A Message From Our Leadership Team
We welcome you to our school with an invitation to explore the many stories throughout our website that highlight the vibrancy of the Laurel Springs community.
There is great joy and opportunity in being an online K-12 private school offering a challenging curriculum that serves as the foundation for a lifelong passion for learning. Every aspect of our program is focused on the learning experience, on building close connections with our faculty, and on creating age-appropriate learning environments for our Lower School, Middle School and Upper School students. These are the foundational building blocks that shape our community.
We are a school with a global reputation of educating students to be well prepared for college and beyond. What you’ll find in Laurel Springs’ online environment is a deliberately constructed community that embodies what it means to define one’s own education. We put equal importance on each student’s individual development as we do on global citizenship and respect for others. Our focus is preparing students for the world ahead, and it has always been our guiding principle since the school’s founding in 1991 by Marilyn Mosley Gordanier.
Our entire school—faculty, students, administrators, parents, and alumnae—is committed to ensuring that Laurel Springs is a thriving community. We are focused on building upon our solid academic foundation that provides rich experiences for our students. Their success is supported by the quality curriculum, counseling services, teacher support, extra-curricular activities, special program offerings, and our dynamic guest speaker series. This commitment reaches into every aspect of school life.
Our teachers are extraordinarily talented and dedicated. 13% of our faculty have doctorates and over 69% of them hold master’s degrees from selective colleges and universities around the world. Recruited for their outstanding academic achievements and their commitment to Laurel Springs’ core educational values, our teachers are encouraged to select, expand on, and modify their curricula, fostering an unparalleled sense of ownership and creativity in their teaching practices.
The heart of the Laurel Springs experience is the relationship between inspiring, caring teachers and talented, motivated, and engaged students. At Laurel Springs, our mission to support students to achieve their academic goals and foster their personal interests and talents is more than just a statement; it is how we do school. Students who attend Laurel Springs are inspired by the power of ideas, made available through engaging exchanges with teachers who are passionate about global concepts that construct, characterize, and transform the world.
Beyond the online course experience, Laurel Springs encourages its students to be responsible and caring, while engaging in the school community and as citizens of the world. One place that this happens is in our iClass environments. Our iClasses are designed to provide opportunities that are both academic and social that explore content-specific big ideas, skills, and application of learning.
In the days ahead, we hope you will take the time to learn exactly how, each day, our students and teachers are working together to demonstrate our mission to personalize the learning experience and help students realize their best selves. We invite you to get to know the heart of this remarkable community: our students, faculty, and staff.
Meet the Leadership Team
The Laurel Springs philosophy was developed by a visionary leadership team. Our team is comprised of experts in the field of online learning, curriculum design, academic instruction, and assessment. They are passionate about our mission and about helping our online school students develop a lifelong love of learning.
Peter Robertson has 30 years of leadership expertise in primary and secondary education, focused on teaching and learning, technology & data science, policy, and business operations. He began his career as a high school history and government teacher and has devoted most of his professional life to defining and supporting quality instruction through standards-based curriculum, aligned assessment, technology resources and professional development.
Prior to joining Laurel Springs, Peter spent almost a decade in senior leadership positions at Connections Academy, now owned by Pearson. While at Connections, he supported boards and school leadership teams in start-up, staffing, operations, school improvement, charter renewals, and strategic planning. He also led data-driven efforts to address student retention, graduation rates, and other key school operations and student achievement related areas.
Prior to joining Connections Academy, Peter was an engagement manager for the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company, the Chief Information Officer for the Cleveland Municipal School District, Head of K-12 Product Development and an R&D practice leader for the Educational Testing Service (ETS), and Vice President for Education Services at SchoolOne.
Peter holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and master’s degrees in business administration and educational administration from Columbia University.
Megan O’Reilly Palevich, M.Ed.
Head of School
Megan O’Reilly Palevich has been a teacher and administrator in the public and private sectors for 20 years. Her rich and varied experience in PreK-12 education includes curriculum design, signature innovative program development, technology integration, and personalized professional development for educators. Mrs. Palevich has won awards for innovation in science education from CESI and in social studies education from Facing History and Ourselves. She earned her B.A. from Rosemont College in Elementary Education and Psychology, and her M.Ed. from Cabrini University in Educational Leadership with completion of the K-12 Principal Certification Program.
Director of Student Services
Diane Coraluzzi has worked in the field of customer service management for 20 years and is passionate about creating legendary customer experiences. She is committed to ensuring legendary service and actively seeks solutions that work for our families. She is genuinely enthusiastic about serving our students and their families and looks forward to working with them throughout their years with Laurel Springs. She earned her B.A. in English and Communications from Cabrini University.
Director of Marketing & Communications
Julie Shallis has 20 years of experience in communications, strategic planning and marketing, and has worked for several organizations leading growth, market expansion and brand evolution. She is committed to amplifying the Laurel Springs Mission by developing integrated marketing strategies that deepen the understanding of our values, demonstrate the collective experience of our thought leaders and continue to create compelling student and parent engagements. Julie has her Bachelor of Arts in English & Communications from Cabrini University.
Academic Department Chairs
Click on the ADC’s image to read more about them.
Patti McClimans has been part of the Laurel Springs family since November 2016 as a math teacher, and the Math Lead Teacher since October of 2018. She has been in the field of education since 1991. After spending many years in the classroom, she moved to private tutoring as well as college level instruction. Mrs. McClimans has also been an instructor in professional development programs in the field of Gifted Education and has worked with curriculum and assessment development in mathematics at the local school and district levels. Patti holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Education in Secondary Mathematics, both received from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, she holds gifted certification in the states of Georgia and Colorado as well as Secondary Math teaching certification in four states.
Cory joined Laurel Springs School as the Social Studies Academic Department Chair in 2015. Throughout his twelve years of online and blended learning experience, he has worked with a variety of programs around the country developing curriculum, integrating emerging technologies and mentoring students. He earned his M.Ed. in Educational Technology from Boise State University with a focus on online education and has studied Education Leadership at UNLV. Prior to that, he earned his B.A in History from California State University Northridge. Cory has spoken at numerous conferences and written about online education since 2008.
Bridget has over 20 years of brick and mortar classroom, online and blended education experience as both a teacher and administrator. Mrs. Schleifer has her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University and is a certified reading specialist and K-8 teacher.
Alex was a high school English and ESL teacher as well as an high school Administrator before coming to Laurel Springs. She has developed assessments and curriculum at both the school and district level, and has also served on committees to evaluate teachers working towards National Board certifications. Alex earned her M.Ed in Teacher Leadership as well as her Principal’s Certification from Regis University, her B.A. in English from the University of Colorado at Denver, and her teaching certification through Western State University, and is certified in Linguistically Diverse education.
Emily has been in the field of education for over 10 years. She has worked as a traditional teacher at in brick and mortar setting, as well as teaching students in Kindergarten through 8th grade in an online environment. She has also managed after-school programs facilitating students with learning needs to fill gaps in knowledge and enhance their learning experience. Emily Holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a concentration in Humanities as well as a Master’s Degree in Elementary Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. She is extremely passionate about the progressive world of online learning. As the Blended Learning Manager and Customization Coordinator she is incredibly knowledgeable and experienced in implemented blended learning in an online classroom, providing professional development to staff involved in online and blended learning, and tracking and analyzing data in regards to student success. Mrs. Reid is focused on individual student’s growth and progress, providing teacher support, and determining and enhancing the best curriculum and environment to benefit each student.
Rachelle has been involved in the private school sector for 30 years and is celebrating her 20th year as a Laurel Springs School teacher, academic department chair or administrator. She is a Level 2 Learning Success Consultant, earning her B.A. from Antioch University majoring in Psychology, minoring in Communication, with concentrations in child development and education. She has developed student centered, teacher professional development; personalized student study systems; curriculum; and a viable social community for students in a virtual campus to become well-rounded members of any community. Her focus in all areas has been to instill students lead with their strengths; address areas for growth to meet individual goals; and develop an effective balance of self-sufficiency, creativity and productivity in preparation for college and career in the 21st Century.
Keith Wilson is midway through his third decade in education, having worked in virtual school settings, brick and mortar settings and unique combinations of the two throughout the country. He has served school communities as a school administrator, project manager and VP of development. Additionally he has been an adjunct professor for Kansas Newman University and served as an Educational Consultant. He has a double major in Education and Special Education from Augustana College in South Dakota and a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from South Dakota State University.
Ms. Bechtold earned her Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Education and British Literature from the University of Montana and her Master of Arts degree in Online Education from the University of Phoenix. She also holds a teaching credential in Secondary English, she is a Highly Qualified NCLB Latin teacher, and holds a National Board Certification in Young Adult Literature and Composition. As Lead Instructor she worked in both the K-8 and English departments. Ms. Bechtold has trained new instructors and served as mentor teacher for the past five years in English, World Languages and the Electives departments. With over 30 years of teaching experience that also includes curriculum development, Ms. Bechtold resides in Missoula, Montana.
Shawn Bailey has taught at brick and mortar as well as online schools for the past fifteen years. Her passion is to motivate students and teachers to be successful in their endeavors. She has successfully developed online school curricula for language arts courses as well as created Advanced Placement assessments for the school district. Throughout her teaching career, she has served as an Advanced Placement Department Chair and provided professional development as a district Gifted Endorsement teacher. Shawn has also served as an AP reader for the College Board for over five years and loves to use these skills to support teachers and students in AP success. She holds an Ed.S. in Teaching and Learning and an M.A. in Teaching English.
Stephanie started her career teaching Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Anatomy & Physiology in New York City. After teaching High School Science at schools in the Northeast and abroad, she left the classroom to work in educational technology, building adaptive learning platforms for blended instruction. Stephanie then went on to lead teams of instructional coaches in online and blended large-scale teacher professional development, supporting teachers and schools in evaluating and implementing best practices. Stephanie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology from Georgetown University, a Masters Degree in Science Education from New York University, and is certified in both teaching Biological Sciences and teaching students with disabilities.