Meet the Authors

Sara E. Newell, Ed.D.

Sara is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina.  Her research interests surround gifted education and underrepresented populations.  Recently, Sara completed her dissertation on the impact of talent development on underrepresented populations in gifted education.  Sara works in Kannapolis City Schools, where she is currently the AIG Coordinator.  Over her 16 year career, she has taught 3rd, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade and worked with K-12 gifted populations.  Sara has her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, a minor in Psychology, a masters in Middle Grades Education, and is certified in Gifted Education and 6-9 English.

Jill W. Douds

Jill is a doctoral candidate at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina. Her research interests include mentoring and teacher retention.  Jill holds a B.S. in Elementary Education, an M.S. in Special Education, and is Nationally Board Certified. She currently teaches Preschool Special Education in the Fort Mill School District in South Carolina.  Originally from the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Jill has taught  all grade levels during her 31 year career.

Denise E. Cyrus, Ed.D.

Denise attended Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina.  Her research interests include culturally responsive teaching and literacy achievement. Denise holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University at Albany, a Master of Science degree in Secondary English Education from Queens College, and advanced certification in K-12 school administration from Queens College.  Denise has spent her twenty-year career in education as a grade 6-12 ELA teacher, instructional coach, and academic facilitator. Currently, she serves as a Title I specialist for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.