Mount Pleasant Elementary School Principal Ellen Walton said she is “looking forward to a great school year.” She welcomes three new staff members to the school this year: Chrystal Wood, Trish Naff, and Leslie Grimes.
Wood is not actually new to Mount Pleasant. She worked at the school a couple of years ago as a long-term substitute, then as an instructional assistant. She said she went to Roanoke City as a special education teacher for a year and is “now back home at Mount Pleasant.”
At MPE she is a special education teacher working with kindergarten and second grade.
“I am a military child so I have traveled my whole life and lived all over the states and in three countries, but have been in Virginia for the last 10 years so I claim it as home,” Wood said.
She graduated from Brentsville District High School in Nokesville, Va., and then from Radford University.
This is her third year in education, and her second year as a special education teacher.
“In my personal time, I enjoy watercolor painting, spending time with friends and family, and traveling the world with my husband and my two huskies,” Wood said..
Trish Naff is working as a special education instructional assistant in second and third grades.
She is originally from the Roanoke Valley and graduated from Lord Botetourt High School. She then graduated from Radford University with a major in accounting. She has been involved in the field of education for 19 years and worked as an instructional assistant at Mount Pleasant before she and her husband moved to Southwest Virginia where he was a pastor. He has now returned to a church in the Roanoke area.
“When my children were younger, I volunteered in their classrooms,” said Naff. “I pursued employment within the Roanoke County School System and was hired at Mount Pleasant.
“The Mount Pleasant community has always held a special place in my heart,” said Naff. “It feels good to return ‘home’ after being out of the area for the past five years.”
In her spare time, Naff enjoys “spending time with my family, reading, attending sporting events, and worshipping with my church family.”
Naff and her husband have been married for 29 years and have two grown sons— one is the student minister at Vinton Baptist and the other is a sophomore at Emory and Henry College.
Leslie Grimes is a kindergarten teacher at Mount Pleasant. She is from Roanoke and graduated from Cave Spring High School. She majored in psychology at Roanoke College and minored in Elementary Education. Prior to joining the MPE team, Grimes taught for two years in Roanoke City.
“I am so happy to finally be able to teach in Roanoke County,” said Grimes. “I’m so glad I get to be a part of the school system that inspired me to be a teacher!”
One of the most important events of the year at MPE is coming up on September 29— the annual Mount Pleasant PTA Walkathon fundraiser. Students, their families, and friends walk the track between 8 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. to raise money for school programs.