In early July, BFS welcomed three new members to our community who will serve in leadership positions: in the Middle School, Nitya York as Assistant Middle School Head of Academics; in the Upper School, Paul Beekmeyer, Assistant Head for Academics, and Alexandra (“Alex”) Davis, Assistant Head for Student Life.
As the new Assistant Middle School Head for Academics, Nitya York demonstrates a strong passion for middle school education while also being aligned with Quaker values and principles. Nitya comes to us from Packer, where she was the seventh and eighth grade dean of students. She has extensive experience working in an administrative roles, including director of placement and eighth grade advisor at Mandell School. A native of Philadelphia, she holds both a Bachelor and Masters of Science in Education from State University of New York at Fredonia, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and an additional Master’s degree in Private School Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. Nitya’s background and experiences will provide the BFS middle school community with an instructional leader who is well versed in best curriculum and pedagogical practices. Working closely with Head of Middle School Glen Pinder, she will be an excellent resource to establish and maintain a cohesive professional learning community among the middle school faculty. This in turn will greatly enhance the educational experiences for all our middle school students.
Paul Beekmeyer, our new Assistant Head for Academics, comes to us from the Casablanca American School (CAS), a rigorous, established International Baccalaureate school in Morocco where he was principal of the high school. A native Australian, Paul holds his Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching degree from Western Sydney University and his Masters in Education Leadership from Macquarie University in Sydney. Prior to assuming the high school principalship at CAS, Paul taught English and Theory of Knowledge at CAS and in educational institutions in Kabul, Ankara, and Istanbul. For fourteen years, Paul served as Assistant Director/Staff Liaison at Camp Chipinaw in Swan Lake, NY. We welcome Paul’s skillful leadership, joyful work with adolescents and faculty, and IB expertise as we look to assess and evolve our IB and non-IB curricula in the coming year. Working with Head of Upper School Sidney Bridges and the Upper School leadership team, Paul will also help reshape, implement, and oversee our academic advisory programming, faculty professional development initiatives, and faculty evaluation systems. He will work closely with the Middle School leadership team as we better articulate and integrate academic programming between the divisions, and with the Enrollment Office as we recruit, receive, and support students who are new to BFS. A passionate and experienced instructor, Paul will teach an IB English class in his first year.
Alex Davis, our new Assistant Head for Student Life, comes to us from the Spence School in Manhattan, where she taught Upper and Middle School math for 17 years and served as Grade 8 Dean for the past nine years. A third generation New Yorker, Alex studied Civil Engineering at Columbia University before completing her Master of Science degree in Geotechnical Engineering at UCLA. Alex also holds her MA in Secondary Math Education from Hunter College. Prior to teaching, Alex worked for five years as a civil engineer in private firms. Leveraging her extensive expertise in student life and advisory programming, Alex will work closely with the Grade Level Deans, advisors, student support staff, and Head of Upper School Sidney Bridges to revamp our advisory and wellness/guidance curricula, re-engineer, expand and support our student life and leadership activities, oversee our disciplinary process, advance our equity, justice, and civic engagement programming, support incoming students as they make the social and cultural acclimation to BFS, and reimagine and systematize many of our student life core functions. A passionate and versatile master teacher, Alex will teach one section of math as well.