About Cristo Rey » Founding Faculty

Founding Faculty

Elizabeth Adams

Elizabeth Adams, Founding Theology Teacher
The mission of the Cristo Rey Network and the value of a Catholic education is near to Elizabeth’s heart. Growing up in the small New England town of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, Ms. Adam attended Catholic school from kindergarten through graduate school. She graduated from St. John’s University in Queens, New York in 2018 with a BA in Theology and a minor in Social Justice Theory. Immediately following graduation, she joined the Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers (PACT) program at Providence College where she earned her Master’s degree in Secondary Education in May of 2020 while teaching full-time. Elizabeth has been teaching 9th and 11th grade Religion for the past year at Cristo Rey Brooklyn in New York and before that, she taught 11th and 12th grade Religion for two years at Notre Dame Cristo Rey in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Elizabeth has a passion for teaching others about Catholic Social Teaching and the importance of fighting for justice and equality. Outside of school, you can usually find Ms. Adam spending her spare time spoiling her two cats, reading the newest YA novels, and running a small online store of her crafts. While making the move from NYC to North Carolina to be a part of the founding faculty at Cristo Rey Research Triangle High School will be a big change, Elizabeth cannot wait to become a member of the community and get to know the students and staff!

Alexia Ali, Founding School Counselor

Alexia Ali, Founding School Counselor

Ms. Ali is the founding school counselor at Cristo Rey Research High School in Durham, North Carolina. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. in School Counseling from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Ms. Ali is a licensed K-12 School Counselor who was previously a middle school counselor and looking forward to beginning a new journey at the high school level. For the past eight years Ms. Ali has worked with school aged youth in some capacity from one on one tutoring, servant leadership through the CDF Freedom School Program, to school counseling. She uses a solution focused framework for individual as well as small group social-emotional counseling. Ms. Ali is excited to join the team at Cristo Rey Research High School because of the core values of respect, care, commitment, responsibility, faith and justice that are the foundation of the school community. From the onset of her career in school counseling, Ms. Ali has focused on the wholistic development of students incorporating leadership roles in academic support, career and college readiness, and social and emotional learning to assist students on their paths to success. She is honored to serve as the founding school counselor and is looking forward to meeting the students and families in the Fall!


Rosalie Dembrowski


Rosalie Dembowski, Founding English Teacher

Rosalie Dembowski was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland before moving to San Diego, California in 2018. Rosalie received her bac degree in English from Washington College and her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of San Diego. Over the last eight years, Rosalie has experienced teaching high school English in private and public schools. She has taken on various leadership roles within her school, most recently as the faculty advisor for the Racial Awareness Student Listening Group on campus.  She is extremely excited to settle down in Durham and join the Cristo Rey Research Triangle high school community, as the mission of the school is perfectly aligned with her own. She takes a student-centered approach and makes it her priority to support each individual student in her classroom. She hopes to share her love for reading and writing and the importance of finding their own voice with her students. When she is not in the classroom, Rosalie loves time with her family and rescue poodle, Ozzie, spending time outdoors, and reading.

Bryan Edney
Bryan Edney, Founding Science Teacher
Bryan Edney has taught just about every grade in K-12 and has always appreciated the challenge and joys of providing instruction in Science and/or Math. “Mr Edney” received his B.A. from La Salle University and M.A in Education, Curriculum and Instruction from California State University. He has worked for more than a decade providing instructional support for underrepresented schools, districts, and non-profit organizations. Edney has been a tireless advocate for student achievement in environments that promote educational equity and culturally responsive teaching. He is honored to serve as the founding science teacher and is looking forward to working collaboratively with Cristo Rey Research Triangle High School students and families.
Maria Fulford
Maria Fulford, Founding Administrative Assistant
Maria Fulford believes in the value of a Catholic education.  Maria has been an active member in both the St. Thomas More church community and school, where her husband is principal and their four children attend. Mrs. Fulford comes to Cristo Rey RT High School with a solid background in executive support since 2007 with the State of Florida Public Defenders Office.  In her free time, Maria enjoys spending time with her family.  She looks forward to the mission of Cristo Rey realized here in the triangle.

Mike Glenn


Mike Glenn, Founding Dean of School Culture

Mr. Glenn is a 15-year veteran teacher and coach with a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction. In his capacity as a school leader, he developed and implemented a 21st-century curriculum, mentored and supported teachers, oversaw after-school programs, and helped establish a safe and open learning environment in which all students could succeed.  He is committed to ensuring every member of the learning community is valued for their uniqueness and diversity while still being held accountable to themselves and the other members of their learning community. He is excited to serve as the founding Dean of School Culture and is looking forward to welcoming students and families in the Fall.



Tristan Hunter


Tristan Hunter, Founding Social Studies Teacher and Instructional Coach

Tristan Hunter currently serves as a High School English Teacher and Teacher Leader at Rocky Mount Preparatory School in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Tristan received his Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education from East Carolina University and his Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas. Over the course of his four years of teaching, Tristan has taught History for one year and English for the other three years. He also has experience teaching on both a middle school and high school level. Tristan was awarded Beginning Teacher of the Year after his first year of teaching. He is currently working toward his Doctor of Education from the University of Phoenix where he is studying educational leadership. His areas of research and interests include Trauma-Informed Educational Settings, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, Curriculum/School Reform, Interdisciplinary teaching, and supporting beginning teachers. Tristan is extremely excited to be joining the Cristo Rey family for the 2021-22 school year!


Angelique Jackson, Founding Corporate Work Study Program Coordinator

She obtained her BA in English Creative Writing from Chowan University in 2017.  For the past four years she taught 3rd grade Reading in NC Title 1 Charter Schools. With her background in the educational realm and having a determined passion to assist school-age students, she developed programs designed for underserved kids.  This includes her targeted curriculum through her own tutoring program, working tirelessly to bridge the gap for students 3rd grade through undergrad in Reading Foundations, and cultivating social equity opportunities. Angelique is concurrently working on her MEd in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Educational Leadership at Southern New Hampshire University. She is excited to mix her educational and administrative background together while continuing to demonstrate the love of Christ as she fills the position of Founding Corporate Work Study Program Coordinator.

Founding Physical Education


Chris Kenan, Founding Physical Education/Health Teacher/Athletic Director

Coach Kenan comes to Cristo Rey RT High School from Durham Public Schools, where he spent the last 10 years working in various roles. Born and raised in Durham, Coach Kenan has a passion for this community, specifically for the youth. Coach Kenan believes sports and athletics are fun and healthy ways to prepare youth for real world challenges; an integral part of child growth and development. Although Coach has had a lot of success on the playing fields, both playing and coaching, he is most proud of the young people whose lives he has changed, saving them from going down the wrong path. Coach Kenan holds a Physical Education Degree from North Carolina Central University. At NCCU, Coach Kenan met his now wife, Tangela Kenan, and they now have 3 beautiful kids; Christian, Christopher II, Chrisette.

Jaclyn Volpe


Jaclyn Volpe, Founding Math Teacher

Jaclyn Volpe is the founding math faculty member for Cristo Rey Research Triangle High School.  Jaclyn has classroom teaching experience from preschool through high school in multiple states and believes the most important resource for an educator are genuine, positive, and supportive relationships with students and families. She lives in Chapel Hill with her family and is very excited to begin her tenure with the CRRTHS community.

James McPherson

James McPherson, Director of Business Operations, CFO

James McPherson has served in either business development or as a founding executive in a variety of educational, online, media and technology ventures, including The Avalon Education Group, ZipTreat, Carolina Science Online, and Thought Delivery Systems, Inc.

James is a Fulbright Scholar who specialized in Leadership and Institutional Goals in Homer’s Iliad at the Université de Lausanne, in Lausanne, Switzerland.  He holds an M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a B.A. in Classics with Honors from Johns Hopkins University, where he lettered in soccer and basketball.  

His two sons have become avid golfers growing up in North Carolina and James is trying to catch up!