Suzanne S. Sikes, PhD   

Contact Info:

phone: (919) 960-8353 ext 209

Welcome Back! 

This year will be my 13th year teaching at Woods Charter School. I look forward to the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for science with a new group of high school freshmen, and to sharing a milestone year with departing seniors in AP Biology. I will be advising seniors in the college application process again this year. From my perspective as a teacher of both 9th and 12th grade students, I often have the opportunity to appreciate significant student growth. As a teacher I hope that students will leave my class in awe of the natural world and how much remains to be discovered in their own lifetimes.

My interests in science are long-standing and have been the focus of a 15-year career in academic research. I earned my B.S. from Davidson College, MAT from Duke University, and PhD from Vanderbilt University. As a former scientist, I have studied the human brain, learning and memory, and neurodegenerative processes in pursuit of my graduate degree in Pharmacology. At Duke, I enjoyed teaching and mentoring high school students to complete research projects in Pharmacology and I enjoyed writing curricula for high school students as part of the Duke Center for Science Education and for the National Institute of Health (NIAAA). My research in both science and science education is published in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Chemical Education and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. My work with high school student research was recognized by the North Carolina Science Math and Technology Center where I mentored students as part of the Duke LEAP program. I have a continued interest in fostering research and writing skills to prepare students for 21st century careers in science and for informed decision-making in life. 

My combined teaching experience includes graduate, undergraduate (Duke) and high school students in formal and informal settings in both private and public schools. I am a National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Senior Scholar, a mentor for new Noyce teachers, a member of the first AP Biology Leadership Academy, and a UNC Climate Fellow, and served as a CDC Ambassador teacher. Each of the experiences and has led to new explorations in my own teaching practice. I am very proud to have facilitated the initiation of AP Capstone curriculum here at Woods, including AP Seminar and AP Research courses offered in the high school. Many of these experiences were funded in part by the Woods Foundation and teacher professional development funds. Recently, I earned an Outstanding Educator Award from Chicago University on nomination by one of our own Woods graduates. 

When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time outside with my family.

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