Faculty and Staff
M.Ed., Guidance and Counseling, Providence College
BA, Psychology, College of the Holy Cross
Kate Brandley has served as Regional Director of Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy (SJPIICA)since July of 2016. The promotion was a recognition of her excellent work as the principal of the Neponset Campus of the Academy from 2006 to 2016. Kate has spent her entire career in Catholic education. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in psychology at College of the Holy Cross, she received her Master of Education in guidance and counseling from Providence College. She received her principal licensure from the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth. Kate is also a graduate of the Lynch Leadership Academy at Boston College. Kate’s experience prior to SJPIICA includes serving as vice principal of student life, guidance counselor and director of admissions at Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, MA.
BS, Providence College
M.Ed., Elementary Education
Advisory Committee, Cohort V, Lynch Leadership Academy
After completing his undergraduate degree at Providence College, Nick Cuomo began his teaching career with Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education. He served as a fifth grade teacher at Saint Ignatius Martyr Catholic School in Austin, Texas for three years. During his time in the classroom, he completed his Masters of Education degree with a focus on Elementary Education. While teaching at Saint Ignatius, Nick developed and integrated a 1:1 laptop program providing students with cutting-edge technology to support student achievement.
In 2013, Nick moved to Boston, MA to teach 7th Grade Math at Excel Academy Chelsea Charter School. As one of the founding teachers at Excel, Nick was responsible for designing and delivering a comprehensive math curriculum in accordance to the Common Core and PARCC. Nick has also gained invaluable experience as an instructional leader in numerous summer programs including the ACE Teaching Program (IN) and Breakthrough Greater Boston (MA).
Last year, as a member of the Lynch Leadership Academy (Boston College), Nick served as Vice Principal of Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy – Neponset Campus. His goal for the Neponset Campus is to provide the opportunities, conditions, and supports for our school family to develop a loving relationship with God, an insatiable appetite for knowledge, and an active role in our global community.
Originally from Brighton, Claire Sheridan began her Educational Career at a Sister of St. Joseph sponsored ministry; Regis College. It was at Regis College she found her calling to become an Educator. Claire discovered the endless possibilities of encouraging one to discover his or her own given gifts.
Claire began her teaching career at The Thomas Gardner School in Allston as a long term substitute. She then became a 5thGrade teacher at St. Margaret Elementary school in Dorchester, MA. The experience was life changing. Teaching in a Catholic school enables you, as the teacher, to challenge a student intellectually, spiritually and socially. This was the beginning of a thirty year calling. Currently, Claire is a Principal of Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy ~ Columbia Campus in Dorchester. Claire is responsible for over 300 children in her role at Saint John Paul II~ Columbia Campus. Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy encourages students to grow in faith and knowledge in a safe, nurturing, structured, and culturally diverse environment. Our challenging and rich academic curriculum helps our students to develop the essential skills to become productive, responsible global citizens and positive young men and women who possess a love of learning, and of service to others.
Expected M.Ed., School Leadership, Boston College
MSW, Social Work, Boston College
Dual Degree, Lasell College
Lisa Warshafsky has been working in urban education for more than 20 years and has a passion for working with students, teachers, families and community partners. She has been the Principal of Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy, Lower Mills Campus, in Dorchester for over four years. Prior to becoming Principal, Lisa was a Guidance Counselor and Director of Guidance for Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy for 6 years. In addition to earning a Master of Social Work degree from Boston College and completing coursework towards a Master of Education in School Leadership at Boston College, Ms. Warshafsky is the recipient of the 2011 Yawkey Award for Teaching Excellence, graduate of the prestigious Lynch Leadership Academy and Boston College Lynch School, graduate of the Roach Center for Catholic Education, Emmaus Leadership Program, the Boston Family Engagement Partnership (BFEP), and the 2017 recipient for the NCEA Innovations in Catholic Education (ICE) Award for Total Community Involvement. Lisa is on the Boston Compact Steering Committee for the City of Boston and previously served on the Boston Compact Equity and Diversity Committee where she worked on elevating student voice for all and ensuring that students in the City of Boston receive high quality instruction. Lisa is the proud mother of a teenage daughter and loves spending time with her.
B.S., Psychology, Pennsylvania State University
M.A., Child and Developmental Psychology, University of Connecticut
When the four-year-olds enter the K1 classroom in September, it’s a great responsibility to prepare each child emotionally and academically for the next grade level. Ms. Burk’s goal is to meet this challenge with compassion and fairness. Her sincere hope is that her students look forward to coming to school each day! Ms. Burk holds a B.S. in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.A. in Child and Developmental Psychology from the University of Connecticut. She earned her Massachusetts licensure to teach Prekindergarten through Grade 2 as well as the Sheltered English Immersion endorsement. She served for approximately seven years as a Head Start teacher in the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood, including two years as Lead Teacher in a Preschool Expansion Grant classroom, before joining Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy in February 2017.
I’m a graduate of Emerson College, with a degree in Communications. Teaching is a second career for me. After working nearly 20 years in the legal field, I decided to pursue a degree in special education. I’ve taught as a special educator, general classroom teacher, first grade teacher, and Title I instructional specialist. My work in special ed has afforded me the opportunity to work extensively with children who have a variety of learning styles and challenges. I love finding ways to help students achieve personal success. I feel blessed to be able to work with Kindergardeners at this stage of my career, and to be working at this incredible Academy!
CLASS WEBSITE >
BS Psychology, SUNY Stony Brook
DC, NYCC New York Chiropractic College
A graduate of SUNY Stony Brook, Mrs. Conway received her BS in Psychology in ’87 and then pursued my Doctor of Chiropractic at NYCC, graduating in ’91. After 4 years of substitute teaching in the Milton Public Schools, she joined Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy in 2011, teaching grades 5 to 8 Latin & Greek Word Roots at all four campuses.
As a student growing up, Mrs. Conway’s favorite subject was math – especially Algebra. However, she was, and still is, an avid reader and have strived to instill this passion in her own kids and students. One of her all time favorite series is Harry Potter, for which she is known to reference the “word origin” of spells and even character names.
Her students and family would describe her as a “word nerd,” and she hopes to pass along this love of “breaking down” words to their roots to them.
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Ms. Curran is from the South Shore and currently lives in Dorchester. She has been working in childcare for over ten years. Most of her experience has been with children ages two through five. She is Director II certified through the Department of Early Education and Care. She is the proud Auntie of her neice Austin and her nephew Adam. Fall is her favorite season and she absolutely adores teaching at SJP. It is such an amazing school community to be a part of!
MS, Education, Saint Bonaventure University
I grew up in Arlington, Massachusetts and attended Saint Agnes School and graduated from Arlington Catholic High School. I have my Masters in Education from Saint Bonaventure University. I am a professed friar of Holy Name Province since 1981. My ministry over these many years has been in Catholic Education. I am presently living at Saint Anthony Shrine/Friary in Downtown Crossing, Boston.
What is something your students have taught you?
Since I am a primary teacher, the simplicity of each child and their eagerness to learn have taught me that each student is unique and gifted.
If you could be one super hero, who would it be and why?
Pope Francis already has made a tremendous impression upon people around the world. I would say that he is a “super hero” because he has chosen the name “Francis” after Saint Francis of Assisi who loved the poor and all of creation. St Francis lived for peace and justice. In my opinion, Pope Francis follows his ideals.
What are your first impressions of Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy?
When I received my tour of the school, I was warmly greeted by principal, faculty, parents, and students. It immediately struck me as a school with a “family-like/community-like” atmosphere and a place of welcome.
What are your hobbies and interest?
I enjoy daily walks, attending movies and theater, and travel.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students do not know.
Most things I like and enjoy EXCEPT snakes! (..so if you have a pet snake, please don’t bring it in for “show.”
BS, Sociology, Salem State College
I am a born & bread proud Bostonian. I grew up in Mattapan. I am an Alumni of Boston English High School and Salem State College. I’ve earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with a minor in African American Studies. While at Salem State I was a Resident Assistant and a basketball cheerleader. I am a mom of one beautiful eleven year old daughter. She and her father are the light of my life. I have enjoyed six years of experience in Early Childhood Education and I am looking forward to a wonderful year at St. John Paul II Catholic Academy. My motto is “I’m here to help you shine.”
CLASS WEBSITE >
BA, English, Bridgewater State Univeristy
MFA, Creative Writing of Fiction, Southern New Hampshire University
My name is Rhonda Eaton; this will be my seventh year with SJPII. Prior to my time with all of you, I worked for Avon Public Schools for fifteen years. I attended Massasoit Community College and transferred to Bridgewater State University graduating Summa cum laude and earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with a Writing Concentration. I earned my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing of Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University. My poetry has been published in The Bridge, and I have performed my writing in invitational public forums. My eventual goal is to add college-level teaching to my current repertoire while continuing to teach 5-8 (the student population I love most!) I always look forward to paying forward my love of writing to all of my students.
I listen, and I share. I tell it like it is, no pulling punches. Honesty and integrity are of utmost importance in life. Lying to others is bad enough, but lying to oneself is worse. Treating others as we would want to be treated expresses God’s desire for humans to be humane. Humanity exemplifies unity; we are all one being, no one better or worse but equal. Let us fulfill God’s desire for us and treat one another with humanity, dignity, and compassion.
MBA, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
BBA, Howard University
Recruited nine years ago to set up a new Advancement Office at a three-campus, regional Catholic elementary school for 1,200 students in inner-city Boston, Marie Louise (ML) Greenidge is the Academy’s sole paid fundraiser. She is responsible for annual giving, leadership and major gifts, foundation and alumni relations, special events, and donor relations. She is also the liaison for coordinating a capital campaign for the school in conjunction with the Campaign for Catholic Schools, a startup development organization charged with rebuilding urban Catholic Schools. Previously she was Associate Director of Development at Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center in Dorchester, a private, tuition-free school for girls of limited financial means in grades 4-8. She began her career in Information Technology at Polaroid Corp. where she supported a $50M global logistics operation. ML, who was an Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Diversity Fellow, has an MBA from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a BBA from Howard University.
My name is Ruth Kaumeheiwa (Mrs. K) and I am a Massachusetts licensed school guidance counselor. This is my second year at SJP2. Last year I worked at our Mattapan Campus and I am very happy to find a new home here at Lower Mills this year.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any concerns or questions about your child – or just to say hello!
BA, Eastern Nazarene College
AA, Massasoit Community College
I am Cape Verdean, born and raised in Dorchester. I am an alumnus of Catholic Schools (St. Peter’s Elementary School, Monsignor Ryan Memorial High School and Eastern Nazarene College). After working in the medical field for over 12 years, I decided to begin my college education and pursue my passion for teaching. I attended Massasoit Community College and obtained my Associate’s degree, proceeded into Eastern Nazarene College where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in 2016.
Last summer, I was recruited by administration to serve as Long Term 4thGrade Teacher for the entire 2017-2018 school year of Brockton Public Schools. Having been at the school as a Paraprofessional, they understood that I was not only a capable teacher, but also familiar with the school’s culture and student body. Since 2014, I had been supporting teachers with all aspects of classroom management, so my transition to leading my own classroom is seamless and I will thrive in my new role. I will be working on obtaining my Master’s in Elementary Education. I am so eager and excited to have joined Saint John Paul II Academy in Lower Mills. I am looking forward to an amazing year with my newfound friends and family.
BS, Saint Mary’s College
MS, Education, Boston College, Urban Catholic Teacher Corps
Hi, my name is Kristen Millar and I am very excited to be working at Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy as a first grade teacher this year! Although I am new to the academy this is my third year teaching. Originally, from Pennsylvania I graduated from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana in 2015. For the past two years, I have been part of the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps of Boston College through which I obtained my masters in curriculum and instruction in May of 2018. As an individual who has had the privilege of a Catholic education and an upbringing within the Catholic Church, I feel blessed to be able to share my faith in the classroom each and every day. I am so excited for the learning, sharing and growing that will take place this year!
Please check out my website: https://sites.google.com/a/sjp2ca.org/miss-millar-1b/ and follow my teacher instagram account ms.millar_ for additional information!
My name is Alexandra Milot – I began teaching K2 at Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy in 2014. I grew up in a small town south of Boston where I lived with my wonderful parents and sister. I have attended Catholic school all my life, and I was greatly influenced to teach by my parents, who were both amazing educators at Catholic schools. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a teacher: I always enjoyed working with children and I loved being a part of a classroom setting, whether it was as a student myself or when I would visit my parents at their schools to help run small intervention groups, reading centers or substitute teaching. I graduated in 2013 from Bridgewater State University, and was honored to begin my teaching career at SJP. I am so excited for another year of faith, learning, and fun with my school community!
“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” -Anonymous
Mrs. Nesti has been teaching K1 in Catholic schools for 17 years. She has been with Saint John Paul Academy since we opened 8 years ago, and at the Lower Mills campus for 6 years. After many years of working as a nurse, she switched careers and found her passion! She is lucky to really enjoy what she does.
She is fortunate to be a product of the Catholic School system, as are her children. Her faith is something she loves to share with her students. Each year, she says “This class is my favorite!”, and each year in June she gets a little weepy saying goodbye to her class.
She has been married for 36 years to a very patient man. They have a daughter and 4 sons, and are blessed with 5 grandsons. Watching her children become good adults has been one of her greatest joys.
She loves to visit Disney World and is a huge sports fan, especially the Red Sox, with the Bruins a close second. Spending time with her family and baking are my favorite pastimes.
Please visit our class website! She updates it throughout the year.
Mrs. O’Sullivan has been teaching early childhood for over 20 years and has a passion for teaching. She believes every child deserves to have a safe educational environment to learn and grow in.
Her happiest time is spent with my husband, our two daughters, son-in-law and three beautiful grandchildren. She also enjoys cooking and gardening and vacationing in Marco Island, Fl..
Visit the class website here >
BA, Education, Lasell College
Expected MS, Special & Elementary Education, Lasell College
My name is Katie Porter and I am extremely excited to be one of the first grade teachers for this upcoming school year. This will be my first year teaching at Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy and I am looking forward to being apart of such an incredible community! I recently graduated from Lasell College in Newton, with a BA from their education program and I am now pursuing my Master’s degree in special and elementary education from Lasell. Although this is my first year at the academy, Catholic education is something that I have a immense connection too. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend both, a Catholic Pre-K to 8th grade school as well as attending Fontbonne Academy for high school. I am extremely excited to be back in a Catholic School, where we can grow both in learning and faith! Feel free to to contact me with any questions or concerns! I check my email throughout the day/evening – sending me an email is the quickest way to get a response, however, you can always leave a message with the office and I will get back to you as soon as I get the chance! My email is: email@example.com
Check out our classroom website to see updates!!
BS, Early Childhood/Childhood Education and Geography, Hofstra University
MS, Early Childhood Education and Teaching English as a Second Language, Wheelock College
I grew up about a half hour north of Boston and always wanted to be a teacher growing up. I went off to Hofstra University in New York and received my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood/Childhood Education and Geography. I was able to spend a semester in every grade from preschool trough grade 5 so I have seen how children develop and what skills are needed as students move ahead in school. I recently completed my Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Teaching English as a Second Language at Wheelock College in December of 2017.
When I’m not at school, I enjoy skating with my Theater on Ice team, cooking, reading, spending time with friends and family, and traveling.
I have been teaching in both public and private settings for twenty years and am happily starting my third year at SJP. I absolutely love teaching here with my wonderful colleagues, amazing students and dedicated parents. It is a privilege to teach in a Catholic school where faith grounds us we learn and develop together as we explore the wonders of the world around us. It is inspiring to participate in the faith formation of my students as we all strive to be the light of Christ.
When I am not teaching I enjoy time with my two grown children and grandchild. We enjoy many activities together such as playing tennis, kayaking, hiking, and playing cards and board games. I also enjoy reading ( I am in two book groups, one for over 20 years), gardening (I grow many of my own vegetables) and cooking (particularly when the food was foraged from the woods or sea). I have a chocolate lab named Layla, who is my constant companion. We enjoy our daily walks around the neighborhood visiting all the children.
I’m excited to begin my 3rd year as a Grade 2 teacher here at the Lower Mills campus. I have been a teacher in this building since 2003-when it was still St. Gregory’s Grammar School (the school where I was a student from kindergarten-Grade 6!) I have over 20 years of experience in the field of early childhood education. I am also a parishioner of St. Gregory’s, and live in the Lower Mills community.
I have been teaching Grade Two at the Mattapan Campus and at Saint Angela School for the past 30 years. I am so excited to be teaching here at the Lower Mills Campus!
I believe that my teaching here is a mission that God has asked of me. To be able to teach all the academic subjects and also instill all of that with the values that God and Jesus have asked of us, is a privilege.
I am also blessed to be able to teach your child at this wonderful Lower Mills Campus! This is a true gift. Please know that I am also here for you, as a parent, as well.
Many new things are ahead for us this year and we will conquer it all TOGETHER!
BA, Elementary Education, Emmanuel College
MA, Education, American International College
Certified Reading Specialist
My name is Talia Siravo and this school year will be my eighth teaching with the Academy. I taught for 7 years in first grade and this year made the leap to third! I couldn’t be more excited to embark on a new journey here at SJP! I completed my undergraduate work at Emmanuel College right in Boston. I graduated in 2011 with a BA in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology. I graduated in December 2015 with my Master’s from American International College and am now also a certified reading specialist. This is really exciting because many of the things I learned were brought right into the classroom during our reading/literacy block.
I grew up in Narragansett, Rhode Island and often go home to visit my parents and extended family. I am the youngest of 4 and have 2 sisters and 1 brother. Growing up in Narragansett allowed me the opportunity to spend most summer days at the beach, which is still one of my favorite places. Some of my hobbies include: running (I am currently training for my third marathon), hiking, golfing, snowboarding & skiing in the winter, and reading.
BS, Simmons University
MS, Elementary Education, Simmons University
Mrs. Spaulding is in her third year teaching fifth grade at the Neponset Campus. Born in southeastern Connecticut, Mrs. Spaulding moved to the Boston area when she was a teenager. She’s an avid Red Sox fan, and recently moved to Dorchester. Her hobbies include historical reenactment, reading, running 5ks with her sister, and going on adventures with her niece and nephew.
BS in Business Mgt./Marketing from UMass/Boston
MEd in Early Childhood Education from UMass/Boston
When I was young, I always dreamed of becoming a teacher. However, when it came time for me to go to college, there was a shortage of teaching jobs. I listened to everyone else’s advice ( and not my heart), and I got a business degree, so I could be assured of a secure job. After many years working in Banking (and not really feeling like I was making a difference), I was laid off from that secure job. I decided it was now time for me to follow my heart and become the teacher I always wanted to be. I returned to school, got a Masters Degree in Education, and finally have the career I used to dream of.
Some of the main requirements in my classroom are to treat everyone with kindness and respect, and to always try your best, and to remember it’s okay to make mistakes.
Our class motto is ” Be a Winner, not a Whiner.”
The Academy is a legacy school of St. Angela, St. Ann, St. Gregory, St. Mark, St. Kevin, St. Margaret, Blessed Mother Teresa, St. Peter, and St. William parishes in Dorchester, MA.