Ellis Recognizes Retiring, Departing Employees in 2022–2023 School Year

Kim Mechling’s classroom is full of the outdoors. Leaves and pinecones adorn a wreath at one end, while an ever-growing rock collection inhabits the other. All were gifts from students, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I think I probably have one of the easiest jobs here at Ellis. My job is to get young kids excited about science,” says Ms. Mechling, Ellis’ Lower School STEM Teacher. “There is not a day when a student doesn’t bring me something they found outside.”

Ms. Mechling will retire at the end of the 2022–2023 school year after 21 years at Ellis. During that time she served as a Middle School Science Teacher and later department head before moving to the Lower School. Her students have broken rocks open and studied how they form, explored the Frick Environmental Center in every season, built roller coasters, launched rockets, and much, much more, all under her careful guidance.

She is looking forward to spending more time with her family, and especially with her grandchildren, but she will miss the job—teaching has been part of her life for 35 years. But mostly, she says, she will miss her students and fellow teachers.

“My favorite things about Ellis, easily, are the kids and teachers. The teachers are empowering and just such lovely people. They’re a lot of fun to work with. And the kids are just so loving,” she says. “It’s the experiences you have and the people you work with who make you the teacher you are.”


Additionally, ten members of the Ellis community will move on to new opportunities at the end of the 2022–2023 school year. The School is grateful for the many contributions they made to our students, colleagues, and community during their time at Ellis, and wishes them the best in their future endeavors.

Searches to find outstanding individuals to fill these positions are underway or complete, and information about those individuals will be shared at the start of the school year.

Becky Amis, Assistant Director of Admission: Becky has accepted a new job opportunity at St. Edmund’s Academy.

Sarah Ceurvorst, Lower School Visual Arts Teacher: Sarah has accepted a new job opportunity at Carnegie Mellon University.

Amanda Finigan, Upper School Division Head: Amanda and her family will return to their home state of New York this summer. She has accepted a position at The Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) in New York City.

Lynne St. Hilaire, Upper School Chemistry Teacher: Lynne took maternity leave during the 2022–2023 academic year and has chosen to spend more time with her family.

Sara LADLEY ’10, Social Media Specialist: Sara has accepted a new job opportunity in technology with UPMC.

Susan Lee, Middle School World Language Teacher: Susan has chosen to spend more time with family.

Michele Lombardi, Middle and Upper School Computer Science Teacher: Due to a family relocation, Michele has accepted a new job opportunity at the Lakeside School in Seattle, Washington.

April Roberson, Research and Data Manager: April has accepted a new job opportunity with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

Bethany Schimonsky, Dance Teacher: Bethany is pursuing a career in the health and exercise field, an area in which she recently completed her master’s degree.

Anthony Tyburski, Upper School Chemistry Teacher: Anthony served as a long-term maternity leave substitute for Lynne St. Hilaire. We are so grateful that he was able to be with us for the year.

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