Student Support Staff
Kelly Butler, Learning Support Specialist (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Originally from Chicago, Ms. Butler holds a B.S. in Special Education from Eastern Illinois University and a M.A. in Special Education from the University of California Dominquez Hills. She is credentialed to work with students with mild to moderate disabilities aged 3-22. She has taught grades K-10 in various schools across the U.S. and the Virgin Islands. Ms. Butler joined VIMSIA in 2011 and has the advantage of having spent a full year working in an Upper Elementary classroom prior to taking on her current role.
Mara Brownell, Learning & Behavioral Support Specialist, (email@example.com)
Ms. Brownell will be joining our Learning Support program as a part-time Learning and Behavioral Support Specialist. She has an MA in Education; K-12 Cross Categorical Special Education Certification from University of Phoenix and a BA in Anthropology from University of Montana, Missoula. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is a NAMA Certified Anger Management Specialist II. Ms. Brownell joins us part-time in 2018/2019 and we look forward to this additional resource for student Learning Support.
Shane DeGannes, Nurse, Athletic Director, Coach (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Coach Nurse” was born in St. Thomas and raised in New Jersey. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a R.N. diploma from the Helene Fuld School of Nursing. During his career as a registered nurse, he worked as a medical-surgical nurse in a hospital in Camden, NJ and received various awards for clinical excellence and compassion. He is an accomplished runner at the High School and Collegiate level, and continues this legacy by coaching VIMSIA Cross Country and Track and Field, training both students and adults for local competition, and by competing himself. In 2013 he brought VIMSIA’s M2M 8-mile road race to reality. Coach Nurse joined VIMSIA in 2011 and his daughter Devin is a student in the Montessori program.
Matthew Enright, Technology Coordinator (email@example.com)
Matthew mainly grew up in northern Arizona but was born on the southern coast of California. Answering the call of the ocean to return, he served over five years in the United States Navy where he acquired his technical background working as an IT Network and Systems Administrator onboard ships homeported out of Italy and Washington State and onshore in the Middle East. He earned his B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Arizona University, and is currently working toward his Master of Science in Information Management from Arizona State University. He’s happy to once again live near the ocean on St. Thomas, and he is excited to use his experience to support students and staff and continue to promote harmonious technology integration with VIMSIA classroom philosophies.
Samantha Kaffenbarger, School Counselor (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Ms. Kaffenbarger started at VIMSIA as a part-time School Counselor in May of 2017. She continues in that role into the 2018/2019 school year. She has a Masters of Social Work from St. Catherine's University in St. Paul, MN and a BS in Child Psychology from University of Minnesota. We look forward to Ms. Kaffenbarger continuing to develop our counseling programs for students.
Kathy Schlesinger, Librarian (email@example.com)
Ms. Schlesinger has been a St. Thomas resident since 1981. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Princeton University and a Master's of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Prior to joining our staff in 2010, she had over 20 years of management experience at a well-loved local bookstore. Ms. Schlesinger has two children in the PGIA, and has been active in the VIMSIA community since her eldest child started in the Montessori program in 2002.