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Faculty & Staff: All Listings 

Sarah Light

Sarah Light grew up on a farm in Laurel Fork, Virginia. She helped her family with the production of broccoli, cabbage, green beans, squash, and pumpkins. When she wasn’t helping on the farm, she spent many days helping out in her mother’s second grade classroom. She knew early on that she wanted to be a teacher and have her own classroom one day. Sarah graduated from Carroll County High School in 2014 and went on to study at Virginia Tech. As a Hokie, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development in 2017, and then earned her Master of Arts in Education in 2018. She is very excited to begin her career at Galax City Public Schools!

 

Category:1st Grade
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Kaitlyn Whitehead- 3rd Grade

Ms. Whitehead is originally from Rural Retreat, VIrginia.  She graduated from Rural Retreat High School in 2015. Ms. Whitehead received her Associate’s degree in General Studies from Wytheville Community College in 2016.  She then prolonged her education at Radford University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2018. Ms. Whitehead began her career with Galax City Public Schools that same year.  She has a passion for teaching and inspiring the young minds around her to be lifelong learners!

“Every child deserves a champion - an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possible be.”  - Rita Pierson.

 

 

Category:3rd Grade
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Imade Igodan- Choral Director

Ms. Igodan, a native of South Carolina, is the choral director at Galax City Middle and High Schools.  Prior to coming to Galax, Ms. Igodan served in the US Peace Corps in Zambia (2015-17) where she taught English and directed a choir in the village where she lived.  While attending high school, her choral music teacher encouraged her to think about music as a profession.  Ms. Igodan earned a B.S. degree in music from Tennessee State University and a M.M. in vocal performance from the University of South Carolina. While in graduate school she performed in the opera Our Town and played the role of Nora in Riders to the Sea. In 2010 she was chosen for the Manhattan School of Music’s vocal program and studied privately with world-renowned opera singer Mignon Dunn.  Prior to her Peace Corps experience she worked as assistant choral director at Northstar Christian Center in Columbia, SC, and sang with the Lexington County Choral Society in that city.  She was guest artist for a benefit concert raising awareness for multiple sclerosis and, locally, she has been a guest soloist with The Highland Camerata.  She is currently a member of that group. She looks forward to sharing the wonderful world of music with her students.

 

Category:Fine Arts
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Jacob Rivenbark- Algebra

Mr. Rivenbark was born in Sumter, South Carolina but grew up in Botetourt, Virginia. He attended Lord Botetourt High School where he graduated in 2014. He attended Emory & Henry College where he was a member of the football team for two years, but due to illness and injuries had his career cut a little short. He graduated in 2018 receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. Mr. Rivenbark began his teaching and coaching career at Galax High School in 2018.

Category:Math Department
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Amanda Bolen

Amanda Griffin Bolen is a native of Carroll County and graduated from CCHS in 1996. She earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing from Hollins University in 2000. She spent five years in the newspaper business before finding her calling in education. She earned her teaching certificate through the Career Switcher Program in 2007. Ms. Bolen taught sixth and seventh grade English in Floyd County from 2007-2010, before leaving the classroom to be at home with her children Mina and Griffin.  Ms. Bolen now calls Galax home. Since returning to the area in 2014, she has been a part of Chestnut Creek School of the Arts as a juried consignment artist and an instructor. At CCSA, she has enjoyed teaching GCPS students during enrichment classes as part of the 21 st Century Grant program and Intersession. She is excited to return to middle school again as a Special Education Aide at GMS. She started working for GCPS in 2018.  When not working with students, she is busy making handmade jewelry and playing with her kids.

Category:Co-Teachers
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Patrick Butler- English and Military Science

Mr. Butler moved to the Galax area in 2002 after 21 years on active duty in the Air Force. He has quite the varied background: Air Force officer, stay at home dad, small business owner, substitute teacher, and secretary/bookkeeper prior joining the GCHS staff.  His teaching experience, in addition to his four years as a substitute teacher for GCPS, includes three years as an ICBM classified operations trainer/evaluator, three  years at the U.S. Air Force Academy in English, and three years of writing instruction on the community college level.  His daughter graduated GHS in 2018 and attends Bates College in Maine. A Disney buff, Mr. Butler and his wife actually married at Walt Disney World, and they get back there (or Disneyland) whenever possible. 

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Patrick Puckett- Economics and Personal Finance

Mr. Puckett grew up in Laurel Fork, Virginia.  He taught and coached at Floyd County High School and Radford City Schools for nine years before coming to Galax High School.  Mr. Puckett is a graduate of Radford University who has his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science and his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. Currently, Mr. Puckett teaches Economics and Personal Finance and coaches the 8th Grade Girls Basketball Team. Mr. Puckett enjoys spending his free time with his family, hiking, and playing a variety of sports.

 

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Erika Hill

Ms. Hill is a 2009 graduate of Grayson County High School. She then attended Emory & Henry College and graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor's of Arts in Interdisciplinary Mathematics as well as a Master's of Education in Professional Studies. Miss Hill has been a middle school math teacher the past 5 years. This includes teaching Math 8 at Patrick County High School and Carroll County Middle School as well as teaching 6th and 7th grade Math at Fries School. She is excited for the opportunity to teach elementary students at GES! She will be one of the 4th grade Math teachers for the 2018-2019 school year. 

Category:4th Grade
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Devon Lineberry-Jennings

Devon Lineberry-Jennings

My name is Ms. Devon Lineberry-Jennings, but I prefer Ms. LJ, since my last names are so long (thanks, parents!) I was born in Galax and raised in Carroll County, but don't worry, I'll be sure to be loyal to the Tide at all future sporting events. I graduated from CCHS, and attended Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, where I received by B.A. in English and my license to teach grades 6-12. Previously, I taught 8th grade reading and writing for Henry County Public Schools for two years. As much as I loved my students there, I missed my mountains and my family. I was thrilled to accept a position at GHS as the new 8th grade reading teacher in 2018. I absolutely love to teach, and I want each and every one of my students to succeed. My goal is to make sure that every student enjoys the process of learning, and I hope to bring literature to life and encourage students to engage in the joy of reading. In my spare time, I like to spend time at the river, hike, garden, laugh, read, and wish for snow... because winter is my favorite season! I know this is where I am meant to be, and I am so excited to be HOME! Roll Tide!

 

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Kaylah Surratt

Kaylah Surratt

Kaylah Surratt works as an instructional aide.  She has been employed at GES since 2016.  Kaylah has a BS degree in Health Science from Kaplan University.  She is currently working to obtain her teaching license through UVA Wise. She is married and has 3 children.  "I enjoy helping our students reach their goals and watching them suceed."

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Geycha Lopez

Geycha Lopez

Mrs. Lopez is originally from Puerto Rico and attended Kensington High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she graduated in 1997. Mrs. Lopez has two boys, Jose and Yadir. Mrs. Lopez attended The Community College of Philadelphia, Temple University, and University of Phoenix. Mrs. Lopez graduated from University of Phoenix in 2013 with a Bachelors of Science- Elementary Education. Mrs. Lopez worked at Galax Middle School in 2008 assisting students with limited English. In 2013 she worked as translator at an elementary school in Wilkes Co. where she became a fourth grade teacher the following year. Working at GMS inspired Mrs. Lopez to finish her college education and so she is delighted to be back at Galax City Public Schools.

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Eileen Ruiz

Mrs. Eileen Ruiz was born in Santa Ana, California. She works as an ESL Instructional Aide in Galax Elementary school. She started working for Galax in 2018. Enjoys working with children and hopes to make a difference in their lives. 

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Mrs. Ginger Elliott

Mrs. Elliott is an instructional aide at Galax Elementary School.  She previously worked as a preschool teacher for four years at First Methodist Nursery School and First Baptist Preschool of Galax.  She is married and has three daughters that attend Galax City Schools.

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Vikki Simmons

Gwendolyn Simmons (Vikki) was born in Galax, Virginia and lives in Grayson County.  Ms. Simmons was a student of the Fairview Community and Galax High School. 

Category:Cafeteria
Ms. Jessica Farthing  World History

Jessica Farthing started working for GCPS in 2017. She grew up in Chesterfield County, just south of the city of Richmond. She graduated from Meadowbrook High School then continued the family tradition by becoming a Hokie. She attended Virginia Tech and received a Bachelor’s in History with a Minor in Russian Studies. She stayed at the best school in the country to get her  Master’s in Education and Curriculum.

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Mr. Shane Allen  CCEC Middle School

Category:Co-Teachers
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Miss. Allison Deel - Band Director

Miss Deel currently serves as Band Director of Galax City Public Schools. Before coming to Galax, Miss Deel held the band director position at Graham Middle & High Schools, in Bluefield, and before that held the band director position in Bland County. 

Miss Deel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with Teacher Licensure, from Bluefield College. Her primary instrument is flute. However, she also plays piccolo, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, piano, as well as sings.                                                                  

During her time at Bluefield College, she performed in many instrumental ensembles, including the Bluefield College Chamber Ensemble, Bluefield College Concert Band, and Bluefield College Community Orchestra.  She has also performed in the choral ensembles of the non-auditioned choir Bluefield Singers, as well as the auditioned choir Variations.  As a member of Variations, Miss Deel toured Austria, in summer of 2010, and in the summer of 2011, was part of a larger choir who had the privilege of performing the Brahms Requiem at Lincoln Center, in New York. 

Before attending Bluefield College, Miss Deel attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. While there, she marched for one semester with the Liberty University “Spirit of the Mountain” Marching Band, where she played piccolo. 

Miss Deel is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association, and the Virginia Music Educators’ Association.  Miss Deel is a founding member, principal flute player, and secretary of the State Line Wind Symphony, based in Bristol, VA. Miss Deel is also the current secretary for District 7 of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association.

Category:Fine Arts
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Jessica Kidd is from Bassett, Virginia.  She graduated from Bassett High School in 2004 and went on to Bluefield College. There she earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and obtained her teaching license. She began teaching in Galax in 2008 as a 3rd grade teacher. After teaching for a few years, she attended Radford University where she earned her Master's Degree as a Reading Specialist. While at the elementary school, she has taught 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, and was reading specialist for two years under a state grant position. She now teaches at Galax Middle School as the 5th grade Reading and Language Arts teacher.

 

Mrs. Kidd lives in Wytheville, Virginia with her husband and her daughter, Lillian. She enjoys reading, crafting, and being outdoors.

 

Category:5th Grade
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Ms. Megan Funk Collins

Category:Guidance
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