Milton Welcomes New Faculty
by Rachael Allen on Monday, September 30th, 2013
A number of new faculty members joined the Upper, Middle and Lower Schools this past summer. As the year begins to kick into stride, they are already beginning to acclimate themselves to the rhythms of Milton.
Many noteworthy educators have joined the Middle and Lower Schools. The K-8 math department will be welcoming Nancy Anderson as a math consultant. Holding an undergraduate degree, a masters and a doctorate, Ms. Anderson is preparing to become the K-8 math coordinator and a middle school math teacher in the coming year. Joining Ms. Anderson, Matt Goethals (’00) and Alex Helm (’97), both graduates of Milton Academy, will teach Grade Seven and Grade Eight math, respectively.
Kelly Western will teach Middle School science as she has done from 2001 through 2007. Ms. Western earned her bachelor’s from San Diego State University and taught at both Newton Country Day School and Eagle Country Charter in Colorado. Glenda Colon-Busher, a new fifth grade teacher, is also well versed in elementary school education and graduated from Lesley University and Salem State University. Similarly, Phoebe Ryles comes to Milton with a cast background in carpentry and will be teaching Lower School Woodworking.
The Lower School is also gaining two sabbatical replacements. A graduate of Western Michigan University, Debra Thoresen, previously a teacher at Belmont Day School, will primarily teach middle school music, but she will also participate in upper school music. Melissa Ewing will teach French, bringing with her a bachelor’s and master’s from Miami University of Ohio.
The Upper School Modern Language Department will also be welcoming a few new faces. Yulan Xia comes to teach Chinese with a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Fudan University in Shanghai and a master’s from the University of Maryland. Ms. Xia explained that she is eager to “experience the dynamics of [the] interactions among students, teachers, parents and the community as a whole at Milton” and would like to “contribute to the mutual-inspirational interactions at Milton.”
After having taught in Colombia, France, and the United States, Salomón-Gerado Díaz-Valencia joins the language department as a Spanish teacher. Señor Díaz earned his bachelor’s from the University of Cauca in Colombia and three master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from the University Francois Rabelais in Tours, France. Having already enjoyed his first few weeks teaching language at Milton, Señor Díaz is looking forward to “sharing [the students’ and teachers’] minds, points of view, ideas, and backgrounds.”
The psychology courses will also gain a number of new teachers. Already having taught at Milton since the middle of last year, Amanda Chapin has joined the school for her first full year as a psychology teacher and member of the counseling center. With a bachelor’s degree from UMASS Amherst and a master’s from Lesley University, Ms. Chapin previously taught dance at the Northfield Mount Hermon School. Also, Ryan Stone, who previously coached the Milton girls’ varsity ice hockey team, will now be teaching physical education classes and helping in the Outdoor Program.
Jyotsana Sharma will teach psychology and also work as a counselor. Ms. Sharma hopes to positively help the Milton community search for strengths in every person. “I have always worked with adolescents,” she said. “Being able to be a part of that process to help [and] guide students has always been my passion.”
Julia Johannsen will also join the counselors as a counseling intern, holding a bachelor’s from Washington University, a master’s from Middlebury College and a master’s from Lesley University.
In the visual arts department, Julia von Metzsch, Milton Academy Class of 2003, an MFA painting fellow and graduate of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, will teach art as a sabbatical replacement. Emily Barger, a graduate of the University of Chicago and Northeastern University, joins the math department this year.
As the year kicks into high gear for most students, many of the new teachers have settled in well and eagerly await the challenge the year will bring.
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