Elementary and Middle School Teachers
Kellie Cross holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M. Edu. in Curriculum and Instructional Development and Montessori elementary certification (2001) from Seacoast Montessori. Kellie has been an elementary school teacher since 1993 and has taught every grade level therein. She is originally from Vermont. After living in Raleigh, NC, for almost 15 years, Kellie, her husband and their pug (her “baby”) moved to Valle Crucis and are thrilled to be living back in the mountains!
Kellie’s passion for teaching children in a natural learning environment, and in a manner that suits their individual learning styles best, continuously motivates her to strive to find methods and materials that will help her students reach their maximum potentials. Kellie is keenly aware that learning is not a function that happens within the vacuum of the school building, but instead is a process that is constant. To this end, Kellie is also dedicated to working with her students’ families to help extend learning opportunities far beyond the school day.
Kristy Hackler has a B.S. in Horticulture from North Carolina State University and an M.A. in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University. As a lifelong learner herself, she also has her paralegal certification from Auburn University, Georgia and Stormwater Management Inspector Certification from North Carolina State. Kristy taught at A.I. Montessori, an International Montessori School in Naples, Italy for three years where she received her certification in Upper Elementary. She then taught the 9-12 for 15+ years at Mountain Pathways Montessori School where she also started Farm Camp, a summer program that included community building, learning gardening and farming skills, and cooking snacks from the garden. Kristy is celebrating her 21st year of teaching at Imagine Bilingual. She is a mom of two boys, Woods, 7 and Ash, 9. Both attend Imagine Bilingual. She loves bringing her experience and sense of adventure to Imagine and looks forward to many years to come!
Stephanie Bennett has a B.S. in Psychology and Spanish and a M.A. is Elementary Education. She has taught a wide variety of ages and subjects, but most enjoys working in Spanish Immersion programs. She began her teaching career at Tianjin Hexi No. 8 Kindergarten in Tianjin, China. Stephanie’s mother is native to Ecuador and she enjoys spending time there with her family. She is also a mother of four and has spent a great deal of time in helping her children become bilingual. She is very excited to bring bilingual education to the High Country!