FACULTY & STAFF

ADMINISTRATION

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Mr. Dell Cook

Headmaster

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Mr. Dell Cook serves as Cary Christian School’s Headmaster. He holds a B.S. from Appalachian State University, a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Master of Theology from Reformed Theological Seminary. During the 15 years Mr. Cook has served at CCS, he has taught a wide range of subjects. He and his wife, Ginny, have three children, all of whom are students at or graduates of CCS.

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Mr. Ryan Baker

Dean of the Upper School

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Mr. Ryan Baker serves as Dean of the Upper School (6th-12th grade). He holds a B.S.Ed. from Northern Arizona University. Mr. Baker has taught since 1999 and has served at Cary Christian School since 2007. Before taking on his role in administration he taught Classical Literature, American Literature, and Rhetoric. God has blessed him and his wife with five children.

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Mr. Kevin Seitz

Dean of the Lower School

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Mr. Kevin Seitz serves as Dean of the Lower School (K-5th). Mr. Seitz comes to us from a Classical Christian School in California, where he taught and served as Grammar School Dean/Principal over the last four years. Mr. Seitz also has 15 years of special education and administrative experience in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Mr. Seitz holds a Single Subject Teaching Credential and degrees in Education Administration from California State University, Northridge (B.A. and M.A.). Mr. Seitz and his wife, Janelle, have three children.

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Mr. Robert Stansberry

Dean of Students

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Mr. Robert Stansberry serves as Dean of Students. He holds an A.A. in Music Performance (Percussion) from Wallace State College, a B.S. in Church Music Education and Theology from Southeastern Bible College and a Master of Divinity from Shepherds Theological Seminary. Mr. Stansberry has served in various church positions and educational opportunities over eighteen years prior to coming to CCS. He and his wife, Renee, have three children.

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Mrs. Karen Bolick

Medical & Lunch Coordinator

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Mrs. Karen Bolick is the Medical & Lunch Coordinator at Cary Christian School.

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Mrs. Renee Bunton

HR Manager

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Mrs. Renee Bunton is the HR Manager for Cary Christian School.

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Mrs. Traci Cooley

Tuition Manager

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Mrs. Traci Cooley has served as the Tuition Manager for CCS since 2012. She holds a degree in Office Administration from Bob Jones University. Prior to working at CCS, she worked in the accounting department at the NC Bar Association. She and her husband, Scott, have one son, who attends CCS.

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Mr. James Dickman

Director of Finance & Operations

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Mr. Jim Dickman serves as the CCS Director of Finance and Operations. Prior to working at CCS, he worked for IBM for 32 years, holding various technical and executive management positions working on the NASA Space Shuttle and Space Station programs and in IBM Global Services. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso. He and his wife, Carla, have two children: one daughter currently attends CCS; the other, a CCS graduate, attends UNC-Chapel Hill.

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Mrs. Kim Elliott

Events Manager

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Mrs. Kim Elliott is with the Development team as Events Manager, having previously worked with Cary Christian School’s Alumni and Grandsparents’ Associations.  She has over sixteen years of event planning experience, which includes coordinating fund-raising for a foster care facility, serving as assisant director of alumni relations at her alma mater, California Lutheran University, and owning a children’s party planning business in California. Additionally, she served as Gala Coordinator and Art Teacher for grades K – 12 at a classical Christian school, also in California. Mrs. Elliott and her husband, Josh, moved to North Carolina in 2013. They have four children, all of whom attend and love Cary Christian School.

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Mrs. Anne-Hunter Hall

Financial Accounting Manager

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Mrs. AnneHunter Hall is a graduate of the UNC Kenan Flagler School of Business with a B.A. and an M.A. in accounting, and has been a practicing CPA for commercial businesses in Charlotte and Cary for the past six years.

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Mrs. Lisa Hiester

Administrative Assistant

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Mrs. Lisa Hiester serves as administrative assistant for the Lower School. She began serving at Cary Christian School in July of 2003 as a teacher’s assistant for first grade. She owned and operated a drop-off daycare in North Raleigh for a number of years. Prior to coming to CCS, she was employed at the Goddard School working with infants. She and John recently celebrated their thirtieth wedding anniversary. They have two daughters who attended CCS: Amanda (2012) and Ashley (2016).

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Mr. Frank Hollowell

Facility Manager

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Mr. Frank Hollowell is the Facility Manager at Cary Christian School.

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Mr. Carter Minor

Security Manager & Music Teacher

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Mr. Carter Minor wears many hats at CCS. He teaches 3rd Grade Recorder, as well as 4th, 5th, Middle School, and High School Bands. He also serves as Security Manager. Since he came in 2001, Mr. Minor has also taught Drama and Physical Education. A lover of both art and music, he attended East Carolina University where he was an art student majoring in Sculpture. He is a professional studio musician, singer, and song writer who spent more than twenty years on the road. Mr. Minor loves God and Jesus and serves as an Associate Minister at Hickory Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Chapel Hill. He is the father of two children, Erin and Christopher.

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Mrs. Lynanne Rhoades

Administrative Assistant

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Mrs. Lynanne Rhoades serves in her first year as the Administrative Assistant of the Upper School (grades 6-12). Previously, she served CCS as a fifth grade Assistant Teacher.  She and her husband, Neal, have two sons, Jackson and Will, who are students at CCS. Mrs. Rhoades holds a B.A. from Abilene Christian University where she studied Mass Communication/Broadcast Journalism, Political Science, and Public Service. She is a native of Austin, Texas, and spent her early career working for elected government officials in Austin and Washington, DC.

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Mrs. Rene Riley

Accounts Receivable Manager

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Mrs. Rene Riley serves as the Accounts Receivable Manager for CCS. She holds a B.S. in Statistics from North Carolina State University. Professionally, she has worked for NC Department of Insurance as an actuarial student, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina as a financial analyst, and has experience as Patient Advocate for medical billing.  She and her husband, Scott, have two sons who have attended CCS.

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Mrs. Laura Smith

College Advisor

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Ms. Laura Smith is in her first year serving as Director of College Counseling. She is the proud mother of three children, one a student at CCS.  She studied Policy Management and Political Science at Dickinson College and holds an MBA from Hood College. In her spare time, Ms. Smith enjoys gardening, sports, and hiking.

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Mrs. Erica Spivey

Director of Marketing & Communication

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Mrs. Erica Spivey currently serves as the Director of Marketing and Communication. Prior to this role, she taught first grade at CCS for seven years. She has four children: two CCS graduates and two upper school students. Before coming to CCS, she homeschooled her children. Mrs. Spivey enjoys meeting new families and sharing about classical and Christian education. She holds ACCS Provisional and Permanent Certifications  and is currently working toward her Master’s. In her free time, she enjoys running.

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Mrs. Shari Twidt

Assistant to the Athletic Director

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Mrs. Shari Twidt served for ten years as the assistant to the principal in the Logic School and currently serves as the assistant to the Athletic Director. She is a graduate in Accounting from King’s College in Charlotte, North Carolina. She and her husband Brian have three children who are all graduates of Cary Christian School.

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Mrs. Keira Vestal

IT Manager

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Keira Vestal serves as the Information Technology manager at Cary Christian School.

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Mrs. Jodi Walsh

Administrative Assistant

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Mrs. Walsh has served as an administrative assistant since 2012. She studied business at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA. She has served the community as a Realtor for eleven years. She and her husband Pat have been married since 1993 and have three sons. Their oldest graduated in 2012 and attends Grove City College, and their other two sons are in High School at Cary Christian School.

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Mr. Dwayne Whiteheart

Athletic Director

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Mr. Dwayne Whiteheart serves as Athletic Director. He has a B.S in Physical Education from Tennessee Temple University and a Master of Education from North Carolina Central University. He has taught, coached, and served as an athletic director since 1987 at the high school and college level. His wife, Kelly, is also teacher. They have two adult daughters, Jacklyn and Lauren. His hobbies are woodworking, working on cars, golf, and following college basketball.

FACULTY OF THE LOWER SCHOOL

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Mrs. Reiko Buckley

Kindergarten Teacher

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Mrs. Reiko Buckley has served as a kindergarten assistant since 2006. She has an B.A. in French from Aichi Prefectural University in Nagoya, Japan. She was born and raised in Nagano, Japan. She and her husband have been married for twenty one years. They moved from California to enroll their daughter, Nicole, at CCS.

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Mrs. Birgit Hering

Kindergarten Teacher

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Mrs. Birgit Hering serves as kindergarten teacher. She has a B.S. (Honors) in Public Administration from the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and Management in Cologne, Germany. Mrs. Hering joined CCS in 2003 as a kindergarten assistant. She taught German in 2005 and has taught kindergarten since 2006. Mrs. Hering has achieved both her Provisional and Permanent ACCS Certifications. She and her husband, Guenther, moved to the United States in 1994. Their son, Dennis graduated, from CCS in 2014 and is in college. They all enjoy traveling, and their son’s passion for golf gets them all out to play together, although Mrs. Hering focuses more on the beautiful surroundings of the course and the “birdies” in the trees.

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Mrs. Brooke Peterson

Kindergarten Teacher

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Mrs. Brooke Peterson serves as kindergarten teacher. She has served at CCS since 2016. Brooke holds a B.S. degree in Crop Sciences from the University of Illinois. Brooke and her husband, Andy, have two children who are students at CCS. She enjoys reading and sewing in her spare time.

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Mrs. Leigh Ann Smyrski

Kindergarten Teacher

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Mrs. Leigh Ann Smyrski serves as a kindergarten teacher. She has a B.A. in Psychology from North Carolina State University and earned a North Carolina teaching license from Meredith College. This is her third year teaching at CCS. She and her husband, Brian, have three children at CCS: Maddie, Emma, and Andrew.

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Mrs. Julie Hayes

Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

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Mrs. Julie Hayes is in her first year at CCS, serving as Teacher Assistant in the Phonics School. She and her husband, John, have two children, both students at CCS. She is a graduate of Columbia International University with a B.A. in Bible and Hermeneutics. Julie’s hobbies include reading, walking, camping, and playing volleyball.

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Mrs. Kim Leon

Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

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Mrs. Kim Leon has served as a kindergarten assistant for the last 20 years at CCS and as the After School Study Center director for the last 6 years. She has an Associate Degree in Applied Science with a major in hospital pharmacy. She is a certified pharmacy technician. She has been married for 30 years and has three boys, two of whom graduated from CCS. She volunteers her time at the animal shelter, walking dogs.

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Mrs. Emily Nelsen

1st Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Emily Nelsen started teaching first grade in the fall of 2015. Mrs. Nelsen graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Business Administration. She has first-hand experience with the classical Christian model, having completed all of the major milestones of her schooling, K-12, at CCS. She also serves as Track and Cross Country Coach, calling on her six years for running hurdles at CCS. Mrs. Nelsen has an affinity for popcorn, red pandas, and the color turquoise.

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Mrs. Alaina Oliva

1st Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Alaina Oliva serves as a first grade teacher. She holds an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Wake Technical Community College and her Infant/Toddler Montessori Teaching Credential through AMS. She has achieved both her Provisional and Permanent ACCS Certifications. Mrs. Oliva has taught at Cary Christian School for sixteen years. She taught Kindergarten before moving to first grade in 2005. She and her husband, Jorge, have two children, both CCS graduates, Ashley (2007) and Tony (2011). She is an animal lover and has an array of horses, dogs, and cats. In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding and serving at a non-profit therapeutic riding program for children and adults with special needs.

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Mrs. Trish Self

1st Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Trish Self serves as a first grade teacher. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a B.A. in Sociology. She served for seventeen years on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) working with college students. Mrs. Self was an assistant teacher for five years before taking on the role as lead teacher in 2012. She and her husband, Frank, have been married for twenty-five years. They have four children: Joel (2011), Janey (2014), and Joy (2017) have graduated from CCS, and Juliann is a current student.

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Mrs. Lu Hartley

1st Grade Teaching Assistant

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Mrs. Lu Hartley serves as a first grade teaching assistant. This is her first year of service at CCS. She studied Business Management at the Evangelical University of El Salvador. Mrs. Hartley is newly married to CCS alumnus Nathan Hartley and enjoys photography in her free time.

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Mrs. Dawn Hochstein

1st Grade Teaching Assistant

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Mrs. Dawn Hochstein is a first grade teaching assistant at Cary Christian School.

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Mrs. Karen Knaus

1st Grade Teaching Assistant

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Mrs. Karen Knaus serves as a teaching assistant in first grade and in the kindergarten after-school program. She has been teaching for nine years, with the past two years at CCS. She and her husband, Steve, have been married for 22 years and have two children: Grace (CCS class of 2014) and Rebekah (12th grade).

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Mrs. Jimmie Armstrong

2nd Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Jimmie Armstrong serves as second grade teacher. She studied Elementary Education at Liberty University. Mrs. Armstrong served as an assistant teacher for six years while she pursued her education and has been a lead teacher since 2013. She also holds ACCS Provisional certification and SEARCH and TEACH therapy certification. She and her husband, Steve, have two children.

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Mrs. Kelly Callahan

2nd Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Kelly Callahan serves as a second grade teacher. She holds a B.S. in Middle Grades Education from North Carolina State University. Upon graduating from college, she taught seventh grade language arts for five years. After spending some sweet years at home with her young children, she joined Cary Christian’s staff in 2013 teaching on the Phonics hallway. She has ACCS Provisional certification and will earn ACCS Permanent certification in May 2018.  She is married to her high school sweetheart, Travis, and has two boys who currently attend CCS.

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Mrs. Teshia McGinnis

2nd Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Teshia McGinnis serves as a second grade teacher in the Phonics School. She holds an A.S. in Merchandising from the University of Maine at Orono as well as permanent ACCS certification. Mrs. McGinnis began serving at CCS in 2003, teaching since 2005. In addition, she offers both private and group tutoring in handwriting after school. She and her husband of twenty-five years, Brad, are parents of two CCS graduates, now in college: Quinn (2013) and Lydia (2015).

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Mrs. Becky Myers

2nd Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Becky Myers grew up at the New Jersey shore and graduated from Lynchburg College in Virginia with a B.A. in Communications/Public Relations. She and her husband, Scott, moved to the Triangle in 2005 and have four children enrolled at CCS: Landon, Brooke, Brielle, and Karis. Prior to joining our staff, while at home with her children through the preschool years, Mrs. Myers started and operated two companies on her own, selling care packages and consigning furniture.

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Ms. Leah Thomsen

2nd Grade Teacher

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Ms. Thomsen graduated from Grove City College with a B.A. in Biblical and Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Classical Christian Education. She is also a Cary Christian School alum from the class of 2012. Her three brothers also graduated from Cary Christian, and her mother taught kindergarten for several years. She played tennis throughout high school and college and assists with the varsity girls’ tennis team.

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Mrs. Lisa Miller

2nd Grade Teaching Assistant

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Mrs. Lisa Miller has served at Cary Christian School since 2010. She currently assists in second grade and the Kindergarten Extended Day Program. She also teaches a Middle School Conversational Spanish Elective. She earned her B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Puerto Rico. She and her husband, Kevin, have been married for twenty years and have two daughters who currently attend CCS, as well as a son who recently graduated.

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Mrs. Stephanie Brett-Williams

2nd Grade Teaching Assistant

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Mrs. Stephanie Brett-Williams is in her first year at CCS, serving as teaching assistant. She and her husband, Tyson, have one child, Preston, who is in fifth grade.

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Mrs. Lisa Van Deventer

2nd Grade Teaching Assistant

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Lisa Van Deventer has served at Cary Christian School since 2007, assisting in second grade and working on special projects for the CCS administration. She has a B.S. in Resource Planning and Interpretation (Humboldt State University, CA), a certificate in Biblical Studies from the California Center for Biblical Studies, and has begun ACCS certification. Mrs. Van Deventer has held various educational positions: National Park Service Interpreter, human resources and marketing management, and homeschooling mom (10 years). She and her husband, Jack, have four daughters who attended CCS: Traci (2011), Amy (2013), Laurie (2013), and Kari (2018).

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Mrs. Michelle Clarkson

3rd Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Michelle Clarkson began teaching third grade at Cary Christian School in 2013 after years of involvement at the school. Michelle graduated from Mary Baldwin College, with a B.A. in Elementary Education and Psychology. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Mark, and has three children, all of whom are CCS graduates: Jonathan (2011), Brian (2013), and Emily (2016).

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Mrs. Terri Covil

3rd Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Terri Covil serves as a third grade teacher. She holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mrs. Covil began working at CCS in 2013. She has been married to her husband, Patrick, since 2003. They have two children, Chloe and Elijah, who attend CCS.

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Mrs. Anne DeDecker

3rd Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Anne DeDecker team-teaches a third grade class at Cary Christian School. She teaches Math, Science, Bible, and Written Expression. Mrs. DeDecker holds a B.A. in Marketing from the University of Denver. She worked as a Marketing Manager in Johannesburg, South Africa, for ten years. Mrs. DeDecker started serving at Cary Christian School as a fourth grade teaching assistant. She has team-taught with Mrs. Michelle Clarkson since 2013. She and her husband, Michael, have two children who both graduated from CCS: Caroline (2013) and Greg (2015). Mrs. DeDecker is an avid snow skier and sports enthusiast! She loves traveling, spending time with her family, and is a bone marrow transplant survivor. She feels blessed to teach third graders at CCS.

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Mrs. Nancy Slaughter

3rd Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Nancy Slaughter has been teaching third grade at Cary Christian School since 2007, after homeschooling for eleven years. A transplant from central Pennsylvania, Nancy is a Penn State graduate. She and her husband, Tom, have two daughters, both of whom are CCS graduates: Anne (2008) and Lydia (2015). Mrs. Slaughter was a featured speaker at the 2015 ACCS Conference, speaking on “The Lingering Luster of Latin: Integrating Latin into the Grammar Curriculum.”

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Mrs. Cindy Thomas

3rd Grade Teaching Assistant

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Mrs. Cindy Thomas is a third grade teaching assistant and has been on staff since 1999. She holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from East Carolina University. Mrs. Thomas and her husband of forty years, Danny, have a son who attended CCS from kindergarten through his graduation in 2012.

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Mrs. Kelly Gardner

4th Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Kelly Gardner graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Elementary Education. She has been teaching for more than ten years. She has also taught technology workshops, grammar workshops, and a summer of Conversational English in Vietnam. She is married to her true love, Bob Gardner. They are parents to two beautiful, spunky children, Claire and Weston. Teaching is a great source of joy in her life. She also enjoys art projects, going to the beach, and cooking gluten-free. She loves to travel and marvel at God’s creation.

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Mrs. Dale Mitchell

4th Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Dale Mitchell has taught 4th grade at CCS since 2006. She and her husband, John, were founding board members of Christ Covenant School in Greenville, NC, in 1999. After homeschooling her two youngest children, Dale moved from board member to teacher at Christ Covenant and taught there for four years before moving to Cary. She enjoys teaching ten-year-olds, having also she taught 4th grade Sunday school for many years. She likes to make her children laugh in the process of learning and challenges her students to become responsible and grateful people. Dale and John have seven children, all of whom are married, and have over twenty grandchildren. In 2016, their youngest child and only CCS graduate, Catherine, became the first alumna to enroll a child at CCS.

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Mrs. Rhonda Pettit

4th Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Rhonda Pettit has been teaching fourth grade at Cary Christian School since 2001. She was raised and educated in rural Fort Wayne, Indiana. She graduated from International Business College of Fort Wayne. She and her husband, John, have two daughters and a son, all of whom are CCS graduates: Ali (2006), Aaron (2009), and Abigail (2011). Mrs. Pettit enjoys supporting CCS activities by cheering for the sports teams and encouraging the performing arts.

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Mrs. LeAnn Hirt

4th Grade Teaching Assistant

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Mrs. LeAnn Hirt serves as a fourth grade teaching assistant. Born in Raleigh, Mrs. Hirt grew up in Cary and loves this community. She attended Saint Mary’s School and graduated in the first four-year high school class at the school, which was historically a junior college. She attended Meredith College and graduated with her B.S. in Interior Design and a minor in Fine Art. Mrs. Hirt went right across the street and married an engineer from N.C. State in 2000. The Hirts have a son, Tyler, who keeps them on their toes! He loves and plays baseball, basketball, and golf, and is active in Trail Life and church activities. Mrs. Hirt’s husband is Utility Engineering Supervisor in the Water Resources Department at the Town of Cary. The Hirts are active members of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Raleigh.

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Mrs. Susan Boyd

4th & 5th Grade Teaching Assistant

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Mrs. Susan Boyd serves as a teaching assistant in the Lower School, having served at CCS since 2010. Susan studied Business and Computer Information Systems at East Carolina University. She and her husband, Steve, have three daughters, one of whom is a CCS graduate, and another who is a senior at CCS. Mrs. Boyd enjoys being outside, reading, and cooking.

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Mrs. Sherry Dickinson

5th Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Sherry Dickinson serves as a fifth grade teacher. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics (minors in Math and French) and an M.B.A. from Meredith College. She worked in the computer industry with Data General for nine years, serving as a Materials Planner, Floor Supervisor, and Inventory Control Coordinator. Mrs. Dickinson, a formally licensed Kindermusik Instructor, also worked with KinderVillage of Cary for eight years. She and her husband, Alan, have two sons who graduated from CCS: Luke (2011) and Lee (2014).

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Mrs. Yu Jin Lee

5th Grade Teacher

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Mrs. Yu Jin Lee is in her first year at CCS teaching fifth grade. She and her husband, Seunghyun Kong, are the proud parents of three CCS students. Mrs. Lee studied English at Belhaven University. In her spare time, she enjoys art history, gardening, and Bible study.

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Ms. Erin Pechacek

5th Grade Teacher

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Ms. Erin Pechacek has been teaching fifth grade at CCS since 2016. She is an alumna of CCS (Class of 2012) and holds a B.A. degree in English and Classical Christian Education from Grove City College.

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Mrs. Donna Hunn

5th Grade Teaching Assistant

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Mrs. Donna Hunn has served as a teaching assistant at CCS since 2009. She and her husband, Bob, are the proud parents of three CCS alumni. In her spare time, she enjoys baking.

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Mrs. Pam Butler

Art Teacher

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Mrs. Pam Butler serves as the K-2 Art teacher. She has an A.A.S. in Office Administration and also majored in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Butler began her service at CCS in 2001 and has completed her ACCS Permanent Certification. Before her career with CCS, she owned and operated a successful early childhood development center. Mrs. Butler also co-owned and operated another successful retail business while she was beginning her career with CCS. God has blessed her with a wonderful husband and a beautiful daughter, who is a 2014 graduate of CCS.

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Mrs. Ginny Cook

Chorus Teacher

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Mrs. Ginny Cook teaches fourth and fifth grade chorus. She holds a degree in Music Education with a concentration in Voice from Appalachian State University and has taught private piano lessons and classroom elementary music for 20 years. Mrs. Cook and her husband have three children, all of whom graduated from or currently attend CCS.

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Mrs. Michelle Edwards

P.E. Teacher

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Mrs. Michelle Edwards serves as the Physical Education Teacher for the Lower School. She, her husband, and children are native Californians who have fully embraced and love living here in North Carolina. Mrs. Edwards graduated from Westmont College with a B.A. in Kinesiology. She then earned her teaching credential the following year at Saint Mary’s College and has been teaching in some capacity of Physical Education throughout the last twelve years. Both of her children are students at CCS.

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Mrs. Christine Oentung

Music Teacher

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Mrs. Christine Oentung has been teaching music at CCS since 2012. She finished her undergraduate work at Baylor University and earned her M.A. in Clinical Counseling from Liberty University. She has had the privilege of serving in the music ministry everywhere the Lord has led her since high school. Her son, Timotius, is a CCS graduate (2017), and her daughter, Abigail, is a high school student.

FACULTY OF THE UPPER SCHOOL

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Mrs. Carol Ashworth

Literature & Grammar Teacher

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Mrs. Carol Ashworth is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in K-9 Education. After completing graduate coursework at NC State, she was licensed to teach various grades in numerous subject areas. Her favorite subjects to teach include writing, history, and algebra. She also completed an MBA from Meredith College. Mrs. Ashworth has taught several upper elementary and middle school courses in a variety of private schools in Raleigh and Cary. She and her husband are the blessed parents of three children, two daughters-in-law, a son-in-law, a beautiful granddaughter, and two wonderful grandsons. She loves running into her grandsons at CCS!  She and her husband actively serve at The Summit Church – Apex.

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Mr. James Baker

Choral Director

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Mr. James Baker is the Choral Director at Cary Christian School.

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Mrs. Kellie Baker

Spanish Teacher

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Mrs. Kellie Baker serves as a foreign languages instructor in the Rhetoric school, teaching Spanish I, Spanish II, and the Music Appreciation elective. She holds a B.A. in Business and Behavioral Science with a minor in Spanish from Oglethorpe University, which included an immersive studies abroad program in Spain. Prior to joining the staff at CCS, Mrs. Baker spent a number of years with IBM in a variety of positions, including developing and delivering education for clients. In her six years at CCS, she has taught Classical Roots, Latin, and Spanish, as well as the Study Skills elective. Mrs. Baker holds permanent ACCS certification. She and her husband, James, are the parents of two daughters who are CCS graduates.

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Mr. Jeff Bates

Mathematics Teacher

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Mr. Jeff Bates teaches Trigonometry, Precalculus, Honors Calculus, and AP Calculus AB. He holds B.E.E and M.S.E.E. degrees from Georgia Tech. He began teaching Math at CCS in 2010. Before coming to CCS, he worked as an engineer for several companies including M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory, General Dynamics, and Sun Microsystems. He and his wife, Betsy, have five adult children, three of whom are CCS graduates.

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Mrs. Audrey Bennett

Science Teacher

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Mrs. Audrey Bennett teaches 7th grade Physical Science in the Upper School. Audrey has served at CCS since 2001. She and her husband, Harold, are the proud parents of three children, all CCS alumni. Mrs. Bennett studied Occupational Therapy at Boston University. She enjoys playing tennis and golf, and also plays handbells in her spare time.

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Mrs. Alexis Booth

Art Teacher

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Mrs. Alexis Booth has taught at Cary Christian School since 2001. She currently teaches Art to students from third grade through twelfth grades. She holds a B.A. in the History of Art from the University of Florida. Mrs. Booth is married to David and is the mother of two children, Connor (2016), and Amelia, who attends Cary Christian School.

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Mrs. Carlene Cearley

Drama Teacher

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Mrs. Carlene Cearley serves as Upper School Drama Teacher (Beginning Drama, Advanced Drama, NCTC Festival). She holds a B.S. from Old Dominion University. Mrs. Cearley began working at CCS in 2003 (when her youngest started kindergarten) and has served in various capacities: Kindergarten Assistant, fifth Grade Assistant, Substitute Teacher, and her current position as Middle and High School Drama Teacher. She is a strong proponent for all theatre and film opportunities at CCS. In addition to her role as Drama Teacher, Mrs. Cearley is heavily involved in the North Carolina Film Production community, where she is an actress and runs her own location scouting business. She and her husband, Greg, have two children who attended CCS throughout their school years: Chandler (2014) and Caroline (2016).

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Ms. Rachel Douglas

Composition Teacher

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Ms. Rachel Douglas teaches eighth grade Composition in the Upper School and serves as a teaching assistant in fifth grade. She graduated from CCS in 2012 and studied Middle School Education, Language Arts, and Social Studies at North Carolina State University. She enjoys being with friends and family, sipping coffee, and doing anything crafty and creative.

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Mrs. Chrissie Ficken

Mathematics Teacher

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Mrs. Chrissie Ficken graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. in Secondary Mathematics Education. Mrs. Ficken began teaching in 1998 and has served since 2012 at CCS, teaching Geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry, and Statistics. She hold permanent ACCS certification. She has been married to her husband, Wes, for nineteen years, and they have two children, Holly and Matthew, who both attend CCS.

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Mrs. Kelly Frazier

Literature Teacher

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Mrs. Kelly Frazier possesses a B.S. Liberal Arts degree from College of Charleston. She has twelve years of experience teaching and writing in the corporate computer world. When her second child was born, she experienced a change in her career. This change involved researching, training, and teaching children for the next fifteen years. For six of these years, her training focused on the classical Christian model of education as she taught her own and others’ children. She has been teaching at CCS since 2011. She and her husband have four children, and two of them are current CCS students.

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Mrs. Michelle Gandy

Mathematics Teacher

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Mrs. Michelle Gandy teaches seventh and eighth grade Algebra. She holds a B.S.P.H. from UNC-Chapel Hill with an emphasis in Biostatistics. After working in the corporate world for seven years, she had three children. Having God re-direct her desires, she began her employment with CCS. Since 1998, she has taught almost every subject, including Anatomy, Earth and Physical Science, Logic, Statistics, Pre-algebra, Algebra, Algebra II, Chorus, and P.E. All three children graduated from CCS, but Mrs. Gandy continues serving and enjoying every minute with her students.

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Mrs. Sarah Garner

Latin Teacher

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Mrs. Sarah Garner has been teaching Classical Languages at Cary Christian since 2013. She attended the University of Maryland and majored in Classical Languages and Literature. Prior to moving to North Carolina, she and her husband, Duane, and two children lived in Louisiana for ten years. While in Louisiana they were one of the founding families of Geneva Academy, a classical Christian school in Monroe. For eight years she taught Algebra II, Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, and Orchestra at the school and was the primary musician for chapel services. Before moving to Louisiana, she worked for Caterpillar, GlaxoSmithKline, and Washington University School of Medicine.

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Mr. Patrick Halbrook

History & Rhetoric Teacher

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Mr. Patrick Halbrook teaches European History (eleventh grade), Rhetoric II (twelfth grade), and High School electives in Film Studies and Graphic/Website Design. A graduate of Florida College (B.A., Biblical Studies and Liberal Studies) and North Carolina State University (M.A., History), Mr. Halbrook holds Permanent ACCS Certification and has taught at Cary Christian School since 2006. When he is not spending time with his wife and four children or designing websites for his side business, he can be found at home or at a local coffee shop trying to make a dent in his preposterously-long reading list.

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Mr. Aaron Hartley

Theology & Rhetoric Teacher

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Mr. Aaron Hartley serves as the Rhetoric and Apologetics teacher. This is his second year of work at CCS. He holds a B.A. in Biblical Studies from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He and his wife, Kelsie, have two children.

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Mrs. Cynthia Jackson

Elective Teacher

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Mrs. Cynthia Jackson has a God-given passion for children and young adults. She and her husband Calvin have been blessed with two children educated at Cary Christian School. After receiving a B.B.A. degree in Business Information Technology from Howard University in Washington, DC, she spent about 25 years as a technical and business professional in the computing industry. She joined Cary Christian School in 2009 as an SAT Prep elective teacher and college advisor.  As she only works part time, she currently teaches middle and high school electives. She is a private tutor for the SAT and ACT exams. Cynthia is an active servant in her church’s Evangelism and Women’s Ministries.  

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Mrs. Amy Kline

Literature Teacher

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Mrs. Amy Kline teaches twelfth grade American Literature. She holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from Appalachian State University and is a CCS alumna of the class of 2006. Since joining staff in 2012, Mrs. Kline has also served as a writing lab instructor and the faculty adviser for the high school newspaper. She and her husband (another CCS graduate) have two young daughters.

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Mrs. Caroline Kraehe

Literature Teacher & Arts Director

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Mrs. Caroline Kraehe serves as Cary Christian School’s Arts Director and teaches tenth and eleventh grade Literature. Mrs. Kraehe has been teaching for more than twenty-five years. She came to CCS in 2006, where she has assisted in kindergarten and third grade in the Lower School, and taught Literature, Composition, Creative Writing, Journalism, and Drama in the Upper School. Mrs. Kraehe holds a B.A. in Literature and Theatre Arts, teaching diplomas from the Royal Academy and the Imperial Society in Dance and Theatre Arts, and master’s ACCS certification. The Kraehe family has two children, a CCS graduate and a current high school student.

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Mrs. Shaney Lipes

History Teacher

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Mrs. Shaney Lipes teaches Classical History (ninth grade) and Medieval History (tenth grade) at CCS. After growing up in Marietta, Georgia, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Religion. She then moved to Massachusetts to pursue a master’s degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where she met her husband, Jesse. She has taught for five years at two other classical Christian schools in the Grammar and Logic stages, and began teaching at CCS in 2013. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, traveling, painting, and cheering on her Georgia Bulldogs!

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Mrs. Kelly Mastin

Science Teacher

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Mrs. Kelly Mastin teaches Earth Science (eighth grade) and Chemistry (eleventh grade). Teaching at CCS since 2016, Kelly holds a B.S. in Biology Education from North Carolina State University and an M.Ed. in Sports Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. She and her husband, Matthew, are proud parents of one daughter. In her spare time, Mrs. Mastin loves to run, work out, and try new recipes and places to eat, especially at the beach.

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Mrs. Darla McDonald

Science Teacher

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Mrs. Darla McDonald serves as an instructor in the CCS Rhetoric School science department teaching AP Biology, Biology, Physics, and AP Physics I. She holds a B.S. in Biology (Pre-Med concentration) from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an M.Ed. in Science Education from North Carolina State University. She has served on the faculty of Cary Christian for the past ten years and has a total of thirteen years of experience teaching in classical Christian schools. In addition to her teaching role at CCS, Mrs. McDonald also coaches the varsity field hockey team. She and her husband, Tim, have four children, all of whom are students at CCS.

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Mr. Jonathan Payne

Theology Teacher

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Mr. Jonathan Payne is in his first year at CCS teaching seventh and eighth grade Biblical History. He holds a B.A. in Christian Education and Bible from The Master’s University and an M.A. in Christian Ministry from Shepherds Theological Seminary. In his spare time, Mr. Payne enjoys playing volleyball, rock climbing, white water rafting, and playing piano and guitar.

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Mrs. Michele Pechacek

Elective Teacher

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Mrs. Michele Pechacek has taught Nutrition and Wellness and CCS since 2008. She and her husband, John, are the proud parents of three CCS alumni. She holds an Associate of Science degree from North Dakota State College of Science in Dental Hygiene. In her spare time, Mrs. Pechacek enjoys healthy cooking, outdoor activities such as kayaking and hiking, and arts and crafts.

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Mrs. Debora Robinson

History & Mathematics Teacher

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Mrs. Debora Robinson received a B.S. in Education from University of North Texas. She taught fifth grade at CCS for fifteen years. She has taught sixth grade since 2013. She currently teaches sixth grade Math and History. She also holds ACCS Permanent Certification and Lifetime Certification in Texas and Missouri. All three of her children graduated from Cary Christian School. Before coming to CCS, Mrs. Robinson homeschooled her children for eight years.

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Mr. Gregory Soderberg

Greek Teacher

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Mr. Gregory Soderberg has taught Greek, Theology, and Literature at CCS since 2002. He holds degrees from New Saint Andrews College (B.A. in Liberal Arts and Culture), University of Pretoria (M.A. in Church History), and is a Ph.D. candidate at VU Amsterdam (Historical Theology). He holds Permanent ACCS Teacher Certification. His articles and book reviews have been published in Classis, the Englewood Review of Books, the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and the Journal of Reformed Theology. He is a contributing author to More Than Luther: The Reformation and the Rise of Pluralism in Europe (forthcoming) and the humanities textbook Ominibus VI: The Modern World. He also serves as the Academic Dean of LAMP Seminary RDU. He and his wife have five amazing children. They are all volunteers with the Safe Families for Children movement.

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Dr. Daniel Stewart

Computer Science Teacher

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Dr. Daniel Stewart teaches Computer Science at CCS. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Ohio State University. He and his wife, Jessica, have three children, all students at CCS. Dr. Stewart’s hobbies include 3-D modeling and animation, and electronics.

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Mr. Nathan Suire

History & Literature Teacher

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Mr. Nathan Suire is in his first year at CCS, teaching U.S. History (twelfth grade) and Classical Literature (ninth grade). He holds a B.A. in Philosophical Theology and Biblical Studies from Moody Bible Institute and an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School. Mr. Suire enjoys reading, playing basketball, and walking his dog, Rocky, with his wife, Hannah.

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Mr. Micah Terhune

Theology & Logic Teacher

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Mr. Micah Terhune is in his first year at CCS, teaching Logic (eighth grade) and Systematic Theology (tenth grade). He holds a B.A from Cedarville University and an M.A. from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary where he studied Bible, Theology, Philosophy, Greek, and Archaeology. He and his wife, Kristen, have one child. In his spare time, Mr. Terhune enjoys reading, writing, and playing board and video games.

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Mr. Eddie Thomas

Elective Teacher

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Mr. Eddie Thomas has taught P.E. and coached Soccer, Basketball, and Tennis at CCS since 2012. He studied Recreation at North Carolina State University and Radio Broadcasting at the Columbia School of Broadcasting. Mr. Thomas also hosts a mid-week radio show on Carolina Christian Radio (LIFE 90.5). He enjoys various sports and playing the Native American flute in his spare time.

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Mrs. Julie Thompson

Elective Teacher

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Mrs. Julie Anne Thompson teaches Introduction to Engineering. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech and worked in environmental consulting for nine years. After serving as a long-term substitute teacher in the CCS Grammar School, she developed the curriculum for Introduction to Engineering. Mrs. Thompson loves cheering on the Knights athletic teams and supporting the CCS Fine Arts programs. She and her husband, Bill, have two children: Jason (CCS class of 2015) and Marie (CCS class of 2018).

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Mrs. Laurie Torres

Science Teacher

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Mrs. Laurie Torres teaches high school science classes at Cary Christian School.

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Mrs. Lesley White

Science & Mathematics Teacher

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Mrs. Lesley White teaches Life Science and Geometry in the Upper School. She holds a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in math and science from Texas A&M University. She has served on the faculty of Cary Christian School since 2013 and has three children who graduated from CCS, as well as one who is a current student. In addition to teaching, Mrs. White coaches the varsity volleyball team. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and cooking in her spare time.

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Mrs. Lisa Wiggins

Literature Teacher

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Mrs. Lisa Wiggins teaches seventh grade Composition and Literature. She is currently in her 22nd year of teaching. She has served at CCS since 2008 teaching 7th grade Literature, Composition, and History. She also taught in the Pitt and Lee County School Systems. Mrs. Wiggins graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A. in Middle Grades Education with English and History Concentrations). She also holds ACCS Permanent Certification. She and her husband, David, are the proud parents of three CCS graduates. Mrs. Wiggins enjoys spending time with family, doing mission work, and being in the outdoors–kayaking, hiking, biking, jogging, and traveling.

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