Content Development Team

Polly Parker - Co-Chair - Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative (LPVEC): During the 2011 Massachusetts New Literacies Institute, Polly Parker co-led a team of content experts to develop an institute that translated how the New Massachusetts Framework for ELA and Literacy in Informational text (Common Core State Standards) integrates 21st century skills, and further, demonstrated how digital text and tools root these standards into what many deem as necessary preparation for College and Career readiness. Having been inspired after serving as Co-Chair for the teacher leaders during the 2010 Massachusetts New Literacies Institute, Polly sees the institute as a vehicle for preparing teachers to instruct and deliver curriculum through a 21st century skills lens. Additional presentations include 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. Polly is also a member of the Massachusetts Association for Vocational Administrators (MAVA) and is a former Adult Basic Education (ABE) instructor.


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 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 and a member of the content team in 2011. You can reach him at: punkmaki (at)

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Ian O'Byrne is UNH Education Department’s Coordinator for the new Sixth Year Diploma in Instructional Technologies and Digital Media Literacies, and has been instrumental in bringing meaningful instructional technology practices to the department’s students and faculty. Ian has been involved in initiatives in school districts ranging from online and hybrid coursework, integrating technology in the classroom, ePortfolio systems, and supporting marginalized students in literacy practices. He is currently a member of AERA, NCTE, and currently serves on the Policy and Legislative Committee for LRA, and the Technology, Communication, and Literacy committee for IRA. Ian has been involved in initiatives in school districts ranging from online and hybrid coursework, integrating technology in the classroom, ePortfolio systems, and supporting marginalized students in literacy practices. His research interests examine the literacy practices employed by adolescents in online spaces. Additionally he is interested in assessment and psychometric properties of these measurements as we move online.