New Faculty Bring New Sense of Community

Williston welcomes 12 newcomers to campus

10557428463_4385727194_zThe dozen members of the incoming faculty are not only joining a thriving community at the Williston Northampton School, they’re bringing an even stronger sense of community with them. Some of the new faculty members have spouses already at Williston; others are coming with their families to live and work at the school.

“It’s a fairly diverse group, but there are common themes,” said Dean of Faculty Peter Valine of the 12 new faculty members. “One thing that’s common to all of them, and this doesn’t always happen with each rookie class, is that they’ll all be living on campus.”

Mr. Valine said that having the new faculty both work and live at the school will create deep community connections—especially since so many of the faculty have had experience at other independent schools.

“All of them bring enthusiasm and excitement,” he said. “It’s like this infusion of energy and ideas that I think is incredibly exciting for the school.”

Meet the new faculty for 2014-15:

Tina Berghoff (Academic Support Coordinator)

Ms. Berghoff has worked with children, families, and professionals as a teacher of students with hearing impairment and learning differences for more than twenty years. Since 1993 she has been working at CREC Southbridge. Ms. Berghoff has extensive experience in independent boarding schools, and she is a skilled interventionist who employs differentiated instruction techniques in the classroom setting. She earned a BA in Psychology from Holy Cross, a Masters in Education of the Deaf from Smith College, and a sixth year certificate in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University. In addition to working as the Academic Support Coordinator, Ms. Berghoff will teach, advise students, and coach in the afternoon program. Ms. Berghoff lives on campus with her husband, Bill, and their family.

Kate Garrity (Athletics and Residential Life)

Ms. Garrity joins Williston from The Gunnery, where she has worked since 2004 and served as an associate dean of students, dean of residential life, and director of student activities. She has taught life skills, been a dorm parent, coach, and advisor at the school. Ms. Garrity graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in Geography, and swam on the Middlebury swim team. Ms. Garrity will be the dorm head in John Wright, and she will direct Williston’s community service program. She will also be the head coach of varsity field hockey as part of her coaching duties.

Kevin Garrity (Science)

Mr. Garrity has worked at The Gunnery since 2003. He has taught science, been a prefect advisor, dorm parent, and coach. Mr. Garrity has also served as the crew program director. He graduated from Brown University with a BA in Business Economics and Modern American History. In addition to teaching science, he will live with his wife, Kate, in John Wright dorm, serve as an advisor, and coach in the crew program.

Norah Gentile (Language)

Ms. Gentile is completing her MA in Teaching French as a Foreign Language & Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at NYU this spring. She also completed a Teaching Assistant Program in France following her graduation from Fairfield University with a BA in French with a Spanish minor. While at Fairfield, Ms. Gentile competed on the school’s swim team. In addition to teaching, Ms. Gentile will coach, serve as an advisor, and live on campus.

Emily Jablonski (English)

Ms. Jablonski is completing her BA in English at Williams College this spring. She was a student leader who served as an advisor to the freshman class, and played both field hockey and lacrosse at Williams. Ms. Jablonski served as a team captain of the field hockey team her senior year. In addition to teaching, Ms. Jablonski will coach, serve as an advisor, and live on campus.

Matt Lapolla (Math)

Mr. Lapolla joins us from the Pennington School (NJ) where he has taught mathematics, coached, and worked as a dorm parent for the past five years. Mr. Lapolla is a graduate of Pomona College where he earned a BA in Economics. In addition to teaching math, he will coach, advise students, and he will live on campus.

Noah Lipnick (Chinese)

Mr. Lipnick is currently teaching at the East-West School of International Studies. He has previous teaching experience at the Masters School and completed an MA in Chinese Adolescent Education at Hunter College. He also earned a BA from McGill University in International Development Studies with a minor in Advanced Chinese Studies. Mr. Lipnick will teach Chinese, coach, serve as an advisor, and live on campus.

Chris Pelliccia (Science)

Mr. Pelliccia joins Williston after working in the District of Columbia schools as a STEM Learning Designer. He has previous teaching experience at The Millbrook School and St. Stephens & St. Agnes School. Mr. Pelliccia has a BA in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Middlebury College. Mr. Pelliccia will live on campus with his wife, Lori, and coach, and serve as an advisor.

Lori Pelliccia (English)

For the past five years, Ms. Pelliccia has taught English at St. Stephens & St. Agnes School, where she also coached and sponsored newspaper and writing clubs. She earned a BS in Secondary Education with a concentration in English and Communications from Penn State University. She is also currently working on her Masters of Fine Arts and Writing from The Vermont College of Fine Arts. Ms. Pelliccia will coach and serve as an advisor while living on campus with her husband, Chris.

Alex Rivenburgh (History)

Mr. Rivenburgh is completing his MA in Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst this spring. This year, as part of the program, Mr. Rivenburgh worked with Kelley Brown teaching history at Easthampton High School. Mr. Rivenburgh graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a BS in Political Science. In addition to teaching history, Mr. Rivenburgh will coach and advise students.

Michael Shelton (Assistant Director of Admission/Director of Diversity)

Mr. Shelton joins Williston after working as an assistant basketball coach at Winthrop University. He has also coached at Wesleyan University, and the University of New Haven. He has a BS in Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University. Mr. Shelton will be assistant director of admission, director of diversity, the head boys’ varsity basketball coach, and an advisor.

Meg Valine (Director of International Student Programs)

Ms. Valine returns to Williston following a two-year hiatus at nearby Smith College where she coordinated undergraduate research fellowships for the Clark Science Center and was part of the transition team for the College’s new president. Seasoned in independent schools, Ms. Valine has worked at Mercersburg Academy (PA), Bishop O’Reilly High School (PA) prior to her 14 years at Williston in the College Counseling and Communications offices. She also served as executive director of the Villanova Educational Foundation. With a bachelor of science degree from the University of Vermont and master of arts degree from Hood College, Ms. Valine is completing a course in teaching English as a Foreign Language and looks forward to working with English language learners at Williston. She is also excited to again shepherd the school’s post-graduate program. Ms. Valine lives on campus with her faculty husband, Peter Valine, and their family.

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