With the start of the 2018–2019 school year, we welcome ten new teachers and administrators to the PDS Community.
New JK Teacher
Molly Beard, returns to PDS after moving away nine years ago. Mrs. Beard has over ten years of experience teaching in Early Childhood education. Molly has an undergrad degree from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Memphis. She is looking forward to being back at PDS!
New Reading Specialist (5th–6th Grades)
Diann Belote joins the PDS faculty after thirty-three years in elementary and middle school education. She has experience in the areas of language arts, technology, and gifted education. She and her husband, Michael, have always lived and worked in the Memphis area and enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren. Diann holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Master of Education degree in Childhood Literacy from the University of Memphis.
Ann Clark Elmore
New Elementary Administrative Assistant
Ann Clark is a native Memphian. She attended the University of Mississippi where she earned her Bachelors of Business Administration degree. She previously worked at PDS as the Elementary Administrative Assistant and is excited to be returning after staying at home with her three children for a couple of years.
New Sixth Grade Teacher (ELA)
Lauren Riley, a native of Memphis, has eight years of teaching experience. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Auburn University and a Master of Education degree from Vanderbilt University. She and her husband Pete have two boys, William and Andrew.
New EDGE Studio
Brittany Smith, a native of Memphis, TN, is excited to be joining the PDS family. Mrs. Smith has five years teaching experience in Knox and Shelby county schools. Her passion is cultivating an exciting learning environment where boys feel safe to explore and grow. Brittany has a bachelor’s degree in Human Growth and Learning from Tusculum College. She is also a loving wife and mother.
New Spanish Teacher (3rd–6th Grades)
Jenna Thornburg is joining our faculty as the Spanish teacher for grades 3–6. She has lived in Memphis for 24 years and is returning to teaching after time at home with her children. Mrs. Thornburg has six years of experience in the classroom. She earned a B.A. in English and Spanish from the University of Memphis and a master’s degree in teaching from Christian Brothers University. She also studied the Spanish language at the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca in Spain.
New Technology Coordinator
Danielle Walton grew up in North Dakota and graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelors degree in 2011. Upon graduating, she relocated to Tennessee to attend Trevecca Nazarene University, where she received a master’s degree in 2013. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in education. Danielle has a passion for educational technology and is looking forward to working as our Technology Coordinator!
Yanan (Sunny) Zheng
New Mandarin Teacher (Early Childhood)
Sunny Zheng has a Master’s in Business Administration degree from The University of Memphis. She spent two years working as a Mandarin teacher in Hong Kong before coming to the United States. Her goals are to teach the Mandarin language, to help boys develop verbal proficiency, and along the way learn to love and appreciate the Chinese culture.