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Getting to Know Our New Faculty and Staff

One of the cycles in the life of a school is bidding au revoir to faculty and staff in June, and welcoming a new group of teachers and administrators in September. This year, we have many experienced, talented and dedicated educators who have joined the BFS community.

Three Assistant Heads of School have been appointed: Nitya York (Middle School), along with Alexandra (Alex) Davis and Paul Beekmeyer (Upper School). Read separate article.

Betsy Peyton, RN

Betsy Peyton, RN

In the newly created position of Director of Health Services (All-School), BFS welcomes Betsy Peyton, RN.  Betsy was the School Nurse at Friends Seminary in Manhattan for the past five years. She also has a distinguished record as a Psychiatric Nurse at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Mt. Sinai Hospital. Read her welcome message to parents on the password-protected Parent Dashboard.

Other administrators who are working in schoolwide positions are Noel Quinones, Associate Director of Service Learning and Civic Engagement; Omar Roberts, Director of Afterschool and Summer Camp; and Donnie Smith, Associate Director of Enrollment. Donnie Smith.

Noel, a graduate of Swarthmore College and Fieldston School, brings the versatility of an educator, community organizer, and youth program coordinator to his position. Omar has both undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work and has extensive experience and expertise in youth programs, most recently as Program Director of the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park . Donnie is an  Earlham College graduate and a convinced Quaker. He has worked in admissions at George School and the A Better Chance program.

Omar Roberts

Omar Roberts

Get a brief overview of the other new members of our teaching and learning community by division in the section below:

UPPER SCHOOL

Daniel Barrett (Administrative Assistant)  A graduate of Yale College with an M.S. degree in Education from Fordham University, Daniel has combined administrative and teaching work for the past three years at Brooklyn Heights Montessori School following seven years at Saint David’s School.

Theresa Cano (Science) Theresa comes to our Science Department from The Friends’ School in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. In addition, she has taught in various institutions in the United Kingdom, including courses in middle and high schools (e.g. physics, chemistry, environmental science, and IB SL and HL Biology). Teresa has also worked extensively with children and families in various capacities in Spain. She holds a Masters’ degree in Social Development and Health from Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh, U.K.; has a Postgraduate degree in Education from the University of Seville, Spain; and a Bachelor of Science degree, also from the University of Seville, Spain.

Nicole Guynn (Science) A graduate of the William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, the world’s oldest Quaker school, Nicole was most recently a biology teacher at The Rivers School, in Weston, MA, where she also served as the Assistant Coach of the Girls’ Varsity Basketball team. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Temple University in Philadelphia where her coursework focused on advanced chemistry, physics, and environmental science, along with a certification in Spanish World language. While in Philadelphia, she also did student-teacher work at the Carver High School of Engineering and Science.

Erika Hillstead (History) Erika comes to BFS from the Hayah International Academy in Cairo, Egypt. Before that, she taught History (AP World History), US History, and Psychology in the Tracy Unified School District in Tracy, California. She received her Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University, and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her professional interests also include the establishment of safe spaces for learning, managing media influences on adolescents,  and adult professional development.

Thomas James (Mathematics) Tom comes to the Math department from the Potomac School in Washington, D.C. where he taught Algebra 2 and Precalculus along with being an advisor to 9th and 10th grade students. Prior to that, he taught in the New Haven, CT public school system, where he also facilitated workshops on LGBTQ issues. He also served as an Assistant Coach of the Cross Country and Wrestling teams. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Yale University, and is anticipating receiving his Master of Arts degree in Mathematics from American University.

Lucien Kouassi (Science)  Lucien comes to the BFS Science Department from various teaching and administrative positions in New York City, which include serving as Academic Director for the Lefrak City Youth and Adult Association (an Afterschool program); teaching Science (chemistry and physics) in the NYC Department of Education; and acting as adjunct professor of science in both the Borough of Manhattan Community College and Queensborough Community College. He holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University, and B.S. and MS. Degrees in Chemistry from SUNY (Old Westbury) and Long Island University, respectively. He also has interests in STEM work, robotics, and sponsoring student debate teams

Sara Levy (English)  Sarah is a veteran English teacher, advisor, and grade dean, having taught for ten years in grades 9-12 at the Trinity School in New York City where she also taught elective classes in political theatre, playwriting, absurdist literature, and literary humor. She received her Master’s degree in English Literature from The Bread Loaf School in English, Middlebury College, in Middlebury, VT. Her Bachelor’s degree is from The University of Chicago.

Andres Puigbo (Technical Theater) information to come soon

Veronica Rodriguez Torres (Spanish) Veronica holds a Ph.D. in Latin American and Iberian Cultures from Columbia University, two Master’s degrees in Latin American and Iberian Cultures from Columbia University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico. Verónica will be joining the World Language Department this year, after having recently taught Spanish at the Bard High School and Early College, Columbia University, and Lebanon Valley College. Veronica shall be teaching 9th grade Spanish 2, 10th grade Spanish 3, and 12th grade IB Spanish SL and HL.

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Kim Allen (Spanish)  Kim comes to BFS from Avenues, the World School, NYC. Previously she taught for many years at St. Luke’s School. She has a Master of Curriculum and Instruction, Applied Linguistics from The University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts from Wichita State University.

Lyman Casey (Mathematics) Lyman previously taught at The Mandell School, NYC. He has a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education and a Bachelor of Science from Santa Clara University.

Samantha Laserson ( Fifth Grade) Samantha joins Brooklyn Friends from Middle School 582 in Brooklyn.  She has a Master of Arts in Teaching, English Language Arts from Relay Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Language, Literature and Criticism (Specializing in British Literature) from CUNY Hunter College.

Caleb Miller (Visual Arts)  Caleb comes to us from Brooklyn Ascend School, Brooklyn.  He has a Master of Science from Hunter College and a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College

Alison Mirylees (Fifth Grade) Alison comes to us from The Mandell School, NYC. She has a Master of Science, Elementary Education from Bank Street College of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in English, Minor in History from The University of Vermont.

Peter Soto (Physical Education) Peter begins his work at BFS as PE teacher and Interim Physical Education Department Head. Beginning in 2014, Peter was Director of Athletics and Ancillary Programing at The Mandell School. His prior experience includes six years at Poly Prep Country Day School where his work included service as Co-Director of After School Programs, Director of Lower School Vacation Camps, Physical Education teacher, and Head Junior Varsity Girls Basketball Coach.

 

LOWER SCHOOL – Bios of all Lower School Teachers are on the password-protected Parent Dashboard

Gili Warsett (Librarian)

Gabriela Alvarez Castaneda (Second Grade Spanish)

Thomas Keasling (Assistant Woodworking Teacher

Assistant Teachers: David Alfonso, Sarah Feigelson, Christian Francis, Christopher Gollmar, , Sara Nixon, Jillian Rolen, Marisa Weilheimer

 

PRESCHOOL – Bios of all Preschool Teachers are on the password-protected Parent Dashboard

Rachel Rowan (Assistant Teacher)

 

FAMILY CENTER

Erika Sanchez (Assistant Teacher)

Natalie Flores (Admissions Associate)