I have many fond memories of growing up in Durham County and Durham Public Schools. I absolutely loved school and playing sports at Oak Grove Athletic Association. As a youth, my days were filled with softball, volleyball, and basketball. I attended Oak Grove Elementary, Neal Jr. High, and Southern High School. I had many dedicated and loving teachers, coaches and principals that blessed my life.
I graduated from NCCU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, NC State with a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, and earned an add-on to my teaching license as a Science Specialist while at NC State. This is my 18th year with Durham Public Schools and my 16th year at Mangum. My teaching experience includes K-5 Computer, K-8 Introduction to Spanish, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 5th grade, 4th grade Science, and 5th grade Science. Currently, I teach 5th grade Science and absolutely LOVE it!
On a more personal note, I am married to my love, Neal Carpenter, a retired Captain with the City of Raleigh Fire Department. We have two wonderful children, Collin and Chloe, both of whom attended Mangum. Collin will graduate from NC State this fall with a business degree. Chloe will also graduate this year from high school with long term plans to either teach high school literature or work as a guidance counselor. We enjoy spending quality time together camping and skiing at Kerr Lake, relaxing at Myrtle Beach, as well as curling up to watch movies.
As a native of the Bahama Community, I was very proud when I had the opportunity of returning to Mangum as a teacher. I won't mention any dates, but a while back I was a student at Mangum. There aren't many people who can say the school in which they started their education is where they will end their teaching career! Spoiler alert: I have no plans to retire anytime in the future!
My career in teaching began in a most unusual way. For 14 years I was a full time employee at the Duke Homestead State Historic Site in Durham. During my years at the Homestead, my duties expanded to the point where I was hiring and monitoring the temporary staff and volunteers. A large portion of my work involved leading tours and developing educational programs for K-12 students. Time and time again, I would hear from visiting teachers, "You should be a teacher." After hearing this a few hundred times I did indeed decide to enter the world of public education.
To become a licensed teacher, I attended North Carolina Central University and completed my BA in Elementary Education with a concentration in history - imagine that! For many years I taught in Granville County and eventually made my way to Glenn Elementary here in Durham. Yes, that's where I met our former principal Karen Kellett - which is how I was able to return to Mangum!
I love working with English Language Arts and watching our students grow as readers and writers. Another part of the Mangum Experience I love is serving as the coordinator for the 5th grade trip to Washington, DC. Being a love of music, I especially enjoy working with Clair Hudzinski on the musical.
If I am not at school I'm either working in the yard or on the house. If I am out of town I'm most likely at the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer doing volunteer work. If you are not familiar with this museum please ask me about their exhibits and programs!
To me, I have the best job in the world! I appreciate being a part of a wonderful team and school community.
The 2022-2023 school year marks my 23rd year being part of the amazing Mangum Elementary School family! I graduated from Appalachian State University where I majored in Elementary Education and Psychology. I was fortunate to be hired at Mangum right after graduating, and have been here ever since! I taught third and fourth grade for a total of thirteen years. This year will be my tenth year teaching fifth grade (and this year I will also work with the fourth grade team as well)! The 4th and 5th grade teams departmentalize, so I get to focus on teaching my favorite subject--MATH!
I grew up in Orange County and currently reside there with my husband, my 16-year-old son (who attended Mangum K-5), our husky, leopard gecko, and flock of ducks!
I enjoy traveling all over the world, but most frequently, my family visits our state’s beautiful mountains and beaches. We like to fish, explore tourist attractions, or embark on something thrill-seeking like white water rafting or riding ATVs.
I love going to plays/musicals and various sporting events ranging from NFL games to my son’s lacrosse games. Although I stay busy with family and friends, I am also known to binge watch Prime and Netflix series and play board games for hours with my husband and son!
I am excited about this school year and look forward to getting to know my new students and their families!