Margaret Santana P ’22, ’24 and Kevin Schmidt ’98 join the Board as they assume leadership of the PSPA and PAA, respectively.
Along with all of the new faculty and staff who joined Pingry this fall, 20 members of the community have moved into new positions or taken on additional roles:
Mrs. Kate Whitman Annis P '23, '23, '28, '30
Mrs. Annis, who previously served as Associate Director of Advancement for four years and, prior to that, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, is working with alumni and parents on their individual philanthropic interests. She is also Head Coach of the Girls' Varsity Ice Hockey Team and Assistant Coach of the Middle School Ice Hockey Team.
Mr. Brian Burkhart
Director of Technology and Curricular Initiatives
Adding responsibilities to a position he has held since 2012, Mr. Burkhart is providing administrative support for curricular initiatives related to the 2018 Strategic Plan, especially those initiatives that span departments and divisions. His first areas of focus are the Research Program (determining how the original IRTs and newer Humanities IRTs can coalesce and expand) and course proposals—because Mr. Burkhart has a "bird's eye view" of what the School is looking for and the courses that are submitted for consideration, he can help faculty members fine tune individual proposals. He continues in his roles as Computer Science Department Chair and English Teacher.
Mr. Mike Coakley
Middle School Dean of Students
Mr. Coakley has served in a variety of Middle School capacities since 2016, including as English teacher (which he continues), coach, advisor, and Team Leader, and has been a driving force behind Middle School Field Day, the Grade 6 and Form I trips, the Middle School Talent Show, and other initiatives. As Dean of Students, he is responsible for student life; generating school spirit; overseeing the Advisory program; and infusing the Middle School program with an enriched understanding of Pingry's Honor Code. Mr. Coakley is excited to help Middle School students "exhibit the best versions of themselves" and create a community in which "students feel safe enough to take risks and are supported in their triumphs and missteps alike."
Dr. Ann Dickerson P '22, '24
English Department Chair
Dr. Dickerson has been a member of the English and World & Classical Languages Departments since 2001. Along with her imprint on curriculum across two departments, she has mentored new teachers, co-chaired an accreditation team, served on faculty committees, and co-led an exchange program with a school in Germany. "I hope to facilitate thoughtful conversations about pedagogy and curriculum that will serve to enhance our students' experience in the English classroom, in addition to fostering a sense of community in the English Department."
Mrs. Jill Driscoll P '30
Grade 2 Teacher
Having taught Grade 2 for 11 years and switched to Educational Technology Specialist for six years (working to change the philosophy of technology at the Lower School), Mrs. Driscoll has returned to the classroom. A few months of substituting for Grade 2 last school year gave her a new outlook: "I felt my calling was back in the classroom, incorporating technology as much as I could."
Ms. Julia Dunbar
Director of Global Education and Engagement
A member of the History Department since 2014, Ms. Dunbar has played a pivotal role in several department initiatives, from curriculum refinement to the development of new courses. Having served on the Strategic Planning Committee for Global Education, she has designed and led on-campus and place-based student programs, one of which became the inspiration for the Global Field Studies program. Working with a close-knit team, she also took on the challenge of co-sponsoring a plan for last year's professional growth theme, Experiential Education. Ms. Dunbar is looking forward to working with teachers to develop global programs "that help our students understand and appreciate the perspectives of people in other parts of the world, both locally and globally."
Mr. Scott Garrow
Prior to joining Pingry in 2015, Mr. Garrow had spent many years working on college campuses, partnering most recently with the Admissions and Athletic Offices at Cornell University (2003-2011) and Princeton University (2011-2014) as an assistant coach of their men's ice hockey teams. One of his primary tasks was to guide families through the often unclear and highly competitive admissions process, and his responsibilities included advising students on college essays, teacher recommendations, and interview preparation. Mr. Garrow is eager to help students "navigate a stressful time in their lives."
Mr. Alex Joujan
Upper School Math Teacher
Mr. Joujan is pleased to join the Upper School Math Department after teaching Middle School math for eight years. He had taught high school math for five years before joining Pingry.
Mr. Aaron Kellner
Grade 4 Teacher; Lower School Community and Civic Engagement Coordinator
An avid reader with a Master's degree in Dramaturgy (theatrical literature), and a member of the faculty since 2016, Mr. Kellner has not only transitioned from Grade 3 to Grade 4, to focus on Language Arts, but also taken on the position of Community and Civic Engagement Coordinator. "It is incredibly important for our students to take active roles in our community . . . to develop empathy and compassion." Along with coordinating Dress Down Days, he plans to work with teachers to create more opportunities for students to engage with the community.
Ms. Judy Lebowitz
Latin Teacher; Mentor Program Director
Ms. Lebowitz has transitioned from English, which she taught at Pingry for 18 years, to Latin, capitalizing on her college major, her occasional teaching of Latin over the years, and her love of ancient literature—understanding grammatical constructions and recognizing Latin roots in English words. Outside the classroom, she has served as a faculty mentor for the past decade, finding the collaboration with new faculty "incredibly stimulating, inspiring, and valuable for both the mentor and the mentee, as we reflect together on the art of teaching. I have learned a great deal from observing my colleagues and studying excellent teaching, and I'm excited to develop the program further." Ms. Lebowitz will also coordinate the Dr. Robert H. LeBow '58 Memorial Oratorical Competition.
Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff P '25
Lower School Director
Dr. Lizaire-Duff joined Pingry in 2016 as Lower School Assistant Director, quickly proving herself an experienced, effective member of the School's administration. She began her teaching career in 1999, working at the Edgemont Montessori School in Montclair. Over the next 15 years, she held a number of teaching and administrative positions in the Teaneck School District. Read more in the School's official announcement.
Mr. Eric Moore
Mr. Moore, recently certified as a Fiber Optics Technician, makes the transition to Technology from Facilities, for whom he performed technical work since 2013, such as planning and installing campus security devices. He also assisted the Technology Department by installing data wires for network connectivity. In his new role, he provides initial technical support for faculty, staff, and students.
Ms. Lorian Morales
Assistant Director of Admission
Ms. Morales has been a valued member of the Admission Office since she joined the team as Admission Coordinator in 2016. Her concern for others, kindness, and attention to detail have been important to creating a welcoming environment and ensuring that the office runs smoothly. She looks forward to "working closely with prospective Pingry families and helping them navigate what can, at times, feel like a daunting and overwhelming process . . . Seeing a student's face light up when they talk about what brings them joy is a gift."
Mrs. Jamie Nanfara
Lower School Literacy Specialist; Grade 2
Mrs. Nanfara joined Pingry as a second-grade teacher in 2017 and is eager to support students as they "take on the identity of a reader and a writer." She has been a freelance writer for KidLit TV, a literacy website for children (her column "The Kids Are All Write" engaged children in writing), and continues to be a curator and an online influencer of children's literature by reviewing advance copies and posting her recommendations on social media and blogs. Although her primary duties as Literacy Specialist are mostly on hold while she takes over Grade 2 for the remainder of the school year, Mrs. Nanfara will act as a resource this year and resume being Literacy Specialist next year.
Mrs. Julie Perlow P '20
Lower School Assistant Director of Student Life
Previously the Lower School's Social Worker for nine years, during which time she expanded the Decisions curriculum to cover Kindergarten through Grade 5, Mrs. Perlow will introduce wellness programs to the Lower School and is responsible for reinforcing the Code of Conduct, the Lower School's age-appropriate version of the Honor Code. "I am working with our administration and faculty to best support the needs of our students, both academically and social-emotionally."
Mr. Steve Richardson
Co-Teacher of Financial Literacy
A fixture in the Business Office for 17 years as Pingry's Controller, Mr. Richardson has always been interested in numbers, money, and investing. Prior to working at Pingry, he spent 14 years in public accounting, serving clients of various sizes, so he brings to the classroom a range of experience in financial matters.
Mrs. Mona Sinclair
Lower School Academic Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Sinclair will greet students, parents, faculty, and staff in the Main Office, joining Nadielle McArthur, Lower School Main Office Administrative Assistant. Mrs. Sinclair has spent the past decade as Upper School Administrative Assistant and Substitute Coordinator on the Basking Ridge Campus.
Ms. Holland Sunyak '02
Associate Director of Advancement
Having served as Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving since 2016, Ms. Sunyak is overseeing Stewardship & Donor Relations, The Pingry Fund, and Community Engagement teams. She is responsible for the strategic direction and execution of Pingry's Stewardship and Donor Relations program, as well as the successful execution of a comprehensive Annual Fund and Communication Relations program.
Ms. Olivia Tandon
Farm and Sustainability Coordinator
A biology teacher at Pingry since 2017, Ms. Tandon served as Sustainability Coordinator for three years at her previous school and completed a farm internship with Manhattan Country School. "I've always been interested in farming and farm education because food is so integral to who we are, culturally and biologically. It's important for students to learn about farming and have the experience of growing their own food. Producing food also has a huge impact on local ecosystems and the climate." In her new role, Ms. Tandon will expand the farm program and continue the School's work on environmental stewardship, composting, outdoor classrooms, and the campus Master Plan.
Mr. Graham Touhey
Form III/IV Dean of Student Life
Mr. Touhey, a chemistry teacher since 2013 who earned a Master's degree in School Leadership, has led the Outing Club, planned Global Programs to Belize and Norway, and served as a Form Dean. "This role affords me the opportunity to cultivate positive student experiences, both in and out of the classroom, on a broader scale . . . I am appreciative of the small role I get to play in helping to enhance leadership development opportunities for our students. I take great pride in serving as an ambassador for Pingry's Honor Code."
Contact: Greg Waxberg '96, Communications Writer