Mrs. Souza is a founding team member who has held many roles at BVP. After spending her first three years with BVP at the Elementary School, she is now the Head of School at the Middle School. She holds a BA from the University of Rhode Island and completed her Master's Degree in Elementary Education at Rhode Island College. Mrs. Souza lives in Cranston with her husband and four daughters. As a veteran Kindergarten teacher, she has twice been nominated as Teacher of the Year in Exeter-West Greenwich, Rhode Island and was nominated for the Rhode Island Amgen Award for Science and Teaching Excellence. Since beginning her career at BVP, Mrs. Souza has been nominated for the Rhode Island Teacher of the Year, and twice been nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. Mrs. Souza has represented BVP and RI Charter Schools by attending Education Nation in New York City and visiting RI Senators and Congressmen in D.C. She has been invited to present professional develpment programs at schools and conventions across the country. Mrs. Souza has been a youth soccer coach for many years and enjoys reading and discussing books in her spare time.
Marielle Emet, Dean of Academics
Ms. Emet is excited to return to Blackstone Valley Prep for her fourth year to ensure that all scholars are on the path to the college of their choice! In 2013, Ms. Emet received the distinguished national Milken Educator Award. She earned a history degree from Towson University in 2006 and received a Master's in teaching from John Hopkins University in 2008. Ms. Emet was a Teach for America 2006 Baltimore corps member, and taught at her placement school, Digital Harbor High School, for four years. She also worked as a mentor teacher for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for two years. After writing curriculum both for Teach for America and her school, she worked as a Curriculum Specialist for Teach for America during the summer of 2010. Ms. Emet was also BVP's Teacher of the Year for 2012-2013. Ms. Emet has fallen in love with fifth grade math the past three years and is eager to continue this important work with an amazing team of teachers, staff, parents and, most importantly, scholars!
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Art, Music and P.E.
Genvieve Spitale, Music
Ms. Spitale is very excited to share her passion for music with the scholars at Blackstone Valley Prep Middle School! A native of Mystic, Connecticut, Ms. Spitale earned her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the University of Rhode Island where she studied voice, piano, and harp. She is an accomplished vocalist who has toured Italy and Canada with various choirs, has performed as a church soloist and section leader, and is the program director of the Chorus of Westerly's Summer Music & Movement Camp. In addition to performing and teaching music, Ms. Spitale loves shredding the slopes on her snowboard in the winter.
Steven DaRosa, P.E.
Mr. DaRosa graduated from Rhode Island College with a BS in Physical Education. He is also certified in Health Education and endorsed in Adapted Physical Education. He is excited to share his passion of living a physically active and healthy lifestyle. He is also looking forward to coach and prepare the soccer team for another great season.
Edmund Laskowski, P.E.
Mr. Laskowski graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2006 with a degree in Kinesiology, concentrating in Physical Education, Health Education and an endorsement in Adapted Physical Education. He is a founding teacher at the middle school, the PE/Health content lead teacher and the network Athletic Director. Mr. Laskowski is excited to continue his work on comprehensive education and athletics programs for the scholars at BVP while providing them with an enthusiastic, health-enhancing and physically fit environment.
Michelle Turner, Art
Ms. Turner, a born and raised Northern Rhode Islander, holds a BA in Art Education and a Master's in Elementary Education from Rhode Island College. Ms. Turner will be returning for her fifth year at BVP and is super excited to continue and develop the art program at the Middle School. While upholding her belief that everyone is capable of making meaningful art, Ms. Turner strives to provide relevant and purposeful art experiences for children of all ages.
Erika Sanzi, Spanish
Ms. Sanzi will be teaching Spanish this year to 7th and 8th graders. She is a former Cumberland school Committee member, mother of three young sons, and former Spanish Teacher in MA and CA as well as Dean of Students in Providence. She consulted with BVP as interim Dean of Students at the Middle School last year before transitioning back to the classroom this year. Her BA and MA are both in Spanish, from UVM and Middlebury College, respectively.
Student Support Services
Sarah Hayhurst, LCSW Social Worker
Mrs. Hayhurst is excited to return for her second year as the Social Worker at BVP Middle School! Mrs. Hayhurst was born and raised in Kansas before moving to RI two years ago. She has a Master's Degree in Social Work and worked as a School Social Worker in elementary and middle schools on the Fort Riley military base in Kansas for 5 years. In addition to experience in schools, Mrs. Hayhurst has also worked at Gateway Healthcare Inc., coordinating community and home-based services for RI children with special needs. In her spare time, Mrs. Hayhurst enjoys cooking, reading, spending time with her husband and dog, and cheering for the Kansas State Wildcats!
Liz Laguerre, Special Educator
Ms. Laguerre is thrilled to be a new member of the BVP family this year. She is originally from Providence, RI and graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2013 with a BA in English and African-American Studies. Ms. Laguerre hopes to later pursue a Master's Degree in Educational Policy. She is excited to bring her passion for literature and the arts to scholars this school year!
Nick Mosher, 1:1
Mr. Mosher is new the BVP team this year, but is excited to begin working with middle school scholars! He graduated from Salve Regina University in Newport, RI with two bachelors degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education. Mr. Mosher comes from a little town named Hopedale, Massachusetts and has always wanted to be an educator. He hopes to help all scholars in their quest to be successful at BVP and progress on to college.
Sarah Riley, Special Educator
Miss Riley is new to the BVP team this year. She grew up in Berywn, PA and came to Rhode Island to study at Providence College. Miss Riley graduate from Providence College with a BA in elementary and special education and a minor in mathematics. Miss Riley is studying to get her Masters in Literacy at Providence College. Miss Riley spent last year as the assistant swim coach at Providene College. She was a four year member of the Providence College Women's swim team. Miss Riley loves math and is excited to be teaching math this year. Miss Riley hopes to share her excitement and enthusiam about math with her scholars.
Kendra Volpe, Special Educator
Ms. Volpe is a RI native and excited to joining the teaching team at the Middle School. Ms. Volpe holds a BA in Elementary Education, and a BA in Studio Art from URI and she has earned an MEd in Special Education at PC. Ms. Volpe has been teaching Special Education for several years and has a variety of teaching experiences. She has most recently worked with the Middle Grades team at The Learning Community Charter School in Central Falls. She also taught for several years at Mount Pleasant Academy. In her free time, she enjoys yoga and running and playing with her chihuahua!
Beth Matthews, Nurse
Mrs. Matthews is excited to be a part of the BVP Middle School! A native Rhode Islander, Mrs. Matthews earned a Bachelor's Degree from URI in Human Development, as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from Mass. College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She recently finished her Master's in Nursing at the University of New Hampshire! Mrs. Matthews has worked as an RN at hospitals in New Hampshire and Rhode Island and currently works per diem at Butler Hospital in Providence. Mrs. Matthews is the proud step mom of a BVP scholar at ES 1! She lives in Lincoln with her husband Nathan, stepdaughter Akoda, dog Polly, cat named Pepper and her two turtles! In addition to making people feel better, Mrs. Matthews sings some mean karaoke, loves to travel and is always looking to rescue some more animals in need :)