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Who's Who

Carolyn Arosell's picture

Carolyn Arosell

Visual Art Grades K-5
412-624-8018
cwa22@pitt.edu
Carolyn Arosell's picture

Carolyn Arosell

Visual Art Grades K-5
cwa22@pitt.edu
Ms. Arosell is an artist and educator who has now called Pittsburgh home for about a year. She received her Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Penn State University and is working to complete her Masters in Art Education from Boston University. Ms. Arosell worked closely with the Falk community over this past year completing her student teaching and working as an additional humanities rotation. She is inspired by the willingness to learn from both the students and teachers at Falk and is using that experience to write her thesis about the benefits of student-centered learning. In her art practice, she enjoys exploring painting and fiber arts while addressing themes relating to modern feminism. In her free time, Ms. Arosell enjoys completing puzzles (many of which are often cat-related). She also enjoys cooking, sewing, and taking advantage of all the museums Pittsburgh has to offer. Ms. Arosell is excited to bring her passion for the arts to the Falk community and continue learning alongside the students and teachers.
Vidha Chansoria's picture

Vidha Chansoria

Accountant
412-624-8029
vic62@pitt.edu
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.
Cameron Barnett's picture

Cameron Barnett

Middle School Social Studies and Language Arts
412-648-5521
cameronbarnett@pitt.edu
Cameron Barnett's picture

Cameron Barnett

Middle School Social Studies and Language Arts
B.A. in English & Spanish, Duquesne University
MFA in Poetry, University of Pittsburgh
MAT, University of Pittsburgh
cameronbarnett@pitt.edu
Cameron Barnett began teaching at Falk School in the 2016-2017 school year as Artist-in-Residence, working with grades K-8 on creative writing, reading, and special projects. However, his relationship to Falk has deeper and earlier roots, beginning in 1996 when he was enrolled as a 2nd grader, eventually graduating from Falk in 2003 (his sister, Afton, graduated two years later, both of them following in the footsteps of their mother, Charlene, a 70s alumna of Falk). Cameron is a 2011 graduate of Duquesne University and earned both his MFA (2016) and MAT (2021) from the University of Pittsburgh. His first collection of poems, The Drowning Boy’s Guide to Water (Autumn House Press) won the 2017 Rising Writer contest, and in 2019 he won the Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Award for Emerging Artist. Since 2017, Cameron has taught 6th grade social studies and 7th grade English language arts at Falk. He is the head coach of the middle school cross country team and works on a number of committees for the school. He is a big believer in the power of words and stories, and in the importance of teaching the value and artistry of these things to young students. Cameron enjoys reading, writing, running, and cheering on all of Pittsburgh’s sports teams.
Chelsea Butela's picture

Chelsea Butela

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

Chelsea Butela

Kindergarten
B.S. in Elementary Education, Penn State University
M.Ed. In Education, University of Pittsburgh
cbutela@pitt.edu
While the first decade of Chelsea’s teaching career has been largely teaching at Falk in the Primary Grades, she also has worked as a TSS (Therapeutic Support Staff), and has taught in Detroit, Michigan. Chelsea is intrigued by the thinking and reasoning of children. Teaching Kindergarten allows her to merge her passions for working with children, animals, studying counseling and yoga/wellness. Being able to thread these passions ground her teaching and synthesize her understanding of development, but moreover, propose new wonderings. Chelsea has had the opportunity to teach in K, 1, 2 at Falk and values the insights she gained of this developmental spectrum. 

When not teaching, Chelsea enjoys running, teaching yoga, spending time with animals and reading but most of all, trying new things and learning about people. She lives with her cat named Tarzan, two bunnies Sunny & Neptune, and relishes in the first sip of coffee on the porch. 
Rachel Campedel's picture

Rachel Campedel

Physical Education & Wellness
412-624-8017
rdc45@pitt.edu
Cheryl Capezutti's picture

Cheryl Capezutti

Visual Arts
412-624-8018
chc157@pitt.edu
Cheryl Capezutti's picture

Cheryl Capezutti

Visual Arts
B.A. in Integrative Arts, Penn State University
M.Ed. In Arts Education, Penn State University
chc157@pitt.edu
Cheryl Capezzuti joined the faculty at the Falk Laboratory School in 2009 after more than a decade working as an independent puppet maker and master teaching artist for many local arts organizations. Most notably she was an Artist-in-Residence, rostered through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, through which she completed more than 50 residencies in schools and communities. At Falk she runs the visual arts studio for the older grades and collaborates with teachers at all grade levels and in all disciplines integrating the visual arts into the curriculum. Outside of Falk, Capezzuti is a sculptor and puppet maker with a rich studio practice. She is best known as the master puppet maker and Creative Director for the First Night Pittsburgh Parade, which features hundreds of giant puppets she has made through workshops all over the greater Pittsburgh region. In addition to making very large-scale works, she also produces smaller, gallery-sized theatrical works using puppets and exhibits sculptural work in both galleries and non-traditional spaces. Nationally her work has been featured on The Ellen Degeneres Show, Good Morning America, and NBC Nightly News.
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.

 
Eileen Coughlin's picture

Eileen Coughlin

Middle School Science
412-383-0664
emc981@pitt.edu
Eileen Coughlin's picture

Eileen Coughlin

Middle School Science
B.S. in Biology, University of Pittsburgh
M.Ed. In Secondary Science Education, University of Pittsburgh
emc981@pitt.edu
Eileen Marie Coughlin began her teaching career when she entered the Professional Year program in Secondary Science Education at the University of Pittsburgh.  She completed her student teaching requirement at Falk during the 1996-1997 school year.   From there, she obtained a permanent substitute position as an 8th grade science teacher at Gateway Middle School.  In August, 1997, she was hired at Falk when her mentor, Dr. Cathy O’Farrell, moved to sunny Florida.  In 1998, she decided to go back to school to obtain her M.Ed. in Secondary Science Education. In addition to teaching science in the middle school, Eileen serves as chair of the Science Curriculum Committee.  She also acts as a committee member for the Falk Woods, and admissions.  She coordinates the annual school picture day, as well as the 8th grade Cedar Point trip planning and fundraising. In her spare time, Eileen enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, taking kids to Irish dance lessons & competitions, Gaelic football, gymnastics, and baseball games.  She volunteers on Chatham University's Falk School of Sustainability's K-12 Advisory Group,  the adult team for her church youth group and the concessions committee for 14th Ward Baseball Association. 
Rachel Courbis's picture

Rachel Courbis

Grades 4 and 5
412-383-0904
rlc117@pitt.edu
Molly Dickerson's picture

Molly Dickerson

Middle School Computer Science
Middle School Distance Learning Coordinator
mad408@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.
Diana Dimitrovski's picture

Diana Dimitrovski

Director of Admissions
412-383-0486
dxdst7@pitt.edu
Diana Dimitrovski's picture

Diana Dimitrovski

Director of Admissions
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

Extended Day
tjd13@pitt.edu
Alex Dragon's picture

Alex Dragon

Middle School Science
412-383-0669
ard83@pitt.edu
Alex Dragon's picture

Alex Dragon

Middle School Science
2015, MAT in Secondary Science Teaching, University of Pittsburgh
2012, B.S. in Environmental Geology, University of Pittsburgh
ard83@pitt.edu
Alexander Dragon has always been fascinated by the natural universe, the Earth, and living things. Like many young children, he was obsessed with dinosaurs, but pursued this love of paleontology through college. He studied environmental geology and biology at and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in Environmental Geology in 2012. During this time, he volunteered in the PaleoLab at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History preparing fossils, and he received a Brackenridge Fellowship in 2011-2012 to CT scan and study a Jurassic crocodile relative (Hoplosuchus kayi).  Although Alex loves science, he also enjoyed the broad exposure to the humanities and especially the history and philosophy of science during his undergraduate education.

After his undergraduate education, Mr. Dragon decided to pursue science teaching and returned to Pitt to complete their MAT program, and taught as the middle school science intern at Falk during the 2014-2015 academic year. He taught biology and physical science as a long-term substitute at Peters Township High School the following year, and was delighted to return to Falk teaching 6th and 7th grade science in 2016-2017. Alex enjoys birdwatching, drawing, reading, and playing video and table-top games in his spare time and holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Kevin Felter's picture

Kevin Felter

Grades 1 and 2
412-383-9610
kaf169@pitt.edu
Kevin Felter's picture

Kevin Felter

Grades 1 and 2
B.A. Spanish & International Relations, State University of New York College at Geneseo
M.Ed. Reading Education, Texas State University
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.
Deanna Ferchak's picture

Deanna Ferchak

School Nurse
412-624-8023
def30@pitt.edu
Deanna Ferchak's picture

Deanna Ferchak

School Nurse
Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, RN
def30@pitt.edu
Deanna has over 32 years of nursing experience. She was an assistant head nurse and worked in many areas of patient care at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh. For the last 22 years, she has worked as a school nurse in both the public and private school settings. Deanna also has extensive emergency management training and experience and has created the emergency operations plan for a local private school and a public school district. She holds multiple FEMA and other emergency response training certifications. She is a certified CPR instructor and has trained the entire faculty and staff at Falk School in CPR, AED use, and choking response for adults, children, and infants. 

Deanna has been married to her high school sweetheart, Jack, for 32 years! She has two grown daughters, Becky – who is a catering marketing director and sales consultant - and Katie - who is a physician assistant and is working with the Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.

Deanna's favorite times are with her family, friends, and her Pomeranian puppy Chloe! 

“Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription." - Val Saintsbury
Patricia Finn's picture

Patricia Finn

Learning Specialist
412-624-2283
prf11@pitt.edu
Patricia Finn's picture

Patricia Finn

Learning Specialist
B.S.Ed. in English, West Chester University
M.A. in Reading Specialist, Teachers College, Columbia University
prf11@pitt.edu
Tricia Finn grew up in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, Mushroom Capital of the World.  She studied education at West Chester University and Teachers College, Columbia University.  Tricia taught in New York City while in graduate school and after graduating.  When Tricia moved to Pittsburgh, she first taught in Pittsburgh Public Schools and began working at Falk in 2017.  Tricia enjoys working as a Learning Specialist at Falk and returned to school to complete her EdD in Special Education at the University of Pittsburgh, graduating in Summer 2021. Tricia also enjoys coaching Cross Country at Falk. In her free time, Tricia loves to paint, run, play Ultimate Frisbee and spend time with friends and family.  
Lisa Giardina's picture

Lisa Giardina

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

Darylana Godfrey

Extended Day Program Coordinator
412-624-8274 or 412-624-7257
dag29@pitt.edu
Darylana Godfrey's picture

Darylana Godfrey

Extended Day Program Coordinator
B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies in K-8 Education, Western Governors University
MS in Brain Based Teaching, Nova Southeastern University
dag29@pitt.edu
Darylana Godfrey is an educator, musician, and Pittsburgh native with degrees in Music, Education, and Brain-Based Teaching.
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.
Christina Graham's picture

Christina Graham

Middle School Math
412-624-2282
cag169@pitt.edu
Emily Harding's picture

Emily Harding

Administrative Assistant
412-383-7026
ekh30@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.
Laura Jones's picture

Laura Jones

Counselor
412-624-2284
laura.jones@pitt.edu
Elizabeth King's picture

Elizabeth King

Distance Learning Coordinator, Primary Grades
elizabeth.king@pitt.edu
Joshua Keebler's picture

Joshua Keebler

Technology Coordinator
jkeebler@pitt.edu
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.
Colleen Lataille's picture

Colleen Lataille

Kindergarten
412-624-2268
cel92@pitt.edu
Colleen Lataille's picture

Colleen Lataille

Kindergarten
cel92@pitt.edu
Colleen Lataille grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated Westminster College in 2009 with a degree in Elementary Education and Spanish. Upon graduation, she moved to Colorado and taught 3rd and 4th grade. She also spent a few years supervising and leading a preschool ski program at a local ski area. After obtaining her masters in Global and International Education at Drexel University in 2017, she moved abroad to Switzerland to teach at an international boarding school for four years. She taught 3rdgrade and then preschool, finding her love for early childhood education. She was able to lead weekend activities for high school boarding students, chaperone service trips in Kenya, and explore all that Europe has to offer. Ms. Lataille is excited to return to Pittsburgh to reunite with friends and family, discover the outdoors community here, and raise her new puppy. She is thrilled to join the team at Falk this year!
Kelly Maddox's picture

Kelly Maddox

Communications Manager
412-624-7286
kmaddox@pitt.edu
Tina Mattis's picture

Tina Mattis

Administrative Assistant
412-624-8021
cmattis@pitt.edu
Ali McCrossin's picture

Ali McCrossin

Manager of Constituent Relations
412-624-7301
anb107@pitt.edu
Ali McCrossin's picture

Ali McCrossin

Manager of Constituent Relations
B.A. in History and Political Science, University of Pittsburgh
MPA concentration in Public and Nonprofit Management, University of Pittsburgh (in progress)
anb107@pitt.edu
Ali McCrossin joined the Falk School in 2018 as the Manager of Constituent Relations. In this role, Ali is engaged in helping Falk reach its full potential through philanthropic support and in supporting Falk Alumni to maintain a lifelong connection to the school. Prior to joining Falk, Ali served as an Admissions Counselor and an Assistant Director of Admissions in the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, and a Leadership Annual Giving Associate in Pitt’s Office of Institutional Advancement. In her spare time, Ali enjoys traveling, exploring Frick Park, volunteering with the Junior League of Pittsburgh, and cheering on the Pitt Panthers alongside her husband, Matt.
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.
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.
Joanna Newlin's picture

Joanna Newlin

Interim Director, Grades 6-8
412-624-6739
jmn56@pitt.edu
Joanna Newlin's picture

Joanna Newlin

Interim Director, Grades 6-8
B.A. in Psychology, Allegheny College
M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction, Loyola University of Maryland
jmn56@pitt.edu
After living in both Washington, DC and Maine, Joanna Newlin returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh to raise her family.  She spent the first part of her career as an elementary Montessori teacher in both Pittsburgh and Maine.  The majority of that time was spent teaching all subjects in mixed-age classrooms with students in fourth-through-sixth grade.  While her own children were young, Joanna spent two years working from home as a Behavioral Specialist Consultant for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. In 2012, she moved to Falk as a Learning Specialist working primarily with the Middle School team.  Joanna took on the additional role of Coordinator of Student Services beginning in 2016.  Upon coming to Falk, she found herself in the ideal place to combine her passions around inquiry-based learning, inclusive practices, and lifelong learning.  Joanna lives in Glenshaw where she spends the majority of her free time with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.
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.
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.
Valerie Rossi's picture

Valerie Rossi

Middle School Spanish
412-624-0480
vyr3@pitt.edu
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. 
Dawn Smith's picture

Dawn Smith

Learning Specialist
412-624-3867
dfs21@pitt.edu
Dawn Smith's picture

Dawn Smith

Learning Specialist
B.S. in Elementary Education & Special Education, Minor in Psychology, Edinboro University
M.Ed. in Special Education, Edinboro University
dfs21@pitt.edu
Dawn Smith started her teaching career in Spotsylvania County, Virginia as a Teacher for students with Severe Disabilities.  She then relocated back to the Pittsburgh area where she taught as a Learning and Emotional Support Teacher in the Penn Hills School District.  Next, Dawn worked for DynaVox, Mayer-Johnson as an Education Consultant.  After adding to her family, and missing being in the classroom, Dawn returned to working directly with children again, as a Life Skills Support Teacher at the Norwin School District.  Following her quest for knowledge, Dawn accepted the position at Falk as the Primary Learning Specialist in 2018.  In her free time, Dawn enjoys time with her husband, as a spectator of their three children’s various sporting events.  Dawn also enjoys reading, walking their dog, and summer trips to the beach.
Katie Spence's picture

Katie Spence

Grades 1 and 2
kes271@pitt.edu
Katie Spence's picture

Katie Spence

Grades 1 and 2
kes271@pitt.edu
Katie began working at Falk in 2019 after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh's CASE with a Bachelor's in Applied Developmental Psychology and Master's degree in Instruction and Learning.  Katie completed her student teaching hours in multiple schools in the Pittsburgh area and fell in love with Falk in 2018 after her semester in Chelsea's 2nd Grade Classroom.  Katie spends part of the week as a co-teacher in Room 25's Kindergarten classroom and part of the week as a Learning Specialist for the building.  In her spare time, she enjoys running, taking care of her plants, and spending time enjoying all of Pittsburgh's beautiful parks!
Amy Strada's picture

Amy Strada

Kindergarten
412-648-2268
a.strada@pitt.edu
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!
Samantha Utley's picture

Samantha Utley

Interim Assistant Director
Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Coordinator
412-383-4593
sautley@pitt.edu
Samantha Utley's picture

Samantha Utley

Interim Assistant Director
Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Coordinator
sautley@pitt.edu
Samantha Utley began her educator journey at Duquesne University where she obtained her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education K-6. She did her student teaching at Duquesne Elementary School, and would go on to work at the school for eleven years. While there she taught first, second, fifth, and sixth grades as a self contained teacher, served as the STEAM Instructional Coach, and Dean of Students for three years each concurrently. Samantha has obtained her Special Education Certification N-12, and Masters in K-12 Administration also from Duquesne University. She had the opportunity to start an all girl’s coding club, and presented with them at ISTE 19. Samantha enjoys visiting museums, traveling, exercising, and spending time with her loved ones.
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.
MaryRose Walko's picture

MaryRose Walko

Admissions Coordinator
412-383-0486
maw429@pitt.edu
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.
Carrie Wittig's picture

Carrie Wittig

Middle School Language Arts
412-383-9615
carriewittig@pitt.edu
Carrie Wittig's picture

Carrie Wittig

Middle School Language Arts
B.A. in English Literature and English Writing, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburgh
MAT in Secondary English and Communications Education, University of Pittsburgh
carriewittig@pitt.edu
Carrie Wittig began her teaching career at Falk as an intern in Middle School English Language Arts under Greg Wittig. She then taught first and second grade for one year in Primary at Falk before returning to Middle School to teach 6th and 7th grade. Carrie's goal as a teacher is to enable students to engage in and transform their worlds through critical and shared inquiry of texts, skills, and ideas. By immersing students in authentic literacy, she hopes to give them the tools to make meaning, construct their identities, and take part in their communities. Before becoming a teacher, Carrie worked for six years as a copy editor and communications coordinator at a local non-profit. Carrie is on the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theater (PICT) Education Board and a volunteer for Girls Rock! Pittsburgh. She likes to read, go camping and hiking, and visit historical places.
Corey Wittig's picture

Corey Wittig

Librarian
412-624-8516
cmw186@pitt.edu
Greg Wittig's picture

Greg Wittig

Middle School Social Studies
412-624-5391
gjwittig@pitt.edu
Greg Wittig's picture

Greg Wittig

Middle School Social Studies
B.A. in English Education
MAT in English Education, University of Pittsburgh
PhD Program in Social and Comparative Analysis Education, University of Pittsburgh
gjwittig@pitt.edu
I am interested in emergent curriculum and contested ideas. I think the biggest obligation we have as educators is to examine ourselves and our practice.
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.
Michael Yalch's picture

Michael Yalch

Middle School Math
412-624-8028
myalch@pitt.edu
Michael Yalch's picture

Michael Yalch

Middle School Math
myalch@pitt.edu
When Michael is not reading, playing sports, spending time with family, or pretending he can sing, he is thinking about mathematics. He has always loved this incredible subject and has found a comfortable home at Falk School as K-5 Mathematics Specialist, middle school teacher, and co-chair of the department. As a former Falk intern, he grew to love this school’s atmosphere and philosophy. His dream came true when he was officially hired. Mr. Yalch enjoys his daily interactions with Falk’s students and colleagues, as well as furthering his own knowledge and education about this beautiful vocation of teaching at Falk School.
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!