Administration unveils new teaching teams (1/21/10)

Jan. 21, 2010

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

The look of the Williston School District reconfiguration became clearer last week when the administration unveiled the new teaching teams for next school year. Nearly every team, or academic house, will experience staffing changes, according to the information released.

District Principal Walter Nardelli said administrators interviewed every teacher twice to gather input on how next year’s teams would be shaped. Teachers indicated their preferences on everything from whom they wanted to work with to which grade levels they wanted to teach.

“We tried to give every teacher something they hoped for and something they could look forward to,” Nardelli said.

Nardelli believes the new teams are more balanced in terms of teacher strengths, which will create better equity across the district.

In an e-mail sent to parents last week, Nardelli outlined what each team would look like starting next year. Students in pre-kindergarten through second grade will be housed at Allen Brook School, with three first and second grade houses.

Each house will have four teachers. Two of those houses will feature multi-age classrooms; another will have straight-grade looping, where one grade is taught for two years by the same teacher. Nardelli said this gives an option to parents who favor grade looping over multi-age classrooms, or vice versa.

The third and fourth graders at Williston Central School will have a similar house setup, with two houses featuring multi-age classrooms and another with looping classrooms.

In the upper houses of grades five through eight, there will be two two-year teams and three four-year teams. The two-year houses will be comprised of grades five and six, and grades seven and eight.

Nardelli said the middle school teams of Voyager and Full House are avoiding any major structural or personnel changes. That’s because those houses already went through a dramatic shift last school year, he said.

Nardelli said parents have expressed support for the changes, but many are withholding judgment until they see where their children will be placed. The next step for the administration will be figuring out where students will end up. Some students could follow their current teacher to a new house, or classes of students will stay together while their teacher changes.

“It depends on what the parents want,” Nardelli said.

As that work continues, teachers will look toward the 2010-2011 school year and start forging new identities as teams, Nardelli said.



Below is the breakdown of teachers and their new teams.


Allen Brook School – First & Second Grades

LOOPING                                     MULTIAGE                                     MULTIAGE

Julie Roger                                     Margaret Munt                                 Alison Schwartz

Caitlin Bianchi                               Erin Crowley                                    Kim Rodliff

Becky Martell                               Terry Thyng                                       David Bolger

Kate McLaughin                           Anthony Popoli                                Donna Powers


Williston Central School – Third & Fourth Grades

LOOPING                                     MULTIAGE                                     MULTIAGE

Dave Bouchard                             Susan Stewart                                    Marybeth Morrissey

Cara Medved                                Karin Ward                                        Michael Willis

Elizabeth Steele                            MJ Wirsing                                       Michael Kellogg

Beth Dusablon                              Sarah Schoolcraft                             Suzy Haas


Williston Central School – Fifth – Eighth Grades

GRADES 5-6 (2 years)                  GRADES 7-8 (2 years)

Jared Bailey                                     Debra McConnell

Mindy Conry                                     Jessica Contois

Martha Quatt                                     Deborah Taylor

Joy Peterson                                     Dominique St. Arnaud


GRADES 5-8 (4 years)                   GRADES 5-8 (4 years)                   GRADES 5-8 (4 years)

Julie Longchamp                              Nick Brooks                                     Tracey D’Amato

Amy Skapof                                     Aron Merrill                                     Tad Dippel

Amanda Johnson                              Maria Dailey                                     Al Fletcher

Susan Mahoney                                Amy Durant                                     Kathy Rossier

Rick McCraw