Full-Year Program 2019 Cohort

Jack Anderson has taught history and Chinese since 2013 at The Pennington School, a small co-ed independent school in Pennington, NJ. He also managed the boys dormitory. Previously, Jack worked as a sports performance coach in the United States and Taiwan. 

Tatum Bell has taught English since 2013 at Virginia Episcopal School, a co-ed boarding and day high school in Lynchburg, VA. She was the coordinator of equity and inclusion--established the program, led a study of the school climate and facilitated faculty professional development. She also served as a head dorm parent, coached lacrosse and field hockey and was a member of the faculty evaluation committee. Tatum earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Yale University and is an alumna of the Klingenstein Summer Institute.

Brendan Buckland served as dean of residential life and as a Spanish teacher at The School for Ethics and Global Leadership, a residential semester school for high school juniors in Washington, D.C. He started teaching as a Spanish apprentice at the High Mountain Institute semester program in Leadville, CO. Brendan has also designed and led educational trips for high school students in South Africa, Cuba, Costa Rica and Nicaragua

Jay Bush has taught English since 2013 at Canterbury School, a co-ed boarding school in New Milford, CT. He also coached varsity swimming and crew at Canterbury. Jay attended Deerfield Academy before moving on to Georgetown University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2012.

Shane Cappuccio has taught a variety of subjects during his 10-year teaching career: English, creative writing, Theory of Knowledge and research skills, to name a few. From 2013-2018, he served as IB diploma coordinator at Portledge School, an independent day school in Locust Valley, NY. Shane believes that the best learning environment is one where a student who makes mistakes is celebrated.  

Melissa Cassis has worked in admissions since 2009, most recently as the senior associate director at The Hewitt School, an all-girls K-12 day school in New York, NY. Prior to Hewitt, she served as associate director of admissions, advised and taught computer science and digital art at Greenwich Academy. A member of the class of 2008, Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Middlebury College. She has coached basketball and soccer for several seasons and enjoys playing in competitive adult leagues (i.e. NYWMSL) outside of school.

Carol de Luca has held the position of academic director at ACE Ensino de Linguas, a private language institute in Bahia, Brazil since 2005. Additionally, she has served as team leader for Cambridge English Language Assessment's speaking examiners. Carol earned her bachelor's degree in business administration and a minor in international trade from Universidade Mackenzie, São Paulo, where she also had a career in the import/export sector before she decided to change paths and commit herself to change people's life perspectives through language learning and teaching.

Bernell Downer has served as campus life coordinator, taught mathematics and biology and advised STEM and robotics clubs since 2016 at Saint Paul American School, a co-ed day and boarding school (grades 7-12) in Beijing, China. Bernell worked in publishing before he began his teaching career in South Korea and later served as policy advisor with the Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering. An alumnus of Phillips Academy Andover, Bernell received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Cornell University and completed Cornell’s Mandarin full-year language program at Peking University. He has enjoyed numerous travel opportunities including North Korea, Japan, Singapore, Mongolia and Vietnam.

Sen Foo has taught and held various administrative roles since 2014 at New Oriental Education & Technology Group, the largest provider of private educational services in Beijing, China. Previously, he worked at Deloitte & Touche for two years in the Auditing Department. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2011. 

Robby Griffin completed the MBA portion of the dual-degree program at Columbia Business School in December.  Prior to beginning the program, he taught middle school history and coached cross country, basketball and baseball from 2011-2017 at The Peck School, a K-8 co-ed day school in Morristown, New Jersey. Additionally, he served as chair of the history department for two years and has been the director of scheduling for four years. Prior to Peck, he worked at Shore Country Day School as a fourth grade teaching assistant, Bellesini Academy as an after-school teacher and as a homeschool tutor traveling on a yacht. Robby received his bachelor's degree in social studies from Harvard College. On the side and for school activities, Robby does extensive work with technology including building websites and teaching coding.

Meg Johnson has taught history since 2014 at Lakeside School, a co-ed 5-12 day school in Seattle, WA. In addition to teaching U.S. history, world history and an interdisciplinary elective on elections, she has served as the student government coordinator, coached the crew team and served on the admissions committee. Before Lakeside, Meg was a Woods Teaching Fellow at the Lawrenceville School where she earned a master’s degree in education through the Penn Independent School Teaching Residency. Additionally, she enjoys the outdoors and has led several wilderness trips for NOLS. Meg will be completing the MBA portion of the MA/MBA dual-degree program during 2019.

Michael Klaus comes to Klingenstein after seven years at St. Anne’s-Belfield School, a co-ed day and boarding school in Charlottesville, VA. During his time at St. Anne's, he taught history and humanities classes to grades 9-12, coached tennis, basketball, and soccer and lived on the dorm. Prior to moving to Charlottesville, he taught, coached and lived for four years at Kimball Union Academy, a co-ed boarding and day school in Meriden, NH. A native of the DC area and graduate of Colby College, Michael has spent the last 24 summers at Kingswood Camp in Piermont, NH, where he currently serves as head counselor and director of junior camp.

Nicole Li works for Qiling Education, which began to manage and operate international kindergartens in China in 2015. As the director of the International Education Department, she oversees interdisciplinary curriculum development and supervises activities for five campuses. Prior to her working experience in China, she worked for a non-profit organization, known for its pioneering work in child brain development, in Pennsylvania. Nicole was able to further explore her interest in early childhood development at Qiling, where she conceived and implemented educational programs. Nicole graduated from Earlham College in 2013.

Oliver Merrill has taught as a seventh grade homeroom teacher since 2014 at St. Bernard’s School, an all-boys day school in Manhattan. Outside of his teaching responsibilities in English and history, Oliver also coached baseball, managed the Model Congress team, and spearheaded the Upper School special learning program. Previously, he worked at the Windward School in White Plains, NY from 2011-2014. 

Alexandra Norman taught French, English, history and art, and served as the Foreign Language department head for four years at Tilden Preparatory School, a co-ed alternative middle and high school in the San Francisco Bay Area. Last year she helped to open a new campus of Tilden and transitioned into administration, serving as the staff coordinator and liaison. Alexandra graduated from Drew University, in Madison, NJ in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and French. Through her work at Tilden, she has developed a passion for individualized learning and helping students with learning differences.

Maximiliano Ortuzar is the co-founder and has served as instructional leader since 2016 at CREE School in Chile. CREE is a free-of-charge and open-enrollment school located in one of the most underserved districts in Santiago. The school was founded in March 2016 with 280 students from pre-K to second grade. This year the school has 460 students and will grow every year until it becomes a K-12 school with more than 1,100 students in 2026. Prior to founding the school, Maximiliano was a corp member at Enseña Chile and after that, he joined the KIPP Leadership Training Program in 2014 in order to learn and replicate the best practices at KIPP in Chile. Max studied philosophy and education. He loves reading and playing squash.

Tom Owen served as a teaching fellow in English at St. Luke's School in New Canaan, CT from 2016 to 2018. At St. Luke's, a day school for grades five through twelve, Tom taught ninth grade English, served as an advisor and coached volleyball, basketball and lacrosse. Previously, he served as the assistant director of communications at Brooks School, a day and boarding school in North Andover, MA. Since 2010, he has also served as a contributing writer for the alumni magazine of St. Paul's School, a boarding school in Concord, NH. Tom graduated from Dartmouth College in 2015 with a degree in comparative literature.

Sam Permutt has taught math and held various administrative roles at St. Andrew's School, a co-ed boarding high school in Middletown, DE since 2013. Prior to that, he was teaching and coaching in the Philadelphia area. Sam has also spent the last 10 years working with Strive and DiverseCity Hoops, two sports-based youth development non-profits that seek to bring together young people from different backgrounds. Sam attended Haverford College, where he majored in economics.
Mary Sessions has served as director of enrollment management at Woodlawn School, a co-ed K-12 day school in North Carolina, since 2016. Prior to her time at Woodlawn, Mary served on the boarding admission and residence life teams at Darlington School (GA) and held various teaching, coaching and administrative roles at The Webb School (TN). She previously served as a marketing program manager at Crane MetaMarketing (GA). Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and International Studies from Elon University.

Deepjyot (Deep) Sidhu has taught at Palmer Trinity School, a co-ed 6-12 day school in Miami, FL since 2013. Previously, Deep taught in Washington, DC. Deep is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education.

Geoff Silver completed the MBA portion of the dual-degree program at Columbia Business School in December. Geoff serves as the co-president of the study body at the business school.  Prior to Klingenstein, he taught English at the Loomis Chaffee School, a co-ed 9-12 boarding and day school in Windsor, CT. Geoff began his teaching career at the Saint James School in Hagerstown, MD and has also coached varsity football and tennis, served on numerous committees (such as one that developed a new Writing Studio at Loomis) and worked in admissions. An alumnus of the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, MA, Geoff graduated from Duke University summa cum laude in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has completed graduate coursework towards a Master of Liberal Arts at Stanford University
Bee Stribling has been the fourth grade leader teacher at The Hill School, a JK-8 day school in Middleburg, VA for the past five years. There he helped found the Culture, Inclusion and Equity Committee while serving on the Marketing Committee. At Hill, he also served as the director of summer programs. Prior to teaching at Hill, Bee taught seventh and eighth grade civics for four years and was assistant head of middle school at Browne Academy in Alexandria, VA. Bee holds a Master of Arts in History from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Mary Washington College.

Margaret Tolmie has taught English since 2014 at Virginia Episcopal School, a co-ed, boarding school in Lynchburg, VA. Originally from Charlotte, NC, Margaret started teaching after graduating from Washington & Lee University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a VA State Teaching License. She is also obtaining an Master of Arts in English from Middlebury's Bread Loaf School of English.
Tom Wethington completed the MBA portion of the MA/MBA dual-degree program at Columbia Business School in December.  Prior to beginning the program, he served as associate dean of students and director of residential life, taught mathematics and coached basketball and baseball since 2012 at The Masters School, a co-ed day and boarding school in Dobbs Ferry, NY. Tom graduated from Bucknell University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a minor in philosophy. After a brief stint in the financial sector, he decided to change paths and pursue a career in education. Tom received his Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from Teachers College in May of 2012. In addition to his work at The Masters School, Tom has been a faculty member and conference facilitator for the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference.

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