Meet New Faculty for 2020-2021 School Year
Great teachers make great schools. We would not "Be Gilman" without the men and women who teach, advise, coach, mentor, cajole, comfort, and celebrate our boys.
Amy Bess-Graves, Third-Grade Homeroom Teacher
Amy has significant teaching experience as a third- and fifth-grade homeroom teacher in York, South Carolina, and Gastonia, North Carolina with the last six years as an elementary school teacher at New Town Elementary School and Hawthorne Elementary School in the Baltimore County Public School system. She is a graduate of Lock Haven University earning a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She holds two master level degrees, one from Columbia College, with a Master of Education in Divergent Learning and the second one from Western Governors University with a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction.
Helen Burke, Third-Grade Homeroom Teacher
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Rosemont College, Helen has spent the majority of her career teaching at St. Margaret School in Bel Air, Maryland. In addition to her classroom teaching, she also has been a reading coordinator and mentor teacher. Helen also has extensive experience as curriculum writer in math and religion for the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools.
Leeah Burros, Fifth-Grade Homeroom Teacher
Leeah received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Towson University. She has spent significant time at Gilman as a Lower School substitute teacher and Assistant Director of the After School Program (ASP). This year she is Director of ASP. During the summers, Leeah continued with her Gilman connection by working as a counselor at ESF Summer Camps.
Callie Colgan, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Before spending three years as the Lead Preschool Teacher at The Highlandtown Preschool, Callie spent time as a preschool teacher at The Nature Preschool at Irvine Nature Center and as the physical education and science teacher at Seneca Academy in Darnestown, Maryland. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Studies from Ohio University and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood Education from Towson University.
Karen Cooper, Second-Grade Homeroom Teacher
Karen has extensive experience as a second-grade teacher at two elementary schools in California, the Department of Defense School in Germany, and as the principal of the Merryhill School in California. Karen earned her Bachelor of Arts from Mount Saint Mary College in Education and Psychology and her Master of Education from Boston University in Counseling and Psychotherapy. She has a vested interest in volunteering for nonprofits, such as Socktober (domestic abuse prevention) and Pennies With Purpose (financial assistance for cancer patients).
Claire Haggerty, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Claire has experience teaching grades pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, and fourth grades over the last fifteen years at GreenMount School in Baltimore, St. John’s Parish Day School in Ellicott City, and the Holy Child School in Pennsylvania. She attended Villanova University earning a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and is certified in elementary education, grades K-6.
Barbara Keigler, Lower School Year-Long Substitute Teacher
Barbara is a graduate of the University of Vermont where she received her Bachelor of Science with a double major in French and German. After earning her Master of Arts degree in German from Middlebury College, she taught abroad in Germany as a Fulbright Teacher. Barbara spent most of her career teaching in the Howard County Public School System as a Media Assistant, French, and Reading teacher, and an E.S.O.L. teacher and program coordinator. She started as a long-term substitute teacher for Gilman in 2018. Both of her sons, Robert and William, attended Gilman with William graduating in 2006
Kara Levinson, First-Grade Homeroom Teacher
Kara was a long-term substitute for us while her son, Ben Levinson, Class of 2019, was a student in the Middle School. She has experience teaching elementary school at City Springs Elementary School in Baltimore, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, where she earned her Masters of Education from Texas State University. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Kailee Martin, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
A Rollins College graduate where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, Kailee comes to us from Garrison Forest School having taught pre-kindergarten and directed two camps for children ages 3-5. Previous to this experience, she was an intern at Red Bug Elementary and Audubon Elementary both in Winter Park, Florida.
Ursula Meza, Fifth-Grade Homeroom Teacher
Ursula has significant experience at The Harbour School as long-term substitute teacher, Franklin Academy Charter School as a fifth-grade ELA teacher, and a third-grade teacher at Salah Tawfik Elementary and Middle School. Ursula earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Broward College. In addition to teaching, she teaches private music lessons in piano, voice, and guitar.
Chrissy Payne, Reading Specialist
Chrissy has spent the last seventeen years at Fullerton Elementary School as a reading specialist and fourth-grade homeroom teacher. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and a Masters of Education from Towson University.
Jenn Powell, Second-Grade Homeroom Teacher
After spending four years at Glenelg Country School in kindergarten, first, and second grades, Jenn is joining our teaching ranks. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Loyola University Maryland, Jenn is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Special Education: Mild-to-Moderate Disabilities (grades K-8) program at Johns Hopkins University in their School of Education.
Kim Radle, Fourth-Grade Homeroom Teacher
Kim joins us as a full-time homeroom teacher after spending significant time with us as a long-term substitute teacher and homeroom teacher in second grade. Previous to her work at Gilman, she spent almost ten years teaching at St. Paul’s School for Girls in their Middle and Upper Schools as well as coaching junior varsity and varsity volleyball.
Meghan Roach, Year-Long Substitute Teacher
Megan was a lead teacher at the Auburn School where she taught across grade levels in the early elementary years and third grade. In addition, she was director of the school’s summer program, Camp Aristotle, for grades K-8. Prior to that, she taught at The Forbush School as a special education teacher and assistant behavior specialist. While playing both field hockey and lacrosse, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Kate Schmick, Learning Specialist
With extensive experience as a speech pathologist, Kate’s most recent experiences were at Calvert School as a Lower School Learning Specialist and with Baltimore County Public Schools as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Kate earned a Bachelor of Business Administration In Marketing from James Madison University and she received her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from George Washington University.
Caitlyn Sullivan, Fourth-Grade Homeroom Teacher
With a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with minors in Music and Education as a Social Science and an Ed.M. in Early Childhood (Preschool-3rd Grade) and Elementary Education from Rutgers University, Caitlyn joins us having taught fifth grade at Hawthorne Elementary School in the Baltimore County Public School system. While at Rutgers, she participated in the marching band to cheer for the Scarlet Knights, and she continues to share her love of music with her students.
Brooke Thomas, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Brooke comes to us most recently from St. David’s Day School where she was a teacher in the three-year-old classroom and as a substitute teacher in kindergarten. Before that, she taught third grade at the Potomac School. Brooke attended Mount Vernon College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education.
Jane Thomas, First-Grade Homeroom Teacher
After starting her career at the Applied Physics Laboratory, Jane started her teaching career at The Goddard School. From there, she taught at the Resurrection-St.Paul School, Columbia Academy, and most recently at Glenelg Country School. She is a graduate of Towson University with a Master of Education degree in Early Childhood Education and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology.
Alexander (Alex) Foertsch ‘13, Middle School Athletics and Year-Long Substitute Teacher
Alex received his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Towson University after playing football at the University of Virginia for two years. He has experience as a basketball and football coach while also spending time working as a physical therapy aide in Maryland and Virginia.
Jacob Hamidi, Middle School Science Teacher
Jacob spent seven years as a counselor at Nature Camps Inc. and most recently worked as a teacher at NorthBay. He is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Biology and Cognitive Science. He is currently completing his dissertation for a Master of Science in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology from Oxford University.
Nick Johnson ’15, Language Arts Department
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in Global Literary Theory from Davidson College, Nick is in the process of completing his Masters of Philosophy in Comparative Literature from Trinity College Dublin. He also has extensive experience with publications through an internship at Bellevue Literary Press, as a reader at The Paris Review, and the Editor in Chief of Hobart Park, the Davidson College Literary Magazine.
Sean Northrup, Modern Language Department
As a part-time Middle School Latin teacher, Sean earned his Bachelor of Arts in Classics from Brigham Young University, then pursued a Master of Art in Medieval Studies from the University of Connecticut, and studied at Yale University where he earned his Ph.D. in Classics. In addition to lecturing at the University of Connecticut in Latin and Ancient Greek, Sean most recently taught Latin at Mount Saint Mary Academy and North Broward Preparatory School.
Katie Schmidt, Director of Middle School Innovation Lab
Katie received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a French minor from Pennsylvania State University and earned a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Technology for Educators from Johns Hopkins University. She worked at Rodgers Forge Elementary School as a Staff Development Teacher, with responsibilities similar to her new role, for three years. Before that, Katie was an elementary public school teacher for 13 years in Baltimore County.
Ali Allen, French and Spanish Teacher
After spending from October to May of the last academic year as an English Language Assistant at Lycée Edouard Herriot (High School) in France with France Education International, Ali has decided to return to Gilman. With two years of teaching Middle School French and Spanish, she will join the Upper School Modern Language Department. Alicia is a cum laude graduate of Boston University, where she majored in Spanish and Linguistics and completed a minor in French. While at BU, Ali completed study abroad programs at both Universidad Autonoma in Madrid and Universite Stendhal in Grenoble, France. A native of Baltimore, Ali graduated from Friends School of Baltimore, where she was named a National Hispanic Scholar.
Drew Davis, English Department
Drew is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Science in Education through the Penn Fellowship program. Her prior teaching experience is as a Humanities Penn Fellow at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire. Drew earned a Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette College in Behavioral Economics. In addition to being a leader on her college track team, she also was the Head Adviser of Women of Color at St. Paul’s School.
Ned Emala ‘13, Art Department
Ned is a 2013 graduate of Gilman and was the Foreman Fellow during the last academic year. He is returning this year as a full-time Art History teacher in the Upper School. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Political Science major and Art History minor from Dickinson College, he worked for the Bozzuto Construction Company on the Harbor East construction project as an Office and Project Engineer. In college, Ned was a three-year starter on the varsity football team and received the Centennial Conference Sportsmanship Award his senior year. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he will coach varsity football and varsity lacrosse.
Tonya Gorham, Upper School Learning Coach
After spending time working at Fannie Mae as the Director of Operational Risk Oversight and Director of Operational Risk Management, she decided to pursue a career in education. She holds a Bachelor of Business degree from Howard University and is currently working towards a Master of Science in Education from The Johns Hopkins University.
Elana Resnick, Science Department
Elana holds a Bachelor of Arts and Ed. M in Physics Education, grades K-12 from Rutgers University. Her most recent teaching experiences include AP Physics, Honors Physics, College Prep Physics and Robotics at the STEM Academy, Saddle Brook High School, and Glen Rock High School, all in New Jersey. In addition, she was a part-time lecturer in physics at Rutgers University. She will be teaching Upper School physics and leading the robotics program.
Sarah Sachs, Art Department
As a member of the Upper School Art Department, Sarah will be working with Karl Connoly as the new Upper School Studio Art and Photography teacher. She worked for the last six years at Garrison Forest School as an Upper School Art teacher with prior experience as a Professor of Art at Maryland Institute College of Art, Anne Arundel Community College and Howard Community College. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art: Sculpture and Digital Art from St. Mary’s College, her Master of Arts in Digital Imaging and Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Maryland Institute College of Art as well as a Certificate in the College Teaching of Art. She is owner and principal photographer of Bird Dog Studio.
Jake Scott, English Department
Having spent the last two years at Gilman as an Upper School Penn Fellow, Jake will join the Upper School English Department. Jake is a graduate of Harvard University with a double concentration in English and Government. In addition to his studies, Jake was a political cartoonist for The Harvard Crimson and an attackman on Harvard's lacrosse team. Jake has been considering a teaching career for many years and served this past summer as an English teaching intern at Choate Rosemary Hall summer session. A native of Philadelphia, Jake was senior class president and an Under Armor Lacrosse All-American at Conestoga High School.
Kate Bradley, Upper School Callard Penn Fellow, Mathematics
Kate spent the last two years working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a research fellow working on the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative. Prior to that she was an undergraduate student at Yale University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Kate will teach Upper School mathematics as one of our new Penn Fellows. Her interest in education started during her time involved in the program Enroot as a mentor for Cambridge Public Schools and teaching in the summer for Breakthrough Collaborative Austin.
Jaakirah Reid, Middle School Cooper Penn Fellow, Mathematics
Jaakirah got her start in education by co-creating and acting as the program director at Young Scholars Charter School in Philadelphia and as a tutor at Waterville Junior High School. Having graduated from Colby College with a Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies and Government and Mathematics this past spring, she will teach mathematics in the Middle School as one of our new Penn Fellows. While at Colby College, she was involved in the student government and worked as the Director of Operations for the varsity women’s softball team.
Rya Inman, Middle School Foreman Fellow, Science
As a member of the Middle School science department, Rya spent the last several years working at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network at Columbia University as a research assistant and at NASA’s DEVELOP National Program, SSAI, Inc. She is looking forward to teaching science. Rya earned a joint Bachelor of Arts degree from Sciences Po Paris, Campus of Menton in Social Sciences with a Law Concentration and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in Earth Sciences.
Annelise Royles, Inaugural Bridges Fellow, English Department
As a graduate of Kenyon College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Women’s & Gender Studies, Annelise will be the Bridges Fellow and Upper School English Teacher.
After college, she worked for City Year at East Technical High School in Cleveland, Ohio as an AmeriCorps Member. She also spent time studying abroad at the University of Exeter in England and as a camp counselor at the Great Books Summer Program in Palo Alto, California.