2019 – 2020

Education Policy Fellows

WEST COHORT

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Andrea Adams

Andrea Adams currently teaches at Robbinsville High School in the Career and Technical Education Department. Andrea is a HOSA advisor and has a very active club at the high school, working in the healthcare realm in her community and assisting the students to complete many service projects. She finds it very rewarding to see the continuation of her students in the club through their freshman to senior year and how they change/grow. She is very proud of her future healthcare workers! She started her journey to complete my National Boards last year and has learned so much through that. Andrea hopes to learn even more from EPFP.

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Joe Bullis

Joe Bullis is the Director of Federal Programs, Middle School Instruction and Cultural Arts for Wilkes County Schools in Wilkes County, NC and an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate School for Gardner Webb University, in Boiling Springs, NC.  This is his 26th year in public education and his 13th year in Higher Education.  During his tenure as an educator he has had the privilege of gaining experience and knowledge over multitude of areas.  Joe has been an EC Teacher, Coach, Assistant Principal (Junior High, K-8 and K-5), Principal (K-5, 6-8, 9-12), Testing and Accountability Director, CTE Director, Director of Exceptional Children and Director of Technology.  As an adjunct he has worked in the Masters of Educational Leadership Program, Doctor of Education program as an instructor and Dissertation Chair.

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Caesar Campana

Caesar Campana is a 19-year veteran English teacher in his third year at Hayesville High School in Clay County, and currently the 2019 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Western Region Teacher of the Year. He spent most of my career at Murphy High School (Cherokee County), teaching English and coaching football and track. His most recent pride-and-joy venture is teaching and unlocking the potential of a self-designed STEM elective course called Games-Based Learning, where students use digital gaming as the primary conduit for interdisciplinary, contemporary global studies. Caesar is a fierce advocate for teacher autonomy and (accordingly) innovative, relevant teaching practice that fosters students’ conscious desire to be lifelong learners.

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Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Campbell

Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) Campbell serves as chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (CI) in Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education (RCOE). Campbell comes to Appalachian from Marshall University where she served as associate professor of elementary and secondary education in the College of Education and Professional Development. She also served as program director of elementary and secondary education, program coordinator for the Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction, coordinator for the English as a Second Language (ESL) master’s program and certificate, and as an instructor in the Graduate Humanities Program. In addition, Campbell has an avid interest in collaborative research, community and university partnerships and civic engagement. Her research focuses on the constitutive nature of collaborative research and writing, and especially how it works—through shared agency, shared commitment, and shared humanity—to make and remake those who engage it.

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Reid Chapman

Reid Chapman is currently a senior lecturer in the Education Department at UNC Asheville where he coordinates the 6-12 Social Studies Licensure Program.  Reid teaches the capstone methods course for 6-9, 9-12 Language Arts, and 6-9, 9-12 Social Studies.  Reid also teaches in UNC Asheville’s Humanities Program, where he co-edited the course reader for the senior capstone Humanities class. Reid has worked extensively with classroom teachers, offering workshops on topics as broad as integrating technology in the classroom, utilizing primary source documents in lesson planning, teaching about religion in the public schools, creating classroom exhibits, and integrating West African content in Language Arts and Social Studies classes.

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Ashley Day

Ashley Day is currently a biology instructor at Isothermal Community College where she teaches several biology courses, including general biology, microbiology, and anatomy and physiology. She has 20 years of teaching experience in secondary and post-secondary education.  In addition to her teaching, she serves as the vice chair of Team for the Advancement of the Learning College (TALC), a committee which serves to identify barriers to and opportunities for student learning and then work in cross-campus groups to develop solutions.

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Steve Hall

Steve Hall, Principal of Piney Creek School in Alleghany County, is a champion for all students and educators. During his twenty-three years of varied experience in education, he has gained a unique perspective and appreciation for the impact one person can make on the life of another.  His career in education spans PreK-12th as a bus driver, custodian, teacher, athletic coach, high school assistant principal, elementary principal, middle school principal, and early college high school principal. Steve is recognized for his innovative leadership in the implementation of an MTSS framework and Global School. Steve believes in lifelong learning and is a member of several professional organizations including: NCASA, NCASCD, NCPAPA, ASCD, and the Alleghany County Schools Principal Council Representative for NWRESA.

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Sarah Humphries-Nazionale

Sarah Nazionale is the proud daughter of a North Carolina educator, and a product of excellent North Carolina public institutions from kindergarten at Myers Park Traditional Elementary through to her Master’s Degree at the University of North Carolina Asheville. She currently serves as Associate Director of Admission at UNC Asheville, where she oversees recruitment and outreach operations. Sarah is passionate about creating accessible pathways to higher education for all students. During her tenure at UNC Asheville, she has worked extensively with transfer, military, and nontraditional students. She represents the division of Academic Affairs on the University’s Staff Council, and serves on the Advisory Board for UNC Asheville’s Prison Education Program.

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Megan Kasper

Megan Kasper attended Appalachian State University for both her undergraduate degree in Mathematics, Secondary Education and her master’s degree in College Student Development; Student Affairs Practice. She currently serves as the Assistant Director for Student Engagement in the James Center for Student Success & Advising. The James Center is located in the Reich College of Education and serves teacher education majors at Appalachian State University. Her current role in the James Center allows her to combine these experiences as she is working with college students who are starting their teaching career.  While working in the Reich College of Education, Megan has implemented programs and initiatives that promote the recruitment and retention of teacher education candidates. Megan currently directs the Appalachian Community of Education Scholars (ACES) program, the Transfer Educators Residential Learning Community as well as advises the Appalachian Educators Club and Education Peer Ambassador program.

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Dr. Jennifer R. McGee

Dr. Jennifer R. McGee is an Associate Professor of Research and Evaluation in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Appalachian State University.  She completed her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Research and Evaluation in 2012 from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. McGee’s research interests include: assessment, program evaluation, self-efficacy, and S.T.E.M. education. She teaches courses in research methods, applied statistics, and classroom assessment.  She has published in such journals as the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, Action in Teacher Education, and the International Journal of Educational Research. Prior to joining Appalachian as a faculty member, Dr. McGee was a high school agriculture teacher.

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Shakara Morrison-Shuford

Shakara Morrison-Shuford is an Assistant Principal at East Rutherford High School in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Prior to taking this position, she taught English at the high school level for 4 1⁄2 years and was a Gifted Specialist for 1 1⁄2 years. She has worked in Winston-Salem, Durham, and Chapel Hill. She is an NC Principal Fellow from Class 23 and completed her administrative internship at Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte. She was born in Hickory, NC but was raised in Spartanburg, SC. Shakara graduated from Wofford College in 2010 with a B.A. in English; concentration in Secondary Education. She graduated from Elon University in 2013 with an M.Ed in Gifted Education, and from UNC Charlotte in 2018 with a Masters in School Administration. She is an instructional leader and believes, like Brene Brown, that “Who we are is how we lead.”

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Dr. Alexis S. Pope

Dr. Alexis S. Pope has served as the Director of Admissions at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC since 2015 and previously as the Director of Admissions at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN. Currently leading an office of 29 full-time employees with approximately $700k in operating funds, he works to recruit the best-fit and highest achieving students to Appalachian State. He received his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education – Biochemistry and master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Tech University and received his doctorate from Tennessee State University in Higher Education Administration after completing a dissertation on the “Effects of Non-Cognitive Factors in STEM Attrition Among High-Performing Students”.

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Reagan Rippy

Reagan Rippy graduated from North Carolina State University in 2002 and immediately started teaching high school English. After twelve years in the classroom, Reagan has decided to venture out of his comfort zone and accept a position as an assistant principal. Responsibility for our next generation is a significant factor in his purpose as a school administrator. He has a responsibility to the students he serves and the school he represents. He cannot and will not stand for an idle, passive mentality in a profession that is so frequently driven through the mud by media and politicians. If given an opportunity to make a difference, he is intrinsically responsible for acknowledging the opportunity and pursuing it with every fiber of is being.

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Tierra Stark

Tierra Stark started her career in education as a teacher at Watauga High School after earning a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University (ASU) in family and consumer sciences, secondary education. Later, she transitioned into being the Career & Technical Education (CTE) coordinator for Watauga County Schools, which involved the facilitation of high school interns at community facilities, managing instructional content and curriculum, coordination of the CTE testing program, and helping teachers provide an equitable education to all students. During her time as CTE coordinator, she went back to ASU and earned a master’s in school administration. Currently, she serves as an assistant principal and CTE Director for Watauga County Schools while also attending East Tennessee State University (ETSU) to pursue a doctorate in educational leadership.

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Misty Ware

Misty Ware has lived in Robbinsville, NC for most of her life and is proud to have graduated high school as a Black Knight.  After high school, she attended college and graduated from Western Carolina University (GO Cats!) with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Middle Grades Education. She first began her teaching career at Swain Middle School as a sixth-grade math teacher.  After 10 years, she began working at Robbinsville Middle School as a seventh-grade math teacher.  She has spent the last few years teaching math at the high school and just this year received the opportunity to teach Physical Science and Earth/Environmental Science at the high school.

Central Cohort

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Teresa Bunner

Teresa Bunner currently serves as the Director for Student Engagement in the Office of Equity Affairs for Wake County Public School System. In this role she supports 180+ K-12 schools in honoring and amplifying student voice. Prior to that she was the High School Literacy Coordinating Teacher serving 30 high schools in the district to support disciplinary literacy in all classrooms. Before arriving in WCPSS she served as the Academic Support Specialist for the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate Program in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools serving students of color in 4th-12th grade to support their academic success. Teresa spent 20 years as a classroom teacher and reading specialist at elementary, middle, and high schools. She was the 2007 Elk Grove Unified School District Teacher of the Year. Teresa loves books, and finds great joy in connecting students (and fellow staff members) with reading.

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Amanda W. Byrd

Amanda W. Byrd began her career as an Exceptional Children Teaching Assistant with Hickory Public Schools in Hickory, NC in 1996. After receiving her degree in Psychology and Sociology from Lenoir Rhyne University and working for a few years in the field, Amanda returned to her first love which was working with children. She obtained her teaching certification from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and received her Master’s in Executive Leadership at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC. Amanda returned to Hickory Public Schools to continue her career as an Exceptional Children Teacher, Program Specialist and the Exceptional Children Director. She remained in Hickory Public Schools for 13 years before joining the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction as a consultant. Amanda currently holds the position of Section Chief in the Exceptional Children Division, Special Programs and Data Section. She has had many great experiences in the field of education and looks forward to continuing to serve the students of North Carolina.

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Kyle Canuette

Kyle Canuette is an Associate Policy Analyst with the Hunt Institute. In this role, he conducts research and analysis on policy issues and contributes to the development of materials with a focus on North Carolina.  Prior to joining The Hunt Institute, Kyle taught high school Social Studies in Oklahoma City as a Teach for America Corps Member, and then at Coney Island Prep Charter School in south Brooklyn where he also served as an instructional coach. In addition to teaching, he has written high school social studies curriculum for Teach for America’s National Institute. Most recently, Kyle served as a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports coach for the School District of Philadelphia.

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Candice Chambers

Candice Chambers originally hails from the small town of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Since joining NCSSM in 2012 she has taught a variety of courses in distance education including Forensic Science, Forensic Anthropology, Epidemiology, and Anthropology. In addition to teaching, she has served as Interdisciplinary Coordinator for Distance Education and in recent years she has taken on numerous projects such as developing new curriculum, piloting new instructional technologies in the classroom, supporting school-wide professional growth initiatives, scaffolding new advising opportunities for students in distance education, and participating in the 100Kin10 2017 fellowship cohort focused on exploring the challenges that educators face in incorporating STEM activities in the classroom. Candice is passionate about organization, instructional design, professional development, and community building in education.

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Kate Culbreth

Kate Culbreth is a 5th grade English Language Arts teacher at Wolf Meadow Elementary School in Cabarrus County Schools in Concord, North Carolina. She earned a BA in Spanish and Inclusive Education from Nazareth College in Rochester, New York in 2010 before moving to North Carolina. In 2013, Kate earned her Master’s in Reading Education (K-12) from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2014. In 2016, Kate earned her Graduate Certificate in School Leadership from Appalachian State University. Kate has served Cabarrus County Schools as a classroom teacher, as well as an instructional coach. Kate strongly believes in the power of public education and is a passionate advocate for educational equity through a whole-child approach.

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Itaevia Minnae Curry-Chisolm

Itaevia Minnae Curry-Chisolm is a native of Saint Matthews, South Carolina and recent North Carolina Central University graduate. She earned her Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Family and Consumer Sciences while accumulating over 250 hours of service. During her undergraduate years, she participated as Coach, and later Cohort Lead, in the Building Opportunities and Overtures in Science and Technology (BOOST) program. These roles enabled her to serve as a STEM representative for students who did not often see themselves reflected. As an intern for the Science Education and Diversity in Science program areas at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, she has been able to continue to advocate for quality STEM teachers and engaging out-of-school time programs.

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Dr. Michael Dixon

Dr. Michael Dixon began his career in education as a high school science teacher in Nash County.  After moving to Greene County, Dr. Dixon taught eighth grade math and science at Greene County Middle School before moving into an instructional technologist role.  During his time at GCMS, Dr. Dixon was a vital part of the team that launched the first 1:1 laptop initiative in a NC rural school system. He has since served as an instructional technologist for Greene Central High School, the lead technologist for the district, and he is currently serving as the Federal Programs Director and Chief Technology Officer.  He earned a B.A. from Elon University, a M.Ed. from East Carolina University, and an Ed.D. from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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Debra Dowless

Debra Dowless is currently serving as the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction for Hoke County Schools. In this role, Debra is responsible for developing, improving, and assessing the effectiveness of curricula and instruction. Her main goal is to improve learning opportunities for students and teachers alike. Prior to serving in her current role, she served as the Principal of Rockfish Hoke Elementary for eight years, the Assistant Principal of Hawk Eye Elementary for two years, and an elementary teacher in Hoke County for eight years. She has over 23 years of experience in public education and is grateful to have served all of them with the Hoke County School System. She has been honored with the Hoke County Math Teacher of the Year, Rockfish Hoke Teacher of the Year and Hoke County Principal of the Year.

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Sherria Grubbs

Sherria Grubbs began her educational journey of becoming an educator by receiving an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from the Borough of Manhattan Community College.  Shortly after she relocated to North Carolina, she decided to go back to school where she received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Shaw University.  She couldn’t get enough, so she later went back to school and received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Strayer University. In 2014, Sherria applied for and was selected to participate in the NC Principal Fellows Program through North Carolina Central University which is where she received her second Master’s Degree in School Administration. She has over 29 years of experience as an educator.  For the last three years, she has served as an Assistant Principal for NC Public Schools.  This will be her fourth year as an Assistant Principal.  Before becoming a school administrator, she served as an early childhood education and elementary education teacher. 

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Krissi Hewitt

Krissi Hewitt serves as the Director of Institutional Research and Strategic Initiatives for NCSSM where she works with campus stakeholders to build capacity for data-informed decision-making and strategic planning with the aim of improving policy and practice. She also leads campus research integrity and strategic initiatives as the Chief Research Officer for the school. Prior to starting her role at NCSSM, Dr. Hewitt served as Regional Education Partnership Policy Advisor for Oregon’s Chief Education Office, directing the state agency’s cross-sector education partnership initiatives and conducting policy analyses relevant to STEM and Career and Technical Education on behalf of the Governor and state legislature. Krissi has over 10 years of experience in STEM education transformation and research. As a biologist and science educator, she is committed to enhancing STEM learning environments with a focus on applied, experiential learning opportunities that increase scientific literacy.

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Erin Thomas Horne

Erin Thomas Horne is the Director of Professional Education in the NC State University College of Education. Erin began her teaching career in Wake County Public Schools, teaching 4th grade. In 2003, she was named one of Wake County’s First Year Teachers of the Year. While in the class, she earned National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist. Her teaching has continued at NC State as a Teaching Assistant professors in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences. In this role, she manages the undergraduate core courses program and teaches graduate courses in curriculum theory, assessment, and supervision. In addition to serving as the Director of Professional Education for the NC State College of Education, Erin serves as the Graduate Program Coordinator of the Curriculum and Developmental Supervision program and Director of Research for SUCCEED. She has led the formation of many innovative programs in the College, including the NC State College of Education Beginning Teacher Institute and the NC State Cooperating Teacher Institute.

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Martinette Horner

Martinette Horner is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the academic area, Educational Policy and Organizational Leadership at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she coordinates the Master of School Administration program. In addition to program coordination duties and teaching responsibilities in educational leadership preparation programs, she also works with interdisciplinary groups of faculty and K-12 teachers and leaders to collaborate on research and practice opportunities. Her experiences as a K-12 educator including school leadership roles uniquely prepared her to serve as a bridge-builder between university researchers and K-12 practitioners. Martinette’s role with partnerships includes developing and maintaining relationships with school districts individually and as part of alliances or consortia.

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Matt Hoskins

Matt Hoskins serves as the Assistant Director of the Exceptional Children Division at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). Matt has a B.A. degree from Wake Forest University, M.A. and S.S.P. degrees from Appalachian State University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from East Tennessee State University. Prior to assuming his current position, Matt served North Carolina schools and students as a school psychologist, math consultant, data analyst/implementation specialist, and research and evaluation lead. Matt has worked collaboratively with Public School Units and NCDPI staff to: implement a Multi-Tiered System of Support, develop, validate, and norm the North Carolina.

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Etsu Hutchison-Miller

Etsu Hutchison-Miller is an experienced educator of 25 years. She holds 2 masters degrees in Education and Education Management. As the Manager of Teacher Services at Participate Learning, she provides support for international educators to ensure their success in teaching and living in the United States. Every year her team organizes and implements the on-boarding and training of up to 400 new international educators and the continuous support of over 1,000 international exchange teachers.

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Ashley Kazouh

Ashley Kazouh is a Policy Analyst at the Public School Forum of North Carolina. She supports the policy team by monitoring, documenting, and providing analysis of current education policy issues in North Carolina. She also manages the weekly Friday Report. Prior to joining the Forum, Ashley earned a B.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University. After college, she gained a passion for education and racial equity through influential experiences such as facilitating social justice workshops for students as an Americorps member in Memphis, TN and collaborating with community members to promote the academic, socio-emotional and behavioral well-being of students as a Program Coordinator at Big Brothers Big Sisters. Ashley is completing dual masters’ degrees in Social Work and Public Administration at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she has gained a multitude of research experience.

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Keethan Kleiner

Keethan Kleiner, a 2009 alum of the North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM), returned to NCSSM as an instructor of computer science in 2016. He has a background in artificial intelligence and has taught a variety of courses at all programming skill levels, including summer camps and mentoring students doing research in computer science. He is passionate about teaching computer science, access to programming education, and school service. In his time at NCSSM, he has helped restructure the Computer Science Curriculum, developing new computer science offerings and interdisciplinary courses. He has been elected as an NCSSM Faculty Senate officer and as a University of North Carolina System Faculty Assembly representative as well as serving on numerous school committees.

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Danielle Madrazo

Danielle Madrazo earned a B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Howard Payne University, an M.A. in English Literature from Baylor University, and the Doctor of Education degree from Appalachian State University. Danielle was a teacher of English Language Learners before she joined the faculty of Lee-McRae College in 2011. She currently serves as Associate Professor of Education, Director of Teacher Education, and Chair of the School of Social Sciences and Education at North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Danielle has served on formative assessment design teams at the state and national level.

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Kathryn Marker

Kathryn Marker graduated from Miami University (Ohio), from Georgia State, and from NC State with a Ph.D. in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Previously she has taught in public high schools in Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. Since 2014, Kathryn has worked at the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority. Her role at the Authority is to oversee the division which administers the state’s K12 tuition assistance programs, post- secondary scholarship and forgivable loan programs, and FAFSA outreach. In this position, she has also been exposed to financial aid policy and practice, efforts to increase college access, as well as the legislative process in North Carolina.

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Dr. Cynthia Martin

Dr. Cynthia Martin is the Director of District Regional Support for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This division is responsible for providing a unified system of support in elevating the profession and increasing capacity for student achievement for Public School Units. The division is responsible for the Teacher and Principal of the Year programs, Beginning Teacher Support, and the new Regional Support Structure. Dr. Martin entered education as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow. She has served in education for over 20 years as a teacher, school counselor, Principal, Director of Teacher Development, and Director of Licensure and Accountability. She has an earned doctorate from East Carolina University with a research focus on emotional intelligence’s effect on leadership effectiveness.

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Elizabeth Meynardie

Elizabeth Meynardie graduated from Elon University in 2017 with a degree in elementary education. She is excited to continue learning about policy making this year with a more specific focus on education. After graduating from Elon, Elizabeth taught English to second through sixth graders in Kaohsiung, Taiwan for one year through the Fulbright program. During the 2018-19 academic year, she worked at Merrick-Moore Elementary School in Durham as a fourth grade teacher. She currently teaches first grade at Merrick-Moore and is very much looking forward to working with young students.

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Dr. Lisa N. Mitchell

Dr. Lisa N. Mitchell is the Interim Associate Dean in the School of Education and an Associate Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. As an educator, she is committed to supporting teacher candidates teaching in the graduate and undergraduate elementary education program and supervising student interns. While teaching in the public schools for 14 years, she was also involved as a teacher leader and mentor in her school and district and branched out beyond the classroom seizing opportunities with instructional technology and professional development. Her scholarship, service and professional development keep her actively involved in teacher induction and mentoring and supporting teacher development.

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Taylor Moore

Taylor Moore currently serves the community of Greene County as the assistant principal at Greene County Intermediate School.  He was born and raised in Caldwell County in western North Carolina, but he has called eastern North Carolina his home for over a decade.  After graduating from East Carolina University with a degree in History Education, he taught at both the middle school and high school levels.  In 2015, Taylor made the transition from the classroom to administration.  Since becoming an assistant principal, he has completed his Master’s Degree in School Administration from East Carolina University and has had the opportunity to work with a great group of teachers, a supportive principal, and district administrators who value professional growth.

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Mariah Morris

Mariah Morris is the 2019 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year. She proudly teaches second grade at West Pine Elementary School in Moore County where she loves to learn beside her students as she integrates STEM into her student-centered curriculum. Mariah attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a NC Teaching Fellow and is a proud Tar Heel. Mariah believes in the importance of providing equitable STEM opportunities to the students of North Carolina so they can become successful global citizens after graduation. Mariah is excited to travel the state this year meeting and learning from all of our amazing teachers and students of North Carolina!

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Felix Muriithi

Felix Muriithi is the Director of Finance at Participate Learning in Chapel Hill, NC, where he has worked since 2004. A native of Kenya, he is an enormously dedicated, objective problem solver who always seeks improvement and progress. Before immigrating to the US, he served as Controller at Tamarind Management Limited in Kenya from 1993 through 2003 and Audit Senior at Khalid and Company, CPA before that. He holds degrees in Business and Accounting from Strathmore University and Kenya Polytechnic.

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Catrina Parker

Felix Muriithi is the Director of Finance at Participate Learning in Chapel Hill, NC, where he has worked since 2004. A native of Kenya, he is an enormously dedicated, objective problem solver who always seeks improvement and progress. Before immigrating to the US, he served as Controller at Tamarind Management Limited in Kenya from 1993 through 2003 and Audit Senior at Khalid and Company, CPA before that. He holds degrees in Business and Accounting from Strathmore University and Kenya Polytechnic.

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Elizabeth Paul

Elizabeth Paul is the Program Coordinator at the Public School Forum of North Carolina. She supports the Forum’s and policy work, such as BTLN, EPFP, NC CAP, and the NC Institute for Educational Policymakers. She also coordinates events and contributes to communications including website updates and social media. Prior to joining the Public School Forum, Elizabeth earned a B.S. in Human and Organizational Development with a track in education policy and a B.A. in English from Vanderbilt University. During her time there, she interned at the Oasis Center in Nashville, TN where she assisted high school students in gaining access to higher education and developing post-graduation plans. Elizabeth is passionate about education policy and working to create equitable school systems for all students, especially those who face structural challenges.

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Lauren Piner

Lauren Piner is originally from New Bern, NC and a graduate of East Carolina University where she received her BA in History and a Master of Arts in Teaching. Lauren has just begun her 9th year teaching World History, AP World History, and an elective on Genocide Studies and Human Rights at South Central High School in Pitt County. An alumnus of the US Department of State Teachers for Global Classrooms Program, her passion is in global competence and education. In addition to teaching, she is the president of the Pitt County Association of Educators, a member of the NC Council on the Holocaust, the Legislative Liasion for the NC Council on the Social Studies, and the immediate past-president of the Greenville Rotary Club. As an educator, she sees her activism as a way to model for her students how to participate as a productive citizen of civil society. When not teaching, she spends her time with her dachshund Nancy Drew and planning her next overseas adventure.

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Victoria Privott

Victoria Privott is the youngest of seven children. She was born in Connecticut and grew up in Fayetteville, NC. She spent eleven years as a high school English teacher in Charlotte, NC before becoming a principal in Washington, DC. She has since been an administrator with the public school system in the United Arab Emirates and Wake County public Schools where she currently serves as an elementary school principal. Victoria has three adult children – all of whom proudly work in public service.

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James Robinson

James Robinson is a Budget Execution Analyst with the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management. James’ primary responsibilities include budget execution and base budget development in the area of K-12 Education.  Prior to joining OSBM, James worked for the Rural Advancement Foundation International. James earned an MS in Political Science from Florida State University and a BA in Political Science from LaGrange College.

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Dov Rosenberg

Dov Rosenberg went to public schools in Chatham and Chapel Hill, and was surprised to see how socioeconomic & geographic disparities led to wide opportunity gaps for kids. As a University of Maryland student, he noted similar inequities student-teaching at nearby schools, saw potential for bridging these gaps with classroom technology integration, and sought a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology from NC State. Years later he also earned a Master’s certification in Academically Gifted Education from Duke University. He was appointed to the NC Association of Educators (NCAE) Government Relations Commission in 2013, which interviews candidates for public office before deciding whom to endorse, and elected to Middle School Director of the Durham Association of Educators. In 2016 he was elected to the NCAE Board of Directors as President of their Student Services Division, representing School Librarians, Nurses, Counselors, & therapists in public schools across our state.

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Amy Policastro Schroeder

Amy Policastro Schroeder is a Career and Technical Education Consultant at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction where she provides leadership, professional development, curriculum development, consultation, and advocacy to the NC Career Development Coordinators (CDC), CTE Directors, and other stakeholders to ensure NC students are career and college ready. She has over 15 years of education experience, and over 10 years in the Business Sector within Human Resources, Publishing, and Corporate Education and Development. She has a background in teaching Graphic Communication Industrial Technology in the 6-12 (NJ), Community College of Morris (NJ), and Illinois State University (ISU). Amy earned her Master of Art in Teaching from Montclair State University in NJ, and began EdD Studies within Curriculum and Development while faculty at ISU. Prior to her current role with NCPDI, she served within NC’s Wake County Public School System as a Career Development Coordinator within Athens Drive High School, and was the founding Leadership Team/CDC and STEM Coordinator building a new career development continuum and Business Alliance for the Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy, as Single Gender Middle, High, and Early College Program with St Augustine’s University.

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Terri Smith

Terri Smith is a School Counseling Specialist in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools. She currently serves as a leader, advisor, coach and advocate for middle school counselors and oversees the school counseling internship program. Terri has been an educator for over 15 years, serving as a school counselor at the middle and high school level before moving to her current position in central office. She has a Master’s degree in Counselor Education and a post graduate certification in Curriculum and Supervision. Terri is a national board certified counselor (NBPTS) and works to support other school counselors who desire to go through this rigorous process to perfect their craft to support students. Terri has a passion for equity in education. She believes that students deserve quality education and access to enrichment opportunities to help them discover their passions, skills and talents.

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Geetanjali Soni

Geetanjali Soni has worked nearly all of her life in education in India, Louisiana, and now in North Carolina. She has taught preschool, and kindergarten, and graduate students and has worn the hat of online principal, course designer, course creator, teacher and facilitator, assessment director and most fun of all, Psychometrician! She currently works as Director of teaching and learning at the North Carolina Virtual Public School. She works with online teachers and provides direction and support to teachers and staff in the use of innovative 21st-century skills, student-centered instruction and effective online instruction. She leads the planning, development and implementation of a comprehensive professional learning program for NCVPS staff, teachers and other stakeholders including the NCVPS teacher induction program. Prior to this, for the last seven years, she has worked on creating and delivering online professional development to North Carolina educators and courses for students at the North Carolina Virtual Public School.

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Susan R. Wynn

Susan R. Wynn, Ed.D, M.S.A, M.Ed., is an Associate Professor of the Practice at Duke University where she is currently serving her second term as chair and director of the Program in Education. A senior member of the Education faculty, Wynn has held numerous leadership roles including director of the Secondary Teacher Preparation Program and chair of the university-wide courses committee. She received her Ed.D in educational leadership with an emphasis on principal recruitment and retention at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. A former middle/high school teacher and elementary school principal, Wynn is committed to connecting theory and practice in the areas of teacher education, principal preparation, and school policy.

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Samantha Yarborough

Samantha Yarborough is a staff attorney in the nonpartisan Legislative Analysis Division at the General Assembly, where she has worked since July 2017. Samantha works primarily on education policy issues and staffs each of the education-related committees. This has led to deep dives into school safety, school buses, and military-related education issues. Samantha is a double Tar Heel (BA ’13, JD ’16) and she also spent all of her K-12 years in the NC public school system.

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