2020 – 2021
Education Policy Fellows
Wren Millsaps has been teaching for ten years. He has taught middle school ELA at Cullowhee Valley and high school English at Swain County and Robbinsville. Wren has taught all grade levels in high school and also has a certificate in history. He was the Graham County Schools Teacher of the Year in 2019. His greatest goal as a teacher is to give students high interest reading materials and he hopes that he can inspire a love for reading in some each year. He coaches both JV football and middle school and varsity wrestling. Wren takes great pride in the young men and women that their programs have developed. His wife Tiffany and his two year old daughter Hadley are his entire life and a reason that he strives to do the best in all that he does.
Dr. Hannah Reeder
Dr. Betsy Rosenbalm
Rachel Shepherd is an assistant principal at Watauga High School in Boone, NC. She serves as the school test coordinator, coordinates professional development, and facilitates the beginning teacher program. She is a former high school history and English teacher and instructional technology facilitator. Rachel holds a Master’s degree in Educational Media from Appalachian State University and a Master’s certificate in School Administration from Gardner-Webb University. She is also a National Board Certified teacher. Rachel is currently a doctoral candidate at East Tennessee State University in the Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis program. She is married to Brandon, a law enforcement officer, and they have four children, ages 14, 9, 4, and 2. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and scuba diving.
processes in Admission and Financial Aid. Prior to starting this position in 2015, Marcus served as the Associate Director of Admission and Financial Aid at Brevard College. He is a believer in the intersection of the philosophical components of enrollment with the data-driven – truly advocating for a liberal arts and sciences approach to admission and aid. Marcus holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Brevard College, and a Master of Arts in Education from East Carolina University. Coming from a family of educators, Marcus is committed to access to higher education in the state, and an advocate of its transformative nature.
Marisa Bryant brings a wealth of knowledge from the non-profit sector to the Public School Forum of North Carolina, having served as volunteer, employee and board member for many local nonprofits. Marisa served as President of the Junior League of Raleigh, Major Gifts Coordinator for Urban Ministries of Wake County, as Membership Coordinator for Triangle Land Conservancy, and in several development roles at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University Medical Center. Marisa is also a trained Community Action Poverty Simulation facilitator. Marisa coordinates and advances the Forum’s individual and corporate giving, including sponsorships for the Forum’s four signature events: Eggs and Issues, Synergy Conference, the Jay Robinson Education Leadership Awards Gala and the Color of Education Summit. Marisa also manages grants for the Forum. Marisa received a BS in Political Science from Elon College and a Masters in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Dr. Callie Edwards
Dr. Eric Grebing
Jeanie Owens is proud to serve as the 5th-grade teacher at Ocracoke School in Hyde County. Originally from Abingdon, Virginia, Jeanie earned her Bachelors with Honors in History and German from Radford University and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech. In 2019 she received her Graduate Certificate in School Leadership from Appalachian
State University. Jeanie has taught in a variety of classroom settings over her twenty-year career including at the university, high school, middle school, and elementary levels. Jeanie moved from the New River Valley in Virginia to Ocracoke Island in 2014 where she became the school’s 4th-grade teacher. Along with her classroom responsibilities, Jeanie also serves
Ocracoke School as the School Improvement Chair, the Testing Coordinator, and the Lead AIG teacher. Jeanie values and admires the resilience of the Ocracoke community. She acts as
Secretary for the Ocracoke Preservation Society Board and has published a book on the history of Ocracoke through Arcadia Publishing. Jeanie was recently named the Richard A. Schwartz Honored Educator Scholar for 2020-2021 by the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching. She is honored to be the 2020 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Northeast Region Teacher of the Year. Her passion for equitable education lies in building TRUST between teachers and students through teamwork, relationships, understanding of self, feeling safe and secure, and working with tenacity. Jeanie believes that resiliency through service is at the heart of the teaching profession.