Meet Your Insight Teachers
Melissa Amoabeng, Science Instructor
Originally from Maryland, Melissa spent much of her youth engaging in environmental education in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Her passion for nature led her to study environmental science at UNC Chapel Hill where she went on to earn a Masters of Science in Public Health. After a year teaching English in France, Melissa returned to the Piedmont to spend two years teaching in school gardens with Guilford County Cooperative Extension 4-H. This experience led her to NC State University where she received a Masters in Horticultural Science while serving as a teaching assistant for eight college courses. In addition to six years of teaching experience, Melissa has professional skills in landscape design, ornamental horticulture, and sustainable agriculture. These days you can find her teaching and farming at the Durham Public Schools Hub Farm, engaging K-12 students in experiential learning outdoors.
Check out her website at https://melissaamoabeng.com/.
Contact: melissa (at) insightcolearning (dot) org
Current Courses: Botany
Michael Conner, Humanities Instructor
Michael Conner is a New Jersey native who moved to North Carolina in 2013 to attend Duke Divinity School. Since graduating in 2016, he has worked as a United Methodist pastor in rural Bahama and Rougemont, just up the road from Durham. For a few years, Mike facilitated a creative writing group for men on North Carolina’s Death Row in Raleigh, and that experience inspired him to find work integrating academic formation, justice, and compassion. For this reason, he is thrilled to join Insight as a humanities instructor.
Outside the classroom, Mike and his wife, Susannah, play music in the indie rock band, Hardworker. And to stay sane during the pandemic, Mike has been going back forth between birding at our local nature preserves and staying inside with his new Nintendo Switch.
Contact: michael.conner (at) insightcolearning (dot) org
Current Courses: Literature of the American South; American History: From Ice Age to Scorched Earth
Current Courses: Indigenous Science Fiction
Rebecca Coyne, ASL Instructor
Rebecca Ann Sampson Coyne is a Child Of Deaf Adult (CODA) whose first language is American Sign Language. She was born in Oklahoma and caught Poliomyelitis at the age of one in Jackson, Mississippi, leaving her partially paralyzed. She received a BA degree in Liberal Arts with a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University in 1977 and an MA from San Francisco State University in 1978 in Special Education, Communication Disorders: Deaf Education. She has taught at Berkeley School for the Deaf, Berkeley, CA; Central North Carolina School for the Deaf in Greensboro, NC; and Marlton School for the Deaf in Los Angeles California. She has been an interpreter for her entire life. She is RID (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf) certified and is also fluent in Spanish, can understand most things and communicate in Russian, and knows a little Japanese.
Contact: rebecca.coyne (at) insightcolearning (dot) org
Current Courses: American Sign Language I
Chrissy Nesbitt, Math Instructor
Chrissy started teaching immediately after graduating from Princeton University, and she’s been helping people learn ever since. As a former Montessori teacher in the public school system, she has unique experience in combining student-led discovery with standardized test prep. Chrissy loves radishes and daffodils, Ang Lee and Lu Xun. She can knit a Möbius strip and a pretty good approximation of a Klein bottle. When she’s not tutoring or working on her mini-homestead with her family, Chrissy can most often be found swimming in the Eno, paddling on Jordan Lake, or taking a road trip to visit friends.
Contact: chrissy.nesbitt (at) insightcolearning (dot) org
Current Courses: Math I, II, III, and Advanced Math
Kyle McQuillan, Spanish Instructor
Kyle McQuillan completed her undergraduate studies at William & Mary, where she received a B.A. in Hispanic Studies and minor in Biology. She is interested in contemporary Latin American literature and interdisciplinary approaches to cultural studies. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Spanish Language and Literature at UNC Chapel Hill.
Contact: kyle (at) insightcolearning (dot) org
Current Courses: Spanish II
Susan Haws, Executive Director
Susan started her career as a Teach for America Corps Member and middle school teacher in Donna, Texas. She went on to teach English and ESL in New Orleans, LA, and Wake County, NC. After observing first hand the persistent and complex barriers to well-being that her students faced, Susan found her way to the discipline of public health. Susan earned a Master of Public Health degree and a PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research has focused on a variety of topics, including health-promoting schools, teacher professional development, prevention of adolescent health risk behaviors, and youth mentoring. Susan and her family have lived in Durham since 2005. She led a grassroots effort to add a middle school to Central Park School for Children in downtown Durham in 2013 and 2014.
Contact: susan (at) insightcolearning (dot) org
Current Courses: Health and Social Justice