Content Development Team

PollyPolly_Parker_photo.jpg Parker - Co-Chair - Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative (LPVEC): Polly served as a co-chair for the teacher leaders for the 2010 Massachusetts New Literacies Institute. She presented at the Massachusetts DESE Curriculum Summit (2010) on Preparing Students for the 21st Century with New Literacies, MassCUE and METAA’s 6th Annual Technology Leadership Symposium – 2011 on the 2010 Massachusetts New Literacies Institute, and the MassCUE/MASS conference for the Massachusetts DESE in 2010 on Online Learning for At-Risk Students. Polly has a master’s degree in Educational Policy, and she is currently a doctoral candidate in the Research and Evaluation Methods Program (REMP), which is a division of the Educational Policy, Research and Administration (EPRA) department at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (UMASS). She is the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at the LPVEC.


Greg McVerry - Co-Chair - Southern Connecticut State University: Greg is a researcher and teacher at Southern Connecticut State University. He was a Neag Fellow at the University of Connecticut's New Literacies Research Lab where he studies educational psychology. Greg researches the intersection of literacy and technology and has published over a dozen articles in leading teacher and research journals. He also presents at National Conferences including National Conference of Teachers of English, International Reading Association, Literacy Research Association, and MIT's Learning and the Brain Conference. Greg was a former middle school language arts and math teacher.

Beth Dichter - Northampton Public Schools (bdichter at I served as a co-chair for the teacher leaders for the 2010 Massachusetts New Literacies Institute and presented at the Massachusetts DESE Curriculum Summit (2010) on Preparing Students for the 21st Century with New Literacies and at an Urban Literacy Meeting in June. I work as a Technology Integration Specialist at Northampton High School and with Assistive Technology across the district.


Jared Cavagnuolo - Natick Public Schools: I may not be famous for founding a galleria of jewelry or creating a diet comprised exclusively of sandwiches, but the Jareds who did those things don't get their bios on the 2011 Massachusetts New Literacies Institute Wiki. I'm an 8th grade Learning Center teacher at Wilson Middle School in Natick and was a participant in the 2010 Massachusetts New Literacies Institute. After integrating what I learned at last summer's institute into my instruction this past school year, I'm looking forward to continuing to explore and utilize the tools and resources that are being presented this year as my school pilots a one-to-one student laptop initiative for our 8th graders this fall. You can reach me at jcavagnuolo (at)

Stephanie Grimaldi - Westfield State University: Hi! No relation to Princess Stephanie of Monaco (but will answer to Princess), I am an Assistant Professor of Education at Westfield State University. My courses focus on reading and reading instruction for both undergraduate and graduate candidates. Prior to coming to Westfield, I was the Literacy Department Head, K-5 for the Lexington Public Schools. I have taught in New York City, Malden, Chelsea, and Wellesley as well. I have three fabulous children and live in Northampton, MA. Looking forward to our week together. If I can help and you have a diet Coke .... sgrimaldi (at)

Mary Moynagh - Ashland Middle School: Mary will be a facilitator for the Online Collaborative Inquiry area of the Digging Deeper session. In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Mary facilitates on line professional development for her district focusing on integrating new technologies in the practice of teaching and learning. Mary is a graduate of Regis College in Weston and Suffolk University. Mary has prior work experience in the technology field. If you me have questions or need to talk something through, feel free to contact me ... mmoynagh (at)


John Pappas - Weymouth Public Schools: John Pappas is the Lead Teacher for the English Department at Weymouth High School where he teaches Advanced Placement Literature, Theories of Violence in American Culture and Semantics. He also serves as a founding member of a group devoted to promoting New Literacies district-wide. He enjoys playing and composing music, as well as spending time with his family. John was an attendee of the Massachusetts New Literacies Conference in 2010. You can reach him at: punkmaki (at)


MaryEllen Caesar is the Regional Literacy Specialist for the Southeast School and District Assistance Center (DSAC) and the ESE Office of Literacy.She is returning to the Massachusetts New Literacies Institute as the representative of the ESE Office of Literacy and as a member of the content team. MaryEllen has presented at various local and statewide conferences. Her specialties are literacy-science integration and using new literacies in support of teaching and learning information. She has authored a course in Informational Text that aligns with the new Curriculum Framework, mini-units on the new Framework, articles about literacy coaching, and a literacy-related blog. She is delighted to be part of this important initiative for Massachusetts educators. She may be reached at: mcaesar (at) or 339 224 0558.

Please visit the PLATE (Practical Literacy Aids for Today's Educators blog) at