Our Volunteers

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JANE CLAYTON

Instructor

Jane retired from Wake County Public Schools with 30 years as a teacher, career counselor, and assistant principal. 

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AILEEN RANDALL

Instructor, Steering Committee

Aileen has taught all grade levels in Wake and Orange counties, but she especially enjoys teaching fourth graders because they are very interested and fast learners.

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MICHAEL PFEFFER

Graphic Designer

Michael is helping by making logos, and creating original art to enhance our program goals and engage the public. Check out his portfolio.

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SANDY HEETER

Instructor

Sandy received her Masters in Social Work at NYU and much of her professional career has revolved around kids.

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LAURIE McDOWELL

Instructor

Laurie brings to the program her experience as an elementary school teacher.

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HELEN JONES

Instructor

Helen spent 36 years as a nurse, working with all age groups. She retired from UNC Hospitals in 2003.

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MARK SHEAR

Instructor

Mark taught middle school Sunday School for 40 years. He also coached youth soccer for 18 years. Also, he worked full-time in youth ministry for seven years.

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ALICIA NUNNALLY

Instructor

A lawyer by training, Alicia has been an active volunteer working with kids in the schools, Sunday School, and has volunteered with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences since 2012.

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SONJA WILLIAMS

Instructor, Artist

Sonja brings much experience working with both animals and kids to the program. She is a "semi-retired educator" who has taught biology and environmental science, math, and ESL to students from middle school to college.

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LINDA PATTISON

Instructor, Steering Committee Chair, Behind the scenes

Linda is a retired Spanish teacher. She  is the program leader and manages relationships with both volunteers and schools.  She also creates many of the educational materials.

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LEE PONTO

Behind the scenes

Lee does not teach in our program; however, what she does makes life so much easier for the instructors. Lee, reliably and very dedicatedly, helps with preparing all the materials to ready student folders, team boxes, instructor manuals, etc.

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NANCY BARRINGER

Instructor, Behind the scenes

Nancy ...

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JAMIE PARKER

Instructor

Jamie ...

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ALLISON BLANCHARD

Instructor, Blogger (Ed)

Allison works at a veterinary clinic in North Raleigh, and with the world renowned ophthalmology department at the NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Allison will be attending NCSU CVM in the fall.

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SHANNON COOLEY

Graphic Designer

Shannon created the graphics used in the Insights to Prevent Dog Bites spinner game and presentation file.

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HOLLIE GASPER

Instructor

Holly has a background in teaching young children. Hollie grew up with cats and dogs which came from the local pound. Hollie has fostered many WCAC dogs.

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BECKI ROHRBACH

Instructor

Becki as a former teacher brings much to the program. She enjoys sharing her love for animals with enthusiastic and engaged fourth graders.

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TRISH RAFFEL

Instructor

Trish has lots of experience in working for animals. She was one of the founding members of a charity called AnimalKind, providing low cost spay/neuter to targeted families in the Triangle.

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JAN MAXWELL

Instructor, Artist

Jan is a retired English teacher from Orlando, Florida. She enjoys pursuing painting and drawing her favorite subject: animals.

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DAWN FRIEDEL

Instructor, Steering Committee, Blogger (Faye & Scooter)

Dawn is an instructional designer, designing learning experiences. She brings expertise in website development, video and audio production, as well as learning experience design skills.

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JUDY AUSTIN

Instructor, Steering Committee

Judy taught first grade for 28 years in Wake and Pitt counties. She helped develop the Kids 4 Critters curriculum.

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CAROL REED

Instructor

Carol worked with Handi-Dogs in Tucson, AZ. She home-schooled her two children until fourth grade.

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BRITTANY SPRINKEL

Instructor

Brittany grew up with a cat and a dog. She has volunteered before as an after-school tutor and with Best Friends Animal Society and the ASPCA.

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JANICE FIRLING

Instructor, Blogger (Scooter)

Janice worked 40+ years as a Speech Pathologist in the schools, hospitals, and rehabilitation clinics. Her love of animals started very early as she was raised on a Kansas farm and had dogs, cats, chickens, sheep, horses, and cows.

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TAMARA VAN PALA

Instructor, Blogger (Faye)

Tamara is an attorney and Raleigh native. She has always been interested in public service and volunteer work, especially educating children. Tamara is also an animal lover.

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BETH TONELII

Instructor

Beth worked as a TA in the school system and then as a sign language interpreter. She also volunteers at her granschildren's school.

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GAIL COLES

Steering Committee

Gail does not teach in our program; however, she has made many invaluable contributions. She gives of her time behind the scenes in readying classroom materials, and in sharing her sweet therapy dog, Kyra, with fourth graders.

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RAMONA LEGGETT

Instructor

Ramona ...

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CINDY ROBERSTON

Instructor

Cindy comes with a background in teaching fourth grade.  She taught math.  

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JESSICA JACKSON

Graphic Designer

Jessica created the graphics used in the new version of the SAFETYO game.