Staff Biographies

Denise Lessow, Ed.D. is Executive Director of Pinnacle School, Pinnacle Learning Services and Pinnacle Testing Center, and Chair of the Institute for Dyslexia Education and Awareness. Dr. Lessow has a Doctorate in Education from Indiana University-Bloomington, and brings over 25 years of experience as a professional educator and consultant. Her areas of expertise include dyslexia, brain development, science and math instruction, curriculum design, gifted & talented, multiple intelligences, cognitive assessment, learning theory, and auditory therapy. She has created exhibits for science and history museums nationwide, and served as Research Director of CILS Consulting for over 10 years. Dr. Lessow is a past Board Chair of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, served on the Board of IU Health Bloomington, and earned the 2008 Herb Kiesling Award. She also received a 2014 Women Excel Bloomington award, sponsored by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, for her excellent leadership and spirit of community. Dr. Lessow joined Pinnacle in July 2004. In addition to her leadership duties, she directs the Pinnacle Entrepreneurship Program.

Kari Ponto is Pinnacle School Director and coordinates Pinnacle Learning Services, our tutoring program. Mrs. Ponto is in her fourth year at Pinnacle and is responsible for student development and the daily operations of the school. During her first two years at Pinnacle, Mrs. Ponto taught a variety of classes, including middle and high school algebra. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Education and is a literacy specialist with experience ranging from Pre-K to high school. Mrs. Ponto directs our standardized testing programs and accreditation reporting for the Indiana Department of Education.

Taylor Wittmer is Pinnacle’s Community Relations Director. Miss Wittmer is in her first year at Pinnacle and works with current students to facilitate opportunities and connections in the community. She also coordinates special events at Pinnacle for students and families. Working with future Pachyderms and their families, she helps make the screening and admissions process as easy as possible. Prior to Pinnacle, Miss Wittmer spent three years at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as an Assistant Coach for the Mocs Volleyball Program. Miss Wittmer has a BS degree in exercise science, with a minor in psychology from Indiana University, where she was also a member of the Indiana Volleyball Program.

Bill Osmon has over 13 years of teaching experience, including elementary positions with Indianapolis and Hendricks County Public Schools. He also taught overseas in Saipan and Vietnam.  Mr. Osmon managed the environmental science magnet program at IPS School 105, and is experienced in teaching writing and Reading First.  Mr. Osmon has an IU Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education, and is working toward his Master’s degree.  He is a member of the National Science Teachers Association. At Pinnacle, Mr. Osmon leads the Emerald Team and teaches intermediate language arts, math, and science. He was recently named a 2014 ING Unsung Hero for his work with growing Pinnacle’s garden, outdoor classroom, and aquaponics program.

Nicole Brehm leads the Copper Team and is part of the Literature and Humanities collaboration cluster, teaching middle school and high school literature. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English and Literature from Indiana University. Miss Brehm, in her third year at Pinnacle, also coordinates our after-school sports programs. While at IU, she was a member of the Varsity Diving Team. Ms. Brehm is the faculty advisor for Pinnacle’s creative writing and literary magazine, Elephantay, as well as Pinnacle’s year book.