Our Teachers & Staff

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Tashya Adamcik – Director

Tashya has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Temple University and is currently working on her Masters/PhD in Educational Psychology. Previously, Tashya worked as the assistant director at Learning, Inc. where she devoted her time to building relationships and learning the needs in her community. Tashya has taught preschool at the Lansdowne Presbyterian Preschool Academy and has also coordinated many summer youth development programs in Philadelphia. She has been a franchise owner for over 13 years at CleanNet USA and has gained insight, innovation, and long-term commitment in her operations. Tashya loves to spend her free time traveling with her son, learning new things, reading, bike riding, and volunteering her time to help in her community. Tashya enjoys helping children, inspiring them, and is dedicated to making a difference.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Janice Vlahovich

Tutor, Music Teacher

Janice has a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Pennsylvania and has done post-graduate work in math and computer programming at Temple University and St. Joe’s University. After graduation from Penn, she was the head of the computer unit for 15 of her 19 years with Psychopharmacology Research at the University of Pennsylvania. She also taught undergraduate and graduate computer programming classes as an adjunct instructor at Widener University. Before college, Janice studied piano in St. Louis, MO, where she periodically performed classical piano selections on the radio. She also studied violin in her home town in Illinois and played violin throughout her high school years with the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1989, Janice left her position at the University of Pennsylvania to start Learning, Inc., where she has been directing the programs and following her passion for teaching ever since. Her teaching goals are to help students both to succeed at reaching their full potential and to grow in their love of learning.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Danielle DiCristino

Tutor

Danielle has a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Ed and a Masters Degree in Literacy, both from West Chester University. She is a Certified Reading Specialist Pre-K-12 and is working on her Dyslexia Certificate. Helping students become better in reading and language arts is her life’s passion. She also teaches elementary math and helps with study skills in other content areas such as science, social studies, and religion. Danielle is a firm believer in ‘hands on, minds on’ learning and incorporates art, music, movement and games into her teaching. With this approach, students are actively learning and more likely to retain information.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Shana McLendon

Tutor

Shana is a 7th year teacher for the School District of Philadelphia, where she currently teaches at Strawberry Mansion High School. She has her certifications in both elementary and special education. She has been working with children in the educational setting since 2006 and has worked with children from ages newborn to high school. She has taught/co-taught subjects in and related to math, literacy, science, and social studies, as well as reading and math interventions. She is a fun loving, but stern, compassionate, and enthusiastic teacher who is passionate about helping students to become confident in their academic abilities and successful as learners.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Lisa Landrum

Tutor

Ms. Landrum graduated from Villanova University with a major in Spanish and a minor in French and Italian. She has a Master’s in Education from Cabrini College and is currently a Spanish teacher at an area high school. Before teaching, Ms. Landrum was International Administrator for the American College of Physicians in Philadelphia. At ACP, she was the liaison for members abroad for the company and represented ACP at international medical meetings.

tutor, Lisa Richardson, staff, lansdowne, pa

Lisa Richardson

Tutor

Lisa is currently a high school English teacher at Upper Darby High School. Beginning her career as a certified Reading Specialist, Lisa has taught students from grades K-12 in a variety of traditional and non-traditional educational settings around Philadelphia since 1994. She approaches teaching by first building a rapport with her students. She has a B.A. in English Writing and a M.A. in Educational Psychology with a focus on Remedial Reading. She is a mother of four sons and very active in the William Penn School District where her children attend school. She also advocates for the health, safety and education of the youth in her Philadelphia hometown by planning and implementing events and programs with a moms’ group which she cofounded. Lisa is dedicated to equipping young people with the tools needed for them to achieve the success they are capable of.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Paul Steller

Tutor

Paul has a Bachelors Degree in Math and Math Education, and a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction (with a focus in math). He recently moved to Philadelphia from Hartford, where he taught high school math, as well as a class at the University of Hartford. Paul hopes to continue his own education by pursuing a math doctoral program in the near future. When he isn’t teaching or studying math, Paul also loves to go to concerts, play board games, exercise, and record podcasts. Paul loves moving students towards a greater appreciation and realization that math is all around us, and his teaching style focuses more on a deep, conceptual understanding of the content, rather than memorizing steps or solely using patterns to solve problems.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Yves Kabore

Tutor

Yves has 15 years experience as a teacher, assistant principal and currently a principal. Originally from Queens, NY. Yves hold a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a concentration is Students with Disabilities, both from Wagner College. Yves also holds a Master’s degree is School Administration from Cabrini College. During his 10 years in the classroom, both in New York City and Philadelphia, every year his students made significant gains on state and city assessments. During this time Yves was also featured on Edweek.org “Coach G’s Teaching Tips” for his work with 6th grade students in Philadelphia. Yves is a former Division I college basketball player at Wagner College and loves to watch NCAA and NBA basketball. Yves resides in Lansdowne with his wife Desiree and his two children Amaya (8) and Avery (5).

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Susan Sciocchetti

Teacher

Born and raised in Marcus Hook, PA, Susan initially began her teaching journey while earning an Associate’s Degree in Specialzed Business, Music and Video, from The Art Institute of Philadelphia. During the early months of Susan’s studies, an instructor approached her about tutoring other students and becoming a student editor of the school’s literary magazine. Tutoring fellow peers, editing for the magazine, and eventually helping run the school’s Peer Tutoring Task Force, sparked Susan’s desire to pursue a teaching career. Consequently, Susan enrolled in Temple University’s Bachelor of Science in Secondary English Education program, and eventually became a building substitute and contracted teacher at her alma mater, Chichester High School. Overall, Susan has taught various levels of 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade English. During her time at Chichester, Susan earned a Master’s of Science in Education, Teacher Leadership, from Walden University, co-piloted a school-wide vocabulary program, and had the 2012 yearbook dedicated to her by the senior class. Recently, Susan taught/substituted at various schools in Philadelphia, PA, and she currently enjoys tutoring students of all ages. Offering guidance, encouraging life-long learning, and seeing that same spark she initially experienced in her students’ eyes makes every day worthwhile.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Kimisha Simpson

Teacher

Kimisha Simpson is currently an elementary education lead teacher. She graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a certification in teaching English language learners. She also received her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University. Kimisha is a certified elementary school teacher and school principal. She currently holds a leadership position at a local elementary school. As an educator and mother of two Kimisha’s passion is in supporting the growth of children.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Ali Richardson

Music Teacher; Tutor

Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Ali Richardson currently resides in West Philadelphia, which serves as his home-base for teaching, creating, and performing music. He has a BA in Arts from Lehigh University, where he majored in English and minored in music. As a co-founder in 2004 of the CODA Program, Ali is also lead facilitator for the Hip-hop Jazz Musicology and Drum Circle workshops and has taught in schools, libraries and museums for the last 14 years. He also teaches Baby Music Classes and performs at children’s birthday parties and events. Musically and artistically, Ali blends Hip-hop, Jazz, Blues, and World Music into his performances and plays several musical instruments, including guitar, drums, bass, keyboard, and percussion.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Dominic Angelella

Music Teacher

Dominic graduated with a degree in Jazz Performance with a focus on guitar from The University of the Arts. He also studied piano and composition. He has over ten years of experience teaching, both privately and in the classroom, and has taught in the Philadelphia school system, at The Conservatory of Music, and at the Boys and Girls Club. Dominic has served as musical director/show director/teacher at the School of Rock. He has toured the country with a number of bands, sharing the stage with such acts as Gnarls Barkley, Public Enemy, Vampire Weekend, The Roots, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and others, and has performed many years at the Roots Picnic. He has toured with the band MeWithoutYou through the US, Canada, Europe, and Russia. Last fall, he released a record with his band Drgn King, with which he is lead singer and guitarist, on Hoboken’s Bar/None Records. He has also performed on tracks for musicians such as ?uestlove, J*Davey, Lil B The Based God, Juicy J and Mac Miller. Dominic combines technique, music theory, and the joy of making music in the lessons he teaches.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Derek Gertz

Music Teacher

Derek graduated from The University of The Arts in Philadelphia with a degree in Jazz Performance on the guitar. Derek tours nationally with acts of many different genres and has shared the stage with bands such as Chevelle, Cky, Wheatus and many other national acts. He can also be seen playing his original compositions with his jazz trio in and around the Philadelphia area. He is also an in-demand studio musician mainly within the hip-hop, rock, and electronic music idioms. Derek has been teaching private music lessons for 10 years now and works tirelessly to provide his students with an individualized curriculum that is both fun and will maximize their growth as musicians. Derek teaches lessons on guitar, bass, drums, and piano.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Kristin Nelson

Music Teacher

Kristin is a graduate of West Chester University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. She has taught elementary band and orchestra with Upper Darby School District, and general music with Interboro School District. She teaches during the summer with the Brad Schoener MusicMan Camp and Academy, programs which are sponsored by the Upper Darby Arts and Education Foundation. She has studied clarinet with Theodore Pasternak, Charles Salinger, Joseph Smith and Karen Dannessa. She currently performs with the Pennsylvania Symphonic Winds and the Philadelphia Wind Symphony. Her greatest joy is seeing students grow both as people and as musicians, gaining confidence and a powerful means of self-expression. She specializes in teaching beginning and intermediate players on all band and orchestral instruments, piano, and ukulele.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Jake Leschinsky

Music Teacher

Jake Leschinsky brings a unique and inspiring approach to the Inspire Me Learning Academy. As a professional musician over the last 10 years, Leschinsky has extensive experience with international touring, teaching, audio engineering and band management. His musical experiences have inspired him to share his love for music with students of all ages and backgrounds. Predominately a professional Electric Bassist, Jake Leschinsky teaches beginner/intermediate Drum-kit and Guitar, as well as beginner Piano. Over the years, he has taught private students, worked at the Main Line School of Rock and Bryn Mawr’s “Summer Music Programs”. Additionally, Jake comes from two generations of influential teachers. His Grandfather, Norman Treinish, founded the Ashbee Lacrosse League and his mother, Betsy Leschinsky, has taught at the Shipley School for over 20 years. Throughout his college years, Jake had the honor of studying extensively with world renowned Electric Bassist, Gerald Veasley. Jake’s teaching methods stem from a comprehensive approach that he has developed over the last 15 years. In addition to focusing on proper technique, he brings years of extensive touring and band dynamics to the lesson room. While understanding that private practice is essential, Leschinsky urges students of all ages to play with their friends and develop musical relationships. Most importantly, Jake continues to acknowledge that students often educate the teacher and every student brings a unique creativity to the lesson room.

tutor, music teacher, staff, lansdowne, pa

Nikki Fritts

Music Teacher

Currently working on her graduate degree and music education certification at Eastern University, Nikki’s love of learning has deep roots. She began piano at a very young age (as soon as she was old enough to count to five and could tell black from white) and followed with voice training in community choirs not long after. In high school, she and a group of industrious friends started their own acapella group with whom she sang in such places as Carnegie Hall. Nikki went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from her undergraduate institution with a BA in Philosophy completing minors in both Music and Honors. Nikki has years of experience teaching both voice and piano. Music has taken her all around the country where she preformed in many concerts and operas, even having the lead in a Mozart opera at a young age. Her dedication to spreading a love of music is evident in her attempts to tailor each lesson to fit her student’s unique interests and learning styles. Nikki teaches lesson in Voice and Piano.