Teaching FacultyDr. Katheryn Kennedy
joins the Peck team as our new Lower School Science Specialist. She most recently led the teacher professional development arm of the Stevens Institute of Technology where she trained countless elementary school science teachers. During her first 12 years in education, Katheryn taught science across a variety of grade levels. Since then, she has completed a PhD with a dissertation on elementary science education, has served as the lead author on a National Science Teacher Foundation text on engineering in the classroom, and is one of two teachers certified for the “Engineering is Elementary” curriculum. We are grateful for the wealth of experience that Katheryn brings as our new Lower School Science Specialist and for the leadership she will contribute to Peck’s ongoing work in STEAM. David Marshall
, Peck’s new Upper School Latin Teacher, comes to Peck after 11 years teaching middle school Latin at the Agnes Irwin School outside of Philadelphia where he chaired the classics department, served as a faculty technology coach, was an eighth-grade advisor, and coached cross country and track. Before Agnes Irwin, David taught Latin at the Walnut Hills School in Cincinnati. He has a bachelor’s degree in Classical Language and Archeology and a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. We know our Latin students will be thrilled with David in the classroom.
Alex Soudah joins our history department, teaching grades 7 and 8. He comes to us from the The Hun School in Princeton where he taught history for 10 years and also led experiential trips to Revolutionary War sites across the state. Alex holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Rutgers University. In addition to teaching, Alex has also coached, led a variety of student clubs, and served as an advisor. Among his many talents, Alex is an accomplished jazz guitarist, expert computer programmer, and fluent Spanish-speaker. We look forward to all that he will bring to our program.
Ashley Tabor, our new Lower School Psychologist, is an experienced school psychologist who has worked with students of all ages, overseeing testing and evaluations, creating student plans, and partnering with faculty and parents to help children reach their goals. She has also led group and individual counseling sessions on social and emotional issues and worked on Boonton School District’s Child Study Team. Ashley hold a master’s in School Psychology from Marist College, as well numerous certification in relevant areas. Her references tout her professionalism, warmth, initiative, and ability to connect with both children and adults.
Lisa Wichman joins Peck as our new Lower School Music Director. She comes to us after more than 30 years in the Kinnelon Public School District where she served as Vocal Music Teacher, Choral Director, Handbell Director, and Mentor Teacher. Her many awards include the NJ Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award, the Kinnelon Board of Education Excellence in Teaching Award, and a NAMM Best Community for Music Education Prize. She has a bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a Concentration in Organ from Wittenberg University. Lisa regularly runs a workshop for other music teachers and is an accomplished accompanist. We look forward to all that she will bring to our community this year and beyond.
The following teachers will be joining our Lower School Associate program: Emma McCallum
recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She is certified in both Elementary Education and Special Education. Her student teaching provided her with broad experience across elementary grades, and she also gained experience working with children through summer arts camps, in afterschool enrichment programs, and by coaching gymnastics. We are excited to welcome Emma as a new associate teacher in Grade 4.
Megan O’Keeffe graduated last December from the College of Saint Elizabeth with a BA in English. She completed her student teaching in the kindergarten at Phillips Academy Charter School in Paterson. While in school, Megan also taught pre-K’s at the Little Village Country Day School. We are excited to welcome Megan as a new associate teacher in Grade 1.
Peri Sanders joins us with a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Delaware. In addition to her student teaching, she has gained experience working with children through afterschool programs, and as a tennis instructor. Most recently, Peri worked in Israel as an English Language Teacher at an elementary school. We are excited to welcome Peri as a new associate teacher in Grade 2.
Administration & Staff
Heather Burchfield joins the Peck Community as our Director of Strategic Communications, in this newly-formed department. Most recently, Heather served as the Director of Admissions and Marketing at Hilltop Country Day in Sparta and, before that, was the Director of Communications at Oak Knoll. Heather graduated from Syracuse University having majored in newspaper journalism and women’s studies, and has written for a number of newspapers, including USA Today and the Daily Record. She is currently working toward her MBA from the University of Illinois, which she expects to complete next June.
Jenny Hunt, our new Receptionist, joins Peck with extensive experience at independent schools throughout the east coast. A graduate of Emma Willard School (Troy, NY) and Smith College (Northampton, MA), Jenny began her career in independent schools at Phillips Andover Academy in the Admissions Office. She also served as the registrar at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown. Most recently she served as both a receptionist and Director of Student Life at the Purnell School in Pottersville, NJ for more than 10 years. We were thrilled to have Jenny join us at the end of June.
In addition to the new faculty and staff joining our team, a number of people will assume new responsibilities for the 2018-19 school year:
Jessica Cathcart, who last year served as an associate teacher in the Lower School, has assumed a new role as a Kindergarten teacher, alongside current homeroom teachers Maribel Mohr and Kristin Young. She will continue to oversee the Kindergarten Idea & Design Lab (K.I.D. Lab) for our youngest students, in Kindergarten and first grade.
Jen Cleary assumes the role of Associate Director of Strategic Communications in this newly-formed department. Jen will continue to oversee the website and portals, The Beacon/The Beaconettes, Peck News and other publications, and use her talents as a gifted photographer and graphic designer to help tell the Peck story.
Joan Myers has expanded her role to include Alumni Relations, following the retirement of Associate Director of Alumni Kay Malone. Joan now serves as Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations, and we look forward to all of the many ways Peck will continue to be a “home away from home” for our alumni community.
Chris Starr has taken on a new role in the newly-formed Strategic Communications department as a Communications Specialist. You will see him around campus documenting life at Peck for social media, news articles, and other marketing initiatives.
In addition, a few Lower School teachers will take on new assignments at different grade levels, as we carefully consider each year how to maximize our grade-level teaching teams’ strengths, while continuing to ensure a dynamic lower school curriculum with close-knit, nurturing classrooms. Lead teacher Sasha Shreiner will take over a second grade homeroom, lead teacher Tee Atkins will take over a third grade homeroom, and lead teacher Christine LoVerde will take over a fourth grade homeroom.
Three Lower School associate teachers will also move to different homerooms: Elizabeth Collins, who has also assumed the role of AfterSchool Director, moves from fourth to third grade; Alyssa Keenan moves from second to fourth grade; and Erin Wolters moves from first to second grade.
We congratulate our faculty and staff on their new roles, and are looking forward to starting the coming school year with a dynamic, energetic faculty and staff cohort in place!