New teachers bring experience, skills to school

The Newtonite

by Alex Feit and Samantha Libraty

Allegra Atkinson
Math teacher

Background: Atkinson attended UMass Amherst, where she double majored in mathematics and classical studies. She earned her master’s in education from Salem State University in 2010. For the past six years, she taught middle school math in Medford.
Excited about… “teaching at a high school, and I am looking forward to working in such a positive and motivating environment. I can see that this is a very special place to work. I know this will be a place where my love for teaching will be embraced.”
Brings to the school… “an energetic perspective.”

Shannon Barker
English teacher

Background: Barker earned her bachelor’s degree at Harvard University. She also earned her master’s degree in education at Boston College. She most recently taught English at St. John’s Prep in Danvers from 2007-2011.
Excited about… “the enthusiasm of both teachers and students. Also, I am excited about the great sense of community at this school.”
Brings to the school… “a love of English and a particular set of skills, including ping pong.”

David Bennett
Chemistry teacher

Background: Bennett earned his bachelor’s degree in science from UMass Amherst in 2000. In 2009, he earned his master’s in education from UMass Boston. Starting in 2009, he taught chemistry at the English High School in Jamaica Plain.
Excited about… “being part of a diverse learning community.”
Brings to the school… “five years of experience in the biotechnology field—this means I know the skills that are required to do 21st century jobs.”

Stephanie Churma
Math teacher

Background: Churma earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and communications at Boston College in 2009, as well as a master’s in mathematics education at Columbia University this year. She taught math at Norton High School during the 2009-2010 school year.
Excited about… “the enthusiastic administration and faculty and the motivated students.”
Brings to the school… an “enthusiasm about working with students, my strong math background and my experiences teaching mathematics in a variety of school settings.”

John Fitzgerald
History teacher

Background: Fitzgerald received his bachelor’s degree at San Francisco State University in 2006 and his master’s at UMass Boston in 2009. Last year, he was a long term substitute teacher at this school.
Excited about… “working in a community that values education and working with students with such diverse talents, skills and interests.”
Brings to the school… “a passion for history and a strong desire to prepare students to successfully meet their future challenges.”

Rob Greenfield
History teacher

Background: Greenfield earned his bachelor’s degree in history at UMass Amherst. He was a teaching assistant at this school in 2009 and a student teacher here last year. He also graduated from this school in 2003.
Excited about… “getting to know students and working with them.”
Brings to the school… “I think I can contribute to the sense of community because of past experience working at this school.”

Derek Knapp
English teacher

Background: Knapp earned a master’s in liberal arts and sciences at San Diego State University in 2008. He taught English in San Diego at Mira Mesa High School from 1999-2011.
Excited about… “being surrounded by dedicated and caring faculty members and serving the students of this school.”
Brings to the school… “experience and a unique Southern California cultural perspective and attitude. I want you to know that Californians are people too.”

Cindy Goldberg Massoff
Ceramics teacher

Background: Goldberg Massoff attended the University of Hartford Art School and received her bachelor’s in fine arts. She also completed her master’s in educational administration at UMass Boston in 2000. She taught ceramics at Newton South since 1997.
Excited about… “meeting all the students.”
Brings to the school… “my love for teaching, expertise in ceramics, and I love connecting with students. I also love to be active, play tennis and go hiking.”

David Master
Italian teacher

Background: Master earned a bachelor’s in Italian and English and a master’s in Italian Studies at UMass Boston, while spending every summer since 2005 as an ocean lifeguard in New Jersey.
Excited about… “teaching in a place where I can continue to learn so much and being a part of this school.”
Brings to the school… “enthusiasm for my subject content and for the well-being of students. I love music, the ocean and Italian. I can’t wait to get to know everyone.”

Leah Morelli
History teacher

Background: Morelli attended Emmanuel College in Boston where she received her bachelor’s in history and secondary education. Morelli taught history at Apponequet Regional High School from 2009-2011.
Excited about… “getting to know the students and become a part of the culture, while continuing to grow as a teacher.”
Brings to the school… “I’m hard-working and reflective, so I think I can both contribute to and learn from my very talented department.”

Elise Tuchmayer
Latin teacher

Background: Tuchmayer received her bachelor’s degree at the University of California in San Diego in 2006. She also earned her master’s degree at Tufts University this year. Tuchmayer was a Latin teacher at La Salle High School in California from 2006-2008.
Excited about… “teaching and learning in such a vibrant, welcoming community. I look forward to learning from everyone at this school.”
Brings to the school… “an enthusiasm for teaching and learning about the Classics.”

Peter Turner
History teacher

Background: Turner received his bachelor’s in foreign service at Georgetown University and his master’s in social studies education at Columbia University. Before working at this school, he spent three years as a history teacher in Brooklyn, New York.
Excited about… getting “to know and work with the amazing North students.”
Brings to the school… “a lot of experience working with kids who learn in a variety of different ways—and an enthusiasm for history.”