Deborah Martin Fourth Grade
Melissa Wisdom Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

    Melissa Wisdom  |  Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

Gynell Sippy Kindergarten Assistant
Sandra Sauls Elementary Principal

    Sandra Sauls  |  Elementary Principal

Sandra Sauls has been the Elementary Principal of Wake Christian Academy since 1989. One of her most cherished memories from her position is learning that a family had been able to teach their student about God’s grace through a classroom experience.

“The mother was able to discuss with her child how he had been given ‘grace’ on an assignment and… she was able to share with her son the parallel spiritual truths of God’s grace,” Mrs. Sauls said, “How awesome it is to partner with parents in the training of their children!”

Mrs. Sauls earned her Bachelor of Religious Education from Piedmont Baptist College and her Master of Education from Liberty University. Before becoming the Elementary Principal, Mrs. Sauls taught kindergarten and first grade at Wake Christian. When she is not overseeing the elementary school, you can find her reading, gardening, spending time with her family and friends, and caring for her mother.

The focuses of Mrs. Sauls’ position include boosting admissions, highlighting Wake Christian’s core values to the students (this month’s is integrity), and working on curriculum and instructional development.

Mrs. Sauls has many goals for elementary school, including reaching full capacity enrollment, continuing to emphasize how God’s Word applies to students’ everyday choices, and turning students into lifelong learners. Most importantly, she desires “to maintain an exceptional faculty who are passionate about teaching and are preparing the students… to fulfill their God-given potential.”

Sean Willingham Physical Education
Lori Holleman Second Grade Teacher Assistant

    Lori Holleman  |  Second Grade Teacher Assistant

Lalea Evans Elementary Computer

    Lalea Evans  |  Elementary Computer

Elementary computer teacher Lalea Evans always knew that she wanted to be a teacher.

“I’m a servant at heart, and teaching is one of my gifts,” she said, “It was a natural path for me.”

Mrs. Evans teaches Wake Christian Academy’s second through fifth graders. She instructs them in basic Internet and word processing skills but goes beyond that to incorporate what her students are learning in other subjects.

“I collaborate with classroom teachers to integrate their objectives into our computer lessons and vice versa,” Mrs. Evans said.

Her oldest students are thrilled to be exploring coding.

“My fifth graders recently started learning how to write code,” she said, “Within the first four weeks, they wrote well over 30,000 lines of code in Code.org!”

Mrs. Evans earned her B.S. in Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She married her high school sweetheart, Nate, in Fredonia before moving to North Carolina a year later. Together they have three sons, two in elementary school at Wake Christian and one in preschool.

Mrs. Evans considers her position at Wake Christian the most satisfying she has ever held.

“I enjoy making memories and building relationships with my students,” she said, “I enjoy watching my students get excited about gaining a new skill.”

One of her favorite memories occurred when she let the students hold and examine the main components of a computer.

“During one of these moments, as one of my third grade students held a motherboard in his hands, he exuberantly declared, ‘This is the greatest day of my life!’” she recounted, “It was so sweet to see a growing passion for technology and an interest in our hands on lesson.”

Jessica Griffith Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

    Jessica Griffith  |  Kindergarten Teacher Assistant

Christy Cochran Administrative Assistant to Elementary Principal

    Christy Cochran  |  Administrative Assistant to Elementary Principal

Christy Cochran is the Elementary Receptionist and Administrative Assistant to Elementary Principal Sandra Sauls. Mrs. Cochran has worked at Wake Christian Academy for three years. Prior to her current position, she substitute taught at the school for five years.

Mrs. Cochran’s responsibilities include welcoming campus visitors, arranging for substitute teachers, and scheduling interviews with families interested in Wake Christian.

Both of Mrs. Cochran’s children attend the school. Abi is a tenth grader, and Brandon is a seventh grader. Wake Christian truly is a family affair for the Cochrans as her husband, Stephen, also works at the school. The four of them love attending Wake Christian sporting events together.

“I feel so blessed to work at Wake Christian,” she said, “Three schools, one family means that I get daily hugs from elementary students all the way up to high school students. I get daily spiritual encouragement from my coworkers and our Wake Christian parents. I can live out my faith and talk about my Lord freely without the fear of persecution.”

 

Karen Tart Third Grade

    Karen Tart  |  Third Grade

Third grade teacher Karen Tart has taught at Wake Christian Academy for seven years. As she’s also had second and fourth grade classes, Mrs. Tart is an expert with elementary-age children and prizes her job educating the next generation of church, home, and business leaders because she recognizes the importance of these students possessing a solid foundation of faith in God’s Word and truth.

Mrs. Tart and her husband, Benny, who is on the school’s Board of Directors, have three sons, Cody, Hunter, and Bradley, all of whom attend high school at Wake Christian. Part of the reason she loves Wake Christian Academy is that the student body and staff and faculty all feel like one large family.

Mrs. Tart loves her students because of their willingness to learn and share their hearts freely. In order to connect with her students, she enjoys learning more about their lives and making them feel special.

Most importantly, Mrs. Tart emphasizes to her students that God is everywhere and created all thing, so God is the reason they learn every subject.

Victoria Rogers Third Grade Teacher Assistant

    Victoria Rogers  |  Third Grade Teacher Assistant

Fourth grade teacher Robin Sprowl loves teaching in Wake Christian Academy’s elementary school because of the constant focus on God there. Having taught at Wake Christian for eleven years, Mrs. Sprowl feels called to form the next generation with the gifts God has given her and cherishes watching her students grow as people.

Mrs. Sprowl had been a substitute teacher at multiple public schools before taking her position here at Wake Christian, and she appreciates that she can freely discuss Christ with her students and help them to look at life with a Christian worldview.

She has a passion for teaching and enjoys that she gets to be a part of not just her student’s academic but also their everyday lives at Wake Christian.

Terry Scott Kindergarten Teacher

    Terry Scott  |  Kindergarten Teacher

Kindergarten teacher Terry Scott was cut out to do her job.

“God gave me a love for children from the very beginning,” she said, “He also gave me much patience for teaching children new things.”

Mrs. Scott is enthused to teach the littlest people at Wake Christian Academy, stating, “In kindergarten we start at the very beginning of education. It is so rewarding to see the growth in the children over the year. They learn many brand-new concepts. It is a treat to see them grow in knowledge, independence, and confidence.”

Mrs. Scott is married to her husband Fred, and they love spending time with their two daughters, Bethany and Kailey, son-in-law Josh, and two grandsons, Landon and Benjamin.

“After my relationship to Christ, my family is my biggest joy!” gushed Mrs. Scott.

She tries to emphasize two lessons in particular to her tiny pupils in their first year of school. First, she wants them to love Jesus and each other and learn to “build each other up.” Second, she has a “passion for teaching children to read” and wants to help them excel in that area.

Mrs. Scott is certainly a great teacher to welcome kindergarteners and their families into the Wake Christian fold.

“Kindergarten obviously is the first introduction for [many] families to Wake Christian Academy and often to Jesus,” she explained, “I take that very seriously. It is important that the kindergarten year is an upbeat, positive experience that builds a solid educational foundation for my students and also instills in them a love for Jesus and learning.”

 

Paula Porter Fifth Grade
Grade Chair

    Paula Porter  |  Fifth Grade
    Grade Chair

Paula Porter, a veteran fifth grade teacher here at Wake Christian Academy, grew up in Henderson, Kentucky. During her childhood, Mrs. Porter’s mother taught middle school at Holy Name Catholic School as well as piano lessons at their house. Mrs. Porter used to pretend her mom’s piano stool was her desk as she played “school” with her friends.

In high school, Mrs. Porter’s favorite teacher was named Mrs. Irene Fuller. She was strict, but fair, and she really knew her subject.

After high school, Mrs. Porter went to Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky and earned her Bachelor of Science degree. She went on to earn her Masters at Indiana State University.

Mrs. Porter lived in Indiana and Ohio before moving to Raleigh from Huntsville, Alabama when her husband got a job in North Carolina with the Red Cross.  After enrolling her children at Wake Christian, Mrs. Porter taught third grade for one year at Green Hope Elementary.  When an opening for a fifth grade teacher came available at Wake Christian, Mrs. Porter applied, and she’s been teaching fifth grade at Wake Christian for eleven years now out of her thirty years of teaching.

In teaching, Mrs. Porter finds the relationships she builds with her students most rewarding part of her job, and she is really enjoying the opportunity to get to know all of the fifth graders now that fifth grade has become departmentalized. Mrs. Porter teaches the math and science departments, which opens up many doors for the sharing of spiritual truths about God’s Creation.

For example, Mrs. Porter invited a guest speaker to convey to the fifth graders how Creation displays God’s glory. Mrs. Porter especially enjoys teaching her students in-depth material about the world God created and how it demonstrates His character, such as in math, where the fifth grade has focused on Psalm 90:12, which says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Mrs. Porter is very thankful for the strong leadership at Wake Christian, and she says, “Our administration is a gift from God.”

Mrs. Porter loves teaching here at Wake Christian, and she is thankful that God has given her such an opportunity.

Lynne Moody Fifth Grade

    Lynne Moody  |  Fifth Grade

Fifth grade Language Arts teacher Lynne Moody was drawn at a young age to the subject she teaches.

“I have always loved Language Arts and diagramming,” she explained, “In elementary school, I could not wait for my teacher to tell us to take out our language books.  I love spelling and spelling bees too!”

Mrs. Moody is thrilled to share her passion for language arts with her students.

“Language, writing, and spelling are essential parts of daily living. It is something we should strive to do well,” she stated, “I try to stress that [my students] do not know what field the Lord will call them to when they enter adulthood. It is always good to prepare early in life so they can do all things with excellence.”

When she’s not instructing, Mrs. Moody loves reading, playing the piano, and traveling — but above all, spending time with her husband and two children. She earned her bachelor’s in Secondary Education from Welch College in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mrs. Moody finds her job extremely rewarding. She said, “It is such a blessing to see a student finally understand a concept. It is also a joy to spend all day teaching… children and at the end of the day, they come to your desk to tell you they will see you in the morning and give you a hug.”

Additionally, Mrs. Moody has noticed that one area of her curriculum seems to particularly excite the fifth graders.

“Most students do not start out enjoying diagramming sentences,” she shared, “But once they understand the concept of how all parts of speech work together, they race to the board to draw their diagram.”

Passing on a love for learning and especially for language is what makes Mrs. Moody a great teacher, as well as this sweet statement she gave: “I love to help children achieve their goals and be all that they can be.”

 

Todd Medlin Band Director
Becky Lewis Elementary Curriculum Assistant Individual Learning Center

    Becky Lewis  |  Elementary Curriculum Assistant Individual Learning Center

Irene Jones Elementary Spanish
Jennifer Hinton Fourth Grade
Beverly Schwerman Fifth Grade
Julie Gore First Grade
David Jeffreys Elementary/Middle School Assistant Principal
Campus Pastor

    David Jeffreys  |  Elementary/Middle School Assistant Principal
    Campus Pastor

Kellie Fowler Second Grade

    Kellie Fowler  |  Second Grade

Second grade teacher Kellie Fowler attended Wake Christian Academy for kindergarten through twelfth grade. Now she loves to guide her young pupils on the “journey of learning” in the same hallways and classrooms she used to frequent.

“I love kids, and especially the age of second grade,” she said, “I taught this age group at church from my teens to my adulthood, and I enjoy watching their brains soak up knowledge!”

History is one of Mrs. Fowler’s favorite subjects to teach.

“History is ‘His story,’ so when I teach those things I can help [the students] see how God is in all things of our world,” she said.

Her class also loves what she calls “Bible Truths” time.

“I don’t want God’s Word to be taught as just ‘stories’ but actual truth from His Word of things that happened and will happen,” she said, “God’s Word, all of it, can be applied to our lives today in so many ways. I love helping the children connect those dots.”

Mrs. Fowler emphasizes to her students that God cares for each and every one of them.

“He alone can help us with anything we face — whether it is a hard math problem, a reading issue, or just how to get along with someone on the playground or in your learning group,” she said, “If we have the Lord as our foundation, all things will build and grow from there!”

Mrs. Fowler loves her other jobs as a wife and mother as well as photography, reading, and cross-stitching. She attended Meredith College and earned her B.S. in Child Development with Teacher Certification.

Mrs. Fowler loves teaching because she learns as much from her students as they learn from her.

“As I am teaching, the Lord uses those moments to enlighten me to the truths from His Word that He wants me to remember for my own life,” she said, “My students teach me valuable lessons each day of God’s love, mercy, and grace which in turn make me a better teacher. I love what I do!”

Christy Flynn Kindergarten

    Christy Flynn  |  Kindergarten

Kindergarten teacher Christy Flynn grew up in Virginia Beach knowing that she would become a teacher.

“I’ve taught everything I’ve ever learned how to do,” she says.

Mrs. Flynn, a third generation teacher, discovered Wake Christian Academy when she and her husband began looking for a school for their own children. They only needed one tour to recognize without a doubt that Wake Christian was where God was calling them to be.

After enrolling her children in Wake Christian, Mrs. Flynn began praying about substituting at the school. A year later, after being a long term substitute, she had her own classroom of kindergarten students.  Their tender hearts warm hers each and every day as she teaches them not only about things like reading and math but also about God’s truth and His love for them. Mrs. Flynn tries to emphasize to her students that “all truth is God’s truth.”

Additionally, the family atmosphere of the faculty is blessing she appreciates greatly. She describes teaching at Wake Christian as “truly more wonderful” than she thought it would be.

Chelle Fisher Third Grade
Grade Chair

    Chelle Fisher  |  Third Grade
    Grade Chair

Chelle Fisher, who teaches third grade here at Wake Christian Academy, was born and raised in Hong Kong, China.  Growing up, she never saw herself as a teacher, but her mother did. As a girl, when Mrs. Fisher would get home from school, she would teach her sister what she had learned that day. Mrs. Fisher hadn’t seen it herself, but her mother knew that she would be a teacher someday.

In school, Mrs. Fisher’s favorite teacher was named Mr. Brannon. He taught high school English, but he did this in such a way that commended respect yet maintained a fun and understanding classroom environment.

Mrs. Fisher went to Bob Jones University during which she was given an assignment to interview a number of school principals. She interviewed a family friend named Mr. Chenkel; this interview later led her to teach in a small church school in Delaware. Two years later, Mr. Chenkel left for a position at Wake Christian, and a year later, Mrs. Fisher followed him here and began teaching in the sixth grade at Wake Christian.

Mrs. Fisher has taught at Wake Christian for twenty-seven years, and she’s been a third grade teacher for most of her time here. Mrs. Fisher’s favorite part about teaching is when the lightbulb goes off in a student’s mind. Seeing the students connect the dots in their heads and knowing they’re really learning are what make her job worthwhile to her.

She also loves teaching history, and likes to bring the history to life by telling the stories in such a way that excites her students.

She also teaches her students Biblical principles with illustrations like the orderliness of math, characters’ journeys in reading, and the solutions of history.  Mrs. Fisher especially emphasizes that her pupils look for the peacemakers in their reading to see how conflicts are handled. She also helps her students to look at history from a Christian perspective to see whether or not the right decisions were made.

Working at Wake Christian has been a blessing to Mrs. Fisher. At Wake Christian she has found the freedom to teach effectively. That’s been especially important because after thirty years of teaching, Mrs. Fisher has found that kids are learning differently than they did before.  In her opinion, the flexibility of ideas and teaching methods has been vital in learning to teach this new generation of students.  She is thankful for the coworkers and friends that share ideas and solutions with her as well.

The Wake Christian family has been a huge blessing in her life over the years, one that she thanks God for.

Norma Fincher Elementary Music
Middle and High School Orchestra

    Norma Fincher  |  Elementary Music
    Middle and High School Orchestra

Music teacher Norma Fincher has instructed at Wake Christian Academy for twenty-six years. She received her bachelor’s degree in Religion and Biblical Education from Luther Rice College and Seminary in Georgia. Currently, she is the general music teacher for grades K-5 and the strings orchestra director for grades 4-12. She revealed that her interest in teaching was sparked at a young age.

“I have four younger sisters and feel like I have been teaching all my life,” Ms. Fincher recounted, “It’s what God made natural for me.”

Ms. Fincher finds the most rewarding part of her occupation to be “when a student comes back later and continues the relationship we have started, or when a student who has been in my classes uses their musical talent for the Lord, or when a parent writes and thanks me for the difference I have made in their child’s life.”

She also has a “policy to be transparent” with her students.

“My desire has been for them to see how things should be done by one who loves the Lord — whether they are pleasant or unpleasant experiences,” she said. Ms. Fincher has two “favorite quotes” she especially likes to share with her students: “God’s ways are always best, and He loves me no matter what happens in my life” and “It doesn’t matter so much what happens to you; it’s how you react to what happens that makes the difference.”

But Ms. Fincher hasn’t just preached to her students without letting them see the trials she has gone through in her life.

“I have been suffering from hand problems for the past few years which has taken me out of the music ministry,” she disclosed, “So God has allowed me to change direction in my focus. Travel, art and church history, collecting, photography, and books are my interests.”

Most of all, Ms. Fincher loves that her students gain invaluable music skills under her tutelage and can continue to use their abilities to serve the Lord.

She said, “For my instrumental students, they can play a violin, viola, cello, bass, or the piano, and that is a rare talent these days! The general music students… are equipped to be involved in any musical program at school, church or the community. Music is truly a God-given gift in an international language.”

 

Rachael Dramis First Grade

    Rachael Dramis  |  First Grade

First grade teacher Rachael Dramis entered her alma mater, Liberty University, not knowing she would exit with a teaching degree, but today, she’s glad she did.

“I know the Lord called me to this ministry,” she recounted, “I actually had other plans when I began college, but the Lord directed my steps to the teaching profession.”

Mrs. Dramis loves spending time (and especially traveling) with her family — husband Joel and children Abby and Caleb, as well as puppy Buddy.

“My cup is full!” she exclaimed.

In the classroom, Mrs. Dramis most cherishes the relationships that she is able to build with her students. She stated, “It is such a privilege to invest in the lives of both the children and their parents. I also love the ‘lightbulb’… the moment when a student understands a new concept, or masters a new skill. It is so rewarding to share in their success.”

Mrs. Dramis shared that there was one subject that particularly excites her pupils. She said, “I think science is always a big hit! To explore and learn about the wonders of God’s creation is always a favorite time of the school day.”

She encourages her students to think deeply about what they learn. She explained, “Academically, I try to teach my students to think… to question… to go to God’s Word for the answers they are looking for. Our God is big enough to answer all of their questions and desires for us to come to Him.”

 

Gayle Davis Art

    Gayle Davis  |  Art

Art teacher Gayle Davis may have one of the most fun jobs at Wake Christian Academy.

She has taught art at the school for over ten years, and on she stated she has “learned so much from the students and the art that they produce. Each one is blessed with wonderful talents from the Lord.”

Ms. Davis said, “I have always been interested in teaching. I had opportunities to teach in Vacation Bible School and tutor in high school.”

These leanings led to her studying education at Bob Jones University, and the fact that she “[loved] to create” drew her to teaching art. Now, she shares her love of drawing, painting, and sculpting with Wake Christian students from kindergarten to twelfth grade.

Ms. Davis has four children, one of whom, Preston, graduated from Wake Christian in May of 2015.

Whether she is working with an elementary schooler or high schooler, Ms. Davis finds her reward in “guiding and watching students create a piece of art that they never thought would become a success become a success.”

This past year, her older classes focused on impressionism. They deepened their understandings of the movement through many projects, which “[seemed] to cement the excitement about the subject or artists” being studied, in Ms. Davis’ words.

But the students do not solely learn about the secular aspects of art as Ms. Davis is able to integrate faith into the classroom. She expounded that she focuses on “the preface that we are created by the great Creator God to create beauty to glorify Him. As artists we see the world differently and must express what we see and feel as a gift to the Lord.”

 

Jerri Craft Individual Learning Center

    Jerri Craft  |  Individual Learning Center

Individual Learning Center specialist Jerri Craft works with first through fifth graders who have fallen behind in the classroom and need one-on-one or small group attention. She received her bachelor’s in Elementary Education from UNC-Wilmington.

Much of her job is working with students with learning disabilities, and she also meets with parents and teachers to design educational plans so that each student can reach their academic goals.

She works with some students for their entire elementary career and enjoys watching them progress academically and spiritually. When she is not teaching, she enjoys reading and cooking as well as watching her children, sophomore Bran and freshman Savannah, play sports.

Mrs. Craft finds it a “privilege to minister not only to my students but also to their parents. I like for my classroom to be a safe and inviting place.”

Susan Burke High School Choirs
Fine Arts Director

    Susan Burke  |  High School Choirs
    Fine Arts Director

Susan Burke is the high school Fine Arts Director at Wake Christian Academy, and she helms the high school chorus, chorale, and elementary chorus. After graduating college with a major in vocal performance, Mrs. Burke began work in the business field as an insurance agent and then decided to be a stay-at-home mom for five years after she had children.

When her children began school at Wake Christian Academy, she heard that the school was looking for someone to lead the elementary chorus. After accepting the position, Mrs. Burke was also given the opportunity to teach computer at Wake Christian, and most recently she started directing the high school chorus and chorale.

Her strongest motivation for teaching is that she wants to make a difference in the lives of young people, and she finds it extremely important to incorporate Biblical teachings into her classes. As her students sing spiritual music, she revels in the fact that they can meditate on what the lyrics of the songs mean.

Mrs. Burke also does her best to connect with her students mainly by getting to know them one on one. She has been teaching for fifteen years and hopes and prays that she will be able to continue teaching for many more because of her passion for the field as well as her desire to mold the lives of her students and help them grow.

Christine Peterson Kindergarten
April Blalock Fourth Grade
Grade Chair
Connie Beck Second Grade
Melissa Broadwell Teacher Assistant
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