Biographies

EJ Albin is a graduate of Keene State College and current Early Childhood Educator at the Child Study and Development Center at the University of New Hampshire. She has a Masters of Education in Teacher Leadership with a concentration on Literacy. This will be EJ's 4th year teaching at Kids on Campus. She is deeply committed to helping students feel confident and capable as learners and as members of the community.

Linda Balk is a kindergarten teacher at the Winchester School. Balk trained at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkley and is a KSC Great Expectations in Math and Science (GEMS) associate. Balk received her master’s degree in education from Cambridge College, with a focus on special education.

Barbara Depew has been a Paraprofessional in a Kindergarten class at the Winchester School for the past 2 years. She has taught 1st and 2nd grades as well as home-schooled her daughter. She has also facilitated reading groups in the Kindergarten and 4th grade levels. Mrs. Depew has also helped in the ACCESS after-school program. Mrs. Depew holds a Bachelor of Science degree in History from Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, TN.

Patrick Dorcus became a river ranger for the Bureau of Land Management after graduating from college. He spent six years as a ranger/firefighter in Canyon City, Colorado. Dorcus served as assistant director of Audubon of Rhode Island, directed several wildlife sanctuaries, and taught environmental education. Currently, he is the middle school science teacher at Winchester School.
Purly Gates is well-known for her work in the Monadnock region. She has presented many school residencies, workshops, and concerts through the New Hampshire State Council for the Arts. Disney flew her in for an Earth Day concert. Gates received National Endowment for the Arts funding to teach students in Micronesia, in the western Pacific. I Can Read is her latest CD.
Yi Gong’s specialty is educational technology. He is an associate professor in KSC’s Education Department. He worked as a technology coordinator at the University School of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Gong, involved with technology integration in grades K-12 for nearly 10 years, conducts technology-training workshops for teachers and students at the college and local schools.

Chris Gray has spent the last twenty-five years working and teaching in the fields of manufacturing and engineering. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Sustainable Product Design and Innovation Department at Keene State College, where he teaches Advanced Solid Modeling, Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and the SPDI Senior Capstone class known as Manufacturing Enterprises. He is also full-time teacher at the River Valley Technical Center (a technical high school) in Springfield, VT and he is the Lead Teacher for the Year 2 Machine Apprenticeship Program run by Keene Community Education. Mr. Gray is an alumnus of Keene State College (1984 and 1986) and holds a Masters Degree in Education from Norwich University.

Nancy Greene has been working as an art specialist for the past twenty five years. She recently received her masters in education with a language arts concentration. She feels passionate about opportunities to explore possibilities connecting art and literacy. Watching students make this connection has been both thrilling and rewarding.

Dr. Stephen Hale earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Louisiana State University and the University of New Hampshire (2001), respectively. His research included the anatomy, physiology, and evolution of birds, and predictive modeling of bird habitat using satellite imagery and GIS. More recently, Steve has led work to attract young students into careers utilizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and offer professional development opportunities for teachers to utilize inquiry-rich pedagogy.

Katie Harmon is a third grade teacher at the Alstead Primary School. She graduated from New England College in 2007 with a degree in Psychology and Elementary Education. She is happy to be back for her third year at Kids on Campus!

Veteran science teacher Dan Heath teaches seventh grade science at Keene Middle School. Dan likes to incorporate technology and do hands-on assignments in his classes. Past experiences include being an education outreach coordinator for the US Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, taking classes and working at the Boston Museum of Science and the Science Museum of
Minnesota, teaching opportunities in England and Turkey, and being on the board of directors of the New Hampshire Science Teachers' Association.

Professional magician BJ Hickman is a Keene State College graduate and previous instructor for Kids on Campus. His specialty is entertaining family audiences (schools, festivals, fairs, and special events). In addition to performing magic shows throughout New England and occasionally in other parts of the country (Hollywood's Magic Castle), he is a paid staff member of the non-profit, 12,000 member International Brotherhood of Magicians; lecturer and consultant for fellow magicians; speaker and trainer teaching magic to medical professionals and educators; and a member of the teaching staff for TeachByMagic.com.

Ashley Hyde is a first year graduate student at Plymouth State University. She earned her BS at the Univerisity of New Hampshire. Her M.S. will be in Environmental Science and Policy. Her research is focused on using specific electrical conductance to compare rainfall runoff in NH urban and rural catchments. This research is based on the data collected by the LoVoTECS aquatic sensor network. This is a citizen science network with 100 sites throughout the state of NH.

Dr. Gary Keating is Director of the Choral/Vocal Magnet at Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School in Miami, FL. Dr. Keating's students are studying and working in all aspects of music including performance, music theory and composition, music therapy, music business, music education, and entertainment law. He has recently had students who have appeared on X Factor, The Voice, and American Idol.

Jeanette Leclair is an alumnus of Keene State College, having received her bachelor’s degrees in studio art and elementary education, and her master’s degree in special education. She currently works for the Monadnock Regional School District as a special education case manager. Growing up locally to the Keene area, she enjoys bringing her love of teaching and art back to the community.

Shelley Pangonis has been an educator for 23 years working with children ages 5-11. She loves to teach children yoga to help build confidence and become a more successful student. She currently teaches first grade, and has taught an after school yoga kids program at her school.

Kristen Reilly teaches in the Health Science Department at KSC. Her background includes child and family therapy, environmental education, and teaching nutrition. Reilly has worked with students from preschool through college. She is passionate about caring for the Earth, healthy food, and traveling.

Premi Shankavaram has a Master’s degree in History. She is an experienced high school teacher and has taught many years of Indian history and culture.

Mandi Slate holds an Experienced Educator certificate through the State of New Hampshire. She received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Trinity College and her Masters in Education-Counseling/Consultation from Keene State College. She spent several years working as a Prevention Educator at the Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention. Prior to working in the non-profit world, Mandi was a guidance counselor at several local elementary schools as well as Keene High School. Mandi and her husband reside in Keene with her 2 daughters who grew up loving all things American Girl.

Jenna Spear-O’Mara holds a Master’s degree in Forest Entomology from the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Currently an adjunct instructor of entomology at both Keene State College and Antioch New England Graduate School, Jenna has taught entomology to a wide variety of ages and backgrounds for over ten years.

Linda Stavely teaches at Keene State in the CALL Program in partnership with the Graduate Program in Nutrition and the interns in that program. She also teaches diverse ethnic cuisines at Keene Community Education and Your Kitchen Store in Keene, NH. She has taught cooking to people of all ages in many settings. Cooking, singing, gardening, family events and writing fill her hours.

Lori Stevens is a 5th/6th grade teacher at Emerson School in Fitzwilliam. She graduated from Keene State in 2007 with a Master’s Degree in Education. Lori loves teaching writing by engaging students with fun and exciting techniques. She is looking forward to her third year with Kids on Campus!

Certified K-8 teacher Tina Thayer is a KSC graduate. She teaches third grade at Emerson School in Fitzwilliam and has also taught first grade. Thayer integrates the Picturing Writing Program, created by Beth Olshansky, in her work with her students and her Girl Scout troop.

Named the NH Physical Education Teacher of the Year in 2012, Michelle Tiani has been teaching at Wheelock School for ten years and John D Perkins School for five. She received her BS in Physical Education from Keene State College. In her free time, she coaches Varsity Field Hockey at Keene High School and serves as the Co-Director of Trilogy Field Hockey. Michelle is the mom of two boys.

Susan Wiles is a sixth-grade teacher at Chesterfield School. Wiles enjoys integrating the arts into the curriculum and is enthusiastic about teaching mathematics. She is also a fan of detective fiction and film. She expects that exploring the tools of the forensics trade and the art of reasoning will make for fun problem solving.

Deb Young is a certified special education teacher at Cutler School in Swanzey. She has a master’s degree in special education curriculum and instruction and a bachelor’s degree in art and graphic design. She also teaches graduate studies courses at KSC.