District Teachers 2009-2010

Year 1 Project Links


pbagnell100x100.jpgPatricia Bagnell > High School (ESL)
I have been the ESL teacher at Braintree High School for 4 years. I have 18 students in grades 9-12 from all over the world. Half of my students come from China. Before becoming a teacher, I worked in the telecommunications business and for the last 10 years of that career I was president of a start up company that was working on putting a submarine fiber optic cable around Africa. I have a Masters in Education from Harvard and a Masters of Arts and Teaching for Simmons. I love teaching and working with immigrant students. For the last two years, I have taught ESL using American History for content. This helps ESL students be better informed about American culture and helps to build their academic vocabulary.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

rdrayer100x100.jpgRebecca Drayer > South Middle
I am originally from Maryland where I attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County for my bachelors and Towson University for my masters. For the last five years, I have been teaching at South Middle School. I teach 7th grade world geography and cultures and 8th grade American history. I very much enjoy explaining to students how our present day societal issues are connected to past events. And therefore, I love to study history to have a better understanding of our modern day world. I am also involved in the community service club.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

Philip Krall > High School
I am currently in my fourth year at Braintree High School. I have had the opportunity to teach U.S. History & Government and both Ancient World and Modern World History in my short teaching career. I also have had the opportunity to advise the Cultural Awareness Club at the high school. I was born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia. Growing up in a city rich with history, and going to high school in downtown Philadelphia, blocks from Independence Hall, definitely played a role in the growth of my appreciation for history. I spent my freshman year at Temple University but after deciding to check out another major metropolitan area, I transferred to Framingham State College and recieved my B.A. in History with a minor in Secondary Education. Currently I am enrolled in a graduate program at Eastern Nazarene College in Qunicy, MA.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

Michael Larkin > High School
I have been a teacher at Braintree High School for three years. I am also a product of the Braintree School system, growing up in the town I now teach in. I have a degree from UMASS Dartmouth where I majored in History with an Education minor. I am currently working towards completion of a Master's program at Eastern Nazarene College. I teach ninth grade World History and U.S. Government and coach hockey. I currently reside in South Boston. Growing up in Braintree and being so close to Boston has given me an appreciation for the local history of Massachusetts and I enjoy passing that appreciation on to my students.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

Jamie Wiggin > High School
I have been a teacher at Braintree High School for four years and have taught American History every year. I earned my BA in History from Bridgewater State College graduating in 2006. Currently I teach American History, Modern World History, Current Issues and American Government. Growing up in Braintree has given me a special insight into the students lives, especially living in such a historically rich area with so many resources at our fingertips. I am coach of the Mock Trial team and advise the History Club which works with the Braintree Historical Society.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW


headshot_Iascher_09.jpgIlana Ascher> High School
I have taught history for the past five years in Chelsea Public Schools and ten years before that in Miami Dade County Schools in Florida. I earned my B.A. in History and Political Science from Indiana University and my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. I currently teach U.S. History I, US History I Honors and US History I for English Language Learners. I am also the teacher sponsor for the Interact Club and co-sponsor of the Mock Trial and Model United Nations. The Interact Club has sponsored for the past three years a Student Government Day, where students get to shadow a city official, city councillor or school board member. I was also recognized by the Rotary Club as teacher of the year for Chelsea for 2007-2008 school year.
I have been a member of Chelsea Green Space for the past four years, and this organization works on environmental injustice. I have been able to work on many issues to help the quality of life in Chelsea like stopping a power plant from being built right next to our only elementary school. I am also on the Board of Historical Commission for Chelsea and on the board for the Carey-Governor Bellingham House. One of the projects we worked on was a Lincoln Birthday Bash and created a Lincoln Bicentennial Essay Contest for students in middle and high school.
I also enjoy travelling and visiting historical sites and presidential museums. I have attended six NEH summer programs where I have visited Lincoln's home in New Salem and Springfield Illinois, Mt. Vernon, Library of Congress, Pearl Harbor, Ft. Snelling in Minnesota, etc. These programs have helped me gain new insight into historical events and have allowed me to share my personal experiences with my students and help make history come more alive to my students.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

headshot_dlafontana09.jpgDave LaFontana > High School
I have taught history for the past three and a half years at Chelsea High School. Before that I was a technical writer. I have a BA in English from the University of Massachusetts and my Masters Degree in History from Harvard Extension. I am taking classes at Salem State for a Masters in Education. I currently teach World History, U.S. History II, and one virtual class (Sports in American Society). I am also the teacher sponsor of the CHS Film Club and co-sponsor of the Multicultural Club.

I'm originally from Manchester CT. I'm married with two wonderful kids and a cat named Nicky. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, travelling, reading, camping, running, and hiking. I am a big sports fan. I have played and coached lacrosse. I root for the Red Sox, Patriots, UMass, and the Chelsea High Red Devils!
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

headshot_ppappavaselio_09.jpgPete Pappavaselio > High School
I attended Boston University and earned my B.A. in History and my M.S. in Criminal Justice. I'm in my fourth year teaching history in the Chelsea High Alternative Program. I currently teach US I and II, Introduction to Law, and Constitutional Government. In the past I have also taught World History II, Music (both performance and recording), English, Math, Biology, and Health.
Prior to my career as an educator I was a special investigator for USIS.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

headshot_dvalentine09.jpgDonald Valentine > High School
A graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where I received Bachelor's degrees in both History and Political Science and a M.Ed. in Social Studies Education, I taught Social Studies for the past ten years at the Community Interventions Program (DYS/DMH), and in Salem, and Bedford. Currently, I teach U.S. History I and U.S. History II at Chelsea High School.
Originally from New Jersey, I eventually migrated to Chatham on Cape Cod and I currently reside in Peabody. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the Becoming America project as it has allowed me to improve my knowledge and understanding of history and pedagogy.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW


Robert D'Agostino > Whittier
For the last 4 years I have been an unassigned teacher. The first two years were at the high school, the last two I have been at the Whittier school. My certification is in social studies and my major was in American history. I have had many occupations. Store owner, investment broker, wholesaler of mutual funds and annuity specialist are just a few of the diverse positions I have held across the country.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

Lisa DiSalvatore > Lafayette
My education includes a recent Masters of Education (M.Ed.) in Library Media Studies from Salem State College in 2008 and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems which I received from Suffolk University in 1986. I also hold an Associates Degree in Business Administration and Computer Programming from Bunker Hill Community College. I love the Library and I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach in Everett Public Schools the last 2 ½ years. Before teaching at the Lafayette School in Everett, I worked on my Masters Degree while working as Reference Librarian and Technical Liason at the Haverhill Public Library. Prior to my career change, I held positions for over 15 years in Corporate Information Technology Departments for many different companies in and around Boston, as well as, teaching adjunct evening and summer programs at Bunker Hill Community College for their Business and Computer Associates Degree Program.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

Debbie Hartman-McCulley > Madeline English
As an English teacher for the past ten years, I have always incorporated history into my curriculum because I believe a humanities approach helps my students learn to see the interconnections in life. For the past three years, I have taught eighth grade and love working with Everett's Middle School students because they have open minds and a healthy respect for learning. They teach me every day! I recently completed my Master of Education from Cambridge College in 2009 and wrote my thesis handbook for teachers on "MCAS, The Fun and Easy Teach Method." I received my Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts at Boston in 1981 and have taught not only English, but World Literature, World History and Human Behavior to high school students. I have worked as a columnist and news writer and have raised two beautiful and intelligent daughters who are both college graduates. I was the first college graduate in my family - a fact of which I am very proud. I work with children who grow up with the same disadvantages I had as a child. I make it my mission to push my students to greater heights than they think they can achieve - college, a profession and financial security - educated citizens who contribute to their communities to improve them.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW


Dana-Marie Brown > High School

This is my second full year at Malden High School. I am in the Social Science department where I teach United States History I and a Senior Sociology Elective. I earned my Bachelor's in American History from Stonehill College and my Masters in Moderate Disabilities and Special Needs from Boston College. I completed a year long residency at Brook Farm Academy in West Roxbury while completing my Masters. At MHS, I coach Junior Varsity volleyball and am the Advisor to the Project 540 club, a civic engagement based group. I am also one of the assistant directors of the Malden Youth Basketball program which boasts a Saturday morning league, a Sunday summer league and two camps for youth in the city. This is my second year completing a TAHG program at MHS and in conjunction with Tri-tec. I have also completed two other TAHG programs, one in Boston and the other at Ashland University in Ohio.

Coryne Legare > High School
This is my fourth year teaching at Malden High School. Previously, I taught 8th Grade at the Ferryway K-8 in Malden. Before changing careers to teaching, I was a Social Worker - working with children and their families in domestic violence shelters. I currently teach United States History I (Colonial period - Reconstruction) and Psychology, an intro level elective for graduating Seniors. I earned my Bachelors degree from the University of Montana and am currently completing my Masters at Umass Boston. While at Malden, I have participated in the Teaching American History Grant and Discovering Justice. I am also a part of the C-House 9th Grade Academy- mentoring a specific group of MHS students. I am looking forward to bringing my lessons into the 21st Century, utilizing new technology and an Inquiry based-format. Personally, I am a new mother to a 10 month old beautiful girl - she's now walking! and is a hilarious new addition to my life.


Ann Pember > High School
This is my third year at Malden High School where I teach 9th grade US History I and 12th grade Global Politics and Psychology. Before that, I spent three years at Avon High School in my hometown of Avon, Connecticut teaching 9th grade World History and 11th grade US History. I earned my undergraduate degree with Honors in History from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and then earned my Masters in Education from Boston College. While at Malden I have been the faculty advisor to the Key Club, teacher-coach to the Mock Trial team, and content area leader for the 9th grade content team. Last year I participated in the Laptops in American History classrooms grant, leading in to my participation in the TAH grant this year. I am looking forward to implementing the knowledge and information we have learned so far this year into an inquiry based lesson in my classroom.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW


headshot_mbrophy09.jpgMatt Brophy > High School
I have been teaching in Medford for the past nine years. In my time at Medford I have had the privilege of teaching World History II standard, Honors and Advanced Placement European History. I received my B.S. degree in Political Science from Bridgewater State College, and I earned my M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Salem State College.
I have always been interested in history as long as I can remember reading about historical events and asking my parents and teachers about the events of the past. Growing up in the Boston area exposed me to the history of our region and increased my interest and love of history. Therefore, teaching history allows me to pass on my passion for the subject to my students. I am hoping my participation in Voices Rising will allow me to learn new material that will continue to improve the quality of the classes I teach.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW -- see John Streff's lesson

headshot_dcorleto09.jpgDeborah Corleto> McGlynn Middle
I teach art in Medford at the Mcglynn Middle School. I have been teaching for 30 years. I earned a bachelor’s degree fron Salem State College in education/art and a master’s degree from Lesley University in education/creative arts. Since 1994, I have been an active participant in the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C; and MASSART, in Boston, teacher institutes on various periods of art history. I have attended institutes on impressionism, early American art, art in the industrial age, modern art and Dutch and Flemish art as well as one on art and architecture in the U.S. during the industrial period. Each of these institutes provided a greater understanding of the historical period studied through the lens of art.
Since attending these institutes, I’ve included a lot of art history and history in my curriculum. After all, you can’t have art history without knowing the history of the world at the same time. I am always looking for new sources of information for the historical part of the art lessons.
At present, I am a member of the Museum of Fine Arts and the National Art Educators Association. I am also one of the co-founders of the International Student Art Exchange, “a world united through art”, which will be holding its 13th exhibition in October 2008 in Thailand.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

headshot_jgriffin09.jpgJay Griffin > High School
I have taught history for the past three decades in the Medford Public Schools. I earned my B.A. in History from the University of Massachusetts and a M.Ed. from Cambridge College. While attending Tufts University, I received a certificate in Museum Studies. Teaching history and trying to preserve historic sites and artifacts have been the driving force in my career.
During the past thirty years I have had the good fortune to “live history” in several capacities. I served as Resident Site Administrator for the Isaac Royall House in Medford from 1984 to 2002. I also had the pleasure to serve as President of the Medford Historical Society from 1996 to 2006. While serving in both of these positions, my goal was to forge a working relationship with Medford students and both of these institutions.
I have been a teacher in Project LOCAL (Learning Our Community's American Lore) for the last three years. This year, I am a member of the freshman class in Voices Rising. These two programs have helped me engage students and make the study of history interesting and relevant to them.
At present I am a member of the Medford Historical Society, the Royall House Association, the Griffin Museum, the Bostonian Society and the Middlesex Canal Association.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW


Nick Kain > High School
Over the last six years I have taught World History I Standard and Honors, World History II, Government and Law and Contemporary Issues at Medford High School. I graduated cum laude from Suffolk University in 2003 with a major in History and a double minor in Fine Art and Secondary Education. History has always been a love of mine because of the great connections that can be drawn across time, disciplines and belief systems. The study of history offers an opportunity to examine and discuss how mankind has come to its current understandings of the world and of the human condition. For me, teaching is the greatest job on the planet. Every hour as a teacher there are opportunities to learn and to help young adults actively see their world in new depth and from new perspectives.

headshot_tross_09.jpgTaryn Ross > High School
I have been teaching World History I and II, standard and honors, to ninth and tenth graders at Medford High School for the past eight years. I came to the Boston area after growing up in Syracuse, NY and then obtaining my B.A. in History and Secondary Education (minor in Business) at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Subsequently I earned my M.Ed. in Secondary Education at Salem State College.
I love being an active member of the Medford school community. I have served as a class advisor for the past three years, a teacher mentor and a tutor for students on home instruction. My most exciting job, however, has been to produce and direct the high school's talent show not once, not twice but five times.
It has been a great honor to work in all capacities at Medford High. I have fantastic supportive, caring coworkers and truly wonderful people as students. I grow as an educator and learner every day and am grateful for the numerous opportunities offered to do so. I am especially thankful for the chance to participate in the Becoming America project as it has allowed me to vastly improve my knowledge and understanding of history and pedagogy.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

headshot_jstreff_09.jpgJonathan Streff > High School
I was born in Boston and grew up west of the city near historic Lexington and Concord. My passion for the past pushed me to venture south to Gettysburg College where I had the honor of working with Dr. Gabor Boritt. I then went on to Temple University for an M.A. in American Social and Cultural History where I focused on early twentieth century race riots, Irish American history, and the American Civil War. Since then I have lived in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and now Salem, Massachusetts. I have been very involved in public history, working for the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Tsongas Industrial History Center in Lowell, participating in Civil War Living History, and creating interpretative programs as a seasonal Park Ranger at the John F. Kennedy National Historic Site in Brookline. This fall, I will begin my seventh year of teaching World History II and my fourth year of teaching United States History II at Medford High School.
I have been absolutely thrilled to be involved with Becoming America project. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to engage in intellectual discussions with excellent historians, visit historic sites, and collaborate with fellow teachers. Specifically, I've enjoyed working with Matt Brophy to develop lesson plans that will engage and challenge our students.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

tousignant_ba_headshot.jpgElizabeth Tousignant > Library/research
We Library teachers are always searching for information, especially primary sources, to assist students with project-based research. Voices Rising provided a unique opportunity to hear the lectures of Boston’s preeminent scholars of American History — Bob Allison, Ken Greenberg and Louis Masur as they recounted key events in the development of our nation. The interactions with history teachers from Medford, Malden and Everett provided new perspectives on historical matters and generated a fresh approach to the U.S. History curriculum standards while the walking tours through the freedom trail, visits to Boston Public Library, Massachusetts Historical Society and Minuteman National Historical Park introduced me to valuable resources.
I earned my Bachelor of Music degree at U.Mass. Lowell and completed the Master of Education in School Library Media Studies at Bridgewater State College. I have served as Library Teacher at Medford High School since 2000.


headshot_tjones_09.jpgTimothy Jones > High School > I got my undergraduate degree from Westfield State College in 2005 with a major in History and a minor in Education. After graduating I spent three years as a reference archivist for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where I spent quality time with the original copy of the Massachusetts State Constitution (thank you Mr. Adams), the 1629 Charter (thank you Mr. Winthrop) and the original copper plate etching of the Boston Massacre (thank you Mr. Revere) among other treasures. In 2008, I left my position at the Archives to pursue a career in teaching and have been at the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School for the past two years. I am excited to have been chosen to participate in this year's Becoming America Project both to expand my knowledge about these important issues in American History and to broaden my pedagogical strategies.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

Aaron Minton > I recently finished my M.A. in History at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst specializing in American Colonial Masculinity, American Religion, and international political uprisings in third world countries. I received my B.A. at Liberty University and am looking forward to participating in the grant this year. I enjoy disc golf, playing guitar and rooting for all the Boston sports teams.
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

headshot_mwalton_09.jpgI am a graduate of Gordon College with a degree in History and Political Science. I have taught at Mystic Valley since 2002, teaching history to grades 7, 9, 10,11, and 12. I have also worked as a football and basketball coach, senior class advisor, yearbook advisor, student government advisor, and more recently as the lead teacher for grades 7 and 8. I am very excited to be a part of the Becoming America grant and look forward to sharing what I have learned with my students.

Matthew Walton > Middle School
LESSON Returned from REVIEW

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