McCall School Staff 2013

Rose Rock

Principal Rock brings a broad skill set to her new role. Academically, she is a summa cum laude graduate of two Masters Programs (Columbia University and Holy Family) with a Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) from Delaware Valley College. Professionally, Rose has experience as both and educator and administrative leader within the Philadelphia School District. She began her career teaching 5th grade classes at Morrison Elementary School, where Rose also served as the PLC Leader for the 7th and 8th grades as well. Rose also taught 6th grade classes at BB Comegys School, where she led her students to the highest PSSA Reading and Math scores in the region. Finally, for the last year, Rose served as Pilot teacher at Lawton Elementary School for the “Wonders” Common Core Curriculum Reading Series, which is an exciting new program being implemented into McCall’s core curriculum.

In addition to her teaching duties, Rose participated in various school volunteer roles, including: Student Teacher Mentor, School Climate Implementation Team Member, Special Education Liaison (receiving a Special Commendation from Philadelphia School District), Partner with the Pennsylvania Ballet bringing dance to Philadelphia Schools (receiving a Special Commendation from the School District Of Philadelphia), and founder and coach of 7th/8th Girls Basketball Program.

Rose also served several administrative functions in the School District prior to her accepting the Principal position at McCall. She has been a member of her schools’ Leadership Teams, working collaboratively with the Dean, Attendance Designee, and Principal to improve the school environment and the education of our students. She also developed and maintained instructional schedules and specials schedules, provided feedback to teachers on instructional practices, served as PSSA Testing coordinator 2011 and 2012, and acted as Dean of Students. Rose even acted as the School Nurse for a time due to budgetary restrictions.

Rose has professional experience in the “private sector” as well, spending several successful years first as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative and Trainer with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and as a Senior Project Supervisor at Advanced Health Media. She worked on the first Billion Dollar drug (Prilosec).

On a personal note, Rose is use to being around children as she has 9 brothers and sisters!! She is married and the mother of three children (30, 29, 16). She loves running, coaches basketball and is the President of the CB Football league. She also loves running so don’t be surprised if she convinces you to be part of the McCall Bears/Cubs to participate in the Broad St run.

Rachel Keenan
Room 102

Rachel Keenan is entering her 24th year at McCall, and she could not think of any place that she would rather be! Mrs. Keenan received her Bachelor's degree from Penn State University and her Master's degree from Cabrini College.

She is a mother of three children, all of whom attended McCall for a number of years before she and her family moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia.

In her spare time she enjoys photography, gardening, and taking long walks with her dog. Whether it’s taking pictures of the dog, her cats, or her children, she can usually be found with a camera in her hands both in school and out.

Mrs. Keenan began her teaching career at McCall School with the kindergartners, and has planted the seeds for an exceptional learning career in hundreds of children since.

  Mary Ellen Walsh
Room 1
Henry Battestelli
Room 103
Mabel Sei
Grade 1
Room 106
Betta Kolansky
Grade 1
Room 108

Ms. Kolansky received her B.S. in Elementary Education and M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Beaver College (now known as Arcadia University). She came to McCall School in 2004. As a first grade teacher, Ms. Kolansky enjoys facilitating her young students growth, both academically and socially/emotionally, throughout the year.

Ms. Kolansky is a member of the Philadelphia Writing Project along with many local cultural organizations.

Ms. Kolansky loves teaching at McCall School because she says, "our students and families are very enthusiastic, and cooperative, anxious to participate in so many school activities".

In her free time, she can often be found working out and enjoying Philadelphia's many cultural activities and museums.

  Patricia Collins
Grade 1
Room 109
  Mary Zondek
Grade 2
Room 105
Elaine Welles
Grade 2
Room 107
Keuiping Su
Grade 2
Room 5
Lisa Hantman
Grade 3
Room 210

Lisa Hantman went to Temple University for a Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in psychology and a minor in dance, from 1976 to 1981. She graduated from Bank Street College with a Master of Science degree in early childhood and elementary education, from 1988 to 1989. She has completed her plus thirty, mostly with writing and teacher research courses from University of Pennsylvania and history courses from Temple University. She received a reading certification from Cabrini College. She is currently working to achieve National Board Certification. She started teaching at McCall in 2004.

When asked what she likes about McCall, Ms. Hantman says, "I appreciate the overall dedication of staff, parents, and students at McCall. I like the diversity, though wish it were even more so. The principal is generally respectful of teachers. The location is good for certain trips. The children are engaging and smart and involved, and I most adore them above all else."

She is a member of The Philadelphia Teacher's Learning Cooperative, and has been for 25 years. She is a member of Philadelphia Writing Project and Need In Deed, as well as Educator's For Social Responsibility and The Fulbright Association. She received a Fulbright Scholarship and taught in England in 1998. She has facilitated or led a number of workshops at various conferences including The Ethnography Forum and National Association For The Education of the Young Child. She has participated in three teacher inquiry groups and has presented on alternative ways of assessing and mask making, among other things. Ms. Hantman facilitated a summer long teacher's professional development on reading and writing in the classroom at Meade School in 2008.

When not teaching, she enjoys sitting in a movie theater. She also loves to read, listen to the stories of others, travel, and feast with family and friends. "Life is a joy, jingle all the way."

Paul Manchin
Grade 3
Room 211
Marc Falco
Grade 3
Room 214

Marc Falco is currently a 4th Grade Teacher at McCall. He went to Penn State for his Undergraduate and majored in Criminal Justice. He graduated from Beaver/Arcadia University with his graduate degree in Elementary Education. He began at McCall in the 2002-2003 school year.

The thing he likes best about McCall is, "The unifying goal of all of the teachers and staff to help the students progress to the best of their abilities."

Mr. Falco just celebrated the birth of his son, Dominic, last year and feels it is a "Life Experience that cannot be put into words other than his is amazing (just like his dad). When he's not teaching, he is laughing and rolling around on the floor playing with Dominic and also refereeing basketball.

  Carolyn Johnson
Grade 4
Room 212
Andrew Oliver
Grade 4
Room 213

Mr. Oliver went to Geneva College for his degree in Elementary Education, and went onto graduate school at Wilmington University (Reading).

Mr. Oliver began teaching at McCall in 2010, but has been teaching for more than 10 years in Philadelphia and Delaware. However, he already enjoys how the adminstration, staff, and parents work together to serve the children with a great educational experience.

When not teaching, he loves to spend time with his family as well as rooting for the Phillies and Eagles.

Meg Merlini
Grade 4
Room 218
Class website
Alison Stuart
Grade 5
Room 217

Alison Stuart began teaching Kindergarten at McCall in 2009. Currently, she teaches Fifth Grade and looks forward to working with and challenging this age group everyday! She is also a participating member of the Need in Deed Teacher Network and trained in the Responsive Classroom Approach to teaching and learning. By implementing the core principles of these two philosophies of education, she hopes to truly teach the whole child and prepare her students for a life-long love of learning and civic responsibility.

Alison is a native of Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University with a degree in Communications and a Masters in Education. Previously, she was a First Grade teacher at Alliance for Progress Charter School. Prior to teaching, Alison was a Video Editor and Community Media Instructor for WHYY. She is excited to utilize her background in media to infuse Media Literacy into the curriculum.

There are so many things she appreciates about McCall: Its supportive and collaborative staff, active parental involvement, dedicated student body and finally the fact that it's within biking/walking distance from her own home! Outside of school, Alison volunteers for NAMLE, The National Association for Media Literacy Education, and is a certified Pilates Instructor at Temple University. She enjoys biking, running, live music and cooking. You will also find her at numerous Phillies games throughout the season.

Joanna Bottaro
Grade 5
Room 326

Joanna Bottaro went to Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania for four years. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the college of Human Development, and then received her Master of Science degree from Drexel University in Teacher Preparation. She has been teaching in Philadelphia for 18 years and began teaching at McCall in September 2008.

There is so much she likes about McCall: "It is a wonder place to be for students, teachers, staff, and visitors. The culture is one of respect and dignity because the school is well run with a thoughtfulness that considers the needs, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of everyone involved. McCall is also special because of the partnerships it has with the surrounding community, the strong art and music programs, and the encouragement individuals receive to investigate and explore innovative ways of teaching."

Joanna has been a Need in Deed network teacher since 2007 and believes it is an inspiring way to use the curriculum while simultaneously teaching students to thing about issues that are important to them. Students not only learn, but are then involved in a classroom project that contributes something to the community.

When not teaching, she loves yoga, running, and swimming. She also loves to spend time with her husband and daughters- who recently graduated from Central High School- as well as her extended family and friends. She loves liiving in the city and takes advantage of the many activities available including: Restaurants, movies, concerts and sproking events.

  Erin Grune
Grade 5
Room 321
Michelle Rivera
Grade 6
Room 320

Michelle Rivera graduated from Temple University with a BA/BS in Elementary Education as well as in Early Childhood Education. She also went to Temple for her Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies. She began teaching at McCall in 1998.

She loves the fact that the families at McCall are so supportive of their children, but even more excited that the children do their daily homework assignments. Michelle knows quite a bit about students as she has raised a former McCall student of her own, who is now a successful college student.

When she is not teaching, she enjoys writing poetry, reading and walking nature trails.

  Elizabeth Walls
Grade 6
Room 323

Elizabeth Walls-Asto is a sixth grade teacher who began teaching at McCall in 2013. Ms. Asto attended Tulane University for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Anthropology. She then received her Masters of Education from Temple University and completed her plus 30 credits by taking classes towards a Reading Specialist certification. She is also certified in Elementary Education (K-6 ) and Middle Years (7-9) English and Social Studies. Ms. Asto is also a National Board (NBPTS) Certified teacher. Ms. Asto is thrilled to have the opportunity to work at McCall. She is excited to join such a reputable and collaborative school community.

Ms. Asto is fluent in Spanish and has taught at an international school in Medellin Colombia. As a Philadelphia native, she enjoys doing fun things in the city with her husband, young son and their dog. Ms. Asto loves Fairmount Park, West River Drive and Smith Playground. She also loves cooking, yoga, watching movies and reading historical fiction.

Scott Knoflicek
Grade 7 Science
Room 319

Scott Knoflicek is currently our science teacher. He got his B.S. in Geology at the University of Pittsburgh, and his M.S. in Science of Instruction at Drexel University. This is his second year at McCall and he really enjoys the friendly staff, students, and parents here.

Before teaching, Mr. Knoflicek was an environmental geologist and did field work all over the US and abroad. When he's not teaching, he is spending time with family, tending to the coral in his reef aquarium, and traveling.

Carol Martin Burke
Grade 7 Social Studies
Room 325
  Leslie Greenburg
Grade 8
Room 324
Drew Orlowski
Grade 8 Math
Room 327
Diane Craven
Room 6
Steven "Jake" Jacobs

Mr. Jacobs (although his first name is Steve, he goes by Jake) went to Stockton State and got a Bachelors in Business in 1988, and then his Masters in Education from Holy Family in 2006. He began teaching computer science at McCall in January 2007.

His favorite thing about McCall is a diverse, positive, creative, learning environment. He feels the Teaching and Support Staff are a highly-skilled, tightly-knit Team, and our Pricipal is beyond competent and nothing short of inspirational.

Jakes enjoys sharing his real world professional/career experiences, and believes his own diverse employment background helps him build better lessons for the kids. When not teaching he enjoys spending time with his wife, enjoying his son, enjoying his pet (hairless) cats, working with his friends to solve the worlds problems, riding his bike and working out, fixing things, reading, anthropology and physics, watching TV and movies.

Mark Sykes
Health and Physical Education

Mr. Sykes attended Niagara County Community College in New York and continued on to North Dakota State University, West Chester University, and University of Scranton. He has an Associate Bachelors Degree, Masters, and K-12 Admin Certification.

He has been a teacher in Philadelphia since 1997 and has been at McCall since 2004. He coaches the Sport Stacking Team, the McCall Stack Masters, and is a member of Team USA Sport Stacking. He is married and has three girls.

Linda Capers-Gooding
  Joy Horne
  Margaret Lineman
Bobby Benjamin
Lauren Essery
Guidance Counselor (K-8)

Lauren Essery began as a middle school counselor at McCall in 2011. She loves the middle years because the students are changing every day and keep her on her toes. She is also the problem solving teacher for grades 2-5 and likes this because she has a chance to get to know more students and build a relationship with them that will last throughout their time at McCall.

Lauren was born and raised in Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University with a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology. Before coming to McCall she was a family therapist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for many years and a middle years counselor at Fell School. Lauren loves being at McCall because the students, staff, parents and community really care about McCall. "It is so nice to spend everyday with people who are happy to be right where they are. It is inspiring to watch everyone working together towards a common goal." Outside of school Lauren enjoys yoga, brunch, spending the summers at the beach and live music.

Elanore Pigford
  Shuxin Chen
ESOL (K-1)
David Brown
ESOL (2)
Elyse Feingold
ESOL (3-4)
Iwa Cliggett
ESOL (5-6)
  Catherine (Patty) Rehn
ESOL (7-8)
  Alissa Cotter
Kim Hammond-Proctor
Resource Room Teacher
Room 322
Tina Giangrante
Resource Room Teacher
Room Near Counselor
Maryanne Rizzo
Resource Room Teacher
Room Near Nurse
Qi Tang
Bi-Lingual Counseling
Patti Trasatti
Marsha Kelly
Senior Food Service
  Lewanna Goss
Noon-time Aide
  Monica Culler
Custodial Staff
  Hugh Moore
Custodial Staff
  Darren Nixon
Custodial Staff

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