Abbie Fennell: Program Director

 

This year marks Abbie's eighth year as Director of Driscoll Extended Day. Abbie has a Bachelor's Degree from Wheelock College in Human Development with a concentration in Elementary Education. Before joining DEDP, she was Director of External Programs for 10 years at the Pierce School Extended Day. She had worked at the Pierce School Extended Day and Pierce School for 18 years. Abbie enjoys cooking, knitting, and traveling. She is part of a set of quadruplets and she enjoys spending time with her siblings.

 

Vinny LaFrazia:  Assistant Director

Vinny is thrilled to be returning to DEDP for his 22nd year, each one of them a unique and exciting experience.  He feels fortunate to be allowed to be a part of so many children’s lives.  He is forever thankful to all the families and coworkers - past, present and future, who have allowed me this incredible opportunity. In his other life I enjoy playing golf, cooking, and spending time with my wife and two children.

 

 

Emma Petner: Office Assistant and Assistant Group Leader (Floater)  M, W, F

 

This will be Emma’s first year working in DEDP although she did do a practicum within the program my freshman year in college. She graduated from Wheelock College in 2015 with her Bachelor's in Math as well as her Massachusetts teaching license. She worked in Chelsea and Lawrence before coming to Driscoll School where she is a first grade paraprofessional during the school day. She is from Hawai'i and therefore loves to spend her free time outdoors and at the beach on the weekends if the weather permits. She also love reading books and wishes she could have a puppy in my current apartment.

Kindergarten Teaching Team

Candace McDuffie: Coordinator/Group Leader

Candace is very excited to be joining the DEDP family this year! She has a decade of experience working with children. Candace received her Master's Degree in Education from UMASS Boston in 2011. When she is not at Driscoll, Candace spends her time working as a freelance writer.

 

Roya Amigh: Group Leader     

 

Roya attended University in Tehran, Iran and later obtained her Masters of Fine Arts from Boston University. Roya is thrilled to be starting her second year at DEDP! Being an art educator--the craft, the science, and the art of teaching--challenges her to think more deeply about her practice as an artist, and vice versa. She has created practical and thought-provoking methods of teaching drawing, painting, crafting, and mixed media work that inspire children and adults to explore fresh ways of learning and creating.

 

Vince Cirincione: Group Leader     Active/Sports Specialist

 

This is Vince’s first year working at DEDP! He has worked at several Brookline summer camps as a Wellness and Sports Specialist since 2007. He is currently a senior at Bridgewater State University, majoring in Physical Education. Vince works to make sure that all kids are in an inclusive, fun and engaging environment. He is also a graduate of Brookline schools, including the after school program at Pierce (PSED). We are excited to have him on the Kindergarten team!

 

Grade 1 and 2 Teaching Team

Amy Wells:  Coordinator Grade 1-2/ Group Leader-Grade 1  

 

Amy Wells is starting her eighth year at DEDP. In the past seven years she has been coordinator for both the K/1/2 program and the 3/4/5 program. She is excited to be leading the 1st and 2nd grade team again this year and is looking forward to an exciting year of great actives, fun and learning with the children. Amy attended Wheelock College before transferring back to her home state of Vermont to finish her degree in Social Work at Champlain College. Before coming to DEDP, Amy worked with children with special needs in many different settings. She looks at things with a strength-based perspective and strives to create activities that foster social and developmental growth for all children.

 

Alicia Ruth Jackson:  Group Leader-Grade 1   

Alicia Ruth is thrilled to be joining the DEDP family this year!

 

She recently moved from Montgomery, Alabama where she received a degree in Theatre Performance from Faulkner University. She has several years of experience in childcare and education including roles as a camp counselor, workshop instructor, and Theatre & Music Director for grades K4-12. Outside of DEDP Alicia Ruth enjoys theatre, singing, and hanging out with her 9 year-old pug named Rosie.

 

Zoe Lolis: Assistant Group Leader-Grade 1              NU Co-op Student

 

Zoe is attending Northeastern University and is a 3rd year (Middler) currently on her first co-op at DEDP. At Northeastern she is working on her Bachelors of Science in Psychology and also a Masters in Children's Psychology. Her family background is a mix of Russian and Greek, therefore, Zoe can speak and read very basic Russian. In her free time she enjoys reading books, anywhere from Science Fiction to History textbooks and drawing.

 

Sarah Clay-Mendez:  Group Leader   Grade 2

Sarah, who is in a degree program for child psychology at Lesley, is delighted to be returning for her fourth year at DEDP!  Prior to Driscoll, she worked at an after school program in Waltham. An animal lover, Sarah has also been employed as a dog walker and is interested in pet therapy. Sarah is originally from the DC area and enjoys reading, being outside (especially in Maine!), walking her pug (Mr. Beasley), kayaking and being a new aunt. She is excited for another fantastic year!

 

 

Taryn Wallach: Group Leader     Grade 2
Taryn is in her third year at DEDP, but this will be her first year as a second grade teacher. As a teacher, Taryn encourages students to use problem solving and imaginative play during hands on art projects. She has a Bachelors degree in Art Education, from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Taryn is originally from New York City but has lived in many places since. She enjoys the process of art making and draws inspiration for her own art from nature . She enjoys hiking, camping and baking.

 

Mason Waltner:  Assistant Group Leader    Grade 2

 

Mason is new to DEDP this year. He majored in environmental science at Boston College and is excited to bring his love of science to the kids of DEDP. He loves to not only make learning fun, but also turning fun activities into learning opportunities. During the school day, he works with 7th graders at Driscoll school. He also loves playing board games in his spare time, and looks forward to playing both new games and old favorites at DEDP.

Grade 3-5 Teaching Team

Elise Guillen: Coordinator Grades 3-5/Group Leader Grade 4-5    

Elise Guillen is a 3D illustrator, lives in Jamaica Plain, and is happy to be returning to DEDP for her second year. She attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design and graduated with a BFA in Illustration in 2016. When she is not at DEDP during the school year, she is a studio art instructor for kids at the Museum of Fine Arts in the summers.

 

Elise is passionate about visual communication and all forms of storytelling. Her work reflects her outlook on life: to be cheerful, colorful, and playful. She has recently been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Creative Quarterly, American Illustration, and 3x3 The Magazine of Contemporary Illustration for her 3D works.

 

Jordan Kellogg: Group Leader    Grade 3

 

This is Jordan’s 2nd full year at DEDP. She has previously been the co-op for the K team in Spring 2016 and the office assistant for the Fall of 2016. She will be graduating from Northeastern University in December with a major in Human Services, and minors in Psychology and International Affairs. When she is not at DEDP or in class she enjoys playing guitar, ukulele, yoga, or hanging out in her hammock around Boston. She is super excited to be working with the 3/4/5 team this year for the first time!

 

Grace Koehler:  Group Leader    Grade 3

 

Grace is in her second year at DEDP but her first as a Group Leader! She graduated from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY with a Bachelors in Forensic Science and Biology. In Troy she worked for a daycare summer camp and Hope 7, an after school program. At Sage she also founded the school newspaper! She moved to Boston to pursue her Masters, but after working as the Discovery Specialist at the Oak Square YMCA and a year as an office assistant/sub at DEDP, she decided she wanted to work full time with kiddos instead! Grace loves to hike, travel, read. As a Northern Indiana native, Grace loves to cheer for the Chicago Cubs and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

 

Emily O’Hara:  Assistant Group Leader-Grade 3 (M,W)  

              Office Assistant/Float (Tu,W, F)

 

Emily is very excited to start her very first year at DEDP! She received her Associate's Degree in Animal Science from the University of New Hampshire last year. Emily has extensive experience working with children in both the summer camp and Brookline Public School setting. In addition to working at DEDP, she works at BEEP as a Paraprofessional with 3 and 4 year olds. She enjoys hanging out outside in her spare time.  

 

Spencer Benson: Group Leader   Grade 4-5

Spencer Benson is new to the DEDP staff this year, specifically working as a group leader with the 4th and 5th graders.  A New Hampshire native, Spencer graduated from University of New Hampshire in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in English.  Soon after, Spencer began working at Newmarket Elementary School as a paraprofessional, where he discovered a latent passion for working with elementary age children.  When he’s not working with children, you can find Spencer playing guitar in his band, catching up on his reading, or longing for his two cats still up in New Hampshire.