K-12 Leadership Team

Angela F. Allen

Angela F. Allen, Ph.D., Head of School/CEO

Dr. Angela Allen became the Head of School at Prospect Hill Academy in 2015. Dr. Allen has 25 years of experience in education that spans from Kindergarten through college. She started her career as a math teacher in Atlanta, GA and has since worked at Shady Hill School, the Boston Public Schools, and most recently the Brookline Public Schools where she served the past ten years as the K-8 Math Curriculum Coordinator and then as Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. Dr. Allen attended the University of Georgia (BBA) and Emory University (M.ED), and also holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University.

Megan Bounit

Megan Bounit, Director of Technology for Academic Programs

Megan Bounit is an educator and lifelong learner who is committed to supporting equity and inclusion in school in school communities and is passionate about technology, education, and leadership. Prior to joining the PHA team, she spent seventeen years working in technology in schools, including the Park School in Brookline and Buckingham, Browne, & Nichols School in Cambridge. Megan has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Bryn Mawr College and a Master's degree in Technology in Education from Lesley University. She is currently pursuing a Certificate in Advanced Education Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Megan has presented at numerous conferences, including AISNE and MassCUE, and has been published in SmartBrief, eSchoolNews, and Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education.
Anja Bresler

Anja Bresler, Director of Development and External Relations

Anja Bresler joined Prospect Hill Academy in 2003 (when it was still the Somerville Charter School) as Director of Development and External Relations. She enjoys working with a team of dedicated and passionate educators and community members and is proud of PHA’s many accomplishments. Prior to working at PHA, she was a marketing communications manager and marketing consultant in the software industry. She obtained a BA from the University of California at San Diego, an MA in art history from Boston University, and an MBA also from Boston University.
David E. Brown

David E. Brown, Upper Elementary Principal

David E. Brown is a visionary instructional leader who comes to PHA with over 20 years of experience. David began his career as a teacher, and has spent the past several years as the Principal of the John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Randolph. He has held previous administrative roles including Assistant Principal positions at the Higginson-Lewis School (a K-8 school in BPS) and at the Harbor School (a Boston Pilot School). David holds a BA from Eastern Nazarene College and an MEd from Cambridge College; he is currently completing his EdD from the University of Massachusetts, focusing his dissertation research on the education of black male students.
Anne Carothers

Anne Carothers, Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Anne Carothers joined Prospect Hill Academy in 2019. Anne brings a wealth of diverse experiences and skills to the PHA community. For the past three years, Anne served as Principal of the Lilja Elementary School in Natick Public Schools. Prior to that, she served as the Principal of the William Diamond Middle School for six years and two years as Vice-Principal at the K-8 Michael Driscoll School in the Public Schools of Brookline. Anne also brings six years of expansive coaching experiences in Literacy and Whole-School Change in Boston Public Schools. Anne holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston College, a Master’s Degree in Education from Lesley University as well as a Principal Certification for PreK-8, a School Counselor Certification for PreK-9 and Elementary Certification.
Christine Douglas

Christine Douglas, Middle School, High School, & Collegiate Institute Principal

Christine Douglas has worked at Prospect Hill Academy since 2000, first as a Spanish Teacher, then Spanish Coordinator, Upper School Assistant Principal, and Principal of the Collegiate Institute. She is passionate about supporting students’ social emotional growth as well as providing equity and access through education. She is inspired by the tenets in PHA’s mission and excited to work with PHA’s oldest students and think differently about what preparing each student for success in college can look like in our unique model. Chris earned her BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies from Union College, an EdM in School Leadership at Harvard University and her Massachusetts Principal License through the Principal Residency Network at Northeastern University.

Ruth Farmery

Dr. Ruth Farmery, Director of K-12 Computer Science

Dr. Ruth Farmery joined PHA in 2016 as Teacher of Computer Science and Engineering in the High School. Prior to starting at PHA, Ruth taught at North Shore Community College in Lynn and before moving to the US, taught Computer Science and ICT in Wiltshire, England for 9 years. Ruth holds an MEng in Computer Science from University of Bristol, UK; a Postgraduate Certificate of Education in Secondary Education from University of Bath, UK and and EdD in Education from Cardiff University, UK. Ruth is dedicated to Computer Science for All and providing authentic learning opportunities within and beyond the CS curriculum.
Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson, Director of Human Capital & Talent Management
Title IX Coordinator

Sarah Ferguson joined the Prospect Hill team in 2014 as our Human Capital Director. In this capacity, she oversees employee relations, recruitment, retention, and other human resource initiatives. She is honored to have the opportunity to support the amazing educators at PHA, and to see the impact our faculty have on students every day. Prior to this role, she worked as Assistant Director of Recruitment for Mastery Charter Schools, ran an internship program for high school students, and taught 7th grade humanities. She earned her BA at Tufts University and her MEd at the University of Pennsylvania.
Alison Bradley

Alison Hourigan, Director of Student Services

Alison Hourigan started at Prospect Hill in September of 2017. Prior to her position as the Director of Special Education, Alison worked as the Special Education Team Chair at the Upper Elementary Campus. She has a Master's Degree in Special Education from Lesley University and a Bachelor's of Science degree from the University of Virginia. Prior to working at Prospect Hill, she worked with students with complex and significant social, emotional, and behavioral needs at both a therapeutic, residential setting and in a public school district. As a special educator at heart, Alison firmly believes that all students can meet high expectations and achieve their goals when given the supports they need.
Liz Murray

Liz Murray, Director of Innovation & Blended Learning

Liz Murray is thrilled to rejoin the PHA community and to be contributing to the incredibly important work of supporting students, families, and staff. Prior to her return to PHA, Liz served in the role of Chief Academic Officer for Phoenix Charter Academy - a charter network serving opportunity youth in Chelsea, Lawrence and Springfield. As CAO at Phoenix, Liz led the work of shifting to restorative practices, implemented competency-based and student-centered learning models, and built flexible pathways to high school graduation. Years ago, Liz worked at PHA as a Middle School Humanities teacher from 2002-2006, as PHA's founding Middle School Principal for Grades 5-8 at Franklin St. from 2006-2010, and as the K-12 Director of Leadership and Professional Development from 2010-2014.
Michael O'Donnell

Michael O'Donnell, Chief Financial Officer

Michael O’Donnell joined Prospect Hill as the CFO to put business experience in banking, manufacturing, travel, and consulting to work in a public educational setting. He earned a BA degree at Trinity College, an MA at Georgetown University, and an MBA at Boston University. During his time outside of work, Mike enjoys spending time with his family particularly doing activities that involve being outdoors or on the road. Mike recently commented that “While I could never have predicted that my early interest in teaching or later experience in business would have brought me to Prospect Hill Academy, I can think of no place I’d rather be than working at a successful school where students learn, teachers thrive, and the business office supports the school’s mission.”
Amy O'Connell

Amy O'Connell, Director of Data, Evaluation, & Impact

Prior to coming to PHA, Amy worked in various roles across the education sector. She spent the first decade of her career in New Orleans public schools where she had the opportunity to teach various elementary grades before moving on to serve as a school leader. She came to Boston to study technology and innovation at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. While working on her master's degree, Amy served as the data analyst and assessment designer for a network of schools in Liberia. Most recently, Amy worked at LearnLaunch, an education non-profit in Boston, where she was the founder and director of their Innovative School Leaders Network. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, she helped lead the organization's pivot as co-author of the Building Blocks of Equitable Remote Learning. She is thrilled to be a part of the Prospect Hill Academy community and learn from the amazing students, families, and educators.
Karen Shmukler

Karen Shmukler, Associate Head of School

Before joining Prospect Hill Academy, Karen was the Deputy Superintendent of Student Services in the Public Schools of Brookline where she served for over a decade and most recently, the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services in the Newton Public Schools. Karen began her career in the non-profit human services sector and was in the forefront of introducing wraparound technologies and system of care principles in the areas of public mental health, child welfare and education in Massachusetts. Karen taught English as a Second Language and Literacy to children and adult learners in Johannesburg, South Africa and St Louis. Karen also has her Teachers Diploma in Speech and Drama from Trinity College of London, and in Dance from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) in London. Karen received her Clinical Psychologist training and degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and her Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
Jorge Vega

Jorge Vega, Director of Instructional & Information Technology

Mr. Jorge Vega’s vast background in teaching coupled with his extensive network knowledge make him uniquely qualified to support PHA’s diverse instructional and information technology needs. With nearly 20 years of experience in education, most recently as Director of Technology for The Park School, Jorge has developed a breadth of skills that enable him to handle everything from major network upgrades to curriculum development with faculty. Jorge is also an accomplished writer and released his first major graphic novel, Gunplay, in 2008, receiving critical acclaim. The story is now being developed for television by Fox 21. Jorge holds a BA from Connecticut College and an MEd from Framingham State University.
Jeanette Verdone

Jeanette Verdone, Director of ESL

Jeanette Verdone started at Prospect Hill Academy in 1999. After 13 years as a third-grade teacher, she became one of our English as a Second Language Specialists, teaching our linguistically diverse students for seven years. She has also been a Kindergarten Teacher, K-5 Math Specialist and Lead Teacher Mentor. Jeanette has a Bachelor of Science in Teaching with a dual concentration in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with Special Needs from Wheelock College. She holds certificates from organizations such as Responsive Classroom, Wilson Reading Systems, Orton Gillingham, MATSOL and WIDA. Jeanette believes it takes a village and that developing strong relationships is essential in creating an inclusive and supportive community, like PHA, that encourages growth and learning.
Ms. Watts

T. Watts, Early Childhood Principal

Ms. Watts joined Prospect Hill Academy in 2008 as the Out-of-School Time Director. Following six years of service in that role, she then moved into the Assistant Principal role, where she served for the past seven years. Ms. Watts has over ten years of experience in leadership, management, coaching, training, and development of teacher leaders, students, and families in youth development, out-of-school time, and early childhood education. It is her belief that students learn best and have the most chance of success in a smoothly managed atmosphere, where they are inspired, respected, and pushed to do their utmost best. Ms. Watts received a degree in leadership from Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island, and has also earned several certifications for management, school, and organizational leadership at the University of Massachusetts, Boston College, and Boston University. During her free time, Ms. Watts enjoys reading, learning about different cultures, becoming a runner, and spending time with family.