Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is committed to working with teachers to assist them in integrating museum experiences into their curriculum as well as continuously improving programming offered at Phipps. The Phipps Teacher Advisory Committee is a select group of K – 12 educators who meet quarterly during the school year to foster collaboration and learning across schools and museums. The committee is made of public and private school teachers in Pittsburgh, PA. This committee will expand upon the mission of Phipps which is, “To inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse.”


Members

Wendy Hunt
As a Pittsburgh native, Wendy Hunt bleeds black and gold and can be seen, on occasion, waving her Terrible Towel in her 5th grade classroom at Bellevue Elementary. As she began her teaching career in Prince George’s County, MD, in 1997, she realized something very quickly: Kids learn best when they are having fun. She strives to find ways to infuse mindfulness and connect her students in memorable experiences that can serve as stepping-stones to the future. 

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 curricula. 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. amie is currently working with Carnegie Mellon University and 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.  

Megan Koroly 
Megan Koroly earned her degree in art education from Carlow University, completed graduate studies at Youngstown State University, and is an art teacher at Oakland Catholic High School. She has experience teaching all ages from children to adults, and she loves to share her passion for art with her students. Megan enjoys incorporating cross-curricular projects in her classroom, and recently participated in a year-long Research Experience for Teachers program at University of Pittsburgh that emphasized STEAM concepts and design thinking. Encouraging her students to discover and explore beauty in the world around them is an important part of Megan’s philosophy of art education, and she is excited to share with them the beautiful resources of Phipps.

Diane Pastorkovich
Diane Pastorkovich, M. Ed., NCC has been a middle school counselor at Sharon/Middle High School in Mercer County for over 25 years. She is active in providing career and academic counseling to her student and implements many activities within the classrooms. She is sponsor for the district’s botany club, and volunteers at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Diane is a resident of Zelienople.  

Cathie Pearson 
Cathie Pearson teaches first — sixth grade gifted support in the Woodland Hills School District. This is her 32nd year of teaching, including five years in Florida and 27 in Pennsylvania. Most recently, she became a National Geographic Certified Educator.n. 

Koren Shelvey
Koren Shelvey has written and received two garden grants for Woodland Hills School District. She has an undergraduate degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in education. Koren’s love of gardening was instilled by her father and goes back to her childhood, where she spent countless hours on her grandparents’ farm in Slippery Rock.  


Purpose

  • 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

Organizers and Hosts

Phipps Science Education
Heather Shannon and Emily Nye

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


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