Mrs. Christa Smith - Elementary Gifted Coordinator (K-5)
Christa Smith graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a certificate in Women’s Studies. After a year of teaching adult students as an AmeriCorps volunteer, she obtained her teaching certification in Social Studies Education from the University of Pittsburgh. Christa began her teaching career in the high school Social Studies classroom at Franklin Regional School District teaching Honors American History and Civics. She was one of several teachers to develop and implement the Ninth Grade Academy, a program that supported students as they transitioned from middle school to high school, focusing on both study habits and the social and emotional needs of students.
After thirteen years in the classroom, Christa spent the next six years as a gifted coordinator at Franklin Regional High School and, then, Franklin Regional Middle School. As a gifted coordinator, Christa enjoys working with students, faculty, and parents to find ways to enrich students with project based learning, technology, and meeting individual student needs. Christa is looking forward to completing her Master’s Degree in Gifted Education.
Mrs. Kathryn Duchin – Middle School Gifted Coordinator (6-8)
Kathryn Duchin graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor’s degree in English Writing and Political Science. She also obtained her Master’s degree in Education (English and literacy) from the University of Pittsburgh. She has a Pennsylvania K-12 ESL certificate. Kathryn has taught in a variety of schools including New York City’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music @ Art and Performing Arts, Knoxville Middle School in Pittsburgh and the Mount Pleasant Area School District. Kathryn worked as part of a team to develop/pilot an alternative high school in the Bronx. She has also worked as a journalist and an ESL instructor. She is a member of the National Association for Gifted Children.
Ms. Kathleen Konechny – High School Gifted Coordinator (9-12)
Kathleen Konechny earned an M. Ed. from the University of Pittsburgh. She is certified in secondary social studies and elementary education. Kathleen earned a certificate in gifted education from the University of California, Riverside. Prior to accepting her current position in Mt. Lebanon, Kathleen taught in Fontana, California at a magnet school for gifted students. There she served as the Gifted and Talented Advisor and was instrumental in the design of curriculum and programming. Kathleen was recognized by the California Department of Education as a California Master Teacher. She also holds a professional coaching certification from Duquesne University.