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.
9th Grade- Heather Burtchell
12th Grade- 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- Heather Parker
Ms. Heather Parker is in her 7th year of teaching, 3rd year at Renaissance. She has taught every math course from 7th grade-12 grade calculus. Moving to Springfield was a big step for her. She was able to be in her ideal grade levels, teaching in a supportive environment, and near her family again. Heather grew up in CT. She attended Westfield State while it was still a college and when it changed to a University. She received her BA in Mathematics with a license in teaching 6-12. After her 3rd year of teaching she started her journey at AIC for her Masters in Leadership in Education with her dream to go into the Administrative role in education. She is currently making progress to complete her masters and become a licensed Administrator. Ms. Parker was assistant coach for the Renaissance Cheerleaders for two years. She looks forward to continue to teaching and learning at Renaissance.
8th Grade- Marci Egbert
10thth Grade- Kerri-Ann Warren
11th Grade- 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!