Skip to main content

You are here

Who's Who

Directory

Who's Who

Mohammed Abdel Fattah's picture

Mohammed Abdel Fattah

Accountant
412-624-8029
maa215@pitt.edu
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.  
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, Duquesne University
B.A. in Spanish, Duquesne University
MFA in Poetry, University of Pittsburgh
cameronbarnett@pitt.edu
Cameron Barnett began teaching at Falk 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 begins in 1996 when he came as a 2nd grader, graduating from the 8th grade in 2003. His sister, Afton, graduated two years later, following in the footsteps of their mother, Charlene, a 70s Falk alumna. Cameron is a 2011 graduate of Duquesne University, and a 2016 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where he received the 2011 O’Donnell Award for Excellence in Poetry and the 2013 Academy of American Poets Graduate Poetry Award, respectively. His debut collection of poems, The Drowning Boy’s Guide to Water, will be published by Autumn House Press in November of 2017. Starting in the ’17-’18 school year, Cameron will move full-time to the middle school level, teaching 6th grade social studies and 7th grade language arts, and will serve on the Falk Alumni Advisory Committee, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and coach middle school cross-country. He believes deeply that people's words and stories (especially students') are artistic and valuable things, and that everyone's matters. In his spare time he enjoys reading, writing, running, and cheering on all Pittsburgh sports.
Rachel Campedel's picture

Rachel Campedel

Physical Education & Health
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
412-624-8016
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. 
Jeremiah Davis's picture

Jeremiah Davis

Educator-in-Residence for Diversity & Inclusion
jmd215@pitt.edu
Jeremiah Davis's picture

Jeremiah Davis

Educator-in-Residence for Diversity & Inclusion
jmd215@pitt.edu
Jeremiah Davis is joining Falk School this year as our Educator-in-Residence Diversity and Inclusion. Jeremiah, whom is originally from Toledo, OH, is a 2013 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a B.S. in business administration and marketing. He brings his extensive experience working youth in multiple capacities around Pittsburgh region. Most recently Mr. Davis worked through the Center for Urban Education here at the University of Pittsburgh as a Heinz Fellow. In his Heinz Fellow role he worked as a mentor, tutor, educator and social justice advocate for students the University Prep High School. Jeremiah also has experience as a teaching-artist through teaching poetry and hip-hop as a way to expose to students to broader social issues at the Art Greenhouse Program at Carnegie-Mellon University. Here at Falk, Mr. Davis will be part of the 6th-8th grade Social Justice teaching team, will work with middle school advisors to develop programming around diversity and inclusion topics for their advisory sessions, and will serve as a resource for teachers and students in all grades, K-8.
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

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.
Alex Dragon's picture

Alex Dragon

Middle School Science
412-624-8016
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.
Kaylyn Farneth's picture

Kaylyn Farneth

Middle School Language Arts
412-383-9615
kmf102@pitt.edu
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.

 
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
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
Skyler Gring's picture

Skyler Gring

Grades 4 & 5
412-624-2275
sgring@pitt.edu
Emily Harding's picture

Emily Harding

Administrative Assistant
412-383-7026
ekh30@pitt.edu
Ashley Hellman's picture

Ashley Hellman

Spanish
412-648-0215
alh96@pitt.edu
Ashley Hellman's picture

Ashley Hellman

Spanish
B.A. in Spanish and Advertising, Penn State University
MAT in Foreign Language Education, University of Pittsburgh
alh96@pitt.edu
Ashley Lynn Hellmann began her career at Falk Laboratory School in 2008 when she worked as the Spanish intern with the primary and middle-school students. Before earning her Master of Arts in Teaching a Foreign Language from the University of Pittsburgh, she earned a B.A. in Spanish and a B.A. in Advertising / Communications from the Pennsylvania State University. During her undergraduate studies, Ashley spent four months living abroad in the city of Salamanca, Spain. In 2009, Ashley was hired by Falk School and currently teaches Spanish to students in grades K – 4. During her time at Falk, Ashley has helped to design and implement numerous research projects, involving curriculum and assessment, with doctorate students from the University of Pittsburgh. Her collaborative work has been published in the “Foreign Language Annals,” “The Language Educator,” and the “Pennsylvania Language Forum.” She has also presented at numerous conferences, including the annual meetings of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages and the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys running, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.
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
Richard Kelly's picture

Richard Kelly

Student Services Assistant
412-624-9725
rfk14@pitt.edu
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.
Kelly Maddox's picture

Kelly Maddox

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

Tina Mattis

Administrative Support
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

Learning Specialist
412-624-6739
jmn56@pitt.edu
Joanna Newlin's picture

Joanna Newlin

Learning Specialist
B.A. in Psychology, Allegheny College
M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction, Loyola University of Maryland
jmn56@pitt.edu
Joanna Newlin spent her formative years in a suburb of Pittsburgh. After living in both Washington, DC and Maine, she returned to Pittsburgh in 2004 to raise her family.  Prior to coming to Falk, Joanna worked as an Elementary Montessori Teacher for 8 years.  The majority of that time was spent teaching all subjects in mixed-age classrooms with students in fourth-through-sixth grade.  In addition, Joanna spent two years working as a Behavioral Specialist Consultant for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum disorders.  In 2010, Joanna returned to the University of Pittsburgh to pursue a long-time ambition of becoming a certified Special Education Teacher.  Since finishing the teaching certification programs at the University of Pittsburgh in early 2012, Joanna has enjoyed being part of the Falk Middle School team.  Joanna lives in Glenshaw where she spends the majority of her free time with her husband, two boys, and two dogs.
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.
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.
Luis Pino Rivera's picture

Luis Pino Rivera

Assistant Director
412-383-0486
lop17@pitt.edu
Luis Pino Rivera's picture

Luis Pino Rivera

Assistant Director
B.S. in Psychology, University of Puerto Rico
M.S. in Clinical Psychology, Caribbean Center for Advanced Studies
PsyD in Clinical Psychology, Universidad Carlos Albizu
lop17@pitt.edu
Luis Pino is coming to us from Academia San Ignacio de Loyola, where he has served as Chief Executive Officer and Headmaster since 2013.  Prior to his tenure at Academia San Ignacio de Loyola he was a long-time faculty member and administrator at the Academia’s all-boy high school component, Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola, where he served from 1995-2008 as Director of College Placement, and from 2008-2013, as the Colegio’s first-ever lay President and Chief Operating Officer. A native Puerto Rican, Luis enjoys music—in particular, Latin jazz and Caribbean genres—and athletics, specifically baseball, basketball, volleyball, and snorkeling.
Donna Priore's picture

Donna Priore

Admissions Coordinator
412-624-8024
dpriore@pitt.edu
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. 
David Ross's picture

David Ross

Assistant Director
412-648-2556
dmross@pitt.edu
David Ross's picture

David Ross

Assistant Director
B.A. in English Literature, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
dmross@pitt.edu
David Ross has been at the Falk School for more than 25 years.  Before his current role as Assistant Director he was a Middle School Mathematics teacher and chair of the mathematics curriculum committee.  In his free time, David enjoys reading, music, taking walks, and spending time with friends and family.
Valerie Rossi's picture

Valerie Rossi

Middle School Spanish
412-624-0480
vyr3@pitt.edu
Jill Sarada's picture

Jill Sarada

Director of Admissions
412-624-0114
jill.sarada@pitt.edu
Jill Sarada's picture

Jill Sarada

Director of Admissions
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
Amy Strada's picture

Amy Strada

Kindergarten
412-648-2268
a.strada@pitt.edu
Alexandra Surunis's picture

Alexandra Surunis

Grade 5
Extended Day Assistant Director
412-624-2275
asurunis@pitt.edu
Alexandra Surunis's picture

Alexandra Surunis

Grade 5
Extended Day Assistant Director
2016- BA in Humanities, University of Pittsburgh 2017
MAT Secondary English, University of Pittsburgh
asurunis@pitt.edu
Lexi Surunis began working at Falk as a student worker in the Extended Day Program in 2016 and began her teaching career here, serving as the middle school Language Arts intern during the 2016-2017 school year under the mentorship of Mr. Greg Wittig and Ms. Carrie Wittig.  After a year of long-term permanent substitute positions at Canonsburg Middle School and Upper Saint Clair High School, Lexi is excited to return to Falk to be part of the 5th grade team and Extended Day Program.  Outside of teaching, Lexi loves painting and drawing, being outdoors, and coaching volleyball. 
Jeff Suzik's picture

Jeff Suzik

Director
412-624-8022
jsuzik@pitt.edu
Jeff Suzik's picture

Jeff Suzik

Director
B.A. in English and History, Gustavus Adolphus College
M.A, PhD in History, Carnegie Mellon University
jsuzik@pitt.edu
Jeff Suzik brings more than twenty years of teaching and educational administrative experience to his role as Director of the Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School, including a recent post as Head of School at Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota, a five-year tenure as Assistant Head of School/Chief Academic Officer at Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis, Missouri, and nearly a decade at Pittsburgh’s own Shady Side Academy as teacher, chair of the history department, director of the residential life program, and dean of students.  Early on in his career, Suzik taught English as a Second Language in immediate post-communist Poland and spent one year as lead teacher in a four and five-year-old preschool classroom in Madison, Wisconsin.  His academic speciality is the history of 20th-century youth and adolescence, with a particular emphasis on the education, training, and transition into adulthood of working-class teenaged boys during the Great Depression.  In his free time, Suzik enjoys cooking, hiking, architecture, spin classes, supporting Pittsburgh sports teams, and travel.
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.
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.
Haniza Yaacob-Ritz's picture

Haniza Yaacob-Ritz

Administrative Operations
412-624-1274
hay1@pitt.edu
Haniza Yaacob-Ritz's picture

Haniza Yaacob-Ritz

Administrative Operations
B.Environmental Design in Architecture, Texas A&M University
MBA, Ohio University
hay1@pitt.edu
Haniza Yaacob-Ritz spent ten years at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, Center for Public Health Practice as Associate Director for Administration. Prior to joining Pitt, she served as Assistant Manager for project development and management; and Head of the Department of Quality Assurance/Control and Safety at UE Construction Company of United Engineers (Malaysia) Group. Haniza was trained as Lead Auditor on ISO standard quality assurance and control system. She has over fifteen years combined experience in managing department and business practices; and, developing and managing projects in Southeast Asia and Middle East.
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.