Maria Paluselli, CEO

Maria Paluselli is a special education teacher with experience as a learning support teacher in several public schools.  Maria is also a certified Orton-Gillingham Trainer.  For over 10 years she served as the Director of the Children’s Dyslexia Center.  Here she has trained and supervised teachers and tutors at initial and advanced levels.  Maria is a trainer for Winsor Learning, publisher of a multisensory reading program.  She has traveled throughout the country training teachers and coaching them as they implement intervention programs.

Maria has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh and she works independently assessing students and consulting with parents and school districts.  She presents regularly on various topics related to reading and intervention strategies.  Maria is the past chair of the Pittsburgh Regional Group of The International Dyslexia Association.

Dr. Rachel Owens, Director of Special Education

Before coming to Provident, Rachel studied history, mathematics, and special education at Carlow University where she earned her bachelor’s and master‚Äôs degrees. After graduating, she worked for North Hills School District as a high school special education teacher. Rachel earned her educational doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh in 2018. Rachel considers herself a life-long learner whose goal is to positively influence the lives of special education students. In her free time, Rachel enjoys traveling with her family and watching her daughters play sports.

Ms. Connie Joseph, Elementary Principal

Mrs. Joseph was born and raised in Kittanning, Pennsylvania.  She attended Point Park University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education.  She began her teaching career at Cornell School District working as a reading specialist, 4th grade and 5th grade teacher.  While teaching in the Cornell School District, she furthered her education and obtained a Master’s Degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh.  Her principal certification was earned at Point Park University.  She worked for three years in the Burgettstown School District as an assistant principal at both the elementary center and middle/high school.

She resides in Scott Township with her husband of 23 years and three children.  Her oldest daughter recently graduated from Point Park University, her middle daughter recently graduated from West Penn School of Nursing, and her son will be attending the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown in the Fall.

Mrs. Joseph is excited to be the Elementary Principal at Provident Charter School.  She believes that her main focus is to help the students grow academically as well as socially.  She has always been an advocate for children and looks forward to working with parents for the success of their child.

Ms. Leah Haile, Middle School Principal

Mrs. Leah Haile received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in elementary education.  She began her teaching career in Phoenix, Arizona where she taught 6th grade in the Pendergast Elementary School District.  She also taught 5th grade in San Francisco, California at Sacred Heart Lower School. After moving home to Pittsburgh she spent most of her career at Propel Charter Schools.  She helped open their Propel Montour location teaching both 4th and 5th grade. She received her master’s degree from Duquesne University in Reading and Language Arts before moving into the Instructional Coaching role for several years where she mentored teachers and gave feedback on best instructional practices.  After obtaining her principal certification from California University of Pennsylvania, she opened Propel Braddock Hills Middle School as the Assistant Principal before moving into the Principal role there. She appreciates her varied educational experiences and really values giving her students educational opportunities that help them find their passion and success.

She resides in the North Hills with her husband and their 18 year old daughter.  She enjoys traveling, running and watching her daughter’s volleyball and basketball games in her spare time.

Ms. Julie Ewing, Director of Enrollment

Ms. Mindy Bramer, Director of Professional Development

Ms. Mindy Bramer has been an elementary and special education teacher, reading specialist, and she has taught ninth grade English Literature.  Most recently she has worked at the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) on Pennsylvania’s Dyslexia Screening and Early Literacy Pilot Program.  She is also a Nationally Board-Certified teacher in the area of Reading-Language Arts: Early and Middle Childhood.  Ms. Bramer also has her Special Education Supervisor and Principal certifications.  She is currently working on a Doctorate in Special Education Leadership and hopes to defend her dissertation this Spring. 

Ms. Bramer‚Äôs greatest educational accomplishment is helping teachers learn how to teach reading to students with deficits in the areas of decoding and comprehension.¬† Ms. Bramer has her Orton-Gillingham Level I certification and is also a Wilson¬ģ Credentialed Trainer.¬† She is also part of the Pennsylvania Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and is co-chairing the 2020 Conference.¬†¬†