Meet your principals: Introductions to the leaders of Nashua’s schools

Jennifer Scarpati, Amherst Street Elementary School
Michael Mahoney, Bicentennial Elementary School
Mark Lucas, Birch Hill Elementary School
Stacy Bachelder, Broad Street Elementary School
Patricia Beaulieu, Charlotte Avenue Elementary School
Cherrie Fulton, Dr. Crisp Elementary School
Mike Harrington, Fairgrounds Elementary School
Chas Miller, Ledge Street Elementary School
Kelley Paradis, Main Dunstable Elementary School
Richard Boardman, Mount Pleasant Elementary School
Helayne Talbott, New Searles Elementary School
Marie Alsup, Sunset Heights Elementary School
Ian Atwell, Elm Street Middle School
Sharon Coffey, Fairgrounds Middle School.
Nathan Burns, Nashua High School North
Keith Richard, Nashua High School South
Marie Alsup, Sunset Heights Elementary School principal, meets with parents and students at the Nashua Goes Back to School event on Friday at the Nashua Public Library.
Staff Photo by ADAM URQUHART During the Thursday Nashua Goes Back to School event, Jennifer Rivera brings her two daughters, Zarya Fuentes, in blue, and Nyalisse Rosario, in pink, to meet Ledge Street Elementary School Principal Chas Miller and Vice Principal Ana Vasconcelos.
Staff photos by Adam Urquhart Kobe Ray-Coleman meets with Cherrie Fulton, Principal of Dr. Norman Crisp Elementary School, at the Nashua Goes Back to School event at the Nashua Public Library Thursday evening. He will be going into kindergarten this fall.

These are the names and faces leading Nashua’s diverse schools – “Bios” are grouped by level (elementary, middle and then high school) and arranged alphabetically by school. Some of the faces are new in the district, while others have been working for decades. Principals met with students during the Nashua Goes Back to School event Thursday at the Nashua Public Library.

(The new principal of Pennichuck Middle School has not been announced.)

– Jennifer Scarpati: Amherst Street Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 19 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: Albany, New York

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: Math

Q: What are you most excited about for this year? What are your goals for the school?

A: I’m excited to see the students back at school. We will continue to build students’ academic and leadership skills throughout the school year.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: I love being a student and teaching others. Education is the key to helping everyone reach their goals.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: I enjoy outdoor activities: hiking, scuba diving, canoeing and running.

– Michael Mahoney, Bicentennial Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 27 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: Weymouth, Massachusetts

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: Math

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: Greeting new faces is exciting every year. Our goal is to build community not only among our families, but also within our staff.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: George Player and Vilma O’Connor: two of the finest teachers Weymouth ever produced.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: I played varsity baseball at Boston College, and spent a season as a football walk-on, as well.

– Mark Lucas, Birch Hill Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 30 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am originally from Auburn, Massachusetts. I have a degree in communications from UMASS/ Amherst. M.Ed. from UMASS/ Boston. Administration certification from Rivier University and certification in ELL from UNH.

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: My favorite subject in school was social studies/ history. I also loved to teach social studies.

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: I am most excited about our new preschools here at Birch Hill. My goal is to always make sure that every child gets the best education possible at Birch Hill.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: I became and educator because I truly like working with kids. I have been coaching since 1981 when I got out of college. I just stepped down after coaching for close to 22 years in Nashua in baseball, basketball, soccer and girls softball. In all that time, I have only won one city championship and that was in softball.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: Most people don’t know that I played hockey in college.

– Stacy Bachelder, Broad Street Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 21 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: Hallowell, Maine

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: Math and Music

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: I am most excited to have the students back in school. The summer is lonely without them here. I am also excited for our implementation of “recess re-design” where there will be changes within our lunch and recess procedures to help make the experience more positive for all students. We have many academic and social goals each year, but our main mission here at Broad Street is always to “Dream Big, Work Hard, and Achieve Success!”

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: I became an educator because I was inspired by my teachers and administrators. I still keep in touch with many of them.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: I was the music teacher at Broad Street a long time ago.

– Patricia Beaulieu, Charlotte Avenue Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 33 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am from Nashua. I graduated from Nashua High School.

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: I always loved to read. Books can take you to so many places.

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: Each year is a new adventure. There are always new students and families to welcome in.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: I have always loved working with children.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: I love sitting at the beach and reading a good book.

– Cherrie Fulton, Dr. Crisp Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 25 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: My husband and I are originally from Pittsburg, Kansas but moved our family to Merrimack 28 years ago. As the daughter of a military family, we often moved every two to three years, so I attended many schools and made many friends all over the world.

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: Reading was always my favorite subject and continues to be my favorite thing to do.

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: Dr. Crisp is an amazing school filled with dedicated and caring staff. We are excited to welcome all of our new and former students back to school for another wonderful year. Our big focus this year will be on uncovering the potential in all of our students and staff. Everyone has something wonderful to share with and to learn from others…our job is to discover this.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: Each time we moved, I was welcomed into a new classroom by amazing teachers…I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be one of these teachers when I grew up.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: I attended school in Bangkok, Thailand for grades three through five.

– Michael Harrington, Fairgrounds Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 17 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I grew up in Massachusetts and moved to New Hampshire in 2009.

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: Social studies

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: I am excited to see all of the students come back and catch up on what they did over the summer. I am excited about a community resource fair we are planning for October and to focus on goals in supporting the social and emotional growth of our students, while ensuring teachers and staff feel empowered.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: I decided that I definitely wanted to be an educator after working with children in high school and then confirmed this through working at the Lowell Boys and Girls Club Afterschool Program and Summer Camp.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: They seem to think I live at the school, so there are a lot of answers here. I find students are pretty surprised when I talk about studying abroad in Australia and it usually leads to some fun conversation and sharing of pictures.

– Chas Miller, Ledge Street Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 20 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: Brattleboro, Vermont

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: Science and physical education

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: I’m excited and honored to be a part of the Ledge Street Community. This year, I’m looking forward to putting in place systems/structures that bring kids, parents, and staff together as a school community to build a common vision for our school.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: It’s always been important to me that I choose a career that has a positive impact on kids and families.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: I like to breakdance.

– Kelley Paradis, Main Dunstable Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 33 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I hail from the state of Maine.

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: All things music – general music, band, chorus and instrumental lessons.

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: In addition to curriculum goals, I am very excited to work with our staff on enriching our relationships with kids beyond the academics.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: In my early 20s, I found myself drawn to teaching children to read. It is immensely rewarding to see children develop a genuine love of books. There is so much conversation and laughter in that process. I have assumed many different roles in my time in education. Nothing rivals the accomplishment of teaching children to read.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: I enjoy the tranquility of kayaking.

– Richard Boardman, Mount Pleasant Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 17 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I grew up in Merrimack and now live on the seacoast in Portsmouth.

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: Aside from physical education and recess, my favorite subject was math.

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: I am most excited to submerse myself in the Mount Pleasant Community and learn all I can from the students, families, and staff. Our goal for the year will be to continue to provide the best possible educational experience we can for all our students focusing on “the whole child.”

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: I wanted to become an educator based on my own experiences in school. I had so many teachers and staff members who helped shape the person I am today, and it is my hope that I can provide the same type of experience to the students I am fortunate enough to work alongside.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: In college, I was a theater minor and once played football against John Cena.

– Helayne Talbott, New Searles Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 24 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am originally from Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York.

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: My favorite subject in high school was biology.

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: I am most excited to get to know the New Searles community, including staff, students and family. My goal is to listen, observe and learn about my new school.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: I came back in education because of my love of children of all ages.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: I am a grandma and I do not think my students know that.

– Marie Alsup, Sunset Heights Elementary School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 14 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I grew up in very small town in Iowa and have my undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Iowa. Go Hawkeyes.

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: When I was in school my favorite subjects were reading and science. I enjoy reading mysteries and also things in the world that I want to find out about.

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: I am excited about our new staff joining our team at Sunset. We are ready for the challenges and successes that a new school year brings. We can’t wait for our students to come back and get started on helping them grow each day.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: I truly enjoy working with children and seeing them accomplish things they didn’t think they could. I like to be an advocate for kids and help them find confidence and success every day.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: I hate frogs… There is a story that goes with this, but I am not a fan of frogs and would prefer not to look at or touch one ever.

– Ian Atwell, Elm Street Middle School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 12 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: I always liked science and social studies most.

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: I am most excited to welcome students and teachers back to Elm Street. We have some great curriculum, including some fantastic resources on social-emotional learning.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: I enjoy working with kids, families, and teachers. I want to help facilitate a positive and productive learning environment and inspire students to do their best.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: My wife and I have a 7-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter at home.

– Sharon Coffey,

Fairgrounds Middle School

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 41 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am a native of Nashua and a product of the Nashua School System.

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: My favorite subject when I was in school was math and Spanish.

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: I am excited about our new staff members, changes that we have made in teaching assignments, and my goal is to work with the staff on implementing our vision so that we become a top notch middle school.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: I wanted to become an educator because I always liked school and wanted to work with young people.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: One thing that the students don’t know about me is that I like dogs and have a dog.

– Nathan Burns, Nashua High School North

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 18 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: Nashua

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: Biology (it was my major in college)

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: I’m excited about starting the school with a full summer to prepare for our students. I’m most excited about students returning to the building. The school is too quiet without them around during the summer. My goals for the year are to continue to improve the school climate and to focus on achievement. Our biggest task for the year is to preparing for and completing our NEASC re-accreditation in December.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: I came into education through a non-traditional path. While working as a researcher at Mass General Hospital, I had the opportunity to speak to a freshman Biology class at Elm Street. It was that moment that I realized that I wanted to share my love of science. I returned to school to become a teacher and have been in education ever since. I also come from a family of educators and they have enjoyed their experiences as well.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: I’ve held some interesting jobs over the course of my summers through college. I was a mailman for two years and worked at a cemetery as a groundskeeper.

– Keith Richard, Nashua High School South

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: 19 years.

Q: Where are you from?

A: Nashua

Q: What was your favorite subject when you were in school?

A: U.S. History

Q: What are you most excited about for this year/What are your goals for the school?

A: I’m excited to have our students back in our halls and looking forward to an outstanding school year.

Q: Why did you want to become an educator?

A: The opportunity to work with students and help them reach their potential.

Q: What’s one thing students probably don’t know about you?

A: I am a graduate of Nashua High School.