Check back soon for more information about the ResLife Staff! Updates and additions will continue to be added over the next several weeks!
The Residential Life Team
Wesley Jenkins previously worked for the Hyde School for the past ten years and served as the Director of Residential Life and Dean of Students. He enjoyed his opening year of the South Campus at The Woodstock Academy as the Director of Residential Life, as well as serving as an Assistant Dean. He and his wife, Jill Forgue, reside on the first floor of the Westhaver dorm. They are both active people who enjoy fitness, board games, campfires, and the outdoors. They also have a dog and two cats who will frequently be seen around campus. With over ten years of experience as dorm parents, they help to build a comfortable and fun atmosphere for students from all backgrounds.
John Rigney is the Assistant Head of School for the South Campus and has worked in the boarding school environment for the last twenty years. John and his wife Kirsten live on the South Campus with their four children Fiona (11), Owen (10), Abel (7), and Hazel (5). Along with two cats and their large fluffy Great Pyrenees (Greta the Great), the Rigney’s keep chickens and bees. They love being active outdoors, keeping a garden, and being part of the campus community. You can find the Rigney family at the southern end of campus in the corner yellow house. We enjoy and welcome visitors and are looking forward to continuing to build the community of The Woodstock Academy's South Campus.
Nick DeFeo is an Assistant Director of the Residential Life program as well as a coach for the Prep basketball team. Nick was born and raised in Connecticut and attended Western New England University, where he played on the basketball team and studied Sports Management. He is looking forward to meeting and working with new co-workers, staff, and students!
Adam & Amanda Bottone
Adam has been teaching physical education and coaching volleyball at Woodstock Academy since 2003. Adam and his wife Amanda have three children Liliana, Brayden and Gavin. They also have three dogs named Cooper, Kenna and Thor and they all live in Warren 1 West. They are an active family that likes to participate in a variety of athletic activities. The Bottone Family has enjoyed their first year on campus getting to know students from many countries and looks forward to meeting many new faces each year.
Prior to the addition of The Academy’s South campus, Dan was in charge of the Putnam Boys dormitory. He has been a dorm parent at Woodstock Academy for three years. He has many hobbies and interests, but motorcycles and creative writing are at the top. Residing in Annhurst, Daniel hopes to guide students towards a gratifying education and residential experience. His work is complemented by a continued education at Eastern CT State University.
Caroline Chute & Andrew Perry
Caroline has been a science teacher at The Woodstock Academy since 1996. She is married to Andrew, and they have one daughter, Julia, who is a senior in high school. Caroline and Andrew enjoy the outdoors and are looking forward to building both adventures and fun into The Woodstock Academy South Campus programming. They also have a black lab, Lucy, who loves people.
Amy & Chuck Couture
Mrs. Amy Couture has been a member of the Math Department at The Woodstock Academy for the past eight years. She is living on campus with her three daughters: Kylie, a sophomore at UCONN; Jordan, a recent graduate of The Woodstock Academy; and Reagan, a junior at The Woodstock Academy. Her husband, Chuck, is a Woodstock Academy alum and is currently working at Quinnipiac University. The family has enjoyed living on campus and expanding their role as a Woodstock family.
Bob & Lisa Derrico
Bob and Lisa Derrico have been involved in a variety of roles during their tenures at The Woodstock Academy. For the past 30 years, Bob has taught Physical Education and Sports Medicine. Lisa has served as a Para Educator for 10 years, as well as the Site Coordinator for the Virtual High School program. Their two children, Joe (27) and Danielle (25), are alumni of The Woodstock Academy. Currently, their son and daughter live and work in New York City. They are excited to be sharing their family with the residential students!
Hi I'm Lauren Gagnon and this is my best bud Reggie, he enjoys long walks in the woods or on the beach and back scratches. I play all sorts of sports and love video games and trying new foods. I can't wait to meet you all and get to know you better.
Sean & Bobbie-Jo Saucier
Sean Saucier is the Assistant Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at The Woodstock Academy. His wife, Bobbie-Jo Saucier, is the Director of Health Services. They have both been involved in the boarding school community for the last thirteen years. They live on the South campus with their two children Braiden (12) and Kaylee (9). They also have a cat and a beautiful German Shepherd dog named Hannah. You may find Hannah occasionally wandering off onto the soccer fields, but don’t be afraid. She is a friendly, affectionate dog that loves to play fetch. The Saucier family loves spending their free time at their lake house swimming, boating, tubing/waterskiing, and fishing in the summer. They are a “sports” family and are often found bringing their kids to soccer, basketball, lacrosse, football, or an occasional round of golf. The Saucier family lives at the southern end of campus in the front yellow house. They welcome visitors and Mrs. Saucier is great at baking cookies and other treats for students to enjoy. They look forward to joining The Woodstock Academy community and bringing a family feel to the community.
Josh & Ashley Welch
Josh and his wife Ashley have lived on this campus for nine years and are making the transition to The Woodstock Academy. They have two little boys, Jaxon who is six, and Weyland who is two. They love living on a boarding campus around all of the "big kids." The Welch’s have two dogs Rubble and Koda, and a cat named Phoenix. Josh is a physics teacher, and loves to talk about science, technology, and society. Josh is also a musician and has played almost every kind of music you can think of at some point or another. Playing live music is something he hopes to continue throughout his life. Josh also loves to cook and learn about different kinds of food. Some of his most memorable meals have been cooked in his apartment with students from all over the world. Jaxon loves karate, riding his bike, and going fishing. Mrs. Welch loves to spearfish and spend time at the beach. They are looking forward to sharing the campus with all of you!
Denzel is originally from Springfield, Massachusetts and has three brothers. Denzel graduated from high school in 2011 and then attended Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA where he earned his Associate’s Degree in liberal arts. He then transferred to Fitchburg State University where he achieved his Bachelor's degree in Physiological Science with a minor in History, graduating in 2017. While attending Fitchburg, Denzel was a student assistant for the men's basketball team. His birthday is November 25th, his favorite color is blue, his favorite number is three, and he loves the ocean. Denzel has enjoyed being a part of the Woodstock family! #CentaurNation
This is Tom’s ninth year teaching Mathematics at The Woodstock Academy, and he is excited to continue to be a dorm parent, as well. Tom has a nine-year-old daughter, Evelyn, that is seen playing and riding her bike around campus. They both love to play video games, and Tom is the coach for WA's eSports group (competitive video games). In addition to gaming, he loves to go cycling, cook, and knit.
Emily Nester & Cherra Wheeler
Emily Nester and her family moved onto South Campus in Fall of ‘18. Emily has been teaching at the Academy for over 17 years. She teaches Pastry & Baking, Health, and Physical Education classes. Her wife Cherra is a firefighter in Johnston, RI and they have two children, Callie & Eva, along with their dog Ellie. As a family they love to travel and explore the great outdoors!
Brendan and Nicole Ostaszewski
Coach O and Mrs. O live in Warren on the 1st floor. Coach O is the Director of Strength and Conditioning, he is also a substitute PE teacher here at the Academy. He loves watching all sports and you can find him in the gym at any time! Mrs. O is the social media liaison for ResLife. She loves all sports but she especially loves volleyball and played all throughout college. Her favorite authors are Jodi Picoult and Paula Hawkins. They have a puppy named Max who you will see around campus but don't be afraid he's super sweet!
Emily & Kayla Belanger
Emily and Kayla Belanger have been holding down the fort on Warren 4 South since November of 2017. The Belangers have a German Shepherd puppy, Piper, who delights in a good game of fetch and will happily forge friendships with anyone and everyone who will pay attention to her. They also have a very fuzzy orange kitten named Finnegan August who spends most of his time stealing straws and plotting ways to escape his apartment in order to visit the other residents on 4 South. Coincidentally, he also enjoys playing fetch - however, he would prefer his sister not be involved! Emily has a B.S. in Human Resources Management from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, but currently devotes her time to all things Res. Life! Kayla is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Westview Sports Medicine in Dayville, CT. Emily and Kayla love camping, spending time with friends and family, and traveling. The 2017-2018 school year was such an incredible adventure and they cannot wait to continue making memories with the WA Family!
Erin is entering her second year as a dorm parent on the South Campus. She resides in the second floor of the Warren girls dorm and raised three wonderful children. Journee, her youngest, is 9 years old and in 4th grade. Tre, her middle child, is 17 and a senior at The Academy. You can see Tre play ball with the Prep Gold team! Erin's oldest daughter, Justice, is 20 and plays basketball at Lackawanna College. The family moved from Pittsburg, PA last year after Tre joined the WA Prep team. Erin played basketball in college with Charleston Southern in SC and she now works as a dorm parent, an assistant prep coach, and is an independent consultant with a jewelry company. Make sure to say hi!
Todd is a 2011 graduate of Woodstock Academy and has been a Woodstock resident for 20 years. His 3 siblings (Sam, Harley and Luke) are all graduates of Woodstock Academy and his family has lived in Woodstock for over 22 years. Todd played Soccer, Basketball and Lacrosse at the Academy and has previously coached with the basketball teams at Woodstock Academy. He currently works at the University of Connecticut in the Office of Early College Programs. Todd lives in the upperclassman boys dorm in Westhaver.
Zachary Turini is 27 years old and from Woodstock, CT. He has worked at The Academy as a substitute teacher, lacrosse coach, paraprofessional, and now as a dorm parent. He lives in the Annhurst building and oversees the underclassmen boys. He enjoy all sports and has a love for lacrosse and fishing. He is currently finishing up his training to become a physical therapist assistant in August.
Colin & Alexandra Billings
Colin and Alexandra Billings are Woodstock Academy Alumni. Colin is a United States Army Veteran and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Leadership Studies from the University of Richmond in Virginia. He is studying for a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Connecticut and pursuing certification in Secondary Social Studies Education. Alex was a Resident Advisor at Simmons College in Boston where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science. Colin has coached soccer and baseball and Alex has coached cross country and track. They live in Annhurst with their two dogs and are loyal Red Sox fans!
Carolyn joined the South campus community as a Dorm Parent in the summer of 2018 and lives in Warren Hall. She is a 2006 WA graduate and comes from generations of WA alumni (dating back to the school's inception in 1801!). She is a graduate of Lynchburg College in Virginia and has worked with international students since 2014. She enjoys farming, hiking, baking, and adventuring. Her apartment is also home to her two cats, Winston and Killian, both of whom are looking forward to having more people around to pet them. Carolyn is a proud member of the Woodstock community and is excited to now be a part of the south campus community.
Katie Burns & Jarice MansonThe Burns-Manson crew is excited for this new adventure of living on campus! Katie has been an English teacher for 9 years here at WA. Jarice is the Academy Director for Sporting CT, a soccer club in Middletown, and loves all things soccer. Andrew is an energetic four year old who enjoys dinosaurs, Legos, and sea turtles. They also have an 11 year old golden retriever, Ben, who loves napping and being pet. They live on the first floor of Warren. Stop by and say hi!
Cody Semmelrock is a graduate of The Woodstock Academy, class of 2010. Upon leaving The Academy, he attended Williams College and received his degree in Psychology and History with a concentration in Leadership Studies. The job hunt proved no match for his childhood dream, and he decided to test his merit as a professional golfer from the summer of 2014 through 2016. Touring around chasing a little white ball was exhilarating, but eventually he decided to step away from the game and look elsewhere to further his career. He landed back in the Northeast and has slowly gravitated back to the quiet corner of Connecticut. The Academy has always held a special place in his heart, and he is extremely excited about the opportunity to integrate back into the fabric of this community. Influential Academy faculty were the norm during his time as a student, and it is his hope that he can help to further that tradition as a member of the resident life staff. He is looking forward to the 2018-19 academic year!
Jeffrey Higgins is a graduate of The Woodstock Academy, Class of 2010. He attended the University of Connecticut upon graduating and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science with a concentration in Strength and Conditioning. He has been working in the fitness industry the past four years, training in the private sector. He is excited to dive into his work with the student athletes as a strength conditioning/ football coach here at WA. He is also looking forward to the relationships he will build with the boarders on South Campus and excited to integrating fully into the school community.
Yeantying "Helen" Liaw
Yeantying "Helen" Liaw is the Mandarin teacher at The Woodstock Academy. She comes from Taiwan and received a B.S in 2006 from Northeaster Illinois University at Chicago, IL. After graduating from NEIU, she returned to Taiwan and worked for shipping companies and electronics industry in logistic field. In 2012, she returned to the states and started teaching Mandarin at the University of New Haven, CT, where she also obtained her M.S. in Education in 2014.
Besides teaching Mandarin classes at WA, she works with both Residential Staff and the Guidance department to gain information about specific students. Helen provides logistical help and translation for visiting international parents and constituents, and written and verbal translation between English and Mandarin both on-campus and abroad. She also helps with administrative work with potential international students through the enrollment completion process.
Please don't hesitate to let her know if you need help!
Eric is the Technical Director at The Woodstock Academy. Besides living on campus, Eric is in charge of overseeing some of the technology systems at the school, and is in charge of all productions at The Academy, like the ones in the Center for the Arts. Outside of work, Eric is a student at QVCC, and is on the Board of Directors for the Bradley Playhouse in Putnam, the Three C's, and the Performing Arts of New England. Eric looks forward to all the fun productions he'll be able to work on with students at The Academy! If you're interested in theater, or want to know more about the technical aspect of how an event is put together, reach out to him!