Jessica Chenoweth has been with the ALC since 2016. As Director, she brings a unique academic and professional experience working with diverse populations, including refugee and immigrant groups in the Shenandoah Valley. She brings her expertise from her teaching experience as an English to Speakers of Other Languages and an elementary educator. As a compassionate leader and teacher, Jessica is sensitive to students' unique needs. The educational environment she has created provides support and offers positive encouragement and reinforcement to keep students focused and motivated. Jessica received her B.A. in English from Fairmont State University, her M.A.Ed. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in English as a Second Language from Jones International University, and in 2017 she obtained her Educational Specialist, Educational Leadership degree from Liberty University.
Tracie Hirtriter is the secretary at the Adult Learning Center. She is likely the first face you will see when you walk through the doors of our school. She will always greet you with a big smile and warm words. She has been with the ALC since August of 2020 and has brought a unique warmth to the facility. She likes to see people succeed and takes great pride in helping our students navigate their education. Tracie is an Augusta County native, where she lives with her husband, Tim. They have a foster son and 2 grandkids. She and her husband like to travel to the beach and the mountains. Tracie is a member of Cornerstone Church and is involved in several activities within the congregation.
GED/ NEDP Instructor
Esther Perkins has been a part of the ALC community since 2006. She brings her expertise in education from her elementary education background. For the last 13 years, she has been an integral part in assisting many ALC students to obtain their GED or high school diploma. Esther has earned recognition from students and peers as a disciplined and insightful educator who cultivates meaningful connections with learners to ensure optimal learning experiences. In her free time, Esther enjoys kayaking, hiking, and camping.
Betsy Curry has been an educator for 49 years, serving as an English, speech, drama, and adult education teacher. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of William and Mary and a Master's Degree in Student Personnel Services from Virginia Tech. She has been a teacher at the Adult Learning Center for 17 years. Betsy loves to learn and teach. She admires all students who return to school. She tells her students that they have taken the most difficult step by coming through the door the first time. In her spare time, she likes to read, sew, and make jewelry.
Bruce Hemp has been with the Adult Learning Center for over five years. She retired from teaching mathematics after thirty-eight years in the classroom. Bruce helped develop the curriculum for Algebra Functions and Data Analysis for Augusta County Schools and continues to mentor teachers. As our Math expert, Bruce helps students who have traditionally struggled with arithmetic begin to build confidence in their skills. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling abroad. One of her most satisfying volunteer activities is hosting and organizing reunions for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade – Afghanistan. Bruce has been on the board of directors of Jacob's Ladder since 1995.
GED/ NEDP Instructor
Gil Fernandez is a new addition to our ALC staff. He received a Communications Studies degree from James Madison University, and became a teacher after initially working in the private sector - Marketing and Insurance industries. In addition to ALC, Gil has been teaching GED at Massanutten technical Center for the past five years. And recently, he started teaching Technical Math for students enrolled in Apprenticeship and Technical Training programs. He also provides academic support and instruction to students going into medical professions in the Goodwill GoodCare program. Additionally, he teaches Conversational Spanish for James Madison University’s Life Long Learning Institute.
Linda R. Jones was born in Brooklyn, NY to German immigrant parents. She graduated from the University of Maryland, European Theatre. Her resumé, due to her husband’s active duty Air Force career, is extensive. She worked as a buyer for the City of Victorville, California, a columnist for the Shreveport Times Journalpage, a reporter and award-winning columnist for The News Virginian, and a teacher at Fishburne Military School where she was awarded Master Teacher. She is an Air Force and California Air National Guard veteran. Linda joined the staff of ALC in August 2019. This school year, Linda will be teaching English as a Second Language to our Intermediate and Advanced language learners.
Darcy Rapert joined the ALC team in December of 2018. She comes to us after teaching for both Staunton and Augusta County. She graduated from Virginia Tech and is certified in Elementary Education, General Math, and Adult Education. She is married and has two grown daughters. Darcy loves to bowl, read, and play Scrabble. She is always wearing a smile and so happy to meet new students.
Amy brings over 20 years of experience in the field of education, most of which was spent as a part of the Deaf community in the Staunton-Augusta area. Along with being fluent in American Sign Language, Amy has experience working with students with various types of vision impairments and can read and produce braille. She received her bachelor's degree from James Madison University and her master's degree from Radford University. Along with her work with the ALC, Amy is currently the school counselor for Valley Academy Regional Alternative School. She enjoys exercising (ENDORPHINS), reading (historical fiction), listening to podcasts (true crime), being outdoors (except when it's raining), and spending time with her family. She and her husband are blessed to have two extraordinarily, marvelous children. Amy considers herself a lover of all things dark chocolate and polka dots, enjoys a good cup of coffee, and embraces the mindset of a life-long learner.