Jennifer Parry - Instructor

Jennifer joined the staff in May 2015. Her calling is to assist children in unlocking their potential. She has worked in Special Education for seven years, facilitated ropes courses, participated in respite care programs, and led nature activities for YMCA camps.

Jennifer is married to Jim, and has two teenage daughters. She holds a Bachelors in Science from the University of New Hampshire, and is certified to teach science and special education. She enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, hiking and bird watching.

Alyssa Schimenti - Instructor

Alyssa has a degree in English Literature and a Certificate in Teaching English as a New Language from IPFW. She loves working with students of all ages and learning backgrounds. Her experience includes teaching English to immigrant and refugee children, teens, and adults. In addition to teaching English, she has spent time working at a Fort Wayne high school helping students with all subjects. 

Alyssa spends her free time reading, traveling, learning, and being outdoors.  She has lived, studied, and volunteered abroad and loves new experiences!

Ellen Shannon - Instructor

Ellen is a graduate of IPFW, where she studied Speech/Language Pathology. She recently moved on to her current pursuit of a Master's degree in IPFW's counseling program, with a concentration in marriage and family studies. 

Ellen enjoys working with students, and has spent time as a classroom aide, 4-H volunteer leader, and peer tutor at IPFW. She believes that learning can be engaging, accessible, and enjoyable.  During her spare time, she enjoys time with friends, volunteering, and reading or writing.

Mark A. Thomas - Lead Instructor

Mark originally joined the Fort Wayne Center for Learning staff in April of 2011.  After a 10 month break, he re-joined the staff in October 2014.  


Mark graduated from IPFW with a Bachelor’s in English with a Writing concentration. While completing this coursework, he worked at the IPFW Writing Center as a writing consultant for four years, where he spent his time in one-on-one instruction sessions with an amazingly wide variety of writers. During this time, Mark engaged in professional development research projects on some topics of interest to him such as Socratic Method and Cognitive Load Theory. His CLT project went on to be delivered as a presentation at the East Central Writing Center Association conference in 2011, where he also presented on creative writing.


Mark enjoys camping, hiking, swimming, bird-watching, and, well, generally being outside! He also spends time collecting coins, restoring antique furniture, writing creative fiction and poetry, and gardening.



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