Timothy M. Boyle
Mr. Timothy Boyle is the Founding Principal of Science Leadership Academy Middle School, SLA-MS. He holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from St. Joseph’s University and an M.ED from Cabrini College. He has taught in a variety of Elementary and Middle school settings over the last 10 years. Most recently he taught students mathematics and science at the Chester Arthur School and was one of the leaders of the Science Leadership Academy and Chester Arthur School Redesign team. Timothy is also proud Teaching Consultant for the Philadelphia Writing Project. In 2012, he co-founded the non-profit Teachers Lead Philly. He lives in Hawthorne, Philadelphia with his wife and dachshund
Fifth & Sixth Grade
Diana Potts excitingly joins the SLA-MS family. Through her time in education Diana has worked with elementary and middle school grade students. She holds a BA in history, a MAT in elementary education and MS in technology education. She is currently in the process of earning her EdD with a focus in writing and science education. She has taught students social studies and science, with a concentration in arts integration. While at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York she acted as the technology integrator at Fieldston Lower and worked across grade levels in the PreK-12 school. She is happy to be joining SLA-MS as a teacher, with a focus in building community partnerships.
Beyond the classroom, Diana has authored and facilitated workshops for teachers on a range of topics including STEM education, arts integration into core subject areas and effective communication for learning communities. She has presented at local and national conferences. She is happy to be returning to Philadelphia and looks forward to making East Passyunk her home.
Fifth & Sixth Grade Humanities
Hilary Hamilton is overjoyed to be a part of the founding faculty at SLA-MS. After graduating from Swarthmore College with a BA in Educational Studies and English Literature, Hilary spent a semester student teaching with 4th graders at Samuel Powel Elementary. From there she went on to teach 4th and 5th graders at The Philadelphia School where she fell in love with an inquiry driven and project-based approach to learning. Now, she’s excited to be teaching 5th & 6th graders at SLA-MS where she hopes to help students develop their enthusiasm for learning as they ask questions, explore, and create. Hilary recently completed her MSEd in Reading, Writing, Literacy and Reading Specialist Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in the Brewerytown neighborhood of Philadelphia but thoroughly enjoys using her bike, running shoes, and Septa tokens to spend time adventuring with friends across the city.
Fifth & Sixth Grade Math
Nancy Ironside teaches math to 5th & 6th graders. Born into a large, loving and chaotic family, she decided early on that she was well suited to be a middle school teacher. With education degrees from Westminster College and Temple University, she has taught 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th graders in a variety of schools, both public and private. She strives to assist students as they develop their problem solving skills, for math and for life. Ms. Ironside believes that learning should be joyful and personalized. She lives with her two teenaged sons and their three-legged cat in Oreland and enjoys being outside, reading, swimming, singing and walking.
Before becoming the founding Technology Coordinator at SLAMS, Meredith spent eighteen years teaching at an elementary school in New Jersey. She is a true computer geek, with a passion for STEM and Making. Meredith is a Google For Education Certified Teacher, and a Google For Education Certified Trainer. She presents nationally for the Bureau of Education & Research, and is a sought after speaker for both educational technology and STEM topics. She has been a speaker at the ISTE Conference, National Maker Faire, World Maker Faire, and many other conferences and events. At SLAMS, she is sharing her love of both technology and STEM with her students along with her motto: If you’re not making a mess, you’re not doing it right! When she is not teaching or presenting, Meredith spends her time reading ridiculous amounts of books, kayaking the creeks and rivers of NJ, and hanging out with Maker-geek friends. She lives with two lazy dogs, the world’s least-intelligent cat, and two evil Bengals. She is extremely excited to be a part of the SLAMS family. You can follow her education adventures on her blog, Tech For Teachers, find her on Twitter, or email her.
Sharlean Pillay is delighted to be the founding counselor at Science Leadership Academy Middle School. Originally from Union City, CA, Sharlean moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia as a teenager with her family. She earned her BA in Psychology from Temple University. She immediately went to work as a social worker in Philadelphia. She became a crisis counselor in an emergency room in Bucks County. While working in the hospital, she received a dual MS in School and Community Counseling from Gwynedd Mercy College.
Sharlean held the position of Mental Health Clinician, at the C.A.R.E Program at Barratt Middle School for 8 years which provided therapeutic classrooms that incorporated the Re-education Principles developed by Nicholas Hobbs into an academic treatment design to positively impact children with chronic behavior issues.
Prior to SLAMS, Sharlean had been the Vocational School Counselor at the STARS Program, providing school guidance services to students in placement that utilized the Sanctuary Model for trauma informed care. While at STARS, she chaired the Anti Defamation League’s No Place for Hate Initiative leadership committee. She was selected to receive extensive training in Cognitive Therapy through the Beck Institute.
Sharlean lives in Harleysville with her husband, Josh and two children, Jonah and Nika. In her downtime, she enjoys cooking, gardening, upcycling and watching japanese animation.
Fifth & Sixth Grade Humanities
Sarah is thrilled to teach 5th & 6th graders Humanities at Science Leadership Academy Middle School. Soon after earning a BA from Bloomsburg University in Early Childhood & Elementary Education Sarah began teaching for the School District of Philadelphia. While teaching she continued her education earning an MS in Reading at Gwynedd-Mercy University and later a Certificate of Educational Leadership from University of Pennsylvania’s School Leadership Program. Sarah has had the pleasure of teaching children in various content areas but is particularly proud of her years teaching English Language Arts. She knows that in order to get children excited about reading we must provide rich literature that allows them to learn more about themselves.. Sarah loves to watch students both find themselves and lose themselves in books, inspiring them to positively impact their own community. Sarah and her husband live in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Special Education Liason
Erika couldn’t be more thrilled to be a founding teacher at Science Leadership Academy – Middle School! She has been an SLA “groupie” since she first heard that there would be a high school in Center City. Project-based, inquiry-driven education is an awesome way to learn – and teach! Erika is a proud parent of Merrik who is alumni of SLA-Center City – so SLA is pretty much in her blood. Another thing that’s in her blood? Teaching! It’s her passion. She has a Master’s degree in Education from Chestnut Hill College and is a National Board Certified Teacher. Erika spent the first eight years of her teaching career with the School District of Philadelphia at J.C. Ferguson teaching children in 6th through 8th grades, before joining Independence Charter School for four years where she taught children 1st and 3rd grades as a classroom teacher, and 4th and 5th grades as a Special Education Teacher. At SLAMS, Erika teaches children how to maximize their learning as a Special Education Teacher. You could say she’s the Lead Learnin’ Maximizer!! Erika lives in the Germantown section of Philadelphia with her son and their cat, Joy.
Fifth & Sixth Grade Art
Sara is delighted to have landed back in her home-city of Philadelphia to join SLA-MS! After graduating with a BA in Comparative American Studies and Studio Art from Oberlin College, she moved out of small town Ohio to the Big Apple, getting a MSEd from CUNY Hunter and working as a Special Education teacher in New York City for four years. An avid adorer of hiking and harvesting in the green world of the outdoors as well as a student of herbal medicine, she is most recently coming from teaching Special Ed an alternative public school in the gorges Ithaca, NY. Having taught art workshops, mini-courses and clubs for the last thirteen years, Sara is thrilled to return to her first passion and teach Art at SLA-MS. She is excited about building art class as a space to take risks as we investigate, explore and create relationships with ourselves and the worlds we inhabit. She lives in Powelton with several dear friends, where she loves settling in with a cup of tea and a book or canvas while her two mischievous kittens, April and Reuben, wreak benign chaos at her feet.
Fifth & Sixth Grade Science
In 2001, Jon Scherer’s teaching career began in an abandoned chicken coop. Visiting Central America and working on farms, a Guatemalan farmer suggested that Jon teach english to his and other community children. Being a new farm community, the only classroom space available was the chicken coop. This was a short teaching gig, but enough to convince Jon that education was his true calling. When he returned home Jon joined the School District’s Literacy Intern program and began working on his Masters in Elementary Education. Perhaps a result of his first experiences in that chicken coop, Jon has always worked to connect his students with the world outside – mainly through inquiry learning, meaningful field trips, and collaboration with outside experts. Having sent many graduates of his previous middle school to SLA, Jon is thrilled to be joining the SLA-MS faculty.
Fifth Sixth Grade Science
Eunice Ko is thrilled to be the 5th and 6th grade STEM teacher at SLA-MS
She studied animal science at Cornell University where she enjoyed learning at the teaching farm and working at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She then spent a year in rural Mozambique, Africa before moving to Philadelphia to pursue graduate studies in international education development. Eunice earned her M.S.Ed from University of Pennsylvania and continued her education by earning teaching certification for middle years science and math. Her interests include: wildlife conservation, forestry, horticulture, agriculture, mycology, design, and robotics.
Fifth & Sixth Grade Math
Monique Carter is excited about teaching children MATH! Throughout her career, teaching middle school students has been her ultimate joy and passion. Monique holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Swarthmore College and continues to work on receiving her M.Ed in educational policy from Widener University. Monique began her career at a special education Friends school and loved it so much she stayed for twelve years. She also taught in a Charter school in Chester city for five glorious years. Monique treasures the lessons learned from all her former students and is ready for those lessons to come!
Fifth & Sixth Grade PhysEd and Health
Mr. Greg Goettner is entering his 1st year teaching at SLA-MS, and his 9th overall as an educator. He has taught at all levels of education from K-12 and has coached a variety of middle school athletic teams including basketball, soccer, and track. Mr. Goettner was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. He graduated from Lock Haven University with a bachelor degree in Health and Physical Education and received his masters in education from Cabrini University.
Mr. Goettner is a life long Philadelphia sports fan and is looking forward to building a strong health and physical education program, along with an athletic program offering students a variety of sports.