Jennifer Murdock-Smith is the Director of Polaris Charter School, Jen will be entering her eleventh 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 this, 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 thirteen years working in education. Ms. Murdock-Smith is committed to working toward meeting children’s social, emotional and educational needs.

Paula Biskaduros

Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Paula Biskaduros will begin her second year at Polaris as our Administrative Assistant. She has raised six children and worked in a variety of positions with students. Miss Paula was a school bus driver for over 14 years, was an active Booster Club volunteer, headed a Sunday school program for six years and still coordinates a Vacation Bible School program. She has also worked as the secretary for the Weare Christian Church for over 20 years. In her spare time, she loves to paint, go camping and hiking and spend time with her two grandchildren.

Darlene Timlin
Administrative Coordinator - OperationsCoordinator - Building Operations

Darlene Timlin will enter her second year as our Administrative Coordinator for Building Operations. She comes to us from a paraprofessional background for the last several years. Prior to that she was an administrative assistant for a real estate company. She loves interacting with the children and helping them with any of their needs. She believes all children are special and should be celebrated as such. In her free time she likes to go to the beach, crafting, and going on family bike rides.

Business Manager

Stacy is going into her forth year at Polaris as our Business Manager. Stacy was born in New Jersey and lived in Georgia, New Hampshire, and Texas before her family finally settled in Londonderry. Stacy has been a resident of Manchester for the last 36 years. She left restaurant management after 14 years to work for a local professional photography lab as their 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 doing 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 2022-2023 school year marks Alyssa Young’s ninth year teaching at Polaris as one of our 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. She teaches in one of our two 2/3 Primary classrooms.

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 for cute finds. In her free time, she enjoys running and hiking with her husband and snuggling with her orange tabby kitten, Pumpkin.

Primary Teacher

The 2022-2023 school year marks the third year Alexis Mugica will be teaching at Polaris - as one of our K/1 Primary teachers. Prior to Polais, Miss Mugica 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.

Amy Alexandrou

Primary Teacher

Mrs. Amy Alexandrou will return for her second year to Polaris as of our 2/3 classroom teachers. She is originally from Massachusetts, and recently moved to NH with her husband. She received her BS in Elementary Education from Salem State University and her M. Ed in Early Childhood Education, as well as a graduate certificate in TESOL from Lesley University. Amy most recently taught in Manchester Public Schools as a remote first grade teacher, and then transitioned to Title 1. She fully believes students learn best by integrating the arts into the classroom with all subjects to make the experience more memorable. When not teaching, Mrs. Alexandrou enjoys spending time at home, going out to restaurants, and playing with her puppy, Hank.

Primary Teacher

Ms.Christin Farrell will be returning to Polaris Charter School as one of our K/1 Primary teachers. Ms.Farrell previously worked for Polaris as one of our Primary Educational Assistants as well as being a Toddler teacher.

During the summer Ms. Farrell spends her time working for the Boy Scouts Of America as their Program Director at Camp Carpenter, a summer camp for Boys and Girls. Ms.Farrell graduated from Plymouth State University in 2012 with a B.A in Childhood Studies.

Ms.Farrell believes that Social and Emotional development is a very important factor in a child's life. She wants to make sure everyone is feeling safe and that they enjoy coming to school every day with smiles on their faces.

When she is not working, Ms.Farrell might be watching Disney movies and spending time with her husband Chris, and her two cats, Bonnie & Sonata.

Primary Teacher

Ms. Green will be entering her first year teaching at Polaris in one of the K/1 classrooms. She received her B.A. in Elementary Education at Plymouth State University. She recently student taught Kindergarten at a public school in Manchester, and is excited to continue teaching littles! Ms. Green strives to make her classroom feel welcoming and safe. She believes in the success of her students, and making sure that all experience social and emotional growth while building on their academic skills.

Intermediate Teacher

Heidi Langlais

Intermediate Teacher

Mrs. Heidi Langlais, one of our three Grade 4/5 Intermediate teachers brings over 15 years of experience in education. She graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Special Education, as well as a Master’s degree in Reading Instruction with an Emphasis in Elementary Education. Building a fun, positive classroom culture conducive to learning is of utmost importance to Mrs. Langlais. She takes extra care to build relationships with each of her students in order to meet their individual social and emotional needs within the classroom setting. When Mrs. Langlais isn’t teaching or learning, she loves to spend time with her family, read, bake, travel, and ride ATVs. She delves into various creative arts such as sewing, crafting and painting. She absolutely loves hanging out with her five goats (Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson, Thadeous Binks, and Cleatus) and with her dog Ella.

Intermediate Teacher


Elizabeth Ames

Art Teacher


Mike Stockbridge

Music Teacher

Mike Stockbridge, entering his second year with us, brings to Polaris, a 25 year history of teaching music to students both privately and in the classroom. In the mid nineties he attended Berklee College of Music, leaving the school to work with touring blues artist Richard Roquemore. After his time with Roquemore had come to an end, he returned to his native New Hampshire and began teaching privately in the Mount Washington Valley. During this brief time he was mentored by seasoned jazz musician Charles Toor - a retired pianist from New York who had worked with a long list of luminaries in the NYC jazz scene during the 50’s and was an active participant in the loft scene of the 70’s. In 2000 Stockbridge relocated to central Maine and enrolled at the University of Maine at Augusta to focus on following through with his education in music.


Over the last couple decades he has been an active performer throughout New England, releasing two independent albums of original music. His second album ‘Ama’ gained high accolades from allaboutjazz.com:


"Just two albums into his recording career and Mike Stockbridge is solidifying his reputation as one of the East Coast's most promising jazz guitarists. Stockbridge's second effort, Ama, jolts the imagination with his inventive and compelling playing. Stockbridge released his self-titled debut in 2009; two years later, Ama finds Stockbridge gaining confidence and focus, creating a work of bold experimentation and stunning precision."


Mike's Teaching Philosophy: “Having been a private music educator for so long now, I can honestly say that being able to help someone learn how to understand music and their instrument, makes me very happy. I am so passionate about music and my own pursuits it never feels like a job when connecting with students.”


Welcome to Polaris Mike Stockbridge!

--

Physical Education


Melanie Butler

Yoga / Mindfulness Teacher

Mrs. Melanie Butler, will be entering her second year at Polaris as our Yoga/Mindfulness Teacher. After receiving her bachelor’s in science at Bridgewater State College, she went on to work in classrooms for over 15 years, as a paraeducator, a one-on-one therapist, and a teacher, with children of varying ages. Melanie fell in love with yoga 5 years ago and knew she needed to share it with the world. She received her 200 Yoga Teaching Certificate from JOY Wellness in Salem, NH and began teaching yoga classes to the adult population. When she was home during COVID, she became acutely aware of how stressed the children of the world were becoming. Melanie decided to take a Children's Yoga Teacher Training so she could mix the two worlds that mean so much to her. She cannot wait to make a positive impact in your Children's lives. When not in school, Melanie resides with her husband, teenager and her mother. She has several animals that she enjoys cuddle time with. Melanie loves kayaking and taking nature hikes, learning new things and of course, yoga!

Alainna Hertel

Education Assistant

Entering her second year at Polaris, Alainna brings nearly 20 years of experience working primarily with young children in the Early Childhood sector. Hailing from Massachusetts, she worked as an assistant in a local daycare while in high school before graduating and continuing her education at Salem State University earning a dual degree in Early Childhood Education and Psychology. For the years that followed, Alainna worked as a teacher in both preschool and Pre-K classrooms before being promoted to a manager where she oversaw classrooms, developing curriculum, supporting teachers and children as well as the families she served. Alainna believes that all children have the potential to thrive and find a true love of learning within an engaging and exciting classroom environment. On her off time, Alainna enjoys going to the beach, reading and enjoying family time with her husband Greg, daughters Natalee and Chelsea and her dog Toby!

Jane Lawrence

Education Assistant

Sarah Merrick

Education Assistant

Miss Sarah Merrick, is entering her second year at Polaris Charter School as one of our Educational Assistants. She has resided in New Hampshire her whole life. Sarah has taught a variety of ages in gymnastics for over 5 years. Guiding children with a positive attitude, and always encouraging them to work in the most efficient way they can toward reaching their individual goals is very important to her. Growing up Miss Sarah believes in kindness, growth and patience with each individual child, as well as goal setting. Outside of the classroom you may find her enjoying quality time with her friends and family as well as working on art projects - Miss Sarah has always had a passion for art! Or you can find her enjoying the outdoors!

Samantha Bonanno

Education Assistant

Hello! I am Samantha, or Sam!

I am very excited to begin my first year at Polaris, as well as my first year in the public school setting. I have seven years of early childhood education experience. I grew up in Windham, NH and graduated from Windham High-school in 2015, from there I began taking classes in early childhood education at Manchester Community College and Granite State College. I now live in Manchester, NH with my husband, Tyler. I find myself to be a creative person, I love art, music, reading poetry and this summer I have fallen in love with paddle boarding. I love to spend time at the beach, or on the lake, and summer and fall are my absolute favorite times of the year, although I do love to celebrate Christmas!

Christina Briggs

Education Assistant

I've had the pleasure working with wonderful clients as a Caregiver for the past 4.5 years, and am now a Freelance Writer for the Seacoast Scene in New Hampshire. I'm a wife and mother of two awesome boys and our dog Toby, and am looking forward to getting back into teaching and working with kids again.

Lesley Cheetham

Substitute / Ed Assistant

Lesley is excited to be joining Polaris as an Educational Assistant. She grew up and was educated in Manchester, NH attending Mt. St. Mary Day School and Trinity High School.

Lesley comes to us from Bedford where she was a paraprofessional.

When not at Polaris, Lesley enjoys crafts, golf, reading and spending time with her husband, five adult children and seven grandchildren.

Peter Valine

Education Assistant

Peter Valine joins the Polaris Charter School after serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader for Catholic Charities New Hampshire. Prior to this year of service he was a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator in independent boarding schools.

Eileen English

Special Education Services - Manchester


Jane Lawrence

Education Assistant

Sarah Merrick

Education Assistant

Miss Sarah Merrick, is entering her second year at Polaris Charter School as one of our Educational Assistants. She has resided in New Hampshire her whole life. Sarah has taught a variety of ages in gymnastics for over 5 years. Guiding children with a positive attitude, and always encouraging them to work in the most efficient way they can toward reaching their individual goals is very important to her. Growing up Miss Sarah believes in kindness, growth and patience with each individual child, as well as goal setting. Outside of the classroom you may find her enjoying quality time with her friends and family as well as working on art projects - Miss Sarah has always had a passion for art! Or you can find her enjoying the outdoors!

Christina Briggs

Education Assistant

I've had the pleasure working with wonderful clients as a Caregiver for the past 4.5 years, and am now a Freelance Writer for the Seacoast Scene in New Hampshire. I'm a wife and mother of two awesome boys and our dog Toby, and am looking forward to getting back into teaching and working with kids again.

Lesley Chatham

Substitute / Ed Assistant

Lesley is excited to be joining Polaris as an Educational Assistant. She grew up and was educated in Manchester, NH attending Mt. St. Mary Day School and Trinity High School.

Lesley comes to us from Bedford where she was a paraprofessional.

When not at Polaris, Lesley enjoys crafts, golf, reading and spending time with her husband, five adult children and seven grandchildren.

Peter Valine

Education Assistant

Peter Valine joins the Polaris Charter School after serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA Leader for Catholic Charities New Hampshire. Prior to this year of service he was a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator in independent boarding schools.

Eileen English

Special Education Services - Manchester


Jacqueline Hernandez

Technology Consultant



Custodian