Meet Our Staff

Seaport Academy offers a student/faculty ratio of 2/1. Classes are rarely more than six students and a lot of time is spent working with teachers one-on-one. Teachers and counselors work together and play a variety of roles in school life. As a result, Seaport Academy students get to know all the staff well. They'll be your champions and give you encouragement when you need it. And they'll help you achieve your goals.

  • Alex Tsonas, Seaport Academy
    Alex Tsonas, LICSW

    Colgate University, BA
    Salem State College, MA

    Alex Tsonas joined Seaport Academy as school counselor in 1998 and two years later became Seaport Academy's director. Alex's experience includes working as an assistant director in a residential program, a therapist for a home-based individual and family treatment agency, and as a counselor running substance abuse and anger management groups in Lynn, MA. Alex has overseen Seaport's evolution from a small, 12-student program into a successful, experiential-based, all-boys, state-approved alternative high-school for 28 students from Grades 8–12.

    In addition to serving as Director, Alex also teaches wood shop, health and electives, and leads activities, field trips, and one of the counseling groups. 

  • Melissa Byron
    Director of Student Services

    San Francisco State University, MA
    Bridgewater State University, BA

    Melissa has had many different roles at Seaport since starting in 2010. She is now your point of contact when you call Seaport and will be happy to assist you in the enrollment process.  Please call or email her if your son is absent, if you would like info about current events, or if you have general questions about the program.

  • Michael Finnemore
    Assistant Director

    Plymouth State College, BA

    Mike is entering his third year at Seaport Academy, originally from Maine, Mike has lived in different parts of the country working in educational settings from public schools to private. This experience has allowed him to connect to students and build a positive and professional relationship with them. In addition to serving the school as the assistant director, Mike helps out with electives in the afternoon. Outside of school Mike enjoys traveling to fun, new areas and he is a huge Boston sports fan!


  • Shawn Brown, Seaport Academy
    Shawn Brown
    Education Administrator

    Boston University, BS
    Salem State College, MEd

    Shawn Brown has been Seaport's resident lifelong learner since 2003. She is a compassionate believer in every student's ability to learn and seeks to rouse the joy of learning in everyone at Seaport. Shawn has been an instrumental member of the Seaport team as a science teacher, lead teacher, and transition specialist prior to her current position. She believes in the importance of students’ preparedness for the future and their adult lives. As a well-rounded career professional, Shawn encourages and supports students in all aspects of their academic

  • Amy Adler
    Amy Adler
    English Teacher

    Boston University, MA                   
    SUNY, BA

    Amy Adler is very excited to be a part of Seaport Academy’s passionate team of educators as an English teacher. Leading electives in creative writing, film studies (Sci-Fi and Fantasy/Mobster Movies), theater, learning lab and MCAS Prep, Amy possesses an MAT in English, an MA in Playwriting from Boston University and Special Education certification.

  • John Charow, Seaport Academy
    John Charow
    Vocational Director

    John Charow has been at Seaport since 2004 and runs the Vocational and Transitional Programs including vocational mini institutes in boatbuilding, welding, painting and home maintenance. He coordinates high energy overnight trips annually to places like Washington DC, Gettysburg PA and whitewater rafting trips in Maine. John possesses a BA from Merrimack College in History, Massachusetts teacher certification in History and is currently working towards an MA in Special Ed.


  • Michael Curtis
    Math Teacher

    BS Mathematics Salem State College

    Finishing MEd Special Education

    Michael Curtis has been at Seaport Academy since 2012.  At Seaport, he is the Math Teacher, basketball coach, and sometimes track coach.  In class he is best known for his bad Math jokes.  Michael's interests away from school are following the local sports teams, especially the Patriots, and has gone to Disney World more than 35 times.

  • Michael Townsend
    Transition Teacher

    UMASS Lowell - BA

    Merrimack College - MEd

    Michael Townsend joined the Seaport staff in 2014 as the Science Teacher.  Besides teaching, Mike leads a number of elective classes including art, gym, music/audio recording and various community service electives.  Outside of Seaport Academy, Mike is a huge baseball fan (go Braves!!) and spends much of his free time checking out live music.

  • Brendan Ahern
    History Teacher

    American University, BA                                                                 Northeastern University, MAT

    Brendan joined Seaport as the history teacher.  He focused on Modern History while studying in Washington, DC and has travelled extensively throughout Europe and the US.  Brendan grew up in Cape Cod and spent many summers working in a fish market and unloading boats at the docks.  He enjoys using his knowledge of the ocean and boating inside and outside the classroom at Seaport.

  • Melissa Novakoff
    Melissa Novakoff, LICSW
    Clinical Director

    Salem State College, MSW, LICSW

    Since 2002, Melissa Novakoff has provided individual and group counseling, family outreach and case management at Seaport. In addition to her counseling actvities, she teaches electives in photography and video production. An outdoor adventure enthusiast, she's also an accomplished nature photographer.


  • Meridith Carlson, LCSW

    DePaul University, BA
    Boston College, MSW

    Meridith started at seaport, as an intern in the fall of 2014. She provides individual/group counseling, and teaches art/cooking electives. In addition to working with youth, she has experience in the fields of homelessness, and addiction. She was born in Louisiana, grew up in Chicago, and did a year with Americorps in San Francisco, before moving to Boston for grad school. When not at school, she enjoys traveling, and spending time outdoors.

  • James Leach, Seaport Academy
    James Leach
    Milieu Counselor

    Framingham State College, BA

    As milieu counselor, James Leach supervises the school environment and helps implement Seaport's collaborative problem-solving program. Outside of his milieu duties, James co-coaches the Renegades, Seaport Academy's basketball team, and teaches fishing and boating. He has been with Seaport since 2000.

    The proud holder of a 6-Pack OUPV captain's license, James operates fishing charters on the South Shore when he's not at Seaport.

  • Bryant Cardello
    Milieu Counselor

    Plymouth State College, BS

    As one of Seaport's milieu counselors, Bryant provides social and emotional support to students and also supports the teaching staff in their goals. He teaches sailing and hockey and participates in our sailing, boating, fishing, and horseback riding offerings. Bryant has been with Seaport since 2005.

    Bryant is currently building a house in Vermont and has hosted many overnight school camping trips in his fields.

  • Angela Merrett
    Learning Specialist

    Lesley University – MEd

    Orton-Gillingham Reading Approach, Associate Level

    Angela provides classroom support and works with students who benefit from individual reading instruction. In her spare time Angela hosts and assists International students with adapting to American culture and also language emersion. Angela has been with Seaport since 2009.

  • Cody Publicover
    Classroom Assistant


    Cody Publicover provides students with in classroom support along with individual help outside of the classroom. He has a passion for writing and artistic expression.  Cody has been with Seaport Academy since he graduated from the school in 2010.