Donna M. Pinto, Director & Teacher in the 4th/5th classroom
M. S. Ed. Early Childhood Education– Northeastern University (December 2014)
B.S., Organizational Behavior – University of San Francisco
Donna has been teaching grades K-5 for over 20 years. Her career started as a technical writer/trainer in Silicon Valley, Cupertino, CA. Her passion for teaching led her to elementary education. She loves art, science, history, writing, and traveling. Donna likes to incorporate science, writing, and math in all subjects in the classroom. She is an “out-of-the box” teacher. Experiments and hands-on activities/creative projects are a big part of her classroom. “Every child has unique gifts and talents. As a teacher, it is our job to encourage, teach, and nurture each child to bring these talents out to be successful students.” Donna has been married for 30 years to her husband John and has three sons.
Cassandra Ewing, Front Office Manager
B.S., Business: Operations Management & Business Administration – Bay Path University
My sister and I were raised on the Cape and have recently moved to Rhode Island from Western Massachusetts. While in college I interned at a manufacturing company as well as a charter high school. I fell in love with the school setting and after a year as an intern I was hired part time during the school year. Although I do not have the knack for teaching I am thrilled to be able to support the Pinecroft teachers so that they can focus on providing their students with the very best education. I have worked with kids for a long time and am happy to pair this with my love to provide operational support and improve systems efficiency. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and I will be happy to help!
Mariah Grosky, Teacher in the K/1st Classroom
M.S. Ed., Early Childhood Education – Lesley University
B.S., English Literature – University of Massachusetts, Boston
Mariah joined the faculty of the The Pinecroft School in 2014. Her passion for children led her to pursue a career in education. For the past nine years, Mariah has worked in an educational setting. She appreciates that at Pinecroft she is able to individualize instruction and create a hands-on learning environment to allow students to explore the world around them in a meaningful way. Mariah strives to show her students how to be independent thinkers and problem solvers. She is excited to be part of Pinecroft and make a difference to the students here.
Nicole Laliberte, Teacher in the 2nd/3rd Classroom & Pinecroft Plus Supervisor
B.S., Elementary Education & Special Education – Rhode Island College
Nicole was born and raised in Rhode Island with her four siblings. After graduating from Rhode Island College, she substitute taught in the Pawtucket public school system. She has been volunteering in schools as long as she can remember, and always knew she wanted to be a teacher. Nicole loves to be creative and to think outside the box when planning educational activities for her students. She has a love and passion for both teaching and learning. She looks forward to being a part of the Pinecroft community, both as an educator and as the Pinecroft Plus supervisor!
Margarita Cotto Arcand, Spanish Teacher
B.A. Spanish and Education – University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Margarita began her teaching career at Pinecroft in 2003 while her daughter was a 5th grade student at the school. Previously, Margarita taught Spanish at Taunton High School, and while there she also served as a lead teacher of “English as a Second Language” to students from Colombia, Chile and Puerto Rico. Prior to teaching at Taunton High, Margarita taught Spanish at Old Rochester Regional High School. One of her greatest joys is watching the children grow from learning the numbers, colors and building their Spanish vocabulary as kindergarteners to being able to read, write and speak Spanish upon graduating from 5th grade. As a native Spanish speaker, she imparts on her students the wonderful gift of learning to speak with an authentic and impressive Spanish accent! Margarita looks forward to learning of her former students’ successes with Spanish after leaving Pinecroft.
Andrew V. Solberg, Music Teacher
B.A. Music Theory & Composition – Denison University
Andy began teaching music at Pinecroft in 1996. He has taught ensembles at the John Payne Music Center in Brookline since 1985 and averages about 100 professional playing gigs per year around New England. He leads his music classes with his guitar, but also shares an array of instruments throughout the school year such as violin, cello, trumpet, trombone & mandolin. At Pinecroft, he particularly enjoys the intimate class sizes that allow him to relate closely with each student. All students start learning to read music and playing the recorder in the middle of their 1st grade year. In 2011, Andy was named Fiddler of the Year by the Massachusetts Country Music Awards Association!
Anne West, Art Teacher
Ph.D. – Arts and Media Studies – University of Toronto
M.A. Art History – Syracuse University
B.A. Art History – Queens University
Anne joined the Pinecroft faculty as art instructor in 2003 and also teaches at Rhode Island School of Design. She holds a Ph.D. in visual studies and educational theory from the University of Toronto. Nurturing joy, creativity and confidence-building through visual expression is the overarching theme in Anne’s work as an art educator. For the past twenty years, she has created dynamic learning environments that support the natural expressiveness of children, so they see that they are artists in their own right. In the words of one parent, “Anne is truly talented in bringing excitement for art to her kids and I think she teaches art in the truest sense.”