The Pathway to Practice NC team is made up of highly effective educators dedicated to ensuring our licensure candidates succeed and are supported.
Alison Winzeler, Ph.D.
Alternate Licensure Director
Dr. Winzeler is the alternative licensure director for NC State’s College of Education and director of Pathway to Practice NC. She has served as program director for NC TEACH, a face-to-face teacher preparation program. She is a former high school English teacher and most interested in innovative course design and delivery for new teacher preparation.
Diana Lys, Ed.D.
Assistant Dean for Educator Preparation and Accreditation
Dr. Lys leads educator preparation, program assessment and accreditation efforts at the UNC School of Education. She is a key partner in research linking teacher candidate performance data to graduate outcomes in the field, including student achievement scores and principal evaluations. Lys began her career as middle school teacher in rural North Carolina working with migrant youth and linguistically diverse students.
Erin Horne, Ph.D.
Dr. Horne is the Assistant Dean for Professional Education and Accreditation in the College of Education at NC State. Dr. Horne taught 5 years in Wake County Public Schools as a 4th grade teacher, where she was named Wake County’s First Year Teacher of the Year and earned National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist. Dr. Horne’s research interests include beginning teacher retention, new teacher induction, and program evaluation and accreditation.
Alternative Licensure Specialist
Rachel Stannard works as the Alternative Licensure Specialist at NC State with their Pathway to Practice NC and NC Teach programs and is a former Wake County teacher. She is working toward a master’s degree in higher education and has been part of research teams studying youth-led social justice movements and their perception of voting as an effective vehicle of change, as well as pre-service teachers’ dispositions on mathematics.
Caitlin M. Donovan
Caitlin Donovan is a doctoral student in the Teacher Education and Learning Sciences program at NC State whose research interests center on critical digital literacies, online writing communities, e-learning curriculum design, and teacher preparation. Donovan is a National Board Certified Teacher and taught in Durham Public Schools for eight years where her curriculum spanned English/Language Arts, Creative Writing, Social Studies, and Montessori practices.
Anna Hinden is a doctoral student in the Culture, Curriculum, and Teacher Education concentration at UNC-Chapel Hill. She taught math for six years and is currently a K-5 math coach with Durham Public Schools. Her research focuses on the intersection of math education and teacher and students’ feelings about math. Her interests include how teacher characteristics and school culture impact teacher and student motivation for learning, feelings about learning, and relationships that foster a positive learning environment.
Kelsie Yohe is a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development program at NC State. Her research interests include LGBTQIA+ representation in curriculum and how curricula as a reflection of self affects students’ mental health and motivation. She taught second grade in the Wake County Public School System for five years.
Julie Whetzel is a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership, Policy and Human Development program at NC State. Her research interests include school choice for students with disabilities and special education teacher retention. She has spent almost 20 years in N.C. public schools, serving as a special education teacher and administrator and as a consultant for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
Katie Peachey is a doctoral student in the Literacy and English Language Arts program at NC State University. She received her Master of Education in Literacy from Wilkes University. Before starting her Ph.D. program, Peachey taught middle school and high school English at a public school in Pennsylvania. Her research interests include authentic writing, social and emotional learning, and embodied literacy.
Lauryn DuPree is a doctoral student in the Culture, Curriculum, and Teacher Education concentration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior, she earned master’s degrees in elementary education and academically/intellectually gifted teaching. She taught for a decade in Wake County schools, teaching first, fourth, and fifth grades. Her research focuses on how teacher preparation programs provide authentic, social justice-centered coursework to promote racial equity. Her interests, more specifically, are using qualitative research methodologies to interrogate how students of education approach conversations and writings about race.
Teresa Outlaw is a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to joining Pathway to Practice NC, she served as a principal, senior administrator in special education services, principal intern, K-12 special educator, interventionist, and career and technical educator. Her research interests center on special education teacher preparation and retention, and the intersectionality of race and disability.
Stephanie Fiocca is a doctoral student in the department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences at NC State University. She has taught both formally in the elementary and middle school classroom and as an informal environmental educator. Her interests include bridging formal and informal education, supporting teachers in getting outdoors for learning, the importance of environmental education in the classroom, and getting kids in nature.
Callie Hammond is a doctoral student in the Literacy and English Language Arts program at NC State University. Prior to coming to NC State, she earned a Master of Education from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a middle school English teacher for 9 years in a variety of school settings: public, charter, and independent. Her research interests are centered on gendered responses to literature in the classroom, critical literacy theory, feminist literary criticism, and the continued refinement of the literary canon.
Audrey Hagopian is a doctoral student in the School Psychology program at UNC-Chapel Hill. She holds her Master of Science in Child Development and Education from the University of Oxford. Prior to joining Pathway to Practice NC, Hagopian served as a school principal, student support specialist, and elementary/middle school educator. Her research interests include teacher professional development, language development and learning, and fair assessment practices.
María Heysha Carrillo Carrasquillo is a third-year doctoral student in the Teacher Education and Learning Sciences program at North Carolina State University. Her research interests include critical pedagogies in community spaces, multilingual education, and teacher preparation. Currently, Heysha is a member of the Literacy and Community Initiative at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation. In this role, she works closely with historically marginalized youth, assisting them in amplifying their voices by providing tools and strategies for them to write and publish their counternarratives.
Before her doctoral studies, Heysha earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with minors in Italian and French from The University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras. She furthered her education by obtaining a Master of Education degree from the College of Education at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, specializing in Early Intervention and Family Studies. Heysha brings a wealth of practical experience to her academic pursuits, having served as a Certified Teacher in North Carolina and Puerto Rico. For nine years, she taught in a diverse range of educational settings, including rural and suburban public schools and independent schools. Her teaching experience spans various grade levels, from preschool to middle school.
Heysha’s academic journey is driven by a deep commitment to fostering inclusive and empowering educational environments. Through her research, teaching, and community engagement, she endeavors to make a meaningful impact on the field of education and contribute to the betterment of society.
Darren Williams is a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program at UNC-Chapel Hill. In addition to his role with Pathway to Practice NC, he currently serves as an Assistant Principal, and worked previously as a special education teacher at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. His research interests include leadership theory and educational equity.
Beth Poteat is a doctoral student in the Literacy and English Language Arts program at NC State University. She received her Master of Education in Middle Grades Literacy from Western Carolina University. Poteat is a National Board Certified Teacher and taught grades six, seven and eight in Western North Carolina for thirteen years. Her research interests are in teacher identity development, rural education, and how teachers are creating classroom spaces that affirm their LGBTQ+ students’ identities.
Heidi Coleman is a doctoral candidate at UNC-Chapel Hill in the School of Education, focusing on program evaluation and correctional education. She hopes to work with higher education in prison programs. Her current work centers the voices of returned citizens regarding their educational experiences while incarcerated, with a focus on how to improve access and uptake of educational opportunities for currently incarcerated individuals.
Heidi started her teaching career as a lateral entry teacher and understands the challenges that come with entering a classroom with little prior experience. She taught high school science for ten years in an alternative school and a prison. During this time, she also became Nationally Board Certified. She has worked with low-performing schools, designed professional development, worked with a large district central office, written science assessments, and served as an Einstein Fellow at NIH.
Heidi also serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the non-profit Our Journey, which supports newly released individuals on their journey to freedom. She enjoys DIY projects and has recently converted her storage shed into her writing room (learning what NOT to do along the way). She is also the neighborhood cat lady with four fur babies.
Mary Kathryn Oyaga is a first-year doctoral student in the Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis program at NC State University. Prior to starting the doctoral program and facilitator position with Pathway to Practice, MK served as a teacher and administrator in public schools in New York City and North Carolina for seven years. One of her favorite things about being an educator is coaching and supporting first-year teachers and watching their exponential growth. MK’s research interest is school integration and she hopes to study school diversity efforts in North Carolina such as Durham Public Schools’ 2024 Student Assignment Plan. MK lives in Durham and spends most of her time exploring the delicious food offerings, beautiful outdoor spots and eclectic art scene with her husband, son and pup.