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The Hurley School

Dos Idiomas, diversas culturas · español · Two languages, many cultures

General Information

About the Hurley

The Hurley K–8 public school is a Spanish-English immersion school located in Boston’s South End. At the Hurley, we challenge students to learn in two languages and achieve academic excellence in both. Hurley’s hallmarks are a committed, talented teaching staff, an intensive language arts curriculum, a dedication to math and science fluency, a strong commitment to the arts and an innovative afterschool program that engages our children in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities.

Hurley Facts

  • The Hurley currently enrolls approximately 350 students.
  • We have 18 classroom teachers as well as para-professionals in grades K1–2nd.
  • Enrichment programming including visual art, performing arts, woodworking, music, library science, physical education and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) enlivens the school day.
  • Over half our families speak Spanish as a first language.
  • Hurley parents raise more than $100K a year from the community to support our programs.
  • We have a state-of-the-art turf field which is used by the students during gym, recess and afterschool.
  • Our Bodega de Arte afterschool program offers a variety of clubs, enrichment programs and academic help to extend our school day.
  • Although more than half our students test into Advanced Work programs each year, very few parents choose to leave the Hurley — they know their children will receive a richer education here.
Hurley Facts


The Hurley School building is welcoming with 18 sunny classrooms and 4 active community spaces including our Dones Memorial Library, which seats 40 and houses a collection of over 5,000 books in both English and Spanish, and desktop computers for on-line research through the school’s wireless internet access. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Lab hosts 16 computers and provides space for innovative programs such as robotics and a woodworking course taught by faculty from the Eliot School of Fine Arts. We recently updated our auditorium, a performing arts venue for visiting musicians and actors, as well as a stage for our students to express their creativity in drama and music classes. Finally, the “Cafe Gym” serves two functions. It is a home to our gym classes as well as indoor play during the winter months, it boasts basketball hoops at all heights. With its fold-down tables and chairs, it also functions as a communal lunch space for grades 1-8.

The Hurley has 2 state-of-the-art outdoor play areas. Our play yard, affectionately known as “the Park,” was renovated in 1999 through the Boston Schoolyard Initiative(link is external) and includes modern play structures, an amphitheater and a communal garden cared for by a dedicated group of parents. Our artificial turf playing field — created in 2008 and replacing a dismal parking lot —provides an outdoor space for gym class, as well as a wildly popular space for our students to run and just be kids.

Bethy Verano

Bethy Verano

Bethy Verano joined the Hurley K-8 Dual Language School in 2019, following three years of service at Boston Latin School as an Assistant Headmaster. Her career began in the non-profit sector with Building Educated Leaders for Life, where she worked in service of Boston Public Schools for over 10 years and helped develop programming for students in need of academic acceleration. She joined Boston Public Schools given her background in building effective relationships, as well as designing and developing programming specifically tailored to meet the needs of English Language Learners. Ms. Verano was born in Bogota, Colombia and emigrated with her family at twelve years old. She entered the Boston Public Schools and graduated from John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. She has a degree in Psychology focused on child development, a Masters in Human Services administration and is currently pursuing her PhD in Urban Education, Leadership, and Policy at UMass Boston. She is also a graduate of the Perrone-Sizer Institute for Creative Leadership (PSi) focused on justice and equity, and integration of artistic and design thinking, and educational and community-based resources to transform the lives of youth and families.Ms. Verano is proud of her Latin American roots and believes in the power of dual language schools to shift the current paradigm of education not only by promoting bilingualism and biliteracy but also by creating an environment of openness to different cultures and backgrounds. She also believes in thoughtful collaborations among families, schools and community based organizations as the keys to building success for all students. During her free time, Ms. Verano enjoys reading, traveling, walking her dog, and spending time with family.

The Hurley takes great pride in its teachers, all of whom bring valuable expertise, dedication, and a love of children. At the Hurley, teachers work in teams in many areas: by grade, by subject matter, and by area of focus. Hurley teachers view themselves as part of a learning community, and regularly share feedback, best practices, and teaching innovations.

Nancy McNeal

Nancy McNeal


Ms. McNeal has worked at the Hurley since 2004 and strives every day to make a difference in the lives of the school’s youngest students. She is from Pennsylvania and attended Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and Lesley University. Ms. McNeal loves to make quilts! She has been making quilts and giving them away for 10 years and mainly uses beautiful batik fabric and intermediate patterns. Her other hobbies include jewelry making, cooking, and traveling to Hawaii.
Mariana Saacutenchez

Mariana Sánchez

K2 Spanish

Ms. Mariana has worked at the Hurley since 2019 and loves teaching children to write. She believes children are the hope for our future and the planet, and looks forward to seeing her students’ extraordinary achievements. Ms. Mariana was born in Arizona, but raised in Sonora, México. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with a Bilingual Emphasis from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and also pursued a master's degree in Reading and Literacy at Boston College. Ms. Mariana is a fantastic storyteller who has received standing ovations from her students. Her hobbies include running and traveling.
Patsy Arrachea

Patsy Arrachea


Ms. Arrechea began working at the Hurley in the fall of 2023 and previously taught first grade for four years at the William Channing Elementary School in Boston. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico and received her master's degree in early childhood education from UMass Boston. Ms. Arrechea has two daughters and a son, as well as one male Betta fish (also known as a Siamese fighting fish!). In her spare time, she likes to exercise at the gym.
Ingrid Morales

Ingrid Morales

Instructional Coach, Grades K-5

Ms. Morales has worked at the Hurley since 2016 and is from Puerto Rico. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Tampa and a master’s degree from Wheelock College. Teaching has been Ms. Morales’ calling since she was young and she loves teaching English and Spanish because being bilingual is special and powerful. Ms. Morales is excellent at organizing, giving hugs, and Salsa dancing. Her hobbies include yoga, journaling, walking, and getting together with friends.
 Ana Soto with students in the rain

Ana Soto

1st Grade

Ms. Soto has worked at the Hurley since 2014 and is from San José, Costa Rica. She has a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and a master’s degree from Simmons College. Ms. Soto works closely with each student to see their own potential and to nurture their love for learning. Ms. Soto makes excellent Tres Leches Cake, and will likely beat you in word games like crosswords, scrabble, and letter tiles. Her hobbies are family time, running long distances, biking, yoga, and reading.

photo of Diana Colon in banana costume

Diana Colón

1st Grade

Ms. Colón has worked at the Hurley since 2007 and is from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Latin American Studies from Boston College and a master’s degree in education from Boston University. She especially loves teaching because of the smiles, hugs, and high fives. Ms. Colon can juggle and is really good at scaring people. She also likes running, going to playgrounds with her family, DJing, and cooking.
Diane Bourbeau

Diane Bourbeau

2nd Grade Paraprofessional

Ms. Bourbeau has worked at the Hurley since 2007 and is from East Longmeadow, MA. She has a bachelor’s degree from Lasell College and is a diehard Red Sox fan. Ms. Bourbeau has played softball her whole life and also plays women's football. She loves to sing and is the lead singer in a band.
portrait of Leah Kaye

Leah Kaye

3rd Grade Spanish

Ms. Kaye has worked at the Hurley since 2019 and is from Maryland. She has a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and will earn her master's degree from B.C. in 2023. Making learning fun and engaging is a priority in Ms. Kaye’s classroom. She is an avid baker and loves trying out new recipes and making cakes and desserts for special occasions. Ms. Kaye is the head coach of the Women's Club Ultimate Frisbee team at Boston College.

Mrs Beloff

Beth Beloff

3rd Grade English

“Mrs. B” has worked at the Hurley since 2009 and is from Long Island, New York. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and a master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island. Mrs. B loves teaching new information that makes her students excited to learn and exposes them to the world. Mrs. B is a great "hype man;" she is a personal cheerleader to every student.Her hobbies include family time and challenging herself at Crossfit.
Selfie of Jennifer Muhammad

Jennifer Muhammad

4th Grade

I began teaching 4th grade at the Hurley in 2001. I teach reading, writing, math, and social studies in English. I graduated from UMass Amherst in 2000 with a sociology degree and received my graduate degree from Tufts in education. I’m most passionate about teaching writing, but I love teaching all subjects because it allows me to get to know students in different ways. Fun fact: my husband proposed to me in my classroom, room 201, the last day before winter vacation in front of all of my students and a crowd of Hurley onlookers that had accumulated as word spread like wildfire. A parent showed up that afternoon with a bottle of champagne! The Hurley is my second home.

Louis Diaz

4th Grade Spanish

Maria “Margot” Johnson

5th Grade

Ms. Margot has worked at the Hurley since 2009 and was born in Costa Rica, but grew up in the United States. She has a bachelor's degree from Northeastern University and a master’s degree from Simmons College. Ms. Margot creates a learning space for her students that feels safe, comfortable, and like a second home. She is skilled at creative projects that involve crafting and designing. Her hobbies include reading, going for walks, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.

Claudia Gomez

5th Grade

Ms. Gomez has been with the Hurley since 2021 and is from Chicago, IL. She is half Salvadoran and half Mexican. She earned his bachelor's degree from Monmouth College and her Master's degree from the University of Colorado Denver. Ms. Gomez loves teaching children mainly because she wants to instill in them perseverance when faced with academic challenges, she also has a passion for instilling self-esteem in her students with the purpose of guiding them to be the future leaders of our community. Ms. Gómez is very good at raising one eyebrow at a time, and enjoys playing soccer and dancing.

Helen Sullivan and Mrs P with bicycle helmets

Helen Sullivan

6th grade, ELA/Social Studies

Ms. Sullivan has worked at the Hurley since 2014. She has a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ms. Sullivan has always enjoyed working with children and especially enjoys teaching middle schoolers. She is an all-around athlete and enjoys reading, biking, hiking, and traveling.

Lindsay Thornquist

6th Grade

photo of nbspRebecca Poswolsky and Helen Sullivan posing with soccer balls

Rebecca Poswolsky

7th and 8th grade Humanities

“Ms. P” has worked at the Hurley since 2017 and has a bachelor's degree from UMASS Amherst and a master’s degree from Lesley University, as well as a Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University. Ms. P enjoys learning and exploring with her students, especially in such a dynamic place as Boston. Ms. P is an avid bike rider and has traveled the country many times. She also loves studying history and reading and thinking critically about how to create a more just society.

Wilma Marrero Crespo

Wilma Marrero Crespo

7th and 8th Grade

Ms. Marrero-Crespo has worked at the Hurley since 2014 and is a Bostonian with a Puerto Rican heritage. She finished high school in Boston, but studied primarily in Puerto Rico. Ms. Marrero-Crespo is very good at integrating technology in the classroom. Her hobbies include traveling and cruising, spending time with her grandkids, and studying and teaching the Bible.
Wilma Marrero Crespo

Maria Cook

STEM, Grades K-3

Ms. Cook has worked at the Hurley since 2021 and is from Colombia. She holds degrees from Bridgewater State University and Northeastern University. Ms. Cook instills in her students a love of learning, and includes multiple opportunities for social and experiential learning in her teaching, so she can guide and encourage students to become independent thinkers and problem solvers. Her special skills are math and cooking, and she enjoys going for walks and spending time with family and friends.
Wilma Marrero Crespo

Matthew McLaughlin

Art, Grades K-8

“Mr. Mac” has worked at the Hurley since 2015 and is from Weymouth, MA. He attended Wheelock College and Bridgewater State University. Mr. Mac never wanted to leave the art room when he was a student and is very skilled at making art. He likes to spend his free time reading comics, watching movies, and drawing with his kids.
Brian Gaines

Brian Gaines

Science 3rd-6th

Mr. Gaines has worked at the Hurley since 2017 and was born and raised in Boston. He has a bachelor's degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from UMASS Boston. Mr. Gaines enjoys playing golf, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Brian Gaines

Lawrence Muhammad

Physical Education/Gym

Mr. Muhammad is from Brockton, MA and has a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst. He works as a physical education teacher because he loves sports and fitness, and loves working with children. Mr. Muhammad is surprisingly good at Legos and enjoys riding his motorcycle, camping, and hiking with his dog.
Brian Gaines

Nurt Villani


Ms. Villani has worked at the Hurley since 2021 and is from Colombia. She studied at the Universidad del Cauca in her hometown and later studied choral conducting in Paris, France at the Conservatoire National Superieur. Ms. Villani also studied music pedagogy and is trained in the Willems, Kodaly, and Dalcroze methods. She brings joy to her students through music and provides great early musical experiences so they feel inspired. Ms. Villani loves to sing and conduct choirs, but also enjoys swimming visiting Colombia, and traveling.
photo of Shannon Valencia in front of Hurley School notice

Shannon Valencia

Special Education

Ms. Valencia has worked at the Hurley since 2008 and is from California. She has a bachelor's degree from Suffolk University and a master’s degree from Lesley University. Ms. Valencia loves being an educator because of the positive impacts she has on her students' lives. She makes delicious banana bread, and her hobbies include reading, walking her dog, and spending time with her son.

Nora Hassan

Noreen Hassan

Teacher Resources

Ms. Hassan has a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and a Master of Arts degree from Emerson College, as well as a Master of Education from UMASS Boston. She loves math and has always looked for creative ways to integrate the arts across all subjects. Ms. Hassan loves to sing and dance and enjoys spending time with her magician husband and her daughter.
Chanel Scott

Chanel Scott, BSN, RN

School Nurse

Ms. Scott has worked at the Hurley since 2014 and is from Boston, MA. She is a registered nurse and has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Northeastern University. Ms. Scott loves working with children and their families on a community level. She is a true foodie who loves eating, and she enjoys spending time with her family.
Karen Gonzalez with son

Karen Gonzalez

Director of School Culture and Climate

Ms. Karen has worked at the Hurley since 2012 and was born in El Salvador. She is a graduate of Boston Public Schools and has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from UMass Boston. Ms. Karen’s special skill is planning events with a creative theme. She enjoys hanging out with family and friends and building miniature homes in her quiet time. Ms. Karen loves owls and has a growing collection of them (not real ones!) in her office.
Karen Gonzalez with son

Mayra Alejandra Gende

Instructional Coach, Grades 6-8

Ms. Gende has worked at the Hurley since 2021 and is from Barinas, Venezuela. She attended UMass Boston, Lesley University, and Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ms. Gende believes that all students deserve an amazing educational experience regardless of their identity and zip code. Ms. Gende’s skill is making pottery; she also enjoys exercising, listening to podcasts, reading, and gardening.
Karen Gonzalez with son

Luiza Puzzitiello

Social Worker

Ms. Puzzitiello has worked at the Hurley since 2021 and was born and raised in Brazil. She has a bachelor’s degree from Miami University (in Ohio) and a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University. Her lifelong passion has been to work in education and be an integral part of students' socio-emotional growth. Ms. Ribeiro enjoys spending time with family and friends, listening to music, and traveling.
Karen Gonzalez with son

Framny Nova Montes de Oca

Support Staff

Ms. Nova has worked at the Hurley since 2021 and is from the Dominican Republic, where she studied at the Carmen Celia Balaguer school. She enjoys working with children and helping them develop and grow into kind and successful humans. Her special skill is cooking and she enjoys spending time with her family and children.
Paola Gaona Salamanca

Paola Gaona Salamanca

Support Staff

Ms. Gaona Salamanca, or as the students call her, Ms. Pao, has worked at the Hurley since 2020 and was born in Colombia. She is a proud BPS alumni who attended the Rafael Hernandez School and Boston Latin Academy. During her years at BPS, she witnessed the significance of local leadership in the community and the difference having bilingual teachers that reflected her family and community can make. Her special skill is dancing, and she also enjoys baking, sewing, watching anime, and gardening.

A Day in the Life of a Hurley Kindergartener

Arrival, Breakfast, Morning Meeting
Literacy (FOCUS); Spanish phonics
Lunch and Recess
Descanso (yoga or meditation)
Centros (structured and exploratory play)
Phys Ed with Mr. Muhammad (Mon, Fri) Or STEM with Ms. Cook (Tues) Or Art with Mr. “Mac” (Weds) Or Music with Ms. Nurt (Thurs)
Snack and Storytelling

A Day in the Life of a Hurley 6th Grader

Morning Work:
Watch CNN Student New
ELA with Ms. Sullivan
Social Studies with Ms. Sullivan
Specials! (Art, Science, or Gym)
Math Class with Ms. T
Math Class with Ms. T
Spanish Class with Ms. T!
Spanish Class with Ms. T!
2:40 - 3:00pm
Spanish Class with Ms. T
After School Activities

Hurley in the Community

The Hurley is proud to be a thriving neighborhood school actively supported by the South End community. The school carefully selects partners that enhance the curriculum and meet its high academic standards.

Neighborhood Partners

Since 2003, the Neighborhood Parents for the Hurley School (NPHS) has been our primary funding partner, working closely with the school to supplement its academic and artistic programming and renovate its facilities. With the goal of making the Hurley the best K–8 school in the city and a model for an integrated urban education, NPHS organizes annual fundraisers, writes grants, and solicits private donations.

The surrounding Worcester Street neighborhood and South End community have also played an important role in our history. In the late 1990s, Worcester Street residents and the Hurley Blocks Neighborhood Association worked with the school to spearhead a $500,000 fundraising effort to improve the Hurley grounds. With funding and support from the Browne Fund, the Boston Schoolyard Initiative, the Boston Parks Department, City Year, the South End Land Trust, Boston Cares, area businesses and universities, and scores of South End neighbors like West Concord Street resident and Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, the school received a new playground, outdoor plaza, amphitheater, and landscaped garden.

Program Partners

We are also greatful to count among our supporters a wide range of local foundations, businesses, and organizations that provide enrichment programming and support for Hurley students and teachers. These include: