With the start of the school year upon us, join us in welcoming new Calhoun employees. If you see these new faces around our buildings, don’t hesitate to say hello!
NEW UPPER SCHOOL FACULTY
Martha Fischhoff: Upper School Dean of Students
Martha comes to us from Fieldston's Upper School, where she served as a Form Dean and Upper School Social Studies Teacher. Martha has a B.A. in liberal arts from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. in gender and women's studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has a long relationship with progressive education, having taught at Fieldston and both attended and taught at The Cambridge School of Weston. Her devotion to creating safe spaces for students to take intellectual risks and learn through their experiences in and out of the classroom is a perfect fit for our community
Kevin Quinn: 9th Grade English Teacher
Kevin has a B.A. in English language and literature from Yale University, and he taught English both locally and abroad for twelve years. He is an accomplished playwright and singer, and is finishing writing a memoir that will be published this spring.
Patrick O'Donnell: 10th Grade World History Teacher
Patrick has a B.A. in history from Tufts University, and he has been teaching an array of social studies courses at Worcester Academy since 2011. He has also coached baseball and basketball, and was a collegiate baseball pitcher.
Naomi Choodnovskiy: STEAM Teacher
Naomi is joining Calhoun this year in a new science position, where she will teach chemistry, physics, forensics, engineering and environmental science. She will also oversee an array of clubs including Science Lab, which will allow US students to work with MS students on various hands-on experiments. Naomi has a B.S. in chemical engineering from Columbia University and an M.A. in cognitive science in education from Teachers College. Naomi's strong and diverse science background makes her an excellent addition to the science team.
NEW MIDDLE SCHOOL FACULTY
Hannah Scarritt-Selman '05: Administrative Assistant to the Middle School
While far from new to Calhoun, Hannah will be entering a new role as Administrative Assistant to the Middle School. Hannah has worn many hats at Calhoun, and we couldn't be happier to have her on the 3rd floor.
Monique Boston: 7th Grade Math
Monique will join our team from the Collegiate School in Richmond. She brings a passion for developing curriculum and a love for instilling an appreciation for math in her students. She is excited to be moving back home to NYC from Virginia.
Jia Qian: Mandarin
Jia is joining us from Philadelphia, where she has been at the Springside Chestnut Academy for five years. Jia will be the newest member of our Mandarin team, bringing not only years of experience teaching Mandarin, but also a background in art education.
Theo Tupaz: 6th Grade Science
Theo brings over twenty years of experience including clinical lab work, teaching chemistry, biology, earth and environmental science, leading STEAM initiatives, and developing innovative science curriculum in independent schools.
Alison Levosky: Chorus
Alison Levosky will be taking over the chorus program in the Middle School and the Upper School. Alison is currently the music director of the Riverdale Youth Chorus. She brings an impressive background in music education and a joyful energy that is sure to inspire our students' voices.
NEW LOWER SCHOOL 81ST STREET FACULTY
Gingi Wingard: Learning Specialist and Curriculum Coordinator
Replacing Jessica Nelson, who is moving on to an expanded role in Middle School, is Gingi Wingard. Gingi is excited to join the Lower School as Curriculum Coordinator and Learning Specialist. She comes to us from the Upper School where she served as Learning Specialist during the 2017-18 school year. Gingi has over twenty years of experience as a teacher, administrator, learning and technology specialist and consultant. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Stanford University and a master's degree in education from San Jose State University. In her free time, Gingi enjoys travel, good food and the arts. She and her husband, Jason, are the proud parents of one Class of 2018 Calhoun alum and four Calhoun students including Jaxen, who moves up from Little Calhoun this year.
Jules Hollander: 3rd-4th Grade Music & 5th Grade Chorus
Jules has over ten years of music education experience working with children ages 3-18 years. He received his M.A. in music education, K-12 from Hunter College, and his B.A. in music from McGill University. Jules is certified in Dalcroze music pedagogy, but also applies the music pedagogies of Kodály, Orff and Little Kids Rock to his teaching. Prior to joining Calhoun, Jules was the full-time middle and high school instrumental music teacher at Opportunity Charter School for the past four years. He loves playing any instrument he can get his hands on, composing electronic music, speaking French, traveling, going to music shows and playing ping pong in his spare time.
NEW 74TH STREET FACULTY
Hamida Butt: Learning Specialist and Curriculum Coordinator
Though certainly not new to Calhoun, Hamida Butt will now be full-time at 74th Street as the Learning Specialist and Curriculum Coordinator, and is very much looking forward to this role. Hamida spent time in both buildings in the past, serving in the above posts for first through fifth grades in addition to being a language arts teacher during her 20-plus years at Calhoun.
Hamida has a bachelor's degree in English from Barnard College and a master's Degree in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to new places to experience the food and culture, but she believes there is no better place to live than New York. She is married with two children and says she considers herself very lucky to be living in the same city as her granddaughter Zora, who is the love of her life.
Mariana Iranzi: 74th Street Music
Mariana is a professional musician, composer and educator from Argentina. She received her Bachelor's degree in professional music (education and performance) at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. With more than twelve years of experience as an educator, she has taught early childhood and elementary music classes as well as instrumental instruction and conducting for all ages. A former faculty member at City and Country School in Manhattan, Mariana and her daughter Manuela (4's) will be joining the Calhoun community this fall.
Erika Brinzac '10: First Grade Head Teacher
Erika experienced Calhoun's education firsthand as a 3s-12th grade student and then went on to earn an undergraduate degree in Spanish and childhood elementary education at Wellesley College. Erika is also particularly interested in how children learn differently, and she pursued a master's degree in childhood general and special education at Bank Street. Throughout her studies, she continued to design and teach various educational programs for students at the American Museum of Natural History on topics ranging from outer space to dinosaurs.
Erika began her career in the classroom as a second grade teacher in Red Hook, Brooklyn, where her primary role was to meet the social and emotional needs of the children and provide small group support and enrichment in math and humanities. For the past two years, she has worked as the K-4 science teacher at Ramaz. There, she helped develop the STEAM curriculum, while also working to infuse the program with more explicit instruction to help children benefit from working and learning collaboratively.
Shnieka Johnson: First Grade Associate Teacher
Shnieka is a graduate of Bank Street College of Education. Her teaching experience includes past work as an associate teacher at The School at Columbia University and as an independent consultant for the Partnership for After School Education. Shnieka has served as a substitute teacher at Lower School 74th working with young 3's through 2nd grade and is thrilled to join the first grade team in a full-time role. Shnieka and her husband Geoffrey are the proud parents of Garrett, a rising 4th grader at Calhoun.
Jonah Dragen: Associate 3's Teacher
Jonah has a strong academic background in education, having obtained a bachelor's degree from Vassar College and a master's degree in early childhood from Bank Street College of Education. He worked for several years in preschool classrooms, first at Barnard College's Center for Toddler Development, then in Packer Collegiate Institute's assistant teacher program, and most recently as a co-lead teacher at Blue School.
Lisa Moldowsky, RN: School Nurse
Lisa comes from a family of nurses, and she has worked for many years as a school nurse in Oyster Bay, NY, and as a nurse at Eisner Camp in Massachusetts for 16 years. She is excited to join the Calhoun community and is looking forward to meeting everyone.
Eric Osorio: Associate Head of School for Teaching and Learning
A native New Yorker and alum of Prep for Prep and Horace Mann, Eric received his BA in sociology from Tufts University, and an MA from Columbia University’s Teachers College, where he was a Klingenstein Fellow. He spent the first 12 years of his career at the Noble and Greenough School outside Boston, where he began as a middle and upper school social studies and English teacher, and later was named associate director of admissions and then dean of diversity initiatives. Eric moved from Nobles to the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, where he spent four years as assistant head of the upper school and also taught history. From 2012 to 2015, he served as dean of students at Worcester Academy, in Worcester, MA, and most recently as associate head of school at the Swift School in Roswell, GA.
In this new position, Eric will be responsible for driving innovation and leading collaborative change in the academic and pedagogical spheres across all three divisions of the school. Eric and his wife, Roberta, have seven-year-old twins, Jordan and Jasmine, who will be entering Calhoun’s second grade, and an infant son, Eric junior, born this past May. Roberta will also be starting in a new position, as middle school academic dean at Sacred Heart.
L.J. Mitchell: Director of Development
L. J. Mitchell joins Calhoun this summer as Calhoun’s new Director of Development. He comes to Calhoun from Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) in New York, where he has been director of advancement since 2014. Under L.J.’s leadership, the school produced record-breaking annual fund results, re-imagined its annual auction benefit, launched an ambitious endowment campaign and created the LREI Archives project.
Prior to LREI, L.J. served as director of development at Mary McDowell Friends School in Brooklyn (where he continues to serve as a trustee) and the Churchill School in New York. He is also a founding faculty member of Independent School Management’s Advancement Academy, for which he leads summer workshops on all aspects of development. L.J. holds both a law degree from Suffolk University in Boston and an MFA in acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Prior to his career in development, he worked as an actor.
Danny Isquith: Upper School Director
Danny, Middle School Director since 2015 and Upper School teacher since 2003, has been named Upper School Director. The transition to a leadership position in the Upper School will be a natural one for Danny, who came to Calhoun as an Upper School calculus teacher and continued to add ever-expanding responsibilities to his plate—as master scheduler, College Counselor and Dean of Academic Affairs. Danny has a BS in physics and astronomy from Yale University, and an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, where he was a Klingenstein Fellow.
Andrea Solomon-Gutierrez: Middle School Director
Andrea, who has served as Assistant Director of the Middle School since 2013, has agreed to serve as Interim Director for the 2018–19 academic year. Andrea began at Calhoun in 2007 as a Middle School social studies teacher, after teaching for a number of years in New York City public schools. She has a BA in sociology from Syracuse University and an MA in education from the City College of New York (CCNY), where she received a New York City Teaching Fellowship. Andrea and her husband, Abelardo Gutierrez, have two children in the Lower School: Daniela, who is entering third grade, and Max, who is entering first.
Michelle Kiefer: Director of Communications
Michelle is stepping into a new role as Director of Communications, after two years as Calhoun's Marketing & Communications Manager. Prior to Calhoun, Michelle worked in marketing and communications for the French Institute Alliance Française and the National Academy Museum and School. She has a BA in art and French from New York University.