• Meet the 5th Grade Teachers

    sharon

     'ITSLEARNING' 

    School Phone: (770) 888-7511
     
     
Mrs. Laura Ferrer, Science/Social Studies

Phone: 122029

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Laura Ferrer, Science/Social Studies

Georgia has been my home for 26 years. I graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Middle Grades Education. I am certified to teach Elementary Education 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. I joined the Sharon family in 2013 and can’t think of a better or more special place to be than Sharon Elementary! This is now my 13th year teaching and 7th year at Sharon.

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 junior at Lambert, and my son, A.J. is in 8th  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. In my free time I enjoy exercising, hiking, 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!

Mrs. Lori Gilchrist, Math

Phone: 122032

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Lori Gilchrist, Math

Hello to my new students (and their parents)!  I am Lori Gilchrist, one of just a handful of teachers who has taught 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 feel safe and loved while receiving a first class education.  I’ve been in education for a long time, and these folks are some of the most committed teachers I know.  I also need to give a shout out to my fifth grade teammates.  I LOVE working with these ladies!  We are truly a family on fifth grade hall.

I am a lifelong learner.  I have three education degrees in addition to having gifted and math endorsements.  I love watching my students take control of their own learning. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my students thrive and push themselves simply because that’s what they want to do.

Back when I was a baby teacher, I taught first grade for eight years in Fayette County. After a period of staying home with my own children, I returned 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 seventh year of teaching fifth grade math.  I am looking forward to another great year with my math scholars!

I'm a lifelong Georgian, though that doesn’t stop me from venturing to locations near and far.  I spent this summer working with Nicaraguan students (Yes, they’re in school.).  It was such a blessing to be with such joyful children in spite of their impoverished surroundings.  I have a feeling I know what I’ll be doing after I retire in a few years.

I am originally from a small cotton mill town outside of Rome. 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.  I am grateful that all of my kids live in the Atlanta area. My oldest son and his sweet wife are the parents of my precious grandbabies, William and Eli.  Being a grandparent is grand!

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!

Mrs. Stephanie Kleinhenz, Reading/Language Arts

Phone: 122036

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Stephanie Kleinhenz, Reading/Language Arts

My name is Mrs. Kleinhenz, and I’m proud to start my thirteenth year of teaching at Sharon Elementary. I’m excited to be teaching another year of 5th Grade Language Arts—it’s going to be a phenomenal year for our readers and writers! Literacy is truly my passion, and I make it a point to ensure students thrive in a literacy rich classroom environment! Books literally spill from the shelves in my classroom into the hands of eager readers!

This is my sixth 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 all students succeed!

We moved to Georgia five 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 6) and Nora (age 3). Our other family member is our maltipoo, Maddie. Our girls are the pride and joy in our lives. We love to watch them grow and help cultivate their own love of learning. My parents and my sister live in Georgia too, so we enjoy living close to family. 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! Teaching with my sister is really a dream come true!

I love spending time with my family, working out to stay healthy, reading a good book, and taking pictures to capture the memories of our 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!!

Mrs. Susan O'Malley, Reading/Language Arts

Phone: 122038

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Susan O'Malley, 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, attended Forsyth County Schools since kindergarten. Christian graduated in 2015 and Courtney in 2018! Christian currently works at Top Golf and attends Georgia College in Milledgeville. Courtney is a sophomore UNC Asheville, where she plays Division 1 soccer as a goalkeeper. Both of my children have enjoyed academic success as well as amazing athletic opportunities here in our current community. I am proud to say they are products of Forsyth County Schools!

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.

Mrs. Jeni Pestorius, Reading/Language Arts

Phone: 122037

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Jeni Pestorius, Reading/Language Arts

Hi!  My name is Jeni Pestorius, and I am thrilled to be a part of Sharon Elementary’s 5th Grade Team!  Many of you know me because of my girls, Emma and Paige. Both attended Sharon from K-5 and we all had a wonderful 9 years at Sharon.  If I wasn’t busy as a room mom, I was volunteering on the Science Lab/DIGS committee. I enjoyed working with the dedicated science volunteers and being a part of an amazing cohort.  Additionally, some of you may know me as a soccer coach since I have coached recreation soccer for 26 seasons. My girls are now involved in theater and dance, so I have moved on to becoming an enthusiastic observer!  Lastly, you may know me from facilitating learning in my own 3rd grade classroom last year and from substitute teaching here at Sharon. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to teach 2nd, 4th, and 5th as a long-term sub and 3rd grade as a full-time teacher and was able to understand our school from an educator’s point of view.  I love Sharon even more from experiencing all aspects of our Blue Ribbon school, and I am honored to be an educator here!

 

I began my education journey tutoring illiterate adults in the Appalachian Mountains in Southeastern Ohio.  It is an incredible feeling to teach someone how to read, write, and sign their own name!  I continued on my path to learning on the other side of the world in Swaziland.  I had the opportunity to teach 6th grade reading and math in a Swaziland school.  After that amazing study abroad program, I dedicated my studies to education and to making a difference in the world.  Out of college, I moved to Atlanta and taught for 9 years in Cobb County.  During my 9 years, I went back to school and earned my Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Plus, I got my Gifted-Endorsement and multi-age training.  In Cobb, I taught 2nd grade, multi-age 3rd/4th, and Gifted 1st-5th.  Last year was my first full year in Forsyth County, and I was lucky enough to teach 3rd!  I look forward to continuing my education journey and learning each and every day with the students!  Moreover, I hope to bring joy to the classroom, positive and creative learning experiences, and success for each child!

Ms. Lauren Sarnacki, Reading/Language Arts

Phone: 122035

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Ms. Lauren Sarnacki, 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 12th year of teaching, and my sixth year at Sharon Elementary! Before arriving in Georgia 6 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 (6) & Nora (3)! 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 immediate family all lives very close to one another! My sister just so happens to be Mrs. Kleinhenz, another fifth-grade teacher 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!

Mrs. Deborah Walston, Math

Phone: 122031

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Deborah Walston, 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.  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. There I met my husband, Adam. Then, I moved back home after graduating.  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 with being outside and working out. 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 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 and number puzzles. Sounds crazy, I know!  I'm happy I get to share this passion with all of you.  

I can't wait to embark on my 15th year of teaching with you! 

Mrs. Sarah Woods, Science and Social Studies

Phone: 122030

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Sarah Woods, Science and Social Studies

Hello!  My name is Sarah Woods. This will be my 10th year teaching and 5th 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 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 yet discovered my love of teaching! 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 transformative 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. Some of my biggest passions in teaching are helping students think critically, find their own voice, 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 my family. My husband and I have a dog, Hazel, and a very active son, Stetson. 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!

Last Modified on July 28, 2019