Welcome to lppacs.org – the online home of Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School. Located in Midland, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Park is a community school that is redefining “community.” Through the creative opportunities it offers to its students, to local residents, to Western Pennsylvania citizens, and to learners all over the world, Lincoln Park is committed to providing the highest-quality education possible. It does so by using an unbeatable blend of cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned academic rigor.
Founded in 2006, Lincoln Park is a tuition-free public charter school. It offers world-class training for Pennsylvania students in music, theater, dance, literary arts, media arts, and health science and the arts, along with a flexible and challenging academic program. All of these opportunities are provided in a working performing arts center, equipped with numerous amenities. In addition, Lincoln Park’s college-in-high-school program allows students to begin accumulating college credits while still enrolled in high school.
Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School is dedicated to providing student-centered service in a professional and compassionate manner. The school utilizes a highly-trained and committed staff, which includes a number of professional artists. Students at Lincoln Park benefit from individualized educational strategies, tailored to each student’s needs, interests and abilities, and designed to empower every student to succeed.
P. K. Poling
P.K. Poling was named the first official principal of Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in June 2007. He has been the C.E.O. of Lincoln Park since 2013.
Mr. Poling earned his B.S. from West Liberty State College and his M.S. in Educational Administration, principal’s license, and superintendent’s license from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Now in his 30th year of education, Mr. Poling has been a biology teacher, head football coach, middle/high school assistant principal, athletic director, middle school principal, and an elementary principal. Mr. Poling is very proud of the students and staff of Lincoln Park and is very humbled to be the C.E.O. of this wonderful institution.
Lindsay Rodgers has worked at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School since it opened in 2006. Dr. Rodgers began as a math teacher at Lincoln Park, and since 2016, has served as the school’s principal. She is a graduate of Penn State and earned her Masters and Doctorate Degrees from Robert Morris University. She enjoys working with the students and families to continually grow Lincoln Park as a world-class school of choice.
Dean of Academics
Mrs. Castelli has been the Dean of Academics at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School since 2006. She has a degree in nursing from Carlow University, her certification in secondary science from Geneva College, and has obtained her principal’s certificate from the University of Pittsburgh. She has also worked for Heritage Valley, Central Valley and Hopewell school districts as a nurse. She is married, and has three daughters and a grandson.
Director of Dance
Jennifer Verba is the coordinator of Lincoln Park’s Associate Arts Degree in Dance through the Community College of Beaver County, and is a resident choreographer/director at LPPACS, as well as the Director of the Dance Department. Mrs. Verba is a graduate of Clarion University with a MS in Curriculum and Instruction of Education, and a graduate of Slippery Rock University with a BA in Dance and a BS in Elementary Education.
Director of Health Sciences and the Arts
A native of Ambridge, Mr. Bariski is a graduate of Slippery Rock University, with a BS in Health Science Education, and MS degrees in Health Sciences and Exercise Physiology. Mr. Bariski, who serves as the school’s athletic director and head basketball coach, as well as the director of the Health Sciences and the Arts Department, has been part of the Lincoln Park family since the school’s inception.
Director of Literary Arts
Dan LeRoy has been the director of the Literary Arts Department at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School since 2006. He is the author of three books, most recently For Whom the Cowbell Tolls, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, The Village Voice, Alternative Press, National Review Online and Esquire.com. At Lincoln Park, he has appeared in multiple theatrical productions. He lives in Midland with his wife and three children.
Director of Media Arts
Cassandra Patten, the director of the Media Arts Depoartment, has worked at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School since it opened in 2006. She is an entrepreneur and practicing graphic designer from Beaver County. Mrs. Patten received her B.S. in Graphic Design and Communications from LaRoche College and after 15 years working in the field of graphic design and marketing for numerous companies, she furthered her love of art by attending Carlow University for her Certificate in Art Education.
Director of Music
An original music faculty member of Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School from 2006, Melissa Holman has served as the school’s director of music since 2009. She holds an MEd degree in school administration from California University of PA and a BS in music education from Geneva College.
Director of Pre-Law and the Arts
Mia Frank is a 2001 graduate of Saint Vincent College and a 2005 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. After several years of practicing law, Mrs. Frank earned her Masters of Curriculum and Instruction from Saint Vincent College. She has been teaching at Lincoln Park since 2011.
Director of Theatre
Tom Schaller, the director of Theatre at Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, is a graduate of Point Park University and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He is well known in Pittsburgh as an actor and director, and has performed both roles multiple times on our own Lincoln Park stage.