New Faculty and Staff 2022-2023

Our Benchmark School community is enriched by our exciting new hires. Get to know our new staff and faculty, and welcome them when you see them in person!

Lauren Ainsworth

Lauren is our Director of Annual Giving, a new role at Benchmark. For the past three years prior to coming to Benchmark, Lauren was the Director of Annual and Leadership Giving at Holy Child School at Rosemont. Lauren also brings deep development and event management experience from her time at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Living Beyond Breast Cancer. In addition to her professional experience in independent schools, Lauren is an alumna of Friends’ Central and Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, MA. She has a BA from Union College. (Fun fact: Lauren’s sister is a Benchmark grad!)

Debbie DeBenedictis

Debbie is our Finance Associate, working in our Business Office on accounts receivable, accounts payable, and other financial projects. Prior to coming to Benchmark, Debbie served as HR Manager at KBX Golden, LLC and as the Full Charge Bookkeeper at International Engineering & Manufacturing. Debbie holds a BA in Business Administration from Widener University. 

Elanur Eroglu

Elanur joins Benchmark as a Lower School Co-Teacher in Room 6 with Zeffie Spirokostas. Elanur is an M.S.Ed. Candidate in Reading, Writing, and Literacy (Reading Specialist Certification Track) at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, and she completed a M.Phil. in Children’s Literature at Trinity College Dublin in 2021. This past May, Elanur was awarded a Master's Thesis Award and a Philadelphia Writing Project Award for Literacy Leadership. Elanur is a graduate of the Shipley School and earned her undergraduate degree at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. No stranger to Benchmark, Elanur most recently taught language arts during Benchmark Camp this past summer. She also has several years’ experience as a student teacher and tutor in Philadelphia and Lower Merion. 

Luca Marano

Luca takes on the role of Middle School Math Teacher this fall. Luca is a recent graduate of West Chester University with a BS in Education focusing on middle grades with a concentration in math and science. Luca was a student teacher at Downingtown Middle School and, for the past six summers, has worked as a counselor at Camp Tecumseh in New Hampshire as the head of the football program. Locally, Luca has participated in a range of sports- and teaching-related volunteer activities. 

Joe McPeak

Joe, who joined Benchmark in July, is our Chief Financial Officer, following the service of Kathy Peters as Interim CFO during the 2021-2022 school year. A long-time veteran of independent schools, Joe brings more than 20 years of experience in this realm, in addition to nearly 20 years of business and financial management experience in other sectors. Joe has served as CFO at Purnell School in New Jersey, Academy of Notre Dame in Massachusetts, and Cushing Academy in Massachusetts and in the business offices of The Hun School in New Jersey, as well as The Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton. 

Kevin Momplaisir

 

Kevin joins our IT team as a Technology Support Engineer. Most recently, Kevin worked as a Technical Project Manager for Omnicom Media Group and as Senior IT Support for Intelligent Network, Inc. In addition to extensive coding and troubleshooting expertise, Kevin is also well versed in Apple support, having worked for Apple, Inc. for four years. Kevin earned his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Penn State University and a Network Technician certification from the Technical Institute of America. 

Charles (Chas) Thomas

Charles (Chas) fills the new full-time role of Building Substitute/Teaching Assistant. Chas spent more than 20 years teaching in the Ridley School District, where he taught special education students, regular education students, and students with reading struggles. Chas also led the middle school drama program and coached wrestling. He was awarded “Teacher of the Year” by the WalMart Corporation for southeast Pennsylvania (Delaware County). Chas has a BS in English/Communications/Theater from West Chester University. 
 


In other news, we are pleased to share that Mikaela Yatsinko will become lead teacher for a 7th grade Language Arts classroom  Also, we are delighted to welcome Jen Malone back to Benchmark as a co-teacher in the middle school.
 

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Zoom screen during author talk

Edward Bloor, the award-winning author of many young adult novels, popped into a very exciting class gathering this week! The Powell/Brodo seventh grade language arts class just read his novel Tangerine, and were thrilled to have the chance to speak with Mr. Bloor about the book.  

Read More about Tangerine Talk

About Benchmark School

Benchmark School, located at 2107 N. Providence Road, Media, Pa., is an independent, not-for-profit day school serving students in grades 1-8. Founded in 1970, the school is committed to helping bright students who have yet to reach their academic potential become confident and strategic thinkers, learners, and problem solvers who meet with success in school and life. For more information about Benchmark School, please call 610-565-3741 or visit BenchmarkSchool.org.