Fall 2022

Published by William Penn Charter School in the interest of our faculty and staff.

Can you match the new faculty member's photo with their bio?  


New Faculty and Staff

Ryan Aponte
Ryan will be teaching 7th and 8th grade social studies, helping with Junior Model UN, and coaching Middle School track. After studying East Asian and Latin American history at Davidson College, Ryan earned a Master's degree in American Studies at Georgetown University and taught Middle School at Bullis in Maryland. He then went on to teach Upper School social studies and world religions at Friends Academy in New York, Eastside Prep in Seattle, and most recently at George School. Ryan loves exploring cultural and spiritual traditions, having served on various Global Studies committees, organized mindfulness and meditation workshops, and led immersion trips to Japan and China. An avid supporter of Philadelphia sports, he also enjoys hiking, skiing, and playing basketball. Ryan currently lives in Old City with his fluffy Corgi named Chase. 

Michael Avilés
Michael is excited to join the Upper School as an AP and Advanced Chemistry teacher, Assistant Coach for the Cross Country team, and as an Upper School Diversity Co-Coordinator. Previously, Michael spent 12 years at Moorestown Friends School where he was first introduced to (and fell in love with) Quaker education. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Arcadia University.  Michael lives in the Lansdale area and has been married to Linsey since 2016. They have a 4-year-old son named Luke and a 2-year-old daughter named Emily, both of whom are looking forward to dad having a much shorter commute. In his spare time, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, running, playing guitar, and traveling. Some of his favorite trips include Costa Rica, Stockholm, and hiking the Appalachian Trail near Harpers Ferry with groups of students from his former school.

Mary Behr
Mary Behr will be teaching 4th grade as a long term substitute this school year. She graduated from LaSalle University with a Bachelors of Arts in Elementary and Special Education. She also has her J.D. (Juris Doctor) from Widener Delaware University. Mary has substituted at Penn Charter over the last two school years. Mary married her husband Matt in 2021 and on weekends they enjoy relaxing walking their dog, Bean, around the neighborhood in Northeast Philadelphia and down by Pennypack Creek. 

Kimberley Berndt
Kim officially began her tenure as our new Director of Upper School in July. Kim arrived at Penn Charter with over two decades of experience as a biology teacher, science department chair, and school administrator. She most recently served as the Upper School Director at the Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Prior to that, she worked at St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts, where she not only taught advanced level biology and served as science department chair, but also designed new courses, served as a dorm parent, and coached ice hockey and lacrosse. During her career, Kim also taught at Trinity School of Midland, Texas and spent seven years at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. Kim earned a master of education in advanced instruction–STEM from the University of Southern California and a bachelor of arts in biology from Oberlin College. After college, Kim also served as a Teach for America corps member. Kim has shared her desire to work at a school "with a soul" and believes she has found just that place here at Penn Charter. 

Michael Brooks
Mike is our new Director of Athletics and officially joined the Penn Charter team in July. Mike is not new to Penn Charter as his daughter Maddie is OPC '22. Mike has extensive experience in leadership roles, including athletics director at the secondary and collegiate levels and most recently as Chief Operations Officer at AIM Academy in Conshohocken. Prior to his time at AIM, Mike was the director of athletics and men's basketball head coach at Cazenovia College in New York. Earlier in his career, Mike worked at the St. James School in Hagerstown, Maryland as an athletics director and boys varsity basketball coach. He also held other leadership roles within the school. Mike earned his undergraduate degree in human services from Cazenovia College and later earned his master's degree in sport management from SUNY Cortland State. We look forward to the positive impact Mike's inclusive leadership style will have on our athletics program and overall school community. 

Jameson (Jamey) Cooper
Jamey Cooper will lead the After School Program at Penn Charter this year. Jamey is a lifelong Philadelphian and worked for Philly Parks and Recreation for the past two and a half years. He has over 10 years experience leading inner city youth as a coach, health and fitness instructor, and as a teacher at Germantown Friends School. With experience in the classroom, running after school programming, and as a summer camp instructor, Jamey is excited to bring his experience and energy to Penn Charter's blossoming After School Program. Jamey earned his Undergraduate Degree from Ursinus College with a minor in Creative Writing, and has a Masters Degree in Sports Management from Drexel University. In his free time, Jamey plays and coaches baseball, loves to swim, and enjoys spending time with his wife Juli and 10 month old son, Robert. 

Nicole Duffy
Nicole will be teaching French classes in the Middle School along with one section of French III in the Upper School. She graduated from Villanova University and completed her graduate studies at UPenn. She previously taught French and Spanish at J.R. Masterman School, and more recently at Merion Mercy Academy. She loves to travel and is a certified yoga instructor. As a mom of two sport-loving kids, she spends most of her weekends on the sidelines of soccer tournaments, baseball games or swim meets. She currently resides in Gladwyne on the banks of the Schuylkill and enjoys kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding when she gets the chance. She’s thrilled to be joining the Penn Charter community!

Shelley Evans
Shelley Evans is the Administrative Assistant for Middle and Upper School Admissions. Shelley graduated from Temple University with a degree in Kinesiology and has a masters in Sports Medicine from Armstrong Atlantic State University.  Most recently, Shelley was a stay at home mom with her 2 young sons, Nate and Christian. Prior to that, she served as the Coordinator of Global Initiatives and Service Learning, PK-12 at the Baldwin School. Shelley will be traveling to school from her home in Springfield, PA with her oldest son Nate, who will be in Kindergarten.

Katherine York
Katherine comes to us from St. Aloysius Academy in Bryn Mawr and will be teaching two sections of 6th grade English, one section of 6th grade Social Studies, and one section of 7th grade Social Studies. She will continue to coach Upper School Crew; this will be her 9th season as Head Coach. Katherine grew up outside of Washington, D.C., and graduated from Georgetown University, where she rowed Varsity Crew and majored in English, with minors in History and Theology. Katherine moved to Philadelphia to complete her Master's degree in Education at St. Joseph's University and fully expected to live here for only two years (that was ten years ago). Katherine and her husband Ben welcomed their first child, Jack, in April. Katherine, Ben, Jack, and dog Samson live in Roxborough.

Errol Flynn
Errol will be teaching two sections of Spanish I and two sections of Spanish II this year. He graduated from Lafayette College, where he majored in Spanish and history. During his studies, he spent five months in Spain where he researched and documented Spain’s historical and modern attitudes towards Islam as part of his thesis. After graduating, Errol spent two years teaching Spanish at a public high school in New Jersey. He very recently moved to the Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia. He will serve as a co-faculty advisor for Mock Trial along with Jackie Kazimir. He is  extremely excited to become a part of the Penn Charter community.

Susan Freudenberg
Susan Freudenberg joins the Penn Charter admissions team as the Associate Director of Lower School Admissions. Susan has had a long career as a teacher and administrator working in co-ed and single-sex independent schools, as well as public and charter schools. Before joining PC, Susan lived in Pittsburgh for eight years and worked at The Winchester Thurston School as the Academics Coordinator and at The Ellis School as the Interim Head of Lower School and Lower School Admissions Coordinator. Before her move to the western part of the state, Susan lived in Villanova and worked as a pre-kindergarten teacher at The Gateway School in Wynnewood. Susan received her undergraduate degree and Masters of Education in Elementary Education from The University of Pennsylvania. Susan and her husband, Joe, live in Lower Merion with their two children, Sam (19) and Julia (16), and their dog, Louie. Susan enjoys reading, running, and being able to enjoy the Philadelphia restaurant scene. Please share any suggestions of books, trails, and restaurants with her.

Wayne Grinwis
Wayne is our new Lower School Health, Wellness, and Sexuality Educator and is excited to join the Penn Charter community. Wayne has worked at Philadelphia area Planned Parenthood affiliates for 28 years, working as a Health Educator and, most recently, as Training Coordinator and an intake specialist in gender affirming care. In addition to his work at Planned Parenthood, Wayne has served as an Adjunct Professor at West Chester University for 15 years, teaching Love and Marriage and also Family Life and Sexuality Education, a required class for physical education majors. Wayne holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Sociology from Virginia Tech and a Master's of Social Service degree from Bryn Mawr College. He resides in Chester County with his wife and two children and enjoys home projects, building with LEGO, playing volleyball, and participating in community theater.

Kaila Hamdani
Kaila will be joining PC as an Admissions Officer. Before this position, she served for 5 years in Admissions at Bryn Mawr College where she managed various territories and the admissions access and equity initiatives. She graduated from West Chester University, where she majored in Early Childhood Education. Immediately following her undergraduate degree, she earned her Master's degree in Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs from West Chester University. Kaila is a Philadelphia native and proud cat mom.  

Hannah Horton
Hannah will be joining the new Health, Sexuality, and Wellness department as the Middle School Health, Sexuality, and Wellness teacher. She joins us from Greene Street Friends School, where she worked as a cohort assistant and taught middle school health. She is a recent graduate of Temple University's Masters in Public Health Program, in which she specialized in sexual health education. She enjoys reading, rock climbing, and great coffee. Originally from Los Angeles, she now lives in Germantown with three humans and two pit bulls. 

Brittany Kennedy
Brittany will be the new Lower School Learning Specialist. She grew up in Maryland and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland. She then attended Lehigh University, where she earned a doctorate in School Psychology with a subspecialization in pediatric school psychology. Most recently, she worked as a school psychologist in the non-public schools division of CORA Services. She lives in Conshohocken with her husband and 8-month-old son. She spends a lot of time with family in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, both during the summer and in the off-season.

Emily Kleinle
Emily will be teaching one section of 10th grade English and two sections of 12th grade English. She graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. After several years of managing fine-dining restaurants in Philadelphia, she began teaching and received her Master’s Degree in Education from Gratz College. Her previous posts had her teaching English in grades 7-12 at Saint Basil's Academy, The School District of Philadelphia, and Ancillae Assumpta Academy. Emily lives in South Philadelphia with her husband, her 2 year old daughter Winona, and entirely too many pets.

Bashir Lauderdale
Bashir will be joining Penn Charter as one of two new Assistant Athletic Trainers. He graduated from Temple University with a bachelors in Exercise & Sports Science. He recently graduated from Seton Hall University with his masters in Athletic Training. While at Seton Hall, he received the “outstanding clinical” award for his program. During his time at Seton Hall, he gained clinical experience at Princeton University, Caldwell University, and Delbarton school. He recently moved back to Philadelphia from New Jersey to join PC! 

Faisal Madhi
Faisal is our new Mac support specialist joining us from Apple where he spent close to 8 years. He was born and raised in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and in 2006, moved to Philadelphia where he attended Temple University. Faisal speaks fluent Swahili and Arabic and after college, worked as a translator for Customs and Border Protection at the Philadelphia International Airport, before eventually settling at Apple. Faisal enjoys all things religion and history and you can frequently find him watching a documentary or reading about world events and historical figures. Faisal is also passionate about traveling and all things technology and is looking forward to being a part of developing Penn Charter’s future tech. Faisal will be traveling to Penn Charter from Merion Station with his son, Mikey, who will be in first grade.

Mary Jane McGlinchey
Mary Jane, OPC '17,  is a new member of the Athletics Department starting this year as one of two Assistant Athletic Trainers. She graduated from West Chester University, where she studied Health Science and Sports Medicine. She also earned a Master's degree in Athletic Training from West Chester University. During the course of her education, she was able to have clinical internships at both Germantown Academy and Stanford University. During the summer, she enjoys time down the shore in North Wildwood, where she works as a Server at the Anglesea Pub. She will be traveling to school each day from her home in Warrington, PA with her brother Thomas, who will be a freshman, and cousin Seamus, who will be a senior. 

Margaret (Meg) Merlini
Meg will be teaching second grade this year while Monique Durso is on sabbatical. She previously taught fourth grade at McCall Elementary in Philadelphia for nine years, and fourth and fifth grades at Colonial Elementary in Plymouth Meeting for the last two years. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Women's and Gender Studies, and earned her Master's degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from Arcadia University. Meg lives in Chestnut Hill with her husband Dave and two kids, Chloe, 7 years old, and Kai, 5 years old. When Meg isn't teaching, she loves cooking, practicing yoga, and hiking and biking with her family. 

Israel Pacheco
Israel will be teaching two sections of Spanish II and two sections of Spanish III. He is originally from Viña del Mar, Chile. He graduated from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso where he majored in Foreign Language Education. After graduation, Israel spent a year teaching in Chile before coming to Philadelphia to pursue graduate studies. He earned a Master's degree in TESOL from The University of Pennsylvania where he worked as a language instructor for the past seven years. Israel is currently a doctoral student in the Educational Linguistics Division at PennGSE. He is also a new father and has a 16-month old son. He loves outdoor activities and riding his motorcycles. Israel will be traveling to school from his home in University City. 

Michael Paesani
Mike will be serving as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach and Upper School Physical Education teacher. An Archbishop Carroll Alum and Delaware County native, Mike completed his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Eastern University prior to earning his master’s in exercise science from East Stroudsburg University. Mike has experience working with athletes at various institutions including at the Division I level at the University of Minnesota and Texas Christian University. In addition to his work at the Division I level, Mike has also worked as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Arcadia University and most recently Johns Hopkins University. During his free time, Mike enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, which he started playing during college. Mike will commute to Penn Charter from his home in Broomall.

Mike Petitti
Mike Petitti is Penn Charter’s new Chief Communications Officer and part of the administrative team. Mike comes to Penn Charter after having served as the Director of Communications for Radnor Township School District since 2011. His prior positions include having been the Communications Manager at the Philadelphia Bar Association and Communications Manager for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice.  Mike earned a B.A. in Communications Studies at Ursinus College and a M.A. in Organizational Communications & Leadership at Marist College. His work at Radnor has been recognized with state and national awards for website redesign, social media, and video production, among others.  Mike, his wife Kirstin, and their two daughters Grace and Marley reside in Broomall, PA. He is excited to join the PC community and meet all of you.

Gina Roberto
Gina will be filling in as our Middle School Counselor while Katie is on leave and will be with us until after the New Year. Gina earned her Master of Science in School Counseling degree from Mercer University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Davidson College. Prior to joining Penn Charter, Gina honed her counseling skills by providing individual and small group counseling sessions and delivering classroom guidance lessons at Roswell High School and Abbotts Hill Elementary School in Georgia. 

Lindsey Sachs
Lindsey Sachs joins the Lower School faculty as a librarian. For the past six years, Lindsey served as the Educational Technology Integration Specialist at Norwood-Fontbonne Academy in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. In this role, Lindsey worked with teachers to strategically integrate technology into the K-8 curriculum and was the lead curriculum developer and teacher for the middle school Media Studies program. With an elementary teaching certification from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California and a master’s degree in Educational Technology from North Carolina Central University, Lindsey has experience in the elementary level classroom as well as in the school library media setting. Lindsey is married and lives in Ft. Washington. She is a mom to three children, Raewyn (9), Malllory (7) and Linden (1). She enjoys spending time with her family outdoors, camping, traveling, cooking and reading. 

John Tralie
John will be teaching Calculus and Geometry in the US Math Department. He will also support the Robotics Program. He graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelorsand Masters in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation, he spent 25 years working in the Aerospace Industry with a focus on Satellite Attitude Control. He worked on NASA and Air Force Programs including the Landsat and GPS Satellites. He has spent the last 12 years in public education, having spent the most recent 10 years teaching Math at Upper Dublin High School. John's wife is a French Professor, his oldest son is a Computer Science Professor, and his youngest son works for NASA doing video and animation work. John will commute each day from his home in Fort Washington.

Faith Ward
Faith is our new Director of Libraries. Faith comes to Penn Charter with 16 years of experience working in Baltimore-area independent schools. In addition to her leadership responsibilities at PC, Faith will also lead book clubs and is looking forward to getting to know students in her capacity as a first-time advisor. Faith believes libraries enrich and enhance our quality of life by providing access to information and opportunities to learn. Faith’s undergraduate degree is from Boston College, and she holds Master's degrees in Library and Information Science and in Education as a reading teacher. In addition to reading, Faith enjoys spending time with her family, hiking in the Adirondacks, and practicing yoga. She will travel to school each day from her home in Chestnut Hill with her daughter Margaux, who will be in eighth grade.

Kathryn (Kat) Wilson
Kat Wilson will be joining the Middle School teaching Math 7, Advanced Algebra and Geometry. Kat is coming from the Shipley School and has also taught in New Jersey, Kansas, and North Carolina. She has a BA in Elementary Education and American Studies and has a Certificate of Graduate Study in Middle School Math from Rowan University. When not teaching, Kat loves getting outdoors with her husband, Matt, and their two boys Asher (5 y/o, who will be starting Kindergarten at PC) and Colton (3.5 y/o who will hopefully join us next year in Pre-K).  She enjoys traveling, attending musicals, other performing arts and sporting events as well as sampling Philadelphia’s world class cuisine. Kat and her family returned to the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia after a ten year hiatus.

Abigail (Abby) Wilczynski
Abby is a Lower School Associate Teacher for Kindergarten this year. Last school year, Abby was a building substitute for the Lower School. Previously, she worked in college athletics as a Sports Information Director and Summer Camp Coordinator. Abby has a bachelor’s degree in business and human resource management, and she is currently attending Albright College to obtain her master’s degree in education. She is originally from Erie, Pennsylvania and she currently lives in Narberth with her boyfriend and two cats, but will be moving into the city this fall.   


This past summer, a learning team consisting of students Georgia O'Gallagher and Maise Optenberg and PC school faculty Jim Fiorile, Monica Freely, Aly Goodner, Michael LoStracco, Teodora Nadialkova, Lisa Turner, and Doug Ulhmann embarked on a research and reflection project with the aim of lifting up and centering Native American voices and stories in our school curricula, especially that of the Lenni Lenape of Eastern Pennsylvania.  Through establishing relationships with the Lenape community in Pennsylvania, academic research, and field work consisting of museum and site visits, this team was able to build meaningful connections across divisions and with the wider community, creating new materials, lessons, units and curricular frameworks in the process. The team will be offering monthly TLCS throughout the year based on their ongoing work.  To learn more, please visit their website

This summer Upper School English Teacher and co-coordinator of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice certificate program Shahidah Kalam Id-Din and Religion Department Chair Michael LoStracco, along with four OPCs and five current upper school students, piloted the first Growing Edge Student Fellowship (GESF). GESF is an opportunity for students to focus on the "study" of their personal growth and development, specifically that spiritual and moral piece of themselves that is raw, unrefined, and not yet ripe. This "study" is precisely what these pioneering students did for two weeks. GESF is ongoing through the school year. Throughout the school year, students will have an opportunity to share their learning journey with the Penn Charter community.

Over the summer Cory Moy presented Penn Charter’s SEED program to Temple University's Early Childhood Education graduate students to offer some practices and encourage them to invite SEED to their eventual schools.

Do you have kudos to give, or news and notes? Submit them any time throughout the year for inclusion in the next P.C.P.D.! Have you read a great book or study recently? P.C.P.D. is looking for columnists! Consider offering a one-time or recurring column in P.C.P.D. so your colleagues can learn from your experience.


News & Notes

Maria Adamson participated in the DISCUSS Institute at Temple University this summer. The institute is a week-long teacher professional development seminar for social studies teachers focused on facilitating rich classroom discussions. It is part of a multi-year research project headed up by Dr. Abby Reisman of the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Tim Patterson at Temple. 

Naveena Bembry attended a virtual program titled, "Howard Zinn: You Can't be Neutral on a Moving Train 1922 - 2022." Over 200 educators from across the country gathered via Zoom to remember and honor the work of Howard Zinn, by listening to the voices of historians, social justice activists, and authors -- including Imani Perry, Martin Espada, and Alice Walker.

Nora Landon attended the Wonder Women Leadership Immersive led by Leadership + Design, along with Marcy Sosa

Cory Moy attended the Leadership in Equity, Action, & Discourse (LEAD) Conference, the first conference partnership between Howard University and Sidwell Friends School. He will present on his learning at an upcoming TLC session.

Julia Judson-Rea, Rebecca Luzi and Michael Petitti attended the ADVIS Strategic Communications Summit, which included workshops on storytelling and on crisis communications.



Eco Corner 

by Tom Rickards

Thanks to all good colleagues who have shared ideas and lesson plans with me as we focus on the Quaker testimony of stewardship this school year. I want to highlight a few items happening, but let me know if you would like to be added to the email listserv for “PC Eco weekly” announcements as well.

The Penn Charter Team for the All Trails Challenge is going strong! As I write this we are nearing the $1,000 mark towards our $2,000 goal. Our students have used the Wissahickon more than ever in the past few years or so, so check out your colleagues participating and any contributions would be welcomed!

Boxed Water is Coming Back!: Prior to the pandemic, we had reduced our single use plastics in the cafeteria by eliminating plastic bottles and replacing them with boxed water (see link to find out more). While you may see the remains of some plastic water bottles in the next few days, please know that Siobhan has worked with us to order the boxed water again! There will be a one dollar price difference (boxed water will be $2.50 while the old plastic bottles were $1.50), and a reminder that the best sustainable (and cheap) option is to bring a reusable water bottle.

Indigenous Resources: “This summer, the Indigenous Teaching and Learning VITAL Cohort met for two weeks to examine the central query, How do we tell the stories of Native peoples at Penn Charter? Participants included Georgia O’Gallagher and Maisie Optenberg (US Students), Doug Uhlmann (Libraries), Monica Freely and Teodora Nedialkova (LS), Jim Fiorile (MS), Lisa Turner and Michael LoStracco (US), Aly Goodner (CfPP), and Ruth Aichenbaum (TLC). In addition to visiting the site of the erroneously storied "Teedyuscung" statue and traveling to Carlisle Indian School/Cumberland Historical Society/Dickinson College Carlisle Archive, each cohort member designed a research path around their own area of interest. The grant also supported three days of thought partnership and storytelling with Adam DePaul, Story Keeper for the Lenape Nation of PA. The work of the VITAL team continues! We recently hosted the first Learning in Community: Indigenous People's Day @ Penn Charter event (October 10). For resources, participant project sites, student recommendations on curriculum, and local partners, visit the Indigenous VITAL web site. All of the cohort members invite you to connect about "re-storying" Native peoples in your teaching!” From Lisa Turner



Teaching & Learning Center News and Notes

From the desk of Ruth Aichenbaum

I hope your school year is off to a great start! It’s my aim to make this the best year of the Teaching & Learning Center ever… meaning that sessions offered are just what you want, when you want, and where you want.  In order to do this, I’m already using your great ideas in the beginning fo the year TLC Quia Survey to plan programming to support your teaching, learning, wellness, joy in community, and more. I’m also offering sessions regularly during lunch in room 111 in the Middle School and in Trask Library in the Lower School to make it easier for Middle School and Upper School faculty/staff to attend sessions. Please be in touch if you have other ideas to make the TLC joyful and meaningful for you this year!

I invite you to take a look at our TLC SignUp Genius to read descriptions of upcoming  offerings and sign up for a workshop. I’m busily planning more sessions and will have many groups up and running in October and November.  If you see a session you’d like to attend, but the timing doesn’t work, please email me (, and I can work to set up a one-to-one session or send you resources. Also please let me know if you’d like me to create a specific session to meet your needs.

As in past years, we're thrilled that we have a partnership with Jefferson University. Jefferson faculty are welcome to attend our virtual workshops, as we are theirs.  Jefferson offers a virtual Talking Teaching led by Dr. Chris Pastore (a former PC parent!). Talking Teaching runs each week, alternating between being held  from 2:30-3:15 PM and Wednesdays and Thursdays.  I’ll post that week’s discussion topic on the SignUp Genius so that you’ll know when a session interests you, and in my monthly TLC email, I’ll post the links to the articles used to jumpstart their weekly discussions.  

As always, I am happy to meet with you to discuss specific workshops you’d like to attend or teach. I’m also available to facilitate a Critical Friends Group, arrange a classroom visit, and/ or arrange a one-to-one session with a mentor on a topic of your choice. The TLC is ours to grow together! Please let me know if you have ideas for new ways to provide meaningful PD and add joy to our year!  You can email at to set up a time to chat. Hope to see you at the TLC!

VITAL News  

It’s not too early to start planning for your ideal VITAL summer project! For those of you unfamiliar with VITAL, VITAL (Valuing Innovative Teaching and Learning) is an exciting professional development model that provides teachers time during the summer for the transformation of their craft through research, collaboration, and innovation. Projects, lasting one to four weeks, are funded at median weekly faculty salary. You actually had a chance to hear about this past summer’s great VITAL group  Sustaining Right Relationship: Indigenous Teaching and Thinking at Penn Charter when they presented during Opening Meetings. They are also offering monthly TLC sessions so you can even learn more about their meaningful work! 

There will be a drop in information session about VITAL and the application process during lunch on Monday, December 5 in Middle School and on Wednesday, December 7th in the Lower School and Upper School. Ruth Aichenbaum is happy to meet with you at any other time. Just send her an email. You can also learn more about VITAL and the past funded projects by visiting the VITAL page on the PC Website. The application form and the rubric that the VITAL Selection Committee uses to review applications are also available on this page. Please note, this year the first step for a VITAL application is to simply send in a paragraph about your proposed project by Monday, February 6th. The committee will read the paragraph and get back to you with feedback and suggestions regarding filling out the rest of the application.



Congratulations and special thanks to the PC colleagues who offered workshops during our Opening Meeting and September: Serena Amos, Alice Bateman,  Mallory Benard, Emma Cohen-Westbrooke, John Estok, Stephanie Fedoroff, Jim Fiorile, Monica Freely,  Aly Goodner, Doug Gorham, Jackie Kazimir, Tim Lynch, Ann Mancuso McNamee, Michael Moulton, Cory Moy, Michael LoStracco, Mike Paesani, Tom Rickards, Brooke Stratton,  Lisa Turner, and Nina Wojtowicz.

Hope to see you at the TLC!