Heather Dalby Karns

Director of Schools

Heather is an El Paso native born and raised. She has a B.A.S. with specialization in Early Childhood from UT Austin and a M.Ed in School Leadership from Sul Ross State University. Heather has enjoyed a career in education spanning two decades engaging in a variety of roles to include elementary teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal and principal. Heather is grateful for the opportunity to now learn and grow alongside the children and staff at First Presbyterian Elementary School.

Neal Locke

Band Director

In addition to being the pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Neal is a certified teacher in the State of Texas, has two decades of experience teaching in both public and private schools, and holds a Masters degree in Education from
Princeton Seminary. He is currently working on his PhD dissertation through the University of Aberdeen. 
He has been an avid, enthusiastic musician for over 37 years, beginning with piano in the third grade, marching band and choir during high school, French horn and handbells in college, and more recently guitar, ukulele, viola, bagpipes, accordion, harp, and several very obscure instruments (for fun, google: carnyx, theremin, pibgorn, hurdy-gurdy, jouhikko). For almost a decade,  he has served as the Director of Music for Faithbridge Presbyterian Church in North Dallas. He has taught many children (including my own) to play guitar, drums, piano, and other instruments. He believes EVERY person has innate musical ability and a “soul instrument” just waiting to be learned and enjoyed. He can’t wait to get our “FPE Band” underway!



Diana Stone

Educator – 1st Grade

Diana has a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Education and is currently pursuing a MA in Crisis and Trauma Counseling. She has worked as a nanny, Pre-K teacher, Kindergarten teacher, and has been an educator at First Presbyterian Elementary since its inaugural year. She lived in India with a local family to teach at an orphanage, then traveled with World Vision to Zimbabwe and Ecuador to learn about their child-focused programs, and to Norway and Sweden to learn about mental health. She is a member of NAEYC, Texas Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Far West Chapter of the Texas Association for Play Therapy. Both her girls attend the First Presbyterian Elementary. She believes every child deserves an education that encourages a lifelong love of learning, care for others, and an understanding of God’s love.

Rachel Beazer

Educator – 2nd Grade

Karen Barron

Educator – 3rd & 4th Grade

Karen was born and raised in El Paso. She has 20 years of teaching experience in elementary and middle school. She has a Bachelor’s in Education from  Utep and Master’s in Reading from Sul Ross State University. Building relationships with students has always been her priority in helping them reach their fullest potential.

Laura Price

Educator – Middle School

Laura first began her work with First Presbyterian teaching Music and Movement at the Preschool & Elementary. She has studied five languages and taught online ESL classes. Laura is an active member of First Presbyterian Church and serves as the Childrens’ Ministry Director. Laura is a professionally trained opera singer who participated in Opera in a Can, a touring opera company that visits school districts throughout Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. In addition, she is the creator and teacher of Do-Re-Me&Baby Music Classes.  Laura is currently a student at UTEP where she is working toward her M.ED. in Curriculum and Instruction with a Dual-Credit in Teaching and Learning with concentration in English Education. Laura has three children who are all enrolled at First Presbyterian Schools. 

Alejandra Ortiz

Educator – Art

 Alejandra is a proud mother of two and El Paso native. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Texas State University and continued her studies to include holistic approaches to nutrition and mindfulness. For many years her profession was in wellness, once she became a mother her passion for early childhood education grew. She has expanded her studies to include play and child-led approaches to learning. Alejandra has been part of First Presbyterian Elementary since its inauguration and a parent at First Presbyterian Preschool for 7 years. An artist at heart, she loves to get creative alongside the children.  She is excited to continue serving as the Art Teacher for the students at First Pres.

Kristin Pacheco

Business Administrator

Kristin loves new adventures and brings over 25 years of administrative leadership experience to include volunteering, PTA president and treasurer, running a personal business, campus attendance coordinator, district grant coordinator and most recently 4 years as an elementary campus secretary. She loves working with a team and believes that together is always better. You can count on Kristin to provide Service Excellence by fostering trust and cultivating partnerships.Our students, staff and parents are in great hands.

Erika Gamero

Educator – Spanish

Erika was born in Durango and raised between the states of Durango and Jalisco in Mexico. She worked in the Human Resources field before she decided to become a full-time mom. She moved to El Paso back in 2010 and her son started his early childhood education at First Presbyterian Preschool in 2013. A year later, she started working here while her son was in Pre-K. She absolutely loves working with three-year-old children! This will be her eight-year at First Pres and ninth-year teaching three-year-old friends. In addition to teaching at the preschool, this will be her first year working at First Presbyterian Elementary School as a Spanish teacher. It is her goal to teach my students not only another language but the value of diversity and respect for other people’s backgrounds and cultures.

Raul Chavez

Afternoon Enrichment – Theater

Raul has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Theater Performance from UTEP. He has taught Theater summer camps at UTEP for over six years and is a Theater Instructor and Director at Kids N’ Co. Raul is excited to continue sharing his love and talent for theater with the students of First Presbyterian Elementary.

Joy Paige

Educator – Afternoon Enrichment

Joy was born & raised in El Paso, Texas. Graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies & Religious Theology from the University of Texas at El Paso. Before opening her own clothing line Divinity & Joy”, Joy started creating business ideas, designed logos, and managed big marketing/advertising projects in the city. Joy has been a part of First Presbyterian Elementary for one year and is still very excited to continue serving as a teacher assistant. Joy looks forward to introducing entrepreneurial skills to our students, as they continue to become the next best version of themselves.


1340 Murchison Dr

El Paso, Texas 79902