SPS Names Advanced Teachers

Southbridge Public Schools has named Lyndsay Makie, Krystal Barrera, Mario Maturi and Rebecca Wells as advanced teachers.  Advanced teachers are outstanding educators who serve as school-wide models of excellence and have deep expertise in their craft.

Lyndsay Makie teaches special education at Southbridge Middle School, where she has worked for three years as an inclusion teacher and case manager.

She grew up locally, and attended UMass Amherst, receiving her undergraduate degree in special education. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lyndsay had the opportunity to student teach at Southbridge Middle School.

“I quickly came to love the students and staff during my internship,” she said.

During her first few years of teaching, Lyndsay received a graduate degree in teaching from UMass Dartmouth.

“I can confidently say that starting out as a teacher in this district has been the best decision for my growth as a professional. I am excited by the opportunities offered by the advanced teacher role and look forward to being a resource for my colleagues.”

Krystal Barrera
Lyndsay Makie

Krystal Barrera teaches English Language Arts at Southbridge Middle School.

She has worked at Southbridge Middle School for three years, initially as a reading intervention teacher for 6th through 8th graders, then as an English Language Arts teacher for 8th grade.

Prior to joining SMS, Krystal earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education and visual & performing arts from Worcester State University, prior to completing a Master of Arts in Teaching through UMass Dartmouth’s partnership with Southbridge Public Schools last year.

Krystal’s selection as an advanced teacher reinforces her belief in the value of hard work and dedication.

“Our students in Southbridge, especially in middle school, are at a pivotal point in their lives where they continue to build their understanding of themselves and show what they are capable of academically,” she said.

Krystal sees her work as directly responsible for building lifelong learning habits in her students.

She also sees serving as an advanced teacher and mentoring her colleagues as a way to repay the mentorship she received in her first years teaching in Southbridge.

She’s inspired by a quote from Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”


Lyndsay Makie
Krystal Barrera

Mario Maturi teaches fifth grade students at West Street Elementary School.

He has worked in Southbridge Public Schools for almost four years, teaching fifth graders for his entire career thus far.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Anna Maria College, Mario began teaching at West Street School in 2020, while instruction was still partially virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virtual instruction taught Mario the importance of adaptability, as well as appreciation for the diverse needs of students. He also had time to become, in his own words, a “Disney fanatic,” drawing inspiration from Walt Disney’s words: “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Also a fan of the Patriots, Mario lives by former coach Bill Belichick’s famous line: “Do your job.”

While teaching requires “a tremendous amount of effort,” Mario finds satisfaction in “The reward of student achievement and knowing that you were a part of it.”

“I have seen many successes in my short time at West Street School and that is because of my team and the people who are doing their jobs with me.”

Mario Maturi
Mario Maturi

Rebecca Wells has served as literacy coach at Eastford Road Elementary School for the past three years.

She graduated from Westfield State University with a master’s degree in special education.

Rebecca taught in Holyoke Public Schools for twelve years before serving as pre-k instructional leadership specialist for the city of Holyoke. After serving as a literacy coach for Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School in Springfield, she accepted the position at Eastford Road in the Spring of 2021.

She co-facilitates the student support team, which helps to align and ensure quality reading intervention and math support.

For Rebecca, appointment as an advanced teacher validates her work in “helping to build a strong, dedicated teaching staff.”


“Being a part of the amazing staff at Eastford Road school and seeing all of our hard work and dedication reflected in smiling, happy, reading students is the greatest gift,” Rebecca said.


“I am so very lucky to be on this team.”


Rebecca Wells

Rebecca Wells