PT Welcomes New Teachers (6-15-21)

The Penn-Trafford School District is pleased to announce the hiring of nine new Teachers and a Certified School Nurse.  All of the new hires have worked in part-time and/or temporary positions for PT and will begin their permanent placements in August.  They include:

Nick Caporoso will join the Penn Middle School staff as a Social Studies teacher.  He has worked in the district for six years at both Penn and Trafford Middle Schools where his roles included Student Learning Assistant, Long-Term Sub, and Super-Sub.  Nick is a PT alumnus and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education / Social Studies from Pitt-Johnstown and also holds a middle-level mathematics certificate.

Danielle Gordon will be a second-grade teacher at Sunrise Estates Elementary School.  She has spent two years at Sunrise as both a Student Learning Assistant and Long-Term Sub.  Danielle has a Bachelors’s degree from Pitt-Greensburg as well as a Reading Specialist certificate and a Masters’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh.  

Laura Kerestes will be a Special Education teacher at both Trafford Elementary and Sunrise Estates Elementary Schools.  She has been with PT for two years as both a Substitute Teacher and a Student Learning Assistant and also did her student teaching at PT.  She has covered Sunrise, McCullough, and Harrison Park Elementary Schools.  Laura, who graduated from nearby Norwin High School, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education and her Master’s degree in Elementary and Middle-Level Education - all from Seton Hill University.

Allie Kleinschmidt will join the Harrison Park Elementary team as a Special Education teacher.  Allie attended Seton Hill University to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Special Education, and an Autism endorsement.  She has worked for Penn-Trafford (at Harrison Park) for the past nine years - four years as the library aide and the remaining years as both a Student Learning Assistant and Special Education Certified Instructional Aide.

Jessica Meyers will be a kindergarten teacher at Sunrise Estates.  She has worked at PT for two years in both Day-to-Day and Long-Term Substitute positions at all schools.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Elementary Education and a Minor in Special Ed from Slippery Rock University and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Special Education.

Kimberly Ohl will be a third-grade teacher at McCullough Elementary School.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock University in Elementary Education and a Master’s of Education degree from Gannon University.  Kimberly has worked as a Student Learning Assistant at Harrison Park Elementary School for two years.  Prior to joining the Penn-Trafford staff, she was a 4th and 5th-grade teacher for six years in Northern Virginia.  

Emily Phetsomphou joins the Sunrise Estates staff as a first-grade teacher.  Emily, who grew up in nearby Norwin School District, graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education and has a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from California State University-Fullerton.  She taught in California for 11 years before coming to Penn-Trafford as a Student Learning Assistant for two years.

Katelyn Pratt will teach grade 5 at Sunrise Estates.  She has worked in the district for three years in both Student Learning Assistant and Long-term Substitute roles and covered Harrison Park, Sunrise, and Penn Middle Schools.  Katelyn is a PT alumna with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Education from Seton Hill University.  She taught in North Carolina for two years before joining the PT staff.

Michelle Stukus is the district’s new Certified School Nurse.  She has held a nurse’s role at PT for 12 years beginning as a Day-to-Day Substitute then becoming a Super-Substitute nurse covering all buildings and the Children’s Institute van.  She has been a Building Nurse at McCullough and the High School since 2018.  Her new role as a Certified School Nurse brings many additional responsibilities.  Michelle earned her Bachelor’s in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh and her certification as a school nurse from Slippery Rock University.  She has been a nurse for 25 years.  

Kaylee Zona will be teaching first grade at McCullough.  She is a PT alumna with an undergraduate degree from Pitt-Greensburg (Bachelors in Psychology, Minor in Education, and a Children’s Literature Certification).  She also has a Masters’s degree in Elementary Education from California University of PA.  Kaylee has worked for PT as a Tutor and Super-Substitute for 2-½ years.  Prior to that, she spent one year at Elizabeth Forward School District as a Reading Aide.