Welcome to MB!

New Staff and Faculty Join Moses Brown for the 2018-19 School Year

Several new faculty and staff were officially introduced to the MB community at the opening of school. Some began at MB during the last school year. We are pleased to have all as part of our school!

Jason Bloom is MB’s new interim Upper School Librarian. His knowledge of literature, ability to build and lead programs, and the imaginative approach he brings to teaching and supporting students and faculty research make him an ideal fit for this role. In 13 years of library service, Jason has been the director, assistant director, head of technology and user experience, and the librarian for many public libraries in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He holds an M.L.S. degree and Information Literacy Instruction certificate from the University of Rhode Island and B.A.s in English and Technical Theater from Rhode Island College. He is excited to join MB.
Michael Borek joined MB Operations in January as a Maintenance/Groundsperson to help support our community. Michael’s most recent position was a Maintenance Technician at Atria Bay Spring Village in Barrington. He brings with him a wealth of experience from various other mechanical and warehouse positions.
Josh Cabrera has worked in mortgage loan processing and, prior to moving back to his home state, worked in boarding schools for four years, including the Gunnery School and Vermont Academy, where he taught Math and Spanish and coached Basketball. Josh is a proud graduate of Classical High and was a standout scholar-athlete and a member of the National Honor Society. He is obsessed with college basketball and scored over a 1,000 points at Norwich University, where he also minored in Spanish, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. Josh will teach three sections of math and one section of Spanish at MB.
Meet Erin Chechik, our new US Spanish and French teacher. Erin comes to Providence after six years of teaching in the Boston area. She has taught at an international prep school, a public high school, and most recently a Catholic school. Erin is passionate about languages and has two master’s degrees from BU, one in Hispanic Language and Literature, the second in Modern Foreign Language Education. She earned her undergraduate degree in Romance Languages and Literatures from Washington University, where she studied Spanish, French, and Italian. Erin believes in engaging students in fun, creative ways that promote communication in the target language.
Donna Corcoran most comes to MB from St. Patrick Academy where she taught Physics and Chemistry. She earned a Master of Arts in Teaching in Physics from Brown University and holds two undergraduate degrees: a BS in Math/Physics from Providence College and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University. Donna will teach one section of General Physics, one section of Conceptual Physics, and two sections of the Engineering elective in the Upper School Science Department. She loves to travel, hike, and enjoys taking continuing education courses at RISD in her spare time.
Andy Dewhirst previously taught our Nursery students at Moses Brown, and we are excited to welcome her back to our faculty. Andy comes to Moses Brown from Barrington Public School, where she worked as a speech and language pathologist. Andy earned a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and earned two master’s degrees, one in Communication Disorders and the second in Early Childhood. Andy is a tremendous educator who creates lessons focused on developing early literacy and mathematics skills through play. Her range of experience makes her a compassionate, enthusiastic, and creative educator. We are very happy to welcome Andy back to the Lower School.
Rebecca Gallegos joins MB this year as our second Nursery teacher. Rebecca was a kindergarten through second grade ESL teacher and coordinator at Southside Elementary Charter School in Providence and holds undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood Education and in Literature. She is a dedicated educator who has created and led professional development programs on Lucy Calkins’ units of study and the implementation of best practices of the Responsive Classroom curriculum. Rebecca’s experience makes her an excellent fit in our Nursery classroom.
Christine Griffin saved us last year with her willingness to serve as a long-term 6th grade history substitute. Since she was such a wonderful teacher, advisor, colleague, and community-minded person, we hired her! Christine has also previously taught at Lincoln School. In addition to being a parent of one current MB student and two graduates, Christine is the Director of the Michael Flanagan Foundation, a nonprofit foundation which provides financial support and comfort for leukemia and bone marrow transplant patients and families in New England. Christine’s experience, knowledge of MB’s culture and expectations, and the joy she brings to teaching are tremendous assets for our middle school.
Julie Hanlan joined MB last October as our Senior Development Associate. Julie has extensive experience in customer service and cultivating relationships. In her prior role as the assistant to the director of the Worcester Art Museum, Julie was responsible for supporting work with the museum’s board of trustees and development office, in addition to budget management and event planning. Julie also brings a wealth of private sector experience, having spent nine years at NovaConsulting, where she provided a range of client services and administrative support to senior management. Julie has been invaluable to the Development team and all who work with them.
Jason Hinchliffe joined MB Operations in January as a Maintenance/Groundsperson to help support our community. He has an associate’s degree from New England Institute of Technology. Most recently, Jason worked as a Union Commercial Flooring Foreman in Local 94. He has installed flooring at MB through contractors for over ten years.
Christopher Hoyt joined us in August as the Production Manager of the Woodman Center. Christopher is an experienced lighting, set and costume designer and educator. He comes to us from Central Connecticut State University where he was Assistant Professor of Theatre Design and Technology. He has held similar teaching and tech director positions at Columbia University, Holyoke Community College, Brooklyn College, and the Capitol Theatre Arts Magnet High School. Additionally, he is a sought-after freelance set designer and a frequent presenter and workshop facilitator. Chris will work with our MS and US theater tech students and provide tech support for many community events in Woodman.
Oliver Khamky is rejoining the Upper School Math Department and looks forward to teaching courses in Calculus, Multivariable Calculus, and Macroeconomics, as well as the Economics of Social Innovation spring elective. He has a BS in Economics from MIT. Oliver first taught math at MB from 2012 – 2014 before relocating to North Carolina, where he taught Math and Economics at Camelot Academy. He also coached their middle and upper school Ultimate Frisbee teams. Oliver moved back to Rhode Island last year, and spent time as a long-term sub at MB, where he is thrilled to be back full-time.
Barbara “Bobbi” Krein joined us in July as the Associate Director of Admissions. Prior to MB, Bobbi served as the Director of Admissions and the Director of Enrollment Marketing & Strategy at Tabor Academy. She has a broad understanding of Friends education, having worked in admission at George School and Olney Friends School. She has held positions in college counseling, admissions, and student life at Solebury School, Lawrence Academy, Kimball Union Academy, and Whitby School. Bobbi did her undergraduate work at Denison University (Spanish major). Bobbi was drawn to MB because of its mission and values, and was inspired by the people she met during the search process.
OJ Martí joined the MB community in July as our new Head of Lower School. He was the founding Head of School at Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy, Middle School 2 in Lincoln, and previously worked for Highlander Charter School and Teach for America (Providence and Philadelphia) as a teacher and a leader. He is a graduate of Providence College and has his master’s in education from the University of Pennsylvania. OJ’s commitment to educational equity — and to building a strong mission-driven team culture — has helped him support, coach, and strengthen teachers’ daily practice. OJ’s passionate commitment to the public good of education holds tremendous promise for MB.
Katie Nelson is our new third grade teacher and is teaching with Adam Aguirre this school year. Katie came to us from Friends Academy in North Dartmouth where she was the lead first grade teacher. Katie has an undergraduate degree in Education and a master’s in Teaching, both from Smith College. Katie also holds a teacher’s certification in Orton-Gillingham. Katie is a clear and warm communicator who forms positive relationships with colleagues, families, and students. We are fortunate to have Katie’s talent, work ethic, and leadership in the Lower School.
Claudia Perlini joins our Upper School English department with great enthusiasm. She is a Florida native, a recent graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a current student of Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. She received her B.A. from the University of Florida where she majored in English and Women’s Studies. Claudia previously taught English at Montverde Academy in Central Florida where she founded and sponsored the Writing Center. When she is not in the classroom, she eagerly seeks out mountain hikes and ukulele jam sessions. She is excited for the opportunity to join the Moses Brown community.
Connor Pirruccello-McClellan joined the MB employee community last year and now returns as lower school’s new Director of Extended Day. Connor attended MB from Nursery through 8th grade as a member of MB’s Class of 2012. After graduating from Providence Country Day, he started working at Moses Brown’s RISE Camp. This past summer was his seventh year at RISE; he is now the assistant director of lower camp. Connor majored in Art and English at Lafayette College and has a studio outside of school where he continues his art practice, including metal sculpture work (he made the basket in the Peace Garden). He joined MB’s Extended Day program last September, then started as the assistant science teacher in the lower school. Connor enjoys working with the youngest members of our community.
Luigi Solla is the newest member of MB’s College Counseling team. He joins us from Wesleyan University, where he served as Associate Dean of Admissions, and Wesleyan’s admission liaison to Moses Brown. Luigi has also worked at Brandeis University in admissions, at Mt. Holyoke College as class advisor to new freshmen transitioning to college, and as a college counselor at Lawrence Academy. Luigi holds a B.A. from Fairfield and a M.S. in Counseling & College Student Development from Northeastern. He joined the MB College Counseling Office on August 1st, getting to know his group of seniors in the Class of 2019.
Kate Tompkins joins Development as our new Assistant Director of Alumni Relations. She comes to us from Brown University, where she was Associate Director of Programs, and prior to that, the Associate Director of Off Campus Living and Programs and the Assistant Director of Summer and Special Programs. Kate has 18 years of practice in higher education. Before coming to Brown, she was Assistant Director of Donor Relations at the University of Rochester. Kate holds an Ed.D. from the University of Rochester, an M.Ed. from the University of Delaware, and a B.A. from Colgate. Kate also is passionate about MB as the mother of a Moses Brown student.
Barbara VonSalis is interim Head of Friends Education, coming to MB from the Mary McDowell Friends School in Brooklyn, where she taught History, Quaker History and Practices, Biology, and Chemistry. Barbara also advised students, served on the Quaker Life Committee, and coached basketball and soccer. She is an alumna and current Board member for the Brooklyn Friends School, a member of the Brooklyn Monthly Meeting, and a member of the Friends General Conference Central Committee. Barbara has an BA is History from Smith College and a Master’s of Adolescent Social Studies Education from Hunter College.
Sara Gillman Yokum will be our new 4th grade Teacher Assistant this year. She comes to Moses Brown with 12 years of teaching experience, having most recently taught first grade at Brent Elementary in Washington, D.C. Sara earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and holds a master’s in Reading from the University of Arizona. She also holds a National Board Certification in literacy and has experience working with the Responsive Classroom and Lucy Calkins curriculums. Sara’s passion and enthusiasm make her a great fit at Moses Brown.