Home » Program Staff

Program Staff

Perhaps the most important feature of our children’s programs is teaching staff who are caring and attentive, competent, and creative. The staff consists of full-time Site Directors and a talented group of  teachers —together a diverse collection of musicians, dancers, art educators, and more.

Meet the Program Leadership

Meet the Preschool Program Staff

Meet the Afterschool Program Staff

Meet the Volunteers

Program Leadership

Andrea Breen, Director of Children’s Programs she/her/hers

Andrea was born and raised in Southeastern Massachusetts. She graduated from Wheelock College with a Bachelor’s in Social Work and began her work in out-of-school time programming in Cambridge over five years ago. Andrea is passionate about providing inclusive programming that allows for children to confidently explore new interests while being supported both socially and developmentally. Contact Andrea.

Adam Ciampi, 1st-5th Grade Site Director he/him/his

Adam Ciampi graduated from Lesley University with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and minors in both education and psychology. He represented Lesley on the baseball diamond for all four years. During his time at Lesley, Adam was able to experience a variety of classrooms, ranging from all age groups. After teaching at Agassiz Baldwin Community for three years, he joins us as the 1st-5th Grade Site Director. Originally from Westford, Massachusetts, Adam enjoys writing and playing music as well as playing competitive sports such as volleyball and baseball. Contact Adam.

Samantha Eaton, Early Education Site Director she/her/hers

Samantha Eaton v2Samantha Eaton brings over ten years of experience as an educator and administrator to the role of Early Education Site Director. She earned her BFA in Art Education from Massachusetts College of Art & Design in 2006 and has worked with children of all ages in schools, community programs, and nonprofit programs throughout her career. While she loves teaching, Samantha discovered her skills and passions extended beyond the classroom as she began to mentor staff and provide administrative support to her colleagues. Her strengths include planning and curriculum, behavior management, and creative problem solving.

Originally from Lowell, Samantha recently returned to the Boston area after spending five years living in Washington DC. In her free time, she enjoys painting, cooking, and relaxing at the beach. Contact Sam.

Shrija Sriram, Kindergarten Coordinator she/her/hers

Shrija SriramShrija Sriram found the Agassiz Baldwin Community through her internship at the Sacramento Street Preschool. Originally from Chicago, Shrija moved to Cambridge when she began her undergraduate studies at Lesley University. She graduated from Lesley University in May of 2016 with a degree in child studies and education. In her spare time, Shrija enjoys reading outside and exploring various areas of nature around Boston. Contact Shri.

Jessica Leach, Registration Coordinator she/her/hers

Jess Leach was born in the tiny but mighty state of Rhode Island and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. She joined Agassiz Baldwin Community in 2016 as a teacher and coached the afterschool’s first ever Odyssey of the Mind team in 2017.  In addition to her work as with kids, Jess also creates press releases for Chandler Gallery shows and assists Phoebe Sinclair in facilitating Agassiz Neighborhood Council meetings and publishing our monthly newsletter, The Whistler. She is excited to take her work in a new direction in her role as Registration Coordinator. When she’s not writing or working with kids, Jess can be found reading true crime novels, making lots of Italian food, hanging at a local brewery or bingeing a Netflix series. Contact Jess.

Preschool Program Staff (School Year)

Maddie Massicotte, Preschool Teaching Assistant she/her/hers

Born in Bristol, CT, Maddie has been working in child care for over 5 years. She attended Hampshire College and Tunxis College for Early Childhood Education, and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Art Education. She has worked with children of all ages, from working as a Teaching Assistant in Montessori and Reggio Emilia programs, to primary toddler teaching, and instructing summer arts programs for film and creative writing. Maddie is an advocate for the importance of art in early childhood development as a means of self expression and exploration into the world around them. In her free time, she can be found writing, taking photos, going on hikes with her dog Scully, relaxing with her cat Xena, baking far too many sweets, and watching movies of any kind. Contact Maddie.

Afterschool Program Staff

Ally Rzesa, Drama and Dance Teacher she/her/hers

Ally Rzesa recently joined the team as a Drama and Dance Teacher, and loves teaching dramatic arts to kids. She took a gap year to work at a youth theater company and is now a junior journalism major at Emerson College. She enjoys writing, playing the violin, and eating.


Amanda Ng Yann Chwen, Dance Teacher they/them/theirs

Born and raised in Penang, Malaysia, Amanda moved to Boston four years ago by way of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. They are deeply interested in spaces where the arts and activism live together, and is constantly finding ways to make dance accessible to more communities. Through dance, choreography, dance films, cartoons, zines and more, Amanda loves working with communities to build the more just world we want to live in. They graduated with majors in Education and American Studies and minors in Dance and Colonialism Studies from Tufts University.

Bill Ward, Piano Instructor he/him/his

Bill Ward is a multi-instrumentalist who’s work spans a variety of genres, including classical, jazz, and world music. He has performed live on WGBH’s Eric In The Evening and Brazil’s Radio Nacional, as well as at venues such as the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, and Clube do Choro (Brasília, Brazil), along with his wife, Brazilian singer Anna Borges. After undergraduate studies at Oberlin Conservatory with Dan Wall and Sanford Margolis, he is currently working toward a Master’s in Piano Performance at Boston University, studying under Boaz Sharon and Gila Goldstein.

Emily McDonnell, Afterschool Teacher she/her/hers

Emily was born in Essex, United Kingdom and raised in Perth, Western Australia. She has a Bachelor in Music Production from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and a Bachelor in Music Composition from University of Brighton United Kingdom. She is currently studying Music Education and Autism at Berklee College of Music and working towards her MTEL.


Helica de Pina, Afterschool Teacher she/her/hers

Helica was born in Cape Verde and moved to the states in the 4th grade. She lived in Rhode Island until she moved to Dorchester, MA in the 9th grade. She is a graduate of Charlestown High School. In her spare time she loves to longboard, swim, try new foods, and watch lots of movies. She is a huge super hero fan. She speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and Creole. Her favorite place in the world is the ocean. She loves all sea creatures and adores seafood.

Jason (Jay) DiIorio, Teacher he/him/his

Jay is excited to recently join the team at ABC and looks forward to many wonderful opportunities working with the kids as well as his peers. He has worked with children ranging from pre-K to high-schoolers both in and out of the classroom over the course of many years as a tutor, coach, teacher, TA, and mentor. He genuinely enjoys engaging with the kids and seeing (and helping) their wheels spin, as they discover new things and mature as individuals.

Jessi Heller, Teacher she/her/hers

Jessi’s passion for inspiring and encouraging students is contagious. She loves creative arts and works hard to make learning fun for her students. Jessi grew up outside of Boston and then lived in the city for 5 years after studying Art History at Syracuse University. She then lived in Thailand for two years teaching and traveling. She returned to Boston eager to get involved in the community once again.

K.C. Nogueira, Teacher he/him/his

image1Born and raised in New Jersey, K.C. found the Agassiz Baldwin Community while at Lesley University where he studied Special Education. He admires the choice based program that Outback and Afterschool have to offer and loves working with youth in an Out of School Time setting. He loves music, of all genres, and is probably humming along to his favorite song right now! When K.C. is not at Afterschool, he can probably be found riding his skateboard, attending a local concert or watching hockey.

Kelsey Chaplain, Teacher they/them/theirs

Kelsey is convinced they learn more from their students than they teach. They love to collaborate on murals, bestiaries, and books especially, and often find that kindergarteners have whole galaxies in their heads. Kelsey grew up in the backyard of the Matfield River in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts and went to school there from first grade through twelfth. They focused on art and writing growing up, trying to self-publish as much as one can in a small town, and they continue to do the same today in Cambridge and Medford. Kelsey also went to Sebago Lake, Maine very often growing up and channels that love of nature every day. They maintain a personal art practice and hope to continue to work as an illustrator, poet, author, political organizer, caretaker, and maker of anything.

Kelsey Rice, Teacher she/her/hers

Kelsey moved from Alabama to Boston over six years ago after studying creative writing at the University of AL at Birmingham. Since her first job as a gymnastics teacher for elementary students, she has greatly enjoyed working with children and witnessing just how much the arts can impact their minds and souls.

She enjoys crafting, collecting vintage clothing, New England summers, film photography, and cuddling with her cat Nya.


Mike Ring, Piano Instructor he/him/his

Mike was born in Lima, Peru and adopted to the U.S. in 1989. Following graduation at Webster University in St. Louis in May of 2013 with a master’s degree in piano performance, Mike held a private piano studio and taught music at the Language Immersion School in St. Louis. Recently moved to Boston, Mike is currently a graduate student at Boston College pursuing a Master of Social Work with specializations in immigration and policy. Mike is highly interested in creating joint programs for students, combining music with different fields in higher education that support ever growing diverse populations. Mike is an avid runner, biker, outdoorsman, and enjoys traveling abroad learning about different cultures. When time allows, Mike composes classical music for choir, piano, and strings, and is currently waiting on the publishing of recently performed works.

Sasha Wolf, Teacher she/her/hers

Sasha is excited to be back at Agassiz Baldwin Community for another year! Born and raised in the Boston area, she is currently pursuing a Master’s at Lesley University with a focus on elementary special education. Sasha’s favorite clubs have included Project Runway (fashion design), Edible Science (cooking), and 7 Wonders (board game). She speaks Russian and French in addition to English, and loves learning new languages and sharing them with others. Sasha also enjoys longboard skateboarding, soccer, ice hockey, and reading/collecting antique books.

Zakiya Owens-Ervin, Homework Teacher she/her/hers

Zakiya (pronounced Zikea like the furniture store) is happy to join the team as the new afterschool homework teacher. She has worked with kids throughout her career and wouldn’t change that decision for anything. Participating in active play and engaging in art and other activities makes her day. There is something about being a part of the growth and development of our future leaders that makes her smile from the inside out. Fun facts: she played in a steel band for a few years in high school, she loves to read, write, and crochet, and music is everything to her!

Volunteers (School Year)

Annette Needle, Cooking with Kids she/her/hers

Annette with kidsAnnette Needle loves to cook and share her love of cooking and good food. A retired social worker and health care consultant, Annette spends her time with her three granddaughters, supporting her husband Peter’s financial planning practice, and traveling. Through cooking, Annette relaxes, creates, and takes care! Annette brings to Cooking With Kids lessons she has learned in cooking classes in France, Italy, Vietnam, and right here at home, along with her experimental and creative approach to creating simple, but good food. Annette loves how excited the kids become when a dish that the kids expected to be a disaster because of the ingredients turns out to be a true winner!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email