Denise Lessow, Ed.D.
is Executive Director of Pinnacle School and Learning Services
and leads the Pinnacle Testing Center. 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, and learning theory.
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. Dr. Lessow joined Pinnacle in July 2004. In
addition to her leadership duties, she directs the Pinnacle
is Pinnacle School's Assistant Director and
coordinates Pinnacle Learning Services, our tutoring program. Mrs. Ponto is
in her third 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.
Christina Bush is Pinnacle's High
School Program Coordinator. She led the Seymour Community
Schools alternative middle and high school program for 8 years
and provided individual academic support. Ms. Bush holds a
Bachelor's in Social Studies Education from IU and is completing
her Doctorate in Classics. She spent a year in Crete and taught
classical mythology at the University of Texas at Austin. Ms.
Bush also runs a local organic farm. She leads
Pinnacle's Gold Team, advises student council, and teaches
secondary social studies.
is Pinnacle's Office Manager
and Executive Assistant. She has a Telecommunications Bachelor's degree
from Indiana University, and over eight years of customer service,
marketing, and supervisory experience with national and regional
firms. Mrs. Sato (formerly Miss Ballard) has been with Pinnacle
since 2008. She manages the school office and coordinates
school functions and special events.
teaches Kindergarten and 1st grade.
She holds a Bachelor's degree from IU with
specialization in early childhood and primary education with an
emphasis on reading development. Miss Bays, in her third year at
Pinnacle, also teaches classes
in cooking and crafting, and tutors with our Pinnacle Learning
Services program. Miss Bays leads the Purple Team.
Discovering over 30 years ago that her oldest son had dyslexia
prompted Connie Giles
to seek out a program that would meet his needs. At that
time, a dePaul Saturday Tutorial Program and Summer School were
the only programs in existence in Bloomington to teach children
who learn with dyslexia. Upon enrolling her son in the program,
she became an active tutor, which led to supervisory positions
in both programs for the next six years. During this time she
was also teaching in a special education program in the local
high school. Mrs. Giles was instrumental in beginning the
Bloomington dePaul School (now Pinnacle), where she became a
teacher in its second year of operation. Mrs. Giles is a
certified Orton-Gillingham instructor, and coordinates
Pinnacle's spelling and linguistics program. Mrs. Giles leads
the Yellow Team.
Pinnacle School as the Teal Team leader after six years as a
classroom teacher in Florida. Along with reading and language
arts, Ms. Abbott's specializations include math, science and
technology. Originally from south-central Indiana, she earned a
Bachelor's in Education from Indiana University in Bloomington.
Ms. Abbott also teaches our elementary technology classes.
brings over 20 years of
independent school teaching experience from Calvert School in
Maryland. At Calvert, she also advised the intermediate home
school program. Mrs. Agley served as the summer instructor for
the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, where
she taught reading and writing courses. She holds a Master's
Degree in Reading from Towson University with Orton-Gillingham
certification. Mrs. Agley leads the Green Team and teaches
elementary social studies.
is a reading specialist with three years of
classroom experience. She directed summer camp and Bell & Beyond
at The WonderLab for the past two years. Ms. Sears has a
Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from IU-Bloomington.
She leads the Orange Team and also teaches primary science and
library research skills.
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 Red Team and teaches intermediate language arts, math, and science.
He is developing Pinnacle's growing outdoor classroom and aquaponics program.
Nicole Brehm leads the Copper Team, teaching
middle school and high school literature
and Writer's Workshop. She has a Bachelor's degree
in Secondary English and Literature from Indiana University. Miss Brehm,
in her second 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.
has a Bachelor's of Science from Purdue
University. He has extensive experience in business,
technology, math, and science. Mr. Sato leads the Silver
Team, teaching middle school
and high school math and science for the second year. He
also coordinates Pinnacle's learning technology initiatives. Mr.
Sato won the Pinnacle 500 in May 2013 with his
aerodynamically-designed CO2 cartridge car.
first foreign language teacher. She holds a Master's in Language
Education from IU with additional ENL certification. She is
fluent in German and French, and speaks Spanish and Italian.
Mrs. Goetz has dual BA degrees in Business from IU's Kelley
School and in French. She studied in France and worked in
Hamburg and Mannheim. At Pinnacle, Mrs. Goetz teaches classes
in German (to all teams), English, communication skills, and
offer a French elective.
has over 10 years of professional
experience. He earned an Indiana University Master's of
Secondary Education with a concentration in math. He has
extensive technology experience working with educational
applications like MatLab, Geometer Sketchpad, Java Bars,
Geogebra, and Maple. At Pinnacle School, "Mr. Pi" teaches
pre-algebra, algebra, geometry, trig, and calculus. He also
supervises instruction in our new computer lab and teaches
Pinnacle's first game design elective.
has a Bachelor's from the IU School of Public Health in Outdoor
Recreation. For 5 years, he attended an independent school
similar to Pinnacle. He has worked with children in a variety of
settings including as a YMCA camp counselor. Mr. Agley is a
certified wildness first responder and waterfront lifeguard, and
has training in scuba, edible plants, ecosystem management,
environmental sustainability, repelling, and planning outdoor
programs. At Pinnacle, Agley teaches
K-12 outdoor education, classes in design and invention, and
coordinates after-school recreational activities.
assists with student services, alumni
relations, and teacher appreciation. Mrs. Meredith
coordinates Granite, the Pinnacle School store for our
entrepreneurship program. She has
developed a library of college information and application
materials for Pinnacle families. Mrs. Meredith also assists
with our Purple and Yellow Teams.
is Pinnacle's Facilities
Engineer. He is responsible for the development and improvement
of Pinnacle's 7-acre campus, including our three program
buildings. Mr. Ponto also coordinates our service vendors
and heads our building safety and security committee.
Garden and Nature Center
IU Art Museum
One World Catering
Museum of Science, Health and Technology
School of Business Civic Leadership Development