Katey Adams

2nd Grade Teacher
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I am thrilled to be joining the RISE SE team as a 2nd Grade teacher for the 2020-2021 school year. After growing up in North Carolina and earning my B.S. in Education from East Carolina University, I went on to work for a ministry that serves adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. From this experience, I rediscovered my passion for educating the next generation, which has led me to begin my teaching career at RISE SE. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our sweet dog, going on walks, and playing lots of games. I am looking forward to this year at RISE SE!

Kamin Alebiosu

4th Grade Teacher
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 I was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina. I attended Mount Olive College and received my BS degree in Early Childhood Education. I am entering my 22nd year in education. I have taught at both the elementary and high school levels.  I have served as department chair, school and county representative for Family and Consumer Sciences. During my tenure as a high school FACS teacher I was the lead Adviser for the student lead organization Family Career Community Leaders of America. I have taken students to state and national FCCLA conferences where they were placed in the top five as national winners. In 2012 I was named Master Adviser for FCCLA at the state and national levels. I believe that teachers should be accepting of the fact that students come from different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. These differences should not be a barrier to providing the best resources to enhance their lives. I am married and have 2 daughters. In my spare time I enjoy reading, traveling, planning events and spending time with my family.

Dawn Arthur

Executive Director
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I joined RISE SE as Executive Director in August 2019. I am passionate about closing the achievement gap and eager to empower RISE’s teachers and leaders in making its mission a reality. Prior to joining RISE, I served nearly six years as the Chief Operating Officer for KIPP Eastern North Carolina (ENC), a region of six schools educating low income youth in rural and urban North Carolina. I received my M.B.A from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business where I studied social entrepreneurship. Prior to business school, I developed systems and strategies for Booz Allen Hamilton and Northrop Grumman. I earned a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. I am a graduate of North Carolina’s Rural Economic Development Institute and a Board Fellow for the Tom Russell Foundation.

Matt Bate

Lead Social Worker
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I grew up in Asheville, North Carolina and went to UNC Chapel Hill for my undergraduate studies.  Post college, I moved to Brooklyn and worked as an ad agency account executive before deciding to go back to school to earn a Master’s Degree in Social Work from NYU. After graduation, I provided therapy to children who lost a parent or other significant family member to incarceration. I then worked as an after-school program manager and then Director of Middle School Programming. Before leaving Brooklyn, I worked as the School Social Worker at Achievement First Linden Elementary School. After moving to Raleigh, and before starting at RISE SE,  I worked for Carolina Outreach providing outpatient therapy to children and adults experiencing a wide range of mental health needs. I believe social and emotional skills must be taught and are essential to a child’s success.

Carolyn Belden

5th Grade Teacher
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I am grateful and excited to be returning to RISE SE to teach my second year.  Prior to working at RISE, I was employed with Durham Public schools teaching 4th and 5th grades.  I have taught all four core subjects, but recently have been teaching 5th grade math and science.  I graduated with my B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI.  I moved to North Carolina in 2014 and have worked with students in both the Raleigh and Durham areas.  It is both an honor and a privilege getting to know all my students, all of their families, and watching my students learn and grow throughout the school year.  My plan for this year is to keep my students’ work challenging, engaging, and fun!  I can’t wait to meet my next group of Panthers.  I’m excited to be your teacher!

Cephus Berry

Facilities Associate
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I joined the RISE family in 2017.  Originally from West Palm Beach, FL, I moved to North Carolina in 2015 with my family.  My background is in facilities and transportation.  I am responsible for the supervision and coordination of all school facility and maintenance operations.  I am a valuable member of the operations team and am always ready to lend a helping hand.  I am a husband and father of four. Outside of work, I enjoy fishing and spending quality time with my family.

Kristen Blackwell

Instructional Coach (K-1)
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I have worked in the elementary school setting for 13 years. I have served in many roles such as lead teacher, grade team lead, Beginning Teacher Coordinator, and School Improvement Plan member. I am driven to help students overcome barriers that impact their learning. My goal is to create academically engaging learning experiences through an environment that fosters creativity, curiosity, and kindness. Outside of school, I enjoy cooking and shopping for the latest trends in clothing. I look forward to continuing to have a positive impact on RISE SE scholars as they grow and engage in new discoveries with an amazing team of teachers.

Dolores Bravo

ELL Teacher
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Originally from Ecuador, I have been working in the field of bilingual education for 20 years, teaching children of diverse backgrounds and grade levels. As an ELL teacher (English Language Learner), I strive to meet the linguistic and academic needs of my students. I work with WIDA/DRC administering language proficiency tests, collecting data and implementing proficiency standards. I advocate for ELL students and their families by bridging language and cultural differences between school and home to create a positive learning environment where students, teachers and parents are actively involved in the learning community. I love to travel and learn new languages and cultures. I also like music and enjoys playing the guitar and piano during my free time.

Ryan Brock

Director of Operations
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I am ecstatic to join the RISE SE team as an Instructional Coach for the 2020-2021 school year.  After growing up in Roanoke, VA and earning my B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Tech, I joined Teach For America and made the move to Eastern North Carolina.  Working at KIPP GCP Primary School for 7 years, I taught Kindergarten through second grade and was the instructional coach for Kindergarten through fourth grade as an Assistant Principal.  During my time in Eastern North Carolina, I also earned my M.Ed. in Education Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston.  Outside of school, I love to play games of all kinds, root for Virginia Tech football and basketball, and hang out with my fiancé, my two cats, and my dog.

Ruby Bryant

School Nutrition Assistant

Shakia Carter

Kindergarten
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After earning my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, I returned to my hometown of Warrenton, NC where I taught 6th and 7th grade. I have previously worked as a registered behavior technician and facility based lead instructor, which allowed me to provide services to children with autism and various mental health needs. I have worked with children ages 3-18 with various backgrounds and abilities. I am committed to making education attainable for everyone through individualized instruction. As the daughter of a special education teacher, I understand the importance of accessible education. In my free time, I enjoy going home to visit my family, reading, writing, and watching HGTV.

Danielle Coats

Assistant Principal
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I am the Assistant Principal at RISE Southeast. I bring sixteen years of experience in education as an English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher and leader. I served RISE during the 2019-20 school year as one of the Assistant Academic Directors.  In this role, I worked as an instructional coach, helped develop and implement intervention and enrichment opportunities to meet the needs of all scholars, and contributed to various school improvement initiatives.  Throughout my career, I have supported school instructional systems locally and statewide through curriculum and assessment writing, as well as by working on school and district transformation teams.  I believe that educators are obligated to serve with excellence, and doing so makes for an immeasurable positive impact on our world. As a member of the leadership team, I will help support instructional coaches and teachers in their efforts to ensure that RISE’s scholars are receiving a top-notch education.

Julia Crosson

Music
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I have been studying music since the age of five years old when I began playing the violin. I then switched to cello several years later, which continues to be my principal instrument today. Music has always been my true passion and calling in life. After college, I worked with an El Sistema music program for several years, studying ways of teaching music to promote social change. I have studied and use the techniques and methods of Suzuki, Dalcroze, and Orff to make the students’ experience of music education fun, exciting, and challenging. I also specializes in creative composition, which teaches students how to compose music and express themselves as individuals. My goal is to establish a learning environment that teaches self-discipline, confidence, and creativity. I believe that music is an essential tool to use in the crafting of young minds because it is a fun and safe way to express and understand emotions.

China Duff

Physical Education
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I have been serving the RISE community since opening in 2015, before coming to RISE I worked for Playworks NC as a recess coach for two years where I had the opportunity to bring safe play to all students on the playground.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from North Carolina Central University in 2012. In addition to teaching physical education I help coach Girls on the run, Yoga, and assist with coed soccer.  In my classes I hope to encourage sportsmanship, teamwork, and personal growth. I am very passionate about teaching students how to live a healthy and active lifestyle. I am looking forward to another fun and exciting year as the physical education teacher at RISE.

Natasha Frater

Dance Teacher
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I am a Southeast Raleigh native and have 20 years of dance experience, with 11 of those years as a dance educator. I graduated from Meredith College with a B.A. in Dance with a concentration in Private Studio teaching. During college, I interned with The African American Dance Ensemble of Durham, NC. I strongly believe dance education enhances cognitive and non-cognitive development. In my class, scholars read, write, and learn French while exploring various dance concepts and genres. Over the years, I have taught local and abroad to students of all ages. Since at RISE, I have created the Dance program, Cheer Squad, Dance Company, and Frisbee Club for our scholars. I am committed to serving RISE, our scholars, and the Southeast Raleigh community.

Tempestt Howard

2nd Grade Teacher
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I am originally from Havelock, NC and moved to Raleigh to attend William Peace University, where I earned my B.A. in Education. This will be my fourth year teaching, but my first year at RISE. I have taught many elementary grade levels. Outside of teaching, I am a volleyball coach. I also enjoy the beach, being outside (running, walking, etc.), and hanging out with friends and family. I am looking forward to an exciting school year!

Kara Frierson

Exceptional Children Paraprofessional
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I have been an educator for almost two decades in both the public and private sector. I enjoy learning and have found that students provide a fresh, unique perspective to many situations. I have a growth mindset and like to try new things. I have worked with students with all abilities and enjoy watching their success. When not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children, reading British romance novels, cooking, and party planning.

Courtney Goguelet

EC/ELL Director
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I have been an educator for seven years, working with all ages in both general education and special education. I have worked as a counselor, advocate, and educator in multiple capacities. I believe that all children have unique strengths that position them to learn and achieve their goals in their own way and at their own pace. As the EC Coordinator, I work diligently to provide excellent individualized instruction to my students in the EC program, coordinate meetings for the IEP process with families, manage data, and lead the EC teachers and related service providers at RISE SE. In my free time, I enjoy making pottery, cooking, exercising, and spending time outdoors with my family.

Alexandra Hendricks

EC Teacher (K-1)
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I have worked in regular and special education for five years.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a concentration in music and a dual licensure in special education from Appalachian State University in 2015.  Go Mountaineers!  I moved to the Triangle after graduating and have a passion serving communities and families through working in charter schools.  I especially enjoy teaching reading and hope to pursue a reading specialization in the future.  Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my new baby and the rest of my family, reading, cooking, doing yoga, and crafting.

Amalia Hopf

Office Manager
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I was born and raised on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, where I attended the University of Puerto Rico and completed my bachelors degree in Business Administration and also completed some of the Masters courses in Human Resources. Throughout my career, primarily in the Retail Industry, I held various positions in Retail Management , in Human Resources, in Administration and as a Retail Services Merchandiser. Due to my husband’s career we were required to move as family (my husband, our son and myself) several times and to various countries. After having lived in Sevilla, Spain, we ended up moving to the beautiful Raleigh area in 2012. Since then I have been involved in my son’s school; first as a room parent, then as a volunteer, substitute teacher, tutor and finally as a full time Spanish teacher, all of these opportunities I enjoyed very much. I enjoy traveling, cooking, gardening and getting working out whenever I can!
I am very excited to be part of the RISE SE School’s operations team and I am also looking forward to helping the many children and their families at RISE!

Stephanie Hunsaker

Kindergarten Teacher
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I am excited to be working at RISE SE again this year! I have been working in education for five years and this will be my second year at RISE. My teaching philosophy is to teach from the heart while allowing students to discover their own intellectual abilities and become positive leaders in our school community. Outside of school, I enjoy aerial dance, playing board games, and making costumes.

Tawana James

Instructional Coach (4-5)
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I have been an educator for more than twenty years, three of which have been at RISE. Throughout my teaching career, I’ve been an administrator as well as a teacher for grades pre-K through 5th grade. I’ve also been a grade team leader, curriculum writer, mentor, and math coach. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Benedict College (HBCU), an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Francis Marion University, and an M.Ed. in Administration from the University of Phoenix. When in the classroom, I not only see myself as the teacher, but also as a student because each day I learn more and more from my scholars. In my spare time I enjoy teaching, reading,spending time with my husband, two children, family and friends, and cooking (recently vegan meals).

Latoyia Kinsey

Principal
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I was named Principal of RISE SE in June 2020. Previously serving as a 5th grade teacher at RISE, I bring 20 years of experience as an educator. I believe that all learning begins with relationships. My career has included teaching grades 4-12, primarily focused in Language Arts, English and Advanced Placement English.  I have had the opportunity to serve as a grade team lead, lead teacher, curriculum writer, guidance counselor and elementary school principal. I presented at the ACSI Southeast Regional conference on topics such as effective classroom management, learning through play and teacher retention/burnout.

I am passionate about social justice, trauma informed teaching, and social emotional learning, all of which play a huge part in my daily interactions with students. As a first-generation college graduate, my ultimate desire is to see underserved children receive an outstanding, equitable education that prepares them to confidently pursue post-secondary endeavors, along with a wide range of civic and global opportunities.

Charmelle Mann

Kindergarten Teacher
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I am a proud graduate of one of our local Historically Black Colleges, Saint Augustine’s College. I have been an educator in Wake County for over 20 years. Throughout my career, I have served as Grade Level Chair, Beginning Teacher Mentor, Graduation Coach, and Crisis Team Leader. My goal is to teach the whole child, preparing them for life, as well as academic success. Although I have lived in Raleigh for many years, I am a New Yorker at heart, born and raised. My loves are family, travel, shopping, and animals. I look forward to building positive relationships with families that foster success for our children.

Loraine McKenzie

5th Grade Teacher
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I have enjoyed working at RISE since I started in 2018. Before working at RISE, I taught Grades K-5 and have had the opportunity to work in different schools and in diverse communities. I am passionate to see children learn, grow and develop holistically. I believe that every child has the ability to learn and see my role as guiding, supporting and encouraging students to maximize their full potential and become lifelong learners. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in math and I look forward to working at RISE this year. When I am not at RISE, I enjoy spending time with my family, playing tennis, cooking, riding my bike and going to church.

Latisha Osborne

3rd Grade Teacher
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I was born in South Carolina and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2011. I moved to North Carolina to begin my career in education shortly after. I have been an educator for nine years and have taught both 2nd and 3rd grade. I have been at RISE for the past four years. At home, I have three scholars who will also be embarking on their remote learning journey this year. I also have two bearded dragons! I love nature and spending time outdoors. I look forward to a very vibrant school year!

Liz Seitz

Instructional Coach (6-7 & Electives)
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I was born in South Carolina and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2011. I moved to North Carolina to begin my career in education shortly after. I have been an educator for nine years and have taught both 2nd and 3rd grade. I have been at RISE for the past four years. At home, I have three scholars who will also be embarking on their remote learning journey this year. I also have two bearded dragons! I love nature and spending time outdoors. I look forward to a very vibrant school year!

Jennifer Singleton

2nd Grade Teacher
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I grew up in Wake County and always knew I would be a teacher. I have been an educator for nine years and have taught grades Kindergarten through Second grade.  I graduated from Gardner-Webb University in 2011 with a B.S. in Education. I have served in many roles during my teaching career such as Grade Level Chair, School Improvement Team, and Intervention Committee member. As an educator, I am always looking to learn something new that will help my students achieve excellence. I strive to make my classroom a place that sparks curiosity, where students love learning, and feel like they belong.  Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two dogs. We love to work on home improvements and trying new recipes.  I am so excited to begin another year at RISE watching our students grow and achieve.

Al-Majied Smith

Behavior Interventionist
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I have been working at RISE SE Raleigh for three years as Discipline Coordinator and Associate Dean of Culture. I am very excited for this upcoming 2020-2021 school year with my new role as Behavior Interventionist. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from New Jersey City University and an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education from Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey. In addition, I have over 20 years of  experience in working with at-risk youth and adolescents. I am a highly motivated professional that believes in collaborating with teachers, parents, and community volunteers to best meet each student’s unique needs. Throughout my career, I’ve gained a wealth of experience fostering youth engagement rapport, behavioral management plans, and understanding reasoning behind behavioral deficiencies in children. My goal at RISE is to help support our students, teachers, and families with interventions that will ensure students feel safe, empowered, and loved.

Mary Sparks

Instructional Coach (2-3)
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I have taught elementary school for the past three years and am excited to continue inspiring RISE SE scholars as an Instructional Coach. I hold a B.S. from Hampton University and a Master of Science Degree in Education/Reading & Literacy from Capella University. I am dedicated to educational equity and closing the achievement gap. As an educator, I strive to use my platform and resources to enhance the experiences of my students and help them overcome barriers that impact their learning. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy spending time with my daughter, participating in church ministries, writing poetry, walking trails, or watching cooking shows.

Ricky Tarver

EC Teacher (4-5)
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I have been working with students in special education for 20 years. I have worked as a self-contained learning disability teacher, Exceptional Children (EC) case manager, EC coordinator, PRC 20 coordinator and assistant principal.  I believe that students can learn when shown compassion, rigor and patience. I currently serve as an EC case manager and also facilitate small group instruction. I am a graduate of Alabama State University and obtained a Master’s Degree in Administration from Grand Canyon University. I am active in my church with the scholarship ministry, where I support students to enroll and stay in college. I am also active in the community through coaching baseball, basketball and football. In my free time, enjoy fishing and spending time with my family. In my limited free time, I enjoy golf, cooking and working out.

Nina Warnick

1st Grade Teacher
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I am so happy to be working at RISE SE again this year.  I am a graduate from Rowan University in NJ, and hold a BA in Elementary Education and English.  I have been in a classroom setting since 2011, starting as instructional support for students K-5 and moved my way up into the classroom.  I moved to NC with my family in 2014 and have worked with students all over the Raleigh area.  I enjoy getting to know all my students and watching them learn and grow. My plan for this year is to keep work rigorous, keep students engaged, while keeping learning as fun as possible.  Welcome to the Panther Family, we are excited to have you!

Jasmine White

Digital Literacy
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I began my teaching career at RISE in 2017 after graduating from NC Central University with my BS in Computer Information Systems. I have served as a Teacher Aid, a Technology teacher and a 1st Grade teacher while at RISE. My teaching philosophy revolves around the belief that no matter the cards my students were dealt in life, it is up to them to change the narrative. I want to be the voice in my scholars’ ears that encourages them to do the impossible. “To be an excellent educator is a gift – a gift to our students, our families, and our communities. Being an excellent educator is, in fact, a gift to our humanity. “– Jimmy Casas

Wayne Wilder

School Nutrition Manager
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I am the cafeteria manager for RISE SE. I have had a passion for cooking since a young age. I hold a degree in culinary arts and am also an Army Veteran. I have always been dedicated to serving people with a smile. It is an honor to be a proud member of the RISE family. 

Jasmine White

Digital Literacy
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Wayne Wilder

School Nutrition Manager
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