New School Year Will Bring New Faces to DA Faculty and Staff

Willie Barfield, Security Officer

Barfield recently retired from the Durham Police Department after serving more than 17 years. He spent his first five and a half years working uniform patrol and his last 12 years as a domestic violence investigator. He studied political science at Fayetteville State University.

Christopher Briggs, Dean of College Counseling

Briggs earned a B.A. in philosophy from Elon University and an M.S. in social foundations of education from Georgia State University, and he is currently a second-year Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development doctoral student at N.C. State University. Briggs has more than a decade of experience as a college admissions officer, including work at Georgia Institute of Technology, Mercer University and most recently Duke University.

Jennifer Christman, School Store Manager

Christman holds a B.S. in sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a certified home staging professional. She has more than 20 years of experience in customer service, including as a department manager at General Store of Minnetonka in Minnesota. Since 2015, Christman has worked as an interior decorating consultant and home stager through her business Simple Expressions.

Angie Duty, Fourth-Grade Teaching Assistant

Duty graduated magna cum laude from N.C. Central University with a B.S. in elementary education. Long a part of the DA community as a parent volunteer and faculty member, she worked as a virtual assistant for first and second grade and a substitute teacher in the 2020–2021 school year, and she previously served as a second-grade teaching assistant.

Elisabeth Effron, Upper School Visual Arts Teacher

Effron graduated cum laude from Miami University in Ohio with a B.F.A.; she holds an M.F.A. from the University of Michigan; and she has studied at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies. A working studio artist, her artwork has been exhibited internationally. Effron has 15 years of teaching experience including at Temple Beth Or Religious School and the Art Institute, as well as through her own studio, Raleigh-based Anchorlight Studios.

Forrest Hinton, Upper School Math Teacher

Hinton earned a B.S. in mathematics education and graduated summa cum laude from N.C. State University. He also holds an Ed.M. in education policy from Harvard University. He has taught at N.C. School of Science and Mathematics since 2015 and previously taught at Rutgers Preparatory School in New Jersey and in the Duke Talent Identification Program.

Dr. Uma Mahajan, Upper School Science Teacher

Mahajan earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in microbiology and biochemistry (respectively) from the University of Mumbai in India and holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from Clemson University. She has 12 years of teaching experience at the university and high school level, most recently at Green Charter School, where she taught a variety of science courses and led the GENIUS Olympiad team.

Liz McClelland, Third-Grade Teaching Assistant

McClelland holds a B.A. in biology from Davidson College, a certificate of media studies from Emerson College and an M.A. from San Francisco State University. She is a familiar face at DA, having served in various part-time and parent volunteer roles since 2018, most recently as a second-grade assistant and a member of the Extended Day staff. McClelland previously served as an education coordinator at San Francisco State University.

Dr. Angela Meyer, Upper School Physics Teacher and Advisor

Meyer earned a B.S. from Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as an M.S. in physics and Ph.D. in astronomy from Georgia State University. Since 2014, she has taught physics and astronomy at Culver Academies in Indiana. Meyer previously served as a professor of physics at Florida Gulf Coast University, where she researched and taught physics and astronomy.

Lauren Miller, Fourth-Grade Teaching Assistant

Miller earned a B.A. in music and her AIG licensure from Duke University, and she holds an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from N.C. State University. She previously served as a substitute and interim first-grade teacher at DA; as a second-grade teacher at Hope Valley Elementary School; and as a service learning assistant with Duke University Program in Education. Miller has been a frequent DA parent volunteer.

Roger Peña, Middle School History Teacher

Peña holds a B.A. in political science from Syracuse University and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction and youth leadership from Lesley University. He is a Master of Library and Information Science student at UNC-Greensboro. Peña most recently served as a bilingual family liaison with Orange County Schools and has taught history and social studies at the Franciscan School, Cedar Ridge High School and A.L. Stanback Middle School.

Stephanie Pollard, Middle School Math Teacher

Pollard earned a B.A. in history from Davidson College, an M.A.T. in elementary education from Queens University of Charlotte and her AIG licensure from UNC-Charlotte. A familiar face at DA, she previously served as a DA third-grade teacher for five years. Pollard has also taught at Forest View Elementary School and at public schools in Albemarle and Blowing Rock.

Emily Pyron, Lower School Math Specialist

Pyron holds a B.S. in elementary education from UNC-Greensboro and an M.A. with a focus on elementary school math from Hunter College. She most recently served as a math teacher at The Gateway School in New York and previously taught second grade at schools in Greensboro and New York — including at Citizens of the World Charter School Williamsburg, where she modified and implemented the Bridges in Mathematics curriculum.

Alexandra Sencer, Interim Upper School History Teacher

Sencer earned a B.A. from Florida State University, a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law and an Executive Leadership Certificate from Cornell University. She most recently served as head of Upper School at Louisville Collegiate School in Kentucky. Sencer has also taught and led speech and debate programs at schools including Cary Academy and The Collegiate School in New York and founded the Dogwood Speech and Debate League.

Amy Stanbury, Middle School Math Teacher and Advisor

Stanbury holds a B.A. in public policy studies and economics from Duke University; she completed graduate-level coursework at the University of Texas at Dallas; and she is working toward a Master of Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas. She has taught math at St. Mark’s School of Texas since 2006 and has experience teaching math at three other Texas middle schools.

Anderson Stewart, Middle School Spanish Teacher and Advisor

Stewart holds a B.A. in Spanish from The Citadel and an M.A. in Hispanic studies from Middlebury College. He has also completed coursework toward a Ph.D. in Hispanic studies at the University of Kentucky. Stewart has taught Spanish at Palmer Trinity School in Miami since 2014 and previously taught at Virginia Episcopal School.

Mallory Vaccaro, Interim Middle School Math Teacher and Advisor

Vaccaro holds a B.S. in business administration and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Southern Maine, and she has studied at Tufts University’s Poincaré Institute. Vaccaro most recently taught math at Wakefield Middle School and Sterling Montessori Academy and Charter School in Wake County and has taught at several other middle schools in Maine and North Carolina.

Sarah Washington, Upper School Math Teacher and Advisor

Washington earned a B.S. in math with a concentration in secondary education and an M.A. in secondary education, both from the Catholic University of America. She most recently taught high school math at Gonzaga College High School, where she served as an assistant boys lacrosse coach.

Alyson Wilson, Preschool Teaching Assistant

Wilson holds a B.S. in exercise and sports science from UNC-Greensboro and an M.A.T. with a focus on physical education from the University of Northern Colorado. She served as an interim PE teacher at DA Preschool in spring 2021 and has taught PE at the kindergarten to high school level at schools in Florida and Colorado.

New Roles

In addition to the new faces that are to join the DA community this fall, several current faculty and staff members will take on new roles in the 2021–2022 school year:

Anna Edwards, First-Grade Teaching Assistant

Edwards, who has been a third-grade teaching assistant since 2018, will serve as a first-grade teaching assistant beginning this fall. She previously taught at Hill Learning Center and was a second-grade lead teacher at DA.

Edie Evans ’16, Upper School Learning Support Coach and Third-Grade Teaching Assistant

Evans, a 2016 DA graduate, joined the DA faculty in 2020 as a third-grade teaching assistant in Amanda Dolan’s class. Adding to that part-time role this year will be a second part-time role, Upper School learning support coach. Prior to joining the school-year faculty, Evans worked for many years with Durham Academy Summer.

Tyrone Gould, Upper School Dean of Students and Math Teacher

Gould, previously Middle School assistant director and math teacher, will now serve as a dean of students at the Upper School, where he will also teach math. Gould joined the DA faculty in 2014, and in the years since has served as a team leader, diversity coordinator and clubs coordinator at the Middle School. He is also head coach of the varsity baseball team and assistant coach of the JV boys basketball team.

Victoria Muradi, Director of Strategic Initiatives

Muradi, DA’s longest-serving director of Enrollment Management, moves into a new role as director of strategic initiatives. She will retain some roles on the Enrollment Management team while partnering more actively with other departments and organizations in and beyond DA. Muradi’s service on the national board of the Enrollment Management Association has given her access to the strongest thinkers and most interesting issues facing independent schools. Her experience working across all four of DA’s divisions in her 14 years at the school will be influential in shaping DA’s future. DA’s Administrative Team is busy applying lessons learned from the pandemic, refining the strategic plan, preparing for the next phase of the capital campaign and shepherding campus construction projects. Muradi’s work will include: strategic planning; institutional research; strategic enrollment management; diversity, equity and engagement; and recruitment and retention efforts related to the DA family and student experience. Muradi will serve as the primary administrative liaison to the DA Parents Association.

Kemi Nonez, Director of Enrollment Management

Nonez joined the Enrollment Management team in 2009. In her time at DA, she has served in a variety of capacities, including admissions counselor, associate director of Enrollment Management and director of Diversity, Equity and Engagement. In July, Nonez’s primary responsibilities will be overseeing admissions as director of Enrollment Management. She has helped streamline the financial aid process while ensuring DA is financially accessible for more families looking to enroll. In 2019, Nonez was awarded The Rising Star Award by the Enrollment Management Association (EMA) and has written articles for their publication, The Yield. She is a founding member of EMA’s People of Color Committee. Beyond the school’s institutional and admission-related goals, Nonez looks forward to continuing to onboard new mission-aligned students and families.

Elizabeth Parry ’13, Kindergarten Teacher

Parry, a 2013 DA graduate who joined the DA faculty in 2020 as a kindergarten teaching assistant with Sloan Nuernberger’s class, will serve as lead teacher of a kindergarten class beginning this fall. She previously taught in the Asheboro City Schools.