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Wolf/NELA 2025


Wolf/NELA ’25 Cohort Fellows

Jonathan Anderson
Sponsoring District: Johnston

Jonathan Anderson earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA in 2002. He also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in History Education from East Carolina University in 2017. Jonathan also holds Masters degrees from UNC-Greensboro and Duke University in Education and Divinity. From 2017 to 2022 Jonathan was a Social Studies teacher at Gray’s Creek High School in Cumberland County. While at Gray’s Creek Jonathan taught American History 1 (Honors) and American History 2. Additionally, Jonathan was a faculty advisor for an extracurricular student organization – The Creek Christian Club. After five years of teaching in Cumberland County, Jonathan taught Civic Literacy and Civic Literacy Honors at Smithfield-Selma High School in Johnston County. He also served as the Civic Literacy Professional Learning Community Coordinator, and he offers instructional support in the Smithfield-Selma Evening Academy for students in an alternative learning format. Jonathan currently is a Social Studies teacher at Smithfield-Selma High School. He will be completing his Principal Residency at Riverwood Elementary School for the 2024-2025 school year. Jonathan can be reached at

Jason Bracey
Sponsoring District: Edgecombe

Jason Bracey earned his Bachelor of Science degree in History from East Carolina University in 2002. Over the past two decades, Jason has taught in multiple counties across eastern North Carolina, including Edgecombe, Wilson, Greene, and Nash. Jason is a passionate educator who has dedicated his career to promoting healthy lifestyles for students and staff in low income schools in NC. He has coached football, baseball, softball, basketball, and tennis, and has led his teams to many successful seasons. In 2015, Jason’s coaching expertise culminated in a football state championship win for 3A Rocky Mount High School. Jason currently serves as the digital literacy coach at SouthWest Edgecombe High School in Edgecombe County. Jason also coaches teachers on integrating technology into their lessons and supports them in developing digital literacy skills in students. He will be completing his Principal Residency at Coker-Wimberly Elementary School for the 2024-2025 school year. Jason can be reached at

Rachel Brackney
Sponsoring District: Edgecombe

Rachel Brackney earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Missouri. She was a 2015 Teach for America corps member and served her first three years in Bertie County. Rachel continued her teaching career in Edgecombe County where she currently serves as a Math 1 teacher at SouthWest Edgecombe High School. Throughout the years, she has served as the head of the science department, School Improvement Team representative, mentor teacher, athletic director, and softball coach. She will be completing her Principal Residency at Fairview Elementary and DS Johnson Elementary for the 2024-2025 school year. Rachel can be contacted at

Beth Brantley
Sponsoring District: Nash

Beth Brantley earned her bachelor’s degree with Honors in Elementary Education from East Carolina University with a concentration in science in 2015. She returned to East Carolina in 2019, to earn her Master’s Degree in Science Education. She began her teaching career in Pitt County where she taught kindergarten and fourth grade and served as a Key Beginning Teacher. Later, she moved to Nash County where she recently taught fifth grade, served as a member of the School Improvement Team, Grade Level Chair, and the head coach of the school’s girl’s basketball team. She was recognized as Nashville Elementary’s Teacher of the Year for the 2022-2023 school year. She has presented multiple years at the National Science Teacher Association Conference and attended the AGI/ExxonMobil Teacher Leadership Academy in Houston, Texas. She will be completing her Principal Residency at Red Oak Middle for the 2024-2025 school year. Beth can be reached at

Josh​ Clark​
Sponsoring District: Roanoke Rapids Graded School District

Josh Clark earned a bachelor’s degree from Liberty University in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security. Josh is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a 15-year veteran of law enforcement. While in law enforcement, he served as a field training officer, a member of the S.W.A.T. team, a criminal investigator, and a criminal justice instructor certified by the NC Justice Academy. Josh lived and worked in Afghanistan for two years training the Afghan National Police. In 2015, he began his career in public education working at Roanoke Rapids High School. He teaches public safety, law enforcement and emergency management courses in the Career & Technical Education department.  He has served on the school improvement team for three years and is the lead advisor of a successful SkillsUSA chapter.  Josh has served as an Educational Consultant for the Law & Public Safety Education Network, a national non-profit organization designed to support and provide resources law and public safety teachers across the US. In this capacity, he has written and published over 250 hours of curriculum and lesson plans that are being used nation-wide, as well as consulted on multiple national and international credentialing exams. He was elected President Elect in the NC Association for Career & Technical Education – Trade & Industrial Division for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.  Most recently, Josh has been nominated by his peers for the ACTE teacher of the year as well as the SkillsUSA Advisor of the Year. He is also a part-time EMT and has served as the Injury Management First Responder for the RRHS Athletics Department for 7 years. His passion outside the classroom is woodworking and camping. Josh and his wife, Mandy, have been married for 20 years and have three children. He will be completing his Principal Residency at Belmont Elementary School for the 2024-2025 school year. Josh can be reached at  

Laurie Farmer
Sponsoring District: Johnston

Laurie Evans Farmer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Spanish from the University of Mount Olive. She went on to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching from East Carolina University. In her 19th year in education, she currently serves as an International Baccalaureate English teacher at Smithfield-Selma High School in Johnston County where she leads the English II Professional Learning Community. She also serves as the site Depth of Knowledge Professional Development Facilitator and member of the School Improvement Team. She is heavily involved in extracurricular activities including coaching her school’s Quiz Bowl team and supporting the International Baccalaureate students in fundraising events and activities outside of school. Her most important goal as an educator is to help every student reach their full potential. She will be completing her Principal Residency at River Dell Elementary for the 2024-2025 school year. Laurie can be reached at

Andrew Lassiter​
Sponsoring District: Wayne

Andrew Lassiter graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from NC State University and his NCTeach Licensure from East Carolina University. He began his career as an educator at Goldsboro High School in 2018 as a lateral entry teacher. Andrew has taught English II, III, and IV, both standard and honors, as well as AP English Language and Composition. He serves as English Department Chair and an advisor for both Student Government and National Honors Society. He also serves on both the School Improvement Team and the MTSS team. For Wayne County, Andrew is the ELA Lead Teacher for High School as a facilitator for the district’s high school ELA teachers. He will be completing his Principal Residency at Goldsboro High School for the 2024-2025 school year. Andrew can be reached at

Marica Rawls
Sponsoring District: Johnston

Marica Rawls earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and a minor in Forensics from East Carolina University. She taught 7th and 8th grade science at Benson Middle School. In 2019, she had the opportunity to teach at her former high school, Clayton High, where she has been teaching Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Forensic Science. One of her favorite quotes from Marian Wright Edelman is “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” Marica believes that our students should be prepared for school and assists the Community Back to School Youth Explosion Committee, which distributes backpacks with school supplies. Marica readily volunteers to tutor students and conduct workshops throughout the community for agencies that serve students. She is passionate about assisting children in obtaining the best education possible. She has mentored many students as she challenges them to remain positive, to make good decisions, and to reach their highest potential. She will be completing her Principal Residency at Swift Creek Middle for the 2024-2025 school year. Marica can be reached at

Robyn Reynolds
Sponsoring District: Nash

Robyn Reynolds earned an Associate of Arts in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management from the University of Phoenix. She began her career in education as a substitute teacher and then became an instructional assistant in Nash County. She began teaching in 2014 as a lateral entry teacher with Wake County and attended East Carolina University. She currently holds a K-6 teaching license. Robyn taught kindergarten and first grade in Wake County from 2014-2020. During her time at Wake County, she served on the school improvement team, PBIS committee, and was a captain on the Emergency First Response team. She transferred to Nashville Elementary School in Nash County in 2020 where she currently teaches kindergarten, serves on the leadership team, and has served on the MTSS team. Robyn earned her NCReThink Education Facilitator’s Badge through NCCAT and NCDPI in January 2023. She will be completing her Principal Residency at Southern Nash High School for the 2024-2025 school year. Robyn can be reached at

Nicholas Rotenberry
Sponsoring District: Johnston

Nick Rotenberry earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Religious Studies with a minor in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduation, he worked for a non-profit summer camp organization as a camp director. Nick has taught the last four years as a second and fourth grade teacher at Polenta Elementary in Johnston County, where he has served as the grade level chair, SIT representative, and a MTSS grade level representative. In 2022, Nick was recognized as Polenta Elementary’s “Leading with Heart” recipient. He was also recognized as a Johnston County Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist in 2023. He has been actively involved in extracurricular activities such as coaching his school’s Battle of the Book’s team, serving as a teacher sponsor for First Priority club, and coaching a local wrestling club team. He will be completing his Principal Residency at McGees Crossroad Middle for the 2024-2025 school year. Nick can be reached at

Rhett Smith
Sponsoring District: Johnston

Rhett Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Science from NC State University and his teaching credentials through the NC Teach lateral entry program at East Carolina University. He began his teaching career in 2012 as a 7th grade science teacher at Smithfield Middle School in Johnston County, where he represented the science department on the school leadership team and served as an assistant football coach. From 2014-2019, Rhett taught 7th grade science at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington D.C. At Deal, he served as a team leader, a union representative on the School Chapter Advisory Committee, a tennis club advisor, and a wrestling coach. In May 2019, Rhett earned a Master of Education in Education Policy and Leadership from American University. After the birth of his son in 2019, Rhett and his wife returned to Smithfield, NC where he became the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program Coordinator at Smithfield-Selma High School in Johnston County School, where he is employed today. In this role, Rhett led the school through the candidacy process and achieved authorization to offer the MYP in 2022. He has served on the school’s leadership team and chaired various leadership initiatives. Rhett also teaches the Theory of Knowledge course to juniors, coaches the wrestling team, and sponsors the ultimate frisbee club. He will be completing his Principal Residency at Smithfield Middle School and Smithfield High School for the 2024-2025 school year. Rhett can be reached at