Project Challenge Teachers

Kate Magness teaches Project Challenge at Sandy Hook School and Middle Gate School.  She grew up in Newtown, CT and received her Bachelor's from Western Connecticut State University in Anthropology/Sociology and Masters in Elementary Education from Sacred Heart University.  She began her teaching career in Redding, CT at Redding Elementary School, and then taught in Woodbury, CT before returning to Newtown to teach 4th grade at Sandy Hook Elementary.  She lives in Trumbull with her husband and daughter.

Sherry Earle, PhD teaches Project Challenge at Hawley School and Head O'Meadow School.  She received her BS from Springfield College, her Master's Degree from the College of New Rochelle in Special Education, and her PhD in Gifted Education from Kent State University in Ohio.  Before joining the Newtown Public Schools, Dr. Earle taught in urban and suburban school systems in mainstream classes, gifted education, and special education classes.  She lives in Danbury with her husband.

Cheryl McCaffrey is the Project Challenge Teacher at Reed Intermediate School.  She received her BS from SUNY Oswego and her Master's Degree from University of Maryland. Prior to joining the Project Challenge Team in Newtown, she taught gifted education in Darien for ten years.  Additionally, she taught middle school math, fifth grade and college algebra in Maryland.  She lives in Redding with her husband and four children. 

Valerie Pagano-Hepburn is the Project Challenge Teacher at Newtown Middle School.  She received her BS from Mercy College, in a combined education program for dual certification in Elementary and Special Education in 1975.  She earned her Master's Degree from Western Connecticut State College in Curriculum Development and Instruction.  This is her 37th year of teaching, encompassing many levels of instruction throughout her career.  Her Career Accolades include the Martha Jennings Scholar Award for Outstanding Teacher 1978 (OH), the Celebration of Excellence 1994 (CT), Weller Award for Outstanding Teacher 2000 (CT), and Profiles in Professionalism 2015in the Newtown Public Schools.  She is an active participant in the Newtown Public School District as she was the Chairperson for the 5/6 school, Mentor teacher for 10 years and a committee member of the current Teacher Growth and Evaluation Committee.  She has lived here in Newtown for 23 years.