Science Department

6th Grade SCience -

Shayla DeNigris

denigriss@springfieldpublicschools.com

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This is my third year at The Springfield Renaissance School. In 2018, I graduated from Western New England University with my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry. I currently attend Springfield College and am working towards my Master of Education. When I am not teaching, I love spending time with my husband and 3 year-old daughter. I also love to go shopping, try out new restaurants, and play with makeup. I have a super cheesy sense of humor and love a good pun. But most of all, I love getting to share my love of science with my students!

7th Grade SCience -

Micah Winston

winstonm@springfieldpublicschools.com

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​​This is my seventh year at Renaissance, teaching 7th Grade.

I grew up in Amherst and from the moment I could crawl was collecting insects, scooping in ponds, attending nature camps and tending to numerous pets, including a raccoon and an armadillo.

I received a BA in Biology with a minor in Spanish from Indiana University and completed a teaching program through UMass. After finishing my student teaching in Holyoke, I moved to Israel, where I ended up staying for over 16 years. I taught Biology & Geometry at an American HS, then English and Computers in a regional MS/HS and at a rehabilitation facility for teens battling drug and alcohol addiction. In addition, I played fast-pitch softball and coached youth baseball and softball. I also served as Assistant Coach of the Junior National Men's Fast-Pitch Softball team in the European Championships twice and then as Head Coach, led Israel to a bronze medal in the '09 tournament in the Czech Republic.

I returned to the USA in 2010, and taught Science for 3 years in Springfield (at New Leadership & Baystate Academy) before coming to Renaissance. I also received a Master’s degree through the Science Education Online program at UMass.

I coached the Varsity Softball team for 4 years, and have run the Chess Club and coached the Chess Team for all 9 years.

I have 2 adult daughters, Shoval & Inbar, from my first marriage, who are based in Israel and South Carolina, respectively, and a 4-year-old son, Shiloh with my wife Bharati, who is a 1st grade teacher.

I bleed Red Sox red and play baseball and indoor soccer in local leages. In addition, I hike, cook, read, collect and sell vinyl records, and translate Hebrew documents as a side gig.

At Renaissance, I am perhaps best known for my classroom pets. Presently, I have Norbert, a bearded dragon.

– Updated 10/16/22


8th Grade Science -

Jaenyeffe Santos

santosj@springfieldpublicschools.com

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This will be my third year teaching 8th grade Science. I grew up in the city of Springfield and attended UMass-Amherst, where I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Conservation and a Master’s of Education in Science. I live for adventures such as hiking, road trips, and traveling. Visiting countries like Cape Verde has really expanded on my knowledge of different cultures, which makes me want to have more opportunities to travel and learn more.

9th Grade SCience -

John Donovan

donovanjo@springfieldpublicschools.com

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I have been teaching in Springfield for 5 years but this is my first year teaching at Renaissance. I grew up in Eastern Mass and attended UMass Amherst for my undergrad, where I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health. After graduating, I moved to Denver, CO, where I joined an AmeriCorps program called City Year and then earned my Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction through the University of Denver. I moved back to Western Mass in 2015, where I now live with my wife Jen, our 1 year old daughter Ellie, and our Goldendoodle Bernie. In addition to teaching, I love playing basketball, hiking, reading, playing the guitar, going to concerts, road trips, camping, and meditation.

w10th Grade Science -

David Weremay

weremayd@springfieldpublicschools.com

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I grew up in the Providence, Rhode Island area, but I fell in love with Western Massachusetts while attending college at UMass-Amherst. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, my love of Western MA wasn't enough to abate my desire to travel, so I drove across the country with my now wife and eventually decided to settle in Santa Cruz, CA. It was from there that we spent most of our 20's exploring the country, including visiting many national parks and cities.

After lots of great experiences in California, I decided to move back to Western MA to begin my Science teaching career. My first teaching position was at New Leadership Charter School in Springfield, where I taught middle school science before moving on to Baystate Academy. There, I taught high school biology and served as Dean of Students. This is my third year teaching biology at Renaissance.

When I'm not teaching, you can generally find me spending time with my family, playing basketball, volleyball, trail running, or skiing. I'm happy to be a part of the Renaissance family!

11th Grade Science -

Christine Druckenmiller

druckenmillerc@springfieldpublicschools.com

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​I grew up in Springfield. I started my career as a chemist working in industry. After my children were born, I went back to the University of Massachusetts and earned my Masters of Education in Science. I did my student teaching in Springfield, before working for Tantasqua Regional High School and Converse Middle School. This is my third year at Renaissance.

When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family which includes my husband, five children, three step-children, two dogs, an ancient cat and thirteen hens. I have always liked hiking, camping, canoeing, and fishing. In the past, I spent my summers working as a Girl Scout day camp director. Now, I spend most of my summers in my garden.

12th Grade SCience -

Laura Ross

rossl@springfieldpublicschools.com

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I am so excited to be joining Renaissance this year! I recently finished my Master of Arts in Teaching at Mount Holyoke College, with concentrations in Biology and English Language Learners. Before that, I completed a bachelor’s degree in Astronomy with a concentration in Astrobiology at Mount Holyoke. I am also a proud alum of Holyoke Community College, where I completed my Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences.

In my free time, I love reading, playing board games, hiking, biking, and kayaking. I also play guitar, bass, and drums, and I love going to see live music! I currently live in Wilbraham with my partner and our three cats.