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K-12 Teacher Fellow Biosketches

select a cohort: 2012 | 2011-12 | 2010-11 | 2009-10 | 2008-9 | 2007-8 | 2006-7 | 2005-6 | 2004-5 | 2003-4


2012 K-12 Teacher Fellows

Rebecca Brown is a biologist who fell in love with chemistry and currently teaches chemistry at Druid Hills High School. She enjoys being challenged and challenging her students. She has participated in the Flash Mob at Emory University and has performed chemistry in the streets of downtown Decatur. Her other interests include whitewater kayaking, biking, and random gardening.

Yasmine McKenzie is a life science teacher at Bethune Middle School and a leader for seventh-grade development team for the new common core curriculum, instruction and assessment plans. The team is responsible for creating common core aligned curriculum unit plans, model lessons and locating teacher resources. Responsible for coordinating team contributions, editing final document and delivering CIAPL documents to county science coordinator. Yasmine is an avid reader, loves historical documentaries and trying new recipes.

Steven Moody is the Science Department Chair at North Springs High School and has taught both biology and chemistry at all levels in high school. He is a member of his school's Governance Board and is a former high school soccer coach and enthusiastic player... still. He once regretted making the decision to switch from research (post-doc at Emory!) to K12 education.

Gabriel Pak is a physics teacher at Arabia Mountain High School, who teaches both physics and AP physics classes. He is currently serving as a mentor teacher as well for a graduate student from Georgia State University. Gabriel graduated from the University of Michigan with a master's degree in secondary education and bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for several years at the University of Michigan in the energy engineering field and was an assistant coach for a high school ice hockey team in the area. Outside of the classroom, Gabriel enjoys being active with sports (ice hockey, ultimate frisbee, tennis), playing a variety of musical instruments (guitar, bass, piano) and serving at a local church.


2011-2012 K-12 Teacher Fellows

Rama Balachandran is a teacher passionate about teaching physics and is interested in trying innovative techniques that help increase student interest and achievement. She also initiated the robotics club at the school and is mentoring it and has lead the team to win the World Championship title in the FTC challenge.

Cherisse Campbell is a physical science teacher at an expeditionary learning charter school. She has also taught high school chemistry. Cherisse left a career as a chemical engineer to become a teacher.

Lucretia Gant is a Chemistry and 1st time Physic teacher, who is teaching teaching public school for the first time in her 11 year teaching career. Lucretia Gant is a dedicated teacher with a wealth of experiences including sponsoring/coaching many activities and clubs to include: First Lego League, Future City Engineering Competition, Math Olympics, Science Fair and Beta Club that help students expand their interests and experiences beyond the classroom. Lucretia Gant is committed to the pursuit of continual professional development in order to provide instruction that enables each student to become prepared, productive and influential in the 21st century.

Larry Hampton was the founding 8th grade science teacher at KSFA. From its beginning the class has consistently exceeded by fifteen to twenty percentage points both county and state performance on state mandated exams. He has participated in Teacher Quality Development courses through the University of Georgia and is in his third year of completing his PhD in Science Education at the University. His classes take a constructivist approach to learning. He is comfortable leading the class discussion but just as willing to turn the class over to students to lead the discussion. His feels that if students leave his class knowing only physical science then he has not done his job. He has sponsored student lead organizations that have provided leadership opportunities for students. Students in his class have gone on to some of the top boarding and independent day schools ranging from Phillips Exeter to Woodward Academy. Some have simply gone to their locally zoned school. In all instances the expectation has been that they would be the best there from a work ethic and as a person.

John Hudson teaches 10th grade mathematics at Decatur High School. He has been a classroom teacher in Georgia for 19 years. He has spent time teaching English in Japan and building Earthships in Taos, New Mexico. He is interested in astronomy, sustainable living, architecture, and literature.

Carla McCall is currently in her sixth year of teaching at Sammye E. Coan Middle School. Currently, she represents Coan as their Teacher of the Year. She also serves as the sponsor for several activties at the school. There is no one event or person that directly led Carla into the field of education, but rather a series of events and experiences. Although at times, she struggles with the politics of education, she cannot see herself doing anything else.

Robert Richardson is a 6th grade science teacher at Chamblee Middle School. As a graduate student at Georgia State University with 4.03 GPA, Mr. Richardson has continued to advance his teaching practices by acquiring new and engaging ways of teaching students. Robert Richardson was a co-founder of the triathlon team at Georgia State University and desires to invest as a leader in whatever he is passionate about. As a PRISM Fellowship applicant, Mr. Richardson would be able to use his leadership qualities and academic interests to benefit the program and his students.

Jamila Segure is a Life science teacher, field trip and science fair coordinator. She is a very animated teacher who uses hands on manipulatives and technology on just about a daily basis in her classroom. Ms. Segure has a passion for science that is highly evident in the way she presents information to the students. Her goal is to make science fun, interesting and possible career choice for her students.

Ganesan Sowdayya is a veteran Math Teacher having 26 years of teaching experience. He is Gifted Certified, AP Calculus & AP Statistics certified, Countywide Promethean Board & IDMS software Trainer. He is a tech-savvy personality. He is a member of "Leadership Team", co-chair of "Data Team" and member of "Best Seeking Team" (School Improvement Plan designer team) in his school. He is/was a Coordinator of many successful programs.

Amiraht Stabler is a science teacher at Druid Hills High School. Amiraht has been at Druid Hills since 1998 and has enjoyed her tenure at DHHS thus far. She actively ensures that her students gain an appreciation for science and learn life lesson at the same time. She is also a wife and a mother of 2 sons and actively involved in youth sports.

Robert Stewart is a Life science teacher and basketball/track coach at Coan Middle School. He recently helped start the schools first Community Garden along with also starting the schools Green Group student club. Robert Stewart is aspiring to later advance in the Department of Math and Science education in the APS school system.

Bernard Webb is a dedicated science teacher that is truly interested in sharing his knowledge of science with young adolescents. He often uses his prior experiences in sports to engage his students in the domains of science. For example, he uses his prior soccer experiences to explain Newton's Laws of Motion. In turn, he often keeps the students on the edge of their seats as they related science to athletics is efforts to beat the odds.


2010-2011 K-12 Teacher Fellows

Sarah Al-Husseini, a mathematics teacher at STEMS, graduated from Union College with a B.S. in Mathematics and minor in German. While at Union, she received academic honors for her study of Mathematics. Upon graduation, she began teaching through the Teach Next Year Program, a partnership a partnership between the University of Massachusetts and the Noonan Business Academy (NBA). Through this program, she earned her Master of Education in Secondary Education in one year. In July of 2008, she was hired as a math teacher at Therrell STEMS. At STEMS, she has taught Algebra 2, Advance Algebra and Trig, Mathematics I and Mathematics II. This is her second year at STEMS. In addition, Ms. Al-Husseini is the school advisory chair and IT specialists. She is proficient in written and spoken German, conversational in spoken and written French. She enjoys cycling, yoga, ceramics, kickboxing and cooking.

Lyndsey Collins is a Life Science teacher at CSKYWLA. There she created the student creed that is recited daily, she put together a movement called 40 Days of Non-Violence, and organized community partnerships with Spelman College, Fulton County Health Dept and the West End Medical Center. Outside of school, she is focused on improving her student's academic outcomes which led her to apply and later be selected for the Dobbs Foundation Fellowship. She also participated in a mentorship program for disadvantaged kids in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Ms. Collins loves giving students the opportunity to love science and is doing all she can to ensure that her students are enjoying learning. She believes that every child must "let their light shine" to illuminate the world.

Kyshia Ewing is a sixth year Math teacher at Cedar Grove High School. I coached track and cross country for 4 years but currently I am focusing on tutoring after school and tutoring neglected and delinquent (group home students). I intend to be the first teacher to take my AP Calculus students to the Calculus Challenge at Clemson this year. I am also going to be instrumental in planning and making sure our school makes AYP this year!

Stephanie Gillain is a teacher, a scientist, a singer, and an environmentalist. Her favorite spot is a hammock overlooking her neighborhood's organic farm, where she can reminisce about growing up in Detroit, recording tracks for her CD The Power of Song, and collecting water samples in flooded Atlanta streams.

Sara Lepkofker is a biology and chemistry teacher as well as Varsity Cheerleading coach and Varsity Tennis coach at Northview High School. She holds a masters degree in education from the TEEMs program at Georgia State University and a BS degree in biology from Bucknell University. She has been very involved in the Vertical Team program for her school cluster working as the high school science team leader for 4 years. Sara is married with two children and in her free time Sara enjoys playing ALTA and T2 tennis, participating in book club, cooking and traveling.

Originally from Washington, D.C. and a former Research Assistant for the Institute for Defense Analyses, Lark Lewis moved to Atlanta, GA to began her career as a Mathematics teacher and while completing the MAT Program in Secondary Mathematics at Emory University, she interned at Shamrock Middle School and Carver Health & Sciences High School. Lark Lewis is currently an enthusiastic Mathematics Instructor and Student Government Association Advisor at Hapeville Charter Career Academy in College Park, GA. Outside of mathematics, Lark loves all kinds of music. So when numbers, theorems, and mathematics conjecture bore her fiance, Marcus, and 2 year old daughter, Makenzie, live bands and occasional concerts keeps everyone entertained.

Gloria McMurren is a science teacher who loves teaching and is interested in helping children reach their maximum capacity. She strives to inspire students and work with them to ensure academic achievement in science. She assists them in obtaining scholarships, provide mentoring to them while in high school and in college and attempt to guide them into becoming productive citizens. Dr. McMurren is able to work with student have given up on passing the Georgia High School Graduation test and prepare them to successfully pass.

Deirdre Mitchell is an 8th grade special education teacher and a past girls basketball coach. Her goal is to work in a leadership position and to possibly design a curriculum to meet the needs of all students. She also hopes to travel around the country to train and develop teacher skills in meeting the needs of all students regardless of student demographics and background.

Melanie Snow is a Chemistry, Physical and Environmental Science teacher at Centennial High School. She enjoys incorporating real world problems in her science instruction and even wrote a paper about it. In the future she would like to develop science lessons that center around a central problem or theme that other teachers can implement in their classrooms. In her spare time she likes to create things of the culinary and knitted varieties, but not together of course.

Uma Subramanian, a math educator with 6 years of rich teaching experience in Atlanta Public Schools, is highly motivated in delivering relevant mathematical instructions to all her students. She was awarded the Project GRAD Master teacher Award in the year 2007. Ms. Subramanian has also facilitated Super Saturday math workshops for Atlanta Public School Math teachers and has presented 'algebraic functions using Geometers sketchpad' as a speaker at the GCTM conference in 2008. As a math teacher at South Atlanta High School, Ms. Subramanian served as a math team sponsor, a decathlon coach and also a robotics team coach that won the second place in the Tennessee tournament in 2008. Uma Subramanian loves to cook traditional Indian vegetarian food.

Malissa Summers is a physical science teacher who has also taught life science. She has sponsored the Robotics team for the past two years and enjoys working in a gender-based academy where she teaches 8th grade boys. She is energetic, outgoing and enjoys creating 'ah-ha' moments for her students. She is a member of the Physical Science Cohort where Metro-RESA assists teachers by providing instructional strategies and techniques to assist in the implementation of Problem-Based Learning (PBLs) Units.


2009-2010 K-12 Teacher Fellows

Korri Ellis teaches Environmental Science and AP Environmental Science at Grady High School. Since joining the Grady staff in 2003, Ms. Ellis started the school's first AP Environmental Science class, initiated and sponsored numerous service learning projects, and earned a nomination for the Atlanta Public Schools High School Teacher of the Year for 2008/2009. Ms. Ellis has a passion for ecology and environmental issues that carry over to many of her professional endeavors.

Rachel Faircloth Obeidin is a Chemistry teacher and role model at Grady High School. She began her teaching career as a guest scientist in elementary and middle schools throughout Metro-Atlanta. Her enthusiasm and love for implementing hands-on science lessons started her down a path teaching that lead to Grady High School. She now teaches Honors and AP Chemistry and has found her "calling".

Yvette Gilbert is a physical science and chemistry teacher at Miller Grove High School. She enjoys teaching science and is consistently searching for innovative ways to bring real world examples into her classroom. She is a results driven individual and strives hard to improve student achievement and literacy in science.

Robert Hairston is a biology and physics teacher at Cedar Grove High School. He is also coaches Volleyball and is the schools Ninth Grade Academy Coordinator. He is enjoys using technology in the classroom. Often times you will find him or his students using handheld devices with their lesson. He believes that student engagement is essential to learning.

Lawrence Harris is a Chemistry teacher and track coach at South Atlanta Educational Complex. Lawrence taught in California for six years before moving to Georgia. Mr. Harris has spent the previous year trying to incorporate PBL into his weekly lesson plans and has found some success, but is benefitting greatly from the opportunity to be involved in PRISM.

Christy Hodges is an experienced high school science teacher and 4-H Club Leader. She has an interest in seeking and implementing successful strategies in an urban/suburban school setting to improve instruction to students who have little enthusiasm for their science classes. The 4-H Club is a very new endeavor but she works diligently to seek out new dedicated student members. She has worked in a collaborative-teaching setting since her first year of teaching. That collaboration earned her the 2007 Education Partnership Award from Georgia Institute of Technology in recognition of efforts between a professor, graduate student, and herself.

Aruna Kailasa is a Chemistry Instructor at Benjamin E. Mays High School with 15 years of teaching, 6 plus years of research and lot of passion for teaching. She encouraged students to participate in summer research programs, Science Fairs, Governor Honor Program (GHP) and Georgia Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (GJSHS) etc. Her students are Gold Key winners, International science fair participants, and GHP candidates. She participated in several professional development workshops, 2006 & 2007 GIFT program, 2008 PRISM, 2008 Yale National Initiative Teacher Institute, 2008 Oxford Teacher Seminar. She presented her PBL cases at 2009 GSTA conference and to Science department at Mays High. She was appreciated by Woman of color teacher award for her accomplishments and commitment for student learning.

Yolanda McKee is a veteran teacher of 10 years. She has taught a variety of courses in science, including Biology, Chemistry, Genetics, Microbiology, Physical Science, and Physics. She has also utilized her background in Physical Therapy to teach Health Science courses.

Sameelah Reed is an enthusiastic science teacher that enjoys teaching in urban settings. From Compton, CA to East Point, GA, Sameelah has worked hard to serve her students to the best of her ability by not only providing high standards and academic rigor, but also connecting with students in their extracurricular activities. She has been the advisor to a science club (MESA-Math, Engineering, Science Achievement), AVID (Avancement Via Individual Determination) and the BSU (Black Student Union); and currently an assistant track & field coach. Sameelah Reed believes in utilizing all of her talents and interests to be an advocate and example of why education erases all boundaries.

Dr. Dawn Samad is a biology teacher at South Atlanta School of Health and Medical Sciences where she also serves as ninth grade team leader and science chairperson.

Tiffany Smith is an all around science teacher. She has taught every science subject offered at Cedar Grove HS except physics. Biology is her passion.

In fourteen years of progressive educational and scientific experience, Shannon Thorne-Brackett's greatest contributions all are rooted in becoming a better educator and empowering her students. As a physics teacher she employs scientific/mathematical skills, research and educational management abilities along with instructional, managerial, counseling and computers abilities to empower young minds. While working extensively with learning/emotionally disabled, low socioeconomic students, and gifted students in the classroom, in after school programs, and in community programs, she has been able to contribute to education on numerous levels. Her Research interests are "Developing Afrocentric Pedagogy and Culturally Relevant Intervention Models to Promote Resiliency, Self Esteem and Academic Achievement in order to increase High School Graduation Rates of Low Socioeconomic Students and African American Males."

David Wetty is a physics teacher within the Health & Medical Sciences school at South Atlanta Educational Complex. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 2004 with a Bachelor's degree in Physics. While at UGA, Mr. Wetty was a teaching assistant for introductory physics laboratory (Phys1211) under Tom Barnello. He also obtained a Masters in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University in 2008. David Wetty currently assists the men and women varsity soccer team and provides general technical support for the faculty at South Atlanta High School.

Mashawn Young is a general science teacher. However, before entering the field of Education, she worked in a research lab at Morehouse School of Medicine. It was her passion for research that she wanted to filter into the public school system so that students can gain a desire to learn more about science.


2008-2009 K-12 Teacher Fellows

Danielle Armstrong is a biology teacher and science department chair at the DeKalb Early College Academy. She loves the share her love of the outdoors with her students. She often holds class outside and includes two class overnight field trips per year, one to Tybee Island, and the other to the Tennessee Mountains. She also places great emphasis on implementing rigor in her instructional planning.

LeRoy Attles is a 6th grade math and science teacher at Walden Middle School. He teaches sections of gifted and regular education math and science classes. He enjoys using technology to engage students in the learning process. He currently uses a Promethean board, 6 desktop computers, a COW and 17 indigo minicomputers in his classroom. He seeks opportunities and strategies which will make his classes more engaging, relevant to the real world and interactive.

Graham Balch become a teacher after leaving a successful business career working as a consultant with the international strategy consulting firms Bain and BCG and having been the CEO of a small technology company. Graham chose teaching as the first step in a life goal to improve education and help education one again become the foundation for a strong community, state and nation. Graham also served in the Peace Corps and helped found the largest per-capita library in the country of Guatemala. Graham also is an avid hiker having hiked the 2,162 mile Appalachian Trail and mountaineer having guided trips on mountains around the world including Denali, Kilimanjaro, Cotopaxi, Mont Blanc and others.

Yvette Gilbert is a chemistry teacher at Miller Grove High School. She is a Teacher of the Year and STAR Teacher recipient for the years 2000 and 2001 respectively. She has an intense desire for children to excel the sciences. As a master teacher in the National Biomedical Research Institute, she wrote a grant to NASA and received funding for an after-school education program, which is an extension of the physical science classroom. Currently, she serves as the department chair for the science department.

Cristine Hellerstein is a science teacher at Decatur High School. She is currently completing her first year at the school and is enjoying teaching the first Forensic Science course ever offered at the high school. She entered the field of education after completing her Masters Degree in Research Science and participating in genetics research at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has taught in both the public and private school sectors. Her private school experience was at a classic New England Prep School, Worcester Academy. Her research background has proved useful in giving students real-world examples and situations when teaching Biology, Chemistry and now, Forensic Science.

Aruna Kailasa is a Chemistry Instructor at Benjamin E. Mays High School with 14 years of teaching, 6 plus years of research and lot of passion for teaching. Aruna encouraged students to participate in summer research programs, Science Fairs, Governor Honor Program (GHP) and Georgia Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (GJSHS) etc. Aruna had Gold Key runners, International science fair participant, GHP candidate. Aruna participated in several professional development workshops, and summer GIFT program. Aruna was appreciated by Woman of color teacher award for her accomplishments and commitment for student learning.

Alysse Kowalski holds a degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Central Florida and is a graduate of the Burnett Honors College. Alysse is a 2007 Teach For America corps member and is working to close the achievement gap here in Atlanta. Alysse has a strong background in Forensic Science and tries to incorporate both her strengths and her student's interests to make her Physical Science classroom engaging and exciting! Additionally, Alysse works with the school yearbook, runs an environmental science club, and has worked with students on award winning science fair projects.

Janiele Lewis transitioned from corporate work, as a pharmaceuticals sales representative, to the educational arena in Fall of 2006. During the year and a half since Ms. Lewis began teaching, she has taught both Biology and Physical Science courses. In both of these EOCT courses she has increased the passing rate from 25% to 42%. Her commitment to improving the scientific competence of students is extended to her participation in science recovery courses after school and TRIO/Upward Bound programs on the weekends.

Yolanda McKee is a Physical Science Teacher at the Carver School of Technology in Atlanta Public Schools. Yolanda is certified in Secondary Science Education with In-field Gifted Certification, with a Masters o Science in Physical Therapy. Yolanda has taught a variety of subjects to include, Physical Science, Health Science I and II, Biology, Microbiology and Genetics.

Jonathan Streich grew up in Ecuador and spent 17 years in natural areas' conservation before becoming a science teacher. He has expertise in endangered species, fire ecology, basketball and mission work! Currently he teaches gifted students in Dekalb's Magnet program at Chamblee Middle School. He works with Science Olympiad and believes strongly in the importance of science projects.

Andante Thomas is a 9th Grade Biology teacher at Tri-Cities High School in East Point, Georgia. She is a graduate of Howard University, from which she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. During her tenure at Howard University, she was very active on campus and participated in several clubs and organization, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, in which she served as vice-president, NAACP, in which she served as community service chair, and Circle K, in which she served as president. She still remains involved in several activities here in Atlanta. She is active in a graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha and volunteers regularly at the Atlanta Food Bank. Ms. Thomas's interests include reading, rock climbing and physical fitness. At Tri-Cities High School, Ms. Thomas is a diligent teacher who works extremely hard to get results by offering tutorial everyday of the week, and even on the weekends if necessary! In addition to co-sponsoring the Science club, she is a co-founder of the Ladies of Distinction Social Club, an organization that helps the young women of the school to understand etiquette, professionalism, and how to be a standout citizen in their community.


2007-2008 K-12 Teacher Fellows

William Bagot's teaching assignment for 2006-2007 includes Physical Science, AP Physics, and AP Chemistry. In addition to William's undergraduate and masters in science education degrees he has a master of science teaching degree with a major in chemistry and a minor in physics. Use of hands-on and technology integration are frequently incorporated in his lesson presentations. William Bagot's students excel at preparing science fair projects and have earned silver and gold medals at the city and state fairs. In 2004 and 2005 one of William Bagot's students won a place at the state fair to participate at the international fair. William Bagot coached the chess club at Douglass High for the past three years and enjoys walking, jogging, swimming, and playing chess during his spare time.

Audrea Bankston is a mathematics teacher. In the past, she has sponsored the math team, dance team, and the prom.

Estella Bonilla-Cook is the Science Department Chairperson at Westlake High School. She teaches AP Physics and Physical Science. Her favorite subject to teach is physics. Mrs. Cook majored in Physics at Xavier University of Louisiana, and decided to teach high school physics during her senior year. She completed the Master's Degree in Science Education at Georgia State University and earned her teaching certificate in Secondary Science Education. She enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, and just about anything that has to do with the southern United States.
Donna Brown graduated from Georgia Tech in 1999 and spent five years working for an engineering firm before earning her Master's in Education from Georgia State in 2006. In addition to teaching Environmental Science and Anatomy/Physiology at Decatur High School, Donna is involved with Key Club and Nature Club. Donna has also volunteered with the Boy Scouts for the past 8 years, and was a volunteer at Egleston Children's Hospital from 1994-2003.
Yvette Fernandez is the Science department chairperson at Salem Middle School. She utilizes her summers by participating in various science programs at Georgia Perimeter and Georgia Tech. She has been invoved in the Jason Project, Decatur/Dekalb County School Science Safety program (Summer 2006) and is currently involved in a program with NOAA and Georgia Aquarium: Learning Science Through Ocean Exploration. Yvette has a great love of science and is always seeking new ways of learning to bring back to the classrooom.

Julie Gentry is a chemistry teacher at the Carver School of Health Science and Research. She is involved with the Outward Bound program at Carver and has accompanied students on their outdoor leadership program to the North Carolina mountains. She graduated valedictorian from North Carolina State University with a degree in Polymer Chemistry. Julie is an outdoor enthusiast and loves to play tennis.

Amanda Lockhart-Keener graduated in 1997 with a BA from Agnes Scott College, and from the University of Phoenix in 2007 with a Master of Education. Currently Amanda is a high school biology teacher, Key Club sponsor, co-department head, and yearbook sponsor. Amanda's accomplishment's are wide and varied, including obtaining National Board certification, being published in Science Teacher, a GIFT (Georgia Intern-Fellowship for Teachers) Fellow for three years, winning Georgia Tech's CETL 2005 Educational Partnership Award, presenter at GSTA, being a member of a nationally ranked rugby team for 10 plus years, and most recently becoming a mother.

Yasmine Mckenzie is a first year 6th grade Earth Science Teacher at Bethune Middle. Ms. Mckenzie has participated in the NOAA Georgia Aquarium professional learning program and subsequently headed the fieldtrip on the GA Aquaruim learning loop for the enitre 6th grade. Ms. Mckenzie loves the outdoors and hands-on activites. Ms. Mckenzie tries to incorporate as much relational activities to content as possible.

Catherine Mercado is a first year chemistry teacher at Carver School of the Arts. She has a very strong interest in public health and tries her best to relate the content she teaches to real life scenarios in medicine. At Williams College, Catherine double majored in chemistry and women's studies and she has recently started the first girls mentoring group at Carver School of the Arts (Ladies of Distinction).

Janet Payne is a physics and physical science teacher, also certified to teach AP physics, and has sponsored FIRST Robotics, science projects at the school, district, state and national levels, and electric vehicle and engineering design competitions. She entered teaching after a career in sales and banking, and holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech, a physics degree from Clark College, an M.B.A. degree from Harvard, as well as a certificate in Christian ministry from New York Theological Seminary. Having also earned master and specialist in secondary science education degrees from the State University of West Georgia, her professional goal is to pursue a doctorate in education. She recently teamed as co-PI to write and apply for an NSF grant on developing science teacher leaders in her district and Dekalb and Clayton counties.

Jeremy Peacock is biology teacher in the Ninth Grade Academy at Southwest DeKalb High School and is working to organize the school's Science Olympiad team. Mr. Peacock entered the teaching field after serving for three years as a GK-12 graduate fellow in the University of Georgia's Science Behind Our Food program. Mr. Peacock attempts to use his training in environmental toxicology and food science to help his students engage in scientific inquiry, make connections between science and everyday life, and to acheive science literacy.

Kathryn Zuehlke teaches Advanced/Gifted and Magnet Chemistry and coaches the Science Bowl and JETS teams at Chamblee High School. Dr. Zuehlke completed her Ph.D. in molecular virology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997. She became interested in K-12 education while pursuing her graduate degree. She believes that her deep understanding of the scientific method is her greatest strength in the classroom.


2006-2007 K-12 Teacher Fellows

Tammisha Butler is a mathematics teacher at the Carver High School of Health Sciences and Research. She is currently attending graduate school to obtain a Masters Degree in Urban Teacher Leadership. Her Algebra I class recently took the GA EOCT and every student passed. This is her first full year of teaching and she is loving it.

Malissia Craig is a physical education/health/health sciences teacher and head girls basketball coach at The New Schools of Carver. She earned her BS and Master in Physical Education from Alabama State University in Montgomery. She's been inducted into the Who's Who Among Teachers, nominated for the Coca Cola Coach of The Year 2006-2007, and she's a member of the Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Association. She likes to play and coach basketball, swim (nationally certified water safety instructor), read, and workout.

Dericka DeLoney is a second-year PRISM Fellow and a gifted earth science teacher at Columbia Middle School and the gifted liason. Dericka majored in Information System, worked in the technology industry for 10 years. She later received middle grades certification with a concentration in math and science. Out of the box activities and critical thinking are incorporated in the classes daily. Dericka is married with three children, two are very successful working adults and the youngest is a second year student at the University of West Georgia. Dericka also teachers Sunday School at New Mercies Christian Church. Dericka earned her masters degree in instructions in May 2006 from Central Michigan University. There are plans in the works for continuing on to gain a specialist degree concentrating in leadership. To celebrate this degree and the fifty years of a blessed life, Dericka and family members will be embarking on their first cruise this summer. She can't wait.

Adrienne Doanes is a second-year PRISM Fellow and the Lead Science Teacher in the 9th grade Small Learning Community (SLC) at D. M. Therrell High, serving as Mentor to new teachers within the SLC. Her past summer experiences include: coordinating and directing the 9th Grade Summer Transition Program at Therrell for 2004-2005, Honors Biology Teacher (SMSEA) Summer Math and Science Enrichment Academy 2004, GIFT Participant 2002 and 2003 at Emory University.

Antione Ford is a 2000 graduate from Millikin University with a BS in Biology/Physical Therapy. Antione Ford was a three-year letterman in basketball where he received all-conference and academic all-conference honors. Antione currently serves in the Christian Education Ministry at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. He enjoys increasing his knowledge to become a more effective teacher.

William Harris is a graduate of Wesley College in Dover, DE. He is a 7th grade Gifted/Collaborative Life Science teacher at McNair Middle School. He was voted McNair's Teacher of the year for 2006-2007. He is currently in the process of implementing the SECME program into McNair's curriculum.

Brian Heglund is a physics and physical science teacher at Centennial High School. He sponsors the Environmental Awareness Club and Ultimate Frisbee Club. He is working on finishing his specialist certificate at Emory and looks forward to teaching for a long time. In his spare time, he likes to play sports, watch sports, and watch movies.

Malaika Jordan is a second-year PRISM Fellow and a Biology teacher at Carver High School. Her previous teaching position at an Atlanta Public Schools high school included teaching Honors Biology and Physical science. She has worked with the Mathematics & Science fair and served as a girls’ track team coach. Malaika recently served as the Washington Science cluster vertical team alignment facilitator, promoting the increase of the number of students enrolled in Advanced Placement science classes scoring three or higher on the AP exam.

Eleanor Lovelace is a 7th grade Life Science teacher and Science Department Chairperson at Columbia Middle School. Currently, Eleanor serves on the Leadership Team, Title 1 Committee, SACS Committee, and Strategic Planning Committee. These committees plan and implement strategies that improve student learning. Eleanor is a member of the National Education Association, Georgia Association of Educators, National Science Teachers Association, Georgia Science Teacher Association, Georgia Middle School Association and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society. These organizations keep Eleanor abreast with the most current trends in education. In Eleanor's classroom, meaningful, engaged learning happens. Eleanor tries to stimulate curiosity, permit creativity, foster positive relationships, and provide experiences that enable the students to think on a higher order. Students take responsibility for their learning.

Yolanda McKee is a second-year PRISM Fellow and a science teacher at the New Schools of Carver - Health Science and Research with Infield Gifted Certification in Secondary Science. She has 6 years of teaching experience in Biology, Chemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and Physical Science. Yolanda also has a Master's Degree in Physical Therapy.

Dave Schaar thoroughly enjoys developing activities, games, and models that simulate the excitement and problem-solving processes of scientific discovery. He is working to make these activities more self-explanatory and more engaging, especially to students who have little experience with self-motivated research. In his spare time, Dave is a certified introvert who enjoys drinking great coffee, stargazing, and fishing.


2005-2006 K-12 Teacher Fellows

Tania Armer is a seventh grade magnet science teacher who is always seeking different avenues to motivate her students. She has taken several courses in teaching strategies geared to teach students of all levels. She has coached and sponsored her school's science olympiad team who have been recognized at the regional and state level.

Dericka DeLoney is a gifted physical and earth science instructor in the Dekalb County School of Columbia Middle. Dericka is the gifted liaison, InTech instructor for the school system. Dericka has completed to online endorsement courses. The first is the Hight Achievers program and the last is a math-science initiative through the Jason Project. Dericka DeLoney has attended a host of workshops to enhance her educational background and her students’ achievement.

Adrienne Doanes is the Lead Science Teacher, in the 9th grade Small Learning Community (SLC) at D. M. Therrell High, serving as Mentor to new teachers within the SLC. Her past summer experiences include: coordinating and directing the 9th Grade Summer Transition Program at Therrell for 2004-2005, Honors Biology Teacher (SMSEA) Summer Math and Science Enrichment Academy 2004, GIFT Participant 2002 and 2003 at Emory University.

Trion Dubose-Arnold is Science Department Chair and Chemistry teacher at Southside High School in Atlanta Public Schools. This is her third year participating in PRISM and will focus this year on spreading PBL methods to her department and other teachers in the district. Meanwhile she will be writing and implementing cases with her AP Chemistry students.

Susan Dundee currently teaches Life Science to gifted 7th graders and Earth Science to gifted 8th graders at Renfroe Middle School in Decatur. This is her 9th year of teaching at Renfroe and her 15th year of teaching middle school students. She is currently working on the Advanced Study in Teaching Diploma in the Division of Educational Studies at Emory University. She anticipates being finished with that program in May 2004.

Emilie Farmer is a biology teacher at Chamblee Middle School. Emilie was nominated for the past 7 years as Teacher of the Year. 2004 was selected as outstanding teacher of the year and 2005 was selected as the Teacher of the Year.

Wesley Hatfield is a first-year chemistry teacher at North Springs High School. He enjoys challenging both his magnet and regular students with critical thinking problems and practical issues. His academic background is exceptionally strong in chemistry. He coaches soccer and is an avid sports fan.

Malaika Jordan is a Biology teacher new to Carver High School. Her previous teaching position at an Atlanta Public Schools high school included teaching Honors Biology and Physical science. She has worked with the Mathematics & Science fair and served as a girls’ track team coach. Malaika recently served as the Washington Science cluster vertical team alignment facilitator, promoting the increase of the number of students enrolled in Advanced Placement science classes scoring three or higher on the AP exam.

Debra Le Doux teaches science at Decatur High School (DHS). She has been teaching all of the honors ninth grade physical science classes at DHS for the past three years. For the 2005-2006 school year, Debra is spear-heading the implementation of a ninth grade Physics for All program at DHS. The vision for this program is that all entering high school students will take a physics course that will include all of the traditional physics concepts, using math skills up to the level of a first year high school algebra course. Students will then take chemistry, followed by biology. The science faculty at DHS believes this sequence is scientifically logical and will result in more students taking advanced content science courses. Debra has an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University and served for three years as an officer in the United States Air Force. After ten years spent raising two sons, she earned a Master's Degree in secondary science education at Georgia State University and began teaching at DHS. Her broad field science certification includes the add-on gifted endorsement. Debra is especially interested in helping all ninth graders begin a successful high school career; she is one of the two lead ninth grade homeroom teachers and a ninth grade class sponsor. Debra advises the DHS Nature Club and is on the education committee of the Woodlands in Decatur.

Gerda Louizi is a biology teacher and Diversity Trainer at North Springs High School. Over the past six years Ms. Louizi has coached cheerleading and sponsored SECME and the Women in Science Club. Ms. Louizi is interested in promoting the study of science and technology to women and minorities.

Teresa McGahee is a biology teacher at Alpharetta High School. She has taught in Fulton County for six years. She also sponsors the Beta club and the freshman class. She lives in Alpharetta with her husband of fifteen years, her two children, two dogs, and two pet snakes.

Yolanda McKee is a Science teacher at the New Schools of Carver - Health Science and Research with Infield Gifted Certification in Secondary Science. She has 6 years of teaching experience in Biology, Chemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and Physical Science. Yolanda also has a Master's Degree in Physical Therapy.

Katherine Shamsid-Deen is a 6th grade Physical Science teacher at Columbia Middle School on the Magnet Team. Ms. Shamsid-Deen is a graduate of Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. She became interested in teaching while at Spelman after taking an introduction to education course with Dr. Alonzo A. Crim.

Suzanne Sheckter is a biology and human anatomy teacher at Milton High School. She has coached 9th grade volleyball for 2 years. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked at Zoo Atlanta for 3 years as an elephant handler and large mammal keeper.

Carlos Sutton is a PhD candidate interested in advanced educational teaching. He is interested in creating innovative labs and utilizing technology. He is all about helping others with ideas.

Jeanne Urban graduated from Florida Tech with a degree in Molecular Biology. She went on to accept a fellowship at the CDC in Atlanta, GA, working in a clinical HIV Research Lab. Jeanne then decided to pursue her Masters degree in Science Education at Georgia State University.

Angela Wade currently teaches science to students with special needs at Renfoe Middle School. She has 22 years of teaching experience including: 9-12th grades/ Physical Science and Biology, 6-8 grades/ Health, 1-12 grades/ Physical Education, and 6-8th grades/ Reading. She has held key leadership positions including: Chair of the School Improvement Team and Chair of the SAC’s Committee. She has a BA degree in Health and Physical Education (with a minor in Biology) and a Master's Degree in Special Education.

Juanice Woodall is a Physical Science, Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology teacher. She is also the head coach of the cheerleading squad at Southside High School. Ms. Woodall is interested in Science and Technology and she loves to learn innovative strategies to help her students to be successful.


2004-2005 K-12 Teacher Fellows

Susan Dundee currently teaches Life Science to gifted 7th graders and Earth Science to gifted 8th graders at Renfroe Middle School in Decatur. This is her 9th year of teaching at Renfroe and her 15th year of teaching middle school students. She is currently working on the Advanced Study in Teaching Diploma in the Division of Educational Studies at Emory University. She anticipates being finished with that program in May 2004.

Steven Fowler is a science teacher at North Springs High School in Atlanta. He teaches his biological science courses from an evolutionary perspective and uses hands-on activities whenever possible. Steven will be teaching ESOL students next year for the first time.

Gerda Louizi is a biology teacher and Diversity Trainer at North Springs High School. Over the past six years Ms. Louizi has coached cheerleading and sponsored SECME and the Women in Science Club. Ms. Louizi in interested in promoting the study of science and technology to women and minorities.

Kevin McMahon is a 6th grade science teacher and tennis coach at Renfroe Middle School in Decatur, Georgia. He practiced law for 10 years at a large Atlanta law firm but soon realized that he did not have the passion for practicing law. He went back to school at Emory to get a MAT degree and continues to enjoy teaching these wonderful energetic 6th graders. He enjoys the challenge of engaging and motivating kids.

Maureen McManus is an Environmental Science teacher and Basketball Coach at Southside High School. She received her Bachelors in Environmental Economics and Management from University of Georgia in 1998. She worked for the Forest Service as a Forest Technician until 2000. She then returned to Georgia State University where she received a Masters in Science Education.

Riah McNeil is a new teacher to Southside High School in Atlanta, Georgia. She teaches Physical Science, Biology, and Honors Biology to 9th through 11th grade students. She is very active in her school and serves as the auxiliary sponsor, H.I.M. founder, Senior Class sponsor, and mentor to her students. Riah is very interested in mentoring programs and hopes to start a civic organization for female students at Southside High School this year.

Carly Price entered teaching as a passion for all things that are constantly changing. She first attended Washington University in St. Louis where she studied biology, environmental studies, genetics, English, and advertising. After an action-packed four years of studies and an NCAA National Championship in volleyball she moved on to Atlanta where she was recruited by a private school to teach language arts, science, and government as well as coach volleyball. After getting her feet wet in the private sector, Carly made it her quest to serve the public sector - specifically children of diverse backgrounds. She entered Emory University's Masters of Arts in Teaching program where she finished in 2002 with a perfect 4.0 GPA. This summer Carly hopes to begin work on her DAST (diploma for the advanced study of teaching), complete her National Board Certification, and then enter Emory's PhD program. Carly believes that a better-educated teacher educates better! She absorbs information and teaching ideas like a sponge and can't get enough opportunities to do so!

Katherine Shamsid-Deen is a 6th grade Physical Science teacher at Columbia Middle School on the Magnet Team. Ms. Shamsid-Deen is a graduate of Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. She became interested in teaching while at Spelman after taking an introduction to education course with Dr. Alonzo A. Crim.

Suzi Sheckter is a biology and human anatomy teacher at Milton High School. She has coached 9th grade volleyball for 2 years. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked at Zoo Atlanta for 3 years as an elephant handler and large mammal keeper.

Juanice Woodall is a Physical Science, Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology teacher. She is also the head coach of the cheerleading squad at Southside High School. Ms. Woodall is interested in Science and Technology and she loves to learn innovative strategies to help her students to be successful.


2003-2004 K-12 Teacher Fellows

Mike Amodio is a 3rd year teacher at Renfroe Middle School. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana where he majored in Biology. Before coming to City Schools of Decatur, Mike spent time in Gambia as a Peace Corps volunteer working in Agro-Forestry, or community gardens, and as a classroom teacher in English and Science. Mike is currently enrolled in the Emory University MAT program in Biology.

Melissa Beam currently teaches Astronomy and Honors Chemistry at Milton High School in Fulton County. She is in her third year at Milton where she has also taught Biology, Physical Science and Meteorology. She holds a B.A. in biology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a M.Ed. in Science Education from the University of Georgia.

Jeff Cramer is a physics teacher at Henry Grady High School in the Atlanta Public School System. He has taught for 23 years in the public schools of Atlanta and DeKalb County. He holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry and a MEd in Science Education. He has conducted many teacher training workshops through SciTrek and at teacher conventions. His special interest is building laboratory and demonstration apparatus for the classroom.

Patti Lawrimore is a physics teacher and athletic director at North Springs High School in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been teaching science in Fulton County for 8 years She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin in Biological Aspect of Conservation and a Masters from North Georgia State College and University in science education.

Angela Wade currently teaches science to students with special needs at Renfoe Middle School. She has 22 years of teaching experience including: 9-12th grades/ Physical Science and Biology, 6-8 grades/ Health, 1-12 grades/ Physical Education, and 6-8th grades/ Reading. She has held key leadership positions including: Chair of the School Improvement Team and Chair of the SAC’s Committee. She has a BA degree in Health and Physical Education (with a minor in Biology) and a Master's Degree in Special Education.

Other 2003 K-12 Teacher Fellows include: Trion Dubose-Arnold (Mays High School), Doris Goodley (Stephenson High School), Stephanie May (Stephenson High School), Tommy Molden (Douglass High School), Deb Schaefer(Milton High School), and Suzy Sumrall (Renfroe Middle School).

 

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