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  Staff









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,  

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.


MichaelHorvath, Health & Physical Education

Teacher

Michael Horvath holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from East Stroudsburg University in Health & Physical Education.


Growing up, Michael participated in baseball, cross country, track, and basketball and worked his way through college as a restaurant manager. Before his time at ESU, he attended Lehigh Carbon Community College for two years where he played baseball for the Cougars. He doesn't like to brag, but his first college hit was a grand slam. Michael is an avid runner, proud promoter of fitness, and is an assistant coach for Towamensing Babe Ruth baseball.

 

Michael knew he wanted to be a health and physical education teacher since his sophomore year of high school. It was something he felt he could naturally excel at when given the opportunity to help young people positively shape their mental, social, and physical well-being. “The ability to learn kinesthetically and recognize what the human body is fully capable of is important and rewarding,” he says. At Summit School of the Poconos, Michael enjoys integrating cooperative games and working with a wide range of students from kindergarten through high school. He strives to provide students with the tools to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. One of his goals as an educator is to make his class his students' favorite part of the day.

 

Michael also enjoys playing fetch with his dog, Vinny, spending time with his family and friends, watching movies, listening to music, and cheering on all Philadelphia sports teams. Michael was born and raised in the Palmerton area, where he still resides today.


William (Bill) Brady, 7-9 Math and Social Studies






Teacher

Kathy Uhler, 7-9 Science Teacher

Megan Cameron, Support Teacher

 Roshawnda Black, Part Time Support Staff

Linda St. John, Part Time Support Staff

Ileana Aledo, Administrative School Director,  

Ileana Aledo holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology and with a Minor in Education from Hunter College. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from Fordham University. Ileana is certified in Applied Behavior Analysis from Penn State University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She is also a certified teacher with experience coaching and mentoring other teachers.

“I just love learning,” says Ileana. “I guess that’s why I’m so excited to be a part of Summit School. I realize there doesn’t have to be an end goal to learning. In other words, I don’t have to be an astrophysicist to hear about the stars and the galaxy. I can just learn it because I want to learn it. It’s all about the love of knowledge, which is one of the things Summit School’s model is based on.”

Ileana’s teaching and behavioral backgrounds, together with her extensive work with children, positions Ileana as a strong leader of the culture fostered at SSP. Ileana believes deeply in our school model, mission and vision statements, and is devoted to helping every student succeed.

In her free time Ileana enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, and reading, especially anything that has to do with the future, technological advances, and space travel. She lives in the Effort area with her husband, Raul, and their two children.


Abigail Storm, Art Teacher

Abigail (Abby) Storm holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Art Education with a minor in Special Education from Penn State University. While at Penn State, she taught at the Saturday Art School program in the kindergarten classroom where students transformed into superheroes and filmed a class movie. Abby also taught in Pittsburg at the University of Pittsburgh’s Falk Laboratory School where she facilitated multi-grade level art collaborations and a profound art, music, and technology collaboration.

 

In addition to her position at Summit School of the Poconos as an Art Teacher, Abby works at KidsPeace, a residential treatment facility for adolescent males with intellectual disabilities, mental health, and behavioral health concerns. At KidsPeace, Abby teaches emotional regulation skills, life skills, and uses art making as a therapeutic tool to help clients achieve their treatment goals.

 

Abby is excited to share her passion of art making with everyone at Summit School of the Poconos and hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams as she has.

 

Outside of work, Abby enjoys hiking, biking, photography, traveling, trying new foods and restaurants, Penn State Football games, and attending live music concerts. She lives in Palmerton with her dog, Macy, a spunky, yellow Labrador/Bloodhound Mix with tons of energy who loves to visit the dog park.


Donna Emans, Operations  Support

Chrissy McManus, Operations  Support