Chapin Welcomes New 2019 Professional Community Members

 

Thirty-one accomplished and dynamic individuals joined us at Chapin this fall. Below you will find brief profiles of these newest members of the School’s Professional Community:

 

LOWER SCHOOL

ANITA BAGARIA, Class 1 Head Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Bagaria completed her undergraduate studies at New York University and earned her master’s degree in Elementary Inclusive Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. 
  • Experience: Prior to joining Chapin, Ms. Bagaria taught for eight years at a progressive charter school in Queens, teaching kindergarten, first grade, fourth grade and fifth grade. 
  • Fun Facts: Outside of school, Ms. Bagaria enjoys calligraphy, skiing, nature and spending time with her 2-year-old daughter. 
  • In Her Own Words: “What excites me most about joining Chapin is surrounding myself with colleagues who share my passion for education and possess a deep knowledge and understanding about how students learn best.” 
GUOYI CAI, Class 1 Associate Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Cai received her master’s degree in International Education Development from Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Experience: Before she joined the Chapin community, Ms. Cai was a teaching volunteer in a 2nd grade classroom of diverse learners in a public school in New York City. She has also taught English in China and served as a curriculum designer for several education programs in both China and the U.S.
  • Fun Facts: In her free time, Ms. Cai loves traveling, doing Zumba and coming up with new recipes.
  • In Her Own Words: “I love this close faculty community where we all dedicate ourselves to girls’ education and share the same goal of nurturing future leaders and contributing citizens.” 
EUNICE CHUNG, Class 3 Associate Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Chung received her bachelor’s degree from NYU Stern School of Business and a master’s degree in Elementary Inclusive Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Experience: She has had experience teaching in 1st, 2nd and 5th grade classrooms. 
  • Fun Facts: After working as a digital marketer in the fashion industry, Ms. Chung went on a volunteer trip to China to teach English and fell in love with teaching. In her free time, she likes to sing (a cappella!), scrapbook, journal, make videos and learn new languages. 
  • In Her Own Words: “Chapin’s friendly and welcoming colleagues, who are passionate about all-girls education, excite me about working at Chapin!”
KARINA HERRERA, Class 2 Head Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Herrera earned her undergraduate degree from Manhattan College and a master’s from Touro College.
  • Experience: She is a founding member of a charter school in Washington Heights, where she taught Kindergarten-4th grade.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Herrera loves watching Korean dramas (but doesn’t speak Korean).
  • In Her Own Words: “I am so excited at the seemingly endless possibilities that we can offer our students, from the time they’re 5 years old, all the way until they are 18. It’s incredible to think that I will be a part of their experience.” 
ELIZABETH JEN, Lower School Mathematics Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Jen received her undergraduate degree (B.A., Economics) and her graduate degree (M. Ed.) from the University of Notre Dame.
  • Experience: Prior to Chapin, Ms. Jen taught first grade and kindergarten at public charter schools in Boston and in the South Bronx.
  • Fun Facts: She loves all things fitness and is currently training for the New York City Marathon. Ms. Jen also enjoys yoga, following Notre Dame football and dabbling in learning Chinese.
  • In Her Own Words: “I’m thrilled to work at a school that celebrates its students for who they are and pushes them to achieve in their own way. I can't wait to teach with and learn from a team of excellent educators.”
RICHARD JENKINS, Lower School Technology Integrator
  • Education: Mr. Jenkins earned his bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and English Literature from The New School University and a master’s of science in Elementary Education from Hunter College.
  • Experience: While teaching at independent schools in Manhattan for over a decade, Mr. Jenkins discovered his appreciation for the positive impact that technology can have on the classroom and decided to focus his practice on tech education and integration four years ago.
  • Fun Facts: He has been a proud New York resident for the past 16 years and currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife, Chelsey. An avid lover of the natural world, Mr. Jenkins has participated in outdoor adventures that have taken him from the Appalachian Trail to the wilds of the Canadian Yukon. 
  • In His Own Words: “Chapin’s commitment to developing an enriching learning environment where the voices of young women are honored, encouraged and elevated was one of the main reasons that I was drawn to this institution.” 
CHRISTINA MILBOURNE, Class 2 Associate Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Milbourne recently graduated from Bank Street Graduate School of Education with a master’s degree in Museum and Childhood Education.
  • Experience: Prior to joining the Chapin community, she was an associate teacher in 1st and 2nd grades at The Spence School. Ms. Milbourne has also worked in education at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
  • Fun Facts: Her hobbies include reading, knitting and gluten-free baking.  
  • In Her Own Words: “Having been a museum educator for several years before becoming a classroom teacher, I was so impressed with the Class 2 curriculum and look forward to teaching social studies and getting the girls out into the city on field trips all year long.”  
KRISTEN PIERING, Lower School Counselor
  • Education: Dr. Piering earned her Doctorate in Psychology in Clinical Child and School Psychology at Pace University. She also holds a master’s degree in School Psychology.
  • Experience: A New York State Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Certified School Psychologist, she has worked in a variety of positions in schools, hospitals, mental health clinics and therapy practices, including completing her Pre-doctoral internship in the Primary Division at The School at Columbia University and her post-doctoral fellowship at Manhattan Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 
  • Fun Facts: She also works in clinical private practice with children and teenagers. In her free time, Dr. Piering enjoys reading, cooking and playing with her ridiculously cute dog, Zoey.
  • In Her Own Words: “I am excited to work with the girls to help nurture and foster their social and emotional development in order to help them reach their fullest potential, both personally and academically.” 
ISAMAR ROSADO-APONTE, Lower School Spanish Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Rosado-Aponte received her bachelor’s degree in Theater Education from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, and her master’s degree in Creative Writing in Spanish from NYU.
  • Experience: Before Chapin, she taught Spanish for four years in a charter school in Brooklyn, where she created and developed the Spanish Immersion Curriculum Program for grades K-5.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Rosado-Aponte was born and raised in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She enjoys riding her bike almost every day. During her free time she loves performing improv, attending cultural events around the city and eating chocolate.
  • In Her Own Words: “I am excited to join a caring, supportive and diverse school community that empowers young minds to listen with compassion and act with courage.” 
ROSALIND SANTOS, Kindergarten Associate Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Santos received a B.A. in Spanish and Linguistics from NYU.
  • Experience: After graduating she taught kindergarten in a charter school in the Bronx.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Santos interned as a teaching assistant in a first grade dual-language (Spanish/English) classroom on the Upper West Side.
  • In Her Own Words: “Working at Chapin provides the opportunity to foster a deep love of learning in girls from an early age.”
COURTNEY SCREEN, Class 3 Associate Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Screen earned her bachelor’s degree in Classics from Yale University.
  • Experience: She comes to Chapin from a charter school in Washington Heights, New York, where she was an associate teacher in 4th grade.
  • Fun Facts: In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, spending time with her very large family and exploring new types of food. 
  • In Her Own Words: “What excites me about working at Chapin is being a part of a community that sees the importance of empowering young women.”
RACHEL STRATE, Class 3 Head Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Strate earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism from Ohio University. She received her first master’s, in Education, from Ursuline College, and a second, in Developmental Psychology, from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.
  • Experience: Before Chapin, Ms. Strate spent many years teaching in New York City, Ohio and Massachusetts in both public and independent schools.
  • Fun Facts: In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, running, reading and trying to train her two mischievous dogs.
  • In Her Own Words: “I am awed by Chapin’s dedication to launching capable critical thinkers and inspiring an eagerness in them to positively affect the world around them.” 
MIYA YAMADA, Kindergarten Associate Teacher
  • Education: Dr. Yamada graduated from Smith College and received her master’s in Counseling and Consulting Psychology and her doctorate in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • Experience: Her background is in providing psychotherapy and wrap-around services for children of trauma and abuse. While in Japan, she also worked as a consultant for a major educational corporation and a media company working to build their elementary curriculum and developing new initiatives for educational research and media literacy.
  • Fun Facts: In her spare time, Dr. Yamada enjoys cooking and spending time with her husband and son. You will often find her on a Sunday watching her son’s double-header baseball game and, in the summers, in California, where she grew up.
  • In Her Own Words: “As a teacher, I look forward to honoring and celebrating each child and helping them grow confidently to embark on their own journeys, inside and outside of Chapin.”  

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

JULIETTE BERG, Middle School Science Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Berg received her B.A. in Biological Sciences and Comparative Literature from Binghamton University in 2008 and her M.S. in Childhood Education from Hunter College in 2012. She holds New York State Professional Certificates in both Childhood Education and Adolescent Biology Education.
  • Experience: She has worked as a science educator and curriculum writer in New York City for several years.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Berg also serves on the Board of Directors for STEMteachersNYC as well as the review panel for the National Science Teaching Association’s magazine “Science and Children.” 
  • In Her Own Words: “What excites me about working at Chapin is having the opportunity to facilitate Chapin scientists as they investigate natural phenomena and make discoveries about the world around them.”

SARAH CYR-MUTTY, Middle School Health Educator
  • Education: Ms. Cyr-Mutty holds a bachelor’s degree in Women & Gender Studies and Social Justice from Simmons College and a master’s degree in Human Sexuality Education from Widener University.
  • Experience: Before Chapin, she ran a peer-led sexual health program in the South Bronx, and she continues to be an adjunct lecturer in Human Services at LaGuardia Community College in Queens. Ms. Cyr-Mutty has also been involved with Chapin for the past three years as a guest educator in the Middle and Upper Schools.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Cyr-Mutty grew up in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in and around independent schools.
  • In Her Own Words: “I’m excited to be part of a community that is thoughtful, inclusive, and intentional about empowering young women, and by extension, all people, to create a world with more bravery, more compassion and more justice.” 
FANNY SOSENKE, Middle School Math
  • Education: Ms. Sosenke received her degree from Facultad de Arquitecture in Uruguay and a master’s in Teaching Mathematics from Tulane University.
  • Experience: She has been teaching middle school math in independent schools for many years and is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for the State of Indiana.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Sosenke comes from Montevideo, Uruguay. She enjoys doing mosaics, walking around Manhattan and spending time with her family.
  • In Her Own Words: “Giving girls the power to critically look at our world using mathematics makes working at Chapin a place full of rewarding possibilities.”
CHRISTINE STOTT, Middle School French Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Stott holds a bachelor’s degree in French with a minor in English from Swarthmore College and a master’s degree in French with a specialization in literature from Middlebury College.
  • Experience: Prior to joining the team at Chapin, she spent eight years working at the International School of Boston (ISB), a dual-language French school located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to her school-year activities, she dedicated many summers to teaching French in immersion programs both at ISB and at the Alliance Française in Boston.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Stott has taken advantage of several opportunities that have allowed her to study and teach in France, both in Paris and in Bordeaux. When not teaching, she enjoys biking along the Hudson, traveling with friends and family and reading in both French and English.
  • In Her Own Words: “I am also delighted at the prospect of teaching a language within such a vibrant, open-minded environment.”
SHELBY USSERY, Learning Resources Teacher 
  • Education: Ms. Ussery holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Rhodes College and is currently obtaining her master’s degree in the Reading Specialist program at Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Experience: Before joining the Chapin community, she taught 5th through 8th grade English Language Arts in Dallas, Texas, as well as 5th grade literature in Brooklyn.
  • Fun Facts: Outside of school, Ms. Ussery loves to be outdoors, preferably in the mountains or by the ocean, as well as to cook, try new restaurants and, of course, read.
  • In Her Own Words: “What excites me about working at Chapin is the sincere passion that my colleagues bring to their work every day.” 
NISA WHEATLEY, Middle School Humanities Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Wheatley earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and her Master of Education from Georgetown College.
  • Experience: Prior to joining Chapin, she taught history and language arts in Harlem and in Lexington, Kentucky.
  • Fun Facts: Outside of the classroom, Ms. Wheatley enjoys reading, traveling, trying new foods and fitness.
  • In Her Own Words: “It is inspiring to know wholeheartedly that the well-being of our students is at the core of everything we do.” 

 

UPPER SCHOOL

ELIZABETH ADLER, Upper School Music Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Adler earned a B.A. in Music at Brown University and an M.A. in Music and Music Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Experience: In addition to teaching music, Ms. Adler writes songs, directs and performs in musicals.
  • Fun Facts: She sings with the Canticum Novum Singers, a NYC-based chamber choir.
  • In Her Own Words: “I’m excited to work at Chapin because of the vitality and dynamism of the arts programs and the passion and leadership of the students who participate in these programs.” 
KATHERINE BURD, Upper School English Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Burd graduated from Davidson College and earned her Ms. Ed. degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. degree in English literature at Georgetown University.
  • Experience: Ms. Burd was a teacher at Deerfield Academy, where she taught English courses and coached athletics teams. She also worked at St. George’s School.
  • Fun Facts: While at Georgetown, Ms. Burd served as Graduate Writing Fellow and Academic Advisor in the Georgetown Athletic program. 
  • In Her Own Words: “I really believe that teaching communities are strongest when united by a sense of purpose; at Chapin, that unity is clear.”
EMILY FEDER, Upper School English, History and Learning Resources Teacher
  • Education: Ms. Feder attended the Bronx High School of Science and earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Macalester College and her Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Columbia University.
  • Experience: Before joining Chapin, Ms. Feder taught English and coached debate at independent schools in Seattle for seven years. At Columbia, she taught the core composition and academic writing course as well as creative writing courses in the high school summer program.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Feder has worked as a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton. She also worked directly with refugees and other communities in need at the International Rescue Committee and in Croatia and Siberia. 
  • In Her Own Words: “I believe in Chapin’s commitment to bravery and compassion, and I look forward to helping students find their own versions of these values.”  
LAUREN HEFELE, Upper School Mathematics and Learning Resources Teacher
  • Education:Ms. Hefele earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics with a minor in Business Administration at Fordham University. She received a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.
  • Experience:She has been teaching math since 2012. Before coming to Chapin, Ms. Hefele taught and worked on curriculum and teacher development at Democracy Prep. 
  • Fun Facts:She likesto read (Harry Potter will forever be her favorite book series) and is also a big Yankee fan.
  • In Her Own Words:“As a female math teacher, it has always been my goal to get young women interested and excited about math. I want to work towards closing the gender gap in STEM careers, and I think that Chapin is a great place to help make that happen.” 
IRIS HOOD, Upper School Science Teacher
  • Education: Dr. Hood earned her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at the University of Oregon and Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.
  • Experience: Prior to coming to Chapin, Dr. Hood worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Over her academic career, she has served as a teacher and mentor to numerous undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom have successfully completed medical school and master’s and doctorate programs.
  • Fun Facts: Dr. Hood enjoys swimming in freshwater lakes, hiking in tropical jungles, visiting national parks and playing classical violin. She has been an avid painter for over 20 years. 
  • In Her Own Words: “I am passionate about creating engaging and effective science curriculum, and I have been active in supporting and encouraging young women and minorities to pursue careers in science and medicine.”
LIZA OLDHAM, Director of Annenberg Center for Learning and Research and Upper School Librarian
  • Education: Ms. Oldham earned a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute.
  • Experience: She has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Columbia Law School and EBSCO Information Services. Before coming to Chapin, Ms. Oldham was a Research and Instructional Design Librarian at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Oldham’s teaching and research interests include culture and media studies, information literacy and pedagogical design. She grew up in Texas amongst a many books but a rather paltry number of cows. 
  • In Her Own Words: “There is so much to be excited about: from getting to know our students to working with faculty on further integrating research and media literacy skills into their curriculum. I can think of no better place to be.” 
ROBERT THAXTON-STEVENSON, Technical Director and Production Manager; Upper School Drama Teacher
  • Education: Mr. Thaxton-Stevenson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Educational Theatre from NYU.
  • Experience: Prior to coming to Chapin, he worked as a Teaching Artist for the New Victory Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Lincoln Center Education, the Park Avenue Armory and the Metropolitan Opera Guild. He has performed, designed and directed at theaters and schools across New York City and beyond.
  • Fun Facts: In addition to his love of theatre, Mr. Thaxton-Stevenson enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors. 
  • In His Own Words: “As an arts educator with many interests, I love the opportunity to investigate various disciplines and make connections between them.” 

 

 

ATHLETICS / PHYSICAL EDUCATION

ANNIE AMBROGIO, Physical Education Teacher and Coach
  • Education: Ms. Ambrogio received her Bachelor of Science degree in K-12 Exercise Science from the University of Southern Connecticut.
  • Experience: She spent the past four years teaching in private schools in Connecticut.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Ambrogio loves outdoor activities such as hiking or exploring beaches around the east coast. She also enjoys playing team sports like softball and soccer. 
  • In Her Own Words: “I am looking forward to sharing my love for physical education and overall wellness with the rest of the P.E. department at Chapin and to explore and share different ideas.”
CHRISTOPHER HAYES, Associate Director of Athletics
  • Education: Mr. Hayes graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s in Sports Administration and a Business minor. He earned a master’s in Sports Management from Georgetown University. 
  • Experience: After college, Mr. Hayes returned to work at his alma mater, The Out-of-Door Academy, in Sarasota, Florida, where he held roles such as Assistant Athletic Director, math teacher, P.E. teacher and coach. He also served as Athletic Director and P.E. teacher at Holy Trinity School in Washington, where he coached cross country, basketball, softball and flag football.
  • Fun Facts: While at Miami, Mr. Hayes played four years for the football team as wide receiver. Outside of work, he is an avid runner and podcaster and can be found playing in multiple recreational sport leagues or enjoying a movie in a theater.
  •  In His Own Words: “Athletics have always played such a huge role in my life, and I want to pass on a positive experience to the students at Chapin.” 
ALEX HOLOWACH, Physical Education Teacher and Coach
  • Education: Ms. Holowach earned her bachelor’s degree in Health/Physical Education at Ithaca College and a master’s of science degree in Exercise Science from California University of Pennsylvania. 
  • Experience: Prior to arriving at Chapin, she taught physical education to students in Pre-K-6thgrade, 10th grade health and wellness and coached field hockey, basketball and softball at Sacred Heart Greenwich.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Holowach loves to travel, spend time in the outdoors and train for races of all running/biking distances.
  • In Her Own Words: “I’m excited to be a part of a motivated P.E./Athletic department! They are amazing!”

 

COLLEGE GUIDANCE

ANNETTE KANTER, College Guidance Administrative Assistant
  • Education: Ms. Kanter holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Saint Francis College and a master’s degree in Special Education from Hunter College.
  • Experience: Previously, Ms. Kanter served as an Admissions Associate at Saint David’s School and at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, as well as an Upper School Admissions Assessor and high school student advisor at Avenues: The World School. Earlier in her career, she was a middle school special education teacher in the NYC public school system.
  • Fun Facts: Ms. Kanter loves spending time with friends and family, especially her two sons. She enjoys traveling, practicing yoga, going to the movies and the theatre, reading and cooking, especially for family holidays.
  • In Her Own Words: “I look forward to working with Upper School students and supporting them in any way I can to help them prepare for this new chapter in their lives.”
DANIELA ARREOLA SEGROVE, Associate Director of College Guidance
  • Education: Ms. Segrove holds bachelor’s degrees in Theatre and Political Science from Barnard College and a master’s degree in Higher and Post-Secondary Education from Teacher College, Columbia University.
  • Experience: She worked as an Admissions Counselor at Barnard College and Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions at New York University, where she led the New York-based NYU Abu Dhabi team and oversaw NYU Abu Dhabi’s recruitment in North and South America.
  • Fun Facts: A native of Mexico City, Ms. Segrove has lived in six U.S. states, five countries and visited dozens more. In her spare time, she collects unique stationery, fountain pens and inks to write to her pen pals around the world. She loves exploring New York City’s rich theater scene and eating Japanese food with her wife, Alison.
  • In Her Own Words: “I am looking forward to helping students find their next home post-Chapin with as much efficiency, patience, and grace as possible.”