6th Grade- Maria Ekmalian
I was born in Chaves, a small village in northern Portugal. My parents often received news from relatives who had immigrated to the United States and found their new country to be truly the land of opportunity. At age three, my parents moved my seven siblings and me to the United States where we planted new roots in Springfield, Massachusetts. I still live here with my husband and four children. After high school, I went on to receive my licensure in cosmetology from Kay Harvey Academy. Having four children got me involved in school extracurricular as a leader in girl scouts, P.T.O. as treasurer, then secretary, and finally as the president, and S.C.D.M., the School Centered Decision Making team. Growing with each of these experiences, I discovered that I wanted to make a career change and become a teacher. With the help and support of my husband, family and the guidance of a few great educators, I returned to school once again. In 2004, I graduated from Springfield Technical Community College with an associate in Liberal Arts, Mount Holyoke College 2007 as a Francis Perkins Scholar with bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Education, and American International College 2011 with a Master’s Degree in Secondary Mathematics. My goal is to continue my education by earning a doctorate in education.
While attending these colleges, I had the opportunity to work alongside of some of the finest faculty from college level math, special education, preschool level and work with children most at risk of failure. I joined a research team for two years at Putnam Vocation School in the nursing program where I was able to help students with their academics, and prepare them for college or the work force. Most of all I helped them to help themselves. Beginning my teaching career, I started as a substitute teacher for the Springfield public schools while I waited for my next door to open. On this road to adventure, I discovered Springfield Expeditionary Learning School, a school where I could learn and grow with students and staff. For fun and relaxation, I stay balanced by pursuing varies interests with my family. I love exploring the outdoors through camping and hiking, rollerblading, watersports, sewing, knitting and crocheting, reading SHORT books and cooking. Thankfully, I have the energy for all the things that matter in my life and the support to continue on my career path.
8th Grade- Brian Clancy
Mr. Clancy has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from the University of Maryland – College Park. He was a business owner prior to entering private vocational education. His roles included instructor, Education Supervisor, Director of Education, Academic Dean, Campus Director and Campus President. He left the private sector to enter the public education sector at Renaissance.
Mr. Clancy has been married to his wife Jeanne for thirty – five years. He has four grown daughters, who each have benefited and graduated from the Springfield Public School system. Two of his daughters are educators, one is a Certified Public Accountant and one is a Physician Assistant.
Mr. Clancy enjoys biking, boating, refinishing antique furniture and woodworking.
10th Grade Geometry- Neal Creeden (Dept. Chair)
Neal Creeden teaches both Geometry and Calculus at the Springfield Renaissance School. He is a recent graduate in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and before that graduated Wesleyan University with a degree in Mathematics. Mr. Creeden also coaches both Varsity Boys’ Soccer and Junior Varsity Boys’ Basketball for Renaissance.
A lifelong athlete, Mr. Creeden competed both on the track and the basketball court for Quabbin Regional High School. While at Wesleyan University, Neal was a four year member of the Varsity Men’s Basketball team, competing in the NESCAC conference.
When he is not teaching or coaching, you can usually find him solving riddles, reading, or enjoying some of his own delicious barbeque.
7th Grade- Judy Carhart
Mrs. Judy Carhart is married to her husband Scott Carhart for 25 years. She has 4 children Zachary 23 yrs. old, Tiffany 21 yrs. old, Gret 17 yrs. old and Troy 15 yrs. old. Judy graduated from The King’s College with a major in Mathematics. She received her Master’s in Education from AIC in 2012. Judy taught Math at a private school in East Longmeadow for 3 years before teaching at Springfield. She has been at The Springfield Renaissance for 5 years, this coming will be her 6th. Judy has taught every grade at The Renaissance except 9th grade. Her hobbies consist of watching her kids play baseball or lacross, drinking coffee and for outdoor activities she has been a co-director with her husband for a youth program at her church called AWANA.
9th Grade Algebra I- Marci Egbert
11th Grade Algebra II- Derek Wright
I am starting my first full year of teaching this year teaching Algebra 2. Last year starting in January I took over as a long term sub teaching Algebra 2, I am excited to now be full time. I graduated Springfield College in May of 2014, getting my degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education. While at Springfield College I was a Head Resident Assistant, I was the Co-President of the Student Ambassador Program, and I was a shuttle driver for Campus Police. My hometown is Enfield, CT and it was when I was in high school that I really started to love math. I enjoy relating the material to the students, so they understand how they can use math in the real world. In high school I played soccer. Now I play slow-pitch softball during the summer. I am excited to be a part of the Renaissance team!
12th Grade Math- Rebecca Jackson (Dept. Chair)
Rebecca Jackson is a founding teacher of the Springfield Renaissance School, where she has taught mathematics, crew, and physics. She developed her mathematics skills first in the kitchen with her math-major mother, and then was blessed with the fabulous teaching of Carolyn Trigg at Columbus Alternative High School and Gene Klotz at Swarthmore College. She fell in love with teaching under the guidance of Uri Treisman at U.C. Berkeley and learned how to do it well at Homewood Flossmoor High School under the mentorship of Ginny Franklin and Jack Wayne. She has also studied at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Cornell University and Western New England College. Ms. Jackson sponsors Renaissance’s Phoenix Astronomy Club, Mathletes, and Talon newspaper, and also runs a scrappy GED prep program at First Park Memorial Baptist Church. Although she vociferously (look it up, kids) pines for the city of Chicago, she has come to love the Pioneer Valley’s u-pick farms, the proximity of dark night skies, and the continuing challenge of Expeditionary Learning. When she’s not crafting some diabolical math task, you’re likely to find her kneading pasta, tending the jungle she refers to as a “garden,” or curled up with a cat and a good book.