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Primary 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.  
Christa Cooke's picture

Christa Cooke

Kindergarten
412-648-2268
ccooke@pitt.edu
Christa Cooke's picture

Christa Cooke

Kindergarten
B.A. in Sociology, Political Science- La Roche College
Pre-K-4 Certification (MEd in progress)- University of Pittsburgh
ccooke@pitt.edu
Christa learned to love Falk through her student teaching experience in Kindergarten during the 2016-2017 school year. She has a variety of experience in regards to working with young children. After she completed her teaching certification at the University of Pittsburgh, she began her work as a Preschool Educator at the Cyert Center for Early Education- Penn Avenue. Christa is thrilled to be back in the Kindergarten classroom! In her spare time she enjoys hiking, kayaking, swimming, reading, live music and Pirate baseball games.

 
Diana Dimitrovski's picture

Diana Dimitrovski

Kindergarten
412-648-2268
dxdst7@pitt.edu
Diana Dimitrovski's picture

Diana Dimitrovski

Kindergarten
B.S. in Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
MAT In Elementary Education, University of Pittsburgh
dxdst7@pitt.edu
Diana Dimitrovski is one of the Kindergarten teachers on our Primary team. She is also the Primary Team Leader. She has been a part of the Falk School community for many years.  She began her time at Falk as a university student who worked in our Afterschool Program. From there she went on to complete her internship in the Kindergarten classroom. Shortly after completing her studies she joined the Primary team and has been teaching Kindergarten for 13 years now. She enjoys working with this age group for many reasons, but mostly because of the joy they bring to school with them each day. She is actively involved in the school in a variety of ways. She works closely with the admissions office giving prospective parents tours of our school as well as working with the Kindergarten admissions process. She is part of the Science Curriculum Committee, Aesthetics Committee and Social Committee. She is also actively involved in the International Association of Laboratory Schools (IALS) organization as she serves on the Endowment Board. Teaching is something that Diana is very passionate about. She enjoys working with her students in the classroom, working with pre-service graduate students and sharing her knowledge when presenting to teachers at various conferences and workshops. 
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.
Kevin Felter's picture

Kevin Felter

Kindergarten
412-383-9610
kaf169@pitt.edu
Kevin Felter's picture

Kevin Felter

Kindergarten
kaf169@pitt.edu
Kevin Felter is one of the Kindergarten teachers on the Primary Team at Falk. Before landing in Pittsburgh and at Falk, Kevin served as the Dual Language Literacy Coordinator for a charter school district in Austin, Texas, overseeing the bilingual and biliteracy programming across four K-4 elementary schools. Kevin has taught 1st and 2nd grades in Spanish and has also worked as a bilingual literacy interventionist for students in Pre-K through 2nd grade. A native of Rochester, New York, he received his B.A. in Spanish and International Relations with minors in Anthropology and Latin American Studies from the State University of New York’s College at Geneseo. Kevin also holds a Master’s in Reading Education from Texas State University. His passion within education lies in early literacy and language acquisition, specifically looking at how language and culture intersect in classrooms and schools. If Kevin won a million dollars, he would travel throughout Latin America, buy a Skee-Ball machine, and build a library in his home.

 
Kevin Goodwin's picture

Kevin Goodwin

Grades 1 and 2
412-624-8027
kgoodwin@pitt.edu
Kevin Goodwin's picture

Kevin Goodwin

Grades 1 and 2
B.S. in Political Science, St. Bonaventure University
MAT in Early Childhood Education, Carlow University
kgoodwin@pitt.edu
Kevin Goodwin has worked at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for the past several years in the Education/Learning and Research Department . He has worked in both traditional classroom settings as well as informal learning environments. Kevin has a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Carlow University, a Bachelor's in Political Science from St. Bonaventure University, and is a member of the Harvard based Agency by Design research group located here in Pittsburgh. Kevin loves teaching children and considers himself a life-long learner.  He also loves dinosaurs and sloths.
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.
Chelsea Knittle's picture

Chelsea Knittle

Kindergarten
412-383-9610
cbutela@pitt.edu
Chelsea Knittle's picture

Chelsea Knittle

Kindergarten
B.S. in Elementary Education, Penn State University
M.Ed. In Education, University of Pittsburgh
cbutela@pitt.edu
Chelsea began her career at Falk Laboratory School when she worked as an intern in second grade in the Spring of 2010.  She returned back to Falk in the 2011-2012 as a Kindergarten teacher. From 2012-2013 Chelsea moved to Michigan with her now husband and worked as a Kindergarten Teacher in Detroit. Chelsea is also a certified vinyasa yoga instructor and enjoys running, animals and spending time with family and friends.
Carolyn Mericle's picture

Carolyn Mericle

Grades 1 and 2
412-624-8671
cmericle@pitt.edu
Carolyn Mericle's picture

Carolyn Mericle

Grades 1 and 2
B.A. in Early Childhood/Elementary Education, George Washington University
M.A. in Reading, University of Pittsburgh
cmericle@pitt.edu
Carolyn Mericle has enjoyed a 29-year career of serving as a teacher and administrator at various independent schools in the Washington DC and Pittsburgh areas.  She has led classrooms of children ranging from preschool to first grade. She has served as Director of After School and as an Education Director for school programs involving children in pre-k through 6th grade.  All of the classrooms and programs in which Carolyn has worked have shared the same student-centered, experiential, progressive orientation to education that Falk Laboratory School so excellently exemplifies.  Though Carolyn has taught for a long time, she still finds teaching an energizing and fascinating undertaking! At home, Carolyn loves spending quality time with her family. Together they care for their many pets, garden and orchard. Carolyn also enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, sailing and cross- country skiing.
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.
Megan O'Brien's picture

Megan O'Brien

Grades 1 and 2
412-383-9613
jmo2347@pitt.edu
Megan O'Brien's picture

Megan O'Brien

Grades 1 and 2
B.S. in Science Psychology, Xavier University
MAT in Elementary Education, University of Pittsburgh
jmo2347@pitt.edu
Megan earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Xavier University. She then spent time counseling children living at group homes. After a couple of years of working in group homes, she became a therapeutic support staff, working with young children with autism.  Megan began her teaching career at Falk School after she pursued her Masters Degree in Teaching at the University of Pittsburgh.  She first started working at Falk’s after school program as the assistant director while subbing in the building and then spent a year co-teaching in kindergarten.  After that year in kindergarten, Megan made her move to one of the first and second grade classrooms and has been there since. During her time at Falk, Megan has been a team leader for the primary team for several years and has most recently become actively involved in SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity). Megan loves spending time with her husband and triplets, reading, and keeping current with social justice education.
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.
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. 
Amy Strada's picture

Amy Strada

Kindergarten
412-648-2268
a.strada@pitt.edu
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.