6525 Germantown Ave. 
Philadelphia, PA 19119

Phone: 215-438-3623

Fax: 215-991-0310

info@projectlearnschool.org

Copyright 2016 Project Learn School

 

Our Staff

 

Project Learn School teachers and staff are deeply committed to collaborative learning, cooperative organizational values, and consensual decision-making. 

 

Our teachers are meaningfully considered to be experts in their fields and are empowered by the PLS community to design a program that best serves their particular group of children. Teachers view their role in the classroom as being facilitators, guides, and partners as they build rich thematic and experiential learning environments, positive group dynamics, and strong academic and interpersonal skills. Teachers also strive to cultivate unmediated, informal and mutually supportive relationships with our families as they recognize and value the important role parents/caregivers play in their child’s education.

 

While the number of our staff is small, the diversity of our staff’s backgrounds, personal and collective experiences, perspectives, and expertise, add tremendous richness to PLS students’ academic and social experiences, learning, and development.

 

Consistent with Project Learn School’s mission and philosophy, all staff members are paid on the basis of the same salary prorated according to the amount of time they work during the week. There is no differential pay based on years of service or degrees. The pro-rated salary of the teaching staff and administrative staff are the same. As such, our staff constitutes a supportive and collegial group who meet weekly to mentor one another, practice collective review, make curricular decisions, and attend together to the needs of individual students and of the community as a whole. In addition, staff members participate fully in the school community by attending Town Meeting and serving on committees.

 

Individual staff maintain professional memberships with organizations such as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of the Social Studies. Memberships in professional organizations assure our faculty remain knowledgeable about current standards and teaching strategies. Professional development is encouraged through the Staff Development Fund, which pays for teachers to attend outside workshops, courses, and conferences.

 

Aisha Anderson-Oberman (2009)

Admissions Director, Jr. High Social Studies Teacher

M.A.T. Johns Hopkins University Secondary Social Studies Education

B.A. University of Pittsburgh in Africana Studies and Political Science,

dual minor in Women’s Studies and Latin American Studies.

MD Teacher Certification, Secondary Social Studies Education 7-12

 

Aisha Anderson-Oberman is the PLS Admissions Director as well as social studies teacher in the Junior High. Previously, she worked with Teach For America helping to develop and market their new teacher support and development website.

Aisha taught secondary school history for 7 years- first with 7th and 8th graders in the Baltimore City Public Schools and then teaching African American History to 10th graders in the School District of Philadelphia. She has also worked as a consultant creating and facilitating professional development programs for teachers and administrators in public and charter schools around the Delaware Valley. After the birth of her first child, Aisha spent two years creating and implementing campaigns as a union organizer in Vermont.

Aisha’s children, Gyasi and Nadja, have both attended PLS since they were 5 years old. After an awesome first year as a PLS parent, Aisha applied to be the Admissions Director because she wanted to share our one-of-a-kind school with the broader community. She believes that every child deserves a place like Project Learn School.

Outside of school, Aisha enjoys spending time with her husband Seth and their two children. Most of their time is spent vacationing on the beach, watching Nadja flip across the floor at gymnastics meets, and attending Gyasi's ballet performances.

 
 

Rachael (Rae) Spotts  
Junior High English and Math Teacher 

M.Ed. Widener University B.A. Temple University 

Rae began teaching Junior High English, Math, Sexuality Education, and electives at Project Learn School in 2018. She also co-teaches Junior High Group and Forest School. `


Before joining the staff at Project Learn, Rae worked as a sexuality educator and counselor, most recently coordinating Health Resource Centers in two School District of Philadelphia high schools. She brings this expertise to Project Learn, where she has developed and facilitated a Health & Sexuality curriculum for the Junior High. 


In her free time, Rae likes to roller skate and explore with her daughter, Kay. She also enjoys hiking, camping, riding bicycles/motorcycles, and reading. 

Amanda Green Hull

Community Coordinator, Project Learn School

 

 

Amanda begins her second year as Project Learn School’s Community Coordinator this September. New and veteran members of the Project Learn School co-op come to her with questions - if she can’t answer them, she’ll send them to someone who can! A native New Yorker, she is a nearly decade-long resident of East Mount Airy. She loves attending concerts, street fairs, dance parties, and chocolate water ice. 

 
 

Meaghan Paice

Art Teacher
BFA in Studio Arts; University of Massachusetts, Amherst 2001
Printmaking Studies, Fleisher Art Memorial  2016

Ceramic Studies, Philadelphia Community College  2016

Meaghan comes to Project Learn as an experienced educator (Greene Towne Montessori, Bright Horizons, Lume Creative Learning Studios), arts manager, former candy maker, community space assistant director and practicing artist. She has traveled widely and lived several places around the globe, all of which have influenced her in her strong beliefs in community, the environment, and early education as a way forward towards a sustainable future. Meaghan feels that art and an open, accepting mind are necessary for her life. She recently eloped in the woods and is very happy to be at Project Learn School. Oh, she is also part mermaid.

Rebecca Zeldin (2013)

Jr. High English, Philosophy, and Spanish Teacher

Jr. High Group Teacher

M.A. Teachers College, Columbia University

B.A. Haverford College

 

 

Rebecca joined the Project Learn community in 2013 as the English and Spanish teacher for the Jr. High. Since then, she has added Philosophy to the curriculum. She also co-teaches Jr. High Group and co-runs some of the more athletic electives. 

Rebecca loves teaching at PLS because of the cooperative structure of the school and because of the relationships that the school makes possible–with other teachers, kids, and parents. In class, she enjoys thinking with the students, and she relishes in watching the students’ ability to think develop. In general, Rebecca simply can’t imagine much else she’d prefer to do with her workday than hang out with kids and with the kinds of adults who have chosen to be teachers.

In her free time, Rebecca enjoys being outside, reading, having long conversations, playing board games, and going on adventures.

 
 

Joan Fox (1991)

Art Teacher

Educational Coordinator

Saturday Art

FA Rhode Island School of Design

 

 

 

Joan has been teaching at Project Learn School since 1991. After spending 14 years working with our Junior High, Joan has returned to her original role as full time art teacher and loves her time working with our younger students again. Along with her regular art curriculum, Joan enjoys cooking with students of all ages and is in charge of the sets and stage crew for our Spring musical. She is also the co-founder of our Saturday Arts program which has been running for two decades.

 

Joan’s two daughters, Lucy and Annie, graduated from Project Learn in 2004 and 2007. Joan continues to explore her own artwork in the form of costume design for a local dance studio.

 

Bob Gold (2005)

Assistant Musical Director and “Pit Band” for the musical productions

B.A. Biology, University of Delaware

M.A.T., Teaching in Music Education, University of the Arts

ORFF Certified in Elementary Music Education, Villanova/U. of Arts

PA Certified in Music Education, K-12

 

Bob came to the Project Learn School community in 2005 with his twins Jake and Zoe. Initially signing on to accompany the musical, Jane Laties also gave him a chance to work with her students. As a freelance pianist new to teaching, this experience inspired him to go after a more formal education in music teaching.

 

In recent years, in addition to teaching at Project Learn School, Bob has taken on workshops at the Settlement Music School, as well as teaching at the Quaker School in Horsham. All of these experiences have helped him better understand the many kinds of young learners we have, and how music can positively affect their sense of creativity, synchrony and timing, and group effort.

 

Bob loves to share, with family and friends, good music, a variety of food, baseball, chess, and long walks with his handsome, noble dog. Many of his closest friends have come from the PL community over the years.

 

Donna Waxler (2005)

After Care Director

Spanish Teacher for K-5

B.A. The University of the Arts 

 

 

 

Donna came to Project Learn School when her son started Kindergarten in 2005. Eventually, her love of languages (she has studied French, Spanish and German) led her to teach Spanish at PLS. Then, in 2013, Donna took on the After Care Program. This suits her perfectly, because she also loves hanging out and talking with children. In addition, Donna  reads to Lisa's group and does substitute teaching.

 

Donna loved PLS on sight. As an artist, she immediately appreciated the dedication to art programming. As a mother, she felt she had found a "village" to raise her children (Zack and Lily) in. As a person, she loves the incredible community, being welcomed into the classrooms, and now having dedicated and interesting co-workers, and hanging out and talking with children. 

 

When she is not working, Donna likes books, sewing, Maine, long walks, cut-throat Egyptian Rat games with her kids, cooking, and hanging out and talking to both adults and children.

 

 

Donna came to Project Learn School when her son started Kindergarten in 2005. Eventually, her love of languages (she has studied French, Spanish and German) led her to teach Spanish at PLS. Then, in 2013, Donna took on the After Care Program. This suits her perfectly, because she also loves hanging out and talking with children. In addition, Donna  reads to Lisa's group and does substitute teaching.

 

Donna loved PLS on sight. As an artist, she immediately appreciated the dedication to art programming. As a mother, she felt she had found a "village" to raise her children (Zack and Lily) in. As a person, she loves the incredible community, being welcomed into the classrooms, and now having dedicated and interesting co-workers, and hanging out and talking with children. 

 

When she is not working, Donna likes books, sewing, Maine, long walks, cut-throat Egyptian Rat games with her kids, cooking, and hanging out and talking to both adults and children.

 

Donna came to Project Learn School when her son started Kindergarten in 2005. Eventually, her love of languages (she has studied French, Spanish and German) led her to teach Spanish at PLS. Then, in 2013, Donna took on the After Care Program. This suits her perfectly, because she also loves hanging out and talking with children. In addition, Donna  reads to Lisa's group and does substitute teaching.

 

Donna loved PLS on sight. As an artist, she immediately appreciated the dedication to art programming. As a mother, she felt she had found a "village" to raise her children (Zack and Lily) in. As a person, she loves the incredible community, being welcomed into the classrooms, and now having dedicated and interesting co-workers, and hanging out and talking with children. 

 

When she is not working, Donna likes books, sewing, Maine, long walks, cut-throat Egyptian Rat games with her kids, cooking, and hanging out and talking to both adults and children.

Donna Waxler (2005)

After Care Director

Spanish Teacher for K-5

B.A. The University of the Arts 

 

 

Chana Rothman (2015)

Music Teacher

Founding Member of The Music Council

ORFF Certified in Elementary Music Education, Villanova/U. of Arts

 

Chana Rothman is a singer/songwriter/educator based in Mount Airy, Philadelphia as well as a proud Project Learn School (PLS) parent. Her approach to music education is holistic and child-centered, inspired by Orff Schulwerk which incorporates poetry, singing, storytelling, movement, art, instruments, improvisation, and collaboration. Together with PLS parent and music/dance educator Jade Spence, Chana founded the PLS Music Council, a group of PLS parents who are musicians, audio engineers, storytellers, and dancers. The Music Council has helped to guide the music program and incorporate music throughout the school, and has brought the gifts of these tremendously talented parents and professionals into the PLS community and the lives of the children in a profound way. 

Locally in Philly, Chana created and ran "Sprouts," a music class in Mount Airy which supported parents, grandparents, caregivers and children by building community and song together. 

Chana's original music focuses on social justice, cultural pride (some songs are in Hebrew and English), spirituality, and story.  Her most recent album, Rainbow Train, is a danceable revolution of tunes about freedom of gender and self-expression for children and people of all ages. Kathy O'Connell of XPN's Kids' Corner says it "delivers its message of freedom brilliantly."  In her travels throughout the country and world, she uses music as a form of connection, justice, and community building. She makes music locally (at home with her 3 children ages 3, 5, and 7) and globally, having traveled to Israel, Germany, South Africa and England as a touring musician. Most of all, Chana enjoys singing, playing, and laughing together with people of all ages. www.chanarothman.com