The Soaring Raven - bird, nevermore, blackbird, crow, raven

Rested… Accomplished… Vibrant… Empowered… Nourished… Spirited

It is my hope that the words above describe how our RAVENS are feeling after a summer filled with many exciting moments and fond memories.  The goal for all of us is to ensure the positive energy and emotions from the summertime continue throughout a very busy school year!  We must reflect on our experiences and mindsets from the summer months and find ways to create similar ones during the school year.

Team Lower School has been working hard over the summer to prepare for the 17-18 school year and we have focused on several key priorities that included:

  • hiring new faculty and staff members;
  • collaborating with grade level team members to review, revise, and enhance curriculum;
  • redesigning the physical space of center areas and individual classrooms;
  • engaging in professional development related to STEM+ and leadership development;
  • and planning for the year ahead, among other things!  

As we continue to embrace the possibilities that exist in our work as citizen-leaders, we are once again committed to a year-long professional development process to enhance our use of best practices in teaching and facilitation skills. Through our ongoing professional development programs, we are focusing on the needs of all students to effectively deliver the best academic and educational experience. This work will help us more effectively collaborate and communicate with all members of our community.

In Lower School, we will specifically focus on how we can utilize our learning related to facilitation skills to improve our ability to support students socially and emotionally. We want to create and maintain positive classroom environments by accurately assessing mood, energy, and interest level of students and serve as reliable, nurturing, empathetic, and culturally inclusive educators and leaders. The whole child is important to us and we want to ensure we are providing a learning experience that supports best practices in intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development.  

The new faculty members joining the Lower School bring fresh ideas, energy, and expertise that enhance and grow our team. They are innovative, knowledgeable, and passionate — and we are eager for you to meet them. In addition, we have familiar faces taking on new roles that we are very excited to share:  

Position Changes

Robbin King– Assistant to the Head of Lower School

Gina Taylor– School Nurse and Front Office Assistant

Renee Riggs– First Grade Assistant

Crystal Garris– Kindergarten Teacher

Sonja Fenner– Kindergarten Assistant


New Faculty

Betsy Barnett– Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

Kimberly Campfield– Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher

Renae Gallagher- Academic Skills Teacher

Crystal Keefe- Fourth Grade Teacher

Warsh Rao– Pre-Kindergarten Assistant Teacher

Tamara Simpson– Fourth Grade Teacher

Please join me in welcoming our new educators and congratulating those that have taken on new responsibilities. You can learn more about our new team members by reading their bios in the full list of new faculty and staff and you can review the overall Lower School  Leadership Structure to learn more about our team’s specific roles when partnering with parents.

Make sure to visit the Hobbs’ Highlights blog to stay informed about all the amazing things going on throughout the year in Lower School and to read some personal thoughts and reflections from myself and other guest bloggers. You can also follow the journey on Twitter @paytonhobbs where I post pictures and share stories of our Lower School adventures.

We look forward to seeing all new Ravenscroft students and their parents on Tuesday, August 22 for orientation and all our returning students on Wednesday, August 23 for the first day of school. Lower School Parent Night will take place on August 31, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly to share any questions or comments you have. You may reach me by phone at (919) 861-2110, ext. 2542 or by email at

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!                                                                    


Payton L. Hobbs

Head of Lower School


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