Meet the BES Faculty!


Principal - Deidre McManaway

"From the pavilion to the kitchen and everywhere in between, each person is an essential piece at Branford Elementary making our school a great place for students to learn."

Assistant Principal - Melinda Ahrens

"Being a part of Branford Elementary has been such an amazing experience. It is exciting to witness the teachers and students interacting and engaging in learning. The staff here genuinely love and care for the students. I feel blessed to be able to play a small role in the education of students at BES!"


Matt Campbell

Lisa Flowers

Academic Coach

"BES allows me to use my love of reading and teaching to be the best literacy coach that I can be."

Brad Mincks

School Resource Officer

"Always do the best that you can with what you got."


Margaret Williams

School Counselor

"Every child matters to me here at BES.  Making sure each child knows they are loved, they are important, and they matter fills my heart full of joy."


Amanda Harris

School Registrar

"Our students make me smile, laugh, and want to come to work each day."

Andrea Lanier

School Secretary

"All the smiling little faces brighten my day!"

Rebekah Mercer

School Nurse

"I really enjoy the small-town, family atmosphere of BES.  I pray everyday that I will be a blessing and help to provide comfort and healing to those in need."

Mary Roberts

School Bookkeeper

"I love being a part of BES and the success of our students.  I AM BLESSED!"


Amy Allen

Classroom Teacher

"I do not look at each student's disability as disabling them. Instead, I see each student as uniquely different."

Patricia "Pat" Brantley

Student Services

"At BES our teachers LOVE teaching children to love learning!"

Vera Knighton

ESE Support Facilitator

"My mission in education is to help students learn to tap into their hidden potential and not allow fear of failure to hold them back. When students feel safe, loved, and appreciated they begin to open up and trust the learning process. I am blessed to be part of that process."

Lindsey Ramsey

ESE Support Facilitator

"We might not see the change immediately, but we are making tiny ripples throughout our school and community that will make a HUGE difference in the future.  I'm in it for the long run!"

Rowna Valin

Speech Therapist



Amaris Chapman

"Children are little sponges absorbing all you can give them.  BES is that positive juice all children need."

Cara Howard

"I love the magic of Pre-K.  Every day is full of love, hugs, questions, and adventure!"

Edna Roberts

"Sssshhhh... it's nap time."


Melissa Holtzclaw

"Be the GOOD that you want to see."

Victoria "Tori" Jensen

"It takes a village to raise and educate tiny humans.  I'm so proud to be part of the BES village."

Julie Klecka

"I love teaching at BES.  Teaching kindergarten is my Super Power."

Hannah Knighton

"Love every child as if they are your own."

Jessica Nipper

"After 12 years at BES, the most rewarding aspect is how much I learn on a daily basis. Everyday is a new adventure and I have not only evolved as a teacher but as a person as well."

Denah Phillips

"I'm proud to be a part of the BESt faculty and staff.  It truly is the place that your child becomes "ours"."


April Barnes

"I love the relationships built between the walls at BES.  My students inspire me every day!"

Kirsten Boston

"I am so proud to teach at Branford Elementary School. Our small town atmosphere makes it easy to form strong connections with my students that will last a lifetime!"

Crystal Brown

"For me it's all about the "AHA" moments.  It fills my heart to watch my students learn and celebrate their accomplishments with them!"

Kelly Davidson

“The Faculty and Staff provide personal nurturing to all students. A nurturing Effect can Affect the young minds of our students in a positive and powerful light that allow students to shine brightly and successfully.”

Melinda Hawthorne

"They say it takes a village to help raise children. BES truly demonstrates this each day and each year in how they care for their students. I am blessed to work here and be a part of a wonderful school!"

Amanda Koon

"I am proud to be a part of the BES family. Everyone strives everyday to grow and develop each student to the best of their ability."


Lyndsey Browning

"As a Branford graduate, I am priviledged to be able to provide a welcoming, safe and challenging learning environment to the students in our community."

Tina Hayes

"At BES, we strive to work hard, build relationships, and are commited to the success of all of our students."

Susan Mackin

"I teach therefore I learn."

Miranda "Joy" Walker

"Being a former Buccaneer, I take pride that BES is centered around relationships."

Kimberly Williams

"BES is a family of teachers, staff and administrators that is dedicated to the success of others. "


Kimberly Cannon

I believe in my students and encourage them to believe in themselves."

Amanda Hayes

"It’s a joy to share my love of reading with students."

Stephanie Knighton

"BES a place where you are loved more than you know."

Samantha Torrese

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery. - Mark Van Doren"


Tiffany Cochran

"Every child deserves to have someone in their life that truly believes in them and at BES I intend to be that someone."

Jacqueline Glover

"It is so rewarding to see the personal and academic growth in our students.  It's the small everyday victories that make the BIG differences!"

Traci Kirby

"I love teaching at BES because I get to work with so many great teachers, great staff, great students, and great families."

Amy Townsend

"BES, where family works together to make a difference."

Jennifer Winnett

“BES is a small town school that loves our children.  We celebrate our differences, recognize our talents, and encourage our children to dream BIG!"


Kimberley Garrett

"If there is one thing I have learned about being a teacher, it's love them first, teach them second. Students who feel loved, safe, and respected will meet, and even exceed, your expectations of them!"

Tim Grinstead

“The best part of teaching is watching how students grow! Planting educational seeds in growing minds can literally change the world!”

Priscilla Jones

"My everyday goal is to be that teacher each child remembers in their heart years and years later; those are the great ones. Those are the ones that make the real difference. I hope to be a difference maker." 

Wynette Sumner

"A multitude of awesome teaching styles coming together for one main goal: to develop well-rounded students."


Emily Blackmon


"Every student has a song in their heart, and it is my privilege to listen and sing along. I love my music makers!"

Lynsee Dicks


"Our school is where learning becomes an adventure!"

Katee O'Quinn


"Stretch your body and mind."

Jennifer Richer

Media Specialist

"I have the honor of serving as the BES Media Specialist  which allows me the opportunity to share my passion of history as well as the challenge of finding the perfect book for each person."

Carla Suggs


"Keep your hands and feet to yourself."


Teresa Allen

"I love to see the kids enjoying a good book."

Staci Feeney

"Tough enough to be a paraprofessional, Crazy enough to LOVE being one at BES."

Carla Hollinger

"If you think our hands are full, you should see our hearts.  We have the BIGGEST hearts here at BES."

Candice Hudson

"I love seeing students' faces at BES light up when they understand what they're learning."

Karen Knighton

"Our students and staff at BES are a true inspiration.  You can always find a smiling face and a willing heart on our campus."

Amanda Martin

" It takes someone special to hear what someone cannot say."

Amity McCall

"I love working with so many different students from all levels and helping them find success."

Deborah McFadden

"I enjoy seeing the children's eyes light up when they learn something new."

Pamela Norton

"I love working with the kids at BES. I feel I make a difference in their life as they do mine."

Shawna Shea

"I am proud to be a part of BES and helping to mold the young minds of our future."

Wendy Stines

"Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary."

Damaris Valdez

Bilingual Para

"I feel blessed to be part of the BES team, and to have the opportunity to share experiences with each of the teachers and their students.  BES is an AMAZING team!"


Anthony Jackson

Head Custodian

"The students and staff make me feel grateful to be part of BES."

Bart Hill

"BES feels like home."

Austin Holtzclaw

"I am grateful the students at BES are aware of the importance it takes a team to have a clean and organized school."

Christopher Ringlein

"I am happy to be a part of the BES team."


Alysia Causey

"I enjoy when the children share the exciting things they are learning in class everyday."

Crystal Cox

"Please wash your hands."

Janice Lee


"I love seeing our kids smiling faces as they come to eat in our cafeteria!"

Heather Lewis

"We have a great team here at BES."