We are pleased to announce our new (or new to specific buildings) staff members for the 2019-2020 school year! Please help us in welcoming the following people to the Firelands family:
Firelands High School
Mrs. Kaylee Ammar –Intervention Specialist- Kaylee will be performing a job share with Olivia Krumwiede at FHS, and will be splitting her time between FHS and SAMS. Kaylee has been a Firelands staff member since 2016 when she started as an Intervention Specialist at South Amherst Middle School.
Ms. Magen Crabbs – Mathematics – Magen comes to Firelands after working in the Akron and Revere School Districts over the past two years. Magen is a graduate of Ohio University, and will be replacing Kelsey Clemons, who has taken a teaching position at Avon High School.
Mr. Matt Deichler – Science – Matt, who is an FHS Alum, returns to Firelands from his teaching position in Mansfield. Matt is a graduate of Ashland University. Matt will be replacing Charlie Gibson, who has moved on to Mentor High School.
Ms. Jordan Kolarik – Social Studies – Jordan returns to FHS after teaching the past two years at SAMS. Jordan started at FHS before moving to the middle school, and is also the Head Volleyball Coach for the Falcons.
Ms. Dawn Molnar – English – Dawn will be sharing an ELA position with Mrs. Notarberardino at FHS. Dawn formerly taught in Berea and is currently a managing editor for an education publication.
Ms. Jaime Rice – French – Jaime, who is originally from Northeast Ohio, comes to Firelands from Colorado Springs, where she has been teaching French for the past 13 years. Jaime and her family have relocated to the area so she can continue to teach French at FHS. Jaime is a graduate of Ohio University, and will be replacing Andrea Stemple, who has retired from the teaching profession.
Ms. Maria Wolanin – English – Maria comes to FHS from Oberlin High School, where she was a long-term sub and ran the Drama program at Oberlin. Maria is a graduate of Kent State University, and will be replacing Mrs. Callahan, who retired at the end of the 2018-19 school year
Dr. John Zbornik, PhD-School Psychologist – Specialist in the diagnosis and treatment Academic Anxiety Disorders and advocate for student rights special education services. Dr. Zbornik is interested in how emotions inhibit or enhance a person’s ability to exhibit their potential in educational,vocational and creative circumstances/situations.
South Amherst Middle School
Ms. Lisa Butkowski-Lisa grew up on the east side of Cleveland, in Chardon, Ohio & graduated from Chardon High School. She attended The Ohio State University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English. She taught in a suburb of Columbus, where she lived for over ten years. After moving back to the Cleveland area, she taught 8th grade at a charter school in downtown Cleveland & obtained a Master of Education degree with a focus in Literacy before making the decision to stay home with her children. She lives in Avon with her four children: Isabel, eleven; Zach, nine; Nathan, seven; & Alex, five. In addition to teaching & her children, fitness and raising money for pediatric cancer have become her greatest passions.
Mr. Ross Lambersky – Ross Lambersky is happy to be the new Maker Space, Title 1 teacher at SAMS. He has taught K-8th Computer Literacy and most recently Middle School Computer Coding in New Jersey. He moved with his family to Ohio in June, and he says the people seem very kind. He is excited to be part of the Firelands Local School District Community.
Firelands Elementary School
Ms. Alexandria Deidrick,Title 1 Teacher-Alexandria Deidrick is very excited to return to the school where she graduated from and where her passion for learning began! She will be teaching at Firelands Elementary as a Title Tutor. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo in speech language pathology. She then attended Ashland University where she received her license to teach pre-kindergarten through third grade. This past summer she continued her education to extend her license to teach 4th and 5th grades as well as to teach reading in grades K-12. The past two years she has gained experience with substitute teaching and teaching summer school. Alexandria is very grateful to be coming back to Firelands!
Ms. Heather Harris Freiberg M.Ed, M.S., School Psychologist– Heather is an educationally accredited and licensed school psychologist. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Kenyon College, and her Master’s degree in education from John Carroll University. Ms. Freiberg worked for several years as a classroom teacher in both Atlanta, Georgia and southern Ohio, before returning to graduate school to earn a degree in school psychology from Miami University of Ohio. She maintains a license to teach children in grades preK-8, as well as a license to practice school psychology. Ms. Freiberg has more than 30 years of experience working with children and adolescents in a variety of settings. Special areas of interest include diagnosing and managing literacy based learning disorders and managing inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity within both home and classroom environments. Ms. Freiberg also enjoys assisting children experiencing challenges with social cognition. Collaborative work is a favorite way to advocate on behalf of children. Ms. Freiberg has enjoyed her time in greater Cleveland over the last several decades with children as a parent, a teacher and a psychologist. Whether working with children at school, or spending time with her own children, she is grateful for the opportunities to enjoy their company. In her spare time, Ms. Freiberg loves the outdoors (especially the beach), cooking, gardening and reading.
Ms. Ashley Gasparini, Kindergarten Teacher -Ashley Gasparini will be joining the FES staff as the new Kindergarten teacher. Ashley attended the Firelands Local School District for 13 years- from kindergarten through graduation. After graduating from Firelands High School, Ashley attended Ohio University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Upon completion, she accepted a fellowship position where she taught Reading Intervention to first and second graders and received her master’s degree in Reading Education. When Ashley isn’t teaching, she may be grooming dogs and cats to fulfill her love for animals. Ashley also enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and trying out new recipes. One place where she enjoys traveling to is Toronto, Canada, since that is where she was born and lived prior to moving to South Amherst. Ashley is excited to return to the Firelands Local School District and give back to the Firelands community!
Ms. Rachel Kollmann,Title 1 Tutor – Rachel recently moved back to Ohio after teaching for 2 years in Virginia. She has taught kindergarten and first grade special education as well as inclusion kindergarten. She is so excited to be back home and part of the Firelands community as a Title 1 Tutor!
Ms. Samantha Menzing,Fifth Grade Teacher -Samantha is joining FES this year as a 5th Grade Math Teacher. She graduated from Kent State University in 2013 with a Bachelors in Middle Childhood Education: Math/Science with a Generalist in 4th-6th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies. For the past five years Samantha has taught both 4th and 5th grades at Crestwood Intermediate School. This June, Samantha got married and moved to Avon Lake. She enjoys spending time with her family, being outside, and has a passion for gymnastics. She is looking forward to this new beginning at Firelands!
Mr. Cory Timbs– Cory joins FES as a long term substitute for Mrs. Morgan. He will be helping 4th and 5th grade as an intervention specialist.
Ms. Linda Zysk,Fifth Grade Intervention Specialist -Linda Zysk is a new Intervention Specialist at Firelands Elementary School working specifically with 5th grade students. She is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and moved to the Cleveland area this past year. She attended school at Robert Morris University majoring in both Early Childhood Education and Special Education. Getting to help young students become kind, resilient learners is something she is passionate about, and she is filled with joy and gratitude getting to join the Falcon family!
Mrs. April Harker -Para Professional (previously at SAMS).April is a 1997 Firelands graduate living in Florence Twsp. She has 3 sons in the district. Rob who just graduated from Firelands, Aiden is a Sophomore and Holden is a Freshman. Together with my husband, Robert (also a Firelands grad), and sons, we run a small family farm. We are beekeepers, and raise Nubian dairy goats, Boer goats, meat chickens, turkeys, hogs, laying hens, Lionhead rabbits and grow hay. I have been working for the district since August of 2015. As well as being a paraprofessional, I also substitute bus drive. I have enjoyed my time working in the district and look forward to many more years
Mrs. Susan Schaefer, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent-Sue Schaefer has worked in an education setting most of her life, starting with being a teacher’s aide in summer school programs as a teenager. After attending Ohio University and Ohio Wesleyan University, she began a career in student records and registration. Most of her time was spent at the college level, working at small liberal arts colleges and graduate schools. She earned a masters in educational administration in 2015.
After meeting her husband in 2017, she moved to Lorain and is enjoying her new life near the lake. She enjoys photography, writing, reading, puzzles and dogs. She and her husband Bob recently bought bikes are ready for new adventures near and far. She is extremely grateful to have found a place to land with the Firelands family.
Ms. Deanna Watts, LSW, LSSW Social Worker- Deanna is very excited to be joining the team as the new school social worker! She is a native Ohioan who currently lives on the west side of Cleveland with her husband and four kids.
She has worked as a social worker in several different capacities over the years and understand the importance of succeeding academically. She also understands there are many issues that can stand in the way of academic performance. I hope to promote the academic, emotional and social development of all students.
She looks forward to getting to know the students and families here –and is looking forward to a great school year!
Mr. Byron Crockett, Transportation- Byron joins the transportation department this year.