Neil Austin

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Neil Austin

Mr. Austin is a 4th grade teacher at Bridges.

 

" My name is Neil Austin.  This is my third year at The Bridges Program and my third year teaching in North Carolina.  On top of being a special education teacher, I also have an MFA in Acting and lived in New York City for 10 years, acting and directing plays and sketch comedy.  While in New York I was a professional portrait photographer as my "day job".   I enjoy sports and played, soccer, football, basketball and track in high school.  I am very excited for this upcoming year and can't wait to get in the classroom with my kids."

 Kristi Cotsovites

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Kristi Cotsovites

Ms. Cotsovites is a Coordinating Teacher at Bridges.

 

"My name is Kristi Cotsovites and I am a coordinating teacher at Bridges.  I’m going into my 26th year at Bridges.  I am originally from Syracuse New York.  I enjoy reading, television, walking my dog, and traveling.   I look forward to another year at Bridges! "

 Alicia Gasparri

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Alicia Gasparri

Ms. Gasparri is a 2nd grade teacher at Bridges.

 

"I am originally from New Jersey, where I taught in an alternative school. I joined the Bridges' program in December of 2018, and am excited to begin another year at Bridges. Being a Special Education teacher is my dream job, I love being in the classroom, and learning new things with my students each day." 

 Pamela Jackson

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Pamela Jackson

Ms. Jackson is the Media Specialist at Bridges.

 

"I am a teacher-librarian passionate about teaching and learning, empowering students, and engaging communities. It is a privilege to serve our students at Bridges. I love music, art, theater, and visiting historical sites during my free time; but more importantly, I love helping others."

 Sheryl Jules

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Sheryl Jules

Ms. Jules is a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher at Bridges.

 

"I’ve been with the Bridges Program for a total of 12+ years, with a couple of breaks in between. After teaching out in the real world for a little while, I realized there really is “no place like home” and happily returned to the program to teach 2nd grade. I am entering my 6th year of teaching, and my 3rd year of teaching at the Bridges Program. I am fully invested in the work that I do, and truly believe that every child can be reached. When I’m not pouring everything I have into the kids that I serve, I can be found overindulging in sushi and hanging out with my husband and my two rescue pitbulls- Al Green and Dolly Parton."

 

Please click HERE to visit my class website.

I'm also on Twitter @talesfromrm210

 Laura Leighty

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Laura Leighty

 Ms.Leighty is a 3rd grade teacher at Bridges.

"My name is Laura Leighty. I have been teaching in North Carolina for a total of 10 years with this is my third year at Bridges. I am originally from North East Ohio, just south of Cleveland. My hobbies include Tang Soo Do, going to rock concerts, kayaking, and being a vegan. I look forward to my 3rd year with my Bridges family!"

 Cissy McKissick

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Cissy McKissick

Ms. McKissick is a math coach and intervention teacher at Bridges.

 

"I have taught for 31 years. I began teaching middle and high school students with autism in day school and residential programs. I've been with WCPSS since 1990, mostly with elementary schools. I joined Bridges in 2001 and I fee very grateful to work at such a unique school. I have an M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University, and an M. Ed In Special Education from North Carolina Central University. I am a National Board Certified teacher. In my free time, I enjoy practicing yoga, gardening, hiking, biking, and reading. I've even been known to share some yoga fun with our students!" 

 Amy Merritt

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Amy Merritt

Ms. Merritt is a Literacy Coach/Intervention teacher at Bridges.

 

"I began my education career with New Hanover County schools in Wilmington, North Carolina. After a brief hiatus from public education, I made my way to Raleigh and back into the public school system. After 13 years working with a wonderful staff at Aversboro Elementary, I made an exciting move to the Bridges Program. I love my role as a Literacy Coach as it allows me to assist teachers with the on-going endeavor of learning new, innovative ways to reach their students. Being an intervention teacher is equally rewarding because it gives me the opportunity to help students grow as both readers and writers."

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

 Beth Palmer

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Beth Palmer

Ms. Palmer is the art teacher at Bridges.

 

"I am starting my 3rd year at the Bridges Program. I have taught art for many years, working with students of all ages. I have a Master’s degree in Art Education and an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts. Art is a huge part of my life and I am passionate about sharing my love of art with our students. We have such creative students and staff, so I feel very fortunate to be a part of Bridges."

 Cassandra Powell

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Cassandra Powell

Ms. Powell is 5th  grade teacher at Bridges.

 

"Hi! My name is Cassandra Powell and I come to the Bridges Program with 30 years in a variety of teaching experiences in upper elementary and middle school grades. After successfully raising three wonderful children, I decided to enter a new season in my teaching career and am very excited to begin my second year at Bridges!  When it’s time to relax, I enjoy watching television or reading a good book surrounded by my 5 fur babies."

 Hannah Rhodes

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Hannah Rhodes

Ms.Rhodes teaches 4th grade at Bridges. 

 

"My name is Hannah Rhodes, and I'm a first-year teacher. I am so happy to be at Bridges because I truly believe that Bridges students can & will succeed! I moved to Raleigh over the summer from Erie, Pennsylvania, where it snows for nine months out of the year. I moved here with my husband, my cat, and our new puppy, Zuri! Besides the typical curriculum, I also love teaching Social Skills, Positive Problem-Solving, and Social Justice."

 Carol Ryder

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Carol Ryder

Ms. Ryder is the P.E. teacher at Bridges.

 

"My name is Carol Ryder. I come to the Bridges Program after teaching Physical Education in Wake County for 28 years. I love working at Bridges!"

 Danielle Starnes

Phone:

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Danielle Starnes

Ms. Starnes is a 5th grade teacher at Bridges.

 

"I am very excited to begin my 2nd year at Bridges! I taught for 13 years in Johnston County. When I'm not teaching I'm usually at home with my 2 dogs, Charlie and Chloe, and my cat, Margie."