Lisa Silko (Spang) Zubritsky was born the second of five children and the only daughter of Franklin and Elise Silko, both of whom were teachers. Her career path into music unknowingly began at age five when an uncle gave the Silkos an old, upright piano. Her mother taught her piano basics until she began weekly lessons with a piano teacher neighbor. The piano studies advanced with different tutors through high school as she won several competitions.
A 1976 graduate of Monessen High School, Zubritsky received both academic and music scholarships to Duquesne University where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Music Education degree, summa cum laude, in 1979.
Zubritsky was offered a graduate assistantship at Duquesne and earned a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance. She furthered her education by taking post masters classes at the University of Pittsburgh and taught elementary music at the Falk School there.
Next, she returned to Duquesne as an Adjunct Professor, teaching piano lessons and class piano to music ed and music therapy majors. She remained there for 15 years and had the privilege of performing with Pittsburgh Symphony members and music faculty members there. She also taught piano lessons at St. Vincent College from 2010 to 2015.
In the spring of 1996, Zubritsky was hired at Elizabeth Forward. She and her colleague, Mrs. Kristy Ochs, immediately began to implement new ideas within the music curriculum. The pair worked to secure funding to purchase Orff instruments for each elementary music room. They began the recorder program in grades 3, 4, and 5, and changed the face of the classrooms by removing the desks and chairs and creating a carpeted space where children were free to sing, move, dance, and play classroom instruments. The pair also created the EF fifth grade chorus for students from all the elementary schools to perform a spring concert together.
Zubritsky spent hours writing and teaching the annual all school elementary school spring shows, and her students performed for the Senior Citizens of the district for their annual Christmas breakfast. In addition, she spent many early mornings and lunch times rehearsing students to attend special events such as PMEA SingFest and Singing Saturday. Some of her favorite musical memories are preparing students for Veteran's Day assemblies at her schools and singing and dancing with her students daily. She also loved when students would request to sing a song that they had learned previously in that school year, or even in a past year. She was happy to oblige and relished seeing the joy on their faces as they sang an old favorite song.
An elementary music teacher, Zubritsky was a frequent accompanist for EF Middle and High School choir concerts and served as pianist in the pit orchestra for many EFHS musicals. Along with co-worker, Dr. Angie Milliren, she began the EF combined choir performances and “Choir Camp” days where chorus students from grades 5 through 12 had the opportunity to learn, sing and dance together. She loved reconnecting with former students while being the pianist for EFHS choral concerts and commencement in addition to helping as a chaperone on EFHS choir trips.
Zubritsky remained involved with PMEA, serving as the piano accompanist for events including District and Region Choirs. She was on the selection committee for PMEA student accompanist auditions where she also served as a mentor teacher. In addition, she has presented workshops three times at the PMEA District I Education Conference.
This past summer, Zubritsky retired from EF with 26 years of service. In retirement, she continues to provide music for her church, St. Sebastian, in Belle Vernon and to teach piano students at her home in Rostraver Twp. Her favorite retirement activities are spending time with her husband, Chuck, and assisting her children with their endeavors. Steven is a member of the EF music department, serving as band director and orchestra teacher at the high school. David (wife Moira) is a civil engineer at Bettis Laboratory in West Mifflin; Lauren is a fifth grade teacher in the Belle Vernon School District, and Mary Beth is a doctoral student at Carlow University as well as a clinician at Pittsburgh Mercy ADAS Unit. She is also the loving grandma to one-year-old Elliott.