Fessenden Welcomes New Faculty and Administrative Staff

Fessenden's New Faculty - Fall 2024This year, Fessenden welcomes new faculty and administrative staff members. Learn more about them below.

Luke Alpert joins Fessenden’s Upper School as a history teacher and brings with him many years of experience working with children in both school and camp settings. Luke earned his bachelor’s degree in Comparative American Studies at Oberlin College. He has taught social studies and been a grade dean at STRIVE Prep – Noel in Denver, CO, where he was named 2021-2022 teacher of the year, and he taught at The Calhoun School in New York City prior to that.

Tina Brounsuzian is Fessenden’s new Director of Human Resources with 13 years of experience in mission-driven organizations. Most recently, Tina served as the Chief Human Resources Officer at St. Mary’s Centre for Women and Children in Dorchester. She is an active member of the Society of Human Resources Management and Northeast HR Association. Before transitioning into a career in human resources, Tina taught classroom music and individual instrumental lessons in several public school systems. She earned both her Bachelor of Music in Education, Performance, and Psychology, and her master’s degree in music from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Danielle Chambrelli is teaching Kindergarten with Andrea Calabrese. Danielle comes to us most recently from St. Mary’s of the Assumption where she spent the last two years teaching first grade. Prior to her work there, Danielle taught first grade at Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction, as well as a master’s degree in Education Curriculum, Leadership & Inclusion, from Lasell University.

Emmanuella Desir-Norris is our new Lower School librarian. She has been a librarian for the past two years at the Cambridge Public Library. Previously, Emmanuella was a library assistant at Dana Hall School and a Children’s Room and Circulation Assistant at the Coolidge Corner Branch Library. Emmanuella graduated from Bridgewater State University with a bachelor’s degree in history, Middle Eastern Studies, and Irish Studies. She later studied at Florida State University and earned her master’s degree in Information Science.

Bill Fischelis joins the Middle School as a long-term substitute science teacher in Grade 6. Bill brings over 20 years of educational experience, serving in a variety of school settings, most recently teaching at the Fayerweather Street School in Cambridge, MA. He has also taught at the Rivers School, as well as at an international school in the Philippines. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Washington.

Sam Keesee is teaching science in the Upper School, and he brings camp, teaching, and coaching experience. Having earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy with a second major in Studio Art at the College of William and Mary, Sam went on to complete his MAEd in Curriculum and Instruction at the College’s School of Education. Since 2018, he has taught Physical Science and Design at Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies (I.B. Program) in Chicago, IL.

Barbara Kenslea joins the Admissions Office as an Admissions Assistant. Prior to Fessenden, Barbara worked in the Admissions Office at Thayer Academy for 16 years, first as an Administrative Assistant and then as Admissions Office Manager. Prior to Thayer, Barbara served as an Administrative Assistant at The Children’s Evaluation Center in Newton for a number of years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Springfield College, where she was also a varsity lacrosse player.

Brian King is teaching Healthy Decisions and Contemporary Issues as part of our Health and Wellness program in the Upper School. He holds a degree in science from Dean College. Brian has worked as a paraprofessional in Boston Public Schools since 2012, and he served as a Mental Health Worker at HRI hospital in Brookline, MA this past year. Previously, Brian worked as a home servicing therapist, with a focus on Applied Behavioral Analysis for five years.

Todd Morse joins the community as our Middle and Upper School Theatre Arts teacher. He brings much experience having created multiple theatre programs around the area, most recently at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, where he launched the Community Theater Academy and served as its Director. Before that Todd was the artistic mind behind LINX Theater in Wellesley and was Creative Director for LINX Companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Boston College.

Hanna Shibles joins the English department having taught English and language arts at Mother Caroline Academy and Education Center in Dorchester for the past three years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Secondary Education at Saint Anselm College and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the Boston College, Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch School of Education and Human Development.

Tina Stoval is the new Upper School librarian in the Wheeler Library. She most recently served as a Library Media Specialist in Medway, MA Middle and High Schools and worked for Merriam Elementary School in Acton, MA before that. Tina holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from National-Louis University and a BA from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN with a double major in writing and literature, as well as a minor in biology. She began her teaching career as a seventh grade English teacher in the Chicago area and earned her post-masters School Library & Information Science Certificate from Simmons University in May 2020.

Adrianna Quintiliani will be teaching fourth grade. She has spent the last four years teaching fourth grade at the Jackson Walnut Park School in Newton. Prior to this, Adrianna also spent a year teaching third grade at Jackson Walnut Park School and was a special education aide at the Underwood School in Newton Public Schools and also in the Needham Public Schools. Adrianna attended Sacred Heart University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and her master’s degree in elementary teaching.

This year the Learning Resources Department welcomes five new skills teachers and tutors. Joining the Fessenden community as skills teachers are Allison Poster and Caitlin Salyer. Allison is working in the Skills Center with students in all divisions. Prior, Allison was a private tutor for the last four years, and she is an Orton-Gillingham trained tutor. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from George Washington University. Caitlin is also an Orton-Gillingham trained tutor who has joined our Skills Center, and she will be working primarily with Lower School students. Prior to tutoring, Caitlin worked with elementary-age students for many years, including at Belmont Day School, Meadowbrook, and Country Elementary School. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Trinity College and a Master of Education from Lesley University. Emily Casella, Courtney Peschel, and Lily Zhang are new academic tutors. A recent graduate of Lasell University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Emily has experience with academic tutoring and coaching in Lasell’s Academic Advising Center, as well as substitute teaching in Waltham. She is also pursuing a Master of Arts in School Counseling at Boston College. While new to the academic tutor role at Fessenden, Courtney is not new to campus. A Fessy parent, she has worked as both a regular and long-term substitute, primarily in the Middle School. Prior to coming to Fessenden, Courtney has tutored and taught math. She has two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree in engineering from Dartmouth College. Last, but not least, Lily has had a private career coaching practice, and prior to that she was at MIT for many years, where she worked with students in both the Media Lab and in one-on-one career coaching and advising. Lily was also a high school ESL teacher in Boston. She has a BA in American Studies and Sociology from Tufts University, as well as an MEd in Secondary Education and English as a Second Language from University of Massachusetts Boston.

Familiar Faces in New Roles
In addition to the new faculty and administrative staff joining Fessenden this year, several members of the Fessenden community have transitioned into new roles for the 2023-2024 school year.

In the Lower School, Grace Littlejohn, who spent last year as a long-term substitute in Kindergarten, is co-teaching this year with Sarah Gagnon in Kindergarten. Grace graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Prior to her arrival at Fessenden this past March, Grace was a lead teacher at the Radcliffe Child Care Center at Harvard University. Greta Sanborn is teaching first grade and partnering with Maisha Sport. Greta has been at Fessenden for the last 13 years, and she has taught both Pre-K and Kindergarten. Suzie Krupienski is teaching third grade with Courtney Grey. Suzie has been teaching fourth grade at Fessenden for the last three years. Adele Ellis and Adam Brewer have joined us as assistant teachers. Adele and Adam, along with Becky Shelton, spend time with all grade levels in the Lower School. This past spring, Adele was a teacher in the Extended Day Program (EDP). Previously, Adele taught for over 10 years at the Blackstone Valley Technical High School as a design and visual educator. Adam took on a number of roles last year including substitute teacher and interim EDP Director. Adam recently completed his second summer at Fessenden Summer Camps as the Upper Camp Director, and returns to EDP with a new role as the Assistant Director. Marty Cox, who worked in EDP for the last few years, became the School’s Receptionist and Office Assistant last spring and works directly with the Lower School office in his role.

After serving as the Middle School Dean of Students and MS English teacher for several years, Rory Sanborn is the new Director of Athletics. Replacing Rory as Dean of Students is Melissa Giust (formerly Grip), who has also continued teaching math. Keely Lerman, who previously taught MS math and was most recently a Lower School Assistant Teacher and Learning Resources Academic Tutor, has returned to the MS math classroom.

Becca Palm is the new Head of Upper School after serving as science department chair and faculty member for 10 years. Taking over in the science department is Sam Braun, who is supporting science teaching and learning across the divisions. Gisela Hernandez-Skayne, US Spanish teacher, US Academic Grade Dean, and Language Department Chair, has also taken on the role of English Language Learners Department Chair. In this role, she is supporting the process of further aligning the ELL curriculum with our grade-level English and history courses. Finally, after acting as Head of Upper School for five years, Jason Lewis has become a member of the science faculty teaching biology, as well as earth and environmental science, and is serving as a Grade 9 Class Dean alongside Charlie Danziger ’12.

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