Teachers and Staff for the Skills Center

Administration and Support

  • Dr. Renee Gordon, Principal, received her B.A. in Spanish and Marketing and M.S.Ed. in School 1Q11087-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Centerand Agency Counseling at St. Bonaventure University. She has completed certifications in School Counseling, English as a Second Language, and Educational Leadership. Renee received her Ph.D. in Organizational Learning and Leadership from Gannon University after conducting a research study on the Bhutanese refugees in the area. Additionally, Renee is an adjunct professor in the doctoral program at Gannon University. Dr. Gordon has worked in the district since 2004 and she received the Staff Member of the Year Award at the Charter School of Excellence in 2007.
  • Asa McCullum, Assistant Principal, received his M.Ed in Educational Leadership from Ed1Q01081-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Centerinboro University. He currently holds a K-12 Pennsylvania principal certificate. He began his professional career as the Coordinator for Recruitment and Retention in 2009. He has also been a Program Facilitator at the Charter School of Excellence before becoming Assistant Principal of the Skills Center. He has worked at the Skills Center since it was established in 2010.
  • Dan Mastrian, Hospitality & Workforce Development, completed his undergraduate studies at missing-Student-ID-18-e1477416059519 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterGannon University with a B.S. in Theology and Philosophy with English as a Minor. After graduation, he and his wife developed and became proprietors of a successful restaurant in Fairview, PA, which they operated for just over four years. He received his teaching certification for Middle and Secondary Language Arts from Edinboro University, and was brought on by The Charter School of Excellence in 2010 when the Skills Center was opened.
  • Christy Mogel, Guidance Counselor, received her B.S. in Psychology from Penn State Behrend missing-Student-ID-21-1-e1477486952151 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Centerwith a certificate in Crime, Law and Public Policy. She earned a M.A. in Counseling with a certificate in School Counseling K-6 & 7-12 from Edinboro University. Mrs. Mogel is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and is in the application process of becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). She began working at the Charter School of Excellence in 2016. In her spare time she loves the beach, camping, hiking, running and spending time with her husband and son.
  • Michael Thompson, Teacher Coach, received his B.S. in Marketing (Clarion University of 1Q01214-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterPennsylvania), M.B.A (Gannon University),Teacher certification (Mercyhurst University) and ESL certification (IU1). Michael was an original teacher of the Leadership Center when it opened in 2005 and transferred to the Skills Center in 2010. This year his focus has changed as he has transitioned from being a social studies teacher to a new position of guidance counselor/teacher coach. Mr. Thompson is also a past winner of the Teacher of the Year award at the Leadership center.
  • Jenifer Dildine, Central Enrollment Coordinator, Mrs. Dildine has been employed with CSE since 1Q01095-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Center2000. She is the Coordinator for Central Enrollment. Mrs. Dildine loves CSE because we truly care about our students and do what we say we are going to do. We are a great team and work above any other district out there. Mrs. Dildine’s alma mater is Gannon. Her advice to all students is,” Never Give Up” as well as,” Each day is a new day. “ At CSE, we truly believe that each day is a new day and there is always a fresh start each day. She received the Staff Member of the Year Award in 2005.
  • John Timmers, Educational Technology Coordinator, received his Bachelor’s missing-Student-ID-31-e1477416006229 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Centerdegree and teaching certificate from Edinboro University.   His career in education began in Baltimore MD where he taught math and science before joining the CSE team at the Leadership Center in 2005 as the Technology teacher.  After transferring to the Skills Center in 2010, Mr. Timmers left the classroom to support teachers and students in the use of technology in the classroom.
  • Heather Young, Data Management Supervisor,received her B.A in Developmental Psychology fromheather-e1443101972351-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Center Edinboro University in 2005. Upon graduation, she worked as a counselor for at-risk youth before joining the CSE team in 2007. Heather worked at the Hamilton Center before transferring to the Skills Center when it opened in 2010. She is the 2011 recipient of the Staff Member of the Year award.
  • Patty Strickenberger, Mental Health Therapist/Building Education Support Team Coordinator-Mrs. Strickenberger received her BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Mercyhurst 1Q01290-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterUniversity. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology in from Edinboro University. Mrs. Strickenberger has worked for Perseus House Inc, for over 16 years. She has held numerous positions during her tenure at Perseus House Inc, including Director of Residential Programming and Community Support Specialist. She happily joined the Charter School of Excellence Team in 2005. She holds PA certification for Student Assistance Program, Life Space Crisis Intervention and Anger Replacement Training. In her free time, Mrs. Strickenberger loves spending time with her family whether it is playing cards or going for walks in the woods.
  • David Morris, Program Facilitator,received B.S. in Social Work from Gannon University. He played basketball for Gannon University for four years and during his junior year helped the team1Q01289-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Center compete in the National Championship in Springfield Massachusetts in 1987. After college he pursued a life-long dream of playing professional basketball overseas in Portugal and Spain for 2 years. He also had the pleasure of being chosen to travel around the world to fight professionally with the Professional Karate Commission for 3 years. David is proud of his wonderful family and has a son who attends the Skills Center. He was born in Cleveland and loves all of their sports teams. Go Cavs & Browns!
  • Therese Dobrich, Administrative Assistant, graduated from Tech Memorial High School in Erie, therese Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterPA. She started working at the Hamilton site in 2005 as an Administrative Assistant and began at the Skills Center in 2010. In her various roles here, she has managed workforce students and the Cool Beans Coffee Shop and was honored to give the business its name. She helped students to create their own signature coffee beverages as well. She enjoys her companion fury friend Ms. Daisy, a 10 year old Boxer and she has 3 children and 8 grandchildren. In her spare time, she enjoys school bake sales and gardening.
  • Suzanne Jackson, Special Education Case Manager, received her B.S. in Special Education at 1Q01154-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterSlippery Rock University in 2004. She holds certifications Life Space Crisis Intervention and Anger Replacement Training. Suzanne has been working with the urban students for the past ten years. She worked for Perseus House, Inc. for five years before  starting with the Charter School of Excellence in 2009. She teaches Emotional/Autistic/Physical Support Skillbuilding at the Leadership, Skills and Maritime Center in addition. As a Special Education Case Manager, it is her role to coordinate, monitor, evaluate and advocate for multiple services to meet the specific student’s needs and to accurately generate appropriate state and school mandated paperwork. In addition, working in support of and collaborating with the building principal.
  • Stacey Viglione, Transition Coordinator, obtained a bachelor’s degree and PA K-12 Special stacey-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterEducation Teaching Certificate from Edinboro University in 1994. She has been with CSE since Leadership opened in 2010. Prior to coming to CSE, Stacey held several positions in the Erie community servicing children and adults with special needs. She is passionate about preparing students to be ready to take on the world with confidence after Graduation. Stacey works within the Special Education Department facilitating duties of a Transition Coordinator, Coordinator of the START Team and conducts all District Functional Behavioral Assessments.  Mrs. Viglione travels to all three CSE school locations; she works with teachers, staff, parents and community providers to assist students in finding success and growth as they move towards graduation and beyond. Her office is located at the Skills Center. She enjoys being with her family and watching her favorite sports team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Fawna Campbell, Paraprofessional, received her Associate Degree in Special missing-Student-ID-5-e1477415404625 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterEducation at Edinboro University. Additionally, she has received 99 credits toward a Sociology Bachelor’s Degree. She is dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of all children. She enjoys volunteering and decorating. Most importantly, she is dedicated to spending time raising her three children.
  • Val Thomas, Lead School Nurse. Received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing from Duquesne University in 1993. Nursing experience includes 10 years as a nurse in the ICU at Saint noid1q01228-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterVincent Health Center in addition to years as a medical-surgical nurse in Pittsburgh. Valerie started working as a substitute school nurse for the Charter Schools in 2008 and has been at the Skills Center since 2010. She is currently working toward completing her School Nurse Certification at Eastern University. Valerie enjoys coaching and playing tennis with her husband and 3 children along with golf, pickleball, and swimming.
  • Rocco Zaccagnino, Maintenance Supervisor, has worked at the Charter School of Excellence since missing-Student-ID-34-e1477415482755 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Center2003. As a district employee, his goal is to take care of all the “little things” for the teachers and staff in all the buildings. He is a part of the workforce development program and he says that it is a joy working with the students as they keep him young! In his spare time, he enjoys classic cars and refurbishing projects, estate sales, and spending time with his family.

Teachers

  • Elizabeth Askins, Language Arts, received her B.S. in Elementary Education at Edinboro 1Q01138-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterUniversity, M.ED in Special Education also at Edinboro University. Additionally, she completed a certification in English 7-12. She has worked in the district since 2014. She is dedicated to ensuring the success of her students and will always encourage them to do their best. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her three kids.
  • Lisbeth Burnett, Art, obtained a bachelor’s degree in Art Education from Mercyhurst College i1Q01019-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Centern 2002. She attended Gannon University where he received her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in 2010. She has taught at CSE since 2005. She created original artwork and the cover design for “Character: Be About It”, a curriculum book by Matthew L. Harris and Nathan Otis. She teaches a variety of media including drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, photography, and sculpture. In her free time she enjoys creating pottery, drawing, reading, playing board games, and spending time with family.
  • Kimberly Bochicchio, Technology,obtained a bachelor’s degree and PA education certificate from1Q01249-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Center Gannon University. She has taught at CSE since 2008. She teaches a variety of technology classes as well as designs and creates the school yearbook. In her spare time, Mrs. Bochicchio loves to take long walks and bike rides around the peninsula, as well as spend time with her husband, children, and granddaughter. Favorite quote: “If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you; if you are determined to learn, no one can stop you!”
  • Ryan Cassidy, Social Studies, is a product of the Erie City School system, attending Emerson 1Q01193-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterElementary, Gridley Middle School, and Strong Vincent High School (class of 1996). In 2001, Mr. Cassidy earned a BA in Criminal Justice from Edinboro University, as well as minors in history and psychology. Upon graduation, he worked as a counselor for at-risk youth in residential treatment and spent time as a behavior specialist at an Alternative Education Program (AEP). During his time at AEP, Mr. Cassidy realized the important role school played in the lives of young men and women and returned to Mercyhurst College to complete a post-baccalaureate teaching certification in grade 7-12 Social Studies. Upon finishing his certification in 2007, Mr. Cassidy immediately began teaching at the Charter School of Excellence. In the spring of 2015, Mr. Cassidy completed his MA in history from the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
  • Caleb Chambers, Social Studies, earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education from missing-Student-ID-7-e1477415346290 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterEdinboro University. He also holds minors in History and Political Science, and is currently working on attaining his M.Ed. in Educational Leadership  Mr. Chambers has been working with CSE since the 2013-2014 School year, teaching for two years at the Maritime Center before transferring to the Skills Center for the 2015-2016 school year. Mr. Chambers loves teaching at CSE because he believes in the mission of the school and loves teaching the amazing, diverse population of his students. When not engaging learners with various topics across the Social Studies spectrum, Mr. Chambers enjoys collecting new and retro video games (he has over 70 consoles and well over 1000 games), professional wrestling, basketball and reading.
  • Darren Cook, Chef, Culinary Arts,received his Culinary Degree from Pennsylvania Culinary1Q01066-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Center in 1993. All in all Mr. Cook has worked in the culinary industry for the past thirty years. Mr. Cook returned to school in 2001 and earned his B.S. in Middle/Secondary Education (Edinboro University). He taught for four years before joining the Charter School Team and has had a rewarding experience at the Skills Center for the past five years. Mr. Cook also earned his Masters of Fine Arts, Writing Popular Fiction (Seton Hill University), and has published the first in a series of novels during his time here at CSE. Mr. Cook looks forward to each year and each new infusion of talented students.
  • Timothy Fesmire, Digital Arts & Animation, received his bachelor’s degree in Applied Media Art1Q01086-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Centers, as well has his PA Teaching Certificate, from Edinboro University. He has taught at CSE since 2006. Outside of CSE, you can find him doing typical artsy things like drawing, painting, animating and designing things, doing typical healthy things like running, trying to lift somewhat heavy things and participating in pseudo-competitive sports, and trying his best to entertain his two kids.
  • Frederick Gingenbach, Social Studies, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business 1Q01296-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterAdministration and a minor in history from Edinboro University in 1987. In 2010, he earned his teaching certification in social studies from Edinboro University. Mr. Gingenbach also teaches financial literacy to adults part time at Stairways Behavioral Health. Experienced in sales and customer service, he enjoys sharing his knowledge of the business world with his students. He has been married to his best friend, Lisa, for more than 29 years. Together, they raised two boys, Garrett and Tyler. Mr. Gingenbach is a firm believer that everyone should “have an attitude of gratitude.”
  • Kym Hamme, Language Arts, EDL Teacher and Family and Consumer Science Teacher, 1Q01093-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Centerobtained a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Edinboro University after graduating from General McLane High School. She obtained a PA education certificate from Edinboro University in Social Studies and  Family and Consumer Science. Mrs. Ackendorf then attended Penn State-Harrisburg and acquired her EDL Program Manager teaching certificate. Mrs. Ackendorf has worked in the past as a Family Based Therapist, a child-birth assistant, and has taught in Erie and Silver Creek, NY. Mrs. Ackendorf lives in Westfield, NY with her husband and four teenagers. She loves the beach and loves live music.
  • James Hoffman, Language Arts, obtained a bachelor’s degree and PA education certificate from Edinboro University. He then attended the University of Florida where he received his Masters of 1Q01204-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterFine Arts in Creative Writing. He has taught at CSE since 2005. While his literary tastes run the gamut from contemporary American post-modernists to Shakespeare, he is especially fond of the Russian Modernists. In his spare time, he runs, plays guitar, engages his wife in marathon conversations, and plays make believe games with his two young children.
  • Jessica King, Health & Physical Education, obtained her B.S. in Health and Physical missing-Student-ID-16-e1477415270338 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterEducation from Edinboro University in 2011. She started working at the Skills Center full time in 2013, after working as the building substitute teacher for the Leadership Center. The last two years she has taken part in the CSE talent show, singing and playing her guitar. In her spare time, she enjoys running half marathons and working out, along with spending time with her husband and daughter she had at the end of the 2014-15 school year.
  • Laheeb Luay, Language Arts & EDL, obtained a US equivalence Bachelor of Arts degree in 1Q11074-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterFrench Language Arts with a minor in English. She then obtained a Master of Education degree in Instructional English and PA Teaching Certification in Comprehensive English (7-12) from Edinboro University. At the present time, she is half way through earning her EDL certification from Edinboro as well. As a non-native speaker, she has developed her multilingual skills in Arabic, English, and French. She has taught at CSE since 2014. As a mom of three children, she enjoys her free time reading, playing chess, and/or engaging her children in fun activities.
  • Michele Napolitan, Digital Music Production, obtained her bachelor’s degree in Music Educationmissing-Student-ID-23-e1477415786532 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Center from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, as well as a master’s degree in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from Gannon University. She holds a Level 1 and Level 2 certification in Music Technology Education, from Duquesne University. Ms. Napolitan is an active professional French horn player who performs with the Erie Chamber Orchestra, Bemus Bay Pops Orchestra, and the Lake Erie Ballet Orchestra. Along with a love of music and teaching, her hobby and passion lies currently in the study of holistic health and wellness and the connection music has to healing the body. She enjoys being fit and active, has a large collection of cookbooks for nearly any cuisine in the world, can be found shopping at the local second hand/antique shops for quirky “rare” finds for the kitchen, and loves hanging out with her family.
  • Denine Noonan, Reading Specialist, obtained a bachelor’s degree and PA education certificate 1Q01128-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Centerfrom Edinboro University in Early/Elementary Education. She later received her M.S. in Special Education from Mercyhurst University. She also received her Master’s in Reading from Edinboro University. Denine has taught at CSE since 2013 as a Reading Specialist and Special Education Teacher. In her free time to loves to read romance stories, exercise, boating and working with crafts. Her children also keep her busy with the many sports activities they are involved in. She is committed to her students and school and always goes above and beyond what is asked.
  • Danielle Osmak, Language Arts, obtained her bachelor’s degree and PA education certificate frommissing-Student-ID-25-e1477415544366 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Center Gannon University. Since then, she has spent some time as a substitute teacher in the Erie School District and at the Leadership Center. This year, she is teaching language arts at Skills. Recently married, Mrs. Osmak enjoys spending time with her husband as they make their new home their own. She is also an avid reader and a dog lover. In her spare time, you will most likely find Mrs. Osmak enjoying all of the seasons that Erie has to offer.
  • Kimberly Reid, Math, earned a bachelor’s degree with a dual certification in elementary education and special education through Edinboro University. She is also certified in mid-level missing-Student-ID-26-e1477415584726 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Centermathematics. She is also two credits from earning her master’s degree in education. Teaching fit everything that was important to her and fit her personality. She enjoys all content areas, but chose math because of the logic behind it. She was born in Erie, but has lived on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia and in Killeen, Texas. She enjoys photography, bike riding, walking/jogging, and archery.
  • Nichole Szczechowski, Math, received her B.S. in Marketing at Penn State Behrend and her missing-Student-ID-28-e1477415619330 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterMasters in Middle and Secondary Education at Edinboro University. Ms. Lemke has worked for CSE since 2012 and she received the Teacher of the Year Award at the Skills Center in 2014. She acts as the Student Government adviser at the Skills Center and helps to coordinate many events such as Breakfast with Santa, Spaghetti Dinners, and Prom. Each year, she and the math department strive to make Pi Day the most exciting day of the year. You can expect high energy and a positive attitude when you walk into her classroom.
  • Jolene Smock, Science, attended Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and obtained her bachelor’s degree in science, a master’s of science and is currently working towards her master’s in education.missing-Student-ID-27-e1477415650719 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Center While obtaining her master’s of science degree Mrs. Smock completed a graduate thesis on small mammals and the transference of Lyme disease on Presque Isle State Park. She was also part of the 2006 Regional Science Consortium at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center. She has worked on both the French Creek project and the steel-head relocation program. She enjoys many different hobbies such as fishing, hunting, kayaking, gardening, sewing, scrap booking, jewelry making, reading and watching Netflix.
  • Danielle Tetuan, Science, received her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and Master of 1Q01178-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills CenterScience degree in Biology from Mercyhurst University, as well as, a PA Education Certificate from Mercyhurst University. Ms. Tetuan has taught at CSE Skills Center since 2014. She is involved in many activities and clubs at CSE, such as, Foosball League, various sports leagues, and Co-founder of the Science and Art Committee. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family.
  • Lynette Willis, Language Arts/EDL, obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Denison University in 1997 after majoring in both English and Education. She also holds her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Gannon University. Mrs. Willis holds PA certification in English (grades 7-12) and elementary education (grades pre-K – 4). She has had the opportunity to teach at almost every grade level throughout her years as an educator! Her career began at Strong Vincent where she servemissing-Student-ID-32-e1477415699675 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Centerd as a middle and high school English teacher. After taking some time off to raise children, Mrs. Willis accepted a position teaching with the Millcreek Township School District at North Coast School. Mrs. Willis spent three years teaching there, but then she and her family decided to embark on a new life adventure which involved moving to North Carolina. While in North Carolina, Mrs. Willis obtained her elementary certification. She was a teacher at Cedar Fork Elementary School from 2007-2012. She and her family moved back to the Erie area in July of 2012 to be closer to family. After taking a few years off to raise her youngest son, she is excited to be back in the classroom again! Mrs. Willis has three children. Her daughter, Anna, is a freshman at East Carolina University, her oldest son, Carter, is a freshman in high school, and her youngest son, Tommy, is in preschool. In her spare time, Mrs. Willis enjoys spending time with her children, decorating, and doing anything that requires creativity.
  • Aaron Wood, Math, received his B.S. in mathematics and a minor in statistics fromIMG_8475-e1443711005963-150x150 Teachers and Staff for the Skills Center Penn State Behrend in May of 2009. He then earned his Master’s degree from Liberty University in 2011. Since that time he has professionally tutored through WyzAnt.com, taught high school math, and lived and worked with adjudicated youth at George Junior Republic prior to joining the Charter School of Excellence team.  His many interests include beekeeping, Axis & Allies, history, and his family.