New England Academy is staffed by a close-knit team of experienced educational and clinical professionals who share a commitment to helping students fulfill their potential. All staff members are certified by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and have a background in working with students with social and emotional disabilities.


Ryan Plosker, M.S., CAGS, Ed.D
Executive Director and Founder

Ryan is the Executive Director and founder of New England Academy. Throughout his career, Dr. Plosker has worked to bridge the gap between psychology and education to meet the needs of studentsófrom his clinical work at Childrenís Hospital in Boston to his later work as a public school psychologist, school director, and special education administrator. Dr. Plosker shares his educational and clinical insights, teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He has a B.S. in Psychology, a Masters and CAGS in School Psychology and completed his Ph.D. coursework from Northeastern University before completing his doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Massachusetts.

Peggy Buscema, MSW, LICSW
Dean of Admissions

Peggy has over ten years of experience in the field of Social Work and has worked in a variety of settings. Beginning her career as a clinician at McLean-Franciscan Children's Hospital, she moved into the field of education as Clinical Director and Program Director of Essex Academy. She is a licensed School Adjustment Counselor and Supervisor as well as a Massachusetts Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Peggy received her Bachelorís Degree in Psychology from Villanova, and a Masterís in Social Work from Simmons College.

Brian Jukins, MSW, LICSW, Ed.S
Dean of Students

Brian began his career as a counselor at Childrenís Hospital, Boston. After two years at Childrenís Hospital, he worked for six years as a school social worker prior to joining the New England Academy team at the schoolís inception. Brian has a Bachelorís degree in Psychology from Merrimack College, a Masterís degree in Social Work from Salem State University, and an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Gordon College. He has also completed post-graduate coursework and is certified in Adolescent Treatment through Boston University. Brian is a licensed Principal, School Adjustment Counselor, Director, and Special Education Administrator, as well as a Massachusetts Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.

Dale Dick, M.Ed.
Dean of Guidance

Dale graduated from St. Lawrence University with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Elementary Education. She spent six years working as a high school special education support teacher before earning her Master's degree in Moderate Special Needs. Dale is a licensed General Education teacher, K-8, a Special Education teacher, all levels, and a Special Education Administrator.

Susan O'Brien, M.Ed., CAGS
I.E.P. Coordinator

Susan has spent over thirty years as a Special Education Administrator in Massachusetts working both in private and public schools. Most recently, Susan was the Director of Pupil Services for the Andover Public Schools District. Susan has worked as a consultant to public and private schools and a program evaluator.

Patti Bernheart, M.Ed., CAGS
Dean of Educational Programming

Patti has a B.A. in Psychology, and a Masters and CAGS in School Psychology. Patti is a licensed School Psychologist and Pupil Services Director. She has over 12 years of professional experience in the field of school psychology and education and has worked extensively in public and private school settings.

Joe Mageary, PhD, LMHC
Dean of Clinical Services

Joe has been with New England Academy since the 2008-09 school year, first as a clinician and now as the Director of Clinical Services. Joe earned a Ph.D. in Transformative Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies and holds an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (Lesley University) and B.S. in Psychology (Fitchburg State College). He is licensed by the state of Massachusetts as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and has previous experience with the Upward Bound program and the Barton Center for Children with Diabetes. Prior to joining the team at New England Academy, Joe was the Director of Emergency Services at The Edinburg Center.  

Sharon Hurley, MS, CAGS, NCSP
Dean of Curriculum and Instruction

Sharon is a licensed School Psychologist with a specialty in neuropsychological evaluation. She spent six years working in public schools before pursuing her doctorate in clinical psychology. In addition to her school based experience, Sharon has completed internships in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents in both inpatient and outpatient hospital settings, including pre-doctoral training at North Shore Children’s Hospital.

Clinical Staff

Michael Culp, MAT
School Counselor

Michael received both his Masterís and Bachelorís degrees from the University of Richmond, in Virginia. He has been working with children and adolescents in a wide variety of academic, extra-curricular, and therapeutic settings for nearly 10 years. Michael consulted with New England Academy in the development of groups integrating social pragmatics and an improvisational theatre curriculum prior to joining the New England Academy team, as the Program Coordinator for the ďSpotlight ProgramĒ in Danvers. Michael currently works with students for individual counseling and teaches a number of the schoolís dramatic and film based extracurricular groups.

Katie Giello, R.N., B.S.N.
School Nurse

Katie began her career working in various acute-care medical settings caring for individuals of all ages. She has a passion for children and enjoys interacting daily with the students at New England Academy. Katie received her B.S. in Nursing from Salem State College and is a Massachusetts licensed Registered Nurse.

Jamie Goudreau, M.A., LMHC
School Counselor

Jamie received her Master's in Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University, and is a licensed School Guidance and School Adjustment Counselor. She has many years experience working in the school environment in this capacity, as well as in clinical settings, residential treatment facilities for teenage girls and residential programs for teenagers with Autism. Jamie facilitates a variety of art courses and the Women’s Studies elective.

Jacky Hart, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist

Jacky completed her clinical training at MGH Institute of Health Professions where she received her Masterís degree in Speech Language Pathology. Jacky is also a certified Reading Specialist and has worked in a variety of clinical and school settings. Jacky has a special interest in higher level language development, written expression, and social pragmatics.

Nicole Langbaum, M.A.
School Counselor

Nicole is a licensed School Adjustment Counselor.  Nicole received her BA from Duke University in Public Policy and went on to earn her Masters in Expressive Therapies, with a Mental Health Counseling specialization from Lesley University.  Nicole has over 10-years of experience working with adolescents and families through a variety of community organizations.  With a specialty in expressive therapies, Nicole focuses on integrating the arts into therapy. 

Jared Leaderman, MA, MT-BC, LMHC
Music Therapist/Counselor

Jared is a board certified music therapist who earned his Masters degree in music therapy and mental health counseling from Lesley University.  Jared is currently working on his Ph.D. in International Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  Jared began his career as an instrumental music director in both middle and high school settings and currently works with students individually for counseling, music therapy, and he teaches music electives.  Jared currently sits o the Board of the Massachusetts Music Therapy Alliance.

Meredith Linehan, MSW, LICSW, MPA
School Social Worker

Meredith received her Masters in Social Work with a specialization in health and mental health from Boston College and her Masters in Public Administration from Suffolk University. She began her career as the school social worker at Pathways Academy at McLean Hospital and has also worked as an outpatient therapist for children, adolescents and adults and as an emergency crisis clinician at North Shore Medical Center/ North Shore Children’s Hospital, McLean hospital and Winchester hospital. In 2008 Meredith completed a fellowship in Leadership Education and Neurodevelopmental disabilities (LEND) through UMASS Medical School. Meredith has also worked as a counselor for the Spotlight Program which focuses on building social skills through improvisation and drama activities.

Bonnie Swart, MA, ABSNP
School Psychologist/Neuropsychologist

Bonnie has spent the last 10 years working with students with social/emotional needs across many age levels, abilities, and cultures. After completing her masterís degree in School Psychology from Alliant University in San Diego, California, she spent two years working as a school psychologist in public school before joining the New England Academy Team. Bonnie is a licensed School Psychologist in Massachusetts and California, a Licensed Educational Psychologist, and School Neuropsychologist through the American Board of School Neuropsychology.

Jackie Thompson, MSW, LICSW
School Social Worker

Jackie received her Masters degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston College, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Health Care Administration from Stonehill College. She is licensed by the state of Massachusetts as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Jackie has over eight years of clinical experience, with an expertise in child and adolescent mental health. Prior to joining the team at New England Academy, Jackie’s experience included working with children in the special education environment, outpatient mental health, and private practice setting. Jackie continues to see clients in private practice.

Cindy Veatch, MSW, LICSW
School Social Worker

Cindy has been working in the field of special education for over ten years. Prior to that she was an outpatient, mental health clinician and also worked in the fields of foster care and adoption. She has extensive group work experience as well as individual and family treatment experience. Cindy is an adjunct professor at Gordon College in the Social Work Department and a Field Educator for Salem State University. She has completed post graduate studies and is certified in Child and Adolescent Treatment through Boston University. Cindy is licensed as a School Adjustment Counselor and a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.

Susan Warner, MSW, LICSW
School Social Worker

Susan has been working within clinical and school settings for over ten years. As a school-based social worker and community based therapist, she has a high level of expertise working with students with social and emotional disabilities. Prior to her school based experience, Susan worked extensively in residential treatment facilities and Early Intervention programs. She has completed post graduate studies and is certified in Child and Adolescent Treatment through Boston University. Susan is a Massachusetts Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.

Julie Weieneth, Ph.D.
School Psychologist

Julie is a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a child and family concentration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has gained experience in both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings for adults, children, and families, as well as specialized diagnostic assessment, through her internship training at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center/Worcester State Hospital and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Developmental Medicine Center, Childrenís Hospital Boston. Prior to joining the NEA team, Dr. Weieneth worked for the last five years as a staff psychologist at a therapeutic day school in Boston.


Lisa Abramowski, B.A.

Lisa graduated from Gordon College with a major in English Language, Literature and Mathematics. She was nominated for the Whoís Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for her work in the classroom and with community agencies and spent time teaching in public schools before joining New England Academy.

Abigail Adams, B.A.

Abigail is a recent graduate of Gordon College with a double major in French and Secondary Education. She also completed academic studies at LíInstitut díEtudes Francaises pour Etudiants Etrangers. Abigail taught French in public school prior to joining NEA. She is a licensed French teacher, 5-12.

Courtni Bolden, M.Ed.

Courtni has been teaching in the field of special education for over 8 years. She has her certification in special education K-12, with Aspergerís disorder as a focus area of study. Courtni teaches English with a focus on fostering a love of literature and writing and becoming an independent learner. In addition, Courtni is a certified Smart Board trainer and incorporates the use of technology into class daily.

Brian Boulger, M.Ed.

Although Brianís specialty is science, he has been teaching all core subjects for the past ten years in a variety of private school settings. Most recently, he worked as an educational administrator. He has a Bachelorís degree in Science and Education from the University of Vermont and a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy Study from the University of Memphis. Brian is licensed as a General Education and Special Education Teacher, as well as a Vice-Principal and Special Education Administrator.

Christine Burke, B.A.

Christine began her teaching career working in large public schools as a middle school English and History teacher in inner city Lawrence. Christine has a variety of teaching experiences in working with diverse populations of students and families. Christine received her Bachelorís Degree in teaching from Gordon College.

Wes Chittick, B.A.
History Teacher

Wes is a graduate of Gordon College where he majored in History and Secondary Education. Wes did his student teaching at Masconomet Regional High School before coming to New England Academy after his graduation from Gordon College. In addition to teaching, Wes is in the process of pursuing a Master’s degree in Special Education and is an area Lacrosse coach.

Katie Doherty, M.A.

Katie has been with New England Academy since its inception, and before that she taught at a North Shore public high school. Katie's specialty is in English, although her passion and experience with special education students is what brought Katie to New England Academy. Previously, Katie has worked as a counselor for the "Spotlight" Program with students on the autism spectrum. Katie is a licensed English and Special Education teacher, and has a Masterís degree in English from Salem State University.

Stanley Eaton, MAT
Science Teacher

Stanley is known as the "Science Master" as he has held his teaching license in almost every area of science including General Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Stanley taught for seven years in public schools before joining the NEA staff. He has a passion for teaching students with different learning styles. Stanley has a Bachelorís degree from Bowdoin College and Master of Arts in Teaching from Marshall University and is licensed in Biology and General Science.

Elizabeth Frissora, M.Ed.

Elizabeth earned her Masterís degree in Teaching at DePaul University in Chicago and taught alternative education in the City of Chicago public Schools. She holds a B.A. in Political Science. In addition to her teaching experience, Elizabeth coaches varsity soccer, track and lacrosse.

John Gehan, M.Ed.

John is a special educator with more than ten years of teaching experience. He has a Master's degree in Experiential Learning from Endicott College. John's strength is in organization and study skills and he is very creative in helping students understand challenging concepts.

Angela Langlais, B.A.
Writing Teacher

Angela began her teaching career, working with inner city students, in Lawrence Massachusetts. She has experience teaching science, as well as reading and math intervention classes, and experience as a high school tennis coach. Angela earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and a B.S. in Biology from Gordon College and is currently working to complete a Masters of Education as a reading specialist.

Kate Perry, M.S.

Kate is a veteran public school special education teacher, having taught for four in the Quincy public schools as a resource room teacher. Kate earned her Masterís degree in Education from the State University of New York and her bachelorís in Sociology, with a minor in Education, from Hobart and William Smith College. She is a licensed General and Special Education Teacher.

Nicolas Prandi, B.A.
Spanish Teacher

Nicolas is a native Spanish speaker from Argentina. He graduated from Gordon College with a Secondary Education and Spanish degree, as well as English as a Second Language concentration. Before coming to NEA, he spent time teaching in both a suburban middle school setting in Danvers and an inner city high school setting in Lynn.

Sarah Rouba, M.Ed.

Sarah, a native Australian, graduated from Newcastle University and has taught both internationally and in the U.S for the past five years. Experienced in all levels, pre-k through 10th grade, Sarah is a licensed Elementary, K-8 teacher and Special Education teacher who completed her Masterís degree in Special Education at Endicott College.

Kathy Strutt, M.Ed..

Kathy is a veteran teacher with over 15 years of teaching experience in both private and public schools. She has worked as both a special and general education teacher and is a licensed Special Educator. Kathy has a B.A. in Psychology from St. Anselm College and a Masterís degree in Moderate Special Needs from Boston University

Greg Twombly, M.Ed.

Greg spent the beginning of his teaching career in public schools working in the area of special education, as well as coaching high school sports. Greg has a B.A.S. in History and Secondary Education from Salve Regina University as well as a Master's degree in Special Education from Endicott College. He is licensed in both History and Special Education.

Thomas Walsh, M.Ed.

Tom graduated from Trinity College with a major in Mathematics and Religion. He has been working with high school students for many years as a Track and Cross Country coach. Tom graduated from Endicott College with a Masters degree in Special Needs Education. He is a licensed Mathematics and Special Education teacher.