I love and appreciate the flexibility to design my own curriculum and the supportive, exciting community. It is truly awesome to witness the pride and confidence our students display when they graduate from CRS in the eighth grade.
Julie joined Charles River School in 2006, and has been teaching French since 1992. At CRS, she enjoys sharing her passion for the language, culture, and cuisine of the Francophone world with her elementary and middle school students. Prior to CRS, Julie taught at Kimball Union Academy, a secondary school in New Hampshire, where she chaired the world languages department and coached field hockey. She began her teaching career at the Wyndcroft School in Pennsylvania and was eager to return to a middle school classroom when she joined the middle school team at CRS. Julie earned her bachelor’s degree from Bates College, spending a year abroad studying at the Université de Strasbourg, and her master’s degree from the École française at Middlebury College.
I love the autonomy each teacher has in developing curriculum, though it’s scaffolded with cross-curricular, project-based activities at every grade. The joy of childhood is present in and outside of the classroom.
Tessa is finishing a master’s degree at Harvard Divinity School, where she was involved with the Religious Literacy Project. Before returning to school for her master’s degree, she was a middle school history teacher at Falmouth Academy. In that role, Tessa taught and designed student-centered, discussion-based eighth-grade history and ninth-grade English courses. She emphasized core skills in reading, analyzing, and writing with clear mechanics and coherent argumentation, as well as advised students with weekly meetings. Tessa previously worked in the admission office at Boston University Academy and as a writing instructor for the FaySummer English Immersion program. In addition to her M.A., she also has her bachelor’s from Boston University.
I love the sense of community and family that is CRS. I feel at home here. CRS is a school in which every member of faculty and staff will have an impact on the development of your child throughout their time here. It takes a village to raise a child, and CRS does it right.
Paul joined Charles River School in 2016, coming to CRS from Shady Hill School in Cambridge where he worked as the Assistant Director of Athletics. Paul has a deep love for athletics and believes that participation helps students develop both socially and academically, and forges character; he also views athletics as a tool for reinforcing school values. Paul earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and physical education and his master’s in education in exercise physiology from the University of Maine, where received the Presidential Academic Achievement Award. He is also a four-time America East Scholar-Athlete.
A day-in-the-life of CRS for me is building and fostering relationships with students. Without meaningful and positive relationships, I believe that our time together in the classroom wouldn’t be as productive. One of the parts of my job that brings me joy is being an advisor to seventh and eighth graders. Over the course of two years, I get to help students navigate what can be a challenging time in their life.
Kent joined CRS in 1998, as a middle school Spanish teacher and Grades 7 & 8 advisor, and has also coached soccer and lacrosse. Prior to joining CRS, Kent taught at the Robert Louis Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, California, and at Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey. He enjoys promoting a positive student learning experience, sparking student enthusiasm for learning Spanish, and providing a strong language foundation for future language study. Kent earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in Italian, and his master’s in secondary education from the University of New Hampshire. He also spent a year at the Universidad de Granada in southern Spain, and three summers studying Spanish literature at the Universidad de Salamanca.
I love to develop curriculum that integrates literature with STEAM to spark curiosity, foster inquiry, and inspires students to make meaningful connections.
With more than three decades of experience as an educator in public and independent schools, Karen serves as Librarian and Media Services Teacher at CRS. In this role, she develops curriculum that integrates literature with STEAM to spark curiosity, foster inquiry, and inspire students to make meaningful connections. During her time at CRS, she has also taught PreKindergarten and multi-age PreK/K, helped to establish the multi-age PreK-2 program, developed an early childhood maker space, and served as the PreK-2 Curriculum Coordinator. Karen also taught at the Acton Children’s School, at the Wellesley Cooperative Nursery School, and in the Newton and Natick public schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Haverford College and her master’s degree in early childhood education from Boston College.
Charles River School is amazing for a music teacher because the arts are valued, and thoroughly integrated into the curriculum. We are all a team teaching the students together, and I have the time, support, resources, and excitement to do incredible projects with all of my classes. I am so lucky to work here!
Mica joined CRS in 2006, and is the Head of Performing Arts. In this role, she teaches general music, electives, and Multi-Arts classes, directs the fourth- through eighth-grade CRS Chorus, and runs the Assemblies program. Prior to CRS, Mica worked as a musical director at Artbarn Community Theater in Brookline for 17 years and taught private piano lessons. She was also a performing singer/songwriter of folk and rock music in and around New England, and produced two CDs before deciding to teach children to be rock stars instead! Mica earned her bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in jazz piano performance.
At CRS, I love feeling empowered to create lessons that students will never forget by capitalizing on each student’s unique interests and strengths.
Chris joins Charles River School from Pollard Middle School in Needham, Mass., where he served as a literacy support teacher and instructional coach. In these roles, he developed an individualized curriculum for each reading and writing student and collaborated with math, science, social studies, and English teachers to develop new curricula, projects, and activities, and refine existing classroom practices. Previously, he was an Eighth-Grade English and Reading Teacher and an Eighth-Grade U.S. History and Civics Teacher at Jonas Clarke Middle School in Lexington, Mass. Chris was named Teacher of the Year in 2015 while serving as the English Department Chair, Seventh- and Eighth-Grade English and Reading Teacher, Teacher Mentor, Data Coach, and Webmaster at the Hillsboro Elementary/Middle School in Franklin, Tenn.
“Teaching science at the middle school level is energizing. My students are endlessly curious, and it encourages me to rethink my curriculum often based on their interests and how they experience science happening in the world around them.”
Tara taught science at a number of schools since 2001, and prior to coming to CRS served as the Science Department Chair at Dana Hall School. During her time at Dana Hall, Tara taught courses in physical and life sciences for students in grades 9-12, served as an advisor, and was a member of the Admissions Committee and the Senior Projects Committee. Tara also taught science at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Boston, The Pennington School in New Jersey, and The Winchendon School. Throughout her career in education, she has also been a coach, middle school advisor, dorm parent, and faculty mentor, and served on a number of faculty- and student-focused committees.
Leigh joined CRS in 1999, and taught second grade for three years before moving into her current role as the English teacher for Grades 7 & 8. Prior to CRS, Leigh’s experience includes teaching elementary school in Portland, Maine, and Houston, Texas, and teaching social studies for seventh- and eighth-grade students in Barrington, New Hampshire. Leigh is passionate about teaching students how to take their voices outside the arena of the classroom to support causes that they believe in. Outside CRS, she teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) and Grammar for adults in Milton, Conversation English for adult ESL students through the Boston Public Library, and has taught for The Steppingstone Foundation. Leigh earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Maine with minors in child psychology and history.
I love the amazing teachers. As a parent of two CRS graduates, I appreciate how well known and safe my children were at school. As a colleague, I feel lucky to work with such a dedicated and talented group of educators.
Elizabeth Clayton is in her ninth year of being the Associate Head of Charles River School. She has been an educator for over twenty years with experience teaching math and science in middle and high school, and several years as a coach, advisor, and administrator.
Before becoming the Associate Head at CRS, Elizabeth taught middle school math and science at the Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School in Franklin, Mass. for eight years. For several of those years she also served as the Middle School Coordinator and Academic Dean of Grades 5-8. During her time in Franklin, Elizabeth was a key administrator, working closely with four different Heads of School. She also taught earth science and physical science at Worcester Academy in Worcester, MA and coached varsity soccer and middle school basketball. Early in her career, she worked as a Senior Field Supervisor at archeological field sites in Indiana and Kentucky.
Elizabeth earned her BA cum laude from Smith College with a major in geology and a minor in archaeology; she played varsity lacrosse there as well. Elizabeth pursued her master’s degree in Geological Sciences at Indiana University in Bloomington where she also served as an Associate Instructor and Lab Coordinator.