Slater Standouts of the Month
Mrs. Jill Kulak, Bangor Area High School Nurse
Mrs. Jill Kulak has worked in the Bangor Area School District for three years where she acts as the high school nurse. This year, the pandemic has challenged Jill in countless ways, but she has taken every challenge—every obstacle—with the utmost professionalism, courage, and grace. In addition to tackling her daily nursing duties, she has made more than 500 contacts this school year to students, staff and parents where she answers their questions and concerns. Through all of this, Jill has a positive attitude, remains upbeat, and is kind and considerate to everyone she interacts with. She works well with all staff to provide the best care for our students here at the high school and in the district.
Jill is giving to all and goes the extra mile for everyone who asks for her help. She provides excellent nursing care to students and staff and provides excellent information to all who ask for advice on medical needs. She is very outgoing and is liked by students and staff. Her concern for others is shown every day to students and staff. She is wonderful to work with and gives her all whether at school or taking phone calls even on her days off at home.
Mrs. Rebecca Culbertson, 5 Points Elementary School Cafeteria
Mrs. Culbertson is a beacon of light at the 5 Points Elementary school cafeteria! In all of the years she has worked here, our students and staff have never encountered her in anything other than a "good mood." The Five Points community is continually awed by her steadfast pursuit of happiness for herself and everyone she encounters. Mrs. Culbertson is always so willing to jump in and help in every way possible. She treats each and every child and staff member as though they are important, valued, and loved. In the morning, she can be heard asking children if they are taking breakfast today cheerfully saying things such as, "It's blueberry muffins! I know how much you love blueberry muffins!" She really knows each kid's preference and joyfully displays this knowledge, which makes each child feel important. Mrs. Culbertson has seamlessly adjusted to every little change and every huge change that our school has undergone in the past, particularly in the 2020- 2021 school year. She is truly a pillar of strength and an inspiration to everyone who is lucky enough to know her.
Mrs. Culbertson is determined, focused and fiercely dedicated to those she cares for and loves. Mrs. Culbertson adores our students and they are shown this adoration through each interaction they share. She is a positive and hardworking addition to the Five Points staff.
Mrs. Cheryl Pulsinelli, Athletic Secretary
The February Support Staff Standout is very appropriate because we’ve just wrapped up an incredibly successful winter sports season where our wrestling team advanced to the league finals, our girls basketball team advanced to the District XI finals, and our Boys basketball team continues to compete and have already achieved the title of not only league champion but also District XI champion. An incredible part of that success is owed to our Athletic Secretary, Mrs. Cheryl Pulsinelli.
Cheryl is an invaluable member of the athletic administration team. She works with every sport we have here at the high school and middle school. Her hours go well beyond the traditional 9-5. She's always corresponding with administrators, coaches, players, parents and others due to the weather, covid protocols, changes in practices, playoffs, and more.
It's been a challenging year for everyone, but Cheryl handles it all with grace. She deals with covid protocols at our high school in addition to the protocols from other Colonial League schools. Since the Fall, athletic schedules have routinely changed due to Colonial League regulations and covid outbreaks--not to mention all the snow days. Every time something changes, she needs to notify the bus company, rearrange the weekly schedule for all sporting events, and more. It makes no difference if it's during the school day, after the day is over, or on the weekends. With our teams going into playoffs, she may have only a day's notice to set things up to get the team where they need to be. Cheryl definitely goes beyond her job description, and most importantly, she does it with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Thank you, Cheryl, for everything you do. Our coaches, our students, and our entire community are extremely thankful for your commitment to excellence.
Ms. Angela Gutierrez, English Teacher, BAMS
Ms. Angela Gutierrez is the professional staff Slater Standout for February 2021. Ms. Gutierrez is currently an English teacher at Bangor Area Middle School and has worked in the Bangor School district for the past 2 of her 11 years of teaching. As a valued member of our faculty, Ms. Gutierrez is recognized for her work ethic and flexibility. Even if she has a unit planned, when BAMS integrates an addition to improve instruction, like stations or the use of Nearpod, Ms. Gutierrez will redesign that same unit that she took hours to create. She is constantly looking for ways to improve the way in which she integrates these tools into her instructional planning. Although this is only her second year at BAMS, she is known for welcoming co- teachers and paras into her class. She finds ways to identify their strengths and uses those skills to contribute to meaningful instruction. Beyond her classroom though, Ms. Gutierrez has cultivated lasting partnerships with other support staff and professionals. While she offers her experience, collaborates, and shares, she is equally interested in feedback and suggestions to improve her skillset.
Overall, Ms. Gutierrez conducts her classroom as a seasoned teacher. She accepts any challenge that is put before her and does so with vigor. For example, due to the current adjustments to scheduling, Ms. Gutierrez not only teaches students in building, but she also is responsible for Grade 7 and 8 virtual live instruction, as well as supporting Grade 7 and 8 students enrolled in Connexus. Her vast experience and expertise in her discipline enables her to excel at lesson planning and deliver lessons in an ever-changing educational system. She puts a considerable amount of thought into attempting to reach every student in her classes, whether they be online or in person. She differentiates for not only special education population but also gifted students. When grouping her students, she utilizes data for a quantitative measure and considers qualitative information such as students' interests. In all, Ms. Gutierrez is an esteemed teacher with high expectations for her students. She does a great job at balancing and guiding our learners while holding them accountable for their own learning as well.
Ms. Gutierrez also volunteers and assumes the lead in group work on teacher instructional days. She takes excellent notes and shares them out so not a single detail is missed. On top of her professional responsibilities in building to her colleagues and her students, Ms. Gutierrez is getting yet another master's degree to increase her expertise in her field. Overall, it is clear that Ms. Gutierrez expects nothing more of her students than she does of herself. Her ability to model a positive work ethic and passion for learning is something students find contagious in her classes.
Michele Karp has been an employee of the Bangor Area School District since the 2008-2009 school year and has worked at Bangor Area Middle School since her hiring. She is a Special Education teacher who serves students on her caseload as well as those in classes she supports. In addition, she acts as a lead Special Education teacher and mentor for new teachers. Mrs. Karp is known for dedication to her professional responsibilities and the trail blazing work she has done during her tenure. When Schoology first rolled out to the Middle School building, Mrs. Karp took it upon herself to begin taking pictures of documents used in classes to upload into the program. This assisted the core academic teachers in their preparation and ability to transition Schoology into the classroom environment. Mrs. Karp spends countless hours working one on one with students in need of additional support, in small groups during intervention period, and taking the time to suggest alternative instructional strategies when supporting in any core classroom. She has also instituted a "boot camp" of sorts for her students to ensure they stay up to date on assignments. She is gifted at being able to hold students accountable but also be there to help them as they work to meet their goals. She works collaboratively with her students to develop goals that are both attainable and challenging while always pushing them to strive for their very best. She supports them through obstacles and celebrates their successes. Life lessons and teachable moments are extremely important for our students and Mrs. Karp finds ways to implement these skills in her classroom to support both their academic and emotional development. Mrs. Karp’s personality also sets her apart from others. Everyone at the Middle School can vouch for how happy Mrs. Karp is all of the time. If she is having a bad day, you wouldn't ever know because she is always inviting and welcoming. Her energy and passion are obvious, and her laugh is contagious! Mrs. Karp goes above and beyond the daily requirements of any teacher and genuinely cares for the students and staff at BAMS. Her overall work ethic and commitment to education sets a wonderful example for the district. We are proud to have her as a member of the BAMS community!
Mrs. Pasquarelli has been a great addition to Bangor Area High School and our Slater family for the past two years! Stephanie Pasquarelli’s positive attitude is evident each day when she enters the classroom and it is contagious. She regularly finds ways to motivate students and to put smiles on their faces. Her positivity extends to her colleagues, as well. Mrs. Pasquarelli is always ready to lend a helping hand and assist wherever she is needed. Her rapport with staff and students is remarkable!
Mrs. Pasquarelli’s creativity is also an asset in the classroom. She consistently implements unique strategies to improve learning for all students and you will regularly find her assisting students, even outside of the classroom. She knows her students and she goes above and beyond expectation to ensure that they are successful. Thank you, Mrs. Pasquarelli, for your commitment to making our BAHS students the best that they can be!
Mrs. Jeanine Brown is in her 25th year teaching history in the Bangor Area School District. She is not only an excellent history teacher at the high school, but also serves as the Student Government Association advisor. Working with students in the SGA, Mrs. Brown is vital to building a positive building culture for staff and students. Each year, she spends countless hours working with students to decorate the school with lights, ornaments, winter bulletin boards, and thematic trees during the holiday season. She is also instrumental in our annual pep rallies, homecoming events, and Bangor-Pen Argyl Spirit Week. Of note are the signs that have become a part of tradition here at the high school which cover the areas outside the gymnasium or hallways. The time and energy she puts towards SGA makes Bangor Area High School a better place for our students. Within the classroom, Mrs. Brown holds students to a high standard where they are routinely engaged in critical and open discussions. Through her encouragement, whether in SGA or in the classroom, students leave our high school as better people. We are very proud to have Mrs. Brown be our December 2020 Slater Standout!
Mrs. Maria Bellis has been an employee of the Bangor Area School district for 19 years this coming February. She started her growth in the district working in the cafeteria, helping nurture our students through nutrition. She also worked as a paraprofessional within the classroom setting, providing students with academic support and teachers with assistance completing a multitude of tasks. To date, she continues to contribute to the Bangor Community through her work as an administrative assistant at the Bangor Area Middle School. In her professional capacity, she is a critical component to maintaining the continued flow of a school day. Maria's duties include organizing teacher and paraprofessional coverage, keeping up with student daily attendance, working hand in hand with Administration when ordering and inventorying building supplies, and answering parent, student, and staff questions; to name a few. She can also be trusted to protect confidential matters that she may be privy due based on her professional responsibilities. Overall, Mrs. Bellis goes above and beyond when anyone asks her for assistance. She will not only answer a question but provide documentation to help explain the answer. If Maria cannot find an answer to a question, she will research to figure it out a suggest a viable solution. Her work is meticulous and detailed helping to keep all school matters succinct and orderly. On occasion she can even lend herself as a voice of reason; however, more often it’s her giggle that can calm a busy or stressful day. Her calm and professional demeanor, combined with a cheery disposition, help contribute to a welcoming environment in the Main Office. In all, she is a valued asset to BAMS and the Bangor community at large.
BAMS Math Teacher
Bangor Area Middle School
Mrs. Fukushima is our November 2020 Professional Staff Slater Standout. As a valued member of the Bangor Area Middle School staff, she is truly dedicated to her profession and goes above and beyond for her students and colleagues. She has high expectations for her students, yet she has an amazing ability to help students grasp concepts. If students struggle, or need additional support, she often gives up her lunchtime to hold study sessions. She even has students from previous years who return to her for help in math, and she willingly gives up her own time to help them. Mrs. Fukushima is a "cheerleader" for all staff and students. She always comes up with creative ways to celebrate successes and holidays. She often makes teachers' T-shirts to enhance team unity. One of the t-shirts she created was "We've got your back" to promote unity and positivity amongst a team of students. For an "Outsiders Day", Mrs. Fukushima created t-shirts that read "Stay Gold". She never forgets a holiday; always having a personal note and/or treat available for her students. Whether it be her students, support staff or professional staff, Mrs. Fukushima is continuously thinking of others. Overall, what sets Mrs. Fukushima apart from others is her big heart, her funny, slightly sarcastic personality, and her willingness to go above and beyond for her students and colleagues. She truly cares about all of us and wants the best for the BAMS and Bangor Community as a whole!
Mrs. Priscilla Pecca
Bangor Area High School
Mrs. Priscilla Pecca is our November 2020 Support Staff Slater Standout. Ms. Pecca is an 18-year employee of Bangor Area School District in the role of paraprofessional and has been an outstanding asset. She takes initiative and goes above and beyond. She has come up with ideas and made materials for students with complex support needs. Mrs. Pecca is a natural at adapting and modifying work for all students and has a strong commitment to helping students learn no matter their ability. Not only does she make sure students are a member in a class, but she also makes sure they are participating and learning. Mrs. Pecca works with difficult students without complaining and has even worked extra hours no matter which student she is placed with. She is definitely a team player! Mrs. Pecca supported a student on as a one-on-one and her responsibility was to that student only; however, whenever possible, Mrs. Pecca helps other students in the classroom, even though it wasn't an expected duty. She is the first to volunteer to do a job to help out. For example, if there is another para absent but there is a need to support another student, Mrs. Pecca is the first to offer her services. She is an amazing asset and wonderful helping hand in the classroom. Overall, Mrs. Pecca is a valued member of the BAMS community!
Bangor Area High School
Mr. Scott Mousley, head custodian at Bangor Area High School, always goes above and beyond in his job performance. He meets everyone with a hello, routinely checks with staff to ensure that everything is ok, and reaches out to see what he can do to improve our high school for students and staff. He takes his job seriously. This past summer was unique and provided many obstacles prior to the building’s re-opening; Scott was adamant in making sure everything was ready for the faculty and students to come back into a safe environment. He accomplished that with ease.
Being the head custodian of the biggest school in the district along with taking care of the Central Office is a tremendous task. Scott does so with the utmost professionalism and a work ethic that is difficult to replicate. He is a model Slater Standout and we are proud to have him in our school district.
Five Points Elementary
Mrs. Dente, teacher at 5 Points Elementary, is 100% dedicated to making the school experience meaningful and valuable to both the children we teach and their parents who are teaching at home. Her energy is boundless and her effort to "get it right" is always at the forefront of her work. Mrs. Dente never stops working! While being totally dedicated to her family, she also never stops thinking of her students.
She also demonstrates a positive and welcoming attitude that fosters a learning environment that emphasizes "excellence today, success tomorrow.” Instructionally, Lisa makes learning fun. She always has a smile on her face and shows genuine interest in children of all backgrounds. She sets the bar high for her students and expertly guides them to "excellence today." She is one of those rare educators who has the perfect balance of professional and personal care for her students and for that matter, for her co-workers, as well!
District Instructional Coach
With a positive and welcoming attitude, Mrs. Michele Possinger, instructional coach, consistently demonstrates excellence by co-facilitating grade-level meetings, focus meetings, and staff meetings multiple times a month. She provides training to support staff and creates materials for teachers, strives to provide professional development that will enable staff to teach to the highest level possible, and directly contributes to our students’ success. Additionally, Mrs. Possinger makes herself available well beyond the school day’s hours, often answering emails and phone messages late into the evening and throughout the weekend. She is the model team player in all ways. She takes on tasks to help others and is always available for support in and out of the classrooms. Within the classroom setting, she willingly sits in on numerous lessons and provides teachers with coaching that helps them reach their students with a variety of instructional strategies and methods. She also participates in and leads professional trainings outside of school, including during the summer PA literacy conference. This speaks of her passion for learning so that she is aware of the most recent research-proven methods that will benefit our students.
Mrs. Possinger is the epitome of a Slater Standout. We could write a book providing many more examples to the descriptors above of how she separates herself from others. She is 100% invested in her job because of our students. Everything she does is kid-centered and supportive of our teaching staff.
Mrs. Mary Kay Ratzman is an amazing paraeducator in our district who applies every suggestion and strategy to assist the students she supports. She creates classroom materials during her personal time to help our students better understand difficult learning concepts, exhibits patience, kindness, consistency, creativity, and compassion, and is a tremendous asset to our district. Mrs. Ratzman has an upbeat and positive attitude that propels her to go above and beyond on a daily basis. She always sees a student’s potential, not their limitations, and fully invests herself in her job. Mrs. Ratzman is truly a valuable member of our Slater staff and we are happy to recognize her as a Slater Standout for September 2020.
Mrs. Erica Davidson has been with the district for 7 years as a General Music, Marching Band, Chorus, Jazz Band, Instrumental and Band teacher at De Franco and the middle school. She is very successful in helping students learn to play music. As a result, Band concerts are an engaging experience. She also supports the middle school musical by playing in the pit orchestra. Mrs. Davidson also takes teaching a step further by encouraging students to become independent and critical learners. Her enthusiasm is obvious to everyone who works with her. Students are happy to be in her class and often seek her out as a role model. The dedication and hard work she are obvious in the talents of her students long after they leave the middle school.
Mrs. Anita Howshall has worked in the district for 13 years, serving as the high school’s head cook for 7 of those years. On a typical day, Mrs. Howshall is responsible for serving food to upwards of 1,000 staff members and students as the high school is the district’s largest building. While doing so, she is consistent in greeting our students and staff with a smile and pleasant demeanor. Beyond the school day, she continues to go above and beyond as she helps set up for after-school events, meetings, and functions for our students as well as staff and administration. Most recently, she has continued to serve students in our district via curbside pick-up and continues to do so with the same positive attitude that makes her this month’s Slater Standout.
Mrs. Camilletti is in her 27th year working for the Bangor Area School District. As the attendance secretary at the high school, Mrs. Camilletti is always willing to help staff with any questions they have and takes on extra tasks that are asked of her. She greets all late students and visitors of the school with a warm smile and has a genuine interest and concern for anything they need. Her positive attitude is contagions as she greets students by first name and with a smile. Furthermore, you can often hear students, staff, and parents praise her for her hard work and friendliness. She will always give everything she can to the task at hand and won’t leave for the day unless it’s done.
Mrs. Camilletti genuinely cares for the people in this school district and it shows in her dedication every day. It is with great pleasure that we recognize her as “Slater Standout of the Month.”
Amanda Borger & Heather Lilly
1st grade teachers
5 Points Elementary
Starting last year, Mrs. Borger and Mrs. Lilly began the process of learning and implementing reading instructional routines. During last school year, they attended trainings and began implementing the ECRI (Enhanced Core Reading Instruction) routines in their classrooms. Throughout the summer, they worked to develop trainings for all kindergarten through second grade teachers focused on the ECRI routines. During a variety of Act 80 days, Mrs. Borger and Mrs. Lilly worked with teachers to learn the ECRI routines which are now utilized in every kindergarten through second grade classroom. Mrs. Borger and Mrs. Lilly embraced this leadership opportunity and closely worked with the teachers to assist them in learning and mastering these routines.
As a result of their hard work and leadership, the delivery of core reading instruction across all kindergarten through second grade classrooms has become more consistent and grounded in the science of reading. Mrs. Borger and Mrs. Lilly encouraged their colleagues to learn these new routines through their provided trainings, modeling in the classroom, and answering questions as needed. Mrs. Borger and Mrs. Lilly are two excellent examples of teacher leaders! It is this type of teacher leadership that will help students and teachers achieve high levels of success. Mrs. Borger and Mrs. Lilly are both commended for their commitment to ensuring every student learns how to read.
7th grade Social Studies Teacher
Mrs. Toni Bush has taught in the district for 20 years teaching middle school Social Studies. She celebrates the cultures of the world repeatedly through celebrations and food festivals in her classroom. Students participate in on-going world research to enhance their understanding of the world they live in. She is an integral part of a successful team at the middle school. Her love of Social Studies extends beyond the classroom to the Student Government Association. Toni leads students in an understanding of how our government works and assists them with a school-wide election of officers. Students learn leadership through their experiences in the Student Government Association. Outside of school, Mrs. Bush coaches lacrosse at Pleasant Valley High School. Mrs. Bush is an excellent example of a teacher that goes above and beyond.
Mrs. Kathy Krauss has worked in the district for 23 years. She is always very willing to help, remains loyal to the district and community, and is always positive in her interactions with students and staff. In her work with students, she is eager to help them succeed. Because of this, students love her. In fact, Mrs. Krauss has built such a positive rapport with students over the years that she keeps in touch with many of them and is able to update staff on how well they are doing years after they have graduated from Bangor Area High School.
Throughout her many years at Bangor, Mrs. Krauss has shown a certain level of unmatched kindness that deserves recognition. She has worked with many different students over the years with varying degrees of needs, consistently finding ways to connect with them and help them achieve their full potential. Mrs. Krauss’s colleagues feel that she absolutely deserves the recognition of “Slater Standout of the Month” and remain grateful for everything she has done and continues to do for the Bangor students, staff, and community.
Mr. Steve Villiano has worked in the district for 17 years. For the past 10 years, Steve has been the head custodian at Washington Elementary. Steve is efficient, gets to everything immediately, and has a work ethic that suggests “nothing is impossible.” When the third and fourth grade teams merged into one building this school year, he made sure that the teachers had everything they needed. One example of this is when there were no desks or bookshelves in one of the classrooms, and a second teacher was looking for a filing cabinet. Mr. Villiano provided these items almost immediately. He does his job with a smile on his face, a kind word for everyone, and a positive, cheerful attitude. Most importantly, the students know and love him. Mr. Villiano goes above and beyond his daily duties and exemplifies the meaning of a Slater Standout recipient.
Mrs. Amy Gravel is a kindergarten teacher at Five Points. Mrs. Gravel began her career at Bangor in 2003. Mrs. Gravel’s career is truly a model for others. Mrs. Gravel demonstrates great dedication tirelessly working to ensure that all of her kindergarten students reach the highest possible level of success. The learning data of her students consistently demonstrates her ability to get her students to reach and exceed grade level standards. Mrs. Gravel never gives up on a student and this is seen in her remarkable ability to help her students achieve success. Beyond helping her students academically succeed, Mrs. Gravel also works with students to help them develop the social and emotional skills necessary for success in kindergarten and beyond. Mrs. Gravel truly takes a whole learner approach when working with her students. Mrs. Gravel is an incredibly hardworking and knowledgeable educator. Her leadership is quiet but steady. She is always willing to assist a colleague, share resources, or work with a student to help them make progress. She is the first to volunteer to check-in a student in the morning and review their day with them at the end of the day. Often these are not Mrs. Gravel’s direct students, but students from throughout the building who need extra guidance and support. Mrs. Gravel has formally served as the grade level curriculum leader and she served in this role with a high level of dedication. Whether with the formal title of leader or not, Mrs. Gravel embodies all that a leader should. She has a clear understanding of what kindergarten students need to learn both in kindergarten and for success beyond kindergarten. Mrs. Gravel goes above and beyond to ensure that all kindergarten students master these skills. Mrs. Gravel has provided a great amount of leadership in the refining of our kindergarten program to help over 95% of students consistently end their kindergarten year on grade level! Mrs. Gravel is the utmost professional. Although she is too modest to admit it, Mrs. Gravel has so much professional work of which to be proud. Five Points is so lucky to have her on staff and all of our students and teachers benefit from her leadership, knowledge, dedication, and kindness.
Mrs. Lydia Menio has worked in our district for 18 years as a Spanish Teacher in the Bangor Area SD. She is the acting supervisor to Spanish Honor Society and was a member of the technology committee that helped implement iPads into our high school. Her peers value how she always has something for her department for the monthly newsletter, consider her to be well-read, and state that she is constantly helpful to teachers from other departments regarding theory and practice of education. Moreover, she organizes and includes herself in formal and informal events including operation graduation wherein she has helped tremendously with this very popular program for our Seniors on the night of graduation. Mrs. Menio also goes out of her way to help students, staff, and administrators in any way that she can. Finally, she does not ask for reciprocation.
Mr. Devin Labar has worked in the district for 11 years. His peers value how he volunteers to complete extra duties. For instance, he has stayed after scheduled hours on multiple occasions to support school events such as celebrating a school championship to ensure a quality event for our students. This is just one of the many ways he goes above and beyond his job responsibilities. He has also acted as head custodian in multiple buildings when needed—he volunteers himself to do this. Finally, Mr. Labar presents a positive attitude when coming to work even amid obstacles and is a positive, helpful team player that the district appreciates and values.