Chief Executive Officer
Taking the reins as Chief Executive Officer of the Baden Academy Charter School on January 6, 2014, Lauren Bensink brought a fitting amalgamation of experience to the role. Passionate about the arts and with a wealth of elementary education experience, she is poised to propel the school's mission to higher levels. Having worked hands-on in a variety of arts-related positions throughout her career, including as a docent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a designer for Henri Bendel and on the education department staff for Simon & Schuster Publishing, Bensink effectively blends her love of the arts with many years of experience in the elementary classroom and educational administrative skills. She previously served as Director of Elementary Instruction at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, the largest online K-12 school in the commonwealth. Ms. Bensink holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Master's in Strategic Leadership, and has earned principal certification for grades K-12.
Craig Jeffers takes on the role of principal in the 2016-2017 school year with a goal of making a positive difference in the lives of Baden Academy Charter School's students. A Beaver County native, Jeffers earned his bachelor's in education and master's in administration from Edinboro University, and his principal certification from Franciscan University. His long list of experience – from traditional and online classroom teaching to leadership roles working with administrators and parents – has nurtured his collaborative spirit and forward thinking. Jeffers decided at an early age, when "school was not naturally easy," to spend his life working with children. He credits his parents and teachers with showing him that challenges, while frustrating, can also provide us with a great sense of accomplishment and pride.
With nearly two decades of experience in the field of education, Michelle Poskin has been appointed to serve as Baden Academy Charter School Assistant Principal. Beyond her love of education, she brings an impressive list of credentials to the BACS leadership team. Having earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Slippery Rock University, she went on to earn a Master of Science in educational administration from Drexel University. She is a certified K-12 principal, and has taught at the elementary, middle, high school and post-secondary levels. Michelle most recently served as the assistant school director/director of education for the Pittsburgh Campus of Triangle Tech. She is a native Pennsylvanian and the proud mother of Hannah and Sarah.
Director of Technology and Assessments
Baden Academy Charter School selected Matthew Davis to serve as its Director of Technology and Assessments in 2016, after he had served on its teaching staff for two years. He came to BACS with elementary classroom and special education experience, on top of having earned a Master of Science in educational leadership from Eastern University in Decatur, Illinois. Matt earned his B.S. in elementary education from Millikin University, also in Decatur. Having grown up on a farm in Illinois, Matt knows the value of hard work, and has a healthy appreciation of sports and the outdoors. He and his wife moved to Pennsylvania with their three daughters to be closer to their maternal grandparents.
Board of Trustees
Mr. Jerry Fleeson
Mr. Fleeson is co-owner and sales manager for Lectromat, Inc., responsible for sales and marketing throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and overseas exports. He graduated from Quigley High School and Clarion University with a B.S. in Secondary Education Biology/Chemistry. He and his wife Teri are residents of Economy Borough.
Mrs. Marta Karwoski
Mrs. Karwoski is a retired high school English teacher with more than 40 years experience. She received her B.A. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and an M.Ed. in Reading and Language Arts from the University of Pittsburgh. She recently completed 10 years as a trustee at the Community College of Beaver County, and served on the board of Catholic Charities for 15 years.
Mr. Kevin McKenna, Esq.
Mr. McKenna is one of the state's leading attorneys in education law, and a partner at the firm of Latsha, Davis, & McKenna. He represents numerous schools throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and is general counsel for the Pennsylvania Coalition of Charter Schools. Mr. McKenna graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Arts and a Juris Doctorate.
Biography under construction
Biography under construction
Pamela Rossi-Keen, Ph.D.
Pamela is a Baden Academy Charter School parent as well as a member of the Robert Morris University faculty, where she teaches humanities. She has also taught at Ohio University and Stetson University. Pamela holds a bachelor's degree in music from Grove City College, a Master of Arts degree in Music History and Literature, and a Doctorate in Interdisciplinary Arts, both from Ohio University. Pamela lives in her native Beaver County with her husband and children.
(The Rev.) John C.R. Silbert
Rev. Silbert has been an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for nearly thirty years, and is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Communication and Information Systems at Robert Morris University where he teaches humanities, ethics, world religions and public speaking. He is active in the Robert Morris Colonial theatre, is a member of the Alpha Psi Omega National Honor Society for Theatre, and is a member of the RMU Campus Ministry Association. John holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies from Gordon College (Wenham, Mass.), his Master of Divinity degree in Practical Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, N.J.) and has studied in the Ph.D. program in Rhetoric and Communication at the University of Pittsburgh (ABD). John and his wife, Elaine, live in Zelienople, where he is a member of the Historical Society. He has two adult daughters and two adult stepchildren.
National Advisory Panel
To maintain the level and quality of arts-rich learning opportunities the Baden Academy Charter School seeks to provide, the planning committee has begun to organize a National Advisory Panel, which will be comprised of professional artists and artist-educators who will provide a range of ongoing assessment, support, and feedback. This panel (which will likely be expanded in the future) will provide the board, students, faculty, and staff of Baden Academy Charter School with consultation, feedback, networking opportunities, and direction in maintaining an arts-infused school environment. The founding members of the Baden Academy Charter School's National Advisory Panel are:
Dr. Barry Bittman, M.D.
Dr. Bittman is a neurologist, author, and medical researcher with both professional and personal interests in – and commitments to – the creative and performing arts. This includes a special research focus on the role of the arts and personal creative expression in promoting health and wellness. Dr. Bittman is the chief innovations officer of the Meadville Medical Center, and the founder and CEO of the Mind-Body Wellness Center in Meadville.
Elizabeth Asche Douglas
Ms. Douglas is a master artist and educator. She currently has work on exhibit in the 23rd National Exhibition at the African American Museum, Dallas, TX; Women of Visions exhibition at Penn State, New Kensington, PA; "Standing Out from the Crowd" at Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Sewickley, PA; the 5th Annual Summer Gallery at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, Midland, PA; and, the Annual Small Works Salon at the New Arts Program, Kutztown, PA. With a BFA in painting and design from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), she launched her professional career a half century ago with a prize-winning entry in the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh's 42nd Annual at the Carnegie Museum of Art. She went on to earn a Master's degree in art history at the University of Pittsburgh and taught for many years at Geneva College.
Mr. Kennedy is the Vice President and Creative Director for Mizrahi, Inc. -- a Pittsburgh-based marketing firm that provides branding, interactive, advertising, and communications support to a variety of companies and organizations. Mr. Kennedy earned a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked in the communications field for over 25 years. He is a member of the American Marketing Association and his work has been recognized by the American Society for Healthcare Marketing, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the International Association of Business Communicators, the Public Relations Society of America, Print Magazine and the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation. Mr. Kennedy is also a graduate of the Entrepreneurial Fellows Center at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.
Mr. LeRoy's writing has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Vibe, The Village Voice, National Review Online and Alternative Press. He is the co-author (with Michael Lipton) of 20 Years of Mountain Stage, a history of the National Public Radio show, and wrote a book for Continuum's 33 1/3 series about the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique. His latest book, The Greatest Music Never Sold, was published by Backbeat in 2007, and he is a contributor to But Prince Don't Moonwalk, an anthology of music writing published in 2008 by Crown/Random House. A native of Clarksburg, WV, Mr. Le Roy is the director of the literary arts program at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School.
Mr. Litterst is a nationally known music educator, clinician, performer, author, and music software developer. He is the founder of TimeWarp Technologies, a leader in the development of intelligent music accompaniment software. Mr. Litterst has a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College and a Masters of Music in Piano Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. He has taught in a wide variety of musical environments: university, conservatory prep school, community music school, public school, and private studio.
Michele de la Reza
Ms. de la Reza is the managing artistic director of Attack Theater. She received her BFA from the Juilliard School in New York City and a Masters of Science in Developmental Movement/Motor Learning from the University of Pittsburgh. Attack Theater, which she co-founded with her husband Peter Kope, combines modern dance, original live music, multimedia and interdisciplinary art forms to present work in traditional and non-traditional spaces throughout the United States and around the world.
Dr. Craig Woodson
The former senior director of education at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Woodson is an internationally respected authority on the making and playing of simple musical instruments from around the world. Through his educational consulting company Ethnomusic, Inc., many of his over 300 designs have been used in drum manufacturing, universities and museums, educational concerts, and by thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of students over the past 35 years.