President: Courtney Bennett

Courtney is currently the Elementary Literacy Specialist for Lynchburg City Schools. She has been with LCS for 24 years where she has been a first grade teacher, Reading Specialist and Literacy Coach. She got her undergraduate degree from Ferrum College and Lynchburg College and her M. Ed in Reading from Lynchburg College. In all of her roles, she has supported teachers and students in the area of reading. She is very passionate about helping children become lifelong readers and learners. She also enjoys furthering her own knowledge by attending conferences and workshops that support the most current research and best practices to help teachers and students. She is trained in Orton Gillingham and believes that the multisensory approach that it uses is one of the most beneficial strategies to help students build their foundation skills in the area of reading. In her current role she is working with all of the schools to learn a new reading program and implement it well. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her family and friends playing games, relaxing by a fire pit, or visiting the beach!

Co-Vice-President: Ruth Matheny

Ruth is currently the Literacy Instructional Support Specialist and former reading specialist with Amherst County Public Schools. In these roles she has been able to support teachers with effective literacy practices that benefit every child in the development of his/her literacy skills. She is passionate about furthering her own understanding of the science of reading and its implications for literacy instruction. Ruth is eager to share this knowledge with others, as she believes strongly that well-equipped, well-supported, and well-informed teachers are our best assurance in providing students with the critical reading and writing skills needed to be productive, literate citizens. Ruth enjoys spending time with her son and husband, camping, and crafting.

Co-Vice-President: Ashley Hutchison

Ashley is a reading specialist for Amherst County Public Schools. She has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Radford University and a M.Ed. in Reading Instruction from the University of Lynchburg. Ashley has worked with students on their literacy development and built capacity in teachers in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. She is passionate about providing needs-based intervention in a systematic and explicit manner and has experience in providing structured literacy learning opportunities through the Orton Gillingham approach. Professionally, Ashley enjoys opportunities to provide literacy coaching and developing curriculum that meets the diverse needs of learners across the literacy development continuum. She also enjoys spending time with her family, including her 3 sons, husband, and small dog, Oscar.

Treasurer : Caitlin Pugh

Caitlin is a two-time graduate of Lynchburg College. She received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education (K-6) in 2007 and her Master’s in Reading in 2019. She is currently a Reading Specialist at Robert S. Payne Elementary School in Lynchburg City. She has been a teacher at R.S. Payne for 14 years, teaching 1st, 3rd, and 4th grades, as well as Title 1. Caitlin received the Piedmont Area Reading Teacher of the Year in 2020. Reading is Caitlin’s passion in all aspects of her life. When not at school, she enjoys teaching dance at Forest Dance Academy as well as cooking and baking. Caitlin now serves as our Secretary for PAC and will be sending newsletters and other communications out to members and our districts.

Secretary: Kim Stark

Kim Stark has taught in primary classrooms in both Lynchburg City and Campbell County for a combined 23 years. She completed her Master’s of Reading Education at The University of Lynchburg and is currently serving as a Reading Specialist in Amherst County Schools. She has two children in college and loves attending sporting events and enjoying movie nights with her family. 

In her years as a classroom teacher, she has worked passionately to give her students a love of writing. She enjoys seeing the progression of literacy growth that is evidenced in their daily writing. As a classroom teacher, Kim’s students participated in PAC's Young Writer’s Contest every year. She loved seeing the excitement on their faces as their stories developed and were shared with classmates. She’s proud to say that in both her first and last years of teaching, she had a student win first place for the entire region! She hopes many students and teachers find the same joy she encountered when participating in this year's Young Writer’s Contest.

Past President: Meg Racanelli

Meg is a retired reading specialist from Amherst Elementary with Amherst County Schools. She has many years of service and recently complete Orton Gillingham training. She has been involved with PAC for the last five years and joined our board originally as our secretary. She's since served as Vice President and President. She will continue this year working with Courtney Bennett in the Co-Presidents role. She has two grown children and enjoys traveling and music. She will be overseeing all PAC events this year. 

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