Introducing new school staff

Beginning a new school year is full of emotions – for teachers, staff and students. It can be intimidating and exciting.

New school staff went through orientation July 30-31.

Here’s what we learned about them.

West Central Primary

Barbara Nazar – Pre-K
Barbara has 13 years in the private pre-K sector. She has been a continued partner with our pre-K program through our K Readiness Forums. She received her undergraduate from Liberty University.

Laura Hall – Kindergarten
Laura has more than 17 years of teaching experience. She received her undergraduate degree from Sweet Briar College and received her master’s of arts in teaching from Mary Baldwin College. She also has her master’s in educational leadership from Western Governors University.

Support staff
Edna Caruso – Kindergarten literacy and math
Edna is officially joining the West Central team after years of experience volunteering, substituting, serving on the PTO and helping with school yearbooks.

Kelsey Harlow – Kindergarten
While continuing to obtain her degree in education, Kelsey will be supporting students and staff in kindergarten. She has experience working with special education students, noting her experience and knowledge with behavior management.

Central Elementary

Amberly Sprouse – First grade
Amberly joins Central after her recent graduation from Old Dominion University with a dual diploma: a bachelor of science in interdisciplinary studies and master of science in elementary education, focusing on pre-K through sixth grade.

Christin Searcy – Second grade
Christin is an FCHS graduate. She student taught and substituted with FCPS and received her undergraduate degree in liberal studies from Longwood University.

Lynn Trachta – Special education
Lynn has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and a master’s degree from New York Institute. She has over 18 years of experience working with special education elementary-aged students.

Support staff
Jessica Steger – First grade instructional aide
Jessica has an undergraduate degree from SUNY Cortland in elementary education, and a minor in music, as well as a master’s degree in elementary education and literacy from Walden University. She has five years of elementary education experience working with students in the private sector before joining the Central Elementary team.

We are fortunate to have support assistance staff members that will be assisting our students and teachers during recess across all grade levels. Bill Blackford, Ashley Harris, Lee Ann Fitzgerald, and Tinehsa Payne come to us while also serving as bus drivers. Kathy Brice and Lauren Hamshar will join our Fluco team as well, engaging and supervising students during recess at West Central and Central Elementary.

Carysbrook Elementary

Michelle Ryman – Third grade
Michelle obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education from ODU, representing the college as their “Teacher of Promise” in 2013. She enjoyed teaching third grade for the past five years and looks forward to bringing her love of learning to Carysbrook Elementary School. As a graduate of Fluvanna, Michelle looks forward to teaching the next generation of young Flucos.

William Reese – Third grade
William is a native of Fluvanna County and attended Piedmont Virginia Community College. William got his education degree online and did his student teaching at Carysbrook Elementary. After graduation, Reese worked as an instructional assistant, BEST lab coordinator before moving this year to the classroom.

Aimee Wiersma – Third grade
Aimee is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College with a bachelor of arts in American studies and elementary education. She has taken advanced courses from George Mason in math and reading. She taught for a few years in Prince William County Public Schools. Aimee was a substitute teacher for Fluvanna public schools and most recently a long-term substitute for third grade.

Holly Chiesa – Fourth grade
Holly moved to Fluvanna in 2012 and has a wealth of knowledge and 12 years of experience teaching in both public and private schools. She graduated with a bachelor’s of science from Longwood University in 2004.

Beth Cormier – Fourth grade
Beth is a long-time resident of Fluvanna County. She received her degree, with a major in history and minor in education, from Mary Baldwin College in 2008 with honors. Beth taught fifth and second grades at Central Elementary School from 2008-2015.

Michelle Painter – Special education
Michelle grew up in Fluvanna County and is a 2013 graduate of Fluvanna County High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from Longwood University and went on to pursue her master’s degree in special education. Michelle will obtain an Autism Certificate from Longwood University this fall. Michelle has over 800 hours of teaching experience and has taught at the Oakland School summer program since 2012.

Support staff
Roberta Bass – Self-contained

Carol Norcross – Self-contained
Carol graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton. She has lived in Fluvanna County for over 20 years. She has worked for Fluvanna County food services for 11 years and will be starting her 14th year driving a school bus for the county.

Meyah Barksdale-Carte – Literacy assistant
Meyah is a graduate of FCHS and attends Piedmont Community college. She plans on becoming a special education teacher.

Rebecca Jackson – Recess assistant
Rebecca has lived in Fluvanna 2006. She has been a FCPS bus driver for six years. She is a mother of seven and a grandmother of 33, so interaction with children has been a joy for most of her life.

Thelma Sipe – Recess assistant
Thelma is 52 and has three children who attended FCPS. She helped run her husband’s hardwood flooring company for 12 years and has worked for EW Thomas for more than 14 years. She also drives a school bus.

Fluvanna Middle School

Amanda Baber – Fifth grade language arts
Amanda has lived in Fluvanna for more than 17 years. She attended Mary Washington College earning her bachelor of arts in American studies and elementary education. She has her endorsement in special education (K-12) and her master’s degree in special education from Old Dominion University. Amanda worked for Oakland School 17 years.

Angela Cambria – Fifth grade science
Angela is a Fluvanna native and graduate of FCHS. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Longwood University. She student taught in second grade at Goochland Elementary School and fourth grade at Appomattox Elementary School.

Shawnese Hackett – Sixth grade math
Shawnese graduated from UVA with a degree in music in 2009. After years of working in various industries she pursued a master’s in education for career switchers via Regent University. She did her student teaching at FMS where she fell in love with students and teaching.

John DeMorro – Seventh grade science
John earned a bachelor’s degree in environment science from UVA. Morro worked as an on-air broadcast meteorologist for WVIR-TV NBC29 in Charlottesville. In addition to providing daily weather forecasts, John gave weather-safety seminars. He became a substitute teacher at FCPS in 2017.

Melissa Kraft – Seventh grade language arts
Melissa graduated from Longwood University with a degree in psychology and elementary education and taught seventh grade language arts in Spotsylvania County and seventh grade social studies in Prince William County. After staying at home with her children for 11 years, she taught pre-K at The Starting Gate Preschool for four years.

Karen Soto – Sixth grade language arts
Karen graduated in 1983 from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She has taught elementary and middle school in Prince George County, including 18 years teaching mainly eighth grade. In 2005, she moved to Fluvanna and has served as a substitute, special education teacher and literacy aide.

Curtis Partusch – Band and chorus
Curtis is a graduate from Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University with a bachelor’s degree in music education. The past three years he taught guitar at Salem Church Middle School and guitar and orchestra at Manchester Middle School. He has an associate’s degree in music production that he uses to record personally and professionally in his spare time. Curtis also runs his own studio where he works closely with the community to enhance the music programs in the schools and to provide more musical opportunities to aspiring musicians. Mr. Partusch is a native Fluco and was a 2005 graduate of Fluvanna County High School.

Jami Curry – Librarian
Jami attended undergraduate school at U.Va., earning a degree in English. She was a sophomore English teacher and English department co-chair for 15 years in Louisa. Jami earned a master’s in teaching from George Mason University, and most recently, a master’s in education in school librarianship from Longwood University.

Lindsey Byam – School counselor
Lindsey is from Chesterfield County and has an undergraduate degree from James Madison University in psychology. After graduating, she spent the summer as a one-on-one teacher’s aide for students with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder. She then worked for a nonprofit college campus ministry in the Tidewater Region for two years. She completed her master’s in education in school counseling.

Kelly Gach – Literacy aide
In 2010, Kelly earned a bachelor’s of science degree in elementary education, with an emphasis in mathematics, from Missouri Western State University. While earning her degree, she served as the America Reads supervisor. As supervisor she hired, trained, and instructed staff that tutored elementary school students in literacy. Kelly has lived in Fluvanna for four years and taught middle school students at Effort Christian School.

High School

Amanda Herring – Art
Amanda graduated from Longwood University with an art education concentration and a graphic design minor. She has taught for two years and is interested in coaching volleyball.

Jessica Scopelliti – Math
Jessica graduated from JMU and is excited to start at FCHS. She has four children in the system so she knows Fluvanna well. She is an avid runner and interested in helping with the track program.

Rachel Crosby – Special education
Rachel taught at Rivers Edge Elementary in Glen Allen. Prior to entering the field of education, she was an intel analyst for the government. She received her special education training at Mary Baldwin.

Craig Dodson – Special education
Craig has a diverse background in special education as both a teacher and an administrator. He has a business degree from Saint Leo University. He has held positions at Virginia Keys School, Little Keswick School, Elk Hill Charlottesville, and Orange County Public Schools. He attended Randolph-Macon College and George Mason University.

Clarence Fitch – Special education
Clarence is a graduate of Mary Baldwin University and previously worked in Charlottesville City Schools. He is also a barber.

Ashleigh Goode – Special education
Ashleigh has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in special education from Radford University. She was a part of the FCPS team at Carysbrook Elementary last school year and is also an FCHS graduate.

Haden Parrish – College advisor
A FCHS graduate, Haden will work as an advisor through the Virginia College Advising Corps. Haden graduated from U.Va. with a bachelor’s degree in African-American and African studies and sociology. During his time at U.Va., Haden volunteered and served in leadership positions for many organizations. Haden was recognized as the Madison House Volunteer of the Year in April.

Irene Hall – Voc/Cosmetology
Irene will be a cosmetology and barber instructor. She attended the Potomac Academy of Hair Design and taught at Marshall Academy in Fairfax County. She has over 20 years of experience in the industry.

Nancy Shrewsbury – EMT
Nancy is an experienced paramedic and instructor who also has a firefighting background. Most recently, she has been a member of the U.Va. Medic V crew.

Harold “Frank” Sampson III – Administration
Most recently the band director and administrative assistant at J.R. Tucker High School in Henrico County Public Schools, Harold is a graduate of JMU and Central Michigan University.

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