Jennifer Murdock-Smith is the Director of Polaris Charter School, Jen will be entering her ninth year at the school. Ms. Murdock-Smith obtained both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Psychology at Niagara University and Connecticut College respectively. Following, she spent ten years working in the hospital setting developing systems to evaluate program performance and implement improvement. After taking a hiatus to spend time at home with her three children, she returned to the classroom and earned her certification as a school counselor as well as her Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Counseling at Rivier University. Her role at Polaris combines her ten years of experience in healthcare with her eight years working in education. Ms. Murdock-Smith is committed to working toward meeting children’s social, emotional and educational needs.

Administrative Manager
Stacey is entering her fourth year at Polaris as our Administrative Manager. As a life-time resident of NH, she loves to spend time at the beach and the mountains with her family. She especially loves fishing, cooking, and animals.
Stacey graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a Degree in Applied Science and worked in the restaurant business for many years before forming her own personal chef business. She catered to the elderly in order to promote their independent living success. She finds helping others to berewarding.
Her compassion and caring personality transitioned nicely into the Polaris atmosphere. She works diligently to create a happy and welcoming place for all students and their families.

Business Manager
Stacy is going into her second year at Polaris as our Business Manager. Stacy was born in New Jersey and lived in Georgia, New Hampshire, and Texas before finally settling in Londonderry. Stacy has been a resident of Manchester for the last 33 years. She left restaurant management after 14 years to work for a local professional photography lab as an office manager. When the lab closed seven years later in 2005, Stacy became a mom for the third time (and then a fourth) and made the choice to stay at home with her kiddos. During this hiatus, she continued to do work for various non-profits, including Boy Scouts, parent-teacher groups, work-groups at the school district and even sports leagues, which is how she fell in love with the non-profit sector. Currently, Stacy serves on the board for Manchester East Soccer League as Treasurer.
Stacy loves spending time with her family, taking photos, and her volunteer work. She also loves sports photography and photojournalism and is a freelance photographer shooting for Manchester Ink Link, a local online news media site in Manchester, NH.

Primary Teacher
The 2020-2021 school marks the second school year Jennifer Allen will be working for our school as one of our teachers. Prior to this, Miss Allen has taught Kindergarten for two years. She received her B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies and her M.Ed. in Elementary Education from the University of New Hampshire.
Miss Allen is a strong believer that meeting her students social and emotional needs is vital to create a successful classroom community where children can learn best. Miss Allen believes in getting to know her students so she can personalize their learning.
When she’s not working, Miss Allen loves to spend time with her family, in particular her three nieces. She has a dog who she loves to be active with, as well as snuggle up on the couch with!

Primary Teacher
Lea Fesh is entering her ninth year as a Primary level teacher at Polaris Charter School. Mrs. Fesh holds a Bachelors degree in English from UNH and a Masters degree in Elementary Education from Southern New Hampshire University, and has done some post-graduate work as well. She loves anything to do with school, whether it's being the teacher or being the student! Learning is a lifelong adventure, and everyone is accepted and valued in her classroom. She has worked as a Reading Interventionist, Health Teacher and assistant before finding her home at Polaris. Mrs. Fesh resides in Londonderry with her husband Randy and 5 children, Rodney, Hayley, Alexander, Elizabeth and James. In her spare time (which is a bit limited!) Mrs. Fesh is an avid reader and writer, and enjoys spending family time with her littles and drinking coffee. And of course, she is still very excited to be a teacher at Polaris!

Primary Teacher
This is Maureen McArdle's fourth year as a Primary teacher. Miss McArdle graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BS in Theatre with an emphasis in Youth Drama. She then continued her education at the University of New Hampshire to earn a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education. Miss McArdle believes it is essential to know and understand her students by taking the time to learn and understand their strengths and areas of need. Further, her philosophy it that all groupings should be fluid based on student’s progress.
Ms. McArdle is also passionate about science (she loves experimenting), reading, and math. She has spent time teaching Pre-Kindergarten, Second Grade and working as a Para-Educator and is excited to explore all of the opportunities that the Polaris community has to offer!
When Miss McArdle isn’t in the classroom, she is out riding her bicycle, tap dancing, reading, hiking, and enjoying time with her family. She helps her family raise chickens in their backyard and take care of their family dog.

Primary Teacher
The 2019-2020 school year marks Alyssa Young’s sixth year teaching at Polaris as one of our four primary teachers. Mrs. Young is a certified and highly qualified teacher in the state of New Hampshire for grades K-6. She received her B.A. in Psychology and her M.Ed in Elementary Education from the University of New Hampshire. 
Mrs. Young believes in teaching the whole child. Her classroom addresses the social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs of the children she works with. Mrs. Young likes to build relationships with her students to develop projects that align with their interests.
Her students know her likes include owls, the beach, reading and wandering around Target forcute finds. In her free time, she enjoys running and hiking with her husband and snuggling with her orange tabby kitten, Pumpkin.

Intermediate Teacher
Ashley Hayes-Hunsicker is a first-year teacher and recent graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a B.A in History and Elementary education. Miss H. is soon-to-be certified in the state of New Hampshire in k-8 primary and is very excited to come back from Maine to her home state and teach at Polaris. Her classroom has a central focus on equality and team building with a focal point around a classroom community. Miss H loves and strives to build connections and relationships with every single student, whether they are her own or in another class.
In her free time, Miss H loves to hike, go to the beach, and just be outside! Her students will quickly find that she is positive and loves to have fun with teaching. She is extremely excited to join the Polaris family and have students show her the ropes, after leaving her full-time internship in Westbrook, Maine.

Intermediate Teacher
The 2020-2021 school year marks the first full year Alexis Mugica will be teaching at Polaris as one of our intermediate teachers. Prior to this, Miss Mugica has taught Preschool for three years. She received her B.A. in Elementary Education with a Certification in Special Education from Southern New Hampshire University.
Miss Mugica believes that social and emotional needs are crucial to allowing students to succeed. She strives to create a positive and safe classroom environment for all students, as well as building strong relationships,
When she’s not working, Miss Mugica loves spending time outdoors going to the beach or on a hike, and spending time with her family. She also enjoys snuggling up with her two cats and reading a book.

Intermediate Teacher

Physical Education Teacher / Student Support
Shirley Butterfield will be heading into her sixth year at Polaris this year. Ms. Butterfield graduated from Plymouth State with a degree in Physical Education. She has many experiences working with Special Olympics and strives to make sure that every student in her class is included, engaged, and enjoys themselves. Ms. Butterfield has lots of experience with different rolls at Polaris. She has been the role of an Educational Assistant, as well as creating and new Specials class called Healthy Minds. Shirley has also taken on the administrative roll called Student Support, where she assists students in daily needs and works on another administrative task.
Ms. Butterfield enjoys working with children of all ages and loves the positively and happiness that derives from teaching. She’s taught high school aged students in the past at Campbell High School but, enjoys the effort and respect her elementary students show her. All in all, she wants nothing more than for all her students to succeed and spread kindness to one another. She wishes for her students to leave her class after every lesson and say “Wow, I really enjoyed myself today!”
Ms. Butterfield lives in Manchester NH and enjoys being physically active! She spends her free time going on hikes in the woods, spending time at the beach, trying new things, and spending time with her friends and family.

Art Teacher
Thomas A. Ford is a 30-year resident of the greater Manchester area. His greatest joy in life is his 3 adult sons. He graduated as valedictorian from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2005, having served as Student Council president & later as Alumni Association president. He also served two terms as a Manchester City Arts Commissioner, where he curated the popular Art on the Wall @ City Hall gallery exhibition series, and was instrumental in designing the renovations to the City Hall gallery space. He previously spent the last 9 years teaching art at St. Joseph Jr. High & one year at St. Anthony of Padua Elementary School in Manchester. He loves painting, drawing, Frisbee, the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins. He also works full time as an artist at Canobie Lake Park.
Computer Teacher
Music Teacher

Natasha Lupiani

Special Education Teacher

Naomi Gitzgibbons

Education Assistant

Jocelyn Boisvert

Education Assistant

Maureen Doyle

Education Assistant