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Our Mission is to inspire and prepare all students to realize their potential and enhance our global community.


95 Westminster Dr.
West Hartford, CT 06107
Phone: 860-521-0110
Fax: 860-561-1492

Kristi Laverty, Principal 

Pupil Services



Mrs.Natalie Tanner, Ms. Sarah Soltz, Mrs. Lisa Garand, Ms. Jill Sarnelli


     The Pupil Services Team plays a vital role at Duffy. Our task is to consider referrals to special education, establish the need for an evaluation, decide which evaluations will be given, and determine whether the student is eligible for special education services.


     Pupil Services members are also interventionists for general education students under the purview of the Student Success Team (SST), which oversees the SRBI tiered process at Duffy. Pupil Services members functioning as interventionists could include, but are not limited to the School Psychologist, Social Worker, Special Education Teacher, Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Special Education Paraprofessionals.



Occupational and Physical Therapists p.t.

Duffy OT (part-time)  Cheryl Ekenbarger

School Psychologist


Natalie Washington

     Hi, my name is Natalie Tanner and I am excited to be the school psychologist at Duffy.  I am originally from New York but have worked in the Stamford and Wilton school districts prior to joining West Hartford in the Spring of 2012.  I love my job and working with students and families.  In my spare time I enjoy doing yoga, zumba, learning to play tennis, and spending time with friends and family. In December 2017 I had a baby daughter and my husband and I are enjoying every minute with her.

     You might ask, what exactly does a school psychologist do? Well here are some examples of my responsibilities:

  • Counseling students who have IEP's (Individualized Education Plans)
  • Counseling students who do NOT have IEP's but are going through challenges (with parent permission first, unless in the case of a crisis)
  • Consulting with teachers on behavior plans, problem-solving, etc.
  • Evaluating students to determine eligibilty for special education services as part of the PPT (Planning and Placement Team) 
  • Consulting with families to address concerns that might affect children in school
  • Collaborating with the Student Success Team (SST) to coordinate tiered services for students through the SRBI model (Standardized Research Based Interventions)
  • Co-chair of the PBIS team (positive behavior intervention supports) and member of the safe school climate committee.

     This is just a sample of my description but every day is a new and different adventure!  I enjoy going into classrooms, being out at recess, and just generally traveling the school so that I am very visible and accessible.  My goal is to make school a comfortable, safe, and successful place for all students.    


Natalie Tanner

School Psychologist

(860) 929-5075


Special Education Teacher

 Lisa Garand


     Hello and welcome to Duffy!  My name is Lisa Garand and I am the full time Special Education Resource Teacher.  I have been at Duffy since 2002 but before that I was at Bugbee Elementary.  Overall, I have been teaching in West Hartford since 1999. Before West Hartford, I worked in a few different settings; a self-contained classroom, a pre-K through 2 Resource Room, a Birth to Three program and tutoring teenage parents.

     I became a Special Education Teacher after getting my master’s degree in Special Education from St. Joseph’s University in 1996. I hold two bachelor degrees in Psychology and Communication Disorder.  I have known for a long time that I wanted to work with children, and I found my “home” working with the special education population at the elementary level. 

    I work with students who have reading, writing, and math needs in a variety of ways. I provide both in and out of the classroom supports, paraprofessional assistance when needed, as well as individualized instruction and/or alternate homework.

     Duffys’ Pupil Services Team of Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Speech Pathologists, Social Workers, teachers and district specialists all work closely to support students holistically through their academic and behavioral needs by engaging in frequent communication and collaboration.

     Fortunately, I get to work with many children at Duffy not just the students who are identified as having a learning difference through assessments, but those who need remedial services through the Student Success Team (SST) process. I work hard to get to know your child completely and believe that establishing a rapport to be the most critical aspect to helping students grow within a healthy trusting relationship.

     I look forward to meeting each of you, should the need arise. I can be reached via email or phone message. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concern.


Lisa Garand

Special Education

(860) 521-0110 ext. 3044


Speech Pathologist p.t.


“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” ~ Albus Dumbledore (J.K. Rowling)


Sarah Stolz, Speech Language Pathologist


     Welcome to Duffy School! My name is Sarah Stolz, and I am the new speech language pathologist at Duffy. For the past 8 years I have had the pleasure of working at the Early Learning Center preschool program in West Hartford, and before that I worked with students in grades K-12. I have a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders and Spanish, a master’s degree in speech language pathology and national certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech Hearing Association. I am thrilled for the new challenges and opportunities working here at Duffy this year will bring, and I look forward to developing partnerships with students and their families to address communication based learning needs.


     In my capacity as a speech language pathologist I work with students and families to assess and provide intervention for communication deficits that have an adverse effect on students learning including articulation, fluency(stuttering), voice, understanding language, expression of language, vocabulary, grammar and social interaction skills. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family, cooking, doing yoga and chasing after my 2 year old. I am looking forward to a wonderful year here at Duffy. Please feel free to contact me anytime with any questions you may have!


Sarah Stolz

Speech Language Pathologist

(860) 233-1455 ext. 3563



Jillian (Jill) Sarnelli, Speech Language Pathology Assistant


     Jill has been working as a speech language pathology assistant for the past several years and for the past 2 years here in West Hartford at the Early Learning Center (with Sarah). A speech language pathology assistant is responsible for implementing therapy plans for students under the direction and supervision of a speech language pathologist. Jill has experience working in both elementary and preschool settings in this capacity and has a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders. She is newly married as of this September and  enjoys spending time with her family and her cat. This year she will be supporting our students at Duffy one day/week.


West Hartford Public Schools

50 South Main St, West Hartford, CT  06107

T: 860-561-6600

F: 860-561-6910

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