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 Who's Who

Faculty and Staff

 Terry Tomasek - Director of the Elon Academy and Assistant 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 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 Assistant 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.
 Catherine Parsons - Program Coordinator at Elon Academy
 Mooney 302
 2108 Campus Box | Elon, NC 27244
 (336) 278-6109
Catherine Parsons is a graduate of Elon University, with a degree in Psychology. Though she grew up in Kansas and Asia, she moved to North Carolina her ninth grade year and graduated from Western Alamance High School. She loves North Carolina weather so much she decided to stay in the area after graduation. In her free time she is a youth leader at her church, enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and thinks naps are wonderful.
 Denise Teeters - Elon Academy Program Assistant
 Mooney 302 
 2108 Campus Box | Elon, NC 27244
 O: (336) 278-5849
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

Shelby Allen -- College Access Team Mentor; Human Service Studies Major at Elon University

I am a senior at Elon University, majoring in Human Service Studies and minoring in Leadership Studies and Education. I am actively involved in Student Government, Fraternity and Sorority Life, and New Student Orientation. After graduating from Elon in May, I plan to pursue a master’s degree in School Counseling. Originally from Hilton Head Island, I love to spend time on the beach! Last spring I spent my semester in London studying abroad! Besides the beach and traveling, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, watching romcoms, singing in the shower, and eating ice-cream. This past summer, I served as a Summer Mentor with Elon Academy, and I am excited to serve as a CAT Mentor!

Crystal Carroll -- College Access Team Mentor; Human Service Studies and International Studies Major at Elon University

My name is Crystal Carroll. I am a rising Senior at Elon University where I double major in Human Service Studies and International Studies with a minor in Teaching and Learning. During my time at Elon I have served in a variety of leadership positions in school activities such as Fraternity and Sorority Life, I Am That Girl and Residence Life. After spending the summer in Burlington as an Apartment Manager for one of the Elon communities I realized my love for the local town and life. Since that summer I have spent a lot of time dedicating myself to learn more about and experience Alamance Burlington County. I grew up in New York City where I attended the United Nations School from kindergarten until 12th grade graduation. My experience may be very different from many of your own experiences but I'm hoping that we can learn off of each others differences and that my own experiences can still help support your journey in anyway. I can't wait to meet you all!

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

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.

Emily Cuiffetelli -- College Access Team Mentor; Drama and Theatre Studies Major at Elon University 

Emily is a senior at Elon University where she majors in Drama & Theatre studies and minors in Teaching and Learning. Her career passions lie in arts education, arts advocacy, and drama therapy.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends, listening to and writing music, performing, and writing. She is a member of Alpha Psi Omega (the theatre honor society), Co-Artistic Director of Renegade Productions and is an Elon 101 TA. She also served as executive producer for Weird Enough Productions last year.  A love for traveling has led her to Italy twice and Greece. She loves being able to make new friends and offer advice for anything she can and is a completely open book.

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!

Rachel Gledhill -- College Access Team Mentor; Human Services Major at Elon University

Rachel Gledhill is a rising senior at Elon University originally from Acton, MA. She is working towards completing a major in Human Service Studies as well as double minors in Spanish and Early Childhood Education. When not working for Elon Academy, Rachel is also involved with the Dressage team on campus as well as DMAX and Active Minds. She is also a sister in Alpha Delta Tau, Elon's Christian Sorority. In terms of her plans after Elon, Rachel has been asked to work with the Community Impact Fellows for the upcoming school year and has been selected as a fellow for the 2017-2018 school year. She hopes this will put her on track to eventually get her masters degree in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages and some day work in a bilingual preschool.

Molly Herman-Gallow -- College Access Team Mentor; Cinema and Television Arts Major at Elon University
Molly is a rising sophomore from Atlanta, GA majoring in Cinema and Television Arts. She hopes to be a part of as many films and television shows as possible once she graduates as an editor, cinematographer, or director. She is a S.M.A.R.T. mentor and Elon 101 TA for the 2016-2017 school year and a member of Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Friends, InterVarisity, Young Life, CinElon, and Elondocs. She is slowly learning to not be the typical overcommitted Elon student and can’t wait to grow close to all of her Elon Academy scholars!
In her free time, Molly enjoys binge watching Netflix shows while eating animal crackers, spending time with her friends, riding her bike around campus (yay exercise!), photographing, horseback riding, making films, and cuddling with her cat when she’s home for break. She hopes to study abroad during her time at Elon and looks forward to sharing her love for learning and dreaming big with others. 
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.
Oscar Miranda -- College Access Team Mentor; Business Management Major at Elon University 

My name is Oscar and I am the Treasurer of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), an Odyssey Scholar and am a winner of the Golden Door Scholarship. I am an Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity Brother and part of the S.M.A.R.T. Mentors program.

I love music! Some of my favorite bands include Three Days Grace, Linkin Park and Green Day and I listen to a lot of Rap and Hip-Hop.  I like to be outside especially if it is in a very forest-y type place.  My favorite colors are yellow and green.  I love all types of food as long as it includes lots of meat! I also love desserts too, ice cream, cake, cupcakes you name it! I love to hang out with my friends and am in in huge favor of trying new things! I hope to travel the world some day! :)         

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!

Mariatu Okonofua -- College Access Team Mentor; English and Political Science Major with a Minor in Criminal Justice Studies at Elon University

Mariatu is a rising sophmore from Memphis, TN double majorng in English and Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice Studies. After Elon, she plans to go on to law school after which she will pursue a career as either a federal prosecutor or a district attorney. At Elon, Mariatu is dedicated to raising awareness for minority views and beliefs and is an active member in Elon Buddies, Elon Tonight, the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, and the National Council of Negro Women where she serves as parlimentarian. She is also an Orientation Leader with New Student Transition Programs. In her free time, she likes to swim, read, and meet new people.

Catie Rayhorn -- Senior College Access Team Mentor, Marketing Major at Elon University

Catie is a sophomore at Elon University, majoring in Marketing with a minor in Religious Studies. In addition to Elon Academy Catie is involved with InterVarsity, Young Life College, and is a Young Life leader at Williams High School in Burlington. Catie loves spending time with friends, watching the Bachelor, and drinking Diet Coke.

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

Christina is a rising junior at Elon University who double majors in Special Education and Elementary Education. She is a Teaching Fellow and an Academic Coach for Elon Academy. She is active in Kappa Delta, her sorority, and previously ran Teaching Fellow’s mentor program. Christina will be conducting research on inclusion teaching during this upcoming year, and aspires to earn a masters degree in Special Education. She just finished a semester abroad in Oxford, England, and is excited to get back to campus. In her free time, Christina enjoys napping, dance, and drinking coffee, along with binge-watching her favorite detective shows.

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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