For students and teachers alike, a new school year can seem totally familiar in some ways and completely new in others. The feeling of a fresh start for everyone is a fall tradition. The people listed below will be part of that fresh start in Harvard schools this year, although a few of them have already been members of the school system in different roles.
Scott Mulcahy joined the administrative team at the Hildreth Elementary School in mid-June as the new associate principal. For the previous two years, he was assistant principal at Josiah Haynes Elementary School in Sudbury. He taught for eight years in Hudson, six years as a fifth-grade teacher and then two years as a social studies teacher in middle school. At both schools he did extensive work on curriculum development as well as dealing with a range of technologies.
Mulcahy holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and elementary education from Stonehill College, a master’s degree in school psychology from the University of Hartford, and a master’s in school administration from Worcester State College. He is currently working on a doctoral degree in education from Creighton University.
Marie Phillips, teaching first grade at Hildreth this year, will be a familiar face to many. She has held one-year positions at HES, teaching first and third grades since 2015. After getting her master’s degree in elementary education at Fitchburg State, Phillips taught fourth grade in Shirley. Recently she has taught in Berlin and Maynard, as well as tutoring students in math for a couple of years.
Phillips, who lives in Boylston, has also been deeply involved in her community, serving as director of the historical society and the school garden committee, chairing the elementary school PTO, and being active in her church.
Jessica Bethoney comes to the Hildreth Elementary School guidance department with a background in both social work and psychotherapy. In her previous elementary school job in Brooklyn, New York, she worked with students on individual educational plans, while also earning two master’s degrees—in social work and in public administration—from Columbia University.
Earlier, after graduating from Connecticut College, Bethoney spent a year in AmeriCorps during which she tutored elementary students after school and took part in a range of volunteer programs from Tucson, Arizona, to Biloxi, Mississippi. She also worked with Habitat for Humanity on a rebuilding project in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Emily Sterber will be a full-time speech pathologist at HES, working with students individually and also in groups. She graduated cum laude from Northeastern in 2016 with both a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology. During college she was a teacher’s aide at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown.
While Sterber was earning her master’s degree, she worked as a graduate student clinician in various programs in Taunton, Lexington, Needham, and Boston. Last year, she had a long-term substitute position as a speech-language pathologist at an elementary school in Brookline.
Sterber said she likes using play activities to help students develop their speech skills. Among other techniques, she encourages students to tell stories about events in their lives or retell and discuss stories that she has read aloud to them.
In a related position, Rebecca Antes is coming to HES as a half-time speech pathologist. She has worked in schools, medical centers, and rehab facilities for more than 25 years. Most recently she was co-director for curriculum and supervision at the Clearway School in Newton. Antes earned her undergraduate degree at UMass Amherst and her master’s at Ithaca College.
After five years with preschools in Leominster, Lauren Carchidi will be teaching prekindergarten in Harvard. In Leominster, Carchidi ran social skills groups for preschoolers with a variety of needs, including small groups of children who had been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. She has also worked as an aide on a one-to-one basis with a child with severe needs. She majored in early childhood education at Fitchburg State.
As a new reading tutor in Harvard, Lisa Stone brings 30 years of experience as a kindergarten teacher in Lunenburg, as well as two years as a special education teacher there.
Both Karen Shaw and Mary Lance are joining HES as long-term substitutes this year. Shaw is teaching first-graders, and Lance will have a fourth-grade class.
Lance comes to Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts from UMass Amherst, a Master of Education from UMass Lowell, and a Doctorate of Education from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She taught second grade at the Alcott School in Concord from 2004 to 2010, after which she began working part time from home while raising her children. During those years, Lance taught an education course as an adjunct professor at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. More recently, she taught an online education course as an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Florida, and has also been a wellness teacher at the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Devens.
Shaw has taught at HES since the summer of 2016, first as an assistant summer preschool teacher, then as a substitute teacher at all grade levels, and last spring as a long-term substitute working with K–3 students on individual education plans. Shaw majored in elementary education at Southern New Hampshire University and is a certified special education teacher.
Mandy Ostaszewski will be a kindergarten aide. A graduate of Boston University, she majored in psychology. For the past two years, she worked as a program aide for Mount Wachusett Community College at the Samoset School in Leominster, helping middle school students prepare for high school and for the possibility of college thereafter. Some years earlier, she was a special education teacher at the Seven Hills Academy in Devens.
Sixth-grade science teacher Adam Mackie’s teaching experience ranges from Prince Edward Island, Canada, to Brookline, Watertown, and Wilmington in Massachusetts. He has taught science to sixth-graders in Wilmington since 2010. Mackie earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Bowdoin College and a master’s degree in education, with a focus on middle school science, at Lesley University. He has also taken part in several programs at the Edward Devotion School in Brookline, including an after-school project that involved building a trebuchet and using it to destroy a castle. With real scientific zeal, Mackie and his family went to Georgia last week to see the eclipse.
A hockey player since his school days in Canada and later at college, Mackie still plays in local leagues. He has coached young hockey players at a Braintree high school and in the Puckmasters program in Norwood.
Amanda Failla will join the physical education faculty at Bromfield, teaching general phys ed classes for both middle and high schoolers. She is starting her fourth year of teaching, after graduating from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Education degree and earning a master’s degree at Connecticut State.
In a brief phone interview, Failla said she particularly likes introducing kids to new sports, such as tchoukball, an indoor team sport with elements of handball, volleyball, and squash. With an unfamiliar sport, Failla explained, “All the kids start at the same level, so it helps more of them feel safe and comfortable in taking part.”
Coming to teach seventh-grade English is Ryan Deery, who started his career at the Landmark School in Prides Crossing and subsequently became head of the language arts department there. Attracted by the opportunity to teach abroad, Deery spent the next two years in Trinidad at the International School of Port of Spain, where he taught high school English and also served as yearbook adviser. Since returning to the United States in 2010, Deery has taught at Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsborough, where he was also the curriculum coordinator for the English department. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at Middlesex Community College.
An English major, Deery graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He earned two graduate degrees—a Master of Arts in English and a Master of Science in education—from Simmons College.
Special education teacher Jesse Shaw has a decade of teaching experience in New York and Massachusetts. For the past three years, he has taught in the Shrewsbury public schools, where he established a model for an essential skills program; half the students in the program were later able to move to inclusion in a regular classroom. He also taught in Medway and, before moving to Massachusetts, in New York City, Bedford, and Yorktown, New York.
Shaw is currently doing graduate coursework at Tufts University’s Poincaré Institute, which focuses on mathematics education. He received his bachelor’s degree at SUNY Oneonta and his master’s at Mercy College. He has also been involved in the Shrewsbury community, serving on the town’s master plan implementation committee and the trails committee.
Matthew Russell has been working as a learning assistant at Bromfield since April, a position he will continue this year. He also coached Bromfield’s middle school baseball team this spring. Russell graduated cum laude from UMass Dartmouth in 2016, with a major in crime and justice studies and a minor in history. As an intern he tutored Upward Bound students in 2015. After college he spent a year as a substitute teacher at his high school alma mater, North Middlesex Regional.