Meet Our School-Based Academic Coaches
School-Based Academic Coaches are assigned to 1-2 schools and provide peer coaching for all teachers of ELA or Math at their schools. Coaching support is customized to meet the needs of the teacher and may include modeling, co-teaching, co-planning, data collection, student work analysis, and real-time feedback in the classroom. School-Based Academic Coaches also develop and facilitate weekly professional learning for Math or ELA teachers including Common Planning Time, Professional Learning Communities, and School-Based Professional Development.
As a positive product of Philadelphia public schools and a proud graduate of both Temple and Penn, I have been a dedicated and enthusiastic educator in Philadelphia for over a decade! As such, I taught “Social Studies” for 11 years. In my classroom, I prided myself on actively engaging students in a humanistic and equitable way – holding true value in creating meaningful opportunities for students of any age to learn and grow. I have taught all grades 7-12; and I have observed and co-taught in multiple classes in grades K-12. Furthermore, for several years, I participated as a new teacher mentor and then led the Teacher Mentor program at a local K-8 charter. I transitioned into the role of “School-Based Academic Coach” with the district last year – working directly with the amazing Lamberton Elementary community. Although my work is focused with Lamberton, I have had the distinct pleasure in working with teachers from across the district as a presenter of district-wide professional developments. My free-lance consulting work with the Institute of Play, Inc. and my ongoing partnership with the RMT program at Penn GSE have given me the unique position to facilitate adult learning techniques and best instructional practices to influence positive student outcomes.
Theresa Ann Capecci
Theresa began her education career in 2008 at George Washington HS. She spent over ten years teaching both English Language Arts and Social Studies. In addition to teaching at GWHS, she also taught at the Philadelphia Military Academy, and C.C.A. Baldi Middle School. Theresa is experienced in English Language Arts and Social Studies curriculum, mentoring new teachers, instructional coaching, and professional development. Two years ago, Theresa joined the Office of Teaching and Learning as a Consulting Teacher. She has since transitioned to the role of a School-Based Academic Coach for Network Four. She is excited to be working with Kensington CAPA this year! Theresa has earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Arcadia University, a Master’s Degree in Education from Cabrini College, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Arcadia University.
Jen began her career in Philadelphia, PA, teaching high school math at West Philadelphia High School. After 7 years in the classroom she became an instructional coach in the School District of Philadelphia. Jen left the SDP for several years to work with City Year and Carnegie Learning. She returned to the SDP in 2019 as an academic coach. Jen holds a certification in Secondary Mathematics.
Jen started her career teaching in Baltimore, MD before moving back to the Philadelphia area. She has been a teacher, a coach, and an administrator. Her passion is working with teachers. Jen is a proud Greyhound from Loyola College in Maryland. She loves to read and root for the Eagles. Jen holds a Teaching certificate K-6 and a Principal certificate K-12.
Karolyn is a proud Philadelphia native and has served as an educator in the city since 2006. She comes to the Office of Teaching and Learning with 13 years of teaching experience, a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, as well as a Master’s Degree in Reading. Shortly before joining OTL, Karolyn worked as an Early Literacy Specialist for grades K-2. She is extremely passionate about literacy and believes that her role as a coach can make a difference in the lives of both students and teachers.
Donna is a proud alumna of Eliza B. Kirkbride School, and is thrilled and honored to give back to public education in Philadelphia. She has worked for the District since 2004. Donna was a K-6 teacher for 17 years, and made the transition to School Based Academic Coach in the 2021/22 school year. Donna is proud to have provided coaching and professional learning on effective Opening Routines and Formative Tasks, teaching math using multiple representations from concrete to abstract, and using math games to build fluency. She was gratified to have a role with the District’s Math team as a curriculum writer as well. Donna enjoys building up teachers and their instruction in math for the benefit of all students, and sharing math joy!
Juliana began her career in Washington, DC, teaching third and fourth grade. After 6 years in the classroom, Juliana went back for her Master’s of Education in Education Policy and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. Shortly before joining OTL, Juliana worked as an SBTL for grades K-8. She also holds another Master’s of Arts in Teaching and is finishing up her Principal Certification. Juliana is extremely passionate about literacy and working with teachers and students.
As a School-Based Academic Coach, Matt Lightfoot is excited to partner with peer math teachers in their professional growth. Matt has taught high school math for 11 years with the School District of Philadelphia. He has also taught at the elementary and middle school levels. His areas of interest include restorative practices and culturally responsive teaching. He was born and raised in Philadelphia, and is an alumnus of Northeast High School. Matt’s certifications include: Mathematics 7-12 and Elementary K-6.
As a proud product of the Philadelphia public school system, Solomiya has also dedicated her entire teaching career to the School District of Philadelphia as a teacher of high school mathematics. She spent 15 years teaching students in various levels of mathematics ranging from Algebra-I through Pre-Calculus, and classes ranging from General, Honors, Pre-International Baccalaureate, and ELL Sheltered. Last school year, Solomiya joined the Office of Teaching and Learning as a School Based Academic Coach – working directly with the Fels High School community. She works with teachers in a learning partnership to provide high quality education using research based instructional practices to increase student academic performance. She has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education Mathematics from LaSalle University, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Holy Family, and a Certificate as an ESL Program Specialist from Temple University. She is also finishing a Master’s Degree in Urban School Leadership from Temple University.
Prior to joining the Office of Teaching and Learning, Stan taught middle school math for over 25 years and held a number of leadership roles as SBTL and RtII Champion. Stan is passionate about the work he does as a coach and the effect it has on the students we serve. Stan’s certifications include: Elementary K-6, Middle Years Math, and Middle Years Science.
Elyse is a proud Philadelphia native and a product of the Philadelphia public schools, graduating from the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She has taught at the School District of Philadelphia for over 12 years. Elyse attended West Chester University, where she obtained both her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Master of Education in Reading. Upon graduation, she had a full circle moment in which she began her teaching career at the same school that she began her school experience. Elyse holds certifications in K-6 Elementary, K-12 Reading Specialist, and 7-9 ELA.
Ashley, certified to teach 7-12 ELA, began her career in 2014. Attending the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Ashley earned her B.S. in Psychology and worked as a College Admissions Counselor while obtaining her M.Ed in Secondary Education. Her teaching experience includes working at schools in Alexandria, VA; Tampa, FL; and Philadelphia, PA. She has taught in both middle and high schools including teaching AP Literature, AP Language, IB MYP, and IB Literature. Ashley was also given the opportunity to serve as an Instructional Team Leader where she organized, designed, and implemented school wide professional development. This role sparked the desire to move into Academic Coaching. Ashley is thrilled to be a part of the Office of Teaching and Learning and to remain in the world of ELA.
Dina grew up in the Philadelphia area and although most of her experience is outside of the Pennsylvania region, she is excited to get to work with Philadelphia teachers and serve an area and subject close to her heart! She has worked in high-need schools in Virginia, Maryland and Philadelphia throughout her decade-long career. Dina is experienced in teaching various Math subjects ranging from Math 7 through Precalculus and many different classes ranging from ESOL to Honors-level. She is excited to join the Office of Teaching and Learning as a School Based Academic Coach, specifically supporting the Penn Treaty community. Dina attended St. John’s University for her Bachelor’s degree and McDaniel College for her Master’s degree. She holds a certificate in Mathematics 7-12 and is currently finishing her Administration Certification through McDaniel College.
A public-school educator for the last 12 years, Felicia previously spent the majority of her career within the Jewish school system; those travels have taken her from Philadelphia to New York and Ohio. Several years after returning to Philadelphia, she transitioned by teaching English/Language Arts in the District and in a charter school-setting. Felicia is excited to return to the School District of Philadelphia as a School-based Academic Coach. She believes that every teacher is creating justice in the world and feels privileged to support them as they empower students to live their dreams and create an ideal society. Felicia holds degrees from Pennsylvania State University, Siegal College of Judaic Studies (within Case Western Reserve University) and Chestnut Hill College.
Abby has worked in public education for the past ten years. She began her career as a special education math teacher and has also held positions as a high school math teacher, teacher mentor, math interventionist, and math academic coach. Abby earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, a Master of Science in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, and a Master of Science in Teaching and Learning with an emphasis in Math Intervention from the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh. She holds certifications in Mathematics 7 – 12 and Special Education 7 – 12.