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Directory: A-Z 

Ms. Sabrina Holden

Mrs. Sabrina Key Holden is a first grade teacher at Galax Elementary.  A Galax native, she graduated from Galax High School in 1986 and earned an Associate in Arts and Sciences from Wytheville Community College.  She transferred to Radford University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Education.



She taught second grade for eight years until answering a higher call in 2001 to be a stay-at-home mom.  While enjoying time with her babies, born in 2000 and 2003, Mrs. Holden taught home-bound students for Galax City Public Schools until her daughter Kaitlyn was ready for Kindergarten and Branden was a second grader.  Mrs. Holden returned to GES in 2008 and have taught fabulous first and second graders ever since.


Category:1st Grade
Ms. Sally Hill - Speech

Mrs. Hill is from Woodlawn, Virginia and graduated from Carroll County High School. She went on to earn her Master's degree from Radford University in Communication Science and Disorders. Mrs. Hill taught for 14 years in the Carroll County Public School system before joining Galax City Public Schools in 2006. 

Ms. Samantha Nelson

Miss Nelson was born in Michigan but was raised in Fries, Virginia. She graduated from Grayson County High School in 2008 and went on to Radford University to earn her Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. After graduating from Radford in 2011, Miss Nelson began working as a substitute teacher and after school tutor until she began her career at Galax Elementary School in 2012. She taught second grade for one year and is currently teaching Kindergarten.


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!!

Ms. Sara Robinson

Sara Robinson

Sara Robinson has taught at Galax Elementary School for over 20 years. She graduated from Emory and Henry College with a B.A. in Religion. Then she received a B.S. in Early Elementary Education from Radford University. Ms. Robinson also has a Master of Arts degree in Reading from Emory and Henry. 


When not teaching, she enjoys church work and spending time with family and friends.

Ms. Sarah Boyette

Sarah Boyette grew up in Mechanicsville, Virginia and graduated from Atlee High School in 2009. She attended Emory & Henry College where she received her Bachelor of Arts: Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, as well as her Master of Education:Professional Studies in 2014. Mrs. Boyette earned endorsements pertaining to Special Education K-12 and English as a Second Language.

Mrs. Boyette moved from Richmond, Virginia when she was hired to teach 1st grade. She began teaching 1st grade at Galax Elementary in 2014, shortly after graduating from Emory & Henry. She is extremely blessed to work with such an incredible team!  “I am so thankful for the community and support that Galax offers. I cannot even begin to put into words how thankful I am to work with such amazing individuals, as well as the students. I am looking forward to another great year!”

Category:1st Grade
Ms. Shannon Wilson - Technology

Mrs. Wilson currently enjoys teaching all students in kindergarten through fourth grades as the GES technology teacher.  She is a native of Galax, Virginia, and was a graduate of Carroll County High School.  She began her college education at Wytheville Community College, and then transferred to Radford University to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.  Mrs. Wilson started her teaching career at Galax Elementary School.  She spent eight gratifying years teaching kindergarten before moving to her present specialist teaching position.

Ms. Smith - 5th & 6th Grade P.E./Health

Ms. Smith grew up in the Galax area and graduated from Galax High School in 1999. After graduating she continued her education at Emory and Henry College in Emory, VA. While there she received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health and Physical Education in 2002.

Ms. Smith began her teaching career in Wythe County in 2002 where she taught middle school PE for two years before coming to Galax Middle School. While at Galax Middle School she has taught 5th, 6th and 7th grade Health and Physical Education.

In the middle school PE department we strive to equip our students with the tools and skills needed to lead healthy and productive lifestyles. “There is nothing more rewarding than helping a student reach their full potential.”

Category:GMS Specialty
Ms. Stephany Perez

Ms. Stephany Perez was born in New York but was raised in Virginia. She graduated from Carroll County High School in 2011 and went on to Wytheville Community College to receive her Associates in Education and then transferred to Radford University to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Special Ed and English. After graduating from Radford in December of 2015, she began working as an ESL aide at Gladeville Elementary School. Ms. Perez is excited to start her journey as a Kindergarten teacher at Galax Elementary school.  

Ms. Tara Branham

Ms. Branham grew up on a farm in central Virginia.  She graduated from William Monroe High School; where she then went on to earn a degree from Concord University.   After teaching a couple of years, Ms. Branham then went back to school and received a graduate degree from Emory & Henry College.  She has been teaching first grade at Galax Elementary School for twelve years. She also taught Title 1 reading for four years with Madison County Public Schools. Ms. Branham is currently teaching first grade and this is her seventeenth year teaching.  She enjoys spending time with her two children, as well as hiking, running, and biking.


Category:1st Grade
Ms. Tina Hampton

Miss Hampton is a resident of Grayson County. She attended Grayson County High School where she graduated in 1994. She continued her education at Emory and Henry College where she received a BA degree in May 1998, in the field of Interdisciplinary Studies. As a student at Emory and Henry College, Miss Hampton spent her summers working for The Galax City Parks and Recreation Department where she had the opportunity to work with many students of GCPS. In the fall of 1998 Miss Hampton was hired as a third grade teacher by Galax City Public Schools where she has remained for the past fifteen years.   During her career at GCPS Miss Hampton has taught third grade, elementary computer specialty, and Title 1 Math. In addition she spent one full year as an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for the school system. As well as teaching students Miss Hampton enjoys being a student. Since beginning her teaching career she has taken additional classes from Emory and Henry College, James Madison University, and George Mason University. She is currently enrolled as a student at Longwood University where she is working towards a Master’s Degree as a Math Specialist.


“I enjoy learning about math and working math problems. I want to share my enthusiasm for math with the students and teachers at Galax Elementary School. I want them to understand that math is a very hands-on subject in which students learn to make sense of problems and situations.”         

Category:Title One
Ms. Whitney Stewart

Mrs. Stewart is from Galax, Virginia and graduated in 2005 from Carroll County High School. She attended Radford University where she obtained a Bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in math and English in 2009. Mrs. Stewart taught Head Start preschool for six years before joining Galax City Public Schools in 2015.

Category:2nd Grade
Officer Vicky Taylor - Resource Officer

Category:Campus Security
Pam Key - Secretary/Bookkeeper

Mrs.Key has lived in Galax,Va. all her life and graduated from Grayson County High School. She has 3 children who attend Galax High and Middle School.

She began her work with Galax City Schools in 2001 as a substitute teacher. In 2007 she began working as an aide at Galax Elementary School. In 2011 she moved to Galax Middle School as a Special Ed. Aide.

She loves her job and being on the same schedule as her children.

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. 

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.


Ramona Carico

Ramona has been married to her husband Keith for 26 years.  They have one daughter (Kasey) who attends Galax High School.  Ramona loves farming, gardening, and being in the outdoors.

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
Sonia Truitt - Coordinator of CTE and Gifted Education

Mrs. Truitt is a native of Galax, Virginia and a graduate of Galax High School.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Radford University and a Master of Arts in Education from Emory and Henry College where she also obtained certification as a Reading Specialist. Additional coursework at Radford University led to licensure in Educational Leadership and Administration.


Mrs. Truitt began her teaching career in Grayson County where she taught elementary school for 6 years.  She later accepted a position with Galax City Public Schools where she served as the Early Intervention Reading teacher and Reading Specialist. In 2011 she became the Assistant Principal at Galax Elementary School and served in that position for 4 years. From 2015-2018, Mrs. Truitt was the Assistant Principal of Galax Middle School, and is now transitioning to the new position of Coordinator of Career Instruction and Coordinator of English/Language Arts K-12.


“I am very proud to be part of such a dynamic and innovative school division.  Working within the Galax City Public School system is truly a rewarding experience. The opportunities to learn, grow, and develop professionally are abundant. Each day finds me surrounded by caring colleagues, strong leadership, dedicated parents, and most especially, remarkable children. As a team we work hard to provide our students with experiences to communicate effectively, think critically, collaborate, be creative, and become positive and contributing global citizens.  I sincerely enjoy the challenges of education and am passionate about working to continue the success of Galax City Schools.”




Susan is delighted to return home to the mountains!  She was born and raised in Marion, Virginia and is a proud Virginia Tech Hokie with a degree in elementary education.  She earned a Masters in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Virginia and also completed her endorsement in Administration & Supervision there as well.  

Ms. Tilley comes to Galax City Schools from Newport News Public Schools where she spent 27 years serving in various roles.  She began her career as a middle school English and social studies teacher before becoming a middle school assistant principal, middle school principal, and high school principal.  She most recently served as the Executive Director of Secondary School Leadership.

Susan shared, “I am unbelievably excited to join the Galax Schools family!  Maroon Tide pride and a tradition of excellence are hallmarks of this exceptional school division.  I look forward to working and learning alongside the students, faculty, families, and community.”