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Fifth Grade

Carol Leitch

5th Grade

Carol is a para in Fifth Grade

Chris Szpila

5th Grade

Chris is a super fan of Academy School and 5th graders. She found her niche 15 years ago, and may never graduate from 5th grade. In her classroom she emphasizes the importance of community and relationship and uses this as the foundation for creating a safe learning environment where kids can take risks, make mistakes and learn.

Chris graduated from Stonehill College and earned her master’s degree from Sacred Heart University.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. -African proverb

Dan O'Brien

5th Grade

When Dan isn’t saving the world from nefarious evil-doers, swashbuckling on the high seas in search of sunken treasure, or rescuing kittens from trees, he is a mild-mannered 5th-grade teacher at Academy School. This is his sixth year of teaching and his third at Academy. Dan believes that flexibility, a positive mindset, and a good sense of humor are essential for success in (and out of) the classroom.

He graduated from Westfield State University in 2017 with a Bachelor's in Elementary education with a concentration in Elementary mathematics and an SEI endorsement.

Emily McLoughlin

5th Grade

Emily is an Academic Support Teacher in 5th Grade

Laurie Given

5th Grade

Laurie has two grown children and a loving husband, and one grandchild who is everything to her.
This is her 24th year at Academy School! She has worked in all grades except kindergarten, including the STEP program. Grade 5 is her favorite. Book groups are what she loves most. She plan to be here as long as she can. It's a great job with great people. Laurie really loves crocheting mittens, taking long walks in the woods, camping, and taking day trips.

Michael Lonergan

5th Grade

This is Michael's fifth year teaching at Academy School, but he has been connected to Academy for 19 years because all four of his children went here. Prior to Academy, Michael taught middle school English for 21 years in Brattleboro, Keene, New Hampshire, and Grants Pass, Oregon. Michael earned his undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire and his teaching certification from Southern Oregon University. He loves the challenges and successes of teaching at the elementary level, and is grateful to be a part of the Academy School community.

5th Grade is an exciting year at Academy School. We strive for academic rigor while incorporating components of team building and social competency so our students will be well-rounded thinkers and contributors to their larger community.

5th Grade themes include Age of Exploration and Colonization through the American Revolutionary War. Through inquiry in science, students will explore cyclical events, energy flow in an ecosystem, and states of matter. The 5th-grade team is especially enthusiastic about sharing top-notch literature with students to inspire a love of reading.

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