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 Who's Who

Faculty and Staff

 Terry Tomasek - Director of the Elon Academy and Associate Professor of
 Education at Elon University
 Mooney 302 E
 2108 Campus Box | Elon, NC 27244
(336) 278-5854
Dr. Tomasek received a Master of Science degree in Biology from Marshall University and her PhD in Science Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She teaches math and science methods in Elon's Teacher Education department. Dr. Tomasek also works with High School students across the Piedmont of North Carolina on several reptile and amphibian projects. Her current herpetology-related research interests are aquatic turtle population studies and how attitude toward snakes is associated with interpretations of snake-related encounters. She is an active member of the NC Herpetological Society and the NC Partners for Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NCPARC).
 John Pickett - Elon Academy Assistant Director of Scholar Support
 Mooney 302 D
 2108 Campus Box | Elon, NC 27244
 O: (336) 278-6110
 C: (336) 279-0980
John Pickett hails from the farming community of Silk Hope, NC. He graduated in 2003 from Elon University with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a bachelor's degree in Special Education (K-12). John joined the Elon Academy in 2011. His primary responsibility within the program is to provide comprehensive and cohesive support for scholars and their families during the academic year and during the summer residential program. John supervises Elon Academy's Academic Coaching Program, College Access Mentors, and the Elon Academy Ambassadors Program. He also teaches in the summer program and leads scholar recruitment initiatives. From 2003 until joining the Elon Academy staff, John worked in Alamance and Orange county public schools as both a teacher and co-director of an award-winning after-school tutoring program. In 2007 he was one of Alamance County's top finalists for county teacher of the year.
 Jenni Johnson - Elon Academy Assistant Director of Senior Scholar Support and Student
 Mooney 302 C
 2108 Campus Box | Elon, NC 27244
 O: (336) 278-6111
 C: (336) 290-4391
Jenni Johnson is originally from New Bern, NC, but has called Durham, NC home since high school. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Afro-American Studies. In 2013 she graduated from North Carolina State University with a master’s degree in Counselor Education with an emphasis in college counseling and student development. Jenni brings college advising and residence life experience to Elon Academy, having worked as a college adviser with the Carolina College Advising Corps and a Residence Director at NCSU during her education. Jenni’s primary responsibilities are to provide year-round support to Phase 1 seniors, specifically with the admissions and financial aid process, and to coordinate the student life aspect of the summer residential program.  As part of the summer residential program she is responsible for recruiting and supervising summer mentors.  In addition, she also assists with the coordination of the Transitions to College Program and the College Success Program. In her spare time, Jenni is heavily involved in her church, enjoys spending time with family, and watching sports, especially football and basketball.
 Princess King - Assistant Director of College Success
 Mooney 302 F
 2108 Campus Box | Elon, NC 27244
 O: (336) 278-6285
 C: (336) 380-2888 

Princess King, native of Fayetteville, NC, is a graduate from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she earned her bachelors degree in Psychology in 2008. In 2011 she completed a Masters of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland College Park where her concentration was urban school counseling. Princess brings her passion for mentoring and college access, having previously served as the Assistant Director for Minority Student Support at UNC Charlotte.  As the new Assistant Director for College Success, Princess will work primarily with College Scholars to aid in their successful transition from High school to college. In her free time, Princess enjoys attending church, spending time with family, watching Netflix, and shopping.
Kim Pyne - Assistant Director of Academic Programs at Elon Academy and Associate Professor of English and Education at Elon University
Alamance 305 B
2338 Campus Box | Elon, NC 27244
(336) 278-5732
Kim Pyne received a bachelor's degree in English education from Elon College, a master's degree in English from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Education (Curriculum, Culture, and Change) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former teacher in the Alamance-Burlington Schools, she now serves as an Assistant Professor of English and Education at Elon, preparing the next generation of English teachers, as well as teaching courses in composition and literature. After wearing many different hats for Elon Academy (from teacher to academic coach supervisor), she now oversees the academic side of the program and works closely with faculty during summers and year-round class and projects. Outside of Elon, she is a wildlife educator and volunteer staff member at the Conservators' Center, specializing in wolves and working with many other species including small and great cats. 
Katie LaPlante - Assistant Director of Counseling and Family Programs at Elon Academy
Mooney 302 B
2108 Campus Box | Elon, NC 27244
O: (336) 278-6109
C: (336) 264-1963
Katie LaPlante is a graduate of Elon University, with a degree in Psychology. She earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University in Maryland. Additionally, she is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of North Carolina at the Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA) level. Katie coordinates family programs for both current and alumni families, and oversees the family council. She also provides counseling support and referrals to community resources to scholars and their families.
 Denise Teeters - Program Assistant
 Mooney 302 
 2108 Campus Box | Elon, NC 27244
 O: (336) 278-6109
Denise Teeters is a graduate from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She grew up in New Jersey and moved to North Carolina in 2003. Denise enjoys spending time with her young daughter and husband.  

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Student Mentors

Mirella Cisneros Perez -- College Access Team Mentor; Middle Grades Education major at Elon

I was born in Mexico and raised in North Carolina since I was 3 years of age. My family consists of my parents, sister, brother, two nieces and a nephew. Currently, I am a sophomore at Elon University majoring in Middle Grades education with a concentration in math and minors in Latin American Studies and Environmental Education. I recently returned from studying abroad in Costa Rica and look forward to becoming involved in the community of Burlington. As a future educator, I strive to make a difference for underrepresented students in schools. I strongly believe that through education, marginalized communities can advocate and make changes in our government, society, and the education system. I hope to teach for some years after college, but later become involved in college access and scholarship organizations that provide support to students and families from first-generation and low-income backgrounds. Education is power.

Natalia Atwal -- College Access Team Mentor; Double major in International Business and Finance at Elon University 

Hello! My name is Natalia Atwal and I am a rising sophomore from Orlando, Florida. I am double majoring in International Business and Finance. I plan on studying law and business in the future. On campus I write for the Odyssey Online Publication, I am involved with Habitat for Humanity, Circle K and Elon Poll. Over the summer I am interning for a non-profit aimed to develop policies and conduct research to eradicate homelessness in Central Florida. In my free time I enjoy trying new food, golfing, traveling, going to the beach and watching movies. I am excited to be a mentor because I look forward to sharing my experiences from high school and helping someone else with the college application process. I am happy to be part of the Elon Academy. 

Samantha Friedman -- Academic Coach Co-Coordinator; Secondary History and Special Education Major at Elon University

Samantha is a junior majoring in Secondary History and Special Education with a minor in Psychology. She is from St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to her involvement with Elon Academy, Samantha is active in her sorority, Delta Delta Delta, is the captain of Elon's Love Your Melon Campus Crew, and is conducting research regarding outdoor education and children with autism. She loves to run and be outside!

Grace Hazlett -- College Access Team Mentor; Public Health Major with a Minor in Poverty and Social Justice Studies at Elon University 

Grace Hazlett is sophomore Leadership Fellow from Rockville, Maryland. Passionate about health, wellness and social justice, Grace hopes to pursue a major in Public Health with a minor in Poverty and Social Justice Studies. Outside of classes, Grace loves baking, cooking, and doing yoga and is involved in numerous campus organizations including Elon Animal Protection Alliance and Alpha Omicron Pi. In high school, Grace served as Scholarship Chair to her county's Board of Education, providing resources to students in need of financial support. Grace is eager to continue supporting access to higher education and to meet all the incredible scholars in Elon Academy.

Molly Herman-Gallow -- College Access Team Mentor; Cinema and Television Arts Major 
at Elon University
I’m Molly Herman-Gallow and a junior at Elon, studying Cinema and Television Arts. I’m from Decatur, GA, which is just outside of Atlanta, and hope to move to a city once I graduate to pursue a career in film as either a producer or cinematographer. This is my second year as a CAT Mentor for Elon Academy, and I couldn’t be more excited to reunite with my scholars from last year and guide them towards their own success story. In my free time, I also work in The Gear Room as an Operations Assistant, am a student leader for Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Friends, and can be found Netflixing on the beanbags in Moseley or out at the barn horseback riding. I’m excited for this year! 

Emily Lane -- College Access Team Mentor, Psychology Major and Anthropology Minor at Elon University

Emily Lane is a sophomore at Elon University for the 2017-2018 school year. A Psychology major and Anthropology minor, she has intentions to become a high school Psychology teacher after graduation. Born and raised in New Jersey, having the opportunity to study at Elon University has increased Emily’s love for education as well as working with students. At Elon she is involved in Elonthon and Sierra Club in addition to being an ambassador for Historic Neighborhood in the 2016-2017 school year, leading to her position as an RA for the 2017-2018 school year. During free time she loves reading, hiking, or anything outside. In the summertime Emily works at a day camp in New Jersey operating the Go Carts for campers, and is excited to begin her CAT mentorship in the Fall!

Elena Lostoski -- College Access Team Mentor; Physics Major at Elon University

Elena is a first-year Elon student from Germantown, MD, planning to major in Physics with minors in Astronomy and Teaching and Learning. She is an Honors Fellow and is involved in Catholic Campus Ministries and Elon Volunteers! on campus. She hopes to go on to get a Master’s degree in Education and go into the field of education research. In her free time she loves to play tennis, try new foods, and listen to all kinds of music.

Bryan Martin -- College Access Team Mentor, Business Management Major with a minor in Communications at Elon University

My name is Bryan Martin and I am from Nashville, Tennessee. At Elon, I am a sophomore Business Management major with a minor in communications. I am also involved in the DEEP program, Black Student Union and the Village Project. I don’t know what the future holds after college but I hope to continue helping people and serving my community! In my free time, I like spending time with friends, watching soccer and listening to music.

Jordon McRae -- College Access Team Mentor and Academic Coach 
Co-Coordinator; Elementary Education Major at Elon University
I'm Jordon McRae, a second-year Teaching Fellow from Ambler, Pennsylvania. I am currently majoring in Elementary Education, but would love to eventually be able to teach K-12 in the future. My favorite subjects in high school were English and History. I also serve as Resident Assistant in Smith Dormitory at Elon. I'm a huge soccer and basketball fan, and love to play both, as well as workout daily. I'm also a huge fan of the soccer club Arsenal, and follow them passionately. I love to listen to almost all types of music, although Rap&Hip-hop are my favorites. I love almost all types of foods although candy is my weakness. I enjoy reading, hanging with friends, and movie watching in my free time. I'm extremely excited to begin work as a CAT Mentor in the fall!

Quinn Reilly--College Access Team Mentor, Arts Administration and MILA major at Elon University

Quinn Reilly is a double major in Arts Administration and MILA at Elon University, originally from Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. Quinn is an Odyssey Scholar, Elon Academy CAT Mentor, and Residential Assistant on campus. He is also heavily involved in the fine arts programs at Elon; he's a member of The Elon Chorale, The Fire of the Carolinas Marching Band, and an advocate of the Elon Theatre Program. In his free time, Quinn enjoys playing the guitar and drums, as well as practicing his vocal technique. Outside of music, he finds passion in helping others through mentoring and tutoring. As a published author, Quinn specifically has a love for writing, reading, and language, but is fond of all types of academia.

Ben Rogers -- College Access Team Mentor, Mathematics Education major at Elon University

My name is Ben Rogers and I am a junior at Elon University majoring in Mathematics Education and minoring in Statistics. I have been involved with Elon Academy since January of 2016, where I have served as both an Academic Coach and College Access Team Mentor. Besides working with Elon Academy, I am a Teaching Fellow and have been a Teacher’s Assistant, a President of an education club, a captain for an intramural team, and a member of various music groups on campus. In my free time, I enjoy exercising, hanging out with friends, watching Major League Baseball, and listening to country music. Elon Academy has been the most rewarding experience of my college career so far and I couldn’t be more excited for another two years.

Christina Truska -- College Access Team Mentor, Special Education and Elementary Education Major at Elon University

I’m Christina, a rising senior Special and Elementary Education major from Bridgewater, New Jersey. I am involved with Teaching Fellows, Autism Speaks, and Fraternity and Sorority Life. I spent the spring of 2016 studying abroad in Oxford, England and exploring Europe! I worked as an Academic Coach at Elon Academy since my freshman year, and this will be my second year as a College Access Team Mentor. In my free time, I enjoy napping, eating, watching crime shows and hanging out with friends.


Imani Vincent -- College Access Team Mentor, Public Health Major at Elon University

Hi my name is Imani Vincent. I am from a small town called Garysburg in NC about 2 hours away. I'm a sophomore at Elon University and proud Odyssey Scholar. I will be majoring in Public Health with possibly a minor in Spanish. Next year I will be involved in quite of things like the Cheif of Staff for the Black Student Union, S.M.A.R.T Mentor, Executive member of NCNW (National Council of Negro Women), The Village Project and a facilitator for The Body Project, and others. I really value self care especially when it comes to being in college. Netflix is where it's at but also HBOgo is good too because it's free. I'm really excited to be a CAT Mentor this upcoming school year and look forward to meeting everyone! 

Taylor Williams -- College Access Team Mentor; Human Service Studies and Psychology Majors at Elon University

Taylor is a rising sophomore with a double major in Human Services and Psychology at Elon University.  Her dream career path entails becoming a counselor at a Children’s Hospital after getting her Master’s degree.  Originally from Bloomington, Illinois, Taylor came to Elon because of her love for the East coast and Elon’s amazing opportunities.  Next year she will be a RA in Colonnades, an Elon 101 teaching assistant and a committee member for ElonThon. She is also involved in InterVarsity, Elon Volunteers, Kappa Delta and YoungLife.  In her free time, Taylor loves to spend time with family and friends, watch videos of cute animals, travel, and meet new people.

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Alamance-Burlington School System

Julia Wiley, Assistant Principal
Hugh H. Cummings High School
2200 N. Mebane Street
Burlington, NC 27217
Will Hemminger, Science Teacher
Southern Alamance High School
631 Southern High School Road
Graham, NC 27253
Ako Barnes, Assistant Principal
Eastern Alamance High School
4040 Mebane Rogers Road
Mebane, NC 27302
Carole Workman, Academic Coach
Walter M. Williams High School
1307 S Church Street
Burlington, NC 27215
Holly Shepherd, School Counselor
River Mill Academy
1242 S. Main St
Graham, NC 27253
Dave Nebrig, Assistant Principal
Western Alamance High School
1731 North Hwy 87
Elon, North Carolina 27244
Paul Michaelson, History Teacher
Graham High School
903 Trollinger Road
Graham, NC 27253
Esther Wu, School Counselor
Western Alamance High School
1731 North Hwy 87
Elon, North Carolina 27244
Bonnie Roane, Principal
Alamance Burlington Early/Middle College
1247 Jimmie Kerr Road
Graham, NC 27253


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