Welcome to the 2014-15 School Year from Ryan Kimmet
Dear GSFS Parents and Guardians,
The calendar has once again flipped to August, the long sunny days of summer are beginning to get a bit shorter, and the “back to school” sales and signs are popping up in all the stores. As a child, I remember how bittersweet these final days of summer felt. I looked forward to the energy and excitement of a new school year, but I longed to hold on to the care-free days of summer for just a little longer.
Though as an educator I can still relate to those childhood feelings, this year, I mostly just feel the eager anticipation of school starting. My summer has involved immersing myself in all things Greene Street. I’ve met with teachers and administrators, poured over files and documents, and set goals and plans for the year. Thanks to an incredibly warm and kind community, my transition to GSFS has been pretty easy. But of course, school just doesn’t feel like school without your children occupying these spaces with their energy, creativity, and enthusiasm. They are the reason we are all here!
There are many new things to look forward to this year at Greene Street. As the class of 2017 continues to rise through the ranks, we have our first sixth grade with two sections. To accommodate this growth, the basement floor of the Armat Street building has undergone a complete renovation. Beautiful new learning spaces have been created for our sixth grade sections as well as the After School Program.
This grade will tackle another “first” as they pilot our new one-to-one iPad program. During the first weeks and months of school, sixth graders will learn how to responsibly use their tablets to enhance their learning and support their academic pursuits across the curriculum. Teachers have spent considerable time researching applications that will engage student thinking and creativity for a range of learners. As always, teachers will continue to work with students on the safe and responsible use of technology.
Additionally, there will be several new faces on campus this fall. Joining me in “newness” are the following exceptional educators: (Extended bios are available here)
Anna Weisberg - Grade 3 Lead Teacher
Anna joins the faculty of Greene Street friends shortly after completing her M.A.T. at Brown University. Prior to graduate work, Anna attended Vassar College and taught at Wissahickon Charter School as a third grade Assistant Teacher. Anna is a Germantown and Mt. Airy native and she attended both Germantown Friends School as well as Germantown Monthly Meeting.
Peale Iglehart - Grade 5 Lead Teacher
Hailing from Baltimore, MD, Peale joins the fifth grade team with experience working with students from first grade to high school. Peale is a graduate of Princeton University and is currently working toward a master’s degree at Saint Joseph’s University. Most importantly, Peale is getting married this fall!
Rebecca McWilliams - Grade 6 Humanities
Greene Street parent, Becky McWilliams, joins the staff this fall. Becky taught at Hunter College High School in New York City and has degrees from Bates College, New York University, and Temple University. Becky will be working collaboratively with Kiri Harris and the students of 6B this year, as Kiri’s leadership responsibilities pull her into other areas of the school.
Laura Good - Grade 6 Lead Teacher
Lancaster County native, Laura Good, returns to PA after spending last year teaching in Greece. Prior to that, Laura taught in the Washington, D.C. schools as a member of Teach for America. She has a master’s in teaching from American University and is a graduate of University of Virginia.
Jeff Beers - School Counselor
Working with Melody Regino in the School Counselor’s office, Jeff Beers joins the community with an extensive background in counseling and therapy. He has a B.A. from Tufts University and a Master’s in Family Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University. Jeff has worked in a number of school and clinical environments and is a native Philadelphian.
Additionally, a number of new Teaching Assistants will be joining us this fall. Kiri Harris will publish a separate document containing biographies of all our new TA’s as well as a few new teaching assignments for returning Teaching Assistants.
Another important change for everyone to be aware of concerns the leadership of the academic program at Greene Street Friends School. As you know, my position as head of Lower and Middle School entails oversight of teaching and curriculum across the continuum of the school. Balancing her roles as School Counselor and Director of Student Support Services, Melody Regino is taking on the added responsibility as Dean of Lower School. Melody will be the primary person for student issues and parent concerns in the Lower School. Her counterpart as Dean of Middle School is Kiri Harris. Kiri will continue to have a teaching role in the sixth grade and will also oversee the Teaching Assistant program throughout the school. While Kiri and Melody will lead much of the work with students and parents in their respective divisions, I will be overseeing all programmatic work in the school and look forward to working with students, parents, teachers and administrators throughout the school community.
I feel incredibly lucky to begin my work with such a talented team here at Greene Street. It is a remarkable school and a wonderfully warm community. I hope everyone savors the final days of summer, but I also hope you and your children are looking forward to school starting as much as I am. Please stop by and say hello!
Head of Lower and Middle School