DEEL Personnel

The Division of Educator Effectiveness and Leadership (DEEL) consist of 16 Pitt County Schools employees charged with facilitating the R3 (Recruit, Retain, Reward) Program to recruit, retain, and reward excellent educators to ensure success for every child every day. Click on the links for information on Thomas Feller and Seth Brown, the co-Directors for DEEL.

Courtney Adkins, Lateral Entry Support SpecialistAdkinsC

Over the last 18 years Courtney has served in many different facets in the education system. She began her career as a 4th grade lateral entry teacher. During the next 3 years she was able to complete her requirements for her elementary teaching license. Courtney served the next 10 years teaching various grade levels and subjects. She returned to ECU and earned a Masters Degree in elementary education and later a Supervision and Curriculum licensure add-on. With the addition of Instructional Coaches to Pitt County, Courtney applied and was offered the position at Ridgewood Elementary. She has maintained this position over the last 8 years. Courtney has worked closely with educators and administration to meet the ever changing needs and requirements for today’s classrooms. Courtney is truly excited to start this next chapter in her career as a Lateral Entry Specialist and is looking forward to this new position.

Jeff Bell, Career Pathway Specialist

FullSizeRender (1)Jeff Bell has worked in the field of education for the past 24 years as a high school science teacher and as a middle school instructional coach. His passion for collaborating with teachers began in 2006 when he was hired as a trainer with North Carolina Teacher Academy. Working with students and collaborating with teachers taught him a simple but powerful lesson: effective teachers accumulate strategies and resources over time and use student feedback to tailor their instruction. Every interaction with students or teachers is an opportunity to improve one’s craft.

Lauren Bowers, Teacher Leadership Coordinator

fullsizerender.jpgHaving grown up in a family full of educators, Lauren Bowers always knew that her future career would be in education. In high school, a Teaching Fellows Scholarship to East Carolina University solidified her plan to become a teacher. Lauren graduated in 2003 from ECU and began teaching middle school in Wilson County. It wasn’t long before Lauren longed to teach in her hometown of Greenville, and she luckily got a job teaching at C.M. Eppes Middle School. CME afforded her the opportunity to work with many excellent educators and take on a variety of leadership roles. After 9.5 years in classroom, Lauren decided to further her opportunities and attend Graduate School at ECU for School Administration. As a NC Principal Fellows, Lauren was able to complete a full-time Assistant Principal internship at Bethel Elementary School. After graduation, Lauren got a job as the Assistant Principal at Lakeforest Elementary School. For the past two years, Lauren has worked diligently with the staff, students, and parents of Lakeforest to create a positive and effective learning environment for all stakeholders. In her newest role, Lauren will serve Pitt County Schools as the Teacher Leadership Coordinator.

Cindi Brown, Beginning Teacher Coach


Cindi Branch Brown retired after teaching 29 years in the classroom. She taught math at Farmville Central High School and D H Conley High School. She also served as the Instructional Coach at Farmville Central High School for one year. Throughout her career in education she has served as SIT Chair, Math Department Chair, worked as a lead teacher with the Partnership In Math and Science Grant (PIMS) and served at the sponsor for the Beta Club. She has served as a clinical teacher for over 20 interns and she has also served as a mentor in her building. Cindi worked as an instructor with the ECU Summer Ventures in Math and Science for 25 summers, as well as working as a reviewer for the SVSM applications. Cindi graduated with a BS in Secondary Math from East Carolina University and is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher. Cindi serves as president of her local chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary organization for women educators. She has been a member of her local chapter, Alpha Nu, for 27 years. She has been active in Girl Scouts serving as a troop leader of 3 different troops for a span of 23 years while also serving on the local service unit board as well as chairing the cookie drive for several years. Cindi has two daughters and five grandchildren. She enjoys spending her time with her family and friends and traveling.

Patricia Clark, Beginning Teacher Coach


Pat Clark received her post secondary education from North Carolina Central University (Undergraduate) and East Carolina University (Masters and Certification in Administration and Supervision). Her professional career comprised of being a high school and elementary teacher, a district Resource Teacher/Parent Coordinator, an Assistant Principal and a Principal. Pat was the very first Pitt County Schools Teacher of the Year when she taught at Pactolus School and was inducted into the ECU Educator’s Hall of Fame in 2009. Upon retiring, Pat has stayed active in education by being employed part time as a University Supervisor (ECU), a District Evaluator (PCS) and a Teacher Quality Partnership Coach (partnership grant between ECU and PCS). Pat takes pride in being a continuous learner and a resource for educators at all levels. She seeks to stay active, and to keep current, in the profession as evidenced by her being an active member of an educational sorority (Delta Kappa Gamma Society International), and participating in various professional development opportunities. She strives to positively impact the profession in her role as a beginning teacher coach. As a Beginning Teacher coach, Pat recognizes the opportunity she has to guide novice teachers in their role as change agents in education by helping them to effectively manage their awesome tasks as teachers in their efforts to positively impact the leaders of the future.

Lori Collins, Teacher Support Coordinator


Lori Collins came to Pitt County Schools in 2013 as a teacher at AG Cox Middle School and later became an assistant principal at the school. She has worked with Beginning Teachers as well as has completed training in Community Leadership through East Carolina University. Currently she facilitates professional development for Science teachers throughout North Carolina through North Carolina Inquiry Collaboration Network using Science Technology Concept kits. Lori and her husband James love to go boating and fishing together. They both are involved in community service projects throughout Goldsboro, NC where they attend church. Lori enjoys planning activities for the Couples Ministry and working with the youth. Lori can often be found cooking, baking, and trying new recipes. Lori is a graduate of North Carolina State University. She obtained a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biochemistry and a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in Chemistry. After spending seven years in the pharmaceutical industry, Lori followed her true passion – education – and obtained her teaching certificate through NC Teach. After working as a therapist for a student with autism, she became a middle school science teacher in Johnston County. While there, Lori assumed roles such as grade level chair, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) advisor, lead mentor, and department chair. Due to her love for Science, Lori became a part of the Math Science Education Network, a STEM (Science Technology Education and Math) program at North Carolina State University, and wrote curriculum for middle schoolers. She was also a part of a partnership with NASA to create a three year summer space camp for students who may be first generation college students. Recognizing her leadership responsibilities throughout the school, Lori pursued a graduate degree, and in 2009 she graduated from ECU with a Master’s of School Administration and Curriculum Instructional. Lori continued to be a leader in Johnston County and was recognized as a finalist for teacher of the year. Continuing her leadership duties, Lori became Knights Academy Director (an after school program) that improved student achievement on End of Grade assessments for grades 6-8. She wrote curriculum for the county and became Site Coordinator for Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) which was funded by the Smithsonian Institute to improve STEM learning in K-12 classrooms. Lori receive training at WestEd in California, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency working with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad.

Jennifer Counterman, Teacher Leader Coach


Jennifer is a product of Pitt County Schools, having attended Sam D. Bundy Elementary, Farmville Junior High and Farmville Central High School. She began her career in Pitt County with two interim positions, one at JH Rose High and the other at North Pitt High School, where she taught health and physical education and coached varsity softball. Her first full time teaching position was at Grifton School where she taught fourth and fifth grade science, health and physical education, and sixth grade math. Three years later she was offered a position back home in Farmville at Farmville Middle School where she spent the next 26 years of her career as a Healthful Living Teacher, Athletic Director, Volleyball Coach and Intramural Coordinator. The last five years at FMS Jennifer served as the school’s Instructional Coach. After retirement Jennifer returned to work at her Alma Mater, East Carolina University, as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and supervised Senior II Interns in the College of Education. She has served on the Executive Board of NCAAHPERD as the President-Elect and President of the NC Association of Intramurals and Recreation. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from NCAIR and was honored as North Carolina’s Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year. Jennifer was also a recipient of Pitt County School’s Amy Carroll-Sherry Little Award and has presented at local, state, and national conventions. She received her B.S. and M. A. Ed. Degrees from East Carolina University and was a National Board Certified Teacher. She currently resides in Winterville, NC with her two precious ShihTzu’s Zoey and Emme. When she is not at work, you will find her with her family, playing golf, or at ECU athletic events.

Pam Justesen, Beginning Teacher Coach


After completing a 30 year career with Pitt County Schools (Farmville Middle, Elmhurst and G R Whitfield) teaching ELA, Math, Remediation and AIG, Pam returned to mentor beginning teachers in 2009. She is eager to continue the role of coach and consultant to newcomers to the profession as they learn their craft and become effective teachers.


Elizabeth Myers, Career Pathway Specialist

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Elizabeth Myers graduated as an NC Teaching Fellow from UNC-Asheville in 1999 and taught middle school in Buncombe County from 2000-2004. After teaching a year in Japan, she and her husband moved back home to Greenville, NC in 2006, and she has been employed with Pitt County Schools ever since. Elizabeth taught 6-8 ELA and Social Studies at both Ayden Middle and Wellcome Middle and was the Instructional Coach at Ayden Middle School from 2014-2017. Elizabeth was a member of the Teacher Leader Cohort from 2011-2013. She is a trainer for Thinking Maps, Write from the Beginning, and Learning Focused, and is proud to have been Slide Certified at the Ron Clark Academy! When not at work, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her husband, Jason, and two daughters, Lucy and Ellie.

Ashley Smith, Career Pathway Specialist

Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith comes to us with 25 years of experience in Pitt County Schools.  She has served as a teacher in kindergarten, first, and second grade classes, Reading Recovery, and worked as an Instructional Coach at Wintergreen Primary School.  Ashley worked with the North Carolina Teacher Academy on the Reading First Module which afforded her with opportunities to train with teachers all over the state.  She served as adjunct faculty at East Carolina University teaching courses to prospective teachers and with lateral entry programs.  Ashley conducted action research for the North Carolina Department of Instruction through the Governor’s Teacher Network and her results are published on NCDPI’s wiki page.  She also served as a Coach and facilitator for teachers conducting research with the North Carolina Action Research Network.  Ashley has three children who attended Pitt County Schools kindergarten through their graduation and she is honored to be working with the amazing educators in this community!

Donna Steele, Career Pathway Specialist


Donna comes to us with 25 years of experience in the classroom setting. She began her career in Hertford County where she taught 3rd grade for five years before moving to Pitt County. She began her new journey at WH Robinson where she taught 5th grade math and science for ten years before moving to AG Cox Middle School where she taught 6th grade math and science for nine years. She served as the school’s Instructional Coach her last year at AG Cox. Donna has been instrumental in creating Professional Learning Communities at AG Cox. She facilitated the math department where she helped teachers use data to guide their instruction. Donna conducted action research for the North Carolina Department of Instruction through The Governor’s Teacher Network. Her results are published on NCDPI’s wiki page. She looks forward to her new adventure working with facilitating teachers in Pitt County.

Kenisha Battle, Office & Payroll Manager


Kenisha has been with Pitt County Schools nearly 10 years, serving as the Secretary for Federal Programs and as the Data Manager at Wintergreen Intermediate School and Grifton School. She also has experience with community college education working with Pitt Community College in the Evening and Weekend program. She has been a member of Pitt County Association of Education Office Professionals (PCAEOP) since 2011 and is now serving as the president-elect.

Lynette Sutton, Administrative Assistant to the DEEL Directors & Finance Analyst


Lynette has served in various positions for PCS since 1999 starting as a Printing and Imaging Teacher at JHR. She moved to Bookkeeper/Secretary at Wintergreen Intermediate in 2003, where she worked until July 2015 when she started as Bookkeeper/Payroll Secretary of the Exceptional Children’s Department. Lynette is currently the Administrative Assistant to the DEEL Directors and Finance Analyst for the Division of Educator Effectiveness and Leadership. She has also been a member of NCAEOP since 2010 and is currently serving as Secretary for the local chapter.



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