Mill Falls Charter School Administration
executive director: MERYL LEVIN
Meryl Levin is a founder of Mill Falls and served as the School’s Founding Board Chair beginning in March of 2011 when the school received its approval from the NH Board of Education. In December 2015, after two earlier stints as an interim school leader, Meryl was selected by the school’s Trustees to serve as the Executive Director. Meryl has spoken widely on behalf of Mill Falls to legislators in Concord, on education and community panels, and as a 2013 TEDx speaker, among other venues. She is an alumnus of the Leadership New Hampshire Class of 2013 and served as Co-Chair of the Don’t Wait. Educate campaign, a 2016 initiative of Save the Children’s Action Network to bring public pre-k to Manchester. For the previous 20+ years, Meryl worked as a social documentary photographer with a focus on health, social welfare, and political engagement. She is the author of two monographs, editor of several publications, and curator of several group exhibitions. She has guest lectured at colleges and universities around the country, and has received several grants and fellowships in support of her work. She attended Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and completed her undergraduate degree, at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She taught at The School of Visual Arts in NYC for seven years, until moving to NH where she was an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University teaching visual storytelling for seven years, and was deeply involved in the Service Learning Initiative there. She lives in Manchester, NH with her husband, Will Kanteres and their son.
Educational Program Director: Laura Wrubleski
Laura Wrubleski has served as Mill Falls’ educational leader since its founding in 2012 and brings a wealth of experience and expertise as she enters her seventeenth year in education. She is state certified in NH and MA in both Elementary Education and Special Education. Laura obtained her Masters of Education in Literacy Studies from the University of Wisconsin Madison, and her undergraduate bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from Keene State College. Laura taught in a variety of special education settings before completing her Montessori certification in Lower Elementary I at the Seacoast Center for Education. She taught for four years at Hill View Montessori Charter Public School aligning core curriculum standards to the Montessori environment. She also facilitated many mentor activities throughout the school. Laura was the first employee hired at Mill Falls and has helped envision, shape and lead our educational program from the start. Laura and her husband live with their two children in Manchester, NH.
Project Manager: Grace Eaton
Grace Eaton is a graduate of the Westover School and The University of Vermont. Before joining Mill Falls, she spent five years at two independent boarding schools. Both schools taught her how to fill multiple roles at the same time: admission officer, faculty member, adviser, dorm parent, and committee member. Grace joined Mill Falls in 2019, and in her role here she manages many multifaceted tasks and programs as a member of our Admin Team. She was born and raised in the world of education and each year she continues to strengthen her love and respect for all educational models. Grace lives in Manchester, NH with her husband, their young daughter, and their two dogs.
Office Manager: Jen Avery
Jen Avery received her Bachelors of Arts from Southern New Hampshire University. Soon after graduating, she enrolled at the University of New Hampshire to study Biological Sciences for Pharmaceuticals. She then focused on raising her young daughter. The experience of being at home with her daughter, led her to open up a small in-home daycare center, which Jen ran for about four years. She first joined Mill Falls as a paraprofessional in 2017. In the winter of 2019, she joined the Admin Team as Office Manager. Jen merges her love for children with experience from her her previous work at Catholic Medical Center’s physician’s practices where she was the office assistant, as well as her work in the hospitality industry in her role as part of our Admin Team. Jen lives in Manchester, NH with her daughter, a student at Mill Falls, and their cats, Maui and Smokey.
Allison DeCesere, Bookkeeper
Allison DeCesere brings her efficiency and business expertise to her work with the Mill Falls administration in her bookkeeping role. She has extensive experience working with for-profit and not-for-profit businesses and is the owner/operator of By the Book, LLC, a bookkeeping business established in 2008. Allison received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University in 1999 where she was a member of the National Business Honor Society. Before developing her own small business, Allison worked at State Street Bank pricing mutual funds. There she discovered she preferred helping small businesses thrive rather than working in the corporate world, and was soon hired as the business manager for a general contractor in Wellesley, MA. Over the next several years, she built up her bookkeeping business working with many in the construction industry at first, then broadening her client base. These days, her clientele is expansive, ranging from realtors to contractors, hair stylists to a manufacturer, as well as private individuals and families. Allison is originally from Londonderry, NH. She lives in Goffstown with her husband and their two children.
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MFCS Teaching Faculty
Each Mill Falls classroom has a Lead Teacher and an Assistant Teacher; the pairings are noted below.
Kindergarten Lead Teacher: Kristin Lang
Kindergarten Assistant teacher: Erikka Silveira
Kristin Lang obtained her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and New York teaching license with a music concentration from Plattsburgh State University. She also has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Kristin started her career in education in Hoosick Falls, NY as a first grade teacher for six years. Before coming to Mill Falls, she worked in a Lower Elementary classroom as special education paraprofessional and then moved into a permanent Lower Elementary co-teaching position at Hill View Montessori Charter Public School in Haverhill, MA. Kristin has also worked as a Math Specialist at the Discovery Club, an academic, grant-funded after school program in the Haverhill School District. Kristin has her Montessori Primary training. Kristin’s has been the Lead Kindergarten Teacher at Mill Falls since we opened our doors in 2012. She lives in Manchester, NH.
Erikka Silveira is thrilled to be joining the Yosemite Room and partnering with Ms. Kristin. She has spent the past year at Mill Falls, placed by White Birch Educational Services to provide paraprofessional education support to students in the Everglades Room. It was there that she fell in love in our public Montessori program. Previously, Erikka worked in a similar role for the Manchester School District’s Bakersville School and at daycare centers in the summers. Before entering the world of education, Erikka worked as a machine operator for Medical Products in Guilford, Maine, as a customer service member at Callogix in Bedford, NH, and she also has experience in retail. Erikka shifted her professional focus to education a few years ago and has discovered her gift for connecting with students and desire to help them reach their greatest potential. We are thrilled to have Erikka as part of the team, and can’t wait for our youngest learners in the Yosemite Room to work with her. Erikka lives in Manchester, NH with her family and their dog.
Lower Elementary Lead Teacher: April Smith Bean
Lower elementary Assistant Teacher: Jody Wilhelm
April Smith Bean is excited to be joining the learning community this year at Mill Falls. She comes to us with over 30 years of experience working with children and teaching in a variety of settings, including as Lead Elementary Teacher at The Montessori School of the Berkshires, and three years at The Hartford Autism Regional Program in Hartford, VT, where she created a Montessori classroom for students with special needs during her graduate work. April holds an Associate of Applied Science and a Bachelor of Arts from Goddard College, with focus in education and psychology. She earned her Masters of Education from Endicott College with a focus in Montessori Integrative Learning. Her Montessori training, in both Lower and Upper Elementary Education, is from the Endicott-TIES Collaborative. April has a special passion for social/emotional learning and creating community with children. In her free time, April is an avid downhill skier, loves training dogs, and teaches riding at an equine therapy center. She is also always reading several books at a time. April lives in central New Hampshire with her German Shepherd Dog, Béla, and loves spending time with her large family.
Jody Wilhelm began her service work as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Boston after graduating with a psychology degree from Susquehanna University. She remained at City Year for three years before moving on to work in development for Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. Once meeting and marrying her husband, a fellow AmeriCorps alum, the two hit the road, working on volunteer organization and social justice activism in the music industry. Jody filled her time off the road working at schools in Concord and Manchester and serving on the alumni board of City Year New Hampshire. She joined the Mill Falls team in 2018 as our first Librarian, helping to organize our lending library and create a library program of our students, and provided Family Tech Support during hybrid and remote learning models due to COVID. More recently she served as our Music Teacher, Kinder Specials Teacher, Lower Elementary Reading Coach and part-time paraprofessional. Utilizing all of those experiences, and her gentle and nurturing ways, Jody bring a great deal to her newest role as Assistant Teacher in the Glacier Room. She also knows so many of the children in the classroom since she has worked with many of them already! Jody loves music and a good crossword puzzle. She lives in Manchester, NH, with her husband, Matt, their two children who are enrolled at Mill Falls, and their dog, Hope.
Lower Elementary Lead Teacher: Tana Gills
Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher: Sue Champagne
Tana Gills moved to Guam upon graduation from Tennessee Temple University with a bachelors in American Sign Language Interpreting and a minor in Cross-Cultural Studies. In Guam, she worked for seven years as a second grade classroom teacher, a tutor, and later as the assistant to the school’s principals. Tana joined the Mill Falls team in in 2015 as as our English Language Learner (ELL) Coordinator and as our Reading Coach, supporting our K-3rd grade reading groups. Tana then obtained her Lower Elementary 1 Montessori certification from the Maitland Montessori School in Maitland, FL. She has served as Acadia’s Lead Teacher since the fall of 2018. She is looking forward to working with Ms. Sue and the students of the Acadia Room. Tana lives in Manchester, NH.
Sue Champagne has been a part of the Mill Falls Family for years, as a parent and member of the school’s Board of Trustees in our earlier years. She fell in love with Mill Falls when her daughter attended the school and has always wanted to return to pursue her love of teaching. We are thrilled to welcome her back! Sue is a NH native who attended Manchester schools and Dartmouth College. Trained as a lawyer at the UNH School of Law, she practiced for several years before focusing on raising her three children. Sue has been an active member of the Manchester community and most recently served as Executive Director of Girls at Work, an organization with a mission of empowering girls by teaching them how to build with power tools. Over the years, Sue has discovered a passion for working with students to help them thrive and reach their full potential. Sue lives in Manchester, NH with her family.
Lower Elementary Lead Teacher: Anya Morales
Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher: Amanda Thompson
Anya Morales joined the Mill Falls faculty in 2014. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Keene State College and attended Seacoast Center for Education where she obtained her Lower Elementary 1 Montessori Training. Anya holds a Masters degree in Elementary Education from Southern New Hampshire University. Throughout her life, Anya has worked in many educational settings, and loves working with children. She has been the Lead Teacher in the Denali Room since 2018 and she looks forward to another great year. Anya and her family live in Manchester, NH.
Amanda Thompson attended Rivier College and has a broad background in teaching. She most recently worked at Saint Patrick School and Education Center in Lowell, MA where she taught second grade. She is looking forward to a great first year in the Denali Room. She has two daughters, and loves going to the beach, watching movies, riding her bike, walking and fishing. Amanda lives in Hudson, NH with her family, including their two dogs and four chickens.
Upper Elementary Lead Teacher: Liam Quinn
Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher: Meghan Sirois
Liam Quinn is thrilled to be joining the Mill Falls Team this year as Lead Teacher in the Olympic Room. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bennington College where he studied Anthropology, Global Diplomacy, and Music Performance/Education. After graduation, he lived in New York City and Los Angeles before moving back to his native New Hampshire in 2020. Most recently, he served as the Head Teacher at Kreiva Academy Public Charter School which is a high school located in Manchester. Before that, he was a Social Emotional Learning Interventionist at Deerfield Community School which is a Kinder through 8th grade program. Outside of the school setting, he teaches private drum and percussion lessons, and tutors students in reading and writing. No matter what type of educational work he is engaged in, his focus is always on supporting the potential of all learners. He is currently pursuing his Montessori Certification as all as a master’s degree in education administration. When not teaching, Liam enjoys drum building and spends a lot of his free time hanging with his dog, Tank. He and Tank live in Deerfield, NH.
Meghan Sirois graduated from Rivier College where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development, Elementary Education, and Special Education. After graduation, Meghan worked as a second grade teacher in Hudson, NH. For several years, she was a full-time, stay-at-home mom to her children. Meghan believes that building strong relationships with students is necessary, especially when teaching Upper Elementary-aged students. Meghan loves seeing the individual growth and development in students, and is passionate about the Montessori approach. Meghan joined the Olympic Room Team in 2019, and looks forward to another great year. Meghan lives in Manchester, NH with her husband and their two children, who are Mill Falls students.
UPPER ELEMENTARY LEAD TEACHER: Kaitlyn Taylor
Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher: Marissa Twomey
Kaitlyn Taylor began her teaching journey at Red Oak Montessori as an Assistant Teacher, and most recently completed her master’s degree in education from Southern New Hampshire University where she also earned her bachelors. She holds her NH certification in Elementary Education as well as Special Education and is working to earn her Montessori certification from the North American Montessori Center. Several years back, she paused her professional life to focus on her family. During that time, she worked as a substitute teacher in her hometown of Londonderry because it was hard to stay away from education! She is really looking forward to returning to the classroom as the Lead Teacher in Everglades and bringing all of her practical experiences and training into the classroom and our greater school community. Kaitlyn lives in Londonderry with her husband, their three children, four dogs and a rabbit.
Marissa Twomey has over ten years of teaching experience. Marissa holds her Master of Arts degree in Teaching Secondary English Education from Rivier University and her bachelor’s degree from Plymouth State University. She began her career at Alvirne High School in Hudson, NH and taught English for seven years. Marissa then established her own tutoring business that specializes in working with students with dyslexia. When her son started preschool at Southern New Hampshire Montessori Academy, she spent three years there as a volunteer librarian working with students in kindergarten through sixth grade. She joined the Everglades Room in the fall of 2019; returning families will recall that Marissa stepped into the Lead Teacher position during COVID while Ms. Lauren was out on maternity leave. Marissa lives with her husband and their son in Londonderry, NH.
UPPER ELEMENTARY LEAD TEACHER: Colleen Costa
UPPER ELEMENTARY ASSISTANT TEACHER: Amy Broadhead
Colleen Costa attended Southern New Hampshire University where she received her BA in Elementary Education with a concentration in History. She is certified in K-8 Elementary Content Areas in the state of NH, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in May of 2013. She received her Montessori training in both Lower and Upper Elementary education at the Montessori Educator Teacher Training Collaborative in Lexington, MA. Before joining the Mill Falls team in 2015, Colleen taught at Manchester’s Gossler Park School, where she served as a Title 1 Certified Instructor, providing supplemental instruction to her students’ general education programming in all content areas, grades K-5. During her time at Gossler Park School she was a part of the school’s leadership team and also served as co-director/coordinator of the school’s annual talent show. Colleen has been the Lead Teacher in the Zion Room since 2016. She lives in Manchester, NH.
Amy Broadhead joined Mill Falls in 2022 following 14 years at Hill View Montessori Charter Public School in Haverhill, MA. She began at Hill View as an Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher, and then transitioned into the role of Fitness Specialist. Prior to working in Montessori education, Amy spent many years in traditional public school settings as a paraprofessional supporting students with special education needs. She received her bachelors of science degree in Criminal Justice from the Rochester Institute of Technology and her bachelors of science degree in Physical Education from SUNY Brockport. She currently holds a Massachusetts License in prek-12 Physical Education. Amy has known many members of our staff from their past work together at Hill View, and greatly enjoys partnering with them, and the rest of our staff in support of our students. She lives with her family in Salem, NH.
MFCS Student Support Faculty
Social Worker: Maura Barber
Maura Barber has over 25 years of experience in the fields of education and social services. Throughout her career, she has implemented many outreach programs to serve individuals and families in the community, addressing basic needs and social action causes. Maura graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1992 with a degree in Early Childhood Education and minored in Human Development and Family Studies. While living in Austin, Texas working as a lead teacher at a childcare facility, she decided to go back to school to earn her Masters in Social Work at Southwest Texas State University. After graduation, she immediately went to work for the Texas Department of Health and Human Services with a focus on child abuse, foster care and adult abuse services. While living in North Carolina, she taught at the community college level, and in New Hampshire, she continued that work as an adjunct at Southern New Hampshire University. In 2008, she became certified as a dance fitness instructor and continues to teach regular classes for all ages. In addition to her work at Mill Falls, Maura holds a part-time position as the Assistant Track and Field Coach at Manchester’s Central High School and teaches fitness classes at Manchester’s Downtown YMCA. She is the proud mom of one current and one graduated Mill Falls student, and she has volunteered as one of the coaches for the Girls on The Run program. Originally from Connecticut, Maura now lives in Manchester with her husband, four children, and one fur baby.
STUDENT SERVICES COORDINATOR & Special Educator: Brittany Pichette
Brittany Pichette joined us in 2022, following her most recent position at Valley Collaborative Elementary School, an out-of-district placement for Special Education students, where she worked as a Special Education teacher for students from surrounding districts. Over the course of her teaching, Brittany has worked with students on the Autism Spectrum, as well as students with various emotional and behavioral needs. Special Education has been very fulfilling for her and she has valued the relationships she has made with her students and staff throughout her career. Brittany is a certified teacher in Elementary Education, and brings a positive attitude to her work. She graduated from Merrimack College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Elementary Education. She is currently working to complete her Master’s in Special Education from Rivier University. Brittany lives in Hooksett, NH with her husband, two young boys and their dog.
Special Educator: Kathleen Cline
Kathleen Cline has been teaching for nearly 30 years in a variety of educational settings and has a diverse background in both regular and special education. Kathleen graduated from the University of Vermont in 1990 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Teaching Minor in French. After teaching kindergarten and preschool, Kathleen obtained her Master’s Degree in both Specific Learning Disabilities and General Special Education from Rivier University. Since then, Kathleen has worked as a middle school learning disabilities specialist in an inclusive regular education setting and as a special education consultant, presenting workshops to regular educators and participating in compliance reviews of district special education programs. Most recently, she has worked as an independent academic tutor to students of all abilities and ages and as a Title 1 reading instructor. She joined Mill Falls in 2018. Kathleen’s greatest teaching challenge and labor of love has been the home education of all three of her children from kindergarten through grade eight. She lives in Bedford, NH with her husband, Peter; their youngest daughter, Olivia, is off to college this year. Their older children, Harrison and Izzy have graduated college.
Special Educator: Sue Lambright
Sue Lambright obtained her Learning Disability Certification from Rivier University. She also holds her Master’s degree in Education from Simmons College and a BFA with a concentration in Studio Arts from Emmanuel College. Sue is licensed in MA and NH in Special Education K-12 and Learning Disabilities. After teaching for nine years as a Special Educator in Massachusetts, she turned her focus to raising her children and caring for her family. During that time, she participated in a variety of school-based activities as a volunteer, including running the Destination Imagination program for two years and organizing school field day events. Sue has been a Special Educator at Mill Falls since 2016. She enjoys hiking, traveling, kayaking, sewing, painting and all crafts. Sue lives in Nashua, NH with her husband, their two college-aged children and their basset hound and new pup.
Special Educator: Christine Bisson
Christine Bisson is a certified teacher in Elementary Education, with a Masters from Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of South Dakota. This degree led her to acting and directing in children’s theater throughout her home state of South Dakota, well as acting in New York City. She also spent a year in rural Japan with the JET Program teaching English, as well as a year in Washington, DC in AmeriCorps NCCC. Closer to home, Christine worked as a Title 1 Intervention Teacher at Gossler Park Elementary in Manchester along with Colleen Costa, before joining the Mill Falls team in 2015 as an Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher. Christine took a year off from our team to welcome her second child, and returned to Mill Falls in 2017 to work with Lower Elementary students in the Denali Room. The following year she was the Assistant Teacher in the Zion Room. Later, she shared the role of Upper Elementary Interventionist with Lauren Kolbe for one year, and she has also served as our Fitness Instructor. In the fall of 2021, Christine joined our Special Education Team as a part-time Special Educator; this year that will be a 4-day-per week position. In addition to that role, she has joined our Integrated Arts Team, teaching Combined Cultural Arts in partnership with Melissa Fortin. Christine lives with her family in Manchester, NH.
Reading Interventionist: Caitlin Gagnon
Caitlin Gagnon is a certified teacher in Elementary Education, with a Masters from Southern New Hampshire University. She also holds a Bachelors in Communication Arts from the University of New Hampshire. After graduating with her undergraduate degree in 2007, Caitlin decided she wanted to follow her dream of one day working with and educating children. She first became a paraprofessional in the Manchester School District, and eventually went back to school to become a classroom teacher. After receiving her teacher certification in 2011, Caitlin worked for 1 year as a second grade teacher and 6 years as a first grade teacher at Manchester’s Hallsville Elementary and Parker-Varney Elementary Schools. Caitlin joined the Mill Falls Team in the fall of 2019 as the Assistant in the Acadia Room. Caitlin believes firmly in the Montessori method, and looks forward to another great year at Mill Falls in her new role as Reading Interventionist. Caitlin lives with her husband, their son, and two pups.
MATH INTERVENTIONIST: COLLEEN LACROIX
Colleen Lacroix began her teaching career in physical education in Florida. She took some time off from teaching to raise her three children and returned some years later as a Math Interventionist, teaching in Omaha, Nebraska. She completed her undergraduate degree in Physical Education and her Masters in Exercise Physiology, both from the University of Central Florida. When Colleen’s husband retired from the Marine Corp, the family moved north, back to their NH roots. Colleen joined the Mill Falls team in 2015. Colleen will continue to serve as our Student Progress Data Analyst in addition to her Interventionist role. Colleen lives in Auburn, NH with her husband, their three children, and two dogs.
UPPER ELEMENTARY INTERVENTIONIST: Amanda Smart
Amanda Smart graduated from Salem State College in Massachusetts, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and doubled majored in Art History. We are thrilled that Amanda will be with us again this year, in her new role as Upper Elementary Interventionist. Last year, Amanda served as the Interim Lead Teacher in the Acadia Room during Ms. Anya’s maternity leave, and in the spring she filled in for Ms. Grace handling our Lottery and Enrollment work while Grace was on maternity leave. Amanda entered the Montessori world as an Assistant Teacher at Hill View Montessori Charter Public School in 2005, and quickly found that the Montessori Method paired well with her philosophy of education. Following her training at the Seacoast Center for Education, she gained her American Montessori Society certification in Lower Elementary. She then moved into a Lead Teacher position at Hill View which she held for six years. While there, she collaborated with others to align Core Curriculum Standards with Montessori Scope and Sequence. Amanda also piloted the Track and Field Team at Hill View, which participated with the Haverhill Public School District. She left the classroom to care for her two young children at home, and worked as an educational tutor. She homeschooled her children for six years. Amanda has supported her local library by serving first as an Alternate Trustee, and then Trustee, from mid 2020 to early 2022. She enjoys art and outdoor activities with her family such as gardening, camping, hiking, and snowshoeing. Amanda lives in Southern NH with her husband, two children, an Australian Shepherd, a variety of fish, and almost two dozen chickens.
ELL Coordinator: Mindy Kacavas
Mindy Kacavas has been a beloved member of the Mill Falls Staff since our first year. She has filled may roles here at school, beginning here as an Assistant Teacher in the Acadia Room from the fall of 2012 until the spring of 2015. Each year since, Mindy has lent her expertise to Mill Falls in a variety of ways, including serving on our Board of Trustees. For the last several years, she has been on staff as our Reading Coach and English Language Coordinator (ELL). Mindy first began her work in education as a Physical Education Teacher at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY. She later worked with younger students at UNH’s Child Study and Development Center and with adult learners as she supervised UNH Manchester education students in their field placement. Mindy majored in Psychology at St. Lawrence University and traveled to Kenya as part of her undergraduate studies. She studied at NYU’s Graduate School of Education and at UNH’s School of Continuing Education. Mindy is the proud mother of three sons. She enjoys playing outdoors, walking, biking, and gardening. She lives in Manchester with her husband, three sons (when they are home visiting) and their beagle, Vinny.
Reading Coach: Kayla Messana
Kayla Messana attended Hesser College with a focus in Early Childhood Education. In 2010, she began working in the field as a Kindergarten Site Director at a local YMCA. She continued her journey in education when in 2013 she became an Intensive Needs Paraprofessional in Bedford, NH. Kayla has an extensive background in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and has worked for years with children with special needs. She joined the Mill Falls faculty in the fall of 2017 as the Assistant Teacher in Yosemite. This will be her first year in the Reading Coach role. Kayla recent published her first books, Spiders Love Meatballs and Prickles and His Fuzzy Sweater. Kayla, is a mom of four who loves to garden and bake, lives with her family in Londonderry, NH.
Integrated Arts Instructors
Melissa Fortin, Art & Combined Cultural Arts Instructor
Melissa Fortin is a graduate of Endicott College and Rhode Island School of Design with degrees in Fine Arts and Architectural Studies. She works as a freelance designer, specializing in residential architectural design. While raising her two children, she volunteered extensively in their public schools, working on various fundraising events and special art projects. Melissa has been part of the Mill Falls Team since the school’s founding, first as a volunteer, sub, paraprofessional and front office assistant. She began working as our Art Instructor in 2019. Melissa lives in Manchester, NH with her husband, and enjoys visiting her two adult children who now live in California and South Carolina.
Christine Bisson: Combined Cultural Arts Instructor (see bio above)
Katey Avedisian: Music Instructor
Katey Avedisian has been teaching music professionally in a variety of individual and group settings for 20 years; but even as a teen she began working with children in music. A professional pianist and performer by training, Katey received a broad training of music through private instructors of the National Guild of Piano Teachers starting as a girl. She broadened her music studies as a teen with courses and opportunities offered through the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University. She originally began college to pursue her dreams of pediatric medicine with Telos Institute; but when plans changed, she fell back on her love for music, the arts, and kids. Katey truly believes that the best teaching comes through creativity and hands on experience; it also comes through building relationships with students by keeping instruction real and engaging. Katey joined the Mill Falls team in 2022. When not teaching, her husband, two sons, and whole menagerie of pets keep her on her toes at their Goffstown home. And if she dares to find a spare moment from teaching and motherhood, she loves to compose, perform, paint, garden, and cook.
Amy Broadhead, Upper Elementary Fitness Instructor (see bio above)
Jen (Zedler) Blake: Kinder Integrated Arts Instructor, Lower Elementary Fitness, Technology Instructor & Technology Coordinator
Jennifer (Zedler) Blake attended the University of New Hampshire with a focus in writing and journalism. After spending many years working in graphic and website design, she took time off to spend with her children. Jen has been a familiar face around Mill Falls for several years. She started as a volunteer when her children began kindergarten in 2015, and has expanded her role as the years have progressed. Jen attended the University of New Hampshire with a focus in writing and journalism. Here at Mill Falls, she has taught Lower Elementary handwriting for many years, and enjoyed sharing her love of reading in her past position as Reading Coach. She looks forward to her Fitness Instructor role this year. No matter what she is doing on our team, she enjoys supporting teachers, students and the school administration with their technology needs, while helping to keep Mill Falls students safe online. She lives in Manchester and enjoys hiking with her two older children and their puppy. Jen welcomed a new little girl to the family last year.
Lauren Doukas attended the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester with a concentration in oil painting. She left the Institute in 2008 to start a family and has been a stay-at-home parent for much of the time since. Lauren has been a very involved volunteer at Mill Falls since her oldest child enrolled in 2014. As an active community member, Lauren currently serves on Goffstown’s Budget Committee and various other sub committees for the town. She also previously sat on the School Board of Jacob’s Ladder Preschool. Lauren lives in Goffstown with her husband, 4 children and more cats, dogs and chickens than she cares to count.