December 15, 2020

Faculty and Staff

Leadership Team

Behzad Dayanim he|him|his
Executive Director, Tremont School/Collaborative Learning Project, Inc.

Behzad is a visionary educational leader with a rich, eclectic background. A relationship builder to the core, he brings his passion for community building along with deep experience in strategic marketing, design, and communication to Tremont School. He has a deep understanding of our roots and a vision for the future. Having served in various creative and professional roles, Behzad brings a wealth of experience as a head of school, chief learning officer, seasoned experiential educator, accomplished musical performer, visual artist, and strategic marketing and education consultant. Behzad earned a double master’s degree from Brandeis University in Business Administration, from the Heller School for Social Policy & Management, and in Communal Service and Professional Leadership from the Hornstein Program. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Jazz & Commercial Composition from the Manhattan School of Music. After school, you can find Behzad in the music room playing drums with the student rock band.

Colleen L. Meaney she|her|hers 
Program Director

Colleen is a seasoned progressive educator and administrator serving as Tremont’s Program Director, our key educational leadership role, supporting our teachers and students. Prior to coming to Tremont School, Colleen served as the Director of the Theodore R. Sizer Teachers’ Center at the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Massachusetts where she consulted with schools to support both educators’ and students’ learning and well-being, facilitate innovative programmatic design, and whole-school redesign—all through a progressive education lens. Colleen has a depth of experience strengthening educator capacity for antiracist pedagogy, competency-based achievement, the means to knowing students well, and creating the conditions for authentic student engagement. Colleen is a National Facilitator with the School Reform Initiative, and has served as Dean of Faculty at Souhegan High School, Assistant Principal at Concord-Carlisle High School, New England Association of Secondary Schools & Colleges Commission Member, and Board of Trustee member at Innovation Academy Charter School.

Sarah Bettencourt she|her|hers
Director of Enrollment Management

Sarah is an instrumental part of our senior administrative team and a primary resource for all things related to enrollment, admissions, and community outreach. Most recently, Sarah worked at Waldorf High School where she both taught Visual Arts and served on the Admissions Committee. She has taught courses in the Visual Arts and Humanities and has also provided student support for 15 years in public, charter and independent schools. As an undergraduate, Sarah studied Visual Studies and English at Trinity College and later earned her graduate degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition to her extensive experience working with diverse populations in educational settings, she has served in numerous volunteer capacities including participating on the boards of her local Special Education Parents Advisory Council, Diversity, Education and Inclusion committee, and Lives in the Balance. Sarah also co-founded her local chapter of Decoding Dyslexia. Sarah lives locally with her husband, three children and their dog, Bear. In her free time, Sarah enjoys painting, running (very slowly) and hiking with Bear.  

Deb Abrahams-Dematte she|her|hers
Director of Development

Deb has over 25 years of development experience in a variety of educational and non-profit settings. Most recently and for the past 9 years, she served as the Director of Development and a member of the Leadership Team of the Anthroposophical Society in America. Deb reflects that her non-profit career is a natural outgrowth of her lifelong commitment to supporting children and families, as well as building social and organizational forms that reflect and support our highest intentions for one another and the world. She shares that “building relationships is a passion of mine, particularly in service to generating positive social change.” Deb has a BA in political science and women’s studies and an MS in leadership of mission driven organizations/nonprofit management. She enjoys cooking, yoga, gardening, and xc-skiing, and lives with her husband Bill in Wilton, NH, along with their dog, cat, and 9 chickens.


Jason Bandzul he|him|his
Middle School Math and Science Educator

Jason is a dedicated educator who has spent the last 7 years nurturing a passion for science and math among middle and high school students. Jason is a firm believer in the spirit of the Tremont School, manifesting this through a competency-based learning approach and a holistic and personalized lens on diverse learners, which facilitate the active engagement of students in the learning process. A prior work experience in precision sheet metal fabrication enriches his background, contributing a unique practical perspective to Jason’s pedagogy where he excels in translating complex theories into digestible knowledge, igniting curiosity, and fostering a deep concept attainment in his students. Jason holds a BA from Worcester State University and a Special Education License. Beyond the classroom, Jason is an avid Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast, showcasing his dynamic personality and the breadth of his interests. His dedication to teaching, combined with his varied interests and experiences, make Jason a pivotal contributor to the intellectual growth within the Tremont community.

Sue Cogswell she|her|hers
Middle School Humanities Educator

Sue has taught middle school students for over 15 years. Before coming to Tremont School, she spent 12 years teaching in Boston at a full inclusion middle school and tutored students in ELA and executive function skills. Sue grew up in Connecticut, and received her Bachelors in Psychology from Stonehill College, with a minor in Education. After working for a few years in the mental health field and a short stint in California, she began her formal teaching career by receiving a Masters in Special Education from Wheelock College. When she is not teaching, Sue likes cooking, baking (yes they are different), hiking, biking and spending time with her friends and family (including the fluffy ones).

Kate Charles she|her|hers 
Science and Math Educator

Kate holds teaching experience as an Associate Instructor at Indiana University while a Ph.D. candidate in Evolutionary Biology.  Following this, Kate comes to the Tremont School with seven years of private tutoring experience, working primarily with under-challenged, over-challenged, home schooled, twice-exceptional, and other non-traditional learners. Kate holds a Master of Liberal Arts in Biology from Harvard University Extension School, and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Wesleyan University.  Outside the classroom, she paints, sews, and bakes, though usually not all at once.  Kate also enjoys slow-hiking in the mountains, and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. 

Tore Kapstad he|him|his
High School Humanities Educator

Tore has taught at the middle and high school level for over 20 years, teaching courses in World History, US History, Geography, Civics and Government, Economics, Humanities, ELA, Literature, Writing, Comparative World Religion, and a number of elective courses. He has taught in progressive public and private schools in New York City and Boston, MA. A graduate of Middlebury College and Teachers College of Columbia University, Tore is a National Board Certified Teacher in Social Studies-History and also a certified ESL teacher. When not in the classroom, Tore enjoys sports, music, reading, and spending time with family and friends. He is waiting sometimes patiently and other times impatiently for the start of the next soccer World Cup.

Nuria Rivera she|her|hers
Math Educator

Prior to joining Tremont School, Nuria Rivera taught High School Math at Lawrence High School where she was recognized for her empathy and engaging instruction. She began her education career as an educational instructor for adults and became an academic coordinator for a program for adolescents with diverse learning profiles. Graduating with her Masters degree in Public Administration, Nuria’s dedication to children and families has been a lifelong pursuit. She has advocated for the well-being of vulnerable children and served as a police officer in Nassau County prior to becoming a Family Specialist, which ignited her passion further and eventually led her to pursue education as a meaningful and impactful career path. What resonates most with Nuria about Tremont is our dedication to a personalized approach that celebrates our students as individuals and as unique parts of our greater community. She brings an exceptional array of experiential learning and practical application experience to her teaching and looks forward to continuing to make a meaningful impact in our community.

Tori Campbell she|her|hers
Health and Wellness Educator
World Languages Educator

Tori grew up in Boulder, Colorado and went to college at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she majored in French and Russian. That led to a 20-year career as an Army intelligence officer, serving around the US and in Germany, Bosnia, Iraq, South Korea, Japan, and Australia. Along the way, she commanded a company, went to grad school (the first time), taught history and coached orienteering at West Point, and served as a project officer at the Pentagon. She is married to her West Point classmate, Jon, and they have two kids: Anna (16) and Peter (14). After Jon and Tori transitioned from military service in 2016, the whole family took time off from work and school and traveled for a few years, including a lot of backpacking, camping, and orienteering. During this time, Tori realized that although she loved intelligence work, she was more passionate about making a difference in education. She recently completed graduate studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and says the opportunity to become a part of Tremont feels like coming home to her.

Chris Nifong he|him|his 
Music Specialist

Chris is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who is currently completing his graduate degree  from Berklee College of Music. He has been involved with Tremont in the past and is excited to re-engage with our community as one of our music faculty. Chris is devoted to empowering students to create and believes that music can be a terrific vehicle for building social connections and community. Chris will be offering a range of musical options this year.  

Ed Lee Rocha he|him|his 
Spanish Educator

A graduate of Harvard University and Boston University, Ed is the founder of a language education company based on his RoLa method of teaching foreign languages. He is the founding president of the Harvard Latino Alumni Alliance and a published author of Spanish education books and children’s books. Ed has consulted with Tremont in the past and is excited to formally join our team where he hopes to enhance our language program and our community in a meaningful way.

Heather Scott she|her|hers  
Integrated Arts Coordinator
Marketing & Communications Specialist

Heather has been teaching art for fourteen years, and started in the public sector before moving to independent schools. Throughout that time she has created and designed numerous courses, many still being taught at her previous schools. She earned a Master of Arts in Teaching Art from Salem State University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the Art Institute of Boston. Heather believes strongly in Tremont School’s mission and is driven to help her students reach their full creative potential. When she’s not teaching, Heather enjoys reading, creative writing, and spending time with her husband, young daughter, dog, and the newest addition to her family – a leopard gecko named Pickles. 

Faculty Specialists

Loring “Dr. B” Brinckerhoff he|him|his
College Guidance Team

Loring is a nationally recognized authority on college students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD. He has 35 years of experience in the field of higher education and disabilities. Last year he retired as the Director of the Office of Disability Policy for Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, NJ. He is also a higher education and disability consultant to Harvard Law School and Columbia University. Loring co-authored one the leading textbooks in the field, Postsecondary Education and Transition for Students with Learning Disabilities, as well as dozens of articles and book chapters for parents and professionals on high-stakes testing, disability documentation, transition from high school to college and self-advocacy skills for adolescents with disabilities. He earned his Ph.D. in learning disabilities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he started the LD Support Services office in the McBurney Resource Center. He is the past president of the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD). Loring has three grandchildren in San Francisco and resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Kathleen Buchanan she|her|hers
Learning Support Coordinator

Kathy is an experienced special education teacher and administrator skilled in supporting a wide range of learners to achieve lifelong learning success. With her Army officer husband, she has lived and taught in public and private schools in Virginia, Germany, West Point, New York, and Maine. Kathy developed special education programs in Bangor, Maine and at Cottage Hill Academy in Massachusetts, and was the Director of Special Education for 10 years for Clinton (MA) Public Schools. She graduated from Ladycliff College with a BA in Psychology and Special Education, the University of Maine at Orono with a Master’s in Special Education, and American International College with a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Administration. Kathy and her husband have a daughter and a son and two grandchildren, including one with significant special needs. Most of her time away from Tremont is spent spoiling her grandkids!

Shaina Varela she|her|hers  
School Counseling Team

Shaina has worked as a teacher for several years and is a licensed school counselor. Prior to coming to Tremont, Shaina served as a school-based therapist for the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center where she worked with students from elementary school through high school. She has also been involved in individual and group therapy settings and recognizes the importance of exhibiting patience and understanding students’ diverse needs. Her education and experience have helped her hone her skills to counsel effectively with knowledge in various theories and techniques, utilizing compassion and empathy to help students grow.

Administrative Staff 

Jennifer Feranec, RN, BSN she|her|hers
School Nurse

Jenn has been a nurse for over 10 years and has worked in a variety of specialties, including school nursing, dermatology, women’s health, pediatrics, oncology, and home health care. She strives to provide quality, compassionate care to every individual. Jenn believes in advocating for the safety and well being of the students. She enjoys working with children and young adults because she feels it is important to educate them about health and wellness. Jenn is originally from Wilmington, MA and obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Salem State University. She also completed a clinical research program at Boston College. Jenn is a proud Air Force spouse, mother to 3 boys and a Goldendoodle. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, gardening, cooking and reading.

Kiara Veras she|her|hers
Operations Coordinator

Kiara has helped other organizations in both business and administrative capacities, ensuring operations run smoothly in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Kiara is passionate about helping others succeed and enjoys helping them reach their full potential. In her free time, Kiara enjoys spending time with her friends, family and dog, making beaded jewelry and taking spin classes.