Moses Brown recently welcomed a number of faculty and staff members, in positions spanning many areas of our school. These new employees come with a wide range of experiences, such as theater and dance, a variety of types of design worlds (set, costume, and even experiences), the business sector, religious students and sociology, sculpture, history, college guidance, and physics… phew! Read more about each below. Welcome, everyone!
Shura Baryshnikov, is a Rhode Island-based performing artist, educator, improvisor and movement designer. She joins the Moses Brown faculty as the Coordinator of Dance. She will oversee a new community dance collaboration between Moses Brown students and RHD Rhode Island, an arts-based day therapy for adults with developmental disabilities. Shura also will serve as our first annual choreographer-in-residence this winter. She is a theatre associate in the Brown/Trinity MFA Programs and a faculty member at Festival Ballet Providence School, and she has instructed at MIT, Dean College and Rhode Island College. Shura choreographed the upper school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2013.
Lisa Batt-Parente will rejoin us this year for all three upper and middle school theater productions. She has more than 18 years of experience as a costume and apparel designer, bridging the two worlds of theater and fashion. Lisa has also spent the last 15 years teaching elementary art and theater, along with several college classes in costume design, make-up, and clothing history. She holds an MFA from New York University, Tisch School for the Arts.
Samantha Bradshaw ’85 will serve as interim first grade teacher. Sam, a Moses Brown alumna, has 20 years of experience as a teacher at St. Michael’s Country Day school in Newport. Her experience includes 13 years as a lead 1st grade teacher as well as four years as St. Michael’s director of student services.
Raksha Doering joins the upper school math department. Raksha graduated from Case Western Reserve, and has taught the last three years in Rhode Island’s public schools. She began as part of the Rhode Island Teaching Fellows — a highly selective cohort committed to raising urban student achievement in RI — and last year served as a math department teacher leader. She also designed a new schedule that allowed teachers and student to collaborate on projects.
Andy Dewhirst (parent of two lower school students) joins us as a long-term maternity sub in nursery. Andy has a masters in speech and language pathology and a master’s in early childhood education. She has worked in integrated classrooms as part of intervention teams, and she also has extensive experience working one-on-one with children with speech disorders, and has been working with middle school students for the past three years.
Alan Eland will join us for first semester to teach the microeconomics elective. After a long and highly successful career at GTECH, Alan is retiring early and exploring other options, so we’re glad he’s interested in education and will step in to teach this course. Alan has three children and is active with the Phoenix House organization.
Kelly Gillespie Joseph joins the upper school humanities department as a full-time religion teacher. Kelly has taught at Newton Country Day since 2006, juggling roles as campus minister, service committee moderator, and sophomore class dean with her work teaching in the department of religious studies. Kelly graduated from Holy Cross, then attended Princeton to study sociology. She earned an MA in near eastern studies from NYU—with continuing study in the graduate department of anthropology at CUNY (where she taught college-level courses).
Abigail Isom joins the upper school math department after three years at St. George’s in Middletown, where she taught math, coached field and ice hockey, and served as a dorm parent and student advisor. Abbie graduated from Hobart and William Smith, where she was a Division III All-American rower. While in R.I., she completed her master of arts in literacy through Roger Williams.
Cathy Johnson rejoins the performing arts department as set-designer for all three upper and middle school theater productions this year. She has worked with our theater tech students on a number of shows in the past. She worked as a performance space technician assistant at the Maryland Institute College of Art where she earned her B.F.A. in interdisciplinary sculpture. Additionally she has created sets for the Baltimore Theatre Project and In the Heart of the Beast Theatre in Minneapolis.
Rebecca Kaye will teach one section of middle school Spanish. Rebecca is an experienced middle school teacher, who most recently taught sixth and seventh grade at City and Country School in New York. While there, she created and taught a research-based humanities curriculum and supervised Bank Street and NYU students and their curriculum development. Rebecca earned her B.A. in Spanish and art history from Wellesley College and her M.A. from Columbia University Teachers College.
Steve Kidd joins the middle and upper school faculty as theater arts teacher. Steve has been a resident actor at the Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket, where he worked on more than 30 productions over the last twelve years. He is a graduate of Colby College and received his master’s in theater from Brown University. He has worked at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and has taught in the Gamm Studio, Brown University, URI, Colby and Bowdion College. Steve was guest director for Moses Brown’s hugely successful fall production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2013.
Samantha Kravitz will re-join our MB faculty to teach sixth grade English. Samantha has previously taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English at Moses Brown and most recently has taught 5th grade at Gordon School. Samantha received her BA from Providence College and her MAT from Brown.
Adam Olenn ’91 joined us this summer as MB’s new director of communications & community engagement. Formerly the web content producer at Berklee College of Music, and formerly an experience designer and digital strategist at ZEFER Corporation, Adam is a consummate story-teller with many years’ experience helping organizations live and demonstrate their mission through text, image, audio, video, events and experiences. As an experience designer, he also understands that we say as much about MB and ourselves through events and interpersonal interactions as we do through more traditional print media.
Victoria Pang joins the humanities department as a full-time history teacher. Victoria graduated from Swarthmore College before pursuing her M.A.T. in history at Brown. During her time in Providence, she has taught history in Brown’s Summer High School program and completed her practicum at Central High School. In college, she founded and facilitated a six-week summer institute, which allowed high school students to engage in community service and cross-age peer mentoring with fourth grade students.
Annie Reznick joins the college counseling office as a part-time counselor after working at Rocky Hill as director of college guidance, and earlier at PCD in admissions. Her background includes time at the Friends School of Baltimore and as a college admissions office at University of Maryland. A graduate of Mercyhurst College in Penn. with a degree in English, Annie has also taught ninth grade English.
Jake Turner will serve as a one-year, part-time teacher, instructing one section of physics and one of math, while also working in the Learning Center. Jake graduated from Skidmore with a degree in physics, and taught at the Brunswick School in Connecticut for three years, where he also coached debate and fencing.