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Kids on Campus Biographies

EJ Albin is an alumna of Keene State College and current Early Childhood Educator at The Advent School in Boston. She has a Masters of Education in Teacher Leadership with a concentration on Literacy. This will be EJ’s seventh year teaching with Kids on Campus. She is deeply committed to helping students feel confident and capable as learners and as members of the community.

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.

Monica Foley is a science teacher at Keene High School and works at The Caterpillar Lab in the summer. In her free time she enjoys cycling, swimming, skiing, and playing music.

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.

Julia Imbarrato is a former teacher of science at Keene High and current faculty member in the Biology department at Keene State College.

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.

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.

Hi! My name is Lauren McClure. I am currently a Keene State College senior, majoring in Elementary Education and Communications. I will be graduating in May of 2019 with my bachelor’s in science. I will be pursing my master’s degree for special education at Keene State College beginning summer of 2019. 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!

John Naso, who is a Science teacher at Monadnock Regional Middle High School in Swanzey, loves the outdoors and has run recreational camps for children of all ages. In his spare time, John enjoys hiking, camping, reading, and traveling.

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.

Delta Pymm is a 6th grade teacher at Troy Elementary. She’s been teaching for 14 years and recently earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from New England College. She is passionate about art, the outdoors, and guiding children through the learning process. In her spare time, Delta can be found painting, hiking, and spending time with her husband Ryan, and daughter Brooklyn. As a family they enjoy breeding and raising Labradors.

Ryan Pymm is a graduate of Keene State College and has been teaching computer science in a Pre-K thru 8th grade school for three years. He lives in Marlborough with his wife Delta, 5-year-old daughter, two dogs, and a ferret. When he’s not teaching, Ryan he enjoys camping, hiking, and playing guitar.

Alexis Sebilian is a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade writing teacher at Vilas Middle School in Alstead, New Hampshire. She graduated from Plymouth State University, and lives in Keene, NH with her rescue dog, Wally. In her free time, Alexis enjoys reading, writing short stories, and teaching her dog new tricks.

Susan Silk has recently 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.

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 around 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.

Emilia Whippie Prior teaches 4th and 5th grade at Nelson School. Emilia also holds a degree in Elementary Education and Social Science and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. In 2015, she and her husband wrote their first book together, The Patriot Papers, which focuses on making the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution more accessible for middle-school students. Emilia also enjoys gardening, crafting, sewing, reading, theater, traveling and has most recently joined a colonial reenactment club. She and her husband live on a small farm with their cows, chickens, and bees.

Emily Wrubel retired three years ago after teaching middle school science and math for over thirty years. Prior to that she was a naturalist at outdoor education centers for five years and worked at Girl Scout camps for nine summers. Her love is natural history, and she has a B.A. in geology and M.S. in Science Education.