Middle School

Meet Our Teachers

CassCassandra Shive – English/Tutor

Hello! For the 2017-18 school year, I am the sole English teacher for the middle and upper school.  This year, I am the seventh grade homeroom advisor!  I graduated from Shippensburg University in 2012 with a BA in English and secondary education.  Currently, I’m working on my master’s degree at Kutztown University.  Before coming to Gillingham in 2014, I spent two years working as a baker at Sublime Cupcakes in Wyomissing.  I grew up in the Lehigh Valley, but reside in Wyomissing.  In my free time, I love to bake, read, and practice yoga.


ElizaElizaRae Michaud – Social Studies Teacher

Originally from Pine Grove, Pa., I am a cum laude graduate of Kutztown University with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a minor in social studies. I started substitute teaching at Gillingham  in 2012, and I am now entering my fifth year. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in teaching English as a second language. I will be teaching social studies for the 2017/2018 school year. I currently live in Bethlehem, and I enjoy being a fiance, as well as a mom to our two year old daughter, Isabella. I enjoy sports, thrift shopping, music, reading classics, and vacationing on the beach.


KaraKara Stalter – Reading Specialist (K-12)

This is my fifth year at Gillingham, and I serve as the school Reading Specialist, as well as the Assessment/Title I Coordinator.  Although I reside in Berks County, working here in Pottsville is where I learn to live, not just to teach.  I wholeheartedly believe in this philosophy of education, having seen first-hand the growth of our students.  I finished my Master’s degree from Kutztown University in July of 2016 and am thrilled to be a Reading Specialist.  When I am not at Gillingham working with the children and teachers, I most enjoy playing the piano and guitar, singing, taking walks, playing games, writing, and reading missionary stories.  Feel free to contact me at kstalter@gillinghamcharterschool.org.


BrentBrent Potteiger –  Latin Teacher

After graduating with a degree in the classics – Ancient Greek and Latin – I worked for a time in a non-profit organization, before finally making my way into teaching.  For the first seven years – believe it or not! – I taught theology, which – believe it or not! – actually involves a lot of Latin!  I currently teach Latin from 3rd grade through upper school; but occasionally teach other courses, such as philosophy and Shakespeare (those classes are taught in English, by the way).  I enjoy spending time with family and friends – especially my wife and six sons (that’s not a mistake: I have six sons); going for walks; reading; telling ghost stories; studying various subjects of interest; and getting away from worldly concerns once in a while to focus better on what is truly necessary.



Preston Charlesworth- Music Director

Hello! My name is Preston Charlesworth and this is my second year at Gillingham as the K-12 General Music teacher and Director of Choirs. I graduated in 2015 from Slippery Rock University with a degree in Music Education. My interests outside of school involve playing the tuba, reading books of all sorts, attempting to cook without burning the house down, and watching terrible movies on the Syfy channel. I currently reside in Myerstown, PA with my wife, also a music teacher, and our two cats Hugo and Chessa.



Lenny Martin- Physical Education Teacher/Athletic Director

I am the health and physical education teacher for grades K-12, as well as the Boys’ Basketball coach. In addition, I was named Athletic Director in the 2016-2017 school year. I received my bachelor’s degree in 2014 from Marywood University in Scranton. Prior to getting a health and physical education degree I coached the Boys’ Basketball team at G.A.R. Memorial High School in Wilkes-Barre for 8 years, which is also where I currently reside. I love being active and playing sports while helping others stay physically active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


Danielle Wank- Special Education 

I am the Autistic /Emotional Support teacher here at Gillingham. I am also the Lead Special Education teacher. This is my 2nd year teaching. I am a recent graduate of Alvernia University with a dual certification in Elementary Education and Special Education. My passion is working with students with special needs, and providing a voice for those who do not have one. Students with special needs are unique in their own way, as every person is. My job is to help those students who may not always be understood in a traditional classroom find their strengths and shine in their own unique ways. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family and enjoying the outdoors.

Laura Martin- Spanish Teacher 

¡Hola! My name is Laura Martin, and I am the Spanish K-12 teacher.  I graduated from Eastern University and completed my student teaching at Manheim Township High School in 2016.  In college, I studied Spanish Education and ESL.  During my junior year, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Seville, Spain.  I lived with a host family and attended classes at a nearby school. Now back in PA, I am looking forward to share the Spanish that I love to the students at Gillingham Charter School.  Outside of school, I enjoy being with others, being outside, being active and reading!

Amy Siroka – Math Teacher

I am a secondary math teacher and 8th grade homeroom teacher.  I graduated from Penn State with a degree in mathematics as well as secondary education.  I have a masters in curriculum and instruction from American College of Education. Outside of school I enjoy playing the piano and traveling.


Melody Beneito – Art Teacher
Hello! My name is Melody Beneito. I am the art teacher and this is my first year teaching at Gillingham. I am a Berks County native but I currently live in Northern Lebanon County with my husband and children. I have a B.S. in Interior Design from Philadelphia University. After my undergraduate studies, I spent 8 months as a youth development volunteer in the Peace Corps in Arequipa, Peru. Upon my return to the states, I attended Kutztown University and received a teaching certification in K-12 Art Education. I spent the past five years substitute teaching in all grades and subject areas. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, playing soccer, hiking, camping, kayaking, snowboarding, and traveling.