Our Faculty and Staff

Saint John Paul II Catholic School (SPJII) is firmly committed to recruiting the most qualified professionals available to be members of our faculty and staff. An interested, enthusiastic, and devoted faculty is an integral part of providing the finest education possible. Our teachers are our most important resource. As dedicated and talented professionals, they strive to reach every student. Saint John Paul II Catholic School is proud to have an impressive, innovative, creative, and concerned staff.

Administration

Mr. John J. Donohue III
Principal
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Biography

About Mr. John Donohue III

A native of the metropolitan New York City area, Mr. John J. Donohue III and his wife Mary Claire raised their five children in New Hampshire. Mr. Donohue has been the inaugural principal of John Paul II Catholic High School in Greenville, NC, since 2012. He succeeds SJPII Principal Dr. Janice Jett.

A graduate of Magdalen College, Bedford, New Hampshire, Mr. Donohue holds advanced degrees from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He also studied in the doctoral program in education administration at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Mr. Donohue began his career teaching history, literature, and theology at Seton High School, Manassas, Virginia, and political philosophy and Catholic social teaching at Christendom College, Front Royal, Virginia, followed by twenty years teaching and in director positions at his alma mater, Magdalen College. He then was headmaster, taught, and coached soccer and basketball at Mount Royal Academy, Sunapee, New Hampshire, where he was director and co-founder of the academy's high school. Mr. Donohue later accepted the position of principal of St. Egbert Catholic School in Morehead City, North Carolina, before serving as principal of John Paul II High School in Greenville.
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Office Staff

Judy Aberg
Administrative Assistant
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About Judy Aberg

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Deborah Lawson
Advancement Director
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About Deborah Lawson

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis

It is with an open heart, open ears, and an open mind, that Mrs. Lawson comes to St. John Paul II School each day! With love of children, learning, and education, Mrs. Lawson can be seen snapping photos of your beautiful children, giving tours to new prospective families, or touring benefactors around the campus. Mrs. Lawson has been involved with St. John Paul II School since its inception and is somewhat of a school historian.

In addition, Mrs. Lawson’s responsibilities include admissions, advertising and public relations, major gifts, donor coordination and retention, and fundraising. Among her other activities, Mrs. Lawson is currently president of the Board of Directors of Life Care Pregnancy Center in Carthage, NC. She is a NC licensed real estate agent, which she has held for over 20 years. She is a member of, and participates in church activities at St. Anthony of Padua in Southern Pines.

Mrs. Lawson resides in Southern Pines with her husband Jim, son Christopher (SJPII class of 2016), and daughter Meghan (SJPII class of 2021). She is a proud hockey and lacrosse mom, as well as a horse-girl mom, who enjoys traveling and watching her children grow in their education and outside endeavors!
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Kim Stepnoski
Lead Secretary
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About Kim Stepnoski

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Our Faculty Members

Lower School

Ms. Holton
Pre-K 4
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About Ms. Holton

This is Mrs. Holton's 13th year of teaching pre-kindergarten at SJPII. She has created an environment which gives the children an opportunity to learn through hands-on experiences. Mrs. Holton adapts her teaching style to benefit all learners in her classroom. Positive reinforcement is key to helping children thrive in a school environment. Mrs. Holton enjoys having parents volunteer in the classroom. She sends weekly newsletters to keep parents informed about their child's education at SJPII.
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Mrs. Terry DeFoor
Kindergarten
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Biography

About Mrs. Terry DeFoor

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’” 2 Timothy 3:14-15

It was a wonderful and blessed gift from God, Mrs. DeFoor believes she was given, when led to St. John Paul II Catholic School! Having grown up in a home where both parents were educators, Mrs. DeFoor decided at a very young age that she wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. She has been fortunate to have taught kindergarten for most of her thirty-plus years in the profession that she loves! Mrs. DeFoor’s teaching experiences have included both public and private education. As an adjunct professor of education for Flagler College in Florida, Mrs. DeFoor additionally had the opportunity of instructing aspiring teachers in the areas of informational technology and children’s literature.

Mrs. DeFoor holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from SUNY Cortland as well as a master’s degree in educational media from Nova Southeastern University.

Mrs. DeFoor lives in Pinehurst and is a member of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Southern Pines. She is the proud mother of three adult children and grandmother of two.

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Ms. Magdalena Forero-Posada
Pre K–3 Spanish & 4th Grade Assistant
Biography

About Ms. Magdalena Forero-Posada

Mrs. Forero-Posada is the teaching assistant for fourth grade and the Spanish teacher for pre K–3rd grade. She has a bachelor of business degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and a graduate degree in international relations from UJTL in Bogota. Mrs. Forero-Posada is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in German. She is an Army wife and two of her passions are reading and traveling. She believes one of the best gifts we can give our children is the opportunity to learn other languages early on and be exposed to different cultures. As a parent to two students and a teacher, she wants to provide each child the necessary tools to become the best version of themselves.

“Be brave. Take risk. Nothing can substitute experience.“ - Paulo Coehlo
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Mrs. Heather Girard
First Grade
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About Mrs. Heather Girard

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Ms. Leeann Felicetta
3-5 Language Arts/3 Religion
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About Ms. Leeann Felicetta

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth - in a word, to know himself.” - St. John Paul II

Mrs. Felicetta considers herself beyond blessed to share her love of Christ and her passion for literacy with her students in a Catholic school setting for the last 25 years. Her goal as an educator is to develop a community of lifelong learners through self-motivation, self-regulation, cooperation, prayer, and a positive attitude while maintaining a high level of expectation from all students.

In addition to teaching language arts and religion, Mrs. Felicetta is the team leader for grades 3 through 5, is a member of the school leadership team and school improvement team, and represents the school in the Moore County Reading Association. She is an active member and regular Adorer at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Southern Pines.

Mrs. Felicetta resides in Whispering Pines with her husband, Frank, and her daughter, Sofia (SJPII class of 2016). She enjoys spending time with her grandson, Tommy, and her adult daughter, Cristina, reading, cooking, and crocheting.

Mrs. Felicetta attended Rutgers University on a full academic scholarship as a Governor’s Teaching Scholar and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in psychology.
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Ms. Evelyn Ooka
Second Grade
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About Ms. Evelyn Ooka

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Evelyn Ooka’s path has always been in education. It all started when she received her bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from the University of Guam on the U.S. territory of Guam, where she was born and raised. She moved to Saipan in the commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands where she continued her teaching career. After many years in the classroom, she yearned to learn more which led her to attend graduate school at San Jose State University in California, earning a masters degree in instructional technology. Upon her return to Saipan, she resumed her work in the public school system as a vice principal and eventually principal. She retired from public service but never left the field. After retiring, she worked as a program specialist for the non-profit Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), where she trained and mentored teachers on early literacy and reading comprehension.

Although working with the teachers was a rewarding experience, Evelyn’s heart never left the classroom. After many years as a school administrator and trainer, she chose to go back to the classroom teaching third grade in Guam’s Catholic schools. However, being around young students made her miss her 14 grandchildren who were living in the states. Although she visited them during the summers, she wanted to see them more often.

As a result, Evelyn made the bittersweet decision to leave her home island to be closer to her children and grandchildren. Evelyn has three daughters living in North Carolina (Cary, Linden, and Fayetteville) and a son who lives in Blythewood, South Carolina. She has started a new chapter in her life settling in Southern Pines where she feels right at home. Now she is a hop, skip, and a jump away from her children and 14 grandchildren, making it easier to visit.
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Ms. Tara Perpignan
Third Grade
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About Ms. Tara Perpignan

Coming from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tara Perpignan is joining SJP2 as their third grade educator! Miss Perpignan graduated from Pennsylvania State University, with her undergraduate degree in special education. Currently, she is enrolled at Johns Hopkins University and is intended to receive her MsEd in curriculum and instruction in May of 2019.

In the past, Miss Perpignan has taught students all over the world. She began her teaching journey in Otavalo, Ecuador. There, she taught English as a second language. Soon after, Miss Perpignan taught ESL in Accra, Ghana. Previously, she has taught special education in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and second grade and kindergarten in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Miss Perpignan is new to the region and is looking forward to a spending time with her dog and fiance outside, in God’s nature.

Miss Perpignan is excited to be a part of a school family that has the opportunity to come together in prayer each day. It is a blessing that God has given her the beautiful vocation of teacher. She truly believes that the SJP2 has many opportunities to grow each child in his/her faith.
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Ms. Jan Thomas
4th Grade Homeroom, 4-5 Math, Science, & Social Studies
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About Ms. Jan Thomas

Miss Thomas teaches a variety of classes, including fourth grade homeroom, fourth and fifth grade science, social studies, and math. She has a master’s of science degree from Old Dominion University, where she graduated top of her class and was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She has been a teacher for 17 years. In the summer of 2015, she was selected to train at NASA, teaching students using science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs.

Miss Thomas believes that all children want to learn, especially when parents and teachers work together as a team. She is convinced that children learn better when they are actively engaged, so her classroom is centered on hands-on stations and learning opportunities. She believes that all children can learn and should be challenged to the best of their abilities and that all children have gifts and talents that should be embraced and nurtured.
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Middle School

Ms. Jennifer Campuzano
Art & Social Studies
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About Ms. Jennifer Campuzano

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Mr. Connor Edgington
Religion, Music & Social Studies
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About Mr. Connor Edgington

Connor Edgington will teach middle school religion, music, and social studies this year at SJPII. He will also coach the SJPII soccer teams. He is coming to us from his home in Norfolk, VA. He recently graduated from Franciscan University with a BA in theology and catechesis. He and his family are lifelong musicians. Connor has played violin, piano, saxophone, percussion, and guitar. He also loves to sing and perform. While at FU, he was the music ministry team leader and assisted with youth and adult retreats. Connor also did missionary work in Belize and Ireland while in college. This year’s 8th grade class will remember him because he came and taught them a class on the Beatitudes last year.
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Ms. Jessica Foley
8th Gr. Homeroom & Language Arts
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About Ms. Jessica Foley

Mrs. Jessica Foley joined the St. John Paul II Catholic School family in 2015 teaching middle school English/language arts to the 7th and 8th graders. Over the years, her teaching responsibilities have evolved to also include 8th grade social studies. In addition to her time in the classroom, Mrs. Foley can also be found assisting with the drama program after school as well as overseeing the student-run yearbook. Prior to coming to SJPII, Mrs. Foley taught English to 10th and 11th graders in California and before that she was found teaching English as a second language in both Japan and South Korea.

Mrs. Foley currently resides in Whispering Pines with her husband, Patrick, their one-year-old son, Thomas, and their dog, Scout. In November, they’ll be welcoming a baby girl to the family. Both Jessica and Patrick grew up in the Bay Area, more specifically, the garlic capital of the world, Gilroy, California. However, Patrick’s career in the military has led them to places near and far: Missouri, South Korea, Colorado, and now, North Carolina.

After spending 13 years in Catholic education as a student, Mrs. Foley continued her education with the Jesuits at the University of San Francisco. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in criminal justice in 2009. Her original plans of attending law school were overturned when she realized in her senior year of college that her true passion was in education. She then earned her teaching credential from Santa Clara University (more Catholic education!).

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Mrs. Lori Haley
Math, Lego Robotics, and Drama
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About Mrs. Lori Haley

A 38-year teaching veteran, Mrs. Haley’s passion for teaching and learning increases every year. Mrs. Haley believes that all students crave the intellectual stimulation afforded by rich and engaging mathematical investigations. It is her professional goal to develop and continually strengthen classroom strategies that provide her students with meaningful learning opportunities. Mrs. Haley shares that she values the daily opportunity she has to share her faith and to pray with her students. Mrs. Haley has a master’s degree in middle grades mathematics and earned National Board Certification in early adolescent mathematics. She has been married for 38 years, has three grown children, and three wonderful granddaughters.
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Ms. Barb Lamblin
Religion and Resource
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About Ms. Barb Lamblin

“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Mrs. Lamblin believes teaching in a Catholic school is a gift from God and that we are entrusted with the responsibility of teaching as well as witnessing to our faith. The reward for Mrs. Lamblin is knowing she can have an impact on a student’s faith journey and in some way, help pave the path to salvation during the time she spends with students and faculty.

Mrs. Lamblin has taught at SJPII since 2008, currently serving as the resource director and 6th grade English language arts teacher. Holding NC teaching certifications in K-12 special education and 6-9 ELA, Mrs. Lamblin earned a BA in communications and English from La Salle University; an M.Ed. in special education (UVA) and M.S.Ed. with an emphasis in reading (USC). In the past, she also taught grades 6-8 religion, serving as the confirmation coordinator, and ran around the community as the cross-country Coach for 8 years. Mrs. Lamblin’s lens on learning starts with listening, a skill which must be taught and refined with urgency in our very busy world where young people are constantly being told what to do. She believes teachers must learn with students, so ultimately, we will make the world better for ourselves and the larger community.

Striving for excellence in our Catholic schools requires living the cardinal virtues. Prudence allows her to make the best choices for how to present content to reach all learners; fortitude mandates she witness to the faith each day, despite the barrage of secular trends. Justice allows her to always do right for students, even if it is not popular. Temperance keeps her contained when she is rattled by pressures from parents, peers, and herself.

Her favorite word in the English language is “mom.” Two of her four children graduated from SJPII - John (2011) and Sam (2015). Vera is currently a 6th grader, and her oldest, Grace, most recently taught at a Catholic school in Washington, DC. Both Mrs. Lamblin and her husband, David, are proud veterans of the U.S. Army.
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Ms. Jenny Maczko
Science
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About Ms. Jenny Maczko

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Special Area

Ms. Abbey Flores
Spanish
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About Ms. Abbey Flores

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Ms. Stephanie Kane
PE
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About Ms. Stephanie Kane

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Support Staff

Ms. Nancy Ahlfeld
Kindergarten Assistant
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About Ms. Nancy Ahlfeld

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

The joy children experience in discovering new ideas with their curious minds is what encouraged Mrs. Ahlfeld to become a teacher. Her love for young children brought her out of retirement in 2014 to work as a teacher aide in kindergarten at St. John Paul II. Previously, Mrs. Ahlfeld taught preschool and kindergarten through fourth grade in five states over many, many years.

The 2018-2019 school year will be Mrs. Ahlfeld’s fifth year working with Mrs. DeFoor in the kindergarten classroom. The role of a teacher aide is to try to stay two steps ahead of the teacher, always knowing what needs to be done next. Mrs. Ahlfeld helps with classroom management and various tasks to make sure the day runs smoothly for the five and six year old children. She also plans a special art project every week and introduces an estimation jar during the last half of the year.

Mrs. Ahlfeld is a Stephen Minister and a co-leader of the Prayer Shawl Ministry, where she is a member of Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Southern Pines. She is also a “grand rocker” at Moore Regional Hospital, where she rocks newborn babies. Mrs. Ahlfeld has been married to her husband Gary for more than fifty years and they reside in Pinehurst. They have two adult children and three grandchildren. Mrs. Ahlfeld relaxes by reading, knitting, and walking.

Mrs. Ahlfeld earned a bachelors degree in elementary education and a masters degree in early childhood education from Eastern Michigan University.
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Ms. Jen Alexander
Aftercare Assistant
Biography

About Ms. Jen Alexander

Jen Alexander started working in aftercare last year and loves it. She helps with homework and tries her hardest to make sure everyone is having a great time. Along with the other aftercare assistants, she has some great ideas to make it a great year for all. She has three kids at SJPII: Alice in 5th grade, Harold in 3rd, and Charlie in kindergarten. For the last two years, she was a room parent and library volunteer. This year, she serves on the PTO board as the corresponding secretary and is helping out with jr. drama club. SJPII is a blessing to her family - Jen and the Alexanders moved around the country, with SJPII being the longest school community they've been a part of.
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Ms. Jacqueline Leeper
Resource Assistant
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About Ms. Jacqueline Leeper

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Ms. Joye Leslie
3rd Grade Assistant
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About Ms. Joye Leslie

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Ms. Ann Quinlan
1st Grade Assistant
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About Ms. Ann Quinlan

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Ms. Meredith Richard
2nd Grade Assistant
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About Ms. Meredith Richard

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” - Desmond Tutu

Stop by our second grade classroom and you will find teaching assistant Meredith Richard helping our second graders with their reading, writing, and math, or perhaps tying shoes or checking homework folders or turning the jump rope on the playground. Before joining our staff in 2016, Mrs. Richard was a stay-at-home mom to her five children, four of whom graduated from SJP2 and one who is currently a fifth grade student. Mrs. Richard volunteered in the school library for several years before joining our staff in 2016 and she continues to share her love of reading with her students.

Blessings,
Meredith
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Ms. Anne Spohn
Aftercare
Biography

About Ms. Anne Spohn

After a 12 year absence, Mrs. Spohn returns to Saint John Paul II Catholic School. As a new teacher, she taught two full curriculums to fifth graders and sixth graders. In 2006-2007, our school was still on May St. next to the church in downtown Southern Pines. Mrs. Spohn started college at age 49 and finished with a BA (magna cum laude) four years later. Mrs. Spohn passed all qualifying exams to teach K-6 grades and English language arts to grades 6-8. Anne considers it a great pleasure and a great honor to return to Saint JPII School again this time in the Aftercare Program. Proverbs 3:6: Seek God’s will in all you do, and He will show you the path to take.

Mrs. Spohn is a native New Yorker who married a West Point graduate and embarked on the biggest journey of her life. Together, they traveled through three continents, over 30 years, and have been married for 46 years. One of their incredible destinations was Italy, about 30 miles from Padua, and the church of St. Anthony. During their three and a half years in Italy, Anne took her parents to Rome, and they happened to arrive at the Vatican just in time to see Pope John Paul II. Their last military assignment was in Japan, and her husband retired in 2001. Anne and her husband settled in Southern Pines. They have spent all of their adult lives serving God and the country.

Anne has one child, Jaymie, one grandchild (now 18 years old), and a son-in-law, who live in San Antonio, TX. Anne and her daughter produced a cookbook as a major fundraiser for the old school.

In addition, Anne is a registered member of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and parish. This school is a part of that parish and she wants to help her church in any and every way possible. The children of this school deserve love and attention even when the school day ends. The Aftercare program is designed to provide that for them until they return safely home.

In times of great stress, need, and healing, Anne prays to the Infant of Prague. She stops her busy day and regularly devotes nine hours to the Novena.

Psalms 116:7: God has been good to me.
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Ms. Julie Tipton
PK Assistant
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About Ms. Julie Tipton

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Ms. Kendra Tranel
MS Assistant
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About Ms. Kendra Tranel

Mrs. Tranel joined our middle school team in January 2016. While Mrs. Tranel and her family have been members of the SJPII family for much longer, her journey on to staff has been an ever-evolving one. During the school week, Mrs. Tranel can be found in a variety of classrooms assisting our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students throughout their academic days. When she is not in the classroom, Mrs. Tranel is often seen displaying students’ work and decorating the hallway outside the middle school classrooms. Prior to her work in the classroom, she became a familiar face among the students as a weekly volunteer in the school library.

Mrs. Tranel resides in Whispering Pines with her husband Dan, sons Keaton (SJPII alumni class of 2015), Broderick (SJPII class of 2019), and Taylon (SJPII class of 2022), and daughter Nyah (SJPII class of 2024). Outside of school, Mrs. Tranel’s family keeps her very busy with a variety of sports and activities, including football, soccer, swimming, and music.

Before making their move to North Carolina, Mrs. Tranel and her family made their home in Iowa. Mrs. Tranel graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in criminal justice. Mrs. Tranel also holds a certificate in paralegal studies and worked for many years as a paralegal in Iowa before moving to the Sandhills and seizing the opportunity to spend more time with her family.
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Ms. Vanessa Wright
5th Grade Assistant
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About Ms. Vanessa Wright

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