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Kensington Woods Faculty

 
  Rebecca Longoria   Art Art Honors Society Class of 2022 Advisor  E-Mail:  rlongoria@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 Longoria

Art
Art Honors Society
Class of 2022 Advisor

E-Mail: rlongoria@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. 

  Benjamin Cunningham   Music Teacher Class of 2023 Advisor  E-Mail:  bcunningham@kwoods.org  Course Website:  cunningham.kwoods.org     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

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!

  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.

  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.