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Galax Elementary School: All Listings 

Mrs. Wendy Belcher

Mrs. Belcher grew up in Pulaski County Va. and graduated from Pulaski County High School. She is married and has 6 children between the ages of 13 and 7. She is active in her church, Cornerstone Community Church in Galax. She and her husband enjoy all the various sports and school activities her children are involved in including football, softball, basketball, wrestling, track, and band.

Mrs. Belcher received her Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and her Master’s in Education through a dual licensure program at Radford University. Mrs. Belcher began her teaching career at Galax Elementary in 2009 as the pre-school special education teacher.

Mrs. Susan Hoch

Mrs. Hoch grew up right here in Galax, and graduated from Galax High School. After graduation, she attended Surry Community College for one year, and then transferred to Penn View Bible College in Pennsylvania for another year of general studies.   After studying in Pennsylvania for a year, Mrs. Hoch returned to Galax and began working. She worked in the banking industry for 6 years, which was followed up by 6 years in the medical field.   While working in the medical field, she attended college and earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Lees-McRae College in May 2006. In 2009, Mrs. Hoch began work on her master’s degree, graduating from Radford University in May 2012 with a master’s degree in literacy education.

Mrs. Hoch began her teaching career at Galax Elementary School as a third grade teacher. She taught 3rd grade for 5 years, and dearly loved teaching her 3rd graders. In 2011, Mrs. Hoch accepted the position of Reading Specialist at Galax Elementary School and is currently serving in that capacity.

“I have always had a passion for reading, and helping struggling readers overcome their difficulties is so rewarding. Working to continually improve our reading instruction, as well as working with struggling readers, is a dream come true.”

Mr. Freddie Bobbitt - Resource Officer

Officer Bobbitt grew up in this area and has been a lifelong residence of the Galax/Carroll County Area. He graduated from Carroll County High School. After high school Officer Bobbitt went to work with his Dad and Grand Dad on the farm while also working with the Carroll County School System in the Maintenance Department. During this time, Bobbitt was offered a job with the Hillsville Police Department. He worked with the Hillsville Police Department for 2 years then took a job with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.  Twenty-eight years later he retired from this position. Shortly thereafter, Bobbitt went back to work with the Pulaski County Sheriff's office for 1 year then took his current job with the Galax Police Department as the School Recourse Officer for Galax Elementary School.

Over 30+ years of service Officer Bobbitt has been involved in many aspects of law enforcement from patrol duties to undercover operations. He has been on state and federal taskforces.  These taskforces involved Bobbitt and his fellow officers in many operations, including drug and gun violations, and fugitive recovery. He has been cross sworn on both the state and federal level. Worked with the Virginia State Police, The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency),ATF (Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms) and The U.S. Marshalls Office.

Bobbitt says, "All of my Law Enforcement career has been very pleasant and rewarding but nothing has compared to my current position as a School Resource Officer. Of all of my career this job has been the most REWARDING. I love my job and the opportunity that has been given to me as a School Resource Officer.

I am a Graduate of The New River Regional Police Academy. I have several specialty training certifications both state and federal.
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Mrs. Tiffany Norman - Bookkeeper

Mrs. Norman was born and raised here in Galax, VA. She graduated from Galax High School in 2013. She then attended Wytheville Community College obtaining an Associate’s Degree in Administrative Support Technology. In 2014, she married to her husband, Jody. After getting married, they adopted a dog, which they named Maggie.

Mrs. Norman began work as bookkeeper/secretary at Galax Elementary School in 2015.

Mrs. Phillis Kirby - Secretary

Mrs. Kirby grew up in the Galax area and graduated from Carroll County High School. She began working in Carroll County Schools and in Galax Schools as a substitute teacher. She then became an aide in the library at Galax High School and is now a secretary at Galax Elementary School.

She and her husband, Duane, have one daughter, AJ, and a miniature Schnauzer named Lucy Annabelle.

Mrs. Cynthia Reynolds - School Nurse

Cynthia Reynolds was born in Jackson, Tennessee but was raised in Galax and is proud to be a product of Galax City Public Schools. She has a B.S. in Social Science from Union University, and B.S in Nursing from The University of Tennessee, Memphis.   Mrs. Reynolds worked in a variety of nursing jobs for 10 years before returning to school. She received a Masters degree in Nursing from VCU and was a Family Nurse Practitioner in the Galax area for 12 years. She is in her second year as the nurse at Galax Elementary School and is excited to care for, and promote health and wellness for GES students. Mrs. Reynolds enjoys spending time with her children and granddaughter, camping, hiking and kayaking with her husband, and cheering on the Galax Maroon Tide!

Category:School Nurse
Mrs. Lynne Barker

Mrs. Barker is a native of Galax, having graduated from Galax High School in 1983. Mrs. Barker attended Radford University, graduating in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a strong emphasis in Early Childhood Development.  To fulfill what she believes to be her true calling of becoming a teacher, Mrs. Barker received her Provisional license in 2015 completing the required classes and passing all competency exams in 2016. Mrs. Barker is excited to begin teaching in the 2017-18 school year. 

After working nearly 13 years as a Social Worker for Carroll County Department of Social Services, Mrs. Barker began working at Galax City Public Schools as a substitute teacher in 2005. She was hired full time in 2008 as the Migrant Aide at Galax Elementary. Beginning in 2011, Mrs. Barker was reassigned to PreK and has remained an Instructional Aide.

Mrs. Barker can hardly wait until spring each year. She loves watching children learn throughout the entire year, then bloom with knowledge in the spring. It is truly her favorite time of the year!

Mrs. Barker is married to Keith and Mom to Ryan and Sydney. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, walking/ running on the New River trail, vacationing at the beach and recently going tandem sky diving!

Category:2nd Grade
Mrs. Mary Plant

Mrs. Plant was born and raised in Galax.  She attended Carroll County Public Schools and graduated from Carroll County High School in 1999. She went on to study at Emory and Henry College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary English (Elementary Education) in 2003. Mrs. Plant began her teaching career with Galax City Public Schools that same year. She taught 2nd grade for ten years and transitioned to 3rd grade in 2013. She has a passion for teaching and making learning fun for all of her students.

Category:3rd Grade
Ms. April Gunn

Ms. Gunn is from Hillsville and graduated from Carroll County High School. Upon graduation, she attended James Madison University and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (with a minor in Educational Technology) and her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. She graduated in 2013 and this will be her first year of teaching. She is excited to join the staff of Galax Elementary and looking forward to a great year in 3rd grade!

Category:3rd Grade
Mrs. Tabetha McCreary

Mrs. McCreary grew up in Carroll County and graduated from Carroll County High School in 1992. She attended Emory and Henry College and earned a B. A. in Geography.

Mrs. McCreary began her educational career as an aide at Galax Middle School, during this time she worked to achieve her Special Education Teaching License from Old Dominion University. She taught at Patrick County High School for two years before returning to Galax Middle School.

Mrs. Leigh Stuart - Math

Mrs. Stuart mostly grew up in Fayetteville, NC, where she graduated from Pine Forest High School in 1990. She attended college at Methodist College in Fayetteville. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education (Prek-6). Mrs. Stuart worked in the Cumberland County School District as a 3rd grade teacher for one year before moving to Galax to marry Mr. Brian Stuart. 

Mrs. Stuart taught in Carroll County at Oakland Elementary and Woodlawn School as a Title I/ Reading Recovery teacher for three years. She then transferred to the Wythe County Schools to continue teaching Reading Recovery at Max Meadows Elementary for four years. The next ten years, Mrs. Stuart taught 5th grade at Oakland Elementary in the Carroll County School System. In 2013, Mrs. Stuart joined the Galax School system as the 5th grade math teacher at Galax Middle School.  Currently, she teaches math and reading in 4th grade at GES.   

When not in school, Mrs. Stuart enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children: Jacob, Jayson, and Jenna. She also loves to read!

Category:4th Grade
Ms. LaTrissia Rife

Mrs. Rife is originally from Wythe County, Virginia and attended Fort Chiswell High School where she graduated in 1999. She went on to Emmanuel College, a private Christian school in Franklin Springs, GA. There, she received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education in 2003. Mrs. Rife then moved to nearby Athens, GA where she taught for two years in Pre-K and 2nd Grades in Clarke County Schools. Feeling a call to be closer to family, she moved back home to Virginia in 2005. She taught in Pulaski County schools for seven years in second, third, and fifth grades. While teaching in Pulaski County, she studied to receive her master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Regent University in 2008.   She accepted the English as a Second Language position at Galax Elementary School in 2012.

“My very first year as a teacher, I had eight four year olds who walked in my room with no English at all. While that was a challenging experience for us all, I immediately fell in love with teaching English as a Second Language students and particularly the Spanish speaking community. I knew this was something I wanted to pursue further in my Master’s program. I am so thankful for the diversity of the Galax community and the opportunity to work with students as they learn a new language and culture. My students teach me as much as I teach them. They are truly amazing!”

Ms. Tina Hampton

Miss Hampton is a resident of Grayson County. She attended Grayson County High School where she graduated in 1994. She continued her education at Emory and Henry College where she received a BA degree in May 1998, in the field of Interdisciplinary Studies. As a student at Emory and Henry College, Miss Hampton spent her summers working for The Galax City Parks and Recreation Department where she had the opportunity to work with many students of GCPS. In the fall of 1998 Miss Hampton was hired as a third grade teacher by Galax City Public Schools where she has remained for the past fifteen years.   During her career at GCPS Miss Hampton has taught third grade, elementary computer specialty, and Title 1 Math. In addition she spent one full year as an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for the school system. As well as teaching students Miss Hampton enjoys being a student. Since beginning her teaching career she has taken additional classes from Emory and Henry College, James Madison University, and George Mason University. She is currently enrolled as a student at Longwood University where she is working towards a Master’s Degree as a Math Specialist.


“I enjoy learning about math and working math problems. I want to share my enthusiasm for math with the students and teachers at Galax Elementary School. I want them to understand that math is a very hands-on subject in which students learn to make sense of problems and situations.”         

Category:Title One
Ms. Sally Hill - Speech

Mrs. Hill is from Woodlawn, Virginia and graduated from Carroll County High School. She went on to earn her Master's degree from Radford University in Communication Science and Disorders. Mrs. Hill taught for 14 years in the Carroll County Public School system before joining Galax City Public Schools in 2006. 

Ms. Shannon Wilson - Technology

Mrs. Wilson currently enjoys teaching all students in kindergarten through fourth grades as the GES technology teacher.  She is a native of Galax, Virginia, and was a graduate of Carroll County High School.  She began her college education at Wytheville Community College, and then transferred to Radford University to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.  Mrs. Wilson started her teaching career at Galax Elementary School.  She spent eight gratifying years teaching kindergarten before moving to her present specialist teaching position.

Ms.  Erin Creed - Art

Erin Creed grew up in the Baywood community of Grayson County and graduated from Grayson County High School in 2003. Ms. Creed graduated from Radford University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Art. She then went on to teach elementary art for Grayson County Public Schools from 2008-2010. In 2012, she graduated from Lindsey Wilson College with a Master’s degree in Counseling and Human Development. After several years of working in the Mental Health field, Ms. Creed is excited to be returning to teaching! In her spare time, she enjoys photography, ceramics, painting, playing the bass fiddle, and traveling.

Mrs. Heather Hanks - Music

Mrs. Hanks grew up in Galax, VA and graduated from Carroll County High School in 1991. She attended Emory and Henry College, graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor’s degree in English with a Theatre concentration. In the fall of 1995, she moved to New York City where she continued her studies at the HB Studio, and the School for Film and Television. In 2000, she moved to Charlotte, NC to begin her undergraduate degree in music at Queens College, now Queens University of Charlotte. Upon her graduation in the spring of 2002, she moved to Greenville, NC to attend East Carolina University for her Master’s Degree in Music. She graduated with a Master’s of Music, Vocal Pedagogy, in the spring of 2004. While at graduate school, she taught voice at the Music Academy of Eastern NC, and directed a children’s choir at a local church.

            Mrs. Hanks and her family returned to the area in 2005. She has been teaching private piano and voice lessons since 2008, and sings with the Highland Camerata, a regional chorus. Mrs. Hanks worked in the Carroll County School system before coming to work for Galax City Schools. She was employed as an AmeriCorps Tutor in Reading, and also worked as a Title I aide in Math and Reading. She credits her years at Oakland Elementary as the guiding force that led her to pursue her teaching degree.  

            Mrs. Hanks is excited to work with the Galax Community. She believes that music and the arts keep the children engaged in school. “Music is my passion. I believe that every child needs to be exposed to the arts. Children love music, and I love that I get to share my passion with them. When a child has that A-ha! Moment, it is thrilling!”

Ms. Rose Houk - Physical Education

Mrs. Houk grew up in Meadowview, Virginia and graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1977. While in high school Mrs. Houk was very involved in athletics and extracurricular activities, including volleyball, basketball, track, and band (majorette).

Following high school, Mrs. Houk attended Emory and Henry College, graduating in 1981, she earned a B.A. in Health and Physical Education K-12 / Drivers Education. She also played volleyball at E&H for all four years of college.

Mrs. Houk came to Galax to teach in 1981, thinking that she would be here for one or two years. Thirty-Three years later, Mrs. Houk is still in Galax. “This is my home”, Mrs. Houk confesses. During those years, she has taught health and PE at the high school, middle school, and the elementary school.

In 2012, she retired from coaching varsity volleyball and varsity girls track at Galax High School after 31 years. She also coached J.V. girls basketball for 8 years.

Mrs. Houk is married to Don Houk, who is a retired Grayson County Deputy. They have one son, Tyler, who also graduated from Emory and Henry College in 2013.

“I love to help children learn to be active through different games, and I love to watch the Maroon Tide and the Wasps play anything. I also love beach trips”.

Ms. Alicia Warf - Library

Mrs. Warf grew up in Galax and graduated from Galax High School in 2001. She studied elementary education at Radford University and graduated with a bachelors degree in 2005. She then came back to Galax and got a job teaching 3rd grade at Galax Elementary School. She taught 3rd grade for 5 years while working on her masters degree from Old Dominion University. In 2009, she received a masters degree in Library Media Studies. Mrs. Warf has been the librarian at Galax Elementary school since 2010.

"I love teaching! Children bring a smile to my face every single day. What other job can say they are guaranteed a smile everyday? I am very lucky to have gotten a job a love in back in my hometown."


Mrs. Darla Robbins

Mrs. Robbins is a native of Southern California.  She graduated from California State University Long Beach (The Beach) with a BA in Liberal Studies and a concentration in Religious Studies.  She also holds an ESL endorsement.  She taught 8 years in California before moving to Virginia in 2004.  She has taught at GES since 2004.  Her experience has been in Kindergarten, first, second, third, and fourth grades along with teaching ESL for 3 years.

Category:4th Grade