Staff Bios

Alison Santerre, Principal


Alison Santerre, Principal at Kingston Hill Academy, earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Rhode Island College (RIC) in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish.  She completed her Masters of Art in Educational Leadership at RIC in the spring of 2015 and is a licensed PreK-12 building administrator. Alison is a National Board Certified teacher with a certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist.  She was the 2015 District Teacher of the Year; and has received recognition and citations from the Rhode Island Senate and General Assembly, as well as former Governor Lincoln Chafee and the former commissioner of the RI Dept. of Education, Deborah Gist, for her outstanding work with students in her twenty year career. Alison enjoys volunteering on the Holocaust Education & Resource Center of RI’s education committee and mentoring adults who return to school after being away from education for several years.

On a personal note, Alison is the proud mother of four sons, one of which attends Kingston Hill.  Her other three sons attend college. In her leisure time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, doing craft projects, reading and writing

Please feel free to e-mail her at

Johnna Bicknell, Kindergarten Homeroom Teacher

Mrs. B and her family reside on the beautiful historic scenic Ministerial Road in West Kingston and serves as an original board member/ founder of Ministerial Road Preservation Association (MRPA). Throughout the year, she shares this love of natural science with her students as they create their cumulative science record book and share simple science activities daily. An avid believer in continuing education, Mrs. B recently graduated from Johnson and Wales University earning her Masters in Teaching and Learning degree. Currently, she is working towards strengthening her computer skills, a much more difficult task!

Please feel free to e-mail her at and visit her homeroom page.

Lori Corso, 1st Grade Homeroom Teacher

Lori Corso is a Rhode Island native who grew up in Coventry and later moved to Exeter to raise her family. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1989 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. Prior to starting her family, Lori worked as the Head Teacher of a preschool for four years and later as a long-term substitute teacher. For the next ten years, Lori was fortunate to be able to dedicate time at home to raise her three children. Prior to joining KHA in August 2008. she was an active volunteer at her childrens' schools, including the School Improvement Teams. In her free time, she is a volunteer for her children's soccer league and enjoys gardening, cooking and spending time with family and friends.

Please feel free to e-mail her at and visit her homeroom page.

Kim Charest, 2nd Grade Homeroom Teacher

Miss Kim is a Rhode Island native. She has been teaching grades K-2 since graduating from the University of Rhode Island in 1989. She is very interested in children's literature and will be pursuing her Masters Degree in Reading. She has a son and a stepdaughter who keep her very busy. When she has free time, she enjoys fishing with her husband on his bass boat, hiking, traveling, photography and creating scrap books.

Please feel free to e-mail her at and visit her homeroom page.

Laurie St. Clair, 3rd Grade Homeroom Teacher

Ms. St. Clair is originally from Maine and returns often to visit family. She loves to travel and has visited many countries and lived in a few as well, her favorite being Australia.  While taking a break from college (she thought she wanted to be an accountant) she traveled to Mexico to take some language and art classes. While there, she volunteered at a local library and worked with children to help them learn English. After returning, she decided to go back to college to gain her bachelor's in teaching at the University of Maine in Orono. Upon graduation in 2002, she moved to Rhode Island to try something new. Ms. St. Clair came to KHA in the spring of 2003 and began teaching first grade in the fall of that year.   After teaching first grade for seven years, she began teaching third grade and loves it!  In the 2013-2014 school year, Ms. St. Clair was nominated as the Kingston Hill Academy Teacher of the Year. When not at school, she enjoys outdoor activities, running, volleyball, kayaking, rock climbing, movies, cooking, playing games and spending time with her boys (dogs, not childrenJ).

Please feel free to e-mail her at and visit her homeroom page.

Shanna Thayer, 3rd Grade Homeroom Teacher

Shanna Thayer, her husband, three boys and dog Annie reside in Richmond, RI. A native of Rhode Island, Mrs. Thayer received her Bachelors in Wildlife Science from Virginia Tech with experiences in environmental education including a Natural History museum and a position with Americorp VISTA in Boston, MA. She then went on to receive her Masters in Education from the University of Phoenix and has taught a combination of grades 3-5 over the past five years at The Village Lower school in East Greenwich. In her free time, Shanna enjoys spending time outside with her three boys, camping and biking, as well as playing soccer and learning karate.

Please feel free to e-mail her at and visit her homeroom page

Rachel Craven, 4th Grade Homeroom Teacher

Rachel Craven is a native of South Kingstown. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island as a Communications Major and worked in advertising in Atlanta, GA for several years. Rachel went back to school and got her teaching degree at Oglethorpe University after which she taught first and second grade in a suburb of Atlanta. Rachel returned to RI in 2004 and joined KHA as a kindergarten teacher in 2008. Since then she has taught both 3rd and 4th grades.  She enjoys running, gardening and going to the beach. She lives in Wakefield with her husband and two sons.

Please feel free to e-mail her at and visit her homeroom page.

Pam Zagadsky, 4th Grade Homeroom Teacher

Pam Zagadsky is a native Rhode Islander who currently resides in West Warwick. She graduated from Salve Regina University with a degree in Elementary Education in 2007. Pam joined KHA in 2008. She has taught 5th, 1st, and now 4th grade at KHA. Pam also has a great interest in technology. She became KHA’s lead technology teacher in 2018. If you have a question about technology at KHA, contact Pam.  In her free time, Pam likes to go hiking, camping, and just enjoying the outdoors with her husband and two boys.

Please feel free to e-mail her at and visit homeroom page.

Cecilia Francis, 5th Grade Homeroom Teacher

Cecilia Francis was born and raised in Rhode Island and currently lives in Coventry, RI with her husband and two children.  Cecilia worked as a preschool teacher for four years and then attended Community of Rhode Island where she earned a degree in Computer Science.  After working as a Computer Programmer for seven years, Cecilia decided to return to teaching.  She attended the University of Rhode Island where she earned a degree in Human Development, Counseling and Family Services and her Early Childhood Teaching Certification 2006.  She took additional classes through University of Phoenix to earn her Elementary Teaching certification.  She has worked as a long-term substitute at Metcalf Elementary in Exeter/West Greenwich for 7 years prior to joining KHA’s staff in 2013. Cecilia has worked as a Teacher Assisant at KHA for the past 5 years in third, first and finally fourth grade.  When Cecilia is not working, she enjoys watching her son play soccer, shopping with her daughter, high-pointing and biking with husband and spending time at their cottage at Knowles Campground

Please feel free to e-mail her at and visit homeroom page

Aimee McRoberts, 5th Grade Homeroom Teacher

Mrs. McRoberts has been working at Kingston Hill Academy since 2006 as a teacher’s assistant.  She has worked in grades two, three and four. During her time at KHA she has worked as a long term substitute in those grades as well.  She received her B.S. in Elementary Education from Penn State in 1994. After graduating and getting married she and her husband moved from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area and have called South Kingstown home for over 20 years.  They have three children and a big, friendly dog. In her free time she enjoys the beaches, dining at the local restaurants with friends, shopping with her daughter and gardening. She is happy to be part of the close-knit teaching community at KHA and is excited to teach fifth grade.

Please feel free to e-mail her at and visit her homeroom page

Jeannine Marot, Physical Education

Jeannie is the K-5 Health/Physical Education and Adaptive PE teacher here at KHA.  A native Rhode Islander, Jeannine graduated from the University of Rhode Island (2004) with a bachelors degree in Exercise Science. She currently plays women's and adult softball at a high level of competion. She is also in a co-ed bowling league.  Jeannine currently reside in Warwick with her husband, three cats - Miken, Nemo & Chipper and two dogs, Bentley (Rotweiler mix) & Armani (Pit Bull mix). She enjoys traveling, going to the beach and camping when softball allows the time.

Please feel free to e-mail her at


Max Littman, Music Teacher

Mr. Littman is delighted to be back for his second year at Kingston Hill Academy! He graduated cum laude from URI with a degree in Music Education. His primary instrument is voice, but he also plays saxophone and piano.  Outside of school, Mr. Littman performs with the Providence Singers.

Please feel free to e-mail her at

Judy D'Angelo, School Nurse

Nurse Judy happily joined the staff of KHA in the summer of 2005 as the school nurse. She is originally from the Buffalo, N.Y. area and currently resides in North Kingstown with her husband and four daughters. After graduating from Niagara University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing, she worked as a staff nurse at Children's Hospital of Buffalo in the Intensive Care Nursery. Since then, she has enjoyed being a school nurse for students of all ages. Nurse Judy earned her Masters of Education/Health degree from Rhode Island College in June 2011 and is currently certified in Rhode Island as a School Nurse Teacher. You are welcome to call or stop in the health office anytime with questions or concerns -- or just to say hello.

Please feel free to e-mail her at and visit her web page.

Kerri Dailey, Special Services Teacher

Kerri received her Bachelors Degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from Rhode Island College. She joined KHA in 2005 as a Special Education Teacher. When Kerri is not working at KHA, she enjoys spending time with family.

Please feel free to e-mail her at

Amanda Wild, Special Services Teacher

Amanda is a special education teacher and 504 coordinator for grades 3-5. She has been teaching since 2007 and joined KHA in 2008. She is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Education program at Northeastern University with a concentration in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership. She received her B.A. in Elementary Education and Special Education from Providence College in 2006. She graduated from Providence College with her M.Ed. in Literacy in 2011 and is also a certified reading specialist. Amanda has been trained in the Orton-Gillingham method of reading instruction through the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education. She completed the graduate program in Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Populations at UMass Boston and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Behavior Analyst in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. She works as a BCBA for Behavioral Concepts, Inc. as a clinical supervisor for home-based ABA programs. She lives in North Kingstown and enjoys country line dancing, kickboxing, skiing, camping, swimming, canoeing, and spending time with her husband, family, and friends.

.Please feel free to e-mail her at


Julie Klann, Special Services Teacher

Julie originally from Ridgefield, Connecticut, moved to RI and attended Salve Regina University where she graduated with a double major in Elementary & Special Education. Over the course of 10 years, she has integrated herself within many of RI school districts before finding her home at KHA in 2015, leading her to a position as a Special Education Teacher.  Julie fulfilled her childhood dream of working with students in an educational setting where her passion and commitment to her students shine.  Her favorite moment is seeing a child's confidence radiate through in whatever they are working to achieve.  When she is not teaching she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, taking walks, reading, swimming, going to the beach, country music and barbecues.  Julie currently resides in Jamestown with her husband and daughter, Gracesyn.

.Please feel free to e-mail her at

Katherine Essex,Teacher Assistant

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Katherine graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2012 with a double major in Elementary Education and Sociology. This past summer she worked for Perspectives as a Behavior Specialist in their transitional school services. She loves excercising and being outdoors. Last year Katherine was certified in Reiki 1 and spin. She is excited to be a Teacher Assistant and to start the 2014 school year at KHA.

Please feel free to e-mail her at

Lori Filiberto,Teacher Assistant

Lori grew up in Stamford, CT but has lived in South Kingstown, RI for the last 20 years. She has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut in Mathematics/Statistics and a Master's degree from the University of New Haven in Business Administration. Lori worked as a Test & Evaluation engineer for the Navy and an Applications Manager for the Westerly Hospital before deciding to stay home to raise her children. Lori returned to work as a TA both at Stepping Stone Preschool and as a substitute for the Town of South Kingstown.  She also subbed for several years at KHA before being hired here full time.       Lori enjoys hiking, camping & kayaking with her husband and four children, playing with her adopted dog Kay and dancing in her cardio dance class.

Please feel free to e-mail her at

Becky Perkins, Teacher Assistant

Miss Becky is lifelong resident of South Kingstown. She came to KHA the winter of 2006 after running a business for 13 years. She considers being at KHA one of her most rewarding jobs yet. Thanks to all the great students and personnel, she has found a home away from home. She enjoys spending time with her three very busy girls, going to the beach, and bike riding.

Please feel free to e-mail her at

Lori Wigsten, Teacher Assistant

Lori Wigsten is a native Rhode Islander who grew up in Woonsocket and moved to Southern Rhode Island after graduating from
the Community College of Rhode Island. She presently holds a B.A. degree in English from the University of Rhode Island having graduated Magna Cum Laude. She obtained her Substitute Teacher certification in 2009. While attending the University of Rhode Island, she worked in the field of Human Services. Before coming to KHA, Ms. Wigsten dedicated time to raise her children and was active as a playgroup coordinator, Girl Scout Leader, and volunteer at her children's schools. Ms. Wigsten returned to work at KHA in 2002, when she decided to go back to the University of Rhode Island to pursue a degree in Education. Her educational philosophy is all children are capable of learning through an approach geared toward their individual strengths. In her spare time, Ms. Wigsten enjoys reading, crafts, gardening, and other outdoor activities as well as spending time with her family and friends.

Please feel free to e-mail her at

Susan Wilcox, Office Manager

Sue Wilcox grew up in South Kingstown and currently lives in Hope Valley with her husband. She has a son, daughter in-law, a grandaughter and a grandson, who are the light of her life.  Before coming to KHA she worked as an Administrative Assistant at a school for fourteen years, as well as being the Assistant to the Business Manager.  Sue is very excited to become part of the KHA family.  She enjoys gardening, swimming, needlepoint and children.

Please feel free to e-mail her at

Donna DeMarco, Office Administrative Assistant/Data Manager

Donna was born and raised in Rhode Island and currently resides in South Kingstown. She graduated from Rhode Island College with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. This upcoming year will be her eleventh enjoyable year at KHA. She really feels fortunate to have had the opportunity of getting to know all the families at KHA. Her interests and hobbies include taking walks on our beautiful beaches, swimming, traveling and the theater.

Please feel free to e-mail her at

Peter Diebold, KHA Facilities Manager

The only graduate of Stone Mountain High School (Georgia) currently north of the Mason-Dixon line, Peter has been applying his hard won knowledge of cleaning and floor care to the premiere institutions of South Kingstown, including South County Hospital and the YMCA, since his retirement from the US Navy. Married to Lisa, a Physical Therapist specializing in oncology patients, and father to two KHA graduates, he looks forward to the expansion of the school and further cleaning opportunities at the best learning institution in the state of Rhode Island.

Motto: ubi est luto aurum est

Please feel free to contact him at