VCMS Sixth Grade

 

Language Arts

Ms Michelle Converse

Current Position: 6th grade Language Arts
Years Teaching: 17 years
Degrees/Certifications:
B.S. from the University of Connecticut
M.A. from the University of St. Joseph

Professional History: Mrs. Converse began her full time teaching career at Maple Street School in Vernon.  She taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades there for 13 years before heading up to the middle school where she has been a 6th grade language arts teacher for the past 4 years.

Extracurricular Activities: Mrs. Converse lives in Manchester with her husband and 2 boys. They are avid Yankee fans and enjoy going to baseball games in the summer.  She has participated in Relay for Life/South Windsor/Rockville for the past 8 years as a founding member of Team Eraserheads.

Mrs. Dianne Grimaldi

Current Position: 6th Grade Language Arts
Years Teaching: 8 years
Degrees/Certifications:
B.A. in Creative Writing & Communications from Central Connecticut State University

M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of St. Joseph

Professional History:
Mrs. Dianne Grimaldi began her first teaching position at Louis P. Slade Middle School in New Britain, CT (2007), where she taught 8th grade Language Arts.  Due to budgetary cuts, Mrs. Grimaldi then took a 7th grade Language Arts position at Vernon Center Middle School in August of 2008.  She's been teaching Language Arts here at Vernon and coaching girls basketball since 2008 and also coached Junior Varsity Softball at Rockville High School for 3 years.

Extracurricular Activities:
While Mrs. Grimaldi was at CCSU completing her undergraduate degree,  she was a standout Lady Blue Devil basketball player who scored 1,104 points & earning all NEC first team honors in 1997. Prior to Mrs. Grimaldi's teaching career, Mrs. Grimaldi worked in numerous careers.  Mrs. Grimaldi worked at ESPN, WFSB 3, and also coached high school basketball.  In addition, Mrs. Grimaldi was a 22nd draft pick for the Springfield Spirit Women's Professional Basketball team in 2004.   Mrs. Grimaldi loves to coach and assist girls basketball players through working various summer camps & individual lessons in her spare time.  Also, Mrs. Grimaldi loves supporting students by attending sporting events and extra curricular activities.

Social Studies

Mrs. Karen Labrencis

Current Position: 6th grade Social Studies
Years Teaching: 22 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.S. Education from Southern Connecticut State University

M.S. Education from St. Joseph's University

Professional History:
Mrs. Labrencis began her career as an underwriter for the Aetna.  After many years, she began a second career in education.  She then began teaching 4th and 5th grade before transitioning to 6th grade Social Studies.

Extracurricular Activities:
Karen loves the outdoors and enjoys spending her free time running, biking riding, kayaking, gardening, and traveling.  She has completed two marathons and 5 half marathons.  She has also participated in Bike NY riding through all 5 boroughs of the city. She also enjoys spending time with her two grandsons.

Mrs. Mary Suroviak

Current Position: 6th grade social studies
Years Teaching: 13 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.S. Education from the University of Maine at Farmington
M.S. Educational Technology from Eastern Connecticut State University

Professional History:
Mrs. Suroviak has been a sixth grade social studies teacher at VCMS for the past 13 years.

Extracurricular Activities:
At VCMS Mrs. Suroviak is a proud member of the PBIS committee.  At home Mrs. Suroviak enjoys camping, running, gardening, and cooking with her family.

Math

Mr. Brian Woods

Current Position: 6th grade Mathematics    

Years Teaching: 10 years  

Degrees/Certificates: B.S. in Education from Messiah College
M.A in Reading from University of St. Joseph

 

Professional History:    Mr. Woods got his first teaching job at Bolton Center School where he taught 4th grade for one year.  He then taught at Maple Street School for 9 years.  He taught 3rd grade for 6 years and 5th grade for 3 years. He is very excited to now be teaching 6th grade math at VCMS.      

Extracurricular Activities: Mr. Woods' ultimate joy is raising his 1 year old son, Carter.  When not chasing after Carter, Mr. Woods enjoys running around his hometown of Ellington.  This October, he will run his 5th half marathon.  In the summer he enjoys competing in local triathlons and playing golf with his friends.  Mr. Woods also enjoys traveling whenever he gets the opportunity; so far he has visited 18 countries.                                                                                                

Mrs. Kathleen Woodruff

Current Position: 6th grade Mathematics
Years Teaching: 11 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.S. Business Management from the Central Connecticut State University
M.A. Education from the University of Hartford

Professional History:
Mrs. Woodruff started her career in the business world managing Calamari's Seafood Grills in South Windsor and West Springfield. With the decision to make a career change, she returned to school to obtain teacher training and a masters degree. She moved into the education sector by writing and managing grants for CREC and later as a member of the opening team at The Greater Hartford Academy of Math & Science (GHAMAS). Mrs. Woodruff ran after school and summer enrichment programs in science at GHAMAS for a number of years until coming to Vernon to teach fifth grade at Maple Street School. In 2012, Mrs. Woodruff transferred to VCMS to teach math.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mrs. Woodruff enjoys hiking, traveling and spending as much time at the beach as possible.

Mrs. Woodruff's Math Page: www.classjump.com/v/vcmspride

Science

Mrs. Pamela Hoyt

Current Position: 6th grade Science
Years Teaching: 17 years

Degrees/Certifications:
M.A., Education from Saint Joseph University
B.S., Marketing from Central Connecticut State University

Professional History:
Mrs. Hoyt began her career as a merchandise buyer and manager at Sage Allen and Eddie Bauer.  Her career in education began in elementary school.  She taught 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade before her changeover to 6th grade Science.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mrs. Hoyt has a love for animals, especially dogs and cats.  She also enjoys riding her bicycle whenever she has the opportunity.  At VCMS, she is the co-advisor for student council.

Ms RebeccaTorres

Current Position: 6th grade Science
Years Teaching: 17 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.S. Education from Central Connecticut State University
M.A. Teaching and Learning from Nova Southeastern University

Professional History:
Ms. Torres began her teaching career as a 7th and 8th grade Spanish teacher at Vernon Center Middle School.  After two years, she transitioned to 6th grade Science and has been there ever since.

Extracurricular Activities:
Rebecca has always been active, however has developed a passion for Zumba and Piloxing over the past few years.  Most of her free time is spent with family.  If there is one place that she envisions herself most it would be on a beach with a stack of novels.

Co-Teachers from Special Ed Department

 

Mrs. Jeanene MacDonald

Current Position: 6th grade Special Education Teacher

Years Teaching: 11 years

Degrees/Certifications:
Associates Degree from the Community College of the Air Force

B.A. in Psychology from Eastern Connecticut State University

M.A. in Special Education from University of Saint Joseph

6th year degree with a concentration in Reading from Walden University

Professional History:
Mrs. MacDonald served 11 years in the Connecticut Air National Guard before beginning her career in teaching.  She began teaching Special Education at Vernon Center Middle School in 2005.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mrs. MacDonald enjoys spending time with her family.  She has three daughters.  Megan is nine years old, Madison is four years old, and Mackenzie will be turning two in October.  The girls keep her busy at the dance studio, on the softball field, and leading Girl Scout Troop 65114.  When time allows, Mrs. MacDonald enjoys reading, walking, and watching NASCAR!

Mrs. Linda Redekas

Current Position: 6th grade Special Education
Years Teaching: 20 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.S. in Special Education from Central Connecticut State University
M.A. in Reading and Language Arts from Central Connecticut State University

Professional History:
Mrs. Redekas began her career at Maple Street School as a Special Education Teacher, in 1995. She had a resource room there for 9 years, before transitioning into a position as a Reading Specialist. She held that position for 9 years, as well. At that point, she transferred to Vernon Center Middle School, as a Special Education teacher. Mrs. Redekas currently teaches R.O.P.E.S. (Reaching Out for Positive Educational Success) classes for language arts and math, and is a Co-Teacher for language arts and math also.


Extracurricular Activities:
Linda's most important job is being mother to two fantastic boys, Jacob and Joshua. She is an avid reader, when she can stay awake long enough! In addition to reading, Linda enjoys kickboxing and biking. Cake decorating has become a fun hobby on the side. In the summer, she tends beautiful vegetable and flower gardens.

 

Reading Intervention

Mrs. Deborah Halpryn

Current Position: Reading, grade 6
Years Teaching: 20 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.A. in Drama from The Catholic University of America

M.S. in Reading/Language Arts from Eastern Connecticut State University

 

Professional History:
Mrs. Halpryn started working in professional theater even before graduating from Catholic University.  After working for a number of performing arts organizations in the Washington D.C. and Hartford areas, she became a teacher.  She has worked at VCMS for her entire teaching career.  Mrs. Halpryn taught 7th grade language arts for 18 years before moving to reading intervention.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mrs. Halpryn has been the Drama Club advisor for almost 20 years.  She is also the co-chair of the Evening of Excellence committee.  Outside of school, she is a Girl Scout leader and soccer mom.

Math Core Support

Mrs. Sara Green

Current Position: 6th Grade Mathematics
Years Teaching: 8 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.S. Elementary Education from Central Connecticut State University


Master's Degree in Curriculum & Instruction

Professional History:
Mrs. Green began her career as a waitress at Krause Caterer in East Hartford and then continued on to Hops Grillhouse in Newington. From there, Mrs. Green pursued elementary education at CCSU and landed her first teaching job in Windsor Locks, CT where she then taught various long-term positions, all 5th grade. In 2008, Mrs. Green pursued VCMS and taught 6th grade Language Arts. From there she landed her first permanent classroom position as a 6th grade math teacher.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mrs. Green is married and has two kids, Sydney, 4 years old and Owen, 2 years old who keep her quite busy. Outside of school, she enjoys traveling to West Palm Beach with her family. Mrs. Green goes to kickboxing and has recently pursued playing golf with her husband. She also enjoys running in 5k's and getting her students involved. Mrs. Green can't wait for the next fun run!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vernon Public Schools Mission Statement

The Vernon Public Schools, in partnership with family and community, is committed to provide a quality education, with
high expectations, in a safe environment where all students become independent learners and productive contributors to society.