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Kensington Woods Faculty

 
Rebecca Brown Art Art Honors Society Class of 2022 Advisor E-Mail: rbrown@kwoods.org Course website: rbrown.kwoods.org Certificate in Art Education, Oakland University BFA, Harding University Rebecca Brown recently earned her teaching certification from Oakland University, after four years of working as a freelance artist, designer, and educator. After graduating from Harding University with a degree in Fine Arts in 2010, she has built prototype furniture for a forge, exhibited in small galleries, studied ceramics and photography under master craftsmen, and worked closely with non-profits in the Mid-Michigan area to make sure all people of all abilities can have the expressive outlets that art provides. Ms. Brown's favorite part about teaching: the creative give-and-take as students build their artist communities in the classroom. "Art encourages students to look hard at the world around them and continually build meaning from it. It's a very engaged, vivid way to think." Someday, Ms. Brown would love to try deep sea diving and perhaps illustrating children's books.

Rebecca Brown

Art
Art Honors Society
Class of 2022 Advisor

E-Mail: rbrown@kwoods.org
Course website: rbrown.kwoods.org

Certificate in Art Education, Oakland University
BFA, Harding University

Rebecca Brown recently earned her teaching certification from Oakland University, after four years of working as a freelance artist, designer, and educator. After graduating from Harding University with a degree in Fine Arts in 2010, she has built prototype furniture for a forge, exhibited in small galleries, studied ceramics and photography under master craftsmen, and worked closely with non-profits in the Mid-Michigan area to make sure all people of all abilities can have the expressive outlets that art provides. Ms. Brown's favorite part about teaching: the creative give-and-take as students build their artist communities in the classroom. "Art encourages students to look hard at the world around them and continually build meaning from it. It's a very engaged, vivid way to think."

Someday, Ms. Brown would love to try deep sea diving and perhaps illustrating children's books.

Traci Brown Special Education Teacher Consultant Student Council Class of 2021 Advisor E-Mail: tbrown@kwoods.org Course website: tbrown.kwoods.org MA in Special Education/Learning Disabilities, University of Detroit Mercy BA in Psychology, Oakland University Ms. Brown's teaching career was launched when her two sons helped her realize that students learn differently.  She enjoys helping unique learners navigate their own pathway through learning.  Ms. Brown prefers the term “learning difference” over “disability.” She believes that we all have strengths that help us shine and differences that we need to find a way around. She enjoys trail running, kayaking, and crossword puzzles.  She previously lived in Singapore with her family and has made more than 300 skydives. 

Traci Brown

Special Education Teacher Consultant
Student Council
Class of 2021 Advisor

E-Mail: tbrown@kwoods.org
Course website: tbrown.kwoods.org

MA in Special Education/Learning Disabilities, University of Detroit Mercy
BA in Psychology, Oakland University

Ms. Brown's teaching career was launched when her two sons helped her realize that students learn differently.  She enjoys helping unique learners navigate their own pathway through learning.  Ms. Brown prefers the term “learning difference” over “disability.” She believes that we all have strengths that help us shine and differences that we need to find a way around.

She enjoys trail running, kayaking, and crossword puzzles.  She previously lived in Singapore with her family and has made more than 300 skydives. 

Angela Bussinger Science Teacher Class of 2021 Advisor E-Mail: abussinger@kwoods.org Course Website: bussinger.kwoods.org (coming soon) BS in Chemistry, Minor in Business, Saginaw Valley State University 2017-2018 is Angela Bussinger’s first year teaching at Kensington Woods.  Before entering teaching, she worked at Dow Chemical in the Research and Development department.  She also owned a Medical Gas Testing company for over 10 years.  She loves working with children and looks forward to the upcoming school year.  In her off time, Mrs. Bussinger enjoys traveling.  The South Carolina coast is her favorite spot to vacation.  She is the mother of 4 children, ages 3-11.  She spends a lot of her time with her family.  She is also very active in her church community and faith. 

Angela Bussinger

Science Teacher
Class of 2021 Advisor

E-Mail: abussinger@kwoods.org
Course Website: bussinger.kwoods.org (coming soon)

BS in Chemistry, Minor in Business, Saginaw Valley State University

2017-2018 is Angela Bussinger’s first year teaching at Kensington Woods.  Before entering teaching, she worked at Dow Chemical in the Research and Development department.  She also owned a Medical Gas Testing company for over 10 years.  She loves working with children and looks forward to the upcoming school year. 

In her off time, Mrs. Bussinger enjoys traveling.  The South Carolina coast is her favorite spot to vacation.  She is the mother of 4 children, ages 3-11.  She spends a lot of her time with her family.  She is also very active in her church community and faith. 

Benjamin Cunningham Music Teacher Class of 2023 Advisor E-Mail: bcunningham@kwoods.org Course Website: cunningham.kwoods.org (coming soon) BME, University of Michigan - Flint Benjamin Cunningham is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Flint. There, he participated in the University Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Orchestra, Chorale and Chamber Singers. In addition, he was president of the University of Michigan-Flint Chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). As a teacher, Mr. Cunningham believes that all students are capable of a high level of performance. Through these performances, Mr. Cunningham hopes to foster a lifelong love of music. When he is not teaching, Mr. Cunningham enjoys cooking and photography. He can often be found performing with his jazz combo, Vehicle City Swing, and with the Genesse Valley Concert Band.

Benjamin Cunningham

Music Teacher
Class of 2023 Advisor

E-Mail: bcunningham@kwoods.org
Course Website: cunningham.kwoods.org (coming soon)

BME, University of Michigan - Flint

Benjamin Cunningham is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Flint. There, he participated in the University Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Orchestra, Chorale and Chamber Singers. In addition, he was president of the University of Michigan-Flint Chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). As a teacher, Mr. Cunningham believes that all students are capable of a high level of performance. Through these performances, Mr. Cunningham hopes to foster a lifelong love of music.

When he is not teaching, Mr. Cunningham enjoys cooking and photography. He can often be found performing with his jazz combo, Vehicle City Swing, and with the Genesse Valley Concert Band.

 
Ed Dzierwa Custodian E-Mail: edzierwa@kwoods.org Mr. Ed, as he is fondly called, proudly works for Kensington Woods after working for General Motors. He and his wife celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in 2016 and have four great kids. When he's not working, he's addicted to doing Sudoku puzzles. His favorite thing to do is the float in his pool while doing a Sudoku puzzle.

Ed Dzierwa

Custodian

E-Mail: edzierwa@kwoods.org

Mr. Ed, as he is fondly called, proudly works for Kensington Woods after working for General Motors.
He and his wife celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in 2016 and have four great kids. When he's not working, he's addicted to doing Sudoku puzzles. His favorite thing to do is the float in his pool while doing a Sudoku puzzle.

Charlene Gawronski Main Office E-Mail: cgawronski@kwoods.org Mrs. Gawronski came to work at Kensington Woods in 2014 and loves working at KWoods. Before coming to Kensington Woods, Mrs. Gawronski worked as an Administrative Secretary in a corporate office for 6 years before taking a leave to raise her family.  She also worked as a Secretary and Library Services Coordinator at Howell Public Schools for 6 years and owned a party store in Webberville.  Mrs. Gawronski's youngest daughter graduated from KWoods in 2011. In her off time she love to ride her horses, hunt, camp, and metal detect. She recently startedto master the art of fly fishing. 

Charlene Gawronski

Main Office

E-Mail: cgawronski@kwoods.org

Mrs. Gawronski came to work at Kensington Woods in 2014 and loves working at KWoods. Before coming to Kensington Woods, Mrs. Gawronski worked as an Administrative Secretary in a corporate office for 6 years before taking a leave to raise her family.  She also worked as a Secretary and Library Services Coordinator at Howell Public Schools for 6 years and owned a party store in Webberville.  Mrs. Gawronski's youngest daughter graduated from KWoods in 2011.

In her off time she love to ride her horses, hunt, camp, and metal detect. She recently startedto master the art of fly fishing. 

Ken Ferguson English Games Club, Garage Band Class of 2020 Advisor E-Mail: kferguson@kwoods.org Course Website: ferguson.kwoods.org MAT in Teaching, Marygrove College BA in English, University of Michigan Ken Ferguson has been teaching English (and many other subjects) since 1998.  He spent five years teaching in Tanzania, East Africa.  He loves the daily interaction with the students, coming up with interesting lessons, and challenging students to stretch their communication skills. Mr. Ferguson is married and has three children.  He enjoys running, camping, composing and recording music, playing board games and just working on projects and researching interests on the internet.  He is very active in his local church and mentors youth in the youth group.

Ken Ferguson

English
Games Club, Garage Band
Class of 2020 Advisor

E-Mail: kferguson@kwoods.org
Course Website: ferguson.kwoods.org

MAT in Teaching, Marygrove College
BA in English, University of Michigan

Ken Ferguson has been teaching English (and many other subjects) since 1998.  He spent five years teaching in Tanzania, East Africa.  He loves the daily interaction with the students, coming up with interesting lessons, and challenging students to stretch their communication skills.

Mr. Ferguson is married and has three children.  He enjoys running, camping, composing and recording music, playing board games and just working on projects and researching interests on the internet.  He is very active in his local church and mentors youth in the youth group.

Melinda Leffert Main Office E-Mail: mleffert@kwoods.org Before joining Kensington Woods in 2014, Melinda Leffert has been a stay at home mom enjoying the time spent raising her family.  She has volunteered for many years with the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 364 in Howell mainly as a Merit Badge Counselor and Co-Committee Chair.   Both of her kids have attended Kensington Woods since 2012 and her youngest will graduate this year! Mrs. Leffert decided to join Kensington Woods, because she has seen what this school can do for students.  She hopes that little by little she can make a difference in students' lives. She loves to visit the Upper Peninsula and enjoys spending time with her family and looking forward to a great year at Kensington Woods!

Melinda Leffert

Main Office

E-Mail: mleffert@kwoods.org

Before joining Kensington Woods in 2014, Melinda Leffert has been a stay at home mom enjoying the time spent raising her family.  She has volunteered for many years with the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 364 in Howell mainly as a Merit Badge Counselor and Co-Committee Chair.   Both of her kids have attended Kensington Woods since 2012 and her youngest will graduate this year!

Mrs. Leffert decided to join Kensington Woods, because she has seen what this school can do for students.  She hopes that little by little she can make a difference in students' lives. She loves to visit the Upper Peninsula and enjoys spending time with her family and looking forward to a great year at Kensington Woods!

Brittney Mangieri School Counselor E-Mail: bmangieri@kwoods.org BA in Psychology, Ramapo College of New Jersey M.S.ed in School Counseling and Advanced Certificate in TESOL and Special Education, Long Island University Brittney Mangieri recently relocated to Michigan from New York to join the Kensington Woods Staff. Brittney believes that each student has the ability to succeed and should receive the resources needed to do so. Ms. Mangieri previously worked at a school in Westchester County with the ASD population as well as working in a public school playing an active role helping sixth graders transition into middle school. She has been a cheerleading coach for over 11 years and has coached many different levels including; collegiate, high school, all-star and youth.  Ms. Mangieri knew when she was 16 years old that she wanted to be a counselor. Her high school counselor as well as her high school psychology class helped shape that path. Through coaching she always believed that the success of her athletes was so much more than winning, it was to help create outstanding citizens in the community.  When Ms. Mangieri is not at work she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, coaching, traveling, hiking and photography. Brittney is excited to explore the great state of Michigan throughout the year. 

Brittney Mangieri

School Counselor

E-Mail: bmangieri@kwoods.org

BA in Psychology, Ramapo College of New Jersey
M.S.ed in School Counseling and Advanced Certificate in TESOL and Special Education, Long Island University

Brittney Mangieri recently relocated to Michigan from New York to join the Kensington Woods Staff. Brittney believes that each student has the ability to succeed and should receive the resources needed to do so. Ms. Mangieri previously worked at a school in Westchester County with the ASD population as well as working in a public school playing an active role helping sixth graders transition into middle school. She has been a cheerleading coach for over 11 years and has coached many different levels including; collegiate, high school, all-star and youth. 

Ms. Mangieri knew when she was 16 years old that she wanted to be a counselor. Her high school counselor as well as her high school psychology class helped shape that path. Through coaching she always believed that the success of her athletes was so much more than winning, it was to help create outstanding citizens in the community. 

When Ms. Mangieri is not at work she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, coaching, traveling, hiking and photography. Brittney is excited to explore the great state of Michigan throughout the year. 

Laura McDermott Math Class of 2019 Advisor E-Mail: lmcdermott@kwoods.org Course website: mcdermott.kwoods.org BS in Industrial Engineering, North Carolina State University MAT Program, University of North Carolina Charlotte Mrs. McDermott began her career in engineering because of her love of math and science. Her passion for teaching led her to become a classroom teacher fifteen years ago. She loves to meet all students where they are in their knowledge of mathematics and build their confidence and skills. Her greatest reward in teaching is to see students take risks in their thinking. A North Carolina native, Mrs. McDermott has lived in Michigan for twelve years. She loves the people of Michigan but misses the mountains and ocean of her home state.  Her favorite ways to spend her free time are spending time with family, volunteering, reading, and hanging out with her friends.

Laura McDermott

Math
Class of 2019 Advisor

E-Mail: lmcdermott@kwoods.org
Course website: mcdermott.kwoods.org
BS in Industrial Engineering, North Carolina State University
MAT Program, University of North Carolina Charlotte

Mrs. McDermott began her career in engineering because of her love of math and science. Her passion for teaching led her to become a classroom teacher fifteen years ago. She loves to meet all students where they are in their knowledge of mathematics and build their confidence and skills. Her greatest reward in teaching is to see students take risks in their thinking.

A North Carolina native, Mrs. McDermott has lived in Michigan for twelve years. She loves the people of Michigan but misses the mountains and ocean of her home state.  Her favorite ways to spend her free time are spending time with family, volunteering, reading, and hanging out with her friends.

Shannon Morton English, Social Studies Class of 2019 Advisor E-Mail: smorton@kwoods.org Course website: morton.kwoods.org MA in Educational Studies, University of Michigan JD, University of Nevada BA in English, University of Texas Shannon Morton joined the staff at Kensington Woods in 2012 after receiving her Master of Arts in Education.  Before pursuing a career in education, Ms. Morton practiced law in southeastern Michigan, during which time she developed teaching skills as a tutor and mentor for Washtenaw Literacy. She enjoys incorporating real world scenarios, such as legal dilemmas, into the classroom to help her students develop and practice language and critical thinking skills.   Author Alice Munro said that “The complexity of things - the things within things - just seems to be endless...nothing is simple''  Like Munro, Ms. Morton believes that learning opportunities are infinite in scope and depth, and she will work to provide her students the chance to embrace this philosophy as they develop the habits to sustain lifelong learning.

Shannon Morton

English, Social Studies
Class of 2019 Advisor

E-Mail: smorton@kwoods.org
Course website: morton.kwoods.org

MA in Educational Studies, University of Michigan
JD, University of Nevada
BA in English, University of Texas

Shannon Morton joined the staff at Kensington Woods in 2012 after receiving her Master of Arts in Education.  Before pursuing a career in education, Ms. Morton practiced law in southeastern Michigan, during which time she developed teaching skills as a tutor and mentor for Washtenaw Literacy. She enjoys incorporating real world scenarios, such as legal dilemmas, into the classroom to help her students develop and practice language and critical thinking skills.  

Author Alice Munro said that “The complexity of things - the things within things - just seems to be endless...nothing is simple''  Like Munro, Ms. Morton believes that learning opportunities are infinite in scope and depth, and she will work to provide her students the chance to embrace this philosophy as they develop the habits to sustain lifelong learning.

Shawn Pollman Math Class of 2018 Advisor College Counselor E-Mail: spollman@kwoods.org Course website: pollman.kwoods.org MAT in Teaching, Marygrove College Certification in Mathematics and Social Sciences, University of Michigan BA in Economics, University of Michigan Shawn Pollman has been teaching since 1993, joining Kensington Woods in 2003. Mrs. Pollman has experience in a variety of educational settings, teaching court placed juveniles, middle school, high school and night school students. What Mrs. Pollman loves most about teaching is having the opportunity to build positive relationships with students that often carry on from one school year to the next.  "I am always looking for new ways to engage my students and their understanding of mathematics.  This position allows me to be creative and to try new strategies in the classroom.  I love that I am always learning new things, right along with my students.  Our math classrooms are equipped with the latest technology, which allows students to tackle problems which are more challenging and relevant to the real world.  It is an exciting time to be teaching mathematics!"

Shawn Pollman

Math
Class of 2018 Advisor
College Counselor

E-Mail: spollman@kwoods.org
Course website: pollman.kwoods.org

MAT in Teaching, Marygrove College
Certification in Mathematics and Social Sciences, University of Michigan

BA in Economics, University of Michigan

Shawn Pollman has been teaching since 1993, joining Kensington Woods in 2003. Mrs. Pollman has experience in a variety of educational settings, teaching court placed juveniles, middle school, high school and night school students. What Mrs. Pollman loves most about teaching is having the opportunity to build positive relationships with students that often carry on from one school year to the next.  "I am always looking for new ways to engage my students and their understanding of mathematics.  This position allows me to be creative and to try new strategies in the classroom.  I love that I am always learning new things, right along with my students.  Our math classrooms are equipped with the latest technology, which allows students to tackle problems which are more challenging and relevant to the real world.  It is an exciting time to be teaching mathematics!"

Markus Muennix Principal School Store, Girls Soccer E-Mail: mmuennix@kwoods.org MA, Eastern Michigan University BA, University of Michigan Markus Muennix has worked at Kensington Woods since 2005. Mr. Muennix believes that everybody can learn, that learning is for everybody and that everybody owes it to themselves to learn. "It is my role to help each student to capitalize on their ability and willingness to learn to their highest potential." Mr. Muennix's favorite quote is by Epictetus from Discourses, “Only the educated are free.”

Markus Muennix

Principal
School Store, Girls Soccer

E-Mail: mmuennix@kwoods.org

MA, Eastern Michigan University
BA, University of Michigan

Markus Muennix has worked at Kensington Woods since 2005. Mr. Muennix believes that everybody can learn, that learning is for everybody and that everybody owes it to themselves to learn. "It is my role to help each student to capitalize on their ability and willingness to learn to their highest potential." Mr. Muennix's favorite quote is by Epictetus from Discourses, Only the educated are free.

Jessie MacGonigal Pratt Director of Educational Programming Art Class of 2024 Advisor Athletic Director Cross Country, Running Club, NHS/Leadership E-Mail: jpratt@kwoods.org Course website: pratt.kwoods.org MA in Art Education, New York University BFA in Ceramics, Photography and Graphic Design, University of Michigan Before joining Kensington Woods in 2007, Jessie Pratt taught art at a middle school in the Bronx, NY. What Mrs. Pratt loves most about her job is seeing her students grow, learn and link what they learn in the classroom to the world outside of school. "I love to challenge them to ask the question “why” and create personal definitions about what art is and can be. Students should feel empowered to create work that makes themselves and others think." Mrs. Pratt is married to her high school sweetheart and they welcomed their first child, Madeline, in the summer of 2015. She also has a cat and two dogs and loves to be creative, be outside and spend time with her family.

Jessie MacGonigal Pratt

Director of Educational Programming
Art
Class of 2024 Advisor
Athletic Director
Cross Country, Running Club, NHS/Leadership

E-Mail: jpratt@kwoods.org
Course website: pratt.kwoods.org

MA in Art Education, New York University
BFA in Ceramics, Photography and Graphic Design, University of Michigan

Before joining Kensington Woods in 2007, Jessie Pratt taught art at a middle school in the Bronx, NY. What Mrs. Pratt loves most about her job is seeing her students grow, learn and link what they learn in the classroom to the world outside of school. "I love to challenge them to ask the question “why” and create personal definitions about what art is and can be. Students should feel empowered to create work that makes themselves and others think."

Mrs. Pratt is married to her high school sweetheart and they welcomed their first child, Madeline, in the summer of 2015. She also has a cat and two dogs and loves to be creative, be outside and spend time with her family.

Patrick Ritt Math, Science Class of 2023 Advisor E-Mail: pritt@kwoods.org Course website: ritt.kwoods.org BA in Education, Eastern Michigan University BA in History and German, University of Michigan Mr. Ritt graduated from the University of Michigan in 1990 with degrees in History and German.  He worked in retail for 15 years, including managing a shipping store franchise for 11 years.  During this time he spent 11 years working with middle school youth at my church and adopted his son, Zhenya, from Russia in 2002.  Mr. Ritt returned to school in 2006 and earned his Bachelors in Education from Eastern Michigan University in 2008.  He taught on the Navajo Reservation in 2009, at a private school, and helped establish a new charter school.  He loves to travel and take pictures and has lived in Michigan, Germany, New Hampshire, California and New Mexico.

Patrick Ritt

Math, Science
Class of 2023 Advisor

E-Mail: pritt@kwoods.org
Course website: ritt.kwoods.org

BA in Education, Eastern Michigan University
BA in History and German, University of Michigan

Mr. Ritt graduated from the University of Michigan in 1990 with degrees in History and German.  He worked in retail for 15 years, including managing a shipping store franchise for 11 years.  During this time he spent 11 years working with middle school youth at my church and adopted his son, Zhenya, from Russia in 2002.  Mr. Ritt returned to school in 2006 and earned his Bachelors in Education from Eastern Michigan University in 2008.  He taught on the Navajo Reservation in 2009, at a private school, and helped establish a new charter school.  He loves to travel and take pictures and has lived in Michigan, Germany, New Hampshire, California and New Mexico.

Mechelle Sieglitz Foreign Language Class of 2020 Advisor E-Mail: msieglitz@kwoods.org Course website: sieglitz.kwoods.org BA in Psychology and International Affairs, BS in Russion and Eastern European Studies, Florida State University MA in Religion and Church History, Liberty University MA in Secondary Teaching, Oakland University Mechelle Sieglitz was lucky enough to grow up learning multiple languages, and it wasn’t until she was in college that she realized others were not as fortunate. After graduating from Florida State she realized that education was her true passion. She moved to Detroit and taught High School Spanish and Russian before becoming a computer programmer specializing in curating iPhone apps. Now, just as she wanted to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to learn another language, now she is hoping to help others learn to code, as well. In her spare time, she travels to all the places where she speaks the language, and many she doesn’t. She is hoping to visit every continent by 2018.  

Mechelle Sieglitz

Foreign Language
Class of 2020 Advisor

E-Mail: msieglitz@kwoods.org
Course website: sieglitz.kwoods.org

BA in Psychology and International Affairs, BS in Russion and Eastern European Studies, Florida State University
MA in Religion and Church History, Liberty University
MA in Secondary Teaching, Oakland University

Mechelle Sieglitz was lucky enough to grow up learning multiple languages, and it wasn’t until she was in college that she realized others were not as fortunate. After graduating from Florida State she realized that education was her true passion. She moved to Detroit and taught High School Spanish and Russian before becoming a computer programmer specializing in curating iPhone apps. Now, just as she wanted to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to learn another language, now she is hoping to help others learn to code, as well.

In her spare time, she travels to all the places where she speaks the language, and many she doesn’t. She is hoping to visit every continent by 2018.  

Kristin Tenney Social Studies Class of 2022 Advisor E-Mail: ktenney@kwoods.org Course website: tenney.kwoods.org BA in Education, Eastern Michigan University Ms. Tenney recently graduated from the teaching program at Eastern Michigan University and joined Kensington Woods in 2016. Before finding a home at Kensington Woods, Ms. Tenney taught in Slovakia, China, and South Korea. In each of these countries and in the states, Ms. Tenney loves to see students connect class material to the real world. One of her key beliefs is that in order to understand the present, students need to understand the past. While she is not teaching or lesson planning, Ms. Tenney can be found at a café, sipping a cappuccino and planning her next travel adventure. 

Kristin Tenney

Social Studies
Class of 2022 Advisor

E-Mail: ktenney@kwoods.org
Course website: tenney.kwoods.org

BA in Education, Eastern Michigan University

Ms. Tenney recently graduated from the teaching program at Eastern Michigan University and joined Kensington Woods in 2016. Before finding a home at Kensington Woods, Ms. Tenney taught in Slovakia, China, and South Korea. In each of these countries and in the states, Ms. Tenney loves to see students connect class material to the real world. One of her key beliefs is that in order to understand the present, students need to understand the past.

While she is not teaching or lesson planning, Ms. Tenney can be found at a café, sipping a cappuccino and planning her next travel adventure.