The North Carolina Teacher Voice Fellows positively inform decisions made by education policymakers by providing feedback from colleagues that represents the collective and diverse opinions of educators throughout the state. By collaborating with partner organizations and engaging peers to learn more about and share their own stories related to policy decisions, Fellows will accelerate a movement of constructive teacher-led conversations around solutions that bring the most benefit to the students of North Carolina.
Tracy Bell is a school library media specialist at Glenwood Elementary School in Chapel Hill, NC. Before transferring to Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools this school year, she was a media specialist in Durham Public Schools at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability. She has 26 years of experience as a high school, elementary, and public librarian. Tracy is also a National Board Certified Teacher, in the area of Library Media, Piedmont East Regional Director for the North Carolina School Library Media Association, National Board Certified Teacher Caucus Regional Network Lead for the North Carolina Association of Educators, participant in the 2017 cohort for the North Carolina Digital Leader’s Coaching Network, and president of the North Carolina Eta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Tracy also teaches part-time for North Carolina Virtual Public Schools, has served as an assessor and item writer for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and Pearson, and as a book reviewer for School Library Journal. A graduate of North Carolina Central University, she holds a Master’s in Library Science degree and a Master of Arts in Education degree in the area of Educational Technology.
Jackie Cheek is an instructional coach and Social Studies teacher at Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, NC, where she’s taught for 6 years. At Maureen Joy, she’s developed middle school curriculum and assessments and worked with other teachers to strengthen their practice and incorporate historical thinking and literacy skills into their curriculum. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s in Education with a focus on k-12 literacy.
Christine Kiernan Fisher has been teaching dance for over twenty years in public schools, colleges and universities. She has currently returned to Guilford County Schools where she is the dance educator for Eastern Guilford Middle School, teaching grades 6-8. Prior to that she worked in Durham public Schools where she directed the Honors Dance Company at Durham School of the Arts, was lead dance teacher for the district, and selected as a Governor’s Teacher Network recipient. She earned a BFA from Columbia College and an MFA in performance in choreography from UNC- Greensboro.
Lauren Genesky is an English teacher at Millbrook High School in Wake County. Prior to teaching for Wake County Public School System, where she was a 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year finalist, Lauren taugh in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for two years. She currently serves as the team leader for her grade-level and as a mentor for beginning teachers and Wake County Public School System’s Future Teachers Program. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Lauren continues to work with preservice teachers from the university, serving as a cooperating teacher and as a facilitator for the university’s Beginning Teacher Institute and the North Central Beginning Teacher Summit.
Marci Harvey teaches physics and physical science at UNC School of the Arts in Winston Salem, NC. Prior to teaching at UNCSA, she taught 20 years at West Forsyth High School in Forsyth county. In 2016, Marci won the Kay Trull Distinguished Educator Award and was West Forsyth’s 2014 Teacher of the Year. She was a Kenan Fellow in 2013, completing research on incorporating biofuels into the chemistry curriculum. Marci is a National Board Certified teacher, chairs the NCAE NBCT Caucus Network, and is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. She is a graduate of the College of Charleston and holds a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina.
Jaclyn Holland teaches French at Estes Hills Elementary in Chapel Hill. In her seven years as an educator, she has also taught secondary English in Baltimore, MD and English as a Foreign Language in Valence, France. A member of the CHCCS Elementary World Language team, Jaclyn has collaborated with colleagues to present at the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina Conference. She also advocates for the French EWL program through presentations, web communications, and school-wide events. A graduate of Furman University and an alumnus of Teach For America, Jaclyn holds a Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University.
Mary Alicia Lyons is a National Board Certified Literacy Coach at Morris Grove Elementary in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Her 25 years of experience include 14 years in Durham Public Schools, where she was a district finalist for Teacher of the Year. She has presented at multiple conferences, secured numerous grants for initiatives, and is a district co-trainer for LLI. She was a member of the Governor’s Teacher Network and the 2016 DPI team that reviewed and revised the K-12 ELA standards. She earned her BA as a Teaching Fellow at UNC-CH and later completed an MEd in Reading from the same institution.
Tricia Lyons teaches Kindergarten at Huntingtowne Farms Elementary School, an IB World School, in Charlotte, NC. She has taught the last 17 years of her 26-year career with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, participating in the School Improvement Team and Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council; and regularly mentors new teachers. A graduate of The University of Kentucky, Ms. Lyons began as a Music Educator and added on Elementary Certification at The University of Central Florida. She holds a Masters in Curriculum and Supervision from The University of North Carolina Charlotte.
Erik graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, and started teaching in North Carolina in 2001. He began his career in Onslow County in 2013, and currently teaches AP US History, AP US Government and Civics at Swansboro High School. He is the advisor for Student 2 Student, Rho Kappa and Mock Trial. He was Onslow County’s Teacher of the Year in 15-16, and currently serves on the OCS Quality Council, ESSA Implementation Team and is the county’s Secondary Social Studies Curriculum Team Leader. Erik is a College Board AP Reader. He is a recipient of the Jones Onslow Bright Ideas Grant, DPI Personal Financial Literacy Grant, and has been recognized as a Barnes and Noble “My Favorite Teacher.”
Kimberly Mawhiney teaches Science, AP Chemistry and Honors Chemistry at Currituck County High School in Currituck County, where she has taught for 13 years. She was awarded Currituck County High School and Currituck County Science Teacher of the Year 2011-12. Kimberly is also a 2013 Kenan Fellow where she did a fellowship with NASA through Elizabeth City State University. She has served as Department Chair, school leadership team chair, as well as a mentor for beginning teachers. Kimberly graduated from Elizabeth City State University with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Elaine Miles currently serves as a Literacy Coach at Estes Hills Elementary School in Chapel Hill, NC. She has worked in the field of education for 18 years as a classroom teacher and literacy coach. Elaine has been with Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools for the last 6 years. She works with fellow colleagues at the district and school level to plan and implement curriculum initiatives as well as support instructional implementation of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Trevecca Nazarene University as well as a Master’s degree in Reading Education from UNC Pembroke.
Marquitta Mitchell is the Multi-Classroom Leader for the English I team at West Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, NC. She has been an educator for 12 years, serving a variety of roles, including a 9th-12th grade English teacher, 9th-10th grade academic facilitator, and testing coordinator. She began her teaching career in Wayne County, and has been with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for 11 years. In the past, Marquitta has written curriculum for CMS’s Humanities department, and she also served as a presenter for the department, providing professional development to new and veteran teachers. Marquitta has also worked for The New Teacher Project, acting as an advocate and support for new teachers in Charlotte, New Orleans, and D.C. Most recently, Marquitta was named a 2017 scholarship recipient for the Jane Austen Summer Program in Carrboro, NC. A graduate of North Carolina State University, she holds a Master of Arts in English from National University.
Jerica Morgan teaches Math III and IB HL Mathematics at Lee County High School in Sanford, NC. She’s taught for 4 years, all with Lee County Schools, and this is her 4th Fellowship. She was a Kenan Fellow in 2014-2015 (NC State), a current Hollyhock Fellow, 2016-2018 (Stanford University), and a current EPFP Fellow, 2016-2017 (Public School Forum). She has presented her ideas in STEM Education and Mathematics at multiple conferences and holds a Masters Degree in Mathematics Education from the State University of New York at Fredonia.
Brandon Morrison teaches 5th grade students at Irving Park Elementary School in Greensboro, NC. He is completing his third year of teaching, two of which were spent in Vance County. Brandon is a 2010 NC Teaching Fellows recipient and a 2014 graduate of the illustrious North Carolina A&T State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. Mr. Morrison has served as a PTA secretary, grade level representative, and school representative for PENC during his career.
Ben Pendarvis has taught at Tri-County Early College High School in Cherokee county for the last five years. His duties span the humanities, including facilitation of the Senior Graduation Project for four of those years, expanding the Performing Arts/ Drama elective, and co-facilitating an Adventure Club. He promotes the use of experiential philosophies and methodologies in the classroom and sharing them with others, which helped set his school apart in a designation by the national XQ SuperSchool Project as one of the top 50 finalists for innovative high schools.
Meredith Pinckney graduated from North Carolina State University earning a B.S. in Extension Education with a concentration in Agriculture and Natural Resources in 2014, and has been teaching at Ligon GT Magnet Middle School ever since. At Ligon, Meredith teaches 5 different courses over the school year. These courses range Animal and Plant Sciences to Agricultural and Environmental Biotechnology. While at Ligon, Meredith has been very involved, co-chairing the PBIS committee and the Equity Team, while also coaching boys and girls soccer and advising a FFA chapter.
Mika Twietmeyer teaches Biology and AP Biology at Riverside High School in Durham, NC. She has been teaching for 9 years, all at Riverside High School. Mika is a National Board Certified Teacher, mentors pre-service teachers during their student teaching placements, and is the science content instructor for the Duke Masters of Arts in Teaching Program. Before becoming a teacher Mika was a regulatory biologist at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC. She holds a B.S. in Biology and Entomology from the University of Maryland and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Duke University.
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