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Officers and Committee Members of Friends of Spy Pond Park

Betty Athanasoulas earned her BA from Boston University and MA from Middlebury College having attended the graduate program in Madrid. After her retirement as a Spanish/Latin teacher at Needham High School, Betty continued working as an AP consultant for the College Board and supervised student teachers at Tufts University. She is currently teaching ESL to international employees at Biogen Idec and is a volunteer for the Arlington International Film Festival. A lover of the outdoors, Betty has been a long-term member of the AMC, and until she moved to Arlington In December 2010, she enjoyed gardening in her community garden plot in Cambridge. Her first winter in Arlington Betty crossed Spy Pond when it was completely frozen and immediately felt a deep connection to the pond. She has been a member of the FSPP Beautification Committee since January 2013.

Deepak Bidwai lives in Arlington with his wife Jaya. He finished his Masters in Finance and Information Technology from UMass Boston. He has over a decade of experience in finance and software. He is passionate about working for non-profits and environment. He has been active in various non-profit activities including ACMi Arlington, where he volunteers with his wife. He volunteered to develop the new Friends of Spy Pond Park mobile friendly website. He acts as a web master along with Fred Moses. He enjoys beautiful evenings near Spy Pond with his wife, preferably in summer.

Jamie Ciocco has been working in publishing and media for 20 years. Since 1999 he has run a multimedia programming and design company,, programming museum exhibits and custom software for clients including McGraw-Hill, the Smithsonian, the Franklin Institute, Hubbell Lighting, Inc., Waters, Inc., and the Liberty Science Center. Prior to that he was Lead Multimedia Programmer at SilverPlatter Education, where he programmed two CD-ROM projects that won Gold Apple Awards from the National Educational Media Network. He received his BA in English & American Literature from Harvard in 1994. Jamie returned there from 1997 to 2004 to act as Assistant Senior Tutor and Drama Tutor in residence, running a 90-seat theatre and publishing the House Facebook in both printed and online forms. He has been the FSPP VP for Communications for eight years doing newsletter layout.

Elaine Crowder has an interest in Spy Pond Park that arises from her love of kayaking.She became involved with the FSPP as a way to give back to the park. When not kayaking, walking her dog and photographing, Elaine consults in area companies as the owner of Communication Exchange. Her interest in communication began with childhood exposure to the captivating speechpatterns of the Kentucky Mountains. With an MS in Communication (Emerson College) and a Ph. D. in Applied Linguistics (Boston University), Elaine has worked in a variety of organizational settings in Boston-area companies: providing communication coaching, presentation skills, writing skills, and executive coaching training, online to China via video-conference, in education and educational collaboratives, in the Newton non-profit, EDC, where she helped inner city school principals and teachers develop leadership skills, and in an educational technologies group at then publically held BBN in Cambridge, MA (Bolt Beranek and Newman). There she researched the social linguistics of math and science communication, conversational patterns in electronic communication, and how gestures support scientific discourse.

Karen L. Grossman is from a small town northeast of Pittsburgh, PA. She earned a B.S. from Syracuse University and a M.Ed. from Boston University and worked for 35 years as a speech and language pathologist in the Wilmington, MA Public Schools with children in preschool through high school. Karen has lived in Arlington since 1974 and currently resides on the shore of Spy Pond near the park. She enjoys her view of the pond on a daily basis and has been involved with the FSPP since 1992. She’s been President of the organization since she retired from full time employment in 2004 and was elected to the Mystic River Watershed Association Board in November of 2009, presently serving on the Clean Water Campaign and the Herring Run and Paddle Committee. Her other interests include singing with the Mystic Chorale and TempleShirTikvah, reading, the arts, canoeing, short distance bicycling, and world travel.

Sally Hempstead grew up in New York and Connecticut. She graduated with a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Art History and English Literature. She was married for forty-five years to an attorney and has a daughter in Somerville, a son living in Kure Beach, North Carolina and to her great joy, four grandchildren. She worked for thirty-five years in the real property field as a legal abstractor and researcher, ten years as a business owner and twenty-five years in partnership with a property attorney. Sally is past president of The Connecticut Association for Real Property Professionals and was the auditor of land records in her town. For many years, she was and still is very active in church work and was chairman of the board of her local church in Connecticut. On moving to Arlington, she discovered Spy Pond, fell in love, joined the FSPP almost immediately, and has enjoyed working with the other members to preserve this valuable resource. Sally also has the pleasure of reading once a week to an extraordinary woman who is sightless. She has served the FSPP for three years as VP for Communications and Outreach.

Betsy Leondar-Wright, a longtime activist for social justice, is the author of Missing Class: Strengthening Social Movement Groups by Seeing Class Cultures (Cornell University Press 2014) and Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists (2005). Sheworks as the Program Director of Class Action ( andteaches sociology courses at Tufts, Harvard and Boston College. She firstparticipated in environmental advocacy during the nuclear power movementin the 1970s. Betsy worked as a community organizer in low-incomecommunities for a decade, including running youth programs at an urbancommunity garden. Betsy has been active in the FSPP since 1997, is a pastPresident and now focuses on children¹s activities and public educationthrough performance and art serving as FSPP Co-Chair for Park Events.

Gail Teschmacher McCormick has an MSW from Columbia University and created OUR FRAGILE EARTH, a collection of paintings dealing with environmental issues, exhibited in museums, university art galleries and by the United Nations. She helped develop and is currently a board member of HealthLink, a Massachusetts North Shore citizens group working to protect public health by eliminating toxins in the environment through research, education and community action. Gail has been active with the FSPP for three years and has been Co-Chair and is now a member of the Beautification Committee. She is also Co-Chair of Sustainable Arlington and active with the Public Art commission.

Marshall McCloskey grew up in Philadelphia, PA, earned a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1961-62. He met and married a local girl from Medford, MA, and bought a house in Arlington in 1968, where they raised 4 sons and lived for 30 years, except for the six years in Huntington Beach, CA. He never designed a circuit and retired from work as a software engineer in 2008. During his career, Marshall worked on navigation systems for oil exploration, which involved extensive travel, patient monitoring devices for hospitals, adaptive optics systems, and did software consulting as an independent contractor.He now lives in Belmont, considers himself handy around the house, works as a warden at the polls, directs a road race in Lawrence and is active in the local road running community. He sees his children and his grandchildren who are in the Boston area as much as he wants, which he counts as a blessing. Marshall has served the FSPP as Membership Secretary and Treasurer for almost five years.

Fred Moses is a Boston area photographer with over 25 years of experience. His primary concentrations are product, portraiture, and travel stock photography. A specialty is jewelry. He has made both images and computer aided design tools for jewelers. Travel and travel photography are Fred’s special loves. Environmental portraits of people working, market places, and extremes are particular favorites. His work is held in private collections internationally and has appeared in juried exhibits at the ACA and the Fuller Craft Museum. In addition, Fred builds informational and commercial web sites. He has been the FSPP Webmaster since 2005. Fred has made marbled papers that he has sold to bookbinders and graphic designers. Since 2012 he also creates these designs on silk scarves. Over the course of his more than three decade technical career, he has held management and individual contributor positions in software engineering in diverse areas including system software, computer aided design and manufacturing, financial systems, and print and web publishing systems. Fred has a B.S. and M.S. in Engineering Science from Washington University.

Richard Norcross and his wife, Ruth,have lived in Arlington Heights since 1985, but he grew up in Waltham, MA. Richard has fond childhood memories of coming to Spy Pond to skate on the ice with his father each winter. He continued this pastime into adulthood and considers the pond a wonderful natural asset to the area. He has worked with the Friends of Spy Pond Park in the park’s planting beds to help eliminate the invasive plants and clear out natural debris and joined the Beautification CommitteeJanuary, 2013.

Ruth Slotnick received her Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of South Florida in Higher Education Administration and is the Director of Assessment at Bridgewater State University. Previous to her work in higher education, Ruth taught middle school art and served as the Director of Education at the New Art Center in Newtonville, Massachusetts. Ruth has lived in Arlington intermittently since 2001 and previous to March 2015 only enjoyed Spy Pond as a frequent onlooker and amateur photographer until her neighbor, Betty Athanasoulas, encouraged her to volunteer. Her recent return to Arlington this past spring made her a true FSPP advocate. RuthÕs notable community spirit and dedication earned her a role on the Beautification Committee fall, 2015. Her specialty is working with high school volunteers completing their community service credits during FSPP Work Days.

LallyStowell received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in political science and Spanish and a M.A. from Southern Connecticut State College in Child Development. She has worked with inner city youth in the Harlem Education Program in NYC, at the New Haven Head Start and Follow Through Programs, and at MIT’s Upward Bound. She taught child development and parenting for many years at Watertown High School and then switched to teaching ESL in Cambridge, first at Centro Presente and then at the Cambridge Community Learning Center where she has been teaching an ESL Family Literacy class since 1993. Lally has also tutored day care providers through ABCD in Boston, mentored/tutored high school students through the Posse Foundation and volunteered at the Food Project. She has been active in helping to eliminate invasive species in the planting beds in Spy Pond Park on the Beautification Committee and was Publicity Co-Chair for the FSPP January 2010-2014. Lally maintains our Memory Books, the record of our community outreach efforts since the beginning of FSPP.

Beverly Williams grew up in Asia, the American South, and New Jersey. Bev graduated from Douglass College of Rutgers University. Now retired, she still enjoys tutoring adults who are learning English. Bev was also a long-time volunteer at a Peace and Justice Center in Wilkes-Barre, PA. She has served the FSPP for four years as Recording Secretary and as a member of the Beautification Committee.

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