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8 join Glendale-Kenly Elementary faculty

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KENLY— Glendale-Kenly Elementary School has welcomed eight members to its faculty for the 2019-20 school year.

Catherine Strickland will be a second grade teacher following stints of teaching kindergarten in New Hanover County and first grade in Sampson County.

Strickland is a graduate of Harrell’s Christian Academy and received her undergraduate degree from N.C. State University. She earned her master’s in elementary education from UNC-Wilmington.

Strickland lives in Clayton and her family includes parents Clay and Gina Strickland and her younger brother, Fredrick. Her fiancé is Eric Ward. She lists going to the beach and the pool and reading as her hobbies.

Strickland calls the Glendale-Kenly faculty and staff the best group she has been around and Glendale-Kenly Elementary the best school.

Rachel Jones will be joining the staff this year as a fifth grade teacher.

Her past experience includes an internship at Wilson’s Mills Elementary School teaching fourth and fifth grade and an internship at Cleveland Elementary where she taught fourth grade.

Jones graduated from Clayton High School in 2012 and received an associate degree from Johnston Community College in 2016. She earned a degree in elementary education from East Carolina University in 2018.

Jones lives in Farmville and her fiancé is Jeffrey Pietrzak. Her hobbies are dancing and traveling.

Jones said she loves how Glendale-Kenly is like a family.

“The support system here is strong and I am grateful to be surrounded by positivity,” said Jones.

Allyssa Spell comes to Glendale-Kenly Elementary School as a K-2 resource specialist with previous experience as instructor in eighth grade English language arts and social studies.

She is a 2011 graduate of Rosewood High School and a 2015 graduate of Barton College with a bachelor’s degree in middle school education.

Her hobbies are coaching volleyball, shopping and crafting. She is dating boyfriend Rusty Wallace and said the couple is enjoying their new home.

“I am loving my new school,” said Spell. “The staff is wonderful and very helpful.”

Jennie Stevenson will be teaching fifth grade at Glendale-Kenly following four years of teaching fourth grade math and science at Polenta Elementary School.

Stevenson is a 2011 graduate of Charles B. Aycock High School and graduated in 2015 from the State University of New York at Genesco with a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education.

Stevenson lives in Selma and is married to husband Joshua Stevenson. She lists playing yard games and camping as her hobbies.

“I absolutely love my new school and staff,” said Stevenson. “I was welcomed with open arms and have felt supported since day one.”

Anna Sasser will be joining the Glendale-Kenly faculty as a third grade teacher in her first year of teaching.

Sasser attended Princeton Elementary and Middle School and Johnston County Early College. She is a graduate of East Carolina University.

Sasser lives in Creedmoor and her family consists of parents Robin and Ricky Sasser and fiancé Lee Howard.

Nancy Shafer is the new physical education instructor at Glendale-Kenly Elementary School.

She previously taught PE at West Clayton and was a PE teacher in New Jersey. Shafer received her bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from West Virginia University.

Her family consists of grown sons Rich, Jeff and Andrew, daughters-in-law Emily and Caroline and granddaughters Eloise and Hazel.

Shafer lives in Clayton and her hobbies are playing tennis and sewing.

“I have been so warmly welcomed and am very excited to meet 500 new students and be a part of the GKE family,” said Shafer.

Kasey Winstead comes to Glendale-Kenly as a first-year teacher and will be teaching second grade at the school where she also completed her student teaching.

The North Johnston High School graduate and Kenly resident received her bachelor’s degree in education from Barton College. She lists her hobbies as arts and crafts, painting and shopping.

Winstead said her family consists of her high school sweetheart, Reese Coley, who she has been dating for nearly six years.

“Everyone is so supportive and willing to answer my questions,” said Winstead. “It’s like the whole school is one big family and they took me right in.”

Ashley Blood comes to Glendale-Kenly as a fourth grade teacher following stints of teaching first and second grade in Guilford County and fourth grade in Rowan-Salisbury Schools.

Blood graduated from UNC-Greensboro in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education followed by earning her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with a focus as reading interventionist.

She lives in Kenly and has a son, Jaxson, 2.

Her hobbies are reading, hiking and kayaking.

“Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and helpful and I am very excited to be a part of the GKE family,” said Blood.