Elementary Team

Sharon Hedgepeth : First Grade

Sharon Hedgepeth

First Grade

Sharon attend Church on the Rise.

Her favorite part of teaching is seeing a child grasp as skill or task. She also loves the assurance of knowing that children who attend NLCA will know that not only did Christ create them, He also loves them.

Sharon grew up in a Pentecostal Holiness household. She is thankful to have been raised in a home that taught her the power of prayer and that all her thanksgivings are owed to Jesus Christ. She has been a Sunday School years for children ages 3-6. The Word of God is life to her and her family. She works to impart this vision and reality to her students. She knows she is saved by grace, and though she does not feel worthy, she called Christ her Lord and Savior. She clings to Philippians 1:6 which says, "He is not finished working in me yet."

sharonhedgepeth@newlifeacademyrm.com

Jessica Passmore : First Grade

Jessica Passmore

First Grade

Jessi attends Church on the Rise, the Nashville campus.

She is married to Ken and has 2 children, Karson and Jordan.

Her favorite part of teaching is being with children. She loves the glow they get when they learn something new and it finally clicks for them.

Jessi's parents raised her to put her trust in God and treat others with respect. She asked Jesus into her heart at a very young age. It is her desire to grow in her walk with Christ daily. Working with children is not only a passion for her, but she also feels it is a calling God has placed on her life. She feels blessed that God has given her the opportunity to do what she loves every day.

jessicapassmore@newlifeacademyrm.com

Linda Williams : Second Grade

Linda Williams

Second Grade

Linda attends Southside Baptist Church where she is a member of the choir, a Sunday School Teacher, volunteers in VBS, substitutes as the piano player when needed, and is active in many of the children's activities.

She and her husband, David, have 2 daughters, Kelly and Kasey.

Her favorite thing about teaching is seeing how excited the children get about learning.

As a 30 year veteran of the NC Public School system, God's love, grace, and strength has equipped her to prepare students for their future. Her desire to teach began at an early age when she was trying to answer the question, "What do I want to be when I grown up?" She thought that she wanted to be a musician, artist, zoologist, or even a missionary like the ones she had learned about in GA's at church in her hometown, Raleigh. At 12, after publicly accepting Jesus as her Savior at a revival at her church, she knew that she could wrap all of her interests into 1 with Jesus who makes all things possible. The classroom has become her mission field with students eager to be loved and encouraged.

lindawilliams@newlifeacademyrm.com

Gloria Byers : Second Grace

Gloria Byers

Second Grace

Gloria attends Englewood Baptist Church and believes the Bible is indeed the inspired word of God. (John 1:1)

Gloria was saved at a very early age and followed by baptism. At the age of 21, she rededicated her life to the Lord for service, desiring His will for her life. His will! His way! Her life changed instantly for service. She has served as a Sunday School Teacher for primary ages, a Youth Advisor, a Vacation Bible School teacher and director, a Church Secretary, Awana club leader, and a leader/teacher for a Community Bible Study for Women. 

The Lord had done many wonderful and great things in her life. She can't even count the blessings as they are too many! However, attending Piedmont Bible College (now Piedmont International University) has been one of the highlights of her life. She is a proud graduate!

Ms. Byers has been a teacher for most of her career, and praises the Lord for this opportunity to teach at NLCA. She is excited about all that He will do through her for the success of her students and parents. 

We serve a wonderful Savior. He is faithful! She cannot thank Him enough for all He has done for her through the years.

gloriabyers@newlifeacademyrm.com

Jennifer Upchurch : Third Grade Teacher

Jennifer Upchurch

Third Grade Teacher

Jennifer attends Anchor Baptist Church where she plays the piano and teaches the children's class on Wednesday evenings.

Her husband, Harry, is the Pastor of Anchor Baptist Church and a Deputy Sheriff. They have 2 daughters, Kathleen and Rachel.

Her favorite part of teaching is being able to interact with children and helping them learn new ideas. She loves the classroom environment.

As a child, Jennifer grew up in church and made a profession of faith at age 12. It was not until her early twenties that she realized she had not grasped the true meaning of salvation. She did not understand why she was a sinner, not why she needed a Savior. The Holy Spirit revealed to her that as a sinner, she had no relationship with God outside of Jesus. She had to put 100% trust in Jesus dying on the cross, paying her sin debt in full, She could not trust in her church membership nor being a good person.

jenniferupchurch@newlifeacademyrm.com

Vickie Britt : Third Grade

Vickie Britt

Third Grade

vickiebritt@newlifeacademyrm.com

Robert Doyle : Fourth Grade

Robert Doyle

Fourth Grade

Mr. Doyle has a great love for the Christian school, for it as the influence of the Christian school that lead him to new birth in Christ. It was through a chapel message he heard as an elementary child that he realized his need of salvation. One song sung that day was, "Do You Know That You've Been Born Again?" He did not know, and God used that song to bring him to repentance. He knows God changed him that day. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." Titus 3:5

Since then, Mr. Doyle has sought to follow the Lord in Christian ministry through Christian schools here in the US as well as several foreign countries. His desire is to give his life to educating children and leading them to God and in the way they should go - to make a difference in the lives of young people, to make a difference for the next generation, to make a difference for eternity.

robertdoyle@newlifeacademyrm.com

Rene Smith : Fourth Grade

Rene Smith

Fourth Grade

Rene attends Parkwood Baptist Church where she works with the media and children's programs.

She has 2 brothers and 1 sister. She has been married for 30 years and has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

Her favorite part of teaching is seeing a light in a child's eyes when they finally understand a concept.

Rene was saved at the age of 7 and knows without a shadow of a doubt that she is a born again Christian. She blieves int eh power of prayer and understands the importance of Bible study as the Bible still has messages for us today. She feels very strongly that there is a place for everyone to serve, you just need a willing heart.

renesmith@newlifeacademyrm.com

Brian Vaughn : Fifth Grade

Brian Vaughn

Fifth Grade

Brian attends Everett Chapel OFW Baptist in Clayton, NC where he is a Sunday School teacher, Awana director, and children's church leader. 

He and his wife Tammy have been married for 15 years. They have one daughter, Kathryn, and one son, Greyson.

His favorite part of teaching is getting to teach not only academics but also life skills and conflict resolution. He also loves seeing the "ah ha!" moments in his students.

Brian was saved early in life and grew up in church. God has seen him through some tough experiences that have strengthened his faith. He truly believes that every experience in life is a "lesson or a blessin'."

brianvaughn@newlifeacademyrm.com

Jessica Sewell : Fifth Grade

Jessica Sewell

Fifth Grade

Jessica attends Rock Haven Church where she helps out with the younger children in the church. She and her husband, Josh, have one son, Hayden.

Jessica's favorite part of teaching is seeing the light in a student's eye when they have grasped a new concept. She loves helping to shape the minds of our future generation.

Jessica grew up at Sandy Cross United Methodist Church. She came to know the Lord when she was 12 years old when she went through confirmation class. She understood why Jesus died on the cross for her and others to forgive us for our sins. Everyday, she is growing deeper spiritually and growing closer to the Lord. She looks forward to helping her students to better understand the meaning of Jesus.

jessicasewell@newlifeacademyrm.com

Emily Alford : Sixth Grade

Emily Alford

Sixth Grade

Emily attends Sunset Avenue Baptist Church where she is a member. She teaches 2 year old Sunday School every other month, helps in the nursery, and helps with most every event the church has. As a teenager, she accepted Christ while praying the prayer of salvation with someone else. Since then, she has seen God's redemption and faithfulness displayed in her life. After high school, she was ready to enter nursing school, but God had a different plan for her life. After a mission trip, she felt the call to teach but quickly said no. After a month of this feeling not going away, she told three people. Each person said don't be a teacher. After much prayer, she decided teaching is where God was calling her. Missions is also a big part of her life. She recently returned from a 2 month trip to Bulgaria. She fully supports missions and hopes to one day be overseas as an ESL teacher.

emilyalford@newlifeacademyrm.com