Prior to retiring, Susan Roche was a public defender who represented indigent defendants in the Bronx and death-row inmates in Columbus, Ohio. After relocating to Springfield in 2009, she became the regional coordinator and organizer for the 2012 Obama Campaign in the lower Pioneer Valley area. Currently, she enjoys community activities in her McKnight neighborhood.
Ms. Magrath is now Mrs. Magrath-Smith! She joins the Renaissance for her sixth year, as the 10th grade history teacher. A Western Mass girl, she grew up in Springfield and Amherst and now lives in Holyoke. She graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in Government and has a Master degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts. She directs the Renaissance Players and coaches Student Council and can’t wait for the new school year. In her spare time, she loves to read, drink tea, garden, and travel. Meg and her husband Dave just married this past summer.
Ms. Pfeifer holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College, Boston; as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She is active in the library community as a book reviewer and readers’ guide writer, and she has served as a judge for the Massachusetts Center for the Book. A past recipient of a Massachusetts Artist Grant, her poetry has appeared in journals such as The Massachusetts Review, Verse, and Crazy Horse. A Springfield native, Ms. Pfeifer enjoys hiking in the woods, and walking with her dog, Morris.
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 and Mathletes 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 escaping to New York.
Jesse L. Lederman:
Jesse Lederman is a lifelong resident of the City of Springfield. A graduate of the Springfield Public School System, Jesse was among the founding class of The Springfield Renaissance School.
Jesse went on to attend The George Washington University, where he studied Social Work and Political Science, and worked as a Policy Intern for the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Currently, he is completing his degree at The University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Jesse is a former elected member of the McKnight Neighborhood Council, where he served as Secretary and worked on issues such as public safety, housing, and community engagement. He was among the leaders of a coalition which worked to stop the construction of a proposed biomass waste incinerator in Springfield.
Jesse currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Springfield Preservation Trust and the Springfield Armory Alliance. He also serves on the Governing Board of his alma mater, The Springfield Renaissance School, as well as on the Springfield Democratic Committee. He has worked as a professional political organizer for candidates in Springfield and across Massachusetts.
Lise grew up in Weston, Connecticut, playing in the woods, swimming in rivers, and riding her bike. Many years and many colleges later (Cornell University; the University of California, San Diego; Fairfield University; and Fielding Graduate University) her own love of learning inspired her to become a teacher. After teaching English for 19 years at Norwalk High School in CT, Lise was fortunate to start working at the Renaissance School in the summer of 2007. Lise’s passions include almost anything that requires being outdoors and exploring new places. She loves to bike and ride her horses and spends a lot of time riding about discovering new places. Her favorite indoor hobbies are reading and writing.Lise shares her home with her partner, Jo, their dog, Samurai and cat, Bodhi. In her backyard live her horses, Dudley and MaeMae, and three minis, Monkey, Nick, and Belle.
Lindsay Regier is the 6th grade ELA teacher at the Springfield Renaissance School. She is a recent graduate in Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and loves spending her time exploring the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When not teaching she is traveling, reading, and discovering new and unique coffee shops to visit.
John Foley, an environmental consultant and long-time resident of Western Massachusetts, brings years of business and parenting experience to his role as the role on the Governing Board.
John holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UMass Amherst and runs an independent environmental consulting business serving clients throughout the northeast. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys backpacking, hiking, skiing and cycling. He shares these interests with the community through his work as Assistant Scout Master for a local Boy Scout troop, and as a volunteer camping intensive leader for students at the Springfield Renaissance School. John and wife Cami live in Forest Park Heights; they have four children, all of whom attended Springfield Public Schools and went on to college.