Julio Avila has been teaching at Fenway for 27 years. He serves as the director of Physical Education and is an advisor for Phoenix 9. Prior to teaching at Fenway, Mr. Avila taught at the Mather Elementary School. He is a graduate of UMass Amherst with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education. Mr. Avila was a member of UMass Amherst’s soccer team. He led the Bentley Women’s Soccer Team to the North East 10 Championship and was named Coach of the Year as a soccer coach. He coaches golf at Emmanuel College and plays golf when not in the classroom or on the field with Fenway students. Mr. Avila is originally from Honduras.
Elizabeth Beal has been Fenway’s college counselor since 2008. Before she came to Fenway, she worked in the admissions office at Smith College. She is a graduate of Bucknell University, earning a degree in Psychology. She received a Master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ms. Beal loves to spend time with her children, read, and do anything outdoors. She used to (and sometimes still does) coach figure skating.
Tom Bodine has been teaching at Fenway since 2008. In addition to teaching Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus, he is the advisor of the Music Club, Technology Goes Home and an advisor of Omega 9. Mr. Bodine graduated from Boston College where he majored in Mathematics and received a minor in music. He received his Masters of Education at UMass Boston. Mr. Bodine plays guitar and records music when he is not teaching at Fenway. Here is a link to his performance at the National Museum of Mathematics in New York City (original music videos here: Order It’s Done and I’ll Write a Proof) Mr. Bodine likes to run and has run six marathons, including two in Boston!
Kevin Brill has been at Fenway for over 20 years. He grew up on a farm in the UK and attended Rowan High School in London. He then went on to study math and physics at Manchester University. When he is not at Fenway, Mr. Brill like to play badminton and soccer, spend time with his family and coach a U-12 soccer team.
Teacher of Spanish for Native Speakers
Lissette Castillo has worked at Fenway High School in Boston since 2005. She has over 12 years of experience working with youth of color and developing curriculum and teaching the Spanish for Native Speakers class. She has also worked for 4 years at Sociedad Latina as a curriculum consultant. She has a Masters Art in Teaching MAT (2004) and a Masters in Public Policy M.P.P (2015) from Tufts University. She is committed to challenging and fighting racial inequalities in education through developing curriculum that is relevant and youth-driven. Lissette also coordinated Learning & Volunteering Service Trips for her students to the Mississippi Delta, Dominican Republic and Honduras. She currently coordinates the Experimental Learning Week (known as Project Week) at Fenway High School. Through her class and projects, Lissette has further helped developed a true sense of community.
She is the recipient of multiple awards and honors such as the Pass It On Award from the faculty at Fenway High School 2012, Technology Goes Home Teacher of the Year in 2009, the recipient of the Fund For Teachers Grant in 2013, and recipient of the Quest Adventures Service Learning Grant in both 2012 and 2013.
Joseph Cheung started teaching at Fenway at 2006. He serves as the 12th grade science teacher, Senior Institute Coordinator, and the Fenway girls’ softball coach. When not teaching at Fenway, you can find Mr. Cheung playing the guitar or video games, watching sports, or hanging out with his wife and two beautiful children: preferably in some far-flung locale on the other side of the world.
John Cormier has been at Fenway for 7 years. He manages the business and financial operations for the school and serve as Treasurer of the Board. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics and his MBA from Clark University. Mr. Cormier previously worked in the banking and financial services industry, which included 21 years at Fidelity Investments. He likes to travel, attend theater, participate in sports, and share a good meal with family and friends.
Natasha Dalomba began at Fenway in September of 2015. Before she came to Fenway as part of the College Advising Corps, Ms. Dalomba served for one year at City Year. She is a graduate of Harvard University where she majored in Molecular and Cellular Biology. When not at Fenway she likes to figure skate at local rinks. When she was in college, Ms. Dalomba lived in Japan for 11 weeks and hiked to the summit of Mount Fuji.
Morgan DesPrez joined Fenway in January 2016. In addition to her development work, she teaches the sophomore Art History elective and is the assistant coach of the Fenway girls’ softball team. Prior to Fenway, she worked in investment banking, private equity and arts non-profits in New York and Los Angeles. Ms. DesPrez attended high school in Munich, Germany. She then went to Princeton University, where she studied Art History, minored in German, and was a member of the Women’s Lightweight Crew team. She holds an M.A. in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York. When she’s not at Fenway, she can usually be found cooking or searching through food blogs for new recipe ideas.
Lamone Downey Leonard is the Student Support Coordinator for Omega house, 9th grade advisor and co-advisor to Sister2Sister. Before coming to Fenway, Ms. Downey Leonard worked at the Dimock Street Community Health Center and the Mass College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Ms. Downey Leonard earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, majoring in Sociology; she then received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Boston College School of Social Work. When not at Fenway, Ms. Downey Leonard loves to dance! She takes dance classes, bakes, makes jewelry, sews quilts and makes clothes. She loves spending time with her family and friends.
Leaf Elhai teaches 9th and 10th Foundations of Literacy for the Special Education and Crossroads 10. She is an advisor for Crossroads 11, teaches SAT prep and is the faculty advisor for the Art Club. Ms. Leaf attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN and received her Master’s in Education from UMass Boston, earned through the Boston Teacher Residency program. She completed her teacher residency year at the Jeremiah Burke High School. When Ms. Elhai is not teaching, she loves to read, write, create art, be outside, and listen to podcasts, and sometimes she can be seen taking her cat out for walks in the park on his leash.
English as a Second Language Teacher
Saskia Fabricant joined the Fenway faculty in September of 2015. She is an English as a Second Language teacher and 9th grade advisor for Crossroads house. Ms. Fabricant is a graduate of Amherst College where she majored in American Studies. She earned her Master’s of English as a Second Language at Simmons College. When she is not at Fenway, you can find her outdoors, hiking, running or skiing.
Anthony Franklin has been at Fenway since 2014 and serves as a special education paraprofessional. Mr. Franklin is a graduate of Paine College where he earned his degree in Early Childhood Education. When he is not at Fenway, Mr. Franklin does security at The House of Blues or is home taking care of his grandmother. Mr. Franklin knows several celebrities and is a worldly traveler.
Kate Fussner has been an English/language arts and ESL teacher for the Boston Public Schools since 2011. She joined the Fenway community in 2016. Originally from Philadelphia, Ms. Fussner graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English and earned her Master’s in Education from the Boston Teacher Residency. Ms. Fussner is a published author, an avid reader of YA literature, and an excellent Bananagrams player.
Tina Greene joined the Fenway staff in 2016 as a Physics, Geometry, and SEI teacher. She worked for 18 years as an engineer with P&G/Gillette and has taught in Boston for 3 years. She received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University, and her Master’s in Education from Boston University. She enjoys spending time with her two children, cooking, and traveling in her free time.
K.C. Grogan, the Special Education and Student Services Coordinator, has worked at Fenway since 2014. Before she came to Fenway, Ms. Grogan worked for the Boston Public Schools for 12 years as the Special Education Administrator and Manager of Compliance. She is a graduate of Salem State College, where she earned a degree in Business Education. Ms. Grogan then earned her Master’s degree in Special Education from Lesley University and a Master’s in Educational Technology from Emmanuel College. She loves spending time with her three granddaughters and loves to read and travel. Ms. Grogan was once a flight attendant for an airline that painted their planes different colors and traveled extensively.
Chadwick Johnson has been with the Fenway community since 2001. In addition to teaching math, he is the advisor of the Spectrum Club (GSA), co-advisor of the Obama Group, an advisor of Crossroads 10 and Co-House Coordinator of Crossroads House. Mr. Johnson graduated from Morehouse College where he majored in Mathematics. He received his Master’s at Tufts University and his Professional Pastry certificate from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Mr. Johnson enjoys running, baking and testing new recipes when he is not at Fenway.
Carol Lazarus began working at Fenway in 2004 as the coordinator of the dual enrollment program for Emmanuel College and later the Visitor Program. She became the Director of Development and School Partnerships in 2010. Ms. Lazarus is a graduate of Bennington College, where she majored in Political Science and Economics and of Northeastern University’s School of Law. Before working at Fenway, Ms. Lazarus was in the private practice of law and worked for the Massachusetts Office of Human Services and the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee. When not at Fenway, she loves spending time in her garden at the Cape, reading and walking. She was once a scuba diving instructor.
Keith Magni joined the Fenway staff in 2016 as a Science teacher and Advisor for Omega House, 12th grade. Before coming to Fenway, he taught science in Boston for 13 years. He received his undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Middlebury College, and his Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Tufts University. He enjoys spending time with his family outdoors, traveling to new places, and trying new foods (the spicier the better!).
Obama Group Advisor
Benadette Manning has been at Fenway for 15 years. She teaches Math, advises the Obama Group, teaches the Robotics elective and trains faculty in Restorative Justice. Ms. Manning is the senior advisor for Crossroads House and she keeps an observation beehive in her classroom! Ms. Manning is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Business Administration. She received her Master’s degree in Teaching and Curriculum at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Ms. Manning is a triathlete and likes running, swimming and biking. She was once a professional dancer!
Victor Mateas re-joined Fenway High School in 2016 having previously taught at several Boston Public Schools, including Fenway. Most recently, Mr. Mateas was a research associate at Education Development Center designing instructional materials for students and teachers. He has presented at many local and national conferences, as well as being published in several education journals. Mr. Mateas has a B.A. in biology from Bard College at Simon’s Rock, a B.S. in biomedical engineering from Columbia University, an M.Ed. in secondary mathematics education through the Boston Teacher Residency program, and is currently completing a doctoral program at Boston University in curriculum and teaching. Mr. Mateas enjoys traveling, learning new languages, reading, cooking, and doing zumba.
Information and Media Specialist
Bonnie McBride started at Fenway in 2013 as in intern in the library at Ipswich Street. She is now Fenway’s Information and Media Specialist, where she helps students and staff find all kinds of information using a variety of sources. Ms. McBride collaborates with teachers to teach classes based on how to do research and find information. She is a graduate of Framingham State University with a degree in liberal studies, and she received her Master’s of Science at Simmons College with a degree in Library Science. As a trained archivist, she worked at the Mass Historical Society and at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library as the Ernest Hemingway archives intern. When not working, Ms. McBride loves to visit the ocean, travel the world, read books and bake cookies.
Student Support Counselor
Antonelli Mejia joined the Fenway staff in August 2016 as the Student Support Counselor and the Boston Debate Team Coach at the school. Prior to Fenway, Mr. Mejia taught English as a Second Language and supported students and their parents as the Family Engagement Coordinator at KIPP Academy Lynn. Mr. Mejia is a graduate from Boston College where he earned a degree in Psychology and Human Resources. At BC, he was a leader of the Dominican Republic Service and Immersion Program where he worked with a group of college students to learn about the educational inequity in the country, poverty, racial profiles and other social issues. Then, he received his Master’s in Education and Curriculum Development at Boston University. Mr. Mejia is the recipient of the Joseph McGuinness Award in 2014. This award is given to a BC graduate student with outstanding academic achievement and a commitment to excellence in the field of Psychology. Through a commitment to this field, Mr. Mejia demonstrated rigorous intellectual thinking and has sought to better understand the society we live in, the human mind and behavior. During his free time, he enjoys reading non-fiction literature, spending time with family and friends, dancing and traveling to new places.
Donna Payton has been at Fenway for 24 years! All three of her children attended Fenway, graduating in 1991, 1996 and 1997.
Coordinator of Dual Enrollment and Arts Electives
Jenny Siegel joined Fenway as an AmericaCorps VISTA volunteer in 2014. After two years as a VISTA she has joined Fenway staff as Coordinator of Dual Enrollment and Arts Electives. Ms. Siegel graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in Anthropology and from Tufts with a M.A.T. in history and is a licensed 5-12 teacher. She has three grown sons who are all artists! In her free time Ms. Siegel likes to visit museums, read, row and bike.
Kandice Sumner is the Phoenix House Humanities teacher. She has been a Boston Public School educator for seven years and has been working with Boston’s urban youth for over fifteen years. Ms. Sumner graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Spelman College and earned her Master’s in Education in 2009. She is currently a third year doctoral student at UMass Boston researching Urban Educational Policy. When Ms. Sumner isn’t teaching (or learning), she likes to work out, play with her dog Lady, shop and binge watch fun shows on Netflix.
Juliana Thompson has been teaching at Fenway since 2005. She teaches science in Phoenix House. Ms. Thompson received both her undergraduate and Masters degrees from Simmons College, in Biology and Teaching, respectively. When she is not at Fenway she enjoys spending time with her son, cooking and baking, working out, seeing movies, trying new restaurants and going for walks. Ms. Thompson is Brazilian and speaks Portuguese. There was once a sandwich shop in Jamaica Plain that named one of their sandwiches after her!
Elisa Van Voorhis has worked at Fenway since 2003. She teaches Spanish and is an advisor to the prom committee. Before teaching at Fenway, she taught in California for five years and at a Cambridge middle school for one year. She received her undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University in Spanish and a Master’s in Education from Chapman University. Ms. Van Voorhis likes to hang out with her family, cook, read and do arts and crafts. Although she usually eats healthy foods, she does love chocolate cupcakes!
Geoffrey Walker has been an education professional for over 16 years, working as a teacher, program director, assistant principal and principal. Mr. Walker worked in twelve different Boston Public Schools as the program director of the America SCORES Boston soccer and writing program. Next, Mr. Walker taught at both the McKay School and then English High School. He served as the Academic Director at Madison Park, Assistant Principal at the Timilty, Principal of the Rogers and, most recently, as Principal of the Escola Americana in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Mr. Walker earned his Bachelor of Arts in Education from Brown University and his Master’s degree in School Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education as an Urban Education Scholar and Conant Fellow scholarship recipient. Mr. Walker speaks Portuguese and Spanish and has lived and worked in Latin America. He describes his work as “social justice education” and “education innovation” work and enjoys soccer and being with family outdoors in his free time.