Pingry welcomed its nine newest members during the Upper School Fall Awards Assembly.
In addition to all of the new and returning students who will soon be arriving on the Basking Ridge and Short Hills Campuses, Pingry is delighted to greet the newest members of our talented faculty and staff for the 2017-18 school year. Read their profiles below to learn more about their varied backgrounds, and help us welcome them all to the Pingry community!
Ms. Anne Becker is excited to return to the classroom as a Lower School faculty member, teaching Grade 5 Social Studies. Prior to Pingry, she worked for several years as a freelance writer for Scholastic.com and as a lead curriculum developer at Amplify, where she created digital education products for students. In addition to her work with these companies, Anne has more than 10 years of classroom teaching experience with students in grades 2 through 6. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from Chatham University and an M.S. in Education from Duquesne University.
As a new member of the Middle School English faculty, Ms. Lynne Cattafi joins us from the Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI) in New York. At LREI, Lynne taught English and humanities for Grades 6–8 and served in a separate role as the Dean of Students for grades 5 and 6. Prior to her roles in academia, she served as an assistant editor at Longman Publishers where she reviewed manuscripts and evaluated proposals. Lynne graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University, earning a B.A. in English, and also received an M.A. in English Education from Teachers College at Columbia University.
We welcome Mr. Jeffrey Cohen P '21, '24 to Short Hills as a Grade 5 science teacher. Prior to Pingry, Jeffrey had been the Technology Integration Specialist and a math teacher at the All Saints Episcopal Day School in Hoboken, where he was responsible for integrating STEM initiatives. Before that, he worked at the Red Oaks School in multiple roles, including as a science and math teacher and also as Director of Academic Technology for grades K–8. No stranger to Pingry, Jeffrey is also the parent of current Pingry students Harper and Talia Cohen. He earned a B.A. in Asian Studies and Japanese from Colgate University and received his certification in Graduate Administration and Supervision from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education.
A therapist, coach, teacher, administrator, and lifelong learner, Ms. Susan Conklin joins Pingry this fall as Academic Support Coordinator and Learning Specialist in the Middle and Upper Schools. Her most recent roles include serving as a learning specialist at the Knox School in New York and the Buxton School in Massachusetts. Susan taught reading comprehension strategies and other important skills to overcome learning challenges. Prior to working as an education specialist, she began her career as a social worker, helping children achieve emotional balance in their lives. Her blended background as both a clinician and educator aligns with her desire to help students develop competence and perform better in school. Susan received a B.A. in Sociology from City College of New York, a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Hunter College, and an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in Language and Literacy from Simmons College.
A native of Peru, Ms. Karim Del Pozo brings her love of teaching and the Spanish language to Pingry, where she will join the Middle School Spanish team. We welcome Karim from Missoula, Montana, where she had been teaching Spanish and was the Middle School Coordinator at the Missoula International School. She brings over 15 years of teaching experience to Pingry and prior to working in the U.S., Karim taught English as a Second Language and trained ESL teachers in Lima, Peru. She earned a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American literature from Shippensburg University.
Mr. Matthew DuCharme joins Pingry as a Middle School science teacher and Form II Team Leader this year. He comes to us from the Brunswick School in Connecticut, where he taught physics, chemistry, biology, and general sciences to students in Grades 5-8. He also coached soccer, basketball, and lacrosse and will assume coaching responsibilities for several of Pingry's Middle School teams. Apart from teaching science, Matthew served as the lead teacher in a Shark Tank summer program, where students created and presented innovative business plans. He received a B.S. in Biology and Environmental Studies from St. Lawrence University and also earned an M.A.T. in Biology from Manhattanville College.
Another addition to the English department this year is Ms. Audrey Enriquez, who will be teaching in the Middle and Upper Schools. She has taught English at several New York schools, including the Kew Forest School and the Dwight School, as well as at multiple international schools in Manila, Philippines. Audrey enjoys bringing the outside world into the classroom and has worked with her students to initiate humanitarian projects that help support children in her native country, the Philippines. Audrey graduated cum laude and received an A.B. in Humanities from the University of Asia and the Pacific as well as an M.A.T. in English from Bard College.
Mr. Jeffrey Feinberg looks forward to returning to a full-time teaching role this year after recently serving as the Upper School division head at Tuxedo Park School. At Pingry, Jeffrey will teach math in the Middle School and will also lead outdoor education classes. In prior roles he has served as Mathematics Department Chair, mathematics teacher, and coach. He has also supervised and taught junior sailing programs. Jeffrey holds a B.Ed. degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from McGill University and earned an M.Ed. in Mathematics Education from Teachers College at Columbia University.
As a new A.P. psychology teacher in the Upper School, Dr. Brandyn Fisher brings a practical perspective to the classroom based on his expertise in performance psychology with competitive athletes. He led and developed training and conditioning programs for student athletes at various tennis training centers, including the Junior Tennis Champions Center in Maryland and Centercourt Sports Academy in Morristown. Brandyn has taught sports psychology courses at West Virginia University and has also published numerous articles on sports psychology-related topics. He received multiple degrees from West Virginia University, including a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in Community Counseling, and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Psychology.
Another new faculty member joining us from the Tuxedo Park School in New York is Ms. Emily Glatter, who will teach history in the Middle School. In addition to her prior experience teaching history and English, Emily also taught Latin and served as the Dean of Academic Administration at the Pacific Boychoir Academy in California. She holds a B.A. in Latin and Classical Civilizations from Wellesley College.
We welcome Mrs. Keara Gordon to the Short Hills campus as Lower School drama teacher. For the last 11 years, Keara has been a performing arts teacher at Chatham Day School, where she encouraged theatrical and musical creativity in her students. In addition to teaching drama and producing and directing school performances, she has also taught dance and vocal performance. Keara is a certified Teacher of Theater. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Rider University, where she was one of two theater scholarship recipients.
A recent transplant to New Jersey from Andover, Massachusetts, Ms. Sade Jack joins the Upper School's world languages faculty as a French teacher. Most recently, Sade lived on campus and taught French at Phillips Academy. She also taught her students yoga, with an emphasis on breathing techniques and mindfulness to reduce stress. In addition to teaching, she will serve as an assistant coach for the Girls' JV Tennis Team. Sade holds a B.A. in the College of Letters and in French from Wesleyan University as well as an M.A. in French Civilization from Middlebury College.
Dr. Marie-Pierre Jolly joins the Upper School as a computer science faculty member, having worked at Siemens for more than 20 years, where she focused on medical image analysis research and development. Most recently, she was the Senior Expert R&D for Siemens Healthineers. She has won numerous awards for her work and has authored a long list of articles for peer-reviewed journals. She received an M.S. degree and Ph.D., both in Computer Science, from Michigan State University, where she also taught undergraduates in the Computer Science department. Marie-Pierre received a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Université de Technologie de Compiègne in France.
Middle School students can also look forward to computer science classes this year with Ms. Christina Lee, who joins Pingry from the Warren Township School District, where she taught physical sciences. Christina has also taught STEM enrichment classes at the Liberty Science Center. She received a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a minor in Computer Science from Rowan University, and she is also a candidate at Rowan for an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
Continuing our commitment to integrating innovative technology in the classroom, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Danielle Mirliss P '26 as Educational Technology and Innovation Coordinator. Danielle joins us from Seton Hall University, where she served as the Director of Instructional Design at the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center. Danielle received a B.A. in Psychology from Rutgers University, an M.A. in Psychology from New York University, and an M.Ed. and Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College at Columbia University.
The Upper School science faculty will be joined by Ms. Stephanie Mygas, who will teach biology and chemistry. She comes from Prendergast High School in Pennsylvania, where she taught chemistry and environmental sciences. Stephanie has extensive hands-on experience working in research labs. At the University of Massachusetts, where she was a teaching assistant, she was responsible for maintaining a biology of organisms lab. She received her B.S. in biological sciences from Rowan University and her M.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. She is also an alumna of Sea Education Association (SEA).
Another new member of the Short Hills faculty this fall is Mrs. Jamie Nanfara, who will be a Grade 2 teacher. Over the last six years, Mrs. Nanfara has taught first and second grades at the Charles H. Bullock School in Montclair. She enjoys sharing her love of children's literature and is a contributing writer for the website KidLit TV. Jamie received both a B.A. in Human Ecology and an M.A.T. in Elementary Education from Montclair State University.
We welcome Dr. Theresa O'Byrne, who will be teaching Latin in the Middle School while Margaret Kelleher is out on maternity leave this fall. Theresa has been teaching at Rutgers University and, prior to that, she taught Latin at Colorado State University, where she also organized events for the Latin Club. She received a B.A. in History and Anthropology as well as an M.A. degree in Classics, all from the University of Colorado. She also earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in Medieval Studies from the University of Notre Dame.
After filling in during Jennifer Mack-Watkins' maternity leave last fall, we welcome back Ms. Nan Ring in a permanent capacity as Upper School art teacher and Gallery Coordinator. Nan is a professional visual artist and author with 12 years of classroom experience, most recently at National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., and at Far Brook School in Short Hills. The recipient of numerous grants, awards, and artist-in-residence positions for her paintings and installations, she has an art studio in East Orange and regularly exhibits her work both regionally and nationally. She earned her M.F.A. in Painting from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and her B.F.A in Studio Art from Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts.
A recent graduate of Williams College, Miss Annie Sher will assume a one-year position as a math teacher in the Upper School. Employed by the Math and Science Resource Center at Williams, Annie tutored fellow college students in multivariate calculus and chemistry. At Pingry, she will also be assisting as a coach with Girls' JV Basketball Team. Annie graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Mathematics and History.
The Upper School science faculty is pleased to welcome another new colleague, Ms. Olivia Tandon. In addition to teaching biology and AP biology, Olivia will also help to oversee sustainability initiatives on our campus, including caring for Pingry's new flock of chickens. Before Pingry, Olivia worked at Poly Prep Country Day School, where she taught science, coached squash, and chaired the school's Strategic Plan Subcommittee for Sustainability. She also coached a Science Olympiad team to a top-10 finish in the NYC region. An avid squash player and the former captain of Columbia University's Squash team, Olivia will be an assistant coach for the Girls' Varsity Squash Team at Pingry. Olivia graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Biology and Creative Writing from Columbia University, an M.A. in Education from Brooklyn College, and she recently earned an M.Ed. in Private School Leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University.
Following the retirement of Al Romano, Mr. Alan Van Antwerp joins Pingry as the newest drama teacher on the Basking Ridge campus. After stage managing a professional Broadway cabaret for several years, Alan looks forward to returning to directing youth theater. He has directed more than 20 productions, and has been a cast member in a number of professional and community performances. He received a B.A. from Montclair State University and is continuing his studies there to earn an M.A. in Theatrical Studies.
An educator and administrator for over 20 years, Assistant Headmaster Dr. Delvin Dinkins was Head of the Upper School at the Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania for four years prior to joining Pingry's Administrative Team. Delvin's experiences in both public and private institutions are wide-ranging, from elementary and high school to the university level. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operation of Episcopal Academy, he taught English, served as a student advisor, and supervised department chairs.
Prior to Episcopal, he held numerous roles in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, including Director of Assessment and Accountability, Curriculum Supervisor, and Director of Electronic Learning. He also held a number of principal and assistant principal positions at schools in the same district, and has taught American and world literature, in addition to AP English Language & Composition.
On topics as diverse as social consciousness in school leadership, electronic learning trends, the No Child Left Behind Act, and mentoring African-American youth, Delvin has spoken as both an invited guest and presenter at many national and regional meetings, including at the American Educational Research Association and the American Council on Education. Among many honors and awards, he received an Outstanding Educator Award from both Hillsdale College (2003) and The University of Richmond (2002), was awarded a merit scholarship to the Inquiry Program at Teachers College Columbia University (2002), was the recipient of a Rockefeller Brothers Fund Post-Graduate Fellowship for Leadership (1997-2000), and was named the 2000 Track Coach of the Year by the Philadelphia Inquirer (for several years he was the head boys' and girls' track & field coach at Conestoga High School). Delvin was also a 2017 inductee into the Delaware County Hall of Fame as a recipient of the Humanitarian Award.
A graduate of Swarthmore College, he served as Vice President of the school's Alumni Council from 2006-2011, joined the Board of Managers in 2012, and was appointed to Swarthmore's Council on Presidential Initiatives. Her received a B.A. in English from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in Educational Studies from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Educational and Organizational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.
Middle School Director Ms. Laurie Piette joined Pingry after 15 years at the Rodeph Sholom School (RSS)—a coeducational nursery through Grade 8 Reform Jewish independent school in New York City—where she has served as teacher, Chair of the Humanities Department, Chair of the English Department, and, most recently, Director of Studies. In this role, she oversaw and developed the school's academic program, including the implementation of the Middle School's 1-1 iPad initiative, a review of their K-4 math curriculum, a coordination of the institution's integrated academic technology efforts, and the implementation of a school-wide service learning program. While at Rodeph Sholom, she also chaired its NYSAIS five- and 10-year reaccreditation reviews as well as the committee to review its mission statement, and produced the school's self-study.
Prior to RSS, Laurie served for 10 years as co-founder of and consultant for the Washington Heights Higher Education Project, tutoring New York City public school students in standardized test preparation and guiding them through the college application process. From 1994-2002 she taught Upper School English, World Civilizations, and Latin to Grades 9-12 and Middle School English and history at New York's Friends Seminary. She has also served as a substitute teacher for Grades 4-12 in a variety of New York City independent schools, and taught academically challenged students for a year at Cumberland High School in Rhode Island.
A graduate of Wellesley College, where she earned a B.A. in English and Classical Civilization, with a minor in Education, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, Ms. Piette is currently about to complete an M.Ed. in Private School Leadership in the Klingenstein Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She also has a master's degree in Creative Writing from City College. A member of a number of professional and academic organizations, including the Klingenstein Leadership Academy, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the National Council of Teachers of English, she is a regular panelist, presenter, and attendee at educational conferences and workshops, both nationally and locally.
"My fond wish is for my students to ultimately become part of a world in which they thrive and which they help to make a better place," she has written.
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