Abbie Harter - Instructor

Abbie joined the Fort Wayne Center for Learning in March 2016.  She graduated with a BA in psychology from Indiana University in 2014.  She worked as a teaching assistant at IU and recently gained her certification in yoga instruction.  

Abbie believes that education has the power to transform communities, and therefore is excited to develop her teaching skills and become an integral part of the learning process for the students at FWCL.  

Abbie enjoys spending her free time outdoors; partaking in activities such as walking, cycling, swimming and practicing yoga. She loves animals and has two dogs and a cat of her own who keep her very busy.  

  Geneva Harter - Instructor

Geneva is excited to be back at the Fort Wayne Center for Learning for her second summer. She graduated from Ivy Tech with an Associates in Education in 2015. She has continued her pursuit of earning a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education at WGU, where she is currently in her final year. Geneva has worked with students individually and in small group settings both in and out of the classroom.

Geneva has always had a lifelong passion for helping children recognize their full potential. She considers herself to be a kid at heart and finds great joy in the discovery of learning. She believes that with motivation and high expectations, every child has the ability to learn.

In her free time, Geneva enjoys staying active through strength training, cycling, snowboarding, and walking her dog Calisi, She also enjoys podcasts, chess, board games, karaoke, and dancing.

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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