Meet the Staff

Dr. Karen Rezach

Dr. Karen Rezach is the Founding Director of The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School. A leader in primary and secondary school ethics education, Dr. Rezach has been teaching and facilitating ethics workshops for students, parents, faculty, administrators and private organizations for over ten years. She has developed partnerships with leading ethical institutions, including The Hastings Center and Georgetown University’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, to develop signature programs for high school students. Her doctoral research, “Spiritual Leadership as a Model of Effective Leadership in Independent School,” explores the ways that educators can bring values and moral awareness into non-sectarian settings, and was the catalyst for the founding of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School. She has an M.Div. from Yale University, an Ed.D. from Seton Hall University is an ordained Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Newark and serves on numerous boards in the community. Dr. Rezach is the coach of the National Champion Kent Place High School Ethics Bowl Team. She has 23 years of experience as an independent school administrator, including Director of the Middle School at Kent Place and Assistant Head of School at St. Philip’s in Newark, New Jersey.

Mrs. Ariel Sykes

Ariel Sykes is the Assistant Director of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School. She is a skilled educator and teacher trainer with over thirteen years of experience working in philosophy and education. Ariel specializes in philosophy for children (P4C) and dialogic pedagogy, with a focus on ethics and service-learning. She is connected to philosophy in k-12 community across the globe, and serves on the boards of the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO), the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum (SEAC), the National High School Ethics Bowl (NHSEB) and the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC). Mrs. Sykes is an endorsed practitioner of the IAPC (Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children), the world’s oldest organization devoted young people’s philosophical practice. Mrs. Sykes holds a BA in Philosophy of Education from Mount Holyoke College and an MA in Philosophy and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining the Ethics Institute, Mrs. Sykes taught a variety of education and ethics courses at local colleges and universities, ran after-school and summer philosophy programs for kids, organized High School Ethics Bowls, and developed a philosophy in the art museum program with the Montclair Art Museum.

Ms. Missie Sheehy

Melissa Sheehy earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in sociology from Stonehill College. Most recently, she worked in business development for a fundraising and management consulting firm with a focus on nonprofits, independent schools, higher education, and faith-based organizations. She enjoys running, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Mr. Matt Ferguson

Mr. Ferguson is the Ethics Institute Resource Coordinator. Matt has a BA in Classics from Georgetown University and an MA in Philosophy and Social Policy from American University. Much of his research in graduate school centered around ethics, trans philosophy, and public philosophy. His prior work experience is in social services and small nonprofits. Matt enjoys reading, cycling, playing rugby, and crocheting.


List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Karen Rezach

    Karen Rezach 

    Director of the Ethics Institute
    (908) 273-0900 ext. 395
  • Photo of Ariel Sykes

    Ariel Sykes 

    Assistant Director of the Ethics Institute; MS DEIB Liaison
    (908) 273-0900 Ext. 270
  • Photo of Melissa Sheehy

    Melissa Sheehy 

    Administrative Assistant; Ethics Institute
    (908) 273-0900 ext. 251
  • Photo of Matt Ferguson

    Matt Ferguson 

    Ethics Institute Resource Coordinator
For more information about the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School or if you are interested in becoming involved, please e-mail
We are grateful to have the following individuals working with us on our various programs:

  • Lisa Goldman - Bioethics & Upper School Ethics Bowl
  • Francesca Menard - Ethics in Action
  • Max Stossel - Reboot
42 Norwood Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901   |   (908) 273-0900
The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School is a first-of-its-kind institute at the primary and secondary school level. We believe that promoting the process and practice of ethical thinking and decision-making prepares people of all ages to be effective leaders and compassionate citizens.