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Our Leadership


Head of School

Dr. Gina Thornburg, Ed.D 

Dr. Thornburg and her husband, Kelly, reside in Dallas where they are recent empty nesters. Gina raised and homeschooled three children, Kellyn, Wesley, and Caleb, while owning and operating a dance school for 23 years. With a BFA in Dance from UNC-Greensboro, Gina has taught modern, ballet, and tap and choreographed for over 30 years. 

While teaching high school dance and PE in Maryland, Gina received her M.Ed. from University of Maryland at College Park. Gina has a love for Christian education and served as an elementary teacher in two different private Christian schools for four years before pursuing her doctorate in Education at Trevecca Nazarene University. 

As Lead Administrator at First Wesleyan, Gina hopes to serve the teachers, staff, students, and families with compassion, problem solving, and encouragement to become all that God has called us to be as individuals, families, and a school.

Pastoral Care

Rev. Kenny Johnston

Reverend Kenny Johnston, pastor of First Wesleyan Church of Gastonia,  serves as our Director of Pastoral Care. He and his wife Julie reside in Gastonia with their eight children. 

Reverend Johnston, “Pastor Kenny” as the students call him, is ordained in the Wesleyan Church and received his B.A. in Philosophical Theology from Trinity College and his Masters of Divinity in Biblical Languages from Wesley Biblical Seminary. Reverend Johnston is a published researcher and author. 

Among other things, Pastor Kenny will be available for coffee meetings with parents and building student relationships outside on the playground.

Preschool Director

Priscilla Mitchell

Ms. Mitchell comes to us with a wealth of experience. She has taught kindergarten  for 25 years, 18 of them at First Wesleyan.

She is very excited to be on the team this year and looks forward to working with all of our families and staff.

Ms. Mitchell has stated, "that she believes our goal for the preschool is to provide quality childcare education, and with that in mind I plan to do all I can to support and uphold First Wesleyan’s mission statement."





Lisa Mills




Kelsey Smith

Technology director

Shelley Frady




Ziana Clinton