Our Staff

Headshot Caitlin Palm

Caitlin Palm

Pronouns: she/her/hers
At NS since: 2020
Position: Level 1 Teacher
Education: J.D., Northeastern University School of Law
Fun facts:
  • Cait started teaching straight out of college, then left for the legal world for a few years, then returned to teaching (her true love!).
  • Podcasts and cooking are some of Cait's favorite ways to relax.
  • Before teaching at NS, Cait taught fellow-teacher Tracy's son Ezra in pre-school!

Drew Curtis

Pronouns: he/him/his
At NS since: 1999
Position: Support Teacher; Covid and Technology Coordinator
Education: B.A. (anthropology), Washington University
Fun facts:
  • Drew’s background in writing and editing is the impetus for wonderful writing projects in Level 4.
  • No parking? No problem! Proud parent of NS alums Max and Jesse, Drew lives within walking distance of NS.
Headshot Haeli Waren

Haeli Warren

Pronouns: she/her/hers
At NS since: 2021
Position: Level 4 Teacher
Education: B.A. (Education Studies, Elementary Education Teaching Program) Wellesley College
Fun facts:
  • Haeli started teaching in outdoor education on a farm and then in the mountains. While teaching, she has hiked and backpacked over 23 of the Adirondack Mountains in New York.
  • With education and teaching, Haeli is interested in research. She is especially excited about how students and the community can do research about and in their own communities.
  • Dance, biking, being outside, playing clarinet, and baking are some of Haeli’s favorite activities!
Headshot Johnny Blazes

Johnny Blazes

Pronouns: they/them/theirs
At NS since: 2007
Position: Drama and Dance Teacher since 2007, Music and Rap Around Teacher since 2015
Education: B.A. (Theater & Dance performance), Oberlin College
Fun facts:
  • Johnny was one of NS’s first students, joining Level 1 in January of 1988.
  • Johnny has been teaching or assisting at Neighborhood School almost continuously since graduating in 1994 (with a short hiatus to do some traveling and studying), including several years of circus and drama camp counseling as a pre-teen and teen!
  • Johnny is also an instructor and administrator at Esh Circus Arts in Somerville, and sings with two different soul bands, including one co-run with Johnny’s dad, J. Johnson.
Headshot Jordan Bates

Jordan Bates

Pronouns: she/her/hers
At NS since: 2022
Position: Level 2 Teacher
Education: B.A. (Africana Studies and Education Studies) Wellesley College
Fun facts:
  • I have a love for painting and getting into new crafts (currently I am learning to crochet)
  • As a new resident of Jamaica Plain I'm enjoying venturing out and exploring the neighborhood (especially finding good restaurants to eat at!)

Joyce Mallory

Pronouns: she/her/hers
At NS since: the beginning
Position: Learning Accommodations Coordinator; Academic Services
Education: M.Ed. (special education), UMass Boston. Joyce helps us to keep track of learning differences and specific methods of instruction and assessment to meet individual needs.
Fun facts:
  • In 1986, with her late husband, John, Joyce brought her pre-school through middle school teaching experience to the formation of NS. Joyce is also mother to two adult sons, Jared and Jon Marc, and grandmother to Lila Rae and Dylan!
  • Children associate Joyce with music, frogs, cats, and coffee.
Faculty Headshot Lisa Nam

Lisa Nam

Pronouns: she/her/hers
At NS since: 2016
Position: Level 4 Teacher; L4 Counseling Services
Education: Ed.M. (Prevention Science and Practice), Harvard Graduate School of Education
Fun facts:
  • Lisa lightly dabbles in arts and crafts and studied photography, painting, figure drawing, ceramics, and poetry in Korea, Greece, and Italy.
  • Lisa loves being part of the L4 Racial Justice Club every year and learns so much from the students about youth development through social justice.
  • Even after a decade of living in Boston, Lisa still feels her California roots and is afraid of winter.
Headshot Malena Castilla

Malena Castilla

Pronouns: she/her/hers
At NS since: 2021
Position: Level 3 Teacher
Education: B.A. (Economics, Teacher Scholars Program) Wellesley College.
Fun facts:
  • Malena has traveled over a 10,000 mile range north to south from Montreal, Canada to the Glacier National Park of Argentina.
  • Malena speaks English and Spanish —half of my family is in Argentina— and a little bit of Italian.
  • Malena loves winter so long as there's plenty of snow! With snowy days come skiing, hot chocolate, and curling up with a book.
Headshot Malika Walker

Malika Walker

Pronouns: she/her/hers
At NS since: 2020
Position: Support Teacher; Afterschool Coordinator
Education: B.A. (Environmental Studies), Framingham State University
Fun facts:
  • Malika has been working with children for over 10 years.
  • Malika owns over 14 houseplants!
Headshot Priscilla Saul

Priscilla Saul

Pronouns: she/her/hers
At NS since: 2017
Position: Administrative Assistant
Education: MSM, Emmanuel College
Fun facts:
  • Priscilla has a love for the arts, and enjoys visiting museums.
  • Priscilla loves to exercise. She was a sprinter on the Regis College Track and Field team.
  • Priscilla is a Netflix junkie (if she could, she would watch documentaries all day every day).
Headshot Rachel Shapp

Rachel Shapp

Pronouns: she/her/hers
At NS since: 2019
Position: Level 2 Teacher
Education: MAEd in Early Childhood Ed from Boston University
Fun facts:
  • Rachel has lived on three different continents.
  • Rachel once donned crampons and hiked a snow-covered volcano.
  • Rachel loves to eat and cook, and is always looking for new recipes and good restaurants to try!
Headshot Samantha Hale

Samantha Rose Hale

Pronouns: they/them/theirs
At NS since: 2018
Position: Music Teacher
Education: MEd (Prevention Science and Practice), Harvard Graduate School of Education
Fun facts:
  • Samantha (they/them) is a music therapist, performing artist (they have toured the US and Europe!), educator in primary through higher education, and independent consultant in group facilitation and equity-centered leadership frameworks.
  • Samantha has collaborated with youth and adult activists and performing artists throughout Boston to deconstruct harmful narratives and amplify the voices of those who have been historically and systemically silenced.
  • Samantha believes that everyone has creative ability and that arts tap into the deeper parts of our humanity and helps foster the inherent quality of empathy.

Scott Morrow

Pronouns: he/him/his
At NS since: 1995, when he and Tricia began sharing administrative duties along with home care of their children.
Position: Afterschool and PE Teacher; Finance; Maintenance
Education: M.Div., Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
Fun facts:
  • Basketball, the trumpet, and fatherhood are among Scott’s passions.
  • Get the scoop: Scott’s freezer is usually well-stocked with ice cream of various flavors.

Tracy Pimentel

Pronouns: she/her/hers
At NS since: 2014
Position: Level 1 Teacher
Education: M.Ed. (early childhood education), Lesley University
Fun facts:
  • Tracy completed a practicum at Neighborhood School with Level 2 back in 2005 during her undergraduate days at Lesley University.
  • She lives in Stoughton with husband Angel, and sons Ezra and Koji.
  • Level 1 students will have fun discovering which four languages Tracy can speak!

Tricia Morrow

Pronouns: she/her/hers
At NS since: the beginning
Position: Director
Education: B.A. (elementary & special education), Knox College; graduate work in educational management and parenting studies
Fun facts:
  • Tricia’s teaching experience and lots of elbow grease proved helpful as she joined Joyce and John Mallory in the formation of Neighborhood School.
  • Tricia and her husband Scott are proud parents of NS alums Anna, Michaela, and Nick.
  • From her rural upbringing, Tricia brings a pig collection and a sense of small-town connectedness to our school.

Faculty photos by 3rd Eye Photo.