Meet Nathan Pelman, our Instructional Resource Teacher:
I am so excited to join River Bend as the new librarian (teacher, media specialist, dreamer & creator!).As much as I am deeply committed to traditional literacy through reading, I am a lot more than just books!I spent several years working in community access TV as a producer and trainer which is when I started getting into media literacy andmedia democracy movement---years before Youtube! Before settling down in Raleigh... I was living and working in Japan and Turkey in higher education.My academic background is in history but since becoming a librarian (media specialist) I have really spread my wings to learn more aboutall curriculum content. I see the Library Learning Commons not only as a cathedral of books, and spot for retreat and reflection, but also a gallery space for artists, a performance space, and place for creative collaborations, deep discussions and of course, inspiration! I will have my hands full starting up a new library, also as the technology facilitator, so I'm counting on building up a great team at River Bend so that we can coordinate vision and pull together our strengths to build an amazing space for learning at River Bend!
Hello and welcome to River Bend Middle School. My name is Kathy Russell. I will be teaching sixth grade math at RBMS. This is my tenth year teaching sixth grade math and my twentieth year teaching overall. I am excited about teaching at a brand new school. What a great opportunity!
I am originally from Western New York. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Houghton College and I attended SUNY Geneseo for my master’s degree in K-12 Reading. As you know, strong reading skills are a big help when tackling word problems in math.
I have two goals as your teacher. First, I want to inspire you to reach your potential. Secondly, I want the dreams that you have for your life to turn into your living reality both now and in the future. Aspirations become reality when you work hard, stay focused on your goals, learn from your mistakes, and refuse to give up no matter what you face.
When I am not teaching I love working out at the Y, watching sports, writing, reading, and visiting friends and family.
My husband, Chris, and I live in Wake Forest. We both love to learn new things. Learning is the journey of a lifetime.
I am looking forward to teaching at River Bend. It is just the beginning of a wonderful new adventure. Go Tigers!
Hi, my name is Sheree Smalls and I will be one of the Assistant Principal’s at River Bend Middle School. I have a lot to offer the staff and students at River Bend because I have dedicated my entire career to working with middle school students. My teaching experience includes Middle School Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts. After teaching for eight years, I decided I needed to take on more of a leadership role, so I became the Instructional Resource Teacher. This led me to going back to college and obtaining my Administrative License. I was very fortunate to be immediately hired as Mrs. Weddle’s Assistant Principal at Wake Forest Middle School. I was even more fortunate when she became Principal of River Bend Middle School because she hired me to start this school with her as one of her Assistant Principals. How Lucky Am I!!!
I have been married for 19 years and together we have four children; one in elementary school, one in middle school, one in high school, and one in college (UNC Chapel Hill / GO HEELS!!!) Oh and I can’t forget our adorable kitty, Willow. So, I guess I have five children.
I look forward to meeting everyone and helping make this school one of the best Middle School’s in Wake County.
Hello!!!! My name is Leanne McClendon and I am beyond excited and proud to say that I will be the Special Education Department Chair and Behavior Support Teacher (BST) at River Bend Middle School!!! Geaux Tigers!!! I was born and raised in Raleigh (a true local) and even went to Wake County Schools from elementary school through high school. After high school, I attended Atlantic Christian College, which is now Barton College for my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education K-6 and then went on to East Carolina University for my masters degree in Special Education K-12. My very first teaching job was in Goldsboro, NC then I moved to the Crystal Coast and taught in Newport, NC. After teaching in Newport for several years I moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and worked for Broward County as a Teacher Specialist. Florida is a beautiful state, but I really missed home, so I moved back and have been here ever since. I have been teaching for 28 years and I still love what I do.
I have one son who also attended Wake County Schools. He is now 21 years old and is going into his senior year at North Carolina State University. The rest of my immediate family, including my parents, brothers, sister in law, nieces, nephew, etc... are all local as well.
In my classroom we don't make excuses, we make an effort, we inspire one another and we learn from each other, we know that, "may I" is much better than "can I", we laugh (a lot), but also work very hard and we make our weaknesses our strengths and our strengths our weapons.
Our mindset is that we have not learned everything that we need to learn........YET!!!
When I am not teaching I love spending time with my family and friends, cheering for the Wolfpack, working out, watching my son, nieces and nephew play in all their sporting events and going to the beach.
I am really looking forward to meeting you in August!! See you then...
My name is Neal Gallagher and I was born in Syracuse, NY, raised in Delaware, and now I live in Raleigh, NC. I thoroughly enjoy viewing, looking, creating, and teaching art. My personal art tends to be either drawing or painting. This will be my 8th year teaching art.
I have a BFA in Fine Arts with a concentration in advertising design from the University of Delaware (U of D), and I received my teaching license from North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Being raised in Delaware I pull for all Philadelphia teams, Go Birds and Phillies!! I love the football season. I moved to North Carolina back in 2006 and I haven't looked back. I love it down here, the people, climate, and culture suits me perfectly.
I am married to an amazing woman and we have a fun little boy named Liam. He fills me with joy and keeps me on my toes. We are also expecting another at the end of September.
My name is Kristen Nalen and I am so excited to be one of the 6th grade social studies teachers at RBMS! I am originally from Syracuse, NY and earned my Bachelor and Master degrees in education from the State University of New York at Oswego. In 2008 I was offered a wonderful opportunity to come and teach in North Carolina. I am currently in my 9th year of teaching and have experience teaching both Social Studies and Science in 6th grade. I cannot wait to share my passion for history with my students! This summer I will be traveling to Italy and I look forward to sharing my experience of seeing some of the ancient sites of Rome that we will be learning about!
Building positive relationships with my students is very important to me. I want my students to enjoy coming to my class and school everyday. I like to incorporate student’s likes and interests in my lessons to keep them engaged and wanting to learn more.
When I am not teaching I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband and I have been married for 7 years but we have been together since we were in high school. We have a 3 year old daughter, Harper, who loves to keep us on our toes. We also have a dog named Oliver! I enjoy listening to music, shopping, going to the theater whenever possible, cooking, and traveling.
I look forward to meeting you all in August!
My name is Brenda Moore Stevens and I have the privilege of being a member of the Riverbend Middle School staff. Two words that best describe me are “Lifelong Learner”. As an educator, I believe that lifelong learning bears the imprint “It’s never too soon or too late for learning”. I seek learning opportunities from a variety of sources: at school, at home, and through leisure activities, not just formal channels. I am currently enrolled in a Special Education “Licensure Only” program. Other education include: Masters of School Administration, Masters in Business and Public Administration, Bachelor of Arts, Business Education, and Associates of Science, Mortuary Science. My professional career outside of academia includes owning and operating a 300 occupancy restaurant and lounge, providing onsite management of all day-to-day operations, Co-owner of one of the largest minority owned solid waste company’s’ in Maryland; successfully having winning proposals for two five year terms at the National Institutes of Health. Before my entrepreneurial ship, I provided support to Naval Sea Systems Command as an acquisition manager in charge of major weapons procurement. My philosophy of education is
All stakeholders will unite to create a school-home-community network to provide a safe, rigorous, and enriching environment that will ready all students to acquire the moral, intellectual, and social capital essential to succeed in school, family, and a 21st century community of excellence. In partnership with students, staff, parents, and community, equitably promote academic, career, and personal/social development without barriers for all students. Through this partnership, inspire all students to be self-directed, life-long learners and productive citizens of character in a globally competitive workforce.
Together with a team of amazing and creative teachers and Administrators, I look forward to getting to know all of you during the school year!
Hi! My name is April West and I am so excited to become an 8th grade Social Studies teacher at River Bend Middle School. I am a Virginia Beach, Virginia native and a graduate of the University of Virginia, where I majored in History, minored in Government and received a Master of Teaching, with a concentration in Social Studies Education. After leaving UVA, I had the pleasure of teaching at the high school that I graduated from. After moving to Wake County, I became a proud Golden Hawk of Holly Springs High School, where I teach World History and coach stunt (an awesome, competitive sport similar to cheerleading).I am so excited about my new adventure at River Bend Middle School. I love working with students to provide a happy and nurturing educational environment. My classroom is a hands-on and active environment, filled with problem-solving and engaging questions that allow for creativity and student choice. My classroom fosters a love of learning among students.When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with friends and family. Some of my favorite activities include reading FBI/crime solving novels (currently obsessed with James Patterson novels), running, shopping, more shopping, enjoying my pool, and cheering on UVA basketball.I am already excited for the 2017-2018 school year and cannot wait to meet my students and their families!
Hi Tigers...Roar!!! My name is Veronica Robinson, and I will be teaching 7th grade science this year. I am new to the area, but have been teaching science for the last five years. After completing my B.S. in Biology, I went on to earn my M.Ed. in Secondary Education with an emphasis in General Science. I married my high school sweetheart, Christopher, and I must admit that he spoils me rotten :)Things I hate: BORING CLASSROOMS! Classrooms where teachers do all the talking, and students struggle to keep their eyes open... also, cockroaches (they scare me).Things I love: hands-on inquiry activities, where students are in the driver's seat of their own learning. I love to make learning fun, and I strive to create an environment that I would enjoy learning in.I'm so excited about the start of this amazing new school, and I can't wait to meet you!! Go Tigers!!