MEET OUR TEACHERS 2012- 2013
Teacher Dorothy Habecker (grade K/1)
Dorothy is in her 30th year of teaching young children. She has taught in Friends education for 17 years, public education for 10 years, and has also worked in day care and as an educational consultant for an early intervention research project. When she's not at school, she loves to be outside - hiking, camping, canoeing, and gardening. When she can't be outside, she loves to sew, quilt, knit, read and hang out with friends and family. She also plays a mean game of Scrabble! Dorothy has a B.A. in sociology, teaching certification in early childhood, and an M.S. in curriculum and instruction. She has been a member of State College Friends Meeting for more than 25 years. Dorothy has years of experience as a trainer and facilitator in conflict management, and she treasures the time she has spent doing the Alternatives to Violence Project trainings in communities and in state and federal prisons. Dorothy loves teaching young children because she gets lots of hugs and gets to laugh every day.
Assistant Teacher (K/1 Teacher Dorothy’s class)
Teacher Lisa Gamble (grade K/1)
Teacher Lisa has taught at State College Friends School for 15 years and she finds it to be the perfect environment for pursuing her two passions -- working with children and exploring the natural world. She finds sharing her love of nature with young children exciting because they have such a natural sense of wonder. They are great exploreres who are fascinated to discover the interesting interrelationships of all living things. Young children often carry this excitement for learning into anything we do in the classroom, making each day fun and rewarding. Before becoming a classroom teacher, Lisa worked as an environmental educator and was later a full-time mom, homeschooling her children for the first few years of elementary school. Lisa loves to cook, read, and be outside hiking, backpacking, canoeing, and camping. Lisa has a B.A. in Biology and an M.S. in Experiential Education.
Assistant Teacher (K/1 Teacher Lisa's class)
Becky is a native of State College and a recent graduate of Penn State with a B.S. in Elementary Education. With a love of the outdoors, she spent a great deal of time throughout her college life studying outdoor/alternative education at Shaver’s Creek. She also served as a counselor at several local after school programs and camps. Becky enjoys being outdoors, learning about nature and caring for two wonderful kittens – Ramona and Tela. Through her love of nature, Becky wishes to foster in each child a sense of wonder as they work together to learn about the natural world and the connection of all living things. She also enjoys listening to live music, quilting and sewing and of course, hiking and biking -- anything outdoors.
After a maternity leave, Kelly rejoins Friends School in her sixth year. She began as an assistant teacher in our 3/4 and 5th grade classes. Kelly received her degree in elementary education from Penn State and has worked as a substitute in the State College Area School District. In October 2006, Kelly had the opportunity to step into the role of a full-time third grade teacher, and successfully led the class for the rest of the year. Kelly also has experience as a library skills instructor and in developing summer day camp programs. In addition to her teaching experience, Kelly is familiar with the Friends School through her duties as a Jazzercise class monitor. She lives in Pine Grove Mills with her husband, son, dog, and three turtles.
Sunna brings an extensive background in teaching, conflict resolution, yoga, and Quakerism. Before joining us at Friends School, Sunna lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, where she had the opportunity at different times to teach at Chinook Montessori Charter School, Pearl Creek Elementary School, and the Alaska Boreal Forest Council. Sunna also taught for a year in St. Mary's, a Yup'ik Eskimo Village near the Bering Sea at Elicarvicuar School. Sunna and her husband Russell, with their toddler son Esten, are attenders of State College Friends Meeting.
Teach Nick Jackson (grade 4, Basketball and Soccer Coach)
Nick Jackson enters his third year as 4th grade teacher and head soccer and basketball coach.
Born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Nick taught 3rd grade in his hometown and 6th grade Social Studies in Philadelphia before moving to Centre County. With an Elementary Ed major (with endorsements in Middle School Language Arts and Coaching Soccer), and a minor in Music, Nick can often be found singing and strumming his guitar as a means of delivering lesson content. This supports Nick’s philosophy that it is important to appeal to various learning styles. In addition to music, he incorporates drama and kinesthetic activities in his delivery of content. Whether it’s through sports (Nick “loves all kinds" but soccer is his favorite) music or improv in the classroom, he works to build community through problem solving and reaching out to students using a variety of methods – all in an effort to get them to give their best! What really makes Nick's classroom a family is his incorporation of the Circle of Courage, a Native American medicine wheel standing for belonging, generosity, independence, and mastery. This is the foundation of the 4th grade classroom culture.
Sarah Romelfanger, Assistant Teacher
Tim grew up in State College, Pennsylvania and graduated from State College High School; however he has called many other places home during his life. Tim has lived and worked in England, South Africa, New York, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Texas. Teacher Tim currently lives in Centre Hall with his wife Deborah. During his travels he has come to understand that although each person is a unique individual, all have the same basic needs in life. As a teacher, Tim’s goal is to prepare his students to meet their own needs, whatever those needs may be, and get them ready to lead happy lives. Tim believes that a teacher’s most important job is to create an environment that stimulates and encourages children’s intrinsic need to learn. He feels that because successful learning is rewarding, the desire to learn grows with each year a child spends in a setting that values their efforts. As a fifth grade teacher at Friends School he has had the opportunity to help his students learn how to learn, how to solve problems, how to adapt to changing situations, and how to have positive relationships with other people. In his spare time Tim enjoys spending time outdoors, especially hiking with his wife and four dogs. When the weather forces him indoors he likes to spend time with his family, especially his grandchildren! Tim spends his extra time restoring old Yamaha motorcycles. Tim received a B.S. in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University, in May 2004, and joined the Friends School in the fall of 2006. As part of his continuing professional development Tim is currently taking a Pennsylvania Department of Education sponsored course titled: Using Graphic Organizers: Tools for Organizing Thinking.
Teacher Bailey Kellerman - Middle School
Bailey grew up in the small town of Tidioute, Pennsylvania located on the edge of the Allegheny National Forest, canoeing, exploring, and collecting insects. Bailey still loves insects, animals, and the outdoors. Much of her free time goes toward caring for her ever-growing menagerie, which currently includes two dogs, five cats, a macaw, and fish (at home) and a turtle, fish, mice, ball python, iguana, and two chinchillas. Bailey is thankful every day that she works at Friends School, a place where she can share her love of science with others and where animals, experiments, and adventures of all kinds are encouraged. Teacher holds a B.S. in Forest Biology and an M.S. in Entomology from Penn State.
Teacher Christy has taught for more than fifteen memorable years at Friends School. When she was interviewed at the school, her immediate reaction was, "What a wonderful school!" She was impressed that the students were being taught how to learn, not what to learn and that they were doing instead of passively listening. Teacher Christy embraces the Quaker testimonies that guide the school and values the teaching practices where students are given opportunities to perform community service, and are taught how to use words rather than fists to settle conflicts. Christy's love of gardening, sculpting, Asian cultures, martial arts and music have found a home in the themes she has taught over the years. Having always loved language arts, Teacher Christy earned a degree in secondary English education from Lock Haven University. She lives in Bellefonte with her husband, John, her daughter Kathleen who attends Juniata College, and her cat, Blue.
MEET OUR SPECIALIST TEACHERS
Teacher Rebecca Rumbel (Physical Education)
Teacher Rebecca serves as the Physical Education teacher. Rebecca is a Penn State graduate with a B.S. in Recreation and Parks. She has worked for over 7 years at the Shavers Creek Environmental Center. She has served as the Assistant Director of the outdoor school, taught summer camps, and facilitated teambuilding workshops for student and adult groups. Rebecca is also a certified yoga instructor and leads classes at the Center for Well Being in Lemont. Currently, she is pursuing a Master's Degree in Education at Penn State.
Teacher Cindy Hanczar (Art)
Teacher Theresa Shirk Yerger, under the guidance of Teacher Ann Clements (Middle School Music, Peace Choir)
Theresa, who is a music education doctorial candidate at Penn State will return to Friends School this year to instruct our upper school students (5th - 8th) in music theory, instruments, and voice. Ann Clements is an Associate Professor of Music Education at Penn State. She has served as a junior high school music teacher and as director of music education for the University of Washington.
Teacher Rebecca Lerner (Yoga)
Namaste and Om are two of Teacher Rebecca's favorite words! She has been practicing yoga for over 30 years and teaching yoga to all ages from senior citizens, pre/post natal, to children. Rebecca has introduced yoga to many local groups including the American Lung Association, the Centre County Prison Society, HRB, SCASD Wellness Days, Delta Program, and the MS Society. Prior to entering the yoga world Rebecca was a jeweler, hand engraver and goldsmith. Rebecca has been an attender of State College Friends Meeting since 1988 and has sent three children through Friends School. Rebecca holds near and dear to her heart her 1001 fond memories of Friends School, gathered while being an active participating parent from 1988-2006. Teacher Rebecca began as a volunteer in 1988, teaching yoga to the K/1 students. Since that time, due to its success, yoga has become a weekly class for all students, grades K- 8. Yoga philosophy of non-violence, contentment, truthfulness and self-control are innately held within the Quaker testimonies of peace, simplicity and integrity. These parallels are shared within the yoga curriculum and stimulate amazing responses from the children. It is an honor and joy to teach with these children! Rebecca and her husband co-own and direct the yoga program at the Center for Well-Being (est. 1976) in Lemont, PA. She is a JR. Int. III certified Iyengar yoga teacher, as well as a Bradley childbirth instructor. Teacher Rebecca has traveled to India five times to study with her teachers. Rebecca continues her lifelong pursuit of yogic knowledge, natural healing with herbs, foraging for wild edible plants, good books, and cozy family times.
Teacher Keena (School Counselor)
Keena joins State College Friends School this year as the school's conselor for grades K to 8. Keena holds a Masters Degree in Education in School Counseling from Wilmington University, and a B.A. in Psychology from Penn State. She has worked with the State College Area School District as the Hearts and Strides Program Director, and as a Counselor for Northwestern Human Services in State College. In addition to her counseling experience, Keena is the daughter of a music teacher and the lead singer and songwriter for the Kenna band (featuring former HOS Larry Boggess on guitar).