Classroom Teachers

Primary School

Taheera Massey, K1 Teacher, has worked with young children for many years and in many capacities, initially starting as a camp counselor, a child care teacher, a developmental specialist for early intervention and more recently an Assistant Teacher with Conservatory Lab. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree from Capella University in Psychology with a specialization in child and adolescent development. She also has a certificate from Massasoit Community College in school age care. Another big part of her life is her family. She is the wife of an amazing yoga teacher and the mother of three amazing children, one girl, and two boys. She loves getting to know more and more about her students and her families to better learn and grow together in our knowledge of the world we live in. In her time away from school she enjoys cooking, meditation, jogging with her daughter, and spending as much time as possible with her family.

Libby Meehan, K1 Teacher, has a bachelor of arts in theater (with a focus on costume design) and studio art from the University of Vermont. After moving the Boston area, Libby started a small business creating eco-friendly clothing, accessories, and cards which she continues to pursue today. She worked in a few of the Brookline Public Schools and then went on to get her Masters in Education with a focus on creative arts and learning from Lesley University. For the past few years she has been a lead teacher at the Martin Luther King Preschool in Cambridge. She now lives in Watertown with her husband and corgi-chihuahua Lucky. In her spare time Libby loves to sew, cook, and run by the Charles River.

Liza Ziering, K1 Teacher recently completed the Teacher Training Program at the Shady Hill School, where she taught both pre-kindergarten and first grade, and earned her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, with a focus in Composition, from Kenyon College, and she is thrilled to be able to bring her love of music into a school where the arts are so appreciated and integrated into students’ daily lives. When she is not teaching, she usually found composing at her piano, singing, baking, reading, or doing jigsaw puzzles!

Gwyndolyn Jones, K1 Assistant, completed her masters degree in early childhood education at Wheelock College through the TEACHBoston program in August 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Berklee College of Music in 2008 through the Berklee City Music program. Since graduating Berklee, she has worked as a music therapist and teacher for Little Sprouts and Imajine That, both based out of Lawrence, MA. She also worked as a teaching artist for Very Special Arts Program (VSA Boston). Additionally, she facilitated music classes for very young children and their loved ones in Cambridge, MA. This is her first year at Conservatory Lab working as K1 assistant teacher. Gwyndolyn was born and raised in the Boston area and currently lives in Mattapan with her family, including her 13 year old son. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering at her church, and performing as a lead or background vocalist at local venues and private events.

Alex Musliner, K-2 Teacher, received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development from Connecticut College and spent two years working with middle school students in Roslindale while completing a Teaching Fellowship. Alex went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University and completed her year-long practicum in a third grade classroom in Cambridge. Alex has been at Conservatory Lab for two years working as an Assistant Teacher in first grade and is excited to begin teaching K2 this year. Outside of the classroom Alex loves art, traveling whenever possible (especially to warm places) and spending time with family, friends and pets!

Amanda Chamberlin, K-2 Teacher, earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has worked in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in Amherst Public Schools and Springfield Public Schools, as well as full time Preschool teacher in Boston. Amanda delights in the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of children and values working alongside the other like-minded staff here at Conservatory Lab. Amanda was a dancer for years and when not in the classroom, enjoys teaching fitness classes at different fitness clubs and venues in the city. She specializes in High Intensity Interval Training, Kickboxing, and Core/Stretch classes. In her free time, Amanda loves to spend time at the beach, surrounds herself among her family and friends, and always has a smile on her face!

Rebecca Kearney, K-2 Teacher recently graduated from Rhode Island College with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a content in Theater. Directly following graduating, she worked as a Preschool Teacher at a local daycare. For the past two years she has been working at a summer camp in Providence working with three-six year olds. She has taught theater in the Pawtucket, RI elementary school system to second-fifth grade students in connection with the Gamm Theater. She looks forward to growing her teaching career at Conservatory Lab learning from co-workers and the many talented students. She believes the arts have a huge impact on academic learning and can’t wait to bring that and many more ideas to her classroom.

Amanda Goddard, K-2 Assistant, graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Lasell College in 2012 and is I currently in a graduate program to get a Master’s Degree in Special Education from UMass Lowell. Before coming to Conservatory Lab, she taught preschool for one year and Kindergarten and for two years in Lawrence, MA. She loves to travel, go to the beach, read, and watch sports! She loves work with the families of her students to help the students grow as learners and individuals!

Jovanne Buckmire, 1st Grade Teacher, received her BA from Wheelock College in Human Development, and has been teaching elementary school for many years. Her favorite part of teaching first grade is watching young learners grow as scholars, musicians, and friends. When she is not in the classroom she enjoys spending time with family and friends, especially at the beach!

Amanda Dulberg, 1st Grade Teacher, will enter her second full year at the Conservatory Lab Charter School. She earned her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and Social Studies and her Masters in the Art of Teaching Elementary Education from Simmons College. Amanda did her undergraduate internship in the first grade classroom at CLCS in the 2012-2013 school year and spent the 2013-2014 school year doing a year-long practicum student teaching first grade. In her free time she enjoys doing yoga and experimenting with new vegetarian recipes. Amanda is thrilled to be teaching first grade!

Kathy Malone, 1st Grade Teaching Assistant, has a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Brandeis University and is dual certified in elementary and special education. Prior to becoming an elementary teacher, Kathy taught English for adult and high school students in Cairo, worked in software development, and served several non-profits whose mission focused on opportunity for children and youth. She is married to a native of the The Netherlands which has given her a special fondness for good cheese, biking and beautiful flowers. She and her husband live in Roslindale with their two children, aged 9 and 13, and their dog Cookie. When not in school, Kathy loves spending time outdoors with her family hiking, biking and camping

Elementary School

Tasheka Folkes, 2nd Grade Teacher, is originally from Jamaica. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Tampa in Florida. After college, she pursued a career in medicine and completed a Master’s degree in Public Health at St. George’s University in Grenada. However, after attending the St. George’s University School of medicine, she realized that becoming a physician was not for her.
Nevertheless, she still wanted to be at the forefront of disease and recognized the correlation between education and chronic diseases. In 2014, she decided to become a Match Teacher Resident and student and taught in a 2nd grade class. She enjoys teaching and feels as though the impact she can have on students is insurmountable.
When not teaching, she likes running and spending time with her family. She also enjoys watching basketball, tennis, and European football. She is vegan and mangos is her favorite fruit. She aspires to continue helping to transform the lives of students and their families.

Kaylie Carrico, 2nd Grade Teacher has a BFA in Theatre and a minor in social work from Tarleton State University. After undergrad, she spent 2 years in AmeriCorps working in schools and tutoring scholars ages 5-18. After falling in love with teaching, she joined the Match Corps Teaching Program and enrolled in the Charles Sposato Graduate School and earned her Masters degree through the program. After teaching K1 at Match Community Day School, she came to the Conservatory Lab and fell in love with teaching second grade. When she’s not at school, you can find her playing with her guinea pigs or spending time with her friends.

Ivy Wagner, 4th Grade Teacher, was raised by parents who believed in the power of kindness and an empty cardboard box and developed the confidence to attempt to answer the Great Question: What If? She lives in Dorchester with her silly clan, and will probably still be there in 40 years. In her free time, she gardens and bakes, is slowly rebuilding her pottery collection (thank you Se’Kaiyah!), and has been dabbling in painting with acrylics. In another universe, she is Wonder Woman disguised as an actress.

A Few of her Favorite things:
· David Catrow’s artwork
· Grover the Muppet
· Slipware and stoneware pottery
· Any Bob Ross quote (“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.”)
· Roasted peaches in yogurt
· Snuggling in the corner of a chair with a long book involving magic

Caitlin Fleck, 4th Grade Teacher received her Masters degree from Clark University in Elementary Education. She has since taught 1st and 5th Grade and is thrilled to now be in a 4th Grade Classroom. Caitlin has constantly worked with young students from tutoring to student teaching throughout her college experience. She likes to make learning new topics an adventure, and loves to help students overcome challenges through positive support. She is originally from Saint Louis, MO and is a huge Cardinals fan. Caitlin moved to MA for college and loved the area so much she hasn’t left. She does however enjoy finding new adventures and exploring new places. Caitlin has traveled to countries such as Namibia and Israel where she has immersed herself in their culture, hoping to learn as much as she can from their experiences. She loves learning about her students and the cultures that make them unique. Outside of school Caitlin loves to read, listen to music, and spending time with her friends.

Upper School

Melanie Corning, 5th Grade Teacher is the fifth grade Humanities teacher. Prior to joining the Conservatory Lab team, she taught for four years in Boston Public Schools and one year in Istanbul, Turkey. Originally from Connecticut, Melanie moved to the Boston area to attend Wellesley College in 2002. After receiving her B.A. in English, she also earned a M.Ed. in Secondary English Education from UMass Boston as part of the Boston Teacher Residency program. She is currently working on her M.A. in English at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Outside of school, Melanie likes to read and write poetry, travel, and spend time outdoors.

Jara Richards, 5th Grade Teacher graduated from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut with a bachelors degree in Sociology and a Masters degree in Elementary Education. Jara found her passion to teach through coaching soccer and tennis as a camp counselor. Then, after years of tutoring, she realized that the classroom was for her. She spent two years teaching 6th grade in Connecticut before moving to Boston. Outside of school, Ms. Richards enjoys watching and playing sports, drawing, and listening to music.

Elizabeth Schibuk, 5th and 6th Grade Math and Science Teacher, graduated from college in 2008 with an interdisciplinary degree in Science and Technology Studies. After earning her degree, Elizabeth took a position teaching Chemistry and Physics at Blackstone Academy Charter School in Rhode Island, where she also designed and taught electives in Sustainable Design, Wilderness Leadership, Bioethics, and Documentary Filmmaking. At Blackstone Academy, she developed a passion for teaching science for social justice. After six years teaching high school science, Elizabeth decided to go back to school to earn her Master’s in Education. While she enjoyed her graduate program, Elizabeth truly missed spending her day with young people, and is happy to be part of the teaching team at Conservatory Lab Charter School. When not teaching, Elizabeth enjoys painting, baking, and training for road races and triathlons.

Valencia Patilla, Middle School English Language Arts Teacher has been teaching ELA/ Reading in both elementary and middle school for four years. She has had the opportunity to work in a diverse array of school systems ranging from charter, independent, and public schools. She has worked in both the traditional classroom setting as well as special education, thus helping her better understand the needs of the different students in her classroom. These experiences have made the scaffolding of material for all students a staple in her everyday routine. She has a passion for literacy and making reading and writing attainable for all students in a creative, lively, and relevant manner. Valencia enjoys working with middle school students and all of the spunk and quirkiness that they have to offer. In fact, they keep her current and trendy. Valencia received her BA from Emmanuel College in English, and is putting the final touches on her M.Ed from Lesley University in Middle School English and Reading Specialist. When finished grading and planning lessons, Valencia enjoys traveling, junk food, and listening to a good book on Audible.

Annabel Moorman, Middle School Math Teacher, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Oberlin College. She recently completed the Associate Teacher program at Brooke Charter Schools in Boston, where she taught fifth, sixth, and seventh grades. While her own educational background is in the sciences, Annabel has a passion for teaching math. Annabel enjoys traveling all over the world, but she also loves visiting her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky whenever possible. Outside of school, she enjoys painting, visiting museums, exploring new parts of the city, and horseback riding.

Kate Jahl, Middle School Humanities, received her bachelors degree from Lesley University in secondary education with a focus in history. She is currently attending UMass Boston to receive her masters degree in history. Before starting at the Conservatory Lab, Katherine worked for Education Inc. where she provided educational services to students aged 13-18 in a hospital setting. She has also taught history and English at Somerville and Medford High Schools. When she is not lesson planning or working on new ideas for class activities Katherine loves to read and play with her dog Bella.

Student Support

Lavonne Bishop, Student Support, was born and raised in Boston, MA. and  graduated from Wheaton College with a BA in English and a minor in Education. She has been working with children since she was 14 and knows that this is her passion. For the past six years she worked at Bright Horizons, where she was a lead toddler teacher. She loves giving children a voice, encouraging them and letting them know they can be anything they want in life. One of her favorite books is “Snip Snap, What’s That?” by Mara Bergman.

Becky McCarthy, Student Support, provides interventions and support for all students at the Dorchester site through many aspects of the school day. Her mantra is “flexible and adaptable”. Becky was born and raised in Boston and attended Boston Latin School. She graduated from Bucknell University as a Posse Scholar with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in human services. This fall she will begin a Speech Language Pathologist Assistant program with Elms College. Before joining the Conservatory Lab crew, Becky worked at Citizen Schools, The Posse Foundation, Rosie’s Place, and most recently, the English Language Center. Becky loves to travel and she jokes that she plays violin at a K2 level thanks to David Cordes’ Paper Orchestra.

Kaleigh Jacobson, Interventionist, is excited to be taking on a position through CLCS this year. She worked last year as a Playworks Coach at CLCS, helping with recess and class games. Kaleigh recently moved to Boston, from Syracuse, NY and has loved getting to know the city. She graduated from Nazareth College of Rochester with a degree in Sociology. She has always had a passion for working with kids whether it was volunteering or substituting in her community. Kaleigh is excited to continue to grow with her students through the use of play, positive encouragement, and laughter. Outside of the classroom Kaleigh enjoys being at the St. Lawrence River with family, playing tennis, and traveling with some of her closest high school friends!

Jennifer Payne, Interventionist/Counseling, is originally from Louisville, Kentucky. She received her BS in Psychology and BA in Communications from Purdue University in Indiana. While completing her Master’s in Counseling Psychology at Northeastern University, Jennifer found her passion for working in schools through interning at a therapeutic day school. She has a wide variety of experience with youth special needs populations from individual and family in-home work to physical activities programs to research projects. Jennifer greatly appreciates CLCS’s inclusive and therapeutic environment, along with its wonderful focus on the arts. She is happy to be an integral part of CLCS students growth, both inside and outside of the classroom. Outside of school, Jennifer loves to travel, read Harry Potter, and explore Boston with her friends.

Sean Earle, Interventionist, was born in Boston and raised in Stoughton, MA where he was a Mass state champion, New England Champion, and Eastern Regional Champion in Track and Field. He attended the University of Connecticut on a track scholarship and graduated with a major in Psychology with a focus on adolescence, and with a minor in Criminal Justice. He believes that music is the invisible fuel that can reinvigorate the soul, and played the clarinet and trombone in elementary school. He is also a fan of VH1′s “Save the Music” initiative which seeks to bring music education to public schools. Outside of his work at Conservatory Lab he loves playing sports, coaching volleyball and track and field, and spending time with his family.