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Meet the Team 2015

Meet the participants of the 2015 Yellowstone Institute

Kelly Allen Kelly Allen
Science Teacher
East Chapel Hill High School
Orange County

Hobbies: beekeeping, gardening, reading, walking with my dog, cooking/baking
Looking forward to: seeing Old Faithful, wolves and bears, and experiencing the wide open spaces of Yellowstone. I look forward to seeing how the reintroduction of wolves in the park has changed the ecosystem and the landscape. It is too hard to pick just one thing! I cannot wait!
Kristy Dilsworth Kristy Dilsworth
Biology Teacher
Weddington High School
Union County
Hobbies: gardening, hiking, traveling, reading, cooking
Looking forward to: seeing the wildlife. It will be amazing to see the park in person. I cannot wait to share my experiences with my classes!
Laura England Laura England
Lecturer
Appalachian State University, Dept. of Sustainable Development
Watauga County
Hobbies: singing, playing guitar (learning), hiking, running, splashing in mountain streams, playing with my two young kids
Looking forward to: dark and starry night skies, wide open wilderness, rushing and gushing water features, and the companionship of dedicated educators.
Megan Fussell Megan Fussell
1st Grade Teacher
Clement Elementary
Sampson County
Hobbies: reading, swimming, painting, fishing, traveling
Looking forward to: the magnificent beauty of nature, gaining knowledge about the geology and wildlife, and learning how to transfer Yellowstone into meaningful classroom experiences.
Dawn Hicks Dawn Hicks
Title 1 Math/Environmental Education Coordinator
Southwest Elementary School
Onslow County
Hobbies: reading, gardening, watching sports
Looking forward to: experiencing a part of the United States that I have never seen. I want to see all of the different plants that grow in the environment, see animals that I have never seen in the wild, and see the night sky unpolluted by ambient light. I am also looking forward to seeing all the geological features not found on the east coast.
Leasa Hodges Leasa Hodges
Science Teacher
Midway Middle School
Sampson County
Hobbies: reading, gardening, writing, antiquing
Looking forward to: seeing the beautiful landscape and animals in their natural habitat.
Michelle LeRoy Michelle LeRoy
5th Grade Teacher
Penny Road Elementary
Wake County
Hobbies: walking both quiet trails and city streets, watching my daughters dance, traveling, developing curriculum and programs for kids
Looking forward to: experiences that allow me to see the world in a different way. Those experiences can happen in the beauty of a landscape or by listening to someone whose knowledge and passion bring me to a deeper understanding. I am so excited to see this spectacular place with a group of people who are curious, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. I can’t wait to see what will inspire me!
Coleen Pfeufer Coleen Pfeufer
7th Grade Science Teacher
East Lincoln Middle School
Lincoln County
Hobbies: boating, kayaking, reading, traveling, panther fan
Looking forward to: real hands-on learning. I love to be outside. I am excited about hiking and exploring a national treasure. I cannot wait to bask in the beauty of Yellowstone.
Maureen Prendergast
6th Grade Math and Science Teacher
Pamlico County Middle School
Pamlico County
Hobbies: reading, quilting, traveling
Looking forward to: I have been lucky to have experienced the wonder of Yellowstone in winter. I can’t wait to see it in early summer. What a complete change of climate, scenery, wildlife…
Tanya Robinson-Freeman Tanya Robinson-Freeman
4th-5th Grade Teacher
Union Intermediate
Sampson County
Hobbies: reading, dancing, arts and crafts, walking, and gardening
Looking forward to: the beauty of the park (wild flowers, Grand Canyon, geysers — Old Faithful, fossils, rock formations, etc.). Can’t wait to take it all in and share the experience with my students. I am bursting with excitement.
Wendy Taylor Wendy Taylor
ESL teacher (K-5th Grades)
Stanfield School
Stanly County
Hobbies: reading, traveling, enjoying nature
Looking forward to: hiking in the wilderness, running into bison, and being constantly on the look out for elk, bears, coyotes, and wolves.
Sonja Younger Sonja Younger
Science Teacher
Woods Charter School
Orange County
Hobbies: walking and being in nature, family, food, home, and garden. I love to read and swim and kayak.
Looking forward to: being in presence of the wilderness; the sky, the land, the organisms… and sharing it with fellow explorers.

Museum Staff Leaders

Melissa Dowland Melissa Dowland
Coordinator of Teacher Education
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Wake County
Hobbies: camping, hiking, photography, reading, exploring the wonders of the natural world
Looking forward to: sharing the wonders of Yellowstone with a remarkable group of educators. My hope is that each educator can forge a strong connection with our first national park and return to her classroom with renewed passion for sharing the natural world with her students.
Megan Chesser Megan Chesser
Curator of Teacher Education
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Wake County
Hobbies: hiking, backpacking, gardening, cooking/baking, jogging, biking, crafts
Looking forward to: comparing and contrasting the park in different seasons — observing the wildlife and plants emerge from the cold of winter. I can’t wait to witness the energy and joyful enthusiasm shared by our group as they embrace Yellowstone and brainstorm how to translate their experience for their students!

Meet the Team 2013
Meet the Team 2012

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie Poulos permalink
    June 11, 2015 4:45 pm

    Go Wendy! Learn about those ecosystems!

  2. Pam Gardiner permalink
    June 14, 2015 1:06 pm

    Way to go Dawn….we can’t wait to hear about your journey!

  3. Martina Matthews permalink
    June 16, 2015 10:44 pm

    Tanya “Terrell” the girls and I are amazed by your adventures at Yellowstone….Can’t wait to hear all the details and I know you have many many pictures!!!!!

    • meganchesser permalink
      June 19, 2015 12:18 pm

      Thank you!!! Please keep following us! More to come!

  4. Beatrice Robinson permalink
    June 18, 2015 8:54 am

    AWESOME TANYA!!!! I’m so happy for you… Take it all in.

  5. helen navascues permalink
    June 18, 2015 8:44 pm

    Sonja Younger – Fabulous pictures. A once in a lifetime opportunity. So happy that you are experiencing such an adventure. Love Mom

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