University of Pittsburgh School of Education

Pitt School of Education Well Represented on Leaders in Leaders of Education List

Published on 7/14/2017 3:52:00 PM

The University of Pittsburgh School of Education is well represented on a list of top young local educators released this week by The Incline. Three alumni and one current doctoral student are among the 18 named to the website’s What’s Next: Education list, featuring everyone from classroom teachers and school principals to nonprofit leaders and service education pros.

Emily Shantz Lilly, Russell Patterson, and Scott Vensel each earned at least one degree from the Pitt School of Education, while Stan Whiteman is a current education doctoral student.

Honoree write-ups from The Incline

2010 Master’s in Teaching, 2006 Arts and Science degree and Teacher Certification
Founder and Executive Director, Pittsburgh Assistance Center for Educators and Students

Being hired by Pittsburgh Public Schools was “a dream job,” Emily Schantz Lilly told The Incline. She said it was both an opportunity to meet her lifelong goal of being a teacher and to do it in her hometown. She taught middle school students in multiple courses including world geography and archaeology, world history, U.S. history and communications. In 2013, Lilly left her job after her first child was born, but she wanted to keep working to improve public education while having a work–life balance. So she created Pittsburgh Assistance Center for Educators and Students aka PACES. The organization is “committed to enriching students, supporting teachers and fostering community” in public schools in Allegheny County. Lilly works to create and implement educational outreach programs such as field trips and art history programs in multiple school districts. She’s also substitute teaching with Pittsburgh Public Schools. “What makes Emily the ideal community leader is that she empowers students, teachers and parents to invest in their education and find the leader within themselves,” her nominator wrote. Lilly is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and lives in Greenfield.

2012 Ph.D. Reading Education, 2002 Master’s in Teaching, 2001 Arts and Science degree  
Principal, Pittsburgh Faison K-5

With a doctoral degree in reading education, Russell Patterson has led Pittsburgh Faison K-5 and Crescent Early Childhood Development Center since 2014. As principal, he directs educational programs, monitors academic performance and uses data to implement professional development for staff. He was previously assistant principal at Faison and taught third grade. “Especially with children of color, Dr. Patterson is immersed in advocacy work for children,” his nominator wrote, praising him for his advocacy in literacy and the mentoring programs he started. Patterson finished his Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh in 2012, and his dissertation focused on culturally relevant texts and comprehension strategy for teaching reading to African-American boys. Before coming to Pitt for his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Patterson grew up in Washington, D.C., and attended public schools there, he told The Incline. He’s a member of the National Alliance of Black School Educators and of the International Reading Association, where he’s on the grants subcommittee. Patterson is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and lives in Squirrel Hill with his wife Tamia and their three children: Taylor, Russell IV and Raymond.

2006 Master’s in Teaching, 2004 Arts and Science degree and Teacher Certification
English, Language Arts Teacher, Dorseyville Middle School

Scott Vensel has taught reading and language arts at Dorseyville Middle School in the Fox Chapel Area School District since 2007. He manages the eighth grade curriculum in reading/language arts, tutors students who need extra instruction, and works with science and social studies teachers on cross-curricular writing assignments. “My goal is to help students find a balance between the expectations of the 21st century workforce, while not neglecting the human element of the humanities,” Vensel told The Incline. “ Also, teaching eighth graders, I find it important to create an atmosphere of expectations and experiences in the classroom that foster growth of responsibility, self-reliance and confidence.” His nominator praised him for coordinating the school’s multimedia Holocaust education assembly and for “constantly creating innovative and interactive ways to teach his students.” Vensel also coaches football and track and “uses his love for sports to teach teens valuable life lessons about hard work, dedication and working together as a team,” according to his nominator. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and lives in Stanton Heights with Gina, his wife, and Giavanna, their three-year-old daughter.

Current Ed.D. student
Assistant Principal, Duquesne Elementary School

Stanley B. Whiteman III has worked at the Duquesne City School District for 10 years. For the past three, he’s been the assistant principal at Duquesne Elementary School. He was previously the assistant to the superintendent, student services coordinator, athletic director and a K-8 health and physical education teacher in the district. He’s also coached baseball, football and basketball throughout his career, and most recently was the head football coach and athletic director from 2007 to 2012 at Duquesne. His nominator called him a “strong advocate for the students of Duquesne,” and wrote that he “showed great leadership in being able to bring the students, parents and community together around athletics.” Whiteman’s nominator also praised him for his work in instructional technology, collaboration and building safety. In April, he finished his Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from the University of Pittsburgh and will graduate with an educational doctorate in April 2018. Whiteman is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Community College of Allegheny County, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and California University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Allison Park with his wife Karen and their three sons: Blake, Bradyn and Brett.

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