Poplar Open House is scheduled for Thursday, October 25th 5-7 p.m. Register Here »

Poplar / 6 to 12

In September 2018, we cut the ribbon to our new Poplar campus, located in the burgeoning Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia.

We are both grateful and humbled to welcome our middle and high school students to one space where they will learn and grow together.

Our Poplar campus is a tangible evidence of answered prayers for ample space to support our growing community of learners and our commitment to seeing more and more children flourish in Jesus’ name.

In their new space, middle school students can seamlessly transition into their senior stages of learning while high school students have the opportunity to directly serve as role models, displaying the fruit of their discipleship here at The City School.

Students now have access to a full cafeteria, gymnasium and science lab. Our Poplar campus holds 24 classrooms—which not only provides comfortable learning spaces for our students, but will also help us serve our expected growth of learners to double our present student population

Middle School Overview

Middle school students at The City School are taught to think critically as they enter this formative stage in their academic lives. As they grow into young adults, values like love, forgiveness and respect are taught and modeled every day. Our rigorous curriculum teaches students new subjects while demonstrating the social, moral, and biblical application of each new discipline. This whole-student approach prepares students to succeed in their lifelong pursuit of learning.

High School Overview

High School at The City School is a place where students prepare for college, guided by seasoned faculty. We are committed to an academic program strong in the foundational core courses needed to prepare for college and lifelong learning.

Graduates of The City School are positioned to succeed. 100% of our students are accepted to a college of their choice. Our SAT scores are higher than the average of all Philadelphia charter schools, and some of our students even earn college credit before graduation. Recent graduates are currently attending the University of Pennsylvania, Wheaton College, The University of the Sciences at Philadelphia, Nyack College, Stony Brook University, Virginia State University, and many more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faculty

Joan Hamel

Joan Hamel

Middle School Principal

Email:
jhamel@cityschool.org

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Kings College

“I cherish my students and want them to succeed. I love working with middle school students through their awkward, challenging teen years where they really begin to discover themselves and their purpose in the world. These are formative years, and I am honored to be a part of their story at such an influential fork in their paths.”

Joan lives in Erdenheim with her husband, Tom, and enjoys traveling into the city often. Her hobbies include gardening, bike riding, and going for long walks in her beautiful neighborhood. Her favorite book is To End All Wars, the true story of Allied prisoners in a Japanese death camp during World War II—their lives were transformed when one person began to love the way Jesus loves.

[ x ] Close Bio
Shante Brown-Major

Shante Brown-Major

Office Manager

Email:
sbrownmajor@cittyschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2018

Bio to come!

[ x ] Close Bio
Ruth Naomi Floyd

Ruth Naomi Floyd

Music Director

Email:
rfloyd@cityschool.org

    Degree(s):
  • A.A., Art Institute of Philadelphia

“It is important to understand the relationship between music and culture. Music is one of the products of culture. Music is a powerful tool that can create powerful connections between people, and help us to learn more about our own culture as well as other cultures. Music can also inspire us to seek out different cultures, shatter stereotypes, question social injustices and see the world through the lens of others.  Music prompts us to form a worldview.  We want our students to see the beauty of culture but also to be able to sense and question the dangerous aspects of culture as we strive to for them to be strong Christian young women and men for God’s kingdom.”

Ruth has traveled the world and gained international recognition as a vocalist. She is also a gifted photographer and has been featured in galleries and museums across America and Europe. Ruth lives and worships in South Philly with her husband—our Athletics Director, Kenyatta—and two children.

[ x ] Close Bio
Africa Jones

Africa Jones

International Program Coordinator

Email:
ajones@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2015

    Degree(s):
  • B.S., St. Joseph's University
  • M.Ed., Eastern University
“I am so blessed to be a part of The City School’s International Program. Welcoming students from various parts of the world brings a richness and diversity to the cultural fabric of the school and the students we serve. I see is as a snapshot of ‘Thy kingdom come.’ “
Africa lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Dwight and 2 of their 4 children. She enjoys serving in many roles in her church, as well as hiking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

 

[ x ] Close Bio
Cindy Shannon

Cindy Shannon

Office Manager

Email:
cshannon@cityschool.org

    Degree(s):
  • B.S., Geneva College
  • M.B.A., Eastern University
  • M.Div., Palmer Seminary

“Being an Office Manager means being a nurse, an advisor, an encourager, disciplinarian, decision-maker, confidant, problem-solver, mother, and pastor to every child of God who walks through my campus doors. I also enjoy seeking out new and shy students, taking them out to eat with friends, and helping them truly become part of our community. That’s my ministry here.”

Cynthia lives in a peaceful neighborhood in Darby. She enjoys classic movies, getting treats at the Reading Terminal Market, and visiting museums in the city. She also loves comparing Bible translations and reading about church history.

[ x ] Close Bio
Langston Washington

Langston Washington

Building Substitute - Poplar

Email:
lwashington@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2018

    Degree(s):
  • B.A. Millersville University

“I went to Spruce Hill and Philadelphia Mennonite High school, so essentially, I am a City School alumnus. I am honored to have the opportunity to contribute back to the schools that helped me become the man I am today.

We are not a school that does the bare minimum. We look to enhance all aspects of students’ lives. We don’t teach students what to think, but how to think. So when, students leave The City School, we hope that they leave not just with more knowledge, but leave as better people.

Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I cannot deny someone who shows their love as he has done. I am unworthy of his love and forgiveness, and he stills gives u love and mercy. My goal in life is to have Jesus as the roots in my life. Everything else grows and sprouts from that. ”

Langston is a West Philadelphia native and loves the beauty and diversity of the city, calling it “one of the greatest cities in the United States.”

He is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree to learn more about Jesus Christ and to grow his relationship with him.

[ x ] Close Bio
Tessa Allebach

Tessa Allebach

Middle School History Teacher

Joined The City School family:
2018

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Eastern University

“Education has always been my strongest calling and having the opportunity to teach in an enriching and challenging environment such as The City School is a blessing. It is encouraging to be part of a school environment that gives life to both students and staff while the majority of educational climates that we currently live in unfortunately are often life-draining.

I look forward to lifting history off the textbook pages for my students and hopefully begin to have them understand how essential historical context is in the present.”

Tessa enjoys slow-paced activities such as taking walks and reading. Her love for the arts runs deeply and she has had the privilege of both taking and teaching art lessons for many years.

[ x ] Close Bio
Jessica Becker

Jessica Becker

Spanish Teacher

Joined The City School family:
2017

“I first heard about The City School in looking for a kindergarten for my son 8 years ago, and am still, without a doubt, sure that sending him here was the best decision we made for his education. I am excited about seeing other kids be able to mature, thrive and grow here, especially through the Spanish language, as they pursue second language acquisition. I am passionate about seeing the kids embrace and learn about other cultures.”

Jessica lives in a multigenerational home in Germantown with her parents, husband, and two kids, along with an new international student each year. She enjoys traveling outside of the country whenever possible and is passionate about music and international cuisine.

[ x ] Close Bio
Emily Bennin

Emily Bennin

Language Arts

Email:
ebenin@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2017

    Degree(s):
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison (English)
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Religious Studies)
“Ever since I was a little girl, reading and writing have been my happy places.
Through the worlds that are portrayed, and the worlds I get to create, I see a space to talk about what is going on in our country and in the lives of the people around me. I hope to be a part of opening these doors for my students.
I love getting to see the light bulbs come on and the passion come out as they talk about things that are important to them, and I see language as an avenue for accomplishing that goal. “
Emily lives in the Hunting Park neighborhood, where she enjoys hanging out with neighbors and reading at the park in her free time. Her favorite book is Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, because historical fiction allows a unique passage into conversation about important topics, like race.
[ x ] Close Bio
Felicia Mercer

Felicia Mercer

Science and Math Teacher

Email:
fmercer@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2012

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Temple University

“I believe with all my heart this is what the Lord has ordained me to do. This is evident in the joy I get from doing this work. I love that our teachers invest so deeply in their students and that we celebrate their diversity, humor, and uniqueness. We want what is best for each individual child.”

Felicia came into our community as a City School mom, volunteer, and substitute teacher before joining us full-time in 2013. She enjoys dancing, people watching, and taking scenic walks around the city.

[ x ] Close Bio
Ian Spalding

Ian Spalding

Math Teacher

Email:
ispalding@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2012

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Azusa Pacific University

“Being committed to Jesus means letting the love of God shine through my relationships with students and sharing wonder of His creation in every class. It means teaching with a firm but loving hand. I allow my sense of humor to come through in my teaching as well as my more informal interactions with my students, and I hope this helps to build connections, relationships, and releases joy into the atmosphere of my classes and the school.”

Ian lives in Spruce Hill and loves running into so many friends around his neighborhood. He plays violin with the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra and enjoys cycling, reading, exercise, and Sudoku. He also has fun watching sports, which is an important aspect of his bond with middle school guys.

[ x ] Close Bio
Joel Gaines

Joel Gaines

High School Principal

Email:
Jgaines@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2018

    Degree(s):
  • B.S., Cairn University
  • M.Ed., Cabrini University

“No one has to tell you when your favorite cookies are being baked, you smell the delicious aroma and are drawn to it. Some of the reasons why I felt drawn to The City School team were our ambitious mission statement, my love for the people of Philadelphia and commitment to providing quality Christian urban education. I believe students who learn within urban spaces are some of the most socially prepared, culturally exposed, and life-ready individuals.”

Most recently, Joel was the Assistant Head of the Upper School at Delaware County Christian School. He has also served in various roles over the past 10+ years, in urban, suburban as well as in Christian and public school education.

Joel loves spending quality time with his family. He is married to Tia and has one son Josiah, and three daughters Hosanna, Elaina, and Adoniah.  He also enjoys collecting unique socks and ties, traveling, and taking pictures shot on his iPhone.

 

[ x ] Close Bio
Katelin Conde-Rodriguez

Katelin Conde-Rodriguez

College Guidance Counselor

Email:
kjankowski@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2013

    Degree(s):
  • B.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison

“The City School embodies so many of the values I hold dear, not least of these is shalom, the wholeness and completeness God desires for his people. I began my work with the City School three years ago as an intern from Mission Year, an urban ministry program dedicated to pursuing justice, peace, and reconciliation in the city. It became apparent to me early on that this was a special place where we not only pursue shalom by providing accessible and excellent education, but also raise students up to bring shalom to their city.”

Katelin lives in South Philly, “near a little enclave of City School folks.” When she’s not reading something that challenges her perspective, she enjoys watching nerdy tv shows, baking and cooking new recipes, and spending the day at the beach. And while Katelin’s heart belongs to Philly, her football loyalties are still in the Midwest—Go Pack Go!

[ x ] Close Bio
Heidi Jang

Heidi Jang

Biblical Counselor

Email:
hjang@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2016

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., New York University
  • MAC, Westminster Theological Seminary
“As a Biblical counselor, I have the privilege of walking with students, listening to their stories – their sufferings and their joys – and guiding them to see the redemptive work of Christ in their lives. I’m passionate for this city and love seeing Christ magnified through the lives of our students. High school can be a joyous yet difficult time and I am honored to be able to walk alongside of our students while they journey through this season of life.”
Heidi and her husband, Guirae, live in East Falls and love being a part of and serving their community. Heidi enjoys exploring the city, sharing a meal with friends and finding creative outlets from woodworking to arranging flowers.
[ x ] Close Bio
Ben Guy

Ben Guy

History Teacher

Email:
bguy@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2013

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Geneva College

“I strive to make history come alive for students so that they grow in their knowledge and understanding of history and subsequently grow in their knowledge of themselves and how the global society in which they live came to be.  Ultimately, my goal is that the students would use the knowledge, understanding, and critical thinking skill they gain from studying history in furthering the work of the Kingdom in their families, communities, city, and world.”

Ben lives in Elkins Park and enjoys reading, walking, playing the piano, and discussing “deep and profound topics.” His love for learning and teaching came from his mother, a longtime teacher who joined The City School team last year, bringing the Guy family teaching tradition full circle.

[ x ] Close Bio
Ernest R. Holloway III (“Trey”)

Ernest R. Holloway III (“Trey”)

Latin Teacher

Email:
eholloway@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2016

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Clemson University
  • M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary
  • Th.M., Westminster Theological Seminary
  • Ph.D., Westminster Theological Seminary
  • Ph.D., University of Aberdeen
“I am passionate about the study of the Latin language and its literature for the simple reason that it unlocks an intellectual world and literary culture that has profoundly shaped our own modern day Western society. Cultivating a love for the language and helping students to appreciate its extensive influence and relevance, is one of my primary objectives.”
Trey lives in Stratford, NJ with his three children, Addison, Davis and Genevie. When he is not otherwise engaged with his kids, he loves supporting the Clemson Tiger football team, reading, and going on long, exploratory bike rides. As an Early Modern historian, Trey loves to research and write. In 2011 his work Andrew Melville and Humanism in Renaissance Scotland, 1545-1622 was published by E.J. Brill of Leiden and Boston. He has also contributed to Renaissance Quarterly, the scholarly journal of the Renaissance Society of America as well as a chapter on Melville in the work Reformed Orthodoxy in Scotland (2015). He is currently working on a chapter on Melville for a forthcoming publication on the Reformation in Scotland published by E.J. Brill.
[ x ] Close Bio
Ken Hunsberger

Ken Hunsberger

Math Teacher

Email:
khunsberger@cityschool.org

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Eastern University
  • M.A., West Chester University

“Over the years I have come to believe that an education is not complete if it is not Christ-centered. As a Christian school, we can offer more than excellent academics—we can introduce students to the one who created everything we learn.”

Ken lives in Chester County and enjoys his early morning commute on the train. Ken is an avid reader and has lately been on an Agatha Christie kick. He also enjoys crossword puzzles, crypto-quotes, and Sudoku, and he tends a bountiful vegetable garden at home.

[ x ] Close Bio
Daniel Liken

Daniel Liken

English Teacher

Email:
dliken@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2016

    Degree(s):
  • B.S., Temple University
“As an English teacher, I believe it is my responsibility to increase students’ appreciation for language and improve their facility in handling it. Through reading, writing, and dialogue, we can engage each other in exploring the world around us, and in that exploration deepen our understanding of God and his creation.”
Daniel was raised in North Philadelphia and currently lives in Roxborough. In his free time, he writes poetry and non-fiction and loves to play Super Smash Bros. with his friends. Daniel also has a blackbelt in the Japanese martial art of Doshinkan Aikido.
[ x ] Close Bio
Rich Lindberg

Rich Lindberg

English Teacher

Email:
rlindberg@cityschool.org

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Temple University
  • M.Ed., West Chester University

“My goal is to help students become intelligent and engaged people in this world. Through books, I am hoping they will understand how to live on this planet, how to interact with others, and how “to be.” I am hoping that they will leave my class being a better writer, a thinking person, and a strong Christian.”

Rich lives in Roxborough with his wife and loves living in “an honest-to-goodness world-class city.” His favorite book is Frederick Buechner’s Godric, a semifictionalized account of the life of medieval saint Godric of Finchale, who inspires Rich to be a more humble and self-sacrificing person. He is also an avid cyclist and bikes to work almost every day, even in the dead of winter.

[ x ] Close Bio
Wendy McCarthy

Wendy McCarthy

Science Teacher

Email:
wmccarthy@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2014

    Degree(s):
  • B.S., University of West Florida
  • M.S., University of Central Arkansas

“This isn’t just a place to work or go to school. We all know each other and love each other. I’m genuinely interested in my students’ lives, their success, and their wellbeing. I want the best for them, forever, not just when they’re sitting in my classroom.”

Wendy lives in South Philly and enjoys hiking, biking, canoeing, and camping. She also tends peach trees and raises backyard chickens, rooftop bees, and compost worms—“you know, basic biology teacher stuff.”

[ x ] Close Bio
Kim Meyer

Kim Meyer

High School Math Teacher

Email:
kmeyer@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2018

    Degree(s):
  • B.S., Bucknell University
  • M.S., Yale University
“I get to share my passion for mathematics particularly for Algebra. Algebra is one of the most useful subjects – you need it for science, computers, business and even Art. It is also the first introduction to abstract mathematical thought and changes the way your mind works.

Although I am new to The City School as a teacher, I have been a parent and volunteer here for decades.  I see the school as a community dedicated to Christ and to the students.
Parents should know that teachers will love your child and try their best to instill Christian values as well as a sound academic education.  My own children benefited so much from this school.
This school should be a refuge for our students – where they can feel safe, loved and challenged.   We are bringing Shalom to the city and I am thrilled to be a part of this community.”
Kim loves reading and has been a member of the same book club for years. She enjoys it because it introduces her to books she wouldn’t read otherwise.
She lives in West Philadelphia and enjoys attending free Shakespeare plays offered in in her local park. Kim is currently pursuing a teaching certificate at St. Joseph’s University.

 

[ x ] Close Bio
Kelli Moore

Kelli Moore

High School Spanish Teacher

Joined The City School family:
2018

Bio to come!

[ x ] Close Bio
Megan Owens

Megan Owens

History Teacher, Ancient World and United States

Email:
mowens@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2017

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Grove City College
  • M.A., Villanova University
“Teaching at The City School is a profound blessing to me.  I am able to merge three of my deepest loves in one job: Love for students, love for history and love for Philadelphia.  The students and faculty at this school are second to none and because of them I am a better teacher, peer and Christian.  In history class, we wrestle with many of the “why’s” and “how’s” of human society, especially our own.  It is a privilege to be able to examine the effects of sin on our world in the context of God’s sovereignty, wisdom, and righteousness. “
Megan lives in South Philadelphia with her husband and four children.  She enjoys dancing, singing and engaging in the many things the city offers with her family – museums, parks, activities, food fests, concerts, etc.  There is always something for a history teacher to do in Philadelphia!!  She and her family are also deeply committed to their local church where they experience the blessings of fellowship with God’s family.
[ x ] Close Bio
Kenyatta Rush

Kenyatta Rush

Athletics Director

Email:
krush@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2011

    Degree(s):
  • B.A., Temple University
  • M.Div., Biblical Seminary

“I see athletics as a way of honoring God. Good sportsmanship, teamwork, practice and patience, discipline, perseverance, and a desire to do your best are all virtues learned through competitive sports. I teach my students and athletes that competing with integrity, as ambassadors of Jesus, is more important than taking home a trophy.”

Kenyatta was a scholarship football player at Temple University when he met his Savior. Since then, he’s pursued diverse fields of ministry, working in social care with seniors, as a missionary in Africa, and as a minister to prisoners here in Philadelphia. Kenyatta lives in South Philly with his wife—our Choir Director, Ruth Naomi Floyd—and two children.

[ x ] Close Bio
Joe Sinagra

Joe Sinagra

Arts Director

Email:
jsinagra@cityschool.org

Joined The City School family:
2005

“I’m passionate about my job because I love people—they’re the crown of creation. I am blessed to get to know students as individuals and learn what makes them unique bearers of God’s image. I walk with my students as they develop their skills, and I am challenged to learn from them just as they learn from me.”

Joe lives in South Philly with his wife and six children (five of whom attend The City School—at all four campuses!). He loves making—painting, drawing, photography, costume design, and cooking. He is also an elder at Grace and Peace Community Church where he strives to love people as Jesus has loved him.

[ x ] Close Bio

Poplar Campus
910 North 6th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
215-731-1930