(603) 458-6399
419 South Broadway
Salem, NH 03079

Parent Reminders:

Birches Academy Board of ...

The Birches Academy Board of Trustees meet on the 2nd Tuesday  of each month at 6:30pm.  All members...

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2017/18 School Calendar

The calendar has been approved for the 2017/18 school year. 2017-2018 School Calendar...

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School Happenings:

2017/18 School Calendar

The calendar has been approved for the 2017/18 school year. 2017-2018 School Calendar...

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Head of School’s Corner:

The Birches Bulletin 11/20

The Birches Bulletin 11/20...

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The Birches Bulletin 11/13

The Birches Bulletin 11/13...

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Upcoming Events

Click here for our events calendar.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is made up of Birches Academy parents as well as community members. The Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring that the academic program of The Birches is successful, that the school’s program and operation are faithful to its charter, and that the Birches is a viable, long term, sustainable charter school.

Board Meetings:

The Board of Trustees regularly meets at the school every second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM.

Past Meeting Minutes:

Click the links for meeting minutes:

Current Bylaws:

The Birches Academy Board of Trustees Bylaws

Board Nomination Policy:

Board Nomination Policy Approved 2.15.16-2

Meet Our Current Board Members:


Kara Christesen (Chair) was raised in Salem, NH. She attended Salem High School and is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Master of Education with a concentration in Special Education. Kara is a certified Life Sciences teacher for grades 7-12 and has been teaching science at Salem High School for fourteen years. While at SHS, she has taught a wide range of levels and courses, including Biology, Chemistry, Zoology, and Integrated Science. Kara is active in professional development demonstrated by participating in such programs as the National Tropical Botanical Gardens Science Teacher Enrichment Program in Kauai, Hawaii; the John H. Wallace Middle and High School Teacher Fellowship, American Association of Immunologists, through Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Signals of Spring ACES Animals in Curriculum-based Ecosystem Studies U.S. Satellite Laboratory, sponsored by NASA; as well as furthering her knowledge via enrollment in post-graduate courses of study. One of her goals as a science teacher is the integration of art, music, and creative thinking into the science curriculum. Kara and her husband, Doug, reside in Salem, NH with their daughter who is currently a second grader at The Birches Academy.

Dianne Wright (Co-Treasurer and Founder) grew up in North Andover, MA and has a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Business Management from Merrimack College.  She worked for twenty years in the Integrated Circuit Industry with various responsibilities in Customer Service, Inside and Outside sales, Production Management, and finally Worldwide Global Sales Operation project lead. She left the industry 15 years ago to raise her four children. She has 21 year old twin boys, and two girls age 20 and 13.  She is a founding member of The Birches Academy, a public charter school, and is a School Board Member and Acting Treasurer of the school.  She has held various positions in her school district to include:  PTATreasurer, Vice President and President of the Mary A. Fisk Elementary School, to Vice president of the Woodbury Junior High PTA. Previously she held the position of Vice President of Fundraising for the Field of Dreams in Salem, NH.  She served three terms as a member of the Selection appointed Recreation Advisory Committee. She is also a founding board member of the Friends of Salem, NH Recreation; an entity created to raise funds for the various recreational facilities in Salem.  She was on the Board of Director’s for the Salem Youth Basketball Organization as Director of Coaching, and is currently a Travel Basketball Coach. She lives in Salem, NH with her husband, Larry, who is Executive Director, Enterprise Architecture and Systems at Boston University.

Alyssa Ross (Secretary) grew up in Arlington, MA, attending the public schools from kindergarten through graduating from Arlington High School. She then attended Colby College where she earned a BA in government and history, and later to Georgetown University for an MA in Communication, Culture & Technology. After college internships in the news media including ABC News Nightline and 60 Minutes, Alyssa started her career as a legal assistant in communications law in Washington, DC. She moved back to Boston at the height of the .com boom, and found her way into technology public relations and marketing. After spending a few years in PR firms consulting with large and small technology companies, Alyssa moved in-house to a software company in 2001 where she’s since remained – though the company has gone from being a mid-sized, US-headquartered organization to being acquired by a $2b French-owned company. During this time, she has served in a range of PR and marketing roles, and is currently Communications Director. Along with her husband Joe and their 3 boys, Alyssa lives in Windham, NH.

Mike Gendreau

Christine Miele (Founder) grew up in Shrewsbury, MA and attended the University of New Hampshire, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from the Whittemore School of Business.  She works for Winn Companies as a computer software trainer, responsible for training new employees, troubleshooting software problems, and creating PowerPoint presentations. Christine has been heavily involved in her children’s schools, specifically the Merrimack Valley Montessori School and Soule School as Lead Yearbook Coordinator, Room Mother, and co-chair of several school events.  Christine has been on the Board of Trustees for the Birches since the school began. She is currently on the Finance Committee. Christine, her husband Christopher, a lifelong resident of Salem and owner of M&M Electrical Supply in Nashua, and their 2 children currently live in Salem.

Christie Storniolo (Founder) was raised in Windham, NH. She attended Pinkerton Academy and is a graduate of Merrimack College in North Andover, MA with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management. Upon graduation she obtained a position at Putnam Investments in Boston Massachusetts where she worked in management positions for 17 years, mainly in 401(k) administration where she received service awards for her outstanding service to her customers.  She currently is co-owner of a family travel business along with working with her husband in his CPA firm, Olbricht Storniolo Group, in Hampstead, NH.  Christie has participated in many fundraising events for her children in their elementary school over the years and ran several independently. She also has volunteered her time in the classroom. Additionally, she has been a member of the Growth Committee for the Seacoast Charter School to address the growing needs of the school and how to best utilize volunteer support.   They reside in Atkinson, NH.


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The Birches Academy of Academics & Art

(603) 458-6399
419 South Broadway
Salem, NH 03079

Birches Academy Facebook

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Foundation of Birches Academy Facebook

The Foundation page allows parents to post information about fundraisers, articles of interest, or ask questions about school events.