Mr. Auerbach, Principal
Mr. Auerbach graduated from Wesleyan University in 2001 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He then began his teaching career in New York City, teaching third grade in Washington Heights and receiving his Master’s degree in Elementary Education from The City College of New York. He moved back home to Wilmington in 2003 and taught at Wilmington Friends School for four years, teaching third grade and fifth grade. After a year at KIPP Philadelphia Charter School teaching fifth grade, Mr. Auerbach became the Academic Dean at Thomas Edison Charter School for four years, where he also taught seventh and eighth grade Spanish. In 2012, Mr. Auerbach joined the Brandywine School District and became the Assistant Principal at Harlan Elementary School. He then moved to Mt. Pleasant Elementary School and served as Assistant Principal there for two years before being named Principal.
Mr. Auerbach has a wife and two children, both of whom attend/attended Mt. Pleasant Elementary. He is excited to have achieved his goal of becoming an elementary school principal and wants to make MPE a great place for all kids!
Mr. Thorpe, Assistant Principal
Mr. Thorpe graduated from the University of Delaware in 2002 with a degree in Music Education. After graduation, he taught band and general music at Stanton Middle School for 8 years. While teaching at Stanton, Mr. Thorpe pursued a Master’s degree in Applied Technology in Education from Wilmington University, which he completed in 2009. In 2010, Mr. Thorpe came to the Brandywine School District as the Dean of Students at P.S. DuPont Middle School. After serving as the Dean of Students for 2 years, he assumed the role of Assistant Principal in the school. In 2018, Mr. Thorpe was granted an Assistant Principal position at Collegium Charter School in Exton, PA. He served as an administrator in one of their K-4 elementary schools for 2 years.
In 2020, Mr. Thorpe was called to return to the Brandywine School District and is excited to be an Assistant Principal at Mount Pleasant Elementary School. He is extremely honored to again be a part of the community that he so passionately served for many years. Beaming with dragon pride, Mr. Thorpe is committed to building relationships with students that strengthen their connection to MPE, encourage them to identify their strengths, and allow them to excel in their educational endeavors.
Mrs. Heather Clifton graduated from the University of Delaware in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Mathematics. She began working in the Christina School District teaching Special Education Mathematics for grades 6-8. While there, she completed certification as a Teacher for Exceptional Children and Youth K-12. She then transitioned to the Red Clay School District teaching 6th grade special education at both Stanton Middle School and HB DuPont Middle School. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social and Emotional Learning at Neumann University along with a Master’s in Educational Leadership at Wilmington University. Currently, she is pursuing her Autism and Severe Disabilities certification with Wilmington University. She hopes to bridge the gaps between social and emotional learning and academic excellence for all learners. She believes in meaningful and authentic connections between students, families, and staff that create impactful relationships that directly impact student success .
Mr. Casey, Dean of Students
Mr. Casey began his journey in education in 2003 when he graduated from the University of Delaware with a Master's in Elementary School Counseling. Prior to his current role as Dean of Students at MPE, he was a school counselor for five years on both the East and West sides of Wilmington and then for two years at MPE.
His passion for the work he does with kids and families began with the teachers, coaches, and counselors that helped guide him along his way. Now it comes from the smiles and hugs that he experiences from kids each day. He believes that it is our job to help kids discover and develop the strengths within themselves in a safe space where they feel willing to take risks.
Mrs. Janicki, Dean of Students
Mrs. Janicki graduated from the University of Delaware in 1988 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She began working at the AuClair School, a residential treatment facility for students with behavior disorders. While there, she completed the courses to obtain her certification as a Teacher of Exceptional Children, K-12. After several years as a special education teacher, she became the Educational Coordinator. She earned her Master of Instruction of Exceptional Children from the University of Delaware. After seven years, she left AuClair School and began teaching at Middletown High School for two years. She has been teaching at Mt. Pleasant Elementary in the Emotional Support Program for twenty one years. She is very excited to begin this year as the Dean of Students at MPE. She hopes to be able to provide academic as well as social support to all students so they can have successful school experiences. In addition, she will work to support teachers in all areas. Family school connections and partnerships are very important to help improve academic outcomes of students. She hopes to provide support to families and encourage their participation at MPE.
In addition to her first son, Matthew (who just so happens to teach at MPE), she also has a daughter Marissa and a son, Samuel. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching her children's sporting events, volunteering at various organizations and spending time at the pool or beach.