2018 - 2019 and 2019-2020 Teacher Grants

2019-2020 Teacher Grants

Jennifer Jaruse (Learning Center/Math Co-Teacher, Brookline High School)

Courses to Support Students with Varying Abilities and Identities

 Ms. Jaruse will take several online professional learning courses to expand her knowledge of the intersectionality of students with varying abilities and students who identify as Trans or gender non-conforming. Her goals in extending her knowledge on these topics, is to provide appropriate support to these students and share her findings with colleagues and BHS families.


Alyssa Henry (Fourth-grade, Baker School)

Educator Tour of Bolivia

 Ms. Henry will travel to Bolivia to participate in an educational tour with the Global Exploration for Educators Organization. This tour will allow Ms. Henry to visit a variety of geological features, as well as learn about the history and culture of this country.  Ms. Henry will share her experiences with her students by creating a photo journal for use in the classroom to supplement the fourth-grade science and social studies curriculum.


Grace Wang (Math and Computer Programming, Brookline High School) Shoshanna Kostant (Math and Computer Programming, Brookline High School)

 A Study into the Art of Cryptography

 Ms. Wang and Ms. Kostant will enroll in a three-week summer course at Harvard University entitled Introduction to the Art of Cryptography in order to increase their understanding about the history and modern techniques used in this field. They plan to bring their learning back to their SNAP! and Python programming classrooms so their students’ will gain insights into modern cryptography and internet-security.  


Priscilla Kwok (K-8 Visual Arts, Coolidge Corner School) – ADAM RUSSELL GELFAND FELLOWSHIP

 Seen/Unseen: Habla Summer Arts and Literacy Institute

 Ms. Kwok will travel to Merida, Mexico to attend the Habla Summer Institute to expand her knowledge of Mexican art, literature, music and movement in an effort to create more authentic learning experiences for her art students. The Institute employs a variety of hands-on activities to teach attendees best practices for integrating arts with literacy and language.


Deborah Levine (English Learner Education, Grades 3-7, Pierce School), Lauren Carroll (English Learner Education, Grades K-8, Runkle School)

Chinese Cultural Exploration

 Ms. Levine and Ms. Carroll will travel to China with China Educational Tours to learn, first-hand, about the culture, history and school-life of students so that they may better understand Brookline students that have emigrated from China. Pierce School houses the Native Language Support Program for Chinese Speakers and Runkle School has also experienced an increase in native Chinese speakers in recent years. Ms. Levine and Ms. Carroll seek to better understand their students’ previous experiences so they can help their students adapt to their new Brookline schools.


Chris Lee-Rodriguez (Instrument and Music production, Baker, Lawrence, CCS, Driscoll and Lincoln Schools)

 Brazilian Guitar Techniques as a Skill development and Cultural Lens

 Mr. Lee-Rodriguez will attend the California Brazilian Camp for a week-long, full immersion educational music program with world-class master musicians from Brazil. He seeks to deepen his personal understanding and development of Brazilian guitar techniques, songs and culture. He will share his new knowledge with other colleagues in the performing arts department so that all Brookline students studying guitar and ukulele will benefit from the experience.


Gabrielle Mahesh (Special Education Teacher, Grades 3-5, Lawrence School)

 Travel to India

 Ms. Mahesh will spend two months volunteer teaching in Bangalore, India during the summer of 2019. During this time, she will develop a deeper understanding of the impact of global education, expand her knowledge of students from diverse backgrounds and bring home skills to engage in conversations around cultural competency within Brookline schools. Once returning home, Ms. Manesh will establish a letter-writing project between students at the Lawrence School and students attending Shanti Bhavan for the school year.


Kailin Bixby and Sara Zekri (Literacy Specialists, K-8, Baker School)

Focus on TWEENS: YALSA’s Youth Services Symposium

Three Literacy Specialists will attend the Young Adult Library Services Association’s conference in Tennessee with the goal of expanding and diversifying the Teen section of the Baker School Library and creating a new TWEEN section by the start of school in 2020. In their information gathering, they hope to learn how to choose literature to engage TWEENS and to create a space that is inspiring and communal.

Emily Stewart (Instrumental Music, Grades 4-8, District)

The Strum Bowing Method: 3-Day String Methods Workshop with Tracy Silverman

Ms. Stewart will work with Tracey Silverman, a leader in progressive strings education, to gain first-hand knowledge about a method of teaching strings that includes more rhythm and groove, and can make the strings more accessible to more students. Ms. Stewart will bring back this methodology to Brookline strings students and the music department, so that she can update and enhance her current curriculum.


Donna Sartanowicz (Visual Arts, Brookline High School)

 AP Art and Design Summer Institute 

Ms. Sartanowicz will attend the AP Studio Art Summer Institute at the Taft Educational Center to refresh her own teaching practices and learn about recent changes to the AP Studio Art Exam so she may better prepare BHS AP art students who intend to take the exam. The workshop will help to make sure that art courses at BHS are aligned with the new exam structure.


Leah McGowan (Learning Center, Grades K-1, Lincoln School) 

Landmark Seminar: Develop Cardinality and Number Sense with Whole-to-Part Icons of Quantity

 Ms. McGowan will attend a two-day seminar with renowned multi-sensory math instructor Chris Woodlin to improve cardinality and number sense instruction for students in grades K-2 and to increase the strategies and materials available for students needing remedial math support at Lincoln. Ms McGowan will share her new strategies and techniques with other Learning Center educators at Lincoln School.

Tanya Gregoire (Enrichment Challenge Support, Heath and Pierce Schools)

Explo Studio – Critical Making Camp for Educators

This summer, Ms. Gregoire will attend Explo’s Critical Making Camp for Educators for an immersive, hands-on maker experience to further learn the skills necessary to cultivate the maker mindset in students at Heath and Pierce Schools. As an instructional coach, Ms. Gregoire will use what she’s learned to assist teachers in creating engaging lessons that utilize the schools’ maker spaces and to provide meaningful feedback for student directed projects.

 Katherine Judd (Learning Center, 7-8th Grade, Coolidge Corner School) 

Wilson Reading System Level 1, Online Course and Practicum

 Ms. Judd will undertake 90 hours of online coursework to complete hercertification of the Wilson Reading Program Certification, Level 1.  With this additional training, Ms. Judd will be more able to provide CCS Learning Center students with appropriate diagnostic plans to address their individual reading and spelling challenges by utilizing new multi-sensory Wilson techniques.


Dianne Arico-Muendel (Literacy Coach, 3-8th Grade, Lawrence School)

Writing Workshop for Writing Teachers

Ms. Arico-Muendel will reflect on and hone her own writing by attending Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking. A former Metzger Fellow, she has seen the power of personal writing in strengthening one’s teaching and coaching. She will bring back techniques learned at the workshop to share with colleagues so they may strengthen the writing curriculum for their students.


Jen Doubilet, Maria DiStefano (Literacy Specialists, Grades K-5, Driscoll School)

Turbo Charge Your Students' Sentence Writing: A Stepping Stone to Enriched Text-Based Writing

Ms. Doubilet and Ms. DeStefano will attend a workshop on writing strategies at the Landmark School, which will expand their repertoire of teaching foundational writing skills, especially with vocabulary and grammar, to have another tool in assisting students with writing.

Erin Yang (Literacy Specialist, Grades K-8, Pierce School)

Attending the Neuroscience of Reading Summer Institute

This summer, Ms. Yang will attend Learning and the Brain summer institute at MIT to learn the latest thinking on what is known about how typically developing children and children with disabilities learn to read. This work will allow her to examine how neuroscience research can be translated into educational best practices with the goal of better identifying students at risk of dyslexia and other literacy disorders.


Julie Boss (District-wide K-5 Math Specialist), Alison Hansel (Math Specialist, Pierce School)

White Privilege Conference

At this four day conference, Ms. Boss and Ms. Hansel will deepen their skills and gain resources for facilitating effective conversations on issues of race and white privilege within our schools.  This conference will enhance Ms. Boss’ role as a SEED leader and Ms. Hansel’s role on the Pierce Equity Team allowing them to bring their experiences back to their peers.


 Marney Krupat (Grade 5, Baker School)

First Brookline 5th Grade GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance)

Ms. Krupat recently started a GSA specifically for 5th Graders at the Baker School because research shows that providing support to LGBTQ students in early years can help prevent conflicts in Middle School. Ms. Krupat will attend a conference at Boston University’s School of Public Health to get the necessary training to effectively provide support to these young students.


Emily Manning-Mingle (K-8 Visual Arts, Coolidge Corner School)

Anderson Ranch Workshop and Gallery263 Studio Residency

Ms. Manning-Mingle will attend a week-long Anderson Ranch workshop which will give her time and space to create her own artwork with the support of a vibrant artist community. This grant will provide her with the opportunity to re-engage with her own art practice in order to transform her own thinking and return to school in September re-energized for her art students at CCS.


Natalie Dean (New Teacher Mentor, District)

New Teacher Center 22nd Annual Symposium

In her role as New Teacher Mentor, a new position for the District, Ms. Dean works with novice teachers to provide support for those first years in the classroom. The New Teacher Center symposium will allow her to connect with other professionals from around the country working in similar roles and to improve her skills in working with novice teachers more effectively.


David C. Petty (Computer Science, Grades 9-12, Brookline High School)

Participation in SIGCSE 2020

The SIGCSE (Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education) conference is the premier national conference for computer science educators. Mr. Petty will attend this three-day conference in order to learn about the latest, best practices for computer science education for the District. Participating in this conference will help Brookline as it looks to enhance its computer science offerings across the K-8 grades and to build pathways to High School computer programming offerings.


Kelly Slattery (Inclusion Coordinator, Pierce School)

Global Autism Project Volunteer Experience in China

Ms. Slattery was selected to participate in the Global Autism Project to travel to China which helps build the skills of teachers in China to work with students with autism. This two and a half week volunteer opportunity will give her increased cultural understanding of how China manages it special needs population. Ultimately, Ms. Slattery will share her experiences with other colleagues so that they can have a better understanding of how best support new students coming from China to Brookline.

2018-2019 Teacher Grants

Bridget Baird-Francescone, Kimberley Munroe (Special Education Teachers, Runkle)

Universal Design for Learning Training through Online Course

Ms. Baird-Francescone and Ms. Munroe will take an online professional learning course to expand their knowledge of lesson and curriculum design using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework and guiding principles. This training will provide them with an additional tool to increase inclusion for special education students at Runkle, and provide additional opportunities and supports for all students to learn. They plan to share UDL practices with other teachers.  


Elizabeth Brennan (Visual Arts Department, BHS)

Art New England: Mixed Media Monoprinting with Susan Rostow

Ms. Brennan will attend the “Mixed Media Monoprinting with Susan Rostow” workshop in Vermont over the summer. Rostow is a nationally known printmaker/artist who invented soy-based printmaking inks and modifiers, which are non-toxic and water-soluble. The workshop is presented in conjunction with Art New England and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She hopes to inform her own practice as an artist and share her new skills and knowledge with her students. 


Shephali Chokshi (Math Coach, Devotion), Victoria Cavanaugh(7thGrade Math, Coolidge Corner School)                                                                      Charlie Baker Award recipients

Mathematicians Around the World: Exploring the Stories Behind the Solutions

To highlight the stories of the mathematicians behind the world’s most famous solutions, Ms. Chokshi and Ms. Cavanaugh will separately visit key sites in the history of mathematics: Italy, Greece, Mexico, and Peru. Upon their return, they will visit several Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. together, to identify and document for students pivotal moments in mathematics in the US from an equity perspective. They plan to create online resources tied to grade level standards that they can use in the classroom and share with other math teachers in Brookline, in order to humanize math for students, and make the subject more interdisciplinary.


Brianna Conlan, Emily Redburn (1stGrade, Heath)

Finland Education Conference

Ms. Conlan and Ms. Redburn will attend a professional seminar in Finland with other educators from around the world. The teachers will observe authentic Finnish classrooms, talk with Finnish educators firsthand, and study the pedagogical practices of this public education system, which is known for its unique educational philosophy. They aim to learn best practices from this different culture and create a more reflective and collaborative learning environment at Heath.


Liz Cook (3rd– 5thGrade, Special Education, Lincoln)

Visualizing and Verbalizing

Ms. Cook will attend an online course for Visualizing and Verbalizing, which offers strategies to improve and expand struggling readers’ comprehension.


Michelle Gokarakonda (6th-8thGrade Special Education, Pierce)

Lindamood-Bell on Cloud Nine Math Professional Development Training

Ms. Gokarakonda will attend a professional development workshop to gain tools in stimulating the ability of students to visualize and verbalize the concepts underlying math processes. She hopes to implement these tools with her students to increase their comprehension and abilities. 


Richard Gorman (9th- 12thGrade Guidance Counselor, BHS) 

Canadian College Tour

Mr. Gorman will visit, tour, and meet with admissions representatives from three Canadian Universities, so that he can help educate and broaden the college options for Brookline High School students. 


Dominique Herard (1stGrade, Pierce)

Exploring Language Education: Global and Local Perspectives Conference in Stockholm, Sweden

Ms. Herard will attend the Exploring Language Education: Global and Local Perspectives Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, and present research she has done with first graders using imagination, empathy, and oral storytelling skills to enhance written composition skills. By attending the conference she also hopes to learn more innovative strategies to use in her classroom.


Mayra Hernandez( Dance, BHS), Kenny Kozol (K-12 Performing Arts Curriculum Coordinator, Drumming and World Music, BHS)    Adam Russell Gelfand Award recipients

The African Essence in Cuban Music and Dance

Ms. Hernandez and Mr. Kozol will travel to Cuba to study traditional Afro-Cuban music and dance in a customized intensive program. They will deepen their knowledge and understanding of the artform and the culture from which it comes in order to teach with authenticity and stylistic accuracy in their classes, as well as share with their colleagues.


Daniel Lipton (2ndGrade, Coolidge Corner School)

Mindfulness In the Classroom

Mr. Lipton will take an online course on using mindfulness in the classroom through the Mindful Schools organization to apply. His goal is for students to become more reflective of their feelings and social interactions, which should improve classroom climate and enhance all areas of learning.


Laura London (5th– 8thGrade Special Education, Pierce)                    

Landmark School Outreach Training: Teaching Students with Language Based Learning Disabilities & Developing Cardinality in Math

Ms. London will participate in a two part summer teacher training with the Landmark School Outreach Program. Both parts of the training are aimed at addressing the needs of individuals with language-based learning disabilities. She hopes to increase her ability to effectively work with learners that require a multi-sensory approach to advance their learning.


Alison Manion (Music K-5, Pierce)

Plant Kindness and Gather Love

Ms. Manion will attend a workshop of the Maine musical “Plant Kindness and Gather Love”, to learn how to integrate the curriculum-based music into her classroom. This nature based music about island life and Maine connects with literacy, music, science, social studies, and history along with a Social-Emotional Learning curriculum, and cultivates a music classroom and school culture of caring and kindness.


Evan Mousseau (9thand 11thGrade English, BHS)

An Odyssey to Ancient Greece

Mr. Mousseau will serve as a Greek Study Fellow in the semester-long GreeceOnlineGraduate Course through The Examined Life Program, culminating in a weeklong study tour of Greece focused around locations connected to The Odysseyand other ancient texts. He hopes to increase the breadth and depth of his knowledge about Homer’s Odyssey, and ultimately to develop and revise the relevant unit in his classroom.


Matt Picard (6thGrade ELA, Baker)

Makerspace Training

Mr. Picard will complete a five-day summer workshop at Nu Vu studio in Cambridge, MA, training in makerspace classroom setup and implementation. He hopes to use these skills and knowledge to establish a makerspace learning environment at Baker School and work with students on creativity, collaboration, and problem solving skills. 


Meredith Ritter (3rd- 8thGrade Visual Arts, Baker and Lawrence) 

Art New England: Color Studio

Ms. Ritter will attend the “Color Studio Course with Nancy McCarthy” at an Art New England workshop run through the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The workshop assists artists to take the basic concepts of value, hue, and saturation to the next level. While working on her own practice, she also hopes to translate knowledge and experiences from this course into her work with her middle school students in two Brookline schools.


Kaitlin Robinson (K-3 Spanish, Lawrence)

Attending the Northeast Conference of the Teaching of Foreign Languages

Ms. Robinson will attend the 2019 Northeast Conference of the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The conference will address subjects including: integration of culture, content, and language; authentic classroom discourse; and performance-based assessment. She hopes to acquire concrete techniques and activities to apply to her Spanish classes, as well as learn new things that will inspire her work.


Skye Shirley (9th-12thGrade Latin, BHS)

The Society of Classical Studies Annual Conference

Ms. Shirley will attend the annual conference of the Society of Classical Studies and American Institute of Archaeology in California. She will present a paper about her “Active Latin” teaching methods and learn about best practices and the latest thinking on Classical Studies. “Active Latin”, used by Ms. Shirley in her classroom, involves spoken and auditory methods of teaching that is a relatively unusual but increasingly popular approach, supported by strong research in to how we best learn languages.


Chris Smith (6thand 8thGrade Social Studies, Pierce)

Beyond the South to the Land of Smiles and a Million Elephants

Mr. Smith will travel to Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam with the Global Exploration for Educators Organization to gather information first hand to create a geography unit of Southeast Asia for 6thgraders. He hopes that his first hand experience of these places will lead to more authentic learning for his students.