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Meet the Education Team


Welcome back to school! As our region’s premier educational partner, we’re excited to work with schools and students across western PA and northern WV to teach high-impact lessons on financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship. From traditional in-classroom programming to a day spent at JA BizTown, we hope you decide to spend some time with us this upcoming year. To kick off the school year, we’d like to introduce you to the people you’ll be working closest with – our education team! 

Headshot of Ed Chess

Ed Chess 

Position: Director of Outreach and Engagement 

Territories covered:  

- Suburban or rural schools in Fayette, Green, and Washington counties

- All schools in the West Virginia region 

Education background: Waynesburg University, bachelor’s in business 

Favorite school subject: History 

Fun fact: I've seen every episode of the TV series MASH at least 30 times. 

Favorite part about working for JA: My favorite part of working for JA is working with my colleagues.

Headshot of Latoyia Guerrant

Latoyia Guerrant 

Position: Program Manager 

Territories covered:  

- Diocese of Pittsburgh 

- Pittsburgh Public Schools 

- Private, charter, cyber, and after schools in the Metro Region 

- Suburban and rural schools in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, and Westmoreland counties 

- All schools in Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren counties 

Education background: University of Phoenix, bachelor’s in elementary education 

Favorite school subject: My favorite subject has always been math, but I have grown to truly love science and history as an adult  

Fun fact: I don't eat meat, and I use various mushrooms as substitutes. 

Favorite part about working for JA: My favorite part of working for JA is helping serve my community in the schools and supporting students in learning valuable skills to help them build their futures. 

Headshot of Doug Knepper

Doug Knepper 

Position: Program Manager 

Territories covered: All schools in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Fulton, Huntington, Indiana, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Somerset, and Tioga counties 

Education background: University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, bachelor's in early childhood education 

Favorite school subject: Earth science 

Fun fact: I love watching movies and reading books. 

Favorite part about working for JA: Making a positive impact on students’ lives and preparing them for success in this ever-changing world. 

Headshot of Meghan Konsugar

Meghan Konsugar 

Position: Education Events Coordinator 

Territories covered: BizTown (all schools) 

Education background: Washington & Jefferson College, bachelor’s in English 

Favorite school subject: Creative writing  

Favorite part about working for JA: I love helping students realize that their skills and passions can translate into a successful career in the future. 

Fun fact: My 7th grade English teacher sparked my interest in the subject and helped me realize the importance of communication skills at a young age. I have her to thank for my career! 

Headshot of Lauren Hess

Lauren Hess 

Position: JA BizTown Coordinator 

Territories covered: BizTown (all schools) 

Education background: Robert Morris University, bachelor’s in public relations and English literature 

Favorite school subject: English 

Fun fact: I have been riding horses for 25 years. For the last 15 years I have been rescuing off-the-track thoroughbred racehorses and retraining them for a jumping career. 

Favorite part about working for JA: My favorite part of working for JA is when kids come into BizTown for the first time. I love seeing the reaction on their faces when they enter the small community. I also love how excited they get when they figure out a task for their job and knowing I get to help them and be a part of their BizTown experience.

Amy Sidwell

Position: Senior Education Director

Territories covered: All

Education background:

- Edinboro University, bachelor's in health and physical education

West Virginia University, master’s in community health education

- West Virginia University, doctoral degree in kinesiology, concentrating on teacher education, educational psychology and research design

Favorite school subject: My favorite school subjects were those taught by teachers who were passionate about their subjects. Generally, I enjoyed art, band, and physical education the most.

Fun fact: In college, I was in marching band, pep band, concert band, bagpipe band, and a polka band just for fun.

Favorite part about working for JA: My favorite part about working for JA is having the opportunity to create meaningful learning opportunities for the students, educators, and volunteers who participate in our programs.

Select a button below to see how you or your organization can get involved with Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania, Inc..

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Any questions? Contact us!

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