Brookline Education Foundation

Posted by Monica Crowley on 10/28/2019 8:00:00 AM


Lawrence School Grants 2019-2020


I am so excited to share this year's recipients of the BEF Teacher, Collaborative and IDEA grants at Lawrence!





Gabrielle Mahesh (Special Education Teacher, Grades 3-5)

Travel to India

Ms. Mahesh spent two months volunteer teaching in Bangalore, India during the summer of

2019. During this time, she developed a deeper understanding of the impact of global education,

expand her knowledge of students from diverse backgrounds and bring home skills to engage in

conversations around cultural competency within Brookline schools. Now that she is home, Ms.

Manesh will establish a letter-writing project between students at the Lawrence School and

students attending Shanti Bhavan for the school year.


Dianne Arico-Muendel (Literacy Coach, Grades 3-8)

Writing Workshop for Writing Teachers

Ms. Arico-Muendel reflected on and honed her own writing by attending Bard College Institute for

Writing and Thinking. A former Metzger Fellow, she has seen the power of personal writing in

strengthening one’s teaching and coaching. She will bring back techniques learned at the

workshop to share with colleagues so they may strengthen the writing curriculum for their


Chris Lee-Rodriguez (Instrument and Music production)

Brazilian Guitar Techniques as a Skill development and Cultural Lens

Mr. Lee-Rodriguez attended the California Brazilian Camp for a week-long, full immersion

educational music program with world-class master musicians from Brazil. He seeks to deepen his

personal understanding and development of Brazilian guitar techniques, songs and culture. He

will share his new knowledge with other colleagues in the performing arts department so that all

Brookline students studying guitar and ukulele will benefit from the experience.


NCTM Boston Regional Conference—A group of 42 math teachers and specialists from every

Brookline school  will attend the National Council of Teachers of Math Regional Conference in

Boston in the fall. In addition to networking, exchanging ideas, and learning about innovations in

the field, this grant will allow math teachers across the District to collaborate with the goals of

making the transition from middle school math to high school math more seamless.

Lawrence Participants: Laura Koplow (Lawrence, Math Specialist), Gigi Luckett (Lawrence, Math

Teacher), Katy McGraw (Lawrence, Math Specialist), Julieta Roz (Lawrence/Pierce Math Specialist),

Lora Smid (Lawrence, Math Teacher)

Collaborative Grant for the 2020 American Occupational Therapy Association Annual

Conference—The entire Occupational Development Department of the Public Schools of

Brookline will attend the annual AOTA conference, which conveniently takes place in Boston. This

is a rare opportunity for the entire department to participate in professional development that is

specifically for their field, and allows the therapists to stay up to date on the latest clinical and

educational practices, and evidence-based treatment and evaluation techniques.

Lawrence Participant: Deborah Caruso

Middle and High School Book Clubs—A group of Middle School and High School English

teachers will attend the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s Institute on Book Clubs, to

explore and plan for powerful book club instruction. By having teachers from both the Middle

Schools and the High Schools, this will allow for a better transition for students in English, and will

improve the level of instruction in this increasingly popular method of teaching close reading and


Participants: Eric Colburn (BHS), Evan Mousseau (BHS), Rachel Hayashi (Middle School Literacy

Coach, Runkle and Heath), Dianne Muendel (Middle School Literacy Coach, Lawrence), Jennifer

Redburn (Middle School Literacy Coach, Driscoll), Jennifer Sanders (Middle School Literacy Coach,


Vice Principals ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership—The District’s Vice Principals

will attend the premiere educational leadership conference in the country. This grant will allow

the Vice Principals to have concentrated time to gain needed professional development, and have

time to work together and collaborate in a way that they have rarely had the opportunity to do.

They will attend workshops on subjects relating to wellness, student conduct, discipline, and

social/emotional learning, and will bring this learning back to directly help students at Brookline


Participants: Donna Finnegan (Runkle), Joshua Howe (Baker), Isabel Gunter (Lincoln), Kirtan Patel

(Heath), David Youkilis (Driscoll), Saeed Ola (CCS), Steve Simolaris (CCS), Peter Cipparone

(Lawrence), John Badger (Pierce), Jim Stoddard (Pierce), Jamie Yadoff (Pierce)

Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Coaching Institute, 3rd Year—In its third and

final year, the District’s remaining literacy coaches will attend the Teachers College Reading and

Writing Project’s “Units of Study” for writing and reading workshop, which has proven to be

extremely valuable and immediately useful for literacy coaches in Brookline. Brookline’s adoption

of this curriculum has required additional training, and the literacy coaches will now be fully

knowledgeable and qualified to coach other teachers and students in this curriculum.

Particpants: Caitlin Paget (CCS), Alyssa Rubenstein (Runkle), Christin Wheeler (Heath), Sarah

Maxwell (Lincoln), Dianne Muendel (Lawrence), Jennifer Sanders (CCS), Jennifer Redburn (Driscoll)


Jillian Coggeshall (Grade 2)

Created STEM kits for all 2nd grade classrooms, and another kit for morning breakfast students.

Leslie Fagen (Enrichment and Challenge Support)

Purchased Spheros robots to teach coding and collaboration to 6th graders at Lawrence.

John Ferguson (Instrumental Music)

With this grant, Mr. Ferguson will commission a former Brookline and current Berkeley College of

Music student to compose a musical piece for the Orchestra students to perform.