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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. 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 grew up in rural India. He has always been passionate about human rights, equality and justice, traits he inherited from his grandfather. He finished his Masters in Finance and Information Technology from University of Massachusetts Boston. He has over a decade of experience in finance and software. He has been active in various non-profit activities including ACMi Arlington, where he volunteers with his wife, Jaya. He also volunteered for MLK Day of Service and Clinton Initiative as an HIV Champion. He volunteered to develop the new Friends of Spy Pond Park mobile friendly website. He acts as a web master along with Fred Moses. His latest venture, EmpZen, aimed at bringing government transparency and accountability in the developing countries. He enjoys beautiful evenings near Spy Pond with his wife, preferably in summer.

Jamie Ciocco has run, a technical consulting and software design company, since 1999. He programs interactive museum installations and designs custom software for clients across the country, including The Smithsonian, McGraw-Hill, the JFK Library and Museum, Hubbell Lighting, Inc., Waters, Inc., and the Georgia Aquarium. Prior to 1999, he was Lead Multimedia Programmer at SilverPlatter Education, where he programmed award-winning educational CD-ROMs and wrote pioneering eLearning software for the web. Jamie received his BA in English & American Literature from Harvard in 1994. He returned to Harvard 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. While at Harvard, he also programmed an early online facebook that was referenced in the movie The Social Network. He has been a FSPP VP for Communications for nine years doing newsletter design and 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 speech patterns 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, an 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 Temple Shir Tikvah, reading, the arts, canoeing, exercising daily on her stationary bicycle, and traveling the world.

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 Charleston, South Carolina and to her great joy, four grandchildren. Sally is now married to a fellow FSPP board member, Marshall McCloskey. 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 four years as VP for Communications and Outreach.

Daniel Jalkut is a California native who has lived in the Boston area for more than 10 years, and for the last 5 years in East Arlington with his wife and two young boys. He is a self-employed software developer who focuses on consumer-focused applications for Apple platforms including the Mac and iOS. He is involved in the Hardy Elementary PTO, and has served for two years as an Arlington Town Meeting Member. In addition to his interest in technology and civic duties, he enjoys practicing guitar, piano, and singing. He is an avid runner who enjoys Arlington’s many open spaces, particularly the bike path and Spy Pond Park. Daniel assumed the position of Membership Secretary doing database entry in 2017.

s 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.

Marshall McCloskey grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and 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 spent 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 back in Arlington with his new wife, Sally Hempstead, 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 gets to see his children and his grandchildren who are still mostly in the Boston area often. Marshall has served the FSPP as Membership Secretary and Treasurer for almost six years and since June, 2017 as Recording Secretary.

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.

Lally Stowell 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.

Ram Subramanian was born and raised in Mumbai, India. He has lived on both U.S. coasts and is currently an Arlington resident. Ram holds a graduate degree in Chemical Engineering and an M.B.A. (The Wharton School). He works at a local biotech. Ram is an avid nature photographer and aspiring birder. Ram and his family love watching sunsets at Spy Pond. He often posts his images of local scenery and wildlife on his Facebook photography page.

Joanie Walls grew up in mid-Michigan and earned a B.S.B.A in Accounting from Central Michigan University in 1999. After college Joanie earned a C.P.A. license working in public accounting and has worked for a variety of public and private companies over the years in Virginia and Boston. She moved to Arlington in 2013 with her husband Mark and has been frequenting Spy Pond ever since. Joanie has taken her dogs swimming in Spy Pond, jogs around Spy Pond and enjoys the beautiful views. With Spy Pond in her backyard, Joanie accepted the position as FSPP Treasurer in June of 2017 to get involved and help maintain this natural gem that Arlington is so fortunate to have.

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