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Ms. Laura Abraham
Laura Abraham is thrilled to be doing school differently at Hortons Creek Elementary in 2nd grade for the 3rd year - this year alongside her fabulous co-teacher Ms. Dougherty! Mrs. Abraham graduated from the University of Virginia (Go Hoos!) after studying Spanish, math, and of course, teaching. Although she went to school in Virginia, she grew up in NC and am is a proud product of NC public schools in K-12. In the classroom, she has teaching experience in both kindergarten and 2nd grade. She believes that students come to school with valuable stories to tell, strengths to share, and voices that deserve to be heard. She is on a journey to learn more about equity in her classroom, her school and the county. One of her favorite things about her job is that she has a front-row seat to the progress and development - social, emotional, academic - of the “future leaders” of the world. When not at school, you will find her with my husband, Josh, and their extended families and friends. They love to cook (and eat!), play games, and laugh together. On the weekends, she likes to watch football, bake, and explore new places. You can follow the goings-on of her classroom on Twitter @2ndgrAbraham. We’ll be #soaringin2nd this year!
Ms. Karen Ballard
Karen Ballard was born and raised in So. California and received her bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She followed up several years later with her masters from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. Ms. Ballard has taught in grades K-9 in Utah, California, Nevada, and New York. She moved to North Carolina in January 2018 and feels she has finally found her forever home and is delighted to be a part of the Hortons Creek family!
Ms. Audrey Chang
Audrey Chang comes from a family of educators. Both of Mrs. Chang’s parents were teachers in Korea. Three of her sisters are also teachers as well. While her parents gave her strong advice not to go into teaching, she has been drawn to the teaching profession. She loves being able to help and influence children to lay strong and positive foundations for their lives. She loves seeing magic happening when her students’ eyes light up and their demeanor changes. She feels incredibly lucky to work with children who are curious, but from whom she learns so much.
She started actively pursuing educational training in 1996 by interning full-time for two years while working on her Master’s in Education degree. Her first job landed her as a science teacher to middle schoolers for four years in Illinois. Then, she became a second grade teacher in Virginia. Then she got married to a pastor, and they have been on this journey exploring new states…MI, FL, VA, GA and now NC.
Most of her teaching experience has been with elementary students (about 15 years). She has taught a variety of subjects and grade levels, preK to 8th grade, including, PE, Spanish, computers to preschoolers, ESOL and intervention.
Ms. Marissa Dougherty
Marissa Dougherty is a recent transplant to the Triangle. She is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and moved to North Carolina in 2016 to start her teaching career. When she is not teaching, she loves spending time with her friends and family, reading, running, and hiking with her pup! This will be her fourth year teaching 2nd grade and she can't wait to do school differently!
Ms. Taylor Duhamel
Taylor Duhamel graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in Elementary Education. Ms. Duhamel grew up in Massachusetts and moved here after she graduated college. She loves supporting her favorite teams, the New England Patriots and Red Sox! She has been teaching elementary school for seven years and this will be her third year here at Hortons Creek! In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, taking her dog Toby for walks, and working out during the week. She is looking forward to another great year of learning, being innovative, and finding new ways to do things with her students! #hawksdoitdifferent
Ms. Corinne Nicoara
Corinne Nicoara has 20 years of experience as an educator. She has a Master's in Education and in addition to seven years of classroom teaching, Ms. Nicoara has been an education writer, curriculum designer, and child advocate. Ms. Nicoara has three children and is an engaged parent in the Hortons Creek community. This is her 2nd year teaching at Hortons Creek.
Ms. Nikki Parker
Nikki Parker is a Raleigh, NC native. Ms. Parker received a BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and received a BA in education from North Carolina Central University. This will be her fourth year teaching 2nd grade and she will be pursuing National Board Certification this school year!
Ms. Sarah Patterson
Sarah Patterson graduated in May 2017 with a Masters degree in Elementary Education from James Madison University. (GO DUKES!) Ms. Patterson grew up in Roanoke, VA and moved to the Cary area last summer. In her free time she loves hiking with her yellow lab Tucker, going to the beach, hanging out with her friends and cheering on the JMU Dukes! This will be her first year of teaching 1st grade at HCES, but 3rd year teaching at Hortons Creek. She is looking forward to another year of doing school differently and making learning fun for her students!
Ms. Ashlan Smith
Ashlan Smith graduated from California State University Chico in 2011. Since graduating Ms. Smith moved to Texas where she taught for 5 years before moving to North Carolina. She lives in Durham with her fiance and they enjoy doing anything outdoors, traveling and trying new restaurants. She is excited to be teaching 2nd grade this year at Hortons Creek. She looks forward to getting to know you and your child this school year. Let’s go Hawks!
Ms. Ashley White
Ashley White is so excited to return to Hortons Creek Elementary and can't wait to get to know my new class of kids! Ms. White grew up in Raleigh, NC and moved to Charlotte after graduating high school. She played soccer for Queens University of Charlotte and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. She has been teaching for the past 6 years in Charlotte until her husband’s job just moved them back to the Triangle this past spring.
They are so excited to be back and can't wait to see what life has in store for them this year!