On John Pingry's 200th birthday, please consider giving to the School, and help us to unlock a generous challenge grant!
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 2018-19 school year. Read their profiles below to learn more about their varied backgrounds, and help us welcome them all to the Pingry community!
We welcome Xiomara Babilonia as a new visual arts teacher and assistant coach of the Middle School softball team. Prior to Pingry, Ms. Babilonia spent 15 years teaching art for the Camden Board of Education, first at Cooper's Poynt Family School and most recently at H.B. Wilson Family School. At the latter, she created a school ceramics program and also served as head of the Theater Design Program for students in grades 2 through 8. Ms. Babilonia has received multiple accolades, including awards for teaching and visual art. She earned a B.A. in Studio Art from Rutgers University and an M.F.A. in Ceramics from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
Alexandra Bonner P '20, '23, '25, already a member of the Pingry community, joins us in another capacity, as School Store and Online Auxiliary Store Associate. The wife of an alumnus (Brad Bonner '93), she has been involved in many aspects of the school for the past 10 years, including serving as a PSPA Parent Rep, volunteering at the Short Hills library, and helping to organize the PSPA's Spring Soiree. She also served for six years on the board of the Williamstown Theater Festival and was an early board member of the Children's Museum of Central New Jersey. Prior to her move to New Jersey in 2003, she worked for Saks Fifth Avenue in Portland, Oregon and, before that, as Assistant Print Traffic Manager for McCann Erickson Advertising Agency. She earned a B.A. in Early Modern European History from Emory University.
Melody Boone, Middle and Upper School visual arts teacher, previously taught art and photography to students at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, and served as an adjunct art professor at Tidewater Community College. Ms. Boone maintains her own studio as a mixed media artist with an interdisciplinary art practice and she has been featured in numerous group exhibitions in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, New York and New Jersey. She earned a B.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and an M.F.A. in Painting from Pratt Institute.
Following the retirement of Physical Education teacher Joe Forte, who enjoyed a 36-year tenure at Pingry, Julia Braun joins the Basking Ridge Campus, where she teaches physical education classes, is a member of the fitness staff in the Greig Family Strength and Conditioning Center, and helps to coach several Middle and Upper School teams. A professional lacrosse player for the Baltimore Ride in the United Women's Lacrosse League, Ms. Braun and her team reached the semifinals in 2018. From 2015–18, she served as the Director of Player Development and Coaching at T3 Lacrosse in Morristown. In this role, she developed the curriculum for more than 40 elite teams and oversaw implementation of the curriculum by coaches. Ms. Braun earned a B.S. in Biology from Bucknell University, where she was captain of their women's lacrosse team and, later, an assistant coach. She earned an M.S. in Exercise Physiology from Long Island University.
We welcome new Director of Institutional Advancement, Elizabeth Breidinger, who brings with her 13 years of fundraising experience in higher education at The University of Chicago, Brown University, and Bennington College, where she has held leadership positions in alumni relations and development. Ms. Breidinger most recently served as Bennington College's Executive Director of Development, managing a team of 10 development and donor relations professionals and spearheading preparations for a $150 million comprehensive campaign, the largest in the college's history. Prior to Bennington College, she spent eight years in various positions at Brown University, her alma mater, rising through the ranks to become Director of Major and Leadership Giving. During her tenure she worked on two comprehensive campaigns, including the $3 billion BrownTogether campaign. Ms. Breidinger graduated from Brown University with an A.B. in Political Science.
Soroya Campbell joined Pingry in June 2018 as Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship. Before transitioning into Institutional Advancement, she worked for more than 15 years in the field of marketing for several companies, including Scholastic and GE Healthcare Life Sciences. She also worked at a non-profit, The Women's Venture Fund, which helps women entrepreneurs with funding and business development programs. As an advocate for education, she taught a communications class at the College of New Rochelle, high school classes at N.J. LEEP, and has volunteered with Junior Achievement of New Jersey. She earned a B.A. in English and African American Studies from Syracuse University, an M.A. in Media Studies from the New School University, and an M.B.A. from the Metropolitan College of New York.
French teacher Anne Changeux joins Pingry from Millburn High School, where she taught several accelerated French classes and served as the advisor for the school's French magazine and chaperone for a French exchange program. Prior to Millburn, she spent nine years at The Peck School, during which she established the French curriculum for its Lower School. Mrs. Changeux earned two master's degrees, one in Teacher of French as a Foreign Language and a second in French Language and Literature, with distinction, both from Nanterre University in Paris, France.
Our Middle and Upper School students can look forward to studying Chinese with Sabrina Chin-Shefi, who joins Pingry from Father Ryan High School in Nashville, where she taught Chinese language and culture and oversaw the Chinese Club and Chinese Honor Society activities. Prior to working in the U.S., Dr. Chin-Shefi taught post-graduate students as a lecturer in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where she also reviewed journal articles and participated in professional committee boards. She earned a B.A. in English Literature and Language from Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan; an M.S. in Instructional Media from Indiana State University; and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Educational Technology and Computer Education from Kansas State University.
The Upper School English Department is pleased to welcome Richard Fulco. Prior to Pingry, Mr. Fulco taught Upper School English at the Wardlaw-Hartridge School, Hunter College High School, and Brooklyn Technical High School. In addition to teaching high school, he has also taught at the college level at Columbia University, Montclair State University, and Pace University. Mr. Fulco graduated from Pace University with a B.A. in English and a minor in Education. He earned his M.A. in English from Staten Island University and his M.F.A. in Playwriting from Brooklyn College.
Sara Hall is excited to share her love of the Spanish language and Latin American culture with Pingry students as she joins the Middle School faculty. She has taught Spanish to a wide range of learners, from kindergartners through college students, most recently at Southern Connecticut State University as well as at Waterbury Arts Magnet School. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Hall will help coach the Middle School girls' soccer team and will assist with the Middle School play. She earned a B.A. in Spanish as well as an M.A. in Teaching, both from Rockford College in Rockford, IL.
A recent transplant to New Jersey, Gillian Johnson comes to us from South Carolina, where she was the World Languages Department Chair and an Upper School Spanish teacher at the Hilton Head Preparatory School. At Pingry, she teaches Upper School Spanish and also assists with coaching the JV Field Hockey Team. Before teaching at Hilton Head, Dr. Johnson spent several years as a lecturer of Spanish at the University of Virginia. She holds a B.A in Spanish from Carleton College as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish, both from the University of Virginia.
Ryan Johnson joins his wife, Gillian Johnson, as another new member of the Upper School's World Languages Department. In addition to teaching Spanish classes part time, Dr. Johnson serves as the Spanish Language Exchange Coordinator and coaches the Middle School cross country team. He comes to Pingry following two years as a Middle School Spanish teacher at Hilton Head Preparatory School. Prior to that, Dr. Johnson taught Spanish at the University of Virginia for five years. Before enrolling in graduate school, he spent a year in Santiago, Chile, where he taught English to local students. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a B.A. in Spanish and Economics/Accounting, and he earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Virginia.
Following the departure of Lower School music teacher Tom Berdos, we are pleased to welcome Emma Liu, who will be teaching general music, band, and chorus on the Short Hills Campus. Trained as a classical pianist and flutist, Ms. Liu hopes to transfer her lifelong appreciation of music, along with other forms of art and culture, to the next generation. Ms. Liu earned a B.M. from Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, an M.M. in Piano Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and an M.Ed. in Music and Music Education (with a minor in Bilingual Education) from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Alexa López joins Pingry as an Upper School Spanish teacher, in addition to helping to teach the Middle School's course on cultural competency and serving as Assistant to the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Department. Ms. López has taught Spanish at both the middle and high school levels, first at the Millbrook School in Millbrook, NY and most recently at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn. She earned a B.S. in Marketing from Kean University and an M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Visitors to the Short Hills campus enjoy being greeted by Nadielle McArthur, who joined Pingry earlier in 2018 as an Administrative Assistant in the front office. Originally from Brazil, Ms. McArthur taught English in a bilingual school, Golfinho Azul Elementary School, where she was responsible for creating lesson plans, projects, and course materials. She graduated from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro with a B.S. in Elementary Education.
Shalini Parikh, second grade teacher, arrives at Pingry from Chatham Day School, where she spent several years as a first grade teacher and Literacy Coordinator for grades K-4. She earned her B.A. in Elementary Education and English Language Arts from Hunter College as well as an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University in their Literacy Specialist program.
Pingry's Health Services and Counseling Department on the Basking Ridge Campus welcomes new school counselor Adam Rosen, a clinical psychologist with more than 15 years of experience in mental health at the collegiate level, including at Fordham University, Adelphi University, and Stevens Institute of Technology. Most recently, he served as Berkeley College's Director of Counseling and Wellness Services, as well as Head Coach of Berkeley's men's and women's cross country teams from 2014-16. During his tenure at Berkeley College, Dr. Rosen oversaw all aspects of their clinical counseling and accommodation services as well as outreach programming for their three New York State campuses. Dr. Rosen earned his B.A. in Communications from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.
Joining Pingry as a Financial Literacy teacher is David Rushforth, who spent 15 years as a financial analyst with Prudential before transitioning to teaching. Most recently, he spent two years substitute teaching at the Bernards Township School District. He is a member of the Oak Street School Parents Leadership Committee, and has developed and implemented programs for both students and parents that reinforce the school's tenants of leadership. He currently serves as chair of the school's Roald Dahl Day. Mr. Rushforth is a graduate of the New Pathways to Teaching Program at Bergen Community College. He earned a B.A. in History from Franklin & Marshall College and a master's degree in Business Administration from Rutgers Business School.
In her new role as Accounting Supervisor at Pingry, Alicia Sharma has a wide range of responsibilities, including supporting the endowment portfolio and working with various school departments to provide financial and analytical data. Before working at Pingry, Mrs. Sharma held several accounting roles at Alvogen, Inc., including roles as a senior financial analyst and accounting supervisor. She earned a B.S. in Accounting from Liberty University followed by an M.B.A. from the University of Scranton.
Mary Whithed joins Pingry as a major gifts officer in the Office of Institutional Advancement. Most recently, she served as Director of Development and, prior to that, Director of Audience Services, at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC). Before SOPAC, Ms. Whithed worked at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and Weathervane Theatre in New Hampshire. A theater enthusiast and a former arts education coordinator at a major performing arts center, she looks forward to getting involved with some of the School's upcoming theatrical productions. Ms. Whithed earned a B.A. from Hampshire College and an M.Ed. from Keene State College.
Madeline (Maddy) Zimmerman joins the Basking Ridge Campus as a new Middle School science teacher and assistant coach of the the swimming and water polo teams. A recent graduate of Yale University, Miss Zimmerman was a member of Yale's swimming and diving team. As an undergraduate, she spent time abroad in Africa, at the School for Field Studies' Center for Wildlife Management in Tanzania, and as an intern with a food supply company in Rwanda. Miss Zimmerman earned her B.S. in Environmental Studies, with a concentration in Biodiversity and Conservation.
New SAGE Dining Services Leadership
Pingry's new Food Service Director Michael Ciampa joined SAGE in 2014 as the Food Service Director at Blair Academy. Mr. Ciampa was certified as a chef and food service manager by The Culinary School at the New School of Social Research in New York. He earned a certification as Food Safety and Sanitation Manager from Rutgers University and an A.A in Arts in Business from Union County College. His prior roles include serving as the Culinary Director for Aramark at the Princeton and Ewing campuses of Educational Testing Services (ETS) and owner of Cuisine Cuisine Catering and Food Services, which served the video and motion picture industry.
Kim Needham, the school's new Assistant Food Service Director/Catering, joined SAGE in June 2018. She has over 30 years of experience in the food services Industry, including as Food Service Director, General Manager, and Regional Accounting Manager for Eurest Dining Services; Food and Beverage Director for a private country club in Morristown; Assistant General Manager for Times Square-based restaurant owned by World Wrestling Entertainment; and Banquet Manager for The Grand Plaza. Ms. Needham earned an associate's degree in Occupational Services and Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management with a focus on Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of NYC.
Pingry's new Executive Chef, Won Ho, joined SAGE in 2012 and has served as the Executive Chef at The Delbarton School as well as the Food Service Director at the Prism School in Princeton. Prior to SAGE, Mr. Ho served as the Chef de Cuisine at Raritan Valley Country Club. Mr. Ho received his A.A Degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education.
Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org