Our Team

Senior Staff

Kyle Banker, Coral Gables, FL

Sr. Communications Intern

Intern of the Month April 2019, January 2020, & March 2020

Kyle is a sophomore at University of Miami. He graduated in 2019 from Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. His favorite subjects include Biology, English, and Entrepreneurship. Some of his hobbies are playing soccer and hockey, volunteering, and being with friends and family. Kyle is studying Biological Sciences, while also pursuing his passions for writing and business.

Articles by Kyle

Joanna Dakoyannis, Dover, MA

Sr. Communications Intern, Intern of the Month June 2019 & May 2020

Joanna Dakoyannis is a senior at Dover-Sherborn High School. She enjoys creative writing, traveling, going to the gym, running track for her high school team and loves cheering on the team at school sporting events. She plans to be a science major in college and hopes to eventually attend dental school.

Articles by Joanna

Elizabeth Harvey, Boston, MA

Editor of “Gripped 3: The Fallout” and “Gripped 4: Smoke & Mirrors
Sr. Communications Intern

Intern of the Month: March 2019, July 2019, November 2019, & April 2020

Elizabeth first interned for Stacy Padula during the 2016-2017 school year. We are delighted to have her back as part of our team. Elizabeth attended Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications for one year before moving back to Boston and taking courses at Northeastern University. In the fall, she plans to attend Emerson College, as a communications major with a focus on public relations. She is originally from Needham, Massachusetts. Elizabeth enjoys creative writing and has a passion for traveling which she has pursued since high school. She looks forward to continuing her work on the Gripped book series!

Articles by Elizabeth

Jennifer O’Sullivan, Dover, MA

Sr. Communications Intern, Intern of the Month July 2019 & June 2020

Jennifer O’Sullivan, a senior at Dover Sherborn High School, enjoys reading, playing the piano, spending time with friends and doing volunteer work. Jennifer leads her school’s community service club, runs on her school’s cross country and track teams, and loves to travel—especially to Ireland where she spends time with friends and family. Jennifer also runs and operates her own childcare company in the metro west of Massachusetts.

Articles by Jennifer

Rebecca Ronning, New York, NY

Sr. Communications & Marketing Intern, Intern of the Month May 2019

Rebecca is a senior at Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, New York. As a city kid, some of her hobbies include riding the subway and exploring the city with friends, making all kinds of art, traveling with her family, and experiencing new and exciting things along the way. She would like to study business in college.

Articles by Rebecca

Isabelle Semas

Sr. Communications Intern, Intern of the Month October 2020

Isabelle Semas is in her junior year of high school, and has been homeschooled most of her life.  She looks forward to graduating next year and hopes to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education.  In her spare time, she sings in a christian band named NHB with her friends, is very involved in her church’s children’s ministry, and enjoys art.  She hopes to someday publish a book of her own.

Articles by Isabelle

Jared Thorbahn, Boston, MA

Scriptwriter, Intern of the Month December 2019

Jared Thorbahn is a graduate of Norwell High School. He is currently a student at the highly ranked Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is studying screenplay writing and other forms of communication. Stacy Padula first met Jared when he was a high school student, and she was immediately impressed by his creativity and writing skills. Jared is currently working closely with Stacy on adapting the Gripped book series for television. The pilot they wrote together was pitched to a producer in Hollywood in December of 2019. More to come…

Mackenzie Wells, Athens, GA

Social Media Marketing & Graphic Design Intern
Intern of the Month February 2020 & July 2020

Mackenzie is a senior at the University of Georgia majoring in English and public relations. She is a leader at the Wesley Foundation at UGA, the community outreach coordinator for UGA’s Undergraduate English Association, and a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Mackenzie has always had a passionate love for books and their ability to open doors to new worlds. She is excited to assist Stacy Padula O’Halloran in making a change in the young adult community.

Articles by Mackenzie


Gianna Arcabascio, Pembroke, MA

Communications Intern, Intern of the Month November 2020

Gianna Arcabascio is a junior at Archbishop Williams High school. She plays lacrosse and is team manger for the football and boys hockey. In school, she’s apart of student council, admissions ambassadors, and is involved in a lot of leadership opportunities. She looks to pursue a future career as an Athletic Trainer.

Articles by Gianna:

Teen Fiction Novel Raises Awareness about Addiction

The New Novel Teens Will Want to Read


New Y.A. Fiction Novel Teaches Teens Important Life Lessons

Max Alva, Dedham, MA

Communications Intern

Max graduated from Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts in 2016. After high school, he spent two years at Drexel University, but returned to Massachusetts to study at Boston College. Max has a passion for understanding how things work and optimizing systems. He hopes to have a successful career in the field of engineering. He also enjoys philosophy, architecture, and design, as well as attending Patriots and Bruins games, skiing, archery, and traveling.

Articles by Max

Nicholas Alva, Tempe, AZ

Communications Intern

Nicholas is junior at Arizona State University, where he studies Communications. Nicholas is originally from Needham, Massachusetts. He is an avid sports fan and world traveler. His main interests lie in journalism, sports statistics, playing hockey, and attending athletic events. Nick hopes to have a career in the field of sports journalism. He has been chosen to work on the Gripped book series before its release.

Articles by Nick:

Q&A with ASU’s Nick Alva on “Gripped Part 1” by Stacy Padula

ASU’s Nick Alva on the “Gripped” Book Series Characters & More

Bradford Campbell, Duxbury, MA

Communications Intern

Bradford Campbell is currently a senior at Thayer Academy. He is captain of their Varsity Soccer and Track and Field teams. In school, Bradford is a 2020 Student Government Representative and Peer Advisor for freshman students. He also enjoys volunteering for Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity. Bradford participates in Thayer’s theatre program and his favorite subjects include science and history in addition to English.

Articles by Brad:

Y.A. Novel Shows Drugs Have No Boundaries: Good Kids Are Vulnerable Too

“Gripped 1: The Truth We Never Told” Recommended by Thayer Academy Senior

New Y.A. Novel Opens Up Conversations Between Teens and Parents

Brad Campbell on The Gripped Book Series Characters

Sophia Coggeshall, Marshfield, MA

Communications Intern, Intern of the Month November 2019

Sophia is a senior at Marshfield High School in Marshfield, Massachusetts. She is a competitive Irish Step dancer who has competed several times at the Regional, National, and World Championships, and she also plays on the Varsity Field Hockey team for her high school. With a great passion for math and science in the classroom, she looks forward to studying engineering in college.

Articles by Sophia:

Sophia Coggeshall Reviews “Gripped Part 1” By Stacy A. Padula

Gripped on Gripped: Why Teens Will Love This New Book Series

Sophia Coggeshall Breaks Down the Gripped Characters

Marshfield Senior Recommends Teens Read New Novel About Addiction

New Teen Book Series’ Dynamic Characters Will Leave You Gripped

Blindsided Takes an Uncensored Look at Teen Substance Abuse & Its Effects on Relationships


Gripped 3″ Can Open Parents’ Eyes to Teenage Issues

An Interview with Marshfield’s Sophia Coggeshall on the “Gripped” Series

Michael Farinacci, Medfield, MA

Communications Intern, Intern of the Month: August 2019 & October 2019

Michael is a senior at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham, Massachusetts. He is a part of his high school’s newspaper, The Walrus, and multiple athletic teams. He is also an editor for the St. Sebastian’s Journal. He has a passion for mathematics, which he plans to pursue in college.

Articles by Michael:

A Junior from St. Sebastian’s School Shares His Opinion of “Gripped Part 1” by Stacy A. Padula

Michael Farinacci Reviews Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told

May’s Q&A with Michael Farinacci of St. Sebastian’s School

Looking Ahead to Gripped Part 2 with Michael Farinacci

Michael Farinacci of St. Sebastian School Reviews Gripped Part 2: Blindsided

A Rising Senior’s Take on Stacy Padula New Release Gripped Part 2: Blindsided

An Editorial Review of Stacy Padula’s Soon to be Released Gripped Part 3: The Fallout

New YA Book Educates Teens about Prescription Drug Abuse—Is It Controversial?

Jordan Dunkin, the Black Sheep of Gripped or Not?

New Teen Series Educates Readers About The Root Causes of Substance Abuse

Jenna Finnerty, Durham, NH

Communications Intern, Intern of the Month September 2019

Jenna Finnerty graduated in 2019 from Norwell High School in Norwell, Massachusetts. She is majoring in science at the University of New Hampshire. Jenna has accrued years of experience as a cheerleader and gymnast. She also has a passion for traveling and looks forward to studying abroad in college.

Articles by Jenna:

New Teen Novel Helps Kids Make Smart Decisions in the Face of Peer Pressure

Q&A on MLH #1 with Jenna Finnerty

The Right Person by Stacy Padula Accurately Depicts High School Social Challenges

Hope Found in Darkness: A Young Adult Book Review by Jenna Finnerty

Q&A with Jenna Finnerty on Young Adult Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

Jenna Finnerty’s Take on New Y.A. Novel “Gripped” by Stacy Padula

May’s Q&A with Jenna Finnerty of Norwell High School

Jenna Finnerty Reviews Gripped Part 2: Blindsided

A College Freshman’s Take on Gripped Part 2: Blindsided by Stacy Padula

Abby Fusco, Marshfield, MA

Communications Intern, Intern of the Month August 2020

Abby Fusco is a senior at Marshfield High School. She has always enjoyed painting her dog, Teddy—a King Charles Cavalier. Her paintings made perfect gifts for her mother, and this inspired her to begin painting pet portraits for her friends and family. She founded A.R.F. Pet Portraits in 2020, where people can order paintings of their beloved animals by uploading a photo through her website. Abby’s love for animals inspired to donate 100% of the proceeds from her paintings to the Marshfield Animal Shelter.

Click here for articles written by Abby

Emily Han, Mansfield, MA

Communications Intern, Intern of the Month September 2020

Emily Han is a junior at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, Massachusetts. She is the captain of her varsity field hockey team and a leader on her club team, Lead The Way. She is a member of National Honor Society and a founder of the PAWS Club and an active member of the Jimmy Fund Club. Her hobbies include scuba diving, exercising, and volunteering at local field hockey clinics and with Save The Bay.  She hopes to major in Environmental Science and play field hockey in college. 

Articles by Emily:

Teens Relate to New Y.A. Book Series

Refreshing Y.A. Book Prepares Teens to Make Difficult Decisions

Emily Han on the “Gripped” Characters

Easton Teen Says Y.A. Novel Is Too Relevant To Be Ignored

Teen Fiction Novel Exposes Consequences of Substance Abuse

Sophia Karnolt, Kingston, MA

Communications Intern, Intern of the Month December 2020

Sophia Karnolt is going to be a senior at Thayer Academy this fall. She loves traveling and spending time with friends and family. Last year, she went to the Galápagos Islands to help teach English to kids and clear out endangered species from planting fields. In school, her favorite subjects include English and science. She also runs for her school’s track and field team, and she loves the beach.

Click here for articles written by Sophia

Caroline Markley, Marshfield, MA

Communications Intern

Caroline is a senior at Marshfield High School, where she is the goalie of the Varsity lacrosse team and in National Honor Society. She is an avid horseback rider who competes nationally and also an impressive artist. Caroline has a passion for the environment and hopes to study environmental science in college.

Articles by Caroline:

Why Gripped is a Must Read for Every High School Student

New Young Adult Novel Takes an Uncensored Look at the Opioid Crisis

Kate Nally, Scituate, MA

Communications Intern

Kate is a senior at Scituate High School. She is actively involved in a variety of extracurriculars, with a clear passion for serving others. She has ventured twice to West Virginia with the Appalachia Service Project and looks forward to doing more service trips in college. She is also an active member of Best Buddies and Student Government. In college, Kate is looking forward to exploring a broad array of coursework from English to science and beyond.

Articles by Kate:

New Teen Fiction Book Helps Kids Realize Their Choices Today Matter

Relatable Characters Make “Gripped” a Must Read for High School Students

New Young Adult Book Addresses the Stigma Surrounding Drugs, Alcohol, & Teenagers

New Y.A. Novel Addresses Prevalent Issues in Teenage Culture


Joseph Siracusa, Braintree, MA

Communications Intern

Joseph Siracusa is currently the president of the senior class at Xaverian Brother’s High School. In his free time, Joseph enjoys graphic designing, playing soccer, watching sports, and learning about many different topics. Joseph plans on studying finance in college, in hopes of pursuing a career in it.

Articles by Joe

Olivia Syat, Sharon, MA

Communications Intern

Olivia Syat is a senior at Sharon High School. She has a passion for learning, volunteering, and special education. She is a leader in her community through programs such as friendship circle, E.D.A.F, teen speak out, and pathways. She hopes to go into a field pertaining to special education and to always encourage others to keep an open mind.

Articles by Olivia:

Blindsided Sheds Light on Teen Experiences Often Hidden Behind Closed Doors

Sharon High School’s Olivia Syat on Stacy Padula’s Novel Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told

A New Kind of Teen Book Series Hits the Shelves!

Olivia Syat Breaks Down the Characters and Relationships in Gripped 2

New Fiction Series Helps Teens Overcome Rough Patches


2018-2019 Interns

Jack Gallagher, Norwell, MA

Communications Intern

Jack Gallagher is a senior at Norwell High School. At school, some of his favorite subjects include History, English, and Biology. Outside of the classroom, he competes in sports such as football, swimming, and lacrosse. He looks forward to the challenges that this school year will hold and the ways he will figure out how to overcome them!

Articles by Jack:

An Honest Review of The Right Person by Stacy Padula

Q&A on Montgomery Lake High #1

Caitlin Shields, New York, NY

Communications Intern

Caitlin attended Fordham University where she studied Communications before transferring to Boston College. Her interests include reading about psychology, photography, fitness, community service, and traveling. Caitlin has been heavily involved with volunteering and raising funds for The Boys & Girls Club of Brockton since age fourteen. She has a passion for connecting with others and hopes to have a career focused on helping others.

Articles by Caitlin:

Q&A with Caitlin Shields on Young Adult Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

Q&A Part 2 with Caitlin Shields on When Darkness Tries to Hide

Why Teens Should Read “The Right Person” by Stacy Padula

Gripped by Stacy A. Padula is a Must Read for All Ages!

Why Young Adults Should Read Gripped Part 1: The Truth We Never Told

Sophia Tufankjian, Duxbury, MA

Communications Intern


Sophia graduated from Duxbury High School in the spring of 2019. She plans to attend Bentley in the fall. Some of her hobbies include volunteering, being involved in her church, and writing.

Articles by Sophia:

A Young Adult Fiction Review by Sophia Tufankjian

A Positive Message for Teen Readers

Q&A with Sophia Tufankjian on Teen Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

MLH #2 is a Page Turner for Teens

Q&A with Sophia Tufankjian on “The Aftermath” by Stacy Padula


Montana Aldridge, Plymouth, MA

Communications Intern


Montana graduated from Plymouth North High School. She loves the beach, psychology, writing, reading, and working. Montana plans to study business or communications as an undergraduate.

Articles by Montana:

Q&A on Stacy Padula’s 1st book!

Plymouth North High School’s Montana Aldridge on The Right Person by Stacy Padula

Caroline Forbes, Needham, MA

Communications Intern

Caroline is a senior at Needham High School. She is an avid cheerleader, who coaches an All-star team. Caroline plans to study communications or marketing in college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst!

Articles by Caroline:

Caroline Forbes Reviews The 1st Book in the Montgomery Lake High Young Adult Book Series

Q&A with Caroline Forbes on Montgomery Lake High #1: The Right Person

Charlotte Silverman, Needham, MA

Communications Intern

Charlotte Silverman is a senior at Needham High School. At school, her favorite subjects include English, Biology, and Computer Science. Outside of school, she runs indoor and outdoor track, and loves spending time with friends and family. She looks forward to overcoming challenges and exploring new experiences during her senior year. Charlotte has committed to attend the University of Georgia for communications!

Good for parents & teens: Montgomery Lake High #1!

A Fantastic Book for Teens Experiencing Tragedy

Samantha Waxman, Easton, MA

Sr. Communications Intern


Samantha is a senior at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, MA. Some of her hobbies include cheering for her high school’s team, hanging out with friends, and spending time with her dog Rosie. Samantha’s favorite subject in school is history, and she is excited to start her senior year.

Articles by Samantha:

Reviewing MLH #1: Good for Teens!

Q & A on MLH book #1 with Sam Waxman of Easton, MA

Honest Thoughts on MLH #2: When Darkness Tries to Hide

Q&A with Samantha Waxman on Stacy Padula’s Novel “When Darkness Tries to Hide”

Q&A with Samantha Waxman on Young Adult Novel “The Aftermath” by Stacy Padula

The Aftermath by Stacy Padula is an Encouraging Book for Teens

Samantha Waxman on “The Battle for Innocence” by Stacy Padula

Q&A with Samantha Waxman on “The Battle for Innocence” by Stacy Padula

Q&A with Samantha Waxman on Young Adult Thriller “The Forces Within”

New Young Adult Thriller is a Must Read for Teens!


Kelly Mitchell & Charlotte Moynihan of Needham, MA


Kelly Mitchell and Charlotte Moynihan are seniors at Newton Country Day School in Newton, Massachusetts. They both demonstrate an uncanny ability to understand complex texts and perceive underlying themes within stories. Kelly and Charlotte actively read and analyze each Montgomery Lake High book. They provide constructive feedback from a teenager’s perspective on characters and plot points, as well as write book reviews and complete Q&A’s that are published online. This winter, Kelly and Charlotte will be creating thematic video trailers to advertise the series to a teenage audience. As top students in their graduating class, their feedback is highly valued. Kelly will be attending Notre Dame in the fall of 2018 and Charlotte will be attending the University of Richmond. We are extremely proud of all of their accomplishments!


Articles by Kelly & Charlotte:


Elizabeth Harvey, Needham, MA

Elizabeth graduated from Dana Hall School in 2017 (Wellesley, Massachusetts). She currently attends The SI Newhouse School of Communication at Syracuse University with a focus on Public Relations. We are so proud of her acceptance into such a renowned program!

Articles by Elizabeth:
The Right Person Q&A
The MLH Characters
The Aftermath Review 
The Aftermath – The Spiritual Battle 
The Forces Within Review
The Forces Within – The Spiritual Warfare
Videos by Elizabeth: