Mrs. Michelle Smith began teaching at RCS in 2003. She first taught Kindergarten for 9 years, spent a year in Special Education, and is currently the Preschool Teacher (looking forward to returning to Kindergarten in the Fall of 2020!). Prior to teaching at Richmond, she taught Preschool for 5 years at Cheshire Elementary School. She also worked for Hillcrest Educational Centers (Lenox Center campus), with a variety of age groups.
Michelle holds a B.S. in Elementary Education, with an art minor, from North Adams State College (now MCLA), and M.Ed. with a SPED concentration, also through MCLA. She is certified in Early Childhood--with and without special needs PK-3.
Mrs. Smith believes that the early years are important learning years, and aspires to build a strong foundation in students for future school success. Her program focuses on the whole child, addressing all developmental areas. “STEAM” (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) is an important part of the curriculum, along with social and motor skills. Children in the program enjoy a variety of fun experiments, projects, and games that give them the opportunity to learn in a playful environment.
Michelle lives in Richmond with her husband, Eric, and has three sons: Brett, Evan, and Blake. She also has two dogs, Bella.and Titus. Michelle’s hobbies include jewelry making, amateur photography, arts and crafts, and spending time with her friends and family.
Mrs. Debra Alibozek, aka (to everyone) Mrs. A., is one of our Kindergarten teachers. She graduated with a BS in Education from Skidmore College in May of 1990 and earned her MASPED from Lesley College in 1993. She received her Reading Recovery Certificate in 2007.
Mrs. A. has been working at Richmond School since 1990, teaching 5th grade for 6 years, 2nd grade for 9 years, 1st grade for 3 years, Reading Recovery for 4 years, 5th/6th grade for 2 yrs, SPED for 2 yrs, kindergarten for 4 yrs. She has a son, Austin, an electrical engineer for the Navy at the General Dynamics site in Pittsfield, MA , who came through Richmond School. She loves teaching and enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, shopping, crafting, walking, biking, working out, golfing, reading, and just chilling on the beach.
Next year Mrs. A is looking forward to be the Pre-School teacher here at RCS.
Mrs. MacDonald is a Springfield, MA native who has resided in the Berkshires now for over 35 years. She attended and received her MS from the University of New England in Maine. She has been a teacher in many capacities at Richmond School for 38 years. Currently, she is teaching at the Kindergarten level and for the 20-21 school year, she will be moving to Preschool with Mrs. A.
She loves RCS and the amazing students and staff. Over her many years working at the school, she has been involved in many extracurricular activities, including work as the school play director and dance coordinator for middle school - each of those for over twenty years. She has two terrific children, a son and daughter, and is a very proud grandmother of two and a half children - Anna, Danny, and ?. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and especially loves her canoeing adventures with Tammy.
Mrs. Jones has been teaching in education for the past eighteen years. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts in May of 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Art Degree and a teacher’s licensure to teach elementary education, grades 1-6, in Massachusetts. In June of 2012 she was proud to complete her Master’s in Elementary Education from American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. She brings enthusiasm for learning into the classroom. The reading and writing curriculum are a strong focus of her instruction, yet she values the scaffolding of all the arts within all curriculum areas. Her classroom environment encourages one of family where children can feel safe, happy and secure to express their creative genius.
Mrs. Jones grew up and attended schools in Pittsfield where she still enjoys a wonderful life with her husband Greg, son Bobby, and her loyal dog, Lola. She enjoys spending time with family and friends. Reading, hiking, skiing and summering in Vermont are among her many personal pleasures.
Miss Padilla is our second grade teacher. This is her first year at RCS. She is thrilled to be a part of this amazing school community. Miss Padilla graduated from Salem State University with a BS in Elementary Education in 2015. She is passionate about teaching and dedicated to her students happiness and success. Her top priority is to build an environment where all students feel safe and supported.
Miss Padilla grew up in central Massachusetts. She moved to Pittsfield last summer. She enjoys walks in the woods, exploring the Berkshires, trying new recipes, and spending time with her friends and family.
Glance inside Beth Smith’s classroom and you’ll know it’s the home of a bookworm. Hundreds of books spill from the bins in her classroom library while others sit in piles near her desk waiting to be added. One of Mrs. Smith’s hobbies is scouring independent bookstores near and far for just the right books to satisfy and delight her curious third grade readers. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find her dragging heavy bags through airports filled with new books for her students.
Mrs. Smith received her B.A. in English from Gettysburg College and a M.A. in Reading from MCLA. She has taught at Richmond School for 15 years, mostly in third grade. Prior to teaching, she was a writer and publicist in Boston and Miami.
When her nose isn’t stuck in a book, Mrs. Smith can be found enjoying the culture and beauty of the Berkshires with her friends and family.
A native of Berkshire County, Mrs. Romano currently resides in Lenox Dale, MA with her husband Alan and Maltese dog named Bailey. For 23 years she taught third grade at a private school in Stockbridge, MA, and is now thrilled to be a member of the Richmond School Community.
Mrs. Romano is a passionate educator who enjoys identifying individual's learning styles and developing strategies to help her students meet their personal and academic goals. She refers to her classroom as a "No Panic Zone", and takes pride in creating an environment that encourages students to express themselves and take risks without fear of criticism or failure.
Her educational background includes a B.S. (Elementary Education) from Elmira College, a M.S in Education (Special Education) from The College of St. Rose, and an SEI Endorsement from the Reading Institute in Williamstown, MA.
Mrs. Callahan joined Richmond Consolidated School in 2009. She teaches 5th grade, and LOVES IT!. Mrs. Callahan comes to Richmond after spending numerous years raising her two teenagers, Molly and Christian. She attended Russell Sage College in Troy, New York where she was a Sage Circle Honor Society member. She loves to read in her spare time and loves to help children learn the craft of writing, and create a strong appreciation for reading.
Fifth grade is a turning point in education, where the child moves from very concrete concepts to the introduction of more abstract thoughts and ideas. Fifth grade is super fun! We learn very specific skills of writing an essay, opinion piece, compare and contrast, and persuasive writing. In math, we take on fractions, and learn how to add, subtract, multiply and divide them. We also start in-depth geometry and algebraic thinking. Mrs. Callahan has spent her spare time learning how to teach number sense properly to children of all ages. She loves math and loves logical puzzles and games.
On a fun note, Mrs. Callahan loves to share silly stories about her children and their adventures, as well as tell you about the life and times of Teddy, Stella, and Lucy, her three dogs……they are very goofy!
Rachel Kanz is currently teaching ELA 6, 7, 8, and Ancient History 7. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education for the State University of New York College at Buffalo and a Masters of Arts in Humanities from California State University at Dominguez Hills. Her graduate focus of study was Environmental Studies/Nature Literature.
Ms. Kanz has been at RCS for eight years. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Kanz has lead the Knitting Club, the Game Club, Student Council, Coordinated School Dances and planned the grades 7/8 trip- just not all at once! This year her focus will be creating a community of readers.
When not in the classroom during the school year, Mrs. Kanz can be found right here in Richmond, reading and cooking, or on a mountain skiing or hiking. She is currently restoring an ocean racer, and looks forward to continuing her East Coast sailing!
6, 7 & 8th Grade Language Arts
Roger Kohler is the Math teacher for the Middle School at RCS. He holds a B.A. in Studio Art from California State University, Fullerton and a M.Ed. in Mathematics from Westfield State University. He loves teaching and is excited to be at Richmond Consolidated School. When not at RCS, Mr. Kohler spends time with his 2 kids and shreds the local trails on his mountain bike. He is very active in the town of Sandisfield as Chairman of the Planning Board and Member of the Board of Health and many other town committees.
6, 7 & 8th Grade Math
Heather Ostrander teaches science and STEM here at RCS. She has a Master's Degree and has been teaching for more than 15 years. She likes cooking, getting outdoors, traveling, and spending time with her family.
6, 7 & 8the Grade Science
World Geography &
Mrs. Sharon Renfrew has been a teacher for 28 years. She loves teaching children to explore their world through lessons in geography, history, science, math and literacy. Mrs. Renfrew’s love of books, world travel and her study of local science helps bring excitement to her classrooms. She also works as a Curriculum Support teacher, developing lesson plans and classroom projects, and working with teachers to implement Common Core State Standards in English and Math, Science and Social Studies at Richmond Consolidated School. Mrs. Renfrew serves as the English Language Coordinator for the school district.
Mrs. Renfrew holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from MCLA in North Adams, MA, a Bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University in Social Work, and a Master’s degree in Education in curriculum development with a special focus in writing and literacy from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She also has logged dozens of graduate courses in History, Social Planning, Community Organization, and Economics from the University of Minnesota, Fitchburg State College, Endicott College and Western New England College.
Mrs. Renfrew is married to Dr. Bruce Renfrew and is the proud mother of two adult children. During summer months, she loves taking classes in History and Science, reading great literature and listening for the announcement of the loons that their babies have hatched at Miles Pond in Vermont.