Wheelock College Class Notes for Winter 2015 | Classes of 1980-present
Kathy Formica Harris
Reunion 2015 May 29-31
"I love using all different aspects from my Wheelock education and am able to incorporate this into two young boys' lives," writes MaryAnne Healey Barnes, who has worked with children in hospitals and schools in the past but is now in her third year in her very rewarding nanny job. She has helped the boys through reading and speech difficulties, working alongside their schools, and feels she has made a huge difference in their lives. MaryAnne adds: "I still stay in contact with Marcia Folsom, my Wheelock adviser, and took classes from her while at Wheelock. Also Marcia has been a great role model and influence on my job working with children."
Judy Richardson Bohn has been living just outside Chicago (Naperville, IL) for 12 years and retired in the spring of 2013 after 10 years of teaching preschool there in order to travel with her husband, who still travels for his job. She hopes they will move to a warmer area when he retires in a couple of years. Their three daughters are all in their 20s now. Renate Wagner Flannelly and husband Barry love living in "amazingly beautiful" northern California, where Renate works for the Piedmont School District and had a first- and second-grade combination classroom in 2013-2014. Their youngest child is a sophomore in high school, and their other three children are either in college or working.
Phoebe Robinson Foley continues to teach the young and love the field of special education. In addition, she is a fellow minister at St. John's Episcopal Church in Newtonville, MA, where she sings in the choir and is a vestry member. Phoebe and Steve celebrated their 29th anniversary last year. Their older daughter, Sara, is a dance teacher who dreams of becoming a dance therapist. Daughter Teresa graduated magna cum laude with a degree in psychology and plans to go on to graduate school. She is engaged to marry Robert, "a delightful British chap from Scotland" who works as a software developer; after their wedding, they will live in the U.S.
Kathy Welsh Wilcox
Cecilia Tatem Small writes: "The Class of 1984 was represented by five of us at Reunion Weekend 2014: Martha McNulty, Patty Dowell Merrill, Monica Trussell Belkin, Jackie Trudel, and me. We had a great time taking in all the new changes, along with our fond memories. We are all busy with our full lives, but most importantly, all well. Do know you are all in our thoughts, and hope our paths cross soon!"
Linda Edwards Beal
Reunion 2015 May 29-31
Carol Ann McCusker Petruccelli
Gina Lynch Emanuel has a very cool volunteer job that brought her to Wheelock last spring. "One of my dogs and I have been certified as a dog therapy team, and we came to Wheelock on assignment to help de-stress students during finals week," she wrote in late April. Gina still (26 years!) works at the Department of Children and Families in the Boston area and was at that time facilitating an after-work group for parents and teens. Her family has been great. Her daughter is now a sophomore at Bridgewater State, studying elementary music education, and son Nick is a junior at Norfolk Aggie High School. They did a lot of snowmobiling last winter and spent a lot of time during the summer at Moosehead Lake in Maine.
Susan Kelly Myers
Currently a middle school teacher in Baton Rouge, LA, Maury Duhon Wolverton is working toward educational leadership certification in hopes of soon becoming an assistant principal. Her husband works for a company that provides technology for classrooms. Together they have five daughters, ages 6 to 20.
Reunion 2015 May 29-31
"We are living in tulip country in a beautiful home with chickens and cows as our neighbors," writes Julie Roscoe Orkiolla, who moved with husband Gregory Orkiolla '89 back to the great state of Washington in 2013! They are both still teaching and enjoy it, "despite the politics." Julie and Greg are enjoying exploring that green part of Washington after living in the desert (Tooele, UT) for so long.
Cammie Mitchell Jones, a fourth-grade teacher in suburban DeWitt, MI, writes, "I find my best teaching moments to be with my students in place-based learning settings such as the local river, the weeklong BIG Zoo Lesson at the local zoo, or the science adventure on a research vessel in Lake Michigan." She adds: "Though the policies and data frenzy of public education are hurdles to good teaching sometimes, I make my mantra 'Remember joy!' and urge all the compassionate, skilled Wheelock graduates of the world to stay the course." She, husband Mark, and sons Jack, 10, and Will, 8, recently built a new home in the town where she teaches and where the boys go to school.
Last summer, Amy Jackson Jenner became the new head of school for Thomas Hart Academy, an independent K-8 school in Hartsville, SC, where she had taught second grade for nine years and served as the group leader for primary school teachers for three. Also a former member of THA's advisory committee to the head of school and former faculty representative to its board of directors, Amy co-founded and has co-chaired the THA Athletic Booster Club and coached both volleyball and basketball.
Heidi Butterworth-Fanion is excited to see what lies ahead after receiving a special education administration degree. She writes: "I continue my volunteer work with the homeless and needy in Rhode Island and have recently transformed my office into Heidi's Helping Hands, which is a pantry showcasing basic needs (toiletries), food, and clothing for all students and their families in my district. This has been a humbling journey. I have been serving the needy for several years now and brought my work into the schools more formally after the death of my very close friend who died on the streets."
Reunion 2015 May 29-31
Tara Sullivan Golden writes: "We have moved to Texas! A big decision for our family, but we are loving every minute!"
Amanda Cunningham has been living in Santa Monica, CA, since 2003 and co-owns and operates a motorcycle safety school called Westside Motorcycle Academy. Last summer, she wrote: "I'm also in the last stage of paperwork for adopting a newborn, with a local open adoption center, IAC. Wheelock has taught me a lot about kids, so I'm excited to share my knowledge as a parent!"
Samantha Parisi Gilhuly is excited that both of her daughters are now attending the elementary school she attended as a child - and where she is serving as PTA president! She writes: "Hey, Colchester gals! I hope you are all well. XO"
Last summer, Cathy Anderson Ainsworth wrote: "My daughter (11 years old) has decided she wants to go to Wheelock College to become a teacher. She told me this morning! I guess I speak fondly of my alma mater."
Since May, Stacy Zimov Belliveau has been working as a nursing home social worker a mere quarter mile from her house and her kids' school. She and Lenny are doing well and enjoy their life with three busy girls. Daughter Brienne is now in kindergarten and has enjoyed being shown the "elementary school ropes" by big sisters Alexandra, 7, and Maya, 10.
Congratulations to Kelly Reynolds Fay '99/'02MS, who gave birth to her and husband Don's first child, Brady Anthony Fay, last June 5. Brady's godfather is the husband of Kelly's college roommate Meghan Nolet-Downey '99/'00MS. Staci Ruben Federman and husband Rich welcomed their daughter, Sydni Eva, into the world on April 13, 2014.
Sallee Azzarone Stearns sent a great update: "On Aug. 6, 2011, I married my high school classmate Mark Stearns. Teresa Doughty Webster '98/'04MS and Zedeka DeLong Poldoian '98 were bridesmaids. In January of 2012, my husband and I bought a home in Holden, MA, and shortly thereafter we adopted a rescue dog named Sadie. I am currently working for the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership as an Integrated Care Manager. In this role, I guide MassHealth members in achieving their medical and mental health goals. I've been in this position for about two years. Lastly, I have been a Big Sister for the past seven years. My Little Sister, Faith, is now 17 and a senior in high school. We are spending a lot of time researching colleges and preparing for her to leave home for the first time. Being a Big Sister has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life."
Nicole Slamin-Rivera had her third baby, Avery Skye Rivera, on April 3. She joined big sister Kaylee and big brother Nicholas to "complete the trifecta."
Karyn Beaudry Denningham writes to share that son James Richard was born on April 17, joining big sister Elizabeth.
Aimee Glassick Dill and Christopher Dill are proud to announce the birth of a baby girl, Avery Samantha. She was born on June 23, 2014, at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut. Everyone is doing well! Debra Price '05/'06MS and her husband, Kerry Dobbs, were married last July 19 in Dedham, MA. Debra teaches third-graders with learning disabilities in Boston Public Schools and has been working at Harvard/Kent Elementary School in Charlestown for the past eight years.
Congratulations to Rebecca Dietrich Richendollar '06BSW/'07MSW, who was honored with the designation "Top Social Worker" last year by Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare and the International Association of HealthCare Professionals for her "exceptional successes in the social work community." A licensed clinical social worker, Rebecca is a partner at Olivewood Counseling in Bethlehem, PA, whose practice's mission is "to provide outstanding service in a respectful, caring environment through highly specialized professionals in trauma recovery, behavior modification, family therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy." Over the years, Rebecca, a specialist in child trauma and emotional and mental health, has developed a passion for providing her clients with compassion and insight, and she is highly regarded for her ability to work with young children and improve family relationships. She runs Olivewood Counseling alongside her mother, co-founder Susan Dietrich.
Lisa Marroncelli Hylton is a kindergarten teacher at a charter public school in Lawrence, MA. She recently married her high school sweetheart, and they bought their first home in Salem, NH.
Danielle White Ryder is a special education teacher at Mattacheese Middle School in the Dennis-Yarmouth (MA) Regional School District. In a Wicked Local Dennis story last February, she talked about the path she took from first enjoying being a positive role model for children, while working in the after-school program at Harwich Elementary School at age 16, to now loving to laugh and learn with her own students and celebrate their "aha" moments as they work through their challenges and make progress. In between, she was an assistant in the Harwich, MA, School District's early education program and taught in an extended-year program one summer. In addition to wanting to go back to school for her master's degree soon, Danielle has two children, ages 3 and 5; sings in her sister's band, Jo&Co; and has a small photography business.
Stacy Seidner, a softball coach at New Hampshire Technical Institute, recently received a master's in athletic administration from Ohio University. She lives in Hooksett, NH.
Michele LaMountain writes: "Hola from Proyecto Montezuma! I recently participated in the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification course in Montezuma, Costa Rica. I highly recommend it! TEFL is a certified monthlong program with hands-on experience teaching local adults and children. [Participants] become immersed in the Central American culture by volunteering at local elementary schools."
Kristen Greco and Jordan Mendelson were married last June.
Last year, Aly Kantor, who recently finished work on an M.S. in early childhood education at Hofstra University, wrote about a student-teaching experience that was part of her graduate work: "[T]eaching through the arts was a big focus of my classroom practice! My Wheelock education definitely came in handy in the field. I introduced Reader's Theater to my first-grade class and found that the group was intrinsically motivated to learn history and practice fluency in reading. They made their own costumes based on research into the time period we were studying and performed in front of many other classes! That is the section of my portfolio that I'm the most proud of. I definitely wouldn't have taught such a unit if I hadn't been exposed to Reader's Theater at Wheelock! I was even able to modify what I'd learned to create a version of the activity for pre-literate students in pre-K and kindergarten which I call 'dramatic movement narratives.' These involve the use of movement, refrain, and academic vocabulary and utilize Vygotsky's theories on thought and language acquisition in early childhood to give children the scaffolding and language they need to engage in higher level conversation. Who'd have thought that you could teach the concept of photosynthesis through the arts?! It's wonderful! I know my Wheelock foundation has made me a much stronger practitioner and I'm very appreciative." More recently, Aly has started working as a pre-K teacher at a local elementary school, and she is very happy there.
Carrie LeGeyt '11/'12MS, former supervisor for an in-home behavioral company and HeadStart home visitor, is working as a behavior therapist for Positive Behavioral Solutions. In addition, she is working on her "BCBA" (board certified behavior analyst) in a post-master's program at UMass Lowell. Her goal is to put all of her skills and experiences related to child life, children's verbal behavior, and children's play and social skills to work as an independent contractor. A participant in several Wheelock trips - to Singapore, Northern Ireland, New Orleans, and, most recently, South Africa in 2014 - Carrie says these experiences instilled in her a love of travel and that she cherishes these opportunities to experience the cultures firsthand while working with children and families. In South Africa in particular, she loved "the service aspect of going into early childhood settings" and found it empowering to go into a setting where the children spoke little to no English but she could still bring them joy through play. She's always on the lookout for other international volunteer opportunities.
Last spring, Christine Pellerin wrote: "I work for the New England Center for Children (NECC) in Southborough, MA, and will be leaving in August to teach in Abu Dhabi for two years at the NECC partner school there. I don't have details about what students I am teaching, but I can pass along more information to you as I find it out."
Tam Emerson has become the acting director of the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. This program aims to develop and support the next generation of citizen leaders to enact social change.
In a post on "Idealist Careers" last year, Ashley Lee had some terrific advice for new college graduates who studied liberal arts about "how to own your education" and how to show employers the connections that can be made between what such students do in college and what they can do in their jobs later. Some of the former visual art major's tips for young graduates had to do with identifying transferable skills gained in the classroom; reflecting on what they did outside of the classroom, including work-study positions and volunteer work; embracing their background, and being ready to talk about the passion behind it and how it makes them unique; and making a game plan for narrowing down options by trying to find a common thread in past experiences. Ashley was a City Year corps member for a year and is now a program manager at a Boston-area nonprofit.
Last summer, Voranan Mongkolpumirat wrote: "As a Peace Corps volunteer, I have spent the past two years of my life in a rural village in Nepal doing work in many sectors ranging from youth development, to income generation, to health and sanitation trainings. Now that my service is coming to a close, I am working on delegating responsibilities of each project to villagers, so they will be able to continue it once I leave."