Erin Hoffman

Erin is our Primary (PreK4-K) classroom teacher.

Hello! My name is Erin Hoffman and I am a Montessori trained teacher for pre-k and kindergarten. I will be teaching the kindergarten class at LFS! I'm excited to blend the Montessori methods and materials with the Quaker values. I have taught at 3 different schools (in AZ and PA) over the past 20 years with a few breaks to move back home and have our boys. I'm thrilled and honored to begin this journey at Lancaster Friends School.

A few of my practices and views on teaching:

Fun fact: I did a summer long archaeological dig through the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. My digging partner and I found such an interesting multipurpose tool that we were on the news after the crew hiked in with their cameras through a river and fields with poisonous snakes!

Kat Patterson

Kat is our Early Elementary (1st-3rd grade) classroom teacher.

My name is Kat Patterson and I am very excited to join the Lancaster Friends School full-time! I attended Mercersburg Academy for high school, and graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 2022. Some of my work experience includes substitute teaching, internships at the YWCA of Lancaster and the Migrant Education Program, nannying and babysitting, student athletic training at F&M, restaurant serving, and camp counseling. When I am not working, I spend my time outdoors hiking with my dog, checking out coffee shops around Lancaster, traveling, and baking. I began at LFS helping with after-school care and social media, and I felt welcomed with open arms by students and adults to this supportive community. Now, I am thrilled to begin teaching my own classroom. I love teaching because I feel lucky to watch students grow and learn in ways beyond academically. It was important for me to find a working environment that supported my involvement in social justice, and LFS does more than that; it encourages me to share my experiences and passions with our students! It is important to me to inspire each student to be their individual selves and embrace their identities inside and outside of the classroom. My goal in the near future is to attend Montessori training! 

Portrait photo of Andrea Carty

Andrea Carty (she/her)

Andrea is our Upper Elementary (Grades 4-6) classroom teacher. 

My name is Andrea Paz y Miño Carty. I am a Montessori trained teacher with my Masters in Elementary Education from Temple University. I have taught children from preschool to 6th grade and enjoyed all of those experiences. Having been exposed to public school and Quaker education as a student, I have a deep appreciation for an excellent education with a firm foundation on the core Quaker values. My passion for social justice and my belief in the inherent value of every person is what brought me to Quakerism and what inspires me as first Head of School for Lancaster Friends School.

My husband and I moved to Lancaster with our children in 2003 when he accepted his position in the athletic department at F&M. We have enjoyed being part of that community and our oldest daughter graduated from F&M in 2022. We also have a daughter entering her third year at Bates College, while our son is entering his third year at Westtown, a Quaker school.

I have enjoyed experiences teaching in multi-age classrooms and look forward to teaching 4-6. Allowing students to learn from each other, work together to problem solve, and build lasting relationships in an authentic, inclusive community is a large part of what makes teaching so rewarding.

I believe that teaching is my calling, what I am led to do, how I can have a positive impact on the world. My kindergarten self did not agree, as when I was asked what I wanted to be, I answered “a grandmother.” I hope to enjoy that position someday. 

Trex Proffitt (he/him)

Trex is a part of our Middle School team, teaching Math and History. 

"My name is Trex Proffitt and I've served as a professor at F&M, Muhlenberg College, Emory University, and the University of California. After a career in higher education, I became a middle school teacher in 2016. My family and I have lived in Lancaster since 2005. My wife works as a house dean at F&M, my daughter is a rising senior at F&M, and my son is entering his first year at Yale.

I love teaching middle school students because their growing brains are as capable as they'll ever be, but they also are young and playful, so they have fun while they learn.

Fun fact: I've walked across a bed of hot coals twice in my life. It was easier than teaching. I'm a level 1 squash coach and have been coaching and organizing squash since 1995." 

James Jolles

James teaches science to students in grades 4-8, as well as math for Middle School.

Peggy Bright (she/her)

Peggy teaches music to students in grades K-8. 

Portrait photo of Peggy Bright

Rain Smolinsky (they/he)

Rain works with all students K-8 teaching Art.

Hi I’m Rain (they/he). I’m really looking forward to joining the Lancaster Friends School as the new art teacher for the 2023/2024 school year! I have loved art as far back as I can remember. As an animal-loving kid, a lot of my art (poetry, drawings, painting, social organizing) centered around the natural world. Today I continue to love the versatility and possibility that comes with creativity! 

Throughout high school and college I took various art classes, and into my adulthood I have taken photography, woodworking, glass sculpture, screen printing, and welding classes through Googleworks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA. My favorite things to create are fiber arts, stencils, and zines! For too long I allowed perfectionism and self-doubt hold back my creative outlets. Today I am passionate about art and creation as an accessible activity for everyone! Art can be fun, healing, transformative and a means of accessing our own authenticity and vulnerability. Today I can’t imagine my life without it.

Outside of LFS I work as a social worker and therapist. I also work at a local Lancaster cafe! You might see me out with my family, snowboarding, roller skating, dancing, hiking, or enjoying a meal at one of our many locally owned restaurants! Thank you for welcoming me into the LFS community!

Victoria Carty (she/they)

Victoria works with all students K-8 teaching Spanish and Health, and is the DEIJ Coordinator. 

My first job, like so many other people, was babysitting. I got to babysit for my middle school math teacher, watching her young son and then her infant. I babysat them over the course of several years, watching them grow and change, and I even got the chance to see them in classroom settings in later years. I continued babysitting, working in summer camps, doing weekly childcare for Lancaster Monthly Meeting, and substitute teaching up until the pandemic. In October of 2020, I got the chance to work with a learning Pod in downtown Lancaster serving students of local public schools, mainly Ross Elementary. I'd always been on the fence about teaching as a career path, but this experience really encouraged me to pursue education. 

I can still remember one of my first Spanish classes in first grade. My teacher asked if anyone knew the word "arriba" and I pulled my knowledge (guided by the wonderful Dora the Explorer) out of my pocket. I felt such a sense of pride and joy being able to learn another language, and my passion continued from there. I continued taking Spanish through middle and high school, completing my high school's Spanish program, and going on to double major in Spanish and Public Health at F&M, where I am now a senior. 

My own education led me through Montessori from 1st to 8th grade, and then to Westtown for a Quaker boarding school experience for high school. My most valuable take away from my education thus far has been that education is about learning how to learn. In my experience, I've learned that learning another language requires conversation and making mistakes. No one will make it through Spanish class, including myself, without tripping up once or twice. These mistakes encourage us to use our resources, to learn how to use a Spanish dictionary, our critical thinking skills, and the words and phrases that we do have to communicate. The exploration of a world to which we have become accustomed through the lens of a new language can be eye-opening and joyful for people of all ages. 

I've been involved in Quakerism since I was 6 years old, and have attended Lancaster Monthly Meeting since then. I have recently been invited to become a Member, and will be completing that process soon. I also attended Quaker high school and was a student clerk on the Quaker Leadership Committee there. I also helped out occasionally with FDS on Sundays at the Westtown Meeting, which transitioned nicely into working Sunday childcare at LMM. 

My educational interests outside of teaching include American government & politics (hence my Public Health Gov track major), health education, English including creative writing and poetry, and biology. 

What I love about teaching: I love experiencing the world through fresh eyes. I have always loved working with kids and hearing what they have to say, they can be some of the best people to talk to. It's such a win for everyone when a student has that moment of realization about a new concept and begins to manipulate it in their own way. I am always honored to be a part of a child's life; every moment is so precious!

Fun fact: I've been to the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador! I was able to go to Ecuador for 3 weeks during my senior year of high school, and I spent one week in Quito, one in Cumbayá, and one in the Amazon. We had to fly in a tiny propellor plane and then go down the Amazon river in a motor-powered boat, and then travel down a smaller stream in a row boat. It was an amazing experience and I would go back to the rainforest in a heartbeat!