Jean Wallace, CEO
As the Chief Executive Officer of Green Woods Charter School, Jean is responsible for guiding the school through the design and implementation of Green Woods' award-winning curriculum and for spearheading the school's successful, strategic growth and future direction. In addition to leading Green Woods through two, five-year charter renewals, executing a plan to triple student enrollment, and securing over 18 million dollars in investors, Jean continues to work in collaboration with our staff, board, community and educational partners to build on this successful past towards an even greater future. Jean's ongoing responsibilities include supporting the efforts of amazing, innovative teachers and working closely with the school's expert controller to ensure that Green Woods is both achieving as a school and thriving as a business.
Charter schools are public schools. As such Jean is accountable to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for ensuring that our students are receiving a standards-based learning experience, from qualified teachers, within the guidelines and mandates of Federal, State, and Charter School Law. Jean is extremely proud to have been chosen to join a cohort of educators in a new doctoral program in Educational Leadership at Arcadia University. Although delaying this opportunity to focus full time on the growth of Green Woods, Jean loves learning and looks forward to continuing her studies at Arcadia.
Jean currently holds four Pennsylvania education certifications: Principal K-12,Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, K-12 Environmental Education, and Elementary Education. She earned two post-graduate certifications, as well as her MAEd in Environmental Education, a BA in Elementary Education, and an Associate Degree in Health Science.
Steve Masterson, Dean of Faculty and Students
Steve Masterson joins Green Woods as our Dean of Faculty and Students. He comes to Green Woods with 9 years of experience teaching and supporting students and teachers at various elementary schools in Philadelphia.
Steve graduated from college with his BS in Administration of Justice from Penn State and, during his time at PSU interned with the EPA investigating white-collar crimes committed against the environment. His post graduate certification was earned at Drexel University.
Steve enjoys running, golf, home remodeling, and spending time at the beach with his family. Steve lives with his wife, Danielle, his son Zachary and his daughter, Abigail.
Gina Knowles, Special Education Coordinator
Gina Knowles has worked in the field of special education for over 20 years. Her experiences include being employed as a teacher and as an administrator in both the public and private school systems. As an educator, she was awarded the New Jersey Governor's Award for Outstanding Teaching. This award is given to teachers who exemplify excellent teaching in their use of effective instructional techniques and by developing an environment that inspires students, fosters their feelings of self-worth and their love of learning. For the past six years, Gina has been an administrator for a private special education program. She enjoys working with children and helping them experience success in school.
Gina earned her Bachelor of Arts in Special Education and Elementary Education from LaSalle University. She then attended Holy Family University, where she received her Masters in Education Leadership and obtained her Principal's Certification. Gina furthered her education by attending Arcadia University to complete the certification program for Supervisor of Special Education. She is committed to being a life-long learner.
Gina grew up in this area and has always had the parks in the Wissahickon as her playground. She still lives locally with her husband and three children. In her spare time, Gina enjoys being outside planting in her gardens or playing tennis.
Kate Langdon, Curriculum Coordinator
Green Woods has been Kate's home for six of the last nine years of her career in education. Prior to joining Green Woods, Kate worked in both second and third grade in Southwest Philadelphia. Although she loved her students and colleagues, Kate yearned for a program that allowed for a more creative influence on curriculum. After hearing about Green Woods from a co-worker, Kate applied for a 4th grade position. It must have been fate! She joined Green Woods as the fourth grade teacher, and was quick to embrace all that the "watershed year" had to offer. Her environmental science education strengthened over the years learning from the students, her own explorations, and through collaboration with the science teacher.
From the beginning of her education career, Kate knew she wanted to play a role in building a learning community by supporting teachers as they develop curriculum and implement best teaching practices. Although she was challenged by creating, revising, and implementing a unique curriculum herself; Kate recognized the need for an even greater professional challenge. Kate obtained a Masters in Education Leadership and furthered her interest by completing the certification program as a Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction from Saint Joseph's University. It is her hope to empower and provide the necessary support for teachers as they embark on their personal journeys of educating young minds.
Nicole Starke, Technology Coordinator
Nicole Starke concentrates her time on bringing technology into the classrooms and learning spaces at Green Woods Charter School. Collaborating with teachers, her goal is infuse technology in the curriculum as a tool for researching, problem solving, and creating content. She also supports and trains the staff on innovative technologies, providing on the spot training to keep everyone learning.
Mrs. Starke is a native of the Pacific Northwest, born in Oregon and raised in Washington. She moved to the east coast for school, and has resided here since. She received her B.A. from American University in Washington, D.C., and her M.Ed. from Rosemont College. She is a Pennsylvania certified Instructional Technology Specialist, and a member of the International Society of Technology in Education.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and travelling. She is also a runner, and enjoys being outdoors as much as possible.
Kim Birkmire, Office and Transportation Manager
Kim has always worked in a capacity that has involved children. She worked early on for the Day Care Association of Montgomery County and later with children at Kencrest. Being with children is her passion. She believes that making a positive and everlasting impression on children is critical.
This is Kim's sixth year at Green Woods! She began her journey at Green Woods as a parent volunteer helping to jumpstart the school's early fundraising efforts. Her success as a volunteer fundraiser lead to a position on the Board of Trustees where she served as Board Secretary. When offered an opportunity to work at Green Woods, she just couldn't pass it up as it would afford her the opportunity to, once again, work with children, families and staff. The job as Office and Transportation Manager places Kim in the central hub at Green Woods. Everyday brings a new and interesting challenge. Kim loves the work she does.
"What I enjoy most about my job is the daily interactions with the students." says, Kim. "The students' candid remarks and humor are priceless, and each day the students at Green Woods put a smile on my face, which is more than anyone can ask for while working at their job."
Kim has been married to her husband, John, for 23 years. They have two terrific sons, Steven and Brian, who are both graduates of Green Woods. Steven went on to graduate from Science Leadership Academy (SLA) and now attends Penn State, Abington. Brian is a thriving sophomore at Science Leadership Academy and a talented member of the SLA Ultimate Frisbee Team.
Karen Reed, PIMS Coordinator
Karen is a long time resident of the Roxborough area. She holds degrees in Business Management and Paralegal/Para Accounting. Karen and her husband Bill have three boys, Matthew, Michael and Nicholas, all flourishing Green Woods Charter School students.
As the PIMS Coordinator, Karen brings to Green Woods a wealth of knowledge and expertise in database management. Karen also works directly with the Green Woods' Controller's office, managing and tracking payroll. As with everyone, at Green Woods, however, Karen's job duties incorporate the wearing of many hats.
Working closely with the Dean of Faculty and Students, Karen also manages the Upper School front office and provides additional support wherever needed.
Jeanne Keough, Administrative Assistant
Jeanne Keough was born and raised in nearby Germantown and graduated from Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science with a degree in Marketing. She worked for 13 years at Asher's Chocolates in their retail candy store as the assistant manager until she left to raise her family. Jeanne and her husband Dennis are the proud parents of 2 children, Caitlin, a graduate of Green Woods now attending Science Leadership Academy, and Shamus, a Green Woods middle school student.
Jeanne utilizes her marketing skills by working closely with the Green Woods controller, keeping track of supplies and invoices. You can also find Jeanne monitoring arrival and dismissal and supporting the many needs of students, teachers, and staff in the very busy Green Woods front office.
Mary Jo Aldinger, Administrative Assistant
Mary Jo is a lifelong resident of Roxborough and a very enthusiastic member of the Green Woods Administrative Team. After graduating from Hallahan High School, Mary Jo worked as a legal secretary while also attending Community College of Philadelphia to hone her business skills. The birth of her son, Steven, brought a new direction to Mary Jo's life - this time as a stay-at-home mom.
Now that Steven is a middle-school student at Green Woods, Mary Jo considers herself fortunate to be part of such an incredible school, both as a parent and employee. MaryJo supports the Green Woods learning community by assisting in the front office, interacting with our students during lunch and recess, and helping out whenever and however she can.