My name is Jennifer Allsbrook, and I am from Hendersonville, North Carolina. I am married and have one son, two dogs, two cats, and a ferret. Besides being an animal-lover, wife, and mother, I am also an educator. I received my B.S. in Biology/Chemistry Secondary Education from Appalachian State University and a Master’s of Life Science from the University of Maryland, College Park. I have been teaching at Polk County High School since 1993, and am the acting Science Department Chair. I attained NBPTS Certification in AYA Science in 1998 and recently became a 2019-2020 Kenan Fellow. I am an avid grant writer and believe in seeking unique and diverse learning opportunities for my students. I believe that students deserve access to the best equipment and materials available to learn the scientific process and laboratory bench skills necessary for success, whether they go on to higher education or to work.
As a Kenan Fellow, I developed my personal brand as an educator. Passionately constructing ownership of knowledge in my students is important to me. I do not just present material in the classroom. Instead, I want my students to embrace the importance of knowledge and how it empowers their future.
Kathy is a Boston, Mass. born, 23 year veteran Science teacher who enjoys learning, gardening, ice hockey, Red Sox baseball, travel and sharing her love of cultures and the environment. She is passionate about the state of the planet and authentic learning for her students.
Kathy teaches at Lincolnton High School in western North Carolina, where she is the Science Department Chairman, Asst. Varsity Women's Soccer coach , the JV Cheerleading coach and TED-Ed club Advisor, new teacher mentor, and county Science Task Force member. Her awards include the NC Outstanding Earth Science Teacher, multiple NC Science Teacher Association awards and a National Life Changers of the Year award. She has developed several courses for her school system, most recently an honors online Ecology course. She has represented the United States through a teaching and cultural exchange in India with Teachers for Global Classrooms, by presenting at the International iEARN Conference and Youth Summits in Qatar, Argentina, and Morocco and as IIE-Hilton Teacher Treks grant recipient in New Zealand. She was recently awarded a 2017 NEA grant to attend a conference on Indigenous and first generation learners in Australia and has expanded her learning adventures into the Social Studies world. She used her Fund for Teachers grant to study dark skies in Endinburgh , Scotland.
Kimberly Byrd is a middle school science teacher in the Wake County Public School System. She is a North Carolina native and has always been intrigued about learning science. She attended North Carolina State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Zoology. She also attended East Carolina University and earned a Masters in School Administration.
She has had the privilege of being a teacher and role model for students for almost 19 years. The most rewarding aspects of her career have been mentoring the future generation of student leaders and assisting beginning teachers along their journey as educators. Some of her professional roles have included Site Coordinator for Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform, Lead Science teacher and Science Department Chair. Her professional development experiences include certification as a Science Facilitator from WestEd and a facilitator of professional development for the Smithsonian Science Education Center.
When she’s not teaching, she enjoys being a wife and mother, reading and traveling with her family.
Jason Carter has been a middle grades teacher in mathematics, science and social studies, as well as a school administrator, for the last 18 years and is active in providing science professional development to other educators. As a teacher ambassador for the National Center for Science Education, Jason has developed curriculum and delivered workshops meaningful climate change education. Working with the Science House, he has co-facilitated four weeks of NCCAT workshops on integrating literacy and science, using the outdoors as a STEM tool, and epigenetics. He is also a Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms representative who spent time in Senegal studying complex global issues and education’s role in helping mitigate them. Jason is passionate about weaving science fiction into the science curriculum, having created a successful integration program called SciFi Friday at his school. Mr. Carter is on the teacher advisory board for the North Carolina Energy Fellows program and was a member of the 2017 cohort. He also participated in the NOAA Teacher at Sea program, completing a 3 week research mission in the North Atlantic aboard a NOAA research vessel. Besides teaching, Jason has led delegations of students on international travel experiences over twenty times to six of the seven continents.
Candice currently serves as Teacher Development Specialist at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, working as a part of the Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum (TLC) team providing professional development and ongoing instructional support for teachers. Since joining NCSSM in 2012, she has taught a variety of courses focusing on applications in forensics and health sciences. In addition to teaching, she has engaged in curriculum development, piloted new instructional technologies in the classroom, supported school-wide professional growth initiatives, and scaffolded new advising opportunities for students in distance education. She has also participated as a fellow with the 2017 Grand Challenges cohort for 100Kin10 and the Education Policy Fellowship Program with the NC Public School Forum. Candice is passionate about organization, instructional design, professional development, and community building in education. Candice holds an MA in Anthropology from North Carolina State University, a BS in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and a Certificate in Core Public Health Concepts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Lily Dancy-Jones teaches Biology and AP Environmental Science at Erwin High School in Asheville, NC. She is a graduate of UNC Asheville and licensed as highly qualified to teach comprehensive science in grades 6-12. Lily is a North Carolina Certified Environmental Educator and recipient of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission Governor’s Conservation Achievement Award for 2018 Environmental Educator of the year. As the coordinator for Youth for Environmental Stewardship (YES), a collective of high school environmental clubs in the greater Asheville area, she works with local nonprofits to engage students in community service projects and activism. At her school, she serves on the Literacy Team and Curriculum Committee and sponsors the Eco Club and Envirothon team. Lily established and maintains a pollinator garden at her school and has received several grants to expand and improve the space, which is a certified Schoolyard Habitat and Monarch Waystation and serves as a unique learning environment for science classes and students in her club. She is passionate about cultivating environmental literacy in her students and community. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the ecosystems of the Southern Appalachians, gardening, and traveling the country to visit National Parks and other amazing new places.
Jeff Edwards currently serves as the STEM Coordinator for Surry County Schools. Mr Edwards holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology/Naturalist from Appalachian State University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from High Point University. Mr. Edwards began his teaching career in 1998 at North Surry High School where he taught Physical Science, Earth/Environmental Science, and Advanced Placement Earth/Environmental Science. In 2006 Mr. Edwards helped open Surry County’s Early College Program on the campus of Surry Community College. Here he taught Earth/Environmental Science and Honors Biology. During this time he was a member of the 2008-2010 Kenan Fellows cohort. In 2013 Mr Edwards accepted the position of STEM Coordinator and opened the Surry County Schools Science Institute on the campus of Meadowview Magnet Middle School. Here elementary teachers from across the entire district can bring their students for engaging hands-on science learning. In his role as a STEM Coordinator, Mr. Edwards also serves as an Instructional Coach providing classroom support and professional development to teachers from all grade levels in the district. Each fall Mr. Edwards is responsible for planning and and carrying out a local Lego Robotics competition on the campus of Surry Community College. Here teams from 8 schools representing 4 school systems scrimmage as they prepare for the North Carolina Regional US FIRST Lego Event. Mr. Edwards is the recipient of the 2019 NCSTA Distinguished Service Award in Science Education for Administration/Supervision. He is currently working to strengthen secondary science instruction in his district. Mr. Edwards resides in Cana, Virginia.
Jennifer Ford is a true lover of the sciences who earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Winthrop University and both her teaching certification and Master in the Art of Teaching degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Pi Honors Societies as well as the NSTA and the NCSTA. She is licensed to teach science from grades 6 – 12 but for the last six years has been teaching at the high school level at Mallard Creek, where she has taught Physical Science, Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology. At her school, Jennifer is an “all-in” teacher. She is a former member of the School Leadership Team, Climate and Culture Committee, adviser to the Gender Sexuality Alliance, Animal Care Club, and Anatomy and Physiology Club. Currently, she is continuing to advise multiple clubs including Science Olympiad, Speech and Debate, and the Environmental Club, participating on the Faculty Advisory Committee, and Rising Freshmen Committee. In addition, Jennifer is also currently working on applying for grant opportunities to fund an aquaponics greenhouse for her school and is part of the Craft in the Lab Fellowship with the Mint Museum Uptown.
Her teaching style is friendly and relaxed, focusing on building relationships with students while working on content. She likes to utilize inquiry, discrepant events, and project based learning to emphasize significance of content and utilize constructivism. Jennifer, while being an advocate for her students, is also an advocate for the environment and attempts to link sustainability, climate change, and other current science related events in to her class. Using content, she empowers students by reminding them that what they do has an impact so they should think on their choices, actions, importance of continuous learning, staying globally aware, and recognizing that they are not insignificant; their voice matters.
Dave Glenn is a District STEM Specialist with New Hanover County Schools in Wilmington, North Carolina. Dave started his career in education in 2002 as a Special Education Instructional Assistant in Maryland. After moving to North Carolina in 2003, he continued working as an assistant while completing his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2009. That fall, he began teaching 6th grade science at Burgaw Middle School. At Burgaw Middle, Glenn had his students participate in MoonKAM (ordering pictures of the moon’s surface from the classroom). He also shared his experiences with students as a Teacher-Ranger-Teacher with the National Park Service and his attendance of STS-133 Launch Tweet-up (Space Shuttle Discovery’s final mission). One of the highlights of his time at Burgaw Middle was developing the school’s Science Olympiad program, which culminated with a state tournament invitation in 2013. Dave was selected as a Kenan Fellow in 2014 for the Students Discover Project developing curriculum for the eMammal citizen science program.
In 2015, Dave moved to Castle Hayne Elementary School in New Hanover County as the teacher for the STEAM Lab, a position which allowed him to teach and share science with the entire school population each week. In 2017, he was transferred to his current role, which allows him to support teachers in designing STEM experiences for students. His favorite lessons include sharing and feeding his corn snake, Gary, in front of students and bringing the portable planetarium to different grade levels in the county. Dave helped launch EdCamp Beach in 2017 and also directs the district’s Science and Engineering Fair and the county’s two elementary Science Olympiad tournaments.
Dave is currently working through Graduate School at East Carolina studying Science Education. He has lived in Castle Hayne since 2004 with his wife Debi (also a teacher) and his two children.
Michelle Hafey is the Program Associate for the Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CESTEM) at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After working in Hotel/Restaurant Management, she transitioned to education. Michelle is certified to teach middle grades mathematics and science and has achieved National Board Certification in Science/Early Adolescence. She has 22 years’ experience teaching middle grades science.
In addition to teaching, Michelle has experience facilitating student STEM competitions and professional development events. As the lead science teacher for Pender County, she directed the Division A Science Olympiad Tournament and was responsible for delivering professional development sessions to her peers. Michelle has received the Excellence in STEM Teaching Award from Corning and Wilmington Business District. She also participated in the Kenan Fellows Program before leaving the classroom.
In her current role at CESTEM, Michelle facilitates the Technology Loan Program where K-12 teachers in the southeast region can borrow equipment to use with their students during instruction. She is the co-director of the Wilmington Regional SeaPerch Competition and assists with the Regional Science and Engineering Fair and Science Olympiad Tournament at UNCW.
Dorothy Holley is a high school science teacher from Knightdale, NC with recent experiences including project-based learning, standards-based grading, curriculum integration, and the small school model. She is also a NCSU doctoral candidate in Learning and Teaching in STEM, partnering with higher education to better understand and advance K-12 Science Education. Research interests have focused on classroom experiences – Block Scheduling, Teacher Perceptions of Cell Phone Policy, Constructivist Teaching, and Action Research using Environmental Education as a Lens to Teach Physical Science. Her dissertation research explores mid and later career high school science teacher retention. Ms. Holley has led professional development sessions and presented papers with the North Carolina Science Teachers’ Association, National Science Teachers Association, Environmental Educators of North Carolina, Association for Science Teacher Education, American Educational Research Association, and National Association for Research in Science Teaching. She is a 2017 ‘Flame for Learning’ semifinalist, Johnston County’s Teacher of the Year Award. Nurtured and encouraged by her childhood learning communities, Ms. Holley has been inspired to help others develop their science literacy and pursue STEM careers. She strongly supports North Carolina public schools and the important work teachers are doing to provide authentic leaning experiences.
Amethysts are precious stones found in a wide range of colors, around the world. They can enhance creativity, calm emotions, and reduce negativity. There was no way my mother would know how similar I would be to my namesake. Growing up in New York City was amazing and shaped me into the person I am today, however in search of a warmer climate I relocated to Charlotte after graduating from SUNY Oneonta.
Rocks have a tendency of staying where they are put, much like me I worked at my first school for 13 years. The experiences there didn’t change my composition but began the polishing of a science educator. I began to support teachers, hosted district Science alliances, piloted programs, and attended conferences. From there I developed another facet, a love for science and science education.
Continuing the polishing process, more facets revealed my passion for continuing my own learning. This led to opportunities provided by experts from around the world, NOAA scientists, Naval academy professors, NASA engineers and a multitude of educators. Each experience increased my creativity and helped me publish units, write curriculum, engage students, earn my Masters in Education, earn National Board Certification and present locally and nationally.
Within that facet I have become an active citizen scientist as I am environmentally conscious, volunteer for animal rescues and habitat for humanity, and share my enthusiasm for science with my family and friends. Much like Amethysts in the wild combining with other minerals which increases their uniqueness, I see myself continuing to grow and be polished in the science community.
Lottie Peppers is an instructional coach with Wake Early College of Health and Sciences. She grew up on a farm in western Canada and attended Texas Tech University. She was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute undergraduate fellow, conducted research in ecology and natural history, earned her undergraduate degree in Biology, Master’s degree in Zoology, and published multiple research papers. She spent a decade as a research scientist working in the areas of ecology, cell and molecular biology, evolutionary biology, immunology, cancer biology, and pharmaceutical research.
Lottie transitioned to high school science education and has worked with under-represented students in both special education and early college settings in Texas, New Jersey, and North Carolina. She taught Biology, Chemistry, AVID, and provided science support for students enrolled in college science courses. To assist her students, Lottie has pursued extensive professional development including the Six Common Instructional Strategies (college readiness), Reading Apprenticeship, AVID, Literacy Design Collaborative, SIOP, Rx for Science Literacy, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. She is a member of the WCPSS Science Core Leadership Team (SCLT), a mentor teacher, and science curriculum writer. Lottie believes deeply all students deserve quality science instruction to develop critical thinking and scientific literacy.
Jennifer Snyder is an 18 year teaching veteran who is currently serving as a STEM Coach at Oakboro Choice STEM School in Stanly County. Jennifer holds a Masters in Teaching, is a NBCT, a certified Environmental Educator and was named Science Teacher of the Year for NCSTA, District 6 in 2019. Her passion for education is evident whether she is teaching students or educators. Jennifer is currently working on her National Geographic Educator Certification.
Jennifer grew up outside of Buffalo, NY and was that little kid asking questions and bringing her mom bugs and snakes. Jennifer could spend all day exploring and was lucky enough to have science teachers who kept that curiosity alive. Jennifer went on to study Natural Resource Management at UNC Wilmington and began a career in the NC State Park system. When it came time to move, Jennifer chose science education as her next career path. Jennifer is the mother to three beautiful children and fiance to the man of her dreams.
Christine Sudzina Schut
Christine M. Sudzina Schut is a science teacher at East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, NC. She graduated from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, earning a M.T. in Secondary Science Education, and a B.A. in Environmental Science in 2002.
Ms. Sudzina has taught and written curriculum in Germany (Dresden), The United States (Virginia, New Jersey, North Carolina) and The Netherlands (Rotterdam, Dordrecht). She has taught in public, international and bilingual schools from all socioeconomic levels with students in elementary, middle, high school and college levels with ages ranging from 4 to 40 years old.
In 2018 Ms. Sudzina was honored as “Teacher of the Year” for Graham High School as well as NCSTA’s “High School Science Teacher of the Year for District 5.” Ms. Sudzina has assumed leadership roles in all of the schools that she has taught at in the past 17 years including Science Department Head, STEM Summer Camp Leader, School Leadership and Improvement Committees, Alamance Teacher Leadership Academy, Middle School Coordinator, as well as a soccer coach in the community. She has presented on a variety of teaching methods across different grade levels and subjects areas at local, state, national and international conferences.
Ms. Sudzina enjoys traveling, playing tennis and all outdoor activities with her Dutch husband, Dr. Jacobus Schut, and their two bilingual sons: Jameson (11) and Timo (9).
Alyson VanAlphen began her teaching career in 1995, at first as a Reading Specialist for Title I, and then as a fourth grade teacher. In 2000 she left teaching to start a private tutoring business, which she operated for 9 years. Alyson’s daughter was accepted by lottery into Socrates Academy Public Charter School in Matthews, NC, and she was hired as a substitute teacher at Socrates Academy during the 2009-2010 school year. The following year she joined the staff as a fifth grade social studies and science teacher, and has taught there ever since. Alyson currently teach fifth grade science.
Since the 2018-2019 school year, Alyson has served as a National Advisor for Scholastic SuperScience Magazine. In addition, she is a Lead Teacher for Beyond Benign Green Chemistry. Alyson has presented on Sustainable STEAM at the North American Association of Environmental Educators Annual Conference in October 2019 and the North Carolina Association of Elementary Educators Annual Conference in January 2020. She will be presenting at the National Science Teaching Association National Conference in April 2020.
In her twentieth year teaching, Andi is currently a K-2 teacher and instructional coach at Forest Hills Global Elementary in Wilmington, NC having recently moved from Fayetteville. Her 2018- 2019 school year was spent serving as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Education & Labor Committee. Andi is most passionate about international education, particularly as it relates to sustainability. She partners regularly with World View and enjoys teaching and learning from people and places around the world.