VCMS Eighth Grade

 

Language Arts

Mr. Michael Savignano

Current Position: 8th Grade Language Arts
Years Teaching: 9 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut

M.A. in Education from the University of Connecticut


 

Professional History:
After graduating with a degree in English from UCONN in 2005, Mr. Savignano joined the TCPCG program at Uconn in West Hartford to study education.  During this time he student taught at VCMS in seventh grade and conducted a study to research the efficacy of the reading programs at the time.  The following year he became a full time employee when he took an eighth grade language arts position.  In 2013 he became the facilitator of the Language Arts department at the middle school.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mr. Savignano ran the VCMS Newspaper Club and guided the students in publishing the monthly VCMS Voice for five years.  He has served on the building and district technology committees and enjoys audio and video recording and editing.

Mr. Brian Stevenson

Current Position: 8th Grade Language Arts Interventionist
Years Teaching: 5 years

Degrees/Certifications:
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Quinnipiac University

Masters of Arts in Teaching from Sacred Heart University

 

Professional History:
After graduating from Quinnipiac University, Mr. Stevenson worked as a staff writer for PA SportsTicker, an online sports wire service formerly based in Connecticut. His teaching career began with year-long stints at North Branford Intermediate School and Strong Middle School in Durhman, CT, before joining the staff at Vernon Center Middle School as an 8th grade language arts teacher.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mr. Stevenson is the Director of Above and Beyond, the after school program at VCMS. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys staying active by playing basketball, soccer, and running in his free time. His favorite teams are the New York Mets, San Francisco 49ers, and UConn basketball. Mr. Stevenson also enjoys spending time with friends and family, particularly his young cousins, who are tons of fun and full of energy!

Social Studies

Mr. Keith Miller

Current Position: 8th grade U.S. History
Years Teaching: 10 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.S. in Education and History from Central Connecticut State University

M.A. in Public History from Central Connecticut State University

 

Professional History:
Mr. Miller is a former U.S. Army Interrogator, who spent five years in the military. He learned the value of teaching and collaborating throughout his years of service. After being honorably discharged he became a history teacher at Vernon Center Middle School, where he teaches today. Beginning as a 7th grade Geography teacher, Mr. Miller now teaches 8th grade U.S. History and is also the facilitator of the Social Studies Department at the middle school.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mr. Miller enjoys hiking, camping and many other outdoor activities.

Mr. Ray Owens

Current Position: 8th Grade U.S History
Years Teaching: 18 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.A. History & B.A. Sociology Eastern Connecticut State University

M.A. Africana Studies from University of New York at Albany

M.A. Education University of New Haven

Professional History:
Mr. Owens began his teaching career at Vernon Center Middle School as a sixth grade student teacher, and moved to the eighth grade the following year.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mr. Owens coached Basketball at Rockville High School for four years as well as Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field for 18 years. He left coaching high school athletics in 2014 to instruct dance full time. He has been teaching Hip Hop, Breakin' and Latin Ballroom dance for 21 years. Mr. Owens also works as a DJ, and plays at many of the school functions.

Math

 Mrs. Jaclyn Raiola

Current Position: 8th Grade Mathematics and Math Department Facilitator
Years Teaching: 3 years

Degrees/Certifications:
Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology from the University of Connecticut

Master of Arts in Teaching from Quinnipiac University

 

Professional History:
Mrs. Morrissey-Raiola originally went to school to be a social studies teacher but quickly learned she loved being in a math classroom better, so she persued her math certification. She taught 6th, 7th, & 8th grade math at St. Rose School in Newtown, CT before coming to VCMS. She is also the VCMS Math facilitator.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mrs. Morrissey- Raiola is the math facilitator. She also helps Mrs. Lee with book club. She recently marrried and has said “...I don't know what else to tell you about myself and I also don't know what name to use!!!”

Mrs. Jennifer Roggi

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

Degrees/Certifications:
B.S of Elementary Education from Gordon College with a concentration in Mathematics.

 

 

Professional History:
Ms. Roggi began her teaching 5th grade at Hebron Elementary School. She taught full time for 4 years before taking a part time Kindergarten position at a private school. Ms. Roggi took some time off to raise her children. During that time she was active as a volunteer enrichment teacher with students at Center Road School. She was hired by Vernon Public Schools as a substitute teacher and tutor. When she decided to go back to full-time teaching she took a position at VCMS.

Extracurricular Activities:
Ms. Roggi has been an active participant in the Vernon BSA as a committee chair, den leader, treasurer, etc. She enjoys singing, hiking, camping, kayaking and most outdoor activities. Last year she worked with the Math Counts program at VCMS. And....yes, she even does math problems, riddles and brain teasers when she is out of school too!

Science
Please log into our 8th science website for information:
  http://mraugustynscienceclass.yolasite.com

Mr. Gregory Augustyn

Current Position: 8th grade Science
Years Teaching: 8 years

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

Master's Degree in Educational Technology from Central Connecticut State University

 

Professional History:
Mr. Augustyn knew he wanted to be a teacher after spending five years being a camp counselor and camp director in Vernon.  He did his student teaching at New Britain high school teaching 9th grade science.  Mr. Augustyn was hired to teach 8th grade science at VCMS and has been doing it ever since.

Extracurricular Activities:
Greg loves the VCMS community and stays active in the school.  He is the co-director of the Vernon Bermuda Workshop, head of the VCMS staff club, member of the advisory committee, member of the technology committee, and coached the VCMS boys' soccer team for five years.

Mrs. Alicia Skoronski

Current Position: 6th Grade Science
Years Teaching: 9 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.S. in Environmental Studies from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Connecticut Teacher Certification from Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut

Professional History:
Mrs. Skoronski began her career teaching elementary science to students in grades pre-k through 5 at Smith Magnet School in West Hartford.  In 2007 she began teaching middle school science at VCMS.

Extracurricular Activities:
Alicia enjoys traveling to North Carolina to visit her parents and sisters.  She also enjoys visiting museums and doing outdoor activities with her husband and 3 children.

 

 

Mrs. Daniela Belanger

Current Position: 8th grade Special Education  and Department Facilitator
Years Teaching: 15 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.S. Special Education from University of Saint Joseph (Saint Joseph College) West Hartford, Connecticut

M.S. Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University

Professional History:
Mrs. Belanger began her career teaching a 4th grade self-contained class in Bloomfield, CT. In August of 2001, Mrs. Belanger accepted a position at VCMS teaching 6th grade special education. Since, she has taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade within a co-taught model. Mrs. Belanger became Department Facilitator in 2013.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mrs. Belanger enjoys scrapbooking, swimming and camping. Most of all, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Mrs. Melanie Cockerham

Current Position: 8th grade Special Education
Years Teaching: 11 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B. S. Human Development and Family Relations from University of Connecticut

B. S. Special Education from Central Connecticut State University

Master's of Eduation in Reading and Literacy from Benedictine University

Professional History:
Mrs. Cockerham began her career as a full-time bakery clerk at Shaw's Supermarkets. Eventually she became bakery manager for nine years. Upon completion of her special education degree, she began to pursue her love of teaching in Hartford Public Schools. Soon after, in November of 2008, she began teaching special education at Vernon Center Middle.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mrs. Cockerham loves to decorate cakes and helps run the cake decorating club at school. She is also a regular presence in Friends Club, Climate Committee, Runners, and Walkers clubs. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and hanging out with her three dogs.

Co-Teachers from Special Ed Department

Math Intervention

Mrs. Maria Goodman

Current Position: Math Intervention teacher
Years Teaching: 13 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.S. in Finance from University of Connecticut

M.A. in  Education from Lesley University

 


Professional History:
Mrs. Goodman began her career in education at Vernon Center Middle School as the Math Title I teacher.  She was in that position for 3 years then moved on to teach 7th grade math, followed by 6th grade math. She has been a teacher at VCMS for 13 years.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mrs. Goodman enjoys reading and learning about the universe, and anything that has to do with the physical aspects of the universe, from black holes to the composition of atoms. She also likes to read novels, especially science fiction or Russian novels.   Mrs. Goodman also enjoys sewing, and together with Mrs. Mickewicz, runs the Sewing Club at VCMS.  Along with many other projects, she has made several quilts for her family.

Reading Intervention

Mrs. Christina Roy

Current Position: 6th grade Special Education teacher
Years Teaching: 18 years

Degrees/Certifications:
Keene State College-Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education and Special Education

Bachelor of Arts, English
Nova Southeastern University- Masters of Teaching and Learning

Professional History:
Mrs. Roy began her career at VCMS as a special education teacher and transitioned into her current teaching position 2 years later.

Extracurricular Activities:
Outside of school Mrs. Roy is very busy with her family and their activities! You can find her at the soccer fields rooting on her children, behind the backstop at the baseball and softball fields, or watching her daughter at dance class. Mrs. Roy also enjoys going for long walks and bike riding with friends and family.

 

 

 

 

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.