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A map of the Global Fellows home counties

Susan Azzu headshot Susan Azzu is beginning her 14th year of teaching, Ms. Susan Azzu is excited to keep learning. English as a Second Language (ESL) is her passion. She has taught elementary, middle, high school, and even adults. Working with students and their families from around the world makes her thrive. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys time with her husband, Palmer, her toddler, Banner, and her pup named Baxter.
Joann Blumenfeld under a sculpture Joann Blumenfeld has BA and MS degrees in Science and Engineering and is entering her 19th year with Wake County Public Schools, where she teaches STEM classes at Broughton High School. She is adviser to the M&M Club: Makers and Museums, where students have a maker space and teach visitors at the NC Museum of Natural Science. Joann is also Founder and Program Director of Catalyst: Creating Opportunities in STEM for Students with Disabilities, located at the Science House at North Carolina State University. The program serves students from 22 high schools in NC. She is proud of Catalyst participants who won the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Competition, the first ever team at MIT with all students with disabilities to win for their invention, a low cost mat that screens for lameness in cows with an App to notify farmers. They presented at MIT, were invited to the US Patent Office and received a letter of Commendation from President Obama. She has been a Kenan, NC Science Leadership and National Science Teacher Association Fellow and loves learning more to help her students. She has lived and worked overseas in Asia and the Middle East and loves to travel and spend time with her family. Joann is passionate about STEM and helping all learners be successful. She is excited to incorporate more global music into her classes and program and sees STEM and Arts going hand and hand!
Brock Gerrity headshot Brock Gerrity has just finished his 12th year teaching. Originally from Ohio, he received his undergraduate degree in middle level education with a focus on language arts and social studies and obtained his masters in education with a focus on curriculum, instruction and assessment. Currently he is teaching 8th grade language arts at Broad Creek Middle School in Carteret County NC. He has experience teaching 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Brock enjoys coaching track and having guitar club with his middle school students.
Erica Hefner Headshot
Erica Hefner is in her eighth year as director of orchestras at Northwest School of the Arts. She is in her sixteenth year teaching, and has spent fourteen of those years in CMS. Ms. Hefner teaches two high school ensembles, three middle school ensembles, and a one of a kind chamber music class, “Recital Seminar.” She maintains a collaborative relationship with the Charlotte Symphony and Charlotte Concerts, which brings students together with symphony musicians on a regular basis. In the spring of 2019, she was proud to present a masterwork, Calling All Dawns, with her colleagues who teach band, chorus, and piano. The performance involved almost 200 musicians, a collaboration between teachers and students, performing an hour long show based on the phases of life and how it’s a common thread among humanity. Ms. Hefner is thrilled to be in her third year as Camp Director of the Community School of the Arts Orchestra Camp. Erica also works with a professional development cadre in CMS to bring clinicians and workshops to area orchestra directors. She also performs as a freelance flutist, and serves as an adjudicator in the Carolinas. Before starting her career as a teacher, Erica received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from UNC Greensboro. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially being Mom to Jonas, 11, and Marley, 8. She enjoys trips to the beach and mountains, running, enjoying live music shows of various genres, and being scout mom and dance mom throughout the year.
William Jung Headshot William Jung is a Chinese and orchestra teacher in Wake County Schools. He holds a Bachelor of  Music degree in Music Education and a minor in Chinese from UNC Chapel Hill. In addition to teaching orchestra and Chinese, Will is also active in the field of marching bands. Before working in Wake County Schools, Will taught band and marching techniques in China and wrote the drill and music for all of his schools’ shows while he was there. He enjoys using his study of Asian folk and pop music as a catalyst to create engaging lessons and to arrange pieces for his students to perform in order to broaden their aural scope of music, which he has found much success in doing in his young career.
Rich Laws headshot Rick Laws is professor of History, Humanities and Religion at the Ashe Campus of Wilkes Community College. He holds a Doctorate in Ministry from Carolina Graduate School of Divinity and an undergraduate degree from Western Carolina University. He is director of Global Education and the Global Perspectives Scholars (GPS) program at Wilkes Community College. Taking students from his classes to visit Jewish Synagogues and Muslim Mosques, Rick focuses on bringing a global perspective to the classes he teaches. He has attended seminars on the Holocaust and on Islam and feels it is very important to introduce students to a global worldview.
Judith Porter headshot Judith Porter is an Instructor of Music at Gaston College where she teaches Music Appreciation and Intro to Jazz. An Ohio native, Ms. Porter earned a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA. In addition to classical music, Judith is a jazz pianist/singer who performs in the greater Charlotte area. Judith has toured as a pianist with national theater productions, accompanied dance classes, and has worked as on-camera talent and producer for numerous video productions. In her free time, Judith enjoys reading, home improvement projects and international travel.
Karen Richardson hiking Karen Richardson teaches middle school chorus at Durham Academy in Durham, NC, where she is also a seventh-grade advisor. Originally from Toronto, Karen earned her undergraduate degree in voice and music education in Canada, and recently completed a master’s degree in music at Colorado State University. Over more than two decades of teaching, she has been a Montessori classroom teacher at various age levels and has taught K–8 general music, choir, and ukulele. Karen believes that music is for everyone and that every child has the right to a good music education. She is excited to add more global perspectives to her students’ music education experiences through the Global Music Fellows Program. She loves to go to concerts, travel, read, garden, cook, and be outdoors—and she is attempting to hike all the peaks over 6000 feet in the North Carolina mountains.
Leslie Roberts headshot Leslie Roberts is in her 8th year as the general music teacher at
Weddington Hills Elementary School in Concord, North Carolina. As a product of Cabarrus County Schools, she strives to encourage the love of music in her students at the same school and in the same community where she gained her love of learning. Miss Roberts received her Bachelors in Music Education from the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University in 2010 and she helps lead her community as the president of the Piedmont North Carolina Chapter of AOSA (American Orff-Schulwerk Association) for the past 5 years.
Candace Williamson headshot Candace Williamson is entering her 10th year as Music Specialist at Park Road Montessori School, a magnet within the Charlotte Mecklenburg school system. In addition to teaching general music to students from Pre-K through 6th grade, Candace also leads two choirs, an instrument ensemble, and coordinates the schools cultural arts programming. Candace has served on the school’s leadership team (SLT) as well as the faculty advisory council (FAC). Candace is passionate about arts integration and directs theatrical productions each year with a team of arts specialists and classroom teachers that integrates the arts with the Montessori curriculum. When school is not in session Candace can be found in search of good food and good music around Charlotte with her family.
Glenice Woodard headshot Glenice Woodard is teaches English and Critical Thinking at Guilford Technical Community College where her classes all meet the criteria for the NC Global Scholars of Distinction Program. She returned to school after many years in the workforce, working for companies such as AT&T, American Express, and Wachovia Bank, to earn a BA from N.C. A&T State University and an MA from NC State. She came to GTCC through the FIT program and earned an Excellence in Teaching Award while still teaching as an adjunct. She also works with UNC-G’s Center for New North Carolinians, tutoring in the after school program for the elementary school level children of recent immigrants.
Katharine Zamarra headshot Katharine Zamarra is infuses global and arts-centered education into her 7th Grade English Language Arts classes at North Buncombe Middle School, in western North Carolina. She pursued the teaching profession after encountering an 18-hour Chinese opera that inspired her to move to China. After teaching and working in Asia for seven years–including two years in Thailand—Katharine returned to Asheville. She holds a Global Educator Digital Badge from NCDPI and has participated in a Fulbright-Hays Group Project to Oman and Zanzibar, a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar, and a Gilder Lehrman summer teacher seminar.