School Directory

Office and Administration

Principal- Mrs. Erika Stronach

Email: estronach@polkschools.org

 

Secretary and Data Manager- Mrs. Yvonne Bruce

Email: ybruce@polkschools.org

 

School Nurse- Kim Money

Email: kmoney@polkschools.org

I have been a RN for 38 years and a School Nurse for 3 years.

Teachers

Preschool Teacher- Ms. Laura Freck

Email: lfreck@polkschools.org

Kindergarten Teacher- Mrs. Denise Kennedy

Email: dkennedy@polkschools.org

A little about me . . .
I like to drink coffee and eat chocolate.
I love to read books,
hike in the woods,
run on trails,
and . . .

I love to learn new things
and teach kindergarten!!!

                                                                            I’m looking forward to
                                                                        learning with you this year!!!

Kindergarten Teacher- Mrs. Ashley Marion

Email: amarion@polkschools.org

This is my 21st year of teaching and I have always been at Saluda School.  I have taught both PreK and Kindergarten.  I grew up in Matthews, NC and graduated from UNCC with a degree in Elementary Education.  I am married to my husband Paul and we have 2 awesome kids. 

First Grade Teacher- Mrs. Stephanie Fletcher

Email: sfletcher@polkschools.org

This is my 5th year at Saluda and my third year in 1st grade. I love teaching first graders because this is a huge year of growth! Previously I taught 2nd at Saluda and 5th grade in South Carolina. My husband Todd and I have 2 children: Bryce and Kiersten who are 22 and 17. I have a Masters in Education from the University of Tennessee and an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the College of Charleston. My favorite subjects to teach are reading and math.

First Grade Teacher – Mrs. Kelsey Townsley

Email:  ktownsley@polkschools.org

My name is Kelsey Townsley. I started my teaching career in 2014 in El Cajon, California. I moved to North Carolina in 2021 to be closer to family and live in Saluda with my husband and two daughters. I have taught in Buncombe County for the past two years. I am originally from Louisville, Colorado, where I got my teaching credential and Bachelor’s at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I strive to be an inspiration to my students, just as my fifth grade teacher was to me. I love teaching and coming to school each day because I enjoy watching my students grow and become lifelong learners. I am so excited to be coming to Saluda Elementary. I can’t wait to work in my community!

Second Grade Teacher – Mrs. Gina Burnett

Email: gburnett@polkschools.org

A little about me . . .
I like to drink Arnold Palmers, mochas (iced in the summer and hot in the winter) and eat really dark chocolate.
I love experiencing all four seasons and wish winter ended in February.
I love to travel, walk my dog, walk to school and walk home from school after a busy day of teaching second graders at Saluda School.

 

Second Grade Teacher – Mrs. Michelle Richardson

Email: mrichardson@polkschools.org

Third Grade Teacher- Mrs. Melissa Gillespie

Email: mgillespie@polkschools.org

After graduating from Mars Hill College with a degree in elementary education, I began my teaching career at Saluda Elementary in 1993. In 2000, I earned a master’s degree in reading from Furman University.  I am now excited to begin my 31st year of teaching at Saluda Elementary. During my teaching career, I have taught kindergarten, first, second, and third grades. Because of the time I have invested,  this school and community are near and dear to my heart. 

My husband Eric and I reside in Hendersonville with our daughters Meredith and Julia. We are huge UGA fans, and spend Saturdays in the fall watching football. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, puzzles and board games, and curling up with a good book.

Fourth Grade Teacher- Mrs. Stephanie Uhrich

Email: suhrich@polkschools.org

I have been married to my best friend for the last 26 years-Steve. I have one wonderful daughter (Ms. Sydney), who is in college. I graduated from UNCA with an education license, and I have had the joy of teaching 4th grade at Saluda for a few years now. My favorite thing to teach IS MATH. During my free time, I enjoy kayaking, camping, hiking, taking karate, and reading.  

Fourth Grade Teacher- Mrs. Ginger Rackley

Email: grackley@polkschools.org

I am starting my 22nd year here at Saluda Elementary School.  I graduated from Mars Hill University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.  I received my Master’s from Gardner-Webb University.  I also have my National Board Certification.  I have taught Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grades.  

My husband, Alex, and I have been married for 24 years.  We have one son, Blake and his wife Allison.  We all love Clemson football and NASCAR.  We also love supporting our Polk County Wolverines! 

Fifth Grade Teacher – Mrs. Brandi Drake

bdrake@polkschools.org

I am Mrs. Drake.  I have taught at Saluda Elementary for 16 years.  I was born in Johnston County, NC.  I went to high school in Kannapolis, where I met my husband of 19 years, Jon.  I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from UNC-Greensboro and I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree through U of SC Columbia.  I am National Board Certified in Literacy and I have taught students of all ages at our school.  My two daughters have both attended Saluda Elementary.  One is starting middle school and the other is going into high school.  This year I am returning to 5th grade and I am super excited!

MTSS Coordinator & Title I Reading Specialist – Ms. Ellen Rogers

Email: erogers@polkschools.org

Exceptional Children Teacher

Email: 

Encore Teachers

Art Teacher- Ms. Wendy Berryhill

Email: wberryhill@polkschools.org

I’m happy to be back at Saluda for my 12th year.  We are looking forward to a bright, creative, beautiful year in the art room.  Put your imagination in high gear and let’s have an amazing year!

Music Teacher- Ms. Pam McNeil

Email: pmcneil@polkschools.org

Pam McNeil is a pianist, with music education degrees from St. Andrews University and Western Carolina University. She has taught in Polk County Schools and at Isothermal Community College as well as private teaching. She is actively involved in the Tryon Little Theater, Tryon Summer Youth Theater and other community organizations. Kids, animals, nature and making music make her a happy person! 

PE Teacher- Mr. Michael Marshall

Email: mmarshall@polkschools.org

This is my 4th year of teaching and my 1st year at Saluda! I grew up in the mountains of upstate New York and graduated from Cedarville University in Ohio with a degree in Health and Physical Education. My wife and I have been married for two years now and we love hiking, kayaking, fishing, eating ice cream and just about anything outdoors. We are excited to be back to the mountains again! I am looking forward to teaching Physical Education at Saluda!

Media, AIG Specialist- Kevin Burnett

Email: kburnett@polkschools.org

Hi, I’m Mr. Burnett! I have been at Saluda School about as long as the big trees around the playground. I love this community and feel a deep connection to the students and families here.  I am the director of the department of awesomeness at Saluda Elementary School, which is housed in the media center. We do traditional literacy based media classes, stem based enrichment activities and various educational experiences scientifically designed to make learning fun and exciting. 

In my spare time, I like to stare at my dog and wonder what he’s thinking.  When I grow up I want to be a roller coaster. I very much want to be a partner with parents and families and be part of supporting your goals for the growth and education of your children. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns. 

 

Digital Archive: some of this stuff is dated and some of it may be new. But I’ve made dozens of class websites over the years and someone should look at this stuff before it disappears like all those others did. I mean, if you want to. Whatever. It’s cool either way. 

Website: https://sites.google.com/a/polkschools.org/saludalibrary/

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6_tvxoW5JuLs3R-w6Yp1Ug/vide

Student Support Services

School Guidance Counselor- Ms. Lisa Obermiller

Email: lobermiller@polkschools.org

School Speech Therapist- Mrs. Jennifer Young

Email: jyoung@polkschools.org

Meet Your Teacher Assistants and After School Staff

After School Director- Mrs. Edie Harris

Email: eharris@polkschools.org

Teacher Assistant- Mrs. Jennifer Doten

Email: jdoten@polkschools.or

Teacher Assistant- Ms. Taylor Shackley

Email: tshackley@polkschools.org

Teacher Assistant- Mrs. Tena Greene

Email: tgreene@polkschools.org

Teacher Assistant- Mrs. Kelley Dow

Email: kdow@polkschools.org

Teacher Assistant- Mrs. Amanda Huddleston

Email: ahuddleston@polkschools.org

Teacher Assistant- Mrs. Jennifer O’Rear

Email: jorear@polkschools.org