Lower School Team

LS AP Penman
Kristi Penman, Assistant Principal 
Kristi Penman rejoined Gifford in June of 2019 as the Lower School Assistant Principal after previously holding the position of Lower School Social Worker. Kristi has worked with children, youth and families since 2001 at summer camps, schools, recreation programs and community based mental health agencies. She received her Masters in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire and holds licensure as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.

 Favorite thing about working at Gifford?
My favorite thing about Gifford is the honor of being part of the journey of some of the hardest working kids and families around! We ask so much of students during a school day to help support them reach their goals and the goals of their families. Whether it is the small steps or huge leaps, every day and every school year if filled with so many victories. I am so thankful for the collaborations with families, outside providers and school districts because we must all be working together to support our students

LS HT Romanow
Nick Romanow, Head Teacher

Nick joined Gifford in 2011 as an Assistant Teacher in the Lower School.  Following two years in that role, Nick became a Teacher in the Lower School, a position that he held for 8 years.  Nick became Head Teacher in June 2020. Nick graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Communications.  Nick received his masters in Special Education from Regis College in 2016.
Favorite thing about working at Gifford?
My favorite thing about working at Gifford is getting to be a part of such a supportive community for both staff and students.  Gifford is such an inclusive and caring environment that welcomes all into our community and helps staff and students alike learn and grow.

LS Clinician Holmes
Kirsten Holmes,
Kirsten rejoined Gifford in July 2017 as the Lower School Clinician. Kirsten was previously a Clinical Intern during the 2009-2010 academic year. Since then, Kirsten has worked with children and their families in a variety of therapeutic settings. She received her M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University.

Favorite thing about working at Gifford?
My favorite thing is being part of a community where students are helped to feel safe and comfortable being themselves. From that starting point, great things can happen!


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