Peter Randall

Peter Randall is one of our lead mentors. He started working at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in 2002 as a ’69 alumn of CHA. Along with Rob Ervin, they initiated the FIRST Vulcan Robotics Team 1218. In 2011 at the Trenton Regional he won the Woodie Flowers Award. He is now an Upper School engineering teacher and chair of Engineering and Robotics program at SCH Academy. We are honored to have such a devoted and intelligent head mentor who believes that very early is on-time.

James Martin

James Martin is a physics and engineering teacher at SCH Academy. He joined our FIRST Robotics team as a mentor in 2009 after graduating from CHA in 1999. He is enthusiastic and willing to help students apply what they learn in class to designing and building a functioning robot. He’s an expert at helping students extend their ideas past their comfort zone and into what they can achieve. With his many gopro cameras, he also functions as the best videographer our team has ever had. We are honored to have such a dedicated mentor. In his latest adventure, he has begun designing and laser cutting custom guitars both for personal use and commercial sale.

Alissa Sperling

Alissa Sperling is a physics teacher at SCH and became a mentor in the fall of 2015. Before her transition to SCH, Alissa was a mentor for team 321 at Central High School. During competitions, she can be found reffing on the fields, dancing like a star, and being the team beauty pageant queen. Alissa also spends her nights during robotics season working on robot design, organizing volunteers for the SCH district event, field building, and making sure all members of 1218 are excelling academically.

Jared Frenzel Sulyok

Jared joined the world of FIRST Robotics in spring 2016 as a referee. Since then, Jared has immersed himself in FIRST programs as a CSA, FLL judge, FLL referee, and team mentor. Jared enjoys working with the youngest members of Team 1218 teaching mecanical skills as he leads the wooden field build each season. When he is not doing robotics, Jared is a Systems Administrator at Drexel University, a Lego enthusiast, and Emily’s favorite “da-da.”


Emily is 1218’s youngest and best mentor.

Eileen Larkin

Eileen started mentoring our team just in time for the 2020 season. Prior to working with 1218 Eileen could be found mentoring team 272. She is also a long-time competition volunteer with FIRST Mid-Atlantic and is currently serving on the board of directors. Eileen helps our team with many different things including, media, organization, and awards writing. We are excited to have her knowledge on our team this year!

Scott Rankin

Scott Rankin is the owner of Vulcan Spring, our main sponsor. He donates much of his personal time and expertise to the team. He is responsible for the success and growth of our program. We are very fortunate to have had him with us since 2007 and hope he will continue to be a contributing member and amazing mentor to our team.

Jonathan Frank

Jonathan Frank is the parent of 1218 alumnus, Charlie Frank. As the president of Metal Edge, he helps guide the business team with his expertise. With his support, we have been able to expand our program into what it is today. We try to give back to him by broadening our team from being just about the robot to a growing team with focuses on business, entrepreneurialism, and giving back to the community.

Rob Ervin

Along with Peter Randall, he’s responsible for the initiation of FIRST Team 1218 Vulcan Robotics in 2002. We also credit him with the expansion of our robotics team from a closet to a state-of-the-art robotics lab in our new science building. He has been a major part of the team’s success. He has started a new venture in his life by working with AIM Academy and 1218 to start FIRST Team 5407. At AIM Mr. Ervin is now the Director of Robotics & Engineering.

Dan Newman

Dan Newman works at the Boeing in Ridley Park, and he is the Senior Technical Fellow for Airplane product development and Boeing commercial airplanes as well as the Chief Engineer for vertical lift and Boeing defense, Space and Security. He helps the students learn how to build and engineer a product from start to finish by teaching strategy and organization.