Chapin Welcomes New PC Members

With the 2022-2023 school underway, we are delighted to introduce the outstanding faculty and staff who have joined us at Chapin. Here are their brief profiles:

LOWER SCHOOL

HANNAH GREENBERG, Class 1 Associate Teacher

  • Experience: For the past two years, Hannah taught third grade at the Buckley School. Prior to that, she taught first and third grade at BASIS Independent Brooklyn in Red Hook.
  • Education: She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education, with a minor in English, from the University of Delaware and is currently pursuing a master’s in education.
  • Fun Facts: Hannah enjoys live music, running in Central Park and spending time with her brothers and sister.

MARGOT HIBBS, Assistant to the Head of Lower School

  • Experience: Margot served as Health Coordinator and Business and Operations Assistant at the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles.
  • Education: She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in English.
  • Fun Facts: Margot enjoys spending time with her family in both New York City and Connecticut, exploring new neighborhoods around the city and needlepointing in Carl Schurz Park or Central Park.

MARÍA HURTADO LOPEZ, Spanish Teacher

  • Experience: Maria has more than 10 years of experience teaching students between 3 and 73 years old from more than 15 nationalities.
  • Education: A graduate of Extremadura and Barcelona Universities, Maria holds an Early Childhood Education degree and a Spanish as a Second Language master’s degree. She is also an Apple-certified teacher.
  • Fun Facts: Maria was born and raised in Badajoz, Spain, and has also lived in Portugal. She loves crafting and animals and is currently learning Mandarin.
  • In Her Own Words: “What excites me about working at Chapin is to be in a welcoming community that works for DEIB to be a reality in our lives, outside and in Chapin, a community that also works to give each student the tools and the possibility to fully develop themselves as professionals and as citizens of the world. I am also excited to share a space with other professionals that love teaching as much as I do.”

YUSRA IMAM, Lower School Counselor

  • Experience: Yusra began her career as a school psychologist at a charter school in East Harlem, where she provided SEL (social and emotional learning), mental health and special education services.
  • Education: A New York State-certified School Psychologist, she completed her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Hartford and earned graduate degrees in school psychology and educational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Fun Facts: Yusra loves a good read, creating art, visiting museums and playing video games.
  • In Her Own Words: “I’m very excited about being a part of the community at Chapin. I love the sense of togetherness here and hope to see more of it in the coming year!”

SOO KIM, Class 2 Associate Teacher

  • Experience: Prior to teaching at Avenues last year, Soo taught Classes 2 and 3 at Chapin for six years and also at P.S. 6.
  • Education: A graduate of Hunter College, she earned her bachelor’s degree in both childhood education and English language arts. She also holds a master’s degree as a literacy specialist from Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Fun Facts: A lover of children’s books, she spends most of her time discovering new books and aspiring to write and illustrate one herself.

LAURA MARTINEZ, Class 1 Head Teacher

  • Experience: Laura taught first and second grade at the Episcopal Academy in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and at P.S. 32, The Belmont School.
  • Education: She received her undergraduate degree from Yale University, where she studied literature with an emphasis on Spanish language literature and completed her dual master's degree in childhood education and bilingual education from Hunter College.
  • Fun Facts: Laura enjoys cooking, salsa dancing and attending book club.

KYM MENDEZ, Class 2 Head Teacher

  • Experience: Kym has taught Kindergarten, third grade and fifth grade at independent schools across the city.
  • Education: An alum of Agnes Scott College, Kym holds a master’s degree in international education from New York University.
  • Fun Facts: She is the proud author of a positive affirmations cursive workbook, “I am Brave.” Ms. Mendez loves to travel, curl up on the couch with a good book or dedicate time to studying another language.

ANMEI NI, Class 3 Associate Teacher

  • Experience: Anmei has teaching experience at public elementary schools in Oklahoma City and New York City.
  • Education: She graduated with a master's degree in elementary inclusive education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Fun Facts: Anmei enjoys writing stories, taking long drives and spending time with her two cats.

SOPHIE PELLETIER, Class 2 Associate Teacher

  • Experience: Sophie has spent the past four years volunteering and teaching Spanish at local elementary schools in Colorado.
  • Education: She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado College.
  • Fun Facts: Sophie likes to camp and do the New York Times crossword puzzle.

MIKE ROBINSON, Class 3 Head Teacher

  • Experience: Mike has spent the past 10 years teaching K-4 in independent and public schools in New York.
  • Education: He graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor's degree in history and African American Studies and a master’s degree in elementary education.
  • Fun Facts: Mike enjoys reading, running and the outdoors.

PHOEBE SEARCH, Associate Head of Lower School and Lower School Equity Coordinator

  • Experience: Phoebe began her teaching career as a Class 3 and Class 1 Associate at Chapin. She went on to teach and lead in various independent school settings, including Friends Seminary, The Collegiate School and the Elisabeth Morrow School in New Jersey.
  • Education: She earned her B.A. in psychology from Harvard College, an MS.Ed. in early and middle elementary education from the Bank Street College of Education and an Ed.M. in private school leadership from the Klingenstein Institute, Teachers College at Columbia University.
  • Fun Facts: Phoebe’s interests include her new Siberian husky puppy, her twin boys, participating in family races, singing and playing the violin.
  • In Her Own Words: “The fact that I can return to where my teaching career began as an Associate Teacher in the Lower School is excitement enough. In addition to this serendipitous opportunity, I am thrilled to return to a community whose focus has always been on the individual student, her passions and areas of growth, and most especially, to do this work in the division that has always held my heart as an educator. Leading the next generation of teachers, families, and learners is a gift in and of itself. And to be doing so at Chapin is its own reward!”

HALLIE STOTLER, Music Teacher

  • Experience: Previously, Hallie taught music and Kindergarten at The Packer Collegiate Institute and, before that, she gave private music lessons and worked as a chorus teacher at P.S. 86 in the Bronx.
  • Education: Hallie holds a B.A. in music from Vassar College, and an M.A. in music education from Hunter College.
  • Fun Facts: She has maintained an eclectic performance career as a choral conductor, contralto soloist, fiddler, and singer-songwriter and also enjoys hiking and camping.
  • In Her Own Words: “Chapin is the most collaborative school community I have ever worked in. Already I have multiple creative collaborative projects brewing with colleagues that will lead to rich and joyful learning for the students. It’s wonderful to see the collaboration among adults reflected in the way the children collaborate with one another during class, and I think it’s one of the things that makes Chapin really special.”

TANNA TANLAMAI, Kindergarten Associate Teacher

  • Experience: A former hedge fund attorney, Tanna has also worked with children as a summer camp counselor, most recently at the West Side YMCA.
  • Education: Tanna graduated from Harvard University with a degree in economics and received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law.
  • Fun Facts: She loves bubble tea, buffets, “Jeopardy” and going on mini-adventures with her kids.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

ALEXANDRA ISRAEL, Spanish Teacher

  • Experience: Alexandra worked for more than five years in a rural charter school in Santiago, Chile, teaching English as a second language and Spanish as a first language from Pre-K to fifth grade.
  • Education: She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a language and communication specialization from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a master’s degree in curriculum and teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Fun Facts: Alexandra enjoys playing piano, spending time by the ocean and with family and friends and meeting new people. She is also a Chilean sushi lover.
  • In Her Own Words: “What excites me more about working at Chapin is getting to know the community and helping to build a diverse and inclusive environment within students and teachers. I also want to learn and grow along with everyone!”

DANA LEIBOWITZ, Class 6 Science Teacher and Advisor

  • Experience: Dana has taught science at The Cathedral School, Birch Wathen Lenox School and The School at Columbia University. She has also developed and leads a science, robotics and makerspace/3D printing program at Camp Ramah in Nyack.
  • Education: Dana earned her Bachelor of Arts in environmental science from Barnard College and her master’s degree in science education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Fun Facts: Before becoming a teacher, she led space shows and astrophysics educational programs at The American Museum of Natural History. She also created curricula at the New York Hall of Science and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.

AMANDA McMILLAN, Middle School Equity Coordinator and Teacher

  • Experience: Amanda began her career in education in the public schools of New York and transitioned to independent schools in Delaware. She comes to Chapin from Wilmington Friends School where her diversity work focused on faculty and students. While there, she facilitated the SEED Program (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) for faculty for 10 years and created affinity groups for middle school girls.
  • Education: She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Geneseo and a master’s degree in educational leadership and creative writing from Bank Street College of Education and Sarah Lawrence College.
  • Fun Facts: Amanda enjoys action films, traveling, British TV shows, reading and spending time with family.

AYAOVI SOBO, French Teacher

  • Experience: Ayaovi has taught French to children and adults of all ages and levels for the last 17 years.
  • Education: She earned her M.A. in teaching French as a foreign language at the Université d’Artois in France and a B.A. in Anglo-Saxon literature and civilization at the Université of Nanterre, Paris.
  • Fun Facts: Ayaovi likes to cook, travel and read.
  • In Her Own Words: “I am very happy to be a part of a team made of smart and brave individuals, teachers and students. I look forward to working with each of them.”

MARY KATE TURNER, Humanities Teacher

  • Experience: Mary Kate taught humanities at an independent school and English within the National Heritage Academies charter network as well as at The Packer Collegiate Institute.
  • Education: She earned bachelor’s degrees in creative writing and art history from Johns Hopkins University and a master’s in teaching from the University of Michigan.
  • Fun Facts: Mary Kate loves catching up on the latest young adult and middle grade reads, exploring her Upper West Side neighborhood and visiting friends and family in her home states of Florida and Michigan.
  • In Her Own Words: “Chapin excites me because of how enthusiastic our students are about learning. When I first toured the building, I was struck by how everyone in the community seemed so happy to be here, and that kind of joy is why I love teaching!”

UPPER SCHOOL

SAMANTHA LA PETER, Latin Teacher

  • Experience: Samantha has taught Latin, and sometimes Greek, to students in all grades 6-12, first at a charter school network, then a Jesuit boys’ school, both in Phoenix. She also held additional roles such as Academic Dean, Instructional Coach, Project Week Coordinator and Department Head.
  • Education: Samantha received her B.A. in religious studies from Swarthmore College and master’s degrees in both religion and classics from the University of Chicago.
  • Fun Facts: She recently moved back to New York with her daughter and is excited to explore the endless opportunities for art, architecture, dance and karaoke.

NATASHA LEE, French Teacher

  • Experience: Natasha taught French language and francophone literature and culture at Princeton University and, more recently, at Middle and Upper School levels in New York Independent schools. Her interdisciplinary interests have led to published articles on a variety of topics such as architecture and literature at the Louvre.
  • Education: Natasha earned her Ph.D. in romance languages at Harvard University with a focus on French Enlightenment literature and thought.
  • Fun Facts: She grew up in France and Canada and is excited to share her love of all things French – from films to pastries – with students at Chapin.
  • In Her Own Words: “From my first conversations with students and colleagues at Chapin, I have been struck by the intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for learning that everyone shares. I’m excited to join a school where tradition and innovation work together to support students’ learning and growth.”

SALLIE MATHIS, Science Teacher

  • Experience: Sallie has a background in many fields of science, particularly biology, and conducted research at The New York Genome Center in Dr. Neville Sanjana’s lab.
  • Education: A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, she also holds a master’s degree in cellular and molecular biology from New York University.
  • Fun Facts: Sallie enjoys reading, watching movies and visiting family in Virginia. She lives in Brooklyn with her fiancée and her two dogs.
  • In Her Own Words: “I’m excited to be part of the community at Chapin for many reasons, but the idea of being a female role model in science really motivates me to show up for my students and my colleagues. I look forward to providing visibility that I wish I had in high school science classes. I urge all students to remember that you can do anything that you dream of!”

ALLYSON ROSS, Dance Teacher

  • Experience: Allyson has had the honor of teaching in public, charter and private school settings across the United States as both a general elementary educator and as an elementary dance educator. Most recently, she created an elementary dance program for a charter school network in the Bronx.
  • Education: Allyson is a graduate of The College of William and Mary (B.A. in sociology and elementary education) and the Harvard Graduate School of Education (Ed.M. in arts in education). She received her formative dance education at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alonzo King LINES Ballet professional training programs.
  • Fun Facts: She creates and presents her own artistic work for stage, film and site-specific performance, working collaboratively with filmmakers, composers, costume designers, visual artists and dance artists. She also dances professionally for General Mischief Dance Theater and the Leah Glenn Dance Theater.

LIZ SOLIS, Associate Head of Upper School for Culture and Community

  • Experience: Liz served as the Interim Dean of Academics at Head-Royce School and previously served as the Associate Director of Programs and as Principal of ARISE High School in Oakland, California.
  • Education: They earned a B.A. in social science with an ethnic studies emphasis from San Francisco State University, an M.A. in teaching secondary education history from Tufts University, and an administrative services credential and M.Ed. from the REACH Institute, Instructional Leaders Program.
  • Fun Facts: Liz is an artist who hails from the Bay Area of California. They are also the parent of an Upper School student.
  • In Their Own Words: “I’m excited to tap into the energy and enthusiasm of the student body to create a thriving, joyous, rigorous community of belonging.”

ATHLETICS & PHYSICAL EDUCATION

BRIDGET CARLIN, Director of Athletics

  • Experience: Bridget spent the last four years as Associate Athletic Director at The Marlborough School in Los Angeles. Previously, she was the Assistant Athletic Director at The Dalton School and worked in the same capacity at The Agnes Irwin School, outside of Philadelphia.
  • Education: After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science with a minor in coaching from West Chester University, Bridget earned a Master of Public Administration degree, also from West Chester University, with a concentration in sports management. She is also a Certified Athletic Administrator.
  • Fun Facts: In 2012, she was a head coach for a women’s basketball select team of Division II and III players as part of the Global Sports Academy that traveled and competed in Belgium. She enjoys traveling, hiking and trying new foods.
  • In Her Own Words: “As we start to prepare for our first big event (Homecoming), it’s exciting to think about all the ways we can incorporate cross-divisional activities for our students to join in on the fun. I’m especially excited by all the possibilities for growth within the Athletics program long term. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to continue expanding our student-athlete leadership programming and to provide new initiatives focused on the intersection of health, wellness and athletics.”

GREGORY PINTO, Physical Education Teacher

  • Experience: Gregory taught physical education at the Greenwich Country Day School and spent the last 10 years teaching at Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Education: He earned his bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College in Massachusetts and a master’s in early childhood education from Moreland University.
  • Fun Facts: Gregory enjoys traveling, fine dining and hiking.
  • In His Own Words: “It is exciting to be a part of a community that champions and values every person that walks through the doors of 100 East End Avenue.”

JESSICA RAYFORD-ANDERSON, Athletics Administrative Specialist and Athletic Trainer

  • Experience: Jessica comes to Chapin with 15 years of experience working with a variety of student-athletes in a myriad locations, from college to high school, in Florida, Kentucky and New York City.
  • Education: Jessica received her bachelor’s degree in athletic training from University of West Florida and a master’s degree in health education from Union College in Kentucky.
  • Fun Facts: As a United States Air Force dependent, Jessica comes from a diverse background. The U.S. Military has taken her to Japan, Colorado, Belgium, Germany, England and various other places around the world.

ADMINISTRATION & STAFF

CAROLYN ASH, Director of Equitable Practices

  • Experience: Carolyn’s background includes deep experience in academic enrollment, student services, admissions, financial aid and non-profit management, honed at institutions including Aspen Academy, Starr King School for the Ministry, The Carey School, and The Spirituals Project at the University of Denver. She comes to Chapin most recently from College Track, a national college completion program serving students from low-income communities.
  • Education: After receiving a B.A. in psychology from Oberlin College, Carolyn earned her M.A. in education from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and an Ed.D. in educational leadership, management and policy from Seton Hall University.
  • Fun Facts: She loves to sing and is a huge fan of the arts, especially TV, film, theater and photography. Carolyn also loves to travel throughout the U.S. and globally.
  • In Her Own Words: “I am thrilled that, in my role, I will have an opportunity to work with all students at Chapin (K-12), their families, my fellow professional community members, the Board of Trustees and Chapin alumnae.”

DEBORAH BLENMAN-GREEN, Director of Student Learning Support

  • Experience: Deb spent many years in the classroom as a special education teacher, and more recently, as Head of School at Children’s Academy, a school for children with speech and language delays.
  • Education: She holds a B.A. in sociology and an M.A. in early childhood education from Lehman College, along with two master’s degrees from Bank Street College of Education, including one in building leadership and educational change.
  • Fun Facts: Deb’s interest in brain development created the opportunity to be part of a team that launched a non-profit school for students with brain injuries and other brain-based disorders, Pathways School for Children. She was born in Barbados.
  • In Her Own Words: “I am excited to work in a community that is committed to supporting and celebrating the growth of all students and the professional community.”

MARCUS BROCK, Scholar in Residence

  • Experience: Marcus holds adjunct faculty appointments at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Marymount Manhattan College. Currently, he is a Dr. W. Burghardt Turner Fellow and a Ph.D. candidate (ABD) in cultural studies and Africana studies in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at Stony Brook University.
  • Education: He received a B.A. in American literature and culture from UCLA with a minor in political science. Marcus also received a Master of Communication Management with a focus on media and entertainment management from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
  • Fun Facts: Marcus’ book project, “Sensational Oppression: Revolutionary Aspirations for Black Bodies, Queer Kinship, and Resistance in Visual Culture,” is forthcoming
  • In His Own Words: “I am looking forward to new ideas, growth, and organically stumbling into conversations with the Chapin community and students. I look forward to imminent belly-laughs, trying not to get lost in the various stairwells, and urgent conversations around DEI as of today, but most of all: chartering waves that lead us to the shores of an education that meets the world’s challenges and inspires us all to find ourselves in this evolving landscape to look around say, ‘Look at me, I made it here and I made it through, and my voice shall resonate in every space with the makings of me.’ And wouldn't that be grand?”


JORGE CLAROS, Payroll and Benefits Administrator
 

LUKE DIXON, Associate Director of Admissions, K-5

  • Experience: Luke worked as an Admissions Liaison at Pomona College and as a bilingual special education teacher in the New York City Department of Education before returning to his alma mater, The Collegiate School, as a Middle School Spanish and World Religions teacher and grade-level dean. Luke again worked at Collegiate as an Admissions Counselor.
  • Education: He earned his B.A. in Latin American studies from Pomona College.
  • Fun Facts: The father of two sons, Luke is a Brooklyn native.

SIMONE FOSTER-BEY, Campaign Coordinator (Advancement Office)

  • Experience: Prior to Chapin, Simone worked as a teacher for other independent schools.
  • Education: She holds a B.A. in international studies and an M.Ed. in education policy and leadership from American University. Also, she is expected to receive an M.S. in nonprofit management from Columbia University next year.
  • Fun Facts: Simone enjoys listening to true crime podcasts and traveling abroad. She intends to finish her goal of traveling to all seven continents.
  • In Her Own Words: “I’m most excited to continue working at an independent school. I find the independent school system to be incredibly efficient.”

CINDY GAO, Scholar in Residence

  • Experience: Cindy has experience teaching in Asian American studies, gender and sexuality studies and critical ethnic studies.
  • Education: A Ph.D. candidate in American studies at New York University, she received her B.A. in comparative ethnic studies from Columbia University.
  • Fun Facts: Cindy’s dissertation is entitled “Revolutionary Asia and the U.S. Radical Imagination, 1967-1991.” She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.


RON HAAS, Reception/Security Team Member
 

CASPER KELLY, Library Associate

  • Experience: Casper worked in various bookstores, rediscovering a passion for children’s literature.
  • Education: A graduate of Carleton College with a B.A. in English literature, Casper is currently working towards a Master’s in Library Science at the University of Washington.
  • Fun Facts: They are an enthusiastic knitter, crafter, mender and an appreciator of all animals.
  • In Their Own Words: “What excites me the most as the new Library Associate is helping to ensure our library is a place where all students feel safe to express themselves. I feel incredibly fortunate to be working alongside colleagues at Chapin who are also committed to this goal. And getting to know the students who come in and out of the library looking for books is the highlight of every day.”
     

RICK UGENTI, School Safety Administrator


CALVIN WALDS, Scholar in Residence

  • Experience: Calvin has taught throughout the United States, from Sunflower County in Mississippi to New York City and abroad, in Durban, South Africa; Hargeisa, Somaliland; and Ramallah in the Occupied West Bank.
  • Education: He is a Ph.D. student in geography at Rutgers-New Brunswick. In addition, Calvin holds an MFA in cross-genre writing with a focus on poetics from UCSD, master’s degrees in Pan-African studies and general and special education and a B.A. in political science and ethnic studies.
  • Fun Facts: Calvin’s current writing project continues his investigation of fugitivity as an artistic practice and practice of resistance, of Black experimental and electronic music, and of the painter Beauford Delaney’s engagement with figuration and abstraction.