Teacher Education Institute

Teacher Ed. Faculty Bios

Rachel Holmes / Residential Faculty and Teacher Ed. Program Director

Rachel Holmes currently serves as the Director of the Teacher Education Institute and Early Childhood programs at Estrella Mountain Community College and is a 6th year Residential Faculty member. Rachel was recently appointed as the EMCC Service Learning Faculty Coordinator and strives to lead the effort in integrating community service into the curriculum campus-wide to greatly enhance student learning and to positively impact the community as a whole. She holds a Master of Elementary Education degree from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Arizona State University West. In addition, she holds a Principal's Certificate and is certified in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education and Secondary English. Rachel has endorsements in both ESL and K-12 Reading. Her previous experience includes serving as Coordinator for iTeachAZ at Arizona State University. Rachel Holmes has taught both online and ground graduate-level Education and ESL courses at Grand Canyon University for over 10 years. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Phoenix College and taught in the K-12 classroom for 10 years. Rachel is currently a Doctoral student pursuing her Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning with a specialization in Organizational Psychology degree through Aspen University.

Duffy Galda / Residential Faculty

Duffy joined EMCC as a residential faculty member in Education in August of 2017, bringing with her more than 30 years of experience in the field of education. Duffy worked as an elementary educator for ten years, teaching students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. Her career in education has led Duffy to teaching positions in the quaint old neighborhoods of Tucson’s south side, to the high deserts of the Navajo Nation, to the western shores of the Colorado River, to the forested mountains of Arizona’s high country, all the way to the rolling hills of Victoria’s Yarra Valley, where she served for a year as Arizona’s International Teaching Fellow in Australia. Throughout her career, Duffy has remained a life-long learner. Duffy holds an AA in Agriculture from Glendale Community College, a BS in Natural Resources Management from NAU, Master of Education degrees in Special Education, Curriculum and Instruction, and Bilingual/Multicultural Education from NAU, a certificate in Instructional Technology from the University of Arizona, and National Certification in Developmental Education from Appalachian State University. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona, where she is researching factors affecting the completion of college degree programs by Indigenous students. Duffy has participated in a number of international fellowships, including a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship to Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Turkey, where she studied at Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara and Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. Prior to her arrival at EMCC, Duffy taught ESL and Elementary Education for 20 years at Pima Community College in Tucson. She was thrilled to be offered her faculty appointment In the Teacher Education Institute here at Estrella, and enjoys working with our students and community partners.

Dr. Rachel Carignan / Adjunct Faculty

Dr. Carignan joined EMCC as an adjunct instructor in August 2012. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from ASU, a Maters in Early Childhood from NAU and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from NAU.  Dr. Carignan teaches courses in Early Childhood, Education and Reading. She has been in the field of education for over 15 years teaching kindergarten through fifth grade, providing Professional Development for teachers and coaching teachers. Her experience has provided her the understanding of what future teachers and professionals need to know to advance in their degree and career. She is passionate about teaching and believes that education is key for success.

Genevieve Chairez / Adjunct Faculty 

Genevieve Chairez joined EMCC as an adjunct instructor during the fall semester of 2015. She holds a BA in Elementary Education with an emphasis on early childhood education from Arizona State University.  In addition, she received a master’s degree in Elementary Education with a reading endorsement from Northern Arizona University. Genevieve has been in the field of education for more than 15 years.  She began as an instructional assistant in the Washington Elementary School District (WESD) and is currently employed as a teacher at WESD.  She has been a primary teacher for 11 years.  Her experience in kindergarten and first grade has given her a vast knowledge in the field of early childhood education.  She also has seven years of experience teaching English language learners (ELL).  As an adjunct instructor at EMCC, she has had the opportunity to share and pass on her knowledge and experience to future educators.  She believes that anyone can learn given the right tools, attitude, and help!

Jamie Theresa Lopez / Adjunct Faculty

Jamie Theresa Lopez, M.A.Ed., has over two decades of experience as an educator. She taught elementary school for ten years. During that time, she was successful in the classroom and as a leader in the school. Jamie has spent the last ten years as an adjunct instructor for Early Childhood Education and ESL at Estrella Mountain Community College and for New Directions Institute for Infant Brain Development. She has presented at numerous conferences. She brings a passion for learning and great energy into all that she does. Jamie is currently a doctoral student in Family and Human Development at the T Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

Lisa Buccigrosse / Adjunct Faculty

Lisa Buccigrosse has been an Adjunct Faculty Member with Estrella Mountain Community College since 2005. She holds her BA from Rutger’s University in Spanish and her Master’s degree from Saint Joseph’s University in Elementary Education with a specialization in ESL and bilingual education. Her soon to be completed doctoral degree will be in Education Leadership with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction. She is a full-time Ottawa University Faculty Member in the School of Education at the Residential Campus in Surprise, Arizona. She has been an educator in a variety of capacities (teacher, professor, administrator, instructional coach, and mentor) since 2001 at both the elementary (K-8) and higher education levels. She has both online and face-to-face teaching experiences as well as course development and curriculum development for both modalities of instructing and learning. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of Early and Middle Childhood with a specialization in English as a New Language. She is certified in the State of Arizona with Principal and Elementary Teaching Certificates and endorsements in Early Childhood, English as a Second Language, Bilingual Education (English/Spanish), and Gifted Education. Lisa also serves as a national presenter on different education topics with the National Education Association. For fun, Lisa enjoys traveling. She has traveled to over 27 foreign countries to expand her cultural awareness and understanding.  Additionally, she enjoys taking care of her adopted rescue animals.

Patty Messer / Adjunct Faculty 

Patty Messer joined EMCC in 2009 as an adjunct instructor when she recognized a need for a Gifted Endorsement Program in order for certified teachers to earn their endorsement. The Gifted Endorsement Program was written by Patty as she worked with faculty to have courses ready for the fall 2010 semester. Patty holds a Bachelor ‘s Degree in Elementary Education with a minor on Psychology from the University of Arizona. She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in gifted education from the University of Connecticut. Patty’s teaching experience began in Lake Havasu as a 3rd grade teacher. She was asked to teach the gifted 3rd grade classroom her second year. She quickly realized that gifted education was her passion as she went on to pursue her masters. Patty’s career has included teaching K-8th grade gifted students in pull-out, self-contained and cluster models. She was promoted to Gifted Specialist in the Liberty Elementary School District and oversaw the entire district’s gifted program. Patty left public school to join a charter school where she eventually wrote her own charter and was authorized in December 2015. She operates a Pre-K-8th grade public charter school in Casa Grande called The Grande Innovation Academy. The gifted program is a school within a school model called the Path-to-Potential. Patty continues to educate others on the needs of gifted students through her work with the AZ Association for Gifted Children where she served as President for 2 years.