SPS Today: Millville Welcomes New Faculty
2018-19 school year brings 10 new faculty members
St. Paul’s School will welcome several new community members for the 2018-19 academic year. Joining the faculty in the fall are Libby Barlow (director of institutional research); Myra Singletary (associate director of college advising); Katherine Hambleton and Xin Chan in biology; humanities teachers Alexis Waller (Spring Term sabbatical replacement), and Harrison Soebroto; Virginia Invernizzi (Spanish); Leigh Kaulbach ’08 (fine arts); and Kate Lydon (director of dance and the St. Paul’s School Ballet Company).
The School also announced a number of faculty changes and appointments. Current humanities faculty members Matt Soule ’77 and Jill Blackmer will move from full-time to associate humanities faculty, while Penn Boarding School Teaching Residency graduate Thomas Gregston will become associate dean of students. Three faculty members assume new responsibilities as department heads, following the completion of five-year terms held by Maj. Kevin Brooks (humanities), Davies Cabot (science), and Laura Hrasky (mathematics).
Parker Chase will serve as interim Mathematics Department head. Since arriving at SPS in 1996, he has taught all levels of math. Parker returns to the department after five years working with students and parents in college advising. Biology teacher Julie Cepiel will add Science Department head to her list of duties. As a member of the science faculty, she has served on several committees that have helped shape academic experiences for students. A Penner Fellow during the 2016-17 academic year, Julie conducted research on developing grit and growth mindsets among students.
Melissa Poole adds responsibilities as head of the Humanities Department, while continuing her role as academic technologist. She brings experience from across the educational spectrum, having served as a college counselor, academic dean, dean of students, humanities teacher, and a director of 21st century learning at previous schools. The School will welcome five new teaching fellows through the Penn Boarding School Teaching Residency program. They include Lauren Foster (mathematics); Josue “Efrain” Pontaza (French); Ashira Anderson (chemistry); Gabe Avis (fine arts); and Drew Davis (humanities). They will join second-year fellows Pankti Dalal (mathematics); James Washington (humanities); and James Whalen (languages) in working with students and faculty. Science teacher Davies Cabot will spend the 2018-19 academic year on sabbatical, while mathematics teacher Laura Hrasky (fall) and humanities teachers Relinde de Greef (spring) and Toby Brewster (spring) will take one-term sabbaticals. Longtime humanities teacher Candy Dale has retired.
An invaluable member of the SPS faculty since 1991, Candy announced her retirement at the end of the 2017-18 academic year. In her initial years at the School, she was a member of the English Department. As a teacher, Candy was able to combine her love of literature with her knowledge of history and international cultures as she worked with colleagues to develop the SPS humanities curriculum in the mid-1990s. Candy became director of residential life in 1999, before serving as academic dean for a year. From 2001 to 2011, she served as dean of faculty, before returning full-time to the classroom. As dean of faculty, Candy helped implement a clear faculty evaluation process. She also enhanced the School’s boundary training for faculty. Among her other roles at the School, Candy also has been an adviser to The Pelican, head of house, and club tennis coach. Known for her kindness and caring demeanor, Candy led many St. Paul’s students in community outreach efforts on behalf of New American Africans, a group that assists refugees living in New Hampshire integrate into their new communities and meet their basic family needs. In 2015, Candy was the recipient of the Form of 1973 Mentor Fellowship, using the funds to travel to Israel. She plans to live in the Tahoe area of Northern California, near family, and hopes to spend her time engaging in volunteer work in schools, libraries, and nonprofit organizations.
Meet the New Faculty
Libby joins the School as director of institutional research. She holds a doctorate in education and has served as the assistant vice president for institutional research and assessment at Syracuse University. Prior to taking on that role, Libby worked as an associate dean and faculty member in religious studies at Northfield Mount Hermon School.
Xin Yi earned a B.S. in molecular genetics and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Rochester. Prior to arriving in Millville, Xin Yi worked as a research fellow at Johns Hopkins University, where she studied vascular engineering and adult pancreatic stem cells.
Following two years as a Penn Boarding School Teaching Residency (BSTR) program fellow in the SPS Science Department, Thomas Gregston will become an associate dean in the Dean of Students Office. A New Hampshire native, Thomas earned his M.S. in education from the University of Pennsylvania in the spring.
Katherine joins the Science Department as a biology teacher. Her previous experience includes teaching science at the Hyde School in Bath, Maine, where she also coached varsity lacrosse and served as a head of house. She holds a B.S. in biopsychology from Tufts University.
Virginia joins the Languages Department as a Spanish teacher. She has experience in a boarding school setting, having previously taught Spanish at Deerfield Academy. She spends her summers as a fellow with Project Zero, a research center at Harvard University focused on education. Vigrinia holds a Ph.D. in Latin American literature from the University of Virginia.
Leigh returns to the School as a fine arts teacher, with a focus in visual arts. She holds an M.F.A. in visual art from the University of Kansas, where she also worked as an instructor of drawing.
Kate joins the School as the new director of dance and also will direct the St. Paul’s School Ballet Company. In her previ-ous post, she served as the artistic director of American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company, where she trained a select group of dancers from around the world.
Myra joins the college advising team as an associate director. She brings experience in multicultural recruitment to the role. Myra arrives at St. Paul’s from her previous role in building inclusive community at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pa., where she served as director of multicultural admissions.
Harrison makes his way to St. Paul’s School from Northfield Mount Hermon, where he taught humanities and served as a crew coach. A graduate of Columbia University, he also holds an M.Ed. in human development and psychology from Harvard University School of Education. Harrison joins the School’s humanities faculty, and will assume coaching duties with both the cross country and rowing programs.
Alexis will serve as a Spring Term sabbatical replacement in humanities. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Harvard Divinity School, with a focus on social justice, equity, and inclusion.