Graduate Class Notes - Winter 2015
David Siedlar '91MS sent an update about his work in China. In addition to starting to concentrate his teaching on kindergarten through grade 3, which he finds very fun and satisfying, he has begun proofreading Ph.D. dissertations and helping people who want to emigrate from China.
Congratulations to Chris Hoeh '94MS, one of five winners of the 2014 Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award is given to "visionary educators who use their talents to reduce prejudice, improve intergroup relations, and promote equity in their school communities," and Chris was recognized for his innovative and inspirational work with students at Cambridge Friends School in Cambridge, MA. About Chris and his work, the judges wrote: "Chris seeks challenges as an educator, teaching his second-graders sophisticated and complex topics like American slavery, Jim Crow, and current labor injustice, notably through his academically rigorous, multidisciplinary, and yearlong social studies curriculum. ... He is also a leader in his school, facilitating anti-racist study groups and sharing his substantial experience as a mentor to other practicing teachers." Chris and the other winners received their awards at a ceremony held in Montgomery, AL, last July. He writes: "Teaching Tolerance is the education project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and it is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations, and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation's children. It produces and distributes tools at no cost to teachers, including Teaching Tolerance magazine, online curricula and professional development resources, and multimedia teaching kits that introduce students to various civil rights issues."
Laurie McAnaugh '95MS is a board-certified life coach with her own private practice called Access Your Power Life Coaching (www.ChooseToBePowerful.com) in Sagamore Beach, MA. Although her original plan after Wheelock was to become a teacher, she later decided she wanted a job that would allow her to be home with her children. She held a successful and flexible job in sales as a representative, manager, and sales coach for eight years. Through this role, she realized a love of coaching and empowering women to support themselves as entrepreneurs. Since being certified as a life coach in 2010 and then becoming a board-certified coach in 2013, she has helped clients unlock the reasons they hold themselves back from personal and/or professional success. She guides people to focus on solutions instead of problems and encourages them to honor their strengths as they seek fulfillment in their lives, relationships, and careers. Laurie teaches a six-week Powerful Women class and speaks to various groups dedicated to empowering women. In addition to her private practice, she is truly grateful to have the opportunity to work with homeless youths and adults. "You have all the power to be successful, happy, and peaceful," she tells her clients. "Accessing that power within you is a choice." Laurie has been married to her 10th-grade sweetheart since 1993, and they have two children: Connor, 20, and Kameryn, 14.
Maureen Powers-Maiocco '98MS, a professor and director of the Early Childhood Program at the State University of New York at Canton, received the 2014 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Recognized at the college's Commencement ceremony in May, she was honored for her dynamic personality, her "unmatched" teaching and leadership techniques, and her dedication to both her school and her students. In 2011, Maureen received the college's prestigious Distinguished Faculty Award; she also served for a time as interim dean of its School of Business and Liberal Arts.
Jill Martin '99MS, lead kindergarten teacher/kindergarten director at South Shore Conservatory in Hingham, MA, writes about how the work she and her colleagues do is "in tune with the Wheelock philosophy": "Our full-day kindergarten program emphasizes an early immersion in 'the arts,' and our kindergartners participate in weekly drama, yoga, percussion, singing, Orff instruction, art, and creative movement classes. I thank Wheelock for providing me with this critical foundation and belief in multiple intelligences as well as [emphasizing the importance of] providing all children with successful and meaningful learning experiences that foster self-esteem and a lifelong love of learning! Our program is entering year 10, and our alumni have successfully matriculated into upper grades demonstrating academic excellence, innovative and creative thinking, compassion, and appreciation for 'the arts'!"
Last summer Rebecca Putnam '00MS was named director of the Regis College Children's Center, an accredited program in Weston, MA. According to a Weston Town Crier story last August, she has a reputation for seeing each child as an individual learner and being passionate about caring and rich learning environments, as shown during her previous 13 years directing The Goddard School in Auburn, and was looking forward to the relationships she would build with the Regis center's children and families. Rebecca also teaches Creative Curriculum Experiences for Children and Youth at Becker College and has been an adjunct professor at Dean College since 2000.
Sue Gubbins '03MS showed 35 families in her Cape Cod community how to have low-cost, creative fun when she led a very successful Screen-Free Week project last May 5 to 11. An early education teacher at Marguerite E. Small Elementary School in West Yarmouth, MA, she was moved by concerns about the effects on children of too little play and interaction with their environment and inspired by lessons she learned at the Media Madness Institute she attended in Boston in 2013 - and funded by a $400 grant she received in December 2013 from the Education Foundation. Sue gave young students from her own school and Ezra H. Baker Innovation School (West Dennis) bags containing research on the effects of screens on children under age 5 along with lists of fun activities - encouraging them to be, for example, scientists, artists, and chefs - and the materials and instructions for a family project. Toward the end of the week, participants gathered to celebrate their accomplishment by visiting Mass Audubon's Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Barnstable. Not just during Screen-Free Week, but during every week, Sue told The Register newspaper, she wants to "support and empower parents to create memories and experiences that help the children learn academic information and make them happy people who relate well with others." She added: "The goal is to hold onto our values of human connection while preparing our students to navigate their way in this media-crazy world. Our challenge is to advocate for the human, interconnected aspects of education while helping our children develop the basic skills to make good choices and embrace life."
Teresa Stewart '04MS, MPH (M.S. in Child Development, from Wheelock in 2004) spent seven years working for the Boston-based company Isis Parenting until it suddenly closed in January of 2014. Since then, Teresa has decided to start her own small business - a sleep consulting and parenting education company. She offers international phone-based sleep consultations to families with children ages birth through 5 years old; national workshops and trainings to child care centers, preschools, and pediatricians; and in-home classes to families in the Greater Boston area. Her workshops took her to Vermont last spring and to Atlanta in the fall. She also presented on the topic of "Infant and Toddler Sleep" at two conferences in 2014: the National Breastfeeding Coalitions Conference in Virginia in August and Zero to Three's National Training Institute in Florida in December. Her website is stewartfamilysolutions.com. In addition to loving the work she is doing, Teresa is enjoying time with her two children. Her daughter is 8, and her son, 3.
Katherine Bartlett '12MS is a learning specialist at Thayer Academy in Braintree, where she loves "seeing the joy on [her] students' faces when they really get something, or when one of the techniques [she's] teaching them clicks and they get excited about getting a good grade." She also loves "giving back" as a member of the Boston Alumni Board of City Year, which she served in New York for two years before getting her Wheelock degree.