Afterschool & Auxiliary Programs

Afterschool Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Afterschool Program is to provide an afternoon experience for students that supports and complements the overall mission of the Shady Hill School.

We aim to be a relaxed, safe, nurturing setting that supports:
  • Creative Exploration: We offer opportunities that encourage creativity, exploration, independence, cooperation, and collaboration with attention to the appropriate balance of structure and freedom.
  • Connections: We help to reinforce the essential link between students’ parents and school.
  • Emphasis on Childhood: We pay rigorous attention to protecting the childhoods of our Shady Hill students.
  • Nurturing Relaxed Environment: We provide a relaxed, informal, comfortable, and nurturing atmosphere that takes into account the unique end-of-the-day needs of our students
  • Safety: We provide a safe, age-appropriate setting for children from the end of school until 6:00 PM for SHS families who have this need.

Meet the Afterschool Team

Betsy Burkhardt: Betsy loves teaching. She has taught at the college level (Harvard University), the high school level (the American International School of Lusaka, Zambia), and the grade-school level (Shady Hill). She is thrilled when students she tutors reach the point where they can teach their peers.  Betsy can be found in the foreign-language classrooms helping the third- through fifth-grade students finish their assignments.

Francesco Cupolo, Assistant Director of Auxiliary Programs and Makerspace Teacher: Francesco is the co-manager of the Makerspace during the day and helps run the Afterschool Program in the afternoon. In his work, he applies design-thinking skills to create fun, engaging lessons and activities. Visit Francesco in the Makerspace to see the wonderful programs he has developed for Afterschool students.

Mike Evans, Director of Auxiliary Programs: Mike has spent many years teaching and coaching in a variety of settings. He left the Royal Navy in 2006, studied International Relations at University, and then moved to Vermont in 2009. There, he worked at the Hulbert Outdoor Center and Aloha Camp as a leadership and wilderness instructor. In 2011 he moved to Massachusetts, trading the rugged mountains of Vermont for the rugged coastline of Rockport. He worked at Clark School, a small independent school in Rowley, MA, for seven years before finding his way to Shady Hill. Here, he hopes to use his experience in creating programming to build grow Shady Hill’s Auxiliary Programs.  Outside of work, he likes to fish--maybe something for Fun Camp this year!!?

Denise Gunter: Denise is an artist and educator. Coming from a line of female artists on both sides of her family, she finds that creating spaces that access not only art but also our collaborative imaginations is a keen interest. She recently earned her MA in Art and Design Education from Rhode Island School of Design where she explored these interests through research, teaching, and an active studio practice. Ms. Gunter continues to explore being a teaching artist, making sure to find time to walk her dog, George. Ms. Gunter can be found throughout the Lower School Commons, making the space more visually appealing for our all our enjoyment.

Keith Mascoll: Keith is a full-time actor and co-founder of The Front Porch Arts Collective, which creates work for Black and brown artists in theatre and film. He is also a leading designer of innovative educational programming for middle and high school students. As a founding staff member of Citizen Schools, he played a significant role in that organization's success in transforming the school day and improving the educational trajectories of young people across the country. Keith is a Teaching Artist for the Huntington Theatre Company and works with students to prepare them for the August Wilson monologue competition. His recent arts-education work includes work with the Moffitt-Ladd House and Garden in Portsmouth, NH in the Exploring the Issue of Slavery in the Era of American Revolution project, in which young people develop historically-focused, original scripts. Keith is a proud alum of Shady Hill (Class of 1985), and is honored to give back to the school that helped him thrive as an adult.

Jenny Payette: Jenny is a Shady Hill alum (Class of 1975) and a parent of two Shady Hill students (Classes of 2009 and 2011). She holds a Master’s degree in architecture, still a key interest of hers. After taking time off to raise her two children, she transitioned her role at Shady Hill by joining the Afterschool program. Ms. Payette can be found in the B/K room where she loves to read to her Afterschool students.

Gertrude St. Helene: Gertrude was born and raised in the beautiful Caribbean island of St.Lucia in the West Indies and has lived locally for the past 13 years. She worked in the St.Lucia Government Service for over 30 years in various positions and is now in her seventh year at Shady Hill. Gertrude has a long list of experiences, qualifications, and expertise from her global adventures. Be sure to ask her about her travels!

Alida Salins: Alida got her start in education by working at a Latvian summer camp in the Catskill Mountains. After this, she was hooked!  She loved growing and learning alongside the children. She received my Masters in Education at Bennington College in beautiful southern Vermont and started her career as an elementary teacher at the small progressive school, Hiland Hall.  She said a bittersweet goodbye last year as she moved to Boston with her new spouse and their darling cat. She is thrilled to join the Shady Hill team and can be found completing all manner of crafts in the Lower School Commons.

Seth Stultz: Seth was born in Miami, Florida and attended Miami Dade College where he earned an associates degree in mass communications. He enjoys reading and fitness and is also a car enthusiast. Seth aspires to be a teacher and plans to pursue a degree to make his dream a reality. He can regularly be found on the Ghost Court, running energetic games of this Shady Hill classic game!
617.520.5260        178 Coolidge Hill    Cambridge MA 02138