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STEM at Chadwick immerses students in exciting and experiential learning that prepares them for success out in the real world.

Exceptional. Dedicated. Passionate.  

Throughout our 80-year history, one of Chadwick School's most marked attributes has been — and continues to be — the caliber of our faculty and staff. Chadwick attracts an exceptional mix of teachers from around the globe, with over 80 percent holding advanced degrees and many having worked professionally in their specialized fields.

A student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1 means our faculty know their students well, have the freedom to teach to their fullest capacity and can meet every child’s unique needs with unparalleled care and attention. That’s why they don’t just teach — they inspire and guide students to succeed throughout their journey. As a result, students view their teachers as more than academic instructors, but as trusted mentors, forming strong bonds that help them thrive both in and out of the classroom.

Get to know our teachers and their passions beyond the classroom by hovering over their photos and reading their bios below.

faculty

Erika Amaya

Mathematics Teacher

Check back soon to learn about Erika.

Christy Armstrong

Art Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

How art can and does enhance their lives. That they are very capable people. That making with intention (as opposed to scribbling) can result in great satisfaction. Art is a form of communication. Learning the nuances of any language is exciting. Every person has something to say that is unique. Helping my students figure out how to get in touch with their message and guiding their skill development (art language acquisition) is what makes teaching art rewarding.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

One day I told my first grade students that I would be seeking parental help with an upcoming project. As many hands raised to offer both mom and dads, one child said, "Ask my mom, she's one of those helicopter types!"

Kevin Babuder

Director of Choral Music

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Choral Music Direction, Music Composition, understated humor.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

We had a Reality TV show come interview our program to potentially be a part of their music singing competition/program. They were really digging for some serious conflict between students, drama and whatever they could exploit sensationally as part of their show. They found our students to be happy, cohesive ensemble and our disagreements were very minor. They passed on us!

Meg Bailey

English Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

I hope they learn to enjoy finding meaning in history and in literature.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

Dropping the only set of keys to the boathouse into the river depths when I had a full fleet of rowing shells out at night on the Thames - in retrospect we all found it funny.

Maria Ballesta-Ortiz

Spanish Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I teach with TPRS method (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). The key is what is called "Comprehensible Input", meaning that students should understand everything they hear. What I find most interesting about this program is that it's very fun and engaging for students, and you can rapidly see how they learn and progress faster than with other methods.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

Every time we dress up to act out one of our stories we really have a great time!

Ann Biedenweg ('81)

Village Science Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love that science is logical and factual, yet is constantly changing. I love learning about our world. Students learn how to observe, think, and wonder like a scientist. They’re fascinated by the wonders of our world, big and small!

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

I was demonstrating a cool chemical reaction to 3rd graders. Just as I was starting, a group of visitors, including a trustee, entered the lab. As the reaction progressed, it got a bit out of control and caught fire. I think I played it off as "super exciting!" and "I meant to do that!" but to this day there is still a burnt hole in one of my table tops!

David Bloom

MS/US Drama Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

I was inspired by Margaret Chadwick's educational vision, the amazingly talented and passionate student body, and the community feeling of the campus. The Performing Arts department and the faculty I met made me feel right at home.

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I find that the most interesting thing about the material I teach is that it evolves and adapts to the students engaging in it. Every lesson takes on a different feeling and complexion based upon the passions, energies and ideas of the students.

Wyatt Cameron

Physical Education Department Chair

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

The excitement of helping start it in Korea.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

Watching first grade students play water polo for the first time in their lives with the polo caps on and floating with noodles under their bottoms with Coach Lynn getting so excited about it.

Ian Campbell

Fifth-Grade Associate Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

The thing I find most interesting about the material I teach is that it is very inquiry based. Students are really asked to think, analyze, and determine their own thoughts, opinions and ideas.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

One of the funniest things that has happened over the course of this year was watching my class perform their student created and led Walk Through the revolution. It was amazing and hilarious to see the students write and perform the skits of historical events from the American Revolution that were accurate but they also added in their own sense of humor to make the skits truly stand out.

Mike Cass

Mathematics Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

Chadwick is a place that really is a community and believes in the power of the individual and group. I was thrilled to join a school that allowed me to spread my wings and tap in to all the parts of who I am while also fostering students along their own path to individual growth and group leadership and participation.

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Well, I teach math, run the improv program and coach volleyball, so I hope that students learn that they are multidimensional and should never pigeonhole themselves. More importantly though, I hope they learn to be courageous and recognize that mistakes are a necessary component of the learning and growth process. Oh, also that fun and learning aren't mutually exclusive!

Christopher Castagne

Science Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

The Vision of Experiential Learning, the stated intention of fostering an Inclusive Environment underpinned by solid Core Values devoted to developing Ethical Global Leaders. The humanity and rich and broad interests and activities of the students.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

In explaining Rotational Motion my first year, the rhythm of the equations as I rattled them off along with the gestures I was using to describe them reminded me of certain Jamaican Dancehall songs and accompanying dances that were popular when I was in school, so I extemporaneously incorporated this into the lesson as a way to use the often neglected "Kinesthetic" teaching/ learning style - by making everyone in the class stand up, repeat after me and follow my actions... I got so carried away that I started speaking in my native Caribbean dialect, demanding that "Evrybody Do d dance!" .... That became my students' favorite quote of mine, to the point that on their return from the senior trip as they came up the stairs from field and spied me on the balcony of the Science building they all shouted out "DO D DANCE!!"

Penny Chau

Village Learning Specialist

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Students can come to me whenever they need extra academic support. I also have the opportunity to read with small groups of students from grades K-6.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

I love to sing! I used to be in an a cappella group in college, but now my a cappella friends and I mainly sing at each other's weddings. I also love to eat delicious food and try new restaurants.

Sovie Chhin

Kindergarten Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

They learn how to be caring, compassionate and responsible global citizens.

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love teaching the children about our Earth--ecology, physical geography, and social and cultural anthropology. Not only am I learning with the children, I am on the journey with them to unravel the many fascinating wonders of our Earth.

Julia Cho

Fifth-Grade Teacher

Check back soon to learn more about Julia.

Yeji Choi

Village Korean Teacher

Check back soon to learn more about Yeji.

Tom Coate

Sixth-Grade Science Teacher / Varsity Football Coach

Check back soon to learn more about Tom. 

Chad Detloff ('04)

English Teacher / Director of Global Opportunities

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

As my high-school Alma Mater, Chadwick was already dear to my heart. However, as I thought about what I was specifically looking for as a teacher and person, Chadwick's close student-teacher relationships and sense of community, which significantly shaped me, were significant. I appreciated the school's focus on whole-child education and my shared dedication to our responsibility as global citizens made it easy to return.

What do students learn in your classes/program?

The students and I learn more about who we are, what we value, how to navigate differences in perspective, how to empathize, how to collaborate and collectively solve problems, and what it means to be a global citizen.

JD Devaughn-Brown

Computer Science Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Students learn real world software engineering techniques and processes to maximize their creativity and gain a deep understanding of computer science concepts.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

The funniest thing that happens every year is how creative students are with coming up with their grading scale. Each year instead of using A, B, C etc I allow the students to come up with the scale. Past years have used NFL quarterbacks and mattresses to describe projects. This year classes have shown cars (where “a Bugatti” was a perfect project and “shoeless” was a terrible project) and flight transportation (where “a private jet” is a perfect project and “snakes on a plane” is a terrible project).

Salvador Diaz

Physical Education Teacher

Check back soon to learn more about Salvador.

Dina El Ghitany

Fourth-Grade Associate Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

I can go on and on about the things that attracted me to teach and work at Chadwick. I can say that the faculty, the students, the families, the history and tons of other things are outstanding at Chadwick. But what really wows me every time are the core values. I believe they are what makes Chadwick the school it is today.

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

Working in student-led classrooms is such a joy for me. I see a lot of learning happening everyday with a lot of autonomy for the students, making their own choices and taking responsibilities. I also enjoy the attention to details we give each and every student, and the positive relationships we build with them, too.

Kate Elortegui

English Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

When I visited, I could tell right away that this faculty was special. Everyone seemed so eager to collaborate and generous with their ideas--not to mention passionate about their students. And the kids whom I met were curious, engaged learners. (Plus...the campus was/is gorgeous!)

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

I love being with my boys (my husband and two young children), going for runs along the beach, and traveling. A few years ago, my husband and I took an incredible trip around the world for 10 months. These days, I'm not quite as adventurous, but I love sharing stories from that particular adventure.

Tori Fay

Upper School Science Teacher

Check back soon to learn more about Tori.

Ellie Fronauer

Director of Medical Services 

Check back soon to learn more about Ellie.

Cameron Gibson

Media Arts Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

Whether they consider themselves artists or not, all of our students are image makers - think Instagram, Snapchat, etc. I enjoy giving them the tools to better hone their craft, while also pushing them to think more critically and creatively about how we engage with the image culture at large.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

Trying to explain polaroid cameras to middle schoolers...

Dillon Hall

Makerspace / Robotics Teacher

Check back soon to learn more about Dillon.

Erin Hansen

Sixth-Grade Mathematics Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love math and think math is fun! I love showing my nerdy side and passion for math to make it fun for my students. Projects are my favorite because students see how they can take a concept and apply to a real life situation! I also love the fact that there is usually always a right answer and multiple perspectives on how to achieve the correct answer! :)

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

My students have shown me their love by pulling innocent pranks on me! The latest one was when I came into the classroom, they had covered the walls, my desk, chair, boards, etc in post it notes! It was pretty convenient having notes anywhere I stood! Of course, I made them clean up and save all of the notes so I can still use them!

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Amanda Hartigan

Kindergarten Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

One of the largest pieces of my teaching philosophy is the support of a growth mindset, teaching even the youngest students the value of mistakes and the beauty in the struggle and effort to learn. When I knew my family was moving to California, I looked for a school that embodied these qualities. First, from Chadwick's website, and then through conversations with Ms. Bahedry, it was obvious to me that these ideas were a huge part of Chadwick as well.

What do students learn in your classes/program?

There is a saying that everything you need to know in life, you learn in kindergarten. :) This is the students' first entry into Chadwick, so much of our learning centers around how to function in a classroom and school, how to live the Core Values, how to share, how to collaborate and work with others, and of course, how to love learning and have fun! In our units of study, we explore concepts like taking care of ourselves, learning about our bodies and brains, our community, how to take care of our world, and even exploring our solar system. Students use these topics to dive into reading and writing skills, as well as developing their number sense and problem solving strategies. In kindergarten, students are explorers of learning!

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Daniel Hatfield

Science Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Students learn to think and behave like a scientist, which means asking thoughtful questions, analyzing problems, formulating explanations and developing solutions.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

A student voluntarily wrote and performed a very nerdy, yet endearing rap about chemistry.

Raena Hawkins

Asst. Technology Integration Specialist

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love that what I teach is very clearly applicable to their lives and their futures.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

One of the funniest ever was doing a KidPix project with kindergarteners on the "sn" blend. As I was getting suggestions from the kids on "sn" words, one girl eagerly says, "I know! SNOT!" You can guess what just about every kid in that group put on their picture.

Samantha Henry

Middle School Science Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

I was attracted to Chadwick's holistic approach to education. It feels good knowing that we are preparing our students for life, not just a series of tests! I was also blown away by the canyon and outdoor education opportunities.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

Last year, my students talked me into adopting a chinchilla for the class. However, Socks the Chinchilla had a hard adjustment to seventh grade and spent the better part of a month escaping her cage and living in the walls of the class. To lure her out, we came up with some creative solutions, including playing chinchilla love calls. We eventually got her out and she has since learned to appreciate and maybe even love her captivity!

Amy Hill

Science Teacher

Check back soon to learn about Amy.

Jolie Hughes

First-Grade Associate Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

Patterns and connections pop up everywhere and inquiry-based learning allows children to discover them on their own. When children notice those connections their eyes light up and they internalize a deeper understanding.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

Music and nature. I teach piano and love to sing. I turned my suburban yard into a meadow and spend most of the summer in the mountains, living in a lakeside log cabin with no electricity or phone.

Natalie Johnson

History Department Chair

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

I was drawn in by the strong culture -- the sense of community, the core values, the dedication of the students and the faculty. The beautiful campus didn't hurt, either.

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love teaching about history and government in ways that help students better understand themselves and their place in the world -- I like that history can be both empowering and humbling at the same time.

Stefanie Kawasaki

Mathematics Teacher

Check back soon to learn more about Stefanie.

JD King

First-Grade Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I think the most interesting part of my job is helping my students find what they are passionate about. For some it is reading, others writing, some love math and other love to explore. Our inquiry units allow us to focus on the core competencies which allows students to be imaginative and curious and use the core competencies to show how and what they have learned in a variety of different ways.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

In my classroom we celebrate making mistakes, because mistakes are how we learn. The students loved hearing about the mistake I made at my first Back To School Night. At the end of the presentation we had the parents sing the First Grade Chant. To my shock and surprise, we were halfway through the song when many noticed that I had mistyped the alphabet. It was a very embarrassing moment for me, but proof that everyone makes mistakes. The key is how we learn from and build upon our mistakes.

Kim Kohler

Art Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

My kids were attending the Village School and I was impressed that art classes were not an "add-on" but real, designated time classes, four times per week.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

Making my own art (to show in galleries,) cooking (I am a trained chef,) reading (my dad taught me to read when I was 4,) writing fiction (I have a few published pieces,) travel (I have been to every continent except Australia,) and most of all, my family (husband, children, their spouses and mostly...grandchildren!)

Samantha Krasne

Spanish Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Students are really pushed to communicate every day in the target language in order to survive in a Spanish speaking country. More importantly, I foster a supportive classroom environment built on respect and students feeling comfortable enough to take risks.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

My students have the option of choosing a song that they learned in Spanish and singing that sing in front of their peers at the end of the year. I will never forget a group of students who not only memorized the song but came up with a choreography as well. By the end of song, the whole class was dancing and singing. They never forgot that song.

Maura Large

Middle School Librarian 

Check back soon to learn more about Maura. 

Colleen Lavery

Second-Grade Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love teaching children to find the joy of reading and writing!

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

I love that my son is now a student here at Chadwick. I enjoy running on the beach and swimming in the ocean.

Zurine Lekuona

Spanish Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

When I first started working at Chadwick, I had just finished my graduate studies and needed a job to stay in the US. At the time, I didn't want to be a teacher so I thought this would be something I would do for one or two years while I looked for another, more exciting job. 18 years later, I am so grateful that I was given this opportunity. From the beginning of my Chadwick career, I fell in love with the teaching profession and with the opportunity to interact with adolescents. I haven't worked anywhere else so I can't compare Chadwick to other schools or companies but I'm sure that the collegiality and support that I've found here are probably something not found in other educational institutions. So, mine was not love at first sight but a lasting love.

What do students learn in your classes/program?

My students learn to respect and eventually to appreciate the cultures, customs, traditions, folklore and history of the Spanish speaking countries. They also learn to communicate in Spanish at a more basic level than they do in their mother tongue. I teach them language skills so, similar to when we learn to play a sport, we practice a lot, we frequently stumble and we fall sometimes, but we always get up and try again.

Deborah Levy

Director of Academic Technology / Sixth-Grade Dean

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

How quickly things change in the world of technology, and how quickly young people adapt to those changes. It's fascinating to me how well it captures their attention and imagination. What our students will do with technology to enhance our lives in the future is so exciting to think about.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

My family, immediate and extended, my friends, theater, crocheting, my Synagogue community, movies, historical fiction, dessert, and sleeping in!

Leah Lorenzana

Third-Grade Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

In third grade, we focus on not only literacy and numeracy but also on the social curriculum of how students work and play together.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

For the Village talent show one year, a group of students asked teachers if they could use our photos as part of their act. The students took headshots of us, blew the photos up to over 3 times their normal size, and used them ask masks as the performed on stage. I'll never forget seeing my big head dancing the Whip/Nae Nae in Laverty!

Jassy Lou

Chinese Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Mandarin proficiency, cultural competency and, most importantly, the best learning skills and habits.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

A lot of students have been calling me "old poo", when they pronounced "teacher" in Chinese with a wrong tone.

Elodie Lynn

Upper School French Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

Being a facilitator and guiding students while they acquire a new means of communication.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

My kids and making time for simple things.

Robert Lynn

Physical Education Teacher

Check back soon to learn more about Robert.

Sandra Machnij

Mathematics Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

My students are always pointing out new ways to look at concepts or relationships. I learn from them every day!

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

One class needed and deserved a break, so we threw a YOLO Math Party in the classroom. It was awesome!

Deborah MacRunnel

Second-Grade Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Besides the basics of reading, writing and math, he second grade students work on collaboration, growth mindset, the core values and inquiry. We also discuss learning styles, the global community, farm to table concepts and our passions.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

I frequently will pause in the day and ask my class, "Have I told you lately that I love you?" They will then respond with, "YES! All the time." It is a lot of fun and sets a great tone in the classroom.

Sean McGrath

English Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

Writing and communicating effectively are two of the biggest skill sets used across different disciplines and career paths. Working in the English department, the lodestar for bettering students writing, provides a sense of great purpose.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

I spend a lot of my down time with friends, playing sports or enjoying time with my dogs, but I have always been passionate about my own writing. From essays on film and pop culture, to satirical pieces about soccer, to poetry and short stories, I work meticulously on improving my writing craft and often workshop pieces with my close friends.

Chris Meisel

Sixth-Grade Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

I hope that students learn how to be curious about the world around them and how to communicate their creative thinking in a meaningful and clear way. I also hope that they learn about themselves as students and lifelong learners. They should leave my class with a genuine understanding of their strengths and challenges, and with strategies for addressing the issues that each individual learner encounters.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

Outside the classroom, I'm passionate about the outdoors. I love to travel and be in the mountains. I enjoy camping with my family and exploring new cultures and new parts of the United States as well as the world. I'm an avid (although my family would say fanatic) Chicago sports fan. I grew up a few blocks from Wrigley Field and love cheering on the Cubs throughout the season. I'm also a passionate runner and soccer enthusiast.

Jeff Mercer

Interim Head of School

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

My aunt went here for Middle School, as did a number of family friends, so I knew about the school. I was also initially attracted by the location, the department chair at the time (Dan Place) the administrators (Mark Wiedenmann and John Fiske), the colleagues in the Middle School and in the history department, and by the students.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

I've become a pretty committed surfer over the past 4 years. It's been incredibly challenging and often times frustrating to pick up something like this in middle age; that said, it's been a great growth opportunity. I am also passionate about reading, coaching my boys in various sports, travel, and spending time with my family.

Sebastien Merle

Teacher / French Department Chair

Check back soon to learn more about Sebastien

 

Luis Morales

Spanish Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I like the way we are teaching in the department. The students learn the grammar concepts as tools for them to be able to communicate. I am more focused on the students being comfortable communicating and speaking than just learning how to conjugate verbs.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

We went to Salamanca, Spain for a study abroad program and one of our students got stuck inside the home family's bathroom. The door somehow got stuck and we needed the fire department to kick it down to open it.

Christina Morse

Village Counselor / Dean of Support

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I am most rewarded during those surprising teachable moments that may not happen in a classroom setting, but during recess or during a conversation when you know you have touched someone's heart. I am filled with gratitude when I come to work because every single day is interesting and different and while I have been doing this for a long time, my heart is warmed by the simple things such as giving a young child a needed hug or supporting an older child through something challenging. I am amazed by our students' resilience and their own wisdom and ability to care for one another.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

Some of the funniest things about being 50-something and working in an elementary school is that I am always learning things I missed or may have forgotten in my own elementary education! When I am visiting classrooms, I sometimes find myself getting lost learning from our amazing teachers. Just the other day, I had a lesson in writing when visiting the 3rd grade classrooms during their Writing Workshop. I get a second chance to be a kid every single day! How lucky is that?

Angie Nevarez

MS/US Spanish Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

They learn to read, write, listen to and speak in Spanish. In the process of doing so, they get to know each other and learn to overcome their fears regarding the use of a foreign language.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

I showed a movie about Cesar Chavez to a Spanish 4 class a couple of years ago. The next day, and throughout the year they came in to class chanting "HUELGA" (WE ARE ON STRIKE) on a regular basis...

Ngoc-An Nguyen

Mathematics Teacher

Becky Noble

Director of Community Service

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

It's exciting to have students develop programs in response to the social and educational challenges that others face.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

On a community service trip to the Dominican Republic, we were invited to a dance hosted by the village youth. We went with great confidence but were quickly humbled by the incredible skill of one of the teens...pole dancing.

Stephen Norberg

Middle School Athletic Director / Physical Education Teacher

Check back soon to learn more about Stephen.

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Erin Nordlund

Teacher / English Department Chair

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Students develop a "toolbox" of literacy skills. I hope that, after the class, they have become stronger communicators and critical and creative thinkers. More big-picture, I want to empower my students to be lifelong learners who have strategies and tools that help them to manage factors within and beyond their control to create meaningful lives.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

Outside of school, I am with my six year old and four year old sons. Right now, I'm passionate about being the best soccer team mom as possible. :)

Pete Nordlund

Dean of Faculty and Staff / History Teacher

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

I started teaching to Chadwick in 2002. My wife of eight years (Erin Nordlund, English teacher) and I first started dating when she started teaching at Chadwick in 2006. The students in our classes knew that we were going to fall in love even before we did, and they went to ridiculous ends to make us realize it. They were right.

What do students learn in your classes/program?

In our history courses, students learn that if they want to understand important issues (modern or historical), they have to work hard to look at them from multiple perspectives. By understanding how people with different life experiences often develop different perspectives that each contain a grain of truth, students learn to develop intellectual humility, a greater respect for views they may not personally share, and an appreciation for just how complicated it can be to do the right thing.

Victoria O'Driscoll

Associate Kindergarten Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

It's beautiful up here!! Also, having a low student-teacher ratio allows us to really get to know our students - which is pretty amazing and not something every teacher gets to do.

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

Our materials are hands on, engaging, and challenging. I also love watching our students build friendships with one another.

Mark Pangilinan

English Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

Chadwick School's Mission Statement as well as Margaret Chadwick's original vision for the school as one of inclusivity, diversity, and community stewardship really hit home for me when I was looking for a school to call home. I believe in the work that we do here, and I am always encouraged by the sense that my colleagues and students believe in that work as well.

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love the way that the texts and objects of study that we engage with in class have the potential to make the world strange or familiar depending on the context. I want my students to see themselves and their stories in what we read, but I also encourage students to get outside of themselves in their reading. It's humbling and fascinating when I come across student writing and thinking that takes course content in a different, novel and insightful direction. We get to learn so much by teaching.

Stacy Park ('07)

Village Drama Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I like getting to know and understand students as individuals. No two students approach an exercise in the same way. I love the diversity of learning styles, opinions, and ideas that students bring with them into the classroom. When a student is confident in who they are in the space, I know that we're doing something right.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

I once invented a story for why I was late to class (I was finishing up with another class): I said that I had just been to antarctica and picked up my friend the penguin. The reactions I got were priceless. Everyone was like, "Really?!!!" Later in the year I was still getting questions about when the penguins were going to visit them.

Cameron Parsons

History Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

The intentionality (and creativity) embedded in the history curriculum; the passion for teaching I found in each-and-every faculty member I met; and the warmth I found on campus (figurative and literal -- I'm from Boston.)

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

Particularly with "History 10 - Global Studies II", the majority of our case studies are contemporary and therefore constantly evolving. It requires that students pay attention to the news and learn to read beneath the chyrons!

Erika Peterson

MS/US Mathematics Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

I immediately loved everything about Chadwick! We have great students, supportive parents, an energetic faculty, and a beautiful setting.

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I enjoy guiding students to find interesting and new ways to solve problems. There are often many approaches to algebraic problem-solving, and I enjoy hearing students share their different ideas.

Robert Powers

Sixth-Grade Latin

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

Students are always surprised at how many connections they can make between English and Latin, and also between themselves and the Ancient Romans.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

One day, students designed their own Pokemon (inspired by Latin roots) and some of their creatures were so creative I would have never known they weren't from the video game!

George Ramos

English Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

A better question is why I have stayed for twenty years. I enjoy the students. They are intelligent, hard working and demonstrative of the core values. I also enjoy the freedom and creativity that I have to design and implement curricula in my classes.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

One time I was teaching Edgar Allan Poe's poem, "The Raven," and an actual raven perched itself on the tree outside of my classroom and started to caw. What are the chances?!

Lauren Ramos

Mathematics Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love that students learn to enjoy the language of math; they craft efficient and complete solutions. I also love that they learn to see that math is an artistic endeavor and one that connects to a lot of other areas of their lives.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

One time the lights in the school all went out except for one light that shone directly down onto one of the students. We decided he was "the chosen one." It was actually fairly eerie.

Theresa Reyes

Physical Education Trainer

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love that I get to work with and teach students form age 6-18 grades K-12. I love to watch them grow as individuals and mature into amazing young men and women.

What do students learn in your classes/program?

How to be better people on and off the field. Students learn to step outside their comfort zone and challenge themselves to try new things and have fun in all that they do.

Matt Risk

Fourth-Grade Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

At Chadwick, I have the autonomy to select high interest material that is relevant to the students. Although the fourth grade program is ever evolving, I constantly look for ways they can grow their independence by taking greater responsibility for their actions and choices. The best part of my job is spending my days with enthusiastic learners who like to have fun. Fourth graders are at a very special age.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

I love being active and exploring our spectacular planet. I am passionate about the ocean where I surf and play. I love being in Hawaii and have adopted the aloha spirit. As a taco fanatic, I am always on the lookout for the ultimate taco. I find it crucial to share experiences with family and friends, yet I also relish going on solo missions.

Ester Rodrigo-Diez

Spanish Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Quite obviously they learn to communicate in Spanish, but more importantly, they have the doors opened for them to a wealth of new cultures, music, cuisines and literary traditions.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

One summer, when I was leading a Chadwick study abroad group to Salamanca, Spain, an alum from the Chadwick's previous graduating class who was traveling in Spain surprised us by showing up just to say hello! It really speaks to how strong the Chadwick community is.

Tyson Sacco

US Science Teacher / Science Department Chair

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Students learn to think creatively and critically about the awe-inspiring natural world around us. Snake venom, neanderthal ancestors and wild dog sneeze voting (among other topics) are featured in this year's AP Bio class.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

One year a student got really upset when I said that penguins were birds. This kid insisted that penguins were mammals like cats and dogs. I pointed out the beak and the wings, but the student countered with a picture of one of those super fuzzy baby penguins. It was surprisingly hard for me to win that argument!

Sarah Schaffner

Village Music Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Proper vocal technique, world music folk songs and dances, drumming, guitar, ukulele, composing, arranging, improvising and notation.

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love to hear and encourage creative ideas from the students to help mold and arrange songs. The music room is a safe zone to express and explore creativity through song, movement and instruments.

Connie Schneider

Sixth-Grade Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

Students are really excited about learning here.

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love teaching about cultures of the world and the skills needed to learn about them.

Meagan Segal ('04)

Art Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

I am an alum who began by teaching for the Arts Unlimited summer program. I had never planned on becoming a teacher, but what started as a way to earn some extra cash turned into an incredibly fulfilling and rewarding new career path. After several summers, I finally had an opportunity to become a year-round teacher, and I love it!

What do students learn in your classes/program?

I teach ceramics to middle and upper schoolers. Students are taught the language of art, learn technical skills with clay, and experience working in a studio community where peers are supportive of each other and can engage in responsibly risk-taking. Through the process of making art, they learn about themselves, discovering what they like and pushing what they believe they are capable of.

Anita Shier Bruton

Science Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

Students learn how to think critically and deeply about the world around them through the lens of science. My hope is that they also take away a love for the natural world and desire to make it a better place. Every moment of every day the concepts of Physics, Chemistry and Biology are working in our lives. I can see how all three sciences work in anything I teach or that a student brings up. I love it when they start making their own connections and it’s a mind blown moment.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

I am very passionate about my kids and the importance of balance. Taking my kids hiking and to the beach on the weekends helps us reconnect with nature. I also work with the Diamond Blackfan Anemia Foundation to fund research to find a cure of my son.

Maximillian Shrem

MS/US French Teacher

 
Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.
 
On the outdoor ed trip, there was a snake in the middle of our trail. I was in front of the group but wasn't paying attention because I was so immersed in my conversation with one of my advisees. He noticed the snake but didn't say anything, because he wanted to see my reaction. My reaction? I froze in fear and let everyone go in front of me while the instructors calmed me down and talked me through walking over and around the snake. It felt vulnerable facing my fears in front of advisees and students, but it also felt courageous. I felt so lucky to be able to experience what we encourage our students to face and do in their daily life -- to be courageous.

 

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

I must say that I found the whole community — the dynamic between students and faculty – to be invigorating and inspiring. I was excited to contribute to the school’s learning environment and teaching within the core values. Student leadership, initiative, and compassion are felt throughout the campus. When I visited the school, I enjoyed reading The Mainsheet on the plane ride back to NY, and was impressed by the students' maturity on a range of issues. I was particularly moved by a student who at the Upper School assembly, stood up and said that he wanted to remind everyone that every morning we wake up is a blessing. I was also attracted to Chadwick’s Outdoor Education program.

Christina Sommers

Middle School Counselor

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

I love school settings and think teachers make great colleagues! Counseling students is very rewarding because young people who reach out for emotional support benefit.

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I find the students willingness to be open and share personal stories most interesting. I have consistently observes that students are respectful of each other while discussing such difficult topics as gossip, race and politics. They use the tools offered in the class to navigate the challenges of expressing different points of view. Students are finding their voice while reflecting others point of view that may differ from their own.

Annie Spalding

First-Grade Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

First graders have strong, developed personalities and they ask lots of questions. Every day is different.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

Maintaining balance between work and my personal life. I love to exercise and enjoy being involved in my church community.

Kari Stewartson

Associate Second-Grade Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

In second grade, we learn everything from telling time to writing poetry to how a farm runs. Interwoven with the academics are the important social and emotional skills we teach throughout each day.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

Each and every day, my funny second grade students make me laugh! Their jokes, their spelling and their sweet love letters all make me smile.

Cicely Suazo

Associate Third-Grade Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

What I find most interesting, are the many strategies and solutions my students can come up with to solve problems and find solutions. It is so wonderful to see the unique perspectives of every individual in the classroom.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

I remember when we had a power outage in the middle of a math lesson, and a student who didn't really like Math yelled out, "Thank goodness someone forgot to pay the bill!"

Jackie Sutton

History Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love integrating as much technology as possible into the classroom. In US 11, we started the year with a collaborative Google Map project where students worked in groups to create a map charting exploration and colonization in the Americas. It was a cool way to work in groups, and to have the final project preserved in the cloud!

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

One of my students accidentally called me "Mrs. Stalin" at the beginning of the year. It gave me a good laugh!

Nina Swan

Village School Spanish Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

Two words: Josie Bahedry. I knew Josie from when she worked at John Thomas Dye School, and she asked if I would be interested in working at Chadwick. Then, on my first campus visit, I was impressed by happy faculty and the beautiful campus setting.

What do students learn in your classes/program?

In Spanish, students learn to use their minds in a unique way. Through storytelling and class discussions, students open their hearts to the Spanish- speaking people who live very different lives than their own. At the same time, they also come to see that human beings everywhere must deal with similar moral dilemmas. Finally, students in my class gain courage through expressing themselves in a foreign language.

Sandy Swanson

Third-Grade Teacher

What do students learn in your classes/program?

We instill the Chadwick core values and core competencies. We teach first graders how to be good readers, mathematicians, scientist and how to be positive members of our community.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

I am passionate about staying healthy and being active. Working out and setting goals for myself keep me on my toes and help me create a solid work-life balance. My family and friends are an important part of my life, and I appreciate and value my relationships with them. And, of course, having fun! 

Jane Swindell

Second-Grade Associate Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

I love the Chadwick's commitment to the Core Values, as well their mission to develop global citizens so that individuals can strive to become their best selves and support others.

What do students learn in your classes/program?

To use their curiosity to deepen their love of learning, think independently, and collaborate with others. My hope is that my students form lifelong values and appreciate the world in which we live.

Michelle Tabor

Middle School History Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

The History Department folks I met when I interviewed here — especially Natalie Johnson, Pete Nordlund and Jeff Mercer. I got the chance to see how my fellow history teachers work together to think about teaching and planning lesson, which really sold me on wanting to work with them. I also really love my students here. They are so respectful, earnest, eager to learn and total lovebugs.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

Strength training, Olympic weightlifting, general physical preparedness and being outdoors.

Kim Tatman

Mathematics Department Chair

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

When people think about math, they often wonder, "When will I ever use this?" What I find most interesting is that people use the higher order thinking and analytical skills developed in math classes in virtually everything! I love that I get to work with both teachers and students to develop a strong math program focused on the Core Competencies.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

As a mother of 3, I'm passionate about trying my best to raise kind little people who try make the world a better place for someone else!

Megan Walker

Village Librarian

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

The strong sense of community and beautiful campus really drew me in, but it was ultimately my impression of how valuable the library program is to the school.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

Traveling is really important to me. I rarely ever put my suitcase away as I’m usually always packing for my next trip. I also love, love, love picture books, which may not be too much of a surprise as Village Librarian, but this passion inspires me to pursue my own writing of children’s books.

Annie Webster

Art Teacher / Visual Arts Department Chair

What do students learn in your classes/program?

How to be an avid and creative thinker who learns how to problem solve and step outside of his or her comfort zone to express themselves. They learn how to gain perspective for appreciating the value of time, space and working with a hands-on medium.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

I had glued candy hearts on my studio door and reworded the messages as a Valentine's Day surprise for my students. But, the idea was better in concept, for when I came in the next day, they had all slid down the side of the door, melted and brought along with them a host of ants.

Kathleen Westervelt

Science Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

Science is for everyone. The scientific community is always curious, intentionally skeptical, in love with learning, and always pushing out boundaries. So are teenagers. Put the two together - science and teenagers - and a special resonance happens. I love learning with them!

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

I am a runner, food enthusiast and cook, avid reader (when I can find the time!), and mom. Along with teaching, I LOVE coaching the middle school cross country team. I also enjoy writing and editing science curriculum for companies like National Geographic and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Writing about science for students is a growing passion and a great creative outlet for me. I am happiest when I have lots of variety and challenge.

Lauren White

English Teacher / Dean of Students

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

As Dean of Students, I appreciate that I get to know the students through some of their biggest successes and support them through some of their most challenging moments.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

My family, musical theater, cooking, drinking my husband's home roasted coffee (he actually roasts the beans himself in our garage!), and curling up with a good dystopian novel.

Mark Wiedenmann

Director of the Upper School

Check back soon to learn more about Mark.

Nigel Williams

Performing Arts Department Chair

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

It's a living subject that allows students to face people, problems, situations and themselves — and transform.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

Theater, films, sport, family, traveling, Bigfoot, guinea pigs, Starbucks.

Jake Williamson

English Teacher

What attracted you to teach or work at Chadwick?

I remember being especially enamored by the mission and vision of Chadwick, but what really won me over at the time were the conversations I had with students and teachers during my candidacy. They were rife with honesty and authenticity. I felt like Chadwick was a place that valued character, multiple perspectives and good teaching.

What do students learn in your classes/program?

I'm going to steal a quote here from Haruki Murakami and say that through my classes, I hope students learn that "The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can't be learned at school." That might sound skeptical or abstract, but at the core of what I do or try to do as a teacher is help students develop the skills and competencies so that as they move ahead in life they can better realize themselves and their place in the world — the important things.

Kindra Windish

Director of Dance

Check back soon to learn more about Kindra.

Anne Wong

Fourth-Grade Teacher

Check back soon to learn about Anne.

Cat Yoon

Village Associate Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love to see my students build upon their reading strategies and skills throughout the year. After I model how to use a specific strategy, they can't wait to try it on their own! That's a good feeling for a teacher.

Tell us one of the funniest things that has happened in your classroom or during your program over the years.

One of my first graders asked me if Jesus was born out of an egg-- and if that was why children look for eggs on Easter.

Selina Yu

Chinese Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

The most interesting thing I found in the Chinese program is observing my students building their cultural competency everyday. Students can learn something that is different from their native language and culture in every class. Step by step, they learn a different language, a different culture and a different way of thinking.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

I like to listen to ancient Chinese music. Sometimes I play Pipa, a traditional Chinese music instrument and that is very relaxing. Right now I have a baby girl at home and I really enjoy spending time with her.

Ryan Zachos

Mathematics Teacher

What do you find most interesting about the material you teach or program you lead?

I love the relational aspect of teaching. Math is just my excuse to be in the classroom, to come along students and their families to help get them one step closer to fulfilling their individual design and purpose.

What are you passionate about outside of the classroom/school?

I've been a singer ever since I was old enough to talk. Music is a huge part of my life. I travel with a vocal group based in Nashville part-time, and I also write and sing some of my own music.