Student Services New Hires 2015-2016

Dear Parents,

This year, the District welcomes several Student Services new hires in teacher, assistant, specialist, and intern roles.


Melissa Goldner, SWING Teacher, EES:  Melissa is a certified severe special needs teacher who brings extensive experience working with students with disabilities in public and private schools, including the New England Center for Children, Newton Public Schools, and Marblehead Public Schools.  Most recently, Melissa served as the lead teacher in an similar program to SWING within the Topsfield Public Schools.  Melissa holds a master’s degree in severe special needs from Simmons College and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Vermont.  She is currently enrolled in a certification program in applied behavioral analysis at Endicott College.

Kelly Lestage, Special Education Teacher (Part-time) EES/MMES: Kelly joins the District as a part-time special education liaison at Essex Elementary and reading tutor for the elementary Intensive Reading and Written Language program.  Kelly has previously served as an Orton Gillingham Clinic tutor, literacy tutor at Winthrop School in Hamilton, lead teacher and Assistant Director for Children Aboard Rainbow Express, and kindergarten teacher for Brookwood School.  She earned a bachelor of education degree from Gordon College, a master of education degree from Salem State University, and completed an educational specialist program in reading at Gordon College.  Kelly is also a certified Orton Gillingham reading tutor.

Johanna McEvoy, IRWL Teacher, MERMS:  The middle school welcomes Johanna McEvoy this fall as the new teacher for the Intensive Reading and Written Language program.  Johanna began her career at the Smith Vocational High School in Northampton and most recently worked at Landmark High School for four years as a reading and language arts teacher.  In preparation for her new role in the District, Johanna spent the summer co-teaching with Colleen Kelleher in the elementary IRWL program.  Johanna holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Massachusetts at Amherst in psychology and sociology and a master of education degree from Simmons College.

Steffanie Munyon, Special Education Teacher, MMES:  Steffanie is a certified moderate special education teacher and Board Certified Behavior Analyst who joins Memorial School with 12 years of experience in public and private school settings.  Steffanie has worked as a lead ABA counselor at Melmark New England, ABA therapist for the Integrated Center for Child Development, Intensive Learning Program teacher for Winthrop School in Hamilton, and Learning Center teacher for Lynnfield Public Schools.  Steffanie earned bachelor and master of education degrees from Endicott College and completed her post-graduate coursework in applied behavioral analysis at the University of Massachusetts.

James Umile, Transitions Teacher, MERHS:  Jim brings sixteen years of special education teaching experience to his new role as the high school Transitions program teacher.  Jim has previously worked in the Wakefield Public Schools, Salem Public Schools, and Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District.  During his career in special education, Jim has established alternative programs for students at risk, served as a special education liaison, taught self-contained classes, provided inclusion support, and co-taught a variety of subjects at the high school level.  Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Michael’s College and a master of education degree from Salem State University.


Laura Catlin, Physical Therapist, District:  Laura Catlin joins the District as a part-time physical therapist with primary responsibility for the SWING and preschool programs.  Over the past two decades, Laura has worked as as a pediatric physical therapist in settings that include Mass General Hospital for Children in Salem, North Shore Education Consortium, Marblehead Public Schools, United Cerebral Palsy Association, and Boston Children’s Hospital.  Laura is a graduate of the MGH Institute of Health Professions with a master of science in physical therapy, earned a master of architecture from Harvard University, and received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College.

Megan O’Shea, Social Work Intern, MERMS/HS:  Megan is a master of social work student at Simmons College School of Social Work and holds a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Loyola College in Maryland.  Megan brings several years of professional work and internship experience to her role as our social work intern, including stints as an intern in a Catholic Charities residential treatment center, lead camp counselor,  and teacher of 4th and 5th graders at a school in Thailand.

Teaching Assistants:

Allison Cousins, SWING Teaching Assistant, EES:  Allison brings experience as a therapeutic program paraprofessional, preschool teacher, and guidance counselor to her new role as a teaching assistant in the SWING program.  Allison earned a master’s degree in school counseling from Assumption College and bachelor’s degree from Fitchburg State College.  This past summer, Allison coordinated the Beverly YMCA STAR program for students with disabilities.

In addition to new hires, several staff members have assumed new positions this year due to retirements, changes in enrollment, and teacher departures:

  • Alison Campanello (EES special education teacher) moves from part-time to full time.
  • Linda Parady (formerly EES inclusion teaching assistant) moves to the SWING elementary program.
  • Marti Booth (formerly MMES resource room and inclusion teaching assistant) moves to the SAIL elementary program.
  • Liz Eichenberger (formerly HS teaching assistant) moves to the SWING middle school program.
  • Yvonne Robbins (formerly preschool teaching assistant) moves to the MMES SAIL program.
  • Christine Noviello (formerly MMES teaching assistant) moves to the MERMS IRWL program.

I hope that you will join me in welcoming these talented individuals to their new roles and assignments.  We look forward to seeing you on September 2.

Best Regards,

Allison Collins

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