Thirteen new staff members join W. E. Cundiff

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VINTON–W. E.Cundiff Elementary School has added thirteen new members to its staff for the 2015-2016 school year.

W.E.Cundiff Elementary has 13 new staff members in 2015-2016. Standing left to right (front row) are April Shell, Erin Edmondson, Danielle Banks, Layci Stone, Rachel Reedy, and Tina Gilbert. Shown left to right back row are James Edwards, Christine Lange, Melissa Dresser, Sandy Hunt, Susan White, and Sara Cavicchio. Not pictured--Sonya Franklin.
W.E.Cundiff Elementary has 13 new staff members in 2015-2016. Standing left to right (front row) are April Shell, Erin Edmondson, Danielle Banks, Layci Stone, Rachel Reedy, and Tina Gilbert. Shown left to right back row are James Edwards, Christine Lange, Melissa Dresser, Sandy Hunt, Susan White, and Sara Cavicchio. Not pictured–Sonya Franklin.

Sara Cavicchio is their new school nurse. She just moved to the Roanoke area in August from Bowling Green, Ohio. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania.

“My husband transferred from a VA medical center in Toledo, Ohio to the Salem VA,” said Cavicchio. “I was lucky that the opening became available at Cundiff.”

“I have been an RN for 18 years and have worked in the school setting for 3 years,” she added. “We chose to relocate to southwest Virginia, because we have family in the area and love the scenic beauty and all the outdoor activities.’

Melissa Dresser is a new guidance counselor at WEC.  She recently moved to Christiansburg to be with college friends who are working there. She says she loves working in Vinton and at W.E.Cundiff.

She graduated from Longwood University with a degree in elementary education and completed her Master’s in School Counseling there this past May.

Upon graduation she was searching for jobs in the area and in Blacksburg. She came upon the open spot at WEC and applied for it as soon as she could.

“I appreciate the opportunity more than words can say,” Dresser remarked. “This is my first year working in a school division as a counselor and I am looking forward to getting to know the community here and all of the students at our school. It has been rewarding to work with the students and their teachers. I am excited for the rest of the year.”

Sonya Franklin is the new librarian at WEC. She lives about a mile from William Byrd High School in Bedford County. Her home school was Lord Botetourt.

Franklin graduated from Radford University with a Master’s in Education with an endorsement in library media. She has previously taught at Mineral Springs Christian School. Her husband works for Glenvar High School and discovered there was an opening for a librarian at Cundiff.

As for why she wanted to work at the Vinton school, “So many people told me how much I would love working for WEC. It is a wonderful school!”

April Shell is the new administrative assistant at Cundiff. She has lived in Vinton for 21 years and enjoys the close-knit Vinton community. She graduated from Radford University in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in merchandising/marketing.

“After having taught in the classroom for many years, I wanted to work in administration and WEC was a great fit for me,” said Shell.

She has worked in several local schools, including Fallon Park where she was a long-term substitute and a second grade teacher. She taught third grade at Mineral Springs Christian School and fourth and fifth grades at Faith Christian.

“I am thankful to have worked for thirteen years in elementary education,” said Shell. “I have loved teaching children to learn and seeing them succeed in life. The staff at WEC is a special group of people who give of themselves tirelessly for the children.”

Rachel Reedy is a new instructional assistant at WEC. She attended Radford University to study education and received a Bachelor’s in management from Bluefield College and went on to a career with Norfolk Southern.

“I always had a passion to work with children,” said Reedy. “I worked in Little League sports and Cub Scouts with my late husband, Norman Reedy, my two sons, David and Tim Reedy, and my daughter Ginia King. I currently am active in Vinton Baptist Church’s children’s activities along with my five grandchildren.”

Her grandmother, mother, and several family members were teachers.

“Five years ago I started subbing for Roanoke County and became a full-time assistant in 2014 in special education at William Byrd High School,” said Reedy. “My work included being a homebound aid to a wonderful special education student. My student graduated in 2015, and I was transferred to W.E. Cundiff. The staff and students have really made me feel very welcome, and my new assignment is very enjoyable.”

Layci Stone is an instructional assistant at WEC. She recently relocated to Roanoke with her family.

“I am very excited to work at the school I attended as a child,” said Stone. “I love the children, faculty, and staff at W.E.Cundiff.”

Erin Edmondson has been working at WEC since 2001. She taught full-time for seven years until she had her second child in 2007, when she switched to part-time, doing remediation.

“I am returning this year as a full time second grade teacher,” said Edmondson. “I have returned to the same classroom I left seven years ago!”

Edmondson attended Hollins University and graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in English. She is endorsed to teach preschool through fourth grade.

“I love working at W.E. Cundiff,” said Edmondson. “I love the Vinton community and coming back to work here full time is like coming home.”

Susan White teaches preschool and says she “is loving it.”

She is from Richmond, but her mother’s side of the family is from Vinton and still has a lot of family here.

White graduated from Bluefield College in 2008 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies. She taught in McDowell County for five years and at a private preschool in Richmond for two years.

As for how she came to teach at WEC, “My husband got transferred back to Roanoke and I began looking for a teaching position in the area. When I interviewed with Mrs. Bryant at WEC, I knew I really wanted this position. I was so excited when I received the phone call from Mrs. Eastwood asking if I would accept the preschool position.”

Danielle Banks teaches third grade at Cundiff. She graduated from Shippensburg University with a Bachelor’s in Education in 2008 and a Master’s in Education in 2012.

She and her fiancé (now husband) moved to the area from Virginia Beach in June 2014 to be closer to family in Harrisonburg and Washington, D.C. She taught Pre-K in Pennsylvania for four years, third grade in Norfolk for two years, and second and fourth grades for a year in Salem.

“The day after returning from our honeymoon, I received an email from Mrs. Bryant setting up an interview,” said Banks.

Tina Gilbert is an instructional assistant at WEC, working with first, fourth, and fifth grades. She attended Southwest Virginia Community College in Tazewell County where she earned her Associate’s Degree in Human Services Technology.

“My husband and I moved to Vinton seven years ago,” said Gilbert. “We fell in love with the area.”

Gilbert worked as an instructional assistant in Tazewell County and then at Penn Forest Elementary when they first moved here. She wanted to work at Cundiff because she has a son there in first grade.

“I chose to work at W.E. Cundiff due to both of my children having such a wonderful educational experience there,” said Gilbert.

Christine Lange is a new kindergarten teacher at WEC this year. She is a graduate of Radford University. Lange taught third grade at Penn Forest Elementary School and then became a stay-at-home mom after her third child was born.

“When my youngest went to Kindergarten, I went back to teaching,” said Lange. “I taught Kindergarten at Westside Elementary in Roanoke City for 4 years before being hired to teach at WEC.”