | Upper Campus

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

Born and raised in Durham, NC, I have always called North Carolina home.  I received my BS in mathematics at Meredith College in 1999 as well as a NC Teaching License. My first seven years of teaching were spent in the public schools, first at Athens Drive and then at Havelock High School in Havelock, NC. My husband Tim and I were married in 2002 and in 2006 our family started to grow. We have two sons at GRACE - Ty in 8th, Ben in 7th - and our daughter Paige is in 6th grade at Alston Ridge Middle School. We also have a cutie-pie dog named Charlie.  This is my 8th year at GRACE and my 15th year as a teacher.....time flies when you are having fun!   Tim works for Maestro Productions and is a realtor with eXp Realty. Our church family is The Bridge Community Church in Morrisville.  

I look forward to another great year at GRACE!

Email: AWalters@GRACEChristian.net

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Elizabeth Walters

Art | Upper Campus

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

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

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

Email: EWalters@GRACEChristian.net

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

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Wendy Warlick

Photography Elective | Upper Campus

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

I have taken multiple education classes, including Health, Safety & Nutrition, and Child Development classes. I also recently went back to school and earned my BFA in Graphic Design from Liberty University. I have 18 years of experience working in the classroom and enjoy working with the students.

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

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

Email: WWarlick@GRACEChristian.net

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Paula Welch

Spanish | Upper Campus

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

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

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

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

Email: PWelch@GRACEChristian.net

Learn more about Paula in the October 31, 2017 Staff Spotlight