New Hires & New Year
Dear CSS Community,
Great schools are defined by the quality of their teachers and the intentionality of their programs. CSS has much to be proud of in both areas. It has been a pleasure for me to reflect on the recent accomplishments of our students, the work of our faculty, and our stellar programs. Kudos to the Upper School on preparing our students for their rigorous course work, their many Advance Placement tests, their final exams, and the special events and ceremonies that mark the end of the year. Bravo and brava to the Middle and Children’s school faculty for supporting our students through our challenging curriculum, leading excellent expeditions, seminars, and Walkabout (especially impressive considering the recent damp and unpredictable weather conditions). My thanks to the many parent volunteers who made these trips so successful. I am honored to be part of such strong and positive school/home partnerships and to work with this hard-working and effective team.
I am pleased to announce our new faculty/staff appointments and positions at CSS for the 2015-2016 school year. One of the most important ways we evolve and improve as a school is through the recruitment, hiring, and training of new faculty members. After all, talented teachers and leaders are what make our programs and curricula come alive. This time-consuming process began in February of this year, and it is a responsibility that we approach with intentionality and care. Many thanks to Eric Gaylord, the division lead teachers, and the involved faculty for their work to vet resumes and to interview and recruit candidates. I am very pleased with the quality and experience of this incoming “class” of educators.
Nicole Goyette from Dunn School in California will join us as Director of Student Programming. This position represents the reallocation of two part-time administrative positions into one full-time administrator with responsibility for “beyond the classroom” programs in all three divisions. This position will oversee our international student and homestay program, lead seminar planning and Risk Management, coordinate student life programming, and oversee the implementation of the social emotional learning and leadership curriculum school wide. Nicole is a talented educator and administrator with experience overseeing many academic and student programs at Dunn.
Andrew Julian joins us as the new Middle and Upper School Science and Math teacher. A native of Pennsylvania, Andrew is most recently a district-wide technology integrator and AP science teacher in North Carolina. A leader in cutting edge tech integration and project-based learning, Andrew feels a great affinity with our educational philosophy and is excited to deliver student-centered math and science education in a dynamic classroom and in seminars. We are pleased to be welcoming him to our community.
Current kindergarten teacher Jolly Burke will be “moving up” with the rising 1st grade class to work with first grade teacher Julie Hamilton. We are thrilled to have Jolly continue her relationship with her current students and to work with Julie in 1st grade. My thanks to Jolly, Julie, and Libby for their flexibility and teamwork this year and in 2015-2016!
Please join me in welcoming Sara Derr as one of two 5th grade teachers for next year. As many of you know Sara is a CSS “veteran” with experience in several different grades levels in our Children’s School over the years. My thanks to her for her work in 5th grade this spring and for her work and support all year in the Early Childhood Center and the Extended Care program. Again, we are happy to be welcoming Sara back to her role as a full-time Children’s School faculty member.
Alex Schilperoort (pronounced skill-per-ort) will also join us as a teacher in 5th grade. Early indications show that the students are going to call him Mr. S! A highly regarded educator, Alex recently completed his Masters degree in Educational Psychology at CU - Denver and he has experience teaching at several different elementary schools, including Stanley British Primary, Steele Elementary and, most recently, teaching 5th grade at St. Elizabeth’s School in Denver. We are pleased to welcome Alex’s expertise and energy to the Children’s School team.
Kaja Reynolds will be joining our community as our new Grade 3-8th Arts teacher. In addition to her work in Children’s and Middle School, she will also teach two digital media classes in the Upper School. A multi-faceted and skilled artist in her own right, Kaja often shows her work in local galleries. She has the artistic background to teach a wide range of media and techniques. She is also an experienced elementary school teacher in District 3, and she comes to us with independent school art teaching experience.
Gretchen Gresham joins the CSS community to teach French in Middle and Upper School next year. An experienced teacher, Gretchen has most recently been teaching at Air Academy High School in District 20. A recent recipient of a Fulbright teaching exchange in Switzerland, Gretchen is a master teacher who specializes in an active and engaged classroom.
Twyla Surritte will serve in a new role next year as the Administrative Assistant in the Early Childhood Center. Skilled in many aspects of logistical management and certified in early childhood care, Twyla is a great fit to support Karen Lawson, the Director of our Early Childhood Programs and Carol Mayberry’s work as Division Lead in the Children’s School. Twyla will also be our Extended Care program specialist. My thanks to her for taking on these important roles.
The last team member for me to introduce is Lauren Kelley. She will join us as our new part-time English teacher with two sections of 7th grade English. Lauren is also an experienced educator and has worked as a humanities and English teacher at White Mountain School (where former CSS Head of School, Mickey Landry served as Head of School) in New Hampshire. Lauren has most recently been teaching higher-level English Literature, pre-IB courses, and a senior level Theory of Knowledge class in the International Baccalaureate program at Valley Verde School, an international boarding school in Arizona. We are pleased to have Lauren on board. Please join me in welcoming these new faculty members to the school at the upcoming Ice Cream Social on August 14th!
Click here for a complete Faculty/Staff directory.
Our preparation for the upcoming school year is happening in a variety of structural and strategic ways. In the structural realms, work crews have begun replacing the 110-year old boiler in the Trianon and repairing several roofs on campus. And while our faculty are enjoying some hard-earned down time and travel, they are also working to create curriculum for their classes and new courses and seminars such as the new Mission Centered Seminars in Upper School. At the Board level, I’d like to offer my thanks to Caro Gardiner and Bill Nelson as they complete their terms of service to the school. New members of the Board of Trustees include current parents, Stephanie Edwards, Christopher Franklin, and alumnus Mark Shottes ‘01. Dr. Paul Young, the faculty representative to the Board has completed his two-year term and Brent Moorhead has graciously accepted my appointment to this position for the next two years.
The Parents Association is a critical element of our community and school/home partnership and it is also evolving and welcoming new leaders. My thanks to Sandra Woll whom has completed her term as president of the Parent Association. Jill Richardi will be stepping into this role. She has already done a great job leading the Parents Association and organizing upcoming events such as the Summer Concert: Stars on the Quad (July 18), Ice Cream Social (August 14), Fun Run/Carnival (September 25) and many other school events.
It is an exciting time at CSS. Tune into next week’s July ROAR to prepare for Back-to-School events. As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you desire to know more about any element of the school and its mission. Thank you for being part of the CSS community.
Every Kid. Every Class. Every Day. CSS – It’s what we do!
All the best,
Head of School