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Mrs. Ruth Butler has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Duquesne University and a Special Education Certification from La Roche College. She has substituted for the North Allegheny School District, is an avid tutor, and served as a full time teacher at Eden Christian Academy for three years. Also, she teaches Sunday School at Cornerstone Church in West View. Recently, Mrs. Butler was named an Outstanding American Teacher by the National Honor Roll and will be listed in the 2007-2008 Biltmore’s Who’s Who among Executive and Professional Women in Teaching and Education. She will be teaching writing (grades 4-7) and Shurley Grammar 6. Mrs. Butler loves writing because it is God’s gift of communication to us!
Mrs. Julia Davis has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Nyack College in New York. She has fond memories teaching first grade from 1990-1993. Since then, she has been very active teaching Sunday School and leading Wednesday evening clubs at Allegheny Center Alliance Church. Mrs. Davis knows that her love for children combined with a love for reading will make books FUN as the 3rd – 5th grade Literature classes worm their way through this year’s selections. She has read many of them, and her husband and three children enjoyed reading a few of them over the summer — they’re great!
Mrs. Stacey Feick has a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in mathematics from Grove City College. She taught Chemistry I, Chemistry II, General Science, Earth Science, Calculus and 7th Grade Math in the public schools for seven years. She and her husband, Joe, have three children. Stacey is looking forward to teaching Science to Grammar stage students as well as Chemistry and Pre Calculus at Blackburn this year.
Mrs. Claudia Fraser, a native of Mexico, taught in both private and public schools for eleven years prior to having children. She and her husband Jeff, a Pittsburgh native, are raising two bilingual daughters, ages 12 and 9. Throughout the year she is involved in many activities at the Dorseyville Alliance Church, while summertime means traveling back to Mexico to visit friends and family. She obtained her teaching degree from Escuela Normal in Mexico and loves to teach. She looks forward to teaching Spanish 1 and 2 at Blackburn.
Mrs. Linda Frank, teaching Art, received her B.A. in Graphic Design from Philadelphia College of Art. She worked ten years for Westinghouse in their Design Center and as a manager of trade show programs. The last seven years, she has focused on teaching art to homeschoolers and senior citizens. As a professional artist, her work has been shown and sold in various galleries. Pet portraits are a side business and passion. She desires to use the gifts the Lord has given to her for His glory. As new empty nesters, with her husband Christ, they have raised three children.
Mrs. Shirley Gagnon has a B.S. in Physics from State University at New York, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University and has done graduate work in Computer and Electrical Engineering at Syracuse University. She is currently pursuing her secondary education (Physics / Math) certification at Geneva College. Mrs. Gagnon worked at IBM for 10 years in development and consulting. She has a God-given passion for learning and teaching. In recent years she has substituted at Portersville Christian School, taught at Eden Christian Academy, and tutored homeschooled students in both math and science. Mrs. Gagnon will be teaching Algebra II, and Grade 3-7 History.
Mr. Glenn Graner, CPA, is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he received a BS degree with a major in Accounting and a minor in Economics. Mr. Graner received his license to practice as a Certified Public Accountant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For the last 20 years, he has served as the CFO of K&L Gates LLP, a global law firm with over $1Billion in annual revenues, and has also served in the capacity as COO for a number of years. Mr. Graner has co-chaired national conferences on matters of financial and economic significance to law firms, has lectured at law firm conferences, and has also published articles on matters of accounting and economics. Mr. Graner is a member of the American and Pennsylvania Institutes of Certified Public Accountants and the Financial Executives Institute. Mr. Graner has served as an Economics tutor in the past at BSC and will again be serving as an Economics tutor to the Rhetoric students this year.
Mrs. Diane Landau, who has been homeschooling since the early days of the movement, has grown daughters. For the past eight years, she has been a private tutor to homeschooled children. She has been for seven years Blackburn’s on-site Administrator and has taught History and Literature. This year, she is teaching History to the Rhetoric class.
Mrs. Laura Miller has a B.A. in Communications from Towson University and worked professionally as a writer/editor for Ligonier’s Tabletalk magazine as well as in newsreporting and publishing. Along with her husband and several other families, she founded Gideon Study Center and now serves on the board of directors. At Gideon, she tutored Writing and Grammar. Prior to that, Mrs. Miller’s classroom experience included teaching high school English in Louisiana and tutoring Writing and Grammar at Blackburn, where this year she is teaching Dialectic Writing and Dialectic History. She has homeschooled her four children, all of whom are either former or current Blackburn students.
Mrs. Jessica Munger has a B.A. in Elementary Education (K-6) with dual certification in special education (birth – 12th grade) from Westminster College. She is currently finishing up her M.S. in Elementary Reading and Literacy from Walden University. Mrs. Munger taught in Ohio for three years before getting married and moving to the Pittsburgh area, where she was a substitute teacher for Avonworth Middle School for one year. She is very excited to be teaching 6/7 Literature, Grammar 7, and third grade science. She also enjoys teaching Sunday School at North Park Church.
Mrs. Jennifer Nolan received her Bachelor of Music Education degree, with emphasis on Choral Music/Voice, from Biola University. She also holds certification in the Kodaly Methodology of Music Education. While in California, Mrs. Nolan directed sections of the San Diego Children’s Choir. Today, she home schools her four young daughters. She will teach 3rd-5th Grade Music and help them become comfortable with their singing voices so they might not fear to make a joyful noise to the Lord.
Mr. Shaun Nolan has been pastor of View Crest Presbyterian Church (PCA) since 2001. Formerly, he served churches on the West Coast in addition to being a landscaper, graphic designer, facilities manager, admissions director, and dog trainer (his dogs were not available for comment). He grew up in Southern California where he received a Bachelors in Christian Education from Biola University and a Master of Divinity degree from Westminster Seminary. He and his wife, Jennie, have four daughters to whom they are committed to give the best of their time. Mr. Nolan will be teaching Literature and Theology to Dialectic and Rhetoric students.
Mrs. Patti Sewald has a B.S. Ed. in Secondary Mathematics from Indiana University of PA, and a Certificate in Software Development from the Community College of Allegheny County. She started her teaching career in the Shaler Area School District and has taught in many private and public schools in the area. She and her husband Ken have four daughters. The thing she likes best about math is all the patterns that exist. It’s God’s way of showing us the beauty of math! Mrs. Sewald will teach Algebra I this year.
Jonathan Shirk has a Marketing Management degree from Grove City College along with a Masters of Divinity Degree from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. After a short sales career for Cintas Corporation, and graduation from seminary, Jonathan has worked as the Assistant Pastor and Director of Student Ministry at North Park Church for over five years. He has spoken to hundreds of young people and enjoys communicating the Word of God. Jonathan is happily married to Kristina and has two young children, Jeremiah and Maria. Mr. Shirk is Blackburn’s Chaplain.
Mrs. Nancy Van Sickel graduated from Grove City College with a BS in Physics and worked for five years doing research at American Glass Research. She completed required coursework for secondary education (physics) at Geneva College and was a substitute teacher at Eden Christian Academy, as well as a science teacher at church camps for several years. Mrs. Van Sickel has been tutoring science at Blackburn since our inception, and, if her own children’s college major choices are any indication (biology and engineering), her predisposition toward science makes quite an impression on her students. She will be teaching Logic 2, Physical Science and Pre-Algebra.
Miss Bethany Walker is a graduate of Duquesne University where she obtained her Elementary Education degree. Miss Walker pursued Division I cross-country and track and field while attending her university and served as an assistant track coach position within the Pittsburgh Public School District in spring of 2012. She also completed her student teaching requirements in a Pittsburgh city school with a 2nd grade class. She is excited to tutor Grammar and Writing at Blackburn.