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Mrs. Jen Hale, ECS Teacher

My name is Jen Hale.  I was an Instructional Assistant for 13 years before going back to school to finish my teaching degree.  I have been teaching Special Education for 6 years and this is my third year in the ECS II class here at Stough.  I am originally from Portland, Maine and I try to visit my family there as often as I can.  I have lived in North Carolina for over 25 years with my daughter, who is now 25. When I'm not at work I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling to the beach, and watching UNC sports, go Heels! I also enjoy cooking and trying out new restaurants. I am looking forward to another amazing year at Stough!
 

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Ms. Candace Jennette, AU-PreK Teacher

My name is Candace Jennette and I have been working with children ages Birth to 5, in the classroom and developmental settings for the past 12 years. I am originally from Raleigh, NC and received my undergraduate degree in Child Development from Meredith College. I also hold a Master’s of Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a concentration in Early Intervention and Family Support, B-K licensed. Go Heels! My goal is to build and strengthen my knowledge and abilities on reaching and teaching young children with exceptionalities. By doing such, will aid them in becoming functioning, successful members of society in the 21st century.

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Ms. Lynn Mackiewicz, CCR teacher

My name is Lynn Mackiewicz and this is my second year teaching Special Education at Stough. I am originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Go Eagles and Flyers!!). I graduated from Coastal Carolina University 2019 and received my Bachelors of Art in Special Education: Multi-Categorical (K-12). In my free time I like to travel, spend time with family, and watch or attend sports games. I am looking forward to another amazing school year!  

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Mr. Brett Reif, ECS Teacher

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Mrs. Mindy Reif, CCR Teacher

My name is Mindy Reif and I have been working with special education for the last ​10 years. This is my ​seventh year at Stough, but I have worked in Wake County Schools for over 10 years. I am originally from upstate New York but have lived in North Carolina for the last ​26 years. I graduated from North Carolina State University in 2000 with a degree in Interpersonal Communications. I graduated from Peace College and received dual licensure in Special Education (K-12) and Elementary Education (K-6).

When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family. I am married and have a son, Daniel, that is 17 and a stepson, Kellen who is also 17. They are both seniors at Broughton High School. We also have a two year old son, Phoenix and welcomed our first little girl, Savannah, last May. 

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Mr. Landon Brown, Instructional Assistant

I'm from Savannah Ga. This will be my first year as an instructional assistant and I am very excited to be here. I graduated from Savannah State University in 2014 with a Bachelors degree in Mass Communication. I just got married to my college sweetheart on December 20, 2020 after 8 years of dating. I love to cook, shop, and take vacations whenever I have the chance. I'm super excited to become a member of Stough Elementary School. 

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Ms. Linda Dickinson, Instructional Assistant

My name is Linda Dickinson.  I am originally from Iowa and received an Associate of Arts degree from Iowa Lakes Community College.  I have three amazing adult children and an incredible son-in-law.  I have been with WCPSS for 13 years, the majority as an Oral Interpreter for Deaf Ed. and an Instructional Assistant for Special Education Preschool Programs. I  am enjoying my position at Stough Elementary.  I love the diversity of the school, the positivity of the programs and the support of the staff.  Stough has a wonderful Special Education team in addition to our Magnet program and our staff is truly warm and caring. In my spare time I love to spend my free time with family. In the future I hope to continue the work I do now, to better the lives of my students and their families.  I firmly believe we are a team and here to help not only the kids grow but the families glean knowledge from what we do with their children. Education is better served in partnership.

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Ms. Flenner, Instructional Assistant

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Ms. Jill Heffinger, Instructional Assistant.

Hello! I am happy to be working at Stough this year as an instructional assistant in the Pre-K program. This is my first year at Stough, but will be my third year working with preschoolers as an instructional assistant. I’ve lived in Raleigh for 20 years and first moved here to attend NC State. I am currently pursuing my Birth through Kindergarten teaching license at East Carolina University and will graduate this coming Spring. 
 
In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my daughter in our beautiful NC mountains, at the beach, or just hanging out at one of our amazing parks throughout the Triangle area. I am excited about being at Stough this year and look forward to having a wonderful school year! 

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Mrs. Anastasia Heonis, ECS Instructional Assistant

I'm a Raleigh native and a Stough Stallion myself, but moved to Columbus, OH where I met my husband. After about 25 years, I'm thankful to be back in a warmer climate, bringing my husband and daughter with me. I'm fortunate enough to raise my daughter (a Stough Stallion) on the same street I was raised, founded by my Greek immigrant grandfather. I've worked many avenues within the arts from writing to acting to photography but it was becoming a mother that pulled me onto the path I'm on now. I started as a troop leader for Girl Scouts and a volunteer for my daughter's kindergarten class, then as the building substitute and now my home is working in ECS. I love exploring the outdoors from the beach to the mountains, photographing landscapes and wildlife, but an equal love is photographing social landscapes.

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Ms. Suzanne LaHurd, Instructional Assistant

Hello Friends! My name is Suzanne LaHurd and I am so happy to have joined the Stough Stallions as Mrs. Hale’s instructional assistant this year! I have over 18 years of classroom experience either as the teacher, the substitute, or the IA. I have 1 son and 1 daughter who both attended Wake County Public schools. I love dog sitting, cooking, organizing, and entertaining. Go Stallions!

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Ms. Rachel Lea, CCR Instructional Assistant

My name is Rachel Lea. This is my first year here at Stough as an Instructional Assistant for the CCR program. I grew up in Raleigh, NC and I am a former Stough Stallion as I attended this school for my K-3 years. I attended William Peace University, where I obtained a BA in Liberal Arts. I also just recently graduated from NC State University with a MAT in Special Education (Go Pack!). In my free time I enjoy reading books (I am a frequent flyer at my local public library), traveling to new places/countries (I have visited 11 countries so far), listening to music, spending time with friends and family, and trying new foods. Excited to be a part of the Stough Family and look forward to a great school year!

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Mr. John McCollough, Instructional Assistant

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Ms. Laura Lilly, Speech Language Pathologist

My name is Laura Lilly, and this is my first year at Stough as the speech-language pathologist. I have been an SLP for nine years and have worked primarily in school-based settings with preschool and elementary school students. I am originally from Greensboro, NC.  I received my bachelor's degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and my master's degree in speech-language pathology from East Carolina University. I love helping my students grow their speech and language skills and seek to always do what's best for kids. 

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Mrs. Sarah Hamel, School Psychologist

My name is Sarah Hamel and I am excited to serve as the School Psychologist at Stough Elementary and Leesville Elementary. I grew up in the Boston area and definitely still have strong hometown roots. I attended college at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. While at Denison I double majored in Psychology and Educational Studies. I moved to North Carolina following my graduation from Denison to attend graduate school at UNC-Chapel Hill. I received my M.Ed. in School Psychology from UNC. I am also a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. I have worked as a School Psychologist in the Wake County Public School System since the 2006-2007 school year. Outside of school I cherish the time spent with my husband and two children. We all love playing games, reading, and spending time outdoors.

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Ms. Natalie Taylor-Gyll, Occupational Therapist

My name is Natalie Taylor and I have been an OT working in the public school system for 22 years. This is my fifth year as an OT for Wake County Public Schools and for Stough ES. I grew up in Toronto, Canada and graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario with my degree in Occupational Therapy. Upon graduating, I moved to Santa Barbara County working in the school system there before relocating to North Carolina.  My son, Elliott, is a freshman at NC State (go Pack!) and my daughter is a sophomore in high school.  As an Occupational Therapist I focus on helping students develop sensory motor skills.  I use play and movement therapy to strengthen muscles and improve coordination so that students can be successful at school.  I feel very fortunate that my job feels more like fun than work and I hope my student feel the same way too!