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Faculty and Instructional Staff

Laura Dougherty
Director
M.Ed in Exceptional Children and Youth/ Reading Specialist Certification
University of Delaware
B.S. in Elementary Education/Special Education
Radford University
Laura Dougherty is a UD Clinical Faculty member whose history at The College School runs deep. She began her career here 17 years ago, and has played an integral role in the development and success of this laboratory program.Laura has worked in the capacities of Lead Teacher, Admissions Director, and is currently serving as the school’s Director. Laura Dougherty holds several memberships including the Council for Exceptional Children, National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), National Association of Laboratory Schools (NALS), and Delaware Association of Independent Schools (DAIS).

Lead Teachers

James Davis
Clinical Faculty
Lead Teacher
M.Ed. in School Leadership and Instruction
Wilmington College
B.S. in Elementary Education
University of Delaware
Mr. Davis joined The College School in 2004 with twelve years of teaching experience in both second and third grade from the Cecil County Public School system in Maryland. In addition, he taught summer sessions in the Reading Study Center at the University of Delaware for five years and a summer reading course at Cecil College. Mr. Davis also is a talented musician who performs professionally along the east coast in addition to adeptly incorporating music into classroom instruction.

Laurie Drumm
Clinical Faculty
Lead Teacher
M.Ed. in Applied Educational Technology
Wilmington College
B.S. in Elementary Education/Special Education
University of Delaware
Ms. Drumm came to The College School from the Colonial School District where she taught middle school special education for eight years.  She also taught Computer Literacy and English at James H. Groves Adult High School and in the Diploma-at-a-Distance online learning program.  Ms. Drumm is certified to teach elementary and special education, and holds membership in Kappa Delta Pi – International Honor Society in Education.

Gillian Guadagnino
Lead Teacher

M.Ed in Exceptional Children and Youth
University of Delaware
B.S. in English Education
University of Delaware
Ms. Guadagnino started her career as a graduate assistant here at The College School.  She recently graduated with her masters from UD, and is certified in elementary education, special education, and middle school English.  In addition to teaching math and literacy blocks, Ms. Guadagnino is currently the assistant coach for the University of Delaware Cheerleading team.  Go Blue Hens!

Kathleen Krause
Clinical Faculty
Lead Teacher
M.Ed. in Reading
Wilmington College
B.S. in Elementary Education/Special Education
University of Delaware
Ms. Krause came to The College School from the Christina School District, where she taught special education for seven years at Glasgow High School and at Bancroft Elementary School. She also taught in the Reading Study Center at the University of Delaware for 12 years. She is certified in elementary education, special education, and reading.

Stacy Poplos Connor
Clinical Faculty
Lead Teacher
M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction
Western Maryland College
B. S. in Elementary Education and Special Education
University of Delaware
Ms. Connor comes to The College School from the Colonial School District, where she taught both special education and regular education for three years. She served as a People to People delegate leader traveling to Europe and the South Pacific with middle school students. Ms. Connor is certified in elementary education and special education. She holds membership in the National Education Association and the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.

Deborah Seador
Clinical Faculty
Lead Teacher
M.Ed. in Exceptional Children and Youth
University of Delaware
B.S. in Elementary Education/Special Education
University of Delaware
Ms. Seador came to The College School from the Brandywine School District, where she taught special education for one year at Springer Intensive Learning Center and eleven years at Maple Lane Elementary School.  Prior to teaching in Delaware, Ms. Seador spent two years at a Department of Defense Overseas School in Sigonella, Sicily as a second grade teacher.  She also taught for one year in the Osceola School District in Florida.  Ms. Seador is certified in elementary education and special education.

Kellie Wise
Lead Teacher

B.S. in Elementary Education/Special Education
University of Delaware
Reading ASSIST Certification
Miss Wise comes to The College School as a graduate of the University of Delaware’s Elementary Teacher Education program, where she pursued both K-8 Education as well as K-8 Special Education. She is also recognized as a “highly qualified” teacher of Middle School English in the state of Delaware. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Miss Wise also shares her knowledge of the SMART Board with both University of Delaware pre-service teachers and local educators in conference settings. Outside of school, Miss Wise works as a private tutor and as a volunteer.

Administrative and Support Staff

Judy Bachman
Senior Secretary

Christine Chapman
MSRT Instructor
Classroom Assistant
B.Sc. (Honors) in Catering Sciences & Applied Nutrition
Huddersfield University (England)
Reading ASSIST certification
Ms. Chapman brings to The College School fourteen years of experience as a Reading ASSIST tutor. In addition to her work with the students as an MSRT instructor, she also teaches cooking and needlecrafts.Ms. Chapman volunteered as a tutor at Linden Hill Elementary School for many years and serves as director of Hope Unlimited, a local non-profit organization involved in children’s ministries, both nationally and internationally.

Jamie Daugherty
MSRT Instructor
Classroom Assistant
Reading Assist Certification
Maryland Certified Paraprofessional
Ms. Daugherty (a.k.a. “Ms. Jamie”) is a teacher assistant at TCS. In addition to her work in the classrooms, Ms. Daugherty also works with students as an MSRT instructor. She also has seven years experience as a certified paraprofessional in the Cecil County Public School System in Maryland. During that time, she served as a Pre-Kindergarten Assistant, as well as an Instructional Assistant in grades 1-5 and Special Education classrooms. She co-taught the Quality Response Workshops, was a member of the RAPPS reading skills program, and accommodated special needs children during MD state assessments and CTBS tests. Ms. Daugherty has volunteered as an Odyssey of the Mind Coach and served as the MD Regional Director/Spontaneous Problem.

Nichol DelPercio
Classroom Assistant
B.S. in Human Resources
University of Delaware
Delaware Certified Paraprofessional
Nichol DelPercio is a classroom assistant at TCS.  In addition, she serves as an assistant Physical Education instructor.  She comes to TCS after seven years as a teaching assistant at M.O.T. Charter School in Middletown, where she worked with first graders, RTI instruction and DIBELS assessments.

Theresa Kane
Program Coordinator
M.Ed in Grades NK-8 Education
Marymount University
Applied Behavior Analysis
Certification in Special Education
Pennsylvania State University
B.S. in Psychology
Frostburg State University
Mrs. Kane comes to The College School from Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia where she taught fourth grade for three years and was a resource teacher for early childhood special education students for three years. She acted as the special projects lead teacher for one year while she chaired the Child Find local screening team. She is certified in early childhood, elementary, middle school, and special education. She is also a handwriting specialist. She is a member of the Delta Kappa Chapter of Delta Epsilon Sigma National Scholastic Honor Society.

Marty McDonough
TCS/UD Liaison
B.S. in Education
University of Delaware
Ms. McDonough came to The College School from the Advisement Office for Elementary and Special Education majors at the University of Delaware. Previously, she had taught for eight years at Mount Aviat Academy in Maryland. She is certified in elementary education. Ms. McDonough also serves as The College School’s liaison with the University. She handles all of the clinical placements of the University community as volunteers, tutors and mentors to TCS.

Dawn Miller
Classroom Assistant
Maryland Certified Nursing Assistant
Maryland Certified Medication Technician
Maryland Certified Paraprofessional
Mrs. Miller is a teacher assistant at TCS. In addition to her work in the classrooms, Mrs. Miller works with students as a Physical Education instructor. She comes to TCS with 7 years of experience from SESI Schools of Maryland. Mrs. Miller provided specialized education services for students K-12 facing learning, language, and social challenges. She was also the Medication Technician for The High Road Schools of Perryville and Elkton. Mrs. Miller also spent 2 years as a preferred substitute in the Cecil County Public School District in Maryland. During that time she taught students K-12 and special education levels 1-5.

Anita Paulson
Classroom Assistant
Reading Assist Certification
State of Delaware Certified Para Educator
Mrs. Paulson has many years experience in classroom instruction,  assessment, and multi-sensory reading instruction.   Additionally, she has received extensive training in all areas of effective literacy instruction.   These include, but are not limited to:  Reading Assist,  Language Essential for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS),  and DIBELS® Training.  She is an experienced MSRT (multi sensory reading tutoring) instructor.  She has worked in both elementary and middle school instruction with both regular and special education students.   Mrs. Paulson is a certified Para Educator through the Delaware Department of Education and is also a private tutor.

Marie Pierse
MSRT Instructor
Classroom Assistant
Associates Degree in Liberal Studies in Business
Goldey-Beacom College
Reading ASSIST certification
A certified Reading ASSIST tutor, Ms. Pierse tutored for five years, both privately and as a volunteer, before coming to The College School in October of 2002 . She also served as an applied behavioral analysis therapist for an autistic child.


Graduate Students

Tasha Buffington

Ms. Buffington is a second year graduate student in the M.A. program Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). Ms. Buffington is seeking certification in ESL as a bilingual teacher and plans to additionally seek certification in elementary education.  She graduated from Mansfield University in 2009 with a B.A. in Spanish and minors in International Studies, Political Science, and English Literature.  She was chosen to receive the Outstanding Senior Award for her graduating class.  While attending Mansfield University, Ms. Buffington studied abroad in Spain for 10 months.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, crafting, and being outside.

 Erin Donahue

Ms. Donahue is a first year graduate student in the program Exceptional Children and Youth.She graduated from the University of Delaware in May 2011 with a History Education degree and a minor in Disabilities Studies which certified her to teach special education in Delaware.  She is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the International Honor Society in History as well as Phi Sigma Pi National Honors Fraternity, where she served as a philanthropy co-chair and sponsored a “Teach for America” classroom in Wilmington, Delaware.Every summer, Ms. Donahue works as a head lifeguard at Frogbridge Day Camp in New Jersey where she is certified as a Water Safety Instructor.  In her spare time, she loves sports and coaching children!  She was an assistant coach for the girls’ varsity basketball team at Appoquinimink High School in Delaware. She was also involved with the University of Delaware Women’s Club Basketball team for four years where she served as President.

Nic van Oss Mr. van Oss is a first year graduate student in the M.A. School Psychology program.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in 2011 with a B.S. in Psychology, along with minors in Child/Youth Care and Interpersonal Communication.  He served as Chapter President of the Psi Chi honor society in psychology and was selected as the student speaker for his college graduation.  Mr. van Oss has worked as a college writing tutor, research supervisor, and college teaching assistant, but he has enjoyed most his years of work with youth.  In his free time, Mr. van Oss enjoys writing songs on guitar, oil painting, playing sports, and cooking.


Affiliated Professionals

Dr. George Bear
Professor, School Psychology
Ph.D. in Educational Psychology
University of Virginia
Dr. Bear, coordinator of the school psychology program at the University, supervises practicum students placed at The College School. Dr. Bear and the practicum students provide a wide range of psychological services, including individual assessment, counseling, and consultation to teachers and parents. They also conduct classroom lessons designed to promote social and emotional learning and prosocial behavior.Dr. Bear has published several books and over 50 journal articles primarily on the topics of school discipline, moral reasoning and classroom behavior, and children’s self-perceptions. Prior to coming to the University, Dr. Bear was a practicing school psychologist in Iowa and Virginia and a director of special education services.

Gerry Brunner
Music Instructor
MBA, Indiana University
B.A. in International Relations
University of Delaware
Mr. Brunner has been a professional singer, guitarist, and music teacher for over 45 years. He is enthusiastic about music education and performance, having spent much of his time on music activities since retiring in 2001 from a 28-year business career with DuPont.Mr. Brunner studied voice all four of his years at the University of Delaware completing his senior year as President of the UD Concert Choir and Performing Arts columnist for the UD Review. While earning his master’s degree at Indiana University he performed as a guitarist and singer, performing popular and jazz music in many venues.  Mr. Brunner continues to study jazz and classical guitar and has achieved four separate certifications.

Mr. Brunner has shared his experience with many elementary age students, and has 20+ private music students as a faculty member of  UD’s Community Music School since 2005.  In addition to his teaching at TCS, Mr. Brunner teaches classical guitar, and is on the faculty of a K-2 charter school in West Chester and at the Newark Center for Creative Learning.


Diane Lawler
Artist in Residence

Nina Straitman
Speech/Language Therapist



Kristin West
Occupational Therapist, OPT Services

  • The College School  •  459 Wyoming Road  •  Newark, DE 19716  •  USA
    Phone: (302) 831-0222  •  ©2012