Summer 2009 Undergraduate Class Notes
Class Scribe: Melissa Croteau Fitzgerald
Hello, friends! It is with a heavy heart that I pass on sad news of Kelly Beaumont. She passed away at the young age of 40. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family and friends.
On a happier note, we have heard from a few more friends this year. Tara Kelley-Baker lives in Bowie, MD. She thinks of her college friends often, and it always puts a smile on her face! Amy Worsh Cohn still lives in Massachusetts and is married with two children. She has been teaching kindergarten since 1992. Julie Hume Deschenes is married with three children and still living in Amesbury, MA. She really enjoys her job teaching in an integrated preschool.
Katie Kitchen McNeil and her family moved from Dubai back to British Columbia, Canada, after living there for four years. She had been teaching kindergarten in an American international school. They decided to move back to Canada to be closer to family after husband Blaine had a serious bike accident and head injury. I am happy to say that he is quite well now. Katie is taking a year off to be a busy mum in her youngest son's class, drive her kids around to various activities, and chase them to do their homework! Kelly Reed Pacheco is a literacy coach in New Bedford, MA. Mary Mahoney Salamone is still working as a special educator/learning specialist in Medfield MA. Kathryn Gibson Torres is a stay-at-home mom to three children but is keeping very busy driving them everywhere! She sells jewelry on the side. When she can, she is still out dancing and loving life!
I (Melissa) decided to go back to work this year and am teaching (part time) a preschool class of 4-year-olds and love it. My daughter started middle school this year, and it certainly is a rollercoaster from day to day! I was lucky enough to spend time with Pam McInnis Schappler and Alyson Shifres Miller over the Christmas holidays and actually play in the snow and introduce my kids to snowmobiling! Also, with the help of Facebook, I have had the splendid opportunity of catching up with old Wheelock friends. It has been a great resource to find people and share photos and conversations. Don't forget that our 20th Reunion is June 4-6, 2010, so start making plans now and contact people and encourage them to come. I look forward to seeing you all soon!
Debra Cohen continues to enjoy teaching elementary special education in Natick, MA. Meredith McArdle is still a teacher of the visually impaired at The Maryland School for the Blind in Baltimore. She gets excited when she reads about all the changes at Wheelock and is especially glad that Riverway House is being renovated!
After working as a night auditor at The Woodlands (TX) Resort and Conference Center for 12 years, Kristen Munger has been working there as a (daytime) accounts receivable clerk since last November. Julie Roscoe Orkiolla and husband Greg (Orkiolla '89) had a great time showing Eliza Oliver '92 Salt Lake City last summer. "It has been wonderful to have her visit us in all of the great places that we have lived!" Julie wrote. Sarah Rice Patt has been tutoring elementary school students at Landmark School in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. Her youngest child is now in the first grade. "I remember when she was just a baby and telling people I'll return to teaching when she's in school full time, and I can't believe the time has come!" she wrote. Betsy Levy Sachs no longer teaches fifth grade but uses "all [her] Wheelock skills every day at home" with her son and five daughters. "It's wonderful having such a large family - life is never quiet!" she wrote.
Class Scribe: Christine Smith Imani
Still enjoying life in Switzerland with her family, Tammy Ford McHugh has opened her own small private school in Sarnen offering English to non-English speakers from preschool to third grade. She finds it amazing to watch her four children grow up multilingual and multicultural. Tammy has made contact with some Wheelock friends through Facebook.com and would love to catch up with other old friends that way.
Class Scribe: Nina Mortensen LaPlante
Joanna Simmons Abrahams received her J.D. at Northeastern in 2001 and is practicing employment and labor law at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in Washington, D.C. She and husband Adam celebrated the birth of their second baby girl, Kayla Natania, on March 25, 2008. Eliana is 3. Wanda Yeomans Patterson gave birth exactly a week before Joanna in 2008, to Katharine Grace. Son Nicholas is a doting big brother. The Pattersons have moved from Piedmont, CA, to South Natick, MA, and are enjoying being closer to family and friends on the East Coast.
Class Scribe: Heidi Butterworth-Fanion
Amy Goldstein Brin and husband Len welcomed Victorija Rose into the world last Dec. 7 (a birthday she shares with Amy Glazier Baker and Sharon Abrams Meinck!). Big sister Cecelia has been adjusting well. Amy Wisherd Lagodimos '94/'96MS was back at Wheelock last December for Alumni Night at the Holiday Pops and took a moment to write this while waiting for the trolley to Symphony Hall: "[I'm thinking] about what wonderful friendships I had/have and the wonderful experience I had here. Now, I am happily married to Frank, and we have three wonderful children. We enjoyed our 10-year anniversary on a second honeymoon in Vermont this fall. I have been at home for the past three years. I worked for 10 years as an educator at UMass, Early Intervention, and am quite content with this ‘full-time' job as a mom."
Class Scribe: Katelyn Guiney Wojnarowicz
Charlotte Boyden Churchill and Seth will celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary this year. They have two daughters and have settled in Columbia, MD. Stephanie Goddard Gallagher and her husband recently purchased a home in Revere, MA. Stephanie is currently at home with her two children, but when there is an event (games), she is working at the Boston Garden. Tara Sullivan Golden welcomed Samuel Thomas on July 23, 2008. He joined brothers Will and Max. She started her own photography business in 2007 (www.freewebs.com/taragoldenphotography). Christine Rodger Gurske '95/'98MS and husband David are living in Topeka, KS. Christine is working as a teller at Save@School, an educational credit union.
Lisa Feucht Kavanagh '93AS/'95BS has returned to graduate school for a master's in Science Education, K-8. Lisa's youngest child is at home with her. She continues to enjoy being a stay-at-home mom, but when her coursework comes to an end, her youngest will be ready for school, so they will start school together. "What a big step for both of us!" Lisa wrote. Claudia "Lael" Lucia is working for the Boston Public Schools (Orchard Garden Pilot School) as an ELA resource teacher for students in grades 6 through 8. Lael taught at the Grover Cleveland Middle School for 10 years until the city closed the school. "It was a very sad day for all of us who had invested so much of our lives in the school and its children," she wrote. Lael and her Pilgrim "roomies" - Meredith, Laura, and Nadine - had a mini-reunion in Washington, D.C., last year. Amy Reynolds Martinez is living in Leominster, MA, and working for a mentoring program, Advocacy Social Policy.
Becky Stavro Myerov and her family are living in Westford, MA. Becky loves being a stay-at-home mom with her three children. Bethany Hildreth Nightingale and husband Aaron are living in Saratoga Springs, NY. Bethany is working for the Saratoga Springs City School District as a special education teacher. She also has been working as an online facilitator for the University of Phoenix graduate school. Nicole Tangney Radulski '95/'98MS and husband Peter welcomed their third child, Sean Lawrence, on April 30, 2008. Nicole continues to keep in touch with classmates Cheri Piscetello Burke and Amy Armstrong McCay as they get together each summer in North Conway, NH, for their annual trip to Storyland. "Between the three friends from Wheelock, we have nine boys under the age of 7, so our gatherings are a lot of fun!" she wrote.
Matt and I (Katelyn) welcomed our third child, Norah Jane, on July 7, 2008. This was the "first ever" Fourth of July that I have spent at home in Rutland, MA. Usually we are in New Hampshire for the holiday. I continue to work for the town of Rutland as a program administrator for a before- and after-school program, The Safe Place programs. A majority of my work can be done from home, which allows me to be at home with my Brendan (6), Delaney (3), and Norah. My hope is to catch up with Wheelock friends Robin Melesko Toomey, Kathy Tokarz, Megan Baldwin Conklin '96, Joanna Tabbutt Krauss '96, and Ellen Buus '96.
It is so hard to believe that in a year it will have been 15 years since our days on "The Riverway!" We have all, I am sure, experienced some kind of change in our lives over the years. No matter where you have been or where you will go, you will always have your Wheelock years to remember!
Class Scribe: Kerrie Ryan Gerety
Safiyyah Ar-Raheem Hines has published a book of poetry called Day Dreams and Reality, which can be previewed at www.daydreamingsah.com. Congratulations, Safiyyah! Kimberly Walker Lattimore has been promoted from supervisor to deputy director at Graham Windham Children and Family Services in New York City and is also a field instructor. "I am proud to be a Wheelock graduate," she wrote.
Congratulations to Robin Fradkin Matthews and her partner, who had a baby boy, Asher Daniel, on Thanksgiving Day 2008 (Nov. 27)! Margarita Taylor had her debut as "Granny" in Cleo Parker Robinson's annual production of Granny Dances to a Holiday Drum at the Byron Theatre of the University of Denver's Newman Center for the Performing Arts last December. She'd been the children's rehearsal director for the show there for several years before taking on this additional role.
Class Scribe: Heather Gelmini
Thank you to all who submitted their news! Judy Cortez is a proud parent of 4- and 5-year-old daughters. Erica Spear Dexter '97/'98MS wrote to announce the birth of her and Christian's fourth child, Emerson Faye, last Sept. 21. Shauna Fish Diller is taking a break from teaching to be with Jack, 2, and new son Anderson Jay, born Jan. 30. Shauna and her husband bought a larger home shortly before Anderson's arrival. Maria Fedorchak Elliott was married June 30, 2007, and has been teaching at a pre-K for the past three years in Montclair, NJ. She has an 8-year-old son and gave birth to John James last November. Amy Reid Fratto graduated from Salem State College with her M.S.W. in May 2007. She married Tom Fratto in June 2007 and had their first son, Michael Robert, on March 8, 2008. Samantha Parisi Gilhuly had her second baby girl, Lucy Jayne, on Nov. 24. Victoria Ryder Gilman and her husband, Matt, had their first child, Carly Elizabeth, on Aug. 27, 2008. They live in New Boston, NH. Moriah Doak Tyrrell is living in St. Croix with husband Kevin and their two children. Moriah stays at home with the children and babysits a few days a week. Last summer she visited New England and saw several Wheelock friends.
Class Scribes: Christine Barry Beaulieu and Jillian Kaufman
Heather Smith Bergin and her husband are living in Boston with their precious 2-year-old daughter, Reilly. She has loved every second of the leave of absence she took from her teaching position in the Brookline Public Schools Early Childhood Program (BEEP) to be home with Reilly. Amy Clark Duffy '98/'01MS is in her ninth year of teaching second grade at the Bell School in Marblehead, MA. She and her husband recently bought a house and celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. Christina Stiber Dwire is happy about her move to a new district in Connecticut and excited about her new position teaching fourth grade in Vernon, at the school her children will attend. She enjoyed catching up with friends at Reunion 2008, had fun staying in Peabody with Amy Fortunato Mordarski and me (Christine), and loved revisiting Boston on the Duck Tour. She has recently had a great time coming in contact with quite a few Wheelock friends through Facebook. Johanna Lynch '98/'99MS feels at home already in her first year teaching fourth grade at the Hennigan School in Jamaica Plain. Diep Nguyen '98/'02MS sent his classmates holiday greetings from Georgia.
"It was a blast to see Wheelock and to hang out with friends during Reunion '08," wrote Tonya Clawson Urquizo. She lives in Massachusetts with her two children and husband. After earning her B.S.W. at Wheelock, Tonya went on to get a certificate in Women in Politics and Government and then a master's in Public Administration. Before starting a family, Tonya worked as director of operations in the health care industry, but she is now enjoying being a stay-at-home mom and working part time for a nonprofit agency. Julie Dario Zehren and husband John welcomed daughter Emily in October 2007. Julie has taken some time off from her teaching career to stay at home.
Class Scribe: Aimee Farrell Dos Santos
After climbing to the summit of Mt. Wachusett in Princeton, MA, Heather Fournier was proposed to by Scott Christopher Bower of Worcester, MA. The two enjoyed hot chocolate at the summit and a clear horizon to kick off the new year! Jill Marble Jones is busy but happy after welcoming her and Dave's third child, Jack David, last Oct. 3. "People joke that I'm working on creating my own classroom, but we're very happy with three kiddos and are so grateful they're such fun little people," she wrote. Jill is home with the kids during the day and works a few nights a week. Kimberly Wallace got married last June 21 in Randolph, MA, to Larry Grant. Erica Manginelli was one of her bridesmaids. After the wedding, Kim and Larry moved to Mannheim, Germany, where Larry is stationed in the Army and Kim is teaching first grade. She is enjoying exploring the area and learning a new language.
Class Scribe: Sara McGarry
Christine Avila, formerly L'Ecuyer, has a daughter, Jessie Yohana, 1. Jaime Carey '00/'05MS and Ryan Resendes were married on May 30, 2008, and went to Las Vegas and San Francisco for their honeymoon. Ilyce Konowitz Cronk attended their wedding. Jaime and Ryan bought their first home in September and are now living in the north end of New Bedford, MA. "I had the privilege of supervising my first Wheelock grad student at my early intervention program this semester," she wrote in November. "What a great experience!" Jillian Kimmes got married in September 2007, and her new last name is Connor.
Amie Guarraia, formerly Amie Warren, married Matthew Guarraia in the summer of 2005. She has two daughters and teaches third grade in Waterford, CT. Elizabeth O'Brien Halstead and her husband welcomed their second child, Sydney, last Nov. 10. Tiffanie MacDonald got married to Adam Woodward in June 2008. Sara Levy '01 and I (Sara McGarry) were in the wedding. Kristen Prescott Pietro and husband Michael had their first child, Lucas Michael, last Nov. 28. She wrote that last summer she'd gotten together with Jill Marble Jones '99 and her (then) two children and Carri Wappat Burns and her two children. "We joked about taking our six kids out together [this] summer!" Kristen wrote.
I (Sara) accepted a teaching position in a private kindergarten program in Trumbull, CT.
Class Scribe: Carrie Watson
Amanda Combs and David Fuentes were married in April 2006 and have a son, Cameron. Katie Graham is living and working in Alexandria, VA. She is the intersession coordinator at a public modified calendar school. She was planning to finish her master's degree in Educational Leadership from George Mason University this spring. Carolyn Hamm '01/'02MS and Robert Fawcett were married on June 29, 2007. Corey Lubin lives in Quincy, MA, and is a kindergarten teacher in the Boston Public Schools. She had a second daughter, Aleeya Davis, on June 11, 2008. Katie Mailhot and Adan Machuca were married last July 4 and now live in Texas. She works as a program manager for Texas MENTOR in San Antonio. Laura Morgan gave birth to daughter Tessa Isla Webb on March 28, 2008, and finds her "amazing." Tirzah Joy Palczynski, Erica Haas, and Jessica Parmley visited Laura in San Francisco for a West Coast reunion and had a great time together. Teri Scott and John Simek were married June 28, 2008, in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and shared the day with lots of Wheelock friends: Jessica Parmley, Kathryn Mailhot Machuca, and Sarah Kuzminski Soboleski '00 were in the wedding party, and Carolyn Hamm Fawcett '01/'02MS and Laura Cayer West '99 attended. Teri and John now live in Manchester, NH. After receiving her M.S.W. from Boston University in 2005, Teri has been working as a hospice social worker in the Boston area.
Meghann Manfredi '02/'02MS and James Welsh were married last Dec. 6 and own a house in Centerville, MA. Beth Costanza O'Connor '02/'02MS was in the wedding, and many '02 friends attended: Amy Pacholski Guzie, Vikki Irvin-Kent, Kristin Maletz, Catie Solan, Lisa Salzano Verzella. Marisa Torcasio '02/'04MS married Antonio Talarico last Aug. 2 and had an amazing honeymoon in Bali, Indonesia.
Marianne Befaro-DaSilva '03/'05MS had a baby girl, Marina Graziella, on May 5, 2008. Stefanie Buccheri wrote of her Aug. 9, 2008, marriage to Justin Sargis. They live in Newington, CT, and Stefanie is enjoying working with sixth-graders at Sunset Ridge School in East Hartford. She has also begun work on a master's in Reading at Saint Joseph College in West Hartford. Ryan Kadel and Billy Gilpin were married in August 2007 and have moved to Virginia, where they both grew up. Ryan had worked at the Head Start in Lancaster, PA, for five years and is now teaching third grade at Powhatan School, an independent K-8 school in Boyce, VA.
Kerri Mohamed Boulmetis '06/'07MS and husband Adam honeymooned in Saint Lucia after their July 12, 2008, wedding in Northborough, MA. Nicole Coderre and Josh Kinsella were married last Aug. 2 and live in Chepachet, RI. Quite a few '06 classmates, and Nicole's aunt, MaryEllen Witkowski-Jones '87, attended the wedding. Nicole taught elementary school in Hartford, CT, for two years and is currently teaching third grade at Mary R. Fisher Elementary School in Thompson, CT.
Early this year, Daniel Gonzalez wrote that he had just started preproduction on an independent pilot presentation that would be filmed in the Boston area in March. See www.destinationmatters.net. Cheryl Hovey '07/'07MS is working as a data assessor for the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education at the University of Virginia's Professional Development Study; a research writer for the National Center for Children in Poverty, Research Connections at Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health; and the president of her own consulting business offering online trainings, CDA advising, and consulting at www.EzEd2Go.com. She is enjoying her new home with daughter Amanda.
Christina Yanakopulos is using everything she learned and experienced at Wheelock as a preschool teacher in a laboratory school at the Tufts Educational Day Care Center in Somerville, MA. She is also taking classes toward a master's degree at Tufts.