Below Head of School Jessica Donovan provides an overview of our faculty and staff assignment for 2019-2020.
Can you believe we are almost done with the school year? We can feel the excitement in the air as summer vacation nears.
At this time of year, we are looking toward planning for next year, and most of our staff decisions are in place. Below is a listing of our classes and faculty for the 2019-2020 school year, along with information about the new teachers we are welcoming and those to whom we will need to wish fond farewells. (Note: We know from experience that summer can sometimes bring unexpected relocations or other life events for faculty. We’ll keep you informed if anything changes).
We welcome Kate Harter who will be joining Brent Levin in the 4th grade classroom. Kate holds a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Scripps College and a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University. She has been teaching 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades at charter and independent schools in the local area for the last four years. In a reference check for Kate, her supervisor told us, “She has the tightest classroom in the building and the most loving relationship with children. Some think that’s impossible to do — but she does it flawlessly. She cares deeply about them.”
If you’ve ever seen our students joyfully interact with our After School program coordinator Keyera Lucas, you’ll know why we are thrilled Keyera will join the First Grade team as an apprentice teacher. Keyera previously taught middle school students in Oakland, California, and was a wonderful long-term sub for 5th grade earlier this year and is currently teaching with Brent Levin in 4th grade. Keyera holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Howard University in African Studies with a minor in Theater Arts.
We couldn’t be more excited to have Brandi Smith officially join the Sheridan team to teach 6th grade social studies. Brandi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education: Learning Differences from American University. She also holds a Special Education Teaching certificate. Brandi served as the permanent sub for almost the entire year in 6th grade, beginning with Lina Kesner’s maternity leave and currently with Noel Sheppard’s departure. Brandi has her own tutoring business and began her relationship with Sheridan as an after-school tutor.
First grade teacher Shawdae Bennett Tsang touched the lives of many in our community during her time at Sheridan and we wish her the best as she moves to a new teaching role at another school.
We also wish fourth grade teacher Richard O’Connor well as he heads for new adventures. Richard taught 4th grade at Sheridan for two years, and brought his unique background as a Marine into the classroom. The children enjoyed learning from him, and he will be missed.
Art teacher Olan Quattro and her family are moving to Miami this summer where her husband has taken a new job. Olan has taught art at Sheridan for the last two years. We’ve all benefited from her creative projects displayed throughout the school. We will miss Olan and her son, Cole, next year. We are in the process of hiring a new art teacher for grades 5-8. Crystal de la Torre, who was part time this year for art in grades 3-5, will become a full-time, K-4 art teacher.
After 11 years at Sheridan, sixth grade teacher Noel Sheppard retired this spring, finishing a teaching career that spanned four decades. Noel dedicated his teaching life to not just curriculum, but also to developing children into kind, caring citizens of the world. Because Noel had to leave the country abruptly to care for his dying parents, we have not had the opportunity to celebrate his retirement with him. We will inform you in the fall of a celebration for Noel.
Mike Stoll, our Director of Finance and Facilities will be moving on. As he is choosing semi-retirement, you may still see him around Sheridan. He has agreed to help out in some capacity, should we need him with all of the exciting facilities upgrades we are planning. We are in the process of hiring for his position.
Fifth grade homeroom teacher Jonathan Williams is leaving Sheridan to become an assistant principal. When Jonathan came to Sheridan, he told me that it was his dream to become a school administrator. We are so excited that he is following his dream and entering school leadership.
In the Advancement Office, Wendy Lunde is moving into a new role as the Director of Annual Giving and Community Engagement. Wendy will be responsible for Sheridan’s Annual Fund and yearly auction and for events and activities that engage the Sheridan community.
Today, 3rd Grade teacher Nina Sethi shared exciting news with her class — she’s expecting Baby Sethi in late November! A long-term sub will co-teach with Allie Robinson while Nina is out; Lower School Head Kelly Nelson will be in touch with the families entering 3rd grade next year with more information.