Kelly Beckner

Alumni Spotlight: Kelly Smalling Beckner, Class of 1998

She’s a familiar face to many at StoneBridge as she taught Kindergarten for three years. But now Kelly Smalling Beckner, Class of 1998, is serving in a new role at the school as an NILD Educational Therapist with the Riverview Learning Center. In this role, Kelly works one-on-one with students who need extra support in learning.

As one of two licensed NILD Educational Therapists at SBS, Kelly focuses on building efficient learning processes in students through techniques that stimulate their areas of weakness in perception, language, cognition, emotions, and academics. 

Kelly’s ties to the school run deep. She attended StoneBridge from Kindergarten through 12th grade.

“My favorite memories from my time as a student at SBS are the special days in Lower School, like Christian Heritage Day. In Upper School, retreat and the senior trip were experiences I will never forget,” she said.

Like many who graduate from StoneBridge, Kelly said she felt well-prepared for college because StoneBridge gave her a solid foundation in writing and critical thinking skills. She earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Longwood University in 2002. She then went on to earn a master of science in reading from Old Dominion University in 2004. She also studied educational therapy with the National Institute for Learning Differences (NILD).

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Kelly Beckner at StoneBridge School.

“I learned to think from a Biblical perspective which allowed me to recognize when something I was learning or hearing in college was not in line with Biblical truths,” she said.

She advises current students to make the most of their time at StoneBridge because the time really does go by quickly.

“I would tell current students to persevere through the challenges and rigor because it will be worth it in the end,” she said. “College will likely feel like a continuation of high school in terms of difficulty. Try not to get too overwhelmed by the workload.”

Kelly taught in public schools before returning to her alma mater to teach. Her experience there has given her a deep appreciation for the freedom she enjoys at StoneBridge to share the Truth with her students.

“It was a challenge to share my faith in a public school setting. My faith had to be shown through my actions since sharing verbally was not permitted,” she explained. “I’m fortunate to work with like-minded individuals at StoneBridge; it’s a blessing to continue to be submerged in the Truth, to be free to worship and share my beliefs, and instill the Truth in the students I have taught and worked with.”

She believes that teaching is ultimately about serving others.