Science Teaching Staff
Marianna Hosking, Science Department Chair
“I teach to empower our youth, and prepare the next generation of young adults to be critical thinkers who seek to better the world around them.”
Marianna Hosking grew up in Wallingford, Connecticut and attended Lyman Hall High School. She then went to Villanova University and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. It was there that she fell in love with teaching, as she began volunteering as a student tutor in a middle school in Philadelphia. She moved to Boston in 2006 to join Tufts University’s Urban Teaching Collaborative, and earned her Master’s degree in science education. She spent her first nine years in education teaching biology, engineering, and environmental science, and earned the Bobbie Knable Teacher of the Year award at City on a Hill, Circuit Street in 2016. After serving as lead science teacher there for two years, she decided to pursue her Master’s degree in education administration and serve as a teacher administrator. In her spare time, she enjoys running with her black lab, cooking, and traveling.
Chris Angelli, Biology and Biotechnology
“I teach science because teaching young people about how living things work is awesome! I teach science because teaching students how to think analytically, critically, and scientifically will benefit them in life whether or not they choose to pursue science as a career.”
Chris Angelli grew up in Billerica, Massachusetts where he attended Arlington Catholic High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Assumption College in Worcester, and Master’s degrees in both clinical lab science and cell and molecular biology from the University of Rhode Island. At Somerville High School, he serves as advisor for the Junior States-People of America, Chairman of the Region IV Science Fair, and as a Biology MCAS tutor. In his spare time, he enjoys watching baseball and football, traveling, music, movies, books, and video games.
Arianna Benson, Biology
Arianna Benson was born in Austria and grew up between there and Colorado. She went to Harvard University for her undergraduate degree, where she studied Computer Science, and earned her Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to working at Somerville, she taught middle and high school in Dorchester and Cambridge. She teaches biology because she believes that understanding the living world is key to making decisions about it… and because she loves it! She is also excited to work with multilingual learners whose “superpowers” around language support them in their biology work. The best part of her job is seeing students grow in their journey as humans and scientists. Outside of school, Arianna loves to spot pill-bugs in the wild, go on walks around Cambridge, and read books both fiction and nonfiction.
Anna Bouchard, Biology
“I teach because there is nothing more humbling and hilarious than spending your days with teenagers. I feel privileged to witness growth and development every day and watch young people figure out who they are going to be in the world. To experience this while sharing my passion for science and the natural world makes teaching biology my ideal profession.”
Anna grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. She came to Massachusetts to attend Mount Holyoke College where she earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and French. After college, Anna appraised French art and antiques at an auction house in Chicago, but she missed science dearly. In 2007 she came back to Massachusetts and earned her Master’s degree in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with the goal of teaching science in an urban school. For the past eight years she has taught biology in and around Boston, and this is her third year teaching biology at Somerville High School. She is happily a member of the Ninth Grade Experience program and outside of school Anna enjoys spending time with her two young children.
“I teach because I want to help students develop self-confidence and important life skills. I also hope to inspire them to become lifelong learners.”
Abby Clark went to high school in Lancaster, PA. She then moved halfway across the world to get a bachelor’s degree in biology at NYU Shanghai. After college, she moved to the Boston area to pursue a master’s degree in education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is currently teaching Biology and Human Physiology. In her free time, she likes to spend time with friends and family and watch movies.
Lisa Curtin, Biology
“I love teaching subjects in the life sciences because so much of the content is directly relatable to the students’ lives. I hope that students can use the experiences/tools gained here to explore the world outside SHS.”
Lisa Curtin grew up in Western NY and received her bachelor’s degree in biology at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her post-graduate experiences volunteering with students brought her to Boston to obtain her Master’s at Boston University, which placed her at Somerville High School. Outside of school you may see her running through Somerville as she trains for running races. She also spends her time with her dog, reading, traveling, and watching football (Go Bills!)
Emily Dykstra, Chemistry
Emily Dykstra is a Massachusetts native. She went to UMass Amherst to study microbiology and psychology, followed by a Master’s in education. During her time at UMass, she discovered her interest in teaching by working as a tutor and teaching assistant for chemistry and microbiology classes. Emily prioritizes teaching her students useful study and work habits that can help support success in future academic endeavors. Outside of school, Emily enjoys going to the gym and cooking vegetarian meals.
Michael Freeman, Physics
“I teach science because I believe both in the joy and satisfaction that come with better understanding the world around you, as well as the power that comes along with gaining problem solving and critical thinking skills.”
Michael received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Oberlin College. He came to Boston University in 2010 to study physics and began research in nanobiotechnology with aspirations of making a positive difference in the world through scientific research and teaching undergraduates. While in the Physics Department, Michael was a fellow with the GK–12 program, an NSF-funded program partnering graduate students and teachers in K-12 classrooms to enhance their curriculum, and he interned at an urban Boston public school. It was in these programs that he discovered his love of teaching high school. He eventually left BU in 2014 with Master’s degrees in both physics and teaching, with a focus on urban science education. He is currently the mentor of Somerville High School’s FIRST Robotics Team. In his spare time, he enjoys making music on the fiddle and the piano.
Peg Huben, Chemistry
"It is an honor to work with such wonderful students and their families. They rock! And remember, Chem is try!"
Peg Huben has a bachelor's degree in chemistry, and a Master's degree in computer science. She worked in the computer industry for 20 years before switching to teaching in 1999. At SHS, she serves as the Science MCAS Coordinator, the advisor of the Green Club, and is a member of the School Improvement Council.
Brian Kennedy, Biology and Chemistry
Brian Kennedy grew up in Maryland outside of Washington DC. He came to the Boston area to complete school at Northeastern University for a bachelor’s in biology, as well as run for NU’s cross country and track teams. After working for several years in biotechnology around Boston, he returned to school at Boston University to get a Master of Arts in Teaching Science Education, with certifications in Biology and Chemistry. He currently teaches Chemistry, AP Biology, and Human Physiology.
“I left engineering to teach because I wanted to do something that helped increase the wonder and understanding of science in the general public. I also wanted to help students understand that it is cool to be a science nerd, and that understanding how science works can give them power in all aspects of their life, and make them a better-informed, critical-thinking citizen.”
Mike Maloney was born and raised in Troy, NY, the home of Uncle Sam. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Boston University, and worked in the field until he started teaching physics at Somerville High School in 2002. Later, he earned an M.Ed. in Physics Education from the University of Massachusetts, and completed the ITOP Post-Grad Program at Boston University. Outside of teaching, he advises the Science League Competition Team, Trivia Team, the Tabletop Gaming Club, and the Animal Rights Club. In what little free time he has left, Mr. Maloney enjoys science fiction SKA shows, creating things in the FabLab, and trying to play basketball without injuring himself. He also is known for getting the initials of any students who score a 5 on the Physics AP test tattooed on his body.
Cristian Medina, Physics
“I teach science to empower young minds with the tools to contribute to society while fulfilling their need for curiosity. I want students to think critically about the world we live in.”
Cristian Medina is from Arica, Chile, a city located in the driest desert in the world. He completed his undergraduate education in the School of Mathematics and Engineering at the University of Chile in Santiago, where he earned a degree in geology. He subsequently earned a Master of Science and Ph.D. in geological sciences from Indiana University, Bloomington and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Boston University. Before becoming a teacher, Dr. Medina worked as a research scientist for the Indiana Geological and Water Survey and the MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. He enjoys collaborating with community organizations and has developed geology workshops for Latino elementary and high school students, hosted Spanish speaking radio shows, and organized handmade book workshops, chess tournaments, community meditation sessions, and poetry readings. He is always looking for ways to bring people together. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, reading poetry, fixing bikes, and spending time with his wife and son.
Maureen Quigley, Environmental Science, Oceanography, Astronomy
“I teach because it’s never boring, because teenagers make me think differently and give me hope, and because science is everywhere.”
Ms. Quigley grew up in Biddeford, Maine and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont and has a Master’s in education from the University of Southern Maine. She worked as an outdoor educator in Hawaii, Maine, Rhode Island, and Alaska. Before coming to SHS in 2013, she taught science in 6th through 12th grade classrooms at schools in southern Maine and greater Boston. As hobbies, she enjoys traveling, swimming, hiking, music, reading, and being silly with her niece and nephew.
Katy Quinn, Physics
"I teach science to build young people into critical thinkers and problem solvers - to give them a sense of agency that they can positively affect change in their lives and their community."
Katy Quinn grew up in Australia and moved to the United States after high school. She earned a bachelor's degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology. Katy took a gap year to work as a field assistant in Antarctica. She then went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a doctoral degree in geophysics. After that, she did a 2 year post-doc at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, then worked at Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Lexington, MA where she was a member of the NASA Sea Level Change Team and the NASA GRACE Science Team. Her research career has focused on geodesy, climate change, and satellite remote sensing. In 2018, Katy earned a Master's in secondary science education from Brandeis University. She then taught physics and astronomy at Framingham High School for 5 years, finally joining Somerville High School in 2023. Her hobbies include backyard astronomy, hiking, choral singing, and snuggling with her cat and dog.
Sogoli Sadraeinouri, Biology
“I teach because I have always dreamed of making a difference in others’ lives by being a teacher. Since I was a young girl, I have had a real zeal for science and discussing scientific facts with others. I always enjoyed teaching students how to approach problems from different angles and helping them to understand the concepts fully.”
Sogoli Sadraeinouri received her bachelor's degree in General Biology with a minor in Business from the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego). During her undergraduate studies, she worked as an undergraduate research assistant and gained research experience in neuroscience laboratories. Her participation in research labs helped her to gain a more in-depth understanding of biology concepts and research. In addition to her research experiences, Sogoli always continued to help students by holding many one-on-one tutoring sessions with students who had distinct needs and ways of learning. In 2021 she came to Boston and earned her Master’s degree in Science Education at the Boston University School of Education, which placed her at Somerville High School, where she obtained her required student teaching hours. Her knowledge and skills helped her to design and conduct more exciting experiments as a science teacher. In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Toni Grossenbacher, Biology
“I teach to inspire a love of learning. I am fortunate to have a career that combines my passion for working with students and the study of biology. Science is not only a growing field but also a way of thinking. It offers a unique opportunity to innovate, learn from mistakes, and discover.”
Toni Grossenbacher grew up in New Milford, Connecticut and attended New Milford High School. She loved competing in science fairs and was inspired by her high school biology teacher to study science in college. She earned her bachelor's degree in Biological Science from University of Vermont. After her position as a teaching assistant at the university, she discovered her passion for working with students and teaching. Although Ms. Grossenbacher enjoyed Vermont, she moved to Boston where she completed her Master of Arts in Teaching from Boston University, specializing in Science Education. Before coming to Somerville High School, Ms. Grossenbacher worked at the Boston University Medical School as an instructor for Summer Lab, a high school laboratory course through City Lab. When Ms. Grossenbacher is not teaching, she loves to swim, spend time with family, and hike with her dog.
Become a Member of the National Honor Society
See if you meet the eligibility requirements listed below:
- Maintain a B+ overall average (3.3) in all science classes
- Enroll in science courses every year of high school
- Successfully complete or be currently enrolled in an AP or equivalent science course
- Promote science literacy through participation in at least one science-related club or activity
- Exhibit social and ethical behavior that follows the guidelines set forth by Somerville High School and the Science Department
Please see the Science National Honor Society advisor, Mr. Maloney, with any questions.
The primary goal of the Science Department of Somerville High School is to support the school's mission statement of preparing students to lead successful lives by helping them to:
- Think critically and creatively
- Work cooperatively
- Solve problems using evidence
- Communicate effectively
- Use technology effectively
- Develop skills to help them become self-directed learners
To accomplish this goal, the Science Department implements a diverse, equitable curriculum aligned to the Somerville Public Schools' standards and the Massachusetts Science Frameworks. A staff of fifteen teachers work diligently to educate students in all of our science course offerings. The teachers emphasize high expectations for all students. They create a learning environment that focuses on conceptual learning and engages students in meaningful activities that enable them to apply and communicate their knowledge. Technology is used as a tool to help all students actively learn science in an inquiry-based curriculum. The inquiry-based process uses varied instructional strategies and scientific technologies to enable students to develop as self-directed learners.