Student Supports Team



Jessica Bloom

Director of Student Supports

Ms. Bloom grew up just outside of New York City. She attended Syracuse University where she majored in pre-medical studies and nutrition science and minored in psychology. After college, Ms. Bloom began teaching as a member of the 2011 Teach for America Corps where she worked as a Special education and science teacher with 9th through 12th graders. During this time she completed her master’s degree at Hunter College and participated in the Sci-Ed Fellowship where she gained additional experience in facilitating students’ active engagement in science, including participation in a  science fair. During her free time, Ms. Bloom enjoys dance, yoga, and outdoor summer activities. 




Amy Polanco

Associate Director of Student Supports 

Ms. Polanco was born in Brooklyn, NY, but was raised in Lawrence, MA. She attended Umass Dartmouth and earned a BA in Sociology and a minor in African American studies and has Master of Education from Umass Boston. In her free time she enjoys sharing spoilers to her friends and family. Let just say they do not appreciate it. She is a dog mom to 2 pups Milo & Chaos. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, trying new foods and exploring the city. Her goal is to travel through all of Central and South America by 2025.









Tara Ridgedell

ELL Coordinator

Ms. Tara is from Atlanta, GA where she attended Georgia State University and received her undergraduate degree in International Studies. She then worked in Kenya for a women’s rights organization, traveling throughout the country to inform women of their rights and conducting peace and reconciliation talks. She then decided to return to GSU to get her Master’s Degree in Reading, Language, and Literacy. She has taught English Language Learners in both Atlanta and NYC. In her free time, she runs a community based graphic design and screen-printing business, goes to music shows, hangs out with her cat, Salsa, and eats.




Kate Goldbaum

Special Education Coordinator

Ms. Goldbaum grew up in a small town in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In college, she studied biology and creative writing and remains passionate about the intersection of art and science. While pursuing her degree, Ms. Goldbaum obtained her teaching credentials through the UNC Baccalaureate Education in Science and Teaching (UNC-BEST) Program. At MESA, she has taught STEM 2: Anatomy and Physiology, STEM 3: Medical Interventions, Geoscience, Psychology, and AP Biology. This year, she will continue to be working exclusively with SwIEPs and ELLs as MESA's Special Education Coordinator.