Meet the Administrative Team
Principal: Matthew Hickson
Mr. Hickson was previously a DPS teacher and school leader at Neal Middle School and Hillside High School before becoming the DPS Director of Online Learning during the 2020 school year. He has a Masters Degree in School Administration from NC State and was formerly the DPS Beginning Teacher of the Year. He serves on the Board of Directors for the DPS Foundation and Student U Durham as well as national Digital Promise Learner Variability Project advisory board. In his free time he enjoys fishing and cheering on the Buffalo Bills. Mr. Hickson can’t wait to serve our students and staff in Ignite!
Asst. Principal: Dianna Robinson
Ms. Robinson has been a DPS teacher at Southern High School and a School Leader at Creekside Elementary. At Southern, she was a CTE teacher and taught students in all grade levels. In her role at Creekside, she became a leader in managing online learning for K-5 teachers and students. She received her MSA from UNC Chapel Hill and has a young future Durham student.
MS. Watson has nearly two decades of experience as a teacher and MTSS Coordinator. She also recently served as testing coordinator at Neal Middle School.
Ms. Harrell has been a school counselor for seven years in DPS and Chapel Hill Carrboro Public Schools. She has her Masters Degree from UNC Chapel Hill.
Ms. Dean has been the E-Learning Coordinator in DPS for three years. She has 20 years of teaching experience and a Masters in School Counseling.
Meet the Elementary Team
Alexandra Hurdle - K
Ms. Hurdle is coming from Morehead Montessori, where she was the AIG Specialist. She is a former DPS Beginning Teacher of the Year.
Ms. D'Meza- 1st Grade
Ms. D'Meza taught for 15 years at EK Powe and has received her Masters in Education Technology from NC Central.
Ms. Ebony - 2nd Grade
Ms. Ebony has taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades at Southwest Elementary School. She is a graduate of NC Central.
Ms. Davis - 2nd Grade
Ms. Davis is a former Teaching and Learning coach and lead teacher across Durham Public Schools.
Ms. Gaisie - 3rd Grade
Ms. Gaisie is an 18th year teacher with her AIG licensure from Duke University. She is an NC Central Graduate and is joining Ignite from Southwest Elementary.
Ms. Millien- 3rd Grade
Mrs. Millien has over 20 years experience in K-12 Education and has been teaching 3rd grade at Creekside Elementary.
Ms. Ford - ES Intervention
Ms. Ford will be joining us as an elementary school interventionist. She is working with students
Ms. Daniels - 4th Grade
Ms. Daniels is joining Ignite! from RN Harris. She is excited to bring her dynamic teaching to Ignite! Academy.
Meet the Secondary Team
Sr. Everitt - Spanish
Sr. Everitt has taught Spanish for 24 years at DSA, Githens, Crossroads Flex, and NC Virtual Public School. He has a Masters in Instructional Technology from NC State.
Mrs. White - HS English
Ms. White holds a Masters Degree in Literacy and Digital Instruction from the University of San Diego. She was named DPS Teacher of the Year in 2020.
Ms. Byrd- CTE Master Teacher
Ms. Byrd has a Master of Science in Accounting and a Master of Education in School Leadership. She is joining us from Hillside New Tech High School.
Mrs. Hill - MS Science
Mrs. Hill was a South Carolina Learning Network Coach and New Tech Facilitator of the Year before joining Ignite!
Mrs. Moore - MS Science
Mrs. Moore is the 2018 NCSTA New Science Teacher Award Winner. She is joining us from NC Virtual Academy.
Mrs. Outlaw - HS Math
Mrs. Outlaw is coming to DPS from JH Rose High School. She has a Masters Degree in Secondary Math Ed. From ECU.
Mrs. Guffey - History
Ms. Guffey is a Modern Classrooms Distinguished Educator & former DPS Teacher of the Year Finalist.
Mrs. Edgley - MS Math
Ms. Edgley is joining us from Eno Valley. She is AIG Certified and is also a DPS graduate.
Mr. Potter - MS ELA
Mr. Potter is joining Ignite! from Neal Middle School. He is a former Middle School reading interventionist.
Mrs. Mester - Digital Media
Mrs. Mester is a former Washington DC Public Schools Media Specialist and DPS Media Coordinator of the Year.
Mrs. Hinton - Digital Art
Ms. Hinton is an experienced digital media designer and art teacher. She is joining us from School for Creative Studies.
Mr. Ramirez - MS Math
Mr. Ramirez is joining Ignite from Carrington MS. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Information Systems. Mr. Ramirez is bilingual in Spanish.
Mrs. McNally - MS Math
Mrs. McNally has taught in Wake and Durham Counties. She has her AIG Licensure from Duke and is a 2021 DPS Teacher of the Year Finalist.
Mrs. Emmert - MS ELA
Mrs. Emmert has taught and been a Media Coordinator for 22 years. She is Nationally Board Certified and is a Kenan Fellowship Teacher.
Mrs. Nelson - MS ELA
Mrs. Nelson recently graduated from NC State with her Masters in Secondary ELA Education. She completed her internship at DSA.