ELA Department

6th Grade ELA -

Ja'Naya Ashley

Email: ashleyj@springfieldpublicschools.com

Click the arrow for her brief Bio!

7th Grade ELA -

Lana Adero 


Click the arrow for her brief Bio!

Hello everyone!  My name is Lana (pronounced Lay-nah) Adero and I am super excited to be your 7th grader’s ELA teacher.  Although I am new to the Renaissance family, I have been teaching middle school ELA in the greater Springfield area since 2006.  


I am a proud graduate of Mount Holyoke College (Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies) and Simmons College (Master’s degree in Gender/Cultural Studies).  I was born, raised, and currently live in Springfield, MA so please feel free to say hello if you see me in public 😊.


Outside of school, I am a wife, mother of 3 (1 adult daughter, 1 teenage daughter, and 1 toddler aged son who has Down Syndrome), and like watching really bad reality tv, playing old school videogames, and dancing to anything with a good rhythm. 

8th Grade ELA - 

Morgan Tobin


Click the arrow for her brief Bio!

This is my fourteenth year in education and my first year at Renaissance. My whole career has been spent with the wonderful students and staff of Springfield public schools. I pursued my love for education at Assumption college (now university) in Worcester, MA and followed with a M.ED at American international college in Springfield, MA. When not teaching, I am playing or watching sports with my 8-year-old son, Spencer. I am so excited to continue my career at Renaissance.  

– Updated 10/16/22

9th Grade ELA - 

Katie Demicco


Click the arrow for her brief Bio!

This is my third year at Renaissance and my first year as the 9th grade ELA teacher. As a Connecticut native, I pursued my love for the written word at UMass-Amherst, completing a B.A. in English and a minor in Sociology. Last year, I earned my Master’s of Education and English teaching license in the TEACH 180 Days UMass-Amherst graduate education program, in which I completed my practicum teaching at Renaissance! I am excited to continue teaching and learning with my students at Renaissance in the coming year!

When I’m not teaching, you can catch me reading my favorite books or eating barbecue chicken pizza while watching the Red Sox beat the 

10th Grade ELA - 

Tracey Marshall


Click the arrow for her brief Bio!

I have been at Renaissance since October, 2012 and am known as "Mama" Marshall by a great number of our students. I take great pride and honor knowing our students hold me in such high regard. I truly believe I am here for our students in both the best and worst of times, to help them reset so they can continue their day or just to receive a hug to start their day. I am firm, fair and consistent. I have been luck to be able to teach my own two sons who graduated from Renaissance in 2014 & 2018.

I am from Tuskegee, AL and moved to Springfield when I was 7 years old. I am a graduate of Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy, as well as American International College with a degree in Accounting.

When I am not working I love spending time with my family, reading and hanging out at the beach. 

11th Grade ELA - 

Click the arrow for his brief Bio!

12th Grade ELA - 

Stephanie TOggerson


Click the arrow for hER brief Bio!

My name is Matt West and I am the new 12th grade English teacher. I am excited to prepare our seniors for their road ahead. Throughout high school and college, I partook in experiential learning that brought me all over the world. My passion for Human Rights, social justice and a lifelong love of learning has brought me here, to Renaissance. I hope to foster a love of exploration and world engagement with my students as we delve into literacy in our English classes. My number one value in the classroom is to promote reflection that encourages critical thinking that changes the world.  


Leixa Garrafa 


Click the arrow for her brief Bio!

I am happily married, and the proud mom of two college students. I am originally from Puerto Rico but moved to the USA when I was in my junior year of high school; graduating from the Springfield Central High School as an ELL student myself. I attended UMass-Amherst and UPR where I earned my BA in Special Education. Years later, I earned my Master’s in Education with a concentration in Dual Language, World Languages and ESOL from Cambridge College. I have taught for many years (elementary to secondary levels) and have loved and grown from every experience. Part of my educational and professional accomplishments I owe to my dedicated and super-hero ESOL teachers, who believed in me and gave me the tools to succeed. This is my third year at Renaissance and I couldn’t be more honored to be part of this AWESOME community of visionaries and scholars. I am the Renaissance ESOL teacher of a group of fantastic young men and women, and it is my goal and hope to continue the legacy of what it was once done for me. 

Librarian - 

Cynthia Sheehan 


Click the arrow for her brief Bio!

I believe that school libraries are essential to the education of today’s students, so I am thrilled to be working as a librarian at Renaissance again this year. I started in this role in the spring of 2019 and am grateful to continue to be a part of our community! 

I grew up in Western New York and got my BS from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. I moved to New England to attend Antioch University in Keene, NH, and that’s where I earned my M.Ed. and began my teaching career. My husband and I then returned to Buffalo, NY and started our family. We moved to Springfield in 2013, with three kids in tow, and are happily settled into our life here. 

We all love to read and visit the amazing public libraries in the area but if we’re not wrapped up in a book, you’ll likely find us hiking or camping or playing with our dog Maia.

– Updated 10/16/22