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Kent Place Announces New 2019-2020 Faculty and Staff Members

Cedric (CB) Brown is the Assistant Director of Athletics. A graduate of Lehman College (CUNY), Coach Brown received his bachelor’s degree in recreation education. He then earned a master’s in sport pedagogy from South Dakota State University. Coach Brown was middle school director of athletics for the Ferguson-Florissant School District, in Ferguson, Mo., and a varsity basketball coach. Coach Brown is a candidate for a PhD in organizational development and leadership with an emphasis on sport, fitness, and wellness management.

Rebecca Brown earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Notre Dame, and during the summers interned at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in Panama, studying marine biology. She earned her master’s and her doctorate, both in entomology, from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, specializing in plant-insect coevolution. Dr. Brown continued her research into insect molecular genetics with a National Science Foundation Fellowship at the University of Chicago. After teaching chemistry at Summit High School, she came to Kent Place School in 2018 and uses an interdisciplinary approach to teaching physics and biology.

Kooheli Chatterji, Director of the Middle School, a veteran administrator and educator in middle schools, is a champion for adolescents and an accomplished leader in building healthy and equitable communities. She spent the past two decades working in area independent schools and was for several years a program director at New Jersey SEEDS, in Newark. A graduate from Wesleyan University, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature.

Stacey Clark received her BA in speech communications from Old Dominion University. She earned a postbaccalaureate degree from Felician College, for her teaching certificate, K–8, and her master’s in education from Walden University. Helping students with learning differences was of keen interest to her, and as a result she went on to receive her Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant endorsement at William Paterson University. Ms. Clark teaches yoga in her free time and has been able to incorporate the mind–body wellness connection to the classroom in an effort to reduce stress and anxiety in children. Ms. Clark is the Primary School Learning Specialist.

Adrianna DeGazon, the Admission Officer for Outreach and Engagement, is a graduate of Williams College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in history and Africana studies. Ms. DeGazon joined Kent Place in 2019 after spending time in selective college admissions. She says she’s excited not only to be part of the girls’ entrance into the school but to also help them navigate and grow within the KPS community.

Kristen Emmel joins the KPS community after a 13-year career in the Franklin Lakes School District. During her tenure there, Ms. Emmel was as a middle school math teacher and most recently the K–8 math staff developer. She holds a BFA from Boston University and an MA in educational technology from New Jersey City University. She has presented at conferences at both the state and the national levels on topics such as blended learning, number talks, and the mathematical practice standards. Ms. Emmel joins Kent Place School as the Mathematics Coordinator for the Primary and Middle Schools.

Peter Fischer will be working with singers at Kent Place in the Upper and Middle School choirs. In addition to teaching, Mr. Fischer sings and records regularly with professional ensembles, such as the New York Choral Artists and the Same Stream Choir. Some of his arrangements for treble voices have been published with GIA. He’s a graduate of Westminster Choir College, where he received a bachelor’s in music education, and earned his master’s in choral conducting from the University of Arizona.

Ashley Jones graduated from Miss Porter’s School, an all-female boarding school in Farmington, Conn. She graduated Simmons College, in Boston, where she studied finance and economics. Mrs. Jones is the new Upper School Administrative Assistant, coming to us from OneCity Health Inc., in New York, where she was the executive administrative assistant to the senior director of operations.

Elena Iannuzzi will be teaching calculus at the Upper School. A graduate of Vassar College, with a bachelor’s degree in both mathematics and English literature and mathematics and a minor in women’s studies, Ms. Iannuzzi earned her master’s degree in mathematics from CUNY’s Graduate Center. Before coming to KPS, she taught high school math in the Uncommon Schools network.

Luis Largo will be teaching AP Physics and Physics in the Upper School. Prior to Kent Place, Mr. Largo taught in public schools more than a decade and was also a lecturer at Rutgers University. A graduate of The Colombian School of Engineering, he earned a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering, a master’s degree in physics education from Rutgers University, and a master’s degree in Spanish education from the University of Granada.

Janice Liao is a graduate of New York University, where she earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. As an Upper School history teacher, she brings a multidisciplinary training in Asian/Pacific/American studies, history, art history, public history, and archives. She spent three years working on collaborative public history projects and exhibitions that spotlight marginalized communities and lost histories in New York City and Taichung, Taiwan. To inspire young generations to be history changers and makers, Ms. Liao brought her practice to the classroom teaching world history, American history, and literature at international schools in Taiwan and China.

Lauren Mastrobuoni joins Kent Place as Athletic Trainer after ten years’ experience at Rutgers University Camden and Bloomfield College. She has a bachelor’s degree in health science studies from Quinnipiac University and a master’s in athletic training from Shenandoah University. In addition to being a certified and licensed trainer, Ms. Mastrobuoni is an American Heart Association instructor in CPR and first aid as well as a Performance Enhancement Specialist through NASM.

Shannon McPartland joins the Upper School Math Department from the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City, where she taught math and science, sponsored the Girls in Science Club, and ran the middle school yearbook program. Before that, she taught math at the Dwight-Englewood School, developed content for National Geographic Television, contributed to clinical research at the Atlantic Neuroscience Institute, and trained NYU faculty in the Blackboard Learning Management System. She holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University, where she double-majored in neural science and cinema studies.

Holly Moller, joins the Kent Place faculty as a long-term maternity leave substitute teaching Grade 6 science. She received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Alabama. After teaching middle school in Alabama, Ms. Moller moved to New Jersey and continued her teaching career in upper elementary and middle school positions.

Elena Neacsu is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she earned her doctorate in Spanish with a concentration in early modern literature. Before joining Kent Place School, she taught at SUNY at Binghamton; the University of Virginia; the UVA-sponsored Summer Program in Valencia, Spain; and the Brearley School, in New York City. Her teaching and research focus on language and culture, gender studies, visual culture, and the medical humanities with a particular interest in the body as an object of artistic and medical discourse in early modern Spain. Dr. Neacsu teaches Spanish in the Upper School.

Ashley Powell, a graduate of the University of Maryland, she earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and her K–8 teaching certificate from Bloomfield College. In addition to teaching Kindergarten, she’ll be coaching junior varsity volleyball and indoor and outdoor track and field. Ms. Powell returns to Kent Place having attended school here for nine years as a student.

Lainey Segear joined Kent Place School in March 2019 as the Director of Alumnae Engagement. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in increasing engagement and raising funds for several nonprofit organizations. She is an alumna of the University of Miami, with a bachelor’s degree in marine affairs and policy with a minor in political science and biology and a master’s in marine affairs and policy. She went on to earn a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University.

Lawrence Seid will teach history in the Upper School. Before KPS, Mr. Seid worked for more than 15 years in the New Jersey Public Schools as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He received a BA in history and certification in secondary education at Ramapo College of New Jersey, and a master’s degree in arts and letters from Drew University’s Caspersen School of Graduate Studies.

Jennifer Sharp-Stilliard teaches Upper School science. She is a graduate of the University of Leeds, in the UK, where she earned her bachelor's degree in medicinal chemistry and her postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Education, with a specialization in teaching science. She has taught in the United Kingdom and Kuwait and lived in Vietnam for two years before emigrating to the United States. She taught science in Arizona before joining KPS.

Darren Sucorowski is the new Director of Security. He comes to Kent Place from the Garfield Police Department, where he spent 26 years in law enforcement, the last eight as captain in charge of the Criminal Investigations Division. He received his master's degree in administrative science from Fairleigh Dickinson University and completed a 10-week course for executive leadership at the FBI National Academy, in Quantico, Va.

Ariel Sykes is the Assistant Director of the Ethics Institute at Kent Place School. She is a skilled educator and teacher trainer with more than 13 years of experience working in philosophy and education. She co-founded and organized the NYC High School Ethics Bowl Regional Competition. She holds a BA in philosophy of education from Mount Holyoke College and an MA in philosophy and education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Before 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 and developed a philosophy in the art museum program with the Montclair Art Museum.
Nick Valente teaches math in the Upper School. He earned his BA and his MA in mathematics from Stony Brook University, specializing in higher-dimensional geometry and quantum computing. He joins Kent Place from The McDonogh School, in Baltimore, and he is delighted to move back to his native New Jersey.

Mary Catherine Walden, Upper School theater teacher, received her MFA in acting from Yale School of Drama and a master’s degree in English education from Lehman University. She returns to the Northeast from Windermere Preparatory School, in Florida, where she led the theater department for seven years, teaching, mentoring, and directing some 50 plays and musicals. In addition, she nurtured her high school thespian troupe, who performed at the state level for several years, earning numerous superiors and Best in Show awards.

Peter Wertz holds two master’s degrees, one in mathematics education and the other in school counseling, both from Rutgers Graduate School of Education. He teaches Upper School math, and joins Kent Place from Summit High School. Mr. Wertz is passionate about establishing an empowering growth mindset perspective towards learning.
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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.