Because of you

We have so many staff members at MCA that go above and beyond — we would like to be able to highlight some of the great work they do for our students and school district!
Here are some examples of who we would like to highlight:
Putting MCA students first: A staff member that has consistently gone above and beyond for the betterment of our learning community and with students in mind!
Innovation: A staff member who has created a new program or advanced a current program within our school district.
* Effort over time: A special recognition to staff members who over time have made a positive impact on our school district and community.
Two winners will be selected each month (one from each building) starting on November 1st.



April 2022 Staff Nominations

Junior Senior High School

Mrs. Kaczmarczyk
Nominated by Mrs. Monger

Mrs. Kaczmarczyk is a vital part of our learning community. Her dedication to MCA is amazing! She has been a substitute teacher in our district for 7 years. She is “THE SUB”. The substitute every student wants! She always puts her best foot forward and does whatever needed to make the day in any classroom a success. Mrs. K has built strong relationships with students who go to her when they need help. Mrs. K is also the president of the PTA and works with various sporting events to assist with Twisty! While working in our district Mrs. K is also taking classes toward becoming a certified teacher. She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. I know that when she completes her certification she will be a huge asset to any district!


Erin Brogan
Nominated by Lexie Danilowicz

     From the very first start, Erin has always been a breath of fresh air. Her bubbly personality and smile are very contagious. Before I transitioned teaching positions a few years ago, I had only talked to Erin during our science department meetings. I started my first year here at Mount Carmel teaching 7th and 8th grade science, and once a position to teach Highschool Biology opened up, I accepted the opportunity. The transition was a rough start for me, but Erin was always there for support. She guided me through lessons, gave binders to reflect on, and provided support. Because of Erin, my transition become much easier.

Now that I am comfortable in my position, I still constantly go to Erin about things. We have an understanding of each other now. I know I can go to her to ask if my lesson looks okay or if she thinks that this question is too hard, and more. We bounce our ideas off of each other, we share materials, and we thrive together. I know I can go to her for anything.

Without Erin, I would not be where I am today. She has provided so much support and structure to me when I needed it the most. Biology is a hard subject to teach, but she makes it look so easy. She has inspired me in more ways than one, and I commend her positive outlook on teaching. Her knowledge of the curriculum is unmatched.

I feel very fortunate to have met Erin when I did. Erin, Because of You I continue to grow and put forth my best effort in teaching.

MCA Elementary School
Bob McDonald
Nominated by Margaret Barnhart
    Bob is a great asset to the autistic support classroom. He brings a caring attitude to our students on a daily basis. When he comes in from drop off duty, keeping MCAE students safe in all kinds of weather, he greets the students with a “Good Morning” everyday. His attitude continues throughout the day even when our room can be very hectic and stressful at times. Bob is the first person to offer help or just listen. I am thankful for his support daily navigating our classroom!

Matthew Gunn Nominated by Margaret Barnhardt

Matthew is a wonderful asset to the Autistic Support classroom. He does everything asked of him and does it well. This school year he has really been put to the test and has handled it very well and still comes back everyday with a smile. Matthew is always very respectful to both students and staff. He is one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. We truly enjoy having Matthew in our classroom.



March 2022 Staff Nominations

Junior Senior High School

Lisa Smith
Nominated by Diane Rumbel
Lisa Smith truly cares for and strives to reach all her students. She’s the coordinator of the School Wide Positive Behavior Team and deserves recognition for her efforts. She keeps a low profile and is quite humble, but in the conversations we’ve had through the years (we both started teaching at MCA in 2006) I know she goes above and beyond to reach and support all of her students.  As difficult as these past years have been, she has continued to push her students and reach them in new and different ways.  It’s not unusul to see former students no longer in her class, reach out to her for advice and guidance. She has a unique way of being there for all students. When a student comes to her with a concern she challenges them to find a solution or to do something to solve it.  A few years ago we had an MCA vs SCA teachers’ kickball game and Lisa (Lisa Harner, then) Smith had a huge student fan base with banners each year that we had it. Students cheered her on as she ran the bases!  She is a good sport and good role model to her students.  Thanks to Lisa Harner Smith for her dedication and commitment to our students; because iof her Mca is a better place!

Lisa Varano
Nominated by Diane Rumbel
High School Principal Lisa Varano has worn many hats at MCA.  In my years teaching at MCA, she has always been very professional, yet very approachable– a great balance for an administrator.  There have been many times through my years teaching at MCA, that I was perplexed with a problem in my classroom. After speaking with her in her calm and reassuring demeanor I would find resolution.

Recently I had a medical emergency during school hours, well it wasn’t so much of an emergency afterall, but at the time, no one knew for sure.  The entire Admin and office staff team went above and beyond to be sure I got medical care quickly and safely. Lisa herself drove me to the ER and waited until I was seen and my husband was on his way.  However, this moment brought back another time when I felt very supported by Mrs. Varano and the MCA family.  In December of 2013, my husband was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. While he is in remission and doing well now, that time period was extremely difficult.  Lisa Varano was my principal at the time and I can’t say enough how I felt supported. Continuing to teach while trying to put on a solid front, managing his treatment schedule, caregiving, and basically living were all very difficult at the time.  I was thankful for Mrs. Varano’s support, the MCA support and the MCA family’s support. As a small school we face many challenges, but knowing you feel supported is invaluable.  Lisa Varano is a great principal, teacher, coach, and curriculum coordinator, and because of her, MCA is a much better school and place to work.

Mr. Robert Beierschmitt
Nominated by Tammy Michaels
He does a great job of overseeing study halls. There are often over 3 classes along with the regular study hall class and he keeps calm and remains in control. Mr. B also walks around and converses with the students making them feel welcomed.

MCA Elementary School
Evi Webb
Nominated by Jeanie DeLong
Ms. Evi is always a helping hand when needed. She is always subbing when asked along with teaching her own class. She’s good with the students and is a great co-worker.
Carlie McGinley
Nominated by Jeanie Delong
Carlie is always helping kids. Whether the kids are in her classroom or another classroom. She also subs a lot when the school is in need. She is very patient, loving and kind with the kids even when she gets frustrated or has a lot going on in her life.
Kathy Pupo
Nominated by Sue Vivino
    Kathy Pupo has been a Kindergarten teacher in the Mt. Carmel Area School District for 28 years. This 2021-2022 school year will be her last year teaching, and she will be earning a well deserved retirement. Kindergarten is a crucial stage in a child’s academic development, and it takes a person with particular qualities to stay in that position for as many years as Kathy. Patience is the first must have quality that Kathy has shown throughout the years. She has dealt with children trying to adjust to the new social order, while also explaining to their parents the expectations within the classroom. Children at that age can get very emotional being away from home, and it was up to Kathy to show them compassion and comfort. And to keep children of that age level engaged and entertained, she had to throw in a sense of humor. Helping young children create a positive opinion about school and learning in general is an enormous responsibility that Kathy has been willing to take on year after year. Thank you for all you’ve done throughout your career, Kathy!
Laura Jurevicz
Nominated by Carlie McGinley
    I am nominating Laura because she goes above and beyond for the students here at MCA. Every morning Laura along with Bob MacDonald (thanks Bob!) attend their morning duty at the student drop off location and although it is a nice duty to have in the spring when it’s warmer out it can be rough on the extra cold mornings we have been experiencing lately. Yet, she does it with a smile on her face making the students feel welcome every morning! Thank you for all do Laura! You brighten everyone’s day!
Maddie Kelley
Nominated by Carlie McGinley
I am nominating Maddie Kelley for this months “Because of You” because anyone that has been lucky enough to work with Maddie knows she is one of a kind! She is one of the sweetest people you could ever meet and she makes every student she works with feel cared about. She is loved all over the school but especially in the Pre-k classroom! When Maddie walks into any classroom the students faces light up with excitement. Thanks for all you do Maddie!
Lisa Bonschock
Nominated by Carlie McGinley

    I am nominating Lisa Bonshock because she is the definition of a great employee and co worker! Lisa is the first person to ask you if you need help, provide you with words of encouragement or just listen when it’s been a long day. She is always smiling no matter how she is feeling because she knows her little preschoolers are looking up to her. She truly wants to make the world a better place and she is doing just that shaping the littlest minds in our MCA tribe along with Mrs. Bettleyon! Lisa attends her morning duty every morning where she brings a smile to the faces of all the students walking by. She’s makes a difference and should know we appreciate her! Thank you for all you do Lisa. I’m thankful for your endless support daily.
Peggi Minnig-Long
Nominated by Tara Purcell
    Mrs. Minnig-Long makes sure that both students and parents/guardians are comfortable when they enter the elementary school. No matter the time of day she is always cheerful and greets everyone with a smile. Mrs Minnig-Long is on the front line and makes a big difference in the first impression that people have of the Mount Carmel Area Elementary School. The students love her and her caring ways. She greets them with a smile and calls them by name. Mount Carmel Area School District is fortunate in having an employee like her. Thank you for all your hard work.
Susan Rathosky
Nominated by Carlie McGinley

I am nominating Susan Rathosky for this months “Because of you”. I am nominating Sue because she not only is a great friend but she is also a very hard worker who has been making MCA a better place for years of employment. Susan is always available for a positive word of advice and to clean up after all of us here in the elementary school. I want her to know I am thankful for her friendship and she is appreciated. Thanks Sue!
Rebecca Wright
Nominated by Elizabeth Zimmerman & Barbara Bettleyon

    Rebecca “Becky” always finds ways to make someone’s day and is always complimentary of others. She voluntarily checks on Pre-K before her day begins. She will assist in helping Pre-K set up for breakfast, clean tables and straighten up from center time. In her classroom, Becky always goes above and beyond with what is asked or expected. She truly cares about all of the children she comes in contact with regardless if they are in her class or not. She assists students in general education classrooms and is respectful of their needs. Becky is very creative and always comes up with fun crafts or activities to do with the students. She has a nurturing demeanor that the kids gravitate to. Rebecca is a very positive person and never appears to have a bad day. Outside of school she volunteers at the Pregnancy Center and is active in her church and community. She is a wonderful asset to our district and has a very kind heart.
Amanda Stepenaski
Nominated by Michaelyn Reichwein

    Amanda is such an integral part of our school. As our vice principal, she goes above and beyond to make sure our students are taken care off. That care extends to picking up a spatula and helping serve lunch in the cafeteria when they were short staffed. She (along with Ms. Nestico) make out school the best in learning and in nurturing. As a friend, her caring heart shows through. Understanding and supportive no matter what you take to her.
Rita Boyer
Nominated by Michaelyn Reichwein

    Rita is a wonderful and caring 4th grade math teacher. She goes above and beyond in preparing lessons that challenge and push her students further than anyone would ever believe. She has such a kind heart and that shows in how she spoils her class with treats and prizes. Mrs. Boyer is top notch and also a wonderful friend to all.
January 2022 Nominations








MCA Elementary School

Nominee: Grandma Charlene Shudder
Nominated by: First Grade Teachers

     The first grade teachers would like to nominate our foster grandparent – Grandma Charlene Shudder.  Grandma Charlene is such a huge asset to our team and loves the kids just as much as they love her. She is always willing to offer a helping hand with projects, make-up work, and practicing one-on-one with students who need a little extra support. Grandma Charlene is wonderful when students, or teachers are having a rough day and just need a hug, someone to talk to, or a special sweet treat. Gram has been working in the first grade wing since 2016 and we hope to keep her forever because she consistently goes above and beyond. We love you, Gram! Thank you for all that you do for us! 


December 2021 Staff Nominations

Junior Senior High School

Nominee: Dave Fegley
Nominated by Mary Hinkle

    I would like to nominate Dave Fegley because he literally keeps the schools running. Any time something need to be repaired, we call Dave. He never gets a break, even on his days off he receives alerts if one of our coolers or freezers aren’t at the right temperature. He listens to countless complaints of some of us being too hot while others are too cold and tries his best to please everyone. He has endless projects inside and outside of both buildings but always manages to find time to fix something in one of the kitchens if we need it. I hope he knows how much we appreciate all he does for us.

Nominee: Gary Trefsger
Nominated by Gary Wychock

Now that my pc is used a lot more than getting emails and showing YouTube videos as in years past, Gary Trefsgar has kept me sane by solving problems such as

“Why won’t my speakers work?”
“How do I get rid of anti-virus messages?”
“Where does this cord plug in?
“Why won’t my smart board go to full screen?”
“Printer toner is empty.”
“My keyboard won’t work”
(I DID learn that re-booting often cures things!)

Thanks Gary, and one more thing….The printer in the the teacher’s lounge won’t scan.







MCA Elementary School

Nominee: Crystal Marshalek
Nominated by: Brianna Dyszel

     Mrs. Marshalek is new to our school district this year. She joined our classroom and it took all but maybe 5 minutes for her to jump in ! Since day 1 Crystal has been extremely helpful and continues to ensure our students are always busy and learning. She is very reliable and takes it upon herself to come up with different ideas for the groups she works with. Mrs Marshalek has built such a great rapport and meaningful relationships with our students and it means so much to them as well as me! Mrs Marshalek is the perfect fit in our classroom. Even though, She is not a Taylor Swift fan I will turn her into a Swiftie this year! I am so glad she has joined us this year!

Nominee: Rachel Darrah
Nominated by: Kaitlyn McGinley , Cathy Grayeski , and Lindsey McAndrew

We are nominating Mrs. Rachel Darrah for the “Because of You” program . This is our first year working with Mrs. Darrah, who is excelling as a 5th-grade reading teacher. I’ve heard all the wonderful things Mrs. Darrah has been doing since her time here at MCAES. She is warm, accessible, enthusiastic, and caring. Her students know they can go to her with any problems, concerns, or even share a funny story. Mrs. Darrah brightens up every room with her infectious smile and likes to entertain us with her silly dance moves. At any time you can find her one-on-one with students, preparing for her week, trying to solve the problems of the world, and giving a helping hand. Mrs. Darrah likes to come in on her days off, arrives bright and early, stays after school, and dedicates all her time to her students. She quickly became family to all of us with her kind and loving heart. I know we can always go to her for a quick pick-me-up and a chuckle. Mrs. Darrah goes above and beyond to provide for ALL students, even ones she doesn’t teach. We feel very honored to be her coworker and learn from her. She taught us so much already and has a positive, lasting impression on us all. We love her love for cheese, fashion, and making her classroom an exciting learning environment. Thanks for being such a wonderful inspiration, Mrs. Darrah!

Nominee: Stephani Samelko
Nominated by: Abbi Swartz

Mrs. Samelko is an amazing teacher to work with. She has worked with my students to keep them as included as possible. She is great at communicating with Special Education staff and will go “above and beyond” for our students. Stef is willing to work with any student no matter the disability. She is always trying to motivate them to be their best. Her positive demeanor and use of humor is contagious for students and staff.

November 2021 Staff Nominations

Junior Senior High School

Dave McFee
Nominated by Lisa Smith
I would like to nominate Dave McFee for the Because of You award.  I don’t think most people realize how important Mr. McFee is to our district.  You name, it he does it!  He supervises the TV studio, attends every school event to tape or broadcast it for the community.  He runs the district website.  He is in charge of the stage crew for the musical.  He is at school 7 days a week from early in the morning until late night.  On top of all of this, he is an outstanding teacher.  I know this first hand as I have taken several computer literacy courses with him over the years.  I often struggle with technology, but when Mr. McFee teaches it, I get it right away!  I really don’t know what MCA would do without him!

MCA Elementary School
Mrs. Jessica Mirarchi
Nominated by Brionne Dyszel
     Mrs. Jessica Mirarchi and I have been a team now for 3 years. Mrs. Mirarchi goes above and beyond for the students in our classroom. She always takes the initiative to ensure students are actively learning. She is quick to jump in and pick up where I left off. Our classroom tends to be a very busy place, but Mrs Mirarchi jumps in to help continue keeping our students on task at all times. Mrs Mirarchi is a great storyteller. The students can not get enough of her love of reading. She makes learning fun and loves to hear our students love learning! Not only does Mrs Mirarchi do so much for our students she tends to take care of me too. She always has the coffee ready and will be the “mean mom” and lay down the law. I could not imagine our classroom working as well as it does without Mrs Mirarchi.
Susan Rathosky
Nominated by Carlie McGinley
I am nominating Susan Rathosky for this months “Because of you”. I am nominating Sue because she not only is a great friend but she is also a very hard worker who has been making MCA a better place for years of employment. Susan is always available for a positive word of advice and to clean up after all of us here in the elementary school. I want her to know I am thankful for her friendship and she is appreciated. Thanks Sue!
Frank Brosh
Nominated by Dave Fegley

     I would like to nominate Frank Brosh. Frank is not only an asset to the maintenance department, he is an asset to the district in general. Whether he’s making repairs, installations, mowing grass, or cleaning, Frank does everything with pride. When he is asked to do something, I rarely need to physically visit to make sure it is done correctly. When he does something out of his normal scope of work, he doesn’t hesitate or complain. Frank also finds the time after his shift is complete to drive the bus to our away sporting events. Thank you Frank for being a dedicated employee.
Karen McCracken
Nominated by Jolene Scicchitano & Michelle Reichwein
     Just saying her name creates a positive vibe. Positivity flows from her and when talking to Karen you can’t help but feel good and happy. Karen is the most giving and helpful co-worker each and every day. She is not only a team player but she does “everything” to make our 6th grade group run smoothly. Karen goes above and beyond to make sure everything that needs to be done gets done in a super efficient manner. She works effortlessly to help our 6th grade group and is always the first one to volunteer to help any one in our entire district. Karen is always at the forefront when anyone is in need. Working closely with Karen for many years as we both teach 6th grade math, I have witnessed the wonderful and caring teacher she is to our students. She is always so happy and makes her students feel her positive energy. I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am to have Karen as my co-worker and my friend. She has been there for me more times than I can count – always helping me out without me ever needing to ask. Karen McCracken – “because of you” the Mount Carmel Area School District is a much happier place to work. You truly are “one in a million” as a teacher, co-worker, and friend.
 M. R. –   Karen is the go get”m force behind our 6th Grade team. She is the energizing force that keeps us moving forward. Karen is definitely always looking out for ways to make our teaching days just a little bit easier for us, from posting announcements to making sure we all know what Tornado Talk we are doing. Karen has it prepare and put out before the blink of an eye. Karen also has an infectious good nature. One rarely sees her without a smile on her face. That Happiness carries through to all aspects of her teaching! Thanks Karen, I appreciate all you do for us everyday!
Susan Rathosky
Nominated by Carlie McGinley

I am nominating Susan Rathosky for this months “Because of you”. I am nominating Sue because she not only is a great friend but she is also a very hard worker who has been making MCA a better place for years of employment. Susan is always available for a positive word of advice and to clean up after all of us here in the elementary school. I want her to know I am thankful for her friendship and she is appreciated. Thanks Sue!


October 2021 Staff Nominations

Junior Senior High School

Nominee: Ashlee Jarosiewicz
Nominated by Hannah Monger

is clearly dedicated to the students of Mount Carmel Area. She is involved in many extracurricular activities, leading students to do more than just what they are required. Ms. Jaro is an advisor for A Novel Idea Reading Club and The Class of 2024. She often has students working in her room after school for remediation or extra help. Students she has had in the past come to her for help both in our school and during their collegiate careers. Ms. Jaro promotes reading at all levels and encourages students to read books outside of the books required for classes at MCA. Students who do not have Ms. Jaro are also encouraged to come to her room to check out books to read in their free time. It is clear that she invests her time and resources to help students at MCA succeed!

Nominee: Cathi Hoffman
Nominated by Tara Purcell

Cathi always goes above and beyond for both students and employees. She makes sure that the CafTrac in both buildings is running smoothly and accurately. Whenever she sees a child that might be in need she handles it efficiently and quietly. Not only does she take care of CafTrac but she also helps out in the kitchen as well as the serving line. She never loses her smile or laughter. If Cathi discovers a new address or phone number for a student, she immediately contacts the building office to make sure that the corrections are notated. Sometimes people tend to forget about how much the cafeteria does for people and how they work with every department. Cathi is a fantastic employee and a great person.

Nominee: Deb Parkansky
Nominated by Matt Cuttic

Ever the peacekeeper, Deb tries to diffuse any problem that is thrown at her. She takes a pragmatic approach to any issue, such as students who can’t get their locker open, students needing clothes, or even students who are upset. She never lets herself get frazzled. Further, Deb is always asking how I’m doing and always gives practical and helpful life advice, including telling me to cut back on the sweets!. She shows a genuine interest in the well-being of students and teachers alike. Truly, Deb is the den mother to everyone at the school.

Nominee: Lexie Danilowicz
Nominated by: Kelly Lesko

Lexie consistently goes above and beyond for my students. My students all need accommodations and modifications when in the regular education classroom setting. This requires extra time and effort from these teachers that I very much appreciate and Lexie has always done a great job when I have had students in her classes. She makes assignments and tests that are consistent with the needs of my students and always creates a great learning environment for them. She also always keeps me in the loop with what they are doing and provides me with any information that I need pertaining to her class. I know it can be challenging to work with a broad range of student needs but Lexie does a great job and I appreciate her very much!

Nominee: Bill Angeli
Nominated by: Mary Hinkle

Billy always goes above and beyond to help everyone. In addition to all of the hard work he does around the school whether it’s cleaning bathrooms, mowing the grass or taking out the trash, he always makes time to help us in the kitchen. He helps put away our delivery every week, and if we drop something, by the time we turn around it’s gone because Billy already swept it up. We truly appreciate everything he does for us. This quote describes Billy perfectly: “School Janitor: The quiet hero of the school. They are the first to arrive each day, cleans up messes no one dares to touch and befriends everyone that passes by.” That’s our Billy! We would be lost without him!

Nominee: Marcy Miriello
Nominated by: Gary Wychock 

Marcy is more than a secretary. She is the go-to person for anything and everything you need to know. But the main reason I am nominating her is because of all the time and effort she puts into the BuddyBag program — which fills students’ essential needs which extends beyond the normal school day hours.


Nominee: Aaron Domanski
Nominated by: Lexie Danilowicz 

    There’s no question as to whether Aaron is involved in our district. As a previous student at Mt. Carmel Aaron was my Odyssey of the Mind Coach back in 2005. He has continued to coach me throughout my school career. In addition to Odyssey of the Mind, he was also my Powderpuff coach, Stock Market Team advisor, teacher, Haunted High advisor, and more. It was in Aaron’s class that I decided that I want to go into teaching. He has great respect for his students and he goes above and beyond for them. That was something that I would like to try to accomplish.

      After graduating in 2013, I was still in contact with Aaron about my career path and my general well-being. When I returned to my alma mater, I was happy to know that Aaron was still here, and he was still changing lives. Aaron has helped me countless times now as a peer instead of as a student. After seeing the “behind the scenes” of things here at MCA, I am truly able to see the amount of time and effort he continuously puts into our district. Aaron has made a major impact on me as a student, and still continues to do so today. I would consider him to be a legacy at this school, because he puts his heart and soul into everything he has done, all the way from 2005 until now. His dedication is unmatched. Without Aaron I would not have been where I am today, and I know that I’m not the only student who he had and continues to have such an impact on. That is why I am nominating him for this award, without Aaron I would not be here teaching at MCA.

MCA Elementary School

Nominee: Lisa Bonshock
Nominated by: Barb Bettylon

I am a better teacher because of my co-teacher, Lisa Bonchock. I could not do this job without her. We are able to “TAG TEAM” throughout the day to keep transitions fluid and co-teach during large group lessons. She is the queen of “The Teachable Moment”. When we are observed by state or university supervisors, they tease that we must be telepathic because we can communicate without saying a word. (We joke that we share a brain!) Her ability to step in when needed without being asked is a skill I am truly thankful for. She is one of the few people who enjoyed lunch duty in the cafeteria so that she could see all of the kids and she loves her morning hall duty so that she can greet them. Her motto is, “my greeting or conversation may be the first kind words they hear that day, and isn’t it better to start your day on a positive note?”. When she is absent kids in all grades are wondering where she is. She is sincere and truly cares about the students. My favorite thing about Lisa is that even during some of the most stressful situations, she can find the humor and make me laugh. We love our job and although it can be exhausting, I am fortunate that I get to go to work each morning with one of my best friends.