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Our Team

Shelly Kerr

Shelly Kerr

Principal

Shelly Kerr is the principal of Freedom Elementary School. In 2015, Shelly joined Lakota Local Schools as the Assistant Principal at Freedom. She served in this role until 2023 when she became Principal. Shelly holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Cincinnati. Shelly taught in the Madison Local School District for 20 years before coming to Lakota.

Shelly believes that building strong relationships and connections with students, staff, and families is the most important part of a successful school. She enjoys watching students grow academically, socially, and emotionally during their years at Freedom.

Rachel Crew

Rachel Crew

Assistant Principal

Rachel Crew is the Assistant Principal at Freedom Elementary. In 2018, Rachel joined Lakota Local Schools after graduating from the University of Dayton with a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education. Rachel previously taught kindergarten and first grade at Creekside Early Childhood School, and third grade at Freedom. Rachel also holds a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education.

Rachel's leadership philosophy centers on the principles of inclusivity, collaboration, and innovation. She believes that a strong partnership between students, parents, teachers, and the community lays the foundation for a successful and supportive educational environment at Freedom. Her goal is to foster a school culture where every student feels valued, encouraged, and empowered to pursue their passions and aspirations.

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith

Teacher

Rebecca Smith is Freedom’s school counselor. Prior to joining the Freedom family, Rebecca was a 7th grade Language Arts teacher at Liberty Junior School for seven years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University, as well as a Masters degree in School Counseling from the University of Dayton. 

Rebecca’s mission is to support students socially, emotionally, and academically. She creates a safe and supportive environment to foster growth in these areas and provides services including classroom guidance lessons, small groups, and short-term individual counseling. She also acts as a liaison between community agencies and families needing support, as well as managing 504 plans. Rebecca loves collaborating with students, families, and school staff to meet the needs of all students at Freedom.

Avery Blanton

Avery Blanton

Office Manager

Avery Blanton is Freedom Elementary's office manager.  She joined Lakota full-time in February 2016 as Freedom's office secretary.  Prior to starting her full-time position, she was the office substitute for 3 years.  Both of her children attended Freedom Elementary, and Avery enjoyed many years as an active member of the Freedom Parent Council. She has been involved at Freedom in many different ways and feels lucky to be part of the “Freedom Family.” 

Beth Crew

Beth Crew

Office Secretary

Prior to being hired as the office secretary at Freedom in 2023, Beth Crew was the office secretary at Creekside.  She began there in 2009 and has been with Lakota since 2007. Her main responsibilities include student attendance and data as well as all things student related. Beth enjoys greeting our Falcons every morning.

Kristin Gleis

Kristin Gleis

Nurse

Kristin Gleis, BSN has been a Registered Nurse since 1999. She worked for 13 years at The Christ Hospital as a RN Case Manager and a Kidney Transplant Coordinator before becoming a School Nurse. She became a School Nurse at Lakota and worked at Heritage Elementary for 5 years before transferring to Freedom in 2018. She truly loves working with the students at Freedom, developing relationships with them and helping them learn about being healthier. 


Her hobby is working with dogs. Kristin has trained and owned a therapy dog in the past and currently has the wonderful job of getting to foster Freedom’s facility dog, Reeves. Reeves has been a wonderful addition to our Freedom Family and Kristin is thrilled that she can help take care of him. Her German Shepherd puppy is currently being trained as well.

Gabe Staton

Gabe Staton

SRO

Officer Gabe Staton has been with the West Chester Police Department since 2016 and has been Freedom's SRO since the spring of 2022. His focus is on student and staff safety and security, as well as relationship building with students.  He prides himself on getting to know as many of our students as possible. He is happy to be a part of our Freedom Family and is working hard to make sure our students and families feel as comfortable and safe as possible while attending Freedom Elementary.