Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education


Log in

Tuesday Keynote and Sessions 

Keynote session, 9:00-10:00 AM

MS3: "The Promise and Potential of Trauma-Informed Communities" featuring Melanie G. Snyder

What is a trauma-informed community and why should we care? How can local communities benefit from becoming a trauma-informed? Through a year-long Baldwin Fellowship with the Lancaster County Community Foundation, Melanie G. Snyder visited half a dozen well-established trauma-informed communities in the Pacific Northwest and Canada to learn from their experiences. She brings that knowledge to this session and will share key learnings about the benefits, potential pitfalls, and essential steps in cross-sector collaboration to develop a trauma-informed community.

Melanie G. Snyder has trained over 1300 people about trauma and resilience, including 400 corrections officers and parole officers. She is passionate about helping people in the community understand the connections between trauma, addiction, mental health and criminal justice system involvement. She is a certified trauma instructor with the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Eastern Mennonite University, and Treatment Innovations, and was a 2016-17 Baldwin Fellow with the Lancaster County Community Foundation, where her focus was on trauma, resilience, and trauma-informed communities. Melanie serves as a consultant and trainer for communities and agencies across Pennsylvania working to become trauma-informed.


Tuesday Session Five (10:15 AM - 11:15 AM) 

5A:  Children and Grief - Evelyn Wald, Program Director at TIDES - Standard 4

Learn about how grief is expressed at various developmental ages and how to support a child or teen who has experienced the death of a loved one. 

Presenter Bio(s)

Ms. Wald is a licensed professional counselor with a specialty in grief and loss. She is currently the Director of a program working with grieving children. Ms. Wald also has experience as a court mediator and serves as a pastor responsible for youth, Christian education and outreach. 

5B: Anxiety & Depression in Young People: What is Going On and How Can we Help? - Stephen Paesani, BHTEN - Standard 4

So many of our young people suffer with anxiety and depression. Many do not realize what is happening to them...they just know that something "feels wrong" and they are not sure what, if anything, can be done about it. This presentation will look at the reality of anxiety and depression in our youth...the extent, the causes, the manifestations of the difficulty, and what we can do to help.

Presenter(s) Bio

Stephen Paesani serves as the Children and Adolescent Training Specialist for the Behavioral Health Training and Education Network. In this position, he works in close collaboration with the Department of Behavioral Health/Intellectual disAbility Services, the Targeted Case Management Unit and providers. Mr. Paesani works with several initiatives, including, Multiplying Connections, the PA Network for Student Assistance Services, and the DDAP Training System. Prior to coming to BHTEN, Stephen was the Director of Project CARE, Prevention Coordinator for the Delaware County Drug & Alcohol Commission, and a high school teacher. Stephen has an AB degree in Philosophy for St. Joseph's University, a Master of Theological Studies from Catholic Theological Union (Chicago), and an MA in Religious Studies from St. Charles Seminary, Philadelphia.

5C:  Vaping Unveiled - Alison Odin, Caron Treatment Center, SAP Specialist and Argie Hansen, Caron Treatment Center, Lead SAP Specialist - Standard 4

Presenters will provide current research and usage trends pertaining to teens and the vaping craze in schools. Participants will leave with up-to-date information and resources on vape trends, products, and usage. School and SAP professionals will be better equipped to return to their organizations and provide in-school supports and programs for students, families, and school staff. 

Presenter(s) Bio

Alison Odin is a Student Assistance Program Specialist with Caron Treatment Center, servicing schools in the Lehigh Valley region. She currently works with students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, providing services such as psycho-educational support groups, prevention services, parent programming, and large and small group presentations to faculty, parents, and students. In addition, she is a member of the vaping committee and a presenter for Caron’s Peak Performance Leadership Academy, which is a substance use and abuse educational program for high school athletes. Ali is a former public-school educator, having first taught Emotional and Learning Support classes at the high school level, and then serving as a fifth and sixth grade Title I Reading Specialist. Ali holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Bloomsburg University in Interpersonal and Organizational Communications, a K-12 Special Education teaching certificate from Alvernia University, and a Master’s Degree coupled with a K-12 Reading Specialist certification from Kutztown University. 

Argie Hansen has been a part of the Student Assistance Department at Caron Treatment Centers since 2014. She is currently the Lead Student Assistance Specialist in Lancaster County, and the Student Assistance Coordinator at Garden Spot Middle School and High School. Prior to working at Caron, Argie worked at Delaware County Women Against Rape for fifteen years. First as a counselor/advocate to survivors of sexual assault, then as the director of sexual assault victim services. During her time there, in addition to providing crisis intervention and small group counseling to survivors, she also provided sexual assault prevention programming to high school and higher education students as well as education to other professionals. 

5D:  Social Advocacy 101 - Tools and Training for Educators, Stephen Sharp, Hempfield School District, School Counselor and Dana Wile, Penn Manor High School - Standard 2

Inequality is the leading factors of global risk and is growing in the United States (WEF, 2018) Growing disparity in academic achievement, educational access, employment, income, wealth and much more seems to be drawn across lines of gender, color and class. There has been a stark rise in the number of hate/bias incidents in schools over the past two years. School counselors are social justice advocates, supporting students from all backgrounds and circumstances. Despite the role as social justice advocates and working with diverse populations, many school counselors have limited knowledge of key concepts of race and inequality (Spray & Lamberghini-West, 2011). School counselors with higher decreases of cultural competence have and use of a comprehensive school counseling program have been shown to increase student academic achievement (Conroy, 2015). 

Presenter(s) Bio

Stephen Sharp is a school counselor and Apple Certified Educator. He has worked to provide students with the knowledge and skills to be healthy and successful in the 21st century. Stephen previously worked in his school district as a technology leader, and been served on the governing boards of both his local and state school counseling associations.

Stephen completed his M.Ed at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, and BA from Lycoming College.

Stephen was a contributing writer on the use of technology and career exploration in Voices from the Field, Orientation to the Counseling Profession.

Stephen Sharp is a co-founder of the Leadership Summit, a community-based social justice network to provide students the language and tools to understand and combat the many forms of oppression.

Stephen is a Nationally Certified School Suicide Prevention Specialist, and continues to work with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to pilot an electronic behavioral health screening for schools. He works tirelessly across the state to provide education and training on mental health, substance abuse, inequality, and a world changed by technology. Stephen frequently presents on technology, emerging career skills, mental health and race in education. Stephen was named the 2017 Pennsylvania Middle School Counselor of the Year. 

Dana Wile is a school counselor in the Penn Manor School District. She works to tireless in matters of social justice and technology education. Dana completed both her BA and Masters in School Counseling from Millersville University

Dana is a co-founder of the Leadership Summit, a community-based social justice network to provide students the language and tools to understand and combat the many forms of oppression. Dana presents nationally on topics of gender, bias, technology and education.

Dana is President of the Lancaster County School Counselors Association. 

5E: Developing Resilience to Stress - John Sushereba and Barb Ertl (Standard 4)

Join KCIT in learning about how stress impacts the brain and ways to develop resilience in self and students to mitigate those effects.  By understanding how the brain functions under stress and ways to cope with stress, professionals can take back tips and knowledge back to their students and classrooms. Information will be given in a non-technical way that can help students understand what is going on and why self-care and resiliency are important to them.

Presenter(s) Bio

John Sushereba has worked in the mental health field for over 36 years. He has both a BA and MA in clinical psychology, and is also a certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. He has worked as an outpatient therapist most of his career, but also served as a supervisor at a large adolescent partial hospitalization program. He has worked in many school districts as a mental health consultant prior to, and under the Student Assistance Program. He is a certified trainer for the mental health portions of the SAP training for the IU5. John served on the board of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Assistant Professionals (PASAP). In addition to serving in the U.S. Navy during Viet Nam, he was asked to speak at a retreat from the Marine Base in Camp Pendleton in California to over 25 military Chaplains on topics of “Dealing with Loss and Grief” and “Caregivers taking care of themselves” following losses sustained in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. He recently retired from 16 years with Stairways Behavioral Health as a Mobile Therapist, and outpatient therapist. He now serves them in their Employee Assistance Program.

He is a trained & certified crisis responder for Pennsylvania’s KCIT (Keystone Crisis Intervention Team), having served on a number of deployments. He is a trainer for KCIT and is a member of their advisory committee. He has done trainings for our state CASSP in Mental Health and Depression/Suicide topics and the former Columbia University TeenScreen, and the Signs of Suicide instruments. He also serves the Commonwealth as Co-Chair of the Emergency Behavioral Health Response Advisory Consortium. He has presented seminars at the State SAP Mental Health Liaison Conference, the PASAP Conference, and the CASSP Conference among others.

Barb Ertl, a Marine Corps Veteran, has over 30+ years experience as a school social worker directing a multi-district crisis team. Barb has been a KCIT member and trainer since 2016. She is also an international trainer for CISM and has conducted training in all 50 states and in 6 countries! She is a certified Trauma specialist with the Association of Traumatic Stress.


5F:  McKinney-Vento and The Rights of Homeless & Unaccompanied Youth - Sonia Pitzi, Lincoln Intermediate Unit and Michelle Conner, Bucks County Intermediate Unit - Standard 2

Presentation discussing the rights of children and youth who may be homeless or housing unstable to attend school with no barriers to their education.  The session on McKinney Vento will enable all attendees to understand the federal act and the role it plays in shaping a student who is experiencing homelessness or housing instability. The needs of these students are wide ranging and vary from student to district to region. This session will help bring a large scale issue into better focus enabling those in the fields of education, social work, counseling and in administration the ability to help serve this vital part of the educational community.

Presenter(s) Bio

Sonia Pitzi is the Education for Children & Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) Regional Coordinator for Region 3 which includes Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juanita, Mifflin, Perry & York Counties. Bio – Sonia L. Pitzi Sonia has worked with students experiencing homelessness for more than 20 years, eliminating educational barriers through partnerships and coordination with school districts, shelters and other community agencies. She is responsible for providing training and technical assistance to all educational entities in ECYEH Region 3, which spans eight counties in southcentral Pennsylvania (Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, and York). In her role as regional coordinator, she supports inter-district and intra-district cooperation and communication to identify, support, ensure appropriate transportation services to, and assess and address barriers for students experiencing homelessness. In order to reach the non-sheltered homeless population, and the population of unaccompanied homeless youth, she coordinates a summer outreach and camp program that provides much needed services for this population. Sonia obtained her bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Education (Special Populations) from Northland College in WI and is also certified as an Olweus Bullying Prevention Trainer.

Michelle Connor, currently the ECYEH Region 8 Coordinator for Homeless & Foster Youth, Encompassing Bucks, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery & Northampton counties.

Building upon a lifelong commitment of volunteering for social service organizations, and the knowledge obtained from her experience working as a Bucks County Intermediate Unit Extended School Year Coordinator and subsequent Homeless Support Coordinator, offers an invigorated perspective and strategic vision to better support the educational stability of youth experiencing homelessness. Currently facilitating monthly Direct Services Coalition meetings, participating in county-specific Student Assistance Program meetings, and serving on the Your Way Home Governance Committee, the Regional Coordinator is working to expand the impact and involvement with collaborative coalitions, community programs, and local agencies.

A graduate of Holy Family University, who is married with 3 children and resides in Doylestown, PA. She has been with the ECYEH program for just over one year, but is a great believer in the power of people and that the human spirit is capable of great things, Working together we can make a difference; we will make a difference! 

5G:  Teaching and Assessing the Most Important Outcomes – Mike Hall (Principal), Megan Sudsina (Science Teacher), Avonworth MS (STW)

We say we want students to be collaborative.  We agree they need to have a growth mindset.  We all want students to be better at oral communication and written communication.  How do we teach this?  Additionally, how do we assess this?  Avonworth Middle School utilized project-based learning as a vehicle to address these skills.  This session will provide you with practical ways to teach and assess these important learning outcomes.

Presenter(s) Bio:

Michael Hall -Avonworth Middle School Principal
Megan Sudsina - 8th Grade Science Teacher

5H: Empowering students with Restorative interventions in school – Jen Williams (Counselor) & Jennifer Moyer (Health & PE), Twin Valley MS (STW)

At Twin Valley Middle School, teachers and students implement practices found along the restorative continuum.  Through the use of community-building circles, peer run restorative conferencing, and consistent proactive approach by staff, this unique model is changing school climate and culture.  Our session will walk you through the journey of starting a Student Advocacy program that is infused with Restorative Practice concepts.  We will share relevant research along with social, behavioral, and outcomes based on our program experience.

Presenter(s) Bio:

Jen Williams has worked in K-12 education for the past 17 year. She received a BA in Psychology from Susquehanna University, a Master’s in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University and a Master’s in Restorative Practices from the International Institute for Restorative Practices. She is a Licensed Trainer for the International Institute for Restorative Practices. She currently works at the Twin Valley Middle School as a school counselor and coordinates a Restorative Student-Run Peace Room.

Jen Moyer has worked in K-12 education for over 25 years. She received a BS in Health and Physical Education from East Stroudsburg University, a Master’s of Health Education from Penn State University, a Master’s in Social and Emotional Learning from Neumann University, and is also a Licensed Trainer for the International Institute for Restorative Practices. She currently works at Twin Valley Middle School as Health and Physical Educator and Student Advocacy Coordinator.

5I: Career Readiness and Synthesis – Amy Clark, ELA Teacher, Neshannock Junior High School (STW)

The presenter will discuss two new rotation courses that Neshannock added this year, Career Readiness and Synthesis Project. In these rotations, students complete assessments that link skills and interests to national career courses, pathways, and occupations
 
In the Synthesis Project, students rotate on a 5-day schedule to Computers, Video/Coding, Music, CAD (Computer Aiding Design) Lab, and Art.  Each student in Grade 7 will create their own game board (Art), develop directions (Computers: technical writing), use the CAD Lab 3-D printer to design and create game pieces (including parts of the game board) and create a company jingle (music).

Attendees will learn strategies on how to infuse career readiness and project-based learning without necessarily creating separate courses.

Presenter(s) Bio 

Amy Clark is a 7th grade ELA and Career Readiness teacher in the Neshannock Junior High School. She resides in New Castle, PA with her husband and 6 children.

5J:  Multimodal Tools to Support Informational and Argument Writing – Aileen P. Hower, Ed.D. Assistant Professor, Millersville University

Using mini-lessons and conferring strategies, this presentation will model how writers can use digital tools to support their informational and argumentative writing to become more engaging. Attendees model how to help their students enhance their writing through the modeling of techniques and tools that allow them to write more interactively, in preparation for 21st century writing skills. Attendees will actively participate in presented activities and reflect upon their usefulness.

Presenter(s) Bio:

Aileen P. Hower, Ed.D. is an Assistant Professor of Literacy and the Program Coordinator for the M.Ed in Language and Literacy at Millersville University where she teaches mid- and graduate level Content Area Literacy courses. In addition to teaching, she is President of the Keystone State Literacy Association (KSLA) and the Vice President of Elementary School for the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts (PCTELA).

5K: Project Based Learning and Creating Authentic Projects – Jessica B. Cable, English Teacher, Central Valley MS (STW)

Driven by the necessity to create engaging and rigorous projects with authentic and realistic
connections for the 21st century learner. In this presentation, we will introduce the crucial design elements of an effective project based learning environment, and demonstrate how teachers can include student voice and choice, community connections, and authentic learning experiences in their classroom. We will present a modern cross-curricular project and discuss opportunities and strategies for including relevant community connections.

Presenter(s) Bio

I teach so that I can bring to life the study of language, and the love of the human experience. My career has been filled with many opportunities to learn from and with a diverse populations of students (both school-aged and adult), colleagues, mentors, and leaders. Over the past eight years, I taught English Language Arts in the low country of South Carolina. The most recent four years of that experience I served as a facilitator in a project based New Tech-affiliated school called Cougar New Tech Entrepreneurial Academy. As a part of my experience with Cougar New Tech, I co-taught a course called “World Studies” with a Social Studies facilitator. We spent four years blending and merging curriculums and doing our best to bring history to life through the use of primary sources and relevant modern thematic connections. In 2017, my husband and I moved back to Western Pennsylvania with our first son and welcomed our second son here in September of last year. I currently work at Central Valley Middle School in Monaca, Pennsylvania as a seventh grade English teacher. Before this experience, I graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2009 receiving a BS in Secondary Education, English and Communications (7-12). In December of 2017, I received my Masters in Reading and Literacy (K-12) from Central Michigan University.


Tuesday Session Six (11:30 AM - 12:30 PM) 

6A: The Dark Web - Adam Salyards and Jon Aston (Standard 4)


6B: Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy In School Counseling Practice - David Skowronski, Mariana Bracetti Academy Charter School (Standard 4)

Participants will learn to implement, in their education program, skills and techniques that are grounded in the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to serve and benefit their student's emotional reactions and behaviors. Participants will be able to define and explain CBT and its components. Evidence Based Research will be presented to indicate the need and validity to implement such techniques. We will look at the benefits of CBT in the classroom, and how we can take a child whose behavior may be suffering due to a negative situation that has occurred in their life and give them the ability to rationalize, communicate well, concentrate, retain and recall information that may be impaired. Participants will walk away with a least three CBT techniques and strategies that will enable them to allow their students to realize that it is their negative ‘thought’ that is causing them to struggle with their feelings and behavior. Participants will also learn how to implement these strategies into a mindfulness-based advisory.

Presenter(s) Bio:

David B. Skowronski, MA LPC, LPMHC.  David is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Nationally Certified School Counselor. He has over a decade of experience working with adolescents and adults in outpatient and school settings. He worked and provided individual/group psychotherapy at Professional Psychology Services in Philadelphia for over 12 years. Among his areas of specialization are gay and lesbian issues, depression, anxiety, and family therapy. He is a school counselor at Mariana Bracetti Academy charter school for the past 6 years. Previously he held a position as a school counselor at St. Joseph's Preparatory School in Philadelphia for 11 years.


6C: Off-Script - Norma Alrutz and Saltworks Theatre Group (Standard 4)

Off-Script, a production of Saltworks Theater Company, is a play about the misuse of prescription opioids. The play features three high school students an athlete, a scholar, and drug dealer; their stories of addiction to prescription opioids and heroin; the consequences of their actions; and their journey to recovery.

Presenter(s) Bio:

Saltworks began full-time programming in school settings in 1983 with the development of the award-winning play, I Am The Brother Of Dragons, which addresses drug and alcohol abuse. A typical year consists of 100-120 performances throughout all of PA and five surrounding states. All of the programs are age appropriate for each of our audiences and span Kindergarten through grade 12. The dramas are written by nationally recognized award-winning playwrights who understand the learning modes of young people.

The objectives of the program are 1) to empower elementary students with the motivation and means to identify needed change and be proactive about causing the outcome and 2) to empower older students with the motivation and means to avoid drug and alcohol use and abuse.

Through the medium of drama, students vicariously identify with the play’s characters, becoming emotionally involved and invested in the outcome. Teachers, parents and school personnel report that students who have felt isolated, troubled and afraid are motivated to seek help after witnessing a Saltworks assembly.

The fact is that students have many different learning styles and theatre can convey a message in a poignant fashion that is not possible by speaking or reading.

After seeing our production of I Am the Brother of Dragons, one secondary principal wrote, “There is an old adage that the best instruction is that which teaches as it pleases. I have always believed that to be true and this assembly program was a prime example of just how effective that method can be. Certainly, the students will remember the music, the skits, and the way in which they laughed and participated, but deep inside, they have also learned valuable lessons that every aspect of this program was geared to convey. It was teaching at its best.”

6D: Tips & Tricks to Create SAP Awareness - Terrie Taylor, Caron Treatment Center and Deanna Snyder, Caron Treatment Center (Standard 2)

This workshop will identify ways to market your SAP team and services to key stakeholders in your district: administration, faculty, Students, and Parents. Learn various methods to engage participants and increase awareness and participation in your program. From Staff presentations to Social Media, you can effectively create an interactive SAP process.

Presenter(s) Bio:

Terrie Taylor, LSW has 22 years of experience working with children and adolescents. She started her career in public child welfare, working with children in foster care, matching eligible children with adoptive families, and supervising other caseworkers. She has also worked as a Behavioral Specialist and outpatient provider for various community agencies. She has worked as a SAP specialist with Caron Treatment Centers since 2013. Terrie also serves on her local school board and volunteers with the St. Vincent DePaul Society.

Deanna Snyder has been a Student Assistance Program Specialist working as part of the Education Department of Caron Treatment Centers for seven years. She is primarily in the Muhlenberg School District providing SAP services for the entire district. Deanna worked as a SAP Specialist 16 years ago before staying home with her children. Prior to working at Caron, Deanna was a Prevention Educator for PeaceWorks the education department of Berks Women in Crisis (currently Safe Berks). She earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications and Public Relations with a minor in Psychology from Kutztown University

6E:  Don't Panic! Surviving Your McKinney-Vento LEA Monitoring Visit - Michelle Connor, Bucks County Intermediate Unit, ECYEH Region 8 Coordinator for Homeless & Foster Youth and Missy Gosnell, Program Liaison, Lincoln Intermediate Unit (Standard 2)

This presentation will cover the McKinney-Vento monitoring process. This is the federal act meant to ensure the removal of all barriers to the educational process for students experiencing homelessness.

Presenter(s) Bio:

Michelle Connor, currently the ECYEH Region 8 Coordinator for Homeless & Foster Youth, Encompassing Bucks, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery & Northampton counties.

Building upon a lifelong commitment of volunteering for social service organizations, and the knowledge obtained from her experience working as a Bucks County Intermediate Unit Extended School Year Coordinator and subsequent Homeless Support Coordinator, offers an invigorated perspective and strategic vision to better support the educational stability of youth experiencing homelessness. Currently facilitating monthly Direct Services Coalition meetings, participating in county-specific Student Assistance Program meetings, and serving on the Your Way Home Governance Committee, the Regional Coordinator is working to expand the impact and involvement with collaborative coalitions, community programs, and local agencies.

A graduate of Holy Family University, who is married with 3 children and resides in Doylestown, PA. She has been with the ECYEH program for just over one year, but is a great believer in the power of people and that the human spirit is capable of great things, Working together we can make a difference; we will make a difference!

Missy Gosnell is the Program Liaison for the Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness. She works out of Region 3 which includes Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juanita, Mifflin, Perry and York Counties.

6G: Positive Education:  Structuring Learning Environments for Students to Achieve Optimal Experiences – Dr. David Zupsic, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, IU#4

Positive Psychology is an applied science that focuses on optimal performances.  The goal of Positive Psychology is to develop a mind pattern that allows individuals to flourish. This workshop has been designed using a coaching framework that will provide participants the knowledge and mechanisms needed to create an environment that supports self-awareness and emotional wellness.  Participants will gain strategies that increase levels of confidence, resiliency, and positive emotions in children.

Presenter(s) Bio

Dr. David Zupsic is responsible for supporting the curriculum design, instructional delivery, and other state initiatives for twenty-seven school districts in Butler, Lawrence, and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania.  Most recently serving as the superintendent of the South Butler County School District, Dr. Zupsic has over 20 years in public education.  He earned his doctorate in 2016 from Youngstown St. University while focusing his research on the adolescent development and the emotional wellbeing of students.  Dr. Zupsic is a strong advocate of social emotional learning and endorses Positive Education as the structure for school systems to use when attempting to achieve optimal experiences in academic, athletic, and social activities.

6H:  Connections…An Advisory Program to Build Student Connectedness – Erin Crimone, Assistant Principal, Carson, Ingomar (STW) & Marshall MS’s

This session will discuss the process of developing, designing, creating and implementing a new advisory program titled “Connections”.  The “Connections” program at three middle schools in the North Allegheny School District is in its first year of implementation.  Teachers and principals will discuss the framework for creating, implementing, and evaluating the program.  The team will share feedback from teachers, students, and parents as well as triumphs and challenges along the way.

Presenter(s) Bio

Dr. Erin Crimone, Assistant Principal, Carson Middle School, Mr. John Morey, Assistant Principal, Ingomar Middle School, Mr. Dan Swoger Principal, Marshall Middle School, Ms. Courtney Geary, Music/Band Teacher, Carson Middle School, Mrs. Arlene Barbus, 7th Grade Math Teacher, Carson Middle School, Mrs. Jamie Davis, Chorus Teacher, Ingomar Middle School, Mrs. Megan McGrath, 6th Grade Math Teacher, Ingomar Middle School, Mr. Bill Mascari, Spanish Teacher, Marshall Middle School wmascari@northallegheny.org


6I: The Importance of Instructional Learning Visits/School Wide Learning – Dr. Stephen V. Burnham, Principal, Wilson Southern MS (STW)

This presentation will discuss, explore, and give resources for implementing an instructional learning visit/school wide learning walk.  This process allows your teachers to explore, experience, and be exposed to their fellow colleagues.  In addition, the feedback will allow Principals to lead the faculty in enriching their learning at upcoming faculty meetings, PD, or any other trainings.

Presenter(s) Bio

Dr. Stephen V. Burnham
Administrator of Southern Middle School for over 17 years.
Adjunct Professor for California University of Pennsylvania for 7 years. 

6J:  Cross Curricular Planning Made Easy – Shannon Yeager (Principal), Lori Haln, Ruby Pope, Megan Yeager & Lacey Scholar, Teachers, Beatty-Warren MS (STW)

Want to increase student involvement in an easy to implement format?  Want the work done for you?  This presentation will showcase various cross-curricular units for each grade level (5-8) at Beaty-Warren Middle School.  Topics include Greek Day, Rocket Day, Olympics and more.

Presenter’s bios:

Shannon Yeager, Principal Beaty-Warren MS, Lori Hahn, Social Studies, Ruby Pope, Family Consumer Science, Megan Yeager, 5th grade ELA  & Lacey Schuler, Learning Support teachers, Beaty-Warren MS.


6K:  Gender Bias in the Middle Level Classroom: The Intersection of Data, Teacher Self-Perceptions, and Student Perceptions – Dr. Carol Watson, Associate Professor, Kutztown University, James Durham & Jenna Plumb – Middle Level Education students, Kutztown University

This presentation will describe an ongoing research study being conducted by two middle level teacher education students and their professor. The purpose of this study is to compare student perceptions, teacher self-perceptions, and observable indicators targeting gender bias in middle school classrooms. We will share the research-based indicators of classroom gender bias, as well as report on the survey data collection progress. We hope that open discussion and feedback from attendees will further our investigation.

Presenter(s) Bio

Carol Watson taught 23 years in elementary and middle schools in PA, VA, WV, and NH in grades ranging from one to seven. After returning to school at Virginia Tech to earn her PhD, she taught coursework, supervised student teachers, and conducted research at several universities. Currently, she is an Associate Professor at Kutztown University working in both the Early Childhood Education Program (PK-4) and the Middle Level Program (4-8). Carol took the lead in designing the Middle Level Program at KU, initiated and advises the KU CMLA, and established several partnerships with local middle schools to facilitate collaboration. Her research interests include effective instructional strategies, social justice issues, teaching diverse populations, and preparing middle level teachers.

James Durham is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. He is studying Middle Level Education: Science, Social Studies, and English/Language Arts, with a minor in Literature. He is currently on the executive board for Kutztown’s CMLA program, as well as an after-school tutor at Fleetwood Area Middle School and a tutor for Kutztown’s ‘Alaska Distance Intervention’ Program. James has previously presented at PAMLE in 2018 alongside his fellow KU-CMLA board members. James is on a research team at Kutztown University with Jenna Plump and Dr. Carol Watson, studying the effects of perceived gender bias in middle school classrooms.

Jenna Plump is a third-year undergraduate student at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. She is studying Middle Level Education with content foci in math and social studies. She currently holds the position of Secretary on the executive board of Kutztown’s chapter of CMLA, and is involved in an after-school tutoring program at Fleetwood Area Middle School. Jenna is also on her third year of being in the Kutztown University Marching Unit, this year as a section leader. Along with other KU-CMLA executive board members, Jenna has presented at PAMLE in 2018. Jenna is on a research team at Kutztown University with James Durham and Dr. Carol Watson, hoping to draw light on different perceptions of gender bias in the middle school classroom. 


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software