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Christine Vallone - Music Teacher

Hello and welcome to my website.cvallone_photo

I grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire, and started taking piano lessons when I was 7 years old.  I can remember the happiness I would feel when my teacher gave me new music, and I would literally run home after my lessons to practice.  I knew that I wanted to be a teacher by the time I was in high school, but actually entered Colby College in Maine as an English major.  For the first time in 11 years, I had no easy access to a piano, and missed it terribly, which is why I transferred to Notre Dame College in Manchester (Colby College did not offer education certification).  I graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education, started teaching music at Epping Elementary School that September, and taught for 2 1/2 years.  When I had my two sons, I remained at home during the day, and taught piano lessons, accompanied recitals and theater productions at night, and continued conducting and accompanying the church choir at St. Joseph Church in Epping which I started in 1980. When my sons started school, I went back to UNH and took courses necessary to receive my Masters degree in Music History.  At the same time, I began teaching piano at the Manchester Community Music School, and then Phillips Exeter Academy.  In 2001, I began teaching music to kindergarten through fifth grade here at KES.  In addition to classroom teaching, I give before and after-school instrumental lessons in flute, clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet.  I can honestly say I love my job here at KES - the staff, students, and parents are wonderful.  I believe that I am doing what I was meant to do!

My philosophy of music education has been influenced by, among others, the beliefs of composer/educator Zoltan Kodaly, and also my own enjoyment of music.  Kodaly believed that music students should be taught to "see what they hear, and hear what they see" and I try to incorporate alot of actual hands-on sight-reading and music-playing/singing into each lesson.  I try as much as possible, to teach the elements of music while having fun -  the children enjoy singing games, movement (eurhythmics), and use of the Orff instruments.  On the most basic level, I want to allow students to become proficient enough at reading notes and singing that they develop a lifelong enjoyment of and appreciation for music. As Plato said, "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

Elizabeth Mosher - Third Grade Teacher

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Susan Haug - Fourth Grade Teacher

I was raised in Marblehead, Massachusetts.  I began babysitting at 12 years old, and realized I loved children! Because of this rewarding experience, I knew I needed to do something  with children.  My mother was a teacher so it seemed to be my destiny to follow in her footsteps.  After graduating from New England College with a Bachelor of  Science degree, I began my teaching career in Foxboro, Massachusetts in a 4th grade classroom.  From there I moved to New Hampshire where I had the pleasure of teaching in Rochester and Hooksett.  My teaching experiences have also included teaching positions in New Jersey and California.

I married Dick 38 years ago, and we built our home in Hampton.  I stayed home for five years to raise our daughter, Jennifer.  I knew I wanted to get back into teaching.  I began working in Kensington as a Title 1 math aide in grades 1 through 6.  When a sixth grade teaching position opened up, I was offered it and wholeheartedly accepted it!   I taught grade 6, where we departmentalized for math, language arts, social studies, and science. For twelve years I was  the math teacher for grades 4, 5, and 6.  My homeroom was 6th grade, and I also taught them reading.

When the Cooperative Middle School was built, the 6th graders left KES for the middle school.  I had a choice to go with them to the middle school, but I decided to stay in Kensington which was much more of a family type school.  I then changed my teaching position to grade 3 and stayed there for eight years.  I moved to grade 4 seven years ago and now teach math for both classes.

Each day I look forward to coming to school, seeing the children, and hearing their stories. Many times during weekends and summers I will come here just to work on special projects going on in my class.  I believe that children learn best in a safe and happy environment and I try  to make my room that type of place.  Fun goes along with almost everthing we learn and do in my classroom.  I feel that every child needs to feel important and have a positive self  image.

Teaching at Kensington Elementary School has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life.  Both the town and school communitiy are filled with people who are dedicated to the learning experience of children.  It is a pleasure to be associated with such a fine group of talented and  knowledgeable teachers and wonderful families.

Christine Culver - Third Grade Teacher

On a hot Austin spring  day in 1982 I was sitting through an excruciating class of micro-economics.  As my eyes began to glaze over I was overcome with a moment of clarity and decisiveness, a major in business was not for me.  I went the next day to my advisor and changed my course of study from marketing to elementary education and I have never regretted it!

I received my Bachelor of Arts in 1984 in elementary education.  I spent six months substitute teaching to save money for a move to New England, a long time dream.  I soon loaded my Ford Tempo and headed to Manchester, New Hampshire.  I had given myself 30 days to find a teaching job or head back to steamy South Texas.  Thirty days to the day I was hired by the Autistic Unit of Spaulding Youth Center (SYC).  This was the best first job I could imagine because everything I learned in that very intense, challenging, loving, and remakable environment contunues to shape me as a teacher today.  While at SYC I earned my certification in special education and began my Master studies in the same.

Though very happy at SYC, after four years I longed to work in the public school system. I soon secured a position in special education at Weare Junior High School where I taught students with learning disabilities and completed my Master of Education degree.  Since that time I have taught elementary and middle school age children in Seabrook, Exeter, Greenland, and finally Kensington. It is here I made the move after 16 years from special education to regular education.  I know that my background in applied behavior analysis, systematic phonics and special education in general have helped me to be a better classroom teacher than I would have otherwise been.

I have just completed a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Leadership and hope to one day be a school principal.  Right now I am very happy teaching the children of Kensington.  I feel more fortunate than one can imagine to teach in this wonderful town and teach in a school of consumate professionals who not only challenge and inspire me professionally, but also make me feel I am among family; a family that works, plays, and learns together.

Margaret Kilcoyne - Second Grade Teacher

Hello! My name is Margaret (Maggi) Kilcoyne and I teach second grade at Kensington Elementary School. I began working at KES in 1984, as an intern in Mrs. Streeter's first grade class. I have been teaching first or second grade students since that time. Mrs. Lawler, the other second grade teacher, is a very good friend of mine. :)


In 1988 I graduated from University of New Hampshire with a Master's of Education degree in Elementary Education. Previous to that, I received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bradford College, and an Associate of Science Degree from Northern Essex Community College.


Not only do I work in Kensington, but I live here, too. My husband and I have raised two beautiful daughters who are now in college. Many years ago when the girls attended KES, I was their first grade teacher!


Childhood should be a journey, not a race,
is a quote from the Society for Developmental Education, and it is one that I hold true in my classroom. Emotional, social, as well as intellectual growth are important factors that I keep in mind when planning educational activities for my students. I love teaching!