About Cristo Rey » 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!


Tristan Hunter


Jenny Anglum, Social Studies Teacher 

Jenny has teaching experience in both public and private high schools and middle school, most recently teaching 8th grade U.S. History at St. Mary Magdalene in Apex where she has been a parishoner for 20 years and her 4 children attended.  She loves combining her faith and her work through Catholic Education, and turning her passion for History into engaging, dynamic and relevant lessons in which every student can find success. Outside of school you'll find her at the beach with her family, in her backyard with her chickens or on a triangle-area stage performing community theatre.

Valencia Bass, Assistant Corporate Work Study

My name is Valencia Bass. I graduated from Person High School in 2008. I then attended Winston Salem State University for a year and half before I transferred and then graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2013. I started my first teaching job in 2013. I taught seventh grade language arts for four years. Then, I taught sixth grade social studies for one year. I then decided to move up a grade and I started teaching ninth and tenth grade English I and II. I taught high school English for five years before deciding to move on to a different position within the education field. I also received my master’s degree in History with an emphasis on Education from Grand Canyon University in June of this year. I was born and raised in North Carolina and one of the main things that I love to do is to spend time with my son and loved ones. 

Tammy Chance, Biology Teacher

As the second oldest of nine children within a Catholic family, Tammy's vision for her future included a career in which she could assist others.  While in school at UNC-Chapel Hill, she was enlightened to building value in relationships that were supportive and contributed to her growth in character and knowledge.  After graduating from UNC in 1985 with a BS in Biology, she acquired a laboratory technician position with Roche Biomedical (now LABCORP) within there Allergy and Paternity Labs.  Feeling somewhat limited in her growth after 4 years in the lab, she obtained a teacher assistant position with a kindergarten class in Chapel Hill.  After much encouragement from parents of this class, Tammy decided to pursue a profession as a teacher and thus began a new mission and passion in her life.  She entered her first classroom as a Chemistry teacher in 1995, and since has taught Physical Science, Earth Science, Biology, IB Biology and Forensics; she started Forensics programs at 3 different high schools within Durham Public Schools.  She obtained her MSA (Masters in School Administration) from NC State University in 2008.  Tammy has a true passion for teaching and strives to raise the rigor for students while building relationships that include leadership skills and character growth. Her primary goal is to make children feel safe to learn and to enjoy how science is such an integral part of their daily life, as well as present the diverse fields of scientific careers related to their personal interests.

Diana Delgado, Admissions Assistant
Diana Delgado was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Diana joined our team in March 2022 as an Admissions Assistant. She has a professional background in different environments such as university, pharmaceutical, biotech, and non-organization entities. She possesses a bachelor’s degree as an Administrative Assistant from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico with a Cum Laude Honor. Diana will be performing administrative and clerical duties in Admissions to support Cristo Rey RT High School operations. She is honored to be part of the Cristo Rey RT High School, collaborating with the mission of delivering a career-focused, college-preparatory education for the students and families with a platform of Christian values and a commitment to professional development and success in their lives.


Rosalie Dembrowski


Rosalie Dembowski, Founding English Teacher/Intructional Coach/9th Grade Team Leader

Rosalie Dembowski was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland before moving to San Diego, California in 2018. Rosalie received her bachelors 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.

David Eberlin, History Teacher

After years attending and teaching in Catholic education, David is excited to return to the Church and the mission of the Cristo Rey Network. David graduated from University of Illinois, with a degree in History and secondary education.  David broadened his horizons teaching abroad in Vietnam for one year and in California for the past ten.  While in California, David continued his passion for life-long learning by completing coursework at the University of California in San Diego.  It was through Catholic education that he met his wife and is now a proud father of two girls.  David has spent most of his teaching career in the middle school years and is excited to reach students at the high school level.  In David’s classroom, you will find students working collaboratively, asking thoughtful questions, and having authentic discussions connecting the past to the present.  When he’s not in the classroom, you might find David exploring his new surroundings in the Research Triangle area.  He is open to any food recommendations!

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, Assistant Principal

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.

Keianna Matthews, College Counselor

Keianna Matthews was born and raised in Prince Georges County, Maryland before moving to Cincinnati, OH where she received her bachelor's degree in Psychology and her Master's in Education degree from Xavier University.  She has more than 15 years of experience in College Admissions, having worked on both sides of the desk, at both the university level, and more recently as a College Counselor for independent schools.  Keianna and her family relocated to North Carolina in 2015, she is thrilled to be working at a Cristo Rey Network school again, after serving as the Founding Director of Enrollment for DePaul Cristo Rey High School (Cincinnati, OH).  She is looking forward to working with the CRRTHS students through their college discernment process.  

David McDonald, Math Teacher

Mr. McDonald is a Math Teacher with over five years of experience working with students. He currently teaches Math 1 and 3. His teaching philosophy is centered around reducing fear and anxiety around mathematics. As a new resident to the Raleigh/Durham area, Mr. McDonald has found outdoor hiking and college sports (Track & Field, Football, Basketball) to be amongst his favorite things to do in the area. Mr. McDonald is a powerful force in the classroom and uses his positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage students to work hard and succeed. Favorite quote: "Life is measurable. Quantify your life" -Unknown  

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!

Mary Margaret Mills-Thomason,  History/ELA Teacher
Mary Margaret Mills-Thomason is an NC native, spending the last seven years teaching in Durham Public Schools. Mary Margaret has a B.A. in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill and a MAT from Duke University. Mary Margaret is a National Board Certified Teacher. She completed the Duke University TeachHouse Fellowship in 2017 and Stanford University Hollyhock Fellowship in 2018. Currently, Mary Margaret is earning her ED.D. from UNC-Greensboro. Her dissertation is focusing on culturally responsive social studies curriculum standards. Mary Margaret's joy being in the classroom stems from Catholic Social Teaching. She sees teaching history as a way to inspire solidarity, peace, and justice, which aligns with Cristo Rey's mission. When not "doing school" as a teacher or student, Mary Margaret loves traveling (she's been to all 50 states!), swimming, playing tennis, and loving her pups (2 rescues and almost always some foster dogs from Saving Grace).

 Coach Tie


Tyrone Robinson, Soccer Coach

Tyrone Robinson aka Tie was born in New Jersey and raised in Durham, NC. “Coach Tie” brings 18 years of experience in guiding, mentoring, and coaching young athletes.
In 2006, Tie attended Fayetteville State University where he played Division II basketball. After college, he continued in recreational sports and stepped into senior/leadership coaching of various sports such as Head Coach for Raleigh Recreational League girls’ soccer, Lowe’s Grove Middle School boys’ basketball and recreational coaching for middle school to adult tennis. Coach Tie serves as the head soccer, basketball coach and PE/Health Educator at Cristo Rey. Passionate about mentoring athletes of various ages, Coach Tie strives to build sustainable training habits in athletes/students through confidence building practices, conditioning drills, team comradery and creating practice plans that challenge and provide proper instruction. Focusing on communication, unity and encouragement, Coach Tie, uses team goals and objectives to cultivate a strong work ethic. 

Juan Pablo Valero, Theology Teacher

Catholic education and the empowerment of the youth are two things in which Mr. Valero has dedicated his life as Cathequist and Educator, within the Diocese of Raleigh, and the Archdiocese of Cartagena. He graduated from "Universidad Santo Tomas" (St. Thomas Aquinas University) in Bogota, Colombia back in 2019 with a Double Licentiate in Philosophy and Religious Studies. He started working at "Colegio Seminario" (Seminary High School) in Cartagena, Colombia in 2017, where he taught 10th and 11th grade Philosophy and Religion. In 2018, Mr. Valero joined "Colegio La Concepcion" (Immaculate Conception School) in Turbaco, Colombia where he taught Philosophy, Social Studies, and Religion in Middle School and High School. Since 2012 he has worked as a theology teacher at "Instituto EMAUS"(EMMAUS Institute, Catholic Theological Center for the Laity) in Cartagena, giving courses on the Synoptic Gospels and the Book of Revelations. His ability to talk about faith-related topics and explain them through science and academic expertise are two skills that put his spiritual care into practice to create a more human and justice society. Two of the most important goals at Cristo Rey and Juan Pablo's philosophy. 

Dr. William J. Villalba, Spanish Teacher

William J. Villalba was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He received his undergraduate degree in Arts with a focus on Music from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. William earned his M.A. in Spanish from Emory University and his doctorate in Spanish American Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has taught in various universities in North Carolina and strongly believes in student centered instruction, always striving to incorporate novel ways to maintain a lively and interactive classroom environment, while allowing students to be involved and take charge of their learning. William is excited to bring his passion for teaching Spanish to the Cristo Rey community in an endeavor to combine his enthusiasm for language learning with his love of the Catholic faith and education. 

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.