Breakwater's ability to provide an optimal learning environment for our students is made possible by a talented, enthusiastic, and loving faculty who embody Breakwater's core values in their everyday lives. Our teachers and staff are recruited and retained based on their professional skills, their willingness to model our Mission in every respect, and their commitment to professional and personal growth. To the greatest extent possible, we allow our faculty structure to function dynamically in response to the changing needs of our organization, student body, and our teachers themselves.
WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE A FEW CHANGING ROLES AND WELCOME NEW MEMBERS TO OUR INCREDIBLE TEACHING TEAM IN THE 2017/2018 SCHOOL YEAR:
Danielle Gorman - Toddler
While deeply enjoying her three years teaching music to all of our T-4 students, Danielle has discovered abiding joy and gratification in time she spends with our youngest friends. Seeing an opportunity in the opening of a second toddler classroom next year, Danielle has accepted a position on the toddler team with Katie and Erica! Along with years of teaching experience, Danielle holds certifications in Montessori education, Musikgarten, and Orff-Schulwerk, and is a fully certified yoga instructor. Danielle will continue to provide music exploration opportunities for all our toddler students, and develop a mindfulness education curriculum.
Callie Hastings - Toddler
Callie discovered her love of teaching when she herself was a child, helping out in her mother's special education classroom. As an adult, still new to the workforce, she found the Arlington Children’s Center in Arlington, MA. The supportive, inclusive, and arts-centric community there was an ideal place to grow as a teacher and solidify her love of working with young children. Callie holds a BFA from Alfred University, a Post-Bachelors from the Teacher Preparation Program at Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Preschool Teacher Certification and Massachusetts Visual Art Educator PreK-8 Initial Licensure Certification. Callie has always had a deep love for art and making, and finds the curiosity and vibrant creativity of children inspiring!
Stephanie (Hayward) Davis - Preschool
We are overjoyed to welcome our ‘Miss Stephanie’ back to Breakwater! Stephanie was with Breakwater for nine years before taking a leave to focus on her three young children. Stephanie brings a rich background of classroom teaching, music instruction, and a thorough understanding of Breakwater’s pedagogical approach to our preschool team. Stephanie’s warmth, incredible creativity, skill and experience are assets to our entire community, and we are so glad she is back!
Danielle Gismondi - Preschool
Originally from Long Island, New York, Danielle studied Early Childhood Education and Psychology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where she eventually obtained her M.Ed in Literacy. For the past 7 years Danielle has taught in western Massachusetts and southern Vermont, the last year teaching first and second grade, and is thrilled to be back with young learners. She has taught in both private and public schools and has taught Program Development for 3,4 & 5 Year Olds at the college level. Danielle brings with her a 10 year yoga teaching practice and training in mindfulness, self-regulation, and work with children with autism, down syndrome and developmental delays. Danielle believes, like Loris Malaguzzi, that there is "Nothing without joy."
Kimberly Sanders - Preschool
Kim comes to Breakwater with more than ten years of teaching experience, the last five spent as the preschool and Family Programs Manager at Maine Audubon. Kim has a BA in Economics and received her Masters from Antioch New England University in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a Science and Environmental concentration. Additionally, she is certified to teach both Early Childhood and Special Education for young children. Like Breakwater, she believes a foundation to skill development in problem-solving, independent thinking, collaboration, and communication is built when children play and learn together. When done in the natural environment, tapping into a child's innate curiosity, it promotes social and environmental responsibility.
Molly Traynor - Kindergarten
Molly will follow her rising preschoolers to kindergarten next year! Molly “believe[s] passionately that students who are engaged in authentic, experiential activities will learn to love learning”. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Child Studies from Lesley University and is currently finishing her Master’s degree at Lesley for Integration of Creative Arts in Education. Molly is an experienced educator who has held the long term goal of becoming a kindergarten teacher. She will eagerly and creatively meet the developmental, academic and social needs of our kindergarten children.
Alicia Amy - Kindergarten Assistant
After a year spent mothering full time, Alicia is returning to Breakwater! Although she most recently taught our elementary students, Alicia's Breakwater roots are in the early childhood division where she led our preschool and kindergarten aftercare program and taught Spanish. Additionally, she has taught on the deck of tall ships, in the woods and beaches of New England, and in small villages in Western Samoa. Alicia has her BA from Penn State, and spent eight years teaching with Nature's Classroom. She came to Breakwater with a passion for the Reggio Emilia philosophy, and remains committed to our learning community, its focus on curiosity and the creativity it allows.
Tess Glanville - Early Childhood Assistant/ Aftercare Teacher
Tess taught preschool and served as Assistant Director at Poker Hill School in Vermont. As a Cape Elizabeth native, she is excited to return to Maine and join the Breakwater faculty. The work of encouraging and supporting children as they investigate and question their surroundings inspires Tess. She prioritizes the forming of relationships with children as they explore, learn, and challenge themselves, providing a nurturing environment that promotes confidence and independence, all while having fun!
Marjorie Haley - Grade 1/2 Teacher
Marjorie will be returning full time to the classroom! For seven of her eleven years at Breakwater Marjorie taught our 1st and 2nd graders. After filling a literacy specialist role for the past few years, Marjorie is ready and eager to bring her experience and passion back to a classroom environment. Due to her expertise in and deep knowledge of Breakwater’s specific 1/2 curriculum, it is a clear choice that Marjorie rejoin the 1/2 teaching team. She will be an excellent partner for Julia Beckett, and together they will provide consistent, solid guidance that expertly supports this particular developmental age and stage.
Kalyn Sullivan - Grade 3/4 Teacher
Kalyn was hired in April based on her thorough understanding of our progressive philosophy, community, learning environment, and her strong work history. Originally placed in 1/2, Breakwater was confident in her ability to guide our younger students. Now, Marjorie’s return to the classroom provides the great opportunity for Kalyn to fill Lindsay Holt's vacancy in 3/4, a developmental level with which Kalyn has affinity, rich experience and aptitude. Kalyn most recently served as lead teacher in a 3rd-5th grade multiage classroom at a small private school in Charlotte, North Carolina, as well as bringing multiple years of experience teaching middle elementary students in outdoor education settings. She will be a skilled, bright and developmentally responsive guide for Breakwater’s 3rd and 4th graders, and will be an exceptional partner for Krys.
Essentialists / Curiosity Lab
Hans Spencer - Kindergarten through 8th Grade Music Essentialist
For three years Hans has inspired our middle school students with his masterful understanding of performance, composition, and musical pedagogy. With Danielle Gorman's move to our toddler program, Hans will expand his teaching schedule to encompass our kindergarten through 8th grade curriculum. This will not only take full advantage of Hans' experience and musical expertise, but allow us to ensure a carefully constructed continuum as children rise through the grades, where skills and concepts intentionally build on one another. Programatic continuity is something we value greatly at Breakwater, and we are so thrilled and confident that Hans' expanded role will bring even more exceptional opportunities for musical growth and exposure to our students. Danielle, along with Stephanie Davis, will bring her exceptional talents to our toddler and preschool with a developmentally appropriate integrated approach to early childhood musical immersion.
Claire Martin - Curiosity Lab/ Inquiry Integration Coach and Literacy Specialist
Building on the inquiry based work she developed for kindergarten this year, Claire will facilitate developmentally appropriate engagement with our new Curiosity Lab for toddler through grade 2 faculty and their students and bring her twenty plus years of literacy work to our grade 1-4 classrooms. Through both the scaffolding of inquiry-based investigations and the provision of deep literacy exploration, Claire will support students and colleagues to strengthen our model of integrated learning. Claire will build on the curriculum she developed for Breakwater last year and draw from her training in Reading/Writing Project, SPIRE Reading Intervention, Reading Project, Sitton Spelling, Dimensions of Learning, and Brain Gym (just to name a few) to enhance our elementary literacy support program.
Josephine Roberts - Curiosity Lab Program Manager
Josephine is joining Claire next year, as well as Shaun and Sari, in building and integrating the Curiosity Lab program. Josephine’s focus will be documenting and sharing the Curiosity Lab work, grant writing and planning for sustainability, creating parent and professional development experiences for Breakwater and a broader community around Maine, and helping to a establish unique and solid curriculum for toddler through 8th grade.
Biographies of education and work history for current teachers are found on the faculty page of our website, and more about Kalyn and her qualifications can be found in our April 1 blog post “Welcome Kalyn Sullivan!”
Please join us in our excitement for the year ahead! These teachers, together with Breakwater's entire faculty, comprise an extremely strong, experienced, dedicated and truly exceptional teaching team. If you have any questions about next year’s staffing or programming, or regarding our hiring process, please contact Maggie Lyon, Academic Director, by email or at extension 226. The involvement of our community strengthens our school, and our ability to provide an optimal learning experience for each student is greatly enhanced by strong, effective partnerships with families.