6th Grade - Shayla DeNigris
This is my second year at The Springfield Renaissance School. In 2018, I graduated from Western New England University with my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry. I currently attend Springfield College and am working towards my Master of Education. When I am not teaching, I love spending time with my husband and 3 year-old daughter. I also love to go shopping, try out new restaurants, and play with makeup. I have a super cheesy sense of humor and love a good pun. But most of all, I love getting to share my love of science with my students!
8th Grade - Jaenyffe Santos
This will be my third year teaching 8th grade Science. I grew up in the city of Springfield and attended UMass-Amherst, where I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Conservation and a Master’s of Education in Science. I live for adventures such as hiking, road trips, and traveling. Visiting countries like Cape Verde has really expanded on my knowledge of different cultures, which makes me want to have more opportunities to travel and learn more.
10th Grade Biology - David Weremay
I grew up in the Providence, Rhode Island area, but I fell in love with Western Massachusetts while attending college at UMass-Amherst. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, my love of Western MA wasn't enough to abate my desire to travel, so I drove across the country with my girlfriend (who is now my wife) and eventually decided to settle in Santa Cruz, CA. It was from there that we spent most of our 20's exploring the country, including visiting many national parks and cities.
Around the age of 27, I decided to move back to Western MA to begin my Science teaching career. My first teaching position was at New Leadership Charter School in Springfield, where I taught Science for six years before moving on to Baystate Academy. I taught biology there for five years and served as Dean of Students for one year. Although this will be my first year at Renaissance, it will be my thirteenth year working in Springfield, so I feel at home here.
When I'm not teaching, you can generally find me spending time with my family, playing basketball, volleyball, trail running, or skiing. I'm looking forward to being a part of the Renaissance family!
11th Grade Chemistry - Christine Druckenmiller
I grew up in Springfield. I started my career as a chemist working in industry. After my children were born, I went back to the University of Massachusetts and earned my Masters of Education in Science. I did my student teaching in Springfield, before working for Tantasqua Regional High School and Converse Middle School. This is my third year at Renaissance.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family which includes my husband, five children, three step-children, two dogs, an ancient cat and thirteen hens. I have always liked hiking, camping, canoeing, and fishing. In the past, I spent my summers working as a Girl Scout day camp director. Now, I spend most of my summers in my garden.
7th Grade - Micah Winston
This is my sixth year at Renaissance, teaching 7th Grade Science and running the Chess Club.
I grew up in Amherst, and from the moment I could crawl was collecting insects, scooping in ponds, attending nature camps and tending to numerous pets, including a raccoon and an armadillo.
I received a BA in Biology with a minor in Spanish from Indiana University and completed a teaching program through UMass. After finishing my student teaching in Holyoke, I moved to Israel, where I ended up staying for over 16 years. I taught Biology & Geometry at an American HS, then English and Computers in a regional MS/HS and at a rehabilitation facility for teens battling drug and alcohol addiction. In addition, I played fast-pitch softball and coached youth baseball and softball. I also served as Assistant Coach of the Junior National Men's Fast-Pitch Softball team in the European Championships twice and then as Head Coach, led Israel to a bronze medal in the '09 tournament in the Czech Republic.
I returned to the USA in 2010, and taught Science for 3 years in Springfield (at New Leadership & Baystate Academy) before coming to Renaissance. I also received a Master’s degree through the Science Education Online program at UMass.
I have 2 adult daughters, Shoval & Inbar, from my first marriage, who are based in Israel, and a new son, Shiloh, who is 1.
I bleed Red Sox red and play baseball and indoor soccer. In addition, I hike, cook, investigate my genealogy, read, collect and sell vinyl records and translate Hebrew documents.
9th Grade Environmental Science - Casey Hale (Dept. Chair)
I majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, SC, with an emphasis on Wetland Ecology. My first career was as an Environmental Consultant for an engineering firm, Earthworks. After three years there, I moved to Kodiak Island, Alaska to work as a kayak guide. Next, I became a kayaking and high ropes instructor for Thompson Island Outward Bound in Boston, MA. In addition to this, I also worked as a wilderness therapy guide at True North, backpacking with young folks through the Green Mountains of Vermont.
My experiences working with young people in nature inspired me to become a science teacher! So, at the age of 27, I enrolled in the 180 Days in Springfield M.Ed. program at UMass-Amherst, and began my clinical teaching at The Springfield Renaissance School! And let's be real... once you've taught at Ren, how can you possibly want to go anywhere else???
12th Grade Physics - Dr. Moijue Kaikai
This is my 1st year as a teacher at Renaissance! I was born in Boston and grew up in Lowell, MA. I'm first generation with my family coming from Sierra Leone, West Africa in the late 80's. I did all my collegiate schooling at UMass-Amherst, graduating with a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering in 2014 and a Doctorate in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in 2019. Since my undergraduate years I've always been heavily involved with outreach initiatives which made efforts to recruit and retain minority students into STEM fields and served people of color in general. The two organizations through which most of my extracurricular work stemmed were Alpha Kappa chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated and the National Society of Black Engineers. My graduate school work has mainly served the underrepresented high schools of the Western Massachusetts and Connecticut area. Last summer we acquired and executed a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center which enabled us to utilize $160,000 to bring clean energy technology and curriculum to the High school of Science and Technology in Springfield, MA. In my spare time I like to watch anime and listen to music!