Faculty & Staff
For over 17 years, Brittnee has called the High Country, home. A native of North Carolina, she attended Converse College in Spartanburg, SC where she double majored in history and politics and minored in women’s studies. After college, she worked in the Career Services Office and taught at the University of South Carolina while completing her master’s degree in higher education administration. For the next 3 years she worked in marketing and event planning as the Executive Assistant to the president of a for-profit company in Graham, NC. Her marriage to her husband Jason brought her to the High Country in 2004. She joined the staff at Samaritan’s Purse and worked in Broadcast for 3 years followed by 6 as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer. In 2013, she began her favorite job to date, stay-at-home mom. With her two daughters, Haivyn and Hope, now of school-age, Brittnee joined the staff at Grace Academy as the Enrollment and Financial Manager in 2019. In May 2021, she was named the new Head of School. Brittnee loves using her administrative skills and passion for organizational management to further the mission of Grace Academy. She and Jason love living in the High Country and enjoy deepening their ties to this community through friends, food, and football!
Favorite Scripture: "You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word" Psalm 119:114.
A native of Toledo, Illinois, Jill received her Bachelor of Arts in English and professional writing from Eastern Illinois University. She moved to Boone in 2016 when her husband Frankie joined the faculty at Appalachian State University. Prior to coming to Grace Academy, Jill worked as the Media Relations Specialist for Christy Award-winning author, Mesu Andrews. Jill and Frankie, along with their three children, Noah, Maya, and Olivia attend Alliance Bible Fellowship where Jill enjoys serving on the Encounter team and Women’s Ministry team. Jill loves being able to use her gifting of service and administration to serve the students, teachers, and parents of Grace Academy.
Favorite Scripture: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" Philippians 4:8.
Lower Elementary Faculty
For almost a decade, Martha has been bringing her love of children and teaching to the kindergarten students of Grace Academy. She grew up in West Virginia and moved to North Carolina when she attended Wake Forest University. She graduated with a degree in psychology and then earned a second degree in elementary education from Campbell University. While in the Piedmont, she taught kindergarten and third grade in the N.C. Public School System. Her husband’s job brought them to the High Country in 1995. Martha continued her teaching career by serving as the transitional kindergarten teacher and later the kindergarten teacher at Appalachian Christian School. After homeschooling her daughter for three years, she joined the faculty at Grace Academy in 2011. Martha loves teaching about God’s love and grace. She sees it as a blessing to see children grow in their faith and love for Jesus and is thankful for the opportunity to pray and talk about God whenever the need or desire arises. She and her husband love vacationing at the beach and spending time with their two grown daughters, Kaitlin and Katherine.
Favorite Scripture: "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" Isaiah 41:10.
Jessica began teaching at Grace Academy in 2019 and loves her kindergarten students. A native Floridian, she graduated with a degree in social science from Warner Southern University. After frequent vacations to the High Country with her husband, Daniel, they decided this was where they wanted to raise their children, Mason, Emma, and Caleb. Prior to coming to Grace Academy, Jessica worked at Moms Morning Out at Alliance Bible Fellowship and currently serves as the KidZone Coordinator. Jessica and her family love to travel and are working their way through the list of National Parks. They also love to play sports. Jessica is thankful for the collaborative schedule at Grace Academy that allows her the opportunity to teach as well as be a mom.
Favorite Scripture: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" Hebrews 11:1.
Missy is the newest addition to our Grace Academy faculty, however she comes to us with over 30 year of experience in elementary education, primarily in the first grade. She has taught in Catawba, Lincoln, Caldwell, and Watauga counties. Born and raised in Catawba County, Missy received her Bachelor of Science in elementary education (K-6) from Appalachian State University. In 1991, she moved to the High Country with her husband, David, who was stationed here with the North Carolina Highway Patrol. When she's not in the classroom, Missy enjoys gardening, serving at Laurel Fork Baptist church, and volunteering in her local community. Missy and David have one daughter, Megan, who attends nursing school at Gardner-Webb. Missy is excited to join Grace Academy and is looking forward to being a part of a Christ-centered program.
Favorite Scripture: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Crissi is a vital asset in the first grade classroom assisting not only the teacher, but also parents and students alike. Crissi was born and raised in Boone. She attended Caldwell Community College and later worked at Hardin Park Elementary, the same school she attended as a child. In 2005, she married and moved to Greensboro, N.C. where she served as a Staffing Specialist in human resources. After ten years, she and her husband Eddie returned to the High Country with their two beautiful children, Everly Rae and Masten. In 2018, Crissi joined the faculty at Grace Academy. Her favorite aspect of her job is working alongside people who love the Lord and love the children at Grace Academy. She loves that the students are in an environment that allows them to learn more about God each day. Crissi and her family love being outdoors, and they especially love traveling and finding warmer weather at the beach!
Favorite Scripture: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" Galatians 5:22-23a.
Kim has the honor of being one of the founding teachers at Grace Academy. Since 2008, she has faithfully taught second grade and loves the freedom she has to teach about the Lord to her students. A native of Montreal, Canada, Kim came to the High Country to attend Appalachian State University. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and a minor in English. She is also certified by the Association of Christian Schools International. Kim brings with her a wealth of education experience. She homeschooled for eight years, taught at the Master’s Academy and at Appalachian Christian School, and has served as a camp director and missionary. When she’s not in the classroom, Kim enjoys hiking, gardening, bird watching and serving at Harvest House Church. She and her husband Darrell have been married for 34 years. They have three grown children, Britty, Ben, and Josh, and five grandchildren, Eden, Abram, Avonlea, Jonas, and Aubrey.
Favorite Scriptures: "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!" Psalm 84:11-12.
"For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations" Pslam 100:5.
Upper Elementary Faculty
Because of the nature of her dad’s job, Beth’s family moved every few years. She grew up in Texas, California, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Connecticut. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible and elementary education from Columbia International University. While living in El Dorado, Arkansas, she taught second grade in the same school that her grandmother had taught. In 2001, their family relocated to the High Country when Beth’s husband Doug took a job as a pastor at Alliance Bible Fellowship. Beth taught at Appalachian Christian School before joining the faculty of Grace Academy in 2008 as our third grade teacher. As a founding faculty member, Beth has played a vital role in carrying out the mission and vision of a Christian, classical, collaborative education in the High Country. Beth considers it an awesome privilege to be able to teach from a Biblical worldview and to pray with students on a daily basis. She loves teaching children not only what to learn but how to think. When she’s not in the classroom, Beth enjoys reading, baking, gardening, and experiencing life with her three adult children — Caleb, Rachel, and Emily — and her granddaughter, Briley…whom she loves, loves, loves!
Favorite Scripture: "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" Matthew 6:33.
Tracey was born and raised in Georgia. She graduated from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Her background as a 4H summer counselor, family practice nurse, and homeschool teacher to her two daughters, more than prepared her for her calling at Grace Academy when their family relocated here in 2018. Tracey helps students bridge the gap between lower and upper elementary by serving as a teaching assistant to both second and third grade as well as an Extended Learning Instructor for fourth grade. She is eager to jump in and serve wherever needed and loves that “grace is in this place”. Tracey enjoys “easy” hikes, cooking, volunteering at De la Cruz Farms, and serving with her husband Thomas at Grace Highlands Presbyterian Church (PCA).
Favorite Scripture: Psalm 73
Jennifer loves children and they are the reason she became a teacher. She grew up in St. Augustine, FL where she received a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education (K-6) at the University of North Florida. After college, she taught third grade and sixth grade science in Florida, before moving to the mountains of North Carolina to be near her husband’s family. Jennifer taught fifth grade at Miller’s Creek Elementary in Wilkes County before joining the faculty at Grace Academy in 2015 as the fourth grade Extended Learning Instructor and then as our fourth grade teacher in 2016. When she’s not in the classroom, Jennifer loves doing anything outdoors. She and her husband Eddie have four children, Wyatt, Asher, Eli, and Marlee, all of whom attend Grace Academy.
Favorite Scripture: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer" Pslam 19:14.
Rachel has worn many hats at Grace Academy. She has served as the seventh and eighth grade physical science instructor, the Middle School computer teacher, and as a teaching assistant for kindergarten and first grade before moving into her current role as our fifth grade teacher. Rachel was born in New Jersey, but grew up in Wellington, Alabama. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education (K-8) from Tennessee Temple University and shortly thereafter married her husband, Jason. Together they taught at North Raleigh Christian Academy in N.C. and at The Master’s Academy in Oviedo, Florida. A position for Jason with Operation Christmas Child at Samaritan’s Purse brought their family to Boone in 2013. Rachel loves her students and the opportunity she has to openly pray and talk about the Lord with them. Jason and Rachel have two children, Gavin and Briley, both of whom attend Grace Academy. Their family enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling together.
Favorite Scripture: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you" Philippians 4:4-9.
Middle School Faculty
Yulanda joined the faculty of Grace Academy in 2019 and brought with her a wealth of knowledge and experience. Born in Lexington, N.C., she has a degree in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Yulanda spent the next 28 years being a wife, mother, and educator on the coast of North Carolina. She and husband Lee have seven children. Their youngest, Josh, was adopted from Honduras after years of mission work in that country. Yulanda homeschooled all her children, and she likes to say that she not only survived but thrived! She taught social studies at West Brunswick High School for many years and later owned and operated a private classical middle school before moving to Boone in 2017. Yulanda serves as our Language Arts Instructor for middle school and as our Curriculum and Accreditation Manager for Grace Academy. When not teaching, she enjoys playing the piano, reading, and spending time with her beautiful grandbaby, Louisa.
Favorite Scripture: “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10.
Khira’s goal as an educator is to leave a positive footprint on the life of every student she has the privilege to teach. She joined the Middle School faculty of Grace Academy in January 2019 and loves the freedom she has to speak into each child’s life beyond just the mathematics curriculum she teaches. Khira was born and raised in Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies and holds a Texas State Teaching Certificate in 4th — 8th grade mathematics and science. She taught for one year at Oakwell Academy in College Station, TX before moving to Boone in 2018 to help her husband launch a church plant. When she’s not in the classroom, Khira enjoys exercising, crafting, being outside, and binge-watching Fixer Upper and cheesy Hallmark movies. She also loves serving as the Children’s Director at Antioch Community Church.
Favorite Scripture: "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" Matthew 6:33.
For over 30 years, Shannon has been pouring into the lives of children both here and abroad. His passion for Christ and His church permeates every area of his life. Shannon joined the Grace Academy faculty in the summer of 2020 as our new Social Studies Instructor for middle school and also as our Latin Instructor for grades 4 through 8. Born in the “Little Apple” of Manhattan, Kansas, Shannon spent his early years in Wichita, KS and Tega Cay, SC. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Wichita State University, and he’s also an ordained minister. When he’s not in the classroom, Shannon serves as the Lead Pastor at Mountainside Community Church. He also enjoys cycling, backpacking, hiking, and playing the guitar. Shannon and his wife Sheri have been marred for 31 years and they have two sons and two daughters: Isaac (26), Annie (24), Elisa (22), and Elec (19).
Favorite Scripture: “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, until I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” Psalm 71:18.
Melissa is a North Carolina native. She grew up in Raleigh and attended Meredith College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in child development and a teaching certification for intermediate education. She is also certified in mentor and cooperating teacher programs. Melissa taught in the Wake County school system and later in the Watauga County school system after her husband, Lance, took a job with Samaritan’s Purse and moved their family of five to Boone. In 2014, she joined the faculty at Grace Academy as a Science Instructor for Middle School and loves that she can teach with a Biblical worldview. Directing the children’s choir at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, gardening, and traveling are just a few of the things she enjoys outside of teaching.
Favorite Scripture: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" II Corinthians 5:17.