Meet Our School Administrators
Dr. Gina Chisum (Principal)
About Dr. Chisum
Dr. Gina Chisum was named principal of Sun Valley Middle School at the June 2022 Board of Education meeting.
As principal of Sun Valley Middle, it is my passion to cultivate and facilitate a collaborative, positive learning environment of continuous learning and reflection through systems thinking processes, elevating critical thinking for all school community stakeholders, and building collegial partnerships with all community stakeholders for shared accountability for all learners.
I believe that the constant variable of humankind is that people, in general, do not care what you know until it is known that you truly care. As a result, it is my educational philosophy that we build relationships with our students so that they know that there are adults in this school community who genuinely care about each child's social, emotional, physical, and intellectual well-being. This only happens when parents and educators work in unison to communicate openly and frequently to improve learning for all children.
I started my educational journey while my children attended school at Indian Trail Elementary. I volunteered as their room mom and as a PTO parent. As a substitute and interim teacher, I began to see the impact one could have on learning based on a positive attitude and a little fortitude. As a result, I returned to school at Wingate University and obtained my Professional Educator's License to teach K-6 while serving as an Instructional Assistant at Indian Trail Elementary. Once obtaining my license, I taught 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade. I have also had the privilege of working with Central Services as an Instructional Technology Facilitator. In 2017, I obtained my Education Specialist degree from Wingate University. In 2018, I continued to pursue further learning and obtained a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Wingate University. These opportunities have enabled me to see how the whole puzzle fits together so that at the center of each working component are our students - no part working in isolation, but each part working in symphonic harmony so that each child is empowered to embrace lifelong learning. My background has helped me to acquire substantial knowledge that makes me intuitive, personally relational, and 21st-century-driven. It is my joy to be serving my home campus as an educational leader and I can't imagine anywhere else that I would rather be!
Degrees and Certifications
- Doctorate of Educational Leadership, Wingate University
- Education Specialist Degree, Wingate University
- Masters in Art of Teaching, Wingate University, 2005
- National Board Teacher Certification, 2012
- Certification for Online Teaching, 2012
- Bachelors in Science of Music, Lee University, 1990
Contact Dr. Chisum
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Larae Biggerstaff (Assistant Principal)
About Mrs. Biggerstaff
Mrs. Biggerstaff was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She moved to North Carolina in 2003 and enrolled at UNC-Charlotte and received her K-6 Elementary Education teaching license. While teaching, she realized she wanted to have an impact on the whole school and enrolled at Gardner Webb University, where she graduated with her Masters in Executive Leadership.
Mrs. Biggerstaff also attended Harper College after high school and earned an Associates Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. She moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family Studies and Human Development.
She has been employed with UCPS for 19 years. During this time, she has taught both at the elementary and middle school levels. She has taught fourth, fifth, and most recently, Sixth Grade Science.
Mrs. Biggerstaff resides in Monroe, NC with her husband, son, and black lab. When she is not working, you can find her spending time with her family and cheering on her son at the baseball fields. She enjoys time with family, the beach, and being outdoors when the weather is nice.
She is looking forward to joining the Sun Valley Middle School Spartan Family. She is excited about getting to know and supporting her new students, staff, and families.
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David Thomson (Assistant Principal)
About Mr. Thomson
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Alycia Nikolaus (Assistant Principal)
Contact Ms. Nikolaus