A nineteen year veteran in education, Christine Greenlaw Boone is currently Principal of Frankfort Elementary School and Gifted and Talented Coordinator in RSU #20. Christine began her career as an educator teaching middle school in the Clark County School District, in Las Vegas, Nevada after graduating from the University of Maine at Orono with a B.A. in Education. She obtained her masters degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she began her administrative career. Upon returning to Maine, Christine continued her educational leadership career as an assistant principal, principal and Gifted and Talented Coordinator. As a principal, she utilized the Professional Learning Community model to implement standards based instruction, create volunteer-based school enrichment programs, and increase student achievement. As a GT coordinator, she supports classroom teachers in recognizing that giftedness is a special need and provides the tools and resources to meet those needs. Christine has formerly served as a clinical field supervisor for student teachers at Husson University. She believes that student success does not rely on one particular curriculum, program, or resource, but instead can be directly attributed to the quality of the teacher providing the services. She looks forward to her continued career teaching teachers as she feels it is the only job that comes close to paralleling the importance of the job of motherhood. As Tehyi Hsieh, the Chinese educator, writer and diplomat shared, “The schools of the country are its future in miniature.” An Aroostook County native, she leaves her home in Stockton Springs, Maine each summer so that she and her family can adventure in the northern Maine woods. She wants her sons to learn the lessons each summer that they cannot learn at school.
William “Bill” Buzza earned his B.M. in Music Education from the University of Southern Maine in 1993 and his M.S. Ed in Educational Leadership from the University of New England in 2010. Bill teaches at Leavitt Area High School in Turner, Maine and is the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for MSAD #52. Mr. Buzza has guest conducted at various honors music festivals and Maine handbell conferences. Under Mr. Buzza’s direction, the Leavitt Area H.S. Band has performed at music festivals in New York City, Annapolis, Philadelphia and Quebec City. Bill has been recognized for his teaching by being chosen as a Finalist for the 2011 Maine Teacher of the Year. He is a recipient of the MSAD #52 Patience Norman teaching award, and Bill was chosen as a “teacher leader” for the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative sponsored by the Maine Department of Education. A native of Presque Isle, Bill always enjoys the opportunity to travel back to the County.
Ruth Estabrook has over 24 years’ experience in the field of Math Education – she began her love of teaching mathematics while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, and since then she has taught math in both rural and urban schools in New York, Maine, New Hampshire, and Africa, most recently at the International School of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. She has also worked as a teacher trainer in Gabon and New Hampshire. Ruth holds a journalism degree from the University of Maine at Orono and Masters Degree in Math Education from Columbia University. Along with teaching math and math education courses for the New England Institute, she works as a writer and project manager for educational publishing companies. Her main interests in education include hands-on and project-based learning, teaching problem solving skills, integrating technology, and finding ways to get students excited about math and confident in their math abilities.
Gil Lacroix teaches courses in Bullying Prevention and Intervention, Behavior Management, Educational Leadership, Social Studies methods, Response to Intervention and more for The New England Institute. He has served for many years as a principal and as a high school social studies teacher. Gil is also a past President of the Maine Principals’ Association (MPA). His many roles include assistant high school principal, adult education director, community school coordinator, middle school athletic director, and an adult education and GED instructor. Gil has taught high school reading, English, health, math, science, and study skills.
Gil earned his B.S. from the University of Maine at Orono in Secondary Education in Social Studies and his Masters in Educational Administration from the University of Southern Maine. He was a member of the first Maine School Leadership Network and has been active in professional and curriculum development and in the planning and presentation of many conferences and workshops for the MPA. His presentation topics include Authentic and Standards-Based Assessment, Project-Based and Interdisciplinary Learning, The Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards: Defining Strong School Leadership, The Responsive Classroom, and Time Management and Wellness for Administrators.
Jessica Larson teaches NEI courses on two subjects about which she is deeply passionate: Literacy and Gifted and Talented Education. Currently the Gifted and Talented Coordinator at Biddeford Middle and High Schools, Jessica earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Maine at Farmington. While at UMF, she developed a passion for literature and literacy education and volunteered for the America Reads Initiative. Jessica also worked with the former Mayor of Lewiston, John Jenkins, on empowering student voice and change in schools, while earning her M.A. in Literacy Education from Lesley University. As a Reading Interventionist, she has worked with teachers and educational technicians to create and implement interventions for at-risk students by developing individualized learning plans (ILPs). Jessica brings her knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm into every teaching and learning environment.
Dr. Jennifer Page instructs NEI courses in Science Education and Inquiry-Based Learning. She received her Ph.D. in Biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology after earning her undergraduate degree in Marine Science from the University of Maine in Orono. After teaching undergraduate courses at both institutions and teaching a year of high school Biology in Atlanta, Jenn decided to transition to teaching high school full-time. She currently teaches Earth Science and Biology and coaches a Speech and Debate team. Jenn combines her passions for research and education to bring inquiry-based learning to her students and is strongly interested in the process of transitioning existing lesson plans into inquiry-based curriculum.
Catherine Ring is Executive Director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education and teaches graduate level courses to educators across the state of Maine. She is a former principal and certified teacher and has taught visual art for 20 years in public schools. She has also attained her Assistant Superintendent certification. Catherine completed her Education Leadership studies at the University of Vermont and received her Master of Arts from Vermont College of Norwich University. For her thesis, entitled “Education and the Arts, Toward Creative Intelligences,” she researched the role of the arts in learning and has worked closely with classroom teachers, helping them to integrate the arts into their regular curricula. Catherine has represented her school district in the Kennedy Center’s National Partnership program, which provides professional development to classroom teachers in arts integration, making learning engaging for all students. Catherine works with school districts throughout Maine to assist them with differentiated instruction, arts integration, gifted and talented programs and serves on the Core Leadership Team with the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative.
Meghan Rivis is The New England Institute’s Executive Assistant. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Visual Art from the University of Vermont. Following graduation, Meghan achieved her dream of traveling extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Now happy to be settled in Maine, she is currently pursuing a career in teaching. Meghan has completed the Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP) in pursuit of a Master of Education at the University of Southern Maine. As she continues her journey toward becoming a teacher, Meghan is thrilled to be a part of The New England Institute for Teacher Education.
Jake Sturtevant was born and raised in Maine by a musical family. He is a prolific composer, performer, and music educator. His compositions encompass a variety genres and media including jazz, funk/fusion, vocal, chamber music, orchestral, electronic, and multi-media works. Jake currently is the music director at Bonny Eagle High School, in Standish Maine. As a secondary educator, he focuses on guiding students in performance and exploring their own creative processes to learn through creating, and reflect on their creations and performances. Additionally he held the position of music educator at Washington Academy in East Machias, Maine, Teaching Assistant of the Composition department at the University of Minnesota, and he has worked as an intern and as an independent contractor for the Maine Arts Commission.
Jake has been interested in acquiring and changing his teaching and assessment practices to focus on standard based grading. He has had the opportunity to be part of the Arts Assessment Institute and Initiative, and has taught a variety of workshops at the October 2011 Maine Arts Assessment Conference at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. He is continually inspired by other teachers around the state and the country who have found a verity of assessment practices that help students achieve practical goals that will help them progress, while not stifling their creativity. Jake holds degrees from the University of Maine at Augusta’s Jazz and Contemporary music program (BA, Music, 2003), and the University of Minnesota (MA, Composition 2005), where he studied with Dr. Judith Lang Zaimont. Beyond his profession Jake enjoys his time with his family, and all outdoor activities especially hiking and skiing.
Rob Westerberg is Choral Director at York High School in York, Maine and Director of the Portland Community Chorus. He holds a B.M. in Music Education from Keene State College and M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Maine. He is past President of the Maine Music Educators Association, the Vermont Music Educators Association and the Vermont Choral Directors Association. In addition to guest directing dozens of choirs throughout northern New England, Mr. Westerberg is a frequent clinician, advisor and guest speaker. He served the Maine Department of Education in the rewriting and revision of the Maine Learning Results for the Visual and Performing Arts and has continued to work closely with Maine’s Arts Are Basic Coalition (ABC) to monitor legislation enhancing and promoting the growth of Arts education throughout Maine. Most recently he has worked with the Department of Education to help design and implement Maine’s Arts Assessment Initiative. His commitment to furthering music education has brought him accolades from the Maine Arts Alliance, the Keene State College Music Department and the New Hampshire Music Educators Association. At York High School, he has done extensive work in the area of standards based assessment and worked with administration to establish a Graduation Requirement specifically for Music – one of the few public schools in the northeast to possess one – ensuring that music education be truly “essential for every student”.
Stephen York is the New England Institute’s Dean and is on the Core Faculty for education and liberal arts. Beyond teaching special education and general education courses, Stephen teaches interdisciplinary studies in the humanities. Experienced as a public and private school teacher in special education, alternative education, middle school, and behavior management, he also taught for Job Corps in Grafton, Massachusetts, and in higher education in Pennsylvania, California, Michigan and New England. Awarded a B.A. in Education and Humanities at Vermont College of Norwich University in Montpelier, a M.Div. in Education and Humanities at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California, and a Doctorate of Ministry at United Theological College, Stephen is on the graduate adjunct education faculty at Plymouth State University, and is a faculty member of record for the New England Institute’s academic partnership with Endicott College (Van Loan School of Professional and Graduate Studies).