Kids on Campus Biographies
Jennifer Alexander holds a M.Ed from Lesley University with a focus on literacy and language. She currently is working as an adjunct faculty member at Keene State and volunteers as a Keene Public Library Trustee. Together with her husband and two boys, she enjoys being active outdoors, cooking, and exploring children’s literature!
Michelle Carrio is a Keene State College alumna and also has a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from New England College. Currently she is in her 7th year teaching at Mt. Caesar Elementary in Swanzey, NH. She enjoys watching students create using their own ideas.
Melissa Crotto-Young has been an English Language Arts and reading teacher for the past 15 years. In addition, she is a Girl Scout co-leader for Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors. She has run recreational camps for varied ages. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting and baking with her two young daughters, as well as running, spending time outside, reading, and traveling.
Sarah Doubleday is a high school math teacher at Monadnock Regional High School. In 2019, she graduated from Keene State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics. Before finishing her degree, she worked as a counselor for several years with Kids on Campus. When she’s not teaching, Sarah enjoys hiking, swimming, reading, and figure skating.
Kate Ells graduated from Keene State in 1999 and lives in the area. She has been teaching kindergarten for six years in the Monadnock School District and before that taught third and fourth grade. She loves watching kids problem solve and use their creativity in their everyday lives.
Becky Fisk has been teaching in the Monadnock School District for the past 20 years. A Keene State graduate, she enjoys spending her free time with her family, traveling, and playing softball.
Professional magician BJ Hickman is a Keene State College alumnus and previous instructor for KSC’s Kids on Campus. His specialty is entertaining family audiences (at schools, fairs, festivals, and special events) throughout New England and as far away as Hollywood’s Magic Castle in California. He is a long-time member of The International Brotherhood of Magicians, and The Academy of Magical Arts. BJ is also a lecturer and consultant for fellow magicians, and a speaker for educators and heath care professionals with programs he calls ‘The Inventive Teacher,” and “PediaTRICKS”.
Lisa Hix is an Assistant Professor in Keene State College’s Sustainable Product Design and Innovation (SPDI) program. Dr. Hix joined Keene State in 2002 after a successful career in manufacturing.
Molly Hoekman is a K-8 art teacher for Alstead Attendance Area schools. She graduated from Plymouth State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education and a minor in Art History in 2017. Molly enjoys the outdoors, spending time with friends, and making art in her local studio space.
Jarred Landry is a high school Social Studies teacher at Nashua High School North. He has made it his goal to make learning and character growth more fun and to gamify learning for kids. He has worked with students in the fields of LARP and tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons for many years and loves seeing how students will develop their imagination and skills in this setting. Jarred describes himself as a nerdy person who loves fantasy and science fiction, and in his spare time, enjoys board games and tabletop games himself as well as traveling with his partner Astin for different trips or to see musicals.
Kristen Leach is a proud alumna of Keene State College. She received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and concentrated in vocal performance. Upon graduating in 2005, Kristen taught dance theatre at the Dublin School for several years before becoming part of the faculty for the New Hampshire Dance Institute (NHDI) and MoCo Arts. Kristen is now serving in her tenth year as Artistic Director of NHDI, a nonprofit performing arts education outreach organization that inspires excellence and introduces children to dance as part of their school day. There are currently over 3,000 children in the Monadnock Region participating in NHDI! She also serves as director of MoCo Arts’ middle school musical theatre program as well as choreographer for MoCo’s teen musical theatre program, Monadnock High School drama club, Keene High School drama club, the Keene Lions’ Club annual theatrical production, and Vermont Academy’s winter dance intensive.
Hello! My name is Kristal Lorette and I have worked with students of all ages over the past 20 year in public schools. Middle School students are the perfect mix of fun and and maturity, they are the best! I am currently a Middle School Science teacher at Monadnock Regional Middle School in Swanzey. I love nature and exploring the world around me come on out and join the fun!
Sean Malone is a high school math teacher at Nashua High School North. A recent Keene State graduate, Sean worked as a Kids on Campus counselor before finishing his degree.
Phyllis Marinoff has been an instructor with GoSTEM since its inception in 2016. She retired after a 16-year career as a staff member of the Gilsum STEAM Academy where she held the positions of Paraeducator, librarian, and facilitator for Maker Space classes. Prior to that, Ms. Marinoff worked as an administrator in higher education, exhibited and sold her metal work, and completed over 300 hours of training needed to be certified as an Apprentice Machinist. She holds a BFA in Metal Craft and Jewelry Design from Rochester Institute of Technology and a MA in College and University Administration from Michigan State University.
Hi! My name is Lauren McClure. I am currently a Keene State College graduate student, majoring in Special Education. I am an outgoing and enthusiastic individual who is excited to be spending the summer with young learners teaching them about topics I am very passionate about! I love helping different people and spending my time being hands on with crafts and activities!
Hello, my name is Heidi Nystrom and I live in Brookline, VT with my husband Kip, youngest son Corey, black lab Pepper, and lion’s head rabbit Randy. I have also have an older son Colin (he lives across the street) and my daughter Chelby (she lives in Essex Junction, VT). We make maple syrup in our backyard every March. I am an Intervention teacher at Mount Caesar School in Swanzey, NH. I have the best job in the world! I can’t wait to meet all of you this summer for tons of fun!
JJ Prior is a fifth grade teacher at Fuller Elementary School in Keene. He enjoys beekeeping, photography, playing with cows, and learning new things about the world around him! JJ is a graduate of KSC, where he was a photographer and editor of the student newspaper. He holds a BA in Social Science and M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction.
Hello, My name is Kristin Roach and I am a classroom teacher at Nelson Elementary School. I have been teaching for over 15 years and have spent 5 summers here with Kids on Campus. Some of the classes that I have taught were LEGO, Birds, Bears, Dogs,and Monkeys! Kids on Campus is a great way for me to teach the topics that I love while working with children from all over Cheshire County. I live in Gilsum with my husband, son, Portuguese Water Dog, and chickens! When I am not busy teaching I am baking, gardening, reading, or enjoying time with family and friends. I can’t wait to meet you and work with you this summer!
Susan Romano is a veteran science educator who teaches physics full-time at Keene High School and part-time at Keene State College. She is an inaugural educator collaborator with Science Friday, a presenter at the 2019 National Science Teaching Association’s national conference, and the author of a collection of physics activities used in her KSC course.
Susan Silk retired from a position as Career Counselor at the Cheshire Career Center in the Keene School District. A graduate of Keene State College, she is passionate about all things STEM!
Tina Thayer, who is a KSC graduate and Certified K-8 teacher, recently earned her Master’s in Education. Tina has taught 1st through 4th grades, and currently teaches at Mt. Caesar School in Swanzey. She integrates the Picturing Writing Program, created by Beth Olshansky, in her work with her students.
Maggie Vescio holds a B. F. A. from SUNY college at Oswego and has taught at IS183, Art School of the Berkshires and with Nature’s Classroom. She has retired to enjoy her grandchildren and New Hampshire with her husband, Phil.
Brittiny Walker has been the lead teacher and director of the Kids on Campus Nature Adventurers’ Summer Camp since developing the program in 2014. During the school year, Brittiny is a preschool teacher at Marlborough Elementary and the lead teacher for Project Keep at Franklin Elementary School. With a bachelor’s degree in sociology and more than eight years of experience working with and teaching children, Brittiny has a passion for nature and using natural materials to create, learn, and explore.
Eric Weiss is a teacher, puppet builder, and the owner of Homeslice Puppetry. Eric has a degree from SUNY Buffalo and has won an award in professional puppet building from BJ Guyer and the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. He has also been a teacher and program coordinator with Nature’s Classroom for 13 years. Although primarily self-taught in the field of puppetry, he has been building and teaching puppetry for more than 12 years. The thing that Eric loves the most about puppetry is how it is an art that draws from so many different art forms and inspires so much creativity.