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The Hurley School

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

Meet The Teachers

Nancy McNeal

Nancy McNeal

K0/K1 Teacher

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.
Patsy Arrachea

Patsy Arrachea

K2 Teacher

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.
Juan Freire Perez

Juan Freire Perez

K2 Teacher

Mr.Juan has been at the Hurley since 2023. He was born and raised in Santiago de Compostela. He attended the University of Santiago of Compostela, where he studied Elementary education with a major in Special Education. Mr.Juan has always been a teacher, even when he was in Kindergarten he helped my friends. He can rock climb and enjoy doing any outdoor activities: rock climbing, soccer, snowboarding, hiking, and more!
 Ana Soto with students in the rain

Ana Soto

1st Grade Teacher

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 Teacher

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 English Teacher

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.
Vanessa Rengifo

Vanessa Rengifo

2nd Grade Spanish Teacher

Ms. Vanessa grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and went to public school there. Go Brooklyn Tech! She then went to Boston University for her Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Ms. Vanessa enjoys working in education for her students' growth. She has always thought teaching is a way to help students not only succeed academically but also succeed in life. She strives to show her students how to be good people in the world and have fun while learning. Ms. Vanessa really enjoys dancing to any kind of music but especially salsa! She enjoys dancing, working out, eating ice cream, and going for walks to explore her neighborhood!

portrait of Leah Kaye

Leah Kaye

3rd Grade English Teacher

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.

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.
Selfie of Jennifer Muhammad

Jennifer Muhammad

4th Grade English Teacher

Mrs. Muhammad began teaching 4th grade at the Hurley in 2001. She teaches reading, writing, math, and social studies in English. Mrs.Muhammad graduated from UMass Amherst in 2000 with a sociology degree and received my graduate degree from Tufts in education. She is most passionate about teaching writing but loves teaching all subjects because it allows me to get to know students in different ways. Fun fact: Her husband proposed to her in my classroom, room 201, the last day before winter vacation in front of all of her 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 Mrs.Muhammad's second home.

Audrey Anna Elliott

Audrey Anna Elliott

4th Grade Spanish Teacher

Ms. Elliott is from Boston. She went to Boston Latin School, then George Washington University for her undergraduate, and then Trinity Washington University for her Masters Degree. She loves hearing and seeing the creative and curious things that young people do and say. She appreciates the opportunity to have important discussions with them around many important topics and help prepare them for the life they want to live. Ms. Elliott has played on several Ultimate Frisbee teams! She likes to play with her one-year-old son, be outside in general (long walks), and does various physical activities like bike riding, running, swimming, Ultimate Frisbee, and dancing.
Maria ldquoMargotrdquo Johnson

Maria “Margot” Johnson

5th Grade English Teacher

Ms. Johnson 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. Johnson 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.
Picture of Claudia Gomez

Claudia Gomez

5th Grade Spanish Teacher

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.

Picture of Helen Sullivan

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.
Wilma Marrero Crespo

Wilma Marrero Crespo

7th and 8th Grade Math and Science Teacher

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.
photo of nbspRebecca Poswolsky and Helen Sullivan posing with soccer balls

Rebecca Poswolsky

7th and 8th Grade Humanities Teacher

“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.

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.

Picture of Mr. Webb

Joel Webb

Special Education

Mr. Webb has been at the Hurley since September 2022. He was born and raised in Boston and predominantly attended Boston Public Schools, including Trotter Elementary and Boston Latin School. He appreciates having clear goals of what he hopes to accomplish with students and helping them to understand both what these goals are and if they have achieved them. Mr. Webb can fix many things and juggle! He enjoys spending time with his family and being outside. He also likes biking and traveling.
Wilma Marrero Crespo

Maria Cook

STEM, Grades K-3rd

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

Lawrence Muhammad

Physical Education/Gym Teacher

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

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.
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. In 2023, she completed her Masters in Nursing from Simmons 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

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.
Natalia Arango

Natalia Arango

Bodega de Arte Director

Ms.Natalias has worked at the Hurley for 3 years as director and 7 as a group leader. She was born in Medellin, Colombia raised in Boston (South End). She is also a Hurley Alum (2011 - first middle school class to ever graduate!!), Obyant High School (2015), and Lesley University for undergrad (2019). Ms.Natalia's goal is to return to communities that are congruent with those who helped mold and impact her childhood and to continue using my experiences and education to support students in Boston. She loves arts and crafts, hanging out with her friends, and trying out new restaurants.
Cynthia Marinelli

Cynthia Marinelli

Cynthia Marinelli has been at the Hurley for 4 years. She is Puerto Rican, born in Boston. Cynthia received a full scholarship as a posse scholar to Center College in Kentucky and finished her doctorate in school psychology from William James College in Massachusetts. After a memorable experience as a Crossroads overnight camp counselor, she wanted to combine my love of psychology with helping youth within public schools. She loves to dance salsa, Zumba, jog, and play violin music around the holidays. Cynthia enjoys traveling with her husband and making their daughter laugh.