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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.

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

Samantha Eaton v2

Samantha 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.

K.C. Nogueira, Kindergarten Coordinator 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.

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.

Angela Mastandrea she/her/hers

Angela was born and raised in Long Island, New York where she worked at a children’s day camp as a camp counselor. After high school, she moved to the Hudson Valley to attend the State University of New York at New Paltz. During summers, Angela worked as a camp counselor at a sleepaway camp in the Catskills. She then moved to Cambridge to pursue her masters in Mental Health Counseling at Lesley University. Angela began working at Agassiz Baldwin Community as an assistant teacher and quickly knew she wanted to get more involved. Angela is so happy to be joining the team as an afterschool teacher and can’t wait to bring her love of art, music, movement, and mindfulness to the kids’ programming.

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 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.

Eric Chen he/him/his

Eric obtained a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Lesley. Eric loves all forms of education but is particularly interested in visual and kinesthetic learning, and the intersection between the arts and math. He enjoys reading (translated) classics (next on the reading list is Icelandic Sagas), history, Amateur Telescope Making, Broadway Musicals, brushing up on Early Childhood research, playing the cello and karaoke. He is excited to join the Agassiz Baldwin Community.

Fay Newton she/her/hers

Fay was born and raised in Southern Massachusetts. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree in English and Communications from Emmanuel College. In her first years at Emmanuel, she became passionate about the community service programs available at her school and quickly got involved working as a mentor/tutor for the Sister Mary Hart After School Children’s Program. She is so excited to continue exploring her love for community, education, and creativity at Agassiz Baldwin Community.

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.

Hunter Merryman he/him/his

Hunter was born in North Carolina and was raised in a small town in Tennessee. With a craving for city life, Hunter moved to Massachusetts to attend college at Harvard University where he pursued a degree in Astrophysics with a Secondary in Earth and Planetary Sciences. He is passionate about the collision between arts and sciences and how the imagination is key to all forms of education. In his free time, you will find him playing dungeons and dragons, creating board games, singing, dancing, doing improv, and listening to his favorite podcasts.

Jahnavi Zondervan, Summer Teacher she/her/hers

Jahnavi is currently a rising sophomore in college, and was a camper at Outback for almost six summers! She loves to sing, dance, make art, and learn all new things. She’s super excited for her first summer as a teacher at Outback!

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.

Jessi Heller 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.

Kaley Honeycutt she/her/hers

Kaley Honeycutt is a graphic designer and signed musician from Orlando, Florida. She studied graphic design at Valencia College. Prior to working in children’s programs at Agassiz Baldwin Community, Kaley worked in childcare programs throughout Orlando as well as volunteered with multiple children’s organizations doing live music and events for kids including Northwest Kids, The Lovely Project, and Orlando Coalition for the Homeless. Kaley believes in encouraging creativity and self expression through music and art. In her free time she enjoys thrifting and volunteering at shows and art events around town. She has returned to our afterschool following a successful tour with her band Honey Cutt, and will be setting off on tour again this summer.

Kelsey Chaplain 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.

Kinga Borondy she/her/hers

Kinga Borondy, a Rutgers University graduate, spent more than a dozen years learning pottery in a New Jersey studio with potter Gert Cook. She has been working in clay for more than 20 years; exploring throwing and hand-building techniques. Borondy is currently working with color, texture and perspective through water-soluble mediums and relief printing. Prior to teaching, she worked as a reporter and public relations expert in New Jersey for more than 20 years and is currently on staff in the Somerville school system.

Maddie Massicotte 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.

Mollie Leibowitz Rabin, Summer Teacher 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.

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.

Sam Komack, Summer Teacher he/him/his

Sam is excited to join ABC’s team of inspiring and passionate staff this summer. Born and raised in the Boston area, Sam is home for the summer from the Pioneer Valley where he currently goes to school; he is working towards a BFA from Hampshire College. Sam loves the beach, his cat, reading, writing screenplays, working on films, watching documentaries, and cooking delicious meals for friends and family. He also enjoys being in the presence of kids and learning from their joyful and creative spirits.

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.

Shane Thompson, Summer Teacher he/him/his or they/them/theirs

Hailing from the Southwest, Shane attended Arizona State University were he obtained his Bachelors of Science in Urban and Metropolitan Studies. Having developed a love affair with New England, after seeing the movie Hocus Pocus as a child, Shane made the move from Arizona to Massachusetts in 2016. He will be pursuing his Masters in Social Work in the fall from Salem State University. In his free time Shane enjoys exploring New England with his boyfriend and is always on the lookout for the perfect bowl of macaroni and cheese.

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!

Substitute Teachers

Nadia Gardner she/her/hers

Nadia is passionate about teaching the arts to young children. She received her Bachelor of Music in Composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Nadia has written music for a variety of instrumentations, including works for chamber orchestra, chorus, art songs, piano, and small ensembles. Her music has been performed by the Phoenix String Quartet, Tanglewood Institute, Summerfield Waldorf School, Santa Rosa Junior College, and the Green Music Center, among others. As a student at the Walden School, she was a recipient of the National Society of Music Clubs Grace Newsom Cushman Award. In the past few years Nadia has been drawn to creating watercolor painting and poetry. She loves inspiring creativity, compassion, and awareness in children.

Laurin Williams she/her/hers

Laurin is thrilled to be back at ABC! Born and raised in North Carolina, Laurin moved to the Northeast to attend Boston University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in French literature at Brown University. Laurin is particularly passionate about inclusive pedagogy, and has enjoyed working with students of all ages, backgrounds, and learning styles. When she is not subbing at ABC’s Children’s Programs, Laurin can usually be found reading a book or volunteering in her community.

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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