Faculty & Staff Directory

Lisa Austin, Math

Lisa Austin is a graduate of the University of Rochester in New York where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. As an engineer, Mrs. Austin worked on Air Force and Navy aircraft for Grumman Aerospace in New York and Florida. She also worked as a design engineer on cryogenic vessels in support of the space shuttle at the Kennedy Space Center and oxygen breathing apparatuses for a home healthcare company in Florida. During her time at the Space Center, Mrs. Austin joined the corporate-education partnership and started tutoring math and judging science fairs at the local schools. Mrs. Austin left the engineering field to pursue her passion for math and love of teaching. She taught middle school math for six years. Her engineering experience is a great complement to her teaching at RTHS. Mrs. Austin is certified in North Carolina and holds a Lateral Entry Teaching License.

Katherine Baker, Spanish

Katherine "Kat" Baker graduated from NC State University in 2014 with a BA in Spanish Language and Literature. She is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow. "Señora Panadera" lived and studied in Santander, Spain, for three months (the thing she misses most is the food). She has also visited Costa Rica and Mexico. Mrs. Baker lives in Durham with her husband, their dog, and their very spoiled cat.


Pamela Blizzard, Managing Director and Founder

Pamela Blizzard led the founding of Research Triangle High School in 2012, out of the non-proft Contemporary Science Center (CSC), for which she was Executive Director for 10 years. The CSC was founded to 'open the doors' to the resources of Research Triangle Park for teenagers from across the state and served over 3,500 students with its programs. Previously, Mrs. Blizzard led the founding team for Raleigh Charter High School, developing and implementing the educational and operational plans for the school. Raleigh Charter High School went on to become a nationally ranked college preparatory school, annually ranked in the top 25 schools in the US by US News and World Report.

Mrs. Blizzard served on the NC e-Learning Commission from 2005 to 2006, and served five years on the North Carolina Medical Board, which licenses and regulates the state's health providers. She serves on the Management Committee for the USMLE for the National Board of Medical Examiners, and on the Board of Trustees for the ECFMG, both in Philadelphia. She started her career in finance and marketing for Hewlett Packard in California.  She received an MBA from the University of Santa Clara and a BA from Brown University.

Evelyn Brandenberger, Case Manager and EC Teacher

Evelyn Brandenberger has a Liberal Arts degree with honors from The University of Texas at Austin where she wrote for the student paper and the Austin American-Statesman. She went on to write for several newspapers and magazines in Texas and California before beginning her graduate work in Educational Psychology at The University of Houston, where she also studied Creative Writing. Ms. Brandenberger is certified in English and Language Arts as well as Special Education. 


Since moving to North Carolina, she has taught at Woods Charter School and has served as the Coordinating Teacher at Vision Quest, an inpatient rehabilitation facility that treats alcoholism and drug addiction in teens. Before joining RTHS, she was a Case Manager in Wake County Public Schools, where she taught various Exceptional Children's classes, Language Arts, and electives like Yearbook and Book Club. She lives in Chapel Hill. 

Deborah Brown, English

Deborah Brown is a National Board Certified Teacher with a Master’s Degree, summa cum laude, from Syracuse University. She holds four teaching licenses in secondary and middle school English, Speech Communications, and Theater Arts and has over 20 years of teaching experience, including time teaching in New York and Boston, and more locally at Green Hope High School in Wake County. Deborah Brown previously held the position of English Department Chair at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School. Her specialties include Speech and Debate and student journalism, and she has coached Debate teams, Mock Trial Teams and Drama performances to competitions at the local, regional, state and even national levels.

She is trained in the New Tech model of Project Based Learning and is one of the original facilitators for the iLead 21 leadership development course, piloting the 1st national model and serving as a consultant and contributor to writing the advanced levels of the program. She has been a presenter at county and state conferences on topics such as student leadership in the classroom and using social grouping to encourage closer textual readings. Her projects and writings have been published in DailyKos and The Huffington Post. Ms. Brown has been honored as a teacher-of-the-year nominee at the building level and was named a North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching Scholar in Residence.

Steve Butera, Math and Computer Science

Steve Butera is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, where he earned a BS, magna cum laude, in Mathematics. A native of New Jersey, Mr. Butera has been living and teaching in North Carolina for the better part of the past decade, teaching mathematics, science, computer science, and robotics at both the secondary and middle school levels. Outside of the classroom, he has worked as an outdoor educator and environmental program coordinator, leading mountain biking and camping trips and facilitating school-wide composting and gardening programs. When not at school, Mr. Butera enjoys hiking, camping, volunteering at a farm sanctuary, cooking vegetarian food, playing guitar, and going on bicycle adventures. In recent years, he has completed bicycle tours of Ireland, British Columbia, and across the state of Iowa.


S Janan Casar, English

S Janan Casar has a B.A. in English and Classics from the University of Arkansas and an MAT from Indiana University. Mrs. Casar taught English and Latin at Wake Forest-Rolesville High School, back when it was one high school. She taught Latin at Raleigh Charter High School for a couple of years and Creative Writing in Kentucky. Most recently she taught English at Triangle Math and Science Academy in Cary. In addition to teaching, she has sponsored Literary Magazine, Yearbook, and National Honor Society. 

Kristen Cook, School Counselor

Kristen Cook is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a B.A. in Psychology. Mrs. Cook completed her graduate program at East Carolina University. Prior to becoming a School Counselor, Mrs. Cook was an Exceptional Children’s teacher who taught primarily in the high school setting.

When she is not at Research Triangle High School Mrs. Cook enjoys spending quality time with her family and not-so-affectionate dog Rusty. Mrs. Cook enjoys spending her fall afternoons attending East Carolina University football games.


Angela Cooper, Math

Angela Cooper earned a B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in cognition and learning from Washington University in St. Louis. She then attended graduate school to study cognitive psychology. Ms. Cooper has taught in a K-12 classroom since 2006 and has taught math classes ranging from third grade to calculus. In addition to classroom teaching Ms. Cooper is a swimming and sound mixing enthusiast.

Nan Danehower, Curriculum and Instruction Director

Nan Danehower is a National Board Certified career educator with more than 24 years of experience working with students and teachers in K-12 and college settings. Her passions include increasing  literacy--of others and her own, going to the beach with family and friends, and experiencing different cultures.  Her educational focus has become coaching others as they work to become better students and teachers by increasing their knowledge of how the brain works, and how curriculum and instruction can and should meet the needs of all students.  She attended NC State where she earned both a B.A. in English Education and an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction;  she is currently working on her dissertation to complete an EdD in Curriculum and Instruction from Gardner Webb University. Her teaching experience includes teaching K-5 Writing & Art, 9-12 English, including AP Literature, and Teaching Reading in the Content Areas at NC State.  While working with Johnston County as a Curriculum Specialist, she led a team of teachers in building a curriculum for K-12 English Language Arts. Additionally, she led an expert team in completing a program evaluation and building a literacy plan for the district. Her most recent experience, serving as a Curriculum Coach, allowed her to work with teachers to build a variety of professional development tools and platforms to meet teachers' needs as they navigate personalized competency-based education. She has presented at state conferences on the topics of transforming assessment as we know it and student engagement & empowerment.


Alex Drake, History and Athletic Director

Alex Drake earned a B.A. in History and Secondary Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and an M.Ed. in higher education administration at Auburn University. From 2005 to 2010 he was a social studies teacher at Robinson High School in Concord, N.C., where he taught U.S. History, AP U.S. History, Civics & Economics, and World History. While at Robinson he also coached the quiz bowl team and was the Social Studies Department's representative on the School Improvement Team. He was a finalist for Robinson's Teacher of the Year Award in 2010 and was a nominee for the UNC Charlotte Beginning Teacher Award in 2008. He worked part-time for the Kannapolis Intimidators minor league baseball team, as well as the athletic departments at UNC Charlotte and Auburn, and serves as the athletic director for RTHS.

Steve Edmundson, IT Director

Steve Edmundson is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a BS in Electrical Engineering. He recently retired from IBM after 35 years. Mr. Edmundson has been very involved in education initiatives including: Technology Advisory Panel at Riverside High School, the Technology Committee at Sterling Montessori Academy, and he currently is a member of the Business Advisory Board supporting the Wake NC State STEM Early College High School. Mr. Edmundson enjoys spending time with young people and has served as a scout leader for the past 13 years. He joined Research Triangle High School in early 2014. 

Ashley Fenoglio, Director of Operations and Development

Ashley is a CA native who moved to the Deep South to attend Auburn University for her undergraduate degree in History. After graduating from Auburn, she spent the next eight years moving from duty station to duty station while her husband served in the military. During those eight years, she obtained her Master's degree in Library and Information Science from Kent State University, had two kids, worked at three different, wonderful nonprofit museums, and was a board member for several nonprofit organizations. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, being outside in her garden, and cheering on her tigers during football season. War Eagle!


Leatha Fields-Carey, English

Leatha Fields-Carey, a member of the first group of North Carolina Teaching Fellows, earned a B.S. in English/Secondary Education from Appalachian State University and graduated summa cum laude from Campbell University with an M.Ed in English/ Secondary Education. A National Board Certified teacher in English Language Arts, she previously taught with Johnston County Schools for twenty years, serving as English department chair, Peer Coaching coordinator, mentor coordinator, School Improvement Team chair, SACS accreditation team chair, and testing coordinator. She was a semifinalist for Johnston County's Teacher of the Year in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 2009. In addition to high school teaching, Mrs. Fields-Carey has also trained lateral entry teachers through East Carolina University's Project ACT program and has taught part-time at Campbell University. Mrs. Fields-Carey has taught Standard, Honors, and Sheltered English I, Standard and Honors English II, Standard and Honors English III, English IV, and Creative Writing. An avid writer herself, Mrs. Fields-Carey has contributed to the UNLV's Word River literary review and the website 1More Film Blog, as well as co-authoring a chapter of Cambridge University Press' Linguistics at School (2010).

Ian Finley, Drama

Ian Finley holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU (where he earned the Harry Kondoleon Award for Playwriting, 2002) and a BFA in acting from the University of Utah. He served as Director of Education for Burning Coal Theatre Company for eight years, where he expanded the program to bring hands-on experience with Shakespeare, playwriting and dramatic arts to thousands of students each year. Mr. Finley is also an accomplished playwright and served as the 2012 Piedmont Laureate in the field of Playwriting and Screenwriting. He is the author of several plays including Jude the Obscure - Parts 1 & 2, 1960, Green Square, Suspense, Giblet and the critically acclaimed Our Histories series of plays for Burning Coal Theatre Company. His writing for digital media includes the award-winning Babel, Kaged and Klockwerk: The Shadow in the Cathedral. Mr. Finley has taught at the University of Utah's Youtheatre, Young Playwrights Inc. in New York, Southern Methodist University, and Burning Coal Theatre Company.

Cassie Fox, Office Manager

Cassie Fox earned a B.S., cum laude, in Business Education from Troy University in Troy, Alabama. Mrs. Fox has over 19 years of administrative experience with the last 10 at Cresset Christian Academy as the office secretary. Mrs. Fox truly values quality education and is excited to be part of RTHS, such an innovative, forward thinking school. When she is not at RTHS, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.


Cinnamon Frame, Chemistry

Cinnamon Frame has been a professional educator since 2000. Prior to that, she worked with the EPA and NIEHS in their toxicology departments. She has a BS in Zoology and MEd in Science Education from NCSU, and a graduate certificate in Gifted Education from UNC-Charlotte. Mrs. Frame has worked on a number of education projects including: development of biotechnology lessons with the Kenan Fellows and Biogen; summer workshops for teachers with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center; and development of curriculum for Agricultural Biotechnology and AP Physics 1 and 2 with North Carolina Virtual Public School. Mrs. Frame is passionate about STEM and has coached a Science Olympiad team since 2002. Mrs. Frame also earned National Board Certification in 2004 and has served as a mentor for novice teachers.

Jarred Franklin, Physical Education and Asst. Athletic Director

Jarred Franklin graduated with a B.S. in Physical Education from Western Carolina in 2010. As an undergraduate Jarred began coaching high school football, baseball and wrestling. After completing a semester of graduate studies at Western Carolina, he left and began his teaching career at Weldon High School. During his three years at Weldon, Mr. Franklin was the chair of the physical education department along with his responsibilities as the head strength and conditioning coordinator and as an assistant football and baseball coach.

Eric Genesky, English

Mr. Genesky has been teaching high school English for seven years. Along with earning his BA in English and Education, he also earned his MA in English from NCSU.  Since he began teaching, he has taught various core and Advanced Placement courses at the high school level. Thanks to a teaching fellowship at NCSU, he had the opportunity to teach Freshman Composition, which helps him to see how students' experience in high school informs their post-secondary education. When he's not working, Mr. Genesky likes to read good books, listen to good music, watch good movies, play good video games, and run long distances. 


Cornelius Gloria, IT

Cornelius is the product of the Edupunk/Uncollege movement. Born and raised in Queens, NY, he went to St. John's University for pre-med but decided to instead follow his passion in technology after his son was born. For the past few years after moving to North Carolina he has worked at the Duke Medical Center of Developmental Epidemiology, Netfriends, NC Mutual, COCG and Exploris. Having always been tinkering with computers since he was a child, he continually strives to learn the latest and greatest in technology but also knows that there needs to be a balance especially in education. He hopes to bring the spark and curiosity to everything that encompasses technology at Research Triangle High School. He is a dad with a son and daughter, loves to cook, enjoys all the things outside and is a huge nerd about lots of other things.


Elizabeth Godwin, History

Elizabeth Godwin received her First Class Honors BA in American History and English Literature at the University of Sussex in the UK. On her graduation in 2012 she was awarded the University of Sussex Departmental Award for Academic Distinction in American History. After a year studying abroad at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she made the move to the United States. She was awarded a scholarship that allowed her to complete her Master's Degree in History at the College of Charleston in 2014.  After graduation, she returned to her adopted home state of North Carolina and spent two years teaching History at Wake Technical Community College. She is excited to join the RTHS team and continue teaching American History. When she's not in the classroom, Mrs. Godwin enjoys traveling with her husband and drinking every cup of tea in sight.


Steve Goldberg, History

Steve Goldberg earned a B.A. in Public Policy Studies and a Master of Arts in Teaching Social Studies from Duke University. He taught high school history for a decade before going back to school to earn a law degree from Georgetown University.  He then served as "Lead Technology Teacher" and a history teacher at The Potomac School just outside of Washington, DC, before he moved back to the Triangle to teach history at Cary Academy. 


He has been blogging about education for several years and has met and collaborated with educators from around the world through his blog, titled "What I Learned Today."  Mr. Goldberg led high school students on service learning trips to rural Ethiopia (summer 2006) and urban Kenya (summer 2009); those trips to Africa inspired him to help students engage with the world beyond the borders of the U.S.  He is a proponent of Google Earth (R) as a tool to develop geographic literacy, and has presented at several conferences about how Google Earth (R) can help students develop empathy for people in other places.

Alan Goldstein, Calculus and Engineering

Alan Goldstein has a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York and an MAT in Teaching Secondary Mathematics from Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York.  Mr. Goldstein spent over twenty years working at PepsiCo World Headquarters as a senior systems design and implementation manager.  After extensive international work and travel, Mr. Goldstein retired and relocated with his wife and son to North Carolina, where he took the opportunity to pursue his love of teaching.  He has volunteered extensively, working as a tutor and math specialist in Wake County and as Director of Education at Kramden Institute.  Mr. Goldstein spent several years teaching AP Calculus, Algebra, Geometry and Engineering in Granville County before joining RTHS.

Eric Grunden, Chief School Officer and Founder

Eric Grunden earned a B.S. in Chemistry and a M.Ed. in Secondary Science Education from the University of Florida, and began teaching at the P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School, the University of Florida’s educational laboratory school. He taught chemistry and physics at Rockdale County High School in Conyers, GA before joining the faculty at Raleigh Charter High School in 2000, where he was the science department chair and taught Chemistry, AP Chemistry, and Astronomy. He was a board member and Education Director of the Contemporary Science Center (CSC) and developed several of the field studies. He has published several articles in practitioner journals and has presented at state and national conferences. In 2010 he was named by the Research Triangle Park chapter of Sigma Xi as Outstanding High School Science Teacher and was a recipient of the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. He is  Research Triangle High School's founding director.

Jeff Guilford, History

Jeff Guilford received a B.A. in philosophy and an M.A. in history, both from North Carolina State University. During his time at NC State, he worked as a teaching assistant for a number of courses in history and philosophy, and he also received a number of awards from the university, graduating as valedictorian of his undergraduate class and winning the College of Arts and Social Sciences Thesis and Dissertation Award for his research on German academics during the First World War. Outside of academics, he has worked for a number of years as an outdoor educator, instructing mountain biking and heading the arts and crafts program at Camp High Rocks in Cedar Mountain, NC.

Mamie Hall, Dean of Students

Mamie Hall earned a B.A. in English Literature with minors in History and Secondary Education from The College of William and Mary in Virginia. Mrs. Hall taught middle school in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School system for seven years. She is excited about working with RTHS students and helping them make a smooth transition into high school. Mrs. Hall is a National Board Certified teacher who has served as department chair, mentor for beginning teachers, and a supervisor for pre-service teachers. 

Becca Haque, Associate Director of College Advising

Becca Haque earned her M.A. in Career Counseling (she's an ENFJ, if you're curious) from North Carolina Central University, and her B.A. in History and Psychology from Hollins University, an awesome women's college in southwestern Virginia.  Most recently, she was an admissions evaluator at UNC-Chapel Hill, which had her reading thousands and thousands of awesome essays from students all over North Carolina and the world.  Mrs. Haque was a college counselor at a few different high schools before that, and even worked in admissions at her dear alma mater, Hollins.  She simply loves helping students figure out what's next after high school, wherever the path may lead!  Mrs. Haque is a mom to Adam (5) and Noah (2), a Boxer-mix pup named Bella, and two cats Tucker and Lily.  Although she's a huge fan of where she grew up along the coast of NC, Mrs. Haque absolutely love living in Durham and exploring all that the Triangle has to offer!


Sue Hess, Spanish

Sue Hess earned a BA in Spanish with a concentration in Latin American Studies and an M.Ed. in K-12 Foreign Language Education from the University of Florida.  Go Gators! She also studied and lived in Salamanca, Spain and Merida, Mexico. She began her career at Newberry High School in Florida teaching Spanish and French and coaching girls’ basketball.  After moving to Raleigh she joined the faculty at Carroll Middle School. She served as the head of the Foreign Language Department, member of the Minority Achievement Committee and coached the girls’ soccer and softball teams.  She has led two student groups on excursions to Merida, Mexico. Mrs. Hess was one of the original board members of the Mariposa School in Cary, NC. She has a passion for helping students with special needs.

Mrs. Hess’ enthusiasm for sports has translated into her love of teaching.  She has been a Level One CrossFit Instructor for the past 10 years. Set your alarm and participate in her 6am fitness class at Forged Fitness.  

Sue is married and has three teenagers who are current and former RTHS Raptors.  In her free time, she enjoys camping, triathlons, traveling, and working in her yard.


Jessie Howington, Environmental Science

Jessie Howington is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a BS in Environmental Science - Ecology. Following college, she spent seven months working as an environmental educator at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Ms. Howington taught 7th and 8th grade science at Mary Hooker Environmental Science Magnet School in Hartford, CT for two years, and Biology and Chemistry at Hartford Public High School for one year. In May 2014, she earned her Master of Environmental Management from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, where she studied stream and wetland restoration and conservation practices. In her spare time, Ms. Howington grades and coaches new science teachers getting their certification through the Teach For America - Connecticut alternate route to certification.

Donna Irvin, Math

Donna Irvin is a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and of Otterbein University in Ohio where she earned her teaching license. She taught overseas for two years at Heritage International School, a small Christian school in Kampala, Uganda. She also taught at John A. Holmes High School in Edenton, NC before joining the RTHS team. 

Ben Laptad, Biology

Ben Laptad graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BS in Microbiology and a minor in Spanish. During his collegiate career, Mr. Laptad served on a Honduran medical brigade with Global Brigades, where he used his Spanish proficiency to teach children’s classes on healthful living habits. He also demonstrated a strong commitment to local outreach, having led teams to recruit 5,600 volunteers partnered with 186 community organizations for Oklahoma’s largest single-day service event. Upon graduation, Mr. Laptad took his passion for scientific exploration (and bacteria!) to the classroom. He taught Biotechnology, Biology and Environmental Science to a diverse population in Oklahoma City through Teach For America. Additionally, Mr. Laptad sits on the Biotechnology assessment review committee for National Academy Foundation (NAF) and has presented at a NAF STEM conference. 

Patrick Lasseter, History

Patrick Lasseter is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a BA in History. After college, he joined the Mississippi Teacher Corps and earned an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi. From 2008-2013 he taught History and worked as Lead Teacher at North Panola High School, an active member of the team which transformed the school from a rating of failing (2007) to ratings of successful (2010-2013) and high performing (2014). During that time he trained teachers for the Mississippi Teacher Corps (2010-2011), served on the Mississippi Department of Education Teacher Evaluation Appraisal Team (2011), and completed the National Institute for School Leadership Executive Development Program (2013).Recently, Mr. Lasseter supervised the Duke Talent Identification Program at Wake Forest University as the Academic Coordinator. He also taught in Durham Public Schools, where he coached baseball and football.

Sarah Lasseter, Biology

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mrs. Lasseter studied Science Education, Biology, and French. Upon graduation, Mrs. Lasseter completed a two-year service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea, West Africa, where she worked as a Biology and Chemistry teacher in a rural Guinean school. After the Peace Corps, Mrs. Lasseter joined the team at RTHS as Lead Biology teacher and a Cross Country/Track coach. She is a native of Richmond, Virginia and an active marathoner. She has taught at Harlem Village Academy High in New York City.


Yolanda LeMay, School Counselor

Yolanda LeMay received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - Student Development Higher Education and a minor in Sociology from North Carolina State University. While at NCSU, Mrs. LeMay completed a year-long internship in Student Services at Millbrook High School and began working with Student Housing as a Residential Counselor for athletes and first year students. Upon graduation, Mrs. LeMay worked at Peace College as a Residential Director in the First Year College. Mrs. LeMay then continued her education at North Carolina Central University where she received her Master of Arts in School in Agency Counseling. While attending NCCU, Mrs. LeMay worked for Methodist Home for Children as a Residential Counselor for students with behavior or substance abuse issues. Special Education elective classes at NCCU convinced Mrs. LeMay to obtain dual licensure in School Counseling and Special Education.

Mrs. LeMay worked for the Wake County Public School System for fourteen years as a Department Head, Testing Coordinator, Multiple Subject Special Education Teacher and Mentor Beginning Teachers. She is a wife, mother, nana, daughter, sister, aunt and a proud "dog mom" of Chip, a pug mix and Kai, a miniature schnauzer.

Nicole Lightner, Accountant

Nicole Lightner earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and an MBA, summa cum laude, from Campbell University. Mrs. Lightner is originally from Clinton, NC where she managed her family's business. 

Jay Liotta, Digital Media Director

Jay Liotta is a D.C. native and graduate of Elon University, where he received a BA in Communications with a concentration in Broadcasting and New Media. He previously worked in video production roles on programming for TLC, as well as in marketing and account management for education-focused travel companies. After moving to Raleigh, he added data management and video optimization to his skill set while working for a national security and investigations company. Mr. Liotta also coaches soccer for RTHS.

Suzanne Lynch, Math

Suzanne Lynch is a graduate of James Madison University, where she earned a BS, magna cum laude, in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. She spent a year in research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied the thermodynamics of membrane fusion. Her love for scientific exploration led her to advance her studies in Biophysics by attending graduate school at UNC.  While there, she developed a novel bioreactor and tilting microscope system to study the mechanism behind cilia’s capacity to transport mucus against gravity (and if you ask her, she will be more than happy to tell you all of the reasons mucus is so cool!). After completing her Masters of Science in Biochemistry and Biophysics, Ms. Lynch chose to pursue her true passion; teaching, and for the past year she has been teaching math in the Durham Public School system. She will proclaim proudly that math is her first true love, and she wants to share that passion and her love for intellectual exploration with her students. Ms. Lynch can’t wait to show her students that math is not only accessible, but can also give them deeper insight into the world around them.


Mae Mohamed, Data Manager

Mae is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a Minor in German. Mae worked in the corporate world in marketing and then as a real estate agent for seven years before working in education.  Her previous position was at The Exploris School. Mae is a Raleigh native of Egyptian origin who loves to educate her son and daughter through travel.


Jason North, English

Jason North is a graduate of Harvard University, where he earned a BA, magna cum laude, in History and Science. He has a Master in Teaching degree from Seattle University and taught English and history at an international school in Malawi. Prior to his teaching career, Mr. North received an MBA from New York University and worked on Wall Street for 13 years where he wrote research reports on technology stocks, educated institutional investors, and managed investments. He also spent a couple of years trying (and failing) to become a professional screenwriter. Outside of academics, Mr. North enjoys reading every book in sight, attending impromptu dance parties in rural Laos, and teaching his two young daughters how to hike.


Janis Overlock, German

Janis Overlock graduated from the University of California at Riverside with double major in History and German literature and a minor in journalism.  She received her masters in journalism at Temple University and then continued her doctoral studies in mass media and communication there.  She currently is completing a doctorate in educational leadership and change with a media studies concentration at Fielding Graduate University. She came to RTHS from Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools, where she had been teaching German for nearly three years.  In addition, she works as an adjunct professor of communication at Salem College in Winston-Salem.  She was an assistant professor and department head of communication at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, where she was awarded the chancellor's award for teaching excellence in a system that represents 111,000 students.  She was the regional director of Roma projects for the Independent Journalism Foundation for a decade where she trained student and professional journalists in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Macedonia.  The projects that she designed won the laureate from the Evens Foundation of Belgium as being the best intercultural educational initiatives in Europe in 2003-2004.  She accepted the prize at the European Parliament in Brussels.  She was a Fulbright scholar in Hungary, a Knight International Press Fellow in Eastern Europe, an academic specialist in resident at the US Embassy in Budapest, a professional development fellow from the Institute of International Education in Hungary, and a two-time recipient of a research grant at Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC.  She has lived and worked in Germany, France, Belgium, and Hungary and is fluent in both German and Hungarian.

Sarah Overman, Director of College Advising

Sarah Overman graduated from UNC Chapel Hill, as a NC Teaching Fellow, with a degree in English and History. She worked in college admissions for ten years prior to coming to RTHS. Most recently, Sarah worked at NC State as an Assistant Director of Admissions, where she worked directly with students and families throughout the application process and served on the admissions committee. Previously, she spent seven years working in undergraduate admissions at American University in Washington, DC. She is an active member of both the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling and the National Association for College Admission Counseling, attending and presenting at annual conferences. Sarah lives in Raleigh with her husband, son, and their bulldog. She is excited to bring her love of higher education to RTHS! 


Nathan Parker, Math

Nathan Parker is a passionate educator dedicated to ensuring his students' success. With 10 years of educational experience, including acting as a special needs paraprofessional, Nathan knows how to reach every student. When he's not teaching, Nathan is busy being nerdy about game design and programming and is in the beta stages of creating an original board game! Nathan is incredibly excited to be joining the RTHS team and bring a new flair to the Math department! Go Raptors!


Michael Peterson, Physics

Mike Peterson has been an educator for over 20 years. Originally from northern Minnesota, Mike’s undergraduate and graduate studies in physics were both at the University of Minnesota. A glutton for harsh winters, he moved to Chicago where he received a Master in Gifted Education from Northeastern Illinois University. He finally had the good sense to move south, where his graduate research in the Educational Psychology, Measurement and Evaluation program at the UNC-CH focused on interest and motivation. Other research includes studying creativity with the Center For Creative Leadership, and conducting statistical analyses of fMRI data of schizophrenic patients with UNC-CH researchers. Mike has taught science methods and supervised pre-service teachers in the MAT programs at UNC-CH and Duke University, as well as educational psychology and science methods to both undergraduates and experienced teachers at Wake Forest University. Mike has also taught the psychology of creativity at Elon University. However, he is most passionate about teaching creative problem solving through physics to secondary students. Aside from teaching, Mike likes to get creative with cooking; he has perfected his cinnamon gelato and Chicago deep-dish pizza recipes, but is still working on the perfect chocolate chip cookie.


Tami Reichert, EC Teacher

Tami Reichert is an Ohio native, and a graduate of East Carolina University, as well as North Carolina Central University.  She holds a North Carolina teaching license in several areas of Special Education, as well as Secondary Social Studies.  For most of her years of teaching, she worked in Durham Public Schools, and has also worked in Person County (in both Special Education and Social Studies), in both middle and high schools.  Tami  likes co-teaching with both Math and English classes, and particularly enjoys case management and getting to know students and parents well.  At RTHS, Tami works part-time (usually 8 to 12), and spends the rest of her time playing with her granddaughter Penny.  


Jessica Stokes, English

Jessica Stokes graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a BA in English and a minor in Creative Writing. Mrs. Stokes then returned to UNC for an MAT degree. After graduation, she spent five years teaching for North Carolina schools, four with Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School and one with Heritage High School. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys volunteering at the Duke Lemur Center. Inside the classroom, she is trained in both Advanced Placement and Project Based Learning strategies, encouraging high level thinking and student autonomy in her classroom. She is excited to bring her love for English, Science, and Creative Writing to the RTHS classrooms.

Monica Strada, Chemistry and Environmental Science

Born and raised in Canada, Monica Strada earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Sacred Heart University.   Following five years of high school science instruction, she joined the faculty of Sacred Heart University teaching general chemistry, biochemistry and integrated general, organic and biochemistry.   During her decade at SHU, Mrs. Strada developed novel, inquiry-based laboratories investigating the bisubstrate enzyme kinetics of glutathione s-transferase and the mutagenesis of insulin-degrading enzyme.  As the Western Connecticut American Chemical Society’s Education Chair, she ran the National Chemistry Olympiad and First Year Excellence in Chemistry program for the region.  She taught middle school science through the SciTech summer outreach program and has volunteered extensively as an educator with the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Nature Explorers program, Mill River Wetland Committee’s River Laboratory and the Hungarian Scouting Association in Exertis.  A recent transplant to North Carolina, Mrs. Strada is an avid runner, literary geek and novice gardener.  She lives with her family in Chapel Hill. 


Matt Tyler, History

Matt Tyler is a graduate of the Foundation Fellows program at the University of Georgia with concurrent bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science. Mr. Tyler’s education research experience—which has taken him to classrooms in Cape Coast, Ghana; Oxford, England; and Hong Kong—has focused on group learning and democratic education, exploring the ways in which students can develop socially and emotionally through experiential learning with other students. Mr. Tyler earned a master’s in social studies education at Columbia University’s Teachers College and student-teaching at schools in Harlem. Working as an Arthur Zankel Fellow at Teachers College, Mr. Tyler has taken his four years of collegiate debate experience and applied them to improving argumentative thinking among secondary students.  He recently studied constitutional history at Georgetown University as a national James Madison Fellow. Outside of school, Mr. Tyler loves to read, cook, hike, and play music—he has played the guitar for eight years, and he is currently learning how to play the banjo and mandolin.

Jessica Warren, Art

Jessica C. Warren is an arts educator programs director with more than fifteen years of experience cultivating the creative process of individuals. She earned a B.F.A in Visual Art and B.S. in Art Education from Western Carolina University and an M.F.A. in Visual Arts from Vermont College. Ms. Warren taught at Raleigh Charter High School and also worked as the Alamance County Arts Council’s Program Director. For the past few years she has developed and taught a curriculum for an entirely digital art program at a New Tech Network school. She continues to be a showing and practicing artist.

John V. Wood, Digital Arts

John V. Wood earned his B.S. in middle grades/secondary education from Campbell University. Before becoming a teacher, he worked in the journalism world (radio/television/newspaper) for more than twenty years. During that time, he won an Emmy Award for best news writing while working for WAGA in Atlanta. Mr. Wood taught in Johnston County Public Schools (his alma mater) for eight years before joining the RTHS family. He has worked on several short films over his career (Gadget Addict, Economic Sense, Money Bag Now, etc), and looks forward to growing the media arts programs here. Mr. Wood is extremely passionate about music/movies/pop culture, the creative process, good photography/videography, anything DC/Marvel, and incredible puns. He also believes Han Solo definitely shot first.


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