New Faculty and Staff Welcomed

Some of George School's newest faculty and staff members gathered for a photo during orientation.

George School is pleased to welcome new faculty and staff for the 2019-2020 school year.

New Faculty

Kyle Abbott will be teaching English. Kyle received both his MA in Education and his BA in English and communication from La Salle University. Since 2018, Kyle has been a long-term substitute at Pennridge High School where he taught 9th grade English and special education. He was also the Improv Comedy Club advisor. In addition to teaching, he is a lecturer at La Salle University, and has a background in improvisational comedy, is an Eagle Scout, and plays the guitar and drums.

Ryan Aponte will be a new member of the Religions Department. Ryan has most recently been teaching at Eastside Preparatory School in Kirkland, Washington. Prior to that, he taught at Friends Academy in Locust Valley, New York, Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, and Rumsey Hall in Connecticut. He has also coached soccer at Germantown Friends School. Ryan’s previous experience has allowed him to participate in a curriculum redesign project to enhance humanities integration into the 9th and 10th grade curricula. He has also advised student clubs and been a dorm parent. Ryan received his MA. in American studies from Georgetown University and his BA in history from Davidson College.

Gracie Coscia-Collins ’09 will be covering dance classes during term 1. She has a deep family connection to George School—Gracie is an alum, and her older siblings Ella ’15 and Addy ’11 also attended George School. Her younger sibling is a member of the Class of 2020. Since 2016, Gracie has been the education manager of Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers. She has taught dance at Zoom Dance in Philadelphia and served as dance director at Camp Onas. Gracie also has her DIG Yoga certification.

Maria (Rocio) Delgado is a new teacher of Spanish and comes to George School from Princeton Day School. She holds a BA in TESOL from Escuela de Literatura y Ciencias del Lenguaje, Universidad Nacional (UNA), Heredia, Costa Rica, a MEd from George Fox University, and a PhD in second language acquisition and teaching from the University of Arizona. Rocio also has experience teaching in her native Costa Rica. Rocio has been an Advanced Placement Spanish Language Exam reader, a volunteer at Nassau Christian Center in Princeton, New Jersey, and a volunteer at Young Life in St. Thomas. Rocio is a published researcher and frequent presenter at academic and educational conferences.

Zahra Patterson provided sabbatical coverage for George School last spring and will join the community full-time as an English teacher. Prior to coming to George School, Zahra was a start reading and writing instructor at the City University of New York and an English teacher at Staten Island Academy. Zahra earned her MFA in Writing from Pratt Institute and her BA in English from the University of Albany. She is the creator of Raw Fiction in Brooklyn, served as an African American history instructor through Americorps, and has been an English language teaching assistant at the Academie de Rennes in Brittany, France.

Clemente (Clay) Perez Garcia will teach Spanish and religions. Clay earned a bachelor’s degree in archaeology, biblical studies, and international studies from Southern Adventists University in Tennessee. After earning his degree, he completed graduate courses in archaeology in Vienna, Austria and courses in curriculum and instruction at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Since 2015, Clay has been an upper school teacher at The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, where he taught modern world history, United States history, Spanish 1-3, and human development. He also served as an advisor to the freshman and junior classes, and developed courses in world religions. In addition to his teaching, Clay is a volunteer dance assistant and choreographer.

Payton Ritchey will also be joining the English department. Payton comes to George School from St. Michael’s Catholic Academy in Austin, Texas, where for the past three years she was a member of the English faculty, head of the Writing Center, member of the Academic Advisor and Admissions Committee, and sponsor of the Diversity Club. Payton received her BA in English literature from Texas A & M University. She earned her MA in English literature from Villanova University.

Dar Sheth will be teaching IB Economics and AP World History. Dar earned his MS in school leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, and his BS in secondary education, with a concentration in social studies from Temple University. Since 2016, he has been a 9th and 10th grade teacher at Girard College High School. There, he mentored new and first year teachers and advised the Student Government and World Affairs Council/Global Smart Program. Prior to Girard, he was a student teacher at Northeast High School for Advanced 11th grade American History. In addition to his teaching work, Dar also served as a research assistant at Temple University in the Department of Psychological Studies in Education.

Joanna Sima will be teaching our new IB Psychology class in the history department. Joanna earned her MAT. from the University of Southern California with a focus in secondary education, and received her BASc in history and psychology from McGill University in Montreal. Since 2012, Joanna has taught AP psychology and social studies at Livingston High School in Livingston, New Jersey. While at Livingston, she led professional learning communities, trained in co-teaching strategies for special education students, and served as the advisor to the community service club. She was also an assistant residential coordinator and activities coordinator for gifted and talented students at the Northwestern University Center for Talent Development.

New Staff Members

Catherine Box is George School’s new associate director of college counseling. Catherine comes to George School from the Woodberry Forest School, where she was associate director of college counseling for the last two years. Prior to Woodberry Forest, Catherine worked in college admissions at both her alma mater, the University of the South, and Millsaps College, where she served in a variety of capacities including the director of admission. Catherine brings with her in-depth knowledge of the financial aid process, which was gained through her work with an educational services foundation in Jackson, Mississippi.

Caroline Bruss is George School’s new director of counseling services. Caroline comes to us from South County High School in Lorton, Virginia, where she was the school counselor. In that role, Caroline provided social and emotional support to a diverse student body. She worked collaboratively with outside agencies and support student success. She arranged school-wide mental wellness presentations, and linked families with additional therapeutic supports to foster healthier family and community relationships. Caroline has experience working with students needing extra learning support and has guided students through the college application process using Naviance. She has been a curriculum developer with the Fairfax County Public Schools where she devised and delivered academic lessons that focused on acknowledging, accepting, and appreciating racial and cultural differences among middle school students. Caroline graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in psychology and an MEd in counselor education. She is a board-certified counselor and is a licensed educational specialist in the state of Pennsylvania.

Danette Crockett will be joining George School as director of human resources. Danette brings deep experience in human resources in both the non-profit and corporate sectors.  Most recently she has served as director of human resources at Synergy Hospitality, a hotel management company. Prior to that, she served in several roles over twenty-years at the Central Bucks YMCA, followed by a stint in Somerset County, New Jersey. Danette is a graduate of the University of Delaware, and a native of Bucks County.

Chris Jackiewicz is George School’s newest leadership gifts officer. Chris spent the last several years as a financial aid analyst and then associate director of development, major gifts, at Drexel University. His volunteer experience includes work at the Bucks County Peace Center and Noche Universitaria de Filadelfia. Chris has an MBA from LeBow College of Business, of Drexel University, and a BA from Gettysburg College. Chris is originally from Bucks County and currently lives in Philadelphia.

Bob Miller joins us part-time in the post office this year, after spending twenty-four years working for the US Postal Service before retiring in 2017. While at the US Post Office, he served various positions including dispatch clerk, window technician, early morning distribution clerk, and bulk mail technician.

Mike Perry has joined George School as interim director of development for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Mike started his career in development at Deerfield Academy, where he served as director of annual support, associate director of development, and finally director of development. In 2003, Mike left Deerfield to become vice president for institutional advancement at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, and he continued his work in development as vice president for development and alumni relations at The College of the Holy Cross. Thereafter, he returned to independent education as chief advancement officer at The Culver Academies in Indiana. Most recently, Mike has been special assistant to the president at the University of Idaho.

John Robinson is our second part-time post office employee. He also joins us from the US Postal Service after forty-two years of service. During his time there, he served in such roles as lead sales service associate, supply clerk, and vehicle operations maintenance assistant.

Kurt Ruch is George School’s new director of athletics and recreation. Kurt joins us after twenty-three years at Malvern Prep. He has experience working with athletes and coaches, parents, administrators, and offices of college counseling and admissions to create pipelines of talented student athletes.

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