March 9, 2022
Three teachers named Promising Practitioners
Three Upper St. Clair middle school teachers were recently honored with the Promising Practitioners Award from the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education (PAMLE). Bridget Kaufman, sixth grade English language arts teacher at Boyce Middle School; Erin Kyle, fifth-grade science teacher at Boyce Middle School; and Paige Steinhaus, eighth grade English language arts teacher at Fort Couch Middle School, were recognized during the PAMLE State Conference 2022, held Feb. 26-28, 2022, in State College.
According to PAMLE’s website, the Promising Practitioners Award “is presented to teachers who are just beginning their middle school careers. These beginning teachers have made a positive impact on both their school and community. They incorporate effective middle level practices in their everyday teaching.”
Miss Kyle and Miss Kaufman were nominated for the award by Dr. Dan O’Rourke and Dr. Christine Mussomeli, Boyce Middle School principal and assistant principal. Ms. Steinhaus was nominated by Erin Peterson, Fort Couch Middle School assistant principal.
Miss Kyle holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Pennsylvania State University. An Upper St. Clair High School graduate, she is in her fifth year of teaching, which includes three years at the elementary level. Miss Kyle is in her second year at Boyce Middle School.
“I love teaching fifth grade because I love being a part of the students’ first year in middle school,” Miss Kyle said. “Middle school is an interesting time for students as they are growing both physically and mentally. Knowing this information, I strive to make each day a positive experience for my students by building their confidence and guiding them to be their best selves. I am so fortunate to teach where I went to school, and with so many educators that made my first years of middle school meaningful.”
Miss Kaufman earned her undergraduate degree in middle grade education from Saint Vincent College and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Gannon University. Miss Kaufman taught in Virginia for three years prior to joining the Boyce Middle School faculty this year.
“I enjoy working with middle schoolers because of the energy they bring to each day,” Miss Kaufman said. “They are excited and ready to learn, especially about things that spark their interest. I enjoy helping students apply ELA skills to what they are passionate about.”
A graduate of Duquesne University, Ms. Steinhaus completed her undergraduate work in middle level education with a concentration in English and a minor in psychology. She went on to complete her graduate work in reading and literacy education.
“Seeing students develop and grow as learners and as young adults is a very rewarding experience. I am grateful that I can play a small part in this development,” Ms. Steinhaus said. “Fort Couch is a great place to work! I feel very fortunate to be able to work with such amazing colleagues who have helped me to become the teacher that I am.”
Other Upper St. Clair teachers who were honored with the Promising Practitioners Award in previous years include: Tonia Autieri, Eliza Luxbacher, Dr. Kelly Pascarella, Amy Homer and Morgan Olsen.
PAMLE is the leading advocate for middle level education in Pennsylvania, promoting and enhancing the role of middle level education by promoting best instructional practices for young adolescents. As president for the West Region of PAMLE, Dr. Mussomeli played a leadership role in organizing the state-wide conference.
Throughout the two-day event, Upper St. Clair staff members led workshops and training sessions. Dr. Mussomeli led a Spark & Tell session that explored research-based components of effective induction programs for novice teachers. Dr. Pascarella led a session on Education Blueprint, an organization that she founded to enable teachers to collaborate and share digital resources.
Upper St. Clair teachers also led programs during the 2022 VIRTUAL West Region PAMLE Professional Development Institute in January. Dr. Pascarella presented information about Education Blueprint, while World Language Teacher Maria Marchionna presented on the topic, “Implementing Culturally Responsive Teaching Strategies in the Middle School World Language Classroom.”