School Staff and E-Mail

Here is a “word cloud” that our parents created to encapsulate our wonderful faculty in May 2013.

Teachers PDF

Here is a list of our 2016-17 faculty and their phone extensions and Block 7 (after-school tutoring) days:CBHS Staff 2016-17

2016-17 Faculty and Staff Listing

Ekhlas Ahmed, ELL ( - BA at USM

Ms. Ahmed (CBHS '09) is our first alumni staff member. Her remarkable talents to make students “super comfortable” were lauded in an MPBN piece this summer. She is the co‐founder of Darfur Youth of Tomorrow. This year, she will again serve as our Make It Happen Coordinator for ELL students.

Sarah Alechnowicz*, Math ( – BS from Cent. CT State

Ms. Alechnowicz taught for 32 years in Connecticut, much of it in Stratford, but upon relocating to Maine, she has been eager to continue teaching part-time at CBHS. Besides being a revered teacher, she was also a professor to aspiring middle school math teachers and a tutor for high school and college students.

Leslie Appelbaum, Humanities (English) and Literacy Coach ( - BA from Bowdoin; MA from Iowa

Ms. Appelbaum has taught in schools from Wayneflete to Portland Adult Ed.. During her time at the Southern Maine Partnership, she authored a booklet on “instructional differentiation.” Ms. Appelbaum teaches AP English and Senior Humanities. She also oversees our library and supports staff in her role as literacy coach.

Beth Babcock, Social Worker and High School Completion Coordinator ( – BA from Dartmouth, MSW from BC

Ms. Babcock was a highly regarded Day Treatment Clinician at Sweetser before joining CBHS. Ms. Babock’s diverse social work experience includes stints with families and adolescents in both schools and residential facilities. Ms. Babcock is the captain of the faculty's oft-trounced kickball team.

Becky Bell*, Nurse ( – BS and MSN from St. Joseph's

Ms. Bell has served with distinction in numerous healthcare capacities, from school nurse to a teacher of nurses. A board certified holistic nurse and statewide leader, Becky's interpersonal and clinical excellence includes expertise in stress management and nutrition. Her hobbies range from singing to rowing.

Matt Bernstein, Humanities (Social Studies) ( - BA from Bowdoin

Mr. Bernstein student taught at CBHS and will now be starting his third year with us, this year teaching Humanities One. He has also taught 9th and 10th grade social studies at the Greene School, an EL Education school in West Greenwich, RI. Mr. Bernstein's precocious wisdom matches his exuberance.

David Burke, Math ( - BA from St. Lawrence; MA from UVM

Mr. Burke was inducted in 2009 into the Sea Dogs' Maine Teachers' Hall of Fame. He joined us from Poland Regional High School, where he was also a founding teacher. His interests range from ukulele to sudoku. At CBHS, Mr. Burke is the originator of both the cardboard boat race and Junior Journey.

Kathy Cole*, Partnership Developer ( – Westbrook College

Ms. Cole is an experienced partnership developer (and alumni parent) with deep community connections. She also serves as the partnership developer at Riverton and East End. She bolsters our volunteer corps and enriches the resources our students and staff can access during expeditions.

Stewart Croft, Humanities (Soc. Studies) ( - BS from Univ. of Arizona

Mr. Croft will teach the social studies component in Humanities Two though he is certified in English as well. Before teaching at Casco Bay, Mr. Croft taught at a school remarkably similar to CBHS in Arizona, Tuscon's City High School. Mr. Croft gravitated to teaching after a career as a professional musician.

Sandra Davis*, Office Secretary (

Mrs. Davis is a legendary data specialist within Portland Public Schools, and we are overjoyed to have her expertise at Casco Bay. A Deering grad, she worked for most of her career at Portland High. Her attentiveness to detail and creative problem-solving skills consistently result in high quality outcomes.

Stephanie Doane, Humanities (Soc. Studies) ( - BA from VPI; MS from USM

Ms. Doane returned last year from a sabbatical doing curriculum development for a national company and will again co-teach Humanities Three and lead AP US History. Ms. Doane formerly taught at Bonney Eagle and Deering where she remains the Girls Varsity Tennis Coach.

Suzanne Dodson, ELL ( - BA from Colby; MA from NYU

Ms. Dodson taught in Ithaca, Old Orchard Beach and at Deering before joining CBHS last year. At DHS, she was the ELL department chair as well as the advisor to the Photography Club and Students Without Borders. This year, Ms. Dodson will teach Academic English One and Two and lead a freshmen crew.

Kyara Dorvee*, French ( - BA from Berkeley (CA)

Ms. Dorvee's love of language and culture was sparked during her time as a (stellar) student at Casco Bay High School (Class of 2011). Now she will strive to do the same for her French students. A Peace and Conflict Studies major, Ms. Dorvee's thesis was about the impact of Arabic in Sudanese schools.

Stephanie Doyle, College & Career Transition Coordinator ( – BS from Ithaca; MA from Goddard

Ms. Doyle assists our students, especially seniors, with developing and enacting plans for life after CBHS. Ms. Doyle's counseling experience encompasses work at Portland High, Fair Harbor Shelter and the Center for Grieving Children. She's also taught first grade in Costa Rica. Ms. Doyle's talents include yoga and ultimate.

Mark Ford, Humanities (Soc. Studies) ( – BA from University of Utah; MA from St. John's College

Mr. Ford started teaching in Texas before migrating to Maine. Prior to CBHS, Mr. Ford taught at Portland High. After years of teaching ELL, Mr. Ford will again be teaching Senior Humanities this year as well as a new photography course. Mr Ford completed a painting residency last summer and is our Model UN advisor.

Jennifer Galasso, Science ( - BS from UNE; MST from USM

A former intern with Ms. Teller, Ms. Galasso returned to CBHS last year to teach Biology after five years at Bath Middle School (another EL school) as a science teacher and curriculum leader. Ms. Galasso has led her students through expeditions on topics ranging from the green crab invasion to bio-ethics.

Heather Giese, Special Education ( -BA from UNH; MA from UVM

Ms. Giese begins her third year at CBHS this fall after launching her career in Vermont. Ms. Giese is an experienced running coach and outdoor leader; she also co-directs our intensives program. She joins Team 9 this year and will lead a freshmen crew.

Carla Gill* - Special Ed. Team Leader, ( – BS from USM; MA from USM

Ms. Gill is a National Board Certified Teacher, and she is mentoring several CBHS staff who are now in this process. This year, she will once again be serving as the Special Education Team Leader for Portland's high schools. Ms. Gill is one of nine staff members who will also be a CBHS parent in the 2016-17 year.

Mallory Haar, ELL ( - BA from Hollins; MA at USM

Ms. Haar returned to CBHS after a year at Lyman Moore. Ms. Haar launched our after-school ELL program and also served as an intern with Ms. McCray. Ms. Haar completed her Master's Degree in Applied Literacy. Before relocating to Maine, Ms. Haar was a Creative Arts Specialist in St Paul Public Schools (MN).

Nancy Hagstrom, Spanish ( – BA from Gettysburg and MA at USM

Ms. Hagstrom joined us with a stellar background in Spanish, outdoor adventure and progressive education. A former colleague asserts, “I have never met a more talented, dynamic, organized, well-respected and beloved teacher.” Ms. Hagstrom will be teaching Spanish 3-5 this year.

I am so glad I visited Casco By High School. I learned so much, and there is so much more to be learned from the incredible set of educators.”

~ Chris Sturgis, Competency Works: Learning from the Cutting Edge, blog post, November 2015

Michael Hale, Guidance Counselor ( - BA from Neb. Wes.; MS from USM

Mr. Hale is one of ten founding CBHS faculty members (out of thirteen) still on staff. Mr. Hale's myriad talents include team building, theater, technical theater, music and all things digital. In addition to his counseling duties, Mr. Hale will lead a sophomore crew and oversee our RTI and 504 programs.

John Hardy*, Wellness ( - BS from University of Maine

Mr. Hardy will lead our Personal Fitness and Advance Health courses this year – as well as teaching Health at Deering. Mr. Hardy was a stand-out scholar-athlete and wide receiver at both Deering and the University of Maine before turning his attention to teaching. Last year, he taught in the Bangor School System.

Deb Kierstead, Administrative Assistant (

Ms. Kierstead has been integral to the success of CBHS. Her competence and integrity are impeccable. She once was a mainstay in the Jack Elementary office, and previously worked for the Portland Partnership. Most every year, Ms. Kierstead ascends Mt. Katadhin, hosts a mammoth lobster bake and attends a Broadway show.

Elizabeth Koharian, Wellness ( – BA from USM

Ms. Koharian joins us after teaching health at both Deering and Portland High. A graduate of PHS, Ms. Koharian also earned an Advanced Certificate in England in Human Osteology and Paleopathology. Known for her energy, humor and caring, Ms. Koharian will be teaching Wellness and leading a sophomore crew.

Will Leque, Math ( - BA from U of Washington; ETEP at USM

Mr. Leque was a pioneer in the “flipped” classroom at Westbrook High School before joining CBHS last year. He has also served in the Navy as a Flight Officer, an Operational Planner and currently as the (part-time) Officer in Charge. Mr. Leque will again be on Team 9, teaching Geometry and Probability.

Anne Loughlin, Science ( - BS from UMass.; MS from USM

Ms. Loughlin has been teaching science in Portland Schools since 1991. In 2003, Ms. Loughlin earned recognition as one of the nation’s top teachers by winning the prestigious Milken Award. Ms. Loughlin created our Digital Fabrication lab and will be teaching Engineering and AP Environmental Science.

Silas Lunetta, Special Education ( – BS and BA from UMF

Mr. Lunetta worked at the Crotched Mountain School and interned with Mr. Murray before joining our faculty full-time. Mr. Lunetta has led several philosophy intensives and coached CBHS's ultimate frisbee team, the Black Mambas. This year, Mr. Lunetta will work with Team 10 and lead a sophomore crew.

Rebecca Lynch Nichols*, Spanish ( - BA from Marlboro; MA from Middlebury

Ms. Lynch Nichols has taught Spanish at the high school, middle school, and elementary levels, beginning in the Boston Public Schools in 1998. A local expert in Comprehensible Input (CI) methods, she has lived in Costa Rica and Spain. Her non-classroom passions include ceramics, dance and painting.

Patricia McClure, Educational Technician ( - BA from UMass Amherst

Ms. McClure joined us in opening CBHS after a tenure working with special education students at Portland High School. Each day she bring her passion for working with teenagers and her expertise in areas ranging from the law (she has a law degree) to gardening. Her daughter, Annie, graduated from CBHS in 2012.

Susan McCray, Humanities (English) ( - BA from Yale; Ed.M. from Harvard

Junior Humanities (English) teacher Ms. McCray was involved in one of the first Outward Bound high schools and was a former course instructor in North Carolina. Ms. McCray is one of our founding faculty, and in 2013 she received the first ever Klingenstein Award for the nation's outstanding teacher of EL Education.

Albert Morales, English ( - BA from Boston College

Mr. Morales returns to CBHS to teach Humanities One (English) - and coach Ultimate Frisbee - after a sabbatical in Nicaragua. His career includes successful stints teaching English and Spanish at a start-up NYC high school, a Boston charter middle school, and most recently, Deering.

Kevin Murray, Special Education ( - BA from Puget Sound; MS from USM

Mr. Murray came to CBHS after five years as a top special educator at Poland Regional High School. His passions range from meditation to bad jokes. A past colleague notes, “Kevin has a wonderful rapport with students. He is an invaluable resource for teachers.” He will be working primarily with Team 11 this year.

Priya Natarajan, Math ( - BS from Ohio U; MA from Harvard and MIT

Ms. Natarajan was a math teacher and department head at Deering for 12 years before coming to CBHS. Prior to that, she was a founding teacher at Boston Arts Academy. She has taught the full spectrum of math courses and is ELL endorsed. Ms. Natarajan will be teaching sophomores and USM Calculus this year.

In spring 2015 survey of our faculty, 100% “strongly agreed” with the statement: “I have a positive and productive relationship with the teachers with whom I work most closely.” In Portland Public Schools as a whole, this figure was 62%.

Nathan Nichols, Math ( - BA from Cal State

Nate Nichols returned to Maine after two years at Venice High School (CA). Mr. Nichols worked in the New Media Academy and taught web design – as well as math. Prior to teaching, Mr. Nichols was a computer programmer, musician and filmmaker. Mr. Nichols will teach The Code, Pre-Calculus and Calculus this year.

Alison Perkins*, ELL ( - BS from UVM; MS from Husson; MAT from St. Michael’s

Ms. Perkins has extensive experience working with Portland’s non-native English speaking population, and is a founding faculty member at CBHS and a coach of our Model UN team. This year, Ms. Perkins will be focusing on helping our ELL students be successful in STEM.

Derek Pierce, Principal ( - BA from Brown; Ed. M from Harvard

Mr. Pierce is the proud, founding principal of CBHS and was formerly the principal at Poland Regional High School. He has taught English, theater and American Studies in schools from Los Angeles to Gorham. He has lived in Portland with his family since 1993. He remains, some say tragically, a Mets fan.

Linda Pinard*, Registrar-Receptionist ( – AS from Cape Cod Comm College

Ms. Pinard was recommended to CBHS by three former mayors of Portland who each lauded her skills and professionalism in executing critical office tasks. Ms. Pinard began her career in the financial office at Smith College and returned to CBHS after a brief stint at East End School.

Mary Ellen Randall, Ed Tech/Media Assistant ( – BA from Coll. of New Rochelle

Ms. Randall came to Casco Bay with deep experience in both tutoring and libraries. She is also well-versed in CBHS since her son is an alum. After 14 years as a clerk in the Portland Public Library, Ms. Randall began dedicating more time to working with learners in settings ranging from elementary schools to prisons.

Peg Richard, Art ( - BA from UMO; MA from Lesley

Ms. Richard has taught art to Portland students for over 20 years. Her affinities range from watercolors to bookmaking. Ms. Richard's art career includes a stint directing the Ram Island School of Dance and another as a costumer for the Boston Ballet. Ms. Richard teaches all freshmen as well as Advanced Studio Art.

CC Robinson*, Humanities (English) ( - BA from Yale; MA from Middlebury

Ms. Robinson will again teach Senior Humanities (English) this fall. Ms. Robinson has had a distinguished career which includes teaching English at Phillips Andover Academy, Deerfield, El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice and Gorham High School. She is also co-founder of the "Hive" writing camp for teens.

Scott Shibles, Director of Student Life ( - BS from Castleton; Ed. M from UMO

Prior to being our first wellness teacher, Mr. Shibles was the athletic director at Deering for a decade. Mr. Shibles has created our outdoor education program, including annual winter camping and rafting expeditions. This year, Mr. Shibles will transition to becoming our full-time Director of Student Life.

Stacey Woidt, Science ( - BS from Boston U; MA from Boise State and Northwest Nazarene

A trained engineer, Ms. Woidt joined us after a winning tenure teaching math and science at Nampa High School in Idaho where she advised the National Honor Society, assisted with the Robotics program and helped lead professional development. Ms. Woidt will again be on the sophomore team, teaching Physics.

Brooke Teller, Science ( - BA from Smith College; MS from Central CT State

Ms. Teller was nominated as “Teacher of the Year” in Connecticut. She has taught chemistry for over fifteen years, most recently at two start-up high schools. Ms. Teller's many roles at CBHS include Graduation and STEM Endorsement Coordinator. She will be teaching a new Chemistry of Mars course this year with USM.

Sarah Welch, English ( - BA and MA from USM

Ms. Welch joined us after ten years at Deering, the last five as department chair. She has taught the full gamut of English courses and launched our “Poetry Out Loud” program. Ms. Welch has also taught at Cheverus and South Portland. This fall, she will be looping up with Mr. Croft and teaching Humanities Two.


Other PPS part-time staff include: Daniel Stokes (technology support) and Jane Mack (speech and language).

*denotes part-time faculty and staff for 16-17