Faculty & Staff
Ms. Acosta is Salem Academy’s Administrative Coordinator having worked at the school since its inception. Ms. Acosta was born in Santiago, Dominican Republic, but has lived much of her life in Salem. She attended Salem High School and North Shore Community College in Beverly. She has four children all of whom have attended public schools in Salem.
Ms. Arendt was born in a small town, outside of Buffalo, NY, ironically called…Boston. In 2013, she joined Salem Academy and moved to Salem with her dog, Bernice! Prior to working at SACS, she completed her master’s degree in Educational Technology from Nazareth College, and taught art in New York for several years. As an artist she loves working with Graphic Design and Illustration. In her spare time she enjoys reading and traveling. Ms. Arendt spent time traveling in Italy, Poland and Germany and to many states throughout the United States.
Ms. Bayer recently moved to Boston, Massachusetts, upon joining Teach For America, all the way from Phoenix, Arizona. Ms. Bayer is a recent graduate from Arizona State University is currently pursuing a masters degree at Boston University. She is a passionate mathematics teacher and is ecstatic to share her love for the subject with her students.
Mr. Beaver and his family moved to Salem, MA from Phoenix, AZ in 2001. He graduated from Salem State University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and earned a Master’s in Special Education in 2014. Mr. Beaver has been a Special Education teacher for 7 years where he taught in the Salem school district as well as the Northshore Education Consortium in Peabody, MA. Prior to that Mr. Beaver has worked in the behavioral health field in many different settings for over 20 years. Mr. Beaver is certified in Moderate disabilities 5-12, and History 5-8 and 8-12. Mr. Beaver is a proud husband and father of three children.
Mr. Betts was born and raised in Bristol, CT and attended Endicott College in Beverly, MA. There he received a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and a College Coaching Certificate. During his time at Endicott he was a four year member of the baseball team. Shortly after finishing his undergraduate work Mr. Betts went back to Endicott and received his Master of Education in Athletic Administration. He is a lifelong New York Giants and Yankees fan and is excited to have the opportunity to coach and teach many of the students at Salem Academy.
Stephanie was born and raised in Manchester, NH. A lifelong dancer, she performs professionally with BoSoma Dance Company and teaches at Mass Motion Dance in Peabody. In addition to her passion for dance, she is educated in Art History, receiving her Bachelor’s Degree from Suffolk University in 2013. Stephanie enjoys supporting students and sharing her love for dance with the SACS community.
Ms. Brea has been teaching here at Salem Academy since our first year. She was born in the Dominican Republic. She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and completed her diplomado in Education from APEC University in Santo Domingo. She has over ten years of experience as a teacher, having taught English as a Second Language in the D.R. and Puerto Rico, and Art in the D.R. Over the last decade, Ms Brea has taught all levels of Spanish here at Salem Academy, focusing on high school level courses for most of that time. Her work in creating and implementing curriculum has been instrumental in the shaping of our Spanish program. Ms. Brea is Board certified as a Spanish teacher and as an art teacher. Throughout her career, she has also been painting and has worked in stage design.
Mr. Breeden was raised on a farm in rural North Texas where the attire of the day was cowboy boots and jeans. He raised cattle and gained a respect for the animals and the earth. He has lived across the country (Washington, D.C., Charleston, SC, Dallas, TX) and has gained an appreciation for the different regions in the country. He has done Tae Kwon Do since 1997 and began playing rugby a few years ago. He spent a year in seminary and is a member of the United Church of Christ. He married almost two years ago to his husband, Brandon, who is a nuclear engineer in the US Navy. He is a proud Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers fan. He is excited to be a Teach For Anerica 2016 Corp Member and to be teaching for his second year. He taught 7th grade math in South Carolina before coming to Salem. He is very excited for his first year with Salem Academy Charter School.
Ms. Bruno has recently moved to Salem area MA where she is enjoying beautiful views of the harbor. She graduated from Rivier University in 2005 with a Bachelors degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in History and Political Science. She currently works as the 6th grade geography teacher and form leader. She enjoys hiking, golfing, watching sports, and exploring new areas. Ms. Bruno is excited be part of the SACS community and is looking forward to the school year.
After supporting the school in its start up, Mrs. Callahan joined Salem Academy in 2007 as the Dean of Students. Mrs. Callahan has served as the Lower School Principal since 2010. During the 2013-14 school year, she completed an Executive Leadership program through the Lynch Leadership Academy at Boston College in preparation for her current role as Head of School. Mrs. Callahan loves spending time with her family, traveling, running, painting, and of course – the New York Yankees.
Mrs. Cepeda was born and raised in Lynn, MA. She graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and received her Master’s Degree in Education from Simmons College. She taught middle school math for 5 years at the Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter School in Hyde Park, MA and is really excited to continue her teaching career closer to home at Salem Academy Charter School. She currently lives in Lynn with her husband and 3 boys.
Mr. Chuchul is originally from Long Island, New York. In 2013, he graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Literature. In 2015, he completed a masters program in Teaching and Curriculum at Boston University. Mr. Chuchul teaches World History I, the history course for eighth graders. In addition to teaching, he coaches Cross Country and Spring Track and is the adviser to the History Bowl team.
Sophia Cruz de Silva
Leni De los Santos
Mrs. De los Santos was born in La Romana Dominican Republic and relocated to Salem this year with her family from Punta Cana DR. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Hospitality Management, from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in Santo Domingo, and has years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. She’s really excited to join Salem Academy team this year and has already particpated in countless efforts to help improve the school.
Mr. Desmond originates from the tranquil sea town of Rockport MA. He grew up just down the street from where Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson would hike along the Atlantic coast and enjoy a spot of tea. Soon after transferring from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Mr. Desmond received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Salem State. Upon graduation, he taught creative writing before becoming a learning specialist at Salem Academy. A licensed ELA teacher, he is delighted to be in the classroom full-time implementing our new scope and sequence and bringing his love of literature to the community. Mr. Desmond began teaching History at Salem Academy is 2013. He enjoys music (and an occasional spot of tea.)
Mr. English was born and raised in the beautiful state of Vermont. He then took his academic and extracurricular talents to Beverly, MA where he obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Endicott College. Through his experiences he was able to confirm his passion for working with kids and supporting their personal development of many beneficial competencies. Mr. English is very grateful for the students and staff that have made his experience at SACS one he could never forget. In his free time, Mr. English enjoys recreational/competitive athletics (baseball, basketball, soccer and golf), quality time with friends and making the trip back to the “Green Mountain State” to visit his family.
Mr. Foster grew up in western Massachusetts and attended Carleton College in Minnesota where he graduated with a degree in psychology. Ultimate frisbee is his passion outside of work and he travels the world teaching the sport. He looks forward to joining the SACS community as the data and assessment coordinator.
David Manuel Garcia joins us for his first year at Salem Academy with 37 years of teaching under his belt. He has experience teaching music from 4th grade through graduate level, supervised student teachers in five states, spent nine years teaching public school and 23 years teaching at the college level. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Ohio State University, and has conducted bands, orchestras and choirs in 12 states.
He is grateful to be employed at SACS, and promises to learn more every day about the art of teaching by being around great kids and superb colleagues.
Mr. Gass graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in 1995. He earned a B.A. in English at Hamilton College in 1999; an M.A. in Education with concentration in Multicultural Urban Secondary English from UC Berkeley in 2005; and an M.A. in Education at the Principal Leadership Institute, UC Berkeley in 2013. After graduation from Hamilton, Gass served for two years as program director of the Community Boating program in Boston. He moved to San Francisco and taught English for three years at Burton High School and then for seven more years at Gateway Charter High School.
In 2008 Mr. Gass was awarded a fellowship for research and travel in South Africa, and while at Gateway, he led a team of teachers and students on a service learning trip to Haiti where they built a school with the local community. Most recently, he has served as Instructional Reform Facilitator at the International Studies Academy in San Francisco, an urban school of 450 students, many of them high risk, in grades 6 through 12. This year marks his second year as the Upper School Principal her at Salem Academy.
Mrs. Granniss is delighted to be a Salem resident, even in October, and has been bringing her love of books, writing and drama into classrooms for 20 years. She has developed and taught all of the Upper School English courses including the Advanced Placement program, and has had lots of fun directing a variety of plays and small theatrical events. Before Salem Academy, Ms. Granniss graduated Magna Cum Laude from SUNY New Paltz and earned her MA from nearby Salem State College. She has served on the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild, the Huntington Theater Education Advisory Panel and as Massachusetts Director for the National Shakespeare competition for Teens. She and her husband Chris are shocked to discover their son is now in high school and their daughter a 5th grader at Saltonstall.
Matthew Hanlon received his bachelor’s in genetics and psychology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. He then went on to complete his master’s degree in epidemiology at Boston University in 2010. After a few years working in health science research Matt transitioned to teaching science, starting at Salem Academy for the 2016-2017 school year.
Ms. Jones was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She moved to Medford, MA and received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Community Health from Tufts University. During her time at Tufts, Ms. Jones taught a health class to high school freshmen in the Boston area with the organization Peer Health Exchange. This experience gave Ms. Jones a sense of urgency to inspire and serve children. She then decided to teach as a career and joined Teach For America. Currently, Ms. Jones is working towards a Master of Education from Boston University. Ms. Jones lives in Beverly and loves singing, cooking, and completing DIY projects for her home.
Ms. Kittle was born and raised in Upstate New York, in the Thousand Islands. She attended Hobart and William Smith Colleges where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance and her New York State Teaching Certification in Elementary and Special Education grades 1-6. Immediately after graduation, Ms. Kittle moved to New Hampshire where she received a Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction from Southern New Hampshire University, while also teaching special education in Hooksett, NH. She is a big sports fan and lifelong fan of the New York Yankees, New York Giants and most importantly, the Montreal Canadiens. Ms. Kittle is thrilled to be joining the Salem Academy staff and community!
Mrs. Kogos grew up in a small town in Maryland and graduated from Harvard in 2011 with a B.A. in History. She joined Teach For America and taught Math to English Language Learners at Chelsea High School for three years, while earning her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching at Boston University. Mrs. Kogos spent last year living in Morocco, teaching English at a university on the Mediterranean coast and learning some Arabic, French, and Spanish. She is excited to join Salem Academy!
Carli Kusiolek is in her fifth year of teaching at Salem Academy Charter School. Mrs. Kusiolek began teaching at Salem Academy as a first year Corps Member in the 2011 Teach for America Greater Boston Corps. She recently completed a teaching policy fellowship through Teach Plus, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for teachers to become leaders in their field and affecting change at the policy level. The focus of Mrs. Kusiolek’s fellowship work was on improving teacher preparation and supporting teachers on implementation of the common core and transitioning to next generation assessments. Mrs. Kusiolek earned her Masters degree in Curriculum Development and Teaching at Boston University’s School of Education in 2013. She was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where she earned her Bachelors of Science at Towson University.
Ms. Lassen was born in Gloucester, MA and attended the University of Rhode Island (Go Rhody!) for her undergraduate degree. She received a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a Psychology minor. After several years in corporate recruiting Ms. Lassen decided to pursue her passion for education and received a Masters of Education from Salem State University. Ms. Lassen is certified in middle and high school guidance counseling as well as K-12 health education. Currently Ms. Lassen lives in Beverly with her husband Wes, their daughter Natalie, and their dog Georgia and brand new baby boy. This is her third year at Salem Academy and is enthusiastic about helping her students achieve their college goals.
Ms. Lebzelter grew up in New Jersey. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rhode Island, where she met her future husband, Kevin. Ms. Lebzelter worked in Industry for years before becoming a teacher. She earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching Math at Salem State University and has taught high school for the past fifteen years. Ms. Lebzelter is the proud parent of two grown daughters, both alumni of Salem Academy. Ms. Lebzelter is very excited to teach her new SACS students!
Born in Gloucester, MA and raised in Rockport, MA. Attended Endicott College where he received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and was a four year soccer player. Later returned to Endicott as an Assistant Coach to the Men’s Soccer team and to also achieve my Master of Education in Athletic Administration. A huge Boston sports fan! Excited to have the opportunity to coach and teach at SACS!
Peter Michaud was born in Salem and raised next door in Marblehead, MA. After graduating from MHS in 2004, he moved north of the border to Montreal, Quebec and attended McGill University. In 2008, he completed his Honors-level BA in History and Economics at McGill, and was certified by Cambridge University as an instructor of English for Speakers of Other Languages. Mr. Michaud spent the next several years teaching English as a Second Language in France and Montreal. After returning to Boston, he continued teaching ESL while earning a Master’s in Social Studies Education at Boston University. In 2014, he finished his studies at BU and joined the faculty at Salem Academy Charter School. Ancient world history is a topic he is passionate about, so teaching Early Civilizations at SACS is a dream come true.
Ms. Onembo has been fascinated with learning and teaching since she was a small girl. She was born in Broadway, NJ where she resided until she attended the University of Connecticut. She took pride in becoming a part of the UCONN Husky community, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History. After graduation Ms. Onembo spent the summer living on Nantucket and naturally fell in love with Massachusetts. That fall she enrolled in a Graduate School Program at Salem State College where she completed a Masters degree in Education with a focus in Middle School Humanities. After obtaining her Masters degree Ms. Onembo traveled to many places in the world that she had always wanted to explore. After returning to Massachusetts she was excited to start her career in education. Ms. Onembo will be returning this year as the Dean of Students at Salem Academy Charter School. In her free time she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
Mr. Pelletier is a graduate of Boston University’s School of Education where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Social Studies Education. He graduated from Salem State University with a Masters in History in 2014. Having grown up in Salem, he is delighted to contribute to the city’s educational diversity. He enjoys molding the minds of youths through his classes and in action, as advisor of Game Club, and also serves as the History Department’s Curriculum Team Leader. Mr. Pelletier also attended a charter school as a middle schooler and is excited to once again be a part of a charter school.
“Coach P” grew up in Amherst, MA and headed to the North Shore to attend Endicott College in the fall of 2008. After competing on the baseball field and in the classroom for four years he graduated in the Spring of 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in English. He began his work as an intern in the fall of 2012 at Salem Academy and now serves as the Varsity Cross Country and Middle School Basketball Coach, while working as a paraprofessional. Coach P also considers himself a life coach and enjoys the time he spends with the SACS community!
Ms. Pullen is Salem Academy’s Food Service Director. She studied at Keene State College where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition. She grew up in New Hampshire on a working horse farm and has worked as a counseling nutritionist for children and families and writes her own food blog. She loves to spend her free time painting, cooking, writing, or enjoying the outdoors with her dog.
Elisabeth Reickert, LMHC, returns to Salem Academy for her sixth year as Upper School Adjustment Counselor. A lifelong resident of the north shore, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Montserrat College of Art, followed by a Masters Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University. Mrs. Reickert has worked in wide range of academic settings, with adolescents and families whose lives are impacted by mental illness, learning challenges, traumatic brain injury, emotional trauma, and behavioral issues. She has facilitated individual, family, and group therapy focusing on topics such as anger and stress management, social skills, substance abuse, and community safety. Mrs. Reickert brings a commitment to helping students navigate the challenges of their adolescence and achieve their academic and personal goals. In her free time she enjoys camping, painting and spending time with her son, Dexter.
Ms. Rossi was born and raised in upstate New York. She recently finished her Bachelor’s degree in Spanish, ESL, and Education at Gordon College. Besides her love for teaching and the Spanish language, Ms. Rossi enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and spending time with family and friends.
Sarah Roy, LICSW, has served as the Lower School Adjustment Counselor at Salem Academy Charter School since 2010. Originally from Indiana, Mrs. Roy received dual undergraduate degrees in Counseling and Sociology from Grace College, Winona Lake, IN. She went on to complete her Masters of Social Work degree from Boston College. Prior to joining the SACS team, Mrs. Roy spent four years working at Germaine Lawrence, an Arlington, MA residential treatment program and school for adolescent girls facing challenges related to mental illness, trauma and learning difficulties. She has extensive experience facilitating both individual and group counseling with a focus on building coping strategies, social skills and conflict resolution skills. Mrs. Roy enjoys collaborating with students and their families to ensure that student behavioral, emotional and social needs both in and out of the classroom are being met.
Mrs. Sawyer (formerly Ms. Hartlett) was born and raised in Newtown, Connecticut. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Gordon College in Wenham, MA concentrating on History and English and completed her Masters of Education at Gordon College in Secondary Education and ELL. 2016-2017 is her fourth year at Salem Academy Charter School.
Mrs. Sheahan has Bachelor of Arts in Science Education as well as a Master of Science Degree. She has experience teaching a variety of ages and settings. She has lived and taught in several different states and spent a year living and teaching abroad in Japan. She is excited to be back for another year at Salem Academy in her role as Upper School Science Teacher and 9th grade form leader.
Mr. Snyder was born and raised in Lynn, MA but has always been quite fond of Salem. In the spring of 2016, he graduated Salem State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a minor in Secondary Education. Mr. Snyder performed his student teaching practicum at SACS while working with the 95th grade. After this he began to work as a paraprofessional assisting students within the classroom. He is very excited to be a part of the SACS community and is looking forward to working with the schools many bright students.
Linda St. Pierre
Ms. St. Pierre is a Salem resident and former teacher at the Horace Mann Lab School in Salem. She has worked in the field of Special Education in private and public settings since earning her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at Salem State College in 1979. She completed one year of graduate study in Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota in 1990. Ms. St. Pierre is a founding faculty member of Salem Academy.
Mrs. Stanhouse was born in Boise, ID and raised in Reno, NV, where she attended the University of Nevada, Reno for her undergraduate degree in Secondary Education, Social Studies. Upon graduation, she spent two years living and teaching in England – one year at the worst school in England, the other at one of the best. While there, she also studied and received her MA in European History for Birkbeck College, University of London. Her return to the US brought her to Boston, where she taught sophomore history for several years in Everett at a small high school, organized multiple trips and led the yearbook and speech teams. Last year, she completed her Masters in Education with an emphasis in Learning & Teaching at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. During the summers, Mrs. Stanhouse keeps busy travelling with Antiques Roadshow as part of the crew. When she’s at SACS, she enjoys teaching AP US History 2, AP Government/We The People and CP US History. When she’s not at SACS, she enjoys spending time with her husband, travelling all over and incessantly listens to NPR.
Ms. Terry earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Rhode Island and MS in Speech-Language Pathology at Nova Southeastern University. While she enjoyed living in Florida and North Carolina, she was happy to return to the Boston area where she grew up. In addition to providing services part time at SACS, Ms. Terry is also a speech-language pathologist at a local hospital where she works with children of all ages. For fun, she enjoys watching her daughter’s dance class, baking, running and playing UNO with students!
Ms. Titus earned her Bachelor of Arts in from Rivier College in Nashua, NH and her Masters degree from Salem State College. She began her teaching career in the Lynn Public School and taught at both Lynn Classical and Lynn English High schools. After volunteering on the 2004 presidential campaign she left teaching and worked with adult learners at Boston University Metropolitan College. In 2008 she returned to teaching and began working at SACS in 2013. Ms. Titus spends her summers travelling and she has now has visited 32 of the 50 states (plus Washington D.C.) She is a lifelong North Shore resident and is excited to be working in Salem, a city with history around every corner! Ms. Titus is a certified Special Education and Social Studies teacher.
Mr. Valdes was born in Bulgaria, lived in Nicaragua, and speaks Bulgarian and Spanish. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has experience in the laboratory equipment industry. Mr. Valdes is thrilled to be at Salem Academy Charter School and currently teaching AP Chemestry. He enjoys watercolor painting, cooking, playing soccer, and travelling.
Ms. Wallace is originally from Miami, Florida and traveled to Boston College where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She began her student teaching in Salem and stayed for the next 14 years, teaching at Witchcraft Heights Elementary. In her spare time Ms. Wallace loves to visit her family in the Florida Keys and forget about the winter time. She is thrilled to be a part of Salem Academy Charter School.
Ms. Weems graduated from Boston University’s School of Education with a Bachelor of Science in English Education. While studying at BU, Ms. Weems spent a summer in Ireland, teaching middle-grade students in Dublin. During her free time, she enjoys drawing cartoons and boxing. Ms. Weems is thrilled to join the Salem Academy Charter School community.