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Directory: A-Z 

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.

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.

Ms. Jamie Boyles

Jamie Boyles grew up in Galax, VA. and graduated from Carroll County High School. After high school, she worked as a sewing machine operator for a few years before continuing her education at New River Community College. In 2000 she received her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and began her career as an instructional aide at Baywood Elementary, in Grayson County. In 2004 she came to work at Galax Elementary as a Pre-K aide. She then worked in Kindergarten for 7 years, and is now currently aiding and assisting in all grade levels and works primarily with children in reading and math groups.


Ms. Draper grew up in Farmville, Virginia, where she attended and graduated from Prince Edward County Public Schools. After high school, she attended Sweet Briar College for five years where she received her Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in Environmental Studies and a Master's degree in K-6 Elementary Education with a concentration in K-12 Special Education. 
She began her teaching career at Prince Edward County Elementary School in Farmville, Virginia where she taught for four years. She taught Second Grade Inclusion, K-2 Self-Contained Special Education and was the Lead Special Education teacher for the elementary school during the 2015-16 school year. 
During the summer of 2016, Ms. Draper moved to Woodlawn, Virginia and accepted a teaching job at Galax Elementary School. She is very excited to work with Galax students and staff during the upcoming school year!

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.

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.

Ms. Jocqulene Poindexter


Jocqulene Poindexter works as an instructional aide at Galax Elementary School and has worked for Galax City Schools since 2013.  She is also the middle school softball coach. 

Ms. Kim Hundley

Ms. Hundley is from Hillsville and graduated from Carroll County High school.  After high school she attended Radford University where she received a Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Social Sciences and Special Education.  She also acquired  her elementary teaching certification for grades K-5.  Afterwards, Ms. Hundley attended Emory and Henry College where she earned her Masters of Art degree in Education with an endorsement as a Reading Specialist for grades K-12.  


Ms. Hundley worked in Carroll County for one year as a special education teacher.  She came to Galax Elementary School in 1999 and has since taught Kindergarten, second grade, and third grade.

"I really enjoy serving the Galax community!  I believe we have the best students, parents, and teachers in the country!"


Category:2nd Grade
Ms. LaTrissia Rife

Mrs. Rife is originally from Wythe County, Virginia and attended Fort Chiswell High School where she graduated in 1999. She went on to Emmanuel College, a private Christian school in Franklin Springs, GA. There, she received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education in 2003. Mrs. Rife then moved to nearby Athens, GA where she taught for two years in Pre-K and 2nd Grades in Clarke County Schools. Feeling a call to be closer to family, she moved back home to Virginia in 2005. She taught in Pulaski County schools for seven years in second, third, and fifth grades. While teaching in Pulaski County, she studied to receive her master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Regent University in 2008.   She accepted the English as a Second Language position at Galax Elementary School in 2012.

“My very first year as a teacher, I had eight four year olds who walked in my room with no English at all. While that was a challenging experience for us all, I immediately fell in love with teaching English as a Second Language students and particularly the Spanish speaking community. I knew this was something I wanted to pursue further in my Master’s program. I am so thankful for the diversity of the Galax community and the opportunity to work with students as they learn a new language and culture. My students teach me as much as I teach them. They are truly amazing!”

Ms. Laura Sturgill

Mrs. Sturgill is originally from Richmond, Virginia and graduated from Midlothian High School in 1991. She attended Radford University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Mrs. Sturgill began her teaching career at Galax Elementary in 1997, where she has taught first, second, and third grade. She loves teaching and looks forward to spending each day with her amazing students! She hopes to always inspire them, as well as instill a lifelong passion for learning. 


"The mediocre teacher tells.The good teacher explains.The superior teacher demonstrates.

The great teacher inspires."  - William Arthur Ward

Category:3rd Grade
Ms. Leigh Ann Brenegar

Leigh Ann Brinegar has lived in Galax her whole life.  She loves the area and enjoys working at the school.  She has a daughter to whom she devotes her spare time.

Ms. Lois Rogers

Ms. Rogers is a native to Galax. She graduated from Galax High School in 1986. Ms. Rogers then attended Surry Community College for two years where she received an Associate in Science Degree before transferring to Radford University where she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Middle Education. Ms. Rogers began teaching at Galax Elementary School in 1992 and has taught Kindergarten for 21 years.  In 2003, Ms. Rogers earned her Master of Arts degree from Emory & Henry College specializing in reading instruction. At present, Ms. Rogers will begin teaching second grade for the 2013-2014 school year.

 “I have always loved to teach children to learn how to read. Reading is such an important life skill. It is my hope to instill confidence and the enjoyment of reading in my students.”


Category:2nd Grade
Ms. Lori McKenzie

Ms. McKenzie is a native of Galax and is a graduate of Galax High School. In May 2004, she graduated from Radford University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in English and Social Science. She is endorsed to teach grades Pre-K through 6. She has been teaching Pre-K at Galax Elementary since 2004.

Ms. Mary Blackburn

Mary Blackburn grew up in Ashe County, NC.  She graduated from high school in 2003.  She married her husband Christopher in 2004. They have one son together.  Mary received her paraprofessional certificate and began working as an aide in Grayson County, VA, where she was employed for 5 years. She started working for Galax in 2013. Outside of working with children Mary enjoys camping, reading and spending time with her family.

Ms. Megan Boyer

Mrs. Megan Boyer graduated from Grayson County High School in 2004. After high school, Mrs. Boyer attended Radford University and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2008. Mrs. Boyer has taught kindergarten, fourth, and fifth grades in Grayson County. In 2015, Mrs. Boyer completed her Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision at Regent University. Mrs. Boyer is excited to begin her journey with Galax City Public Schools teaching 2nd grade.

Category:2nd Grade
Ms. Megan Chilton

Ms. Megan Chilton grew up in Collinsville, Virginia, where she graduated from Fieldale-Collinsville High School in 2002. After high school, Megan attended Bluefield College. In 2005 she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Sciences and minored in Criminal Justice. While attending Bluefield College, Megan was also a member of the Women's Soccer Team. In 2007, Megan completed her Master of Science degree  at Radford University, where she studied Counseling and Human Development, concentrating in School Counseling.

Prior to joining Galax City Public Schools, Megan worked her first eight years as a school counselor in Carroll County. Her first three years she worked as a part time counselor at both Hillsville Elementary School and St. Paul School. She worked as the full time counselor at Hillsville Elementary School her last five years in Carroll County. Ms. Chilton is currently the School Counselor at Galax Middle School. 

Ms. Megan Funk Collins

Ms. Rebecca Montgomery

Rebecca Montgomery grew up in Somerset, Kentucky but has been a resident of Southwest Virginia for the past 23 years. She is married and has two teenage daughters. She is actively involved in her church, First Baptist Church of Independence, where her husband is the pastor. Rebecca and her husband enjoy high school sports and spending time with family.  

Rebecca earned her Bachelors’ degree in Political Science at Eastern Kentucky University in 1991. During her career, she worked as an office manager for two medical clinics and a Human Resource Director for Carrington Place in Wytheville, Virginia. In 2009, she returned to school at Old Dominion University to pursue her passion for teaching, earning her license as a special education teacher. She was employed by Pulaski County Schools for four years teaching at Pulaski Middle School.  She looks forward to teaching students at the elementary level and helping prepare them for the challenges of middle school and beyond.

Ms. Rhonda Anderson

Hello, my name is Rhonda Anderson.  I was born and raised in Carroll County, and graduated from Carrol Co. High School, Class of 74/75. ( I actually graduated August 10, 1974, one year early.)  I am married to Jerry, and we have two children.  Our daughter, Jennifer,  is married and has two children, Vivian (age 8), and Ephraim (age 5).  She ia a school librarian in Floyd County.  Our son, Brian, is a pharmacist.  I am very proud of my family. 

I call myself a "late bloomer" in the career of education.  I worked at Roses Dept. Store in Galax for seven years.  Then I went in to production work at  Spencer's Manufacturing in Mt. Airy, N.C. where I sewed children's clothes for 12 years.  Then lay offs began to happen, and I started taking classes at Wytheville Community College and Surry Community College.  I would go to classes after work.  I did so for several years.  Then I had enough credits to enter Radford Universty as a Junior, so I quit my job, and went full time to R. U. and graduated in May 2001.  I have a B.S. in Elementary Edu. and a Minor in English.  I did my blocking at Dublin Elem. School in Dublin, Va.  and my student teaching at St. Paul School in Cana, Va.  I interviewed for a teaching position at Galax Elementary and was hired at a First Grade teacher.  This is my thirteenth year teaching and my thirteenth year at GES. 

I really enjoy what I do.  This is the most challenging job I have ever had, BUT it is the most rewarding job I have ever had.  I enjoy teaching very much and I enjoy the children.  I always try to be a positive influence on them, and give them encouragement to believe in themselves.  Our class motto is "Never Settle For Less Than Your Best." I tell my students,  "we don't have to be perfect, but we need to do the best that we are capable of doing."


Category:1st Grade
Ms. Rose Houk - Physical Education

Mrs. Houk grew up in Meadowview, Virginia and graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1977. While in high school Mrs. Houk was very involved in athletics and extracurricular activities, including volleyball, basketball, track, and band (majorette).

Following high school, Mrs. Houk attended Emory and Henry College, graduating in 1981, she earned a B.A. in Health and Physical Education K-12 / Drivers Education. She also played volleyball at E&H for all four years of college.

Mrs. Houk came to Galax to teach in 1981, thinking that she would be here for one or two years. Thirty-Three years later, Mrs. Houk is still in Galax. “This is my home”, Mrs. Houk confesses. During those years, she has taught health and PE at the high school, middle school, and the elementary school.

In 2012, she retired from coaching varsity volleyball and varsity girls track at Galax High School after 31 years. She also coached J.V. girls basketball for 8 years.

Mrs. Houk is married to Don Houk, who is a retired Grayson County Deputy. They have one son, Tyler, who also graduated from Emory and Henry College in 2013.

“I love to help children learn to be active through different games, and I love to watch the Maroon Tide and the Wasps play anything. I also love beach trips”.