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Intermediate Level

Directory

Intermediate Level

Rachel Courbis's picture

Rachel Courbis

Grades 4 and 5
412-383-0904
rlc117@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.
Micah Downs's picture

Micah Downs

Grades 4 and 5
412-624-8119
micah.downs@pitt.edu
Micah Downs's picture

Micah Downs

Grades 4 and 5
micah.downs@pitt.edu
Micah Downs is returning to Pittsburgh after being away for 32 years. He grew up in the area and after high school, moved to Chicago where he attended Wheaton College and earned his BA in Elementary Education. For 23 years he taught in the public schools at the kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 5th grade levels; during that time, he also earned 2 master’s degrees, one in Administration and the other in School Counseling. In 2016 he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and has been teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students with dyslexia and other learning differences at the Charles Armstrong School; he has also been coaching flag football, soccer, and street hockey. Micah has a wife and 5 children and 2 grandchildren. His entire extended family lives in Pittsburgh so he is extremely excited to be close to them all again and is looking forward to spending time together. He enjoys reading, music, hiking, playing sports and watching the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates. Micah is passionate about his calling as an educator and is looking forward to joining the Falk community as he continues his career.
Lisa Giardina's picture

Lisa Giardina

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

Danya Lang

Learning Specialist
412-383-0486
danya.lang@pitt.edu
Danya Lang's picture

Danya Lang

Learning Specialist
University of Delaware - 2004-2008
Bank Street College of Education - 2012 - 2014
danya.lang@pitt.edu
Danya Lang teaching career began in NYC as a special education teacher for 5 years in grades kindergarten to 4th grade. She received her Master’s in Childhood Education and Special Education from Bank Street College of Education. Prior to teaching, she worked as a photo editor and photographer for Men's Journal Magazine. As a teacher, Danya is passionate about bringing art and read alouds into the classroom and helping her students find their own path to learning. She enjoys delicious food, traveling, taking photographs, and dancing to funk music.
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.
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.
Jill Sarada's picture

Jill Sarada

Interim Director, Grades K-5
412-624-0114
jill.sarada@pitt.edu
Jill Sarada's picture

Jill Sarada

Interim Director, Grades K-5
B.S. in Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
MAT in Elementary Education, University of Pittsburgh
jill.sarada@pitt.edu
Jill Sarada came to Falk School as an intern to start the 1993-1994 school year, at the end of her internship she was asked to remain with us as the computer teacher. Accepting the challenge she excelled and after a few years began teaching kindergarten, which is the position she holds currently. She belongs to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the International Association of Laboratory & University Affiliated Schools (NALS). Jill loves sharing her life with her two kids, husband, and pets. She enjoys going camping, fishing, and reading.
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. 
Kali Stull's picture

Kali Stull

Yoga/Mindfulness
Counselor
412-383-0179
kms380@pitt.edu
Kali Stull's picture

Kali Stull

Yoga/Mindfulness
Counselor
BA McGill University 
MPH University of Pittsburgh
kms380@pitt.edu
Kali Stull joined the Falk community in 2019, teaching Yoga and Mindfulness to Middle School students. In 2020, she became the counselor for Primary and Intermediate students. Kali moved to Pittsburgh in 2014 to pursue a Community and Behavioral Public Health degree. Since then, she has worked as a community and mental health advocate, a housing justice social worker, a public health researcher, and a yoga guide. Kali received her yoga certification in 2017 from YogaRoots of Location’s Anti-racist Yoga teacher training. She is passionate about co-creating a school environment that honors the full humanity of everyone and supports our collective healthy growth and development. Kali is a lover of life - she enjoys new experiences and opportunities to learn, performing, dancing, singing, being surrounded by trees, and being in relationship with friends, her partner, child, dog, plants, and fermenting microbes.
Michelle Thomas's picture

Michelle Thomas

Grade 3
Learning Specialist
412-383-9603
mmt70@pitt.edu
Michelle Thomas's picture

Michelle Thomas

Grade 3
Learning Specialist
mmt70@pitt.edu
Ms. Thomas is a life-long Pittsburgher, having grown up in the suburbs. She attended Duquesne University as an undergraduate, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 2016. More recently, Ms. Thomas obtained the Master’s in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, with dual certification in PreK-4 teaching and as a Reading Specialist. Ms. Thomas says she is excited to spend another year at Falk, where she can continue to build relationships with students and get to know and work closely with families. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Thomas loves to travel and learn new things about different cultures, enjoys spending time with her cat, Flapjack, and learning new languages such as Japanese. Her favorite children’s book right now is Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin!
Mónica L Vilá-Geis's picture

Mónica Lynn Vilá-Geis

Spanish Grades K-4
msl85@pitt.edu
Mónica L Vilá-Geis's picture

Mónica Lynn Vilá-Geis

Spanish Grades K-4
msl85@pitt.edu
Mónica was born in Barcelona, Spain, to a large family of polyglots and world travelers. At age 8 she moved to Nice, France with her family, and at 15 she moved to the US with one of her sisters. Mónica earned her Bachelor's of Science in Psychology with a minor in Art from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, and her MBA in International Marketing from USD in San Diego, California. A lifelong learner, Mónica has recently started her EdD at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Mónica’s ten-year tenure in international business was followed by her career in education, a passion that ignited back when at 8 she spent recess time enthusiastically teaching her eager French classmates Spanish recess games and songs. Her passion for sharing her languages and cultures with school children keeps growing with the years. Without counting her teaching assistantships throughout college and graduate school, Mónica has been a professional educator for eighteen years, having taught Spanish, French and Mindfulness at Sewickley Academy for the past ten years. There, she was also Chair of the Health & Wellness Committee and one of the two Lower School Coordinators of DEISJ (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice), and she served in the Faculty and Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for years. She is thrilled to join a community that is committed to advancing equity and justice in society through education, something that guides her daily practice and which she embeds in her curriculum. 

Mónica has two children who are currently in graduate school pursuing careers in Biomedical Engineering and Clinical Psychology. She loves traveling with them back to Spain to reconnect with extended family in the summertime, and together they have explored multiple countries throughout Europe and Latin America. She has finally visited Morocco, one of her dream destinations. The highlights of her travels always gravitate towards connecting with the locals, learning their language, their expressions, their music, and their dances, understanding their hopes and their dreams, and savoring their foods. She is very excited to join Falk and meet everyone in the Falk Community as soon as she returns from her current visit in Spain.
Timothy Wagner's picture

Timothy Wagner

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

Timothy Wagner

Maker Educator
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.
Derek Werderitch's picture

Derek Werderitch

Maker Educator
Derek.Werderitch@pitt.edu
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.
Miranda Zarlino's picture

Miranda Zarlino

Distance Learning Coordinator, Intermediate Grades
mmz25@pitt.edu
Miranda Zarlino's picture

Miranda Zarlino

Distance Learning Coordinator, Intermediate Grades
mmz25@pitt.edu
Ms. Zarlino, born and raised in Pittsburgh, earned her Bachelors in PreK-4 Education from Duquesne University in 2021 and is working towards her Master of Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Pittsburgh. In her Undergraduate work, Ms. Zarlino observed in different classrooms around the Pittsburgh area and collaborated on many research-based projects. Most notably, her research on the Technology Acceptance Model framework, published in the INTED 2019 Journal, led her to a love for educational technology. This drive to find virtual resources helped her tremendously in her student teaching semester with Falk during the pandemic, and will continue to help in her online classroom this year. In her free time, Ms. Zarlino loves to sing and play music. She is excited to utilize her skills and resources to give her students the most effective learning experience this school year at Falk!