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Rev. Martin Blocki graduated from Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana) with a Bachelor’s in Music Ed.; he holds a Masters in Music from Arizona State University, and Masters of Divinity from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He has served as band director in Indiana state, and as Associate Professor of Music at Goshen College; and currently serves as Associate Pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North Hills in Pittsburgh. In past years, Rev. Blocki enjoyed teaching Apologetics and Theology for Blackburn Study Center. After a brief interlude, he is excited to return this year to teach Apologetics for the upper level Rhetoric students.
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 Literature classes worm their way through this year’s selections.
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 enjoys teaching Science and Mathematics at Blackburn.
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, have raised two bilingual daughters. 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 enjoys teaching Spanish at Blackburn and Spanish 1 and 2 at CCAC.
Mrs. Linda Frank 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 decade, she has focused on teaching art to home schoolers 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. With her husband Chris, she has raised three children. Mrs. Frank enjoys teaching art to our grammar age students.
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 attended Geneva College for education classes. 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 enjoys teaching Math, Science, and 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 enjoys serving as an Economics tutor at BSC.
Mrs. Bethany Hardwig has a B.S. in Business Administration from Geneva College and currently works at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary as the Marketing Specialist. Throughout the year she is involved with many activities at Murrysville Community church where her husband works as the Director of Youth Ministries. Mrs. Hardwig teaches Public Speaking at the center.
Mrs. Maria Kish has a B.A. and Secondary Certification in English and Math from Seton Hill College. She also has a graduate degree in Multimedia Technology and a doctorate in Education from Duquesne University. She has spent close to 20 years teaching technology to adult learners, and currently teaches piano out of her home. She and her husband, Bob, have two daughters. Maria teaches Math at Blackburn.
Mrs. Jessica Krahe has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Washington and Jefferson College. Jessica spent two years substituting at several public schools in the area, but over the past year has stayed home to raise her first child. As a member of North Park Church, she enjoys teaching Sunday School and helping with the children’s ministry. Jessica is very excited to get back into the classroom and teach Grammar this year at Blackburn. With a passion for teaching, she hopes to make singing jingles and learning grammar rules fun!
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 Blackburn’s on-site Administrator for the past seven years and also enjoys teaching History and Literature.
Mr. Matthew Mierski received his B.A. in psychology with a minor in philosophy from Duquesne University. Currently, Mr. Mierski is in his second year of study at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Throughout the course of his academic career, he also concentrated in music, mathematics, and ancient Greek. It thrills him to teach Ancient Literature to Dialectic and Pre-Rhetoric students this year at Blackburn. Mr. Mierski’s greatest passion in life is to study and teach the Bible, especially to young people. He has spent the last five years working as a youth group director and teacher at Whitehall Presbyterian Church, and he aspires to enter the mission field in the future with his lovely wife, Bethany.
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 news reporting and publishing. Along with her husband and several other families, she founded Gideon Study Center where she served on the board of directors and 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. She has homeschooled her four children, all of whom are either former or current Blackburn students.
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. She is a soprano with the Pittsburgh Camerata. In the Fall of 2013 she began the non-profit community choral group, the South Hills Children’s Choir. More importantly, she and her husband Shaun homeschool their four daughters. She will teach Music and help our students 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 teaches History and Theology to our students.
Mrs. Cheryl Prouty graduated from Grove City College with a B.A. in Business. Prior to having children, she worked in the banking industry. She and her husband, Steve, have two children attending Blackburn this year. Their children have been homeschooled for five years. During that time, she taught several classes in co-ops, including Institute for Excellence in Writing. She has been extremely active at Grace Church of Harmony in various ways, including teaching Sunday School and being an Awana leader. Mrs. Prouty teaches Writing.
Mrs. Kristen Satariano has a B.A. in Spanish/Elementary Ed. from the College of Wooster in Ohio and a MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. Kristen, and her husband Larry, grew up in the North Hills and are now raising and homeschooling their three children here. Mrs. Satariano taught for 10 years in the North Allegheny school system and now enjoys teaching Grammar at the center while working as the at-home administrator.
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 enjoys teaching Math at Blackburn.
Mrs. Cassandra Smiley has an M.S. in secondary education from Duquesne University. She is a mother of two girls in the Pine Richland School District. Mrs. Smiley truly appreciates the time and commitment of involved parents. Typically, Mrs. Smiley teaches Rhetoric level students in courses such as Literature and Rhetoric. In addition, she conducts several English Composition courses for Geneva College. She uses this unique perspective to best prepare Blackburn students for the next step in their academic careers.
Mrs. Amber Stites has a B.S. in Elementary Education from Grove City College. She worked for four years teaching fifth and sixth graders at a private school in Rockville, MD, just outside of Washington D.C. She and her husband moved to Pittsburgh in 2004 and are involved in many activities at North Park Church. A typical day is spent at home playing with and schooling their four children, but on Wednesdays she gets to enjoy being in the classroom again–teaching Science at Blackburn.
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 enjoys teaching Science, Math, and Logic.