Williston’s New Faculty Form Tight Bond

When the 13 new faculty members arrived on campus this year, Dean of Faculty Peter Valine was pleased to see how quickly the group came together. Not only were they highly educated (six have master’s degrees), and dedicated (nine will live on campus to work with the residential program), but they got along. In fact, they established a rapport right from the start, he said.

“Through their orientation process they created an exceptionally tight bond,” Mr. Valine said.  “They supported each other through the orientation program, and really seemed to enjoy each other’s company.”

In a group “distinguished by a true passion for education,” Mr. Valine said he expected the math department to particularly benefit. Three of the new faculty members will be math teachers, including Josh Seamon, the new math department head.

Meet the new faculty for 2013-14:

Carey Baldwin (Math) – Ms. Baldwin joins Williston—and returns to the Pioneer Valley—after teaching and tutoring for the last 10 years in California, and most recently Washington state. She graduated from Mt. Holyoke College with a BA in Physics and Environmental Science. Ms. Baldwin will teach math, and will also be a coach and advisor. Ms. Baldwin and her husband, Brent Visser, will live on campus with their sons Quinn and Sam.

Kate Biddiscombe (English) – Ms. Biddiscombe joins Williston after completing a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She also has a master’s in English Literature from the Breadloaf School of English, and she is a graduate of Colby College with a BA in English and American Studies. Ms. Biddiscombe worked for five years at Choate Rosemary Hall. She will teach English, coach, advise, and live on campus.

Brian Crockett (History and Global Studies) – Mr. Crockett is completing his undergraduate program in education at Colgate University this spring. Mr. Crockett is an All-American football player at Colgate, and has been very involved with student leadership and community service while at Colgate. He will teach history, coach three seasons of athletics, advise students, and live on campus.

Dr. Peter Elsea (Health Service) – Dr. Elsea, a graduate of the University of Virginia, is board-certified in internal medicine and pediatrics and earned his medical degree from the University of North Carolina. He completed his residency at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.  At present, he practices internal medicine and pediatrics at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton.

Allison Evans (History and Global Studies) – Ms. Evans is completing her master’s program in the school of education at UMass Amherst this spring, where she also completed her  BA in History. This year she has been student teaching at Easthampton High School, and also helping out with Williston’s We The People program. Ms. Evans will be teaching four classes in the Middle School, coaching, advising, and living on campus.

Kerry-Beth Garvey (Health Service) – Ms. Garvey, a graduate of Wheaton College with a BA in English, also holds a BS and an MS in nursing from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  She joins us from UMass, where she has served as the Resource Nurse in the General Medicine Clinics.  She provided direct care, patient education, and served as a liaison with the university’s Violence Prevention team and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program.  In addition, she has been a triage and staff nurse in both Massachusetts and Connecticut for the past 20 years. She will be Williston’s new director of Health and Wellness Services. 

Justin Geyer (Athletics and Science) – Mr. Geyer has been working part-time as our strength and conditioning coach for all teams this year. He is completing a master’s program in Exercise Science at Springfield College, and he earned his BS Athletic Training from The College of Mount St. Joseph. Mr. Geyer will expand his role next year by continuing to serve as the school’s strength and conditioning coach, as well as teaching one section in science, advising, and living on campus.

Joshua Harper (Music) – Mr. Harper recently finished his Master of Music in Choral Conducting at UMass this past spring. He is a graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville with a BA in Vocal Performance and Music Composition & Theory. While at UMass, Mr. Harper conducted the UMass Women’s Choir & Recital Choir, and he was the chorus director at the Hartsbrook School. He is also the tenor section leader at Edwards Church in Northampton. He will conduct the Upper School choral groups and the Middle School Chorus at Williston, as well as music direct the Spring musical. Mr. Harper will also coach, advise students, and live on campus.

Hua Jones (Chinese) – Ms. Jones taught at the Miami Valley School in Ohio where she has taught Mandarin and been the World Language Department Chair. She received a BA in English Language Education from Northwest Normal University, and a MA in English Linguistics from Shanghai International Studies University. Ms. Jones is married to Richard Jones and they have one son in college. Hua will also be advising and involved in the afternoon program. She will live on campus.

Liz Kay (Science) – Ms. Kay joins the Science Department from Suffield Academy where she has worked since 2003. She has also worked at Stoneleigh-Burnham, and Brighton High School. Ms. Kay graduated from Bates College with a BS in Biology. In addition to teaching, Ms. Kay will be advising and coaching. She will be living off-campus.

Annie Schneider (Math) – Ms. Schneider completed her BA in Mathematics and Education at Assumption College. She was a student leader in the Academic Support Center at Assumption where she served as a head tutor. Ms. Schneider was also very involved in club and intramural sports in college. In addition to teaching  mathematics, Ms. Schneider will be a coach and advisor. She will live on campus.

Helen Stauder (Advancement) – Ms. Stauder joins Williston from Smith College, where she was a research analyst over the past five years. She conducted prospect research for 50th and 25th Reunions, parent programming, the School for Social Work, and individual giving officers. Prior to her work at Smith, Ms. Stauder was a research librarian at Sports Illustrated and the New York Public Library. She received her B.A. from the State University New York, Oswego, and her M.S. in Library and Information Sciences from Simmons College. Ms. Stauder lives in Florence with her husband and two children.

Josh Seamon (Math) – Mr. Seamon will be the new Math Department Head. He joins us after working at St. Johnsbury Academy (VT) since 2002 where he served as a math teacher and Director of Academic Technology Integration. Mr. Seamon is returning to the Pioneer Valley as he is an Amherst Regional High School graduate who earned a BA in Mathematics from Pomona College, and a MS in Teaching Mathematics from UNH. Mr. Seamon will also be coaching and advising.

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