June 20, 2019
Dear Grade 4 and 5 Families,

I am writing today to inform you that Ms. Caitlin Fehr has decided not to return to teach at our school in the 2019-20 school year.  Mrs. Julie Maher, who came out of retirement to assist Ms. Fehr and Mrs. Chiodini this year, has also decided not to return next year so that she will be able to spend more time with her family and especially her grandchildren.  We thank both Ms. Fehr and Mrs. Maher for their contributions to our school and our students and we wish both of them the very best in their future endeavors.

I am pleased to inform you that Mr. Michael Stackhouse has accepted a position to teach Grade 4 Math, Science, Social Studies and Religion.  He will also teach Grade 5 Math and Science. Mrs. Christianne Chiodini will continue to teach English Language Arts to both Grades 4 and 5 and to teach all other subjects to Grade 5.

As you know, Mr. Stackhouse has been a beloved member of our Saint Joseph School community for three years.  He has served as a teacher in our Early Childhood Program and the director of our After School Program. Prior to his time at SJS, Mr. Stackhouse worked as a substitute teacher in several local public school systems in classrooms ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 12.  He also worked for several years as a camp counselor at Camp Fatima working with children aged 9 to 15. Mr. Stackhouse has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Westfield State University with a minor in Mathematics. He also regularly takes continuing education classes through the Salem State Collaborative.  

Mr. Stackhouse entered the teaching profession with the goal of teaching at the Grade 4 and 5 level and he is very excited by this opportunity.  He feels that this is an important time in a child's development as they are becoming more independent but still have need of strong teachers and mentors.  His top priority is ensuring that all students are achieving their fullest potential academically, socially and spiritually and he is prepared to utilize a variety of teaching methods to achieve that goal.  He is enthusiastic about math, which he sees as an integral part of our daily lives. He looks forward to engaging students in science with hands-on labs on a weekly to bi-weekly basis. His faith in God is strong and permeates his teaching in religion class and throughout the day.  He is committed to running a classroom where expectations are clear and respect and kindness are shown to all.   Mr. Stackhouse also values parents as partners in education. He is committed to contacting parents to address any problems proactively as soon as they arise. He also plans to provide regular communication to parents through weekly newsletters and notations in assignment books so that parents are always aware of upcoming quizzes, tests, projects, and other important information.  

Our faculty has been overwhelmingly supportive of Mr. Stackhouse in making this transition. Mrs. Lou Ann Melino is working with Mr. Stackhouse as his mentor in this transition and will continue to work with him throughout the year.  Mrs. Christianne Chiodini and Mrs. Julie Maher have shared with him the science materials used in these grades in recent years.   Mrs. Chiodini is looking forward to partnering with him as the Grade 4 and 5 team.  We are also going to integrate this team with our middle school faculty team to ensure continuity among the "upstairs" grades. This will also add our very strong middle school faculty team as another resource for Mr. Stackhouse.

We invite you to a Meet and Greet with Mr. Stackhouse in the school library on Tuesday, June 25 at 6:30 p.m.  Mrs. Flynn, Mrs. Chiodini, Mrs. Melino, Mrs. Connerty and I will all be present as well so this will be a great opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.  

We are confident that Mr. Stackhouse's energetic and engaging approach, combined with his education, experience and the support of our seasoned faculty, will create a wonderful learning experience for your children in the coming school year.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Very truly yours,

Joseph M. Sullivan, D.Ed.
A 21st Century Learning Community Based on Timeless Catholic Values

Saint Joseph School
15 Gould Street
Wakefield, MA 10880