Professionals of McAuliffe

To launch our 2017-18 school year, McAuliffe professionals spent time connecting with one another and learning the stories of how we each arrived at McAuliffe and our journeys at McAuliffe -- whether over 1 year, 5 years, or 14 years! We paired up and wrote brief "Professionals of McAuliffe" narratives about one another, modeled after "Humans of New York." We also each submitted a photo to represent us in a personal way. We hope that you enjoy getting to know more about your 2017-18 McAuliffe Professionals than our names and positions!

Anette LeFave, Special Education Coordinator, wanted to be an astronaut and wrote her college application essays about Christa McAuliffe. Although she hasn’t made it into space (yet!), Anette has been to Space Camp 4 times, and loves being an educator and part of a school community named after Christa McAuliffe. As a child, Anette attended school in 3 different countries (USA, Australia, and Denmark). She has traveled to 13 countries and more than 30 states. Anette loves animals and has had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, fish, snakes, and bearded dragons as pets.

Rodney Ward, 8th grade teacher, hails from Austin, TX. By age 5, he had already lived at 12 different addresses! He attended high school in Winchester, Massachusetts, and college in Berkeley, California. As a child, Rodney wanted to be a paleontologist (a word he could spell at age 3!). He has a background in science and social justice, and worked as both a flight attendant and karaoke DJ before finding his calling as a teacher. Rodney enjoys singing, playing piano and trombone, and is fascinated with pop culture and how it reflects current events.

Erik Maki is the Christa McAuliffe School’s psychological consultant. He works for Wediko, an agency that provides mental health services for children and families. His favorite part of being in the education field is building relationships with students and being there for those special “ah-ha” moments. Some of Erik’s hobbies include spending time with loved ones, exercising, and dancing. Erik also enjoys skiing in the winter and going to the beach during the summer. He has done some traveling in his life as well, but the farthest Erik has traveled has been to Japan and to Kyrgyzstan.

Lisa joins McAuliffe this year as a 7th grade Math Teacher. Her inspiration to become a teacher stemmed from an amazing third grade teacher that made learning meaningful and fun. Lisa’s ten years of teaching students with a variety of learning needs coupled with the birth of her son not only deepened her compassion and understanding, but also allowed her to develop new strategies as a strong advocate for her students. Lisa finds balance by spending time with her family, including her 1 ½ year old son as well as enjoying movies and outdoor activities.

Melissa is from Worcester, Massachusetts and speaks Portuguese fluently. Melissa went to Brazil where she graduated early from high school. She and her husband (also here at McAuliffe as a foreign language teacher) have three kids, two boys and a daughter. She previously worked at Edward M. Kennedy CHC Clinic in Worcester as a Community Health Worker which she says changed her life. Melissa is very proud that she has been a surrogate birth mother two times (for 2 different families) in the last three years.

Abby has been working with young people for quite some time including at an Arts and Crafts program for a Day Camp and running her own preschool classroom. She has also had professional and administrative positions since she was old enough to work. Once she realized that teaching was not for her, she found herself joining the McAuliffe crew to go back to her administrative roots. She has been with us for 9 years as our Office Manager and is one of the faces behind the scenes that keep McAuliffe running.

Antonellas favorite adventures revolve around her travels with her students/children. She finds it very rewarding to be present in the witnessing of the personal growth of herself and her students. She continues to learn from each and every student as she continues her journey of self discovery. Antonella’s travels continue to be her teacher. Antonella’s brain is what keeps her up at night. She finds that her brain is a puzzle where the pieces need to be put together to resolve any concerns that she may have as well as to discover the perfect balance.

Brian Callahan is going on his 9th year at McAuliffe where he has worn many different hats, and has looked rather stylish in each one. His skills and knowledge as an experienced humanities teacher have lead him to tackle the position as a Humanities Instructional Coach. Brian loves to spend time with his wife and two boys outside of his work responsibilities. He recently bought a new tent and enjoys spending time camping and hiking. Brian tries to exercise daily, and would love to do more traveling. He sees mountains in his future, big mountains!

Carly White, an enthusiastic and caring teacher and swim coach, is happiest making memories and laughing over stories with her friends and family. As a matter of fact, her hero is her cousin Cara. She admires Cara because she’s very independent, knows what she wants and tells it like it is. As a teacher, Carly loves it when she has a scholar who always says, “I can’t!”, but then they discover that they can!!

With a background as a school psychologist, Cori Jacomme found McAuliffe’s mission to be intriguing and interesting. Her aspirations for this year are to learn more about the EL model and about how our HOWLs fit into our community.Cori loves supporting educators in applying best practices to provide all scholars with access to the curriculum. She believes that all scholars have the ability to do well. She has been lucky enough to travel to seven different countries and found that Iceland is her favorite because of the gorgeous landscapes.

With over 10 years of classroom experience, Mr. B. is in his first year at McAuliffe. Teaching at McAuliffe “feels like coming home” for Mr. B, because he was an Outward Bound Instructor in the ‘90’s. When Outward Bound started a program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, he enrolled to get his Masters in Education there -- this was the birth of EL (called “Outward Bound in the Classroom” then). There were no EL schools yet, so he worked in a variety of innovative schools. He is delighted to return to the educational approach that he loves most.

Janice Kindorf received a Masters in Communication Disorders in 2010. From there she applied her clinical skills by working with adults and the geriatric population. While working with this population for 5 years, she felt the need to grow professionally. In 2015, Janice had the opportunity to step outside of her comfort zone and joined a new community which allowed her to work with adolescents and provide them with a sense of pride and confidence in their academic and social/emotional abilities. Janice was finally able to achieve and continue her professional and personal growth by becoming McAuliffe’s Speech and Language Pathologist.

Lura Elderkin-Rouleau is beginning her second year at McAuliffe with a return to her original inspiration, Humanities. She loves the culture and community at our school. Crew is especially important to her and she aspires to create a space where students feel a strong sense of belonging. Ms. Rouleau is looking forward to embedding EL principles, such as “the having of wonderful ideas”, into her teaching. She was drawn to teaching as a way to help others after working with elderly and in the mental health field. She enjoys spending time with her 12 year old daughter.

Kathy Bogue, Enrichment Coordinator and assistant teacher to the Related Arts team, joined the McAuliffe family thirteen years ago when her four children began attending McAuliffe. A former elementary school teacher, Kathy started volunteering in the school as an after school instructor and eventually took a position at McAuliffe seven years ago in the Student Support Center. Passionate about the Expeditionary Learning Design Principles, she looks forward to embracing character through McAuliffe’s design principles this year. Kathy loves the arts and her dream is to one day have a Theater and Arts Center at McAuliffe.

Sean Findlen, 1:1 Instructional Aide, is joining the McAuliffe Community to gain experience in working with middle school aged students. While in college Sean worked with individuals who needed developmental support through a program called Monadnock Developmental Services. He really enjoyed this experience so much that he states: “It drives my passion to work with others in a similar capacity”.In addition to the experience above, he too benefited from the extra help, support, and care in school which has shaped who he is today. He knows that with patience and support he will be able to guide his scholars to success!

Julie is joining McAuliffe this year as a school counselor. She recently graduated with her masters in School Counseling, but that’s not her only passion! Outside of work, you can find her cooking big Sunday dinners with family, or running the occasional 5K or half marathon. When she looks back on her interview here, it stands out among others. “It lasted probably two hours,” she recalls. “And I was just getting this vibe… that I wasn’t getting anywhere else.” She’s looking forward to connecting with people, staff and students alike, and can already tell that McAuliffe is a special place.

Mr. Savas is our permanent substitute and is thrilled to be back this year. In his own schooling, he experienced school in a hands on way during Home Economics and Industrial Arts only. The rest was very book based. He feels the EL model is more aligned with his preferred style of learning and teaching. As a substitute, he knows that first impressions can be misleading and knows that each and every one of us has a story. Away from school, he likes to watch hockey, watch movies, play trivia, and to direct a Greek folk dance troupe.

Brett loves his job! It is the perfect extension of who he is and has always loved to do. As a kid, even having a TV/Nintendo, he was always playing with his friends, climbing trees and building forts. In college, he aced all his classes in his major: Outdoor Recreation Management. He’s starting his 12th McAuliffe year. His passion is teaching the “literacy of the outdoors.” “Everyone can read nature, it’s just learning a different language!” Brett satisfies his own need to get out into nature by leading trips for other teachers and outdoor leaders so they can help more youth discover the magic of the wilderness.

For many years, Jocelyn Bergeron has been on a mission to save the world… or at least, do what she can. After realizing that law school was not going to be the place for her, Jocelyn pursued her Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies. After working for a few nonprofit organizations, she happened upon an employment opportunity at McAuliffe. The mission of McAuliffe and the school community aligned perfectly with what she was looking for. While she had never really intended to work with kids, she has found that she loves it and that she is finally, truly making a difference.

“The world is not fair, but you have the power to do something about it.” - Ms. Ciccone
Ms. Ciccone is the Technology Integration Coordinator here at McAuliffe. Ms. Ciccone describes herself as an open minded person who wants to continue learning so she can develop personally and professionally. Ms. Ciccone uses current events in order to demonstrate to students the changes that are going on in the world around them. Ms. Ciccone has a boyfriend/partner that she has been with for 11 years. They live together in Natick Mass with their two dogs, Bear and Winnie.

Amy Beckhusen, a 6th grade Humanities teacher, joined the McAuliffe community 8 years ago. She enjoys the creative aspect of thinking about and designing curriculum. Her creativity extends beyond school as she appreciates the little things in life; sitting on her deck, taking in the fresh air and the stars with her twins, and having a space of her own to reflect on the places she has been and the people who have influenced her.

New to McAuliffe this year, Mr. Shepardson is an 8th grade Special Education teacher. Mr. Shep loves being outdoors, especially hiking. He’s trying to instill that joy of the outdoors in his two sons, Blake and Talon. He teaches them that there are positive ways to interact with their environment other than playing video games. Mr. Shep models that by spending time in his garden and taking care of his 9 chickens, 2 ducks , and his dog Murphy. They come to greet him at his car when he gets home. He is excited about joining the McAuliffe community and the upcoming school year.

Kaitlyn Begley is an 8th grade ELA teacher who is entering her 10th year at McAuliffe. She started at McAuliffe as an 8th grade teacher and is returning after 7 years teaching 6th grade ELA. She started her career intending on teaching younger children but clearly found her passion for teaching middle school students. Through her experiences at McAuliffe, she discovered that she truly finds joy interacting with and helping to shape students as they find their places as members of our society. She is loves to read, specifically reading historical nonfiction and realistic fiction. Kaitlyn is also a loving mother of four.

Barbara grew up with teachers in her family. Her aspiration to teach French came about after being inspired by her high school French teacher who challenged her as a student and human being. During college, she travelled away from home for the first time and spent a year in France being fully immersed in the French culture and language. She believes “This is a community whose people share their professional skill and personal passions generously.” She has taught French for the past 17 years and is excited to take her skills in a different path as the World Language Coach.


Carrie Ray grew up in Northern Maine and studied Zoology as an undergraduate. She took some time to explore her options before earning her nursing degree. She worked for 13 years as an oncology nurse and then spent several years raising her family. She loves that McAuliffe is a place where not being perfect is ok. She self describes as “quirky” and that is why she believes she is such a great fit at McAuliffe.

Teaching was not on Kristin’s mind when she graduated Amherst College with degrees in English and Psychology. However, after graduation she found herself teaching at-risk children how to fish. Her interest was further sparked when she read Bud, Not Buddy with fifth graders in Boston. On a whim, Kristin visited a charter school in Framingham (McAuliffe!) and the door to her future flew open. She taught math and science to sixth graders and became the school’s first Instructional Coach. In her eighth year as McAuliffe’s Executive Director, Kristin still identifies herself as a teacher, and probably always will!

Carolyn Reardon is a dedicated teacher who loves how her students can make her laugh. She strives to help her students realize that they are capable of achieving things they didn’t know they could achieve. Carolyn’s motivation in her professional and personal life comes from her father. He inspires her to feel like she can do anything. When Carolyn is not teaching she finds joy in completing projects on her house, traveling to faraway lands, and cooking delicious foods for everyone to enjoy. You could say Carolyn is a special “treat” that McAuliffe is lucky to have.

Ed Crowley has been in and out of education since 2006. He has found a home at McAuliffe where he’s had the opportunity to grow both as a person and as a professional. In the past 5 years, Ed found his passion of learning as much (or more) than he teaches. One of his favorite things about teaching at McAuliffe is that he is allowed to constantly evolve and experiment with his teaching practice. He also puts the creation of both a Cross Country and Track team as one of his greatest personal achievements.

Tony Fratantonio admires people who are able to identify a mantra that means something to them, and really live each day through those words. He strives to do this in his daily life as well. Tony works hard to make sure that others feel cared about, and know that they don’t have to work within the hand they’ve been given. Personal connections and relationships are meaningful to Tony as a reflection of his actions. Qualities of persistence, kindness, and truth to self are qualities that have been modeled for him in his life which he reaches for as well.

Tammie Richards, 6th grade special education teacher, wakes up in the morning wanting a simplified life with her family around her. She finds herself most at peace and closest to this simplified life while at her tiny house in Jackson, Maine. She draws inspiration from the people around her. One specific person is Malala Yousafzai who has overcome obstacles she has faced and brought problems to the forefront that so many women face. Tammie herself inspires students everyday to find success with struggles they may have with reading.

When Kate Leeuwen, 6th grade SPED teacher, joined McAuliffe five years ago she took a big leap of faith by moving away from her family in Rochester, NY. Luckily, that gamble paid off as she has fallen in love with the McAuliffe community and the metrowest area. When Kate is not teaching, she enjoys taking fitness classes like Zumba and trying new things (i.e. horseback riding, paint nites, and sushi-making classes). In the future, Kate hopes to do more traveling, especially to Ireland and Holland to explore her family’s heritage.

Nicole Beauregard, Learning Center teacher for grades 6, 7, and 8, enjoys starting her day a with a yummy breakfast and some orange juice. She is inspired by her mother and the idea of the American dream. They both motivate her to maintain a strong work ethic. She is most proud of having earned her Masters in Special Education, especially the research she conducted to complete her degree. She conducted a study on the impact of the Social Thinking curriculum and found that students benefit from this program. When Nicole is not working, she enjoys playing soccer, seeing live music and spending time with family and friends.

Michaela Rupp is beginning her eighth year teaching Spanish at McAuliffe. Her hope for this year is positivity. Michaela brings positivity wherever she goes, so we are glad she will continue to spread her fun-loving and bubbly personality around. Her energy is contagious and she sympathizes with the students who also have lots of energy to share. One of her favorite parts of teaching is when the students open up because they feel comfortable and safe. Outside of school, Señorita Rupp plays volleyball, soccer and tap dances, which she shares with students through an enrichment class and as the soccer coach.

Angela is beginning her 14th year at McAuliffe after working in her design studio. She has licensed her work for greeting cards, magazines, books, and 3-D products. She shares her love of design with her students and her high expectations result in innovative and beautiful designs. She loves the feeling of empowering her students to do things they never thought they could do. She turns ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can’ in Design. Outside of McAuliffe, Angela practices meditation and loves to sketch and paint. She loves to take her travel experiences and infuse inspirational images in her classroom.

Brittney Tattan, or as you may have previously known her as Ms Amanti,  came to McAuliffe looking to make a difference in the lives of students with disabilities. She believes that every child can succeed given the right supports and has been working since 2012 to help get ALL kids to the top of the mountain; a metaphor for helping all kids achieve personal and academic success. Ms. Tattan, as she is known by her scholars, is a fun and energetic teacher. She strives to make all kids feel welcome, seen, and heard. Her passion also includes participating in the the Pan-Mass Challenge, an annual 192 mile bike ride, to raise money for cancer research. 

Christina Morello, aka Mo, was a teacher at McAuliffe in the school’s second 2003 and third year 2004. In the classroom, her years of being a percussionist come out in the way she grabs the students’ attention; clapping, banging and stomping are frequent sounds. Mo had an eight year hiatus from McAuliffe returning in 2013. Returning to McAuliffe was very natural for Mo, and made her feel like she was home again. She is now the Math & Science instructional coach where she supports teachers to provide high quality curriculum and instruction for all scholars.

Christine Falone most admires her son for how much he has endured and overcome. She appreciates how he is able to gain so much joy from the little things in life. Working as his advocate led her to joining the McAuliffe community thirteen years ago. As a parent with a child who has disabilities, she understands the value of teachers in students’ lives and loves making a difference. Outside of school, Ms. Chris seeks peace, happiness, and a positive outlook in her life. To achieve inner peace, she soul searches on long runs and relaxes on the beach at West Yarmouth.

Melissa Kintish’s life is a musical. Ok, so she doesn’t cause people to bust into song and choreographed dance numbers, but poetry and music pulse from her like the heartbeat of Lin-Manuel Miranda, himself. Ms. K. came to McAuliffe last year as a student teacher, and has affected everyone around her with her passionate study of English as well as her ability to burst into song and verse to fit any situation. This year, Ms. K. is excited to “continue building strong relationships with students” as an instructional aide in the 6th grade.

When asked what she is most proud of professionally, Jamie shared that she is most proud of her master’s degree in middle school math education. She completed it all online while moving across the country to relocate from Las Vegas to Massachusetts. She essentially taught herself all of the curriculum and she even managed to graduate six months early. As a teacher, she wants students to learn that practice makes progress; there’s no such thing as perfection. She likes this idea so much that you can expect to see this message on her classroom door this year!

8th Grade Special Education teacher Teresa Carr was not expecting to be a middle school teacher when she came to McAuliffe six years ago. Trained in Elementary and Special Education and Music, Teresa worked with Nature’s Classroom before joining the eighth grade team. She has continued to pursue her interest in music and the performing arts by co- teaching a Broadway after-school enrichment program and most recently traveling to Kenya and Uganda where she participated in music therapy sessions in schools, hospitals and orphanages. Teresa loves working with eighth graders because she can “give them the foundation to believe in themselves.”

Sarah Tadmor is a 6th grade Humanities teacher who has been at McAuliffe for 7 years. After graduating from ECSU, Sarah pursued a career teaching at the highschool level. However, she quickly fell in love with McAuliffe middle schoolers when she started her role as an instructional aide and has been here ever since. Sarah enjoys spending time with family, watching Boston sports teams win, creative writing and is passionate about McAuliffe’s Geography curriculum. When asked what she liked most about McAuliffe, Sarah said “it’s the people that make this place so special”.

Amanda is excited to be starting her second year as a Humanities teacher at McAuliffe.Amanda first realized she wanted to be a teacher 13 years ago when she told a fellow summer camp counselor, “I want to do a job that is being a camp counselor, but all year long.”He responded, “I think that’s teaching!” Amanda’s priority for her students is helping them develop critical thinking skills and empathy so that they can go out into the world as caring, informed individuals who believe in themselves. Amanda loves reading, exercising, being in nature, and hanging out with her pet hedgehog, Samantha.

Mara Gorden started her career in education when she joined Teach for America after graduating college with an English degree. She has a passion for charter schools and how they have the ability to transform education as we know it. She has worked at two other Massachusetts charter schools as both a teacher and an administrator. She is looking forward to another great year of building community within and outside of McAuliffe. When not at work, Mara enjoys spending time with her husband, two boys, and two cats. Her happy place is on the water.

Ken King says family is his core. It’s something he always goes back to, and he knows his family will always be there. So, it means something when he says that his first impression of McAuliffe was that it has a real family feel. After finishing his first year teaching at McAuliffe last year, Mr. King believes the “family” structure of crew is confidence boosting and provides important time for students to reflect on their learning and achievements. Aside from racing his little, red Mazda Miata, woodworking, and the outdoors, his favorite thing is the “Ah ha!” moment.

With the desire of always being the most interesting person in the room, Jon Maciejewski brings his five years of experience with Wediko Children’s Services to the 8th grade team at McAuliffe as a special educator. One of the key ways Jon connects with student is enforcing and embodying the idea of being you. Jon’s willingness to show his personality, and character quirks helps students feel the most comfortable in the classroom leading to them achieving academic success. He also believes that by holding students accountable is one of the best ways to support individual growth. In his free time, Jon loves seeing concerts and spending time on the water swimming, boating and kayaking.

Dan Anderson, 8th grade science teacher, knew he wanted to be an educator after feeling the passion expressed by his 7th grade science teacher. What influenced Dan most about his teacher was that he not only engaged his students in the science material but taught him the life skills we reflect in our own schools philosophy. After realizing that he is most comfortable teaching in a room full of students and successfully engaging a particular student who showed no interest, Dan began to develop the same passion he had seen in his 7th grade science teacher and that same feeling continues to drive him everyday.

Ross Parlon found his way to McAuliffe in search of his true identity while working in fields that didn’t feel right. Ross’ compassion and care for the communities he belongs to led him to wanting a career where he could leave a lasting impact. Ross came to McAuliffe in the fall of 2016, and his impact was felt immediately. Students flocked to Ross to discuss everything from his love of Boston sports, his musical prowess, and beagle, Pumpkin. Ross was such an amazing influence on the class of 2017 that the students voted him as the keynote speaker for their graduation ceremony.

Rebecca started at McAuliffe as a volunteer earning community service points for her daughter who was a 6th grader. It did not take long for that volunteer work to become a part time job, and then a full time job. Education has always been her home and her passion, and she has spent her professional life working in different schools in different capacities ranging from teaching in a large lecture hall, to individual with with children with Down syndrome, to educational technology and database design.


Jessie Fish is going into her fifth year at Mcauliffe. She is a passionate counselor who loves to spend time with her family, especially her one year old son and two year old daughter. In college, Jessie’s advisor suggested guidance counseling and she immediately connected with that idea because of the strong bond she had with her middle school guidance counselor. Jessie believes in building strong relationships with her students and enjoys seeing their growth from sixth to eighth grade. Jessie’s mission is to teach and foster within children a strong desire to succeed.