Claire Sutton, CFNN Reporter

Pictured: Sarah Little, Donna Kennedy, Tiffany Kinlaw, Jessica Dickerson, Elise Denman, Grace Holden

From the pandemic to online learning, this school year has been far from normal. Being strictly virtual has been and continues to be an adjustment for both students and teachers. Interaction and communication has become more of a challenge for many. Since we have not had the chance to get back in the classroom, students have not received the opportunity to actually get to know their teachers. This year, Cape Fear has been blessed with some phenomenal new teachers and counselors who are dedicated to helping their students be successful in these uncertain times.

Donna Kennedy: We are so excited to have Mrs. Donna Kennedy as our new Health Teacher! She was born and raised in the Eastover area and actually graduated from Cape Fear. Mrs. Kennedy has been a registered nurse for 28 years and has enjoyed working with all different ages. She recently decided to make a change and pursue teaching.

“I love teaching my students the miracle of how the body works and I hope to be able to excite them about pursuing a job in the healthcare field,” she said. We are so glad Mrs. Kennedy has decided to share her passion with students here at Cape Fear.

Nisa Ontiveros: We would like to welcome Ms. Ontiveros as one of Cape Fear’s Counselors. Ontiveros received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. She went on to receive her masters and graduate from the University of South Carolina. This is Ontiveros’ first year as a school counselor.

“My favorite part about counseling is being able to work with students and help them achieve their goals both in high school and after they graduate,” Ontiveros stated. She moved from California to Fayetteville and saw that Cape Fear was looking for a counselor. She loved the fact that Cape Fear had so many opportunities and options for students in clubs, sports, and activities.

“I am so happy to be part of the Cape Fear community! I can’t wait for all of you to be back in the building when the time is right,” she exclaimed.

Sara Little: Joining our math department is Mrs. Sara Little. She is a graduate of Appalachian State University. Little has been married for 27 years and has two daughters. She is no stranger to the classroom. Mrs. Little has been teaching math in Cumberland County since 1992!

“Cape Fear has a reputation of being a school in which the faculty is like family and I wanted to become a part of that,” said Little. She also stated that even during this tough and lonely semester she has felt welcomed by the staff here at Cape Fear. Cape Fear’s math department is truly the best and we are so glad to have Mrs. Little. “ There is nowhere I’d rather teach,” Little responded.

Elise Denman: We are excited to welcome Ms. Elise Denman as one of our new school counselors. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Florida. Denman just received her Masters of Education in School Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This is Denman’s first year as a school counselor and she replied that she is loving it so far!

“I came to Cape Fear because of the students & staff. During my interview I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of the Colt family. The staff members at Cape Fear are dedicated to their students, always going above and beyond. I wanted to work at a school that shared that value that I hold,.” Denman stated.

Ms. Denman’s favorite part about being a school counselor so far, is having the opportunity to connect and get to know students on a more personal level and being able to support them and their goals.

Jessica Dickerson: Bringing her sense of creativity, Ms. Jessica Dickerson will be sharing her passion for art with our students here at Cape Fear. Dickerson is a graduate of UNC Wilmington and received her bachelor’s degree in studio art. She has been teaching for three years and decided to join the colt family because she wanted the opportunity to teach high school students and work with an amazing group of people.

“My favorite part about teaching is sparking creativity in young minds and helping expand the talents and knowledge of young artists,” Dickerson replied. We are excited to see what Ms. Dickerson has instore for our art program.

Kaiya Brown: Joining our English Department is Ms. Kaiya Brown! She is a graduate of North Carolina State University. Brown has been teaching for three years and we are so glad to welcome her to Cape Fear High School! Brown states that she really likes how family-oriented the school community is and she is so fortunate to be a part of it.

She is passionate about her job and loves to guide students to their success. “My favorite part of teaching is helping my students reach their “Aha!” moments. Seeing the students light up with the realization that they got on their own makes teaching worth it,” she says.  

Tiffany Kinlaw: Joining our math department is Mrs. Tiffany Kinlaw. Kinlaw graduated from Fayetteville State University where she received her Bachelor’s in Mathematics and Computer Science. She also received her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in Mathematics from Grand Canyon University.

This is Mrs. Kinlaw’s fourth year as a teacher and she has loved every minute of it.  She also stated that she came into teaching as a lateral entry teacher. Kinlaw loves spending time with her husband, Justin, and their dog Jax. We are so grateful to have Mrs. Kinlaw in our outstanding Math department.

Grace Holden: We would like to welcome Mrs. Holden to our Social Studies department. She graduated from UNC Pembroke and is currently working on getting her Master’s through the Gilder Lehrman Institute. Before coming to Cape Fear, Mrs. Holden was a teacher at Clinton High. She is working on her fourth year as a teacher and has loved every second of it.

“I live in the Cape Fear district and this is where my kids will go, so it was time to come ‘home’,” Holden responded.  Her favorite part about teaching is watching her students grow and getting the chance to see the “aha!” moments. 

We are thrilled to welcome such amazing and dedicated teachers to our colt family. Many of the teachers stated how Cape Fear was more than just a school and a job. Cape Fear is a family and a community. Even during unsure times, the Colt family always tries to put their students first. Cape Fear truly has the best teachers!