Melissa Russell, Preschool Director
Melissa is a dedicated educator with a passion for teaching math and science to young children.
She has extensive experience with STEM education and is an expert curriculum developer, a seasoned and award-winning educator, and a proven leader in museum education.
Melissa served for six years as a 4th grade teacher in the Middleborough and North Attleboro public schools, where she taught math and science and honed her expertise in inquiry- based education and STEM-related curriculum development. Her work in the schools earned her the Rookie Teacher of the Year Award in Plymouth County in 2004.
Melissa has worked as a teaching mentor in various college settings, including at Bridgewater State College, Sandwich High School, Antioch University New England, and UMass Dartmouth. In the STEM arena she has coordinated science fairs and served on science and math curriculum committees.
Since 2010, Melissa has led numerous education initiatives for Heritage Museums & Gardens that have built its reputation as a prominent outdoor education center. Melissa was head of curriculum development for children ages 2-10 for the Hidden Hollow nature discovery area, developed numerous museum-wide programs for families, and helped design and lead teachers’ workshops emphasizing STEM and nature education at an early age.As manager of visitor services, she trained and supervised 25 museum educators.
Melissa is the director of The Hundred Acre School at Heritage Museums & Gardens where, through her leadership, a museum gallery has been transformed into a state of the art STEM-focused school that is the pinnacle of educational best practice. She is the coauthor of the “Collections Curriculum: A STEM-Focused Curriculum” created as part of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care 2014 Preschool Innovative STEM Curriculum Grant. In April 2016, the Boston Association for the Education of Young Children awarded her the Award for STEM: An educator who inspires children to explore and discover our world through the use and application of science, technology, engineering, and math and encourages children to become stewards of our environment.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, awarded her a Governor’s Citation in April 2016. “On behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I am pleased to confer upon you this Governor’s Citation in recognition of your strong leadership and dedication to improving the quality of early childhood education for young children in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
Melissa shares her expertise in early education and STEM widely:
- Keynote speaker at the Keefe-Bruyette Science and Math Symposium for Young Children in 2016
- National Association for the Education of Young Children conference 2015, 2016 & 2017
- National Education Research Association conference in 2002
- Massachusetts STEM Summit 2014, 2016 & 2017
- National Association of Regulatory Administration Seminar 2015
- Keefe-Bruyette Science and Math Symposium for Young Children in 2016 & 2017
- All Cape Professional Development Day in 2016 & 2017
- Massachusetts Brain Building in Progress Action Planning Team in 2014 & 2015.
- Part-time faculty at Bridgewater State University
Melissa has a Master of Education degree from Lesley University and holds an undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College, where she graduated with honors. She is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care as a Preschool Lead Teacher, Director I and Director II. She holds an additional professional license with the Massachusetts Department of Education in Elementary Education 1-6.
Alicia Raspa, Assistant Director & Teacher
Alicia is a skilled preschool teacher with over 15 years of experience. She has a bachelor’s degree from UMass Dartmouth where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Alicia is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care as a Preschool Lead Teacher, Director 1 and Director 2.
Alicia began teaching at the school in September 2014. Since then she has created a rich learning environment for three classes of preschoolers. Her classroom is filled with dynamic experiences that link all the classroom stations together to support a particular concept. She enjoys the outdoors and exploring the ever changing grounds of Heritage Museums & Gardens. Professionally, she has grown by presenting on STEM in early education at the Massachusetts STEM Summit and the Science & Math Symposium for Young Children in CT.
Heidi Anderson, Teacher
Heidi is a skilled preschool teacher with over 15 years of experience. She has a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College .
Heidi is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care as a Preschool Lead Teacher.
Heidi began teaching at the school in September 2015. Since joining the school, she has blended her previous experience in Montessori education with the experiential learning of our STEM curriculum. She is an expert at observing children in play and asking just the right question to help a child extend an experience. Professionally, Heidi has presented at the Massachusetts STEM Summit.
Kaitlyn Kilroy, Teacher
Kaitlyn is a skilled teacher with 8 years of experience. She has a bachelor’s degree from Emmanuel College .
Kaitlyn is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care as a Preschool Teacher.
Kaitlyn began teaching at the school in September 2016. Her love for learning gets students curious and asking questions. She creates lessons and experiences in the classroom that are rich in literacy, social skills and STEM. She has presented at the Science and Math Symposium in CT on the importance of Literacy in a STEM environment.
Rosemary Butler, After School Teacher
Rosemary is a retired educator/administrator with over 35 years of experience. She has a Post-Grad in Administration from Seton Hall, Master of Education degree from Rider University and a bachelor’s degree from Marywood College.
Rosemary is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care as a Preschool Lead Teacher.
Rosemary began teaching at the school in September 2015.
Roberta Sherwin, After School Teacher
Roberta has a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Roger William’s University and a Masters in Graphic Design and Scientific Illustration. She has previously worked in a variety of education roles teaching art, science, and general education with children ranging from preschool to high school. She is an accomplished scientific illustrator of specimen for use in field guides and research publications.
Roberta began teaching at the school in January 2016.
Betsy Pottey, Substitute Teacher
Betsy is a retired kindergarten teacher with over 35 years of experience. She has a Master of Education degree from Plymouth State College and holds an undergraduate degree from Wheelock College.
Betsy is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care as a Preschool Lead Teacher.