Staff and Specialists

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.

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.

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.

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.

Elise Mostello is thrilled to join the Conservatory Lab community this year as the Science Curriculum Designer and Mathematics Coach.  She has spent the last four years teaching in both independent and charter schools.  The first three years of her career she worked as a classroom teacher at Summit Montessori School, in Framingham, MA.  After completing her first year at Summit, her amazing class of fourth grade students inspired her to further her own education.  Elise worked her second and third year at Summit while also completing a Master’s degree from Boston College in Curriculum and Instruction, with a Mathematics and Technology focus.  In 2012 Elise left Summit to pursue her growing interest in urban teaching.  She worked this past year as a fifth grade math and science teacher at the Edward Brooke Charter School, writing original curriculum and classroom teaching.  When not in school, Elise spends most of her time underwater SCUBA diving, reading, and traveling.

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.

Meghan Chatellier, Playworks Coach, is so excited for the upcoming year! Meghan will be working with all grades, out at recess and in the classroom.  Her job is to make sure everyone is having the most fun possible, by creating a positive environment, with healthy, active play. Meghan is a recent University of Massachusetts Amherst graduate, with a BS in Public Health.  She loves staying active and in her spare time she enjoys running, traveling, going to the beach and spending time with friends and family.

Sarah Perkins, School Site/Teacher Assistant, received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Bard College and her master’s in elementary education from Brown University.  Sarah worked for three years in her hometown community of New Haven, CT as the program coordinator for Music Haven, an urban, tuition-free music education program.  Sarah is thrilled to be working in a place that values music and arts education as highly as academics.  Playing the violin, eating ice cream, riding bicycles, and being at the beach are four of Sarah’s favorite activities.

Becky McCarthy, School Site/Teacher Assistant, is thrilled to be a part of the Conservatory Lab crew this year! Becky was born and raised in Boston where she attended Boston Latin School. She proceeded to attend university at Bucknell as Posse Scholar graduating with a degree in psychology and sociology with a concentration in human services. Through her college years Becky invested her time working for Citizen Schools, the Posse Foundation, and Rosie’s Place and most recently, Becky worked at the English Language Center as an administrative assistant. Thanks to this job and the phenomenal international students she worked with, Becky can find free accommodations in almost every country in Europe! Now at Conservatory Lab, Becky supports the school with a particular focus on the 2nd grade. In her spare time, Becky likes to sing, read, travel, and try new restaurants around Boston.