Meet the Team
Kristine Hansen —firstname.lastname@example.org — Website — Twitter
Ms. Hansen: I love teaching fourth grade and love fourth graders! I am from Ottawa, Canada originally. I have been teaching in Wake County since 2008 and taught in Nash County previously. I love being a White Oak Explorer! As graduates of East Carolina University, my husband and I are big Pirate fans. We also root for the Francis Marion University Patriots where our daughter plays volleyball. Alyssa is a senior nursing major. Our boys (Robbie and Joey) are 18 and 15. Robbie is a freshman at Wake Tech and Joey is a sophomore at Apex High. We love visiting our cottage by the sea and traveling together when volleyball and baseball schedules allow. My students inspire me daily and I look forward to working with each of you!
Degrees/Certifications: BS-Elementary Education, M-TESL, Google I Certification
Ms. Shirsekar: I am Sujata Shirsekar, the lucky teacher of iExplorers. I have worked in the WCPSS system for 17 years. I have two wonderful children, one has graduated from NC State and the other is a senior at State. We are a Wolfpack family! We love to travel and explore different places, restaurants and foods. I am very passionate about teaching. My students become my second family. Together we spend almost 180 days together and truly become part of each other’s lives. Looking forward to an amazing year with the children!!
Degrees/Certifications: BA in Accounting and Economics, Bombay University, India. BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Governors University, Utah
Mrs. Lillis: I live in Apex with my husband Kevin, daughter Ryan (17), and son Kevin (14). I am originally from Long Island, NY. However, I moved to NC twenty-three years ago. When I moved to NC, I was a police officer with the City of Raleigh for about three years. Then I decided to change careers and have been teaching for 20 years, all of which have been in 5th grade. I am excited to be a White Oak Explorer this year, joining the 4th grade team! I look forward to working with everyone to make this an amazing year.
Degrees/Certifications: Master's Degree in Elementary Education from Campbell University, Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from State University of New York at Brockport, National Board Certified Teacher Middle Childhood Generalist
Ms. Eriksson: Hi everyone! My name is Maddie Eriksson and I am so excited to be teaching fourth grade for the second year at White Oak! I grew up in Cary and attended all Wake County Public Schools until I went to North Carolina State University. Go pack! After graduation, I taught in the Czech Republic for two years. I have dual citizenship in America and Sweden and use those passports to travel as much as I can. I have a 70 pound goofball Goldendoodle named Nellie Bean and the cutest niece in the world. I truly believe my students can teach me just as much as I can teach them, so I can't wait to learn together!
Degrees/Certifications: BS Elementary Education with a STEM Concentration, Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certification
Sarah Bankert —email@example.com — Twitter
Ms. Bankert: I am excited to be starting my 13th year of teaching and returning to 4th grade! I grew up just a few minutes down the road in Apex. I attended all WCPSS schools as a child: Apex Elementary, Apex Middle, and Apex High School! Go Cougars! Upon graduation from high school, I attended Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. One reason I chose ASU was for the cold winters. I LOVE snow! I will be the first one outside when the snow starts to fall. I first worked for three years in Chatham County Schools as a 1st grade teacher. After my first semester teaching, I enrolled at Meredith College to earn my Masters degree in Elementary Education while continuing to teach first grade. Following my years in first grade, I taught 4th and 5th grade in Morrisville for four years, and most recently five years in 5th grade here at White Oak.
When not at school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, especially my niece and nephew! I love day trips to the beach, relaxing at the pool, or visiting the lake.
I look forward to meeting all of you and having a fantastic year in 4th grade!
Degrees/Certifications: Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Math, Science, and Technology from Appalachian State University. Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Meredith College. Google Level 1 & 2 Certified Educator
Sara Guthrie — firstname.lastname@example.org — Webiste - Twitter
Ms. Guthrie: Hi there! My name is Sara Guthrie and I am so excited to join the fourth grade team at White Oak! I am originally from Greenville, South Carolina and graduated from Clemson University in 2018. Go Tigers! After working in the business world for a year, I quickly realized that education is my passion. I then obtained my Master's in Elementary Education from Liberty University. I moved to Raleigh after my fiancé accepted a job here in early 2021. We enjoy traveling and spending time at the beach. I look forward to building positive relationships with each of my students & learning together! We are going to have a fantastic year!
Degrees/Certifications: Master of Arts in Teaching: Elementary Education from Liberty University & B.S. in Marketing from Clemson University