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The Iterative Design to Engage All (IDEA) Learners Design Team consists of grades 9-12 STEM teachers who will collaborate with environmental health scientists to co-develop a standards-aligned curriculum unit, Investigating the human health effects of PFAS exposure. Learn more about the IDEA Learners Design Team here.

Tabitha Batts-Turner

Hoke County High School, Raeford, NC

Tabitha is a biology teacher at Hoke County High School. She has been an educator for over 19 years. From 2003 to 2012, she served as the After school Coordinator for Outreach for Jesus Church and Christian Education Center. This is where her passion to teach young and old students began to mature. She would spend every summer developing and executing lessons reflecting the K-12 curriculum and North Carolina’s educational standards. She received her B.S. in Biology from Fayetteville State University in 2013. She received her certifications in Multi-Tiered Support System (MTSS) in 2019 and Wise Financial Literacy in 2020. She received her Master of Education in Leadership and Administration from Queens University in 2020. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Curriculum Instruction at Liberty University.

Andromeda Crowell

Orange High School, Hillsborough, NC

Andromeda is the Science Department Chair at Orange High School, where she teaches a variety of science courses, although her expertise is in AP Biology and Honors Anatomy & Physiology. She completed her undergraduate studies at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012, earning her B.S. in Biology and a teaching license. She earned her M.S. in Biology from Clemson University in 2017 and National Board Certification in 2019. She loves learning and continually seeks out opportunities for personal and professional growth, which is what led her to become a Kenan Fellow (2016) and a NCMNS Educator of Excellence (Peru 2019 and Belize TBA). In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside gardening and hiking and hopes to one day visit all 60+ National Parks.

Amy Robinson Elliott

Douglas Byrd High School, Fayetteville, NC

Amy is a native of Fayetteville, NC and a science teacher at Douglas Byrd High School, where she teaches biology and a course in the green technology program called “Working Toward Sustainability”. Amy graduated from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a B.S. in Environmental Science and recently finished a graduate certificate program from NC State University in Environmental Assessment. Being from the Grays Creek area of Cumberland County, Amy is very interested in how PFAS impact human health in this community.

Daniel Glaze

Grimsley Senior High School, Greensboro, NC

Daniel has taught at Grimsley Senior High School since January 2005, teaching mostly AP and IB Environmental Science, Biology, Earth/Environmental Science, and Astronomy classes. Daniel received a B.S. in Natural Resources from NC State University in 2001 and an M.S. in Geosciences from Mississippi State in 2013. He has participated in a number of teacher professional development programs including a NASA-funded project to translate earth science-based research at NC A&T University into high school and middle school curricula, as well as the NC Energy Literacy Fellows Program through the UNC Institute for the Environment. He also served on the planning committee for the Forest 2 Classroom professional development program run by NC State University Extension Forestry.

Clare Matusevich

Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill, NC

Clare began her teaching career as a biology and AP biology teacher, and has enjoyed teaching Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science courses at Chapel Hill High School for the past seven years. She has a B.S. in Biology from Virginia Tech (2010) and an M.S. in Education from Radford University (2011). Clare enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, reading, and riding her horse.

Taryn Shelton

NC State Science House K-12 Data Science Program Coordinator, Raleigh, NC

Taryn is the K-12 Data Science Program Coordinator for NC State University and is committed to education outreach. She is currently working to increase data science literacy and incorporate data science programs into K-12 education. Prior to taking on this new role, she was a Cumberland County science teacher for both Middle Grades Science and High School Biology, and served as a Multi-Classroom Leader through the Opportunity Culture initiative. Originally from Lexington, KY, she graduated from the University of Kentucky with a focus on Wildlife and Environmental Biology. Before becoming a teacher, she worked for the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center. During her years teaching, Taryn focused on hands-on investigations and used Problem-Based Learning and citizen science activities from NC State, the NC Museum of Natural History, Kenan Fellows, NCCAT, and Sea Grant. In 2018, she took students to Costa Rica for a sea turtle research experience with Ecology Project International. Taryn loves everything outdoors – hiking, backpacking, canoeing – and teaching about the natural world is her true passion.

Abria Vodenichar

Bethany Community School, Summerfield, NC

Abria teaches biology, STEM, and AP computer science at Bethany Community School. Growing up in Rockingham County, she is excited to promote STEM to students near her hometown of Mayodan, NC. Abria has a B.S. in microbiology from NC State University and a Master of Education from UNC–Greensboro. She worked as a microbiologist prior to entering education, and believes it is important for students to engage in authentic and relevant learning opportunities. Her research and curriculum development experience includes a Research Experience for Teachers at NC A & T State University, Teacher Advisor for WGBH, Space Foundations Teacher Liaison, NIEHS STaRS Experience, and a Dr. Rochelle Abrams Scholarship Recipient. Outside of the classroom, Abria enjoys playing clarinet with the Greensboro Concert Band and spending time with friends, family, and her rescue dog.

Matt Yaeger

Topsail High School, Hampstead, NC

Matt is in his 7th year of teaching high school science. He teaches Earth/Environmental Science, Biology, and Physical Science at Topsail High School. Prior to this year, he taught in Wake County. He received a M.A.T. in secondary science from UNC Wilmington and is a National Board Certified Teacher. Matt’s primary goals in his classroom are to engage students through science inquiry, help students develop career/college ready skills, and to become more engaged members of their community.