Spring 2012 Graduate Class Notes

Alice Turner Elliott '68MS of Denver, CO, is very grateful for the education she received while getting a master's degree at Wheelock. For 23 years she worked with children with learning disabilities in a half-day and then a pull-out program in a public school. Also on the staff of Colorado Education Association Helpmobile, she traveled around the state with other master teachers giving workshops, mentoring student teachers, and field-testing products and test formats for various companies. After retiring from teaching, she spent eight fulfilling years working as a consultant for a private school. Now Alice is enjoying retirement and the opportunity to travel with her husband.

Winifred "Oyoko" Loving '72MS was recently elected president of the St. Croix Friends of Denmark, a travel exchange group in the United States Virgin Islands, where she has lived since graduating from Wheelock. "After teaching elementary school for 30 years," she writes, "I retired to write books: 'My Name is Freedom,' a children's storybook, and 'Spontaneous: Redefining Poetry,' an autobiographical collection of poems that describe my colorful/messy/raunchy/lovable heart to a tee." They are available at www.amazon.com. Winifred is married; is a mother of two, Khema and Jonathan (both of whom work in education); and is a busy grandmother of two. The three generations have traveled the world together, she says!

"If you asked me when I graduated Wheelock if I would ever have been teaching elementary school, I would have said, 'No,'" writes Lisa Diamant '79MS, "but the job fell in my lap, and I'm glad it did." She is still teaching second grade at the Bridge School in Lexington, MA. This is her 15th(!) classroom, and she finds it challenging some days but really enjoys it. Lisa and her husband have been traveling a great deal, on summer and school vacations, and look forward to the day when they'll retire and be able to travel whenever they please! Cindy Ballenger '82MS made another trip to Haiti this past spring to work with teachers there. She continues to love her work as a reading specialist at the King Open School in Cambridge, MA. Constanza Leal Melo '82MS, headmistress of Gimnasio Jose Joaquin Casas, a private school in Bogotá, Colombia, is also a volunteer for the Heart for Change Colombia volunteer program. Heart for Change encourages intercultural exchanges by bringing volunteers from around the world to work in development programs in Colombia, thereby providing support to social impact projects in the country. Constanza writes: "Please send my regards to anyone who knows me who is still involved with the College. My very fond memories are for Professor Ed Klugman, for whom I have deepest respect and admiration."

"I guess I just like teaching and helping others," writes Louise A. Tarver '82MS, who says she retired in 2002, while living in Texas, but "really did not retire from teaching for money until [2011]." Louise moved from Texas to Maryland in 2006 and has been splitting each year since then between Florida and Maryland. In Maryland, she did some substitute teaching for a couple of years and now volunteer teaches for Baltimore Community College, teaching English as a Second Language to people who are working on passing the naturalization test. Laurel Bongiorno '85MS has been appointed director of the M.Ed. Program at Champlain College in Burlington, VT. She developed the graduate program, which is focused on early childhood education with specializations in early childhood teaching and administration. "This degree makes graduates better educators, helping the youngest students at the most formative time in their lives learn to love learning," she says. Laurel had served as a full-time faculty member in the college's Education program for more than 12 years prior to taking this new position last fall. In addition to working on a Ph.D. in Education, she also currently co-coordinates the Vermont AEYC's bimonthly electronic newsletter, eConnections; consults with local early childhood programs presenting early childhood professional development opportunities; and offers workshops and keynotes on the topics of play, leadership and mentoring, and curriculum development.

Congratulations to Rob Quinn '86MS, a member of the board of trustees of the AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts, who received the 2011 Community Activist Recognition Award given at the foundation's World AIDS Day event on Dec. 1. "Rob was the natural choice for the [award]," according to the foundation's executive director, Jessica Crevier. "In one short year, he has founded and co-facilitates the area's only psycho-educational support group for men living with HIV/AIDS, reworked the application process for the [foundation's] grants of emergency financial assistance so that they would be more accessible to people who are in need, and completed his Department of Public Health certification as an HIV/AIDS, STI, and Hepatitis Peer Educator. He has become the face of AFWM and a sought-after speaker, sharing his story of strength and hope with hundreds of people, and served as chair of the first Campaign for Compassion to raise money for life-saving educational programming. Rob is invaluable to both AFWM and our community, and is truly dedicated to preserving dignity and saving lives."

Angela DiMaria '98MS also got some well-deserved recognition, in January, when she was featured in a Teacher Spotlight on MediaPatch.com. She is a fourth- and fifth-grade mixed language arts, math, and social studies teacher at Media-Providence Friends School in Media, PA, where she has worked for 10 years. A social researcher prior to that, she lost a job in that field when her program lost its funding, the story explains, "but that life change propelled her into the teaching field, and she realized it was her calling. She's been in the classroom ever since." Angela now looks forward to going to work every day, loves the "two-way street" of teaching and learning from fellow faculty members, and finds it exciting to know she is supporting students as they reach their goals. Congratulations, Angela! Kathleen A. Hunter '05MS was invited to write a piece for the International Reading Association's Engage/Teacher to Teacher blog, and it was posted on Nov. 1. A part of the article, on using storyboards to assess comprehension, can be viewed at http://engage.reading.org/Blogsnbspnbsp/BlogViewer/?BlogKey=cb77770a-cc92-4b88-a3ce-a2a710b99ae0. Amy Howley '10MS and Joshua Anderson were married in a beautiful ceremony in Scituate, MA, last Oct. 1.

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