Meet the Crew
How to Contact the Crew
Tal Bayer, BBA, M.E.l, Head of School
I was born in Charleston, South Carolina and by the time I was 21, I had lived in twelve different states and two countries. The moving was the result of my father being in the Air Force. While constantly relocating was a tough experience at the time, it taught me how to connect with people of all backgrounds, appreciate the rich diversity and experiences we all have and the importance of feeling connected. Whether it be through family, community, school, church, or sports we all want and need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
I am a proud father of three children (18, 16 and 13 yrs) and husband to a beautiful wife who is a Physical Therapist who also grew up in the military. We both grew up in families that placed a strong emphasis on education and reading and have in turn raised our family with the same values.
I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Radford University (Radford, Virginia) and my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Wheeling Jesuit University (Wheeling,WV). After an early career in banking and operations, my introduction to charter schools began with twelve other teachers as we opened the first Hyde School (HLPCS) in Washington, DC in 1999. I started as a middle school math teacher, but over the next fourteen years I worked in a variety of roles including Athletic Director, Dean Of Students, and Development Director as well as Rugby Coach. That experience was one of the most challenging and rewarding times of my life.
Recently I have been coaching (Rugby) full time and teaching at the collegiate level. It is coaching that brought me to New Hampshire where I discovered Kreiva Academy. I am excited to play a part in the building of our new school and look forward to working and learning with all of our students, families, and staff.
I will be your primary contact for matters involving admissions/enrollment, schedules, school safety, social media and communications, extended learning opportunities(ELO), development, partnerships, athletics, social services and data gathering/reporting. I will also be working closely with our faculty, staff, students and families as we build the school culture to reflect the vision and mission of Kreiva Academy.
Jenn Siegfried, Director of Academics
I am a native New Englander who grew up on the Massachusetts North Shore. Looking for a change as newlyweds, my husband and I left the Northeast and headed south to raise our two children (now ages 15 and 18) in Charlotte, North Carolina where we lived for 16 years. Ready to come home, we returned to southern New Hampshire in 2016.
I have a B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Saint Michael’s College, an M.Ed in Teacher Leadership from the University of New Hampshire, and I am in the final stage of my doctoral work at Northeastern University examining student stories of metacognition, autonomy, and critical thinking in high school classrooms.
My career started as a classroom teacher in Rochester, New Hampshire where I was brought on to institute a two-person team model and develop a new curriculum that integrated middle school language arts and geography. I had the opportunity to be a teacher fellow with National Geographic during this time and worked writing curriculum in Washington D.C. that was published for the Five Themes of Geography. This experience sparked my interest in curriculum design. I went on to work within several other schools pioneering the two-person team approach in the 1990’s. After my children were born, I made the decision to do freelance curriculum work and this led me design curriculum for the Weather Channel’s Storm Stories series and I traveled to Boys and Girls clubs around the United States bringing the curriculum to life with children of all ages. Ready to have a more consistent schedule for me and my family, I took a position with Carson-Dellosa Publishing where I stayed until 2014. During my time at Carson-Dellosa, I led a team to co-write and design a standards-based, integrated comprehensive curriculum, designed an innovative student-centered curriculum that was marketed and adopted by state curriculum boards across the United States, and oversaw professional development and government relations initiatives. Most recently, I have worked for the University of New Hampshire as part of the RENEW program which is a structured school-to-career transition planning and individualized wraparound process for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges. All of these experiences have supporting a strong core belief in the critical role of children’s learning as a trajectory built though meaningful experiences and individual paths of understanding.
I am very excited to be part of the Kreiva team and look forward to supporting the learning journey’s taking place here. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions regarding the Kreiva Academy curriculum and your student’s individual needs and goals.
Merrill DeGraff, Curriculum Coordinator
I taught in San Diego for 20 years and it is an incredible privilege to now be innovating education with new teacher candidates at SNHU and the amazing educators at Kreiva Academy. My philosophy of education is shaped by my love and advocacy for Project Based Learning, the students in front of me, and a desire to continue to grow as an educator. I am incredibly proud of Kreiva. It is a place of great inspiration, creativity, collaboration and joy. And we have only just begun!
Kylene Normandin, BSN, Dean of Students
I was born and raised right here in Manchester NH. I have a background in nursing, working in many EDs, hospice, family care and geropsych units throughout NH. I walked away from nursing about 10 years ago when my daughter was born and moved into the field of commercial, residential property management and construction.
I am married to my best friend Tracy and together we have 2 amazing kids, one of which is a freshman here at Kreiva. We, as a family, love to travel and experience new cultures and places together, thank goodness I also double as a part time travel agent! We have vacation homes in Jefferson NH and St. Pete Beach FL and love spending time as a family in both places.
I have coached youth basketball for local schools and CYO, volunteered in many schools in various roles and also in my community. I am a strong advocate for foster care here in NH. I look forward to meeting those I have not met and working with those I already have.
Lisa Cohen, Operations Manager
I have been involved in business, nonprofit management, and education my whole life. I graduated from New Hampshire College (now SNHU) with a degree in Business Studies and, after earning my private pilot’s license, went back to school to become a middle school math teacher, graduating with a Masters in Secondary Education from the University of New Hampshire.
I taught mathematics for nearly a decade until my husband’s commercial construction
company needed me to run the day-to-day office operations including A/R, A/P, and payroll.
For over 20 years, I have been a volunteer and board member for a Concord-based nonprofit, Friends of Forgotten Children. I manage their website and social media platforms, fundraising campaigns and community outreach.
I have coached Destination Imagination and Math teams and mentored multiple student-run groups. In my spare time, I love to travel and photograph our beautiful country!
Renee Williams, School Counselor
I have been a school counselor for over 15 years and have been active in education for even longer! I was born and raised in Connecticut, but I have lived in many different states including MA, OH, AR, VT, AZ, and NH. For the past 15 years, I have lived with my husband, three kids, two cats, and one lizard in Londonderry. I earned my undergraduate degree from Eastern CT State University and my Masters in Education from Kent State University in Ohio.
My love for education and school counseling began in High School. As someone who moved around a lot as a kid, and was therefore often the "new kid," I relied a lot on my teachers and guidance counselors to make me feel welcome. I was a Resident Assistant during college and a Resident Director at Kent State. All of these experiences helped me to pursue my true passion of helping others.
In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, bird watching, movies, music, comedy, and traveling. I love all things "nerdy": Harry Potter, Star Trek, video games, etc. I'm also obsessed with trivia, but can be very competitive! I look forward to coming to Kreiva everyday and working with students, teachers, and families!
Mrs. Burke, Teacher
Christine Burke has been teaching math for almost 20 years. She started her professional career at Trinity High School and moved on to teach at Manchester Community College and Southern New Hampshire University. She also worked for the Learning Center in Bedford tutoring students from all of the surrounding towns until it’s closure in 2010. This closure gave her the opportunity to start her own private tutoring business where she would help kids of all ages better understand their coursework and help prepare them for the SAT’s. She is state certified in mathematics for grades 7-12.
Mrs. Kennedy, Teacher
Hi Everyone! I am Mrs. Kennedy. I grew up here in New Hampshire and currently live in Epping with my husband and young son. Despite growing up in a family with generations of teachers, I didn’t think I wanted to be a teacher. I fell in love with science in high school and went on to study chemistry in college and then earn my Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics. I worked in a biochemistry lab while at Brandeis University. Through mentoring and teaching undergraduates, I discovered my true love of teaching. I spent 3 years teaching at The Innovation Institute, a science specialty program, where I taught and developed a range of chemistry and biology courses for grades K-12. I was drawn to Kreiva because of its project-based approach and the desire to teach the whole child, giving them skills that go beyond the classroom. Outside of the classroom, I love spending time with my family at the beach or on the boat.
Mr. Milom, Teacher
I grew up in The Bronx during the 1980s. While we were poor and bad things were happening all around me, the message was: the fastest way to get out of that place was through education.
I have been working in classrooms since 2000, spending five years as a special education paraprofessional. I went back to college in 2008 and earned my BS in Education, graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pheonix in 2012. Since then, I have been back in schools helping students, which is what I love to do. I have had great experiences in Manchester, Hillsborough, Nashua, and with the NH Job Corps.
I came to Kreiva because I want to be a part of building a school and community where students want to come to learn every day. I want students to know that hard work has more value today than ever before. I want them to know that education is important to their future. I want them to know that no matter what, I will always be there for them and they never have to face any challenge alone.
Mr. Farrell, Teacher
I grew up just south of the border in Lowell, Massachusetts and overcame many disabilities to excel in both sports and later a professional career. I received an MFA in Creative Writing and happenstance took me to the Bosnian War as a journalist, HBO as a documentary filmmaker, Hollywood as a WGA screenwriter, and the Boston Globe’s Bestsellers List. It has been a remarkable ride.
Currently, I live in Milford, NH., with my wife Melissa and son Aidan. I am blessed to be at a point in my life where I can use my life experiences to help my son and the students at Kreiva Academy to believe that their future can become greater than their wildest imaginations.
Mrs. Heisler, Teacher
Hey there everyone! My name is Mrs. Heisler (hi-sler) or Mrs. H, whatever works! I have an MAT in Art Education and love all things crafty. I previously worked a handful of years in the public-school system, as well as dabbling in higher education but only found it hindered the creativity of many and it was easy to get lost. My passion falls on working with students to find their true place by developing their own passions and helping guide to self-discovery in whatever area of learning that might be. Kreiva is on to something wonderful and I am excited to collaborate, learn and work alongside some pretty great people!
“Sometimes you gotta create what you want to be a part of.” -Geri Weitzman
Mrs. Korzyniowski, Teacher
Bio coming soon
Miss Plummer, Special Education Teacher
Howdy y’all it’s Miss Plummer! I was raised here in New Hampshire and I am partial to all things New England because they are “WICKED cool”! I graduated in 2017 with a BA in Elementary Ed K-8 but have worked in the education field for about 8 years. My passion for education came from my Aunt who taught for 46 years. Her love for reading inspired me to become an avid reader and continue to pursue my masters degree in Reading. As a teacher I enjoy sharing my love for reading with my students and giving them the tools and opportunities they need to truly enjoy their educational journey. Outside of working in education, I also own a floral design company that handles large events and weddings. I enjoy paddle boarding, yoga, paddle board yoga, kayaking, playing softball, getting lost in a good book, traveling, cooking and spending my summers at Lake Winnipesaukee.
You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting so…. get on your way! You’ll move mountains kid!
- Dr. Suess
Mr. Wifholm, Special Education Teacher
I am Scott Wifholm, a Special Education teacher at Kreiva. I have lived in New Hampshire for 40 years. I am a local guy with some moderate travel experience having been to Australia and England. I was actually born in England. I graduated from Keene State and taught Social Studies for seven years. I decided to switch it up and got my masters degree in special education while working at Easter Seals in the Joliceour School, a residential school for youths with extreme disabilities in emotional and cognitive areas. I have enjoyed being a part of the Kreiva family for this past year and I am looking forward to more years together. We will make the special education program work for each individual student so they can best succeed at Kreiva and beyond!
Ms. Barrett, Paraprofessional
Hi Everyone, My name is Jennifer Barrett and I am a Paraprofessional at Kreiva Academy. I am a lifelong resident of Manchester. I love spending time outdoors hiking, camping, biking and enjoying the summers at York Beach in Maine.
In 2013 I decided to take the opportunity to become a stay at-home mom and home school my two daughters. I benefited from meeting many home school families and chose a variety of home school curriculum. Educating allowed me to showcase the qualities of patience, enthusiasm and ability to motivate and stay on task. I'm very excited to be a part of this amazing school and staff and look forward to Kreiva's future!
"An investment in Knowledge pays the best interest" ~ Benjamin Franklin
Mr. Teixeira - "Tex", Paraprofessional
Bio coming soon