WBMS welcomes eight new teachers

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VINTON–William Byrd Middle School has eight new teachers on staff this year.

William Byrd Middle School has eight new teachers this year including (left to right): Elaine Campbell, Teresa Nicely, Lyndsey Partsch, Missy Steele, Lindsay Frie, and Jeremy Baldwin.
William Byrd Middle School has eight new teachers this year including (left to right): Elaine Campbell, Teresa Nicely, Lyndsey Partsch, Missy Steele, Lindsay Frie, and Jeremy Baldwin.

Missy Steele teaches eighth grade English. She is from Haysi, a small town in far southwest Virginia. She graduated from King University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education. She also has a Master of Science degree in Guidance and Counseling from Radford University.

This is her 23rd year with Roanoke County Schools. She taught English for 14 years at Burton Center and Glenvar Middle School, and then served as guidance counselor at Green Valley Elementary and the Burton Center for eight years.

“I made the decision to return to the middle school classroom because I missed the daily interactions with students,” said Steele. “I am excited to make a return to the classroom. I have been most impressed with the support and friendliness of the Vinton community and I feel fortunate to be here.”

Lyndsey Barton Partsch was “born and raised in Vinton.” She attended W.E. Cundiff Elementary School, WBMS, and graduated from William Byrd High School in 2007. She played softball and ran cross country at Bluefield College, completing her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Sport Science in 2011.

Partsch taught health and physical education at Mountain View High School in Stafford, Virginia, for a year and a half, and physical education at Madison Elementary School in Caroline County for a year.

“I moved away to start my teaching career, but have always wanted to come back home,” said Partsch. “My husband and I had an opportunity to move our careers back here, so we jumped. I was a substitute teacher for a full school year, but Mrs. Newcomb offered me a permanent position at WBMS and it just seemed like the perfect fit for me.  I’ve always dreamed of coming back home to teach. I just feel at home here. This is what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Currently she teaches special education working in sixth and seventh grade math. She assists her father, Greg Barton, in coaching varsity softball at WBHS.

Elaine Campbell teaches sixth grade Pre-AP math at WBMS. She is originally from Christiansburg and graduated from Christiansburg High School. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Radford University and her Master’s from Hollins University in 2001.

She has been a classroom teacher since 1999, starting at Herman L. Horn, and then at Burlington Elementary.

As for how she ended up at WBMS, “There was an opening in the math department and Rebecca Eastwood recommended me for the position.” Dr. Eastwood is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for Roanoke County. Campbell says she “is loving the middle school environment.”

Both of Campbell’s sons graduated from WBHS, Ben in 2003 and Jordan in 2007.

Physical education teacher Jeremy Baldwin moved to Vinton when he was in sixth grade and graduated from WBHS in 2002.

He graduated from Liberty University in 2006 with a degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in physical education and health K-12 with teacher licensure. He went on to become certified in drivers’ education in 2008 at Old Dominion.

This is his tenth year as a teacher. From 2006-2009, he taught and coached at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, and then taught for a year at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Roanoke City.

He next taught at L.C. Kerr School in Clinton, North Carolina while serving as a youth pastor in Fayetteville. His family then moved back to Vinton. He taught in Rockbridge Public Schools from 2011 to 2014–two years at the high school and two years at Maury River Middle.

He came to WBMS when one of their teachers was transferred to Cave Spring Middle School.

“I wanted to work here because I wanted to teach in the community I am a part of,” said Baldwin. “I wanted to be closer to home instead of driving an hour every day to and from work so I could have more time with my wife Laura and my two year old daughter Jayda. I always felt like it would be very rewarding to teach in the school that you graduated from. It’s really cool to be able to work with some of the teachers who taught me while I was in Byrd Middle and High.”

In addition to teaching P.E. and health in sixth through eighth grades, he coaches football and will be coaching baseball for the middle school.

“I’m excited about the opportunity and I look forward to what lies ahead,” said Baldwin.

Teresa Nicely teaches special education at WBMS, collaborating with Lindsay Frie in sixth grade English classes.

“I was almost a Terrier,” said Nicely. “I went to Mount Pleasant Elementary from Kindergarten to second grade. I moved to Botetourt County the same year as my husband-to-be moved from Salem. We both graduated from Lord Botetourt High School in 1985.”

Nicely majored in social work at James Madison University, graduating in 1989, and then earned her Master’s degree in special education  from Radford University in 2006. She taught for nine years at Bonsack Elementary, two years at Eagle Rock Elementary, and two years at Nicaragua Christian Academy.

“I had heard that there was a possibility of WBMS needing another special education teacher specifically to teach reading,” said Nicely. “Although I loved my friends and teaching my elementary students at Bonsack, I gave it some serious thought and became excited as I considered all of the wonderful things I had seen happening at the middle school. I requested a transfer specifically to WBMS and here I am, still excited!”

While she is not assigned to any extracurricular activities currently, she does attend all of the volleyball games as her daughter is on the team.

Nicely says that she attends Vinton Baptist Church and “loves the people there. I enjoy going to WBHS football games, watching the marching band, and chaperoning 5th quarter. This town loves its kids.”

English teacher Lindsay Frie is a 2001 WBHS graduate. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Radford University and is working on her Master’s at Mary Baldwin. She taught at Glenvar for seven years and then at Herman L. Horn where she taught third grade science and social studies, and fourth grade Virginia Studies.

“I began coaching the WBMS cheerleaders, so I decided to also teach here as well,” said Frie.

In addition to teaching school, Frie is also certified as a gymnastics, group exercise, and Boot Camp Challenge instructor.

Denise Aspell is the new sixth and seventh grade band director at WBMS and the assistant band director for the WBHS Marching Terriers band. She attended W.E. Cundiff Elementary School, WBMS, and graduated from WBHS in 2000.

 Denise Aspell is the new band director in grades 6 and 7 at WBMS
Denise Aspell is the new band director in grades 6 and 7 at WBMS

Aspell completed her student teaching at Byrd, graduating from Virginia Tech in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in music education. She went on to serve as band director in Floyd and Franklin counties, and then at Staunton River Middle School.

“When the opportunity came up to take a position back home, it was something I could not pass up,” said Aspell. “I am very excited to be back with the Byrd Band.”

She said she loves working with middle school aged students.

Helen Hancock teaches math at WBMS one block and then spends the rest of her day at Hidden Valley Middle School. She is a 1996 graduate of Salem High School and majored in psychology and minored in math at Roanoke College. After receiving her degree,  she taught in Fauquier County until 2010, and then at Hidden Valley High School for the past five years.

Helen Hancock teaches math at both WBMS and Hidden Valley Middle School.
Helen Hancock teaches math at both WBMS and Hidden Valley Middle School.