Meet the New Faculty and Staff
COMMUNITY Aug 24, 2012
Nobles veterans—Head of School Bob Henderson ’76, Dean of Students Erika Guy, Dean of Faculty Maura Sullivan and Head of Upper School Ben Snyder—welcomed the incoming “class” of new faculty and staff members to campus on Friday, August 24. The annual New Faculty and Staff Orientation gave the newest members of the community the chance to explore campus, receive schedules and information packets, and start the process of learning “all things Nobles.”
Henderson dispensed some invaluable advice (i.e. “Read everything” and “Go unafraid to ask for help along the way”) and explained that it will take time to adjust to the fast pace, schedule and school culture. “You’ll hear a lot of people talk about the incredible fast pace at Nobles, but you need to feel it and experience it for yourselves. It's a good thing; it's because there is such high energy here.”
This year’s group of new faculty and staff includes both familiar faces (two graduates and a returning faculty member) and those completely new to the Boston area. They bring talent, knowledge, and a passion for education and working with young people.
Learn more about the newest members of the Nobles community—check out the new faculty and staff bios below:
Kelsey Grousbeck ’08—Visual Arts Department/Photography Teaching Fellow
Grousbeck is back east after spending four years at Stanford University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology with a concentration in Marine Ecology and Environmental Policy. Grousbeck also used her time at Stanford to advance her love of art, enjoying several mediums but focusing on photography and ceramics. As a Nobles’ grad, she hopes to foster the same love of the arts that inspired her as a student. Grousbeck spends her summers as a counselor and photography teacher at Camp Jabberwocky on Martha’s Vineyard. She is thrilled to have found a teaching job which will allow her to continue that work. She also loves to cook, write and show people pictures of her cat.
Kelsey Gustafson—Mathematics Department/ Mathematics Teaching Fellow
Gustafson received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Mathematics from Yale University in 2011. At Yale, Gustafson enjoyed spending time outdoors, participating in many intramural sports (including the very competitive innertube water polo), leading trips for the Outdoors and Mountaineering Club, and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Her love of adventure and different cultures led her to work abroad for two summers in Mexico and Israel; Kelsey is a proud native of Fargo, North Dakota. After graduating college she worked at Northwestern Mutual Capital as an Investment Analyst. However, her time spent tutoring students, giving horseback riding lessons to children with disabilities, and volunteering at the Boys and Girls’ Club of New Haven reminded her of what her true passion is.
Michelle Huber—Modern Language Department/Spanish Teaching Fellow
Huber was born and raised in the woods of western Massachusetts where her mother fed her wild rice and vegetarian cuisine. After travels in Latin America she has become quite the carnivore. She is a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College where the open curriculum allowed her to study Social Economics, Latin American Politics, Spanish, French, Radio, and Dance. Before college she spent six months in Argentina traveling, volunteering, living in an eco-village and learning Spanish. In Argentina she developed her passion for Spanish, travel and immersive language learning. This passion led her to work at Middlebury’s high school language program for the past three summers, as well as work as a Spanish conversation tutor at school. Huber studied abroad in Cuba during the fall of her junior year where she studied humanities and Afro-Cuban folkloric dance, as well as volunteered to teach English to Cuban kids on the weekends. Spanish and dance envelop Michelle’s heart and she is looking forward to the opportunity to work with both at Nobles.
Mike Kalin—History and English Department/History, English Teacher
Kalin joins the History and English departments this year to teach AP European History, and Class III English. A native of Sioux City, Iowa, Kalin headed east to attend Harvard and has remained here ever since. At Harvard, Kalin was an executive director of Citystep, a nonprofit organization devoted to improving self-confidence in Cambridge public middle school students through the performing arts and dance. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies, he taught seventh-grade American history at MS 323 in Bronx, New York. Kalin recently completed his Master of Education degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he focused on instructional leadership and multidisciplinary curriculum development. For the past two summers, Mike has taught English at Achieve. In his spare time, Mike enjoys shooting hoops, playing tennis, attempting (poorly) to become a better cook, dancing, and skiing.
Pascal Maharjan—Mathematics Department/Mathematics Teacher
Although a citizen of Nepal, Maharjan was born in Yemen, where he spent the first six years of his childhood, followed by two years in Mozambique. In Nepal, Maharjan spent seven years in Budhanilkantha School, a boarding school located in the northern part of the Kathmandu Valley. He completed the last two years of his high school at the United World College of the American West in New Mexico. As an undergraduate student, Pascal majored in Mathematics and minored in French and Physics at Middlebury College. For the last six years he has been an Upper School Mathematics teacher at Staten Island Academy. In addition to teaching Mathematics, Pascal has also coached boys' and girls' Volleyball. His interest in sports is not limited to volleyball however. Recreationally, Pascal enjoys playing badminton, ultimate Frisbee, soccer, squash and table tennis and is an avid Federer fan.
Melissa McClung—Communications/Communications Teaching Fellow
A native of Amherst, Mass., McClung is excited to join the Nobles community after spending a creative and energizing summer making movies and art with teens and preteens at Deerfield Academy Summer Arts Camp. In May, McClung graduated from Vassar College where she studied education, film production, and creative writing, and ran on the varsity cross country and track teams for eight seasons. McClung is thrilled to be joining the Communications office, and can't wait to document the Nobles experience and discover the stories and people that make up the Nobles community.
Erica Pernell—Science Department /Chemistry Teacher
Pernell was born and raised in Plainville, Conn., but despite the town’s name, had a bustling childhood as an avid athlete and lover of all things outdoors. She still enjoys camping, hiking, and backpacking and is passionate about environmental issues. Pernell attended the University of Connecticut where she played second and third bases for the Huskies softball team. After finishing her undergraduate coursework, Erica stayed at UConn to complete her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. After college and graduate school, she taught Chemistry, Physics, and Biology at a high school in Hartford, Conn., before making the big move to Roxbury in 2008. Pernell’s move to Boston was sparked by her love of the city and her desire to work for the University of Massachusetts Boston Upward Bound program. As the Director of Upward Bound, Pernell was able to infuse her love of the environment into the college preparatory program.
Sarah Plumb ’08—Teaching Fellow
Plumb is originally from Wellesley, Mass., and recently graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., where she majored in Government with a focus on International Relations. While at Dartmouth, Plumb was a four-year member of the varsity women’s lacrosse team, serving as a co-captain and chosen as a 1st team All-American her senior year. Plumb also served as an academic coach for Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth, mentoring high school students from low socio-economic backgrounds, and as a coach for Athletes United, coaching young kids in the surrounding Upper Valley. It was here that Plumb began to discover her passion for mentoring/teaching. In addition, Plumb enjoys spending time with her family in Cape Cod, and loves spending time outdoors. Sara is extremely excited to return to Nobles next year and to take on a new role in the Nobles community!
Sara Remsen—Science Department/Biology Teaching Fellow
Remsen recently received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Dartmouth College with a minor in Digital Arts. She has been sharing her love of the natural world since she was a Biology student tutor at Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Mass. At Dartmouth, she was a Dartmouth Outing Club first-year trip leader, the president of the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, and a staff writer for the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science. Remsen spent three months in Costa Rica and the Cayman Islands conducting original field research in tropical and marine ecology. She also worked as the animation intern at the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Boston Museum of Science and with faculty from the Dartmouth Biology and Engineering departments to create educational science animations. To continue her commitment to education, Sara volunteered as an academic coach for the SEAD (Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth) program, which prepares students in under-resourced high schools for success in high school and in college.
Loan Rothschild—Modern Language Department/French Teacher
Rothschild was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and as a teenager headed to France to study at the University of Paris and later to the U.S. where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in teaching French and an Master of Education in administration at Boston University. Rothschild’s career includes 30 years teaching French and Spanish at Charles Brown Middle School in Newton and more recently in the Wellesley, Medfield and Concord school systems. Rothschild has spent many months in Spain, Mexico and Guatemala to increase her fluency in Spanish and often travels back to Vietnam to visit her mother. Rothschild’s husband is a physics professor at Boston University and she has two sons, one who recently completed his residency in dermatology at Harvard and a second who lives in San Francisco and runs a start-up in the IT field. professor is an avid runner and swimmer.
Talya Sokoll—Library/Information Services and Systems Librarian
Sokoll is finishing her Master of Library Science degree at Simmons College. She has spent the past two years working as the pre-professional librarian at the Winsor School in Boston and is excited to continue her career in an independent school. She attended New York University where she received a Bachelor of Science and an Master’s in English Education. Over the summer, Talya taught Reading and Technology to elementary school children in Dorchester. She was born in Israel and raised in Newton. She loves all kinds of food and believes that pickles can be a side dish for almost anything. Talya is also involved in a number of volunteer library positions because she just loves books that much! For the past four years, she has also been a big sister through the Big Brother/Big Sister Program, and in her spare time, loves to see movies with her “little sister.”
Ruihua Sun—Modern Language Department /Chinese Teacher
Sun rejoins the Modern Language Department this September to teach Chinese full-time. She was born in China, received her Bachelor’s degree from Nanjing University, China and Master’s degree from Tsukuba University, Japan. She has been teaching Japanese and Chinese in China, Japan and U.S. For many years, she has built up her skills in teaching various ages of students. Before returning to Nobles, she was teaching Japanese and Chinese at Simmons College. Sun managed a study abroad program and led 16 students to Japan in 2010. It is normal for her family to use three languages (Chinese, Japanese and English) to communicate at home since one of her daughters was born in China; one grew up in Japan; and another was born in Japan and grew up in the U.S. During her free time, Sun enjoys reading, fitness, and taking ballroom dance class.
Lindsey Tonge—Science Department /Biology-Chemistry Teaching Fellow
Tonge recently graduated with a Master of Science in Biophysical Chemistry from Yale University. Her friends and family frequently complain about having no idea what biophysical chemistry is and why Tonge likes it. Tonge attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., from 2007-2011, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. At Holy Cross, Lindsey found plenty of time to have fun, even around her numerous biology, chemistry, and physics labs. Tonge was an active member of the Holy Cross Goodtime Marching and Pep Band, which played at all the Holy Cross football and basketball games, as well as a few hockey games. Tonge realized her interest in teaching when she was the head of the “Science Ambassadors,” a group of Holy Cross students who performed science demos for local school children. Tonge favorite Science Ambassador’s event was “Hogwarts,” an event where science and the magical world of Harry Potter collide. After all, who wouldn’t want to wear cloaks and wave a wand in your university’s ballroom?