Asheboro Zoo School Teachers
Heather Soja-Science, Lead Teacher
Heather Soja is a native North Carolinian and resides with her family near Seagrove, N.C. Soja received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from UNC-Wilmington and earned her M. Ed in Curriculum and Instruction in Science from UNC-Greensboro. She is also working on obtaining her doctorate in biology from UNC-G. She earned National Board Certification in 2004. Soja is a trained field biologist and spends as much time outdoors as she can.
Soja loves AHS Zoo School because of the opportunity for students to learn in an engaging, non-traditional classroom with a curriculum that truly integrates relevant science content. She feels that this unique setting provides students with the freedom to learn by doing, while simultaneously developing relevant conceptual constructs needed to assimilate and then to apply such knowledge.
Favorite Animal-Willie the Polar Bear
In addition to a teaching background, Rhonda Dillingham is a certified dental assistant, earning her certification upon completion of the dental assisting program at Guilford Technical Institute in 1984. Having been employed for a number of years in the dental field, Rhonda decided to pursue her first love: teaching. While working full-time, Rhonda enrolled at Greensboro College and graduated with honors in 1996 with a B.A. in secondary English education. She has been employed at Asheboro High School since 1997 and earned her National Board Certification in November 2005.
As a member of the AHS Zoo School, Rhonda’s purpose for participating is reflected in a portion of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." She believes the Zoo affords a unique place for students to develop their strengths and to create a meaningful, personal context for learning.
Nathan Ross was raised not too far from Asheboro. He graduated from high school in Montgomery County in 2005. From there, Ross went to UNG-G for his teaching degree in mathematics, which he received in 2009. Ross graduated as a teaching fellows, one of the most prestigious teaching scholarships in the nation. Besides math, Ross is involved in outdoor activities and sports and plays rugby for the Triad team. He wishes for all his students to not only excel in his courses, but also to feel encouraged to think outside of the box.
Lowell Pocock-Social Studies
Favorite Animal-Sea Lions
Lowell Pocock was born in Northern Indiana and moved to Randolph County in 1992. He is a graduate of Asheboro High School class of 1999. After graduating AHS, Pocock attended Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., where he achieved his Bachelor of Science degree in human development with a focus on education. Pocock returned to Asheboro city schools after completing his undergraduate degree and taught 5th grade at Balfour Elementary School. The following year he accepted a position at Asheboro High School teaching social studies. Since becoming a teacher at AHS, Pocock has had many exciting events take place, though none more exciting than his marriage to his wife Mary and the birth of his son, Lowell III.
"I am excited about the opportunity to approach social studies education in a unique and challenging environment. I enjoy taking part in camping, hiking and many other outdoor activities. I also enjoy traveling the world and have been involved in adventures to China, Africa and many European countries. I hope to bring my love of travel and nature into the classroom to enrich the educational experience for the students. I believe the sky is the limit for every student at the AHS Zoo School, and I look forward to working with each one of them to achieve new heights."