Back Row: Ms. Smithson, Mrs. Bruce, Ms. Ledford, Front Row: Mrs. Plazas, Ms. Bobbitt, Mrs. Golden
Meet the Team
Follow the Class: Contact Ms. Smithson to join Class Dojo & Seesaw
Ms. Smithson: Hi there! My name is Megan Smithson. I grew up near Scranton, Pennsylvania so, I love the mountains! I graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2001 and shortly after moved to Alexandria, VA in 2002. I began my teaching career in the Washington D.C. area in Maryland and then Virginia. In 2015, I relocated to Cary and began working for WCPSS. I have been teaching for 18 years, mostly in kindergarten with a few years teaching first grade. I am very happy to be working with the staff, students, and parents for another year here at White Oak! When I am not teaching I enjoy I like working out, enjoy running, cooking, and especially spending time walking my dog, Boone. I also work with local dog rescue groups and foster dogs until the rescue groups can find them wonderful homes.
Degrees/Certifications: B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology, Teacher certification Pre-K - 6th, Level 1 Google Certified Educator
Ms. Bennett: Hi! My name is Jennifer Bennett. I’m honored to be a part of your child’s first grade journey at White Oak Elementary, supporting them as they grow academically, socially, and emotionally. I am from Tennessee (Go, Vols!), resided in Boston for 12 years, and relocated to beautiful N.C. 15 years ago. I’m a huge Red Sox and NE Pats fan! I love to read, watch movies, be outdoors, and spend time with my family and dog.
Degrees/Certifications: B.A. English Language and Literature
Follow the Class: Contact Mrs. Ledford
Ms. Ledford: Hi there! I am thrilled to be teaching Kindergarten at White Oak Elementary. I am from a small mountain town in western North Carolina, but moved to Raleigh to pursue my passion for educating children. I graduated from NC State with a Bachelors in English, and Liberty University with a Masters in Elementary Education. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, doing diy projects, traveling and being outdoors.
Degrees/Certifications: B.A. in English: Language, Writing & Rhetoric, M.A.T. in Elementary Education
Follow the Class: Contact Ms. Bobbitt to join Class Dojo!
Ms. Bobbitt: Hello! My name is Hannah Bobbitt and I am so excited to continue teaching Kindergarten at White Oak Elementary! I am originally from Laurinburg, NC, but moved to Raleigh for college and I fell in love with the city so I decided to stay. I graduated from Meredith College with a degree in Child Development and a Birth to Kindergarten NC Teaching Licensure. I love the beach and spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy spending time at Carter-Finley Stadium cheering on my favorite football team (GO WOLFPACK!).
Degrees/Certifications: Bachelor of Science in Child Development, Meredith College; Birth to Kindergarten NC Teaching Licensure
Ms. Seymour: Hi! My name is Katie Seymour and I am so excited to be a Kindergarten IA this year. This is my second year at White Oak Elementary. I am from Wake Forest and went to college at NC State, Go Wolfpack! I graduated in 2016 with an English degree. I love fly fishing, golfing and hiking with my golden doodle puppy, Buckley, in my spare time. I am looking forward to another wonderful year at White Oak!
Degrees/Certifications: Bachelor of Arts in English with a Concentration in Reading, Writing and Rhetoric
Follow the Class: Contact Ms. Bruce to follow the class.
Ms. Bruce: I am very excited to be teaching Kindergarten at White Oak Elementary again this year! I have over 25 years of teaching experience and my heart lies with Kindergarten students. I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky and graduated from the University of Kentucky with an Elementary Education degree. I went on to pursue a Masters Degree as a Reading Specialist and 30 hours in Curriculum and Instruction. I am a National Board Certified Teacher. We moved to Apex in 2007 where I continued my passion for educating young minds. When I am not teaching I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two sons. My oldest son is studying Engineering at the University of Alabama and the younger one is a senior at Apex Friendship HS. We have a yellow Labrador Retriever named Leo. I enjoy hiking, fishing, running, traveling and spending time outdoors.
Degrees/Certifications: B.A. Elementary Education, M.A. Reading Specialist + (Rank 1 in KY = 30 hours in Curriculum and Instruction), National Board Certified Teacher, ESL Certified
Follow the Class: Contact Ms. Golden to join Class Dojo
Ms. Golden: My name is Ashtyn Golden and I am so excited to be teaching Kindergarten this year at White Oak Elementary! I graduated from Meredith College where I had many experiences teaching young children that brought me to have a passion for teaching. I was born in Illinois, but I grew up in Apex, NC. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, spending time with my friends and family, and going to the beach. I am looking forward to another great year at White Oak Elementary!
Degrees/Certifications: B.S. Child Development. B-K Teaching Licensure
Ms. Ryder: Hi! I am so excited to continue to be a part of the White Oak Elementary team as an Instructional Assistant. My family and I are originally from New York but we have lived in North Carolina for 15 years. I have several years of experience teaching children in NY and NC. I have two children and a cat, Seamus. My daughter is a Senior at Apex High School and my son is a Sophomore at NC State. GO WOLFPACK!!! I love spending time with my family and friends, traveling, going to the beach, gardening, baking, and yoga. Can't wait to begin another year with my awesome White Oak family!
Degrees/Certifications: BS in Elementary Education and MS in Special Education
Kristen Plazas — firstname.lastname@example.org — Website — Twitter — Instructional Assistant: Shana Odle
Follow the Class: Contact Mrs. Plazas to join Class Dojo & Seesaw
Ms. Plazas: Hello there, my name is Kristen Plazas. I was born and raised in NC, and now reside in the triangle with my husband and our two dogs and cats. I enjoy reading, traveling, movies, and spending time with my family and pets. I look forward to another great year in Kindergarten at White Oak!
Degrees/Certifications: B.A. Elementary Education
Ms. Odle: Hi Explorer families! My name is Shana Odle and I'm thrilled to be working with your kindergartener this year! This is my fifth year at White Oak Elementary. Previously, I taught preschool and also spent several years working with local non-profits. Although I grew up in the mountains, I've called the Triangle home for more than 25 years. My husband and I live in Apex with our three kids, our dog and our cat. When I'm not in the classroom, I enjoy writing, photography, live music, travelling, and spending time with my family.
Degrees/Certifications: B.S. Psychology