Student Support

Ms. Caligan

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Self Contained Special Education Teacher

Miss Caligan began teaching in New Haven at Nathan Hale School in 2017.  She began her teaching career in 2005, teaching fourth grade in Chicago, IL, and has been lucky enough to teach throughout Connecticut before coming to New Haven. Miss Caligan received her Master’s degree in special education with an autism concentration from Southern Connecticut State University and completed her undergraduate studies in elementary education with an English literature concentration at Elmira College. “I love teaching because every day is an opportunity to spark creativity and a love of learning in all of my students.  Seeing them reach new levels of independence and achievement is so fulfilling. They are my ‘why’ and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us!”

Ms. Michelle Anes

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Self Contained Special Education Paraprofessional

Ms. Michelle earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Public Health from Southern Connecticut State University.  She is currently back in school for her Master’s degree in Education.  Michelle has been a special education paraprofessional at Nathan Hale since 2016. Her students are the reason why she chose to go back to school and become a teacher. “Teaching is a work of heart”

Mr. Jose Cintron

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Self Contained Special Education Paraprofessional

Jose Cintron has been a Special Education paraprofessional at New Haven Public Schools since 1999. He worked for seventeen years at Celentano Museum Academy School and is currently working at Nathan Hale School since 2016. “I enjoy sharing my creativity with my students and take pride of their accomplishments.”

Rebecca Harmon

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Special Education Teacher and Chairperson

Ms. Harmon graduated from Southern Connecticut State University's Honors College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education along with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She currently attends The University of Saint Joseph pursuing a master's in Applied Behavior Analysis. In 2017, Ms. Harmon was a first grade, long-term substitute at Nathan Hale. Ms. Harmon officially began her teaching career in 2018, teaching 7th and 8th grade special education at Burr School in Hartford. In 2019, she returned to Nathan Hale teaching first grade again. In 2020, she transitioned into the positions of special education teacher and the Planning and Placement Team Chairperson. "I love my job because I am able to advocate that all scholars get an equitable education and I get to learn and laugh with amazing scholars each day." 

Darren Lerner

Special Education Teacher

Mr. Lerner has been a special education teacher in New Haven since 1988. He received his bachelor's and master's degree at Southern Connecticut State University. " I love my job because I believe that there is nothing more important than having a positive impact on children"

Jessica Matey

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Special Education Teacher

Ms. Matey graduated from Champlain College in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.  She started her teaching career in 2013, teaching third grade.  Ms. Matey also received a Master’s degree in Special Education from Saint Joseph’s University.  In 2016, Ms. Matey joined the Nathan Hale Team as a second grade teacher.  In 2020, she transitioned to a special education teacher.  “I love my job because there is no greater feeling then being able to advocate for students that may not be able to advocate for themselves.”  

Prema Vora

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Special Education Teacher

Ms. Vora started teaching in 2001 in New York City.  She has taught grades 4 and 5 at the elementary level and has also been a middle school math and language arts teacher.  She received her master's degree in Education from CUNY’s Brooklyn College, and her special education endorsement from CREC’s program in Hartford.  She joined the Nathan Hale faculty in 2020 as a 6th grade math and reading teacher and joined the Student Support team in 2021.  “I love my job because I get to spend my days helping kids reach their goals and give them the tools to be more confident in their unlimited potential.”

Kelly Cesare

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School Psychologist

Mrs. Cesare earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Sacred Heart University followed by her masters’ from St. John’s University in School Psychology in 2016. She worked at several school across Long Island as leave replacements before landing at Nathan Hale. She was so excited and honored to become Nathan Hale’s first full-time psychologist. “I enjoy helping children of all ages navigate any challenging situation"

Nancy Dumark

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School Social Worker

Ms. Dumark has been a school social worker in New Haven since 2000. She got her Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and her Master’s from San Francisco State University. Prior to coming to New Haven Public Schools, Ms. Dumark worked as a social worker in a variety of settings serving both children and adults. She believes that many of the challenges of life can best be met with a sense of humor. 

Fidelma Keogh

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School Guidance Counselor

Fidelma Keogh has been a School Counselor since 1999.  She received her Bachelor's degree from Connecticut College and her Master's and 6th year from SCSU. She considers herself an optimistic person and believes the best in people. Her goal is to help each student work to their potential and be the best version of themselves

Lucas Northern

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Speech Pathologist

Lucas Northern has been a speech-language pathologist in the New Haven Public Schools since 2017.  He received his bachelor’s degree in English from Kenyon College in 2010, and his master’s degree in Communication Disorders from Southern Connecticut State University in 2017.  He believes communication is a fundamental human right and the best part of his job is “helping my students discover their unique voices so they build a better life for themselves, both in and out of the classroom.” 

Danielle Santagata

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Culture & Climate Specialist

Mrs. Santagata began her teaching career at Nathan Hale in 2007.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree at Quinnipiac University, Master’s in Elementary Education at the University of New Haven and received her Sixth Year Certificate in Educational Leadership from Quinnipiac University.  She has taught grades 2, 3, 5 and also helped develop and teach a Social Emotional Learning and Study Skills course for middle school students.  She currently serves as the Culture & Climate Specialist for the school.  “I love my job.  Being with the students makes me so happy and being able to watch them grow and develop academically, socially and emotionally is one of the best parts of my job."

Krista Morgan

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Literacy Coach

Mrs. Morgan has been teaching since 1998.  She began her career as a 3rd grade teacher at a charter school then came to New Haven in 2000.  She started at Jepson in a multi-age classroom teaching 10 and 11 year olds then moved to Edgewood where she taught both 5th and 6th grade.  She was also an itinerant enrichment teacher for 2nd and 3rd grade throughout the district.  In 2010, she came to Nathan Hale where she taught 4th and 5th grade before coming the Literacy Coach in 2014.  Mrs. Morgan earned her BS in Public Health at SCSU, a MS in Education from University of New Haven, and a second MS in TESOL from SCSU. "I enjoy helping students grow and develop.  Teaching allows me to continually learn right along with my students."

Katharine Liphardt

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Math Coach

Mrs. Liphardt has been teaching at Nathan Hale School since 2002. Mrs. Liphardt received her undergraduate & master’s degrees from Southern Connecticut State University. Most of her career has been spent teaching 5th & 6th grade, but she has been our Math coach since 2018. "I love my job because I love being around kids; they're honest & refreshing, and I love teaching them new things."

Jose Centeno

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ELL Teacher

Mr. Centeno is our school's ESL teacher since January of 2016.  He graduated in 2008 from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico with a BA in ESL, and in 2012 he completed his MEd.  He currently teaches at Nathan Hale School Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  "I love teaching English as a Second Language because it is a very rewarding experience.  When you hear students speaking correctly or when you see their improvements in writing...to me, that is priceless."