Staff and Specialists

After fifteen years working as an immigration attorney and advocate, Rhonda Berkower returned to school and received a masters degree in Language and Literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Before joining our staff as Senior Researcher and Editor, she worked as an editor and curriculum developer for Houghton Mifflin, Zaner-Bloser and the WGBH Educational Foundation. Rhonda has a passion for children’s literature and has taught Latino Children’s Literature at Wheelock College. She loves putting a good book in a child’s hands.

Ms. Shoshana Jacobs, literacy coach, has been a classroom teacher and literacy coach for the last nineteen years in public, private and charter schools.  She launched her career as a classroom teacher in the New York City Public Schools. After several years, Shoshana was selected as a mentor teacher under the auspices of the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. During her time with the Project, she worked with many literacy leaders, including Lucy Calkins, on the craft of Reading and Writing Workshop. After moving to Boston, Shoshana began coaching teachers, helping them enrich their literacy practices. She worked in several Boston Public schools and in private school before joining the CLCS staff in 2009. Shoshana spends much of her time outside of school parenting her three children and developing her skills as a hockey mom.  When she has time for herself, she can be found with her a face in a book, or trying to find some time to exercise.

Ivy Delaney, Interventionist, has been teaching for 19 years.  This will be her fifth 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!)

Kate Idlebrook, Special Education Administrator, has been teaching since 2003. She has earned two masters degrees from Lesley University, one in special education and one in creative writing with a focus in children’s literature. Since receiving her first degree, she has taught for public and private schools, but is no stranger at charter schools. She began career at a charter school and is very excited to be joining the Conservatory Lab this year. When not at school, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, writing, and running.

Kathleen Hartnett, English Language Learner Specialist, has been an ESL teacher for over fifteen years. In addition to her experience as a classroom teacher, Kathleen has been an ESL specialist, a curriculum and assessment coordinator, and a health and literacy liaison. Kathleen has always been interested in languages and world cultures and the way music and art can be integrated into her ESL lessons. Her Master’s degree was in Applied Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and her undergraduate degree was in Spanish at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is delighted to be part of the vibrant community at the Conservatory Lab Charter School. In her free time, Kathleen loves singing, dance, music, reading a good book and spending time at the beach.

Jillian Watts is excited to take on the challenges of a new role for her this year, as ELL Specialist. She will be working mostly at the Primary School site, helping students to learn English. She received her BS in Childhood Studies from Plymouth State University, and is working on her M.Ed. in Integrated Arts. She has taught abroad at international schools in Turkey and South Korea, and loves travelling all over the world. In her free time, she enjoys salsa dancing, singing in choir, reading, playing piano, and exploring Boston.

Wendy Fuller, Special Education, is excited to join the Conservatory Lab Charter School as Special Education Teacher for the Middle School. Wendy earned a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Boston University and recently earned a second Master’s Degree in Special Education from Lesley University. She has worked in a variety of educational settings over the last decade and looks forward to using her knowledge to help students develop a love of learning. In her spare time, Wendy loves traveling and volunteering with a number of organizations in the Greater Boston community.

Mary Ann Rufo, Speech Language Pathologist

Karine Latreille, Occupational Therapist

Lisa Spagnuolo, Paraprofessional/Math & ELA Tutor, was born and raised in Boston. After graduating from Beaver Country Day School, she received a BA in psychology from Boston College. Her travels brought her to Seattle where she was a Lead teacher at Childhaven, an early intervention, non-profit school for at risk children. Her love for her family brought her back to Boston where she continued her passion of teaching in Newton and Wellesley Public Schools. Lisa’s desire to work with children has spanned over many years and brought her to a wide variety of educational environments, including Montessori, Non-Profit, Private and Public School settings. She has a background in Applied Behavior Analysis and is currently looking to pursue her Master’s in Special Education. Lisa is very excited to now expand her teaching experience in the Conservatory Lab Charter School. She believes that building a child’s self-esteem, instilling discipline, fostering the joy of learning and creating a strong community through music and curriculum will lead to successful students. Lisa enjoys volunteering and does so for The Best Buddy Challenge, The Doug Flutie Junior Foundation and the Bristol Lodge Soup Kitchen throughout the year. Lilies, anemones and roses in the garden, big, tall mountains and smooth sandy beaches, Sweet smell of cookies baking in the oven, these are a few of my favorite things.