|Student Support Services|
Mary Kay Tshonas
Mary Kay is the Principal at Quinebaug Middle College. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Connecticut, and her Master of Science degree in Environmental Science Education from Eastern Connecticut State University. She completed a fellowship at Wesleyan University for the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science and is currently pursuing her Sixth Year degree at Sacred Heart University in Educational Leadership. Prior to arriving at QMC, Mary Kay taught in Elmont, New York and Tolland, Connecticut. She was the STEM Instructional Coach for the recent MSAP grant at QMC, and was instrumental in the creation of the EASTCONN/QMC STEM lab and the development of the STEM lab curriculum for grades 5-8.In her spare time, Mary Kay enjoys reading, attending concerts, going to the beach, and cooking for her family and friends.
Taryn graduated from Nichols College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She started her career at EASTCONN as the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Education Services and then was sent to QMC to cover a vacancy on a temporary basis. Once at QMC, Taryn loved the staff, students and atmosphere so much that she stayed! In her free time, she loves reading historical fiction, traveling and adventures with her two boys.
Austin has been a Social Studies teacher at Quinebaug Middle College since 2012, teaching U.S. History, Civics, Contemporary World Issues and Native American History. He grew up in northeast Connecticut and now lives in Rhode Island. Austin completed his undergraduate degree in Secondary Education and History at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island and is currently enrolled in an International Relations master's program.
Brian grew up in West Hartford, CT, and attended the University of Hartford for a B.A. in Cinema and History. He then attended Fairfield University and received an M.A. in Secondary Education Social Studies. During this time he worked as a teaching intern, and later, as a student teacher in Bridgeport Public Schools. He was a long-term sub in East Hartford Public Schools before joining Quinebaug Middle College.
Carol Ann Gray
Physical Education and Health
Carol Ann attended Eastern Connecticut State University where she earned a B.S. in Physical Education. She then went on to earn an M.S. in School Health Education from Southern Connecticut State University. Carol Ann teaches freshman advisory, physical education, health, investigations in health care careers and the Teen Outreach Program. Carol Ann is also the advisor for the Spirit Wear Committee. In her free time, she likes to travel, run, ski, bike ride, swim, hike and compete in road races and triathlons. She is married and has three children.
Gene has been a teacher for 43 years and currently teaches Chemistry and Integrated Science at QMC. Before QMC, he taught for many years in the Tolland Public School system as a middle school Science teacher and soccer coach. Prior to this, he served in the United States Army during the Korean War. He achieved the enlisted grade of Specialist and was a translator from Korean to English. He is an avid fly fisherman, loves to hike and play with his puppy, Minnie.
Jen E. Wilkosz
Jen is the Fine Arts Teacher at Quinebaug Middle College and currently teaches both Drawing and Design I and II. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Franklin Pierce University (Rindge, NH) in 2006 with a Bachelor in Fine Arts and an Art History minor. Jen completed the college’s educator certification program as an inducted member to Pi Lambda Theta (International Education Honor Society). Her career in education has been diverse; from early childhood, serving as the head teacher; to long term substitute positions at the elementary and middle school level; and even as a daily substitute teacher at the high school level. After taking a six year pause in her teaching career to be a stay at home parent, Jen happily returned to teaching in the fall of 2016. She is a current member of the National Art Educators Association (NAEA) and a regular attendee to conferences, workshops and meetings put on by both the NAEA and Connecticut Art Educators Association. Jen firmly believes that in the twenty-first century, the visual has become a vital component in all modes of communication. This becomes more prevalent as our society becomes increasingly reliant on television and social media. It is the job of art educators to inform and educate students on methods to identify, decipher and communicate in an increasingly visual world. In essence, the art classroom is ground zero for the learning and comprehension of visual literacy. Jen currently resides in Lebanon, CT, with her husband Greg and their four children.
Jon has been teaching science since 2003. He received a B.S. from the University of Montana Western and an M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Connecticut, where he completed research with bacteria that live in oil reservoirs under the North Atlantic Ocean. He spent 8 months in Alaska traveling along the Kobuk, Yukon, and Koyukuk rivers and saw many bear, moose and a marten. And mosquitoes. His hobbies are running, amateur geology, reading about quantum mechanics and entanglement. His favorite science experiment is The Double-Slit Experiment and his favorite smells are of the creosote bush that grows in all 5 American deserts and balsam poplar, which is ubiquitous along rivers in Alaska and northern Maine. He has designed The Ultimate Bed and is working on building a prototype. The Ultimate Bed will change the way humans sleep forever. Addenda: Jon has been chased by moose in Wyoming, Maine and Alaska. He has chased pit bulls in New York City and German Shepherds in Oregon.
Karyn teaches Thematic Studies in Literature, Public Speaking, and British Literature as well as University of Connecticut Early College Experience courses in Academic Writing, Writing Through Literature, American Studies, and Introduction to College Writing (starting Fall 2017). Additionally, she is a senior advisor, is involved in initiatives in curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and directs the Capstone senior project program. Karyn holds a Master's degree in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, UK with a concentration in Literature, History, Paleography, Medieval Languages and Art History of the Celtic Isles. She earned a B.A. in English from Eastern Connecticut State University with a minor in History. She graduated as a member of Sigma Tau Delta; the English honors society. Karyn has been an adjunct professor at Eastern Connecticut State University since Spring 2009. She has taught a wide variety of courses there as well as at Three Rivers Community College and Quinebaug Valley Community College. She worked in Regional District 8, Windham Public Schools and CREC before joining the QMC family.
Kevin teaches chorus, recording studio, electronic music and music makers at QMC. He studied music education at the University of Connecticut, where he earned a B.A. in Music, a B.S. in Education and a Masters in Education. He graduated in 2014 and was hired at QMC the same year. During his time at UConn, Kevin developed a keen interest in live sound and recording technologies. He worked as a stagehand at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts and as a recording engineer for the music department’s recitals and concerts. He also had a home recording studio for several years and continues to work part-time as a freelance recording engineer. As QMC’s first music teacher, Kevin has had the great challenge and privilege of building the school’s music program from scratch. He’s drawn upon his formal music education, and his informal training in audio technologies, to create a 21st Century STEM music program.
Laura is an Italian teacher, senior advisor, senior capstone project advisor, teacher leader and student leadership coordinator at Quinebaug Middle College. She is currently overseeing the implementation of a district-wide student leadership cohort. Laura has her Bachelors from the University of Connecticut and Masters in Education from Eastern Connecticut State University. Outside of school, Laura referees basketball and tutors Spanish.
First Year Experience and STEM/Robotics
Lauri teaches First Year Experience, Investigations in STEM/Robotics and is a senior advisor. She is best described as a teacher, mentor, lifelong learner, volunteer, entrepreneur, foodie and human generally consumed by wanderlust. Lauri’s diverse educational background includes: a Masters in Education, University of New Haven; certified Robotics/Programming Instructor, Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Academy; completion of graduate work in International Policy and Arabic Language studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies; and a B.A. in International Relations, Hawai’i Pacific University. Her volunteer work includes: ESOL instruction in Portland, ME and Honolulu, HI; Small Business Development and ESOL instruction for youth with the Peace Corps in Morocco; development of a library at Stung Meanchey School in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and serving as a small business start-up mentor in Portland, ME.
Meghan Canning earned a bachelor’s in Mathematics/Statistics from UConn and a master’s in Secondary Education from Eastern Connecticut State University. She has taught at Quinebaug Middle College for 8 years. Meghan began as a mathematics teacher and has since added Mobile Computer Science to her repertoire. She also recently became a Google Certified Educator. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys cooking, traveling and yoga. Namaste.
Robin has over 10 years teaching experience in northeast Connecticut, having been part of the Quinebaug Middle College faculty since 2013. Prior to teaching, she worked for 7 years as a Project Manager/Analyst on financial systems. Robin holds a B.S. in Systems Science from Providence College, an MBA in Accounting and Finance from Babson College, and a MAT from Sacred Heart. She is certified in secondary mathematics and business and serves as a Teacher Education and Mentoring Program (TEAM) mentor for those new to the teaching profession.
Stephanie graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2016 with both her B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science and her M.S. in Secondary Education. That fall she began teaching in her hometown of Middletown. In 2017 she returned to the northeastern area of the state and joined the QMC staff as a math and computer science teacher, inheriting the Mobile Computer Science course from Meghan. Stephanie has been amazed at the how welcoming and supportive the students and staff have been at QMC and she looks forward to putting down roots in the area over the coming years. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys curling up with a good book, volunteering with the Special Olympics, or watching UFC fights on the weekend. Stephanie also enjoys travelling and looks forward to her summer vacations where she can take trips to visit her family in California or experience the summer heat of Las Vegas.
Suzette’s teaching experience includes outdoor leadership education with Outward Bound in Maine and Florida, as well as overseas teaching in Istanbul, Turkey and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Suzette received her BA from Rhode Island College and her MA from Vermont College. She brings her passion for literature, writing, theater and the desire to inspire her students to explore the world to QMC. Suzette lives in Pomfret Connecticut with her husband and two children.
Library Media Specialist
Don Curtis joined QMC in the 2013-2014 school year. Previously, he was a library media specialist for the Norwich Public Schools, a grade 6 and grade 2/3 teacher at Eastford Elementary School, a head start pre-k teacher in Brattleboro, VT, and an after-school drama teacher for Harrington Extended Day in Lexington, MA. Don graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Connecticut in 1995 and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Quinnipiac University in 2000. Library media is only one of a long list of Don’s interests including, but not limited to, music, sports, politics, personal fitness, classic automobiles and platypus biology. In many ways, Don considers himself a dabbler.
Guerthie holds an associate’s in Architecture Computer Aid Drafting from Florida SouthWestern State College and an Accounting Certificate from Miami Dade Community College. Guerthie has worked as an Instructional Assistant for 3 years after moving from San Antonio, Texas, to Connecticut. When not working, Guerthie loves being outdoors and volunteering to help immigrant and refugees re-settle and improve the quality of their life.
Instructional Assistant/Latin Teacher
Keenan taught English and Latin at the Brooklyn School from 1964-2003, having retired as its Assistant Principal. The following five years were spent at Marianapolois Preparatory School as an English teacher and Assistant Headmaster respectively. Following his retirement from there, he spent the ensuing five years substituting in the region's high schools before joining the Quinebaug Middle College faculty as an Instructional Assistant and Classics for STEM teacher. He holds a B.A and M.A. in English as well as a Sixth Year Certificate in Secondary Administration. During the summers, he enjoys camping and boating with his wife throughout the country. On fall weekends, they enjoy viewing the beautiful foliage of Connecticut from the seats of a vintage English Triumph TR6.
Mary earned a B.A. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Computer Science at the University of Connecticut. She later went on to receive an A.S. in Nursing from Three Rivers Community College. The primary focus of her nursing career has been in healthcare for women and infants. Mary lives in northeastern CT.
Mike has a long, diverse career in education. After earning a B.S. from Eastern Connecticut State University in 1972, he began work as a Spanish teacher in the Windham Public Schools. Concurrently, Mike was working to obtain a M.S in Secondary Education from the University of Connecticut which he completed in 1979. Since, he has served as a Math/ Science educator for grade 6, a Spanish teacher for grades 9 – 12, and presently, as an Instructional Assistant / Spanish Educator for EASTCONN’s Quinebaug Middle College.
Shayna is a Quinebaug Middle College alumni, having been among the first students to attend QMC from its inception in 2008. Shayna resides in Putnam with her husband and two small boys. With two children under the age of three, free time is rare; however, when she finds time to herself she enjoys playing the guitar and piano.
I grew up locally, attending Plainfield High School. I graduated cum laude from Northeastern University in Boston, earning a B.A. in journalism. I was a newspaper editor for 15 years in Fairfield County. Upon returning to my hometown with my husband and two children, I spent a year as a Title instructor at Sterling Community School before becoming an instructional assistant at QMC, where I am beginning my second year.
Brittany has been the School Psychologist at Quinebaug Middle College since the fall of 2014. She completed her graduate training at Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut, earning a master’s degree in Educational Psychology and a Sixth-Year Diploma in School Psychology. She holds both a state and national certification as a psychologist and has specialized training in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, crisis intervention and recovery, and youth mental health first aid. Brittany is currently pursuing her doctorate degree and serves on the executive board of the UConn chapter of Phi Delta Kappa ( the professional organization for educators). She feels the most rewarding aspect of her role at QMC is getting to see the tremendous progress students make during their high school careers, and having the privilege to be a part of their journey.
Glenn has worked at EASTCONN since 2015. Prior to joining the EASTCONN team, he owned a kitchen and bath cabinet company for over 20 years. Glenn loves working with the students at QMC and is enjoying a more relaxed pace of life. In his spare time, he enjoys road trips on his motorcycle, woodworking and cheering on his two children at their various sporting events.
Jean LaBelle Hemmig
Jean has lived in Northeastern Connecticut her whole life and currently resides there with her husband and son. She received a B.S. from Rhode Island College in 2008 and holds a dual certification in both General Education and Special Education. She then earned an M.A. in Special Education from the University of St. Joseph in 2012. Jean taught in the Killingly School system for 8 years, specializing in work with students on the autism spectrum. She began teaching at EASTCONN’s Quinebaug Middle College in November of 2016. Jean is a founding member of Killingly Kares, a group that works to raise awareness and funding for community members touched by Autism.
Katie O’Neil is the School Social Worker at Quinebaug Middle College. She received a Bachelor of Social Work from Eastern Connecticut State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut. She enjoys working with students individually and collaboratively to ensure their needs are met.
Melissa Jacobs is a founding member of Quinebaug Middle College and has been the School Counselor since it first opened its doors in the fall of 2008. A life-long native of northeast Connecticut, Melissa obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, minoring in Anthropology, from the University of Connecticut. She received her master’s in Counseling from Central Connecticut State University. Melissa has been a school counselor for over 13 years and is passionate about empowering students to pursue their educational goals and post-secondary dreams. Melissa has had specialized training in Choice Theory, Reality Therapy, and Lead-Management through the William Glasser International Institute. Melissa is a member of the Connecticut School Counselors’ Association (CSCA), where she has served as the Middle-level Vice President, and a member of the Connecticut Counselors’ Association (CCA), where she served as the Executive Board Secretary. Outside of school, Melissa enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, playing music, and watching science fiction and Japanese animation. Melissa has been training Shotokan Karate for over 20 years and received official Instructor and Judge certifications from the Japan Karate Association.