4th & 5th Grade

Kris Hughes, 4th Grade Math
        I had many smart, caring, funny teachers from kindergarten through college who instilled in me a love of learning and made school a place I loved to be. If you had asked my nine-year-old-fourth-grade-self what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have confidently declared, “An art teacher!”. Fast-forward twelve years and I had graduated from the College of William and Mary (VA) with a double-major in Fine Arts and and Elementary Education, which was, for me, the best of both worlds.
        I taught kindergarten in Virginia for three years, and then came back home to Massachusetts to teach second grade. After taking some time off to start my family, I began teaching fourth grade at the Bates in 2009. I have met so many amazing students and families here and I just adore my colleagues. The Bates is such a special school!  In addition, it is such a joy to be able to focus on mathematics instruction and see my students persevere through challenging problems and get excited about math.
        I also adore my family of five. My husband and I grew up together and have lived in Roslindale for seventeen years.  We are the proud parents of two boys, ages 11 and 14, and proud foster parents of a 16-year-old boy. All three boys are BPS students, too. When I’m not teaching, I’m on homework patrol at home (Ha!) and enjoy cheering on my boys at sporting events, playing outside on gorgeous days, and cuddling with my two cats.
Kris Hughes, 4th Grade Math Teacher
Homeroom 206

Jennifer Milton, 4th Grade ELA

        I started at the Bates as a student teacher while earning my Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Lesley University in Cambridge. I’ve had the privilege of working at the Bates for 10 years now. I began my teaching career in 2003 after leaving a career in public relations. I was between jobs at the age of 31 years old and I asked myself some honest questions about what I really wanted to do: Where would I feel most fulfilled and rewarded? I thought to myself, “If I were to volunteer anywhere, doing anything, in what area would I do that service?” The answer was very clear that it was in education working with kids. I was lucky to have had a few great teachers who inspired my love of reading and writing and found my strengths as a student and cultivated those in a way that built confidence and self-esteem. I wanted to do the same for others. The decision to change careers in my early thirties and become an educator has turned out to be one of the most positive, rewarding, and enlightening paths I have taken in my life. This path has taken me to Japan where I lived and taught for a year outside of Tokyo. Living and adjusting to a completely different culture on my own was an incredible and eye-opening experience. Now, as a Boston Public School teacher, I have learned and continue to learn, so much from my diverse group of students. I feel that this experience has contributed to my evolution not only as a teacher but as an individual. I also feel extremely lucky to work with such talented, hard-working, and supportive colleagues. The Bates truly feels like a family.

            I thoroughly enjoy teaching ELA. As a student, I loved stories: Hearing them, writing them, and talking about them. In my undergraduate studies in college, the love of literature continued. Now as a teacher, when I see students engaged and excited about what they are reading and I get to see them participate in interesting and enthusiastic conversations about character, plot, point of view, etc., it energizes me as an educator. I am always impressed at the high-level in which 4th graders can tackle a text that interests them.

            I was born and raised in Danville, Illinois with my older sister and younger brother. After finishing high school, my love of skiing and the outdoors prompted me to move to Colorado to pursue my undergraduate degree. I attended Colorado State University where I received my B.A. in English with a minor in Journalism. I still enjoy skiing and try to get back out west when I can. I also enjoy yoga, kayaking, traveling, cooking, and reading a great book.

Jennifer Milton, 4th Grade ELA Teacher
Homeroom 205

Danielle Withrow, 4th Grade Social Studies/Writing

Working with and teaching children is a deep-rooted passion of mine. I previously worked in the Information Technology (IT) sector for 8 years before beginning my career as an elementary teacher. The recent career change has proven to be more than rewarding! I am dedicated to teaching in BPS and helping to foster tomorrow’s decision makers and future leaders.

I grew up in Dorchester, MA and moved to Milton, MA where I attended middle and high school. I went to Bentley University located in Waltham, MA where I earned a degree in Business Management. I graduated from UMass Boston with a Masters in Education and subsequently began my teaching career in the city of Boston.

When I’m not in the classroom, I enjoy traveling the globe, learning about new cultures, and spending time with family and friends. The daughter of Jamaican-American parents, I grew up spending many summers with family on the island of Jamaica. My childhood experiences gave me a greater appreciation of where I come from and it opened a world of curiosity for learning about different cultures. This year, I will be teaching Grade 4 Humanities. I am happy to be joining the Bates community!

Danielle Withrow, 4th Grade Humanities Teacher
Homeroom 207

Karen Arnold, 5th Grade Math

My name is Karen Arnold.  I live in Canton with my husband and two children, Paul and Annabelle.  I grew up in West Roxbury and went to Boston Latin Academy, and I am proud to now be a teacher in Boston Public Schools.  I went to UMASS Dartmouth for my undergrad and The University of Bridgewater for my Masters. I lived in Norwood after college and then in Roslindale for 7 years before I moved to Canton.

I enjoy spending time with my kids, going out and about, and doing different things with them as they learn about the world. When I have time to myself, I enjoy going out with my girl friends and reading!  I LOVE to read and I LOVE to teach! I have been a teacher for 11 years. For most of that time, I taught 6th grade math at Orchard Gardens in Roxbury. This is my second year here at The Bates.

I think the most important thing for students to know about me is that I am 100% dedicated to my students and to creating a positive classroom environment where all students can work and learn and have fun!

Karen Arnold, 5th Grade Math Teacher
Homeroom 203

Joel Clark, 5th Grade ELA Teacher

A teacher cannot give his knowledge. What he can give is faith: faith in his students’ ability to learn; faith in his students’ ability to lead, and they will reward him with faith in themselves.

The Bates is my home. It has been for the past 18 years. This is a special place. My name is Joel Clark. I am the fifth grade ELA teacher and I am inspired daily by my interactions with students, families, and staff.

Sometimes you have to go a long way, out of your way, to come back a short distance. And I certainly took the long route on my way to the Bates. Initially, I attended Berklee College of Music. I majored in songwriting and I play guitar. Later in life, after starting a family, I returned to my studies and graduated Summa Cum Laude from UMass with a degree in English Literature and Education and a Minor in African-American studies. I’m so proud to have gotten good grades while also becoming a champion diaper changer! After coming to the Bates, I went on to get my Master’s Degree in Education and I haven’t stopped learning.

I am now a single father of two teenagers, Frank and Emma. There have been challenges in life but they have all served to give me a unique insight to the needs of children and their families. After all is said and done, I wouldn’t change a thing because all that way led me to the Bates. And the Bates is where faith in children blossoms.

Joel Clark, 5th Grade ELA Teacher
Homeroom 204

Danikka Moses, 4th/5th grade Inclusion Specialist

I am proud to be the Inclusion Specialist for the 4th and 5th grade teams at Bates Elementary.  This is my second year in elementary school having spent most of my teaching as a math co-teacher for 7th and 8th grades. I’m excited to being able to support the fourth and fifth graders who have many developmental milestones; in terms of physical, cognitive and social/emotional development, I look forward to preparing them for middle school.

I grew up in Roslindale, moved away to California to attend college, and returned home 11 years later.  My husband and I love spending time with our family; we try to take a family vacation every February to escape the cold!  We also stay on Drakes Island in Maine and visit Lake Placid, NY to visit my childhood summer camp.  I have three sons and a stepdaughter: Jacob just began his first year at UMASS Dartmouth; my two youngest, Andrew (K2) and Chase (K1), both attend BPS; and Jacki lives in Connecticut and just began her first year of high school.

While I have a Master’s degree in Special Education, I consider myself a lifelong learner.  As such, I have found myself back in school earning a CAGS in Educational Leadership.  I hope to impart the desire to learn, learn, and learn for all of my students!

Let’s have a great year!

Danikka Moses, 4/5 Grade Inclusion Specialistdgiarratani@bostonpublicschools.org