Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is committed to working with teachers and community members to assist them in integrating museum experiences into their curriculum as well as continuously improving programming offered at Phipps. The Phipps Education Advisory Committee is a select group of educators and community members who meet regularly during the school year to foster collaboration and learning across schools and museums. The committee is made up of teachers and community members in Pittsburgh, PA, and museum educators. This year's focus project will be to develop and design an educational touring program at Phipps Conservatory that meets the needs of the community members, students and teachers.  

We are currently accepting applications for the 2023 - 2024 Education Advisory Committee. Please complete the following application by October 1, 2023, for consideration: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VFJ2G8G 

Contact Heather Shannon at hshannon@phipps.conservatory.org if you have any questions.

Review the following commitment requirements for the Phipps Education Advisory Committee:

Attend one in-person meeting at Phipps Conservatory from 5 - 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 17, 2023; Four virtual meetings from 4 - 5 p.m. on Nov. 14, 2023, Dec. 5, 2023, Jan. 9, 2024, and Feb. 6, 2024.


Angela Abbiati
Angela has been working with children, families and communities in western Pennsylvania for over 20 years. Angela has worked as a pre-school teacher, education supervisor and currently as a community engagement coordinator for an online school serving students in grades K-12. Planning and preparing activities and events that impact the whole family while collaborating with community resources is an ongoing goal for Angela. She enjoys meeting new people, starting collaborations and gaining new insight on how to grow professionally and personally.

Tim Fabrizi
Tim Fabrizi currently serves as an assistant principal for the Mon Valley School within the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Mon Valley School is a comprehensive, public, non-residential special education school for students with special needs aged 5 to 21 years old. Tim lives in Westmoreland County with his wife, Julia, and two sons, Julian and Ciaran.

Jamie Juran
Jamie Juran holds a master's degree in special education and is a veteran kindergarten teacher with the Deer Lakes School District. Using her passion for science and reading, Jamie recently collaborated with a team of her colleagues to spearhead an initiative that revised and rewrote the school district’s science and English language arts curriculum. Jamie also played a pivotal role in developing her school’s RTII/MTSS core team, and continues to participate as a member of the core team today. Jamie is currently working with Trying Together as a member of its Flutter development focus group. When not working, Jamie enjoys knitting, pottery, and spending time with her husband and two sons.

Jennifer Kassimer
A connected learning advocate with over 20 years of teaching experience in the K-12 realm in biology and as a media specialist in the West Jefferson Hills school district and Calvert County, Maryland, Jen seeks new ways to inspire educators and students to connect learning opportunities to their own lives. She is passionate about bringing the natural resources of the Pittsburgh region into classrooms all around us. Currently, she is completing her EdD in STEM education at the University of Pittsburgh.

Christina Lockard
Chrissy Lockard is the secondary math and science curriculum coordinator at Commonwealth Charter Academy, a virtual public charter school serving students across Pennsylvania. Chrissy supports a team of math and science curriculum designers to create engaging, hands-on virtual math and science curricula. Over the past 15 years, Chrissy has taught Earth science, AP environmental science, and middle school science. She graduated with a master's in Secondary Education from Slippery Rock University and is currently pursuing an Educational Specialist Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the American College of Education.

Jennifer Salamon
Jennifer Salamon is the director of communications and outreach at Autism Connection of Pennsylvania, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit. During her time there, she has done a number of autism and anti-bullying trainings at local school districts and universities. She is excited to bring both her professional knowledge of autism, as well as her everyday experience being a mother to a son on the autism spectrum, to the committee.

Shelley Territ
Shelley Territ is a lifelong Pittsburgh resident and fondly remembers many trips to Phipps as a child. She has taught at the Chartiers Valley School District for 26 years and is proud to also be a Chartiers Valley graduate. She loves teaching second grade and has a degree in elementary and special education and loves to try new ideas with her students. Her latest project is renewing the school nature trail. Her students help maintain the trail by making directional signs so others classes can safely navigate, adding birdhouses and making "No Littering" signs so others will keep it beautiful.

Eser Yilmaz
Eser Yilmaz, Ph.D., is a writer with scientific research and K-12 education background. She is the former board president of Communitopia, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization that provides award-winning climate change workshops to K-12 students and educators. If she's not working or volunteering, you'll most likely find her hiking in the woods with her dog.


  • Review updated lesson plans and program ideas developed by the museum educators
  • Participate in informal discussions and brainstorming sessions to reflect and share best practices in museum education and ways to integrate material into the public/private school curriculum
  • Assist in evaluation and feedback for resources and programs produced by Phipps educators
  • Discuss strategies for aligning the museum’s K – 12 school-based educational programs and resources to city, state, and national standards in a variety of curricular areas
  • Pilot new programs and/or materials and evaluate them
  • Work as a liaison between museum and schools, promote and increase awareness of educational materials and programs offered through the museum
  • Participate in the Fairchild Challenge (as applicable) and at least one field trip or program a year


Heather Shannon, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
hshannon@phipps.conservatory.org or 412-622-6915, ext. 3223

Photos © Denmarsh Photography, Inc.; Paul g. Wiegman