Meet our School Staff
FBC School Director
My name is Robyn Dickerson. I have been the director at First Baptist School since the 2016-2017 school year. I graduated from Hannibal-LeGrange with a Bachelor’s in Elementary and Master’s of Science in Education. I am also certified in Early Childhood Education. My husband, Dale, and I have been married for 25 years. God has blessed us with three wonderful children who are now adults. All three of our children attended First Baptist School and I have been a member of First Baptist Church for 20 years. Previously, I worked for the Poplar Bluff School District. I have been a fifth grade teacher and pre-kindergarten teacher within the district. I am also the owner and photographer with Dickerson Photography and an Independent Consultant with Arbonne. Serving as director, my goal to provide our teachers and students with a loving, caring, and positive environment. One of my favorite bible verses is Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart form it.”
First Grade Teacher
Hi, I’m Janey Gray and I am blessed to be the First Grade Teacher at First Baptist School. My journey through life has had its many ups and downs, but the constant in my life has been the joy of knowing our Lord, Jesus Christ. I was raised in a Christian home in Poplar Bluff by two loving parents, Burrus and Elwain Walker. They took me to church when I was six weeks old,, so I have always been in church. When I was 5, I attended Kindergarten at First Baptist School, thus beginning my association with our school. I made my profession of faith and was baptized at South Poplar Bluff General Baptist Church, a church where my paternal grandmother was a charter member. Several years later, we joined First Christian Church. I graduated from PBHS and decided to enter the family business-education. ( I am the fifth generation in my mother’s family of teachers.) I attended two years at TRCC and then transferred to Southeast Missouri State University. I came back to Poplar Bluff to do my student teaching at Poplar Bluff Junior High. It was at the Junior High that I met Jesse Gray. We were married six months later and we have been married 41 years.I graduated with my BSE in Elementary Education and began my teaching career later in the summer after Jesse and I were married. I taught second grade at J. Minnie Smith.
The next year, I taught first grade at W.K.. My third year, I taught 4th grade at Eugene Field. While at EF, I was blessed to have two state incentive grants that allowed me to try innovative teaching strategies with my students. I taught there for ten years before moving to Oak Grove Elementary, where I taught for 20 years. I retired after 32 years of experience in the Poplar Bluff R-1 District. After retirement, I substituted for two years, and then felt that God was calling me back to teaching. First Baptist had an opening for a First Grade Teacher. This is my eighth year of teaching at First Baptist and my fortieth year of teaching.
Jesse and I have served God at First Baptist Church for 41 years. We have taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, worked in our Sunday School class, worked in the Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, and many other functions around our church and served as a Deacon Family. We have raised our daughters, Jessica, 37, Sarah 33, and Emily 28, in our church. We have rejoiced that they came to know our Lord at FBC and are now serving God in churches in their communities. Through the years, we have had many blessings, but we have had our share of trials. There was a 12-year period where we were a true “sandwich” generation. (Raising our children while taking care of aging parents.) Our church family helped so much during that time with prayers, caring for our girls, visiting our parents in the hospital/nursing home, and much more. We know that God has a plan for our lives. (Jeremiah 29:11.) and we are excited about the future of our church and our school!
3 Year Old Pre-School
Hi my name is Michelle Carter and I love teaching at First Baptist as a Preschool teacher!
I attend Pilgrim´s Rest Church where I have attended since 2002. I now co-lead the Youth Group and serve as the Board Secretary. I have a huge place in my heart for Logan Valley Christian Retreat where I served for many years. I still go back on weekends occasionally with our youth group to do mission work and hold retreats.
I live in Fairdealing with my husband Bobbie, he works for North American Tie & Timber LLC. I have a bonus Coleton who is a traveling welder and his Fiancé Ali. I attended College in Goshen, IN where I obtained an Interdisciplinary Bachelor´s degree with focus in Education, Sign Language, and International Studies.
3 Year Old Pre-School
Caroline Barton Dobbs
My name is Caroline Barton. I am 27 years old. I was born and raised in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. I have a nephew, Beau. He is five years old and attends FBS as a Kindergartener. I have a niece, Stella. She is 3 years old and is in the FBS preschool program. I started my journey with First Baptist School when I attended as a four year old 23 years ago. This is my third year teaching the three year old preschool class. I love watching each student learn and grow! My job brings me so much joy! I cannot wait to see where this year takes my class and myself! I attend Church at First Church of God in Poplar Bluff. First Church has been my home church for my entire life. I recently started serving on the board of Christian Education. I am involved in our youth and children’s ministry. I enjoy going with our youth on their special trips and conventions, as well as spending a few weeks out of my Summer at Camp Sharon. Camp Sharon is where I made the decision to give my life to the Lord as a junior high student. I love being able to serve the current camp by counseling. I’m so blessed to be able to watch and help guide countless students as they learn about Christ’s love for them. I graduated from Poplar Bluff Senior High School in 2012. I then went on to attend Three Rivers College where I earned my AA in General Education. After leaving TRC I began working in early childhood education in both Cape Girardeau and Poplar Bluff. For about three years I was able to care for and teach children ranging from six weeks old to five years old and I absolutely loved it! Early Childhood Education is definitely my passion and I’m so blessed to be able to wake up and do something I love every day.
4 Year Old Pre-School
My name is Kelse McKinney. I am from the small town of Naylor, MO. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education with a focus on Elementary Education from Central Methodist University. My boyfriend, Myanza and I have been together for almost five years. We have a puppy named Winnie! We attend Mt. Calvary Powerhouse Church. Our favorite bible verse is Romans 8:18 “The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.” Thank you for allowing me to teach your kids. I love all my sweet students!
4 Year Old Pre-School
My name is Natalie Hunsaker! I am 21 years old and a member of Bluff City Apostolic Worship Center! I was born and raised in Poplar Bluff. I love to travel and eat Mexican food! I am currently attending Southeast Missouri State University in order to receive my bachelors for elementary education. I am involved with music ministry, children’s ministry, and quite a bit more. I have always wanted to be a teacher and I’m so blessed for the opportunity to work at First Baptist School!
When I was 15 years old my family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. The house that we moved in to just happened to be across the street from a wonderful boy who later became my husband, Donald Everts. He and I both graduated from Harry E. Wood High School there in Indianapolis.
We have been married 56 years and have one daughter (Debbie Everts). She is not really the type of person who lives on the edge, but 22 years ago we found ourselves in Russia adopting a little boy. It doesn’t end there. She went back overseas and adopted a little girl from Moldova. To complete this part of the story, on our anniversary 17 years ago we headed to Kentucky to get our 3rd. adopted grandchild. So that’s how we got our three grandchildren, Dalton, Donielle and Jaydon.
After graduating from high school and taking a few years off, I continued my education here in Poplar Bluff at Three Rivers. I then transferred to SEMO where I got my BS degree in Elementary Education and my Masters degree in Early Childhood along with 24+ extra hours.
I have had the good fortune to be Teacher of the Year at Oak Grove School and Heartland’s Best Teacher from KFVS T.V. where I was awarded a computer for my classroom.
I have spent most of my adult life in the classroom. After 25 years, I retired from the Poplar Bluff School System. During the 25 years in the classroom I became a certified Reading Recovery teacher. I continued working helping children who need a little help reading until I got the opportunity to work here at First Baptist School. This is my 4th year and I couldn’t ask for a better place to work and tell our students about God.
I have been a member of Calvary Church for over 40 years. I have had the privilege of being a Sunday School teacher, Youth Director and a piano player there. I have had a very blessed life.
I am married to Don Everts. We have a daughter, Debbie and three grandchildren; Dalton, Donielle (Doni), and Jaydon. I love children and am very excited to work with the First Baptist kindergarteners.
4th Grade Teacher
My name is Jenn. I was raised in the area and after many years away, I returned about a decade ago. My daughter, Ella, is a junior at PBHS and enjoys being involved with STUCO, Beta, Choir, Tennis and Track – thank goodness she drives now!!
We are dog moms to two BIG fluffy dogs that truly believe they are human. We are very involved at West Side Church especially with the Kids Side program. Ella is also very involved with youth at Fellowship church even singing most Wednesdays. We love our churches and church families!I have taught all different ages and subjects. I started my career with High School Spanish in the St. Louis and Columbia areas.
Next, I taught preschool ESL overseas in Qatar. I taught computers for elementary and middle school. I spent 5 years teaching Kindergarten and last year loved teaching here at FBS with the 4th grade. It was also fun to teach 4/5/6th grade science. My newest adventure is teaching 2nd grade! The kids are so excited about school and learning. I love it and the idea of making stronger connections with my students due to smaller class size and a different environment than all of my years in the public school setting. Also the idea of not only being able to mention God in my classroom but the ability to pray for and with my students is amazing!! Here’s to a fantastic year!!!
3-6th Grade Teacher (Math/Science)
Pam Hamilton was born and raised in Fredericktown, Missouri. Her husband, Craig is a retired Poplar Bluff teacher who is currently the pastor of the Lake Wappapello United Methodist Church. Mrs. Pam has spent most of her life serving in church as a Sunday School teacher and Vacation Bible School leader. They have four children, ranging in age from 29 to 10, as well as three grandsons. Mrs. Pam has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Southeast Missouri State University and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas Wesleyan University. She retired in 2018 after spending 29 years in the Poplar Bluff School District, spending most of those years teaching third through fifth grades. She has spent the last three years teaching at FBS. Mrs. Pam also has a certification in special education. Her current teaching assignment is teaching math and science to grades three through six at FBS.
3-6th Grade Teacher (Reading/Social Studies)
My name is Lori (Fritts) Tapp. I was born and raised here in Poplar Bluff. I have been married for 36 years to Jim (Jimbo) Tapp and we have two wonderful daughters. Our oldest, Kaci, is married to Brian Garner and has our only grandchild, Waylon. Kaci is teaching 4th grade in Puxico. Our youngest, Kori is also a teacher. She is married to Luke Brantley and teaches 5th grade in Bryant, Arkansas. I am so proud that my daughters are following in my footsteps in the field of education. I come from a long line of teachers. My mother taught at Mark Twain for over 35 years and my sister, Judy Caputo, taught many years until her retirement. I have many other relatives that are still teaching or retired from teaching.
I graduated from Poplar Bluff High School in 1981 and received my bachelors degree from Oakland City University which is a great General Baptist college in southern Indiana. I obtained my early childhood certification from Arkansas State University and my masters degree from William Woods University. I have a Missouri lifetime certification in preschool-8th grade. I taught elementary school for 29 years before my retirement. I enjoyed teaching at Kinyon for many years until they made the change of making it the Early Childhood Center and taught my last 14 years teaching 5th grade at 5/6 Center. This is my 4th year teaching at FBS.
My family attends Fellowship General Baptist Church and I am a chartered member. I have taught Sunday school, children’s church, and vacation bible school throughout the years. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to continue doing what I love.
I’m Amber Francis. I am originally from Des Arc, MO, and moved to Poplar Bluff in April 2020. I graduated from South Iron High School in May 2019 and Three Rivers College in May of 2021. My husband, Jeremy, and I married in October 2020 and we were blessed with a baby girl, Addison, in July 2021. The 2021-2022 school year is my first year at First Baptist School where I am the assistant in Mrs. Michelle’s 3 year old preschool class.
Office, Art, STEM
My name is Cyndi Keele. I am a born and raised Poplar Bluffian and grew up attending a small church in Northern Butler County. My husband, Frank, and I have one son, Riley, who is in sixth grade at FBS. He has attended First Baptist School since he was three years old. I have taught art at FBS since 2014, and S.T.E.M. since 2018. In 2018, I also began working in the office as an assistant. It has been a blessing to be able to send Riley to FBS for his education and to be a part of the same school family.
Aide, Preschool Music & Lunch
My name is Gail Redding. I was born and raised in Doniphan, Missouri. I graduated from Doniphan High School. I have been married 20 years to Matt Redding and we have been blessed with three wonderful children. We go to First Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff. Previously we attended First Baptist Church in Dexter where I taught Sunday School for several years.I love working with the teachers and students here at First Baptist School.
Library, Preschool P.E., and Art
My name is Andrea Cross. I grew up in East Liverpool Ohio where I attended, and graduated from, East Liverpool Christian School. I then went on to receive my BS in Biology from Muskingum University in Ohio and earned my Master in Physical Therapy from Allegheny University of Health Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. I moved to Poplar Bluff after grad school in August of 1998 where I pursued my passion for pediatric physical therapy for nearly 15 years working with children in the school, clinic, and home settings. I met my husband, Russell, at Midland church. We have been married since 2006, and we are blessed with two children, Lex and Lydia, both of whom have attended First Baptist School. We currently attend Westside Church of God. Since retiring from physical therapy, I have enjoyed having the opportunity to continue working with kids at First Baptist School. I have been blessed with the opportunity to help at the school in a variety of ways, some of which enable me to use my physical therapy training and skills, and others which have challenged me to learn new skills, which is always exciting. I love working with children because I truly see their potential, and I pray that I can help them to learn and grow throughout the school year.
P.E. and Subsitute Teacher
Jennifer Settle is married to her husband John, and they have 2 sons, Cameron and Collin. She teaches PE and substitute teaches. She enjoys teaching life skills, sportsmanship, and rules of the game as well as building passion in kids for all sports. She played fast-pitch softball at PB High, TRCC and SBU. She loves to travel and has spent time living in South Africa, North Carolina and St Louis. Her degrees are in Business/Information Technology and a Masters in Christian Education. She is a member of First Baptist Church.
Bible, Custodian, Music Teacher
John Haislip has been our music appreciation and biblical studies teacher since 2019. John is also part of our chaplain team for chapel on mondays. He has a bachelor’s degree in worship arts from Liberty University in Virginia, and has been an ordained minister since 2006. When asked what his favorite things were, John said, “I love God and I love music, but I also really like cheesy tacos, stickers, and video games.”
My name is Amanda Spain. This school year I will be the reading specialist at FBS, as well as, assisting in Mrs. Joan’s Kindergarten class. I received my teaching degree from The University of Memphis is 2013. I have previously taught in Kindergarten and 2nd grade. I married my high school sweetheart, Brandon, in 2006 and we have 3 boys. Noah is a Freshman, Graham is in 5th, and Quinn is in 4th. I am looking forward to working for FBS this year!
Lunch, Teacher’s Assistant
I’m a single mom of soon to be two. I have a three year old son named Corbin and a little girl due early December 2021. I’m attending college for a degree in criminal justice: police science. I hope to finish in the fall of 2022 and graduate in 2023. I have been a part of First Baptist Church throughout my childhood and now adult life. I’m currently helping at First Baptist School as an aid for lunch and recess and I also sub whenever necessary. The church has always played a big role in my life and I’m thankful for everything they do for me and our community. I am proud to be a part of the team to help our school!