Staff Directory

Our Staff & Our Story…

Schools are about far more than their programs alone. They are about people, especially the people we serve, our students. However, long before the students arrive, it is the faculty and staff who prepare and carry out the day-to-day experience, an experience based on mission, vision, and dedication. This is the story of our staff, their experiences, and their hopes for our students.


 
Daniel Larochelle, Founder & Technical Consultant

Dan Larochelle may have more experience with technology education than anyone else in our state. His qualifications are amazing:

    • BS: Mechanical Engineering with Distinction, WPI
    • MBA, UNH
    • Chief Technical Officer, Intelitek
    • Regional Support Manager, Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, Roxwell, TX
    • Adjunct Professor, Southern New Hampshire University
    • Professor and Department Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics Department, MCC
    • STEM Curriculum Consultant throughout New Hampshire

Spark Academy is largely the result of Mr. Larochelle’s personal mission to bring high quality technical education to students throughout our state so that they are well-prepared for the most advanced career opportunities. Mr. Larochelle guides Spark Academy’s Technical Curriculum for a seamless transition to the Manchester Community College Curriculum. As a resource and mentor to our students, he teaches and inspires them to achieve their very best!


“For the past 25 years, I have been at the center of technical education throughout New Hampshire, much of that through robotics programs in elementary, middle, and high schools. I am proud to be one of the founders of Spark Academy. This school represents a very important goal to me to bring high-level technical education and amazing career opportunities to our students. Spark, and all it represents, is a true passion for me!


Mr. Larochelle may be contacted at dan.larochelle@sparkacademynh.org.



Joseph Pouliot, Founder & Mathematics/Science Teacher

Mr. Pouliot is certified by the State of New Hampshire as an Experienced Educator, having taught science and mathematics at the high school level since 1982.  He brings a great breadth of interests and expertise to Spark Academy: 

    • BS, Mathematics Education, UNH, 1980
    • BS, Geology, UNH, 1991
    • Lead mentor and advisor for the Trinity High School FIRST Robotics Program from 1998 - 2011
    • Lead mentor and advisor for the Trinity High School VEX Robotics Program from 2005 - 2019
    • Consultant to the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation for nation-wide pre-engineering certification
    • Consultant to Intelitek, Inc. for the development of the “Robotics Engineering Curriculum”
    • Adjunct Faculty, Manchester Community College
    • Faculty advisor for the Spark Academy VEX Robotics Program from 2019 - current

Having worked with Mr. Larochelle for over twenty years, Mr. Pouliot has lived the experience of helping students develop their skills and finding rewarding careers. He has encouraged over 100 high school students to pursue careers in engineering and technology.  Like Mr. Larochelle, Mr. Pouliot knows first hand what it takes to help students launch their careers.


“I became involved in Spark Academy from the beginning.  Starting a school has been a dream of mine since 1987, and it was something Dan Larochelle and I discussed many times since the late 90’s. We are big proponents of hands-on, project based learning.  When Dan approached me about the possibility of starting a technology school at Manchester Community College, I was all in! ”


Mr. Pouliot can be reached at joe.pouliot@sparkacademynh.org.




Karen Pringle, Technology & Science Teacher

Karen Pringle’s long-term involvement in electrical and electronic engineering prior to entering the teaching profession provides her with the ability to bridge the gap between the classroom and the demands of career life:

    • Associate’s Degree, Engineering: Electrical Engineering Technology, NHTI
    • BA, Secondary Education, Life Science, New England College
    • M.Ed., Education Studies & STEM, UNH
    • 28 years in industry 
    • 7 years in education

Ms. Pringle’s blend of career experience in both industry and education provide Spark students with sound technical preparation for the many opportunities that Spark graduates will be able to realize.


“My career life began in industry, but I quickly became a teacher as well through the FIRST and VEX Robotics Programs. I have known and worked with both Dan Larochelle and Joe Pouliot for 25 years. In time, the joy of teaching became a larger and larger part of my life until I finally took the plunge and entered teaching full time. For me, it’s the moments when I can see that students “get it” that tell me I am involved in something truly great! My decision to join the Spark team was an easy one. Plus, it’s very hard to say “No” to Dan Larochelle!


Ms. Pringle can be reached at karen.pringle@sparkacademynh.org.




Vanessa Harnois, Science & Health Teacher

Though younger than most of her Spark colleagues, Ms. Harnois brings very high qualifications to our school with a level of experience that is most impressive! 

    • BA, Biological Sciences, UNH
    • MS, Biology, Miami University
    • Awards:
      • UNHM STEM Scholarship
      • UNHM Biology Department Scholarship
      • National Science Foundation Scholarship
    • UNHM Undergraduate Research Project Participant
    • Medical Missionary, Honduras
    • Presenter at Nine Professional Conferences 
    • Adjunct Professor, UNHM

Ms. Harnois’s dedication to the teaching of science is well-documented. We are very fortunate to have her as a mentor to our students as they learn the science behind the technology.


“I became involved in Spark Academy because I was intrigued by the advanced program model for high school students and was excited to have a role in the community Spark is growing.”


Ms. Harnois can be reached at vanessa.harnois@sparkacademynh.org.




David Trent, Humanities Teacher

Mr. Trent is another of our younger faculty members, though he brings a level of preparation and experience that truly qualifies him to lead our students as they journey through human history. Prior to Mr. Trent’s current position at Spark Academy, he taught social studies in the British International School of Kurdistan and remotely to students in China.

“I became involved in Spark Academy because it offers an approach to English, history, and arts that is pretty special. This approach can really provide students with great insights into the dynamics that lead to discovery and the advancement of civilization. Today’s students will enter an exponentially changing world where we literally race to make sense of emerging  technologies. I hope the Spark Humanities Program will provide our students with the grounding needed to blend the technical with the human as they “boldly go where none have gone before.”


Mr. Trent can be reached at david.trent@sparkacademynh.org.




Ronald Losier, Guidance Counselor

With 34 years in education, Mr. Losier brings a level of preparation and experience that is truly extraordinary. Additionally, Mr. Losier has worked in the steel fabrication industry for 14 years, making him especially qualified to understand the bridge between the classroom and career life.

    • BA, English, Saint Michael’s College
    • M.Ed., Plymouth State College
    • Classroom Teacher - 4 years
    • Principal - 7 years
    • Guidance Counselor - 23 years
    • Industry - 14 years

“I became involved in Spark Academy because this was a unique opportunity to develop a program of study that not only provided a foundation in the humanities, math and sciences but an opportunity for students to explore the field of technology in a college environment. For these students, the doors to multiple career pathways and further education are open to them.”


Mr. Losier can be reached at ronald.losier@sparkacademynh.org.




Jennifer Larochelle, Office and Operations Manager
It takes a special person to keep any school organized and running smoothly. Mrs. Larochelle brings a parent’s perspective to the daily experience at Spark Academy, often reminding us of the very “human” side of preparing our students for their high tech careers. Mrs. Larochelle is often the contact point for our students to express how they feel about their classes and other activities. 


“I became involved in Spark Academy because I believe in the unique opportunity we are providing, opening doors for kids who might not otherwise understand how empowered they can be to create their own futures. I’m also proud to work alongside such experienced and dedicated educators.”


Mrs. Larochelle can be reached at jennifer.larochelle@sparkacademynh.org.




Denis Mailloux, Director 
Mr. Mailloux brings a great deal of experience to Spark Academy as a classroom teacher, admissions director, assistant principal, and principal. Having taught English from a broader humanities perspective, Mr. Mailloux has welcomed the opportunity to form the Spark Humanities Program and lead this truly unique high school experience.

    • BA, English, St. Anselm College
    • Graduate Studies, Administration
    • Commission Member, New England Association of Schools & Colleges, 2014 - 2020
    • Advisory Board Member, St. Anselm College Education Department
    • Classroom Teacher - 20 years
    • Admissions Director - 6 years
    • Principal - 23 years

“I was invited to join Spark Academy by Mr. Larochelle and Mr. Pouliot, both of whom I have had the privilege of knowing as colleagues for at least 25 years. Both of these colleagues know that I have been focused for many years on the interconnectedness of knowledge and the need to integrate technology into our learning. The blending of the Spark curriculum with that offered by Manchester Community College was quite intriguing to me as this model offers a fantastic and very affordable means of attaining high-tech certifications, an Associate’s Degree, and four year degrees.”


Spark Academy is the gateway to the future for students who might not otherwise be able to dream of a college education through a traditional pathway. Perhaps most importantly, Spark Academy is driven by passion, and passion is contagious. I can’t think of a better lesson to teach our students than to be passionate about their lives!”


Mr. Mailloux can be reached at denismailloux@sparkacademynh.org.

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