Meet Our Staff

Ms. Deanna Duncan — Head of School

Head of School

"My commitment to The Greene School learning community extends to provide a rigorous and engaging curriculum that not only teaches skills, but also develops critical thinkers and connections to the natural world."

Ms. Duncan is the head of Rhode Island’s first expeditionary learning, public chartered high school. Ms. Duncan holds a Master’s degree in Secondary Science Education, a Bachelor’s degree in Geosciences and a lifetime Science teaching certificate. In addition to her almost 30 years experience as an educator, leader and administrator, Ms. Duncan also holds an Environmental Educator’s certificate.

With a focus on environmental education, Ms. Duncan’s teaching background is centered on making learning meaningful for all young adults. Among the many teaching and educational positions held, Ms. Duncan has taught middle and high school science, hasserved as planetarium director, director of an environmental resource center in North Carolina, and has drafted curriculum for existing and new school programs. Recently completing her fifteenth year as an educational leader, Ms. Duncan has latterly worked to start three new schools, each with a strong environmental bias, with the most recent being The Greene School.

Of Ms. Duncan’s many accomplishments she proudly served as an educator in Uganda to facilitate Conservation Education for teachers. She has also received numerous awards for her work as an environmental and science educator. More importantly however, she brings a wealth of experience and passion as an educator and administrator to Rhode Island, where under her stewardship, she has taken the expeditionary learning philosophy and grown it such that graduates of The Greene School are assureda productive future where environmental responsibility and green technology will be key to the development and growth for their future success.

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Ms. Melissa Hall — Assistant Principal

Assistant Principal

“The most effective teachers and school leaders do not think of what they do as a job, but rather as a calling or a cause. It takes collective passion and perseverance to make a great school.”

I am incredibly honored and excited to be a part of The Greene School Community! 

I am a native Rhode Islander with fifteen years of public high school teaching experience. Certifications in both Special Education and Mathematics have given me a diverse understanding of the various types of learners, and the strategies needed to allow every student to reach his/her full potential. In addition to teaching, I have been an active member of school leadership teams, participated in curriculum and assessment development, and mentored new teachers. I realize it takes an entire school community- including teachers, staff, students, parents, and community members all working towards the vision and mission of a school to make a school great.

I love the environmental and 21st Century skill-set focus of The Greene School, and think our students have an amazing opportunity here to enrich their education through local and global stewardship. The passion and dedication of the entire Greene School community is already apparent to me, and cannot wait to work with everyone as we all strive to make TGS the best it can be.  

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Ms. Giselle Pellerano-Monserratt — Human Resources /Finance Officer

Human Resources /Finance Officer

"During the summer of 2010, our opening year, I joined The Greene School to help bring the dream of the founding Board of Directors to become a reality. I was very excited to be a part of this amazing school, and couldn’t wait for opening day and to meet our founding students."

Ms. GisellePellerano-Monserratt is The Greene School’s human resource and finance officer.  A recent graduate of Rhode Island College, Ms. Pellerano-Monserratt holds a Bachelor’s degree in business management, and joined the School’s start up team during its founding year, having worked and in worked in a similar role at a high school in Providence. Integral to the success of the School, she liaises closely with Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), and manages all aspects of human resources. She is the first point of contact for staff and faculty seeking employment and all things related.

Ms. Pellerano-Monserratt’s role extends also to a myriad of duties related to school finances, ranging from budgeting, grant overview and donations. She is also responsible for student recruitment, which is undertaken with a team of Greene School student ambassadors, representing each of the four grades, as they travel throughout Rhode Island visiting middle schools, attending Charter School Fairs and other venues, spreading the word about The Greene School.

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Ms. Karen Fontes — Guidance Counselor

Guidance Counselor

"I am excited and honored to be part of The Greene School community.  The philosophy and mission of the school fit perfectly with my own passion for animals (especially dogs!) and with my respect for the earth."

Karen graduated from RI College in 1986 with a bachelor's degree and she then began her career at RCA Evaluation and Treatment Center in Cranston working with adjudicated youth in a locked facility. From there, she accepted a position at Johnson & Wales University where she stayed for eleven years.  Karen was fortunate to join the University at a time of tremendous growth and  was able to grow along with them. During those years Karen held positions in the Student Success Department, Residential Life, the Office of the Dean of Students and the Athletics Department. She also worked on her master's degree during those years and received her Master of Science degree in 1990 from the University of Rhode Island in Human Development, Counseling and Family Studies.

After my years at J&W, Karen accepted a guidance counselor position at St. Mary Academy-Bay View which was her alma mater. During this time Karen also began to formulate a goal which developed from her passion of loving animals. After three years, she left Bay View and opened Bone Appetit Dog Bakery in East Greenwich. After a few years, Karen began to miss her involvement in education so she sold the shop and was offered a guidance position at North Kingstown High School. Karen spent the past seven years counseling grades 9 - 12 and also being part of the graduation committee which she enjoyed tremendously!

Karen is a proud vegetarian and loves siberian huskies. She has had siberians since she was in the 7th grade and  currently has a 4 year old siberian rescue from Tennessee named Lacey.  Karen and Lacey reside in Exeter. 

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Mr. Brendan Haggerty — Science (Chemistry)

Science (Chemistry)

"I hold a deep belief that critical thought is the most indispensable quality of a self-governing society, and therefore public education must be recognized as the heart of a functioning democracy."

Mr. Brendan Haggerty is one of two science teachers at The Greene School, where he teaches chemistry. Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and education, and a personality that inspires a thirst for learning, Mr. Haggerty is undoubtedly one of The Greene School’s strongest advocates of expeditionary learning. Of specific interest is his own training and background, which has resulted in his firm belief in experiential education; a process where students are immersed in direct learning through field work – and these learning experiences relate back to the classroom experience –a learning process that students gain exposure to through the expeditionary learning philosophy at The Greene School.

Before joining The Greene School, Mr. Haggerty taught at an expeditionary learning school in Arizona, but his desire to return to his New England roots, and its diverse ecosystems and landscapes led him to embrace the unique opportunity to serve students in the State of Rhode Island, where The Greene School is the first and only expeditionary learning, chartered public high school.

Entering his seventh year of teaching, Mr. Haggerty is also certifiedto teach earth science and chemistry. In addition to regular classroom activities, Mr. Haggerty is part of the Passage portfolio committee; a team of teaching professionals who work together to determine if teaching goals have been established for rising upper classmen. This rite of passage is a process where all tenth grade students are required to present to a panel of judges a selection of portfolio work undertaken during grades nine and ten, thus allowing them ‘passage’ to become upper classmen. Mr. Haggerty is also a regular leader during field work trips held on site and locally within the surrounding communities of Rhode Island.

Ms. Lara Haggerty — Science (Physics and Biology)

Science (Physics and Biology)

"As a New England native born and raised on Cape Cod, the natural world became my playground at an early age. I always knew that my future career would involve the sciences based upon my motivation to always ask, “Why?” when exploring nature."

Ms. Lara Haggerty teaches biology at The Greene School. With a Master’s degree in conservation biology and a Bachelor of science degree in wildlife and fisheries conservation, Ms. Haggerty is a teacher who thrives on being inquisitive, and always encourages students to ask the number one science question; ‘Why?’  A true New Englander, Ms. Haggerty has gained a wealth of experience working hands-on in nature, and has brought her questioning mind into the classrooms of The Greene School, where there is always an answer to that infamous question! 

Backed with a teaching background in expeditionary learning, and a love for all things nature, Ms. Haggerty also heads up many of the field work expeditions that Greene School students undertake. Recently she partnered in leading a group of eleventh grade students to New York City, for an expedition called The Code, where students joined in a collaborative science, English and history study on race, and met with experts and toured related sites.

Another achievement of Ms. Haggerty is her recent success in being selected to be a part of the Save the Bay Teacher Academy, a program sponsored by Save the Bay that involves teacher training and student field experiences to study the eco system in Narragansett Bay. In addition, through Save the Bay Ms. Haggerty is able to be a part of a specialist group who work with the Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Program.

Ms. Alex Edelmann — Humanities Department Chair

Humanities Department Chair

"I am jazzed to be in New England, to be back in the land of stonewalls, water, and early American history. Strong community has always been the constant in my life and I am thrilled to be beginning another year here at The Greene School."

Other areas of fieldwork that Ms. Edelmann has undertaken has included an Eleventh grade expedition titled The Code, a collaborative science, English and history study on race, in which students traveled to NYC for a week to meet with experts and tour relating sites. Ms. Edelmann also managed the Greene School’s Spanish Exchange program which sent students abroad to Seville with the goal of full cultural and language immersion. In return, The Greene School hosted 12 Spanish students from Seville. 

Ms. Edelmann is also a 2012 recipient of the Fulbright JAPAN teacher exchange for Education for Sustainable Design (ESD), a competitive award that has taken her to Japan to learn and collaborate with other teachers on matters of cultural, environmental and economic sustainability.

Mr. Jeff Johnson — Social Studies

Social Studies

“I enjoy bringing the outdoor education experience to my students, and believe in nature’s true empirical learning process. Every time I venture out into nature, I encourage my students to look beyond themselves and to try new things, be it simply climbing a tree or learning to kayak – every experience brings a new dimension to the achievements of these young people as they grow to become adults, and this is what makes education so special – for everyone!”

Mr. Jeff Johnson is a special education teacher at The Greene School, and has Bachelor degrees in history and education, plus he has a certificatein special education. He is currently working on his Masters degree in special education. During his time at college, Mr. Johnson began working with troubled youth, and it was this experience that drew him to the specialized arena of special education. Once graduated, he worked for some years teaching special education to teens at a Providence High School, after which he joined The Greene School team of special educators.

Providing support to students who require Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 accommodation plans, or those who simply seek guidance to establish good habits of work, Mr. Johnson understands that all students sometimes need assistance to successfully navigate their way through the rigors of high school. As such he also teaches remedial classes in reading and math, and is a firm proponent of self-advocacy, a skill that will benefit every student.

Certified in CPR and First Aid, Mr. Johnson is also a leader in the Annual Greene School Wilderness program that all students complete at the beginning of each school year. More recently, he lead a group of students on a Trail Building activity with the Nature Conservancy at Tillinghast Pond in West Greenwich, where students learned how to erect trails through the Tillinghast property.

Mr. Matthew Bernstein — Social Studies

Social Studies

Matt Bernstein teaches World History and U.S. History at The Greene School. Mr. Bernstein is passionate about discovering the connections between different historical eras and events. He is fascinated by the facets of modern life that can be traced to diverse historical periods. He graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in History and completed his student teaching at an Expeditionary Learning school in Portland, ME. He believes deeply in students learning through following their passions and engaging directly with real-world problem solving. Mr. Bernstein is new to Rhode Island and is already thrilled to be a part of the Ocean State. He is excited to be a part of The Greene School and is looking forward to engaging in discussion with students about their role as members of local, national, and global society. 

Ms. Kayleigh Carvalho — English Language Arts

English Language Arts

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body."

Kayleigh Carvalho is one of two English Language Arts teachers at The Greene School, where she teaches 11th and 12th grade. Ms. Carvalho knew from high school that her life passion would be teaching adolescents to "think with their pen" and explore their own identities by reading as much as possible. A Moby Dick aficionado, she attends the annual marathon reading of Moby Dick at the New Bedford Whaling Museum every January. She is a member of the Bread Loaf Teachers Network, a cohort of teachers from across the nation who collaborate in different ELA and classroom share projects, and is currently studying at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College for her Masters Degree in English Literature. Before coming to The Greene School, Ms. Carvalho taught abroad in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece, where she took her students to the summit of Mt. Olympus and to various cities throughout Europe for parliamentary debate competitions. Relocating back to Rhode Island has been an amazing experience for her, as she strives to endow The Greene School students with the same sense of wonder and inquiry that carried her across the world.

Ms. Heather Chatterley — Mathematics

Mathematics

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -- Benjamin Franklin

“There are many leaves on one tree.  We are all individuals but yet we are all still connected.”--Epic

Heather, a native Rhode Islander, is one of the math teachers at The Greene School.  She is very excited to become a part of The Greene School team knowing that her passion for teaching students environmental sustainability and social responsibility is a key part of the school community. Heather graduated from Rhode Island College in 2001 with a Sociology degree and has experience in the human services field working with juveniles on probation or under DCYF custody. Heather has extensive experience as a Teacher Assistant in a specialized education school as well as a charter school.  Her love of math and drive to see students succeed is what prompted her to continue her education and return to school to obtain her teaching certificate in Secondary Education: Mathematics. 

Ms. Megan Curran — Mathematics

Mathematics

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. –Henry Ford

Megan Curran is a math teacher at the Greene School. She graduated from Merrimack College with a degree in Mathematics and a Concentration in Secondary Education. She completed her undergraduate mathematical research in Knot Theory. Megan was also involved in the Math and Science Partnership where she led a group of high school students in real world math and science projects. After graduation she worked at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center where she used applied mathematics to develop and analyze torpedo software. Her passion for mathematics and teaching has led her to pursue a teaching career where she could share this passion with others.

Ms. Emma Catanzaro — Spanish 1, 2, 3, and 4

Spanish 1, 2, 3, and 4

"Understanding and appreciating different cultures is a big part of learning how to speak a different language. I believe that my passion for language and culture is reflected in my teaching and helps encourage the students enthusiasm to learn."

Ms. Emma Catanzaro teaches Spanish 1, 2, 3 and 4 to all grades through high school. She has a Masters degree in teaching secondary education and holds a Bachelors degree in Spanish, with a minor in business management. Having taught for twelve years in both middle and high schools, and most recently at the University of Rhode Island, Ms. Catanzaro is an experienced Spanish teacher whose goal is to prepare Greene School students for their college learning careers.

Raised in a multicultural home, Ms. Catanzaro was exposed to different languages and cultures that enriched her life, and it is this experience that has given her the desire to teach students, many of whom have not had exposure to the languages. Not only does she enjoy teaching, but she also takes pride as she works with students who realize that they too can learn a second language.  Learning a foreign language is the beginning of a journey that will open many doors in the future.

Teaching in an expeditionary learning school such as The Greene School also makes it possible for students to gain a rounded appreciation for the Spanish language and culture.  This curriculum includes not only speaking and writing the language, but it also challenges you to think about how language diversity contributes to your own society and culture.

Ms. Julie Pettis — American Sign Language Teacher

American Sign Language Teacher

"Kindness, a language deaf people can hear, and blind see."  Mark Twain

Ms. Pettis is thrilled to be part of a school that exemplified kindness, kindness to each other, and kindness to our environment.  She is happy to be part of such a wonderful school that promotes positive thinking, positive behavior and awareness of our environment and community.

Active in environmental issues since 1982, Miss Pettis is a founding member of RI Group Against Spraying Pesticides and served for several years on the board of the Environment Council of Rhode Island.  Ms. Pettis’ 16 year teaching career began in 1992 at St. Joseph School in West Warwick and Notre Dame School in Coventry.  She began studying American Sign Language in 2000 and worked part time as an interpreter for 9 years.  She also worked for “Sing a Sign”, teaching American Sign Language to hearing children in nine different schools.  She was a staff member for “Silent Camp, a summer program for Deaf adults at Burlingame Campground for five summers.  Ms. Pettis describes her feeling being at The Greene School as, “…right at home.” 

Ms. Sue Hoaglund — Music Teacher

Music Teacher

“I am very excited to start a music program for The Greene School, and I want to involve as many students as possible in creating diverse musical experiences and performances.”

Ms. Sue Hoaglund teaches music to Greene School students. A trained classical violinist, Ms. Hoaglund graduated Boston University with a Bachelor degree in Music, and holds two advanced degrees in German and English. She brings almost 30 years of music directing and teaching to The Greene School. 

Testimony to Ms. Hoaglund’s wealth of experience, she continues to build the Music program at The Greene School, which involves teaching general and elective music classes, plus foundation music classes in piano and guitar,and other instruments as needed. Additional to this, Ms. Hoaglund offers electives in music related subjects such as the History of Jazz and the History of Rock and Reggae, all of which are designed to engage and inspire students in their educational journey.

In keeping with The Greene School’s expeditionary learning philosophy, Ms. Hoaglund’s role will be to enhance the Arts programs that will be available to students throughout their high school experience and as such, she will team with other teachers to run after school programs such as Drama Club and a Theatre program, and she will also lead a German Club. Ms. Hoaglund will continue in her role of Advisor, as she continues to run the Greene School’s National Honor Society chapter.

Mr. Kurt Van Dexter — Visual Arts Instructor

Visual Arts Instructor

"It is my belief that every student has an inner artist just waiting to get out!  I enjoy seeing the students watch as their talents grow and they can see for themselves their successes as young artists."

Mr. Kurt Van Dexter is the visual art and design instructor for The Greene School, where he teaches visual art and design, and landscape design. Mr. Van Dexter has a Masters degree in art education from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Bachelor degrees in art and landscape architecture. He is also a certified kindergarten through grade 12 visual arts teacher and a registered landscape architect.

For almost twenty years, Mr. Van Dexter has worked to expand the artistic horizons of student’s imaginations, by helping them to visualize the natural beauty that surrounds them and to interpret how that beauty can translate into their own artwork. His art classes are far from typical and range from teaching three-dimensional art sculpture, portraits, and learning about different artists and their styles to hand painting old, reclaimed furniture pieces. Some of these furniture items are later offered for sale at the Annual Auction on the Greene where funds are raised for the School.

Cofounder of the Children’s Garden Network, Mr. Van Dexter’s experience is self-evident as his teaching style is brought home in the form of helping students to develop their schoolyard landscape and gardens. Not only is he patient, but his focus is to allow young artists under his tutelage to express their inner self expression in a way that everyone can enjoy their work.

Mr. Derek Gustafson — Physical Education / Health

Physical Education / Health

"I strongly believe that every student has the right to learn, and I carry that philosophy with me through all my lessons, making sure every day is an opportunity for a student to learn and succeed."

Mr. Derek Gustafson is The Greene School’s physical education and health teacher. He received his Bachelors degree in health education, physical education and adaptive physical education from Rhode Island College. In addition, he is a First Aid and CPR instructor and holds an American Canoe Association Level III Open Coastal Kayak instructor certificate. The combination of these qualifications has made Mr. Gustafson a popular member of staff at The Greene School, as he volunteers his time to take groups of students kayaking on the beautiful waterways that are an integral part of Rhode Island’s natural beauty.

With a focus on fitness for life and healthy living, The Greene School’s goal is to open student’s hearts and minds to natural sporting activities that do not involve a gym, such as rock climbing, hiking, and kayaking to name just a few. Coupled with this philosophy, Mr. Gustafson’s health class is geared toward teen/ young adult physical and mental health, and covers all state curriculum requirements.

Ms. Meghan Dutton — Special Education

Special Education

 "In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught."-Babe Dioum

Ms. Meghan Dutton is a special educator at The Greene School, and has a Bachelors degree in Sociology, minoring in political and multi-cultural studies, and a Masters degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. Ms. Dutton has worked at elementary, middle, and high school levels in the areas of Math and English and Language Arts. She will be providing support and accomodations for students to successfully navigate through the rigors of education.
 
Ms. Dutton is trained as a Mindul Schools teacher, practices mindfulness herself, and has a passion for teaching students and teachers mindful techniques to help build focus and resilience. In volunteering for Bead for Life (a non-profit organization working towards eradicating extreme poverty in Africa), traveling to Africa, and working in disaster regions of the U.S., she hopes to provide a global perspective on sustainability and stewardship. She also hopes to bring her love for nature and her passion for stewardship of the earth- taking care of the planet, and each other- into each classroom and into the lives of each of her students here at the Greene School.

Mr. Joel Watson — Special Education

Special Education
“One does not find life to be worth living; they must make it to be worth living.”
-Unknown

Joel Watson is one of the special educators at The Greene School. Since 2000, Joel’s dream has been only one thing: to teach. Before joining The Greene School, Joel worked in a variety of positions for servicing those with special needs, such as job coaching, group homes, one-on-one, and more. He has concentrated on the deaf population, autism spectrum, down syndrome, oppositional defiance disorder, and many more. Outside of school, Joel enjoys exercising, hiking, traveling and staying active. Joel’s role at The Greene School will be to provide support to as many students as possible (including staff) and to support Expeditionary Learning as a powerful tool for education. 

Fred Chubay — Speech and Language Therapist

After working as a speech-language pathologist for 30 years with the Chariho Regional School District, Mr. Chubay is pleased to find himself engaged in his "twilight" career at The Greene School.    Mr. Chubay believes The Greene School is a wonderful community to be a part of for many reasons, not the least of which is the diversity and enthusiasm of the students.  Mr. Chubay enjoys the satisfaction in watching students develop and grow.  He also enjoys the process of collaboration among parents, teachers, and administrators.  The Greene School is privaledged to share this second chapter of Mr. Chubay's career with him!  So, until the final curtain falls, it is on with the show!

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Len Newman — Director of Special Education

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Jim Bernier — School Psychologist

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Tracy Juliano — School Nurse

Rebecca Curtis — English

English
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover"- Mark Twain

Rebecca Curtis teaches ELA to the underclassmen at The Greene School focusing on The Classics and American Literature. Ever since high school she has loved to express herself in her writing and now brings that passion to her classroom. She graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in Secondary Education English and Psychology and has worked with adolescents since 1998. “I have always been drawn to educating, guiding and supporting our communities youth. They are so creative, expressive and open to new ideas that it makes teaching ELA a true enjoyment!” Her teaching philosophy embraces educating in a holistic manner, something The Greene School models daily. Her goal is for her students to step outside their comfort zone and embrace new literature and writing strategies with zest and rigor. Mrs. Curtis is involved in The Greene School’s Poetry/Writing Club, Bounce (the school’s newspaper) and 100 Mile Radius Dinner catering to both her love for literature and food! She looks forward to exploring the world of ELA with her students and sharing her true passion with them!