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Meet the Team

Meet the participants of the 2017 Yellowstone Institute

Frances Brindle
Upper School Biology Teacher
Carolina Friends School

Hobbies: gardening, nature study, lace making, sewing
Looking forward to: spending time with other educators from NC and experiencing the variety of geological features and ecosystems of Yellowstone.
Morgan Carney
6th Grade Science Teacher
Central Park School for Children

Hobbies: gardening, traveling, running, dancing
Looking forward to: seeing a lot of interesting wildlife as well as geysers and other interesting geothermal features!
Maggie DeCorah
6th Grade Math and Science Teacher
Rugby Middle School
Hobbies: reading, hiking, baking, and traveling
Looking forward to: experiencing the interesting geological features of Yellowstone.
Katie Earl
District Program Coordinator
Cleveland Soil & Water Conservation District
Hobbies: concerts, spending time at the lake the beach, making jewelry, crafty things, photography, farming, gardening, hanging out with friends, travelling, kayaking, tennis and anything exciting!
Looking forward to: seeing wolves, bears, elk, bison and Old Faithful; photographing gorgeous landscapes, wildlife and wildflowers, lakes and beautiful waterfalls.
David Hart
Science/Social Studies Teacher 
The Mountain Community School
Hobbies: hiking, bird calling, cooking, growing
Looking forward to: mountains!
Angie Heinze
4th Grade Math and Science Teacher
Penny Road Elementary
Hobbies: camping, hiking, board games
Looking forward to: exploring the geothermal features of Yellowstone. They are such a unique aspect of the park. In addition, I hope we get to observe various animals that call the area home.
Tara Johnson
4th Grade Teacher
Candler Elementary
Hobbies: ceramics, fiber arts, paints, music, unique foods, astronomy, crystallography, adventures in the wilderness
Looking forward to: developing a deeper connection to my role in protecting and supporting our wildlife and wild places, as well as my role in inspiring others to remain active on behalf of our environment. While I am excited to see wildlife, geothermal features, geologic history, and native plants, it will be thrilling to be star-gazing in a dark sky primordial wilderness!
Meg Millard
4th Grade Teacher
Central Park School for Children
Hobbies: gardening, walking in the woods, playing with clay, attempting to quilt, reading, and hanging out with my dogs and chickens
Looking forward to: Wolves! Seeing them, hearing them… and all the other great wildlife and plants!!
Renee Pagoota-Wight
Kindergarten Teacher
Sherrills Ford Elementary School
Hobbies: traveling, learning photography, Pinterest projects for school, concerts
Looking forward to: viewing all kinds of wildlife and learning about classroom applications for my young learners. I am excited to travel with a group of NC teachers and experience the beauty of Yellowstone!
Ginny Paul
High School Science Teacher
Northeast Regional School of Biotechnology and Agriscience
Hobbies: photography, horse back riding, kayaking, reading, hiking and camping, fishing, traveling
Looking forward to: I have never been to Yellowstone before, so honestly I’m excited about all the things! I hope to come back home with some great pictures and some even better stories to share!
Annah Riedel 
4/5 Multi-Grade Teacher
The Exploris School 
Hobbies: swimming, running, art, photography, traveling
Looking forward to: spending quality time with fellow educators in a beautiful place. I am also excited to implement new practices into my classroom based on this experience.
Timothy Ryan
Queens Creek Elementary
Hobbies: too many to mention!
Looking forward to: team work, learning experiences, and a view of our beautiful county.
Rose Syroid
Classroom Teacher
Horton Middle School
Hobbies: hiking, backpacking, camping, nature, my dog
Looking forward to: experiencing the unique geology.
Kathy Wall
4th Grade Teacher
Ballentine Elementary
Hobbies: anything outdoors! I love paddling, hiking, and birding!
Looking forward to: the views of lakes and mountains. I’m hoping to see some different wildlife possible trout, birds and elk. Then of course seeing the geysers and hot springs.

Museum Staff Leaders

Melissa Dowland
Coordinator of Teacher Education
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Hobbies: camping, hiking, kayaking, reading, photography, exploring the natural world!
Looking forward to: sharing my favorite place in the world with a fantastic group of NC educators. Yellowstone has a remarkable way of getting under your skin, and I hope each of us will make special memories, learn new things about our first national park, and return home renewed in our passion for education.
Megan Chesser
Teacher Education Specialist
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Hobbies: hiking and backpacking, gardening, cooking and baking, crafts, jogging, biking, any and all outdoor adventures!
Looking forward to: I can’t wait to share the beauty and joy of our first National Park with such a wonderful group of NC educators! I look forward to pre-dawn visits to Lamar valley and the long, low howls of the wolf packs. I can’t wait to look for the badgers, pine martens, and river otters that always elude us. I hope we are all stunned into silence by the majesty and wonder of the thermal features.

Meet the Team 2016
Meet the Team 2015
Meet the Team 2013
Meet the Team 2012

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