2019 Leadership Academy Presenters

SAU 41 Leadership Team: Juggling Leading, Learning and Laughing: How to Help your District to Support Professionals

Hear how one student’s artwork led to a shift in mindset of an entire SAU.  Come listen to the story of the SAU 41 Leadership Team and how we juggle leading, learning, and laughing.  In this workshop we will share ways our leadership team has supported and empowered teachers and leaders as professionals.  Learn about monumental shifts in our teacher observation model, mentoring program, and professional development. Ultimately, these shifts drove our leadership team to make a concerted effort to build trust and rapport throughout our PK-12 system, but not without bumps in the road!  Decisions are made with purpose and intent, and the focus is laser sharp on what’s good for students, staff, and community. Come learn new ideas, have time to collaborate, and most importantly…laugh!”

SAU 41 bios:

Mrs. Paula Izbicki has been an elementary classroom teacher in grades 2 – 5 for both the Manchester and Concord NH school districts.  During her tenure in Manchester, she became a literacy coach for elementary grades. She graduated from New England College in 2011 with her Masters in Educational Leadership and prior to that completed the undergraduate Bachelor of Science (“BS”) in Childhood Studies at Plymouth State University with a concentration in Special Education.  Since joining the Hollis School District as an Administrator, Mrs. Izbicki has helped to implement a mindset shift in teaching practices within the school and continues to be passionate about taking risks, empowering staff and students, and moving the school forward.

Bob Thompson has served as the principal of Hollis Brookline Middle School,  since 2012. Prior to serving as the principal of Hollis Brookline Middle School, he served as the Dean of Students of Souhegan High School, a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools. During his time at Souhegan Bob lead the “Top Ten” initiative that reduced the high school dropout rate of Souhegan to zero, a more than 200% decrease. Prior to this experience Bob served as a 7th and 8th grade social studies teacher for 10 years in the Dover, N.H. Schools. A main driver of Bob’s work throughout his career has been getting kids to show up to school.

Mr. Daniel Molinari is the principal at Richard Maghakian Memorial School.  A Plymouth State graduate, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Childhood Studies, a Master of Education degree in Heritage Studies, and a CAGS in Educational Leadership.  He enjoyed a ten year career teaching in grades 4 and 5 and coaching various sports at the middle, high school, and collegiate level. Since joining the SAU 41 team, Mr. Molinari has focused his attention on the emergency and safety preparedness of his staff and students. In an effort to personalize student learning, he continually works to encourage his staff to think outside of the box, dig deep with student data, and utilize targeted resources to improve student performance.

Gina Bergskaug began her career as a high school chemistry teacher in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire school districts.  During her time as a classroom teacher, she was the recipient of various awards including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. She graduated from Boston College in 1998 with her Bachelors in Chemistry and Secondary Education. She graduated from BC in 1999 with her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. In 2011, she graduated from University of New England with her CAGS in Educational Leadership.  Since joining SAU41 as Assistant Superintendent, Gina has worked to unify the three school district’s approach to educating the whole child. This has included sometimes rethinking instructional approaches, empowering teachers and students to take risks, and engaging in reflective practices.

Rick Barnes taught English for grades 9-12 in California as well as the Winnacunnet School District in Hampton, New Hampshire.  During his tenure at Winnacunnet, he also served as the Team Lead/Department Head for the English Department.   He graduated from Northeastern University with a Masters in Educational Leadership in 2009 and prior to that, he earned his BA in English from UCLA.  Rick began his administrative career as an Assistant Principal at Kennett High School in North Conway, New Hampshire.  He joined the Hollis-Brookline School District in 2009 and currently serves as principal.   Rick implements a strengths-based approach to staff development and is passionate about the impact of school culture on student achievement and staff productivity.

Dennis Dobe has served as an educator in New Hampshire for more than 30 years, in Grades K-12, for districts varying widely in terms of size and complexity, as well as geographic region and socioeconomic diversity.  Throughout his career, Dennis has been a proponent of Whole Child Education and 21st Century Learning, facilitating the engagement of entire school communities, developing respectful and collaborative school cultures, ensuring academic achievement for all, and promoting teacher empowerment and site-based management practices.

Candice Fowler is currently working as a school principal for grades 4–6. As a principal, she supports the district’s elementary teachers in their work to build student proficiency through implementing Common Core State Standards and using data to drive instructional practices.  Her career spans over two decades. In her quest to help students learn and grow, she spent 10 years of her career as a classroom teacher for grades PK–3. She also served as a special education teacher and special education administrator for grades PK–6.

Merrimack School District: Breaking Ground, Digging Deep and Taking Root: Leadership and Implementation Lessons and Strategies from Building a Multi-Tiered System of Care and Learning Support that includes social and emotional learning, classroom tools.

Are you a leader who is struggling with a way to address the pressing mental health needs of students in your school?  If so, we invite you to join our session to learn how to lead the creation and implementation of a multi-tiered System of Care and Learning Supports within your school.  Whether you are from a large, or small school/district, elementary, middle, or high school, you will learn through hands-on, interactive activities how to move forward in a way that works for your school/district cultures.  Examples of successful initiatives within the Merrimack School District System of Care include the adoption of a Tier 1 Social Emotional Learning curriculum, safety protocols and crisis intervention, data collection, and staff professional development.  In this interactive session, you will learn concrete strategies and interventions, and receive valuable tools you can use to begin the process of building a multi-tiered System of Care in your school.

Merrimack bios:

Julie A. DeLuca,  Merrimack School District, Assistant Principal, Thorntons Ferry School and Co-Leader of the Merrimack School District (MSD) District Mental Health Committee and System of Care.  

Julie is in her fourteenth year with the Merrimack School District.   Julie received her B.S. in Finance from Bentley University, Masters in Education, School Counseling at Rivier University and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership at Plymouth State University.   For the first eight years in Merrimack, Julie was the school counselor at Thorntons Ferry School and in the last six years, Julie has been the Assistant Principal at Thorntons Ferry School.  In 2012, Julie was selected as the NH Elementary School Counselor of the Year and in 2016, in her capacity as an Assistant Principal, Thorntons Ferry received the honor as NH Elementary School of the Year. From 2015-current, Julie has been the  co-Leader and founder of the District Mental Health Committee that is focused on establishing a System of Care and Learning Supports within the Merrimack School District.   In addition to her work as an Assistant Principal and Co-leader of the MSD System of Care, Julie is a steering committee member for the Project Grow (grant funded) (Generating Resilience, Outcomes and Wellness) Learning Community. In addition, Julie has presented at several conferences and meetings for educators, principals, school boards and superintendents regarding System of Care and social and emotional learning in schools and districts. Julie is one of the founding members of the South Central System of Care Collaborative that includes Hudson, Londonderry, Merrimack and Salem.   Julie is a member of the New Hampshire School Principal’s Association and National Association of Elementary Principal Association.  Julie has two children and enjoys spending time with her husband and children hiking, skiing, running, and reading.

Laureen Amarante Dorow, M.Ed. CAGSMerrimack High School, School Psychologist-Laureen is in her twelfth year with the Merrimack School District. During her time in Merrimack, she has worked with students from preschool through high school, with a primary focus on high school age students. Laureen received her B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Rhode Island, her M.Ed. in Education and School Counseling at Rivier University, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in School Psychology from Rivier University. She has training and certifications in the areas of multicultural counseling, attachment issues, social emotional supports, school wide crisis intervention and response, suicide prevention, and trauma-informed care. In addition to her work as a school psychologist, she owns and operates Amara School Psychology Services providing a variety of contracting services and consultation to school districts. Laureen has four children (three boys and a girl). She enjoys the outdoors, skiing, and spending time with her husband, children, and two dogs.

John F. Fabrizio Director of Student Services Merrimack School District and Co-Leader of the Merrimack School District (MSD) District Mental Health Committee and System of Care.  

During the past twenty years as a public school administrator John has risen from Assistant Principal to Principal to a district/central office position as Director of Student Services. He spent seven years as an assistant principal learning and refining his skills in school management and leadership. During this work he led many district endeavors in RTI, Data Driven Decision Making and Universal Design Learning. He was then chosen to be the educational leader of his building serving as a principal for five years. Under his leadership and guidance the school was recognized as the N.H. Elementary School of the year. John has served as a district leader for the past seven years in his role of Student Services Director. John has also continued his professional growth, obtaining two masters degrees in Special Education and School Leadership. He has been awarded an advance certificate in Positive Behavior Interventions and in 2015 and most recently attained his Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies through Plymouth State University. John, throughout his successful career in Merrimack, has championed his vision of an educational model where all children receive differentiated instruction leading to individual growth has never wavered. He has and continues to lead the district toward a growth model for all students. He believes in the social emotional growth along with a meaningful academic program. He, along with members of his staff, published the model developed under his leadership in the March issue of the professional journal, Intervention in School/Clinic. John has been a member of the NH State Professional Standards Board for six years and completed his final year as Chair. He has been involved in the CEEDAR Project for the past three years and is dedicated to improving the preservice training and certification process for educators in New Hampshire.

Kathleen Hoppa, School Counselor at Reeds Ferry School, Merrimack School District

Kathleen Hoppa  is currently in her sixth year as School Counselor at Reeds Ferry Elementary in Merrimack.   In that role, Kathleen has developed a Comprehensive School Counseling Program based on the national ASCA model that includes social-emotional, academic and career instruction, programming and interventions across all domains.  Kathleen also sits on the Building Leadership Team and is the building 504 Accommodation Plan Facilitator and SAS Coordinator.

Kathleen has been a member of the Executive Board of the NH School Counselor Association for the past ten years, and the Professional Recognition Chair for the past six years.  In that time, Kathleen has enjoyed traveling throughout the state and recognizing some of the very best counselors in New Hampshire.

Kathleen is a founding member of the Merrimack School District Mental Health Committee that is focused on developing a district wide system of care to address the mental health needs of students.  This work led to a grant through GROW (Generating Resilience, Outcomes & Wellness) through the NH Bureau of Student Wellness and Cassie Yackley.  Some of the accomplishments of the committee include improving family connections, analyzing transitions between schools and addressing stigma around mental health.

Kathleen began her educational career in Tucson, Arizona as a middle school social studies teacher.  While in Arizona, she earned Master of Education degrees at Northern Arizona University in Educational Leadership and at the University of Arizona in School Counseling and Guidance. Kathleen lives with her husband and three teenage children and is busy anticipating the upcoming life of an empty nester!

Laura Livie, Behavior Specialist, James Mastricola Elementary School 

Laura Livie has been a social worker, counselor and behavior specialist for seventeen busy years.  Prior to her career in New Hampshire, her practice in Florida included inpatient mental health care and as a program director for an in-home crisis counseling program for children who had experienced abuse and neglect.  She has been in the role of behavior specialist at James Mastricola Upper Elementary School in Merrimack for ten years, helping to manage behaviors for 560 fifth and sixth grade students.  Her days are never boring!

Laura is responsible for creating positive school climate through various initiatives, including PBIS and newly-created social/emotional learning (SEL) curriculum.  She is responsible for classroom observations, behavior plans, Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs), bullying investigations and lunch bunches (her favorite part of the day).

Laura is currently enrolled in the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Educational Leadership, K-12 School Principal Certification program at Plymouth State.  She is hoping to expand her professional practice in an administration role in the near future. Laura and her husband have three busy teenagers, including a daughter adopted from China.  Her experience with adoption and creating secure attachments often informs her teaching practices with educators, children and parents about relational connectedness in the school and home setting.

In addition to her building-level responsibilities, Laura is a founding member of the Merrimack Mental Health Committee.  This trauma-informed System of Care work led to a grant through GROW (Generating Resilience, Outcomes & Wellness) through the NH Bureau of Student Wellness and Cassie Yackley.  Some of the accomplishments of the committee include improving family connections, analyzing transitions between schools and addressing stigma around mental health.

Fern Seiden, School Counselor at Thorntons Ferry School, Merrimack School District

Fern  has been a school counselor for fifteen years.  She received her MSW from University of Connecticut in 1997 and worked in the field of mental health and family policy.  She received certification to work in schools as a school counselor in 2003.  Her interests have been in the areas of school climate, social emotional learning, interpersonal neurobiology and supporting students from a systems and strength-based perspective.   She collaborates with a variety of school teams to address school climate and to develop innovative interventions with students.  She takes inspiration from The Circle of Courage model and believes in experiences that build the self-efficacy of students and that prioritize the student-teacher relationship.  She has recently begun to integrate mindfulness and trauma informed practices into her work with teachers, students, and families.   Fern  is certified in multicultural sensitive counseling and was the recipient of the Elementary School Counselor of the Year award in 2008.

Fern  is a founding member of the Merrimack School District Mental Health Committee that is focused on developing a district wide system of care to address the mental health needs of students.  This work led to a grant through GROW (Generating Resilience, Outcomes & Wellness) through the NH Bureau of Student Wellness and Cassie Yackley.  Some of the accomplishments of the committee include creating a PD program for “helpers” in the district and helping to spearhead the adoption of SEL programs across the three elementary schools in the Merrimack School District.

Fall Mountain: How Middle Schools Can Support Workforce Bound Students

Are you interested in reducing student seat time and building job readiness skills without having to sacrifice curriculum and competencies? Join us as we explore why and how Vilas Middle School built an 8th-grade Career Pathways Exploration Curriculum to do just that. In this session, you’ll also participate in hands-on activities that will help you find new ways to reach students and prepare them for their future careers.

Fall Mountain bios:

Greg Amend

Vilas English Teacher


As a rural New Hampshire English teacher and the New Hampshire Department of Education’s Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Scholar, Greg spends half of his time working to connect UDL, competency based education, curriculum design, family engagement, and career exploration. And he spends the other half raising a couple beautiful, energetic boys. Follow him on Twitter @NH_UDL.

Alexis Sebilian

Vilas English Teacher


Alexis Sebilian is a New Hampshire middle school writing teacher who has also taught extensively in Thailand. Her classroom instruction focuses on UDL best practices, student voice, and community service.

Deb Connell

Fall Mountain Coordinator for Career and Technology Education


Deborah is an experienced administrator who started her career as a special educator and has served in both middle and high school administrative positions. Prior to joining the FallMountain Regional School District, she was a bureau administrator at the NH Department of Education. She is currently engaged in the UDL and Career Pathways Exploration Initiative, serving as the liaison for activities involving Vilas and Fall Mountain Regional High School CTE Programs.

Jodie Brown

Alstead Attendance Area School Counselor


Jodie is an experienced primary and middle school counselor whose classroom instruction focus on social, emotionally, and moralistic development. She spent over a half-dozen years as an assistant field hockey coach with Keene State College.

Gail Rowe

Alstead Attendance Area Principal


Gail is the principal of four rural schools in southwestern New Hampshire:  three elementary schools and one middle school with a total enrollment of 260 students. Her 30 years in education have included roles as an English Teacher, a College Writing Instructor, a Title 1 Teacher, and Title 1 Coordinator.  She currently holds certifications in English education, School Principal, and School Superintendent. She is also the proud mother of three grown children.

Mary Lane

New Hampshire Bureau of Special Education


Mary is the project lead for both the New Hampshire Department of Education’s New Hampshire Universal Design Innovation Network as well as the State’s Center for Authentic Parent Voice Program. She also serves as a liaison to the accessibility of IDEA for all students, schools and families, as the NH NIMAC Coordinator, works with the NH American Printing House for the Blind (APH) Ex-Officio, and participates on other various projects such as the NHAEM Center, the NH Vision Project, and NH Deaf Education Guidelines.

Oyster River High School – School Innovation with Shared Leadership

In a shared leadership model change can not only happen but can lead to sustained conversations about teaching and learning, impacting school climate and culture.   Through an extensive process involving the voices of all stakeholders Oyster River High School made a change from the inside out to our master/bell schedule.  This change was born from a commitment to our mission, goals, and students.  The change process as well as the new master/bell schedule has had a positive impact on our school culture and climate.

In a time when schools are juggling multiple initiatives, students are demonstrating the need for SEL, and schools work to redesign themselves in a traditional system, the community at ORHS has creatively innovated within a traditional setting striving to meet the needs of students.  This session will provide an opportunity to learn about our shared leadership, change framework and innovation to our master schedule to better support students.

Oyster River bios:

Suzanne Filippone – Principal at Oyster River High School since 2016.   Suzanne has been in the education profession for over 20 years.  During her tenure she has been a para-professional, teacher, college instructor and high school administrator.  She has also worked in both the private and public-school setting.  Prior to her principalship at ORHS she was a Dean of Students in Rensselaer, NY and an Assistant Principal at Spaulding High School in Rochester, NH.

Heather Machanoff – Director of Counseling at Oyster River High School since 2009.  Heather has a wealth of experience in school counseling and leadership.  In her current role as K-12 Counseling Director she is actively involved with SEL (social emotional learning) and MTSS (multi-tiered systems of support).  Heather actively collaborates with all community stakeholders and is vital member of the ORHS Administrative Team as well as the District Leadership Team.

Mark Milliken – Dean of Faculty at Oyster River High School since 2014. Mark brings a wide variety of professional experiences to his school leadership role. Prior to becoming an administrator, Mark had twenty years of classroom teaching experience ranging from elementary to high school. Mark also worked outside of education in the business field for a number of years.

Sean Peschel – Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator at Oyster River High School since 2017.   Sean has been in the education profession for 19 years.  During his tenure he has been a high school social studies teacher, a school counselor at the high school level, and an administrator.  Prior to joining ORHS, he was the Director of Career Technical Education at the Creteau Technology Center at Spaulding High School in Rochester, NH.

Shawn Kelly – Shawn Kelly is an English teacher at Oyster River High School.  He teaches courses in journalism and linguistics, co-teaches an American Studies course, and proudly advises the school’s student journalism publication, Mouth of the River.  Shawn’s students are usually surprised to find out that he used to train as an MMA fighter, but not surprised when he tells them that he wasn’t particularly good at it.

Pinkerton Academy and The Upper Room:  Breaking Barriers to Post-Secondary Planning Success

More students than ever are struggling socially, emotionally and behaviorally as they navigate through high school. Students who are struggling day to day just to survive the academic and social aspects of high school are often times ill- prepared or unsure about how to meet or identify their post-secondary goals. In collaboration with The Upper Room, A Family Resource Center, Pinkerton’s Alternative Choices in Education Program has several resources to break down barriers that interfere with student success including our Careers course, out-of-school suspension program, vaping awareness classes and other diversion programs.

Pinkerton Academy and The Upper Room bios:

Emily Carr holds a B.A. from Boston College and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Southern New Hampshire University. In addition to being an English educator during the day at Pinkerton Academy, she has been a Career Exploration course instructor in Pinkerton’s Alternative Choices in Education Program (P.A.C.E.) since 2010, over which time she has redesigned, aligned, and evolved the course curriculum.  Prior to making a career change from business to education in 2010, she worked in corporate America as a retail fashion buyer for 10 years. She is working towards certification in Curriculum Administration/Coaching.

With 25 years of experience, Diane Casale, a Certified Prevention Specialist, is the program coordinator for the Greater Derry Juvenile Diversion program. In 1994, with the assistance of the local police departments, JPPO’s, and court system, Diane was an integral part of the development of this resource.  As the program progressed she recognized gaps in services in the Derry area and implemented Take Control (conflict resolution), Challenge Course (drug and alcohol education), the YES program (Youth Education on Shoplifting), UR Parents (support group for parents/guardians of teens), CSLO (Community Service Learning Opportunities for teens) and assisted with the development of ReJuven8 (collaboration with Pinkerton Academy for youth who have been suspended for 5 or more days) Over the years, Diane has been a member of many boards in the state including the New Hampshire Juvenile Court Diversion Network, Citizen’s Advisory Board of the NH State Prison for Women in Goffstown, and the Prevention Certification Board of NH, and currently sits as the chairperson for the Accreditation Committee of the New Hampshire Juvenile Diversion Network.

Lynne Lonergan holds an M.Ed. in Emotional and Behavioral Disorders from Rivier University and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. She is certified in the areas of Principal, Special Education Administrator, and Positive Behavior Interventions and Support. Lynne has been the Director of Pinkerton’s Alternative Choices in Education (P.A.C.E.) for 5 years. Prior to her work in Adult Education, she was the Assistant Director of Special Education, a Case Coordinator and Behavior Specialist. Lynne is driven to meet the individual needs of students and is constantly evolving the P.A.C.E. Program to do so. She is passionate about ensuring students are prepared for post-secondary success whether it be furthering their education, entering the workforce or enrolling in the military.

Marisa Mannarini has been a member of the Pinkerton Academy community since 2008. Marisa holds a B.A. in English Literature with a concentration in Child Welfare & Family Services  and an M.Ed in General Special Education K-12. Marisa also recently earned her School Counselor certification. Marisa she was previously employed as a Special Education Case Coordinator from 2012 until taking on her new role as PACE Counselor in 2017.  Marisa is passionate about helping students create their own unique future career and educational paths.

Tina Tanguay has been an Associate Dean at Pinkerton Academy for the past 5 years as well as being an Adult Education instructor for the past 2.  She has 17 years as an Administrator and has been in education and related fields for over 20 years. She is skilled with developing and designing alternate programming for students that need intervention services.  She has a master’s degree in Curriculum and instruction and a CAGS in Educational Leadership. She brings to the table an out of the box approach to wrapping around struggling students.

Hollis Primary:  ​Empowering Your School Community: Small Changes, Tremendous Impact

Follow a rural school from a traditional teacher-driven setting as it transformed into an innovative student- focused school. When 21st century learning became a focus, our vision shifted to cultivating a culture of independence and grit within our school community. Listen to our story, hear about the bumps (and sometimes walls!) in the road, and learn about simple shifts we made within our building that moved our school to promote the development of well-rounded, happy, confident individuals who have the skills needed to be successful at the next level. Changes made to our mindset, PD, practices, schedule, and more, have led us to where we are today. During the workshop you will learn, discuss, and plan for simple changes that will transform your school. Take-away topics will include: transitioning from a Library to a Learning Commons, moving from Computer Class to Tech Integration, designing a MakerSpace, creating a unique RTI model, using Google Classroom to deliver differentiated activities, and developing a variety of avenues for student choice. Spend time collaborating with your team planning how to implement small changes to turn your school into a place where ​everyone thrives.

Hollis Primary bios:

Presenters: ​Paula Izbicki (Principal), Penny Currier (Technology Integration), Sarah Proulx (Media Specialist), and Jennifer Goldthwaite (1st Grade Teacher)

Paula Izbicki: 
Twitter: @Hollis_Primary, @paula_izbicki www.sau41.org

 ​Mrs. Paula Izbicki has been an elementary classroom teacher in grades 2 – 5 for both the Manchester and Concord NH school districts. During her tenure in Manchester, she became a literacy coach for elementary grades. She graduated from New England College in 2011 with her Masters in Educational Leadership and prior to that completed the undergraduate Bachelor of Science (“BS”) in Childhood Studies at Plymouth State University with a concentration in Special Education. Since joining the Hollis School District as an Administrator, Mrs. Izbicki has helped to implement a mindset shift in teaching practices within the school and continues to be passionate about taking risks, empowering staff and students, and moving the school forward.

Penny Currier:

Twitter: @penncurr

After years of being an elementary classroom teacher Penny had the opportunity to change the direction of her career and became the Technology Integration teacher at the Hollis Primary School. She followed her Masters in Education from UNH with a certification in Technology Integration in 2014 and continues to learn and grow in the area along with students and colleagues. Mrs. Currier has worked with the LMS to create a Learning Commons that integrates reading, technology and STEM through meaningful and purposeful activities that are available to all students. Penny works collaboratively designing engaging, differentiated content-driven lessons and PBL projects, moving the school community forward with best practice for technology integration.

Sarah Proulx: Twitter: @SarahProulx3

Sarah graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies and a Master’s in Elementary Education. After years as a classroom in grades 2-5, she decided to make a change and become a Library Media Specialist at Hollis Primary School. This change has allowed her to work collaboratively the Technology Integrator and other colleagues to create a thriving Learning Commons. This has transformed the way students and teachers utilize the library space. It has become a place that encourages collaboration, exploration and independence. Introducing students to great books, STEM activities, and collaboration with Project Based Learning are all part of why she thoroughly enjoys position. Sarah continues to work to create engaging lessons and activities that encourage student growth and promote grit and perseverance.

Jennifer Goldthwaite: 
Jennifer Goldthwaite has been a first grade teacher in Hollis, New Hampshire for six years. After graduating from Rivier University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Human Development, Jennifer chose to further her education by obtaining her Master’s Degree in Curriculum Development from Southern New Hampshire University. Over the course of the last six years, she has spent a lot of time changing the way she teaches to ensure that the wide range of abilities within her classroom each year is being met. Realizing that choice and technology use in the classroom are incredibly empowering for her students, Jennifer began piloting, and successfully getting Google Classroom approved in first grade, which opened up choices for both her and her students, empowering them both in the process.

Pinkerton Academy’s Taskforce: School Safety Challenges

We all know ensuring a safe school is top priority and has become more of a challenge each year.  At Pinkerton Academy, we have developed an early identification, interventions, and a tracking program of students who may pose a risk to themselves and/or the school community.   This program has improved communication, collaboration, and service delivery in an effort to reduce the risk of harm to our students and support our educational staff with this huge responsibility.

Pinkerton Academy Taskforce bios:

Our team members bring a variety of specialized skills and diverse perspectives to our conversations. The members backgrounds are broad and include employment in the areas of community mental health, substance abuse treatment, emergency services, law enforcement, corrections, juvenile diversion and child protective services. These varied backgrounds allow us to explore and implement interventions in coordination with all members of the Student Risk Assessment Taskforce.


White Mountain: From a Culture of Teaching to a Culture of Learning: Our Experiences and Challenges

Ten years ago White Mountains Regional High School was a school in crisis.  WMRHS clearly did not have a vision. Students were unmotivated and uninterested.  As a school we lacked discipline and direction, as teachers were teaching in seclusion with very little collaboration.  Our faculty and administration knew that if we wanted to improve our school, we had to change how we operated. White Mountains  challenged all teachers to move away from being the “sage on the stage” and become facilitators and active learners in their classrooms. With structural supports, teachers have become more dynamic and innovative, leading the school from a culture of teaching to a culture of learning. In this session, teachers and administrators will discuss how teachers are challenged and supported in the school’s efforts to do more for more kids. Teachers will share how they have taken the agency they are given and designed innovative curricula in STEAM, Humanities, and Seminar courses. Administrators will share the supports and “non-negotiables” built into the school, such as multiple collaborative and whole-school plan blocks for teachers and in-depth unit plans. The team will discuss challenges and approaches to addressing these, and share how this work White Mountains Regional High School to do more for more students.

White Mountain bios:

Erica Hicks – From Jefferson NH    Email: ehicks@sau36.org

Erica Hicks teaches mathematics at White Mountains.  She has a psychology degree and a minor in mathematics, which she obtained from Plymouth State university.  Erica has been teaching for twenty-one years, all of them at White Mountains, and believes that all students should persevere to growth in Mathematics.  Confidence is key to all aspects of life!

Jeannine LaBounty – Email: jlabounty@sau36.org

Jeannine LaBounty teaches in the Spartan STEAM Innovation Academy. Mrs. LaBounty is in her nineteenth year of teaching in SAU 36. Her previous teaching assignments include Math Enrichment, fifth and sixth grade math and language arts, high school mathematics, freshman English, and teacher leader. She has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics Education and a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus in Literacy and Language Arts. Jeannine believes that you should be the change you want to see in the world.

Jacob Hess – Email: jhess@sau36.org

Jacob Hess is the Assistant Principal at White Mountains.  He has a BA in English, MST in Secondary Education and a CAS Administrative degree.  He obtained his degrees for State University of New York at Oswego, and Le Moyne College.  This is Jake’s first full year as assistant principal, but his eleventh year overall in education.  He believes that all students can and will learn beyond what they think they are capable of.

Ryan Patterson -Email: rpatterson@sau36.org

Ryan Patterson is the teacher leader at White Mountains.  He has a BA in Earth Science from UNH, and a MAT in Science education from Plymouth.  He spent six years as a science teacher at White Mountains before moving into his current position, where he is excited to work with his fellow educators on a daily basis.  Ryan believes that education is a lifelong journey, and you are never too old to learn something new.

Laconia: Got Challenges? So Do We: How We Used MTSS-B To Go From Striving to Thriving

The Laconia School District (LSD) is comprised 5 schools nestled in the center of the Lakes Region.  With over 60% free/reduced lunches, 6% homeless, a transient population and budgetary challenges, the district had to work to support the ever changing needs of our students.  In 2013 the LSD had over 8,000 office discipline referrals and we knew something had to change.  Through the use of competitive federal grant funds, totaling over $4 million to date, the district adopted  the Multi-Tiered System of Supports for Behavioral & Wellness (MTSS-B), an evidenced-based prevention framework, is a NH model that blends research-based school mental health practices and social-emotional learning with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). This model is designed to promote optimal health and well-being of students and school environments.  The framework does not prescribe a particular strategy or curriculum for schools, but rather offers schools the ability to choose what works best for their own school and community. Since implementation began in the 2014-2015 school year the district has seen over a 50% reduction in Office Discipline referrals across the district, increased student and family engagement, and increased positive school culture and climate. With the complex social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students being met, Laconia schools have begun to see increased academic teaching and learning time for all students, allowing for the flexibility of Administration and staff to finally focus on needed academic systems overhaul. Participants will learn how MTSS-B has been developed and implemented differently in three Laconia elementary schools based on individual building needs, culture and climate, and how MTSS-B has allowed for management of challenges in a balanced approach with a trauma-informed flare and the infusion of substance misuse prevention work.

Laconia bios:

Eric Johnson, Principal, Woodland Heights Elementary

Tara Beauchemin, Principal, Elm Street School

David Levesque, Principal, Pleasant Street School

McKenzie Harrington-Bacote, Grants Administrator, Office of School Wellness

Nashua: Opioids Epidemic in New Hampshire- Current News and Facts

As more families and communities struggle with addiction, and losses  to drug overdoses, educators are faced with  the devastating effects on students. Given the shortage of mental health and addiction resources in the community and the difficulty many families have accessing those resources schools are the best place to provide the support these children need. Even with insufficient funds, shrinking budgets schools are still the best place to connect children with the support they need to overcome the multiple adversities in their lives. In this workshop we will have a honest discussion on the Opioid crisis in New Hampshire.   The Granite state is currently #1 in fentanyl deaths nationally.  Together we will discuss the emergency situation facing our schools districts,  services available and how to leverage those services to meet our student’s needs.

Nashua bios: