Meet Our New Staff!
Essex Elementary School
Annie Harutunian, Occupational Therapist: Annie is the new EES Occupational Therapist. She holds a Master of Science from Tufts University in Occupational Therapy, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology. Annie has extensive experience in her field and has provided private and public therapy services to student and their families. She is ABA trained, fluent in the use of technology including IEP programs and continues her education coursework and trainings. We are excited to have Annie on board at EES.
Kanitah Conley, Lunch Room Monitor: Kanitah comes to EES as a lunch room monitor with experience from a neighboring elementary school. She is Safety-Care Certified and CPR/AED trained and has had paraprofessional experience as well. Kanitah is excited to join EES and we welcome her and her cheerful personality!
Memorial Elementary School
Diane Clarke, Elementary Special Education Tutor: The District welcomes Diane Clarke as a special education tutor for Memorial School. Diane holds a master of education degree in special education from Simmons College. She has previously worked as a special education teacher in Gloucester Public Schools and served as a long-term substitute special education teacher and liaison during Lauren Lyons’s maternity leave last spring.
Julie Parchment, Reading Specialist: Ms. Parchment is thrilled to join the Memorial Elementary School team as a Reading Specialist. Previously she worked at Salem Public Schools in the special education department, providing reading intervention services as well as inclusion support. Ms. Parchment enjoyed being home for a number of years with her daughter and son. Prior to that she worked for Reading Public Schools in the language based program where she honed her skill and passion for developing effective literacy instruction for all students. Ms. Parchment enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors in nature, at the beach and hiking in the woods. She is looking forward to forming wonderful relationships with the students, families and staff at Memorial School.
Debra Patuto, Elementary Special Education Tutor: Debra officially joins Memorial School after spending last year as a special education tutor for Essex students during Melissa Goldner’ s maternity leave. Prior to working in MERSD, Debra served as an elementary inclusion classroom teacher in Chelmsford and Brookline. She holds a master’s degree in elementary and special education from Lesley University and a bachelor of science degree in communication disorders from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Rene Puopolo Smith, IRWL Teacher: Rene Puopolo Smith brings 16 years of experience in education as a special education language based program teacher, school psychologist, and team chairperson to her new role on the IRWL team. Renee’s background includes positions in Lincoln Public Schools, Barnstable Public Schools, and, most recently, Marblehead Public Schools. She holds a master of education degree from Endicott College, a master’s degree and certificate of advanced graduate study in school psychology from University of Massachusetts Boston, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in special education from Boston College.
Meghan Walsh, IRWL Reading Specialist: Reading specialist Meghan Walsh has spent the majority of her career in Marblehead Public Schools, where she has served as a language based program teacher, reading specialist, teacher trainer, consultant, and, most recently, literacy coordinator and coach for language based programs. Meghan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary and special education from Wheelock College and a master of education degree from Simmons College. She is a certified special education teacher, reading specialist and Wilson Reading program certified, with additional training and expertise in all Lindamood Bell reading programs, Lively Letters, and RAVE-O reading methodologies.
Manchester Essex Middle School
Alexander Elia, SAIL Teacher: Alex is a talented teacher who has previously worked as our SAIL teaching assistant and REACH instructor for Brookwood School. He earned his master’s degree in education from Endicott College.
Alison Foreman, Middle/High School Speech and Language Pathologist: Alison joins the MERSD as a speech and language pathologist clinical fellow with experience in the Center for Stuttering Therapy at Boston University, Boston Medical Center, the Ely Center, and Edward Devotion School in Brookline. Alison completed her master of science in speech and language pathology at Boston University and earned a bachelor of science in communication disorders from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Abby Hillinger: Abby is a passionate middle school English Teacher whose prior work experience includes teaching Grades 7 and 8 at the O’Maley Innovation Middle School in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her educational background includes a BA in Sociology from Boston College, an MA in Creative Writing and Literature from Bath Spa University, and a Masters in Middle School English from Lesley University.
Alexis MacTaylor: Alexis is a recent graduate of Gordon College where she earned her BA in Music Education. Her student teaching experiences include working at Beverly High School in Beverly, MA, and the Hannah Elementary and Centerville Elementary Schools in Beverly, MA.
Alexandra Mezzina: Alexandra has worked as a writing coach and tutor at Chyten Educational Services in Andover, MA. She has extensive experience working as a substitute teacher for the Andover, North Andover, and Methuen Public Schools. She has also worked as a High School Spanish teacher at the Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, VA. She holds a BA in Spanish from the University of Virginia, a MA in English from Harvard University, and an initial teaching license in English from Merrimack College.
Phyllis Musco: Phyllis worked in independent international schools in Venezuela, Morocco, Ghana, Hong Kong, Thailand and most recently MERSD. She transitioned from the operating aspects of a school to teaching and became a certified Teacher Librarian through Hong Kong University. Phyllis holds a BA in Communication Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Karen Muniz, Special Education Reading Tutor: Karen Muniz is a certified special education teacher with extensive reading training, including Lindamood Bell LIPS and Seeing Stars, Wilson, and Orton Gillingham. Karen graduated summa cum laude from the Bachelor’s degree program at Salem State University and holds a master’s degree in special education from Fitchburg State University.
Mary Sullivan: Mary is an experienced art teacher whose past experiences include positions as the middle school art teacher at the O’Maley Innovation Middle School in Gloucester, MA, the art teacher at Voice Charter School in New York City, a studio art instructor at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA an art enrichment teacher at Runkle Extended Day in Brookline, MA, and an educational technology fellow at Tufts University. Mary holds a BA in Art History and a Masters in Teaching, Art Education, both from Tufts University.
Manchester Essex High School
Steve Cogger, STEM Teacher: Mr. Cogger formerly taught at MERHS before moving to Reading Memorial High School in the fall of 2012. We are pleased to welcome Mr. Cogger back to MERHS. He will be working within the science department to develop a STEM course pathway. Mr. Cogger graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor Degree and Tufts University with a Master Degree in STEM Education.
David Conwell, Guidance Counselor: Mr. Conwell has served a Guidance Counselor at Salem High School for the past 10 years. He will be working with Ms. Polk and Ms. Low to support students throughout their high school experience and to guide students through the college/career search process. Mr. Conwell graduated from University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor Degree and received his Master Degree in School Counseling from Salem State University.
Keith Hartan, Environmental Science/Biology Teacher: After spending a number of years as a Biology Teacher at Masconomet Regional High School, Mr. Hartan spent the last two years teaching at the American School of Milan. We are pleased he has decided to join the faculty at MERHS upon his return to the United States. Mr. Hartan will be teaching environmental science and biology. Mr. Hartan received his Bachelor Degree from the University of Connecticut. He holds his Master Degree in Teaching Biology from Salem State University as well as a Certificate of Advance Graduate Studies.