Gilman Welcomes New Faculty and Staff

It is with great pleasure that we introduce to you the new faculty and staff for the 2019-2020 school year:

Teaching Fellows 

Erika Cabrera, Middle School Cooper

Penn Fellow As one of our new Penn Fellows this year, Erica is joining us after graduating from Dartmouth College this past spring with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology modified with African and African American Studies. While at Dartmouth College, she had the opportunity to expand her educational experience by studying for a semester at Webster University in Ghana. Erica’s interest in education is exemplified by summer internships at Success Academy Charter School, Urban Science Academy, and The Equity Project Charter School. She will teach Geography in the Middle School. Erica played rugby in college and is also looking forward to coaching in the Middle School. 

Ned Emala, Upper School Foreman Fellow

Ned is a 2013 graduate of Gilman School and is returning as the Foreman Fellow. He will teach Art History 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. 

Jalin Jackson, Upper School Callard Penn Fellow

Jalin is joining us as the Upper School Penn Fellow. He most recently graduated from Davidson College with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Latin American Studies and African Studies. Along with his accomplishments in the classroom, Jalin was a member of the varsity track team. While in college, his interest in education was evidenced by his participation as a Spanish Teaching Assistant, an ESL Volunteer Teacher at YMCA Lake Norman, and a Counselor/Teaching Assistant at Northwestern University’s Summer Institute for the Gifted. Jalin will teach Spanish in the Upper School and coach varsity indoor track in the fall and varsity track in the spring. 

Ryan Ruff Smith, Tickner Writing Fellow/English Department

Ryan will serve as Gilman’s Tickner Writing Fellow for the next two years. In addition to guiding student writers and overseeing Gilman’s literary publication, Paragon, he will teach Creative Writing and assist in the Writing Center. Ryan has published both fiction and non-fiction work and has won numerous awards for his short stories and plays. Ryan holds an undergraduate degree from St. John’s University in Minnesota, an MFA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Florida, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Cincinnati. He has taught primarily at the college level, specifically at the University of Florida and the University of Cincinnati. 

2019-2020 New Faculty Orientation Bios 

Lower School Faculty 

Greg Calhoun

Having completed last year as the Foreman Fellow in the Lower School, Greg joins us this year as a faculty member teaching fourth grade. He will continue with coaching on our varsity football staff as well. Greg, a graduate of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, majored in History and was a starting offensive lineman. Prior to Gilman, he taught technology and special education in the Alabama public schools. 

Marisa Schomisch

Marisa will be joining us in our new pre-kindergarten program from Calvert School where she taught the three-year-olds for the last five years. Prior to that, she worked for two years at Bright Horizons, a preschool affiliated with The Johns Hopkins University. Marisa received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Psychology from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan and holds a Master of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University. 

Matthew Simon

With experience as a high school, college, and professional football coach, Matt will teach Lower School Physical Education, be the Pre-k through12 Strength and Training Coach, and help coach the varsity football team. In addition to coaching organized sports, Matt is President and Cofounder of Simon Says Sports Consultants. In this capacity, he works with athletes at all levels of competitiveness, including high-level draft picks and professional football players. With coaching on the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV Championship team and the University of Washington 1991 NCAA National Championship team, he is part of an elite group of coaches with the distinction of coaching a championship team at the college and professional level. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Physical Education Administration from Eastern New Mexico University. 

Middle School Faculty 

Brianna Hollimon

Brianna will teach French in the Middle School for this coming school year. She is familiar with independent schools as she is a St. Paul’s School for Girls alumna and worked for Bridges at both Gilman, as a Dance Instructor, and St. Paul’s School for Boys, as a Public Service Fellow. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Communications from Goucher College, she worked at Leith Walker Elementary School and New Town High School teaching Middle School and Upper School French classes, respectively. In addition to her academic teaching interests, she is also a Dance Instructor at Dance Happens, teaching the fundamentals of ballet to dancers age eight and up. 

2019-2020 New Faculty Orientation Bios 

Mark Lord

After graduating from The Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Arts in The Writing Seminars Program, Mark ventured to the west coast to be a professional photographer and screenwriter. Upon returning to Baltimore several years ago, he has taught eighth-grade language arts as a long-term substitute. Joining the full-time faculty for this coming school year, Mark will continue to teach language arts and share his passion for photography through our journalism program. Mark played lacrosse and football at Gilman and played football for four years at Hopkins, earning the Unsung Hero Award his senior year. 

Taushaunna Patience

Taushaunna’s teaching experiences entail teaching forensics at The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY), science in the Baltimore City Public School System, mathematics in the Baltimore County Public School System, to her most recent position at the Institute of Notre Dame where she taught Forensic Science, Biology, and Physics. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Baltimore with a major in Forensic Science. Taushaunna will teach sixth-grade science in the Middle School. 

Laurel Perry

Laurel will continue teaching part-time in the Middle School after being a long-term substitute for sixth-grade enriched math last year. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Science. In addition to serving Gilman as a past Board member and Parents Association President, Laurel’s oldest son, Wade, graduated from Gilman this past spring, and she currently has two sons with us, Nate (10th) and Duncan (8th). 

Nick Platt

Nick Platt is joining the Middle School faculty in the Language Arts Department where he will teach sixth-grade language arts and be an assistant coach for the varsity squash team and assistant coach for the junior varsity tennis team. After graduating from the Lawrenceville School, he graduated Cum Laude from The University of the South (Sewanee) with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a minor in Spanish. Nick spent several years in the private sector working for a real estate investment firm and The Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress in Washington, D.C. Realizing that teaching was his calling, he attended the University of St. Andrews where he recently received a Master of Letters with a focus on Shakespeare & Renaissance Literacy Culture. 

Alvaro Morales Santos-Weis

Alvaro will teach French and Spanish classes in the Middle School. Before having an interest in teaching, he worked for the Atlantic Council in the Global Business & Economics Program in Washington, D.C. While working his way up from intern to Program Assistant, his work focused on international economic policy. Alvaro received a joint bachelor’s degree in Law and Economics from the Universidad Carlos III, Madrid, Spain. After which he attended Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain to earn a Master’s degree in International Economics. 

2019-2020 New Faculty Orientation Bios 

Upper School Faculty and Staff 

Michelle Craig

Michelle has significant experience teaching in the Baltimore County Public School System where she taught at Kenwood High School and George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology for almost two decades, including a leadership role as Science Department Chair for the last five years. Michelle received an Educational Leadership Certificate from Loyola University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from The College of Notre Dame. Prior to that, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Salisbury University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She will teach in the Upper School Science Department. 

Avonte Jones

Avonte joined us this summer as the Administrative Assistant in the College Counseling Office. She held similar positions with the Upper School Office at Garrison Forest School, Sinai Hospital with North American Partners in Anesthesia, Maryland Transit Administration, and T. Rowe Price. Avonte grew up in Baltimore. She graduated from Forest Park High School and attended Coppin State University. 

John Nostrant

John is joining Gilman as a member of the History Department and Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach. He spent more than two decades as the Director of Athletics and Head Varsity Lacrosse Coach at The Haverford School in Haverford, Pennsylvania. With 450 career wins, two of his lacrosse teams were national champions in 2011 and 2015, and he coached 30 High School All-Americans. In addition to coaching lacrosse, he played at Washington College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History, and he played professionally for Baltimore and Philadelphia lacrosse teams. John holds a Master of Education from Carbrini University. In addition to his coaching duties, John will be teaching World Cultures to 9th graders. 

Rebecca Scott

Rebecca graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. After college, she held positions at Becton Dickinson engaged in scientific research and Marshy Point Nature Center as an activity specialist. Most recently, Rebecca was self-employed as an artist and freelance photographer. She is joining our library staff as an Upper School Library Assistant. 

Laura Soden

Laura is a graduate of Hamline University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. Prior to coming to Gilman, Laura was Mathematics Chair at Madison Country Day School for four years and also at Greenwich Academy for four years prior. She is an accomplished collegiate athlete having played varsity basketball and volleyball at Hamline University. Laura was team captain for both teams and holds school records in both sports. Along with teaching mathematics in the Upper School, she will coach volleyball and basketball with the junior varsity and freshman teams, respectively. 

2019-2020 New Faculty Orientation Bios 


Heather Harlan Warnack

Before coming to Gilman as the Director of Development, Heather gained extensive experience in development work at Maryvale Preparatory School. At Maryvale, she held several positions, including Director of Communications and Marketing, and Director of Communications and Development, before being appointed Assistant Head of School for Advancement. Prior to that time, Heather spent significant time as a journalist and editor with the Baltimore Business Journal and The Press of Atlantic City. Heather is a graduate of Roland Park Country School and Boston University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Journalism. She is active in the local community by volunteering her time with Roland Park Baseball Leagues and the Second Presbyterian Church.