Elementary - Saint Leo The Great Catholic Church/School

Elementary

St. Leo the Great School is accredited by the Middle States Association.  The teachers follow the Curriculum set by the Diocese of Harrisburg.  

There are two of each grade level.  The teachers have a common planning period every week where they take the time to plan together.

Every day we begin with morning prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by our Student Council.  

All teachers help develop and prepare the children to receive the Sacraments.  

Meet our Elementary School teachers:

Grade 1

Mrs. Christine Skidmore

Hometown: Blue Bell, PA

High School Graduate: Mount Saint Joseph Academy

College Graduate x 2: Boston College with a BA in Communications and M.Ed in Elementary Education 

PA and MA certified: K-4th grade

Teacher at SLTG: 3 years

Favorite Saint: St. Christopher. He is the patron saint of travel and since her family takes many road trips, she prays that he is always with them. 

Mrs. Skidmore is a wife and mother of 2. She grew up in a big family with 4 siblings and many cousins. Mrs. Skidmore became a teacher because she was the oldest of 23 grandchildren and loved being around kids. She has been teaching since 2006 and has taught in places including Arlington, MA, Oak Bluffs, MA, Lower Gwynedd, PA, and Lancaster, PA. She has taught grades K, 1, 3, 4, and 5. She is very happy to be at Saint Leo’s teaching 1st grade! Each day brings new and exciting moments. She believes that each student is unique and that they should learn that way. When she isn’t teaching, she enjoys cooking, baking, reading, watching her daughters events, and being with family. 

Mrs. Skidmore’s day in 1st grade:

  • We start each morning with religion class- the main focus is about how we can be good Catholics and a friend to Jesus in our communities. 
  • We spend a good amount of time in the morning focused on ELA where we talk about reading skills and strategies, engage in BLAST Phonics, and explore a variety of writing styles. 
  • In Math we are excited to learn all about addition and subtraction paying close attention to number relations. 
  • In Science and Social Studies we focus on learning about the world around us with hands-on exploration and conversions.
  • We are so fortunate to have a variety of specials (music, art, gym, library, guidance, and STEAM) each day with teachers who provide lessons and activities in a variety of ways. 
  • SNACK TIME- Everyone’s favorite time of the day:) 

Please feel free to check out the following website for more information on our curriculum.

Grade 1

Mr. Anthony Carothers

Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va 

High School Graduate: Floyd E. Kellam 

College Graduate x 2: Penn State University Bachelors in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Wilkes University Masters in Classroom Technology

PA  certified: K-6th grade 

Teacher at SLTG: 1 year 

Favorite Saint: St. Joseph patron Saint of Fathers/ Father Figures. 

Mr. Carothers is a husband and father of 2. Mr. Carothers knew at an early age that he wanted to be an educator. He found joy in learning and teaching others. He  has been teaching since 2010 and has done a little bit of everything. He has long term subbed in 4th grade. He also worked in childcare teaching preschool, Pre K, and Kindergarten. He is very happy to be at Saint Leo’s teaching 1st grade! Each day brings something new and finds joy in the little moments. When he isn’t teaching, he enjoys hiking, photography, and spending time with his family. 

Mr. Carothers’ day in 1st grade:

  • We start each morning with religion class- the main focus is about how we can be good Catholics and a friend to Jesus in our communities. 
  • We spend a good amount of time in the morning focused on ELA where we talk about reading skills and strategies, engage in BLAST Phonics, and explore a variety of writing styles. 
  • In Math we are excited to learn all about addition and subtraction paying close attention to number relations. 
  • In Science and Social Studies we focus on learning about the world around us with hands-on exploration and conversions.
  • We are so fortunate to have a variety of specials (music, art, gym, library, guidance, and STEAM) each day with teachers who provide lessons and activities in a variety of ways. 
  • SNACK TIME- Everyone’s favorite time of the day:) 

Please feel free to check out the following website for more information on our curriculum.

Grade 2

Mrs. Sylvia George

Hometown:
Pittsburgh, PA


Education:
Robert Morris University
BSBA Health Care Management and Long Term-Care Administration

Elementary Education Teaching Certificate: In progress

I have been a part-time substitute at St. Leo for the past five years and a long-term substitute in second grade. My favorite part about teaching second grade is preparing the students for the sacraments of First Penance and First Communion. I have always loved being around children and I am very happy to be at St. Leo’s teaching second grade!

 

St. Leo’s has been our parish since 2003 when my husband and I moved to Lancaster. We have two children who attend St. Leo School and Lancaster Catholic High School. Over the years, I have enjoyed volunteering as a classroom coordinator, being a part of many school committees, and holding the position of PTO President. I enjoy cooking, spending time with my family and friends, and cheering on my children at their sporting events.

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.”

PSALM 127:3

Grade 2

Miss Emily Fix

Hometown: Lancaster, PA

Millersville University- Bachelor’s of Science in Education: Early Childhood (PK-4) and Special Education (K-8)

Teacher at STLG: 3 Years

Favorite Movie: Harry Potter

Favorite Saint: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Miss Fix is a graduate of St. Leo the Great School where she attended preschool all the way through eighth grade! During her time at STLG, she was a part of the basketball team, in the band, and various other clubs and activities. She is very excited to be back teaching the next generation of lions. Miss Fix also loves coaching soccer at Lancaster Catholic and cheering for Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers.

 A typical day in Miss Fix’s room includes math and language arts stations which allows differentiated instruction for all learners. Her favorite part of the day/year is getting to prepare her second graders during religion class for the sacraments of First Penance and First Communion. They also enjoy learning about life cycles of plants and animals, space, weather, holidays around the world, communities, and maps. Some of our second graders favorite events are the St. Francis pet blessing, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon parade, holidays around the world, math measurement Olympics, field day, and our spring field trip!

“No Significant learning occurs without a significant relationship”

Dr. James Comer

Grade 3

Mrs. Melissa Peyser

Hometown: Grew up in York, PA and still live there with my family and 3 dogs

Education: Shippensburg University BS in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education

Teacher at SLTG: 5 years total I spent 1 year as a substitute, 1 year in the Cupertino room and 3 years in 3rd grade.

Favorite Saint: Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

It’s always a day full of learning and activity in Mrs. Peyser’s classroom. In third grade, we learn all  about at least 1 Saint a week. We become Presidents and First ladies at our annual President’s Tea. We also become Rocket Math gurus and learn how to manage money with our classroom economy. I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher and feel blessed to share both my love of learning and my love for God with my students every day. In my spare time I like to spend time with my family and my friends. I love to read, hike and listen to my youngest daughter play in LCHS band.  One of my favorite quotes is from St. Catherine of Siena, “Be who God intended you to be and you will set the world on fire.” I strive to live my life this way and inspire my students to do the same.

Click here to see what else we learn in 3rd grade.

Grade 3

Mrs. Jackie Werts

Hometown:  Beaver, PA. I moved to Lancaster in 1999 and have been here ever since.

Education: Millersville University – Masters of Early Childhood & Elementary Education – in progress

Millersville University -Post-Baccalaureate Early Childhood Education Certification, December 2020.

Certifications: Pennsylvania  Pre K- 4 Teacher Certification Flipgrid Certified Education Level 1, Google Certified Education Level 1, and Seesaw Education Ambassador

Teacher at SLTG: 6 (1 year as a long-term 3rd grade substitute, 1 year at our school librarian, 2 years in second grade, and now back in 3rd)

Favorite Saint:  Saint Agnes

Hi!  I’m Mrs. Werts! This is my 5th year as a teacher at Saint Leo the Great Catholic School, and I love being back in third grade. It’s always a day full of learning and activity in our classroom.  In third grade, we learn all  about the Saints with monthly Saint studies. We become Presidents and First ladies at our annual President’s Tea. We also become multiplication fact masters,  and learn how to manage money with our classroom economy, and end our year putting our science knowledge on display when we build our own carnival games after learning about force and motion. We also start each day with our #goodvibes word of the week, which is focused on a different social emotional topic each week.

I believe that the most effective teaching practices are rooted in developing a safe, happy, loving and faith filled learning environment for all students. My goal is to nurture my students’ character, creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills through a faith filled education, collaborative learning environment and meaningful technology integration. I adjust my plans due to the needs of my classroom. Part of effective teaching is having a good enough relationship with your students to know their needs for the day. If and when we have to pause a lesson or try something different because of the classroom environment that day, it is based on their social and emotional needs (SEL). Students can’t successfully learn if their basic needs on Maslow’s hierarchy are not being met.  

Click here to see what else we learn in 3rd grade.

Grade 4

Mrs. Sarah Wortkotter

Hometown:

High school graduate:

College Graduate:

PA Certified:

Favorite Saint:

Teacher at STLG:

Favorite Quote:

You can find more about our curriculum here.

Grade 4

Ms. Mikayla Cypcar

Hometown: Harrisburg, Pa

High school graduate: Commonwealth Charter Academy

College Graduate: Kutztown University

PA Certified: K-4th

Favorite Saint: St. Joan of Arc

Teacher at STLG: first year

Hi I’m Ms. Cypcar! I am very excited for the new school year! When I’m not teaching, I love crocheting, board games, hiking, and anything to do with Harry Potter and Marvel. I enjoy spending time with my friends, family, and pets.

You can find more about our curriculum here.

Grade 5

Mrs. Michelle Navickas

Email: [email protected]

Hometown: Lancaster, PA

High School: Lancaster Catholic High

College: St. Francis University; B.S. in Elementary Education

Licenses: Teacher Certificate with Reading and ESOL Endorsement certification

Work Experience: 31 years of teaching in parochial, private and public settings in grades 2nd-6th

SLTG: 6 years

Favorite Quote: Trust in HIS timing, Rely on HIS promises, Wait for HIS answers, Believe in HIS miracles, Rejoice in HIS goodness, Relax in HIS presence

Why I love teaching at SLTG: I love celebrating weekly Mass with my students, sitting in adoration with my students, and praying every day together. My students continually awe me with their goodness and teach me more about my faith each and every day.

Hobbies and Free Time: I love spending time with my two daughters, taking walks, going to the beach, gardening, and watching movies. 

Fifth Grade Highlights: Learning about Ancient Civilizations through Project based activities, Becoming a Famous Explorer  during  The Explorer Fair,  Taking a  Field Trip to Echo Dell Indian Echo Caverns, creating Digital Projects through Applied Digital lessons, STEM and Coding activities, participation in IU13 events, participating in Works of Mercy Projects, weekly adoration and memorizing the Nicene Prayer.

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” 

Matthew 18:1-5

Curriculum: 

Grade 5

Mrs. Theresa Stritch

“Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

Alvernia University- BA, Elementary and Special Education

Teacher at SLTG: 2 Years 

Mrs. Stritch grew up attending Catholic School in Lancaster county.  She is a graduate of Our Mother of Perpetual Help School and Lancaster Catholic High School. She has always wanted to work with children.   She especially enjoys helping students make connections between what is taught and how to apply it to real life.  When she became a teacher she knew one day she would like to teach in a Catholic school so that living the faith was integrated into daily life.  She especially enjoys doing service projects with the students so they can learn how to “do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa