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Meet Our Staff


Ms. Kellie, Director

 I am super excited to be here and have the opportunity to work with you and your child/ren. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and over 20 years’ experience in the field. I started in high school and fell in love with the fact that I could first handedly make a difference in the life of a child and help shape the future of the education field. My passion for making Early Childhood Education my profession is to help parents, caregivers, and other educators appreciate and foster every child’s individual learning potential by tapping into what makes them tick and the unique abilities they have to offer this world. This passion developed as I watched my middle son struggle with being forced to try and learn in ways he just wasn’t capable of doing. Through the years of trying to get him to connect to the tactics of public education I learned that educators and parents need to think outside the traditional values of the educational system and provide a safe, encouraging learning environment that reaches each child’s individual strengths. Doing this will enable every learner to reach THEIR full potential without hesitation.
I have four wonderful boys of my own and an additional “adopted” son; Cole, Camden, Carson, Cade, and Chris and I credit them each with contributing to my ongoing passion for education. By learning how to help and care for each one of them differently I am able to help others see the importance and necessity of early childhood education. I look forward to working with each of you and your families to ensure a fun and successful child care experience.

Ms. Marie, Assistant Director

Hello, my name is Marie. I am the Assistant Director at Holly Springs Academy. I hold an AAS Degree in Early Childhood Education, a Level II North Carolina Administration Credential and an AMS Montessori Education 3-6 Credential. I am currently enrolled at Mount Olive University pursuing a BA in Early Childhood Education. I have over twenty three years experience working with young children (eighteen months to six years of age).

I am a “Transplant” from Queens New York and have lived in North Carolina for a little over eighteen years. I am a mother of two sons and I also have three furry Yorkie children (Gizmo, Gracie and Fifi). I love to make jewelry, walk in nature, volunteer, write children’s stories and spend time with my family. I love working with young children and their families.  I am grateful to be part of Holly Springs Academy. It is a friendly, child oriented school that exemplifies good family values. I am also grateful to work with such a great staff. I hope that you find HSA to be as superb as I have. 


Ms. Jeanne, Lead Teacher (Chick Peas classroom) Ones

Hi, my name is Ms. Jeanne and I am excited to be here at Holly Springs Academy! I am a graduate of James Sprunt Community College and hold an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I am currently attending Grand Canyon University pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Reading/Language Arts and minoring in Curriculum Instruction. I have been an educator for over thirteen years. It is my belief that all children can learn if given the opportunity. I am an active member of NAEYC in order to bring the most current and effective teaching methods into my classroom.

Ms. Lessa, Lead Teacher (Sweet Peas classroom)  Young 2s

Hello!  I love teaching and playing with the young children in my classroom.  I am from Malawi and I have an infant born earlier this year (2016).  I have an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education and I am looking forward to sharing many learning moments with my young toddlers!  I love reading and I am really enjoying getting to know the Holly Springs area.

Ms. Janie , Assistant Teacher (Sweet Peas classroom) Young 2s


My name is Ms. Janie. I am the assistant teacher in the two’s classroom. I have completed my Associate’s Certificate and I take every opportunity to learn more about child development and best practices for young children. I have worked with young children for over eighteen years including working with elementary aged children. I am married and have two amazing daughters and four beautiful grandchildren! I am a native of Apex and in my spare time, I love to play volleyball, bowl and any other activity that I can do with my family. 


Ms. Amanda, Lead Teacher (Pea Pods classroom) Older 2s

My name is Ms. Amanda! I am a resident of Fayetteville. I am a Certified Nurse’s Assistant and have worked with young children for over thirteen years. I am currently enrolled at Walden University completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. In my spare time, I like to cook, go to the movies, being in the outdoors and spending time with my two amazing teenage sons. I look forward to working with you, your child and your family!


Ms. Helen , Assistant Teacher (Pea Pods classroom) Older 2s


My name is Ms. Helen. I am originally from Ethiopia and have lived in the U.S. for a little over three years. I am currently an assistant teacher in the younger three’s classroom. I have Early Childhood Education Credentials from VA and NC, and have completed a wide variety of early childhood workshops. I have worked with young children for quite some time. I have a wonderful husband and an amazing daughter. I love spending time in the outdoors and spending quality time with my family. I look forward to getting to know you and your family!


Ms. Anne , Lead Teacher (Carrot Tops classroom) 3s


My name is Ms. Anne and I am the lead teacher in the older three’s classroom. I have an AAS degree in Early Childhood Education and over twenty years’ experience in childcare ages birth through twelve year olds. For the last eight years, I have worked with pre-school children exclusively. I am very excited to work in the Carrot Tops classroom with you and your child to make their day filled with fun, friendship and learning!


Ms. Oshima, Assistant Teacher (Carrot Tops classroom) 3s

Hi! I am Ms. Oshima. I am an assistant teacher in the Carrot Tops classroom. I have been working with kids for over 6 years. I am great with being creative and interacting with children. I have a daughter and my favorite color is purple! I love math, shopping, cleaning and cooking. I work out when I can. I am also very friendly, neat and responsible.

Ms. Brittany, Lead Teacher (Sweet Potatoes classroom) Four/Fives

 Hi, my name is Ms. Brittany. I am an older fours classroom teacher. I’ve worked with children almost all of my life. I grew up in a family of children’s entertainers (clowns) and from a very young age, I knew that I had a passion for bringing laughter and smiles to children and their families. In my teens, I volunteered at a local theater teaching children from ages 3-16. I have worked as a pre-school teacher for the past six years. I am currently pursuing my Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. I look forward to getting to know you and your children.


Ms. Jennifer , Lead Teacher (Peppers classroom) Pre-K

My name is Jennifer Gallup. I am originally from Groton Connecticut but moved to North Carolina about five years ago. I recently got married and started my career in Early Childhood Education. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Education and I have experience working with children from pre-school to fifth grade. I am so excited to work with your children and getting them prepared for kindergarten.


Ms. Destiny, Kitchen 


My name is Destiny. I have my Early Childhood Credential and plan to soon begin taking online courses for a certificate in Early Childhood Education. I have worked in early education for over four and a half years in roles such as a floater, cook, closer and infant classroom teacher. I am thrilled to be a part of the Holly Springs Academy team!


Ms. Sydney, Afternoon Floater

Hi, my name is Ms. Sydney and I am part of the kitchen staff here at HSA. I live in Holly Springs with my parents, my brother and sister. I am  a junior at Holly Springs High School. I love to walk in nature and spend time with my family.  This is my first experience working with young children and I am really enjoying it.


Ms. Danyell, Lunch Floater

I have lived in Holly Springs for many years and I have almost completed an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.  I have three beautiful daughters and a wonderful husband.  I enjoy spending time at lunch and rest period getting to know the children at Holly Springs Academy!


Ms. Birhan, Floater

I enjoy helping out in many different areas at the center.  I love working with the young children and playing games with them.  I also enjoy being able to assist the lead teachers when they have projects they need help with.