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Directory: A-Z 

Mrs. Cynthia Reynolds - School Nurse

Cynthia Reynolds was born in Jackson, Tennessee but was raised in Galax and is proud to be a product of Galax City Public Schools. She has a B.S. in Social Science from Union University, and B.S in Nursing from The University of Tennessee, Memphis.   Mrs. Reynolds worked in a variety of nursing jobs for 10 years before returning to school. She received a Masters degree in Nursing from VCU and was a Family Nurse Practitioner in the Galax area for 12 years. She is in her second year as the nurse at Galax Elementary School and is excited to care for, and promote health and wellness for GES students. Mrs. Reynolds enjoys spending time with her children and granddaughter, camping, hiking and kayaking with her husband, and cheering on the Galax Maroon Tide!

Category:School Nurse
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Mrs. Darla Robbins

Mrs. Robbins is a native of Southern California.  She graduated from California State University Long Beach (The Beach) with a BA in Liberal Studies and a concentration in Religious Studies.  She also holds an ESL endorsement.  She taught 8 years in California before moving to Virginia in 2004.  She has taught at GES since 2004.  Her experience has been in Kindergarten, first, second, third, and fourth grades along with teaching ESL for 3 years.

Category:4th Grade
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Mrs. Dawn Leake - Math

Mrs. Dawn Leake

Dawn Leake is our 5th grade math teacher at Galax Middle School.  She grew up in Michigan and graduated from Atherton High School in 1978.  Mrs. Leake attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, and she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with an endorsement in grades 4 through 8.

Prior to coming to Galax, Mrs. Leake taught 5th grade in Lynchburg, VA, for twelve years before she and her husband relocated to Troutdale, VA.  She taught sixteen years in Grayson County as a 6th grade math teacher until coming to GMS in 2016.   Teaching fifth graders, she’s back where her educational journey began 29 years ago.

Mrs. Leake says, “My goal is to make math easy.  Every student is unique and as a teacher I need to make math as fun and easy for them, so that they can understand and be successful.”

 

Category:5th Grade
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Mrs. Debbie Shaw - Secretary

Category:Office Staff
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Mrs. Donna Jennings

Donna Jennings works as an instructional aide at Galax Elementary School.  She has worked here since 2002. She studied at Wytheville Community College and New River Community College.  She is married and has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

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Mrs. Edith Mar Castillo

Mrs Edith Mar Castillo works as an ESL Instructional aide at Galax Elementary School.  She is excited to join the GES staff and looks forward to helping students learning a new language.

Mrs. Eileen Colonna CCEC Elementary

 

Category:Co-Teachers
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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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Mrs. Hall - Technology

Mrs. Hall grew up in Wise, VA where she graduated from J.J. Kelly High School in 2003. She went on to study at Tusculum College in Greenville, TN and then to the University of Virginia’s College at Wise where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Business Education.

After moving to Carroll County in 2008, Mrs. Hall began her teaching career at Galax Middle School. Mrs. Hall has taught 5th, 6th, and 7th grade Computer Technology from 2008 to the present.

Outside of her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Hall also coaches the Middle School Track team.

“I love teaching children how to use technology and give them the skills that they will be able to use for the rest of their life. I enjoy seeing their excitement when they’ve learned something new. I believe that technology reaches students in a way that few other mediums can.  Technology ignites a fire, an aspiration to learn, and gives them the ability to express themselves in meaningful ways.

Category:GMS Specialty
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Mrs. Heather Hanks - Music

Mrs. Hanks grew up in Galax, VA and graduated from Carroll County High School in 1991. She attended Emory and Henry College, graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor’s degree in English with a Theatre concentration. In the fall of 1995, she moved to New York City where she continued her studies at the HB Studio, and the School for Film and Television. In 2000, she moved to Charlotte, NC to begin her undergraduate degree in music at Queens College, now Queens University of Charlotte. Upon her graduation in the spring of 2002, she moved to Greenville, NC to attend East Carolina University for her Master’s Degree in Music. She graduated with a Master’s of Music, Vocal Pedagogy, in the spring of 2004. While at graduate school, she taught voice at the Music Academy of Eastern NC, and directed a children’s choir at a local church.

            Mrs. Hanks and her family returned to the area in 2005. She has been teaching private piano and voice lessons since 2008, and sings with the Highland Camerata, a regional chorus. Mrs. Hanks worked in the Carroll County School system before coming to work for Galax City Schools. She was employed as an AmeriCorps Tutor in Reading, and also worked as a Title I aide in Math and Reading. She credits her years at Oakland Elementary as the guiding force that led her to pursue her teaching degree.  

            Mrs. Hanks is excited to work with the Galax Community. She believes that music and the arts keep the children engaged in school. “Music is my passion. I believe that every child needs to be exposed to the arts. Children love music, and I love that I get to share my passion with them. When a child has that A-ha! Moment, it is thrilling!”

Category:Specialty
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Mrs. Hillary Henry

Hillary Henry is from Roanoke and graduated from Cave Spring High School in 2009. After high school she attended Radford University where she received a Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Elementary Education and her Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in 2014. Right after finishing her education, Hillary began teaching 2nd grade at Galax Elementary in 2014 and has felt truly welcome in the Galax community. She is excited for another school year!

"I believe in life it's important to never stop learning because life never stops teaching!"

Category:2nd Grade
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Mrs. Iroler

 

Mrs. Iroler formally entered the teaching profession in 2001 after graduating from Emory & Henry College with her teaching certification and a double major in Spanish and English.  Her experiences living overseas during high school and studying at Cristobal Jr./Sr. High School in Colón, Panama and Bitburg American High School in Bitburg, Germany shaped her love for languages.  She relishes the opportunity to share that love for languages and culture with students in Galax City Public Schools, where she has served since 2011.  Bringing ten years of experience as a high school foreign language instructor (Spanish 1 - 5) with her to GCPS, she began her tenure in Galax teaching 6th & 7th Grade Spanish, Middle School Reading, and Spanish I.  Now that she has earned a Master's Degree in Education and TESOL endorsement from Regent University, she has shifted her focus to ESL Reading in both the co-taught and pull-out setting for 5th, 6th, & 7th graders. 

 

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart" (Nelson Mandela).

 

Category:GMS ESL
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Mrs. Jan Embree - Civics and Economics

Mrs. Embree has lived in Galax for six years. She is a Nebraska native and lived in Denver, Colorado for 14 years. She is a lifelong learner and educator. She has a degree in Christian Education, Bachelor of Science- Interdisciplinary Studies, PreK-6, and is endorsed in Social Studies 6-12 by the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is currently pursuing a Masters in History through the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

“I am excited to be living in the beautiful mountains of Southwest Virginia and am honored to be a part of Galax City Schools. I am looking forward to sharing my love for our country, our commonwealth, and our great city with the students at Galax Middle School.”

Category:7th Grade
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Mrs. Jennifer Harold - Art

Mrs. Harold is from Cana, Virginia and graduated from Carroll County High School in 1989. She earned an Associate Degree from Surry Community College and then a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2001.  She continued to work in accounting and human resources while maintaining her part-time business designing jewelry, accessories, and toys. Mrs. Harold began her career in education as a volunteer in St. Paul School and has worked as an on-call and long-term substitute teacher for Carroll County Public Schools for two school years. She is licensed in K-12 Art and Middle School Science and joins Galax Middle School as the art teacher.

“Teaching art is not about discovering artists; teaching art is providing a learnable skill set to all students and fostering growth in art making abilities.  There is no right or wrong way to draw, only different ways of drawing.” 

Category:GMS Specialty
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Mrs. Jessica Farina - Math

Jessica Farina is our sixth grade math teacher at Galax Middle School. She grew up in neighboring Grayson County where she graduated from Grayson County High School in 1994.  Mrs. Farina received an Associate Degree from Wytheville Community College before continuing her studies at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.  Here she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with endorsements in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Prior to teaching in Galax, Mrs. Farina worked ten years for the Grayson County School System.  She began her career at the elementary level with teaching experiences in the second, fourth, and fifth grades. For the past five years her area of concentration has been middle school math.

 

“I realize that math is difficult for many students. It is my goal to make math concepts easier to understand, so students can master their SOL objectives. I would like for each of them to enjoy math.”

Category:6th Grade
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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.

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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. :)”

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Mrs. Karen Adams - Library Aide

Mrs. Adams is a native of Galax, VA and graduated from Galax High School.  She has lived in Galax most of her life with the exception of a short period in the Washington, D.C. area.  She has two daughters who also graduated from Galax High School.

 

She began her work with Galax City Schools at the Middle School in 2001, as the Resource Aide.  In 2011, she transferred to the Galax High School Library where she is currently the library aide.

 

“I love to read, so working in the library surrounded by books is wonderful!  I love to see students get excited when they find a book they are eager to dive into.”

 

Category:GHS Library
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Mrs. Karen Adams - Library Aide

Mrs. Adams is a native of Galax, VA and graduated from Galax High School.  She has lived in Galax most of her life with the exception of a short period in the Washington, D.C. area.  She has two daughters who also graduated from Galax High School.

She began her work with Galax City Schools at the Middle School in 2001, as the Resource Aide.  In 2011, she transferred to the Galax High School Library where she is currently the library aide.

“I love to read, so working in the library surrounded by books is wonderful!  I love to see students get excited when they find a book they are eager to dive into.”

Category:GMS Library
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Mrs. Karen Webb

Mrs. Webb is a native of Galax.  She graduated from Galax High School and attended Wytheville Community College.

She has been employed by Galax City Public Schools since 1997.  During this time she has assisted in all grades kindergarten through fourth.  Mrs. Webb feels every day is a new adventure and considers herself blessed for the opportunity to encourage the students to always do their best and treat others with kindness. 

She and her husband Phillip have two daughters and one grandson.

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