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M.Ed. - Early Childhood Education - Ashford University Teaching Certificate - WNC

Mrs. Sandra Pilgrim - Department Chair

I have been working for Gaston County Schools going on 7 years. During all that time I have been at Pleasant Ridge. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to work at Pleasant Ridge. I love the school, the people I work with and I love the kids!!

I have been married for 20+ years. I have 2 son's one that will be 26 years old soon and my baby who is 17. I have 5 dogs who are my four paw babies. I love just hanging out with my husband, my family and friends. I also like doing out door activities such as bike riding and walking to name a few.

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Degrees and Certifications:

B.A. Elementary Education - Lenoir-Rhyne University (2018) AIG Certification - University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2021)

Ms. Emily Kiser

I grew up in Gastonia, NC. This will be my fifth year teaching. I have taught 2nd grade and 5th grade. My teaching philosophy is: relationships first, teaching second. In my free time, I like to read and spend time with my niece.

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A.A. University of the West Indies (2008) B.A. Elementary Education - Belmont Abbey College (2013) Certifications: AIG & Multi-Lingual Learners

Mrs. Caletra Miller

I'm from a small island in the Caribbean called St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which is where I first started my teaching career. In total, I've been teaching over 10 years. I believe in setting high expectations for my students, but I will also work alongside them to help them achieve those expectations and celebrate with them when they meet their goals.

I'm married and have one daughter. On any given day, you'll find me cheering on my daughter at her riding lessons and horse shows. I enjoy reading and baking desserts when I have the time.

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‣B.A. Early Childhood Education (Birth-Kindergarten) - Western Carolina University

Mrs. Nancy Pittman

I began teaching at Pleasant Ridge in the fall of 2021. Before teaching kindergarten, I was a PreK teacher, and before that, I was an ER nurse for 12 years. I found that I needed to spend more time with my children so I stopped nursing, went back to school, and became a teacher. I believe every child can learn if given the opportunity to investigate, experiment, and ask questions about what they are learning. Not every child will learn at the same pace and that is okay! As a teacher, I feel it is my responsibility to guide each child through their own learning paces and exploration.

I lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as a young child. My family then moved to Kinston, NC. After that, we moved to Laurinburg, NC, where I lived until I got married. I moved to Lincolnton with my husband 36 years ago. I have three children and eight grandchildren. I love to paint/draw/sketch. I enjoy working in my garden. It is fun to plant seeds/cuttings from avacado, pineapple, or other foods and watch how they grow. I also love to travel around the United States. 

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B.A. Early Childhood Education - Western Carolina university (2006)

Ms. Halie Russell

Greetings! My name is Ms. Russell.  This will be my 5th year teaching at Pleasant Ridge,  and my 14th year teaching! I have taught NCPREK, Kindergarten and First Grade.  I love the little ones, and Kindergarten is my favorite!  I love to spend time with my wonderful family and my kiddo! I love the fall and I love football in the fall even more! GOOOO STEELERS!  My goal is to support my students and families. I believe it is important to nurture the whole child, which includes each of my students' social, emotional, and academic skills. In our classroom we are a classroom family. I completed my Bachelor’s Degree at Western Carolina University in 2006. My degree is in Early Childhood Education, and I truly believe children are our future. 

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B.A. Elementary Education - Belmont Abbey College AIG Certification - University of North Carolina at Charlotte PRES Beginning Teacher of the Year 2020-2021

Ms. Hannah Siders

I am from Bessemer City, NC. I graduated from Belmont Abbey College with my bachelors in Elementary Education in 2018. I went back to school in 2020 and received a certificate from UNC Charlotte to teach AIG. This will be my 5th year teaching - third year teaching Kindergarten! In my free time, I love to spend time with my family, take my dogs on walks, and play and coach soccer!

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B.S. Child & Family Development M.Ed. Child & Family Studies PRES Teacher of the Year 2011-12 PRES Teacher of the Year 2016-2017

Mrs. Kathy Thomas

This is my 17th year at Pleasant Ridge Elementary.  I started my teaching career in Pre-Kindergarten and I have been in kindergarten for the past nine years.

A little about me...I grew up in Stanley/McAdenville and am a product of Gaston County Schools. I attended the University of North Carolina in Charlotte to earn both my bachelor's and master's degrees.  I am married to my high school sweetheart and we just celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.  I have two grown children and four precious grandchildren. 

I am passionate about my faith, my family, and my profession. As a kindergarten teacher, I strongly believe in the growth mindset and the power of "YET".  I am looking forward to a year of learning, fun, and adventure!

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Degrees and Certifications:

B.S. Child Development - Appalachian State University

Mrs. Stacy Woody

I have been teaching for over 20 years in public and non-public settings. This will be my tenth year with Gaston County Schools and my 5th year at Pleasant Ridge Elementary. 

In my free time, I am happiest when I am with my family.  I've been married for 25 years and our two children are in college (Go Heels! and Go Wolfpack!) I also enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, roller skating, dancing, and anything that will further my knowledge of wellness and nutrition.