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Faculty & Staff Bios

Administration & Office Staff

Carolyn Sheehan, Executive Director
csheehan@blackstoneacademy.org

Carolyn became interested in the problem of inequality in educational opportunity as a high school student while working on student rights and responsibilities issues in Massachusetts. At Hampshire College, she studied history/philosophy of education and educational policy studies. She spent some time pursuing philosophy of education in the graduate school of education at the University of Illinois. Her undergraduate thesis was a study of turn of the century working class and immigrant education in Holyoke, Massachusetts. This began an intrigue with urban mill towns and education that later drew her to work with youth in Central Falls where she coordinated community projects, youth run businesses and workshops throughout the Central Falls Schools. She left to become Executive Director of The SPIRIT Educational Program in the late 1980s and grew the program from a summer program to a year round educational enrichment program for middle and high school students in the Providence area. She served briefly on the Central Falls School Committee.

In the mid-nineties, SPIRIT merged with Rhode Island Youth Guidance Center, Inc. and she became Associate Executive Director where she continued with SPIRIT and oversaw school based and after school prevention programs. She coordinated the planning team for Blackstone Academy and has been an active participant in the Rhode Island League of Charter Schools.

At Blackstone Academy, Carolyn shares administrative responsibilities with Kyleen Carpenter while focusing on the non-profit management and supervision of the non-teaching staff and out of school programs

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Debbie Reyes, Administration, 
Admissions Coordinator 

dreyes@blackstoneacademy.org

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Mindy Fontaine, Executive Assistant
mfontaine@blackstoneacademy.org 

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Tania Vasquez, Office Staff
tvasquez@blackstoneacademy.org 

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Kyleen Carpenter, Head of School
kcarpenter@blackstoneacademy.org

Kyleen served as a founder of Blackstone Academy through her role as a Teacher Leader in the Spirit summer program. Kyleen was a Spanish and Psychology double major at Amherst College and became inspired to teach. She began her career at Dana Hall School and moving to Providence Country Day School. While there she was awarded a summer fellowship in teaching and learning at the Klingenstein Institute at Colombia University. She spent an intense year at Harvard School of Education earning her Masters in Education. One of her projects during her year of study there was the design and execution an evaluation of the SPIRIT Educational Program. She later taught and became a Dean at The Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts. After several years of planning with the team, Blackstone opened in 2002 with Kyleen as Head of School. Since then, Kyleen has become a certified principal through the Antioch New England School Leadership Program. She is trained in leading Critical Friends groups and has been an active participant in leadership for service learning projects.

At Blackstone Academy, Kyleen shares many day to day administrative responsibilities with Carolyn Sheehan while focusing on teaching and learning, supervision of teachers and curriculum oversight.

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Melissa Sanchez, Business Manager
msanchez@blackstoneacademy.org 

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Priscilliana Ramirez, Office Staff
pramirez@blackstoneacademy.org 

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Administration & Office Staff

Student Support Team

Elizabeth Thurber, Student Support Coordinator & Advisor
ethurber@blackstoneacademy.org

Elizabeth (Beth) joined the staff during the second year of the school. She has worked at Rhode Island Youth Guidance center where she was placed at Central Falls High School as a Behavior Specialist working with at-risk students. Previous to that she worked at Somerset High in Massachusetts as a Conflict Resolution Coordinator and at Bradley Hospital as a Milieu Therapist. Beth received her undergraduate degree at UMass Dartmouth and her MA in Educational Psychology from Rhode Island College. She has certificates in School Social Work, Social Studies, Mediation, and Critical Incident Debriefing. In addition to her duties as a counselor at BACS, she has taught senior seminar, and Community Improvement Projects including Literacy leaders, Elderly Outreach, Service-to-Service, Student Summit, and Events Planning.

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Maria Silva, Special Services Coordinator
msilva@blackstoneacademy.org

Maria is the Special Services Coordinator and arranges parent programs and other student and family gatherings. She also organizes discipline, advises the Event Committee and is an advisor.

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Paul Healy, Special Education, 11th Grade Dean & Advisor
phealy@blackstoneacademy.org

Paul Healy is a Special Education teacher, Senior Seminar teacher, advisor and 11th Grade Dean. Originally from East Greenwich, Paul is a graduate of Temple University and also received his Masters in Education from Rhode Island College with a concentration in Special Education. While Paul started at BACS as an English teacher,  he now works with the  Student Support Team focusing on students in all grades with diverse learning needs and styles as well as supporting juniors through their 11th grade year as their Dean. Outside of school, Paul spends many hours coaching various sports teams for his three children.

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Glenda Guglielmo Special Education
gguglielmo@blackstoneacademy.org

Glenda is a retired teacher from Providence where she worked as a special education teacher and administrator. She has coordinated the Special Ed. hotline at RIDE and consulted to school districts in New York and Rhode Island.

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Jennifer McGill, Educational Support Coordinator
jmcgill@blackstoneacademy.org

Jen joined the BACS staff in 2015 as a substitute teacher. She currently serves as the educational support coordinator managing substitute teaching, state testing, and chromebooks.

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Heather Rheaume, Social Worker
hrheaume@blackstoneacademy.org

Heather is a social worker at BACS, who provides clinical supervision and is involved in research/evaluation projects. She has a Phd in Sociology/Social Work from Boston University, an MSW from RIC, and an MTS from Harvard. She also teaches in the Social Work Department at RIC.

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Erika Anglon, MSW, Grade Level Counselor
eanglon@blackstoneacademy.org

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Valorie Apici, Educational Consultant
vapici@blackstoneacademy.org

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Denzel Depina, Special Education Teacher, & Advisor
ddepina@blackstoneacademy.org

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Jean Lozada, Accountant 
jlozada@blackstoneacademy.org

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Judy Purdy, College Counselor
jpurdy@blackstoneacademy.org

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Jean Lozada, Accountant 
jlozada@blackstoneacademy.org

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Fran Landry, Social Worker 
flandry@blackstoneacademy.org

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Rhonda Hanaway, Career Advisor and Career Exploration Instructor
rhanaway@blackstoneacademy.org

Rhonda joined BACS in 2014 as a Career Coordinator and Non-Profit Instructor. She is now our full-time Career and External Learning Advisor. She works with students on all grade levels,assisting them to connect with resources for Job Shadows, Internships, Volunteering, Service-Learning Projects,and Senior Projects. Creating and coordinating career fairs, industry panels and job fairs ensure that our students are exposed to a multitude of opportunities to plan their future and get experience now. Seeking and maintaining relationships with local organizations and individuals is key to giving our students relevant learning opportunities. She received her BA at College Unbound in Organizational Leadership and has a Career Coaching certification. She and her husband also own and operate a local diner, giving her expertise in business ownership.  

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Diego White, SPIRIT Director, After-School, Dean
dwhite@blackstoneacademy.org

Diego has a multi dimensional role at BACS - Program Director for the SPIRIT Educational Program and after-school programs at BACS. He is also an advisor.

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Gilbert Rodriguez, Student Support & Advisor
gilbertr@blackstoneacademy.org

Gilbert Rodriguez, Student Support Counselor, Outreach Coordinator and Advisor helped with the start of Blackstone in 2002. He had worked for six years as an Outreach Coordinator for RI Youth Guidance Center where he coordinated career counseling and attendance outreach for at-risk students in Pawtucket high schools. A certified mediator and emergency medical technician, Gilbert coordinates our wellness efforts and camping program. He is an EMT and certified advanced first aid trainer.

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Dr. Matthew Bowen, Clinical Psychologist
mbowen@blackstoneacademy.org

Dr. Matthew Bowen is a clinical child psychologist who has been providing consultation and evaluations at Blackstone Academy since the school opened. He holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. He has been working in RI since 1993 and was a staff psychologist at RI Youth Guidance Center in Pawtucket for over 10 years. In addition to regular school consultation, he maintains a private practice in Providence.

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Ibrahim Adigun, Student Support
iadigun@blackstoneacademy.org

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Lisa Tracy, Mathematics Support
ltracy@blackstoneacademy.org

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Anna Wood, Mathematics Support
awood@blackstoneacademy.org

Anna Wood joined the Blackstone Academy team in February, 2018 as a Math Specialist.  She previously taught high school math for ten years at Mount Hope High School in Bristol, RI and seven years in Michigan.  She also served as a middle school Math Interventionist for a year and a half in Fall River, MA.  She is a graduate of Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH where she earned her B.A. in Mathematics and minor in Education.  She earned her Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from IPFW (Indiana/Purdue University, Fort Wayne, IN).  In addition to Blackstone, she instructs at Mathnasium in Portsmouth, RI, tutors, and works retail.  In her free time she enjoys running road races.

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Danielle Cardi, Special Ed Teacher
dcardi@blackstoneacademy.org

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Freddy Gobewole, Student Support
fgobewole@blackstoneacademy.org

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Pedro Nunez, Teaching Asstistant 
pnunez@blackstoneacademy.org

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Jean Lozada, Accountant 
jlozada@blackstoneacademy.org

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Nicole Sheusi-Church, Substitute 
nchurch@blackstoneacademy.org

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Gail Robinson, Speech Language Pathologist 
grobinson@blackstoneacademy.org

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Student Support Team

English Language Arts (ELA) Department

Crystal Diaz, English & Advisor
cdiaz@blackstoneacademy.org

Crystal Diaz is a proud Cape Verdean and life long resident of Rhode Island who graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary English. During the school year, Crystal teaches 9th and 10th grade English while also coordinating the major social events of the school year. Crystal has also enjoyed working for the Spirit Summer Program for many years.

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Tasche Bryant, English 
tbryant@blackstoneacademy.org

Tasche Bryant started her teaching career as a New York City Teaching Fellow where she spent a decade teaching English to grades 8-12 in schools in Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn. She was the head of an English department and worked as a teacher-leader to help school improvement efforts. She has been with Blackstone since 2012, teaching English 12 and Senior Seminar. Tasche has received grants and fellowships to further her pedagogical knowledge in China, India, Sri Lanka and in South Africa, where she participated in a Fulbright program.  She holds a Bachelors Degree in journalism from Boston University, a Masters Degree in English Education from Brooklyn College and is a National Board Certified Teacher.

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Violet (V) Ha, English & Advisor
vha@blackstoneacademy.org

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Erin (Mal) Malcom, English & Advisor
emalcom@blackstoneacademy.org 

Erin Malcolm is a native Rhode Islander who began her professional career in the theater. She taught and developed English curriculum in Chicago schools before moving home to RI in the summer of 2016. Since returning, "Mal" has been working at BACS as an advisor, English teacher, and drama club coach. Most recently she worked with student leaders to revitalize the BACS yearbook, rebranded now as "The Vault." She continues to teach Upper English courses as well as advise the Vault staff. She received her Masters in English education from Roosevelt University and holds a bachelors in theater performance from Millikin University in Decatur, IL.

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Olivia Bedford, English 
obedford@blackstoneacademy.org

Olivia was raised in Washington State but moved to the East Coast in 2012 when she was admitted to Yale University. After graduating in 2016 with a degree in English, she started teaching high school English in New Haven, CT. After two years teaching English, she began teaching reading intervention. She moved to Central Falls in 2020 and began teaching English & Reading at Blackstone Academy. In 2021, she earned a Master of Science in Education in Reading/Literacy Coaching. This is Olivia’s fourth year working at BACS. This year, she transitioned to work at BACS part-time. She continues to teach 10th grade English and supports literacy efforts across grade levels.

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Jess Medeiros, English & Advisor
jmedeiros@blackstoneacademy.org

Jess joined the Blackstone community in the 2023-2024 school year; since then, she has been telling anyone who will listen that it’s the best place she’s ever worked. She attended the University of Rhode Island and has a B.A, in English, and a Masters in Secondary Education. Jess has always known that she wanted to be a teacher and is living out her dreams doing reading support and teaching upperclassmen English at BACS. She has a passion for arts integration and social justice, and loves watching students discover their inner readers, writers, critics, advocates, and performers. Prior to working at BACS, Jess taught English at Paul Cuffee Upper School, where she also coached track and field. A native Rhode Islander, Jess perpetuates the stereotype of being reluctant to go anywhere that requires more than a 15 minute drive, or that will keep her out past 9 pm (that last part has more to do with being tired).

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English (ELA) Department

Social Studies Department

Stacy Joslin, Grade 10 Dean, Social Studies & Advisor 
sjoslin@blackstoneacademy.org

As a teenager, Stacy became a Peer Leader in the SPIRIT program and her enthusiasm for working with urban youth was born. While attending Colby College she received her degree in middle and secondary social studies while competing on the ice hockey team. After playing semi-pro in Europe, she returned to Rhode Island. After teaching in an alternative teen parent diploma / adult GED program in Woonsocket, she joined the middle school faculty at Times 2 Academy. Having been a peer leader, teaching assistant, and teacher in the Spirit program, Stacy joined the planning team of Blackstone Academy School in 2002. Amongst her course offerings are US History, “We the People” Civics class, and Community Improvement Project classes including Facing History, Immigration Project and "Fill the Bucket." She also teaches Senior Seminar and helps to coordinate the schedule.

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Greg Grossman, Social Studies & Advisor 
ggrossman@blackstoneacademy.org

Greg Grossman earned his BA in Political Economy from UC Berkeley and his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. Prior to coming to Blackstone in 2019, Greg taught Humanities and Civics at Gateway High School in San Francisco for 13 years where he also coached the boys’ basketball team. Previously, he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and practiced law at Morrison and Foerster LLP in San Francisco. Greg is an advisor and teaches U.S. History and Civics as well as Senior Seminar. When not teaching, he is often coaching youth sports, playing with his dog and children, traveling somewhere fun or cheering on his beloved Dodgers and Rams.

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Carly Stearnbourne, Social Studies & Advisor 
csternbourne@blackstoneacademy.org

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Nick Alves, Social Studies & Advisor 
nalves@blackstoneacademy.org

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Syed Menebhi, Social Studies & Advisor 
smenebhi@blackstoneacademy.org

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Social Studies Department

Math Department

Katie Desrosiers, Mathematics & Advisor 
kdesrosiers@blackstoneacademy.org

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Roosevelt Brown, Mathematics & Advisor 
rbrown@blackstoneacademy.org

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Katie Somerville, Mathematics & Advisor 
ksomerville@blackstoneacademy.org

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Paul Pasaba, Mathematics & Advisor 
ppasaba@blackstoneacademy.org

Paul Pasaba graduated from Brown University with a BA in Computer Science and received his MAT from Providence College. He worked for several years in the non-profit sector as Director of Education and Organizing for the Providence Youth Student Movement and as the technology specialist for Open Doors,  a non-profit serving formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. He teaches Algebra and Geometry, is an advisor, and coordinates technology.

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Bryant Estrada, Mathematics & Advisor 
bestrada@blackstoneacademy.org

Bryant serves as an advisor and teaches Geometry, Calculus, and Core Secondary Mathematics. Prior to joining BACS in 2018, Bryant worked as a math teacher and support staff at a couple of other urban charter schools. Originally from Central Falls, Bryant received his bachelor’s degree in Education Studies and Psychology from Brown University and his Secondary Math teacher certification from Providence College. He is now in the process of completing his M.Ed. in Urban Teaching at Providence College. 

Bryant is a firm believer that urban education reform begins in the classroom, where culturally responsive teaching and the incorporation of student identities/experiences in curriculum/pedagogy is considered when deciding upon and implementing urban education policies. 

Aside from teaching, Bryant is a founding member of the Central Falls Alumni Association, a member of the Board of Canvassers for Central Falls, and belongs to a semi-pro salsa team at Mambo Pa Ti Dance Company.

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Math Department

Science Department

John Horton, Science & Advisor 
horton@blackstoneacademy.org

John Horton is an Advisor and Science Teacher who has been with Blackstone since our second year. John spent five years as a high school science teacher in the Philadelphia public schools before coming to Blackstone. A native Rhode Islander, John received his BA in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and his Masters in Education at Temple University. John teaches biology, advanced placement biology, and Environmental Studies. His Community improvement Projects have included Born To Run, Nature trail and Environmental Club. John has coordinated many learning experiences with Blackstone Valley conservation and environmental groups.

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Aaron Weinblatt, Science & Advisor 
aweinblatt@blackstoneacademy.org

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Brianna Balke, Science & Advisor 
bbalke@blackstoneacademy.org

Brianna is a graduate of Ponoma College and received her MAT from Brown University. A native of Colorado, she loves the outdoors and is a runner and biker. She is an accomplished musician. At Blackstone, she teaches Chemistry, Physics and a CIP, “Recycle a Bike."

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Alvaro Reina, Science & Advisor 
areina@blackstoneacademy.org

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Science Department

World Languages

Isabel Abrantes, Portuguese ,Spanish & Advisor 
iabrantes@blackstoneacademy.org

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Hailey Heater, Spanish & Advisor 
hheater@blackstoneacademy.org

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Cindy Pires, Portuguese, Spanish & Advisor 
cpires@blackstoneacademy.org

Cindy Pires has been teaching for the past decade—most recently at Portsmouth High School. In addition to teaching Spanish and Portuguese, she also served as a class advisor to the Foreign Language Honor Society and member of the Technology Task Force. She received her BA in Secondary Education, Portuguese from Rhode Island College. She has been a community leader and volunteer with the Cranston Portuguese Club. In addition to Portuguese, she also teaches Spanish, 21st Century Workplace Skills and is a 10th grade advisor. Her combination of skills and experience allowed us to bring Portuguese back to Blackstone!

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World Languages

Co-Curriculars

Meghan Healy, Art & Advisor 
mhealy@blackstoneacademy.org

Meghan Healy teaches Art at Blackstone after having spent time working as a corporate graphic designer in Boston. Meghan is originally from Pennsylvania and attended Temple University. In addition to teaching Visual Arts classes, she is also an advisor and has taken responsibility for beautifying the public spaces of the school by displaying her students' artwork. She also guides the Yearbook Committee.

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Jeana DeAngelis, Physical Education & Student Support
jdeangelis@blackstoneacademy.org

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Greg Payette, Physical Education & Advisor 
gpayette@blackstoneacademy.org

Greg Payette completed his BS in Physical Education and Health Education with a specialization in Adapted Physical Education at Rhode Island College. He spent the last several years working for Tides Family Services overseeing daily operations as its Dean. While there, he helped develop academic and social skills for students with a variety of behavioral and academic challenges. He is teaching a variety of creative Physical Education classes and is a 9th grade advisor.

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LaRae Rhodes, Art Teacher & Student Support
lrhodes@blackstoneacademy.org

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Co-Curriculars
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