Tamara Allen-Thomas


“PHCSE's vision is what I live and breathe. Our school is designed to guide our students toward their destiny. PHCSE is a great place to work and learn. It is a family environment where everyone genuinely cares about you. We have celebrated weddings, births, and anniversaries together, and unfortunately we grieved with those who lost loved ones. Everyone works together to get the job done. The staff is committed to going above and beyond. Our mentoring program helps new staff become accustomed to our environment who are caring, committed, and dedicated to ensuring that ALL students reach their highest potential.  I would tell any potential employee that our work as educators is not easy. It may mean staying late, coming early, meeting with a child or family during lunch. We are committed to reaching our scholars and their families where they are. We do not make excuses, we bring solutions.”

Sarah Wisniewski

3rd & 4th Grade Special Education Teacher

“The work environment and PHCE's workplace culture is motivating, happy, nurturing, innovative, fun, collaborative, engaging, respectful, and rewarding.  Building confidence in students and building relationships always puts a smile on my face. I have been teaching at PHCSE since 2013. I love working at PHCSE, and I continue to teach here because the environment is welcoming, the staff is great, and because of the awesome students and families.”

Donna Wallace

Certified School Nurse

“I have always been encouraged by administrators and fellow colleagues to be creative and innovative. The support that I've received has helped me to expand our health care program to provide the best services for our students, their families, and our staff members. I am allowed autonomy and the opportunity to have ownership over the work that I do. It's a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The students and staff are by far the most interesting part of working at PHCSE. I am privileged to be working with some of the Nation's most dedicated educators. They really care about the students and will greatly impact future generations.PHCSE encourages its staff to be part of the process that helps the school to grow. The staff is integral to creating the entrepreneurial spirit that defines this school.”

Michele Aron

7th & 8th Grade Special Education Teacher

“We set ourselves apart from other schools with our Microsociety and Entrepreneurial Mindset,  fostering entrepreneurial skills as early as Kindergarten, providing students with a unique skill set they would not learn in any other school in Pittsburgh. The staff is truly a family. We rally together when times are hard, and we applaud one-another when it’s time to celebrate. We work incredibly hard and wear many hats. In stressful times, there is always someone to lend a hand or kind word. This is not an easy job. We do much more than just teach. We work to shape the futures of our youth, and that means a lot of extra time and dedication;  however, when you look into our kids’ eyes, it is well worth it. We offer families an education that is leaps and bounds over what they would receive anywhere else. I am proud to be part of an ever-growing organization and look forward to seeing what great things we will accomplish in the years to come.”

Brianne Collins

Math Coach

“PHCSE has become a part of my family! All three of my children have attended PHCSE. I feel valued as a teacher and supported by administration. My voice is heard and that is very important to me! Since I started here at PHCSE, I have seen major changes in the overall direction of the school. Our vision and mission statements have been revised to provide a direct goal for our school. Administration has worked diligently to improve the organizational structure of the school as well as the transparency of communication. The teachers and staff are open-minded and willing to make the necessary adjustments and changes to meet the needs of our students. Team members offer support, share ideas and resources, and help when it is needed. Members of administration are available, supportive, and allow staff members to have a voice.    PHCSE offers a unique experience that you will not find at many other educational facilities.”

Emily Drop


“I have been with PHCSE since November of 2018. Our staff really has become a family and not only support each other professionally within our jobs, but personally as well. I learn something new every day from our students, our leadership team and the amazing staff members I am surrounded by. The environment of PHCSE is extremely supportive and team-oriented. I love being a part of such a future- oriented team.The employees of PHCSE are passionate about the work they do and love every student that they teach. We go above and beyond to teach to each individual student and believe in pushing our staff and students to be the best they can be.”

Lauren Fitzpatrick

5th & 6th Grade Special Education Teacher

“I had never heard of MicroSociety before working here at PHCSE. It’s great to expose students to entrepreneurship skills at such a young age. K-5  students are working on resumes, job applications, learning how to run their own business. It is such a neat thing to see the creative and different ideas the students come up with. Overall, it is a very positive work environment. It feels like a family here at PHCSE. I think that PHCSE is heading in a great direction. Leadership team and the other staff members are awesome and always willing to help!”

Kylie Gilmore

3rd Grade Teacher

“I have worked at PHCSE since 2018.  The most interesting thing about working at PHCSE is watching students develop real world skills at a young age. The amount of responsibility and ownership they take impresses me every day. I believe that PHCSE's vision and direction of getting scholars prepared for the future is what these students need in order to be successful in the real world. At a young age, they are learning the basis for communication and organizational skills. As an educator, I love the connections I make with the kids and how those connections grow trust,  which leads to stronger academics. If you are looking for a fun, innovative place to work, then PHCSE is the right place for you. Administration cares about us as individuals and does what they can to support us. The team is friendly and always willing to help if you have questions. The rigour is high at PHCSE, but so are our scholars’ achievements!”

Trevor Miller

1st Grade Teacher

“The workplace at PHCSE is extremely welcoming and kind. Staff and students are extremely helpful and challenge you to be the best person you can be. PHCSE provides a wonderful opportunity to scholars, parents and staff alike. They offer a strong and engaging environment where students' creativity and knowledge is emphasized every day, allowing them to reach their maximum potential!The strong ties to the community, family environment with both students and staff, and commitment to making one another better is what makes me stay. The vision to expand and offer such a great environment to even more students in the community is exceptional, and I am beyond excited to play a pivotal part in those organizational goals. The benefits of a smaller, tight-knit work environment are often overlooked; the passion and dedication that PHCSE shows towards their staff on a daily basis is second-to-none.”

Valerie Nance

Human Resources Director

“I'm inspired by my colleagues every day--from cafeteria and custodial staff, to office staff, to educators and the leadership team.  When employees come to the table with ideas, we are encouraged to problem-solve and rewarded for solution-seeking.  Your voice will be heard.  This is an organization that is courageous enough to constantly evaluate itself--how can we do better?  How can I, as an individual and a professional, be better?  How can we support one-another, our school, and our community to constantly improve?  One is never an island at PHCSE--there is always a team willing to help you, to answer questions, and encourage and help you expand your network within and outside the  organization for the betterment of not only your own career, but the improvement of the organization. PHCSE employees at all levels are welcome to take risks, try new things, ask questions, and that creates a climate of trust and innovation.”

Heather Ruppert

Special Education Coordinator & School Psychologist

“Our work environment is, in my opinion, founded upon the characteristics of compassion, dedication, having a growth mindset, and being team-oriented. I believe that first and foremost staff and faculty care about our students, families,and each other. We are dedicated to helping students learn and grow to be the best citizens and students they can be through a culture that values each member. PHCSE is a great school and work environment. In order to be successful at PHCSE, an employee should be dedicated and enthusiastic about teaching and about helping all students to reach their full potential. Future employees should have a growth mindset and have a desire to develop their leadership skills. Future employees should also value and understand the need for flexibility, as well as have a desire to work collaboratively with their colleagues.”

Darlene Shook

Director of Food Services

“I have been with PHCSE for ten years, since day one. I stay because I’m committed to see this school thrive. I love my job and the kids. This is my livelihood. Dr. Jones is my mentor; he knows how to motivate employees and appreciates the hard work we all do. I love the challenges my job brings to me. Staff are a family, committed to each other and to making an impact on students’ lives.”