President: Dave Mendell

Dave Mendell has been an elementary school teacher in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District for 25 years.  While his tenure as a Teacher of the Gifted began just over eight years ago, he has been studying and researching Gifted Education since the beginning of his career.  Dave encourages and challenges his students to find a balance between learning and play as a strategy to help them build a strong foundation for years of future learning.  Dave has presented at numerous conferences including PETE&C, ISTE and the International Society for Autism Research.  Dave completed his Gifted Endorsement at Millersville University and he continues to research strategies for improving equity in Gifted Education.  It is Dave’s goal to highlight the social and emotional needs of gifted learners while working to build bridges between the many stakeholders of the gifted community.

Vice-President: Tammy McDonald, PhD

Dr. Tammy McDonald is a Gifted Support Specialist and department leader in the Bethlehem Area School District in Bethlehem, PA where she has taught for 31 years. Her degrees include a B.A. in Psychology and Elementary Education from Muhlenberg College , an M.A. in Education from Kutztown University and a M.S. in Educational Technology from Wilkes University. She also received her PhD in Human Development with an emphasis in Strategic Leadership and Academic Systems from Marywood University. Dr. McDonald holds a K-12 gifted endorsement certificate from Millersville University and a K-12 Principal Certification from Marywood University. Her areas of research interest include but are not limited to: Gifted students, diversity/equity identification practices, social/emotional learning, and supporting gifted students in the regular education classroom. Dr. McDonald takes the lead in secondary gifted education and believes all students should have the experience of autonomy with choice as well as challenge in their education. She develops and presents professional development for gifted and regular education teachers and leads by example. LinkedIn Profile

Treasurer: Bobbi Portnoy

Bobbi Portnoy recently left classroom teaching after over two decades in public and private schools in the Philadelphia area. In that time she served, among other roles, as an elementary teacher, a middle school math gifted education teacher, and a math and STEAM specialist. She holds Pennsylvania teaching certificates in elementary and middle school math education, as well as an undergraduate degree in psychology and two graduate degrees in education. Most recently, Mrs. Portnoy earned her M.Ed. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Cabrini University, presenting research in math curriculum alignment from kindergarten through twelfth grade and how the effects of gaps and overlaps on all students, particularly gifted students. Currently, she is the Founder and Director of Curriculum for her own educational services business that focuses on learning gaps and also provides a wide range of services for students, parents, and educators through a lens of personalized learning. Mrs. Portnoy has also served locally as a PAGE Affiliate president when her own children were younger.

Secretary: Lindsay Wood

Lindsay Wood has been proudly teaching gifted education for the last 14 of her 18-year career in elementary education.  Lindsay is a graduate of the University of Georgia in 2004 with a degree in Early Childhood Education and Child and Family Development. She went on to add her Gifted Endorsement shortly after beginning her teaching career.  In Atlanta, Georgia, she taught 4th grade, 1st grade and elementary gifted support before moving to Pennsylvania in 2009.  Lindsay was hired by the Pennridge School District in Eastern PA as an elementary gifted support teacher where she continues to teach in this role today.  She continued her education by earning her Master’s in Education and her Reading Specialist Certification from Cabrini College in 2011.  In the fall of 2019, Lindsay added STEM specialist to her teaching title, servicing all students grades 1st-5th with STEM education classes on a weekly basis in addition to her gifted support role.  She went on to earn her STEM certification from Wilkes University in April of 2021. Lindsay is passionate about connecting the gifted community of students, parents, and educators to promote understanding, educational opportunities and focus on the social and emotional needs of gifted learners.  Lindsay lives in Lansdale, PA with her husband Jason and two daughters, Lucy and Matilda.

Community & Affiliate Director: Deanie Gauntlett

Deanie Gauntlett resides in Exton, PA (Downingtown Area School District) with her wonderful husband, two fantastic children, and an adorable dog. She currently works for ifm efector, inc. in Malvern, PA, and has been with them for 18 years in order fulfillment. Her work has her utilizing her technical and operational skills to help ship orders and work with customers. Ms. Gauntlett’s gifted education journey began in 2004 with the birth of her son, Daniel, and then her daughter, Abby, in 2006. From an early age, her children could read and do other things other children were not doing (like memorizing six forms of the periodic table), which led Ms. Gauntlett to look for resources for her children. She soon realized her children just needed more, and luckily, she found out about a nearby PAGE conference just in time. Ms. Gauntlett walked into the PAGE conference and begged to be let in, which PAGE happily accommodated. She then founded the Downingtown Area Gifted Education Network ( as an affiliate chapter of PAGE in 2013 due to attending that conference. Ms. Gauntlett has been active with PAGE, attending conferences and becoming a local expert on the Gifted Individual Education Plan, often meeting with parents to help them understand what a GIEP is and how they can best partner with their school district. DAGEN also has hosted speakers and met for monthly coffees. As part of her advocacy work, Ms. Gauntlett became interested in learning how her local school board worked and ran for school board (but lost) in 2017. Also, in 2017, Ms. Gauntlett was named the PAGE Parent of the Year for her advocacy work with parents and the local school district. Ms. Gauntlett has also led workshops on GIEPs. Ms. Gauntlett enjoys volunteering her time by answering Pennsylvania parents’ questions about gifted education on social media, such as the Hoagies Gifted Discussion Facebook group. She also volunteers with her church and her kids’ school, the University Scholars Program, part of the PA Leadership Charter School. For fun, she is an avid reader and wannabe knitter. As her children transition to college, Ms. Gauntlett is excited to join the PAGE board to represent the parent perspective. She looks forward to continuing to help parents make the best decisions for their gifted children, using her hard-won knowledge and PAGE resources.

Board Member:  Lauren Almlof

Lauren Almlof earned her bachelor’s degree in Special Education from West Chester University and her master’s in Education from Gratz College. She is a special education teacher at Bucks County Technical High School where she created and now facilities programming for gifted learners, is a special education case manager, and an English teacher. Lauren earned her Gifted Endorsement through the Bucks County Intermediate Unit in conjunction with Holy Family University. Her passion has been and continues to be, working with non-traditional gifted learners and their families. She brings a unique perspective to the table as an educator in a comprehensive technical high school. 

Board Member: Scott Stickney

Reporter. Writer. Fundraiser. Marketing and Advertising Executive. Graphic Designer. Educator. Scott, a self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades Master of Education, has found that the reality of his career trajectory has not followed a straight line but more the path of a character from the Family Circus comic strip. Despite three decades of this roundabout work journey, Scott has worked tirelessly as Enrichment & Career Services Facilitator at Hampton High School, north of Pittsburgh, nurturing students’ desires to learn for learning’s sake and to think outside the box while learning the box. His focus in this administrative/teaching role has been on the integration of STEAM, PBL, PBE, 21st-century soft skills, collective problem solving, prototyping and creative freedom more vigorously across all curricula at his school in an effort to teach students how to be resourceful, self-directed learners and agents of change. In his career, Scott has taught 20+ courses, in three departments and two buildings, spanning the age spectrum from 6th to 12th grade with many multi-age courses. Starting in August 2023, he will be taking on an adjunct faculty position at the University of Buffalo teaching online classes in a reboot of its gifted and talented education post-graduate certificate program.

Board Member: Bronwyn Korchnak

Bronwyn Korchnak earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Seton Hill College in 1996 and worked in environmental R&D before returning to Seton Hill and earning a teaching certificate in 1999.  That same year Bronwyn started teaching at Seton LaSalle High School in Pittsburgh.  She had a wonderful mentor who helped me learn and grow in my first few years of teaching. In the fall of 2002, she started teaching at Hopewell Senior High and has been there ever since.  In 2012 Bronwyn took over the gifted department for grades 9-12 and her world was flipped upside down.  Bronwyn’s son was 5 years old then and identified as gifted within months of this job shift.  She dove headfirst into the world of giftedness and hasn’t looked back since.  She has her PA Endorsement and Gifted certificate through Millersville University.

Bronwyn has been active within PAGE presenting at various conferences since 2014.  This past spring she presented a twice-exceptional parent-2-parent night.  Her focus is on twice-exceptional students as well as the need for their social and emotional learning.  She has shared the story of her son and their journal from 5 years old to the current 16 years old and all the challenges that 2E brings. She feels, that as a parent living through it, helping her child find himself and ways to succeed through many challenges gives her great insight.  “My experiences as a mom in this area has helped me to help my students!  I encourage and challenge them in ways that are beyond the academic.  I feel the biggest thing I can do for my students is to help them advocate for themselves.”

When Bronwyn has free time she enjoys reading books dealing with 2E students and martial arts.  She am a 4th-degree black belt and master instructor of Tang Soo D and trains with both of her sons.  She loves to watch movies (often looking for the gifted lesson within), cross-stitch, and ride my motorcycle.  She looks forward to growing and expanding my knowledge and role within the gifted community through PAGE.

Board Member: Dr. Elizabeth Schucker

Dr. Elizabeth Schucker has been teaching for 20 years and has served in a variety of roles in education, namely as an inclusive fourth-grade teacher for the Schuylkill Valley School District in Leesport, Pa. As a classroom teacher, she focused on differentiation for all learners, but realized a desire to teach and advocate for gifted and 2e students. Dr. Schucker has served as the district’s K-8 Gifted Teacher and Coordinator of Gifted Programming for the past 3 years. She holds a master’s degree in Reading with a Reading Specialist Certificate from Kutztown University, and a doctoral degree through Kutztown University’s Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Transformational Teaching and Learning in Education, supported by the Carnegie Consortium (CPED). Dr. Schucker is also pursuing a Gifted Endorsement from Millersville University. Her work highlighting students’ motivation for change agency through a book club model was recently included in an edited book that engages readers in classroom strategies for teaching challenged and challenging topics through diverse and inclusive literature. Dr. Schucker enjoys creating and implementing a  responsive gifted curriculum that engages learners in a partnership model. She continues to explore how agency-based curriculum challenges students’ thinking, cultivates civic identity and enthusiasm for leadership, and creates connections to real-world topics through problem and project-based learning. Dr. Schucker enjoys sharing this work and learning from others through various forms of professional development. She has presented at
various local, state, and national conferences with sessions focused on a variety of topics in critical literacy and gifted education.

LinkedIn Profile

Gifted Program Website

Board Member: Dr. Melissa Survinski

Dr. Melissa Survinski has been an Enrichment Facilitator at Hampton Middle School and Hampton High School for the last six years. After teaching Latin for 11 years, she transitioned to Gifted and Enrichment. Dr. Survinski holds a PhD in Instructional Management and Leadership from Robert Morris University, and her research focused on how different teaching strategies can be used to build positive teacher-student interactions. Dr. Survinski works with students of all ability levels on creative writing, research (both scientific and academic), Maker education, graphic design, theater and drama, art, math, and career research. She has taught several classes for the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. Dr. Survinski is currently researching using her own voice literature to engage gifted students in discussions of social justice and social issues, along with the benefits of student-driven projects at the middle school level. She has served on the editorial review board for the American Journal of Secondary Education, the teacher advisory board for the College in High School program at the University of Pittsburgh, and hosts several gifted competitions on behalf of the Northern Area Gifted Consortium. Dr. Survinski is also a Google Level 1 & 2 Certified Educator, a National Geographic Certified Educator, and most recently completed the Excellence in Leadership program at the Disney Institute.

Board Member: Dr. Erika Lucas

Dr. Erika Lucas brings over a decade of teaching experience in Pennsylvania’s public school system, with a significant portion of her career dedicated to nurturing the minds of gifted middle school students and collaborating closely with their families. Her recent doctoral journey culminated in the publication of her dissertation, “Applying Executive Function for the Sake of Well-Being: A Case Study of Gifted Middle School Students”, a project close to her heart, delving into the crucial role of executive function in supporting the overall well-being of gifted learners.

Passionate about advocating for gifted students, Dr. Lucas is committed to amplifying their voices and dispelling the myths and stereotypes that often surround giftedness. She believes deeply in the power of education and community to transform lives and is dedicated to making the latest research in gifted education accessible and actionable for teachers, students, and families. Dr. Lucas is on a mission to empower educators to become advocates for their gifted students and agents of change within their communities.

Her recent dissertation titled, “Applying Executive Function for the Sake of Well-Being: A Case Study of Gifted Middle School Students” focused on demystifying giftedness and exploring the connections between giftedness, mental health, and executive function. As is her primary goal, Dr. Lucas’s work resonates deeply with families and teachers striving to create supportive environments and communities for their gifted students. Her insights and research are not just scholarly pursuits but practical tools for those seeking to better understand and meet the needs of gifted learners. You can find her on InstagramFacebookYouTube, and X @Dr.ErikaLucas.

Board Member: Matthew Levin

Matthew (Matt) Levin is a school administrator and strong advocate for gifted education. Matt received his undergraduate degree in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University in 1995. He completed his graduate degree in School Psychology and educational certification at Eastern University in 1999.  Matt began his professional career 25 years ago as a school psychologist in the Pennsbury School District (located in Lower Bucks County). Through a number of leadership opportunities as a school psychologist, Matt became interested in gifted identification procedures and programming. After completing his administrator coursework and certification in 2019 at Immaculata University, Matt became a supervisor of special education and gifted programming at Pennsbury. For his gifted work, Matt currently provides supervision to a staff of 20 professionals supporting over 700 students in programming from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Matt’s membership affiliation with PAGE is not only linked to his profession; he is a proud parent as well. Matt resides in Jamison, PA with his wife Andrea and his sons Sean and Ryan.

Administrative Director: Kacey Shoupe

Kacey Shoupe has served PAGE since 2019.  She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Information Management. Kacey lives north of Pittsburgh with her husband and two children. In her free time, she loves to read, craft, and bake. She is always happy to connect with PAGE members, email her at