Phone: 252-453-6521 Ext.8000
Degrees and Certifications:
Mrs. Kristen Saunders-Rivera
Greetings from the Panther Principal’s Desk!
I am so excited to be with you all this year. I wanted to share some anecdotal banter and information with you all in order to introduce myself. This is my 27th year in Education and I KNOW it’s going to be my best yet. I am humbled and honored to have been chosen to be your principal, as Moyock Elementary is a GEM of a school. I am now a Proud Panther! I have some excellent footsteps to follow with our former principal, Brandi Kelly. I love that she was a great communicator, and that she made you all feel “at home” at our school. I have heard that we have many similarities and I look forward to getting to know you throughout the upcoming year(s)!
I was born in Richmond and lived in Hanover County until fifth grade, when we moved to KDH and I started school at Kitty Hawk Elementary. My family had been coming to OBX their entire lives, and it is also where my father proposed to my mother “back in the day”. I then went to Manteo Middle but moved to a rental home in VA for 9th and 10th grades because my mother married an Army soldier (and Desert Storm came about). We kept our house that was then in Nags Head and moved back for my Junior and Senior years, which is the reason I’m a proud 1993 Manteo High Alum (yes, I am old, lol! But, my brother is the oldest, class of 1986 from Manteo). My brother, sister, niece and nephew live “over there” still.
Still further, I spent a lot of time in Corolla in middle/high school with my best friend who lived there permanently; we also traveled back and forth to VA to visit friends/family, so I consider this entire area “home”. Corolla is indeed Currituck Co. and Moyock was always our special “on the border” rest break. We used to enjoy seeing the countryside that we had long before memorized through our consistent travels to VA. I remember when there was very little here!
I graduated first and foremost from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1997 but please don’t hate me for being an unapologetic Carolina Fan :-). Go HEELS! I also hold degrees from Elon and from UNC-G. Incidentally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t let you know that my second love is NFL Football and I am a die-hard Steelers fan.
Career wise, I taught for 15 years and my content areas included 6-8 ELA, 6-8 Social Studies, and k-8 Spanish (with a k-12 license). I have a Master’s in k-6 Education, but have worked as an Administrator at all three levels of schooling in my career. My former school had over 1000 students, but my first principalship was at an elementary school just a little smaller than MES, where I served for six years. I am so thrilled to be back with the “littles”... who often show the biggest smiles and the biggest hearts!
I am remarried to what some might call my “high school sweetheart,” who was born in Germany and who grew up as a military brat. He speaks German and doesn’t even speak Spanish… even though his last name is “Rivera” :). Go figure! Together, we have four children… two and two. They range in age from 28-24. His sons graduated from VA Tech and Longwood and my daughter graduated from ECU, with my son still taking classes at NC State and working as an Industrial Pipefitter. My husband is an Industrial Pipefitter, as well, but my son is studying software development. We also have two grandsons, ages 2 and 2 ½ (Jack and Rylan). Rylan is in the picture with me posted here.
When I am not “principal-ing,” I enjoy spending time at the beach, listening to music, going to concerts, watching football, reading, traveling, socializing, and playing with my two fur babies, Braeburn and Rose. It will not take you very long to learn that they are as much my children as my human children… you all are probably the same! I may or may not dote on them a bit too much, ha!
I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you. I will be sending out weekly communication, as well as being reachable through Dojo. Yet, please do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have any celebrations, questions, or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org Also, please be on the lookout for our August “ribbon cutting” event to honor our new addition, after which I plan to host a family “meet and greet” with me for us all to set sail on getting to know each other.