Welcome New Calhoun Employees!

With the start of the school year upon us, join us in welcoming new Calhoun employees!

New Lower School Faculty

Lauren Feiden: LS-EC and LS-E Counselor

Lauren is a clinical psychologist specialized in working with young children and their families, and is formally trained and certified in Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Originally from Montreal, Canada, Lauren completed her graduate degree in Chicago and then came to New York City for her internship and postdoctoral work. Lauren has experience working in community mental health centers, private practice, and both mainstream progressive and special education schools. Most recently, Lauren was the lower school psychologist at The Gateway School in Manhattan. She is excited to now be a part of the Calhoun community and is looking forward to meeting all the kids and families!

New LS-Early Childhood Faculty 

Alison Leveque: LC-EC Learning Specialist

For the past ten years, Alison has worked at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School as a first grade and kindergarten classroom teacher, and most recently as a learning specialist. Prior to that she was a preschool teacher. Finding ways to support all students has always been a passion of Alison's, and led her to continue her education in a Ph.D. program at Fordham University.  Alison is looking forward to being part of our wonderful community!

Helena Vancells: LS-EC Spanish Teacher

Helena, a native of Barcelona, Spain, has been teaching language through movement for the last 20 years in Spain, South Africa, Indonesia and the US, most recently at the Riverdale Country School. Her background is in Spanish, ESL, dance, yoga, kinesthetic learning and movement's role in brain development. Helena has a master's in dance education from the University of Northern Colorado, and a master's in museum studies from the City University of New York. She's excited to join the Calhoun family.

New LS-Elementary Faculty

Monique Boston: 3rd Grade Math Teacher 

Monique will be joining the division as our 3rd grade math teacher, covering for Molly Cohen. Monique will also be providing additional support in math throughout the division for the entirety of the year. Monique began teaching math in Calhoun's Middle School two years ago, bringing her passion for the subject and love of teaching. Monique attended The Virginia Commonwealth University where she earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees in teaching. While she loves all aspects of working with Calhoun mathematicians, she is especially excited to move down to 3rd grade to relate mathematics to the students' real-world experiences and to build foundational math skills. Monique is grateful to have her two beautiful children with her at Calhoun and embrace the blessings and challenges that will come in our upcoming chapter! 


Emily Capkanis: Art Teacher 

Emily has recently taught art as a leave replacement in both the Middle and Upper School divisions, as well as coached cross-country. Her joining the LS-E division this year makes this her Big Calhoun teaching trifecta!  Emily is a lifer and an alum of Calhoun. Upon graduating, she earned a degree in studio art and sociology at Drew University. She is a passionate teacher and an emerging mixed-media artist and muralist. Her teaching style is calm, flexible and transparent with a goal of fostering self-confidence and passion for creating in her students. She believes each child should grow their confidence to try new things and experience pride in their artistic endeavors, as well as developing an appreciation for the creative work of others in their community. 

Ben Boeker: LS-E Music Teacher - Parental Leave Replacement

Ben was a music adjunct at Calhoun, he will now he will be a part of the Lower School - Elementary division full time as Jules Hollender's leave replacement.

New Middle School Faculty

Krystal Reddick: Middle School English Teacher

Krystal Reddick joins our English department after teaching at Kent Place School in New Jersey and recently earning her Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University. She also holds a B.A. in African American Studies from Duke University and an M.Ed. from Rutgers University. She loves reading (of course!), all things self-care and wellness, and trying new recipes.

Heidy Rodriguez '13: Middle School English Teacher

Heidy joins our English department after teaching at the Trinity School and the Urban School of San Francisco. She has a BA in English and film from Vassar College and is completing an MA in secondary education at The University of Pennsylvania. A Calhoun alum, she credits her professional trajectory in large part to her experience as a student. Her interests include jigsaw puzzles, watching birds and conquering new recipes.

Rebecca Rosario: Middle School Counselor

Rebecca joins us as our new Middle School Counselor. She holds a BA in sociology from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and an M.Ed in school counseling from Hunter College. She loves to bake and (fun fact) when she was in middle school, she performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with her chorus!

Katie Yang: Middle School Math Teacher 

Katie joins us as the newest member of our math team. She has a BS in biomedical engineering from Columbia University and taught middle school math and engineering at the Dalton School for the last three years. Her new "pandemic hobbies" include baking sourdough bread and hand sewing.


John Gentile: Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

John is a nationally recognized equity and inclusion practitioner who has for the last five years been co-director of the Office for Identity, Culture, and Institutional Equity at the Horace Mann School. Through the work of the office, he has developed policies, programs and practices aimed at sustaining an equitable and inclusive institution. At Horace Mann, he was involved in course development, student and community programming, faculty and staff professional development, recruitment and hiring, bringing an equity lens to every experience and interaction.

Jessy Trejo: Director of Admissions

Jessy brings deep and wide experience with admissions, recruitment, communications, teaching, equity work and relationship-building in the NYC independent school universe.  He previously served as associate director of admissions and financial aid at Speyer Legacy School, where he developed relationships with feeder schools and programs, led a parent ambassador program and helped drive application growth. Prior to Speyer he spent nine years working at Prep for Prep as admissions officer, dean of students and assistant director of academic programming; before that he worked in the middle division at Horace Mann School. Jessy is a graduate of Boston College and earned a masters in educational leadership from NYU. Jessy will oversee Calhoun’s admissions process from PreK-12 and lead Calhoun’s team of experienced, excellent admissions professionals.

Camilla Yohn-Barr: 81st Street Assistant Librarian (Leave Replacement)

Camilla Yohn-Barr holds a BA in geology from Mount Holyoke College and completed a special minor in myth studies. She earned her MSLIS from the Pratt Institute in May 2020 and has worked in school libraries around New York for the past four years, including The Berkeley Carroll School and Little Red Schoolhouse. Camilla's favorite childhood author was (and is) Tamora Pierce, and her favorite fiction tropes include "found families" and "robots with feelings."

New Roles

Brooke Carbajal, who has been working with Calhoun P.E. and Athletics since winter of last year, will be in the role of P.E. teacher until Alyssa Giuffrida returns. Congratulations to Alyssa who welcomed baby Salvatore into the world! Alyssa will be on maternity leave throughout the fall. 

Yutong Chen, who currently teaches 6th and 8th grade Mandarin, will also teach 7th grade Mandarin until Jia Qian returns. We're excited for Jia who will be on maternity leave through the fall.

Shnieka Johnson joined the Admissions team in the summer of 2020 taking on the role of Assistant Director of Admissions overseeing preschool through 2nd grade. Previously, she was a Calhoun teacher in the Lower School—Early Childhood division.

Lavern McDonald will be joining Patrick to team-teach Modern World History 10, and she will also continue to offer a wide array of social studies electives that ask students to dig deeply into history, sociology, research and identity. Along with that, Lavern will serve as our Special Projects Coordinator, looking at how we use place-based learning (including virtual trips) and community connections/resources to enhance our curriculum and the student experience.

Robin Otton, Assistant Director of Admissions, is now overseeing 3rd-8th grade admissions.

Shameena Khan, Assistant Director of Admission, is now overseeing Upper School admissions.

Dan Stein ‘07 will take on a full-time music teacher position after supporting the music department as an adjunct teacher for so many years.