15 new teachers, 4 staff arrive at Middle School

Chronicle Staff

Nineteen new teachers and staff joined the Middle School this year.

“The Middle School usually has more turnover [than the Upper School] because the faculty are generally younger,” Head of Middle School Veronica Codrington-Cazeau said.
“They have different priorities, like new cities, marriage and children. The biggest reason is usually family.”

Rosemary Clark, George Gaskin and Ian Ulmer joined the history department this year to fill the spaces left by several history teachers who left. Ulmer double majored in history and religious studies. She previously taught at Pacific Boychoir Academy in Oakland. Gaskin taught American history in Miami for 15 years, and Clark was a social studies teacher at Notre Dame Academy.

Joining the science department are Leslie Tao and Hillary Schwab ’98, both of whom have taught science courses in the past. Tao has taught Physical Science to middle school students, chemistry to high school students and Physiology at UCLA. Schwab has dabbled in designing hands-on activities for young children and starts work this year teaching seventh and eighth grade Integrated Science.

Another department with many new members is foreign language, where Edgar Jurado, Binbin Wei, Derek Wilairat and Claire Pasternack will work this year.
“I’m excited for a sense of community,” said Jurado, who substituted as a Spanish teacher several times last year and returns to work full time this fall. “I’m looking forward to a complete year.”

A native of Shenyang, China, Wei will join Dr. Qinru Zhou as a Chinese I teacher. Wilairat and Pasternack, both double course teachers, will teach Latin and French, respectively. Wilairat and another new teacher, Anne Lynn Martino, will also teach Tech and Skills to seventh graders.

Pasternack will also teach English alongside Catherine Cooper. Cooper studied English at Georgetown University.

Foster Solomon joined the performing arts department to teach drama and Public Speaking. Solomon has been acting, directing, film-making and teaching for the past 12 years.

Katie Wiseley-Palmer ’98 is the only new teacher joining the visual arts department. As a 3D art specialist, she studied painting, sculpture, Photography and digital media, glassblowing at Rhode Island School of Design.

Another alum returning to the school is Imani Alexander ’99, who will fill in for Carrie Green as a dance teacher, due to a knee injury that Green suffered.

Susan Leher and Beth Phelan will work in the Advancement office. Jessica Loy and Claire Lockhart will be joining the Attendance and Admissions offices, respectively.

Jennifer Bladen will be a new faculty member as well. She used to work at Taylor Publishing and will now teach on both campuses as a publications and yearbook adviser.