Galax Elementary School... 06/15/18
The school year ended at Galax Elementary School with awards, activities, and field day.  Take a look as ...
GMS Update 06/15/18
Galax Middle School closed out the school year with a number of interactive activities.  Take a look at s...
Tide Times June 8, 2018 06/15/18
The school year for Galax High Schools is almost over.  The stage is set for graduation.  
Three Time State Champi... 03/08/18
Entering the 2017-18 VHSL State Wrestling tournament Galax Junior Joshua Spurlin was 97-15 and ready for the t...
Manufacturing in the mo... 03/07/18
Galax High School dual enrollment welding students recently traveled to Kernersville, North Carolina to tour t...

Faculty & Staff: All Listings 

Mr. Mark Dixon - APEX

Mr. Kim Gillespie - Health and PE

Mrs. Jamie Dotson - Health and PE

Jamie Dotson grew up in Summers County, WV and graduated from Summers County High School in 2002.  Always interested in athletics, she was a part of the Summers County Lady Bobcats Basketball program and a member of the 2000 WV AA State Championship team.  Mrs. Dotson finished her college education at West Virginia Wesleyan College with a BA degree in Health and Physical Education.  In 2006, she began working at GHS as a Health/ PE teacher as well as the varsity girls’ basketball coach. She remained the head coach for four years and continues to be a part of the program as the assistant coach. Mrs. Dotson continues to teach Health and Physical Education to 8th and 9th grade, Driver’s Education/ PE to 10th grade, and Women’s Fitness to 11th and 12th grade girls.

In addition to being a GCPS employee, Mrs. Dotson instructs spin class at the Galax Recreation Department. Her time is spent mostly being a mother to her son, Kolton, who attends Galax Middle School, and be physically active as much as possible.

Mr. Jarrod Wilson - Art

Mr. Wilson is a native of Galax and a graduate of the 1993 class of Galax High School. After high school he attended Surry Community College in Dobson, NC, earning an Associate in Arts, in Pre-Liberal Arts Studies. After attending SCC, he matriculated to Radford University where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art with a Two-Dimensional concentration in 1999. He is presently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in watercolor at Radford University. The MFA in watercolor is a rare degree offered by few colleges and universities in the United States. He is currently studying under the tutelage of the internationally recognized watercolorist, Professor Z.L. Feng.

Mr. Wilson began his teaching career at Galax Elementary School in February of the 2001-2002 academic year. In the fall of 2011 Mr. Wilson moved to Galax High School to take over the art position vacated by the long-time GHS art teacher, Debbie Adams. (Mrs. Adams was Jarrod Wilson’s high school art teacher.)

Mr. Wilson paints in Realism and Photo Realism. His primary subject matter today is the American automobile; however, on occasion he still does portraiture, working in watercolor, oil, graphite, and pen and ink. Examples of his portraiture in oil are installed in the permanent collection at Lee University, Cleveland, TN, and at the Lovell R. Cary Ministry Resources Building in Manila, the Philippines. He is also a member of the Virginia Watercolor Society and the fraternal honor society, Phi Kappa Phi.

“I feel blessed to be teaching in a school system that values the arts, with supportive administration, and excellent fellow faculty members in all disciplines.”

Category:Fine Arts
Ms. Elizabeth Stringer - ESL

Elizabeth Stringer grew up in Galax, VA.  She graduated from Carroll County High School in 1996.  She attended Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA where she earned a BA with a double major in Spanish and Sociology.  While attending Bridgewater College, Ms. Stringer had the opportunity to study abroad in Barcelona, Spain.  She returned to the United States after a year abroad with a renewed appreciation for Spanish culture and language.  Wanting to use her Spanish skills to help her community, she began teaching ESL at Galax High School where she fell in love with her job.  (One of Ms. Stringer's secrets is that she never wanted to be a teacher!  She really wanted to be an anthropologist, but now she cannot imagine doing anything else but teaching!)  Eventually Ms. Stringer wanted to focus more on education, so she returned to school and earned her MA degree in Education with a focus on Reading and Language instruction.  Ms. Stringer is now in her 14th year of teaching ESL at Galax High School.  She often serves as a teacher trainer around the state to help teachers with strategies for teaching ELL students.  She is proud to be an advocate for the Hispanic community, and continues to be impressed with the diversity that defines Galax High School.


Mr. James Kohl is a graduate of Galax High School. He has had the privilege to spend time abroad in many Spanish speaking countries including Spain, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.  Mr. Kohl is very excited to be starting a new school year here at GHS.

Ms. Emily Guynn - Family & Consumer Science

Ms. Ricketts grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she graduated from J.R. Tucker High School in 2003. She then moved to Blacksburg to attend Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!), earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development with a minor in Psychology in 2007, followed by a Master’s Degree in Counselor Education in 2009.

She worked as a School Counselor at an Eastern Elementary/Middle in Giles County for 3 years before moving to Galax in the summer of 2012. This is her 2nd year teaching Family and Consumer Sciences at GHS.

“My favorite part about my job is being able to teach students real-life skills that they will be able to use in their future. I feel so lucky to be working with such a great group of kids! I have always felt that I learn as much from my students as they do from me!”

Mr. Charles McPeak - Auto Mechanics

Mr. McPeak grew up in Draper, Virginia and graduated from Pulaski County High in 1988.  He attended and graduated from New River Community College in 1997, earning an ASE certification as a mechanic. Mr. McPeak was hired by the Chrysler dealership in Radford, Virginia shortly before he graduated. He served as an ASE certified master auto technician there for 14 years. Mr. McPeak was hired by Galax City Schools as the ASE certified auto instructor in 2010.


“Teaching is what I have always wanted to do. I enjoy working with all of the students in the Galax”.

Ms. Jillian Gravley - Business

Mrs. Gravley grew up in Richlands, VA and graduated from Richlands High School in 2004.

She attended Emory & Henry College and graduated with a B.S. in business administration and Education in 2008.

Later, she attended Radford University and graduated with a Masters in Business Administration in 2009.

Mrs. Gravley started teaching at Galax High in 2009 where she teaches business classes for grades 8-12.

Mrs. Joyelle Edmondson - Business

Joyelle Edmondson grew up in the nearby town of Fries, VA and graduated from Grayson County High School in 2008. She then made her way to Blacksburg and attended Virginia Tech (H-O-K-I-E-S, HOKIES!). While at Virginia Tech she earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Information Technology, graduating in 2012.

Joyelle began teaching Economics and Personal Finance at Galax High School in August of 2012. She also is the Assistant Varsity Volleyball coach and the JV Soccer coach.

“It is such a blessing to be able to come to school every day and work with so many wonderful students. I am so glad to be able to teach Economics and Personal Finance knowing that what I am teaching is something that they will carry with them throughout their entire life. It is my hope to make a differences in my student’s lives, but what they don’t realize is the difference that they constantly make in mine. :)”

Mr. Aaron Horton - Agriculture

Aaron Horton was born and raised in Carroll County, Virginia.  He was a 2001 Graduate of Carroll County High School.  Following High School, Aaron studied one year at Wytheville Community College before transferring to Virginia Tech.  Aaron graduated from Virginia Tech in 2005 with a B.S. in Wildlife Sciences and 2006 with a M.S. in Career and Technical Education with an emphasis in Agriculture Education.  Aaron has been teaching Agriculture Education for 7 years.  He taught one year in Northern Virginia and North Carolina before arriving at Galax High School 5 years ago.  Aaron is beginning his fifth year as a golf coach at Galax.  Aaron is married to Megan Horton who is a Certified Physician Assistant in North Carolina and they share their life with their two dogs Sophie and Lanie.  

Ms. Dionne Tucker - Government

Ms. Tucker was born in Alexandria, VA but grew up in Galax, VA. She graduated from Galax High School in 1985 and pursued her education by attending Ferrum College in Ferrum, VA where she majored in Political Science and minored in Public Administration. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1989.

Dionne began her career in 1992 with Galax City Public Schools as a teacher’s aide at Galax Elementary School with the Title I Reading program. Her teaching career began 8 years ago with US Government and have since taught Humanities, coached cheerleading, and been the yearbook sponsor. She is also the Minority Affairs Club sponsor. Ms. Tucker truly enjoys teaching because it keeps her in touch with today’s youth.

Mr. George Edmondson- World History II, Economics and Personal Finance

Mr. Edmondson was born in Richmond, VA and grew up in Victoria, VA in the Southside region. He graduated from Central of Lunenburg High School and Southside Virginia Community College in 2008 and pursued his education by attending Virginia Tech where he majored in History and minored in both Leadership and Social Change and Political Science. After graduating in 2012, he attended Liberty University where he received a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education.

George completed his student teaching at Galax High School with current coworker Kenny Brooms before being hired in 2013 as a Special Education Aide at Galax Elementary. Since then, he has substituted and worked as a Library Aide until being hired as a full-time teacher in 2015. He now teaches World History II, World Geography, and Economics and Personal Finance, as well as, coaches volleyball and soccer, and sponsors National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes 


Mr. Burnett grew up in Woodlawn, Virginia.  He taught and coached at Patrick County High School for several years before coming to Galax High School.  Currently, Mr. Burnett teaches VA and US History History.  He is a Virginia Tech Hokie, Washington Nationals, and Washington Redskins fan.  Mr. Burnett likes to stay active in the community, church, and sports.  He coaches baseball and girls basketball at GHS.  He and his wife Christy have 3 children, Lance, Laiken, and Laynee.  

Ms. Samantha Starkey - Chemistry

Ms. Starkey grew up in Marion, Virginia and graduated from Marion Senior High School in 2000. She attended Radford University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 2004 in biology with minors in chemistry and forensic science.

Ms. Starkey moved to Galax in 2005 when she began teaching at Galax High School. She has taught biology I and currently teaches chemistry, ecology, and anatomy and physiology. Ms. Starkey also coached JV basketball and JV softball at GHS for several years. She currently coaches the Science MACC team which is the current 2013 Super MACC Champs!!!

Ms. Starkey appreciates every aspect of science and enjoys teaching and spreading her excitement about the subject to the students. Ms. Starkey contributes to the community in which the students live by being a volunteer of Pipers Gap Rescue Squad where she has served for 15 years as an EMT-Intermediate.

Education is a life long journey, not a final destination!!

Mrs. Babette Nuckolls - Earth Science

 Babette Nuckolls, Earth Science teacher and science department chairperson, attended Galax City Public Schools from the second grade until her graduation from Galax High School in 1982. She attended Lees-McRae College (A.S. Science, '84) and Emory and Henry College (B.A. in Biology and Secondary Education, '87) and received her Masters of Sport Science in Sports Medicine in 1992 from the United States Sports Academy. She taught for the first 17 years of her career in Grayson County, VA before coming home to Galax in 2004. She is married to Clark Nuckolls; they have two sons: Denver, a student in music technology/percussion performance at Virginia Tech  and Evan, still a student in  Galax City Public Schools.

"I really enjoy my job and teaching my "school babies", but more than that I love the fact that my own children have been a part of our very diverse and culturally rich school community. They are learning from a group of talented and creative teachers who are passionate about their profession... what more could a parent hope for?"

Mr. Dustin Carter - Physics and Engineering

Mr. Carter was born in Galax and graduated from Grayson County High School. Following high school, he attended Emory & Henry College, graduating with a B.S. in Math/Physics. Mr. Carter taught at Grayson County High School for four years.  In the fall of 2013, he accepted a position at Galax High School to teach physics and math.

Ms. Kathryn Pakkidis - Physical Science

Kathy Pakkidis is a military brat who grew up in Virginia, California and Pennsylvania. She graduated high school from Eastern Lebanon County High School which is located in Myerstown, Pa. She then moved to Pittsburgh were she pursued a college degree. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Biology and Anthropology with a minor in Chemistry. After graduation, Kathy moved to Virginia where she worked as an accountant for several yours. During that time, Kathy completed a Masters of Education at the University of Mary Washington and began her teaching career at Riverbend H.S. in Spotsylvania County. During her four year tenure at Riverbend, Kathy taught Biology and Honors Biology. After moving to Wytheville in 2013, she now primarily teaches Physical Science and occasionally teaches Ecology and/or Biology as needed. Kathy is married to James Pakkidis, stepmother to James and Scott, and mother to Nikolas.  

Mrs. Emily Brown - Biology

Emily Brown is a 2005 graduate of Galax High School. She received her Associates degree in Education from Wytheville Community College in 2007 and her Bachelor's degree in biology from Radford University in 2009. Emily is a wife and a mother of two. She teaches biology I and AP biology, and is beginning her fifth year teaching at Galax High School.

Emily is the Student Council Sponsor, Prom Sponsor, and Varsity Cheerleading coach. She also works closely with the Blue Ridge Discovery Center to bring hands on learning to students at GHS. Emily is excited to bring her love of science into the classroom, and hopes others will learn to love biology too!