Kindergarten Teachers
Mrs. Cashwell Boykin

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Mrs. Cashwell Boykin

cboykin@wcpss.net

My name is Cashwell Boykin. I am so excited to be a North Ridge unicorn! I graduated from Meredith College with a BS in Child Development and a K-6 teaching licensure. I'm thrilled about teaching kindergarten, as I feel it's one of the most exciting years in elementary school!

I am originally from Raleigh. In my free time, I enjoy checking out new restaurants in the area with my husband. We also enjoy taking our dog, Wilson, for walks.

Instructional Assistant - Yna Smith

Ms. Danielle Osterstrom

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Ms. Danielle Osterstrom

dosterstrom@wcpss.net

My name is Danielle Osterstrom. This is my fourteenth year of teaching. I have taught kindergarten, first grade, and a K/1 combination. I taught 1 year in Florida, and 12 years at Jeffreys Grove Elementary. I grew up in Buffalo, NY. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Fredonia State. I have earned my National Boards.

My husband and I met while student teaching at the same school in New York. We moved to Raleigh 12 years ago. My husband teaches 6th grade science at Pine Hollow Middle School. We have a five year old son named Ethan and a dog named Toby. I enjoy cooking, running, shopping, and spending time with my family.

I am excited to join North Ridge Unicorns! We have so many fun events planned for the year. I look forward to getting to know your child and watching them learn and grow.

Instructional Assistant - Mr. Osaybeon Howard

Mrs. Heidi Pallesen

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Mrs. Heidi Pallesen

HPallesen@wcpss.net

Hi! My name is Heidi Marie Pallesen and I teach Kindergarten. I previously taught 4th and 5th grade Language Arts and Math skills, Alp, C.C.R and a G.E.D. course for a few years. I was a stay at home Mom until my youngest started public school and then decided to invest in myself and went back to school. I graduated from St. Joseph’s College with a BS in Elementary Education and Special Education. I am a National Board Teacher and a life long learner. Life is good! I must say that teaching Kindergarten is a wonderful career. I enjoy dark chocolate, music and spending time with my husband and children. In my spare time I love to travel, read and smell the roses.

Instructional Assistant - Laurie Snyder

Mrs. Ann Slater

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Mrs. Ann Slater

MSlater@wcpss.net

Hi! My name is Ms. Slater. I have been teaching Kindergarten at North Ridge since February of 1996, but have been a parent here since 1984. I previously taught PE, 7th and 8th grade reading, and First grade in Tennessee before having children of my own. I graduated from Tennessee Tech with a BS and a MA and I am a National Board Certified Teacher. I live near the school with my husband, Tom, and our golden retriever, Briley. We have 3 children, Elisabeth, Andrew and Will. Elisabeth graduated from Pepperdine and now lives in Wake Forest with her husband, Josh and my three grandchildren, Ellie, Jonah and Jack. They moved here from Portland, Oregon for Josh to work as a chiropractor. Andrew is a graduate of the College of Charleston. He lives here in Raleigh with his wife, Kyrie, and is a computer engineer. Will is a graduate of the University of Montana. He relocated back to Raleigh after working in Wyoming and the state of Washington and is also working in the computer field. In my spare time I love to play with my grandchildren, take long walks, snow ski, play golf, and read.

Instructional Assistant - Sandy Messer 

Mrs. Kim Whitaker

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Mrs. Kim Whitaker

KWhitaker@wcpss.net

Hi. I am Kim Whitaker and I graduated from East Carolina University with a B.S. in Elementary Education in 1993 and a Master’s in Reading Education in 1998. I taught kindergarten in Pitt County for 6 years before relocating to Raleigh. I have been teaching kindergarten at North Ridge since 1999. I am a native of Greensboro, NC and now reside in Raleigh with my husband and two children. I enjoy spending time with my family, baking, and scrap booking. I am also a huge basketball and football fan.

Instructional Assistant - Janice Gaither