Staff Members

Todd Guentensberger, Executive Director
Contact: 919.294.9883

After graduating from the University of Iowa (BS, 1996), and earning his teaching certificate in 1997 working with Dr. John Penick, one of the nation’s leading proponents of inquiry-based teaching, Todd began his career in education with Durham Public Schools as a seventh grade science teacher. In 2003 Todd joined CIBL. He leads many of our professional development workshops each year and he helped set up and run the CIBL materials center. Todd is also actively involved with the Association of Science Materials Centers and served on the board from 2006-2008. Todd also serves on the faculty of the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s LASER program, promoting science education reform.

Rachael Polmanteer, Associate Director
Contact: 919.294.9884

In 2009, Rachael Polmanteer received her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science from Coastal Carolina University. After working in the scientific field, Rachael began her teaching career in 2015. She is a Kenan Fellow, National Geographic Educator, and 2020/23 NCSMT K-8 Outstanding Educator. Rachael joined CIBL in 2020 and looks forward to bringing hands-on science into more classrooms.

Drake King, Production Manager

In 2015, Drake King received his Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from East Carolina University. Drake has many years of managerial experience and a vast knowledge of comparative medicine research field. As of February 2023, he has found a family of educators to work with and loves his role as a material packing specialist and production manager. Drake  also enjoys spending time with this family and working on his home aquariums.

Melaine Rickard, Teacher & Curriculum Support Specialist

In 1992 Melaine received her education degree from Elon University and has been teaching ever since. She holds certifications in middle grades science, ELA, social studies, and K-12 AIG. She earned her National Board Certification in Adolescent Science in 2008 and renewed in 2018. She also holds a Master’s Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in middle grades science education. She is a Kenan Fellow, President Elect for the North Carolina Science Leadership Association, and a 2017 recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Science and Math Teachers. Melaine retired from the middle school classroom in 2022 and is currently teaching at Elon University. She is committed to teaching inquiry science instruction and continuing to grow as an educator.

Barbara Bourque Gregory, Production Team

Barbara is a Durham, North Carolina native. For many years she ran her family’s custom window treatment business. In 2008, Barb joined CIBL as a member of our production team. She enjoys bringing hands-on, inquiry-based learning to students across the state.

Board of Directors

Dr. Jason Painter, Chair

Dr. Painter is the Director of The Science House at NC State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in science education from East Carolina University and a doctoral degree in education from UNC-Chapel Hill. He has been with NC State since 2006 and has over 20 years of experience in K-12 STEM education, research, evaluation, and outreach. He started at NC State as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Science Olympiad in 2006 and has spent the last 7 years leading The Science House in the College of Sciences. The NC Science Olympiad is the largest STEM competition in North Carolina and The Science House provides statewide K-12 teacher and student programs to advance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Dr. Painter has received the National Outstanding Leadership in Science Education Award, the Herman Gatling Award for Outstanding Science Leadership in North Carolina, and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education.

Carole Stern, Vice Chair

After graduating from college, Carole began teaching middle and high school students at the Carolina Friends School. Carole returned to school eight years later to begin studying ways technology could be used to enhance and expand access to instruction. From 1992-2014 Carole worked at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics developing distance learning programs to serve students and teachers across North Carolina.

Mack McCary, Treasurer

After graduating from the Harvard Graduate School of Educaton, Dr. McCary has served as superintendent of Jackson County Schools, Chief Academic Officer of Guilford County Schools, Vice President of Education Services at Tetra Data Corporation, and as a School Change Coach in the NC New Schools Project. He is also a professor and author. Dr. McCary has a keen interest in education technology and in business-education partnerships.

Dave Smith, Secretary

Dave taught middle and high school science, math, and music, and developed educational programs and materials before coming to CIBL. In 1999, he began working with the Duke University Center for Inquiry-Based Learning (CIBL) to help design the CIBL program and provide training in inquiry-based science teaching in K-8 classrooms. From 2002 to 2013, he directed CIBL.

Lee Ann Segalla

Since 2007, Lee Ann served as the Elementary Curriculum Officer and as Executive Director for AG, AP, and IB at Guilford County Schools. Previously, she oversaw elementary science education in Wake County schools. For more than a decade, she has been a strong advocate for teaching and learning that requires thinking across the disciplines.

Ben Owens

Ben Owens is a physics and math teacher at Tri-County Early College High School in Murphy, North Carolina. After an 18-year career as an engineer with DuPont he left the corporate world in 2007 to become a STEM teacher in rural Appalachia. He is passionate about changing the status quo in education by better equipping students with the skills needed to be successful in today’s global, gig economy. He is the recipient of the 2017 Bridging the Gap Distinguished Teacher in STEM Education.

John Parker

John Parker retired from 34 years in public education in 2006. Those years include 18 years as a high school mathematics teacher and 16 years as an administrator, including 5 years as a district superintendent. He earned his B.S. mathematics from Guilford College in 1972, his M.Ed. in mathematics education from UNC-G in 1974, and his Ed.D. in educational leadership from ECU in 2005. Two books convey his contributions to education and educational philosophy: Standardized Minds and Electric Dreams.

Korah Wiley

Since completing her graduate degree at Duke University in 2005, Korah has taught biology at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a residential STEM magnet school in Durham, NC. Her career thus far has included presenting at education conferences on both the national and international level, as well as developing successful STEM enrichment programs and curricula.

James Minogue

James Minogue is currently a Professor of Science Education in the Department of Teacher Education & Learning Sciences at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Prior to joining NC State, James held a tenure-track position at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). His current research efforts involve trying to better understanding haptic (touch) perception and cognition within the context of teaching and learning, exploring the efficacy of game-based learning environments (GBLEs) in elementary science, and examining how to best structure elementary teachers’ and students’ “conceptual encounters” with invisible science phenomena. He has eight years of experience teaching public school science and has been developing and teaching elementary science methods courses at the college level since the fall of 2005.

Tonya Little

Bio coming soon