These are some of our amazing staff...
Outstanding individuals who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children.
Burn Brae Day Camp’s highly qualified staff members are experts at dealing with children as well as being experts in their own field. Our certified teachers are educational professionals, highly trained artists, and performers who nurture and develop our campers’ creative gifts. Our mature staff cares about each individual child as is evident in the camper/staff relationships that form each summer.
Lisa Kasser started Burn Brae Day Camp in 1981 and has been the Owner and Director ever since. She's thrilled to be celebrating the camp's 36th summer. Lisa majored in Theater and Dance at the University of Michigan and has starred in productions in the United States and Canada and appeared in a two person off Broadway play on PBS. In the early ’80s, Lisa was the Associate Producer of Channel 17’s Dancin’ on Air. She has also taught and directed children’s theater. Lisa attended camp throughout her childhood and teenage years and continues to find enjoyment and inspiration in camp life everyday! She has one adult daughter who had attended Burn Brae since the age of two months. Lisa is also the owner of Maggie, a loving Bichon/Poodle, who is the camp mascot!
Mike Blum has been at Burn Brae for the past 15 summers. This is his 7th year as Assistant Director. He works at the Upper Moreland Intermediate School as a School Psychologist for 19 years. He earned his PhD in school psychology from Temple University. He has two daughters who both grew up at Burn Brae. His younger daughter, an accomplished guitarist, learned to play here at camp. Mike is an avid coach, sports lover, and basketball player.
Julie Rosenberg has a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from the College of New Jersey, and has taught elementary and middle school for the last ten years. She is currently teaching at Elkins Park School in Cheltenham, PA. She is a camp advisor and French teacher to the Pre-Majors. She also runs the very popular Teen Quest program for our 13-15 year olds.
Kerry Gidley, RN is a school nurse in the Norristown Area School District. Prior to being a school nurse, she worked at Bryn Mawr Hospital for 12 years.
Barbara Spivack is a retired teacher, administrator, and staff developer. She has two Master’s Degrees in Elementary Education and Education Leadership. After spending many summers at Burn Brae, Barbara's son has become an accomplished musician and he spends his summers teaching music here at Burn Brae.
Michelle Sirota has her BA from the University of Rochester - a double major in Economics and Psychology, as well as a Business Certificate in Marketing. During the year she works here at camp managing the camp website, database, Fall and Spring Activities, communications and preparing for camp. Michelle does contracting work for market research firms as well. She is on the PTO Board at Sandy Run Middle School and is on the Steering Committee for Upper Dublin’s Everybody’s Theater Company. She also choreographs and teaches dance and theater for E.T.C.
Office Assistant/Pastry Arts
Tara Bellman has her Master’s Degree in Special Ed from Arcadia and is certified to teach home economics, consumer science, and cooking. She is a special education teacher at a Philadelphia high school. In addition to teaching Pastry Arts here at camp, she also helps organize our summer special events and year-round birthday parties.
Pre-Major A Lead Counselor
Rachel Butler has a BA in American Sign Language and Linguistics from the University of Rochester as well as a Masters in Education from Arcadia University. During the year Rachel is a middle school math and learning support teacher at the Waldorf School in Philadelphia. She spent thirteen years as co-director of the Repertory Theater at Willow Grove Day Camp until they closed last year.
Pre-Major B Lead (ages 3-5) Counselor
Laura Kamp-Cohen received her Doctorate from Temple University Law School. She has been the Office Manager at Temple Sinai religious school, is a Daisy Girl Scout Leader, the Cheerleading Commissioner for Upper Dublin, and coaches cheerleading.
Pre-Major C (age 6) Lead Counselor
Lisa Murray has a BA in Psychology from Gwynedd Mercy College, Masters in Special Ed from Arcadia University. Lisa is a certified education teacher and works in the School District of Springfield Township. She also tutored reading and math at the Sylvan Learning Center and privately.
Step-Up (ages 7-8) Counselor
Jennifer Sher attends West Chester University where she will receive a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Special Education. She's been a camper and a camp counselor for most of her life.
Teen Quest (ages 13-15) Co-Lead
Scott Jasner has worked at Burn Brae for the last three years as a head counselor of Teen Quest and a sports counselor. Scott has both a BA and his Master’s in Education from Temple University. During the year, Scott is a middle school history and English teacher. From 2002-2005 he did live on-air traffic reports for KYW-AM radio.
Doug Smith has a BA from Indiana University of PA, as well as a Master’s Degree in curriculum and Instruction. Doug is a High School Spanish teacher in Bucks County and the High School Track Coach for Boys at Upper Moreland High School.
Mike Rizen has a BS degree in Kinesiology from Penn State University and a masters degree in Education from Cabrini College. He is the physical education teacher at a K-8 public school in Philadelphia. He also coaches for the boys' and girls' volleyball teams and their boys' basketball team.
Rock Band/Guitar/Banjo/Ukulele Instructor
Jay Klales has been making music at Burn Brae for almost two decades. He has an extensive background as a performer and instrumental teacher. Jay teaches at Settlement Music School and teaches private lessons to numerous students. All year round, kids enjoy Rock Band Jam classes with Jay here at Burn Brae.
Brass/Woodwinds/Piano/Jazz Band/Voice Instructor
Karen Mudry received her Master’s in Education from Wilkes University. She is certified to teach kindergarten through twelfth grade and teaches general music and band in the Central Bucks School District. In addition, Karen is CPR, AED, and First Aid certified. She is also on the faculty of Chestnut Hill College of Music and Technology. She has taught instrumental lessons, directed bands, musicals, and choirs in several schools as well as being the music director in many churches, and conducting adult choirs.
Strings Instructor Co-Lead
Cyndi Noonan has a Master’s Degree in Music from Temple University. Cyndi is an Elementary Strings Specialist who teaches orchestra full-time in the Upper Dublin School District and performs at various venues.
Strings Instructor Co-Lead
Colleen Rumpf is a private violin instructor as well as a music/violin teacher at Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. She earned her BA from St. Joseph’s University and she studied in Matsumoto, Japan, at the Matsumoto Talent Education Research Institute. Colleen coached high school speech and debate for ten years, leading many students to nine national competitions.
Ali Hordeski attends Susquehanna University with a major in piano performance. During the year she is a full time student and she has spent every summer at Burn Brae since she was seven years old. In the spring of 2017 Ali went to Japan, which was a study abroad opportunity offered by audition to eight students from her college. After taking up residence at Niigata University and collaborating musically with the Japanese students, She took part in a recital in the University’s performance hall.
Painting/Drawing/Fashion Design Instructor
Emily Elliot has a BA in Art Education from Kutztown University. She is an art teacher in the Philadelphia School District. Emily is an accomplished artist.
Rachel Levitt received her BFA at Syracuse University and an art education certificate from Moore College of Art. Rachel was a textile designer whose clients included QVC and Nordstrom. She has been an art teacher and currently owns a business creating and selling artwork.
Ruth Teitelbaum received her BFA at Rhode Island school of design, and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Art Education from Eastern Michigan University. Ruth is an exhibiting artist as well as a professional graphic designer, mural and scenic painter, and an art teacher.
Lisa Schaffer is the owner of a photography business, as well as a vinyl record DJ with a BFA from Arcadia University. Lisa is especially proud of the fact that she successfully started her own business, and she enjoys being a mother of two while doing what she loves each day. To find out more about Lisa’s photography business, go to www.skylerbug.com.
Marissa Cylinder has been choreographing dance for eleven years and has been at Burn Brae for seven years. Marissa graduated from Arcadia University with a BA in Elementary Education and Honors Program with a minor in music and dance. During the year she teaches Elementary School and is a dance instructor at Elements Dance Factory.
Musical Theater Lead/Special Effects Makeup Instructor
Maggie Griffin-Smith received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Montclair State University. She has starred in numerous roles at The Eagle Theatre, Broadway Theatre of Pitman, and has worked at The Walnut Street and Bristol Riverside Theatres. She has taught for Theatre Horizon and Storybook Musical Theatre for 3 years, as well as private lessons. She has also directed musicals at Lower Merion MS and Cheltenham HS. She can be seen performing in two shows at Bristol Riverside Theatre this summer, as well as at Glenside's Dino's Backstage in August, and at The Eagle Theatre in Sept.-Oct. Maggie has a daughter attending camp this summer.
Movie Production, TV/Video, Improv Theater
Eric Van Wie has a BFA from University of the Arts. He is a drama and comedy improv teacher and performer. He has performed at Theater Ariel, Comedy Sportz, Historic Philadelphia Storyteller, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Wilma Theatre, 1812 Productions, Act II Playhouse, various TV commercials, and radio voice overs. He is the Business Manager and a performer of Fred's Magic World, a well known comedy magic show for the past 15 years.
Movie Production Lead
Justin Lujan received his MFA in Acting from University of California, Irvine, his BA from University of Northern Colorado, and is a graduate of The Groundlings’ School of Improvisation. He recently moved from Los Angeles where he was an Associate Chair in the Acting for Film Department at the New York Film Academy’s LA campus. He is now the Head of the Acting Program at University of the Arts where he teaches the Sophomore Acting Studio as well as other core curriculums. He is excited to be here with us at Burn Brae this summer!
Anne Margaret O'Malley received her BFA in Dance from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She also received training in many forms of dance, both nationally and internationally. Anne Margaret is an associate professor at Temple University where she teaches an arts curriculum, and a professor of dance at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA. She is on the faculty of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Anne Margaret has been a professional actress, dancer, choreographer, and musician for over three decades. She is a Teaching Artist of Flamenco at Ole Tapas Restaurant in Newark, Delaware and can be seen performing locally with Latin Fiesta.
Hal Levinson received a BA in Elementary Education and ESL certification from Penn State University. He also received his MA from Gratz College. He is a Computer Science teacher at the Mayfair School in Philadelphia.
Rick Todt is a retired teacher and now substitutes in many different area school districts (K-12) each day of the school year. He used to race sailboats and has coached six different sports during his life, including tennis. Rick had a sailing business on Long Beach Island for over fifteen years.
Lego Robotics Lead
Ethan Fryer has worked at Burn Brae for six years, and currently attends Penn State University for Information and Services Technology. When Ethan was in high school he was captain of Upper Dublin High School’s Robotics Team and led them to qualify for World Championships multiple times. In addition to being involved in robotics, he is also a part of Everybody’s Theater Company and has done tech for Upper Dublin musical productions.
Craig Berman is a science teacher at a private school in New Jersey. He has over thirty years of experience in teaching musical instruments, performing in bands, and as a science and nature specialist.