Yellowstone Institute: Meet the Team 2019

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2019 Yellowstone Institute Participants

Kali Beach
Agriculture Teacher, Hyde County
Mattamuskeet Early College High School

Reading, Hunting, Outdoor recreation, music, traveling
Looking forward to: I’m looking forward to seeing the sheer wonder of Yellowstone. I’m also excited about collaborating with other teachers to learn how I can be a better educator for my students. The “world” they live in is so small compared to what is out there.

Kristen Davenport
7th and 8th Grade Science
E.B. Frink Middle School, Lenoir County
Hobbies: Fishing, spending time with family and my fur babies, being outside, and going to the beach.
Looking forward to: The greatest adventure I am looking forward to at Yellowstone is the beauty I know it holds.  From the animals to nature itself, I think the views will be breathtaking and something that will remain with me forever.

Katie Edwards
First grade teacher
Evergreen Community Charter School, Bumcombe County
Hobbies: hiking, kayaking, swimming, gardening, traveling
Looking forward to: I am looking forward to being on a super volcano and seeing the earth in action! The landscape, I know, will take my breath away. I would also love to see wolves, and am excited to be fully immersed in Yellowstone.

Baleigh Fisher
Science Teacher
South Columbus High School, Columbus County
Hobbies: playing outdoors and going to the beach with my four year old son
Looking forward to: I am looking forward to seeing the beautiful scenic views and learning about Yellowstone. I am so excited to experience all of the things that I teach my students.

Angie Fleming
Middle School Teacher
North Rowan Middle School, Rowan County
Hobbies: Hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, reading, learning
Looking forward to: I want to experience our amazing natural world and bring these experiences back to my classroom, school, and community, and bring them to life. I want to challenge my students to discover knowledge, to experience our incredible world, and to become major change agents.

Caroline Harris
Biology Teacher
North Edgecombe High School, Edgecombe County
Hobbies: Hiking, Yoga, Reading, Binge-Watching Netflix
Looking forward to: I am looking forward to the experience of merging two things I love in life–teaching and the outdoors! I’m excited to experience Yellowstone as I reflect more on my teaching process.

Denise Humphries
Assistant Principal
Chinquapin Elementary, Duplin County
Hobbies: I enjoy reading, spending time at the beach, camping, and spending time with my family.  My favorite adventures involve experiencing new things and checking items off my bucket list.
Looking forward to: This will be my first time visiting Yellowstone.  Before applying, I read some of the blogs of previous attendees and can’t wait to see many of the sights that were described there such as Old Faithful. Viewing wildlife while the sun rises/sets is sure to be a highlight of the trip.  I’m also excited to be with other like-minded educators and share in this experience with them.  I feel that this trip will offer so much more than I could ever do on my own considering the wealth of knowledge and experience that will be shared with us.

Mandie Kendall
1st grade teacher
New City Christian School, Bumcombe County
Hobbies: I enjoy reading at coffee shops, hiking, and pottery.
Looking forward to: Getting to adventure with a group of teachers.

Casey Knowles
Social Studies Teacher
Duplin Early College High School, Duplin County
Hobbies: Hiking, Camping, Hunting, Traveling, Small-scale farming
Looking forward to: I look forward to interacting with the park on a level that explores beyond the normal park goer’s visit.  I am excited about observing the wildlife and learning first-hand about their natural habitat.  It has been a goal of mine to see these animals since I was a child! Mostly, I look forward to meeting other educators that seek the same adventure as me to bring back to their classrooms!

Emily Nelson
Science Teacher
Greene Central High School, Greene County
Hobbies: Traveling, reading, playing and coaching sports, and going to the gym.
Looking forward to: I’m incredibly excited to witness the diversity of wildlife that Yellowstone has. It is truly a wonder and the sheer experience is something that many may not be able to come in contact with themselves.

Michele Owens
4th Grade Teacher
Ben D. Quinn Elementary, Craven County
Hobbies: Reading, Biking, riding bikes, swimming, paddle boarding, arts and crafts with my daughter, boating, traveling to lax games.
Looking forward to: I am looking forward to getting to know other educators around our state. It will be exciting to see Yellowstone up close and personal, as I have never traveled to Yellowstone.  I am super excited about hiking and being outdoors.

Johnny Reinhold
7th Grade Science
Chowan Middle School, Chowan County
Hobbies: Long distance running, backpacking, surfing, and coaching (wrestling and track).
Looking forward to: Part of the reason I became an educator is because of my fascination with the natural world. I cannot wait to explore our nation’s first natural park and experience the plethora of animals, plants, and geographic features that the park holds! I hope to learn all I can from my experiences in the park and expand my knowledge, then bring those experiences back into my classroom to inspire my students to be as fascinated by nature as I am.


Museum Staff Leaders

Megan Davis
Teacher Education Specialist
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Wake County
Hobbies: jogging and biking along the greenways, gardening, cooking and baking, hiking and backpacking in new places, spending time with friends and family
Looking forward to: Among so many other things, I look forward to the grins of delight and wide, bright eyes of our educators as we witness the wildlife spectacles that truly define Yellowstone–as our vehicle is surrounded by a snorting, fuzzy bison herd as they cross the road, the spine-tingling low howls of wolves before dawn, the massive shoulders of the mighty grizzly bear. I hope we can see all the geysers erupting and be amazed and inspired by the geothermal forces beneath us! I can’t wait to share all the wonders of our first National Park with our NC educators!

Christy Flint
Head, Investigate Labs
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Wake
Hobbies: hiking, reading, traveling, spending time with family
Looking forward to: Looking forward to: Immersing myself in the landscapes and nature of Yellowstone. Sharing the excitement of early morning wildlife viewing with fellow educators.

Chris Goforth
Head, Citizen Science
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Wake County
Hobbies: photography, blogging/writing, printmaking, cooking really complicated things, camping, reading, and learning new things.
Looking forward to: Returning to places in Yellowstone I love, experiencing Yellowstone with people who are going for the first time, seeing wildlife and thermal features, learning new things about the National Parks and the people in the group