Mrs. Cindy James
Head of School
Mrs. James and her husband have been Onslow County residents since 2007, and have made Jacksonville their home since Mr. James’s retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps. Mrs. James’s strong faith in Christ enables her to lead GCS with strength, humility, and grace, working from her extensive experience in academic leadership and classical education.
After graduating from University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Masters of Teaching, Mrs. James taught at both private and DOD schools for 5 years. During that time, she married her husband, Clay. Cindy began homeschooling their 4 children in 2005. In 2009, she began tutoring for Classical Conversations and accepted a position as a Challenge Director the following year. She continued directing for a combined total of 7 years and stayed with CC until 2019. Most recently, Cindy was the Director of Mathnasium in Wilmington for 5 years, which she and her husband have owned since 2015. Mr. and Mrs. James have 4 sons ranging from a senior in high school to their oldest who is newly married.
Mrs. Sarah Kaetterhenry has been classically educated since birth, with her mom administrating a classical co-op in her high school years, and continued her classical education at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA. Since then she has thrived at bringing order to chaos, working as the administrative coordinator and employee-relations manager for her family’s company, then as a success coordinator for a tech startup, and—most notably—as the domestic engineer of a USMC household. Sarah is passionate about classical education and is thrilled to be able to use her experience at GCS. She enjoys dating her husband, caring for her two daughters, snuggling her two dogs, researching alternative health science, and napping.
Admissions Director & Publicity Coordinator
Mrs. Alysia Hicks graduated from Arizona Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministries – Counseling after earning a lower degree of Biblical Studies from Calvary Chapel Bible College. After college, she worked as an admissions advisor and event planner for the University until she met her husband and moved to Jacksonville, NC. Alysia is married to Drew, a Marine who works in the aviation field, and is mother to two wonderful little girls and a precious boy. After moving away from Jacksonville for a couple of years, the Hicks Family is happy to be back “home” and involved with GCS. In their free time you can usually find them spending time together as a family or hosting friends in their home for game nights.
Teaching Faculty & Staff
Grade level assignments may change between academic years; this list reflects 2020-21 positions. In many cases, our faculty share teaching responsibilities across several grades according to their respective specialties.
(listed by grade level)
Shannon Huddleston – Jr. Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Mrs. Shannon Huddleston has taught preschool age students since 2015 and is excited to be the Lead Teacher in the Jr. Kindergarten classroom at GCS. Mrs. Huddleston and her husband, a retired marine, have been married for 14 years and have two sons, ages 10 and 13. They enjoy raising their family here and have made Onslow County their home since 2008. Shannon enjoys watching her boys play soccer and baseball. She and her family love being involved with their church and spending their days at the beach!
Anna Catherine Beachy – Jr. Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Anna Catherine is the eldest child of Grant and Sara Beachy. Miss Beachy has been a part of the Grace Classical family since it’s inception, first as a student in 7th and 8th grades and now as the Junior Kindergarten Assistant. She is currently a Junior at the Onslow Early College High School and plans to become a Preschool Special Education teacher after college. Anna Catherine enjoys organizing, reading, hand-lettering, and being with friends and family. Miss Beachy is very excited to join the staff of Grace in caring for, serving and loving the Junior Kindergarteners.
Amber Wolf – Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Mrs. Amber Wolf grew up in Arkansas where she met and married her high school sweet heart. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Master’s Degree in Education. After college, her husband joined the Navy and they have been traveling the world since! Amber has worked with various grade levels from Preschool-4th grade, and took time off from teaching to stay home with their three children (Analise, Reagan, and Hadrian) before coming to GCS. Two of her three children are students at GCS. Mrs. Wolf and her family enjoy spending time working in their garden and traveling!
Devon Rudderham – Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Mrs. Devon Rudderham grew up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where she met and married her high school sweetheart. Mrs. Rudderham is currently working on her degree in Elementary Education at Western Governors University and has worked with and taught children of all ages in various settings since 2015, when her husband’s service as a U.S. Marine at New River Air Station brought them to Jacksonville. Devon and her husband have a sweet one year old baby girl and two lovable dogs. During her time off, you can find Devon and her family grilling steaks and playing corn hole with friends. Whatever the activity, their free time usually involves grilling, sweet tea, and Blue Bell Ice Cream.
Lauren Deaton – First Grade Lead Teacher
Mrs. Lauren Deaton, a homeschool graduate, earned her bachelor’s degree from Judson College and is currently working on her Master’s of Elementary Education from Liberty University. Mrs. Deaton taught a wide variety of ages in Florida, from preschool to 5th grade before marrying her husband, Seth. While they lived in Virginia, she was the Preschool Director and Curriculum Coordinator for a homeschool co-op and led a bible study for homeschooling mothers. Seth and Lauren, with their three children, Madison, Levi, and Benjamin, are enjoying life in coastal North Carolina. They try to get to the beach as often as possible and even bring the dogs, Chloe & Penny, on their adventures too!
Laura Pursel – 1st Grade Assistant Teacher, Lower Grades Art Teacher
Mrs. Laura Pursel earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Health Education from The University of North Carolina, Wilmington and began her career teaching middle school health upon graduation. After she and her husband got married here in North Carolina, Laura took a step back from teaching to prioritize being at home with their children, Jackson and Charlotte. North Carolina is home for the Pursels, so they are thankful for the opportunity to spend time with their extended family while stationed here with her husband’s career in the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. & Mrs. Pursel’s two children are both students at GCS and they are all thrilled to be here. In their free time, you can find Laura and her family in the great outdoors as often as possible.
Sara Beachy – Second Grade Teacher & Lead Educator for the Lower School
Mrs. Sara Beachy has taught students at almost every level and brings a genuine love for her students to the classroom. She received her K-8th grade teaching certificate in South Carolina after earning her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Furman University. Mrs. Beachy taught third, fourth and fifth grades in Christian schools for eight years before having children. In 2016, after many years as a stay at home mom, she joined the faculty of GCS. Sara served GCS in the vital role of Faculty Director during the 2017-18 academic year, where she guided teachers at all levels. Most recently, she has been the Lead Teacher in the 2nd grade classroom since 2018. She also trains and develops other teachers in her role of Lead Educator for the Lower School. Sara and her husband, Grant, have three children who are either current or former students at GCS. They and their children have lived in Jacksonville since 2011.
Laura Troxel – Second Grade Teacher
Mrs. Laura Troxel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Illinois Springfield, with concentrations in Interpersonal Communication and Public Health. She has worked in various capacities within the education field since her freshman year of college, with preschool to sixth grade, and every age in between. In her spare time, you can find Mrs. Troxel spending time outside with her husband and their two children, or spoiling her Australian Cattle Dog, Bear.
Suzanne Bledsoe – Third Grade Teacher & Lead Educator for the Lower School
Mrs. Suzanne Bledsoe has taught at GCS since our first year and has taught 3rd grade since 2016. She also mentors and trains other teachers at GCS in her roles of Lead Educator for the Lower School and SWR Coordinator. Mrs. Bledsoe holds her Bachelor of Science Degree in Textile Engineering from North Carolina State University. Suzanne has been married to her husband Trent since 2004. They have 2 children, Luke and Maelyn who both attend GCS. Mrs. Bledsoe enjoys sharing her experience in Spell to Write and Read with children and co-teachers at GCS. She is passionate about teaching children the Gospel, which she has done serving in ministry in her church families for the past 15 years. Mrs. Bledsoe and her family live in Hubert, NC where they spend most days enjoying the view and fishing in the Intracoastal Waterway.
Tara Seykora – Fourth Grade Teacher
Mrs. Tara Seykora has taught many levels of a variety of subjects and was one of the first teachers ever hired at GCS. Currently, she applies her experience and enthusiasm to her instruction of her students in the 4th grade classroom. Tara holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Taylor University and a Master’s degree in Management from Troy University. She and her husband, Joe, with their four children moved from Okinawa, Japan to Jacksonville for the second time in July 2015. She taught middle school in Virginia and Seoul, Korea, and was a tutor and Education Director at a Virginia Sylvan Learning Center for several years. Before her family came to GCS in 2016, Mrs. Seykora enjoyed tutoring with Classical Conversations and has classically homeschooled her four children.
MIDDLE & UPPER SCHOOL
Veronica Barker – Humanities Teacher, Middle & Upper School
Mrs. Veronica Barker brings her love of Christ and classics to Grace Classical School. Growing up in Southern California, Mrs. Barker built her spiritual foundations at Calvary Chapel South Bay. As an undergraduate, she attended Harvard University, where her on-campus fellowship fostered spiritual maturity and lifelong friendships. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in History and Classics. Since then, she has lived in Massachusetts, first designing college admissions curricula and then teaching Latin and Language Arts. At GCS, she is excited to bring her devotion to Christ into the classroom explicitly for the first time in her academic career. She teaches Literature, Rhetoric, and Mathematics. When she is not teaching, Mrs. Barker can be found writing fiction, whipping up new recipes, or having adventures with her husband, Taylor, a Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune.
Grant Beachy – Bible Survey
Mr. Grant Beachy is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). He has been pastor of Harvest Presbyterian Church here in Jacksonville since 2011. Prior to that he served on staff at a PCA church in South Carolina for seven years. He did his undergrad at Furman University and then earned a Master of Divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He is married to Sara Beachy and they have three children, all of whom are current or former students of Grace Classical School. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Grant enjoys being out of doors, relaxing with his family, and cutting wood and occasionally attempting to put it back together in some kind of relative order.
Lanning Carr – Math, Logic, and English Grammar, Upper School
Mr. Lanning Carr was Vice President and Director of Operations and Finance at the Whirlpool Corporation where had a 33 year career before retiring from the business world and pursuing his lifelong passion for teaching. In addition to teaching middle school algebra for six years, he volunteered with youth, mentoring and coaching baseball, basketball and football for forty years. Mr. Carr’s leisure activities include business consulting, conducting credit and budgeting workshops, teaching the Gospel Project at Centerview Baptist Church, and preparing tax returns for AARP. He enjoys an occasional game of chess or backgammon. He and his lovely wife, Diane have been married for forty-nine years. They have two beautiful daughters and three grandchildren.
Amy Cochran – Science Teacher, Upper School
Mrs. Amy Cochran spent most of her childhood in Dallas, TX after immigrating to the United States with her parents. She was classically home-schooled until high school, when she attended the local community college. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and in Psychology from Ouachita Baptist University and has presented her research at national and international research conferences. Amy is married to Brent Cochran, who currently serves in the US Marine Corp at Camp Lejeune. They have a lovely daughter named Sophie, who is a student at GCS. Amy enjoys teaching at GCS and loves getting to know all of her students.
Alexandra Collins – Science & Math, Middle School
Bio coming soon!
Michelle Cooke – Latin Teacher, Upper School
Mrs. Michelle Cooke loves the classical model and its alignment with how God designed us to learn. She returns this year to teach all levels of formal Latin classes that GCS offers. Michelle has used classical methods to homeschool her 4 children, graduating three so far. She has taught Latin to students in a variety of settings for many years. This includes teaching at GCS, teaching English and Latin grammar within the Classical Conversations program where she has filled many roles, and tutoring students privately. Mrs. Cooke’s enthusiasm for Latin inspires her students to tackle difficult subjects and appreciate the many nuances of our own language. We are grateful for her enthusiasm and love for learning, which she brings to her classroom at GCS.
Rebekah Magill – History Teacher, Middle & Upper School
Mrs. Rebekah Magill studied Secondary Education with a concentration in Social Studies at Grove City College for two years. After marrying her husband, John, she transferred to the University of North Carolina in Wilmington where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in History. Rebekah’s tutoring experience began as she assisted her mother in homeschooling her ten younger siblings in a variety of subjects. She went on to tutor at the college level in Philosophy, and homeschooled her children before coming to GCS. Rebekah loves the Lord and it has been her lifelong goal to nurture and train disciples of Jesus. Three of her four children attend GCS.
Catherine Parker – Science Teacher, Upper School
Mrs. Catherine Parker lives in Swansboro with her husband Ben and their three children, Ann, Luke, and Cora. She is a graduate of Appalachian State University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Nutrition. Mrs. Parker stayed home with her children for four years before teaching at GCS, where two of her three are now students. She thoroughly enjoys teaching classes where God’s Glory is revealed through the study of science. Catherine enjoys playing soccer, cooking, and spending time with her family at the beach.