Fall 2015 RecipientsCory Miller
Southwest Middle School
Cory Miller is originally from Chester County, and she grew up in Downingtown, where she went to high school. She attended Millersville University for her undergraduate degree in Psychology. After graduation, she continued her education and went to graduate school at West Chester University, where she completed the Masters of Education program in Counseling and Educational Psychology with a concentration in Secondary School Counseling. Her career goal has always been to be a School Counselor, and I am so thankful for the opportunities that I have had. This is her eighth year as a School Counselor and seven of those years have been at Southwest Middle School. She says she loves what she does and is grateful to be at SW with the staff and our students. RSD kids are the best! Working in Reading has also given her opportunities to be involved in programs where students can participate in new and worthwhile experiences, such as working with the Junior League of Reading and their Young Women’s Summit, as well as their Service Learning Club. Also, being one of the coaches for Girls on the Run (Heart and Sole) has been amazing for her. There is nothing greater than seeing RSD students involved in positive and motivational activities. When she is not at work, her happiest moments are when I am spending time with my loved ones. In addition to spending time with those she loves, she also enjoys being at the beach, dancing, shopping, reading, and eating. She loves quotes, and she tries to live by this one: “Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them.”
Millmont Elementary, 12th and Marion Elementary, Northwest Middle School and Northeast Middle School
Jennifer Mazur grew up in Berks County and graduated from Antietam Jr/Sr High School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from West Chester University, and her Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders degree from Clarion University. This is her 15th year working as a speech pathologist in the public school setting, and it is her 7th full year working in the Reading School District. She has been married to her husband, Kevin, for almost 14 years, and they have a 5-year-old daughter, Avery. They also have a 3-year-old rescued greyhound, Braska. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walking, crocheting, and shopping for shoes.
13th and Union Elementary
William Keppen is a Certified School Nurse at 13th & Union Elementary, and he has worked in RSD for six year. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing from Alvernia University. He also completed graduate work in Public Health at West Chester University. He is a gardening master, and he also considers himself a beach bum and a master of all trades when it comes to home improvements. He is married with two sons and two grandchildren. This summer, he sprang into action, involving himself as a first responder in an active drowning of a little boy at a local pool. hel administered CPR to the little boy and was able to save his life.
Reading Intermediate High School
Zoe DeHart has served as an art teacher in the Reading School District for the past 11 years. A graduate of Cocalico High School, she received her degree in Art Education from Kutztown University, and was first introduced to the Reading School District as a student teacher. After graduation from Kutztown, she was hired as the art teacher at 10th & Green Elementary School. Several years later, her teaching journey led her to two of the 6th grade gateway schools, the Gateway for Agriculture, Science and Ecology, and the Communications and Technology school. When the Gateway schools were closed, she arrived in her current school, Reading Intermediate High School. As in all of the buildings in which she has worked, Zoe is actively involved at RIHS. Upon her arrival at RIHS, she started the Citadel Art Club, for which she serves as adviser, and she has also taken on the responsibility of serving as RIHS adviser for Project Peace. Besides her passion for teaching and sharing and supporting the arts with her students, Zoe loves the outdoors. A fibers artist herself, she enjoys spending her free time making art, hiking, gardening, and cooking for her friends and family.
Lauer’s Park Elementary, 10th and Green Elementary and 10th and Penn Elementary
John Loos has been an elementary instrumental music teacher in the Reading School District for the last 16 years. He currently teaches band to over 180 students a week in three buildings: Lauer’s Park Elementary, 10th and Green Elementary and 10th and Penn Elementary. He has also previously taught band and orchestra at both Millmont Elementary and Glenside Elementary schools. He has served as the Elementary Instrumental Music Department Head for the last 10 years, working closely with the administration and the entire music department. Mr. Loos graduated cum laude in 1999 from West Chester University, where he majored in music education. He also studied jazz improvisation and theory with the world renowned jazz educator, Jimmy Amadie of Philadelphia. Mr. Loos is a free-lance trombone player in the Reading and Philadelphia area and has been a member of many different bands over the years, playing countless events throughout the region. John has appeared at the Berks Jazz Fest, the Dauphin County Jazz Festival and the Rehobeth Jazz Fest. He has had the opportunity to perform with Gerald Veasley, Rick Braun, Richard Elliott, Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright, Greg Karukas, Brian Bromberg, Greg Adams, Jason Miles, The LA Chillharmonic, Billy Paul, and many more.
Melissa Fisher is a graduate of Schuylkill Valley High School and Penn State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kindergarten and Elementary Education. She also earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership with principal certification from Penn State University. Melissa student taught at Northwest Area Elementary School and fell in love with the Reading School District – and never left. She taught for five years at Riverside Elementary School before becoming an Instructional Supervisor at Riverside for a year. She has been Principal at Glenside Elementary School for the last 13 years.
ESL Resource Teacher
Grace Weber was born and raised in Iowa. She studied at Grace College, Kutztown University, and University of Turabo/Penn State. She taught in Lancaster, Pa, and Tegucigalpa, Honduras, before moving to Reading. This is her 23rd year in the Reading School District. She enjoys teaching, being an advocate for our ESL students and helping students find their voice. She also enjoys gardening with kids. Her favorite quote is: “ We plant seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a step along the way.” – Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, El Salvador
Reading High School
Christina Behm graduated from Reading High School in 1998 and is now an ESL teacher at the school. She is the ESL Department Head at RHS. Christina earned an associate’s degree from RACC and a bachelor’s degree from Alvernia University. She also earned an ESL certification from Penn State Berks. She began working for the district in 2006, first as a special education assistant and later as a teacher. She has a 7-year-old daughter, Zoe. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, going to the beach, working on my house, and spending time with her daughter.