VCMS Special Education / Gifted & Talented

 


Co-Teachers from Special Ed Department - 6th Grade

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. 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.

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.

Co-Teachers from Special Ed Department - 7th Grade

Mr. Ryan Kupferschmid

Current Position: 7th Grade Special Education
Years Teaching: 15 years

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

M.A. in Special Education from University of Connecticut

 

Professional History:
Mr. Kup began his career teaching 7th grade classes at VCMS.  He transitioned to 6th grade and 8th grade at various times in his career, but is back in the 7th grade, teaching a variety of classes.

Extracurricular Activities: Mr. Kup enjoys all forms of athletic activities, including basketball, boot camps, weightlifting, and chasing his 9-month-old daughter around.  He also enjoys playing guitar.

 

Miss Kari Hart

Current Position: 6th grade Special Education Teacher/Case Manager
Years Teaching: 2 years

Degrees/Certifications:
Post-baccalaureate certification, Special Education - Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT

BA in Psychology - Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT

Professional History:
Ms. Hart began working in education as an instructional paraprofessional for over 4 years. Afterwards, she started working as a Special Education teacher/case manager teaching 7th grade and she currently teaches 6th grade.

Extracurricular Activities:
Kari enjoys forming bonds with students and assisting them in realizing their potential. When Kari is not supporting students' success, she enjoys reading a wide range of genres. She is currently reading self-help, inspirational/religious, and societal topics and books. Next, Kari has been learning to play the guitar for almost two years. She enjoys playing praise hymns, songs by the Beatles, and many other songs by classic rock bands. Her goal is to play like Eric Clapton or Prince with many more years of practice. Lastly, Kari enjoys physical fitness and outdoor activities, such as running and hang-gliding.

 

Co-Teachers from Special Ed Department - 8th Grade

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.

Alternative Programs

Team 36

Ms Katie Ford

Current Position: 6, 7 & 8th grade Special Education
Years Teaching: 5 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.A. Social Sciences from Keene State College

M.A.T. Special Education from College of Charleston

Professional History:
Ms. Ford began her career as an educator as a behavioral therapist at a group home for children with Autism in Charleston, South Carolina.  After completing her degree in teaching Ms. Ford taught for two years in SC.  She now teaches Functional Life Skills across all grades.

Extracurricular Activities:
Ms. Ford is a proud and active member of Friend's Club at VCMS.  Outside of school, she volunteers for two non-profit organizations, Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Miracle League.  She enjoys working out at the best gym in the world, Charter Oak Crossfit.

TLC

Mrs. Jenifer Tuller

Current Position: 7th Grade Special Education
Years Teaching: 17 years

Degrees/Certifications:
B.A. in Education from American International College

M.A. in Education from University of Connecticut

Profesional History:
Mrs. Tuller began her career in .Southern California, teaching High School students.  She then moved back to her hometown of Vernon, taught at Rockville High School for four years, working with seniors and helping them with the transition to postsecondary work.  Before arrivong at VCMS, she taught K-2nd grade for ten years at Maple Street School.

Extracurricular Activities:
Jen has two beautiful children, Joshua and Zachary, who keep her and her husband very busy! She loves to run and has plans to attempt her first half marathon in the Fall of 2015.

 

Gifted and Talented Education


Mrs. Regina Lee

Current Position: Gifted and Talented Teacher
Years Teaching: 10 years

Degrees/Certifications:
BA in American Studies from Trinity College

MA in Education, reading and Language Arts, from St. Joseph College

 

Professional History:
Mrs. Lee began her career as a database administrator and legal assistant for a major law firm.  She also worked as a database administrator and development assistant for a secondary education institution while she attended graduate school to obtain her Masters Degree. She worked for Manchester Public Schools before moving to Vernon and becoming a Vernon Public Schools employee.

Extracurricular Activities:
Mrs. Lee loves to travel with her family and learning about other cultures.  She also enjoys reading for pleasure, watching movies, cooking with her children, and crochet.  She has been a Girl Scout leader for the last 13 years.

 

 

 

 

 


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.