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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 Children’s 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 is a Massachusetts native and holds a degree in mathematics with minors in education and psychology from Lesley University.  He has worked in many educational settings, with a wide range of age groups, including teaching at Agassiz Baldwin Community for three years. As the 1st-5th grade Site Director, he aims to empower students and provide a safe environment so they may grow academically, socially and emotionally. When Adam is not working with kids, you can find him watching and participating in competitive sports including baseball, basketball and volleyball. He also enjoys playing guitar and writing songs. Contact Adam.

K.C. Nogueira, Kindergarten Co-Site Director he/him/his

Born 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. Contact KC.

Kelsey Chaplain, Kindergarten Co-Site Director 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. Contact Kelsey.

Jessica Leach, Registration Coordinator she/her/hers

Jess Leach was born and raised in 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.  As Registration Coordinator, she hopes to make all students and families feel welcome in our programming. In addition to her work with Children’s Programs, Jess creates press releases for the Chandler Gallery and assists Phoebe Sinclair in facilitating Agassiz Neighborhood Council meetings and publishing our monthly newsletter, The Whistler. In her free time, she loves to read true crime novels, cook lots of Italian food, or hang out at a local brewery. Contact Jess.

Children’s 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.

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.

Brittney Bourne she/her/hers

Brittney, a native Bostonian, graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tuft University with a BFA in Studio Art. In both teaching and her artwork, she hopes to influence children to believe they can do anything they put their minds to and inspire them to reach for the stars.

Emily McDonnell she/her/hers

Emily Jane McDonnell, a film score composer originally from Western Australia, started playing piano at 5 years old. She has studied classical piano performance including contemporary classical as well as rock, blues and jazz. Emily holds Bachelor Degrees in Music Technology and Production from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and Music Composition from Brighton University (UK). Currently she is studying her Masters of Music in Music Education and Autism at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Emily is known for her score in the film ‘Zero’ (Warner Brother Studios) as well as the scores in ‘Amazing Australia’, ‘Norway’ and ‘Killer Bird’. She is currently on board as the composer in the feature film ‘We Are Lost’.

Emily has taught piano for 7 years. Her students learn classical techniques to improve motor skills while learning rhythm and sight reading while creating their own pieces of music and playing musical games.

Helica de Pina 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 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.

Jenna Miles she/her/hers

Jenna originally hails from a small New Hampshire town, and graduated from Lesley University with a BFA in Illustration in 2019. She is interested in engaging children with art and board games, and runs Dungeons and Dragons in the afterschool program. Jenna also enjoys drawing and reading comics, playing video games, and watering her plants.

Jennifer Sackie she/her/hers

Jennifer is currently studying emergency dispatch, public safety, and homeland security. She enjoys putting a smile on children’s faces. In her free time she loves to take long walks, watch movies, and have fun!

Lauren Rego she/her/hers

Lauren is a Writing, Literature, and Publishing major at Emerson College, double minoring in Poetry and Peace and Social Justice. She loves to teach kids skills in dance, soccer, art, writing, and more! Lauren hopes to help children tap into their individual passions in fun and new ways.

Lucia Solorzano she/her/hers

As someone who is from Cambridge and attended Agassiz programming throughout elementary school, Lucia was excited to join the Agassiz Baldwin Community again in 2019. A graduate from University of Massachusetts Amherst, she holds a degree in Social Thought and Political Economy and is passionate about social justice, the arts, and community. She loves to learn along with children and to help foster their own personal growth. In her free time she is a portrait painter and loves to do all sorts of crafts.

Mollie Leibowitz Rabin she/her/hers

Mollie was born and raised in NYC where she majored in fine art at her high school. She now attends Tufts University and is pursuing a Bachelors degree in Philosophy with a double minor in Studio Art and Child Studies. She has worked with children the past three summers and can’t wait to continue this summer with ABC. She loves to tutor for EVkids, to sketch, and to play card games, especially bridge.

Nick Fay he/him/his

You’ll most often find Nick running gym games, or sports out on The Y Field.

Parsina Kurth she/her/hers

Parsina Kurth was born in Berlin, Germany and raised in southern Oregon. She has worked with kids ranging from 2.5 years through middle school for the past five years, teaching art and in afterschool programs. After receiving her degree in International Studies, she spent some time in Europe working with children at various summer camps and English teaching programs. In 2017 she moved to Boston to fulfill her lifelong passion of drawing and art by pursuing a certificate in Illustration and Graphic Design at the School of Museum of Fine Arts. Parsina loves teaching art to children through hands on lessons and open ended projects that encourage creativity. In her free she enjoys cooking, traveling, discovering new spots in the city, and taking advantage of all the opportunities the area has to offer.

Rondae Drafts, Piano Instructor she/her/hers

Rondae has been involved with music education and the performing arts for over 25 years. She will join us for Outback 2019. A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native, Rondae graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications. She later moved to Massachusetts and obtained her Masters Degree in Education. Professor Drafts has just completed 8 years in the doctoral program at the Riley College of Education. She is a Ph.D.abd researching Hip Hop’s cultural impact.

Sasha Wolf 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.

Shawn Peterkin he/him/his

Shawn is currently studying Managerial Economics with a minor in Sociology and a concentration in Information Technology at Bentley University. He loves the outdoors and the wilderness, where he find himself in his free time working out or meditating. He loves to do cook, shade work, and produce music. He usually creates beats and other instrumental productions when he’s able to find some free time.

Sivan Spector she/her/hers

Sivan graduated from Brandeis University in May 2018, and afterwards spent some time traveling, experiencing the theatre of life! She is very passionate about theatre and children’s education. When not at work, Sivan can be found making theatre with friends, making puppets, reading, and hiking.

Stephanie Guevara she/her/hers

Stephanie was born and raised in Everett, Massachusetts and is currently a Lesley University student working her way towards her bachelors degree in Psychology. She started out as a teaching assistant and quickly realized her passion for working with children. Through her previous experiences in music, dance, acting and journalism, she has been able to obtain many skills she hopes to share with everyone around her. On her own time, Stephanie loves books, music, pizza and coffee!

Volunteers (School Year)

Annette Needle, Cooking with Kids she/her/hers

Annette 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!

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