Teacher Consultant Profiles

The Philadelphia Writing Project is a network of more than 700 teacher consultants. Our teachers work with students in schools both public and private in the Greater Philadelphia region and beyond.

"Whatever problems you have at home leave them there!"

Barbara Marshall, Ph.D has been a public school teacher for 42 years. Beginning her career in her native Chicago she is currently a literacy teacher at McCall School. Dr. Marshall is among the original TCs of the Philadelphia Writing Project (1989). Here she advises new teachers coming into the profession.

"There are so many things experienced teachers do because they know to do it."

Matthew Mandel began his career as a journalist. He is now an English teacher at Baldi Middle school where he uses his journalistic expertise to inform his teaching. He has served on the PFT Executive Board since 2002. In 2001 he was awarded the Rose Lindenbaum Teacher of the Year award and in 2011 he was a finalist for the Ruth Wright Hayre Teacher of the Year. Recently, he completed requirements for certification as a National Board Certified Teacher. Listen to his description of part of this rigorous process.

"Those are the people who opened doors for me; so, I have to open doors for other people."

Amelia Coleman was a fifth grade teacher and teacher leader in Philadelphia, and assistant principal in the Chester schools before recently being appointed principal at the William D. Kelley School. Listen to her concept of leadership and the influence the writing project philosophy has had on her.

"I think that’s what stifles kids, when you constantly have that red pen."

David Brown made a career change to become a teacher. Beginning as a substitute, he eventually taught 5th and 6th grades for 10 years before moving on as an ESOL teacher. David was also a PhilWP Invitational Summer Institute facilitator for 6 years. Listen to his take on editing and the writing process.

"I like the children to appreciate the beauty of this neighborhood."

Rita Sorrentino has been teaching for 37 years. For 11 years she has been the computer teacher and technology teacher lead for Overbrook Elementary School. Listen to how she has incorporated various technologies like photography as ways to help her students learn about their world.

"They have to feel like 'I'm important. I have meaning.'"

The majority of Sharon Carter's 28-year-long career has involved work with special education students. Currently, she is the special education liaison at Parkway West High School. Sharon was also a PhilWP Invitational Summer Institute facilitator for 7 years. Here she talks about how she has integrated various ideas, including Emily Style's article “Curriculum as Window and Mirror,” to help her students feel safe in her classroom.

"The kid that beats everyone up in the school yard just got it!"

For 25 years Dr. Dennis Creedon has been an educator. Currently, he is Deputy Chief of Academic Enrichment and Support for the School District of Philadelphia. Through his involvement with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, he initiated the Sounds of Learning opera educational program while he was a teacher. Listen to his description of the reaction of his students to a production of Carmen.

"My jaw dropped because without ever raising her voice the kids really listened to her."

Loretta Solomon has taught for over 40 years in both Canada and the United States. Currently, she is a reading specialist in West Philadelphia where she endeavors to teach her students a love for books. Here she talks about a mentor who helped her adjust to teaching in Philadelphia.

"Whatever I would say to my own children when they were acting up is how I addressed them."

Annette Sample, now retired after teaching for over 30 years talks about the struggles she faced in the beginning of her career. Annette is currently director of continuity education for the Philadelphia Writing Project.

"I didn't know that teachers cared so deeply about the work they were doing."

Molly Nicol of the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush is a 10th grade English and debate teacher. In 2009 she received the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback award for distinguished teaching. Listen as she talks about her motivation to teach.

"I will never be that teacher that just sits there and cranks out worksheets. . .I just can't do it."

Jason Watson, a high school English and Spanish teacher at Franklin Learning Center, looks back at his own difficult learning experiences growing up to discover his evolving mission as an educator.

"I had never had where someone felt as though I could empower them with just literacy."

Suad L. Islam, Ph. D., is a veteran educator with over 30 years of instructional, administrative, and professional development services to the School District of Philadelphia, Quba Institute, and local Universities. Listen to her reflections of her experiences at Daniel Boone Remedial Disciplinary school where she taught literacy.

"There is something about the spirit of the young folks. It just gives me the words."

Bonnee Breese teaches English, African-American, and multi-cultural literature at Overbrook High School. She also teaches radio broadcast after school. Additionally, Bonnee is involved with NCTE and serves on the executive board of PFT. In 2008 Bonnee was among 10 teachers selected to visit the White House and interact with the President. Listen to some of the additional roles Bonnee takes on at her school.

"I cannot have a student come into the library every day and then fail."

Robin Muldor has been a social worker, teacher, and is now a children's librarian at the Kensington Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia. She is the recipient of the 2011 PaLA Best Practices Award and was also awarded the "Free Library 2011 Fall Customer Service Award" for her organization of the First Annual Kensington Summer Reading Kickoff Block Party. Listen to how she integrates her love for teaching with her work as a librarian.