Exceptional Children Dept

 Kelly Rooney| krooney@cfci.net– Behavior Specialist/ Compliance Coordinator

Kelly Rooney is originally from Chicago, Illinois but moved to Apex, North Carolina in 2002. She came to Wilmington to attend UNCW where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education as well as her Elementary Education license. She also played soccer all 4 years at UNCW and enjoyed the challenges of being a college athlete. Kelly has been involved with CFCI since she first completed field experience here in the spring of 2011. She returned to do her student teaching with Lori Benazzi, in the Spring of 2012. Kelly is very proud to be a part of the CFCI community as an Exceptional Children’s teacher and Behavior Specialist. Her teaching certifications include Special Education K-12, Behavioral and Emotional Disabilities K-12, Middle Grades Math 6-9 and Elementary Education K-6. In her spare time Kelly loves spending time with her husband, working on their new house or her three siblings, including her twin sister. On the weekends, you can often find her on a soccer field, either playing or coaching her 03 girls travel team.

Kristen Gray | kgray@cfci.net – Reading Specialist/EC Teacher


Kristen Gray is one of our Exceptional Children’s teachers. She grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and attended Bloomsburg University, where she received a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She worked as a teacher in the YMCA School-Age Program for four years, before moving to Wilmington with her husband and two kitties. Kristen previously worked at CFCI as the Exceptional Children’s teaching assistant while simultaneously earning special education licensure.

In her free time, Kristen enjoys cooking, staying active, raveling, going to the beach and entertaining family and friends. She is thrilled to be back in the classroom and a part of the CFCI community!

 Jess Frank| jfrank@cfci.net  – EC Teacher
Jess Frank

Jess Frank is originally from Syracuse, NY. Jess graduated from Cortland State University with a BS in Physical Education in 2004 and began teaching Adapted Physical Education for Liverpool Central School District. Jess moved to Wilmington in 2006. He later graduated with a masters in Special Education from East Carolina University and started a new career as a Special Education teacher for New Hanover County Schools. Jess also works as a part time Physical Education professor for UNCW. Jess is extremely excited to be joining CFCI as a Special Education teacher and to demonstrate his passion for inquiry-based learning. Aside from teaching, Jess enjoys spending time with his family. Jess has 2 boys, a 3 year old and a 6 year old. Jess also enjoys fishing, cycling, swimming and waterskiing.

 Gina Faragher| gfaragher@cfci.net  – EC Teacher
me patrick sarah

Originally from Southern Virginia, Gina studied Liberal Arts at Peace College in Raleigh where she was a performing member of the Peace Dance Troupe and received an AA Degree in Liberal Arts. She attended UNC-Charlotte and received a Bachelor of Psychology with a concentration in Dance. At UNC-C, Gina completed her Senior Seminar in Developmental Psychology and focused her dance studies were in Classical Dance-Ballet and Modern. Gina began her interests in working with Exceptional Children during her time at UNC-Charlotte where she worked with autistic students as an intern at several elementary schools. Gina later completed a Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University where she graduated with distinction.

This summer, Gina will graduate from Duke University’s AG/HAG Licensure Program. She currently holds a NC Teacher License in Special Education-Grades K-12 for Learning Disabilities and has been working with Exceptional Children for over 14 years. She has spent the last 10 years as an Exceptional Children Resource Teacher for Grades K-5.

Gina is proud to have both of her children, Patrick and Sarah, attending UNC-Wilmington this year. In her free time, Gina likes supporting her own children in their academic pursuits and helping other children reach their academic goals, as well. She is enjoying the great beach atmosphere in here in Wilmington. Gina feels honored to be made a part of the CFCI team, and she can’t wait to get to know everyone!

Pam Duffy | pduffy@cfci.net

duffy family photo

Pam Duffy is originally from South Carolina but has called Wilmington home since 1993. She received a degree in Early Childhood Education from Francis Marion University. She taught fourth grade/third grade for four years in S.C. before moving to the coast with her husband. Pam has worked for NHCS as a first grade teacher, kindergarten assistant, and as a certified tutor in several schools including Wrightsville Beach Elementary, College Park Elementary, Gregory Elementary, and Blair Elementary.

Pam enjoys sharing joy with her husband, her two active Hoggard High girls, and her rescued furry friend. She is thrilled to join the CFCI family and looks forward to helping all the students.