2120 Dorchester Ave.
Dorchester, MA 02124
John Chistolini | Chief Operations Officer
Mr. Chistolini returned to his roots in education after twenty years of practice as an attorney in the areas of educational law, child care and protection, and personal injury. His background includes a Master’s degree in Education as well as 17 years with Boston Public Schools where he began as a middle school science teacher and also held positions as Chief of the Boston School Police, and Assistant to the Deputy Superintendent of Operations. While working for the Deputy Superintendent of Operations, he supported and managed a comprehensive array of city-wide services and programs in 79 elementary, 24 middle and 15 high schools requiring a thorough understanding of operations, finance, procurement systems, transportation, and human resources. His love of education fostered the establishment of the “Massachusetts Charter School Legal Service Program” which provided legal guidance and services to Charter Schools. His work with Charter Schools has included governance issues, development and operation of strategic plans, legal guidance in the daily operation of a school, and equipping personnel with the tools to respond to an administrative, personnel, student or school crisis. His passion is being founder of and trustee (with his daughter Alexandra) for Ebenezer Foundation, Inc. (a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit Charitable Trust which provides legal and financial expertise to raise tax deductible funding to provide shelter, medical care, and education to the orphans and street children of Zambia, Africa (www.ebenezerfoundation.net). When first introduced to the Conservatory Lab, his impression was that the Conservatory is led by visionaries and extraordinary, talented, and dedicated faculty and staff. He decided he wanted to be part of a team and community that were creating and building a unique and rigorous academic and music education for its children.
Cecilia Soriano | Director of Marketing, Communications, and External Relations
Ms. Soriano is a veteran arts administrator who has dedicated the majority of her professional career to the two passions in her life – children and the arts. “Art is the signature of civilization” is a central belief for her. To this end, she has been successful in raising funds and developing supporters for each of the arts programs and the arts organizations with which she has worked. Among these were CITYDANCE, during her tenure as Director of the Center for Dance Education at Boston Ballet; DANCE FOR ALL as Executive Director of American Academy for Dance and Kindred Arts in Santa Monica, CA; MUSIC L.A.!, while at the Department of Cultural Affairs in Los Angeles; the 60th Anniversary Season for Starlight Theatre in Balboa Park, San Diego,CA while she was Executive Director; and the 45th season for Colorado Ballet in her role as Vice-President Development, Marketing & Sales. In each of these endeavors, along with others, she has been responsible for the planning and execution of the Development, Marketing and Communications activities.
Kelly Rose Noonan | Development Associate
Kelly Rose is excited to join the staff at Conservatory Lab this year. With a B.F.A. in Art Education from the University of Massachusetts and three years of experience teaching visual arts in K-8 public schools, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to fundraise for an organization that is equally passionate about the arts and education.
Early nonprofit and development experience includes grant writing throughout college, experience as a student fundraiser at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Annual Fund, and a year as an Americorps member at Athol Public Schools. She most recently spent several years as a Development Associate at Create Now, an arts mentoring organization in Los Angeles where she also served as an Americorps VISTA. Other experience includes her work at GO Campaign, an LA based organization that supports grassroots aid for children around the world, where she split her time between executive administration, bookkeeping, and fundraising.
Currently, her time outside of Conservatory Lab is dedicated to comedy writing, attempting to learn the folk harp, and as a company member of Flat Earth Theatre where she serves as the chair of the Development Committee.
Marianne Xu | Director of Data Management
Marianne is delighted to begin her second year at Conservatory Lab, where she has enjoyed the opportunity to assume an eclectic mix of interdepartmental responsibilities, such as human resources, information system management, data reporting, compliance and regulations, development, operations, governance, editing, and executive assistance. Her training in ballet and modern dance, as well as classical violin and piano with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, drive her work here at the first music-infused charter school in the United States. A “third-culture kid,” Marianne adds to the diversity of the staff: Chinese heritage, British upbringing, and American and French higher education. She graduated from Wellesley College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she co-founded Girls’ Education Initiative and interned at UNICEF. Her research papers have focused on education in fragile contexts and higher education inequalities.
Keuna Cho | Research & Evaluation Manager
Keuna Cho is an arts education researcher, violinist, and music educator. She holds an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a M.M. in violin performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Previously, Keuna studied Biology at Harvard University and worked as a researcher in a biology lab at Harvard Medical School. Deeply interested in understanding the many benefits of learning through the arts, she now devotes herself to measuring the impact of Sistema-inspired music education programs. During her time at HGSE, she has focused on formative and summative program evaluation, and has served as the evaluation consultant for the Community Connections program of the American Repertory Theater, as well as evaluator and project manager for the classical music education program Project STEP. She joins Conservatory Lab in July, 2014 as the Research and Evaluation Manager.
Toni Jackson | Marketing and Communications
Toni Jackson is a native Bostonian and graduated from Boston University with a degree in French Literature. She began working at the school in 2010 but her involvement with the school as a parent, a board member and a volunteer began in 2004. Her family’s love of music is what led them to the school and it’s what continues to inspire her work. Previously, she taught English Language Learners in both high school and middle school and specialized in integrating technology into the classroom. When not at school, she can usually be found in her kitchen, baking and preparing meals for her family and friends. She has combined her two favorite hobbies by photographing her favorite recipes step-by-step.
Catherine Martin | Graphic Designer and Video Editor
Catherine has wanted to make her own career in the arts since she was little. She spent her teenage years writing more poetry than average and filming movies with her friends around her hometown of Athens, GA. As an English major at Smith College, she developed an interest in how the arts affect public education in America that brought her to Boston, where education and the arts are constantly shifting and changing each other. While earning her master’s degree in Publishing and Writing at Emerson College, Catherine worked as a tutor, a freelance graphic designer, and an editorial assistant at Publishing Solutions Group and Wiley-Blackwell. After graduating, Catherine stayed in Boston because she wanted to work for an organization that fostered the arts in the Boston Public School system. She feels very lucky to have found Conservatory Lab, and is excited to begin her first year at the school!
Alex Barstow | Resident Artist (viola)/Marketing, Communications, and Development
Alex Barstow is a graduate of the Five-Year Dual Degree Program at Tufts University and the New England Conservatory of Music, where he received a B.A. in Sociology and B.M. in Viola Performance in 2012. His viola studies include work with Carol Rodland, Marcus Thompson, and Paul Biss. As a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, he has been an active participant in the Boston arts scene, having ties to various arts institutions in the area, including the Boston Youth Symphony and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. Alex is thrilled to be a part of the Conservatory Lab community where he has the opportunity to combine his interest in music, nonprofit management, and social justice.
Martin Sarango | Operations Assistant
Martin has recently joined the staff at Conservatory Lab. Born in California and raised in South Florida, Martin received his Bachelors degree from Berklee college of music in 2010. An active musician, Martin is currently member of one of Boston’s premier production teams and as a guitarist performs regularly with local artists. Growing up, his music obsessed family inspired what would later become a career and passion.Outside of work Martin enjoys spending time with friends, strumming his acoustic guitar and cooking. Martin is excited to join the Conservatory Lab team and looks forward to contributing his unique blend of talents and skills.
Wellete Ramsey | Operations Assistant
My name is Wellete and I am so excited to be here at the Conservatory Lab
Charter School. Thank you for how you all have welcomed me. Let me start by saying that I do not play a musical instrument. However, my passion for music stems from my moms musical past. She is a singer and studied music. She inspired our love for music through a variety of genres. It is a gift of life. Do you know what else is: Educators, Caregivers, and child advocates. Prior to joining you all here at CLCS, I worked as an Early Childhood Educator. I lead my own Preschool classroom and learned so much about children, students and teaching. My passion is for teaching and for caring for children. It is a difficult job, but it is also necessary and powerful. You become a source of protection, of love, and of reassurance. I can already see these things here at CLCS. It is comforting to know that I get to be apart of this, and that I get to contribute to all of the great things happening at the Conservatory Lab. I am happy to be apart of your team. When you think of me, please know that my greatest dream is to write. I want to write anything and everything, and I also want to inspire children to explore their creativity through writing.