RCHS All Faculty
Adriana Velasquez was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Los Andes University. After specializing in Business Administration in Spain, she came to the United States with her husband and son, where she operated her own business offering bookkeeping and income tax preparation services as a Registered Tax Preparer and a IRS-Certified Agent. In 2013, she graduated from Meredith College with a Master's of Arts in Teaching and has served elementary and middle school students at Maureen Joy Charter School.
avelasquez [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Director of Student Support
Akilah Govan holds a B.A. in Psychology from William Peace University and a MEd in school counseling from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before coming to RCHS, she worked as a school counselor in Harnett County. Ms. Govan joined RCHS in 2021 to serve as Director of Student Support.
agovan [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Allison Northrup holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems from James Madison University. Prior to coming to Raleigh Charter she worked at a K-8 charter school in Wake Forest, NC. Allison is originally from the Northern Virginia area. She enjoys spending time with her two kids and husband, especially traveling with them!
anorthrup [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Amy Koch has been a researcher at three universities. Her degrees, the B.S. in Biology and the MAT in Science Education, are from Duke University. Prior to coming to RCHS, Amy Koch was a Biology teacher at Southeast Raleigh High School. In her spare time, Ms. Koch likes to read and spend time with her three children.
akoch [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Angela Cooper taught in a K-12 classroom for 17 years before joining the RCHS staff in 2022. She currently works in the main office as the school's Data Manager and teaches math. Before coming to RCHS, she was the Director of Educational Analytics at Research Triangle High School where, at various points in time, she also taught math and AP Psychology, served as an instructional coach for faculty and was the head swim coach. She holds a BA from Washington University in St. Louis in Psychology. Ms. Cooper is married to JJ Cooper and they have two daughters and a dog.
acooper [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Angela Kraft has a BS in Math from Bethany Lutheran College and an MS in Math from University of Arizona. Between earning her two degrees, she also studied math for a semester in Moscow, Russia. Before coming to RCHS, Ms. Kraft taught math at the University of Arizona and BASIS Charter School.
AKraft [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Becky Schmitz holds the BA in English from Iowa State University and the MAT from UNC-Chapel Hill.
bschmitz [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Betsy Newmark has a BA from George Washington University with a double major in History and Russian. Her MA is from UCLA in Slavic Languages and Literatures. She comes to Raleigh Charter from teaching 8th grade Social Studies at Carnage Middle School, where she also coached the History Bowl and Quiz Bowl teams to state and national championships. Mrs. Newmark has also won the Time Warner National Teacher Award for four years in a row. She works with Student Legislative Assembly.
bnewmark [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Bill Thelen holds degrees from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (BFA) and the UNC-Chapel Hill (MFA) and has previously taught at Mt. Olive College, UNC-Chapel Hill, St. Augustine’s College and Wake Tech. Mr. Thelen has exhibited his art both nationally and internationally. In 1996, he co founded Lump Projects in downtown Raleigh and was the founding director for over 20 years. Currently, he is the director of Drawing Room, a socially-engaged, drawing initiative.
bthelen [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Bobby Lyons has been part of the RCHS community for over fifteen years. He is our Athletic Director. Over the years, Bobby has coached several of our athletic teams, supported special events, served as a substitute teacher, and worked in the main office.
blyons [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Caio Setubal holds a BA in Mathematics and Anthropology from the University of Virginia. He is originally from Brazil, but has loved calling North Carolina home since 2015. Before joining the RCHS team, he worked for an education non-profit in São Paulo and taught math at High Point Central High School.
csetubal [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Charles Montague holds a BA in African, Asian and Islamic History from Washington and Lee and an MA in American History from Villanova University. Following his love of folklore and music, Charles advises the Sustaining Roots Music Community Work Day project at Raleigh Charter. Mr. Montague also advises the RCHS chapter of Amnesty International. When missing, Charles can be found fly-fishing pristine trout waters.
cmontague [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Colin holds a BS in Business and Marketing from Providence College and an MA in Sport Management through the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University. Colin is also an experienced yoga instructor, holding a ERYT-200-hour certification through Yoga Alliance. Prior to arriving at RCHS, he owned an award-winning yoga and wellness studio for nearly 10 years in Cary, NC. Before moving to North Carolina in 2011 Colin held positions at Boston College and the University of Rhode Island working in student-athlete development. In his spare time, Colin enjoys traveling with his wife, Jessica, and their young son Fitz.
crussell [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Cyndi Lynn works in the front office. She has several years of experience as a teaching assistant and a one-on-one adaptive coordinator and has previously worked in Wake County Public Schools and at Exploris Middle School.
CBlynn [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Band & Choral Teacher
Cynthia Brown holds degrees from Campbell University (BA) and Southern Seminary (Master of Church Music, Doctor of Musical Arts) and has a wealth of experience in voice, organ and conducting. She directs the choral and instrumental music programs and serves as the Chair of Fine Arts. Dr. Brown previously taught at Meredith College, Campbell University and Southern Seminary.
cbrown [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Damien Sauzet is a French citizen. He relocated From France in 2017. He holds a "Maîtrise de Lettres modernes" from Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferrand, France. He obtained the national certification to become a teacher in 2002 in France and has since been working in public middle and high schools, mainly in his native region of Auvergne. He enjoys sharing his language and culture with RCHS students and also gives a little bit of his time to the Alliance Française of Raleigh.
dsauzet [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Director of Operations and Technology
David Ennis holds a B.S. from North Carolina State University and previously worked as a researcher in the field of Physics. Prior to coming to Raleigh Charter High School, Mr. Ennis held various educational leadership positions and taught courses in several subject areas. He serves as the Director of Operations and Technology at Raleigh Charter.
dennis [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Director of the Raleigh Charter String Ensemble
David Kilbride , originally from Chicago, joined the North Carolina Symphony in 2007. Mr. Kilbride graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music with a BA in Violin performance in 1993. David started his career with the New World Symphony in 1993, then spent 1995-98 with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. In the early 2000s he was Assistant Concertmaster of the Stockton (CA) Symphony, and positions followed in the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Opera Pacific Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony and the Virginia Symphony. He has been Director of the Raleigh Charter String Ensemble since 2012.
dkilbride [@] raleighcharterhs.org
David Palmieri holds a BA in Geography from Vassar College, an MA in Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Certificate in College Counseling from the University of California San Diego. Originally from Massachusetts, he moved to North Carolina from Colorado where he taught history and geography at Monarch High School for ten years. He has traveled extensively in Latin America and speaks Spanish in addition to English. While not teaching, he enjoys hiking and playing soccer and baseball with his family.
dpalmieri [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Eric Grunden has taught in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. He holds a BS in Chemistry and a MEd in Secondary Science Education from the University of Florida. In 2011, he was North Carolina's finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. In 2012, he helped found Research Triangle High School, a public charter high school in Research Triangle Park. At RCHS he teaches AP Environmental Science and Honors Chemistry, and assists with the Quiz Bowl, Science Bowl, and Science Olympiad teams.
egrunden [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Community Liaison and Testing Coordinator
Hannah Fatool holds a BA in Linguistics and Dramatic Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has served on the Orange County Arts Commission and spends her free time directing and producing theatre in the Triangle. Hannah is an RCHS Class of 2018 alum and serves as the Community Liaison and Testing Coordinator for Raleigh Charter.
hfatool [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Hannah Page holds a BA in Anthropology from Millsaps College and a MAT in History Education from Duke University, as well as a Master's degree in Public Administration and Policy from the University of Georgia. Hannah previously served as the school's community liaison. She teaches history. When not at school, she is most often at some stage in the sourdough bread baking process.
hpage [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Hikaru Wajima holds the BS in Physics and the MAT in Mathematics and Physics Education from Duke University. As an Air-Force Captain, Mr. Wajima was a Professor of Air Science at the University of Virginia. Previously, Mr. Wajima has taught with the Susami (Japan) Board of Education (2004-2006).
hwajima [@] raleighcharterhs.org
James Farlow received a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Anthropology from NC State University, and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Seminary. Prior to coming to Raleigh Charter, James worked as a math and physics teacher at Washington Latin Public Charter School and started a non-profit that worked with churches regarding issues of theology, sexuality, and gender. He loves to backpack and play golf, both ball and disc.
JFarlow [@] raleighcharterhs.org
joehlrich [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Joyce Felder, is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a BS in Physics. Before joining the Math Faculty at RCHS, she ran a tutoring program at NCSU in Physics, taught Physics at Enloe High School, consulted for Thinkin' Science Series: ZAP! a physics educational software program developed by Edmark Corporation, and raised four children.
jmfelder [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Karima Radwan holds a BA in History and Classics from UNC-Chapel Hill and, after taking a gap year in France to attend cooking school, she returned to Chapel Hill for her MA in Art History. At the Hanes Art center, she specialized in 18th and 19th century European art, with a focus on Orientalism. After completing graduate school in the USA, Karima traveled to London where she received a Postgraduate Certificate in Decorative Arts at Christie's through the University of Glasgow, and then continued on in London working at Christie's Auction house in the 20th century Decorative Arts Department. She also holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Sussex. Karima taught in UK for five years prior to joining the RCHS faculty in 2023. Originally from Raleigh, Karima has lived in many different places over the past twenty-five years including England, Romania, France, Nigeria, Washington DC and Sri Lanka. She is very happy to be back home!
kradwan [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Kenny Felder, graduated from Enloe High School, barely. He then went to UNC-Chapel Hill where, in a determined effort to avoid making up his mind, he wound up majoring in both English and Physics. After ten years in the software industry he joined RCHS in 1999, where he currently teaches math. He maintains a web page of papers on math and physics. He has four children.
kfelder [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Kevin Yang has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University in New Jersey. In addition to working as a tutor and teaching assistant for PreCalculus, he has interned in research at NASA.
kyang [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Kristine Chalifoux holds a BA in English from Arizona State University and the MFA from Columbia University. Before coming to North Carolina, she taught advanced literature and writing courses at DePaul University where she was the Associate Director of the Liberal Arts and Sciences Honors program.
kchalifoux [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Lisa Huddleston is the Principal of Raleigh Charter High School. She has worked at the school since 2001 and has served at various times in the roles of the Community Liaison, a mathematics teacher, and an Academic Dean. Lisa received the B.S. in electrical engineering from Rice University and the Master's of School Administration from North Carolina State University. She has previously taught math, computer science, and physics in McKinney, Texas.
lhuddleston [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Front Office Supervisor
Loretta Goldenberg joined the Raleigh Charter High School staff in summer 2022 to serve as the Front Office Supervisor. She comes to us from Gateway Charter School K-12 in Florida where she held a position as the Front Office Supervisor and Principal’s Secretary for over 10 years. She was responsible for the overall coordination of a broad range of responsibilities that allowed the organization to operate efficiently. She loves traveling and spending time with her family.
lgoldenberg [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Maggie Rasnick holds the BFA in Theatre from the University of Memphis and her MFA in Acting from the University of Florida. A professional actor and director, she is a member of Actor's Equity Association, Assitej, and the American Alliance of Theatre and Education. Her education and direction credits include numerous positions and productions in Orlando, Seattle, Gainesville, and Raleigh.
mrasnick [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Director of Development and Communications
Margaret Barnett holds a BA in Graphic Design from Loyola University New Orleans. As a 2008 RCHS graduate and proud Forever Phoenix, Margaret is honored to serve as Director of Development and Communications. She also enjoys serving as the school's alumni liaison. Prior to joining the staff at RCHS in 2017, Margaret worked as a graphic designer and marketing specialist for a local bank in Santa Cruz, California.
Mark Slattery served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala from 1985 to 1987 in the fisheries program. It was there that he learned Spanish and developed an appreciation for Hispanic/Latin culture. He has traveled extensively throughout Central America. He taught in Orange county for twelve years before coming to RCHS. He received the B.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston and teaching certification in Spanish in his hometown of Framingham, MA.
mslattery [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Mary Grimes received a MA in Slavic Linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1987. She graduated first in her college at the University of New Hampshire (her home state) with a dual major in Spanish and Russian. Mrs. Grimes has over fifteen years experience teaching ESL, Spanish and Russian in high schools and universities.
mgrimes [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Mike Rios holds the BA in English from Armstrong Atlantic State University. He has taught in high schools in North Carolina and Georgia.
marios [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Development & Communications Specialist
Mimi Tomei holds a BA in Media and Journalism and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the RCHS staff, Mimi interned at two local nonprofits and in state government, and served as a yearbook editor at both RCHS and UNC. A proud Forever Phoenix from the RCHS Class of 2016, Mimi returned to RCHS in 2020 and serves as RCHS' Development and Communications Specialist. In her spare time, Mimi enjoys reading, traveling, baking, and cheering on the Tar Heels.
mtomei [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Mitch Dyrdahl has a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and a MS in Environmental Engineering from UNC Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the faculty at RCHS, Mr. Dyrdahl taught math in Florida and Minnesota.
MDyrdahl [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Myles Robinson earned his BS degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and his MEd degree in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After several years as a patent examiner, Mr. Robinson shifted into higher education to become an academic advisor, first-year instructor, and program coordinator at universities in Washington, DC and in Raleigh. He now serves as a College Counselor at RCHS.
mrobinson [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Nina Foster holds a BA in Religion, Creative Writing, and Women's and Gender Studies from Wake Forest University as well as the MFA in Writing from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She is a 2011 Raleigh Charter alum and has worked as an Editorial Associate at Duke University Press.
nfoster [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Norma Pedersen holds a BA in Chemistry from Capital University and an MS degree in Biochemistry from NC State University where her research focused on hormone regulation of gene expression. She has taught Chemistry and Organic Chemistry at Wake Technical Community College, NC State University, and various high schools in the Raleigh-Durham area. She has also served as a Reader for the AP Chemistry exam.
npedersen [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Olivia Owens is from Lexington, NC. She holds a BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Prior to joining the RCHS faculty in 2023, Olivia taught at Wake Preparatory Academy and worked with elementary school students at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. She is passionate about wildlife conservation and education. Outside of school, Olivia enjoys reading novels, making art, and birding.
oowens [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Owen comes from a large family of teachers. His parents and six of his nine siblings are or were teachers, but he decided at first to become a lawyer. Owen earned a BA in English and African American Studies from the University of Notre Dame, where he was a four-year member of the varsity lacrosse team. He earned a JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Owen practiced law for twelve years and was a partner at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice (now known as Womble Bond Dickinson) before becoming a teacher. He earned his MAT from NC State University and has been teaching ever since. Along the way, Owen has also coached lacrosse for 15 seasons.
oasplundh [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Petra Martignoni received her teacher’s diploma from the State Teachers College in Bern/Switzerland. Additionally she majored in Philosophy and minored in German Literature at the University of Bern/Switzerland. Before moving to the USA, Mrs. Martignoni taught for several years and traveled extensively, mainly in Asia and Europe.
pmartignoni [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Director of Special Programs
Rachel Volpe has worked in education for over eighteen years. She has worked as a school counselor, mentor teacher, and teacher of exceptional children in grades K-12. In addition, she teaches college courses as part of a teacher licensure program.
rvolpe [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Rebecca Flammia comes to Raleigh Charter with a B.A. and M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from NC State University. After two years teaching Spanish to college students, she came to Raleigh Charter in 2011 and spent 10 years teaching Spanish here. She is excited to transition into the role of Interventionist. Rebecca enjoys spending time with her two young boys and husband Matt, running, reading, and supporting the NC State Wolfpack and Raleigh Charter Phoenix.
rhflammia [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Director of School Culture
Sarita McIver holds a BA in Art Therapy from Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI. Participating in college basketball, soccer, and softball, Sarita found herself most passionate about fine arts and athletics. She was formerly the Athletic Director at Carmen High School of Science and Technology. After spending six years as Raleigh Charter's Athletic Director, Sarita now serves as Director of School Culture.
smciver [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Scott Caudill earned a BS in Biology with an ecology emphasis from Baylor University and a BS in Science Education from North Carolina State University. He taught previously at Cary High School.
scaudill [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Sera Arcaro holds a BA in English (summa cum laude) and the MEd degree in secondary English Education from Ohio State University. As a Peace Corps volunteer, she taught English at a rural senior secondary school in Namibia for two years. She then moved to Dalian, China where she taught English to children and adults for a year, in addition to training new teachers. She returned to the U.S. and taught English for two years before joining the faculty at RCHS, where she now serves as an English teacher.
ssarcaro [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Shannon Hess holds a BA in Spanish from Eastern University BA and for a Masters in Spanish Language and Culture from the University of Salamanca Spain. She is originally from Pennsylvania but has called Raleigh home since 2014. Ms. Hess first fell in love with Spain during a semester abroad in 2009 and decided to move there after college. She taught English in a small town in central Spain and then later decided to pursue her masters degree in Salamanca. Ms. Hess says she loves to travel and hopes to visit all Spanish speaking countries one day. She also enjoys running, reading, and baking.
shess [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Shayne Klein has been a member of the RCHS faculty since its founding. She has taught AP United States History, Civics and Economics, World History, and Minority and Women's Studies. Before coming to RCHS, Ms. Klein taught at Friends' Central School outside Philadelphia and at Carrington Middle School in Durham. She holds the BA from Amherst College and the MAT from Duke University. Ms. Klein currently serves as Academic Dean.
sklein [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Singer Gianini holds a BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MA in English and American Literature from New York University. He has worked in education through companies in Raleigh and Brooklyn as an academic coach, college application advisor, and test prep tutor. He also previously worked as a TA in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UNC-CH. He is an alumnus of Raleigh Charter High School (Class of 2011).
sgianini [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Tom Ricci is a native of Putnam Valley, a small town in New York’s Hudson Valley. While an undergraduate at the University at Buffalo studying chemistry, he worked as a physics lab instructor, peer mentor, and tutor to NCAA athletes. Following graduation from Buffalo, he decided to pursue a master’s degree in Adolescent Education at Hunter College in New York City. Upon completion of the degree and a teacher licensure program, he moved to Raleigh and taught at Longleaf School of the Arts for eight years before joining the faculty at RCHS. Mr. Ricci believes strongly in the merit of the Oxford comma.
tricci [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Troy K. Weaver
Troy K. Weaver earned his undergraduate degree in Biology and Religion from Duke University, an MAT in Science Education from UNC-Chapel Hill, and is currently working on his Triangle-trifecta by completing a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision at NC State. He has taught all areas of science, but is most passionate about Biology, Chemistry, and Forensic Science. Mr. Weaver has taught in public schools, a juvenile detention center, and at several area independent schools, most recently at Cary Academy.
tkweaver [@] raleighcharterhs.org
Whit Hames has taught in Moriyama, Japan, at Eastern Wayne High School in Goldsboro, and at Southeast Raleigh High School, where he was division leader for science. He has a BS in Biology from Michigan State University and an MS in Biology from James Madison University.