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Fessenden Welcomes New Faculty and Administrative Staff

This year, Fessenden welcomes more than 20 new faculty and administrative staff members. Learn more about them below.

Sabrina Alampi, LCSW, comes to Fessenden as the school counselor. She earned her Master of Social Work with a concentration in Children, Youth, and Families from Boston College. For the past 11 years, Sabrina has provided mental health services within schools and outpatient settings. In the evenings, Sabrina is a Lifemap Coach, working with young adults on the autism spectrum. She enjoys practicing yoga and is currently pursuing a 200-hour yoga teacher training at Boston University. 

Teresa Bloemer is a new music tutor. She has a Master of Music in Viola Performance both from Boston University and from the University of North Texas. In addition, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in performance from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. Teresa has extensive experience teaching violin and viola from her time at Newton Music Academy, Music and Arts, and City Strings of Boston. She also was a teaching assistant at the Boston Youth Symphony orchestra, and Teresa has performed with many orchestras around the country, including the Brevard Music Center Orchestra in North Carolina, and the Dallas Chamber Orchestra in Texas.

Samantha Braun is a new science teacher in the Upper School. She joins Fessenden from Robert F. Wagner Middle School in New York City, where she served as an ICT (Integrated Co-Teaching) and honors seventh grade science teacher for the past nine years. She earned a BS in Human Ecology from The Ohio State University before receiving her Master of Arts in Teaching Biology from Teachers College at Columbia University. Samantha has spent many years as a camp administrator, and she also served as a junior varsity lacrosse coach at Byram Hills High School in Armonk, New York.

Andrea Calabrese joins the Lower School as a Kindergarten teacher. She earned both her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Boston College. She comes to Fessenden from The Chestnut Hill School where she has spent the last 23 years serving as an Early Childhood Curriculum Coordinator, Head of the Lower School, Pre-Kindergarten teacher, and Kindergarten teacher. Additionally, she served on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force and co-coordinated community service for students and staff. Andrea has also taught special education at the Newman School in Needham, MA.

Lily Cook will be teaching English in the Middle School. Previously, Lily taught sixth grade English at Bridge Boston, and was the fifth grade Lead Teacher at the Nativity Preparatory School of Boston. Lily has also worked as a teaching fellow at Nativity School of Worcester, and she has spent several years as a program director and mentor with Big Brother Big Sister. Lily holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Clark University, and she spent a year studying English at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

Daniele Coxe joins Fessenden as a second grade teacher in the Lower School. Before coming to Fessenden, she served as a first and second grade teacher at The Marymount School of New York and Brunswick School, an all-boys school in Connecticut. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching Childhood Education from Manhattanville College and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a Minor in Education from St. Lawrence University. During her time at St. Lawrence University, Daniele studied abroad in Thailand and taught English to Thai students.

Keith Harris is the Manager of Information Technology Services. He comes to Fessenden from the Kingsley Montessori School in Boston, where he has spent over a decade as the IT Coordinator/Network Administrator. Keith previously was the IT Manager at Baseline Development Group and Senior Desktop Technician at Houghton Mifflin Company. He holds a BA in Writing Literature from Wheaton College. 

Cassie McKinnon joins the Office of Institutional Advancement as the new Director of Parent Engagement and Events. In this role, she manages advancement and Parents Association events and serves as the liaison to the Parents Association. Cassie has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Prior to coming to Fessenden, she worked in the development office at Newton Country Day School and Wellesley College. Cassie is also the assistant coach of the varsity ice hockey team at Newton Country Day School.

Chuck Munn joins Fessenden as an Upper School Latin teacher. He has a Master of Arts in Latin from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Before joining Fessenden, Chuck was a Latin and Ancient History teacher at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts, where he also coached mountain biking, ski racing, and lacrosse. Prior to Fessenden, he taught at Noble and Greenough School and worked at summer camps in Maine.

Blake Niedenthal joins Fessenden Middle School as a social studies teacher. He holds a Master of Education from the Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Alabama. Blake comes to us from the Match Charter High School in Boston, where he taught tenth grade world history. Prior to that, he taught ninth and twelfth grade history at Brookwood High School in Alabama. Blake is also a five-year member of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honors Society, and he spends his summers at Camp Lindenmere in Henryville, Pennsylvania, where he is a Division Leader.

Isabel O’Connor is a history teacher in the Upper School. She comes to us from Newton Country Day School, where she was a history teacher and advisor for seventh and ninth grade students and a middle school field hockey coach. In addition, at Camp Onaway in Hebron, New Hampshire, Isabel served as the assistant director, head of the swimming department, and a counselor. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard College, where she was the captain of the varsity co-ed sailing team, and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development. Isabel has completed several summers of coursework at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York, and she also speaks French.

Brandon Odom, Head of Middle School, comes to Fessenden from Thayer Academy, his alma mater, where he served as the Upper School Assistant Dean of Students and Associate Director of Admissions. In those roles, he collaborated with the senior leadership team to provide vision, leadership, and strategic direction for the school. Brandon also developed a strong partnership between Thayer students, parents, and faculty and staff with the goal of cultivating an inclusive community. In addition, he was the Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach and an Anti-Racism Instructor. Prior, he taught upper and middle school history at Thayer and worked as the Interim Executive Director of Project RISE (Respect, Integrity, Success through Education). Brandon holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Secondary Education from Boston College. 

Eleanor Perrone joins Fessenden as a music tutor. She is also on the faculty of The Rivers School Conservatory in Weston, Massachusetts, where she teaches piano and music theory and coaches chamber music. Former piano faculty of Concord Academy and the Longy School of Music of Bard College, Eleanor also served as Associate Chair and Chair of piano in the Community Programs division of the Longy School from 2005-2010. She earned a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Piano Performance from Boston University and attended The Juilliard School, Pre-College division. Eleanor has a vast number of orchestral, solo, and chamber music engagements nationally and worldwide and performs regularly with Zefira Trio.

David Powers is an English teacher in Fessenden’s Middle School. He holds a Master in Education from Lesley University, a Master of Business Administration from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University. David brings a range of teaching experience to Fessenden. He was a Gradehead and taught sixth and fifth grade English at Shady Hill School and served as a staff substitute teacher in Pre-K through eighth grade at Nashoba Brooks School. In addition David led an inclusivity leadership team at Nashoba Brooks and facilitated student discussions for the Middle School Community Gay, Straight, Transgender Alliance at Shady Hill and at Nashoba Brooks. David also has experience working in lower school admissions at Buckingham Browne & Nichols as a volunteer, as well as prior experience in investment banking.

Daniela Rodnite joins the Lower School as a music teacher. She has Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School in New York and pursued further master’s studies at the New England Conservatory with Malcolm Lowe. Daniela primarily plays the violin but is proficient on all strings instruments, the ukulele, and the piano. She comes to us from the British International School of Boston, where she was the Director of Music. Daniela has also been a performing arts educator at the Whittle School and Studios in Shenzhen, China; GEMS World Academy in Singapore; and The International School @ Parkcity in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She has also taught, played, and held principal positions in multiple orchestras all over the world. 

Deane Rynerson is the new librarian in the Lower School. He holds a master’s degree in Library Science and certification as a School Library/Media Specialist from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Deane also has a Bachelor of Arts in history from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Deane comes to us from Charleston County Public Library, where he was a children’s librarian. Deane also has spent time as an intern at E.K. Powe Elementary School in Durham, North Carolina, and the Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt, The American School of Lima, in Peru. 

Cheryl Spencer joins Fessenden as our new Upper School Assistant and Registrar. She comes to Fessenden from Gardner Pilot Academy School, where she was the Principal Clerk School Secretary. Previously, Cheryl spent much of the last 20 years working at Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Registrar’s Office, where she assumed many positions including Information & Records Specialist and Enrollment Services Specialist. Cheryl has an associate’s degree in applied science from Chamberlayne Junior College. In 2020 she received the Dean’s Distinction Award from Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Derek Waarich joins the Middle School as a math teacher. He comes to us from St. John’s Preparatory School, where he worked as a middle school dean of students and student life coordinator. Derek was a sixth grade teacher at Jackson-Walnut Park School in Newton and dean of operations at the Sacred Heart Schools Lower and Middle in Atherton, California. He holds a Master of Education from Notre Dame de Namur and a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from the University of the Pacific. Derek has served as a coach for cross country, basketball, and baseball for middle school girls and boys.

Amy Walrod is Fessenden’s new Middle and Upper School Visual Arts teacher. In addition to her 10 years of experience as a teacher, Amy is also a professional book illustrator. Before joining Fessenden, Amy served as an art specialist and teacher at The Advent School, instructing students in various grade levels. She has also been the art instructor for the Charles River Creative Arts Summer Program for 20 years. Amy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Sarah Weiskittel is the new Middle School Latin teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Ancient Greek and Latin with a minor in Economics from Boston University. She also has a Master of Arts in Latin from the University of Georgia. Sarah comes to us with many years of experience teaching Latin. Most recently, she served as a Latin teacher and Outdoor Education Coordinator at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield. Prior to this, Sarah taught Latin at Cushing Academy, where she was a dorm parent, advisor, and assistant theatre director. She is also a certified Mountain Bike Skills Instructor.

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 2022-2023 school year. After serving as the Head of Middle School since 2019, Sean Guthrie has stepped into the Assistant Head of School position. Marcie Howard, second grade teacher for 10 years, is leading our youngest division as the Head of Lower School, along with Lu Kiley as the Assistant Head of Lower School, a role she stepped into in February after an extensive tenure as our Lower School librarian and co-director of the library. Also in the Lower School, Clara Cox and Becky Shelton are serving as assistant teachers after wearing many hats during their time at Fessenden, including as Extended Day Program faculty. Hattie Dorion, who spent last year as a Lower School intern, has joined the fourth grade team. Jake Davey has transitioned from teaching sixth grade English to teaching Upper School history and serving as the Upper School Dean of Students. After serving as a Middle and Upper School intern, Brandon Daly has returned to teach Upper School English. Finally, after serving as the Fessenden Summer Camps Director for several years, Rusty Paine ’99 has returned to the classroom to teach Upper School Latin.
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