Jill Beaman
Teacher/Advisor

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I have lived in Winchester, NH my whole life and recently have moved to Richmond, NH with my boyfriend and Maine coon cat, Humfrey. I earned my math degree from Keene State College and my master’s degree from the University of New England. I taught middle school math for four years in Winchester and high school math for 2 years in Hinsdale. I have two children, a son and a daughter. I enjoy photography, hunting, and ice hockey. I look forward to getting to know everyone here in the community and teaching math.

Derek Blunt

Support Staff

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Hello, I am very excited to be joining the MC2 team. I graduated from Keene State College in 2015 where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in mathematics. I had previously completed the Foundations in Education program at the Concord Technology Regional Center. I have long had a passion for education anchored firmly in my beliefs that effective education is paramount to ensure a better global society. In my personal life I enjoy exploring and researching the broad world of mathematics as well as being outdoors whenever I can (hiking, camping, fishing etc..). I am also a big music nerd! Most of my free time is spent listening to music and searching for new artists to listen to and write about. I am always up for a good conversation about music, regardless of genre!

 

Elizabeth Cardine

Lead Teacher/Advisor

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I began my teaching career at the original Monadnock Community Connections program from 2003-2010. It was a great fit for me coming out of college with a dual degree in Physics and Studio Art. I am a Keene native married to a Swanzey local and together we have three young boys who keep us very busy and our home full of Legos. My family is a teaching family, passionate about creativity and learning, and we are all life-long participants in the creative problem-solving program Destination ImagiNation (formerly Odyssey of the Mind). I’m always ready for a pick-up game of Ticket to Ride or Ultimate Frisbee.

 

Miranda Fisher

Support Staff

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Hello!  I’m happy to be living and working in Keene, having grown up in Pittsburgh, PA and adopted New England as my home after college.  New Hampshire’s beautiful lakes and mountains as well as the short time it takes to travel to other states are a special treat.  While working with students here, I am also working on my Science teaching credentials at Antioch in the Environmental Studies program.  I have taught in classrooms and forests and on beaches and farms.  I love crafting, cooking, climbing on rocks, reading, playing music and gardening.  MC2 students never cease to amaze me with their ability to forge their own paths!

 

Michael Hightower

Support Staff

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I am a Texas transplant with New England roots. Born in Austin and raised in Arlington, I have a lifelong commitment to exploring, studying, and teaching about the natural world and was nurtured as a youth in the suburban greenspaces of northern Texas and as an adult SCUBA diving and hiking the Texas Hill Country.

I earned an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin, then taught middle and high school social studies for seven years before moving to New Hampshire to earn an M.S. in Environmental Education at Antioch University New England. At Antioch, I focused on food systems and increasing community food security. My wife Whitney and I live in Chesterfield.

       

Griffin Kelley

Teacher/Advisor

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Hello, friends!  I grew up in Strafford, NH, and moved to Peterborough just weeks after finishing my B.A. at the University of New Hampshire in December of 2017.  I have always been an eastern New Hampshirite; I spent most of my recent years in Dover and Portsmouth where I worked in a coffee shop as an aspiring latte artist.  At UNH, I majored in English Teaching and minored in Education and Special Education.  I love all the typical bookworm sorts of activities—I try to have a book on me at all times.  I have a favorite type of punctuation—it’s the em dash.  I cry at both happy and sad movies.  I also enjoy almost everything about being outside.  As frequently as possible, I try to travel northeast to Millinocket, ME, to bask in the beauty of Katahdin.  I am wicked excited to have the opportunity to pursue my passion for education and learn from the students and staff at Making Community Connections.  My undergraduate studies focused heavily on implementing alternative styles of teaching and assessment, so the environment at MC2 is especially exciting.  I am thrilled to grow as an educator here in Keene.

 

Lynn Keneipp

Support Staff

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“Do what you love, love what you do.”  I made this promise to myself in my late 20s.  I have lived by this ever since.  I am very excited to be a part of Making Connections Charter School.  Teaching is a passion of mine, I hold a State of NH, Board of Education, Paraeducator II certificate and worked for 15 years at Keene Middle School.  I teach Yoga every Sunday morning and own my businesses, Lean and Serene and Pop Up Yoga.

When I am not working, you will often see me riding my bike or walking my dog around Keene.  I am a native Floridian, but I fell in love with New England in 1999 and decided to move here.  I enjoy spending time with my two daughters,  my cat, and my  dog. I am happy to be doing what I love and being a part of the MC2 community.

 

Sarah LeClair

Teacher/Advisor

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Hey MC2 community. I guess the first place to start is that I grew up in Fitzwilliam on a cattle farm. I also participated in 4-H and various other youth groups. My animals are a huge part of my life.  I have two dogs, a horse, and two step-children, all of which keep my significant other and me very busy. When I’m not teaching or with my children, I am in the barn or walking with my pups.

I received my teaching credentials at New England College in Henniker, NH. My degree is in Comparative Literature with a concentration in Secondary Education. I began my teaching journey at a Montessori school and then moved to Marlborough Elementary before joining the MC2 team.

I have entered into my second year at MC2. It is so exciting to continue teaching in the MC2 community.

 

Sarah Mandel

Administrative Assistant

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In the summer of 2015, just before the MC2 Monadnock Campus opened its doors, I joined a dedicated team of professionals dedicated to making a real shift in education. Running the front office and making connections with students, staff, parents and the local community has been a rewarding experience.

In the seven years leading up to the MC2 launch, I worked as a substitute teacher for Surry Charter School, SAU #29 and Montessori Schoolhouse.  I also worked part time as the Administrative Assistant for Montessori Schoolhouse.  I am married with a 16-year old son that attends MC2. I have lived in Keene for 19 years.

I enjoy doing anything creative such as cooking, crafting, drawing, painting, party planning, poetry writing and more.  I also love to organize – anything from spreadsheets to closets.

Hillary O’Brien

Internship Coordinator/Advisor

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Hello, MC2! I am a long-time resident of our community, having grown up in the Alstead area. I received my BA in English Literature and Medieval Studies from Keene State College, and moved on to a MA in English Literature from Seton Hall University in New Jersey.  For the past five years, I have worked as an English teacher at the undergraduate and high school levels, as well as a camp counselor, dog groomer, and freelance writer. I am passionate about adolescent education and progressive schools, so I am excited to be here. Outside of school, I am an avid equestrian, amateur gardener, literature nerd, and all-around animal lover.

Chris O’Reilly

School Leader

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I have lived in the Monadnock region for the better part of my life and have worked in education for the past fifteen years. I have had the privilege of working for Making Community Connections as school leader since the Keene campus opened in August of 2015 and was actively involved in the planning process in the two years prior to its opening.

I completed my undergraduate work at Keene State College and attended both Antioch University and Plymouth State University where I earned my graduate and post-graduate degrees.

In my former professional life, I was a small business owner, worked in the residential and commercial construction trades, and was a technician in the recreational motorsports industry. I enjoy spending time with my family, hiking, kayaking, and cycling whenever I get the chance.

I look forward to continuing to serve the students and families in our community with an opportunity to engage in a student-centered learning environment that fits their individual needs.

Wendy Rezzonico

Support Staff

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Born, raised, and living in Keene, I spent 20 years away to “round out my character” in places as diverse as Boston, North Carolina and the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. I’ve had a lifetime of community involvement through churches, non-profits, schools, co-ops, musical groups, volunteer work, working with disabled individuals and living in intentional community. I’ve run a successful creative business for over 30 years and raised two children. Recently I spent 14 years enthusiastically teaching and learning from our youth in KHS’s Learning Disabilities Collaborative. I love the outdoors and have relished the last 18 summers as a co-leader of Roots and Wings Nature Camp for children. My lifelong passion for singing has brought involvement in a wide variety of groups. Loving songs of heart and spirit, I’ve spent the last 40 years performing, recording, and leading sacred songs and chants from many of the world’s Wisdom Cultures. I’m honored to be part the MC2 community.

 

Kara Robinson

Support Staff

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Hello MC2 community! I earned my credentials and certification from Plymouth State University. I am an avid reader, writer, and hobbyist. I wanted to pursue a career in education that would allow me to use my literary love and nerdy interests to connect with students. After beginning in education testing assessment, I found that this was not enough for me. I wanted to be in the classroom, working with students. I was able to get a job at a tutoring center as a reading teacher and a STEM instructor. I also served as a substitute teacher for two school districts. Now, I will be joining MC2 as a support staff. I am eager to begin and ready to return to a city I love.

 

Danielle Sanderson

Case Manager/ Reading Specialist

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After I received my undergraduate degree and teaching credentials from Keene State College, I fell in love with the quaint little town of Keene, NH and decided to stay!! I later received my Masters of Education with a focus in Special Education from Plymouth State University. After working in public schools as a Special Educator and Case Manager for 10 years (where I received multiple certifications in specialized reading programs such as the Wilson Reading System, Lindamood Bell and Orton-Gillingham programs) I decided to start my own business as a Reading  Consultant, which I have been doing for the last 12 years.  My love for learning differences and teaching students to learn reading in new ways has lead me to MC2! I have been with MC2 since 2015 and I’m so happy to be here! I look forward to working closely with students to help them in their journey to become the best learners they can be, along with the staff and parents who support them!

 

Eric Snare

Support Staff

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I have been involved with theatre since early childhood, and with improvisational theatre since joining ActingOut in 2000. With a BA in Improvisational Arts from Keene State College, I have taught both beginning and advanced improv skills for MoCo Arts’ Creative Arts at Keene Summer Camp and as a Staff Member. I have also served as an Americorps Volunteer. I have seen theatre transform both the students I teach and the communities I live in, time and again. It is this capacity for spurring positive change and growth that ultimately brings me to both the classroom and the stage, and that fuels my passion for teaching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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