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Faculty

It is with special care and consideration that we choose our faculty and administration. The unique blend of personalities and professional strengths found in this outstanding group of individuals helps Morgantown Learning Academy offer its students an outstanding education. MLA has set strict guidelines and high expectations for its faculty and administration. Not only must they be certified in the content area that they teach or administer, but they must also be actively involved in personal continuing education goals. The MLA faculty and administration not only meets these guidelines but also enthusiastically searches for ways in which to become better teachers and administrators for your children.


CORINNE SEESE

Corinne Seese is our Preschool teacher.  She graduated from WVU in 1993 with a Bachelor's Degree Elementary Education.  Corinne started teaching preschool at MLA when it opened in 1995 and is very excited to be returning to her roots!  She believes that it is important to build a family of learners in her classroom and encourages the children to care for and help each other.  She often teaches summer workshops at MLA and tutors during the summer and school year.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband , three children, and three dogs.  She also enjoys her photography
business, Faith Photography,  and will again be taking school photos for MLA this year.

 

 

LENNON FORD

Lennon is the Kindergarten teacher. She has a degree in Child Development and Family Studies from West Virginia University. Lennon grew up outside of Frederick, Maryland but her love of mountains brought her to WV. Lennon has been a dancer since she was in preschool and loves to incorporate dance and movement in her classroom. Lennon loves teaching more each day. She believes that children develop to their full potential when they are given tools and questions to explore and be creative.

       

LAURA BANDURA

     

Laura Bandura is our Early Elementary 1 teacher. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Psychology. She subsequently earned a Masters in Teaching degree from Chatham University as well as her West Virginia teaching certification in Elementary Education K-6 and Library Science PK-12. Laura spent five years working for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh as a Literacy Outreach Specialist. After living in Montreal for four years, Laura moved to Morgantown with her husband and two daughters last summer. She is anticipating a great year at MLA, full of learning, exploration and growth.

 

  

KASEY DAVIDSON

Kasey Davidson is our Early Elementary 2 teacher.  She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Early Education and Special Education K-12 with Honors. Kasey grew up outside of San Antonio, Texas. She enjoys running with her husband, Eric. Kasey is looking forward to a wonderful second year at MLA.

 

 

TRACEY LEA FRISCH

Tracey Lea Frisch is our Upper Elementary teacher. She hails from England but has resided in the USA since 1989. Tracey obtained her Nursery Nursing Certificate (early childhood certificate) from her hometown college and worked in various capacities in the Early Education field. After arriving in the USA, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and her California Teaching Credential, with an Emphasis in Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development, from Cal Sate Fullerton graduating with Honors.  Tracey taught First Grade in California for five years.  Tracey arrived in West Virginia in 2004. For the first two years she worked as an Educational Consultant for SRA/McGraw-Hill in the Mid-Atlantic region traveling and training teachers and working with administrators in School Districts using the Open Court reading program.The arrival of her daughter, Emily in 2006 put an end to her traveling ways and she remained home to raise her daughter.  She is currently working on her Masters in Reading from WVU to become a reading specialist.

 

     
 

GEORGETTE TAYLOR

     


Georgette is our Upper Elementary teacher.  She is certified by the American Council of Exercise in youth fitness, group fitness, and as a personal trainer.  She attended Washington and Jefferson College, where she was a member of the track and cross country teams.  She obtained her B.A. in English from West Virginia University.  Georgette has taught group fitness classes and trained individuals clients of all ages for the past ten years.  She is currently a Master’s degree candidate in the WVU Curriculum and Instruction department.  She enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors with her husband and two daughters.

 

AMANDA MENIHAN

     

Amanda Menihan has been our Middle School teacher since joining the faculty in the fall of 2011.  She holds a Masters degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She also has undergraduate degrees from Metropolitan State College of Denver and WVU. Amanda taught in the St. Vrain Valley school district in Longmont, Colorado for eight years, most recently as a 7th and 8th grade mathematics teacher. She enjoys spending time with her two children and learning to play the piano.

 

ANCILLARY TEACHERS

JEN-OSHA BUYSSE

     

"Senora Jen" is very happy to be returning as MLA's Multicultural Music teacher and Director of the Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership Program (Mountain SOL).  She teaches Spanish, music, outdoor education and leadership, and this year will also be teaching a Middle School class entitled "Science and Stewardship".   She plays five instruments and has a passion for sharing music in English and Spanish.  Jen learned Spanish in Ecuador during her time as a WorldTeach volunteer, during which she co-founded Aurora Lights, a non profit that brought together children of different cultures to work on environmental education projects.Jen has also taught at the West Virginia Scholars Academy, Yale University, the New Jersey School of Conservation, Salem International University, in the geography department at West Virginia University, and at Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo. Jen lives outside Morgantown with her husband, two sons, and many four legged animals.  Jen received her BA in English from the University of Virginia, her Masters in Forestry from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and her PhD in Geography from West Virginia University.

JEFF RYAN

     

Jeff Ryan is the Art Instructor at MLA.  He received his B.F.A in Ceramics (with K-12 Certification) from West Virginia University in 1996. He has been teaching pottery, handbuilding, and sculpture in many community based arts organizations for over 15 years. In 2001, he lived and worked in Nargarno Karabagh (Armenia) for two years. Working with locals, he oversaw the reactivation of a small village pottery. In 2006 as a graduate student, he traveled to China to study porcelain production and ceramic history. In 2009, he worked with locals in Kabul, Afghanistan as a consultant to produce geometric tile for a non profit organization’s courtyard fountain. His background is in functional pottery, but his current work is a combination of narrative mosaics and geometric tile. This is his sixth year as the art ancillary at MLA.

 HOLLY MCBRIDE

 Holly attended Concord University on a basketball scholarship and earned an undergraduate degree in Physical Education and Health (PreK-12) with honors in 2012. She also has a certification in Adapted Physical Education. She then went on to continue her education at Concord University and earned her Masters Degree in Health Promotions in 2016. She has taught Health and PE in the WV public school system for 3 years.  She is a health/fitness enthusiast and believes it is so important for students to learn everything they can about living an active and healthy life. She has such a passion for what she does and truly believes that she has the best job in the world! In my free time, she enjoys spending time at the gym and being active with her husband and son.

 RICHARD “GREG” GREGORY KNIGHT

Greg began his college education at Columbia Union College in Silver Spring, MD with a B.S.in  Elementary Education; then pursued a Master of Public Health at Loma Linda University and Master of Curriculum & Instruction from Salem College. After teaching ten years at the Toll Gate SDA School, Greg taught gifted K-8 students in Doddridge County.  For the next fourteen years Greg was the Healthy School Coordinator and Regional Tobacco Prevention Specialist at RESA VII where he developed Teen Institute.  In 2002 Greg went back to the classroom and taught Social Studies and Health for Doddridge County Middle School.  After retirement in 2011, Doddridge County Board of Education contracted with Greg to provide Health Education for grades K-4 in addition to working with administration as Student Assistant Manager doing school programming, coordinating field trips and working to improve school attendance.  During his education and teaching years Greg became a specialist in  Health Education, Social Studies, Gifted Education, and History.  He was a national trainer for Know Your Body Health Education Curriculum, Developing Capable People Drug Prevention Curriculum,  Life Skills Training, Drug Prevention Curriculum and TATU (Teens Against Tobacco Use) as well as a trainer for Get Real About Violence, Violence Prevention Program and  Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, Violence Prevention Program.  As overeducated as he sounds, Greg is still a pretty normal guy who loves kids and has a tendency to burst out in song occasionally.

 

 

 

 

 

Laura Bandura is our Early Elementary 1 teacher. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Psychology. She subsequently earned a Masters in Teaching degree from Chatham University as well as her West Virginia teaching certification in Elementary Education K-6 and Library Science PK-12. Laura spent five years working for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh as a Literacy Outreach Specialist. After living in Montreal for four years, Laura moved to Morgantown with her husband and two daughters last summer. She is anticipating a great year at MLA, full of learning, exploration and growth.