Special Education

6th Grade Special Ed - 

Sarah Cunha 


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“A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart.” 

This is my 7th year as the 6th Grade Special Education teacher. I completed my Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY. I have been a Special Education teacher in Springfield for 15 years.

​I am a wife, mommy to two beautiful kids, and a crazy bird lady. Things I love:  Languages – I am fluent in Brazilian Portuguese; Cooking – I love making yummy homemade food for my family every night; Viola – I love playing the viola (which is like a bigger, deeper violin). Just three of the many aspects of Renaissance that I love: Our Community Commitments, Sweating the Small Stuff, and our Habits of Work. 

7th GR Special Ed - TIFFANY FARRELL 

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Joining the Renaissance staff in the fall of 2014 was truly a great decision. I have worn many hats during my 40+ years in education. After earning a Biology degree from Our Lady of the Elms college in 1977 and a long-term substitute assignment at the former Technical High School in Springfield, I landed a permanent assignment at Timothy Edwards Middle School in South Windsor, Connecticut where I taught 7th and 8th grade Physical Science and Biology for 35 years.

Retirement in 2013 didn’t suit me well so in January 2014, I was able to use my Master’s degree earned at UMass in Special Education in 1986 at South Hadley High School for the rest of the school year. Servicing students in SPED proved very rewarding so I interviewed in the summer of 2014 in several towns. Renaissance stood out above the rest as dynamic and innovating. I have not been disappointed. Spending 3 years working as a grade 7 and 8 SPED ELA teacher has enabled me to work closely with several small groups of students and enjoy expeditionary learning firsthand.

From 2017 to 2022 I have been extremely fortunate to serve in RC as the Restorative Justice Facilitator. Having earned an additional MA in 2002 at AIC as a School Guidance Counselor, this position allows me to service students across the spectrum. It is challenging, exciting and propels me to participate in a vast selection of Professional Development opportunities in order to employ cutting edge strategies in RC. Renaissance has become my new home. 

In September 2022, I answered the call and returned to the Special Education Department.  I am currently a member of the 7th grade team and enjoying the challenge. 

8th, 11th & 12th Gr Special Ed - 

Samatha Vega 

Email: vegas@springfieldpublicschools.com 

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My name is Samantha Vega! I I have been teaching at the Springfield Renaissance School for 8 years. My undergraduate degree is from Westfield State University in Special Education with a concentration in Math and my Master's degree is in Special Education from Springfield College. 

​I am recently married to Andrew, and we spent this past summer honeymooning in New Zealand - an unforgettable experience! We now reside in Holyoke. In my spare time I enjoy hiking and hanging out with my two cats. 

9th Grade Special Ed - 


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Hi I am Ms. Dawson and I’m very excited to start my first year at Renaissance as a special education teacher! I have been teaching for 8 years as a special education teacher and absolutely love my job. My undergraduate degree is in English from Worcester State University and I completed my Master’s degree in special education from Fitchburg State University. I grew up in Gardner, MA and have been living and working in Leominster, MA for the last 8 years.


I am now moving to Connecticut with my girlfriend and our dog, Mochi and our cat, Kitty. I am very excited to start this new adventure. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and family/friends, going to the beach and going on hikes, watching movies and television series, reading, exploring new areas and restaurants, and playing video games.

10th Grade Special Ed - 

Kye Garcia


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Hello Renaissance Community! My name is Kye Garcia (they/them) and this is my first year working as a Special Education Teacher. I've taught in Springfield for 3 years and I'm beyond excited to work at Renaissance! My undergraduate degree is from Smith College where my major was in The Study of Women and Gender, my minor was in Government, and I did a concentration in Archives. I'm less than a year away from finishing my Masters in Education through Fitchburg State.

I grew up 90 minutes outside of Manhattan and moved to Massachusetts for college. I decided this was my place. I currently live in Northampton with my wife and my cat. I love to read (especially fantasy!), watch TV, and play board games. 

– Updated 10/16/22


Chris Dudley

Email: @springfieldpublicschools.com 

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Evaluation Team Leader (ETL) - DANA SCOTT-SMITH

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Speech & Language Pathologist-

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School Psychologist - 


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I am am a Licensed Educational Psychologist and Mental Health Counselor. I graduated from American International College with my Doctorate degree in Educational Psychology and a dual Master’s degree from Springfield College in the areas of Marriage and Family Therapy and Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I have been working for the City of Springfield as an Educational Psychologist since 2017. This is my second year at Renaissance. 

HS Paraprofessional - 

Tracy Fay


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This is my 12th year at Renaissance and 19th year in Springfield! I am a graduate of Cathedral HS in Springfield, and then went to Cosmetology school and worked in salons for 15 years before beginning my career in education. I have worked in every grade from K-12, as well as working as a 1-to-1 para. I have also been certified as a Highly Qualified Paraprofessional. I am the mother of 3 and am a grandmother as well. I love spending time with my family, especially my grandson! I am also a big dog-lover and exercise is very important to me. 

MS Paraprofessional -
Tiffany Farrell


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HS Paraprofessional -
Mickey Paul


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This is my 12th year working at Renaissance. I attended Syracuse University, where I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Design. I worked as a Graphic Designer and Art Director at many different advertising agencies while living in New Jersey, Virginia Beach, and eventually Western Mass, where I chose to start a family and settle down. I was an Art Director at Spalding for seven years until it closed at which point I fell into education somewhat by accident, when my daughter enrolled at Renaissance, and I asked the Principal, Dr. Mahoney, how I could help, and he suggested I join the staff as a Paraprofessional. I have been able to use my directing and teaching skills to help high school students manage their workload and to produce successful outcomes. 

I love to do arts and crafts and implement elements of design in all aspects of my life. My philosophy is that we are all meant to help each other, to achieve the best life we can! Love above all else!  

MS Paraprofessional - 


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Paraprofessional -
Eric Morrow


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This is my first year working at Renaissance as a one-on-one paraprofessional.

I graduated from the University of Steubenville (Ohio) with a Bachelor's degree in Education. After graduation I accepted a job in Japan, where I spent several years teaching.

In 2000, I married a young woman I met while in Eastern Europe. Together we have a 14-year old son.

Recently I completed a Master's degree in Moderate Disabilities through night school at AIC.

My hobbies include traveling, electronic design/fabrication, carpentry and shortwave radio.