William C. Wade has responded to big challenges in big city schools. He’s a turnaround specialist known for fostering academic excellence in many different school situations. Wade will be joining Urban Pathways K-5 College Charter School in Downtown Pittsburgh as CEO.
“All students can learn,” says Wade. “The question is, ‘Can all teachers teach to those different learning levels?’ My goal is to coach and help and support them along the way as they learn to adapt to the different learning styles of those different students.”
“I don’t know if we put enough emphasis on it, but this is a talent-based industry. Finding the best and brightest to work in this industry is key.”
From 2016-18, Wade was responsible for leading 12 schools and 5,800 public school students in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in a sustainable turnaround, as the Associate Superintendent of Innovation and Student Support. Before that, he was the Assistant Superintendent for Education & School Improvement, where he managed the merger of two middle schools, helped raise test scores in elementary schools, and helped plan the district’s first Early College High School.
From 2011-2015, he was the principal at The Promise Academy at Martin Luther King in Philadelphia—one of the city’s flagship schools, which was beset by low performance. Wade has been credited with across-the-board improvements at the school in academics, attendance and discipline. In 2014, he led the consolidation of King High School with its crosstown rival Germantown, after that school’s closure. Dick’s Sporting Goods made a documentary, “We Could Be King” which aired on ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS (and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and South By Southwest) about the schools’ successful combination through the lens of athletics. It won a Sports Emmy award.
“I’ve predominantly worked with middle schools and high schools throughout my career,” says Wade. “But what I’ve witnessed with elementary schools, the joy of learning is still in place from Pre-K to 5. We can have more exploratory learning, hands-on learning and project-based learning–and make sure that our teachers are trained to engage the students at high levels.”
In 2015, Wade was presented with the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation’s Distinguished Principal Award, in recognition of his leadership.
Wade served as a principal of two other schools in Philadelphia prior to his tenure at King. He was also an assistant principal in Atlanta, and as a teacher in Memphis. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Alcorn State University in Secondary Mathematics Education, a Master’s Degree in Education from Christian Brother’s University Memphis, TN and an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University, Harragate, TN.
“I’m most excited to work with the professional development of the teachers,” says Wade. “Making sure they understand what restorative practices mean, and understand what trauma looks like with students. I’m excited with the training that goes with that.”
“And working with the students directly, to make sure they can reach new heights in literacy and math skills. Urban Pathways has a large population of children of color, and we want to make sure they master literacy by third grade. I’m excited about measuring the levels of fluency in the classroom. I’m excited about measuring reading comprehension. We have such young children, so we need a major focus on literacy.”
Mrs. Macklin – Director of Federal Programs and External Partnerships
Specialty – Federal programs and grants, community and parent engagement, partnerships, and events. In addition, serves as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and Board of Trustees.
Janine Macklin has over 17 years of experience within the field of education. Some of her past administrative experience includes coordinating a Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant for the State System of Higher Education and serving as a non-teaching faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh. She was the former Chief Operating Officer for Urban Youth Action, Inc. and also worked in the Human Resources department at Pittsburgh Public Schools. Janine served on Governor Elect Wolf’s, Transition Team on Education in 2014 and currently represents charter schools on the Pennsylvania Association of Federal Program Coordinators (PAFPC) Executive Committee.
Dr. Roberto was born and raised just north of Pittsburgh in the small town of Ellwood City. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Geneva College and began working as a substitute teacher in the Ellwood City School District. Desiring the opportunity to work with underprivileged youth, Dr. Roberto found herself next in Cleveland, Ohio. She served first as an 8th grade ELA teacher in a charter school there; where 100% of her students passed the state assessment in ELA two years in a row. Next, she taught 3rd grade. She served as the lead teacher and teacher mentor for the staff as well. While teaching 3rd grade, she earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Indiana-Wesleyan University and was promoted to a K-8 Principal position in the charter district. She served as a Principal there for 5 years. She also worked closely with the central office in 2013 as an interim Assistant Superintendent until the position was filled. At that time, she also went back to school at Capella University to earn her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management. She also has an earned Principal License from California University of Pennsylvania. In 2016, she decided to leave Cleveland, Ohio after 8 wonderful years there and return to Pittsburgh. She served as an Instructional Coach and K-8 Principal for a charter school in Pittsburgh for 2.5 years. Dr. Roberto also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Education Department of Chatham University. Most recently, Dr. Roberto served as an Educational Consultant in the area of K-2 literacy and a High School Principal in a special needs school for Autistic students. Her true passion is elementary education and she is excited to join the Urban Pathways team and get to know the staff, students, and families.
Educational Leadership Certification, Masters of Education in School Psychology, Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education
This is Stephanie Faith’s first year at Urban Pathways K-5 and she is very excited to join the team! She is a proud graduate of Miami University! Eighteen years ago, Stephanie started as a special education substitute teacher in Deer Lakes School District before going back to school to get her degree in school psychology. During this time, she worked as a school-based therapist. Stephanie then began her career in school psychology and then added administrator to her job title while working for the Ambridge Area School District. Prior to joining Urban Pathways, she worked for six years as an assistant principal in the Chartiers Valley School District, both at the K-2 and 3-5 grade levels.
Seth Springer has been in the field of education for nearly 20 years. His focus has always been ensuring teachers and students achieve success in and out of the classroom. Seth brings a wealth of passion and expertise to Urban Pathways, and he is looking forward to serving as the Dean of Students.
Mr. Shaun Cooke – Student Support Services Specialist
Shaun Cooke welcomes the opportunity to join the Urban Pathways Charter K-5 team. He began his career in education 18 years ago with the Penn Hills School District as a Health and Physical Education teacher. In 2005, he transitioned into administration. He has served in the roles of Assistant Principal and Principal in Penn Hills, Pocono Mountain, Ambridge Area School District as well as City Charter High School. Outside of school, Shaun spends much of his time with his 3 children. He enjoys coaching their sports: football, softball, baseball and wrestling. His goal is to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment where all students experience an equitable opportunity to learn and become successful.
Ms. Fickley obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a master’s degree in Community/Agency Counseling at California University of Pennsylvania. After college she began working in and eventually supervising a mental health crisis unit. She returned to school in 2009 to obtain her Master of Science in Sports Management and again in 2016 to obtain a
Master of Education degree in School Counseling at Cal U. Mrs. Fickley has worked in a school setting for nine years, first as an outpatient therapist then as a substitute teacher in Pittsburgh Public School District. Outside of work, Mrs. Fickley spends a lot of time volunteering for her daughters’ various activities. Her passion is coaching softball, both travel and recreational, and she has been coaching for 17 years. Mrs. Fickley is excited to work with the students and parents at Urban Pathways.
Mrs. Seitzinger grew up in Baldwin-Whitehall; attended Robert Morris University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing. She worked as a Nanny in Washington D.C. right out of college for a family in the Georgetown area. She then spent 15 years at PNC Bank where I held various jobs: Customer Service/Sales Representative, Data Analyst, Training Facilitator, and Project Manager. She worked for the Baldwin-Whitehall School District for 8.5 years as the Human Resources/Risk Manager.
She always had the desire to be in a school setting. She loves the atmosphere, loves that feeling you get when you walk into the door, and she LOVES THE KIDS.
Education – Master of Education; Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education K-6; Reading Specialist Certification
Ms. Sheets received her Master of Education Degree in Reading and her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education K-6 both from California University of Pa. She began teaching at UPCS K-5 during her student teaching semester. She has taught at Urban Pathways Charter School as a kindergarten teacher for 7 additional years.
Hannah George is thrilled to be teaching first grade at Urban Pathways! She has been teaching for the past nine years in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and now, her home city of Pittsburgh! She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Linguistics with minors in Arabic and American Sign Language. Most recently she finished her MSEd at Duquesne University. She has a passion for experiential learning-especially math, writing, philosophy, and logic-and love finding creative, project based teaching strategies for classroom implementation. In her spare time she loves trail running, reading, and bluegrass music. She is overjoyed to be part of the UPC team and community!
Eileen Ford is starting her third year at Urban Pathways K-5. She has been with the First Grade team and absolutely loves being a team member of UP! Ms. Ford has had a diverse background before coming to Urban Pathways, including working on a behavior unit at The Children’s Institute, teaching preschool, and her favorite – Montessori training and education. She likes to bring the hands-on approach and modeling tenets of Montessori to every aspect of her teaching.
Education – Bachelors in Elementary K-6, Masters in Administration K-12
Ms. Anthony has been teaching since 2006. She graduated from California University of PA with a degree in elementary education K-6. She began her career in the McKeesport area school district. She worked in McKeesport for nine years and West Mifflin for one before coming to UP in 2016. While working in McKeesport, Ms. Anthony went back to Cal U and got her masters in Administration K-12 with a principal certification. This is Ms. Anthony’s 4th year teaching second grade at UP and is looking forward to a great year with her students and their families.
Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood Education from Ohio University.
Reiley Blakemore has been teaching at Urban Pathways since May 2018. She started at UPCS as a building substitute before serving as a fourth grade TA during the 2018-2019 school year. Reiley started the 2019-2020 school year as a third grade TA and is currently a second grade classroom teacher.
Education: Master of Education in Reading; Reading Specialist Certification; Bachelor’s of Science in ElementaryEducation
Bethany Wolford has taught kindergarten and first grade for 9 years in North Carolina and Pittsburgh. This is Ms. Wolford’s 6th year at UP and her first year teaching 2nd grade. She has a passion for reading and writing and instills the desire within her students to become lifelong learners.
She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Duquesne University in 2016 and went on to pursue her masters degree as a reading specialist in May 2019. Ms. Chuong has lived in Pittsburgh her whole life and currently resides in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. This is her second year teaching at Urban Pathways K-5 College Charter School. She began her career as a day-to-day substitute teacher for Bethel Park and Chartiers Valley School Districts. She also teaches at two summer camps after the school year ends. Prior to subbing, she worked at the Goddard School back home and worked with toddlers. “I truly want to make a difference in my students’ lives. At the same time, watching my students grow from the beginning of the school year to the end is very rewarding. Although teaching may have its ups and its downs, seeing my students’ smiling faces everyday makes everything worth it. I want to instill the value of success in all my students I teach.” She is looking forward to this school year and looks forward to seeing what a difference she can with the students.
She graduated from Indiana University of PA with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. After graduating, she moved to the D.C. area and taught third grade there for two years. She then relocated back to Pittsburgh, where she was born and raised, and taught kindergarten for one year. She is very happy to be home and to be teaching in the city she grew up in. This is her first year at Urban Pathways Charter School. When she is not teaching, she love to spend time with family and friends. You might also find her reading, shopping, or traveling to Delaware to visit her nieces on my days off. She is looking forward to a great school year!
He was born and raised in Arizona and earned my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix after attending Arizona State University. He and his wife moved to Pittsburgh in 2011 and welcomed their daughter the following year. He has been teaching in a variety of grades ranging from 1st grade to 10th grade in the south hills for the past six years. When he is not at school he enjoys watching movies with his family and St. Louis Cardinals baseball.
Kiri McCoy is a recent graduate from the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown with a Bachelor’s of Science in Early Childhood Education and PA certificate in Prek-4th grade. She’s excited to start this new chapter in life with students of Urban Pathways. She taught Preschool for the last three years before joining Urban Pathways. Her passion has always been to push children positively and she’s determined to make a difference. In her free time she loves getting her Nikon camera out and taking beautiful pictures of nature. She is also challenging herself to reading one new book a month, starting next year. She enjoys traveling with family and friends and is also a huge foodie and loves trying out new restaurants! She looks forward to making an impact here!
Ms. Oleson graduated with a BS in Elementary Education from The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in spring of 2018. She then began her teaching career in a west suburb of Chicago called West Aurora. She taught fifth grade there before moving to Pittsburgh in the summer of 2019. She is very excited for her first year at UP and is thrilled to be part of the fourth grade team.
Ken has resided in Pittsburgh most of his life. He graduated from North Allegheny High School in 2003. As he left for college at Penn State Behrend, he was going to pursue education. He should have stuck to that and, according to him, saved some time and money. After graduating with a business degree in 2007, he went on to obtain his first master’s degree in business administration. Upon graduation, he worked for a chain of restaurants in Pittsburgh, Moe’s Southwest Grill, as the marketing and sales manager. In 2011, he left Moe’s to start his own company. While successful, something was lacking from his life; he felt like he needed to make a positive change. In 2012, he went back to school to obtain his teaching certificate in elementary education from Robert Morris University. In case you don’t know, Pittsburgh is one tough market to find a teaching position in. As a result, he had to move his family to North Carolina to start my new career.
While living in the Outer Banks, he taught at Jarvisburg Elementary in Currituck County. Specifically, he taught 4th and 5th grade english language arts and social studies. At the time, his principal accepted a position at a neighboring school district, and he was lucky enough to be requested to join his team. So, for the last 2 years, he has been teaching 6th grade 7th grade ELA and social studies at Manteo Middle School in Dare County. Additionally, last summer he completed his second master’s degree in instructional leadership.
After three years of great teaching experience, he and his family decided it was time to move back to Pittsburgh to be closer to family. And then, in late July,he got one of the greatest calls asking if he’d become part of the Urban Pathways teaching team. It was a Wednesday evening he will never forget. He is extremely excited to open this new chapter with such a reputable institution.
Additional Responsibilities: Yearbook Advisor, Media, Tutoring Liaison, and Northside Bus Monitor
Education – Clarion University Masters in Education
Ms. Potter has been an educator for 18 years. She went to Clarion University for her undergrad and graduate work. She taught 4 years at Immaculate Conception as a K-8 Art Teacher, 5 years at Brockway Area School District as a classroom teacher, 6 years at Hampton Township School District as the Academic Support Teacher K-5 and on the Leadership Team, and 3 years at Urban Pathways College Charter School K-5. Ms. Potter is continuing to achieve her professional goals by beginning her second Master degree in the spring. She strongly believe you should never stop setting goals. She lives, breathes, and has a passion to teach our children to develop the characteristics of being a great person with lifelong goals, values, and to help each student reach their fullest potential. When she is not teaching, she is very busy raising 3 amazing boys of my own. Her sons are 15, 13, and 10. They enjoy hiking, bike rides, sitting by the fire, and enjoy life. She is extremely happy to teach at Urban Pathways K-5 College Charter School. We are leaders building pathways for success. Our mission is to help every child find a pathway to a successful adult life in the city and beyond and she believes 100% in our mission statement.
She graduated from Carlow University with a B.A. in Elementary Education. She is currently working on my M.A. in Special Education and my ESL certificate. For the past 10 years she has taught in different types of schools in Maryland and around the Pittsburgh area, before coming to Urban Pathways this year. In her free time she enjoys doing a wide variety of activities from gardening to running 5ks. In the fall she cans the vegetables from her garden. She is an avid Ohio State Buckeyes fan and enjoys going to as many football games as possible.
Upon graduating from Penn State University, Ms. Denman began her professional career in the business world. After many years in business, Ms. Denman decided to further her own education to pursue a new career path in education.
Ms. Denman started her teaching career in Atlantic County, New Jersey, where she spent 11 years teaching middle school students mathematics. Prior to joining Urban Pathway’s Charter School, Ms. Denman worked at Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia as an Algebra I and Geometry teacher.
Ms. Denman is not only a dedicated and passionate teacher, she is also a proud mother of three children – Christian, Claire and Faith. She enjoys spending family time at the beach in the summer and at the family cabin in the winter.
Ms. Denman believes life in the classroom is about the future of our world. She believes teachers shape the future through the children. She is fully committed to both students and society to help build every student’s self esteem, to provide the best possible education and to help develop each child into a life-long learner.
Mr. Kaine Snyder – Educational Technology Specialist
Mr. Snyder specializes in hardware for laptops, maintenance, and upkeep of all technological aspects of the school. He holds certifications in Google Cloud, Google education, Dell hardware, among other various technology. He has been working in the field for almost 3 years and has been at Teqguys as an intern for various schools performing all of the above for them. He is currently a full time staff member at Urban Pathways K-5 College Charter School as their Educational Technology Specialist.
His name is Mr. Galando, but the students call him “Mr.G.” This is his 8th year working as a Special Education teacher at Urban Pathways K-5 College Charter School. He graduated from Seton Hill University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, and my Teaching Certificate in Elementary and Special Education in 2007. He has worked mostly with the upper elementary students during his time at Urban Pathways K-5 College Charter School. His past experiences range from working with mentally challenged elementary students to teaching high school Math, English, and Earth and Space to high school students. He has really enjoyed working with UPCS K-5 students. He believes he has learned as much from his students as they have learned from him. When he is not working at UPCS K-5, he also works at a Harley Davidson dealership. He has worked at the dealership for 9 years. He has been riding motorcycles for the past 13 years. Other activities that he enjoys are fishing, hunting, and golfing. He has a massive white rabbit named Casper. Casper is actually a pretty fun pet. Mr. G is looking forward to teaching as well as learning from the students!
Alyssa Hoffman is the Special Education teacher for grades 3-4. After graduating from Westminster College, she has gained incredible experience in the Peters Township and Chartiers Valley School Districts. Ms. Hoffman is very excited to be here at Urban Pathways!
This is Mr. Winter’s third year at Urban Pathways K-5 College Charter School as a Special Education Teacher. He works with students grades K-2. This is his 5th year of teaching. He is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Clarion University with a double Major in Early Childhood and Special Education. He has experience working with children from infant and all the way to high school. He has been involved with theater the majority of his life from being in shows and working behind the scenes as director or stage manager. He loves to stay positive and often will sing!
Title – Reading Specialist, Data Analyst, PIMS Admin, & PSSA SAC
Education – Master of Education Degree in Reading; Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education
Rachel Lucas has over thirteen years of experience within the field of education. She began as a substitute teacher for Northside Urban Pathways Charter School before serving as a full-time sixth grade teacher. In 2011, she accepted the position as a third grade teacher at Urban Pathways K5 College Charter School where she currently serves. As of August 2015, she will serve grades 3-5 as a reading specialist. Rachel is also the PIMS Administrator and PSSA School Assessment Coordinator at Urban Pathways K5 College Charter School.
Education – Bachelor of Science in Education and Reading Specialist Certification
Ashley Wagner graduated from Penn State University. This is her third year at Urban Pathways K-5 College Charter School. Ms. Wagner is a Reading Specialist. Prior to that, she taught 2nd grade for 4 years at Young Scholars of Central PA in State College. She loves the Pittsburgh area and is proud to be an UP family member!
Jason Knox will be starting his eighteenth year as an Elementary Education teacher. His journey started with his graduation from Clarion University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and an Elementary Education K-6 certification. His first teaching role was for Pathways Adolescent Center as a 3rd through 5th grade teacher. He then moved to Florida where he taught at Pierson Elementary school for seven years in 4th and 5th grade. He moved back to Pennsylvania where he worked at Propel Charter School in Braddock Hills as a 5th and 6th grade math teacher, and then at Freedom Area School District as a Math Specialist. Jason is currently entering his fifth year as a math specialist at Urban Pathways College Charter School K-5.
Education – Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology; Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Kelly Babin is a recent graduate from West Virginia University. She began her career as a speech-language pathologist here at UP for the 2018-2019 school year. Kelly is employed through a contractual agreement with the private practice, Rehabilitation Specialists, Inc. Ms. Babin, or Ms. B to some of our UP students, works primarily with the K-5 children for four days out of the week. Then, she spends one day, out of the school week, with our students at UP 6-12. Kelly has been working within the pediatric population for over five years, both as a student clinician and as an SLP; including seeing clients at Rehabilitation Specialists, Inc, various Extended School Year programs and contracts with school districts in the community, Speech and Hearing screenings at varying pre-schools in the Pittsburgh area, and as a Therapeutic Staff Support therapist. Kelly is native to the city of Pittsburgh and is an alum of North Allegheny school district. Ms. Babin is entering her second year as the Speech Therapist here at UP.
Ms. Smolenskil holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Pittsburgh. She works for the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and serves students and teachers in several schools throughout Allegheny County.
Education – Bachelor of Science in Music Education (PreK-12)
Erin L. McCoy has nearly 11 years of experience as a music educator, teaching general music, musical theatre, and a wide variety of performing ensembles. This will be her second year at UP, and she is very excited to work with our students again! After graduating from Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA), she spent six years teaching middle school students at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, an award-winning public school in Baltimore, MD. Upon returning to Pittsburgh, Ms. McCoy spent 3 years teaching at St. Edmund’s Academy and served as a long-term substitute band director for the Mars Area School District. She is passionate about arts integration and helping students to find their unique voices, as we work together toward success!
April Flack has been with Urban Pathways since August of 2008. She began as a food service worker. Over the years she has earned and grown into a Kitchen Director of a food service management company. She has a very supportive relationship with about 99% of the students here at K5.
Rhonda is our head cook. She has worked with Lintons for a little over a year now and has excellent work ethic. Her experience in the kitchen is outstanding. She has worked in the food service prior to Lintons.
Ms. Mary Taylor – Assistant Cook
Mary has worked with Lintons for over 3 years now. She has come to UP K5 in September of 2018. She works well with the children and her peers around her. She has an awful lot of expertise in food service. She is a JOY to have with us on the team.