Meet our Staff

Carrie Miller, Executive Director

As the Executive Director for Breakthrough Pittsburgh at Sewickley Academy, Carrie Miller specializes in strategic programming for students resulting in motivation that encourages sustainable learning and drives high school graduation rates and college matriculation. The program develops critical thinking skills encouraging research based engagement with content. Ms. Miller’s previous work experience as an educator turned administrator in the public school system where she was an advocate for under-resourced students and families, as well as, advocating for undervalued teachers. Ms. Miller’s vast professional experience encompasses leading, coaching, retaining high performance senior management teams across education and administration. Ms. Miller earned a B.A. in General Studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a M.A.T. in Elementary Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.S. in Education Administration from Duquesne University.

Ms. Miller believes you can accomplish anything with the right amount of time, planning, dedication, and stamina. In addition to her role with Sewickley Academy, she is a regional board member of Strong Women Strong Girls, a founding board member of The Nelson Foundation and holds several memberships within the nonprofit sector.

Gina Carl, Director of Programs

Gina has been on the Breakthrough Pittsburgh team since 2013, originally as the Director of Middle School Program, and now as the Director of Programs. Her favorite thing about Breakthrough is seeing students discover their own full potential and to truly believe in themselves. Before she was a part of Breakthrough, Gina worked with the Big Brothers Big Sisters in-school program, Be a Middle School Mentor, helping students and their mentors learn how they can build relationships and about the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program. In addition, Gina spent two years with a variety of education-focused nonprofits in cities all over the country through AmeriCorps. Gina is a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh and serves on their Big Recruitment Board. She is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, the Congressional Award for Service, and Get Involved Inc.’s Western PA Rising Star Award. Gina holds a B.A. in Business from Mercyhurst University and M.S. in Organizational Leadership from Robert Morris University. In her free time, Gina loves spending time with her husband and her two sons, reading YA literature, and participating in Pittsburgh’s many museums, libraries, and events.

Lawrence Gunter, Coordinator of Student and Family Support

The newest member of the Breakthrough team, Lawrence has been with Breakthrough since May 2019 as the Coordinator of Student and Family Support. A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Finance and a Masters of Business Administration, Lawrence cultivated a 20 year career in the retirement plan administration industry as a Plan Administrator, Relationship Manager and Consultant. With service and achievement of African American males in the forefront of his heart, he has been an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. since his initiation in 1992. He serves the community by volunteering at Light of Life on the Northside of Pittsburgh as well as Project Pittsburgh. The Kappa Alpha Psi Guideright program, Kappa League, is where the bulk his focus goes in serving at risk, under-resourced, African American middle school young men to help assist and provide mentorship. Lawrence is also a member of the National Black MBA Association as well as an active member of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. A transplant to Pittsburgh from Washington, D.C., Lawrence is the husband to a beautiful wife, Aisha. They share 2 wonderful children together, Lawrence and Layla. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis and trying out new recipes in the kitchen or on the grill.

Summer 2020 Staff!

Teaching Fellows

Savannah Francois

College: Robert Morris University

Fun Fact: I can recite the whole Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire movie

Catherine Rodriguez

College: Cornell University

Fun Fact: I’m going to publish my own poetry book this summer

Ra’Kya Lewis

College: Philander Smith College

Fun Fact: My favorite animated movie is Shrek.

Asher Joy

College: Princeton University

Fun Fact: I am a big Lord of the Rings nerd 🙂

Hunter Logan

College: Haverford College

Fun Fact: My most streamed song on Spotify is “Two” by The Antlers

Haley Cao

College: Columbia University

Fun Fact: I’ve dyed my hair a lot!

Elisabet Lopez

College: The University of Texas at El Paso

Fun Fact: I know the lyrics to every single Disney song 🙂

Maddy Wuchenich

College: Bryn Mawr College

Fun Fact: I played water polo for 3 years in high school!

Gillian Revenis

College: University Of Pittsburgh

Fun Fact: I have way to many house plants!!

Valeria Aleman

College: Trinity Washington University

Fun Fact: I enjoy watching 90’s sitcoms

Jayda Peets

College: Howard University

Fun Fact: I have played the cello for over 8 years.

Najee Hardaway

College: College of Wooster

Azeez Attar

College: Virginia Tech

Fun Fact: I am a Lionel Messi stan.

Andrea Arcos

College: Arizona State University

Fun Fact: I am very good at karaoke!

Instructional Coaches

Caroline Steliotes

College: Haverford College ’18, Harvard Graduate School of Education ’19

Fun Fact: I make some really good (re: awful but like also great?) math parody music videos.

Course taught during 2019-2020 school year: 7th Grade Math in the School District of Philadelphia

Favorite thing about being a teacher: There’s lot of things that make teaching rewarding, but I think my favorite thing is how silly I can be while teaching. If you’re not a silly person, then you don’t need to be silly while teaching. But I’m a very silly person, and while the act of teaching is inherently deeply political and serious, I adore that I can be myself without reservation while teaching. While it’s not true in every environment, if you find a school where the culture lets you be you and embrace that, it’s a beautiful thing- both for you and your students to witness!

Tiffany Ward

College:University of Pittsburgh, MAT 2006-2010, 2010-11′

Fun Fact: I recently started writing haikus. Sometimes I do stand-up comedy routines to myself in the car.

Course taught during 2019-2020 school year: 4th Grade Math/Math Instructional Coaching

Favorite thing about being a teacher: It’s a form of art & justice!

Jay Hu

College: University of Pennsylvania

Fun Fact: I grew up in Chicago and moved to Hong Kong when I was 12.

Course taught during 2019-2020 school year: 7th Grade Science

Favorite thing about being a teacher: Teachers have such an incredible privilege of impacting the future generations!

Umbuntu  — “I am because we are”