Mairi Cooper - President
Mairi is the 2015-16 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year and advocate of public education, believing that it is an imperative to offer quality education to every child. Mairi is passionate about educating the whole child and that all children receive an education that interests and challenges them. Mairi is the orchestra director and chair of the music department at Fox Chapel Area High School. Under Mairi’s leadership, the district became the first public school recognized as an “Exemplary Program” by the Middle States Accreditation Committee. Mairi has received numerous awards, including String Teachers Association Outstanding New Orchestra Teacher Award and the Yale University Distinguished Music Educator.
Allison Mackley - vice President
Allison is a National Board Certified Teacher Librarian, K-12 Library Department Coordinator, and former Instructional Technology Coach at Hershey High School in Derry Township School District who elevates student voice and ignites curiosity and wonderment. Currently she is the Director of Curriculum Development at Elizabethtown College. Beyond the school walls, she is appointed to the Pennsylvania Department of Education Governor’s Advisory Council on Library Development and serves as a member of the ISTE Librarians Network Leadership Team. As an advocate for school libraries, she is a past president of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association and a past director of the American Association of School Librarians. Allison was named the 2019 AASL Social Media Superstar Leadership Luminary and 2017 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year finalist.
Brice Hostutler, Treasurer
Brice, a National Board Certified Teacher, is a special education teacher at Pittsburgh Perry High School. He teaches math and English while specializing in therapeutic support. He is a former member of the Gates Foundation's Teacher Advisory Council where he provided feedback on education initiatives. Brice has served as a leader for national and regional programs focused on celebrating the profession while providing opportunities for professional learning. He is a founding member of Teachers Speak, a group in the Pittsburgh Public Schools who promote teachers’ voice and connect teachers with district decision makers. He believes that leveraging community resources, developing strong relationships, and teaching the whole child are the keys to improving educational systems.
Cindy Ollendyke, Secretary
Cindy, a 2006 Finalist for Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, has thirty-five years’ experience teaching science at the middle school level in the Peters Township School District, a suburban community of southwestern PA. She presents pre-service teacher workshops and has taught university science methods courses at Duquesne University. As Immediate Past-President of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National State Teachers of the Year, Cindy regularly advocates for teacher leadership opportunities and impact for student voice through TEACH to Lead and ECET2 grant programs.
Michael Soskil - Executive Director
Michael, the 2017-18 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, is fighting for an equitable public education system that serves as the foundation for our democratic society. As an elementary science teacher at the Wallenpaupack South Elementary School, he inspires young scientists to use their curiosity and learning to make the world a better place. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in 2012, and was named a Global Teacher Prize finalist and one of the top ten teachers in the world by the Varkey Foundation in 2016. His published books include Flip the System US: How Teachers Can Transform Education and Save Democracy, and Teaching in the 4th Industrial Revolution: Standing at the Precipice.
Robin Alozie - Publications Committee Co-Chair
Robin is a Special Education Teacher in the Bethlehem Area School District. In addition, she is an instructor of an Academic Leadership Seminar program within her school, which earned her the 2019 Teacher as Hero Award. This award, sponsored by the National Liberty Museum and State Farm Insurance, is presented to exceptional educators who leverage their excellence in teaching to honor student voice both in and outside of the classroom, foster diversity in the classroom, teach how to resolve conflicts respectfully, take risks in order to remove an obstacle to a student's liberty, and incorporate the above concepts related to relationships with colleagues and community members. Recently Robin attained her second master's degree in Educational Leadership specializing in Urban Education, Race, and Equity.
BJ Enzweiler - Communications Committee CO-Chair
BJ teaches 11th-grade physics at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. His classes focuses on learning through an inquiry framework, discussions, and strategic questioning. He has helped to plan and organize conferences focused on innovation and the future of schools, and has served in leadership in statewide curricular organizations within his content area.
Karey Killian - Communications committee Co-Chair
Karey is a librarian in the Milton Area School District who helps students see themselves as explorers, makers, inventors, and solution finders during makerspace time. For her innovative teaching, she was named Librarian of the Year by the International Society for Technology in Education in 2017. In addition to the work in her library, she is a Microsoft Innovative Educator Fellow, a Skype Master Teacher, and a member of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Teaching & Learning Committee.
Rebecca Snyder - Publications Committee Co-Chair
Rebecca is the 2009 Pennsylvania Teacher of Year and teaches English Language Arts at Greater Latrobe Senior High School in southwestern Pennsylvania. In her 19 years there, she has served as ELA Department Head and Teacher Leader. Beyond her district she has served on committees for the review of PSSA and Keystone Exam components, as well as for the development of the Pennsylvania Core Standards. She is a Lowell Milken Center Fellow and Past President of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year. With a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, Rebecca is devoted to leveraging the voices of classroom practitioners to support policies and practices that advance the conditions, capacity, and culture necessary to support inspired instruction, effective community investment, and sound legislative policy.
Alexander Slaughter - MemBership Committee Co-chair
Alex, a teacher at Propel Charter Schools in Pittsburgh, is passionate about social justice and equity work. Throughout his time at Propel Alex has served as on various committees including school wide positive behavior, curriculum writing, and new teacher mentorship. Additionally, he participated in the Arts Education Collaborative Leadership Academy. He has received several Support Music Merit Awards from the NAMM organization and was a recipient of the Pittsburgh CLO Charles Grey Award in Performing Arts in 2018.
Christian Wrabley - Training and Recruitment Committee Chair
Christian pushes his students to be critical thinkers and content creators in his 8th grade Civics and 10th grade American History classes in the Greater Johnstown School District. His students have been featured on national television programs for their innovative civics projects, and Christian has been recognized for excellence in teaching by the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies. The Duquesne University School of Education has recognized him as a Distinguished Alumni for his accomplishments in education.
Heather Zajdel - Membership committee Co-Chair
Heather is an educator in the Alternative Region of the School District of Philadelphia, dedicated to the pursuit of opportunities that provide for the betterment of student and teacher possibilities. She executed two Fulbright grants in order to heighten global partnerships and awareness and is an active creator and facilitator of science and behavior-based professional development through the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.