Thayer Lawson, K1 Teacher, received her undergraduate degree from Wheaton College in Psychology and Education in 2008, and has been teaching in early childhood for several years. She spent her first two years teaching in a charter school in Washington, D.C. and then spent a year teaching English, to pre-k through eighth grade, at an orphanage in Guatemala. Upon returning to the States, Thayer taught K1 at a charter school in Lawrence, MA for two years. She is very excited to be joining the Conservatory Lab community and is eager to integrate music and rich hands-on experiences that foster students’ curiosity and development into the K1 classroom. Outside of the classroom Thayer loves being outside, traveling near and far, and spending time with family and friends. Her favorite children’s book is Giraffe’s Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae.
Emily Shepard, K1 Teacher, is thrilled to begin her first year on the K1 team at Conservatory Lab Charter School. Originally from upstate New York, she earned her undergraduate degree in Visual Arts Education from Ithaca College, and went on to teach at an Expeditionary Learning school in Washington, DC. This past spring, she earned her Master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she focused on play-based learning in early childhood, and on the role of the arts in education. Outside of the classroom, Emily loves to cook, make art, and play with her adopted greyhound, Oscar.
Jessica Tripp, K1 Assistant, grew up in Dennis, MA where she developed an affinity for sunshine and saltwater. After earning an English degree from Boston College, she relocated to Arlington, VA and worked as an assistant in a Pre-K classroom. Jessica returned to the area to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she earned an Ed.M in Arts in Education. Jessica loves art museums, and has worked at various museums and arts centers, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She also enjoys reading, cooking, exploring new places, listening to music, and gardening.
Taheera Massey, K1 Assistant, has worked with young children for many years and in many capacities, initially starting as a camp counselor, then a child care teacher and more recently a developmental specialist for early intervention. 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. At Conservatory Lab, she hopes to grow professionally as well as personally. Another big part of her life is her family. She is a wife and the mother of three amazing children, one girl, and two boys. She is excited to learn about our school families as we all learn and grow in our knowledge of each other as well as 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.
Katie Biro, K2 Teacher, has been teaching at Conservatory Lab Charter School for several years. She began as a student teacher then moved on to becoming a first grade teacher assistant. Katie is currently a lead teacher in K2. Katie has a passion for teaching children social/emotional and literacy skills. Her classroom is filled with active involvement and learning through music and movement. Outside of school Katie loves to be active. She takes a variety of dance, yoga, and Pilates classes. Katie also loves spending time with her family in central Massachusetts. You will likely find Katie listening to music or curled up with a Cecelia Ahern book (her favorite author).
Megan Wendling, K2 Teacher
Rachel Kurnos, K2 Assistant, received an undergraduate degree in theater from Brandeis University and went on to pursue advanced degrees in the field of education. She received a Masters in Theater Education in 2010 and a Masters in Early Childhood (PreK-2) in 2013. She has taught a variety of age groups, ranging from 1-18, for the past several years. For two years, Rachel taught in kindergarten, first grade and PreK classrooms in Newton and Wellesley. She also owns her own photography business and has been acting for the past 20 years. She is excited to be working with the students at Conservatory Lab and knows this will be a terrific school year.
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!
Alex Musliner, 1st Grade Assistant, is returning to work with Jovanne Buckmire. Alex graduated from Lesley University with her Masters in Elementary Education and Creative Arts in Learning. She spent one year as a Teacher Assistant in a third grade classroom in Cambridge and is looking forward to working with first graders this year. Outside of the classroom Alex loves loves art, traveling whenever possible (especially to warm places) and spending time with family, friends and pets!
Libby Meehan, 1st Grade Assistant, 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.
Samantha Glasberg, 2nd Grade Teacher, attended Simmons College for both her undergraduate and graduate work, earning a BA in Political Science and History and a Masters of Art in teaching elementary and special education. After learning as a student teacher in second grade, Samantha is excited to begin as a second grade lead. Outside of school, Samantha enjoys traveling, practicing Taekwon-Do, baking, and spending time with family and friends!
Jacqueline Bovery, 3rd Grade Teacher, is thrilled to be joining Conservatory Lab as a third grade teacher this year. Jacqueline is a recent graduate of Boston College and received a BA in elementary education and applied psychology. She discovered her passion for teaching years ago while serving as an assistant dance instructor at her childhood dance studio. Outside of school, she loves to dance, swim, bake, and read at the beach!
Christina Tyndall, 3rd Grade Teacher, is thrilled to join Conservatory Lab Charter School this year! Christina is originally from Cape Cod, MA and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with ESOL Endorsement from the University of Tampa. From there, she taught at two Renaissance Title I schools, teaching grades K-4. She recently relocated back to New England and currently lives in Boston. In the classroom, Christina uses her positive energy to build an accepting environment where students feel confident about learning from mistakes and working hard to attain both educational and personal goals. Christina strongly supports implementing life-skills in the classroom, as they are significant skills for individual growth. Some of Christina’s interests outside of the classroom are going for a run in the warm weather, listening to country music, relaxing on the beach, taking her dog to the dog park, going to a Bruins game, and having a BBQ with close friends and family!
Ivy Wagner, 4th Grade Teacher, returns to Conservatory Lab after almost a decade spent caring for her family. A Dorchester resident, Ms. Wagner enjoys introducing others to the beauty that is this south-eastern corner of Boston, from the Neponset River for bird-watching to a pretty decent place to get a slice. Passionate about gardening, model building, and BBC television, she spends her “free time” exploring ways to make the physical world match her dreams.
Stuart Lassiter, 4th Grade Teacher, is originally from Chicago, IL. Stu has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from DePaul University, a Master’s Degree in Interdisciplinary-Studies in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership from National-Louis University. He has been a teacher and school administrator over his eighteen year career in public and independent schools. His passion for teaching and how children learn developed from watching his daughter grow and learn. Outside of school, Stu loves to spend time with his daughter, cook, travel, read, exercise, and cheer on his favorite Chicago sports teams.
Ivy Delaney, 5th Grade Teacher, has been teaching for 19 years. This will be her sixth year at Conservatory Lab. Ivy has taught grades one to five, Reading Recovery, Special Education and English Language Learners. As a volunteer in Kiribati, South Pacific, Ivy worked with teachers to lift the quality and delivery of their English language instruction. When she returned to the United States, Ivy moved to Manchester, England where she taught English as a Second/Foreign Language to adult learners. Ivy is a graduate of Bank Street College of Education. She received her Reading Recovery training at New York University. When not in the classroom, Ivy enjoys spending time with her family, taking yoga classes, reading and watching movies. (with a big tub of popcorn!)
Melanie Corning, 5th Grade Teacher
Joyce Ting, Middle School Humanties, has two degrees in Vocal Performance from Wheaton College (IL) and Boston University, respectively. She performed with Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Boston, as well as other concert venues, before transitioning into classroom teaching with a Masters in Education for Middle School Humanities from Lesley University. Since then, Joyce has taught in Taiwan, at Northeastern University, and at Beaver Country Day School. She is delighted to be able to utilize her extensive background in music, as well as the humanities, to bring learning to life at the Conservatory Lab. Outside of school, Joyce enjoys traveling, cooking, dancing, running, capoeira, and of course, making music.
Christopher Nieminski, Middle School Science Teacher, is excited to join the Conservatory Lab staff. Chris has taught in both independent and public schools in Massachusetts and, most recently, spent the last year teaching English to kids in a small pueblo in Argentina. Chris has a Master’s Degree in Middle School Education from Lesley University and earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Vassar College where he was a two-sport athlete as a member of both the soccer team and as a walk-on college basketball player. While not in school, Chris enjoys reading, the outdoors, and hopefully finishing (and selling) his first screenplay!
Valencia Patilla is thrilled to join the Conservatory Lab Charter School as Middle School English Language Arts Teacher. This will be her 4th year teaching ELA/ Reading in both elementary and middle school. 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, is excited to join the Conservatory Lab team as the middle school math teacher! Annabel 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.