Bea Heinrichs, Middle School Humanities
Bea Heinrichs received her B.A. from Williams College and her M.A. and M.Phil. degrees from Columbia University. She has studied gifted education at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Before moving to the Springfield area, Bea taught at colleges in New York and Rhode Island. She also led travel seminars to Russia and Ukraine.
In addition to Russian language and literature, her interests include gardening, bird-watching, and keeping a nature journal. Bea has taught Grades 5 through 7 at Academy Hill since 2004 and loves the academy! Her youngest daughter is a 2005 alum.
Annika Amstutz, Adventurers
Annika Amstutz graduated from Smith College with degrees in Education and Psychology.
She has worked with students from preschool to 4th grade and particularly loves helping children grow into self-motivated and passionate learners. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, skiing, and playing fiddle.
Michael Dindoffer, Middle School STEM
Michael comes to us from his position as the Science Department Chair at the Westminster School in Annandale, Virginia. In the past, Michael also served as a teacher at the Taktse International School in India. He is an award-winning screenplay writer with experience in the film industry. Michael earned his B.A. in History and Physics from the University of Virginia, his M.F.A. in Film from Boston University and his M.A. in English from Middlebury College. He is currently pursuing additional coursework in Educational Pedagogy at George Mason University.
Andrea James, French
Andrea comes to us with more than 20 years of experience teaching World Language. She is currently serving as the Department Chair at her present school. Andrea is a two-time recipient of the Grinspoon Teacher of the Year Award. She has been a Supervising Practitioner for teacher candidates at both Westfield State University and Smith College, as well as a presenter at the annual Massachusetts Foreign Language Association Conference.
Andrea earned her B.A. in French and Environmental Studies from Colby College, her M.Ed. at the College of our Lady of the Elms, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies at UMass Amherst.
Alan Brody, Middle School Humanities
Mr. Brody received a B.A. in American Studies from Trinity College (CT), and M.Ed in Education from the University of Virginia. At George Mason University, he received an M.A. in History and is completing a dissertation in the history of American Capitalism. Before returning to the area, he spent many years managing education technology at one of the nation's largest school districts. Alan is very excited to be returning to his roots as a middle school teacher. He and his wife have a high school age daughter and college age son and enjoy cooking, jazz music and working on their 1850s era home.
Jennifer Grenier, Kindergarten
Jennifer received her B.A. in education from Roger Williams University and her M. Ed. from Lesley University. She is also proud graduate of the class of 2001 at Academy Hill!
Gwen McNierney, Travelers
Gwen received her B.S. in Recreation and Leisure Studies from SUNY Cortland and has her teaching certification from Westfield State University. She has been teaching since 1988 and has worked with children from preschool to grade 6. Gwen has been at Academy Hill since 2005.
Danielle Mazur, Middle School STEM
Danielle Mazur has a BS in elementary education from the University of Delaware and a Master's degree in special education from Johns Hopkins University. She taught previously in Maryland, and after moving to Massachusetts, she worked as a tutor for the Curtis Blake Center. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, camping and exploring national parks with her family.
Sharon Desjarlais, Grade Five
Sharon Desjarlais received her B.A. in social and rehabilitation services with a concentration in elementary education from Assumption College and her Master's degree in elementary education from Westfield State College. She spent four years in the Springfield public schools before being lucky enough to find a position at Academy Hill in 2001. Since then, Sharon has taught grades three through six. She currently teaches grade five.
As a teenager, Sharon had an interest in space and even attended Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. As an adult, Sharon pursued an interest in martial arts and studied Kung Fu for several years. In her spare time now, Sharon enjoys spending time with her children, reading, and gardening.
Brian Grenier, Physical Education
Brian graduated from Springfield College with a B.A. in movement and sports studies in 2011. Brian grew up in Belchertown, Massachusetts and spent five years living in Toronto, Canada. In his free time, he likes to play ice hockey and rugby.
Joseph Bock, Spanish
Joe Bock received his BA from the University of Connecticut in English and a Master's in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT. He lived 6 years in Bilbao, Spain studying and learning Spanish as well as teaching English as a foreign language to students of all ages. Along with his wife, he also organizes home stays for teenagers from Spain for the month of July. He has three children, who are being raised to be bilingual.
Joe spent the last two years at JFK Middle School in Northampton working as a translator for ELL students as well as a Spanish teacher.
Selina Kell, Classics/Latin
Selina Kell has been teaching Latin and the Classical cultures for over 20 years. She received her B.A. in Classics from Barnard College of Columbia University and her Masters in Latin and Classical Humanities with a minor in Greek from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Selina has volunteered with 13 university-sponsored summer archaeological excavations in Italy, Greece, Great Britain and the Middle East.
Selina enjoys the study of new languages and cultures, especially Italian. In her free time, she likes to garden and sing with the Hampshire Choral Society.
Beth Goebel, Visual Arts
Beth received an Associate's degree in Fine Art from Holyoke Community College and a B. A. In Elementary Education/ Art Education with honors from Our Lady of the Elms College. Prior to becoming a teacher, she spent several years painting murals at schools, homes, and businesses. She received two Merit Awards for voluntarily painting murals in her children's preschool and elementary schools. Her work was featured in several newspaper articles. Beth has been teaching at Academy Hill for 13 years. She truly enjoys helping children discover their inner artist.
Kathy Marks, Music/Chorus
Kathy Marks received her B.A. in Music/Liberal Arts from the University of Pittsburgh, earned Graduate credits at Carnegie Mellon University in piano performance and received her M.Ed. in Elementary Education at SUNY Brockport. Ms. Marks has over 25 years' experience in both classroom and private teaching, directing, and accompanying.
In addition to teaching at Academy Hill, she is the Minister of Music at the First Congregational Church in Southampton and director of the Southampton Community Chorus and In Close Harmony, a women's acapella group.
Alison Bates, Early Learners
Prior to her arrival at Academy Hill, Alison had been with Trinity Nursery School and Kindergarten in Springfield for four years. During the summer, Alison continues to work with young children as the Director of the Pine Knoll Summer Camp in East Longmeadow. Alison possesses both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Early Childhood Education from American International College. She also holds a Massachusetts Early Childhood Education Certification as a Lead Teacher.