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Students | Staff | Parents



Nicole Beach Elwood holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University in physics with an option in mathematics. She also earned both a Master of Science degree in physics and a Master of Science Teaching degree from the University of Florida at Gainesville.

Nicole has experience as an adjunct Professor at Northampton Community College (NCC) in the areas of physics, math, physical education, yoga, and pilates. Prior to teaching at the higher education level, Nicole taught eighth grade physical science as a New Jersey certified and highly qualified teacher in physics, chemistry, physical science, and K-12 math and developed interdisciplinary projects that merged science, writing, and art. She is also a yoga instructor for Boundless Yoga and actively pursues advanced yoga education.

Nicole’s passion toward learning and teaching brought her to Summit School of the Poconos as a founding member. Her belief that students need early exposure to educational experiences that will prepare them for the real world, and her desire to open doors to such opportunities within her community, inspired her accept the role of Summit School of the Poconos’ first School Director. Nicole’s areas of focus are on curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  She also serves in a teaching capacity at the school and serves as a non-voting member of the Board of Directors.

             Nicole and her husband, John, live in Delaware Water Gap with their two sons, Keane, and Jordan.

Nicole Beach Elwood, School Director,  

Emely Wallace, a native of Puerto Rico, relocated to the United States at the age of twenty to pursue new opportunities. She started her career working in Esthetics and Massage Therapy before moving into the professional sector, where she initially worked as a Legal Secretary for a top AMLAW 100 firm in Manhattan. After several years of supporting corporate attorneys, she went on to work for a young software development company, where she took roles in their human resources and legal departments. In her positions, she played an instrumental role in helping the company go public.  

            Emely attended the Katharine Gibbs School and Boston University, and is bilingual in Spanish and English. Her prior business experience required a great deal of organizational skills, critical thinking, and confidentiality. She now brings these valuable qualities with her to Summit School of the Poconos.

A mother of two young children, Emely is passionate about the need for educational choice and reform. Emely began working with founding members six months prior to the school’s opening and quickly became a key asset to our program. Emely is often a primary first point of contact for Summit School parents, students, and guests. As the Director of Administration, she handles issues regarding operations, safety, compliance, and discipline. Emely also serves as a non-voting member of the Board of Directors.

In her free time, Emely enjoys the outdoors and cooking. The beach is her favorite place, and she returns home to Puerto Rico to visit family and friends when she can. Emely lives in the Stroudsburg area with her husband, Kermit, and their two sons.

Emely Wallace, Director of Administration

Katherine Hernandez holds a Masters degree of Education from New York University and a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts from the City University of New York. Katherine began her teaching career in 2005 and in particular is passionate about teaching Language Arts.

In addition to teaching, Katherine privately tutors students and has worked as a teaching coach. She participated in the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, part of Columbia University, from 2005-2011, and is currently a Literacy Consultant for the organization, as well as the National Writing Project, planning and leading all-day teacher training. She is also an Advisory Board Member for the Educator 2 Educator Foundation.

Katherine comes to Summit School of the Poconos enthusiastic about a project-based, STEAM curriculum. “This school is something our community has needed for so long,” she says. “How wonderful, to find a model that embraces movement, creativity, and a love of learning, and respects each child as an individual.”  Katherine is our 7th & 8th grade home base teacher and leads many of our language arts efforts at Summit.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Katherine moved to the Poconos in 2009, where she resides today with her husband and two children. In her free time, she enjoys exploring outside with her kids, writing, and dance.

Katherine Hernandez, Elementary Teacher

Kim Kryman holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education from Lock Haven University and a Masters of Arts Degree in Education from Gratz College. An educator that has worked in both public and traditional classroom settings, Kim has taught Pre-K, kindergarten, and first grades. She also has also found employment as a private tutor for kindergarten through fifth grade students, where close attention to individual student needs and learning styles and collaboration with parents and teachers on student progress and IEPs (Individualized Education Program) was paramount. After serving as Director of the Ark II preschool program for four years, Kim decided she wanted to return to her truest passion—working directly with kids in the classroom.

Kim is very passionate about early childhood education and believes primary teachers have the unique opportunity to be the first teachers to set a child on the path to lifelong learning where the sky is the limit. “It is rewarding to see the aha moment in the children’s eyes day after day as they make connections about their world and begin to see themselves as learners,” Kim says. An advocate of project-based learning, she adds, “I am thrilled to teach in an environment that supports children’s natural curiosity where the questions they ponder can be investigated and answered through authentic experiences.”

Kim grew up in central New Jersey and has lived in the Poconos since 2006 with her husband and three children. Her spare time is spent making memories with family and friends.

Kim Kryman, Kindergarten Teacher

Bridget Campbell, Elementary Teacher

Bridget Campbell holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education K-6, Special Education N-12, and Special Education and Rehabilitation. Prior to receiving her teaching certificate, she worked as a Paraprofessional with special needs students in the local public school districts for ten years. This experience brings invaluable insight to her actions and abilities as a teacher. As a teacher, Bridget has classroom experience in all elementary grade levels and special education experience in classrooms through the high school level.

Bridget enjoys working alongside parents and collaborating with colleagues almost as much as teaching her students. She comes to Summit School of the Poconos excited for the opportunities provided by a STEAM, project-based curriculum. “I cannot wait to embrace each student’s excitement toward learning and expand on that curiosity by encouraging them to question the world around them. Our job as teachers is to give students the tools to be successful in the world by teaching them how to be resourceful and seek out answers. That is what will allow them to mature into independent, lifelong learners,” she says. Bridget is our 4th - 6th grade home base teacher.

Bridget, a native of Monroe County, now resides in Pen Argyl with her husband and two teenage children. In her spare time she enjoys reading and camping with family and friends.

Director of Curriculum  & co-founder

Katieri Kizer, Elementary Teacher

Katieri Kizer holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from Slippery Rock University. Katieri began her teaching career in 2004 at Seneca Valley in western PA and then had an unexpected opportunity to teach on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2006, where she remained for the next six years. She has a background teaching diverse populations at the elementary and middle school levels in various environments including traditional classrooms, inclusion settings, behavioral support, and small group learning. In 2014, Katieri took some time to explore the Pacific North West, the Alaskan wilderness, Iceland, Greenland, and the San Juan Islands. These experiences led to a different kind of teaching, and she spent the next sixteen months working for Splore, a non-profit organization where she had the ability to combine her background in teaching with her love of the wilderness in order to lead outdoor expeditions. She returned to the Poconos in 2015 and settled down with her husband shortly afterward.

“Summit School of the Poconos speaks to my heart because it embraces creativity, movement, and meaningful learning opportunities that reach far beyond the walls of the classroom,” she says. In their free time, Katieri and her husband, Sean, enjoy traveling, skiing, backpacking, paddling, and exploring with their four-legged friend, Harper. They live in Scotrun. Katieri also volunteers at various local businesses and organizations.

Jillian McDermott, Elementary Teacher

Jillian McDermott holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Special Education from East Stroudsburg University. Jillian has experience teaching in all grades from K-6 and in facilitating one-on-one lesson plans for students with special needs. Jillian began her teaching career in 2005. Frustrated by curriculum restrictions and a lack of creativity and motivation for meaningful learning in our public school system, Jillian took a long hiatus from teaching in 2011. It was then that she began her own photography business, a hobby since 2007. When Jillian learned of Summit School of the Poconos, her interest was piqued. “This was a school I wanted my children to attend, and I found that my inspiration for wanting to teach had resurfaced,” she says. Jillian values individuality and strives to meet the needs of each student by using a variety of hands-on activities and strategies to accommodate diverse learning styles. “Establishing trust is essential for successful relationships with students that results in a safe and comfortable, yet challenging, learning environment,” Jillian says. 

Born in Bronx, NY Jillian moved to the Poconos at the age of ten. She resides in the greater Pocono area with her husband and their three children, John, Layla, and Charlie.

Heidi Meissner,  Student Guidance

Heidi Meissner holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development and is currently working toward her Masters of Education in School Counseling and credits toward her LPC.

For Heidi, pursuing a career as a school counselor was a calling. “I’ve always had an interest in psychology and how the mind works, the connection between mind and body. In a school setting, I may have the ability to reach a student before any counselor does. If you can get a child the help they need, you may have the ability to change the course of the rest of their life,” she says. Heidi is excited to help guide students within the school community and culture embraced at Summit.

Heidi has lived in Monroe County most of her life and resides today in Stroudsburg with her husband, Clinton, and their children, Eva, and Andrew. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, practicing yoga, and reading.

Kory Wade,  Health and Physical Education Teacher

Kory Wade holds a Bachelor of Science degree from East Stroudsburg University with a dual major in Health Education and Health and Physical Education K-12 and has teaching experience in multiple grade levels.

           Prior to completing her teaching degree, Kory was enlisted in the United States Air Force for five years. “It was through my enlistment that I discovered how important health and physical education is to a person’s health,” she says. “I believe there are five dimensions of being a healthy person—physical, intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual—and if one of these elements are missing or off balance, health will be negatively affected. It is my hope to provide students with the knowledge and skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle as they continue to grow.”


Kory is a native to Monroe County and currently resides in Stroud Township with her husband and their two children, Benjamin and Gracelyn.