Elementary Team

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.


Melinda Gonzalez : Fourth Grade Teacher

Melinda Gonzalez

Fourth Grade Teacher


Robert Doyle : 6th Grade Homeroom

Robert Doyle

6th Grade Homeroom


Amanda Edgar : Kindergarten

Amanda Edgar


Amanda attends First United Methodist with her husband, William, and their daughter, Kendall.

She feels honored to work at NLCA and loves working with the students and their parents.

She accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior when she was 10 years old, and she continues to grow spiritually in her daily walk.


Janet Fortenbery : Kindergarten

Janet Fortenbery


Janet attends Arlington Baptist Church. 

She resides in Nashville, NC with her husband, Greg, and mother, Ernell Edwards. She has 2 children. Her son, Grey, attends the Brody School of Medicine, and her daughter, Sara, is a nurse at Vidant in the ER. 

Janet's favorite part of teaching is watching students grow and learn not only academically but also spiritually. Teaching is her passion.

She was raised in a loving Christian home and accepted Christ at a young age.  Her love for Christ continues to grow stronger everyday.  


Donna Mills : First Grade

Donna Mills

First Grade

Donna attends Gospel Missionary Baptist Church where her husband is the Pastor. She is a Sunday School teacher and an Awana teacher.

Her husband, Allen, and she have 4 children, Cameron, Jordan, Logan, and Aubrey.

Her favorite thing about teaching is to watch children's faces as they grasp something new and are filled with excitement.

Donna was raised attending church and had the privilege to attend a Christian School. She accepted Jesus as her personal Savior at the age of 12 and has been growing daily in her walk with Him. She is very excited to now be a part of a Christian school in a different roll. She is looking forward to continuing to grow academically and spiritually as she leads the children/ She knows that God has placed a calling on her life to work with children through NLCA and through her church where she is involved with the children's ministry.


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.


Amanda Anderson : Second Grade

Amanda Anderson

Second Grade


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.


Vickie Britt : Third Grade

Vickie Britt

Third Grade


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.


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'."


Melissa Barbour : Elem. Music, H.S. Spanis, H.S. Health, & M.S. Band

Melissa Barbour

Elem. Music, H.S. Spanis, H.S. Health, & M.S. Band

Melissa attends Englewood United Methodist where she is the choir director and pianist.

Her favorite part of teaching is building relationships with students and learning as she teaches.

Melissa accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior as a child when she was praying with her mom before bed one night. She has had the honor of leading each of her children to the Lord in the same way. She has always been active in church, especially in music. God gives her hope and a thirst to know Him more every day.