Dr. Elizabeth Estabrook
Position(s): Director of Program and Planning & Science Educator
Department(s): Administration, Educator
Dr. Elizabeth Estabrook is proud of her Alaskan Native, Dene people heritage. Her grandmother was born in Circle City and her family is part of the Athabaskan Language group. Known affectionately as Dr. E, she became part of the Chance Academy community via a circuitous route from the southwest in 2012. She has a Ph.D. in molecular biology from New Mexico State University and worked in various research laboratories in the southwest and west coast in her early career, producing many publications on gene expression and studies on RNA.
In 1996, Dr. Elizabeth transitioned from her research work to teaching students who were majoring in biology. She developed a passion to share her love of science with children, and started homeschooling her own children, both of whom now enjoy successful careers.
Beginning in 2009, Dr. Elizabeth started Discovery Academy Tutoring services, teaching elementary- through high-school students to understand that science is a verb – not simply a comprehension test on vocabulary words or textbook paragraphs. She has worked hard with many students over her 25 years of teaching, helping them put to action their curiosity and honing their reasoning skills to understand the various phenomena they are surrounded by each day from all fields of science.
Over the last 11 years with Chance Academy, she has continued to work with students in the classroom. She became the Director of Program and Planning in 2016. In her current role, not only does she continue working with students in their science classes, but she also oversees all staff and provides mentoring to the teachers, all while working to build a strong community between students, parents, and teachers.
Dr. Elizabeth is grateful that Chance Academy’s mission empowers teachers to master their skills so that each student can grow in their academics and social-emotional strengths without the imposition of artificial constructs like those based solely on ages or test scores. She believes that each child can improve, with the goal of making leaps and bounds, while avoiding being disheartened by a bureaucratic educational system.