Meet the 5th Grade Teachers
School Phone: (770) 888-7511 Ferrer, Laura Science/Social Studies
Georgia has been my home for 24 years. I graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Middle Grades Education. I am certified to teach Early Childhood as well as Middle Grades Language Arts and Science. Upon graduating from UGA I taught 5th grade at Big Creek from 2001-2004. I left in 2004 so that I could stay at home and raise my babies, Katelyn and A.J. During my time at home I took care of many other babies, toddlers and after-school children. I loved being home with my children and am so thankful to have had that opportunity. I really missed teaching, though, and returned to teaching 5th grade at Big Creek in 2010.This is now my 11th year teaching and 5th year at Sharon, and I can't think of a better or more special place to be than Sharon Elementary!
My family is so very important to me. I met my husband at UGA and we married right after I graduated. He is currently the Athletic Director at Lambert High School. We both love being educators and a part of this amazing community! My daughter, Katelyn, is freshman at Lambert, and my son, A.J. is in 6th grade at South. We spend a lot of time with our extended family who also lives in the area, and my weekends are usually filled cheering on my kids at their sporting events. We love going to various Lambert events to support the Longhorns as well as cheering on the Dawgs during football season.
I finished my Master's degree in the field of Curriculum and Instruction from the American College of Education in the spring of 2012, and I completed my gifted endorsement in 2015. While I don't have much spare time, I enjoy exercising, shopping, going to movies with my family, cooking, and reading. I love teaching and forming meaningful relationships with students, and I am looking forward to a very exciting year!
122029 firstname.lastname@example.org Gilchrist, Lori Math
Hello, everyone! I am Lori Gilchrist, one of just a handful who can say that I’ve been at Sharon Elementary since the beginning. If you are new to Sharon, you arrived just in time. I just happen to work with the most wonderful staff that will make sure your child/ren will feel safe and loved, along with getting a first class education. I’ve been in education for a long time, and these folks are some of the most committed workers I know!
I am a lifelong learner. I have three education degrees. In addition, I have a gifted endorsement and a math endorsement. Endorsements are yearlong trainings in a variety of educational topics. After sharing my home this past spring/summer with 4 Korean teachers of English (also known as my Korean daughters), I’ve been inspired to head back to the classroom for an ESOL endorsement.
Professionally, I taught first grade for eight years in Fayette County. After a period of staying home with my children, I came back to the profession. I jumped at the opportunity to open Sharon as a third grade teacher. After eleven years of teaching third, this will be my fifth year of teaching fifth grade math. I am looking forward to another great year with my math scholars!
I'm a lifelong Georgian, originally from a small mill town on the outskirts of Rome. Family is important to me. I am the youngest of four, my husband is the oldest of four, and we are the parents of four children. I've enjoyed watching them grow into some of the finest adults I know. My oldest son and his sweet wife are the parents of my grandbabies, William and Eli. Oh, how I love this stage of my life!
Thank you for reading a little bit about me. Please don’t hesitate to reintroduce yourself after Open House. I want a chance to get to know you!
122032 email@example.com Hunsinger, John Reading/Language Arts
My name is John Hunsinger, and I am proud to call Sharon Elementary my new home. I have been teaching in Gwinnett County schools for the past 15 years. I am now eagerly anticipating the next chapter of my teaching career at Sharon Elementary, instructing students in English Language Arts.
I was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. While in elementary school, my fourth grade teacher left an impact on me that led me to realize I was meant to be a teacher. Becoming a teacher was a goal that I would carry with me throughout the rest of my academic career. After being the first person in my family to graduate from high school, I was ready to take the next step and become the first in my family to attend college. I then made the decision to make Georgia my new home, and I received my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Toccoa Falls College. After graduating I began my teaching career in Gwinnett County Schools, in which I taught fourth and fifth grades. During my years of teaching, I received my Master’s degree in reading. Additionally, I obtained a gifted endorsement in order to assist me in bringing the absolute best reading and writing out of my students.
In my free time, my favorite thing to do is spend time with my family. My wife, Stacy (who is also a teacher at Sharon), and I have three wonderful boys, Logan (age 8), Brock (age 2) and Phoenix (2 months). We enjoy staying active, going to the beach and eating delicious foods. The opportunity to have my entire family at Sharon with me brings me absolute joy knowing that I will extend that same happy family atmosphere in my classroom. I believe all students... or Students learn best ... when my focus is on building solid and meaningful relationships with all my students.
I am extremely excited about sharing my first year at Sharon Elementary with you!
122037 firstname.lastname@example.org Kleinhenz, Stephanie Reading/Language Arts
My name is Mrs. Kleinhenz and I’m proud to start my eleventh year of teaching at Sharon Elementary. I’m excited to be teaching 5th Grade Language Arts—it’s going to be a phenomenal year for our readers and writers!
This is my fourth year in Forsyth County. Prior to coming to Forsyth County, I taught in Palm Beach County Florida for seven years. I graduated from The Ohio State University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development & Family Science and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I have experience working with students in grades Kindergarten through Fifth Grade and have worked with students with varying levels of ability. I have a strong literacy background, and I thoroughly enjoy teaching language arts. I bring to Sharon Elementary a passion for education and dedication to helping students succeed!
We moved to Georgia three years ago. Prior to that, I’ve lived in Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Canada. Moving closer to my family is what brought us to Georgia to start a new adventure! My husband Adam and I have two young girls, Emma (age 4) and Nora (age 1). Our other family member is our maltipoo, Maddie. Our girls are the pride and joy of our lives. We love to watch them grow and help cultivate their love of learning. My parents and my sister live in Georgia too, so we’re enjoying living close to family again. My sister is Miss Sarnacki, 5th Grade ELA Teacher here at Sharon Elementary! So excited to share another year on this educational journey with her!
I love spending time with my family, working out to stay healthy, reading a good book, and scrapbooking to capture the memories of my daughters’ lives. I’m also a huge Ohio State Buckeyes and Cleveland Cavaliers fan, so you’ll see evidence in my classroom! Looking forward to another great year at Sharon Elementary-Go Knights!
122036 email@example.com O'Malley, Susan Reading/Language Arts
I was born and raised in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio--Avon Lake! It was right there in Avon Lake when I first decided I wanted to be a teacher. At Redwood Elementary School, I had some of the most memorable teachers, but it was my fifth-grade teacher, Mr. Ruth, that forever changed me and made me want to be just like him! He made learning fun, meaningful, and memorable--These are qualities I try to carry with me into my own classroom, hoping to do the same!
My dad and my stepmother are both teachers, so naturally I wanted to follow in their footsteps, making plans to go to Kent State University to earn my Bachelors in Elementary Education, with a concentration in English. I later married my high-school sweetheart and moved to Dayton, Ohio, where I began my teaching career in Miamisburg City Schools teaching fifth grade.
Later I relocated from Ohio to Forsyth County with my husband and my two children in 2001. My children, Christian and Courtney, have attended Forsyth County Schools since kindergarten. Christian is now a freshman at Georgia College and Courtney is a sophomore at South Forsyth High School. Both of my children have enjoyed academic success as well as amazing athletic opportunities here in our current community.
I began teaching here in Forsyth at Big Creek Elementary as a fifth grade teacher. Then, after earning my Gifted Endorsement, taught Horizons in the first, second, fourth, and fifth grades. I am certified to teach K-8 and middle grades in Language Arts and Social Studies. After moving to Sharon Elementary, I earned my Masters degree in the area of Educational Leadership, yet continue to love the challenges that await me each year in the classroom! As a proud member of the Sharon Elementary staff, I have:served on the leadership team, been the department chair for the Gifted and Talented program, been a presenter for professional learning in the area of literacy and differentiation, served as the advisor and coach for the Oratorical Contest, and served on multiple professional learning committees. I am proud of the high level of instruction, extracurricular opportunities, and the lifelong relationships that Sharon Elementary offers its students. Yet even more than that, I am proud to be a teacher at Sharon Elementary.
122038 firstname.lastname@example.org Sarnacki, Lauren Reading/ Language Arts
I graduated from the Ohio State University in 2007 with a Bachelor's Degree in Human Development & Family Science, and I graduated again from Ohio State in 2008 with my Master's Degree in Middle Childhood Education. I am a HUGE Ohio State Buckeyes fan! Go Bucks! This will be my 11th year of teaching, and my fifth year at Sharon Elementary! Before arriving in Georgia 5 years ago, I taught 5th grade language arts and social studies in Grove City, Ohio (a suburb of Columbus).
My family is so important and special to me! I have two wonderful parents and an older sister, Stephanie. My sister is married and they have two little girls that I am so lucky to call my nieces! I love spending time with Emma & Nora! My family moved around a few times when I was growing up. I was born in Michigan, then lived outside of Toronto, Ontario for six years. Next, we moved to a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Lastly, I lived in Columbus, Ohio for ten years until I moved to Georgia in the fall of 2013 to be closer to my parents! My sister and her family have now moved to Georgia as well, and we all live very close to one another! My sister just so happens to be Mrs. Kleinhenz, another teacher here at Sharon Elementary! I couldn't ask for anything better! We are best friends and love getting to work together!
Another very special part of my life is my sweet dog Belle. She is a Maltipoo and my very best pal :). She loves to play fetch with small tennis balls and have her belly rubbed. In my free time I love to read a good book, listen to all kinds of music, watch college football and hockey, spend time with close friends, go shopping, bake something yummy, spend time with my family (especially Emma & Nora!), volunteer at my church, and play with Belle!
I am looking forward to a school year filled with fun, laughter, and lots of learning!
122035 email@example.com Walston, Deborah Math
Hi everyone! I'm Mrs. Walston, one of the fifth grade math teachers at Sharon Elementary. I am so excited to begin my second year here at this wonderful school with the best students in the world. Here's a little about me.
Georgia has been my home forever. I am one of the few that was actually born here. My family settled and raised me in nearby Johns Creek. The only time I lived anywhere different was when I went to college in Cleveland, Tennessee at Lee University. That's where I met my husband, Adam. I convinced him to move down here with me and we settled in Suwanee. My pride and joy is my dog, Boots. She is eight years old going on two! In my downtime, I love to be outdoors with her exploring the nearby areas either on foot or in a kayak. On the weekends, I like to catch up with friends and try new restaurants with yummy food. To balance out all the yummy food, I try to live a very active lifestyle through Crossfit and weightlifting. Overall, I'm a very simple person who enjoys the simple things in life.
Before teaching at Sharon Elementary, I taught in Gwinnett County Public Schools for 11 years at two different schools teaching fourth and fifth grade. Throughout the years, I have continued my learning by pursuing a Master's and Specialist's degree from Piedmont College in Early Childhood Education. During that time, I also completed my gifted endorsement to bring critical and creative thinking to the classroom. Teaching at Sharon has given me the opportunity to focus on a subject that I have always loved, math. While some students were reading for pleasure, I was doing word problems. Sounds crazy, I know! I'm happy I get to share this passion with all of you.
I hope you enjoyed reading about me, I can't wait to learn more about you!
122031 firstname.lastname@example.org Woods, Sarah Science/Social Studies
Hello! My name is Sarah Woods. This will be my 9th year teaching and 4th year at Sharon Elementary, and I love teaching at such a wonderful school!
My story started in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Geaux Tigers!), where as a child I loved school, swimming and playing outside, and enjoying all the Louisiana traditions and food with friends and family. For college, I moved to Memphis to attend Rhodes College. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Literature and Religious Studies - I hadn’t discovered my love of teaching yet! After college, I worked in Guatemala as a youth mentor, translator, librarian, and teacher. That’s where I realized how much I loved working with kids and the power of nurturing a love of learning in children.
When I returned to the United States, I moved to Atlanta to complete my Master's Degree in Teaching at Emory University, specializing in Middle Grades (4th - 8th) Social Studies and Language Arts. I am also certified in Early Childhood Education and Spanish. I spent the first five years of my career in Gwinnett County, teaching 7th grade Language Arts and 4th grade. I also earned an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) endorsement and participated in training at Columbia University for the integration of literacy instruction in Science and Social Studies classes. One of my biggest passions is helping students think critically and become lifelong learners. Being in the classroom brings me a lot of joy, and I work hard for my students to feel the same way!
When I’m not teaching, you can find me hiking, swimming, cooking, keeping up with my Spanish, curled up with a book, or spending time with our dog, Hazel. My husband and I also love exploring all over North Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. Last year we embarked on our greatest adventure yet - becoming parents! Our son, Stetson, was born in October 2017. Being his mom is by far the most challenging and the most wonderful aspect of my life. Forming meaningful relationships with my students and their families is one of the best parts of teaching, and I am looking forward to another wonderful year with some amazing fifth graders!