Our Schools
Purple BarYellow BarGreen BarRed BarBlue Bar

Classical Special Education Department | 2017-2018

What an amazing summer! As quickly as it arrived, the fall is upon us and we’re off to a new school year! This is one of my favorite times of the year. It is a time of smiling faces and new beginnings. It's a time for students to set new goals for themselves and it's a time for me to see how mature our upperclassmen have become. The transformation is truly amazing!!

The past four years as Department Head have gone by in a flash! With each year, our department becomes stronger and stronger and our students are more amazing. I continue to look forward to leading the department in an upward direction toward excellence and evolving with the new and ever changing demands of quality education.  The tweaking with the schedules to provide consistency across the different programs has proved to be invaluable. Teachers are teaching their content across the different programs and have an opportunity to educate students within the TLC, LD and the Inclusion setting.  Of course, our priority is, and will continue to be to provide services within the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) to offer our students a more rigorous opportunity with the curriculum. We continue to have had quite a bit of movement of students entering less restrictive environments; some TLC students moved to the LD setting and some LD students wanting to try the inclusion classes have been moved as well.  For some students, they have been released from Special Education services altogether, as they are making progress within the general education setting. It's so refreshing to hear students asking for more of a challenge and it truly demonstrates confidence and determination. Our students will be College and Career ready!!

The Learning Center continues to be a vital component for some students, providing additional instruction and support beyond the core classes. Mrs. Dill and Ms. Picone did an amazing job last year and structured learning experiences which focus on the student's own learning style and their individual goals for school and the "Real World".  I am happy to join Mrs. Dill in the Learning Center this year. Jupiter continues to allow continuous communication between the school, student and parent. 

The Special Ed. Department is the largest in the school representing 16 teachers (including me) and 16 paraprofessionals.

Accomplishments so far:

  • Coach - HUGE jump in School Inclusion – students involved in 3 plays, one student invited to senior prom, half of COACh students in regular ed. PE, other COACh students in higher-level sped classes.
  • Autism awareness month – Extremely successful for the 3rd year
  •  “Autism Awareness” month with student speakers to present to the entire student body their own personal experiences with having Autism or living with siblings who have Autism! Truly a moving presentation!!! There wasn't a dry eye in the gym!
  • Over 1600 “Autism Awareness” ribbons were hand made for all students and staff
  • Autism Awareness posters were hung in the corridors with facts
  • A Puzzle Piece mural with over 1600 facts, thoughts and questions in the foyer
  • COACh students in charge of Supplies and recycling 2nd year
  • COACh T shirts are everywhere!!!
  •  “Youth Group of the Year” at My Brother’s Table for Spring, 2014
  • Lynn Public Schools won “Transition Partner of the Year” from NE Arc for 2015.
  • 19 student helpers for COACh program.  ALL of whom approached us to become a helper. We currently have 40 applications for next year.
  • Special Ed. Department proctored ALL MCAS tests (including re-takes)
  • Our Special Education students continue to take their grades more seriously by using   Jupiter
  • 54 Students have been released from SPED since 2012.
  • Of the 24 Seniors from SY14/15
    • 22 graduated with Diplomas!
    • 3 are moving on to “Fresh Start” at LVTI
    • 18 were accepted to college/certificate programs, which speaks volumes for our general education teachers as well.
  • 1 student received a 4yr. scholarship to Framingham State
  • Students are in less restrictive class settings and in more general ed. classes.
  • 4th Annual Special education parent information evening
  • It takes a village!!!

Our goal as special education teachers is to provide services to students to access the curriculum and provide support for success to prepare students to enter less restrictive environments and become independent active members of the community. This is exactly what we did for 31 students so far. What an accomplishment for the students and the staff! I couldn't be more proud and thankful of our Special Ed. Department, General Educators, Guidance and Administration. Everyone truly works together as a TEAM. The successes of the students are what make our job the most rewarding. It takes a village!!!

Christine Lyman, M.Ed.
Special Education Department Head

Our School Teacher List
Special Education Teachers | 2017-2018
  Christine Lyman Department Head
  Jessica Ayer Annie Bakas
  Estelle Dill Cathy Ellis
  Erin Marc Joanne McCulley
  Sarah McDonough Joshua Noble
  Debra Perez Valerie Perham
  Karen Picone Jonathan Rosenthal
  Paul Ryan Laurie Spencer
  Kim Toomey  
Special Education Aides  
  Marie Dalton Sue Cooper
  Irma DeLeon Sandra D'Urso
  Inocencia Marte Barbara Minchello
  Jennifer Moccia

Lisa Nelson

  Alfredo Nunez

Ana Rodriguez

Last Website Update: December 21, 2017 2:12 PM
Ms. Lyman Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Christine Lyman Department Head    
Your Photo Here I have been working with the Lynn Public School Department since 1994 where I began my career in the Speech and Language Department. Since then, I’ve been in various positions which include: resource teacher for substantially separate students and most recently an Inclusion/Team Teacher. I LOVE my job & I LOVE working for Lynn Public Schools. Each day is a new one, which brings forth new experiences and lessons. I have and continue to learn from my students and peers every day. My students and peers have helped shape who I am today, and for that I am truly grateful.

On a personal note, I am happily married and have a son, Jack, who is 7. He is my world. Being his mom has brought an indescribable joy to my life and I am continuously learning from him.

In terms of beliefs, mine are simple:

Try your best and be prepared.
Put the effort into you and invest in you!
You are given the opportunity to be educated. Take it!
You are in charge of your own success.
Your future is in your hands. We can give you the tools, but you need to use them.
Smart is not what you are, Smart is what you get….Get Smart!!!

Practice school as if you were practicing for a sport or activity. The more you exercise, the stronger you become. Same with school, the more you study and practice, the stronger your brain will be.

I am truly excited to work with parents, guardians, students, paraprofessionals and teachers.  Know, if there is anything I can do, please do not hesitate to contact me. Please stop by to introduce yourself and encourage your son/daughter to stop by for extra help. My office is located in D104.

Christine Lyman, M.Ed.
Special Education Department Head

Ms. Ayer Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Jessica Ayer      
Your Photo Here My name is Jessica Ayer, and I am a Special Education Teacher at LCHS. I have a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Wisconsin in Special Education, and I am currently pursuing my Master's in Education Degree (Autism Specialist Program) at Cambridge Cvollege. I have worked for more than ten years with children on the Autism Spectrum in home and school programs that emphasize the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. I am currently in my 7th year of teaching high school, and my fifth year teaching in the COACh Program at LCHS.

Outside of my time in the COACh program, I am also involved in advising set and costume design for the LCHS Theater Arts Program. I am an avid reader, skier, and swimmer, and love to watch movies and play board games with friends and family.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns you may have. I look forward to working with you!

Jessica Ayer
Special Education Teacher - COACh Program
Drama Club Adviser
Classical High School

Ms. Bakas Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Annie Bakas   11 - 12  
AB Hi! This is my nineteenth year working with the Lynn School Department, and my fourth year at Classical. As a proud graduate of LCHS, I am happy to return as a teacher. I began working as a Paraprofessional and quickly realized that I genuinely enjoy working with your child to find out how they learn. That led me to go back to school for my Master's Degree in Special Education.

As challenging as the days may be, they are always interesting and rewarding. I only take days off when absolutely necessary; being here is half the battle. Please encourage your child to come to school every day – it’s no fun when they aren’t here.

Please contact me bakasa@lynnschools.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Ms. Dill Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Estelle Dill Learning Center/Inclusion    
ED I am married with children. I have been teaching for about 12 years in both elementary and high school. I have been teaching at Lynn Classical High School for six years. I have a B.A. in Educational Psychology and a Masters in Education with professional certifications in Elementary Education 1-6, ELL 1-6, and Special Education K-12. Prior to teaching, I worked in business as a legal secretary and as a business manager.

Finally, I found my passion - teaching! I co-teach with Mr. Lamanna and Mr. Arnold as well as teach in the Learning Center. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling with family and friends, and playing racquetball a few days a week. I also am a big New England sports fan.

Please contact me at Dille@lynnschools.org.

Ms. Ellis Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Cathy Ellis Inclusion Science in Biology and Applied Chemistry    

Cathy is a proud graduate of LCHS, Class of 1982.  She attended Ithaca College in Upstate New York graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education in 1986.

Cathy began working at Classical, when the new building opened in September of 1999, as a building substitute and transitioned to teaching in the Special Education Department full time in the fall of 2001.  She had the distinct honor of being inducted into the Lynn Classical Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996 for her achievements as a pitcher on the softball team and is now a member of the Hall of Fame Committee.

Cathy has served as the school's community liaison to the American Red Cross for the past 6 years.  She says "It is a wonderful feeling passing on the importance of donating blood to our students.  Saving lives is inspiring!" 

In 2008, Cathy became an Assistant Varsity Girls Tennis Coach, a role which she filled for three seasons.  In 2011, she stepped up into the Varsity Coaching position and along with her husband, Arnie, as her assistant; the team won the school's very first NEC Championship.  In 2012 and 2015, the team repeated as NEC Champions.  Cathy was honored by the league all 3 seasons being named Coach of the Year.  In June of 2015, she was also honored to be named Division 1 Girls’ Tennis Coach of the Year by the Boston Globe.   The teams from 2010 - 2012, 2014 and 2015 all qualified for the State Tournament.

The Ellis' are truly a Ram Family.  Both of their children are now Classical Alums.  Their son, Christopher, graduated in 2010 and attends Salem State University as an English major.  Their daughter, Ashley, graduated in 2013 and is a junior at the University of New Hampshire studying Chemical Engineering.

Ms. Marc Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Erin Marc      
Your Photo Here Hello!

Ms. McCulley Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Joanne McCulley      
Your Photo Here Hello!

Ms. McDonough Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Sarah McDonough      
Your Photo Here

I am a special education teacher at Lynn Classical High School. I teach 9th and 10th grade English as well as 12th grade math. When I am not teaching I enjoy rollerblading and hiking.

Mr. Noble Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Joshua Noble      
Your Photo Here Hi! My name is Joshua Noble. I have been teaching in Lynn for four years and this is my third year at Classical High School. Before getting my masters in Special Education, I had every job known to man from landscape masonry to medical recruiting, but I was always drawn to teaching. My main goal is to make learning fun for my students. Outside of school, I love to do anything outdoors, whether it’s maintaining my family farm, or playing sports. I am also a bit of an adrenaline junky!

Ms. Perez Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room

Debra Perez

Your Photo Here My Email

Ms. Perham Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room

Valerie Perham

Valerie Perhan Photo Hello, I am in my third year here at Lynn Classical High School. I am so excited to continue to work with the diverse population in this school. I have met so many wonderful students, who make my day. I am a graduate of Salem State College, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science and Masters of Education in Moderate Special Needs from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. I love to read, yoga and take walks along Revere Beach. Life is a journey and education is life-long journey. A good friend told me once “Find your smile.” I try every day.

I am also the Sophomore Class Co-Advisor

My favorite quotes are:

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Yoda- Star Wars

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” Dr. Seuss

“be the change you wish to see in the world” - Ghandi

Ms. Picone Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Karen Picone      
Your Photo Here Karen Bransfield Picone is a 15+ year veteran in the Lynn Schools. She has earned professional teaching certifications in Special Education (K-8 and 5-12), Elementary Education, and Reading Specialist. Previously, she worked 4+ years at the elementary level, 6+ years at the middle school level, and 4 years at Classical. She worked two 6-month stints as a Special Education Chair.

She earned her Masters degree and completed most of the credits for her doctorate in Psychology. She has also worked 24 years in the technology industry as a software project manager, technical writer, and quality assurance engineer. She is a lifelong learner, loves technology and swimming, and reads fiction and non-fiction constantly.

Currently, she teaches inclusion English and inclusion and LD Discrete Math (grade 12), and Algebra I (grade 9). Previously, she was in the Learning Center and English (grade 9). She is also a liaison for ~20 special education students. She is also faculty advisor for the Gay-Straight Alliance student group. You can reach her at her school email (piconek@lynnschools.org)

Mr. Rosenthal Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Jonathan Rosenthal      
JR I have lived  in Lynn for 26 years.  I have worked in the Lynn Public Schools since 2005, in the Special Education department.  I have worked with students in the autism, TLC and Inclusion programs.  I have also been an Education Team Leader helping to develop individual education plans. 

In my previous life, I have been a Sr. Information Consultant for Arthur D. Little and a Library Manager for Stone & Webster.  I have Master’s degrees from Simmons College and UNH.  My Bachelor’s degree is from Knox College.   I enjoy solving crossword and Sudoku puzzles, playing bridge, and watching most sports.  I am inquisitive; enjoy learning something new, and being open to change and growth.  My two favorite questions, so far, are “How many light buoys are there in the ocean?” and “Can you find me a Trionic Rubber Hardness gauge?”

Mr. Ryan Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Paul Ryan Inclusion Teacher    

My name is Paul Ryan and I have had the privilege of teaching special education in the Lynn Public Schools for the past 15 years.  I started my career at the Welcoming Middle School in 2000 and I worked there for 7 years.  I have been here at LCHS for 8 years now.  I teach mostly grade 10 and 12 Inclusion English classes.

I love the “family” atmosphere that we have here at LCHS.  We constantly tell our students that they’re not just our students, they are our children.  Working in the city in which I live, allows me the opportunities to give back to the community, and watch these children grow and mature into fine young adults.

It is a pleasure working with the students and faculty here at LCHS and if there is anything that I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to email me

Ms. Spencer Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Laurie Spencer      
Your Photo Here I have been working as a Special Education Teacher in the City of Lynn for the past 15 years. I am committed to creating a classroom atmosphere that is stimulating and encouraging to my students.

I am dedicated to the READ 180 program and  constantly introducing concepts into the curriculum that are related to life and social skills. My goal this school year (2014-2015) is to get our students out into the community more. Here’s to a great school year!


Ms. Toomey Classroom
Teacher Subject Grade Room
Kim Toomey Special Education 9 and 10  
Your Photo Here Kim Toomey. Prior to teaching I was a paraprofessional in a variety of special education classrooms; I had the privilege to work with many devoted educators who inspired me to teach. I received a Bachelor’s Degree from Lesley University and M.ED from A.I.C. I am certified in Special Education and English. I am very passionate and dedicated to our student success.

Our TLC program is committed to students graduating as full-functioning adults, ready to participate in a global economy and ready to take on challenges that will confront them. I hope that you will be engaged in the process as well, by involving yourself in your student’s learning and overall academic process.

English Grade 9 | Emphasis is placed on developing basic reading skills/strategies, writing process, critical thinking skills, and verbal skills. Computer assisted instruction (Read 180) will be integrated into the lessons through individualized pacing and group instruction.

English Grade 10 | Students will continue to develop communication skills in reading for information, writing narrative and descriptive essays, and speaking and listening skills.  Computer assisted instruction (Read 180) will be integrated into the lessons through individualized pacing and group instruction.

World History 11 Grade 9 | Students will be exposed to World History concepts and themes with a focus on applicability to daily life.

Vocational/Life Skills Grades 9 and 10 | This course is designed to support a student’s transition goals and objectives determined by an IEP. Students will explore household management, independent living after high school, etiquette, and living a healthy lifestyle.

About The COACh Program At LCHS

COACh 2016
COACh stands for Creating Opportunities for Autistic Children. This program is Lynn Public School's initiative to provide a free, appropriate public education for children on the autism spectrum who live in Lynn. Our program collaborates with the May Institute to provide a data-driven and research-based program for students with moderate to severe autism. The foundation of our program is Applied Behavior Analysis, which is the only method of teaching students with autism that has been proven to be highly effective through decades of research. Applied Behavior Analysis is driven by data, which is collected daily and analyzed on a regular basis by classroom teachers. This data is used to measure student progress as well as to develop yearly goals. We have multiple substantially separate and integrated classrooms at the elementary level at Shoemaker School, and two substantially separate middle school classrooms at Pickering.

The COACh program at LCHS consists of two classrooms staffed by two teachers, two classroom paraprofessionals, multiple child-specific paraprofessionals, a Speech-Language Pathologist, and behavioral consultants (BCBA.) Our classrooms are split by age (14-17 and 17-21), and I have the privilege of serving as the teacher for our younger group of students. Our program focuses on teaching students the necessary skills to become adults who are able to integrate into their community, family, and school to the best of their ability. In order to do this, we focus on five skill areas:

•Functional Academics - Skills in this area emphasize increasing a student's ability to acquire and apply academic skills to their everyday lives. Math, Science and ELA are the areas primarily addressed. Examples of skills worked on in this area include demonstrating 1:1 correspondence, telling time, counting money, deciphering word problems, using measuring tools, reading and identifying functional signs, reading functional texts such as menus and schedules, identifying common tools, and writing personal information.

•Communication - Skills in this area emphasize increasing a student's ability to successfully communicate their wants and needs when interacting with those around them. Examples of skills worked on in this area include using a communication device with voice output to make requests, speaking in complete sentences, using sign language to make requests, understanding figurative language, and making phone calls.
•Social/Emotional/Behavioral Skills- Skills in this area emphasize increasing a student's ability to appropriately interact with others in their environment, while maintaining self-control. Examples of skills worked on in this area include responding to peers, turn-taking, decreasing disruptive behaviors and demonstrating a knowledge of stranger safety.

•Pre-Vocational/Vocational Skills - Skills in this area emphasize increasing a student's ability to be successful in a future work environment. Students in our younger group have the opportunity to volunteer once a week at My Brother's Table, while students in our older group work twice weekly at Northeast ARC in a paid workshop position. Examples of skills worked on in this area include identifying functional items, following written or pictorial check lists, filling and delivering supply orders for teachers in our school, and increasing work efficiency on known tasks.

•Daily Living Skills - Skills in this area emphasize increasing a student's ability to be independent in their home. We are fortunate to have a full kitchen to access for our program. Examples of skills worked on in this area include cooking simple meals using the stove/microwave/oven, basic cleaning skills such as sweeping and wiping tables, demonstrating understanding of basic safety skills, transportation training on the MBTA, grocery shopping at Stop and Shop, and personal hygiene routines.

The COACh program at LCHS also boasts a successful peer-integration component. Students are able to volunteer to serve as a student aide in our classrooms each year. They are able to earn one community service credit for doing this. Over the course of the past five years, we have grown from one student aide, to fourteen.

Jessica Ayer
Special Education Teacher - COACh Program
Drama Club Adviser
Classical High School

Search The Lynn Public Schools Website
  Select A Language To Translate
Accessibility Statement
The Lynn Public School District is committed to providing information on its websites to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability. We are actively working to increase the accessibility and usability of our websites by implementing current standards including the World Wide Web Consortium’s WCAG 2.0 guidelines .Please Click Here To Visit Our Accessibility Webpage For More Information and Contacts.
Copyright - All Rights Reserved 2018