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Intermediate Level

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Intermediate Level

Pam Armstrong's picture

Pam Armstrong

Visual Arts
412-624-8018
pamkrak@pitt.edu
Pam Armstrong's picture

Pam Armstrong

Visual Arts
pamkrak@pitt.edu
Dr. Armstrong is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. In 1991, she began teaching K-8 art at Falk and currently teaches the youngest children in grades K-4. In a former life, she taught art at the Western Pa School for Blind Children and in the Children's Studio at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Her doctoral research focused on early childhood art education. Other research interests include the role of play in young children's artmaking, museum education and young children, Reggio-inspired approaches in early childhood education, and narrative inquiry as a research genre to study one's teaching practice. She is a weaver and enjoys drawing, painting, writing, hiking and biking, cooking fun meals for family and friends, and sailing with her husband.  
Tim Doyle's picture

Tim Doyle

WonderLab
412-648-8459
tjd13@pitt.edu
Tim Doyle's picture

Tim Doyle

WonderLab
B.A. in English Literature, Duquesne University
MAT in Secondary English Education, University of Pittsburgh
tjd13@pitt.edu
Tim Doyle began his career at Falk School in 2005 as an intern in the middle level language arts room.  After his intern year, he was hired to be a middle level learning support instructor, substitute teacher, and assistant director of the after school program.  He gladly played this multifaceted role for three years.  This year, Tim is the director of after school, a full-time substitute, and a part-time language arts and social studies teacher in the middle school.  In his spare time, Tim enjoys reading, creative writing, playing music, and watching movies with friends.  He is also an avid basketball and football fan and an aspiring amateur chef.
Lisa Giardina's picture

Lisa Giardina

Spanish Grades 5 & 6
412-648-0215
lng40@pitt.edu
Autumn Dillaman's picture

Autumn Dillaman

Grades 4 and 5
412-624-8804
amd973@pitt.edu
Autumn Dillaman's picture

Autumn Dillaman

Grades 4 and 5
B.S. in Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
MAT in Elementary Education, University of Pittsburgh
amd973@pitt.edu
Autumn first arrived at Falk as a MAT Intern during the 2004-2005 school year where she interned with Jackie Metcalf in a fourth and fifth grade classroom.  After her intern year, she was asked to stay on at Falk as the assistant director of the After School Program.  Shortly after taking that position, she took over as the director of the after school program and continued in that role until June 2009 when she was invited to join the Intermediate team. For the 2009-2010 school year, she was the resource teacher on the intermediate team, teaching 3rd-5th grade and all subjects. This year, she has a new homeroom of 20 fourth and fifth grade students and she teaches all subjects. When she is not at work, Autumn is most likely at football practice, playing some other sport, or spending time with her family.  For the past 5 years, she has played for the Pittsburgh Passion, a full-contact woman's football team.  When not at practice, she loves to spend time with her family and friends.  One of her favorite things to do is to eat lunch with her family on Sunday afternoons.
Laura Hunt's picture

Laura Hunt

Physical Education
412-624-8017
lahunt@pitt.edu
Laura Hunt's picture

Laura Hunt

Physical Education
B.S. in Health & Physical Education K-12, University of Pittsburgh
MAT in Health & Physical Education K-12, University of Pittsburgh
lahunt@pitt.edu
Laura Hunt has a Masters of Arts and Teaching degree in K-12 Physical Education from the University of Pittsburgh.  Ms. Hunt has been teaching at Falk since 1997. Currently, she teaches Kindergarten through fifth grade and coordinates the Middle School sports programs.
Jackie Metcalf's picture

Jackie Metcalf

Grades 4 and 5
412-383-9608
jmetcalf@pitt.edu
Jackie Metcalf's picture

Jackie Metcalf

Grades 4 and 5
B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Pittsburgh
MAT in Elementary Education, University of Pittsburgh
jmetcalf@pitt.edu
Jackie Metcalf began her career at Falk School as the Director of the After School program and substitute teacher in 1998. She spent three years in this capacity and also served as a resource teacher to the primary and middle school teams. In 2001 she became a 4th/5th grade classroom teacher. She partners with Ms. Katie Sukenik. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two active children, her husband and their dog.
Leah Northrop's picture

Leah Northrop

Yoga/Mindfulness
412-624-8323
lcn6@pitt.edu
Leah Northrop's picture

Leah Northrop

Yoga/Mindfulness
B.S. in Psychology, Allegheny College
M.S. in Counseling Psychology, Chatham University
lcn6@pitt.edu
Leah began teaching yoga and mindfulness at Falk School in 2011.   Her classes at Falk are centered on guiding children through the simple but powerful practice of connecting movement and breathing to create a relaxed, focused and aware student, ready to learn and play.  Ms. Northrop also teaches individual “therapeutic” yoga sessions for students with a variety of challenges, from the social and emotional to the behavioral and learning realms.  Additionally, Ms. Northrop  heads a research project at the University of Pittsburgh, Yoga for Anxious Children.  Her interest lies in the development, implementation and outcome of exercise-based treatments for children and adolescents with mood and anxiety disorders.  She has presented her work at international conferences. She enjoys almost any outdoor activity, cooking for a crowd and most of all, spending time with her husband, Ben and her three sons, Wyatt, Weston and Lucas.  Ms. Northrop currently lives in the Squirrel Hill area.
Lindsay O’Sullivan's picture

Lindsay O’Sullivan

Grade 3
412-383-9607
lio2@pitt.edu
Lindsay O’Sullivan's picture

Lindsay O’Sullivan

Grade 3
B.A., Ithaca College
MAT, University of Pittsburgh
lio2@pitt.edu
Lindsay O’Sullivan began her career at Falk School as an intern in Ms. Ridge’s room in August, 2001. While on that fateful journey, Lindsay discovered that Falk was her “dream school.” The following school year, she happily accepted a position in a 3rd and 4th grade classroom. One of Lindsay’s favorite units involved using picture books to analyze stereotypes. She was so impressed with her 3rd and 4th graders’ ability to articulate how hurtful stereotyping can be. In her spare time, Lindsay stays busy by training for triathlons, doing yoga, and reading about some of her favorite topics: environmental issues, animal rights, nutrition, and women’s issues. Lindsay loves spending time with her husband Brian, son Callahan, dog Cooper, and her family and friends.
Benoni Outerbridge's picture

Benoni Outerbridge

Library
412-624-8010
benoni@pitt.edu
Benoni Outerbridge's picture

Benoni Outerbridge

Library
B.A. in Human Ecology, College of the Atlantic
M.A. in Secondary Social Studies Education, NYU
MLS, University of Pittsburgh
benoni@pitt.edu
Mr. Outerbridge has worked as a classroom teacher and mid-level administrator in both public and independent schools, and his experiences have convinced him that there are few learning experiences more powerful and engaging than discovering how something works, recognizing a pattern, or understanding a cause-and-effect relationship.  When he was a social studies teacher, Mr. Outerbridge had students examine varying accounts of Columbus’s return visit to Hispaniola, where he discovered that Fort La Navidad had been abandoned and most the men killed.  Students had to judge which account was most plausible and support their arguments with evidence and reasoning.  As a librarian, Mr. Outerbridge feels that a big part of his job is to help students use similar critical thinking skills to sort through today’s massive volume of information in order to locate and evaluate what is most reliable and pertinent to their coursework and personal interests.  The other big part of the job is to foster in students a love and appreciation for reading.
Katie Pohl's picture

Katie Pohl

Grades 4 and 5
412-624-2275
kas230@pitt.edu
Katie Pohl's picture

Katie Pohl

Grades 4 and 5
B.S. in Apparel and Textile Design, Michigan State University
MAT in Elementary Education, University of Pittsburgh
kas230@pitt.edu
Katie Pohl began her career at Falk in 2009 interning under Lindsay O’Sullivan in a 3/4 combined-age classroom. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with her Master of Arts in Teaching, she was hired as the intermediate resource teacher, working with all six intermediate homeroom teachers and students.  In addition to two years as resource teacher, Katie was a third grade homeroom teacher at Falk School.   She currently serves the intermediate team in a 4th/5th grade loop.  Before beginning her professional career as a teacher, Ms. Pohl enjoyed a wide variety of jobs that helped to form her into the teacher she is today. Outside of school, Katie Pohl has many hobbies and interests.  She can most often be found painting, drawing, print-making or collaging the before-mentioned items.  She also enjoys cooking, gardening, composting, reading, watching movies, spending quality time with her two cats, and spending time outdoors.
Joanne Ridge's picture

Joanne Ridge

Grades 4 and 5
412-624-8119
jridge@pitt.edu
Joanne Ridge's picture

Joanne Ridge

Grades 4 and 5
B.S. in Elementary Education, IUP
M.A. in Language Communication & Sec. English Teaching Certificat, University of Pittsburgh
PhD Program, English Language Arts Education, University of Pittsburgh
jridge@pitt.edu
Joanne began her teaching in the Greater Johnstown Public School system.  After teaching for 3 and a half years (K. 1st, 2nd, 4-6 Science & Social Studies), she took a break to go to NYC.  Working as a secretary by day and singing at night, she soon got bored and came back to teaching.  Jo went back to school in a Master/Doctoral program as a Teaching Fellow, earning a secondary English certificate along with a Master of Arts in Language Communications. She spent a year in London at City University studying contemporary English literature and formally observing in a variety of schools to see how the English taught English. Upon her return, she taught for two years at McEwan Open School (now Kentucky Avenue School), creating a writing program for the elementary grades.  In 1987 she joined Falk in the Middle School, also with the charge to redevelop the Reading/Language Arts program.  After two years, she transferred to the Intermediate Team teaching 4th & 5th grade Reading, Language arts and Social Studies. During this time she worked with Bill Pelham from Western Psych on programs to mainstream and adapt teaching methods for kids with ADD and other learning disabilities.   In addition to teaching, Joanne and her team developed and recorded the reading, writing, and social studies curriculums for the Intermediate. To continue her own professional growth, Joanne went back to school in the English/Language Arts PhD program.  She learned a lot and discovered that her teaching and instincts were on the right track.  Shortly after beginning her dissertation, she decided she wanted to spend more time with her third daughter (who was 5 years old at the time) rather than at the library. She continues active research in the classroom, looking for best practices in teaching students to write and to learn how they learn. Joanne has presented at many local, state, regional, and national conferences.  She is a member of various organizations, mostly affiliated with Language Arts.  She teaches a university class in the evenings that centers on active learning and writing as a tool to learn as well as for publishing, and she was nominated for the Disney Teaching Award.  She gives voice lessons after school, and she assists with choreography for the Middle School musical.  She enjoys spending time with her daughters.  And she loves to write with her students. 
Maria Sassani's picture

Maria Sassani

Music and Performing Arts
412-383-9617
msassani@pitt.edu
Maria Sassani's picture

Maria Sassani

Music and Performing Arts
BFA in Vocal Performance, SUNY at Purchase
M.A in Music Education, Teachers College Columbia
msassani@pitt.edu
Maria Sassani was thrilled to join the Falk School Community during the 2011 – 2012 school year, after presenting the session, “Music, Literacy, and Dance” during the NALS conference hosted by Falk in the Spring of 2011.  Prior to her arrival in Pittsburgh, Ms. Sassani shared her love of music with students from The School at Columbia University (2005 – 2011) & The Brearley School (2000 – 2005), both located in New York City, and the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada (1995 – 2000).  Favorite performances in her teaching career have been directing a 250-member chorus on PBS’s – “World’s Largest Concert” (1999), New York City’s Carnegie Hall in (2002 & 2003), the National Black Theatre of Harlem (2006 – 2011), and most recently in the lobby of Heinz Hall during the Pittsburgh Symphony/Falk School Extravaganza.  A true advocate of music programs in our schools, Ms. Sassani believes….“children would rather play than study, if we are smart, we will teach them while they play.”  (Carl Orff)  She continues her professional growth as a member of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), American Orff Shulwerk Association (AOSA) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).  Ms. Sassani’s favorite genre of music is “Musical Theatre” where she has performed professionally in six states.   Some of her favorite roles have been:  “Dolly” from “Hello Dolly”, “Reno Sweeney” from “Anything Goes”, “Charity Barnum” from “Barnum”, and “Maggie” from “42nd Street.”
Joseph Scheller's picture

Joseph Scheller

Music and Performing Arts
412-383-9617
scheller@pitt.edu
Joseph Scheller's picture

Joseph Scheller

Music and Performing Arts
B.S. in Music Education, Kutztown University
M.M. in Music Education, West Chester University
scheller@pitt.edu
Joe Scheller has been teaching music since 2009. He has instructed students at the Avon Grove Charter School, Bethlehem Area School District and Allentown School District, where he has fulfilled the position of Director for band, orchestra, and vocal ensembles. Mr. Scheller has also been involved in many musical productions as both a musician and music director. Some of these productions include: “The Drowsy Chaperone”, “The Wiz”, “Zombie Prom”, “Once Upon a Mattress”, “Starmites”, and “Changing Minds”. He currently performs throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware in various genres of Jazz, Rock, Singer-Songwriter, Classical, and Blues. In October of 2014, he released an album entitled “Remembering the Atlas”, which is available on iTunes. He will be finishing his Masters in Music Education (Music Technology) at West Chester University in May 2016 and is a member of (PMEA) Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (NAfME) National Association for Music Education and (TI:ME) Technology Integration for Music Education. 
Laura Tomokiyo's picture

Laura Tomokiyo

Technology
412-648-8459
tomokiyo@pitt.edu
Laura Tomokiyo's picture

Laura Tomokiyo

Technology
MS, PhD Carnegie Mellon University
SB Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Certificate in Curriculum Design and Development, Open University of Tanzania / UNESCO
tomokiyo@pitt.edu
Laura Tomokiyo began her career in Japan, where she worked in language technologies research and development at Toshiba Corp. and the Electrotechnical Laboratory.   She returned to the United States to complete her MS and PhD degrees, where she specialized in spoken language recognition and understanding.  She spent six years at Cepstral, a tech startup providing small-footprint speech synthesis devices supporting communication in areas of geopolitical concern.  She then moved to the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, working in the CREATE (Community Robotics, Education, and Empowerment) lab.  Projects at CREATE included a the Gigapan Dialogues collaboration with UNESCO-IBE and the Documenting our Heritage project with the Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, Alaska.

Laura joined the faculty at Falk School in 2012, where she initially worked to redesign the technology curriculum and now teaches in all grades K-8.  She also co-chairs the research committee with Leah Northrop.
Timothy Wagner's picture

Timothy Wagner

Technology
412-648-8459
wagnert@pitt.edu
Timothy Wagner's picture

Timothy Wagner

Technology
B.A. in Sociology, University of Arizona
M.Ed. In Educational Technology, Northern Arizona University
wagnert@pitt.edu
Timothy Wagner was born and raised in California. Upon completing high school he moved to Tucson, AZ where he went to the University of Arizona. For his undergraduate he majored in Sociology, minored in History, and received a post-baccalaureate in Teaching K-8. Tim received his M.Ed. in Educational Technology in 2006. In December of 2006, Tim moved to Pittsburgh with his wife and two children. Tim currently holds certifications in mid level science, social studies, and mathematics and also holds a certificate in elementary education. Tim has a wide range of teaching experience in all academic levels and subjects. He has taught 5th grade, middle school science and math, and k-8 technology. Tim has worked at Falk School since 2014  and enjoys the collaborative nature of his job, Falk’s students, parents, faculty, administration, and staff.


During Tim’s free time, he enjoys being outside. Some of the activities he relishes are gardening, coaching soccer, karate, camping, and anything else that involves being with his family. He looks forward to Friday movie nights with his family, for which they usually make Chinese food or homemade pizza to go with the movie.
Lori Wertz's picture

Lori Wertz

Falk Woods
412-624-8323
lwertz@pitt.edu
Lori Wertz's picture

Lori Wertz

Falk Woods
B.A. in Liberal Arts, University of Pittsburgh
MAT, University of Pittsburgh
lwertz@pitt.edu
Lori Wertz currently serves as K-8 educator and project director for Falk’s land stewardship program, FALKWOODS, aka SHERP.  Lori arrived at Falk School in 1992, as a Pitt MAT intern teacher in a third/fourth grade mixed classroom. Two years later, she was hired to teach full-time.  Lori has been at Falk ever since because she loves the dynamic and supportive educational environment the teachers, staff, and interns strive to provide for their students each and every day.
Rebecca Wright's picture

Rebecca Wright

Grade 3
412-383-9603
rnw7@pitt.edu
Rebecca Wright's picture

Rebecca Wright

Grade 3
B.A., Lafayette College
J.D., Columbia University
M.A., George Washington University
rnw7@pitt.edu
Becka has been teaching at Falk for several years. Before that, she lived in Washington, DC and Maryland, and also worked as a lawyer and as a criminal history profiler in a state prison. Becka enjoys sharing and exploring her interest in Shakespeare and Art History with her students.  She also loves helping to coach the middle school Cross-Country team at Falk.