Third Grade Teachers

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Mr. Dale Ploen is a third grade teacher with 15 years of teaching experience. After graduating from UT Knoxville in 2005, he began his career in Knox County at the Middle School level. He has been teaching at the Elementary level since 2006 in both Williamson and Maury Counties. Recently he has been teaching at Highland Park Elementary School in Columbia, TN. 

When not working, Mr. Ploen enjoys golfing, coaching his kids’ soccer teams, taking walks in the park, and wandering through the zoo. His wife Christy is also a teacher at Battle Creek Middle School. Together they have four kids ranging from ages 7 - 12, which makes for an adventure around every corner. His son dean is a third generation trumpet player, his daughter Evangeline is an avid puppy lover, and the twins, Skyler and Tyler, joined the family in the spring of 2019. 

Professionally, Mr. Ploen has been grade level chair, PBL teacher leader, member of the school leadership team, school webmaster, golf coach, and homework helper. In 2016 he completed his MBA in Information Technology and in 2005 he earned his Masters in Education with a focus in Teacher Education. However, he considers his best accomplishment to be earning his Eagle Scout award in 1997 with Troop 310 in Torrance, California. 


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Mrs. Riffe will be teaching 3rd grade this year at Battle Creek Elementary School in Spring Hill, Tennessee.  Mrs. Riffe has been teaching in Tennessee for 13 years and is excited to be coming back to 3rd grade after spending time in middle school and preschool. 

Mrs. Riffe spent most of her teaching career in Gibson County Special School District which is in West Tennessee. There she taught middle school math and science, third grade where she also served as the third-grade math specialist, and preschool.  She most recently taught 6th grade math at Fairview Middle School in Williamson County. 

Mrs. Riffe graduated from The University of Tennessee at Martin in 2006 with her Bachelor of Science in Education.  She is also highly qualified in Early Childhood Education. 

Mrs. Riffe lives in Columbia, TN with her husband of 26 years, Shawn.  Together they have three adult children, a son-in-law and two amazing grandsons.  She is looking forward to an incredible year being a Battle Creek Cub! 


Holeman   Email icon


Ed Holeman has been a Spring Hill resident since 2006. He has been married for 24 years with three children. He has worked in the grocery retail business for over thirty years. He made the decision to return to school and pursue his lifelong dream of teaching. He graduated from Columbia State Community College Summa Cum Laude with a 3.935 GPA. He also received the prestigious “Award of Excellence in Education: AST K-5.” He then transferred to MTSU where he maintained a 4.0 GPA through coursework and residency. He graduated May of 2019 and is excited to join the Battle Creek team.  “Education is the basic fundamental upon which all other professions are built.” 




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Melissa De Meio is a Wisconsin native. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2017. She taught 5th grade in Milwaukee before making the move down to Tennessee where she taught literacy interventions to K-4 students in Metro Schools. She is very excited to join the 3rd grade team at Battle Creek Elementary School and to build meaningful relationships with students and families!


Ms. De Meio currently lives in Spring Hill with her fiancé. She has a passion for all things literacy and in her free time, enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. 




Gunter Email icon

Erica Gunter is a third-grade teacher here at Battle Creek Elementary. She has previously taught third grade for three years in MNPS. She student taught in both Williamson County and MNPS in a fifth and first grade class. Before that, she worked in Williamson County as a special education teacher assistant for five years. 

She received her bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2009. While working as a special education teacher assistant, she went back to school to get her teaching license, while also earning her master’s degree in education from Lipscomb University in 2016. 

Erica is originally from middle Tennessee, raised in the Nolensville/Brentwood area. She has been married for 4 years, has a one-year-old son, and one very energetic dog! She is excited to be here at Battle Creek and to help build a strong sense of community within her class and the school!