VINTON–William Byrd High School has several new educators on its staff for the 2015-2016 school year.
Molly Deacon is teaching special education at WBHS. She is originally from Roanoke and graduated from Northside High School in 2009. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education from Lynchburg College and her Master’s from the University of Virginia.
She worked last year as an instructional assistant at Penn Forest Elementary School. This is her first year as a teacher. She works in many co-taught classrooms at Byrd and is also the junior varsity volleyball coach.
“After interviewing here and hearing many wonderful things about the staff, I thought William Byrd would be a good fit for me,” said Deacon.
Karrie Hadfield is teaching Algebra I at WBHS. She is from Erie, Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1994 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. This is her ninth year with Roanoke County—five years at William Byrd Middle and three years at Cave Spring Middle.
“I love Algebra and wanted to teach Algebra and wanted to work at a high school,” said Hadfield.
Mark Mailhot teaches Precalculus and Algebra Functions at William Byrd. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida.
Mailhot graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2006 with his Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and went on to teach science for five years at Orange County High School.
Spanish teacher Beatriz Estrella-Baker is originally from Colombia, South America. She graduated high school from “Collegio los Farallones” in 1989. She has attended several colleges and has several degrees from studies in Colombia and the United States, including a Bachelor’s in Advertising from Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Colombia in 1993, a Bachelor’s in Marketing from Politecnico Grancolombiano in Columbia in 1995, a Master’s in Management from EAFIT in Colombia in 1997, an ESL at ELI from Virginia Tech in 1999, a Career Switching Program for Education from the University of Virginia in 2002, and a Master of Language Arts from Hollins University in 2011.
“I requested to transfer from a part time position at Cave Spring Middle School to this full time position at WBHS,” said Baker. “I have worked at Hidden Valley High School, Hidden Valley Middle School, and Cave Spring Middle Schools. I am teaching Spanish 1 and 2 this year and will be helping with the International Club. I am very excited to be joining the outstanding team this year at WBHS.”
Brad Greenway is new to the classroom at Byrd this year. He is not new to the school having been the girls’ basketball coach for four years and coaching in the baseball program for five years. He grew up in Vinton, graduating from WBHS in 2005. He graduated from Roanoke College in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and earned his Master’s in Education from Virginia Tech in 2011.
He worked as assistant coach for the varsity baseball team at Eastern Montgomery High School, then coached the varsity boys’ basketball team at Christiansburg High School. He went on to Northside as the head coach for the junior varsity boys’ basketball team and then came to William Byrd.
Greenway taught seventh grade math at Northside Middle School for one year after he completed his Master’s at Virginia Tech.
“When I got the girls’ basketball head coaching job at Byrd I moved over to teaching 7th grade math at Byrd Middle for three years,” said Greenway. “Now in my fifth year of teaching, I am teaching Marketing at the high school.”
His wife Beth teaches at Herman L. Horn Elementary where he attended elementary school. They are new parents.
Laurie Spotswood teaches Biology and Ecology in grades ten through twelve. She is the sponsor of the Beta Club.
She graduated from WBHS in 1993 but she is brand new to teaching, returning to Byrd after more than ten years in the field of research.
“After graduating from WB, I attended Virginia Tech for my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biological Sciences,” said Spotswood. “I’ve worked for Carilion Clinic and Virginia Tech in various research-related positions. My areas of research are Microbiology, Pathology, Cancer, Genetics, Allergy and National Defense.”
Abigail Ferrell teaches English 9 at WBHS. She and her husband moved to Roanoke from Cookeville, Tennessee, over four years ago, “looking to locate near mountains and where our extended family would feel comfortable if they chose to follow. Roanoke had the landscape and industry that met our desires.’
She graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 2011 with a B.S. in Secondary Education English with ELL endorsements. She has been teaching in Roanoke County for four years.
As for how she ended up teaching at WBHS, “I was transferring to a new teaching area anyway, and the school was in need of someone to cover two English classes,” said Ferrell. “The remarks that I had heard about Byrd students and staff were always favorable, so I was happy to fill the need.”
Lee Sikes will be working as a school counselor at William Byrd. He is assigned to students whose last names begin with K through Rh.
He is from Big Island in northern Bedford County, where he graduated from Liberty High School. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Lynchburg College in 2009. He finished his Master of Education degree in Counselor Education from Lynchburg College in May 2015. Roanoke County offered him a job soon after.
“Before working with Roanoke County Public Schools, I provided counseling services to adults at an in-patient psychiatric facility at Virginia Baptist Hospital (VBH) in Lynchburg,” said Sikes. “I was a full time employee at VBH for four years while working on my Master’s degree. Before working at the hospital, I provided mental health support services to middle school students with special needs. This lasted for two years, and this was the first job I obtained after finishing my undergraduate degree. My counseling related experiences are a mix of school and clinical settings across many age groups.”
“I love the outdoors,” said Sikes. “Hiking, fishing, sightseeing, and nature photography are some of my favorite activities. I have also been an avid golfer over the years, and I always look forward to spending time with friends and family on the golf course.”
Master Sergeant Allen Culbreth is the new Aerospace Science Instructor for the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Program (JROTC) at William Byrd. He is teaching the “Science of Flight,” coaching the Raider team, and working with the Color Guard and drill teams.
He is originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina. He entered the Air Force out of high school and later earned his degree from Excelsior College while serving in the military.
Culbreth has served in Turkey, stateside in South Carolina, Washington state, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, and at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. He began his Air Force career with the security police and then became a loadmaster supervising loading and unloading of military cargo planes. He met his wife in the Air Force, where she also worked as a loadmaster.
Culbreth was attracted to the small town atmosphere and the great outdoor recreational opportunities in the Roanoke Valley, with the advantages of a city nearby.
His interests include his three dogs, motorcycles, surfing, Tough Mudder fitness training, CrossFit, and running marathons.