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Samantha Binns, First Grade Teacher

Hello everyone! I am thrilled to be part of the York family! I hail from a green and leafy town called Sevenoaks in the UK and am delighted that 3 years ago my adventures brought me to green and leafy Raleigh, the City of Oaks. I have been teaching since 2013, including several years teaching across all elementary grades in Hong Kong and Seoul, South Korea. I am passionate about making the learning journey an exciting one for the kiddywinkies in my care. When I am not in the classroom, you will find me kayaking on the lake, covered in paint for my latest art project, or pandering to the whims of my cats (Jasper and Marvelous). This is going to be a fantastic academic year and I look forward to meeting you!

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Gina Golden, First Grade Teacher

I'm so excited about another great year at York!  I’ve spent the last 17 years teaching K-4th grade in WCPSS.  I love helping children become passionate about learning and building self-confidence as learners.  My husband and I are from opposite ends of PA and have spent the past 27 years living in N.C.  We have raised two wonderful daughters in the WCPSS. We love to enjoy the natural beauty of the state.  We hike the many trails in N.C. with our dog Murphy, boat on Falls Lake with our daughters, can seasonal fruits and vegetables from the N.C. State Farmers Market, and try new recipes together. I’m looking forward to another great year in 1st grade!

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Megan Gracy, First Grade Teacher

This is my third year of teaching and my second at York. Last year I taught second grade and am excited to join the first grade team this year. I've lived in Raleigh all of my life. In my free time, I love to hang out with friends and family as well as cheer for East Carolina Pirates. 

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Marianne Krupa, First Grade Teacher

I grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. I earned both my Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Elon University. In addition, I am a National Board Certified teacher. I have had the pleasure of teaching Kindergarten through 2nd grade for 18 years. I love working with young students because I know how important a strong foundation is for their future. I have a daughter who is in 1st grade at York this year  and a 4 year-old son. I enjoy reading, exercising, traveling, and hanging out with my family. I look forward to another great year in first grade!

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Kate LaPorte, First Grade Teacher

I am proud to be returning to York as a First Grade Teacher! I am from Elizabeth City, NC and received my bachelor’s in child development and Family Relations from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. I obtained my North Carolina Professional Educator License for grades K-6 in 2006 and within the 16+ years have taught first, second, and third grades. First grade holds a special place in my heart as it is where I began my teaching journey. Having the opportunity to witness each child’s academic and social growth is simply amazing to me.  

Outside of teaching, I enjoy being a wife to my spouse and a mother to our son who also attends York Elementary. I enjoy going on weekend adventures with my family, traveling (Disney & Beach!), and reading non-fiction.  I look forward to collaborating with you as partners in your child's growth and development. 

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Kerrigan Shagena, First Grade Teacher

Hello York! I am an NC State graduate with a degree in Elementary Education and a STEM Concentration. In my free time, I love spending time at the beach, going to concerts, and being with my family. I was lucky enough to be a part of the York community as a student teacher in first grade last year. I am so excited to be an official bulldog! I look forward to getting to know you and your family throughout the school year!

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Jessica Bennett, Instructional Assistant

Hello York family, I am thrilled to be joining your school this year! I'm from the vibrant city of Bristol, England and moved to the US in 2021. I'm so happy to call Raleigh my new home. I live here with my husband and our cat named Nip. My family dog growing up was an English Bulldog named Billy, so I feel right at home here at York! Go Bulldogs! I love nothing more than dancing, crafting and making yummy food in my spare time. I cannot wait to meet you and see what this year brings! 

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Jacob Blinderman, Instructional Assistant

Bio coming soon!