School Welcomes New Teachers

Brimmer and May welcomed several new teachers this academic year, and The Gator got the chance to shed some light on what makes this cohort unique.  

“Learning happens in all different ways,” says Head of School Judith Guild, explaining what she looks for in hires. “I really look for people who are mindful of diverse learning styles, not just diverse backgrounds. Community is a really big part of what we do. People have to want to embrace our community.”

Helen Du

Du_Helen

Q: Where are you from?
A: I am from China.

Q: Why did you pursue teaching as a career?
A: I am interested in helping international student adjust to new language and culture.

Q: How long have you taught? Where else have you taught?
A: I have been working in colleges as a counselor for the past 20 years.

Q: What subject(s) do you teach?
A: I am a director for international students.

Q: What is one of your favorite teaching strategies?
A: One of my favorite teaching strategies is student center teaching and engage students with discussion and presentation.

Q: Where did you go to college?
A: I went to college in Beijing.

Q: What’s your favorite animal?
A: My favorite animal is the dog.

Q: What’s your favorite sport?
A: My favorite sport is ice skating.

Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: My favorite food is Japanese sushi.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: My favorite movie is The Red Violin.

Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: My favorite book is Tuesdays with Morrie.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go to Paris.

Q: What’s something special you wish your students knew about you?
A: I wish students knew that I enjoy classical music.

Matthew Gallon

Gallon_Matthew

Q: Where are you from?
A: I grew up in Gettysburg, PA.

Q: Why did you pursue teaching as a career?
A: I decided to become a teacher because I love learning new things and sharing knowledge with others.

Q: How long have you taught? Where else have you taught?
A: I have taught in the classroom for two years. I have also taught in more informal settings like museums and archaeological field projects for about five years.

Q: What subject(s) do you teach?
A: I teach 6th and 8th grade science.

Q: What is one of your favorite teaching strategies?
A: My favorite teaching strategy is to use hands-on activities or experiences. I love teaching and learning by doing!

Q: Where did you go to college?
A: I attended Bowdoin College for undergrad, and I went to the University of Michigan for graduate school.

Q: What’s your favorite animal?
A: My favorite animal is the Polar Bear.

Q: What’s your favorite sport?
A: My favorite sport is skiing.

Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: My favorite food is Pad See Ew (a Thai noodle dish).

Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: My favorite movie is 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: My favorite book is Dune by Frank Herbert.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would love to visit the road system built by the Inca in the Andes. It’s an impressive feat of ancient engineering and runs through some beautiful landscapes.

Q: What’s something special you wish your students knew about you?
A: I wish my students knew that I worked for two years at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. I loved going to the warehouse where the collections were stored. There were drawers and shelves of all kinds of different artifacts and scientific specimens. My favorite was the room with the collection of Inuit kayaks from different areas of the arctic.

Diana Gleason

Gleason_Diana

Q: Where are you from?
A: I am from New York.

Q: Why did you pursue teaching as a career?
A: I pursued teaching as a career because I had a really awesome theatre teacher in high school, and she inspired me to become a theatre teacher as well.

Q: How long have you taught? Where else have you taught?
A: This is my 7th year teaching. Before coming to Brimmer, I was a Theatre Director & English Teacher at Wilmington Middle School.

Q: What subject(s) do you teach?
A: I teach Middle School English, Middle & Upper School Theatre

Q: What is one of your favorite teaching strategies?
A: I try to make class relevant and active. It’s most successful (and fun) when the students are learning and “doing” at the same time.

Q: Where did you go to college?
A: I went to Bard College for undergrad and got my BA in theatre, and went to Boston University for my Masters in Education.

Q: What’s your favorite animal?
A: My favorite animal is the CAT. And koalas.

Q: What’s your favorite sport?
A: My favorite sport is hmm; does musical theatre count as a sport? 😉

Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: My favorite food is guacamole.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: My favorite movie is a tie: The Devil Wears Prada….and Lord of the Rings. (Technically that’s 4 movies.)

Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: My favorite book is Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult. It’s a modern-day retelling of The Crucible, and it is pretty awesome.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go to Australia.

Q: What’s something special you wish your students knew about you?
A: I wish my students knew that I love performing! In addition to teaching, I perform with various community & professional theaters in the Boston area, and my most recent role was Kitty in “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Brent Ridge

Ridge_Brent

Q: Where are you from?
A: I am from a place called Flint, Michigan. It’s know for making cars, or now not making cars. It’s near Detroit.

Q: Why did you pursue teaching as a career?
A: I pursued teaching as a career because I always wanted to teach. It took awhile to get here, as I took the time to explore life first. I was and still am inspired by my high school art teacher Richard Wolfgang, a regionally known artist (in Michigan) who made being in class fun, challenging and eye opening. Those are qualities I try to instill in my classes in equal proportions.

Q: How long have you taught? Where else have you taught?
A: I have been teaching since moving to Boston 3 years ago in various forms at different stages. Most recently I have been teaching at the New Art Center in Newton to teens and adults in painting and drawing, and at Minuteman in Lexington where I taught Middle School/High School students in painting and drawing for the summer program for 2 years.

Q: What subject(s) do you teach?
A: I teach Studio Art, Photo I/II, Advanced Photo, Drawing and Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics, Sculpture and Creative Arts 7 – whew, that’s a mouthful!

Q: What is one of your favorite teaching strategies?
A: Sometimes in introducing how to train your eye to see contour I have instructed students to draw from wire and string. The time it takes to draw all the way around from one end to the other end in order to create the entire outside of a the wire or string properly will force the drawer to slow down, connect their eye and hand together in coordination to observe the object in rhythm with the pencil. It takes time and patience and total concentration to perfect.

Q: Where did you go to college?
A: I went to Michigan State University (go Spartans!) for my Bachelors in Fine Art and I went to the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland (Macintosh, Macintosh!) for my Masters in Fine Art.

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: My favorite color is blue, or is it green? There’s so many, can I go with a Color wheel? Color is a an exciting thing—the moment you say green, or read green—the mind starts racing with images of grass, leaves, goo, school jersey, traffic light, and every color triggers that. It’s funny that we often use this as a short-hand to define us, describe us and yet we are never asked to connect the favorite color with a thing, a memory or an emotional response which is really where color gets me.

Q: What’s your favorite animal?
A: My favorite animal is the chameleon.

Q: What’s your favorite sport?
A: My favorite sport is skiing.

Q: Do you own any animals?
A: I don’t own any animals because I’m allergic to cats and animal hair in general.

Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: My favorite food is cheeeeeese!

Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: My favorite movie is Terminator II. It was awesome!

Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: My favorite book is The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go to the Acropolis in Greece.

Q: What’s something special you wish your students knew about you?
A: I wish my students knew that I have an amazing hat collection you will never see because we don’t wear hats at school – Ha! I spent 10 years in New York City. I am a Boy Scout Eagle. I managed to live an adult life for 12 years without owning a car – I now am definitely car bound now. I am actually pretty good at sewing but I won’t dare start doing that professionally – and I have glued things back together that are older than Boston (way older). I have 3 varsity letters from high school despite not being a good athlete.

Kenley Smith

Smith_Kenley

Q: Where are you from?
A: I’m originally from Beverly, Massachusetts.

Q: Why did you pursue teaching as a career?
A: I wanted to be a teacher because I always loved school and wanted to keep learning (I am a big education nerd).

Q: How long have you taught? Where else have you taught?
A: I have been teaching for 15 years. I have taught in New York, St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, Miami, London, and now at Brimmer.

Q: What subject(s) do you teach?
A: I teach high school English (American Literature, senior English, and AP English Literature).

Q: What is one of your favorite teaching strategies?
A: My favorite thing is when the students are participating more than I am. So we do a lot of seminar style discussions.

Q: Where did you go to college?
A: I went to Union College for my undergraduate degree and Middlebury College and Oxford University for my masters degree.

Q: What’s your favorite animal?
A: My favorite animal is a bush baby.

Q: What’s your favorite sport?
A: My favorite sport is crew (rowing).

Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: My favorite food is roasted brussel sprouts.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?
A: One of my favorite movies is What We Do in the Shadows.

Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: One of my favorite books is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would revisit the island of Lamu which is off the coast of Kenya.

Q: What’s something special you wish your students knew about you?
A: I wish my students knew that I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2001.

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