Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight, November 2022: Alison Mengel

By Stephanie Steed, Vice President of Programs Alison is a reflection of how empathy blended with clinical expertise results in a commitment to do what’s best. Through negotiation and problem-solving, she has helped children and families navigate the child welfare system on their paths to permanency. Alison knows the value of enriching activities and positive [...]

Staff Spotlight, August 2022: Beth Gilbert

By: Ginger Cruz-Rosario, Team Lead for Pittsfield Community Connection   Beth joined Pittsfield Community Connection (PCC) at the height of the pandemic. She did not let the challenges of social distancing stop her from engaging youth and working to provide the interpersonal connections they so desperately needed in this time of isolation. In the spring of [...]

Staff Spotlight, July 2022: Courtney Clark

By: Sean Elligers, Artistic Director If you’ve followed Kids 4 Harmony and seen or heard the many students’ achievements, you’ve likely seen or heard of Courtney Clark as well - once the program’s Lead Teaching Artist and eventually the Artistic Director. Since 2011, alongside Alicia Stevenson (the previous Artistic Director), Courtney has been the unstoppable [...]

Staff Spotlight, June 2022: Emily Stein

By: Alison Mengel, Director of Permanency Healing Homes, 18 Degrees’ foster care program, provides children a welcoming home to heal in a culture of love, acceptance, and consistency. As a social worker for Healing Homes, Emily approaches each case by learning all she can to establish that vital relationship of trust with a child and [...]

Staff Spotlight, May 2022: Andrea Bateman

By: Alison Mengel, Director of Permanency At a recent monthly Comprehensive Foster Care meeting, the DCF Regional Placement Coordinator began by asking the large group, “What is Andrea Bateman doing that has workers and kids asking for her BY NAME?” Andrea was equally surprised and amused by this story. However, this accolade came as no [...]

Staff Spotlight, March 2022: Nancy Gomez

By: Sarah Kelley, Director of Community Support Programs Let’s hear it for Nancy!  Nancy Gomez is an EMPath Peer Specialist, a position she’s held since 2019 – shortly after she completed the program.  The Economic Mobility Pathways model (EMPath) is an evidence-based model to help coach families to move out of poverty and toward self-sufficiency.  In her [...]

Staff Spotlight, February 2022: Aaron Piziali

By: Danielle DeBerry, Program Director, Greenfield Family Networks Aaron Piziali is an Education Coordinator with Greenfield Family Networks. He returned to this position at 18 Degrees in 2017, and since that time, it is clear that Family Networks has been fortunate to have him back. His passion to serve the youth and families within the [...]

Staff Spotlight, December 2021: Tina O’Brien & Diane Simpson

By: John Cadiz, Director of Human Resources 2021 brought a fair share of transition within our finance team, as we filled the Director of Finance and Senior Accountant positions. Thanks to the steady hands of our payroll specialist and bookkeeper, Diane Simpson, and accounting clerk, Tina O’Brien, everything remained on track with our daily fiscal operations. These two are very deserving of our Staff Spotlight for their [...]

Staff Spotlight, November 2021: Rachel Slack

By: Alison Mengel, Director of Permanency Rachel Slack joined the Adoption Management Systems program in July of 2021 and proved to be a perfect match since her arrival.  Creating a permanency plan requires her to work with many people and within multiple systems. Throughout the process, Rachel is responsive, cooperative, and keeps the well-being of [...]

Staff Spotlight, October 2021: Sharon Collins Newton

By: Gina Blake, Vice President for Programs Sharon started with Parents as Teachers (PAT) in 2012 and became the supervisor in 2017. Her passion for helping families, coupled with her supportive leadership style and deep understanding of this evidence-based program, has helped her continue to grow PAT to meet the needs of the families we [...]

Staff Spotlight, September 2021: Tyeesha Keele

By: Elise Weller, Director of Childcare Services Early Childhood programs are about providing foundations for our children, then growing, building, and supporting them as they develop.  We first met Tyeesha when she enrolled her daughter in our infant program at Redfield in 2016.  We saw this young woman was filled with compassion, dedication, and an [...]

Staff Spotlight, August 2021: Tony Anderton

By: Paula McDermott, Human Resources Administrator Tony Anderton is our go-to person for just about everything. Yes, he did come with the building! He became the Manager of Building and Grounds in October 1992 when the agency moved into the then-new building where we are today.  Tony’s knowledge of the buildings, programs, and history of [...]

Staff Spotlight, July 2021: Sean Elligers

By: Courtney Clark, Artistic Director Just as Kids 4 Harmony is more than music lessons, Sean Elligers is more than a music teacher. Sean combines musicianship with his talents in videography and photography that strengthen our program of social change through music. He is a driving force of our Virtual Gala, providing concepts, content, and [...]

Staff Spotlight, June 2021: Trish Russo

By: Pamela Preston, Director of Child Care Operations As Director of Child Care Operations at 18 Degrees, I have had the pleasure of working closely with Trish Russo and the Youth Launch Program.  The Child Care Program at 18 Degrees offers care to families of children ages infant through 13 years old.  A crucial part [...]

Staff Spotlight, May 2021: Joe Pietras

By: Alison Mengel, Program Director of Healing Homes Joe brings great positive energy and a sense of humor to our team when it is needed most. Importantly, he keeps in mind that the primary relationship within the Case Manager/Child/Foster Parent triad is the Case Manager's relationship with the Foster Parent. It can be easy to [...]

Staff Spotlight, April 2021: Amy Guachione

By: Erin Sullivan, Vice President of Community and Donor Relations Amy Guachione, Volunteer and CASA Coordinator, started her journey with 18 Degrees as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Volunteer.  In that role, she fostered positive relationships with other volunteers, the judges, the attorneys, court personnel, and the Department of Children and Families.  She became [...]

Staff Spotlight, March 2021: Nicole Rivera

By: Sarah Kelley, Director of Community Support Programs It is my great pleasure to spotlight Nicole Rivera this month. In her role as an EMPath Mobility Coach, she works with participants to strengthen their decision-making, persistence, and resilience over time so they can set their personal goals to approach the complex task of moving out [...]

Staff Spotlight, February 2021: Jay Howard

By: Leanne Yinger, Network Director Jay Howard- that name conjures up many adjectives: easy-going, informed, funny, diligent, and cooperative.  He has demonstrated these and others in his ten-year career with 18 Degrees as the Educational Coordinator for Family Networks in Berkshire County. When families are working with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), they are [...]

Staff Spotlight, January 2021: Gail Krumpholz

By: Gary Doughty, Director of Youth Connection Programs Gail has been a mentor since 2015 and continues mentoring a young man. Gail was hired by 18 Degrees in 2017 to become the Mentor Coordinator for Pittsfield Community Connection (PCC). Gail brings a unique perspective to the job, being a mentor herself, and knowing first hand [...]

Staff Spotlight, December 2020: Paula McDermott

By: John Cadiz, Director of Human Resources Quiet, shy, and humble, Paula sets the standard for our accountability compass point. She is the calm, collected backbone for the employee lifecycle of every staff person who arrives or departs from 18 Degrees. Paula’s amazing time management skills mask the monumental volume of detailed paperwork that passes [...]

Staff Spotlight, November 2020: Marylou Spaulding

By: Linda-Jeanne Mack, Director of Adoption Management Services In honor of National Adoption Month, our team would like to honor Marylou Spaulding, Administrative Coordinator, and the queen of our West Springfield Office. Marylou has always done a lot for us…fixed our computers, been our “Gatekeeper” for state administrative tasks, and listened to our frustrations when [...]

Staff Spotlight, October 2020: Jaclyn Carnevale

By: Sharon Collins Newton, Program Director, Parents as Teachers Jaclyn is the absolute epitome of our compass points! She is a very kind, gracious, thoughtful, self-reflective, and conscientious person. She is determined and sets a very high standard for herself. Jaclyn’s self-driven attitude and work ethic have been remarkable. Jaclyn pushes herself to achieve and [...]

Staff Spotlight, September 2020: Katie Haviland

By: Pam Preston and Elise Weller, Program Directors, Child Care We are celebrating ten years with Katie in our Child Care Program.  Katie is committed to providing the children and our staff with a nutritionally balanced and creative menu.  Katie’s love of cooking shines through on the faces and in the bellies of our kids.  [...]

Staff Spotlight, August 2020: Marisa Papallo

By: Cassandra Pugh, Program Director, Family Resource Center Marisa Papallo started her journey with 18 Degrees on December 5, 2016, and what a journey it has been! Staff quickly recognized her potential as she performed various tasks, which led to wearing many hats without skipping a beat, and with dedication and pride. Marisa approaches each [...]

Staff Spotlight, July 2020, KIDS 4 HARMONY

By Courtney Clark, Artistic Director The mark of a great team is having not just one or a few people that stand out and contribute to its overall success, but having a team of the most caring, dedicated, and motivated individuals who go above and beyond every day. Not because they have to, but because [...]