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RYRES Staff Bios

Introducing our AIG teacher, Karen Holder, our ESL teacher Jennifer Lazcano, one of our EC teachers Mallory Symonds, Acey Holmes one of our speech language pathologist and Jeanie Wainwright our guidance counselor.


Karen Holder- AIG teacher

I spent my childhood in Buffalo, NY, Toledo, OH, and St Louis, MO. I graduated from South Mecklenburg High in Charlotte and went on to UNC-Chapel Hill where I received my BA in Early Childhood Education. Upon graduation, I married my high school sweetheart and went on to teach 2nd grade for Charlotte-Mecklenburg. When my children were young, I taught in a church preschool. I returned to public schools as an Instructional Assistant when my youngest entered school. Five years ago I attended Wingate University to get my AIG Teaching License and I returned to teaching as an AIG teacher at Wesley Chapel Elementary. I am currently in my third year at Rocky River. I have three children, Harrison, a freshman at UNCC studying kinesiology, Morgan, a junior at Weddington, and Liesl, a freshman at Weddington. In my free time I enjoy working in my yard, crocheting, reading, and running.

Jennifer Lazcano - ESL teacher
I was born and raised in Oil City, PA. I attended Gannon University in Erie, PA and received my degree in elementary education. I moved to Union County to teach 4th grade at East Elementary. While working there, I realized I enjoyed working with Limited English Proficient students and received my ESL certification through NC State. I have been a teacher in Union County for 15 years, 13 of those with the ESL department. I am married and have 2 beautiful little girls. I enjoy spending with my family and reading.

Mallory Symonds- EC teacher
Hi there! My name is Mallory Symonds. I joined the Rocky River staff at the beginning of February as an Exceptional Children’s Teacher. My husband, daughter, and I moved from the Eastern Shore of Maryland where I was born and raised. I graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a bachelor’s degree in Special Education in the spring of 2010. I taught for 3.5 years in Maryland before moving to North Carolina this winter. My work experiences in Maryland were varied, providing me with numerous opportunities to work with students exhibiting a wide range of disabilities; therefore resulting in my exposure to multiple teaching methods, student behaviors, and learning environments. We are settling in with our big transition and enjoying the South! We especially relish in all of the opportunities to play outside and explore the area. When time allows, I enjoy working on goodies for my hobby turned somewhat small business venture ,Simply Milroy.

Acey Holmes- Speech language pathologist

I’m Acey Holmes, the speech language pathologist serving the general speech/language population at Rocky River. Over the course of my career, I’ve worked in public and private schools (as an auditory oral therapist), for a cochlear implant manufacturer (as an outreach/educational specialist), and in a hospital (as a swallowing diagnostician). I’m from all over the south, but I claim North Carolina as home. My undergraduate degree (’03) is from UNCG and my graduate degree (’11) is from Longwood University (VA). My husband’s coaching career brought us from Winston-Salem to Union County in July 2013. We have a son, Hudson (born in April 2013), and two dogs. When I’m not working, I’m running, reading, or making my little one laugh.

Jeanie Wainwright - Guidance Counselor

I was born in Huntington, W Va. but was raised in southeastern Ohio. I left there to go to college at The Ohio State University where I got a BS in education specializing in Special Education. I later went back to school and got my Masters in Education specializing in school counseling. I taught for 2 years with severely and profoundly handicap adults and then 8 years in a residential facility for children who were emotionally and behaviorally handicap k-6 grade. Then I finished up my teaching career by working in the Ohio public school system for 9 years. As a counselor, I have done family therapy along with counseling students that were emotionally handicap. We moved to North Carolina in 1997 where I began working as a school counselor in Union County schools. When my husband and I are not traveling, I like to watch NASCAR, garden, read, and play with our two dogs, Charlie and Chloe.

Written by: Brenda Todd
Posted: May 20, 2014 by Brenda Todd

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