Mr. Ackerman's Blog

Interview with Jon Mari

August 13th, 2015 · No Comments

As some of you may know, our school psychologist, Colleen Farnham, will be out this year on maternity leave. She had a healthy baby girl in July!! We have hired Jon Mari to take her place. Jon will make a wonderful addition to our staff.

Here is a short Q and A with Jon:

Why did you want to become a school psychologist?

Whether it was through early volunteering or tutoring experiences, I have always found it rewarding to help struggling students. It was interesting to discover each individual’s unique experience at school. School psychology has also enabled me to collaborate with other education professionals to hopefully have a positive impact on students.

What excites you about coming to the Lane School?

I am excited to meet and work with the faculty at Lane School. I feel very lucky in joining a great school district. The campus is beautiful and I look forward to learning more about the Bedford community.

What is your fondest memory of when you were in grades 3-5 as a student?

During my fourth grade year, I came in second place at the school spelling bee. The following year, when the competition was again approaching, I began studying word lists daily and even made flash cards for words I had trouble with. It was one of my fondest memories because the motivation and hard work paid off.

Tell us one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I love attending exercise classes via CrossFit gyms I learn new things every day and surprise myself at the progress I have made the past three and a half years. It is always fun and engaging. Each day is different and there is always a skill that I need to work or improve on.

Any highlights from the summer so far?

The highlight of this summer has definitely been the process of moving from Florida to the greater Boston area. I am excited for new surroundings and looking forward to creating new experiences in such a great community.

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Q and A Megan Farrell

August 10th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Ms Farrell joins us this year as a Grade 4 Teacher. She has taught in NYC but calls Boston her home.  Here is a brief Q and A with her:

Why did you want to become a teacher?

I had an amazing seventh grade science teacher who taught me how to think and ask questions while guiding me in the right direction. Since then, I knew I wanted to inspire students to be enthusiastic about learning, similar to how he had done for me. There is nothing better than the look in a student’s eyes when he or she becomes excited about the learning experience.

What excites you about coming to the Lane School?

The Lane School exemplifies the type of community of learners that I have always hoped to teach at in my career. After my visits to the school, it was evident that the Lane School was developing children into well rounded learners who were exposed to all different aspects of learning. I am excited to work with my co-workers to develop cross-curricular, hands on learning experiences to challenge our students to go above and beyond.

What is your fondest memory of when you were in grades 3-5 as a student?

I participated in a fifth grade play that my friends still talk about to this day when we get together to catch up. Looking back as an educator, I realize how amazing it was that my teachers were able to develop a curriculum that not only incorporated the play into our classroom, but they were also able to included every student on multiple levels.

Tell us one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

I am originally from the area, but I have been teaching in Harlem for three years. I also coached the Promise Academy fourth and fifth grade boys flag football team, in which we placed second after a tough loss in our championship game.

Any highlights from the summer so far?

I am headed on a three week backpacking trip to Europe. I will be visiting England, France, Spain, and Italy!

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Q and A Amy Campbell

August 10th, 2015 · No Comments

Amy Campbell will be a Grade 4 Classroom Teacher starting this year. She worked as a Special Education teaching assistant and Project Adventure Assistant last year at Lane. Fun Fact….she is a product of the Bedford Public Schools.

Here is a brief Q and A with her:

Why did you want to become a teacher?

Pursuing a career in teaching is something that I have been certain about ever since I was   a little girl. I have always had a thirst for learning and being able to share that with students is something that I am truly passionate about. I love the nature that teaching presents in that it is a never ending, continuous cycle of learning and growth for both teachers and students. I wanted to become a teacher because I want to be a part of making a difference in the life of a child. I want to help them be the creators of their own futures as they learn, discover, take chances, and achieve goals. I want to be able to share these moments with students and inspire them to be the best they can be, just as my former teachers did for me.

What excites you about coming to the Lane School?

This past year I enjoyed working at Lane School and am excited to move into a new role as a fourth grade teacher. I am most excited about working at Lane because of the sense of community and its hard working culture. Lane School feels like one big family in that there is a welcoming and positive atmosphere, making it an environment I look forward to being a part of each day. I am also greatly looking forward to working with a wonderful team of teachers, students, and parents.

What is your fondest memory of when you were in grades 3-5 as a student?

It is difficult to choose just one, however when looking back at my experiences in grades 3-5, the first thing that comes to mind is the incredible teachers I had. I grew up in Bedford, attended Lane School, and had teachers that provided me with learning experiences that have stuck with me my whole life. I especially have fond memories of Project Adventure and creating human mummies during a unit of study on the Ancient Egyptians. Although these may sound silly, I still look back on these moments with nothing but smiles and hope to create these types of memories for my students.

Tell us one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?

One thing that people may be surprised to learn about me is that I have a black belt in Kenpo Karate. Karate was a huge part of my youth and although I am currently not practicing today, I still remember a move or two.

Any highlights from the summer so far?

So far this summer I have been able to enjoy some sun and work at a new program at Bedford Summer Adventures.  I am also looking forward to a trip I have planned to Florida in August.

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Interview with Ms Herman

July 24th, 2014 · No Comments

For our continued series on new staff, here is a short interview with Ms Herman, one of two new grade 4 teachers.

1. What makes you excited about coming to the Lane School?

I’ve been so impressed by far by the faculty I’ve met at Lane. It seems like a dedicated and passionate community that I cannot wait to become a part of. I’m excited to be working in this incredible part of Massachusetts and to learn more about the town and the community.

2. What is your favorite memory from when you were in grade 4 as a kid?

I went to elementary school in New Jersey, and just like in Massachusetts, we spent the year studying national and local geography in social studies. For an end of year project I got to make a sheet cake shaped like New Jersey!
3. What made you want to be a teacher?

I was a kid who always said I wanted to be a teacher growing up. In college I studied education from many different perspectives; I came out of these experiences knowing that my passion lay within the classroom. It’s an amazing profession in that every day is unique. The excitement that comes from working and learning with children is something I value deeply.

4.  Tell us one thing we would be surprised to know about you?
I spent my summer teaching kids to rock climb and taking them on adventure courses!
5.  What have you been reading this summer?
In terms of children’s books I recently read Kate DiCamillo’s book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane for the first time and love it. In terms of adult literature, I just finished The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides.

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Our New Guidance Counselor

August 16th, 2011 · No Comments

Our new counselor is Jessica Smith, who last year worked at the Middle School.  We are very excited about Ms Smith joining our school.  She was nice enough to answer for a few questions for the public.

Why did you want to become a guidance counselor?

Quite simply,  I really love working with kids.  I have been working as a child therapist since the start of my career in 1993.  Working in a school setting as a counselor allows me to work with kids in the moment while they tackle their struggles and experience success.   I feel like I have the best job on the planet.  I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Why are you excited to come to the Lane School?

Based on my experience working at John Glenn Middle School, I have learned that the Bedford community is a wonderful community to work in.  I  had the opportunity to inter-phase with several of the Lane School teachers as students transitioned to the middle school and found them to be highly professional and always caring and respectful of students and their families.  I look forward to working with such a wonderful staff and community of children and parents.

What is one thing students and parents would be surprised to learn about you?

I love playing Karaoke Revolution on my teenage son’s X-Box…when no one is home of course!  I am actually pretty good,  if I do say so myself.

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Welcome Back Mrs Venuti

August 12th, 2011 · No Comments

Gretta Venuti is returning to the Lane School as a grade 4 teacher, working with Mrs Larrenaga.  I posed a few questions to Mrs Venuti.

Why did you want to become a teacher?
Well, I guess you could say that teaching is “in my blood.”  My mother was a Kindergarten teacher for 25 years.  I grew up watching her do lesson plans on Sundays and helping her to prepare art projects for her class.  I visited her classroom when ducks were hatching from eggs in an incubator for her farm unit.  She was a great role model for me.  The importance of education-teaching children and learning from children- was stressed early on in my family.  So I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career working with children.

There are so many aspects of teaching that I love:  it is incredibly rewarding to see how proud a student is when he/she masters a new skill or how excited a group of students can be when they get to do a very cool, hands-on science experiment.  I love that a classroom is a community of learners where everyone feels valued.  I have had teaching experience in Brookline, Weston, and I taught in Bedford from 1997-2004.  During my years of teaching in Bedford, I was so fortunate to work with wonderful students and families; many of them are now teenagers and young adults that I enjoy seeing around town (I also feel old! :)  I resigned in 2004 to stay at home with my young sons, with the idea that I would return to teaching at some point.  It feels like now is the right time for my family and me.

Why are yo excited about returning to teach in the Bedford Schools?
I am thrilled about returning to teach in the Bedford Schools!  In a way, it feels like coming “home.”  I have really missed my colleagues at Lane, and I am excited to meet new faces as well.  And I couldn’t ask for a nicer first year back than to work with Jenna Larrenaga, whom I job-shared with in the past; I feel extremely lucky to return to working with my old partner.  It is so wonderful that I can come back to a profession that I truly love, in a place where I love to work.
Bedford is such a special place; each day students benefit from the talented, devoted professionals who work in our school system.  Both as a teacher and as a parent of kids in the Bedford Schools, I really cannot say enough about our excellent school system!

What is something about you that students and parents would be surprised
to learn about you?

Some parents and students may not know that I have a son, Christopher, who will be in 4th grade in Miss Curro’s class.  So, at our house, we joke that both Christopher and I are going to be in 4th grade!! :)

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Let’s Meet Ms. Maguire

August 3rd, 2011 · 2 Comments

Ms. Maguire,  one of our new Grade 5 teachers just returned from California.  She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us to help you get to know her.

What made you want to become a teacher?
Although I have been interested in teaching ever since I roped my brother and sister into playing school with me as a young child, my summer internship for an agriculture and community service program inspired me to pursue teaching as a career. There, I supervised and instructed a group of local teenagers to carry out agricultural activities in urban gardens of Schenectady, NY and facilitated daily activities designed to educate them about food systems and nutrition. Many of the youth entered the program reluctantly, yet somehow these teenagers grew up over the summer and came to love the program as much as I did. After seeing the personal growth they experienced within a few short months, I became eager to see more of this kind of growth and excited by the prospect of seeing how children might evolve over the course of a whole year. As a result of this experience, during my senior year at Union College, I stumbled upon a unique opportunity. I was accepted into a collaborative program with Lesley University and an independent school on the North Shore (Brookwood School), which allowed me to co-teach full time in the classroom and in the same year complete my masters in elementary education. This program was an exceptionally rewarding experience for me and now, I cannot picture myself doing anything other than learning with children and helping them continue to grow as individuals.

Why are you excited to come to Bedford?
I am extremely excited to come to Bedford, mostly because of all the wonderful people I have met so far! I immediately noticed the warm, loving community at the Lane School. I have encountered nothing but positive attitudes and a love for learning within each person I have met. I am thrilled to be able to work alongside such wonderful people and I genuinely believe Bedford is an environment where both students and faculty thrive. I look forward to learning from everyone in the Bedford community and exchanging ideas. Most of all, I can’t wait to meet my students and get started with the new school year!

Tell us something your students and the community would be surprised to know about you?
In my childhood, I went to five different elementary schools in five different countries… That is, I attended elementary schools in the US, Spain, England, Germany, and France!

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Let’s Welcome Ms. Weinstein

July 20th, 2011 · No Comments

Katie Weinstein is our new grade three teacher.  I asked her to answer a few questions to help the community get to know her.

Why are you excited to come to Bedford?
From the moment I walked in the doors at the Lane School, I was warmly welcomed by the students and faculty.  On my first day at the school, I listened to fifth graders enthusiastically talk about their upcoming talent show and the project adventure unit.  I also had the opportunity to meet with teachers who were discussing upcoming units.  Their dedication to create the best learning environment for their students is inspiring.  The happiness and eagerness to learn shared between the students and faculty at Lane makes me excited to become a part of this strong community. I consider myself very fortunate to be teaching in a town where there is so much support and enthusiasm for education.  I am eager to share my ideas and experiences and also learn from everyone I will be working with.

Why did you want to become a teacher?
I have always been interested in teaching. Over the years I have worked in a number of schools and coached many different soccer teams. I always knew I wanted to teach and work with children.  I spent the past year teaching at an independent school in Andover, Massachusetts.  The incredible experience I had at this school confirmed my passion for teaching.  I am excited to come to a new school and share all that I have learned. When I think about the influential people in my life, many of them are teachers that I had growing up.  I will strive to make a positive impact in my students’ lives, just like my teachers did in mine.

What is one thing parents and students would be surprised to learn about you?
If I wasn’t a teacher, I would be a professional eater.  I love trying new foods and will try just about anything!   Also, my parents owned a chocolate factory when I was growing up, which has contributed to my enormous sweet tooth!

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From Ireland to Bedford

July 12th, 2011 · No Comments

Jenna Koeman is one of our new grade 5 teachers next year. She hails from Cork, Ireland, and we are very happy to have her join our staff. I caught up with Ms. Koeman to ask her a few questions.

Why are you excited about coming to Bedford?

I am excited about coming to Bedford because everyone I have met so far has been so friendly and welcoming! From my first interview, the students, teachers, and Mr. Ackerman have greeted me with a warm smile. I know that Lane Elementary is a school where I will be supported and challenged every day. I previously worked at independent school in Andover that was quite progressive, and I’m very excited to see so much of that progressiveness and forward-thinking in Bedford too!   I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with such dedicated faculty and administrators. As a new teacher to the school, I hope that my students will leave my classroom with the same curiosity to learn about anything and everything that was instilled in me by my teachers.

Why did you choose to get into teaching?

My dream since I was little was to teach (ask my poor younger sister who able to recite the alphabet at 2 years old because of my “teaching”). I had the most amazing and inspiring teachers when I was in elementary school, and I always aspired to be just as great as they were. Unfortunately, due to the requirement of a certain level of proficiency in the Irish language (Gaelic) to be accepted into an education program at University, my career plans veered off course for a time. However, I made it into the teaching field eventually!  I am extremely passionate about teaching, and I am committed to my students.  I wake up excited every morning to go to school, and I feel blessed to be in such a rewarding career.

What is the biggest difference between Ireland and US education systems?

I honestly thought there would be more of a difference than there actually is. The main difference is probably that most Irish elementary schools are still to this day Catholic schools, and so religion is a core subject. All students take Gaelic as a language from kindergarten right through until they graduate high school, and we have no middle school! Irish schools are eight years at the primary level and then six years at the secondary level. Ireland doesn’t have as much diversity, both in terms of race and socio-economic status, as the U.S does, so that makes the education system a bit different too. One really nice aspect of the Irish system is that third level education (college) is free! The government foots the bill for undergraduate degrees, and a portion of most graduate degrees.  Apart from those little things though, the school day in Ireland is very similar to the school day in the US!

What is one thing that Bedford parents and students would be surprised to know about you?

I’m a complete techie dork! I love designing websites in particular. I have both an undergraduate and master’s degree in Business Information Systems which is a hybrid business/IT degree and I worked as a technology consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers before I moved to the US!

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Lets Welcome Ms. Salvucci (Gr 4)

July 11th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Recently Mr. Smith transferred from grade 4 to our newly vacated physical education position. Naturally this has created some anxiety for parents since they were excited for their child to be in Mr. Smith’s classroom. Over the last few weeks I have interviewed many applicants to make sure I find an excellent replacement teacher. I am happy to report the outstanding hire we have made in bringing Megan Salvucci to our school.

Last year Ms Salvucci was the Student Owned Strategies (SOS) teacher at John Glenn Middle School for grade 6. Those who have worked with Ms. Salvucci describe her as a “great teacher” and a “very positive and energetic person.” Although the Middle School is disappointed to lose her, they understand her desire to be an upper elementary classroom teacher.

I asked Ms Salvucci a few questions to help you get her to know her better.

Why are you excited to come to Lane School?
“I am overjoyed to be joining the Lane School community. I have been fortunate enough to have spent the last two years working at John Glenn Middle School. From the beginning of my time there it became very apparent to me what a truly remarkable community Bedford is. It is an absolute honor to teach in a district where the best interests of the students are undoubtedly put first.

Teaching is my passion and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. Lane school is a warm environment comprised of enthusiastic students, staff, and parents and I cannot wait to join this group. As a new teacher to the school I want to foster the academic growth of my students in unique and exciting ways right from the start. Equally important to me as promoting academic growth, is developing good character in my students.

I believe my personal philosophies coincide with those of the School. I can say with certainty that Lane School is the perfect fit for me.”

What are your main goals for your grade 4 students?
I am eager to create a classroom climate that fosters individuality, trust, and respect. I want my students to feel comfortable sharing their feelings, thoughts, and questions not only with me but with their peers as well. I will work hard to build a sense of community among my students and highlight the importance of collaboration and teamwork. It is essential that each student know just how much he or she is truly appreciated. It is my goal that each of my students be aware of his/her important role in our classroom.
I will teach lessons that are engaging, educational, and fun. I want to inspire a love of learning in each of my students and plan to do so by keeping lessons fresh, entertaining, and compelling. I want them to understand the purpose of their learning and the notion that it is a never ending process. It is my hope that each student leave my classroom with a multitude of knowledge, educational strategies, and organizational habits that can be implemented throughout their academic careers.

What is one thing Bedford parents and students would be surprised to learn about you?

I absolutely love country music.

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