Meet the TeachHouse Team

Jan Riggsbee

Co-Founder & Director 
Riggsbee

Jan Riggsbee is a Professor of the Practice in the Duke University Program in Education and founding director of Duke TeachHouse. As a senior member of the Education faculty, she has provided leadership to the department and university in various roles during her Duke career, including two terms as director and chair of the Program in Education, director of Duke’s Elementary Teacher Preparation Program, director of Knowledge in the Service of Society/Duke FOCUS Program, and faculty mentor for two Bass Connections teams. A seasoned educator, she has also served public and private educational institutions as an educational consultant, school administrator, and classroom teacher. Research interests focus on teacher growth and development, mentorship and coaching, school innovation, and community-based learning. Honors include the Trinity College Distinguished Teaching Award/Robert B. Cox Award and the David E. Paletz Award for Innovations in Teaching. 

 

Kristen Buckley 

Program Coordinator
Headshot

Kristen Buckley is the TeachHouse Program Coordinator. She is a former Durham Public Schools Kindergarten teacher and has over 15 years of experience both in the classroom teaching and in leading professional development for teachers. She has taught classes and workshops for children of all ages and adults of all teaching experience levels. Kristen has an undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology from Western Michigan University and a graduate degree in Creative and Innovative Education from Georgia State University. She loves working with students of all ages, and finds beginning teachers to be some of the hardest working people in education. 

 

Savannah Lee Windham

Innovation Fellow 2023-2024 
Education Staff Specialist with Duke TeachHouse 2020 - 2021
Windham

Savannah Windham is a National Board Certified Teacher with nearly ten years experience in the field of education. After receiving her BA in English from the University of Kansas, Savannah taught English abroad in Northern Spain with the Spanish Ministry of Education and cultivated her passion for working with young people. Teaching abroad inspired her to pursue her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Duke University, and upon graduation she joined Northern High School in Durham, North Carolina, where she taught for 5 years as an English Teacher working primarily with 9th and 11th grade students. She joined Duke TeachHouse in 2016 as a Resident Mentor Fellow and served as the program Education Staff Specialist from 2020 - 2021. Savannah currently works with the education non-profit Digital Promise as Associate Director of Learning Design.  

 

Kisha Daniels 

Community Partner Liaison 
Dr. Kisha Daniels

Kisha N. Daniels, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of the Practice and Director of the Secondary Teacher Preparation Program in Duke’s Program in Education. She teaches service-learning courses in the undergraduate and MAT programs, is a faculty affiliate of the Cook Center for racial equity, and is the Director of DukeEngage Chicago. She has worked extensively in the areas of teaching and learning with children, public school teachers, administrators, and university students for over 25 years. She holds a BA in elementary education, master’s degrees in school counseling and administration, a specialist certification in curriculum and instruction, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a teacher and administrator in large, urban school districts, she has devoted her research  to utilizing engaging curriculum that supports diverse learning styles and issues that impact diverse teacher recruitment and retention.  


 

Kelly Marsh

Kelly Marsh

TeachHouse Resident Fellow
Peer Coach 2023 - 2024

Kelly is a current TeachHouse Fellow teaching third grade at Club Boulevard Elementary School. Kelly attended Duke University from 2018-2022 and through her psychology and education courses developed a passion for education equity and a desire to be a teacher. During her student teaching internship with Duke's Elementary Teacher Preparation Program, she fell in love with her internship school and grade, and now teaches where she completed her internship. She loves living in Durham and working with her students.

 

Phillips

Galen Phillips

TeachHouse Resident Fellow
Peer Coach 2023 - 2024

Galen is a graduate of Duke's Master of Arts in Teaching Program and a social studies teacher at Durham's Southern School of Energy and Sustainability. He previously attended the University of Oregon, where he received a Bachelor's degree in history. Afterward, Galen joined the Peace Corps and worked in Ethiopia, where he taught English at the Birbirsa Secondary School.

 

Wood

Abigail Wood

TeachHouse Resident Fellow
Peer Coach 2023 - 2024

A native of Boise, Idaho, Abby moved to Durham in 2021 to join the TeachHouse Fellowship and to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Duke University. Prior to moving to Durham, Abby attended Boise State University and was engaged with the campus and greater community through several leadership roles. Abby is currently a second year teacher at Riverside High School. She teaches Civic Literacy, AP Government, and AVID. Her students created and operate two clubs on campus. The first, called Period Pirates, partnered with the North Carolina Diaper Bank in 2022 to provide free period products for Riverside students and families. Since then, the club has grown to over 20 members and has distributed over 1,200 products. The second club, Down by the River, meets monthly to go for group hikes along the Eno River where students are able to clean up trash, build community, and learn about outdoor etiquette. Last year, Abby was honored to receive Riverside’s Pirate Hero Award in recognition of her dedication to her students and Riverside community. 

 

Alejandra Gómez

TeachHouse Resident Fellow
Lead Peer Coach 2022 - 2023
Gomez

Alejandra Gomez graduated from Duke University in 2021 with her B.A. in Public Policy, Minor in Education, and Elementary Education Licensure (K-6). She is a second year TeachHouse Fellow, currently serving as a Lead Peer Coach, and a 7th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at Brogden Middle School. In 2021, Gomez was named Brogden’s Beginning Teacher of the Year and was recently appointed to the 2022-2023 Durham Public Schools Community Wellness and Safety Task Force. During her undergraduate career, she worked at a local education nonprofit in Ahmedabad, India, studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark and taught English at a school there, and has worked at Student U, a local Durham nonprofit. She is passionate about using an anti-racist and equity lens in her classroom, and hopes that all of her past, present, and future students feel empowered to become change makers in their communities.

 

Dorcas Gyekye 

TeachHouse Resident Fellow
Lead Peer Coach 2022 - 2023

Dorcas Yaa Yeboah Gyekye joined TeachHouse in 2020 and currently serves as a Lead Peer Coach. Gyekye graduated with a B.A. in Education Studies from Spelman College in 2020 and earned her Master of Arts in Teaching degree at Duke University in 2021. During her M.A.T. studies and work as a pre-service teacher in the Durham Public Schools, she was named a finalist for the North Carolina Student Teacher of the Year (2021) and was invited to join the first NC cohort of Social Studies educators to receive training in the Case Method Approach with Harvard Professor David Moss. Gyekye is currently a second-year social studies teacher at Durham’s Jordan High School where she teaches African American Studies, Civics and Economics, and US History. “It's important for me to introduce students' to the lives and stories of the people history so often leaves out. In order to truly understand society we must know history and we have to take the time to ask questions such as, "Whose perspective are we hearing? How would the story change if we looked through other lenses?"

 

Professional Growth and Development 

Katherine Jo

Katherine Jo Headshot

Katherine Jo is the Director of Program Development and Design with The Purpose Project at Duke University. In this role, she develops innovative courses, programs, and pedagogy that engage students at all levels of the university in exploring what it means to live a good life. In addition to working with TeachHouse, she leads Teaching on Purpose, a fellowship program that holistically prepares doctoral students for their future roles as educators of undergraduates, serves as a consultant and advisory board member of The Project on the Good Surgeon at Duke Medical School, and has taught first-year and senior seminars. Katherine is continually experimenting with ways to integrate intellectual exploration, ethical reflection, and personal connection through the learning communities she creates. She holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.A. in Philosophy of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Harvard University. Her scholarly interests include philosophies of liberal learning, pedagogy for ethical formation, and faculty vocational identity. She has previously worked in career development, undergraduate advising, and faculty development.

 

Alec Greenwald

Alec Greenwald Headshot

Alec Greenwald is currently the Associate Director for Strategic and Special Initiatives to the Dean of Academic Affairs in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University. He also leads the Southeast Regional Coalition for University-Assisted Community Schools (SRCUACS) in partnership with the North Carolina Community Schools Coalition.  Alec has been a public-school teacher, parent, researcher and activist for almost 20 years. He has helped to lead multiple interdisciplinary research initiatives with Duke and North Carolina Central University students through the Durham University-Assisted Community Schools Research Collective.

 

Holly Jordan 

Holly Jordan

Holly Jordan is a celebrated Durham educator who taught for 16 years at Durham’s Hillside High School, serving as an International Baccalaureate English teacher and advisor for the Hillside Gender and Sexuality Alliance. During her tenure at Hillside, she also mentored pre-service teachers for the Duke University Master of Arts in Teaching program. Recently, Holly joined Carolina Friends Upper School (Durham, NC) as a Language Arts teacher and advisor. Holly is a former chair of the Safe Schools North Carolina Board of Directors and currently leads professional development trainings for TeachHouse and other North Carolina educators about LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion, restorative and culturally responsive practices, and teacher health and well-being.

 

Toni Graves Williamson 

Toni Williamson

Toni Graves Williamson is a diversity practitioner and consultant, now serving as Director of Equity and Inclusion at Friends Select School in Philadelphia. She specializes in developing student leadership and programming for grades PK–12. Toni is a principal consultant of the Glasgow Group, a consortium of school educators that provides professional development and coaching to schools and other organizations, and co-director and facilitator for The Race Institute for K–12 Educators, a non-profit organization that provides a space for educators to do the deep personal work of understanding their racial identities. She is a contributing author to The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys and Teaching Beautiful Brilliant Black Girls. Her latest book co-authored with Ali Michael, White Fragility: Why Understanding Racism Can Be So Hard For White People - Adapted for Young Adults, is an adaptation of Dr. Robin DiAngelo’s best-selling book White Fragility and gives young adults the tools to ask questions, engage in dialogue, challenge their ways of thinking, and take action to create a more racially just world. Williamson holds a bachelor's degree from Duke University in Political Science and two master’s degrees in Education (UNC-Greensboro and Columbia University). Her focus of work with TeachHouse centers around racial identity and equity-based education in K-12 schools.

 

Cheryl Fuller 

Cheryl Fuller Headshot

Cheryl Fuller has worked in the field of education for over 39 years as a teacher, counselor, principal, professional development provider and education consultant. In addition to her educational degrees, she holds certifications and specializations in working with trauma informed practices, grief & loss and social/emotional learning. She works with families through the Circle of Security Parenting Program and Prepare/Enrich Couples Counseling. The release of her first book "Peace by Piece" bridges her professional work with her personal history of childhood physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The recent publication of her second book “Forward Facing for Educators: A Journey to Professional Resilience and Compassion Restoration” helps people dedicating their lives to education learn how to take care of themselves in a profound and successful way so they can continue to give to others while experiencing peace and joy in their own lives. It is Cheryl’s desire to use her experiences, educational knowledge and talents to help individuals, families, educators and groups find meaning in work and personal life that is grounded in a sense of peace, purpose and joy. She is working with TeachHouse Fellows to ensure they learn a life of balance in their service to others.

TeachHouse Team 2016 - 2021

Mike Chiang 

TeachHouse Work Study 2016 - 2018
Focus: Design, Photography, Graphics, and Information Technology
Chiang

As an undergraduate Economics major and Education minor at Duke University, Mike supported TeachHouse by photographing TeachHouse events and designing and creating media content such as an educational video series and annual report. Through his work with TeachHouse, Mike realized his passion for education which motivated his decision to enter the Duke Secondary Teacher Preparation Program. After completing the program, Mike entered the classroom in 2018 and currently teaches high school Social Studies in Baltimore, Maryland. 

 

 

Langley King Ellmann

Community Engagement & Partnership Liaison 2019 - 2021
Ellmann

A graduate of Duke’s Elementary Teacher Preparation Program, Langley Ellmann has taught in North Carolina public schools for five years. She also worked for two years in London, UK for an educational start-up, The Girls' Network, focused on providing non-academic mentoring and support to young women across the UK. After completing a Masters of Education Policy & Leadership from Harvard University, Langley has returned to Durham to support TeachHouse to strategically address key educational issues, position itself to scale and grow, and engage community members and partners to support educators and schools in new and innovative ways. 


Jacob Rubin

Undergraduate Innovation Fellow 2020 - 2021 
Rubin

Jacob is a senior at Duke completing a major in Computer Science along with minors in Education and Music. Through his time at Duke, Jacob has volunteered in the Durham Public School System and music-education non-profits Kidznotes and Walltown Children's Theater. As the TeachHouse Innovation Fellow, he has engineered the current TeachHouse website and is working to build an online forum of self-directed learners, enthusiasts, and professional educators. Believing that collaboration and communication are key to effective practice, Jacob aims to scale and grow TeachHouse as both an online presence and living-learning community.

 


Carter Zenke

Nechyba Innovation Fellow 2018 - 2020
Zenke

Carter joined TeachHouse in 2018 as the TeachHouse Innovation Fellow, guiding the launch of the house’s educational technology lab. He is now a master’s student in Technology, Innovation, and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he studies computing education, identity development, constructionism, and creativity. As co-founder of the CSbyUs lab, Carter collaborated with Durham educators to lead the development of North Carolina’s upcoming elementary computer science curriculum. A future computer science teacher, he intends to continue leading research from the classroom—bringing teacher and student voice to the implementation of policy. Carter is currently pursuing an EdM in Technology, Innovation, and Education at Harvard University.