Hannah Brady is a high school biology teacher from Sparta, NC. She is a 2011 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree. She is in her second year of teaching Honors Biology and Biology at the sophomore and junior level at Alleghany High School. Prior to this, she taught science three years at the middle school level, which is also where she met her husband, Chris, a middle school science and social studies teacher. Throughout her career, she has served in many roles such as team member and leader of multiple committees and teams, as well as a coach for middle school through varsity level sports. She is currently obtaining a master’s degree through Appalachian State University.

Hannah and Chris were married in December 2015 and are expecting their first baby, a little girl, in May. They enjoy traveling, spending time with their dogs, and cheering on the Tar Heels. You may connect with her via email at wardhl@appstate.edu.

Beth Dalton is a 3rd grade teacher at Sparta Elementary School. Her career began in 2013, landing her first “real” teaching job as a 1st grade teacher. After completing one year and having her first child, she was asked to make a huge move and teach 3rd grade math and science. 3 years later, she is still in 3rd grade but is now teaching all subjects.

Beth attended a community college before making her way to Appalachian State University to embark on a dream that she had longed to complete for many years, being the greatest teacher she can possibly be! In 2009, Beth received her Undergraduate’s degree in Education. She is currently enrolled in a Graduate’s program at ASU and will be graduating in 2017!

A few short years after Beth graduated, in 2009, she married her best friend and soul mate. In 2014 they welcomed their first child into the world, Raylin. She will soon be 3! They are also expecting another bundle of joy in July! She sees a lot of sleepless nights in her future! You may connect with her via email at hurleyen@appstate.edu.

Kelly Luna is a teacher at Glade Creek School in Ennice, NC. She teaches 5th grade ELA (English Language Arts), 5th and 6th grade Social Studies and kindergarten through 5th grade Spanish. She graduated from Lees-McRae College with her BA in Education in 2012 and immediately began working at Glade Creek School. Initially, she was hired as a one-on-one to work with a first grade student with autism. The following year she continued working at Glade Creek School as a 1st grade teacher. Since then, she has taught 2nd, 5th, and 6th grade. Kelly is currently enrolled in a reading master’s program. In addition to teaching, Kelly is a devoted wife and mother. She loves spending time with her family. You may connect with her via email at lunakd@appstate.edu.


Penny Evans is a first-grade teacher at Sparta Elementary School in Sparta, NC. She began teaching 20 years ago as a kindergarten teacher. This is a role she kept for 19 years. She began her 20th year teaching first-grade. Her new position was in part due to her current pursuit of a Master of Arts in Reading Education from Appalachian State University. Penny is enjoying putting the knowledge she has gained with regards to reading and writing into practice in her classroom.

Penny graduated from Appalachian State with a B.S. in Child Development in 1992 as well as a B.S. in Elementary Education in 1994. She has been married for 16 wonderful years to her husband Terry. She is the proud mom to Lindsey, a freshman in high school, and Dustin, a fourth-grader. Penny is crazy about Disney World and her family visits each year. You may connect with her via email at hurleyen@appstate.edu.



Brandi Reedy is currently learning alongside a rambunctious group of preschool and kindergarten students who are just as excited to learn new things as she is. While their learning paths are not the same, they are intertwined none the less. She is actively seeking a master’s degree in teaching reading, while they are eager to learn the art of reading at a young age.

Brandi teaches in a Developmental Day Preschool classroom where she works with students each with their own learning styles and abilities. Prior to this position Brandi has served the community in many capacities after returning home from college. She has worked in a developmental day child care center as a teacher, teacher assistant, and assistant director. Brandi is a licensed community based rehabilitation services provider allowing her the opportunity to provide early intervention for 6 years. Perhaps the most influential time for her came as she became the county wide Raising A Reader coordinator. This program allowed her to educate parents in the community about the importance of shared reading time with young children, while also putting books in the hands of their youngest citizens.

Brandi had a burning desire to work within the school system after going back to school and obtaining a teaching license. Her first opportunity came in 2013 as she was hired as a teaching assistant in a first grade classroom. She was moved to an assistant position in kindergarten the following year before earning her dream position as a preschool teacher where she resides today.

When Brandi is not working on her master’s, or teaching preschool students she works alongside her husband serving as youth mission workers in their church. Her time in and out of school is spent with kids, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.



Shelly Warnick is currently enjoying her days as the kindergarten teacher at Piney Creek School in Alleghany County, North Carolina. Prior to her current position, Shelly was the second grade teacher as well as a middle school language arts and social studies teacher at the same school. She began her teaching career in Charlotte as a teacher of lively two years olds. Shelly also worked at Global Scholars Academy, as the master kindergarten teacher. While here she gained the impactful experience of working with economically deprived and vulnerable kindergarten students in the city of Durham. She has also had the pleasure of working with diverse families and young children through positions with Head Start in North Carolina and Maryland. Shelly is eager to help all children reach their fullest potential and have fun everyday while being part of a positive classroom community.

Shelly grew up in the beautiful Appalachian mountains of western Maryland and attended Frostburg State University before moving to Charlotte, NC in 2010. She currently lives on a family owned farm in northwestern North Carolina with her fiance, three corgis and 40+ sheep.



As a full-time teaching assistant for a Kindergarten class in Sparta, NC, Jackie Bryan spends her days tutoring and assisting children individually or in small groups in order to help them master assignments and to reinforce learning concepts presented by the teacher.  In addition to those duties she supervises students in classrooms, halls, cafeterias, school yards, and gymnasiums, or on field trips.  Jackie’s previous experience of working with children (e.g., tutoring, substitute teaching and voluntary work) has helped her become a valuable asset to her teacher and school.

Jackie has a BA degree in Business Administration from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs NC.  She has successfully worked in the business field for over 30 years of her career, but now wants to spend her latter working days as a full-time reading specialist, providing direct instruction to students, individually or in small groups, enabling students to develop literacy skills.  She is currently attending Appalachian State University in North Carolina earning a master’s degree in Reading Education, General, Reading Education and Special Education. Jackie is married to her husband James and has two children, Jamie and Janeen.



Susan Davis is a certified K-6 educator.  She received her B.A. in Elementary education in 2008 from High Point University.  She is currently working on her Masters in reading at Appalachian State University.  Mrs. Davis is in her fifth year of teaching.  She began her career as a Pre-K teacher, and has spent the last four years teaching in a K-1 combination classroom.  She loves working with this age group and inspiring children to love reading and writing.  Mrs. Davis has been married to her husband Dwight for 5 years.  She and her husband recently welcomed a beautiful baby boy named Asher into their family!


Michelle Todd is currently a first grade teacher at Sparta Elementary School in the mountains of North Carolina. Prior to teaching first grade, Michelle taught kindergarten and third and fourth graders. She holds a B.A. in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University. Michelle currently resides in Laurel Springs, N.C. with her husband and two children.



Roxanne Edwards is a twenty-three year veteran of Alleghany County public schools in Alleghany County, North Carolina. She started out as a substitute teacher, but loved the work so much she went back to school to obtain an Associate’s in Arts degree from Surry Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree in K-6 education from Lees-McCrae College. In addition to a substitute teacher, she has been a teacher’s assistant in grades one, two, and three, and has taught Language Arts in fifth and sixth grades. Her interests include reading, writing, gardening and canning, and crocheting. She likes to watch science fiction, science documentaries, and travel shows. She lives with her husband and one of her four daughters. Her other daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren live nearby, allowing her to enjoy frequent visits.

She is originally from Virginia, where she often visits parents, brother’s family, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.