Mrs. Fatima Rogers, Principal
Welcome to Copper Beech Elementary School!
It is with pride and enthusiasm that I am the newly appointed principal at Copper Beech Elementary School where “Children Matter Most!” I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to lead a school with such rich traditions. It is a privilege to transition into this role in the footsteps of Dr. Stephanie Viola. Together, we will work to ensure that this change is seamless and supportive of all members in this community.
The 2018-2019 school year marks my 21st year in education. Over the past ten years, I served as an elementary principal in the School District of Philadelphia. In 2018, I was the recipient of the Lindback Distinguished Principal of the Year in the School District of Philadelphia. Prior to becoming a principal, I spent 11 years as a teacher and mathematics coach. My educational background includes a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood/ Elementary Education from Temple University and a Master’s in Educational Administration from Cheyney University. I am presently pursuing my doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University.
In my free time, I enjoy going to restaurants with my family, gardening, and cooking. My husband is a 4th grade teacher in the Cheltenham Township School District and our daughter is in Kindergarten.
I wholeheartedly endorse the educational tenets of Abington School District and the Copper Beech beliefs that each child can meet high standards with access to a rich curriculum and a strong instructional program that attends to individual needs, is unique and deserves to be treated with fairness and respect, is provided with a safe and nurturing environment focused on maintaining a positive school climate and can achieve excellence through the collaborative efforts of school and family. I am truly looking forward to building strong relationships with students, families, staff, and community members.
Contact Mrs. Rogers at FatimaRogers@abington.k12.pa.us
Mr. Matthew Brenner, Assistant Principal
It is with great anticipation and excitement for the 2017-2018 school year that I get to introduce myself as the new Assistant Principal. I am humbled and honored to be joining the exceptional Copper Beech staff and look forward to meeting and working with the parents and students on the first day of school.
I am entering my seventeenth year in education and my previous sixteen years were as a classroom teacher at various grade levels at McKinley Elementary School. My educational background includes a BS from West Chester University in Elementary Education, and two Master’s Degrees from Temple University, the first in Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology Education, and the second in Educational Leadership.
The elementary school years are important and critical times for students to create the strong foundation that all their knowledge will be built upon for the rest of their lives. What happens over these years will have a long and lasting impression on their growth and development. My goal as Assistant Principal is to provide the leadership that will facilitate a school environment that is safe and respectable for your children to receive the best possible academic instruction. I am confident that our school will continue to be a place where our students can learn and grow academically and socially.
As my door will always be open for you to stop in and say hello, I hope to run into everyone much more on the playground, in the hallways, and at the many events and activities here at the school. Also, if there is anything I can assist you with, please let me know.
Contact Mr. Brenner at MatthewBrenner@abington.k12.pa.us
Mr. Richard Welsh, Elementary Curriculum Specialist
It is an honor and privilege to begin my fourth year as Curriculum Specialist at Copper Beech Elementary. I began my teaching career in the Abington School District at Willow Hill Elementary School, where I taught grades four and five for the duration of six years. During my time in Abington, I have served on various district wide committees and assisted with events to help our schools continue to excel in the field of academics and character development.
I graduated with honors from Gwynedd-Mercy College with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. While teaching, I earned my Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Principal Certification from Gwynedd-Mercy College.
This being my 10th year in the Abington School District, I am eager to continue serving the community and helping our students succeed in the classroom both academically and socially. My leadership style is one that revolves around collaborative data driven decision-making, parent and community involvement, and the belief that all students can succeed with the proper supports and systems in place. Utilizing the hard work of our highly qualified administration, staff, and parents, I know our school can continue implementing research-based initiatives and extracurricular activities to help our students grow and prosper in today’s society.
I am looking very forward to meeting our new Copper Beech families and having another successful year!
Contact Mr. Welsh at RichardWelsh@abington.k12.pa.us
Mrs. Maria Vaccaro, Supervisor of Special Education
Mrs. Maria Vaccaro, Supervisor of Special Education, has served as an administrator at Abington School District since 2017. She has served as an Acting Supervisor of Special Education, Acting Assistant Principal, and Acting Curriculum Specialist. She previously taught Special Education at Copper Beech Elementary and Mastery Charter Schools, Smedley Elementary, in Philadelphia.
Mrs. Vaccaro earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Duquesne University. She then received her master’s degree in Special Education from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College where she was a Donovan Urban Scholar. Mrs. Vaccaro received her administrator certificate from Temple University. Throughout college, Mrs. Vaccaro participated in the Best Buddies Program and created volunteer opportunities for students at the Children’s Institute and through the Special Olympics in Pittsburgh, PA.
Mrs. Vaccaro is an enthusiastic and dedicated educator who is honored to return to the Copper Beech Elementary community. She believes that building a collaborative relationship among teachers, parents, administrators and the community is critical to the success of each student. Mrs. Vaccaro is eager to apply her experience in co-teaching, inclusion and coaching teachers in academic and behavioral supports. She is committed to meeting the needs of each student.
Dr. Steven Portman, Elementary Curriculum Specialist
Dr. Steve Portman’s is a Curriculum Specialist at Copper Beech Elementary School. For the past 25 years, he has taught grades 2, 5, and 6 at Glenside-Weldon School, and later, at Copper Beech Elementary. He has served on a wide-range of committees, including, but not limited to, technology, flipchart development, webmaster, building leadership team, curriculum development, and mentoring new teachers. He looks forward to assisting Copper Beech Elementary’s growth in academics as well as character development.
Dr. Portman earned his Ed.D. from Widener University, his MS in Education from St. Joseph’s University, and his BA is in English from Rutgers University. He holds a certification in elementary education as well as a certification in reading. Dr. Portman is currently attending Widener University in order to earn a supervisory certificate in curriculum and instruction.
Dr. Portman was honored as a finalist for the New Jersey Commissioner’s Certificate of Teaching Excellence and cited by the House of Representatives for integrating technology and instruction in relation to problem-solving projects linked to real-world contexts. Dr. Portman has also been listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers. He was one of twelve finalists for the PA State Teacher of the Year and is a STAR (U.S. Department of Education) recipient for teaching excellence. Dr. Portman is an instructor in the Governor’s School of Teaching Excellence and a national award winner for his creative use of filmmaking in the classroom. He is also currently an adjunct professor for undergraduate and graduate education courses at West Chester University and Rosemont College.
For the past 25 years, Dr. Portman has carefully relied on evidence-based data-driven instruction, the use of technology to assist learning, differentiation, community outreach, and a strong emphasis on Growth Mindset in order to help Copper Beech’s students grow, thrive, and succeed. His management style utilizes collaborative team work between and amongst administration, faculty, students, staff, and parents in order to accomplish our district’s belief that “Excellence is Our Standard and Achievement is the Result”.
Dr. Portman is looking forward to making new friends and welcoming back his many old friends in the new academic year.
Contact Dr. Steve Portman at: StevenPortman@Abington.k12.pa.us