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.
Maria Laine, Director of Children’s Programs
Originally from Minnesota, Maria Laine earned her B.A. from Beloit College in Wisconsin in 2007. While at Beloit she double majored in Elementary Education and Sociology, spent a semester in Germany and was a captain of both the track and soccer teams.
She continues to enjoy sports and plays soccer on several local teams. Maria’s interests include trying new vegetarian recipes, playing games ranging from pool to Sudoku, learning Spanish, finding ways to be more environmentally conscious, and making jewelry and tie dye.
She loves to teach and work with children and families in the community and has enjoyed being a part of Agassiz Baldwin Community in many different capacities over the last few years. Whatever her position at ABC, Maria has a strong commitment to building quality programs for children that nurture a diverse array of interests and needs. Contact Maria.
Kim Baldasaro, Director of Early Education
In her free time Kim enjoys visiting local art Museums and exploring new places with her family. Recently they have visited the White Mountains, Cape Cod, and hiked in the Fells Reservation. You can often find Kim at 1369 Coffee shop sharing a muffin with her 3.5 year old; their favorite flavor is blueberry. Contact Kim.
Dana Moskowitz, School Age Site Director
Dana Moskowitz graduated from SUNY The College at Brockport in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Arts for Children and a minor in dance, and recently earned her Master’s degree from Lesley University in Community Arts with a concentration in Multicultural Education. Dana is originally from Long Island, New York, where she had opportunities to study dance with renowned teaching artists and choreographers. She has worked with many arts organizations in the Boston area, including Springstep, Monkeyhouse, and Arlington Center for the Arts. She is passionate about the arts and loves working with children. Contact Dana.
Christie Villaume, Kindergarten Site Coordinator
Originally from scenic, northern New Jersey, Christie Villaume holds a B.A. in Mandarin Chinese from Hamilton College and a M.S. in the Sociology of Education at Syracuse University. Her background includes teaching ESL in Beijing, performing in main stage musical theater with the Hamilton College Choir, and community organizing in Utica, NY. One of her most memorable experiences in Utica was serving as a founding board member of the Underground Café, a teen-run coffee shop and arts-based, after-school center.
After moving to the Boston area in August 2008, Christie substitute taught and worked as a special educator at the elementary level. Her passion for education and philosophy that schools play an intricate and vital role in any healthy community lead her to the Agassiz Baldwin Community. In her spare time, Christine is an outdoor enthusiast whose hobbies include wellness through nutrition, caring for pets and plants, reading and collecting books, cycling and spinning, hiking and camping, and cooking beautiful, wholesome cuisine.
Michelle Ballou, Teacher
Michelle Ballou is currently working towards a Psychology degree with an Italian minor at Lesley University and would like to study cognitive neuroscience with a focus on multi-lingualism in the future. In the past year she has made her way from a Preschool Intern to Afterschool Teacher and has found a home at Agassiz Baldwin Community.
Originally from Vermont, Michelle loves gardening, hiking, skiing, and trying out new recipes. Michelle is also musical and enjoys playing her clarinet and exploring different genres of music.
Marlene Boyette, Teacher
Marlene Boyette, who was raised between Western Massachusetts and Central Texas, has balanced her passion for youth-work / education and music / entertainment, working in both fields over the last several years. Marlene studied Early Childhood Education and Journalism at Fitchburg State University before moving to Boston to work as a youth educator and live music booker, music reviewer, and promoter (for which she has received several Boston industry awards.) In her spare time, Marlene enjoys traveling, attending concerts, blogging, volunteering, and experimenting with photography.
Jordan Crawford, Teacher
Jordan Crawford hails from the Green Mountains of Vermont. Three years ago, she joined the Agassiz staff as a helper through work-study at Lesley University. Jordan specifically enjoys arts and crafts, kickball, and is working towards her undergraduate degree.
Kayla Harkness, Dance Teacher
Kayla Harkness began her dance training in Houston, TX and has been dancing for twenty-four years. She studied Psychology Pre-Med at Georgia State University, focusing on dance medicine, and was accepted to further study with Linni Diehl, M.Ed., BC-DMT in Long Island, New York. A graduate of the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts, Kayla has worked on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and performed around the world with productions of A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, as well as appeared in national print ads and Tyler Perry films.
Kayla moved to Boston in the fall of 2011 to work as a professional dancer for the Boston Celtics. She began working with Agassiz Baldwin Community (ABC) Afterschool program as a Dance Specialist, teaching K-5th grade students, and recently joined the office team as Morning Administrative Assistant.
Since her time in Boston, Kayla has worked with Boston Ballet’s Community & Education Citydance program, instructed at local studio’s, and choreographed for local high schools. She volunteers her time with Strong Women, Strong Girls and continues to focus on the journey her passion and love for the community has brought her way.
Elly Humphrey, Preschool Assistant Teacher
Elly Humphrey is an assistant teacher in the preschool program and currently working toward her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at Lesley University. She brings five years of experience working with preschool-aged children, and is certified by the Department of Early Education and Care. Elly is enthusiastic about expressive arts in the classroom and loves to sing, dance, make art, and explore with the children.
Molly Juhlin, Preschool Co-Lead Teacher and Afterschool Homework Teacher
Following graduation from Bowdoin College with a double major in Spanish and Latin American Studies, Molly Juhlin joined the New York City Teaching Fellows and taught 1st grade in the South Bronx. She moved to Boston and began working with Jumpstart, a non-profit dedicated to early education and kindergarten preparedness. Molly was the Site Manager for the Jumpstart program based at Emerson College and she trained and supported college volunteers as they served in high-need preschool classrooms in the Boston area.
Molly first joined the Agassiz Baldwin team as the Science and Homework specialist with the Afterschool program and an Outback Kindergarten Teacher, before becoming Co-Lead Teacher with Sacramento Street Preschool. She has a strong background in early literacy, science, classroom management, and problem solving. Outside of ABC, Molly loves to run, cheer on the Celtics, try new recipes, and visit family in Maine.
Gail Kelly, Drama Specialist Teacher
Gail Kelly received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre with a Performance Concentration and a minor in Music from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. She has worked as a theater teacher with City Arts Drama Center, The Community Theater of Greensboro, Win-Win Resolutions, and Agassiz Baldwin’s Outback Summer Program. She also served as the assistant director of The Performance Club Studio Theater in Wilmington, NC. Gail is working towards her Master’s in Theatre Education at Emerson College. In her free time, Gail enjoys going to concerts, baking gluten free treats, and traveling to new places.
Rachelle Laine, Teacher
Rachelle Laine aspires to be an English professor and is currently on that path. She has many hobbies, some of which include cooking, singing, athleticism, well, too much to include! She has worked for Agassiz Baldwin Community for three years and had had the pleasure of working with the first-fifth graders throughout the years. Rachel loves working with school-age children through the arts and will continue to do so throughout the years.
Emily Lapean, Preschool Co-Lead Teacher
Emily Lapean graduated in 2010 from Lesley University with a bachelors degree in Child and Family Studies. Emily very much enjoys teaching, and many days feels like she learned just as much as the children did! Her favorite aspects of working in the preschool are creating art and science projects with the students and hearing their thoughts on various activities.
Antonio Mendez, Spanish Teacher
Hailing originally from Puerto Rico, Antonio Mendez studied art at the Pratt Institute in New York City and Spanish at Worcester State University in Massachusetts. He has taught Spanish and traveled extensively in South American and Europe, with stops in Ecuador, Bolivia, Eastern Europe, and Paris. In addition to languages, Antonio enjoys painting and drawing.
Duncan Pelletier, Teacher
A fiercely loyal New Hampshire native, Duncan Pelletier has been living in the Boston area for five years. He studied film and audio recording at Emerson College and loves to get the children involved in various music and movie projects. When he’s not at Agassiz Baldwin Community, Duncan fronts several local music groups, singing and playing piano, bass, and guitar. Duncan loves working with children and hopes to become an elementary school teacher in the future.
Emily Somma, Kindergarten Afterschool and Art Specialist Teacher
Emily Somma recently received her Master in Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University and has exhibited throughout the Boston area. She has taught art to kids for many years in various summer camps, as well as in the education department of the Museum of Fine Arts.
Emily’s interests include exploring ways to incorporate her studio practice with the community, especially children and learning to make things from scratch. In her free time, she can be found in her studio, garden and kitchen, or biking around town.
Easton Smith, Teacher
Easton Smith graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2010 with a degree in Sociology and Media and Society. After graduating, she moved to Boston to begin working on short documentary profiles with Cambridge Community Television. Easton has since been working on a documentary feature film as well as her own short films and art projects. She also loves sailing, gardening, cooking, camping, and exploring new ideas and places.
Jake Wiesner, Afterschool Teacher and Preschool Special Activity Teacher
A Cambridge native, Jake Wiesner studied creative writing at Lesley University, as well as screenwriting and filmmaking at The New School in New York City. He spent the last two years helping his sister build a small juice company based out of Brooklyn, selling the juices at New York’s bustling food markets. In his spare time Jake enjoys reading, immersing himself in music, and going for meandering kayak excursions in the ponds of Martha’s Vineyard and Maine.
Crystal Lee Stone, Maud Morgan Site Coordinator
Crystal Lee Stone is excited to join the Maud Morgan Arts team to create a positive art experience for our artists. She has worked with students and families at organizations such as the White House Historical Association, Boston’s ICA, Upward Bound, and the Nantucket Historical Association. She enjoys knitting and biking in her free time, but she has not yet figured out how to knit and bike at the same time.
Crystal is currently a candidate for the Master of Liberal Arts, Museum Studies at the Harvard University Extension School and holds a B.A. from Bowdoin College in Visual Art and Psychology.
Ellen Kramer, Cooking with Kids
Dr. Ellen Kramer volunteers with the Kindergarten Afterschool as part of Living Well Network’s Cooking With Kids program. Dr. Kramer wants the students to learn that making your own food is fun, yummy, and something every kid can do. While slicing, stirring, grating, sautéing, and tasting, Dr. Kramer and the students enjoy many opportunities to talk about where food comes from. They also make occasional outings to the nearby community garden to see foods growing. Dr. Kramer is a registered dietitian with over thirty years experience in the fields of nutrition and epidemiology, as a consultant, lecturer, and researcher.
Annette Needle, Cooking with Kids
Annette 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!